Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Magic Wok - First post in 2013 (after more than a year of hiatus!)

Looking back at my last post (November 2011)... I realised that I have been missing for more than a year! Workload took a huge chunk of my time in 2012 - the rest was spent with family. Of course, I would still read blogs from those whom I follow from time to time... subjected to free time. At the moment, I would just simply use Instagram to post up the photo of the food that I had eaten which was then uploaded into Facebook.

Despite the convenience of using Instagram, I still love writing... perhaps I was just lazy and being pampered by all those apps in iPhone these days. I don't have time during the day because most of my times were spent down in the factory and when I got back to the office, I had to do paperworks and that didn't include my outstation trips. The remaining time had to be spent with the family when I got home. At night, the wife would normally hog the laptop and thus I didn't have much time to post anything. Forget about Tweeter - I have already stopped using this app after a few months.

Right! Now it's 2013 - new year with new resolution! Chinese New Year is around the corner and all the necessary preparations have been made to celebrate this joyous occasion. After all, this time of the year is the time where I get together with my family and relatives - the only time when all my siblings and parents would sit down for reunion dinner. I truly cherish this moment and that is also the reason why I am looking forward to this holiday. It's a tradition to wear everything new on the first day and I assure you that my wallet has been bleeding one month earlier leading toward February 10th.

My first ever post is on Magic Wok - a relatively established restaurant in Damansara Jaya whom I have never thought of going before even when I moved to PJ. My first visit there was during the Winter Soltice festival but I didn't bring anything there then. We went there again to celebrate Keith's 2nd birthday - and this time I brought my DSLR along. Normally we would go earlier to avoid the dinner crowd.

We were the only patrons at that time and so we got all the attention :) it was a restaurant with adjoining bar where a lot of people having happy hours next door. Sometimes they would seat you there if the place was packed!

Claypot tilapia with white pepper and roasted meat - the soup was nice enough without overpowered by the white pepper. It was all bones in the end!

3 meat combination - forget the charsiew, siew yoke was decent (skin was crack-a-lacking) but not memorable and the only good was the roasted duck which I thought was good but still not comparable to Sun Ming Kee in Cheras.

Signature Magic Wok fried rice - wok hei is assured and with the siew yoke thrown into the rice, each and every bite was a bliss

Braised pork knuckle (boneless) akin to the dong po yoke - nothing was left in the end except for the layer of fat on top of the meat. We even sapu all the gravy with the accompanying steamed buns. It was good without being too salty and the meat was very tender with fall-off-the-bone texture.

Nai bak with yam - comfort food that most people would find pleasant to the tummy

Fried chicken with sliced ginger was definitely the highlight of the night! We would have ordered the second helping if we didn't take into consideration the calory. The chicken meat was aromatic, juicy and still juicy on the inside as we sank our teeth in... and please help yourself to the crispy ginger slices which we could not get enough of!!

Leo's verdict - this place is family-oriented and the service was quite fast. The servers didn't make a lot of fuss despite Sher Ryn and Keith boy running and playing around. Oh yes... I'll end this blog with a family portrait taken during the dinner. 

Disclaimer:
1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MIA

It seems that I have not been updating my blogs as much as I want to... works have been very hectic and currently I have a new project going on which will involve a lot of traveling soon. And I have to juggle between my factory and my project... it's the beginning so a lot of hands on stuff to do right now.

FYI, I will try to squeeze some free time to write blogs whenever possible...

Disclaimer:
1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Canton-i @ 1Utama Shopping Centre PJ

Canton-i needs no introduction - for those who are familiar with KL's dining scene, they would know that this restaurant is another offspring of the people behind the highly successful Dragon-i chains. While the latter offers Shanghainese cuisine (including xiao long bao), the former serves Hong Kong style cuisine. I've been here countless times until I lost count and I rarely blogged about it as this place has been blogged to death! Given the fact that I only ordered a dish or two everytime I came here (and most of the times the same dish all over again... yes I'm predictable), I didn't feel like writing any post.

Until now - when there were more than 2 diners (4 this time and in this case, my in-laws), it meant more dishes and not the same boring post. Its interior was mostly white with Oriental theme.


Most of the time when there's elderly around, a pot of Chinese tea is a MUST - in our case, a pot of Oolong priced at RM10 per pot.


A huge lemongrass fan - how could I resist ordering the lemongrass with iced jasmine tea? A bit pricey at RM10.80 per glass though!

Deep fried pork intestine and fish congee (RM11.80) was shared between all of us. The intestine and fried fritters were served separately to ensure their crispy-ness.. how thoughtful! As usual, the congee's texture was silky smooth and flavourful which won the elders' approval.

Apart from that, we also had the 3 combinations of roasted meat (RM32.00) - char siew, roasted duck and siew yoke. I found that all the 3 meats were good - just enough to be shared among us.

However, the siew yoke stood out from the other two - I love its crispy skin plus the 50/50 ratio of lean and fat meat. Crackling sound could be heard once I took a bite on the delectable meat.


Grilled eggplant with special meat sauce was definitely another dish worthy of mentioning. My love affair with eggplant started during my university years. I just loved how this aubergine plant absorbed all the flavours that are used to cook this dish. The sauce was flavourful but not too salty and I could taste the sauce with each and every bite of the eggplant.


Braised garoupa belly with garlic and pork belly (RM32.00) was another hit - the fresh & flaky garoupa meat combined very well with the sinful pork belly.


To balance our rather heavy dinner, we ordered the stir fried lotus roots with celery and macadamia nuts (RM16.80).

Leo's verdict - to be honest, I had better and if you asked me, I could even mention which place with the best char siew, siew yoke and roasted duck. But then, those good places are quite far from where I live. Plus you can get all 3 varieties under one roof. For the prices, the dishes are definitely not cheap but it's convenient (inside a shopping mall) because it's near my place.

Canton-I
G-208, Ground Floor
1-Utama Shopping Centre
Bandar Utama
Petaling Jaya

Disclaimer:
1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Delicious Lam Mee with Chinese wine

My first trip to Wei Sun was back in 2009... click here for my post back then!

I have never thought that I would be coming back here for the second time given that this restaurant is located in Kepong and I hardly venture into this area. One thing for sure is that everytime I come to KL, I would pass by Kepong before turning into LDP heading towards BU. It happened that it was almost noon by the time we passed by Kepong and both Jenn and her parents were hungry. Restoran Wei Sun came to mind and I immediately turned into Bandar Manjalara.


Lucky for us it was not lunch time yet and therefore parking were relatively easy to find and we quickly made our way to the restaurant.

Their signature Lam Mee is a must-order dish! It was prepared using 3 different type of Chinese wine to create a distinctive taste to the broth - and the wine blended very well with the flavour of Lam Mee's broth!

You'd find abalone slices, fresh prawns and ham slices together with the smooth & springy lam mee. I love the mee in its original flavour but being Jenn, she had to add vinegar to have sourish flavour in it.

We also ordered their buttermilk (nai yau) squid in 2 styles - dry style with egg floss; and wet style. Both excelled and we enjoyed having this together with the Lam Mee :)

Leo's verdict - they still manage to maintain the standard of Lam Mee which is a plus point as the objective for Jenn & I to travel to this particular place was for the dish. Too bad that we didn't travel far nowadays in search for good food, as the two little brats would be grumpy and the dining experience would not be that good.

Restoran Wei Sun
No.47, Ground Floor, Jalan 9/62A
Bandar Manjalara
52200 Kepong

Disclaimer:
1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Peninsula Experience (^_^)

Contrary to what you all might have thought, I did not stay in Peninsula Bangkok during my entire trip to Bangkok. For one, the location is far away from the shopping district.. on the opposite side of Chao Phraya river to be exact! It is possible to take Sky Train (Saphan Taksin station) to Pratunam but we didn't want to waste time taking trains. Secondly, I have set a budget for this trip (hey! I'm not filthy rich so budget is a must). After securing MAS tickets for only RM800 all-in, I booked Baiyoke Sky Hotel where we stayed for a few days.. it took us only 5-10 min walk to get to Platinum Mall. Here is the picture of Peninsula Hotel Bangkok which I took while taking their boat to the opposite side of river. This hotel stands majestically from where we are! Look closely at the hotel and you might actually notice that the hotel is iconically W-shaped designed.

After checking out of Baiyoke Hotel, we took taxi to Peninsula Bangkok which was located in a quieter Khlong San district. Upon reaching the hotel, memories from 8 years ago flashed back. As a matter of fact, this was actually my second time staying in this hotel. My first time was with Thule delegations back in September 2003. Thule's Asia Pacific Conference was held in Peninsula Bangkok and therefore I got the opportunity to stay in one of the top hotels in Bangkok. I could only remember that the room was exceptional and I had been telling Jenn so many times when we planned our Bangkok trip in June 2011.

Hotel staffs were very polite and courteous - if you are those who rate customer service highly, you definitely won't be disappointed. They literally took care of everything from the moment you stepped out from taxi. Our bags were quickly whisked away to luggage room while we proceeded to the check-in counter.

Love the black Bentley Continental GT :)

Mighty lion statues guarding its entrance

I just love the ever colourful and vibrant orchids

Do not expect to see contemporary and modern designs inside the hotel. You could even see antique furnitures placed around the hotel lobby (such as this one). However, the hotel gave both of us cosy feeling...

Now this is their boat service that will take you to the opposite side of the river.. it's FOC by the way. It is also the only way to get across the river should you decide to take Sky Train. My advise is DO NOT take taxi as most likely you will get stuck in the traffic jam on Saphan Taksin bridge linking both sides.

The room... ah yes! THE ROOM - how could I miss out? I wanted to settle for Deluxe room at the beginning but after realising that there was not much difference in term of rate in order to get the Balcony Room, I opted for the latter. The bed greeted us as soon as we entered the room - it was as good as Westin's Heavenly Bed. I could fall asleep easily on this bed.

View across the room from the bed.

2 separate basins for her and him - so I don't have to fight with Jenn who took her own sweet time to make-up and brush teeth/wash face.

For those who are always on the go and busy, they do have fax machine and high speed internet access in the room for you to use.

A little surprise from the management of Peninsula Bangkok - a box of chocolate! Yummy..

Breakfast at their Riverside Cafe is always an exciting affair. Part of the reason why I wanted to stay in Peninsula Bangkok was due to their breakfast affair! Why? I shall get to that part later...

They adopt an open kitchen concept right outside the cafe where the staffs prepare food on the spot to make sure that everything is fresh!

Jenn loves her Egg Benedict - I have yet to find another hotel that prepares this dish on the spot in Malaysia. Oh yes they do serve Egg Florentine too but we didn't manage to try that.

We did not manage to get a table inside the cafe - which was came as surprise for us as we never expect the breakfast crowd to be that many in this hotel (a sign of a very popular hotel despite its price tag). So I took some pictures - starting with pastry and bread section!

Their cold cut and salad section. They do have other sections that serve local Thai and Chinese dishes but I was not really looking forward to that.

My main objective is this - BACON! Crispy and piping hot bacon which is always replenished to ensure the patrons did not have to wait. During my stay in Baiyoke Sky Hotel, they could not make enough bacon to meet the demand from the breakfast crowd. I had to stand there for 5-10 minutes just to get the bacon!

My first plate of breakfast - loads of bacon, pork sausages, roasted potato wedges, grilled tomato and shitake mushroom.

Jenn opted for legs of ham (not those generic ham), waffles, scrambled egg and some salad

I couldn't stand the sight of the legs of ham - I helped myself to a second round shortly after!

Even the fruits tasted fresh from the market directly onto our table.

Signed Leo & Jenn from Peninsula Hotel Bangkok!

Leo's verdict - staying a night at this hotel cost at least RM700-800 for their Superior Room alone. FOr the Balcony room, all I can say is that I paid close to RM1k! My review on the hotel picked from tripadvisor site "This was actually my second time staying in Peninsula Bangkok, having stayed here once 8 years ago on business purpose. It was my first time that prompted me to stay here again for the second time, as I was very impressed by the level of service shown by this hotel. The level of service has not dropped but further improved to my delight!
I have written to the hotel (through the agent) that I would be celebrating my 5th anniversary with my wife this time, and we were delighted with the little surprise when we checked into our balcony room which overlooks the Chao Phraya river. Having said that, my wife was very happy & we had a wonderful time in this hotel. The food at Thiptara was exceptionally good and even though we didn't make any reservation that day, the staff let us to sit at the table directly next to the river since we were quite early (the next reservation was at 8pm). May I say that the breakfast at the Riverside Restaurant was equally good? I have yet to find another hotel that make Egg Benedict on the spot!
Location-wise it is located on the other side of the river but they make up with what I called the "Peninsula Experience". Boat service is provided to take you to the other side of river where BTS train station is located. Having stayed in city centre (another hotel) a few days earlier for shopping purpose, we decided to enjoy our last day in Bangkok being pampered by Peninsula Bangkok and definitely not disappointed!"

Peninsula Hotel Bangkok
333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan
Bangkok 10600, Thailand
02-861 2888

Disclaimer:
1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thiptara @ Peninsula Bangkok

On our last night in Bangkok, both of us agreed that we would stay in the hotel and enjoyed a quiet dinner at one of their restaurants. We have read about rave reviews on their Chinese restaurant, Mei Jiang, but since we already had Chinese food in Chinatown.. we passed and opted for their Thiptara Thai restaurant instead. This time we didn't make any plans and the decision was kinda last minute so we didn't make any booking.

We showed up at the reception at 6.30pm to enquire on tables next to Chao Phraya river but were disapppointed when they told us that all the tables were booked for the night. That guy (forgot his name) might have sensed our disappointment and therefore looked at the booking sheet one more time. He then promptly informed us that he could arrange one table (yay!) for us but politely reminded us that we could only have the table until 8pm as the guests were expected to arrive at that time. Since we hardly took more than 1 hour for dinner, we said YES!

The sun had already set and therefore it was not that hot and it was not long until the night fell and all the buildings were lit up brightly. Can you apot Jenn in the picture?

Complimentary marinated cashew nuts

While waiting for our dishes to be served, we asked the waitress to take a picture of us.

As the night fell, all the buildings across the river were lit up... revealing a breathtaking night scene from where we sat. Settings - f22, 15sec, ISO100! The result?

Refreshing concoction of lime & mint leaves juice

Khao Phad Thiptara (360 baht) - essentially the fried Jasmine rice with chilly paste, shrimp and salty egg. Being a sucker for fried rice.. I found this dish full of wok hei and moderately spicy. With a dash of lime juice, every bite was heavenly (at least for me). Jenn shared the same sentinent as I was...

However she felt no "kick" in the fried rice and asked for all available sauces from our attending waitress - she gave us 4 of them!

Phad-Phak-Ka-Nah Moo Grob (280 baht) - seriously without Engligh translation at the bottom of every dish, I would be scratching my head figuring out what the heck the dish was... wok fried kale with crispy pork!

Tom Yum Goong Mai Nam (440 baht) hit the jackpot! As usual, the soup has what I was looking for - spicy and sourish, fresh river prawns and distinctive lemongrass flavour.

Clear winner of the night belonged to this particular dish - Gaeng Phed Ped Yang or roasted duck simmered in red curry & sweet basil! The curry was thick, creamy and packed with all the required flavours. We could have ordered second helping of rice just because of this dish!

By the time we finished our dinner, I looked at my watch and it was only 7.45pm. Charged the dinner to my room and went back straight to our room. Actually we could have gone to the bar next to Thiptara for a glass of wine or two. The reason??? To enjoy the breathtaking view of Bangkok city from our balcony - settings f22, 15sec, ISO100! We even bought two bottles of Singha beer and some snacks while chatting the night away. Romantic?? You bet it is :)

Next post - Peninsula Hotel Bangkok!

Disclaimer:
1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.