Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Remember again!!!

Remember how I wrote that I always stop at Bukit Tinggi area for lunch/dinner???

Remember how I always raved on steamed fish that cost only RM30 per kilo?

Remember the deep fried pork belly with special sauce that I always drool about?

Remember the baby water cress which is so green and fresh that one plate is always not enough???

Remember 126... that's where I always go back to ... the restaurant with funny name that I wrote about in my previous blogs. Almost all the restaurants here offer similar dishes. Most of the time, I will come here instead of other restaurants nearby due to the spaciousness of the restaurant, ample parking spaces and clean toilets. But if I have extra cash, Restoran Bukit Tinggi BBQ is the place to go! I have yet to try their seafood pot and roasted chicken that had garnered much attention from those who had gone there.

From the time I wrote this post, I had gone there twice in a space of a month! Lazy to write separately, I combined the two lunches in one post. Parking shouldn't be a problem unless you see several tourist buses with loads of noisy aunties and uncles having lunch/dinner or buying the local produce at a stall which is by the roadside.

Feeling adventurous, we decided to try out-of-the-norm dishes that we usually ordered. Well, there's this dish which was the deep fried pork belly with homemade sauce that I ordered most of the time! Crunchy and laden with dark sweet sauce and the aroma of onions, I enjoyed each and every bite of the meat. However, you would find more onions than the meat (in my case, I ordered small one).

Claypot pork belly with salted fish or simply ham yue fa lam pou in Cantonese was simply divine. Using good salted fish is important here and they had done a good job... I'd tried some other places with little or no trace of salted fish in it before. Made me wanted to add another bowl of rice

Steamed wan yue with crushed ginger - for those people who like the smell of ginger, you'd love this dish. Bentong ginger is already famous for its strong aroma and thus created a different level altogether for this steamed fish. Just beware of its bones ok???

Steamed taufu with oil and soy sauce - topped with crispy dried shrimps and onions, it's as simple as it gets yet so smooth as it went down the throat :)

Sweet and sour pork - the sauce was OK but frankly speaking, it lacked the crispy-ness compared to Foon Lock's version.

the Greens - no complains as they were very fresh! Stir fried baby water cress & the other one I forgot its name :)

Well, Jenn craved for the steamed chicken ginger meehoon again. With so many dishes ready to be served, I doubted if she managed to finish the meehoon. But how could I say no to her? Come to think of it, I hardly say No to her :) she just love the steaming hot broth with Bentong ginger. I hate to say this but 126's version is better than Foon Lock's! It hit the right note in everything. Sorry qwazymonkey.. maybe you should try this out first. I ended up eating more than Jenn... lol!!!

Leo's verdict - to those KL-ites who still have no idea, Bukit Tinggi area is only less than 30 min away from KL (Gombak toll)... definitely lesser time depending on your speed *wink wink* No! It's not very far from KL. When someone actually will organise makan trip to this area??? Weekend lunch will be great! I'm in...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Black Canyon @ Centrepoint Bandar Utama

Reading so many blogs on Thai food recently made me craving for one myself. But to be honest, those high end Thai restaurants out there are WAY out of my budget for the moment. Too many commitments at the moment so I can't simply splurge on high-end dining. Well, once in a while during special occasion wouldn't hurt much I guess :)

With a baby around, those eateries nearby my house suddenly seemed to attractive, partly due to Sher Ryn's inability to stay awake for more than 3 hours. BU Centrepoint is a decent place to grab quick dinner near my house as the parking is ample and not congested. Less than 5 min drive and wah lah... I'm there!

There is only one place for Thai food in Centrepoint, and it's Black Canyon. However, this place is famous for its drink rather than its food. Personally I really like their coffee range.. now this is where the disclaimer that it's based on solely my opinion... and it's better compared to those mega-chain coffee stores around Klang Valley.

Beside a-la-carte, they also offer value set for lunch and dinner to choose from. We settled for Set D - chicken green curry, spicy stir fried combination of prawn, chicken & chilly, stir fried mixed vegetable with oyster sauce, stuffed omelette + 4 steamed rice @ RM39.90

Apart from the chicken green curry (not many chicken meats were found inside though) and stuffed omelette (minced meat with slight spicy sauce) which I thought were quite delicious (don't put high expectation ok?), the remaining two dishes were so so only. Most of the dishes were high in MSG contents!!! I had to douse my throat with lots of water once I got home :(

Additional spicy prawn tomyam RM12.90.. not really spicy as suggested by the name. The broth was quite salty to be honest. However the prawns were fresh and big too!

Black Canyon Iced Coffee - milk mixed with the old black devil poured into glass over crushed ice. My favourite coffee drink... beats the hell out of Starbucks or Coffee Bean's iced coffee... milky texture with some crushed coffee beans on top!

Fresh Thai tangerine juice RM5.50... it seemed overpriced as I can easily get this for only RM1 or RM2 on the streets of Bangkok or Chiang Mai (well, these are the only 2 places in Thailand that I'd gone to). But then this is Malaysia, and I couldn't complain much as the drink itself is fresh.

Leo's verdict - perhaps I should just stick to the drink and drink only. For coffee lovers, please drop by to try their Black Canyon iced coffee... at least once! Forget about their food if you are Thai food lovers, as you'd definitely be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Up up and away!!!

I have to admit that I haven't been to Solaris despite the hypes generated by all the floggers... Tenji, Schokolart, Meatworks, Canton Fare, etc etc... mentioned all those names, and I am proud to inform you that I have not even been there once... lol! As a matter of fact, I don't even know the road to Solaris until recently (2 months++ I guess) :) as I drove by Mont Kiara area, I was amazed by the rapid development of the once palm oil plantation.

I was looking for a particular place - Departure Lounge. After reading several posts on this place which offer Western style breakfast, Jenn & I decided to come. Parking was relatively easy to find on weekend morning. From the moment I stepped into Departure Lounge, I had a good first impression of the place - comfy, slow music, homey! The interior is nicely decorated with wooden tables and chairs, and sofa!

I spotted a reading area at one corner of the outlet complete with sofa should you decide to read. Lemme see - Lonely Planet, Insight Guide, Footprint - most of them were travel guide books. hmmm.. maybe next time if I go travelling, I should come and spend some time reading those books to get some ideas rather than spending hundreds of ringgit to buy them. Also some novels, Monopoly board games as well as Uno Card. Great way to spend time here!

After placing my orders, I took some time to take pictures... starting with the write-ups and newspaper cutting from The Star, TimeOut KL, Women's Weekly and Malaysian Tatler.

His cutlery collection from all around the globe!

Wall of fame where he put all the pictures taken around the world! For me, I have not traveled that extensively... YET!!! Looking at those pictures ignited my fire to work harder so that I can bring Jenn along with me on the tour around the world...

And the owner himself preparing our orders behind the counter... still early so my guess was that the workers have not reported in for work yet.

Mister Croque RM10.90 - mushroom sauce, turkey ham and lots of cheese in white bread.

For the all day breakfast platter, all you gotta do is to take one of the chits and tick whatever you want.
All day breakfast platter - RM12.90 for 7 items.. chicken sausages, turkey bacon, half-boiled eggs, bakes beans, mushrooms, grilled tomato and hash brown. OK... if you are observant, half-boiled eggs are not really Western style but Chinese. So when Jenn saw the choice of half-boiled eggs in the chit, she was ecstatic!

Signature Club - turkey ham, smoked chicken, egg, cheese and honey custard in ciabatta.

Madam Croque RM11.90 - the delicious mister croque effeminated (topped) with sunny side up

Egg 'n' bacon RM8.90 - creamy egg mayo and crispy turkey bacon bits in wholemeal bread. The bacon was very cripsy, similar to those I had in O'Brien.

Caffe Latte & Espresso Macchiato - lovely presentation with the foam in the shape of heart

Cappucino and caffe mocha latte

Leo's verdict - Foods are delicious although not spectacular, and most importantly, it's about overall dining experience. Both of us agreed that this place is baby friendly, which is important criteria to us at the moment, as the 6 months old feisty princess can easily get agitated if she feels hot.
All price shown are Nett... all hot & iced drinks cost less than RM10 except for ice blended ones. If I may say, it's definitely cheaper compared to Starbucks, Coffee Beans or even San Francisco Coffee.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yet another restaurant found in bukit tinggi (thanks to the qwazymonkey)

Bukit Tinggi... no, not the one in Klang. What I'm referring to is the tranquil area on the mountainous area in Bentong, Pahang. Those who read my postings often would notice that I blogged about this place many times. For KL-ites who never venture further than Genting Highlands would not know the existence of this new village. As a matter of fact, it is only located about 5 minutes drive away from Genting Sempah (the rest area). As for me, I always pass by this area on my way to and back from KL.

Initially I also had the perception that the prices were cut-throat but it all changed when my partner brought me to have dinner one day on the way back from our business trip (that was like 4 years ago). Since then, I would stop by for lunch or even dinner whenever possible. Starting from the row of shops fronting the Karak Highway, the first restaurant being Grand View... I gradually ventured further into the Bukit Tinggi New Village. Places like Remember 126 (funny name) and Loong Sing whipped out nice dishes too!

Then this... reading A Lil Fat Monkey's blog regarding his first anniversary and also a day trip to Bukit Tinggi, I had found another nice place for meal. By the way, the 1-Series Convertible is cool man! Actually it was Jenn's idea to try out Foon Lock because she drooled after reading on the steamed chicken ginger meehoon. So we made a stop for dinner at Foon Lock on our way back to Kuala Lipis one evening. Managed to find a parking right in front of the restaurant.

Hmmm... did I go to the wrong place?? Not many people to be seen...

Some of the local produced pastries on the display...

The steaming hot broth made from the famous Bentong ginger plus garlic, spring onion and meehoon was just perfect for her. The bentong ginger really made a difference to the dish compared to ordinary ginger you can find anywhere in the market these days.

As for me, I had the braised sang mee with deep fried pork belly. Personally, the pork belly was OK but I think that the sang mee's gravy was quite peppery. I expected sweeter version of the mee instead.

Then this... the priciest dish of the day! Fresh water terrapin soup! Full of flavour with many kind of Chinese herbs such as dang gui and leong sam sou, chicken meat and terrapin meat... this soup is said to be effective in reducing heatiness in our body. One question - is terrapin part of the endangered species???

Nothing beats a cup of 'leong sui' on a hot day!

Round 2 - lunch together with Father-in-law

The first post is not up yet and I'd gone for another meal at Foon Lock. Having missed the sweet & sour pork or what we affectionally call gu lou yuk in cantonese, I decided to have a proper lunch here this time... and since Jenn's dad was coming with us, we could order a few dishes to see if the cooking skill of Foon Lock is up to the standard from what we had in others in the vicinity.

Steamed bak sou gong - having river fish in bukit tinggi area is not expensive, contrary to popular belief. Most of the fish are reared by the locals in the stream and therefore, the price was made more affordable. But of course, if you don't mind splurging money, go for the wild ones and the price can get doubled of those reared. The meat was still firm and flaky but there was slight muddy taste (ignoreable for me but not for them... they are fussy when it comes to river fish). The soy sauce however was great!! Not those cheapo sauce that most dai chow restaurants used but those premium one with a hint of sweetness in it. Exactly like what my mother always use.

Sweet & sour pork aka gu lou yuk - came highly recommended by qwazymonkey and therefore, how could I ever miss this dish? Even though I prefer to order deep fried pork belly with special sauce when I go to bukit tinggi, his desciption of this particular dish made it irresistable. True enough... it was very crunchy and most importantly, the sweet & sour sauce was nicely done. One of the best that I had so I gave this a thumb up!

Stir fried mushroom - this dish was recommended by the boss and luckily we followed her advice, as the mushrooms were very fresh... did I tell you that I am a sucker for mushroom, especially Chinese mushroom???

Stir fried "yin yang" veggie - a cross breed between kailan and choi dam... fresh and chrunchy too :)

Leo's verdict - it would have been a perfect meal if the fish is free of those muddy taste. But then it is a risk that you have to take if you opt for those reared fish. Of course, there were times when I had those without any muddy taste at all. I guess it all comes down to luck :)

The place: Foon Lock @ Bukit Tinggi, Bentong Pahang

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dome Cafe @ Ikano Power Centre, Mutiara Damansara

Dome has been one of Jenn's favourite places to eat breakfast whenever we go to shopping malls. Back in those days when we were still friends, I used to bring her here for meals, be it breakfast or lunch. I still remember how she loved to eat the beef pie over a cup of hot cappucino. Well, at that time we were still in the courting process mah.. so have to impress her with my sincerity by knowing what she likes and dislikes.

I gotta admit, she was more of a morning person compared to me in the past. If not for her, I would still wake up after 10am on my off days... gone were those clubbing days where I only got back home after 2-3am! (OK honey... if you are reading this, I still went out once a week on weekdays with Andrew!). But when my only clubbing kaki got married and moved back to Sibu, I learned to wake up early in the morning gradually. Eh... off track! Got carried away with the past! hahahah... Back to my post...

We like the settings for Dome Cafe - organised, spacious (as in not cramped) and comfy.

With a lot of choices for its food and beverages... breakfast sets, sandwiches, oriental cuisine, pasta, etc

I had the warm smoked duck breast salad which is served on a bed of mixed salad and lettuce, accompanied by pine nuts, croutons and beetroot vinaigrette. Simply fresh with the aroma of smoked duck breast! Gotta love it... the veggie was fresh and crunchy too!

Chicken, cheese & avocado - pesto chicken, avocado, cheese and sweet chilly mayonnaise, with a side of tomato chutney and wedges.

Chicken ham & cheese croissant - the chicken ham was sandwiched together with premium cheddar cheese in a toasted croissant. Simple yet delightful to eat.

A cup of cappucino

and Latte...

Leo's verdict - this is definitely the PLACE for Jenn & I to stop by for breakfast or lunch whenever we have time... or simply to sit down for a cuppa coffee while reading the free newspapers and magazines provided. Quite memorable huh???