Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Celebrating Mother's Day at Atrium Cafe @ Sunway Pyramid Tower Hotel

I always start most of my posts (if not all) with a short story before going into the details. I think that it has been the way that I write blogs for some time now. Last Saturday, I was invited to a food review by Becky, one of my dear friend whom I got to know when I started blogging. In fact, she is one of the earliest bloggers whom I have met. To be honest, that was my first time going for a food review. I'd been asked to many food reviews in the past but due to my work commitments (hey! I'm not a professional blogger and certainly not doing this full time), I didn't attend any. It was an invite too tempting to refuse and since I was in KL for that weekend, the timing just couldn't get any better.

Mother's Day - let me tell you something about my mom. Having spent most of her time living a simple life, she prefers everything to be simple. For one, she doesn't like traveling and grand celebration with the exception of my wedding and graduation, of course :) Ask her out for a meal and she would definitely shrug her shoulder and reply "Aiyah! No need to go that far la.. so tiring! Food at home is healthier and we've got plenty of food". Mention the word KL and she'd complain on the traffic jam and the tiring 2 hours++ journey from our hometown to the big city. As far as I concern, we actually went out less than 5 times a year just to have dinner outside. That's my MOM!

If you or your mom or even anyone in your family is huge fan of Rod Stewart, then you are in for a treat. In conjunction with Mother's Day, Rob Caudill (not Rod Stewart?), a dead-on Rod Stewart impersonator all the way from Las Vegas, USA., will be serenading you with the classics from the legend. He will be featuring 'live' at Atrium Cafe's Mother's Day Hi-Tea buffet showcase only for a day on Sunday, 8th May 2011. Mark this day up and plan by hook or by crook if you love his songs - Have I Told You Lately, Sailing & The First Cut is The Deepest - just to name a few.

Apart from the performance, expect a sumptuous feast highlighting the best of Asian-heritage dishes accented with exotic flavours of Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese and other specialties. Since this was the preview of what you are going to have on the Mother's Day itself, I could say that all the foods are GREAT! As a matter of fact, I am not a big eater but I love varieties and that is the reason why buffet meal appeals to me.

By 12pm, most bloggers had already arrived and started to snap pictures. I did exactly the same with my new toy Canon EOS 60D. And then I started to strike up conversation with those whom I have not met before and of course, familar faces such as Becky and Joa-Quim.

For RM55++ (FYI, it will be RM98++ on Mother's Day itself), I can say that you will be spoilt with choices and the foods are worth the money paid!

There is a dedicated appetisers & salad counter to whet your appetite before the main course begins

Being a bread lover, I knew that I had to have this the moment I laid my eyes on the dish.

And this... since I'm not a big eater, I only had 2 out of more than 10 varieties. However, I admit that everything looked delicious.

As I took more and more pictures, my stomach started to growl at the sight and smell of the dishes - especially this Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Salted Egg Yolk. The lightly battered fish fillet was deep fried before coated with the ever sinful yet aromatic salted egg yolk. It was good without overpowering the sweetness of the fish fillet. One of my favourite dishes that day!

My other favourites include Chinese Roast Duck with plum sauce. The people at Atrium Cafe had nailed this hard-to-make dish right. Although the skin was not as crispy, the meat retained most of its moist and it was such a delight to sink my teeth in!

And this - Hongkong style Wantan Noodle prepared right on the spot as you ordered. Initially I wanted to skip but upon hearing some of the bloggers who raved on the bowl of freshly prepared noodle, I decided to give it a try. And it didn't disappoint - the egg noodle was so spring-y and the soup was sweet.

The soup and dry version of the wantan noodle side-by-side! Tried a little bit of the dry version and it was as good as the soup version!

Other commendable dishes include Pan-Fried Salmon Fillet with Citrus Butter Sauce.

Slow baked potato should you crave for some carb goodness

Grilled chicken Meat with Natural Jus and Mushroom Compote also got my attention

A taste of Chinese with this Wok Fried Prawn with Chilly and Cashew Nut.

For a taste of India, don't forget to try the Chicken Tikka. Also the briyani rice but I forgot to take picture!

Italian food lovers fret not as they do offer pasta with variety of sauces for you to choose

Since I can't eat beef and I don't eat lamb, chicken is the next best thing that I could have so I had this chicken kebab. I thought that the meat was very succulent and juicy but the pita bread was a bit soft and cold.

The only Malay food that I had was this Roti Jala, something that I would not get tired of eating. My current favourite version was bought at pasar malam but they whipped out an equally good version too. My only grouse was the curry gravy which was quite spicy to my liking (others said the same too). Hope they would tone down the spicy-ness of the curry on that day!

The 2 dishes that I didn't try were Braised Ribs with Tamarind BBQ Sauce & Grilled Lamb Cutlet with Rosemary and Mint Sauce - from what Becky said in her blog, the ribs were tough and rather chewy despite being braised. However, the lamb cutlets were done just right and very flavourful too!

After gorging on all the foods, we stopped and chatted for a while before helping ourselves to the dessert sections. For those who have sweet tooth, you definitely have to come and try it yourself.

Words alone are not enough so I'll let the pictures to do the talking instead!

Plump and juicy strawberries anyone???

Since I couldn't possibly taste all the desserts, I choose those with chocolate as ingredients!! Just the sight of the plate filled with all chocolate-y goodness was enough to make me drool.

Look at the 2 huge roast racks of beef. I was so tempted to try those and would definitely do so if not for my religion. Those who had this said that it was good though!

Thanks to the sweet and beautiful Virgillia Lee, who had been our host for the day.

Leo's verdict - I was not able to try all the dishes but feedback from other bloggers were encouraging and since most of the foods that I had were good, I could say that it is worth coming here to celebrate Mother's Day. Service was fast and attentive too. With variety of good foods plus power-packed performance, it is the best of both world. For me, I don't mind pampering my mom with these delightful dishes but that is, if she wants to come! Arrgghhh!!!

Where: Atrium Café & Lounge, Sunway Pyramid Tower Hotel
When: Sunday, the 8th of May 2011 – Mother’s Day Celebration Buffet
Price: RM 98++ per pax (10% discount for group booking of 10 persons or more)
Time: 12.00 – 4.00pm (Rob Caudill will take centre stage at 1.30pm & 2.30pm)
Contact for Reservations: +603 7495 1888

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. However, this was a food review so I didn't have to pay for the meal.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cheras Flat Fish Head Mee Hoon @ Kg. Chempaka, Petaling Jaya

To those who have tried Cheras flat fish head meehoon, you'd know how delicious it can be. Forget about the scorching heat while having a bowl of fish head meehoon... I was not really a fan of this dish until Jenn converted me into one. Given the fact that Cheras is not exactly near where we lived, both of us could only enjoy this dish once in a blue moon.

Fast forward a few years later, we were driving to Aman Suria area to look for breakfast when we spotted banner with the word "Cheras Flat Fish Head Mee Hoon" along the road of BU11 & BU12. Our eyes were beaming with joy, thinking that they have opened a branch in PJ area. Feeling adventurous, we used a small road from Aman Suria leading all the way to Kg. Chempaka through the Chinese new village area.

It was our first time venturing into Kg. Chempaka area and I was worried that we couldn't find the place. After asking around, we finally saw the restaurant.

Parking was a major headache as it was near morning market (it was morning!) but lucky for us, we spotted a car leaving. Making our way into the restaurant, we realised that the place was rather stuffy and hot. The presence of wall fans hardly made a difference but since it was morning, the level was tolerable. Turn off No.1. Our tea was only so-so as it lack of body and creaminess that we always look for... turn off No.2

The proprietor noticed that I was snapping pictures and proceeded to ask me to take pictures of his stall. The mee hoon was made daily to ensure the freshness and QQ-ness

His foreign worker then brought out a tray of freshly fried fish head which emitted a pleasant aroma. We were really early that morning as they have just started preparing for business.

The fish head was then placed into a pan that was filled with boiling chicken stock

FYI, he made each and every order individually to make sure that the flavour remained the same. The mee hoon followed suit after a while. Tomato, ginger shreds and were thrown into the mix before evaporated milk was added in.

the outcome - steaming how bowl of fish head noodle ready to be consumed!

Leo's verdict - while the fish head meehoon was good, for some reason both of us thought that it lack something (we couldn't explain what) and slightly different from what we had in Cheras flat (specifically Taman Ikan Emas). Don't get the idea wrong - flavourwise it was good but not great. IMHO, Woo Pin at Taman Desa dishes out better version of fish head meehoon. But due to the proximity of this place and BU, we would most likely end up here again should we crave for fish head meehoon. For those with children, it is strictly not recommended as it can get pretty stuffy... with Sher Ryn and Keith along, Jenn & I would choose Homemade Fish Head Noodle in Dataran Sunway Kota Damansara instead and pay the premium just to enjoy the air-condition facility!

Cheras Flat Fish Head Mee Hoon
N0.496, Jalan PJU 1/6,
Kampung Cempaka, Petaling Jaya Selangor
Tel: 016-9287691

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.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pao Xiang @ 1Utama Shopping Centre PJ

For breakfast, I would prefer something light as I don't like to stuff my stomach to the max in the morning. Give me something light plus a cup of good tea/coffee and you'd make my day. However there is, of course, exception to this rule - Bah Kut Teh!! I mean, who can resist a steaming hot bowl of thick herbal soup with the sinful pork meat? I can't... resistence is usually futile (in this case at least!)

I fell in love all over again with BKT after tasting Mo Sang Kor's version (Hutong Lot 10) for the very first time some time last year. However, it was kinda difficult for me to drive all the way to downtown KL to savour on this delectable dish... their Klang outlet is equally far from my home. Apart from Mo Sang Kor, I think that Pao Xiang's version of BKT was commendable too... I actually tried both outlets in Berkelay Park Klang.

So when Pao Xiang opened its door at 1Utama Shopping Centre, I was jumping with joy. I can go shopping after having one of my fav breakfast... best of both world!!!

BKT affair used to be hot and stuffy as not many BKT restaurants dare to open door in shopping malls. Pao Xiang's outlet was huge and spacious... and most importantly, air-conditioned! I didn't feel cramped nor sweaty at all while dining here.

Most of the times, I would bring my own Puer tea along but if you don't have any, Pao Xiang offers extensive range of tea leaves for you to choose from.

Re-filling of hot water is most of the time DIY affair as the staffs are busy serving customers.

Apart from pork, they do offer other side dishes such as vegetables.. in our case, it's yaw mak topped with oyster sauce.

All the meat was served in a small bowl and heated using jelly-like substance to ensure the soup was constantly warm.

The selection of meat was extensive as well but most of the time, we stuck to our regular meat such as soft bones (nuan kut).

The small knuckle was another favourite - they used rope to tie the meat together while cooking BKT to make sure that the meat was held together.

Intestine anyone??

Now this is something that you have to call and pre-book as the supply is normally limited - pork tendon. This stuff is rich with collagen goodness, something that Jenn loves to the max!

Leo's verdict - price-wise it was slightly more expensive compared to their outlets in Klang but bear in mind that the rental rate is higher especially in popular shopping mall such as 1Utama. Unlike Mo Sang Kor, they do provide refill for the soup although a little bit stingy on the quantity. I am sure that most of you have your favourite BKt place and have different opinions + preference on BKT, but I'm not really that picky... whenever I crave for BKT, this place will definitely be on top of my list.

Pao Xiang Bak Kut Teh
P282 Promenade, Lakeside
LG Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre
Bandar Utama
Tel: 03-77252599

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.