Thursday, May 26, 2011

La Bodega @ Pavilion KL

Jenn & I enjoy our breakfast.. A LOT! Frankly, I was not a morning person in the past (pre-Jenn days). Being a party animal, I could sleep until the sun ray literally shone on my butt and then it was already time for lunch (or was it brunch?). Jenn was also a regular clubber during her college days but hey, we were very young back then and we could afford to stay up late until wee hours the next day. When she completed her degree and obtained her CLP, she stopped going out and instead focusing on her career. At the same time, she worked her magic again and made me sleep earlier (and went out clubbing lesser)... woman! Aren't they smart?

Breakfast was one of our favourite things to enjoy together and La Bodega is one of her favourite brekkie places. Given the opportunity, she would drag me to Bangsar Telawi area while most of us are still in dreamland. I'm not complaining though because I have to admit that the breakfast was awesome. After a while, I would wake up automatically at 7am.. latest by 8am! And now I have Sher Ryn as my alarm clock as she would wake me up at 7am to prepare her milk.

Back to the topic - I felt like a hungry tiger after my morning swimming session at The Westin. We didn't really feel like eating hotel's breakfast so we just crossed Jalan Bukit Bintang to Pavilion KL. It was quite early in the morning and therefore not many people.

English Breakfast @ RM27 - Jenn's choice of 2 poached farm fresh eggs together with chicken sausage and sauteed mushroom.

Served with a slice of homemade toast, fresh orange juice and a cup of steaming hot cappucino... her breakfast just could not get any better than this.

I had to say that the egg was poached perfectly :) as Jenn's face was brimming with delight!

My order of Omelette with sauteed mushroom & smoked chicken ham (RM15) was equally delicious. The mushroom and chicken ham were wrapped inside the omelette and as I used knife to cut open the egg, the aroma was too good for me to resist.

Leo's verdict - After so many years, La Bodega still maintain their food's standard. I have yet to come here for dinner which Jenn claimed was very lively and happening. Oh well! Maybe I'd wait until the children to get older and manageable :) for the meantime, breakfast is enough to keep me coming back again and again!

La Bodega
Lot No. : C3.06.00, Level 3
Tel. : 03-2148 8018
Website :

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, May 21, 2011

Rakuzen @ Chulan Square KL

A little history - I was not really a fan of Japanese food in the past. Thanks for my dad who was never adventurous when it comes to food, I practically grew up eating Chinese food. So imagine my reaction when having sushi for the first time :P the sight of raw sashimi was too much to take and the idea of walloping raw stuff was out of question. However, everything has its first time and mine was only tuna mayo sushi (one and only one)! Even miso soup took me a few trips to get used to. Enter Jenn into the fray and she literally persuaded me to try everything. LOL! think back of those days.. maybe I was in love with her so each and every words coming out from her mouth worked magic :) and now, it was my turn to teach her a thing or two about sashimi!

Jenn and I knew each other since we were 15 and when we went to study in KL after SPM, $$$ was tight and having sushi was considered luxury at our times. Saving up enough moolah to take her out to Genki Sushi (hey! this was the most popular place for us in the 90s) was what I did at that time. It was great to spend time with the one I love (do not forget that we were only friends at that time) and it was very well-worth the effort. The sight of her glowing face while having sushi was unforgetable. Oh did I mention that the time with her never seemed enough? We had so much to chat yet so little time and I always look forward to see her again. Now both of us are husband & wife... life got better for us and we could afford to eat at better Japanese restaurants. I could remember how she raved on Rakuzen, as her sister treated her for a meal there once.

It was her birthday & I had decided to bring her there. We were staying in The Westin Hotel KL & we made reservation for dinner at Rakuzen in Chulan Square. It had stopped raining and therefore the weather was rather cool as we walked there holding hands.

We were there in less than 10 minutes

We got ourselves a table facing the busy stretch of Jalan Raja Chulan. We just sipped out hot ocha while watching the world passed by.

Shun no sashimi mariowase - salmon, maguro, baby squid, Japanese Sea Bream & half-beaked fish. This is actually a seasonal menu (especially for the sea bream and half-beaked fish) so availability is not guaranteed (we were here sometime in April). Everything was freshly prepared and we were more than happy to clean up the plate, sparing nothing.

Quarter tray of Nama uni (sea urchin) - my first time tasting raw sea urchin and it was had a hint of saltiness (from the seawater perhaps) and sweet nonetheless. LOVE IT! Don't be fooled with this picture as the portion was rather small for RM45. We should have ordered larger portion!

Dragon roll - fried king prawn roll topped with avocado. You can find this practically almost every Japanese restaurant and sushi joints in Klang Valley. Our love for avocado and the crispy-ness of the king prawn justified our order.

Saba shioyaki - grilled mackarel with salt. No complains!

Ara no Miso Shiru - fish head miso soup. Jenn is a sucker for fish head! You should see her when she's having fish head noodles LOL!

Hotate Miso Shiru - scallop miso soup. I am perhaps more lazy and therefore settled for scallop instead of fish head :P

Goma Ice - black sesame ice-cream with sesame seed. As usual, sweet note to end our satisfying dinner!

Leo's verdict - probably the most expensive & satisfying Japanese meal that I had so far but it is worth every penny spent! everything was top notch and service was attentive too. Pardon for the dark pictures as I was still using Ixus at that time.

Block B Lot 2A Chulan Square,
92 Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 KL
GPS: 3.148518, 101.716114
Tel: 03-2145 6200

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, May 12, 2011

Celestial Court @ Sheraton Imperial Hotel KL

ahhhhh!!! Dim sum... two words that I could never grow tired of :) and I'm sure that most of you love having dim sum too. Everywhere you do, you'd notice dim sum shops sprouting in the neighbourhood, especially those frequented by the Chinese. However, there is a place where you could literally see our Muslim friends savouring dim sum too. Mind you, it's not cheap to eat at this particular place but hey, it's not that we eat dim sum everyday and if you have the moolah to splurge on some nice dim sum.. why not?

Celestial Court is one of those places where the Muslim can eat dim sum here in KL. As a matter of fact, I only know this place as the only halal Chinese restaurant :P where else ah?

Back to the topic - I love Celestial Court as the service was fast & attentive even when the place was almost full house. It was so spacious and rather quiet, one can enjoy a cup of Chinese tea and their dim sum without having to feel like being in a pasar! (Go to a normal dim sum place and you'll get my point) Not that I hate the noise but once in a while, I'd like to enjoy dim sum with the loved one without any distraction.

As usual tea would be served after placing orders - in this case it was Shui Xian tea. Dim sum session seems not complete without Chinese tea :) maybe it's just me!

Steamed prawn dumplings with bamboo piths (har kau la...) - one word.. huge! The prawns were huge and fresh nonetheless and we enjoyed it very much!

Steamed mini abalone with crab meat (siew mai) - epitome of what a good siew mai should be

Steamed buns with barbequed chicken - taste-wise alright but it would be perfect if it was pork

Spring rolls with shredded toasted duck, mango and mint - unique combination but I loved it nonetheless

Steamed juicy dumplings with herbs & spices (siew long bao) - thick skin and powdery. Din Tai Fung's version beats it by miles

Deep fried golden buns with custard & salted egg yolk - I expected the golden juice to ooze out when I tore it apart. To my dismay, it didn't.

Sauteed radish cake with pacific clams in XO sauce - wok hei is assured!

Freshly made rice rolls with prawns & water chestnut - fresh prawns but all of us had the same thing in mind.. overcooked! The rice roll's texture was mushy.

Scallop dumplings in "Eye of Phoenix" topped with salmon roe - no complain

Eight treasure glutonious rice in lotus leaf - one of the best version here in KL. I just love how the aroma from the lotus leaf infused into the glutonious rice.

Congee with scallops - smooth texture

Congee with seafood - ginger provided extra zing to the taste.

Leo's verdict - We were full to the max by the time we finished the dim sum session. Jenn's parents complemented on how good the dim sum tasted, albeit very expensive. I've gotta admite that people at Celestial Court have everything to make their dim sum sounds expensive. Although I admit that this place remains as one of my firm favourite places to eat dim sum in KL (the other one is Tai Zi Heen in Prince Hotel). Without my Starwood card, I would have paid a bomb here.

Celestial Court
Imperial Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-27179900

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, May 4, 2011

Vietnam Kitchen @ 1Utama Shopping Centre

Mention that you want to go to 1Utama on weekends and the image of being caught in a massive jam came to mind. Well, unless you go there early in the morning. Imagine that you want to relax and shop in the comfort of a shopping mall only to be greeted with the sight of everyone jamming into the mall, and you had to spend a very long time just to secure a parking spot (unless you are really lucky!!). Once I took about 45 minutes just to find one and it was so freaking far away from the entrance... sigh!!! But now 1Utama turn out to be my favourite place to go :) why? All because parking is not an issue anymore!

My first time here was with a customer but since I was on official business, I could not simply whip out my camera. But that's different story when I'm with family... wherever I go these days, I would bring along my camera. The HM didn't complain when I was with Ixus but now started to make noise as I have changed to bigger and bulkier Canon EOS DSLR :P anyway, that's another story altogether...

Vietnam Kitchen is located on the 2nd Floor of the new wing of 1Utama Shopping Centre, which is on the same row as Chili's and Dragon-i. Its menu is placed at the entrance for passerbys to peruse.

Its inside was spacious and cosy.

Contemporary design mixed with some traditional elements was used as decor.

Grilled lemongrass pork chop set @ RM16.90 - comprises of Vietnamese spring roll, a bowl of soup, salad, egg, and rather thin piece of pork chop. Forget about the soup, the salad was mediocre at best, spring roll was good but slightly oily. The pork chop however has a distinct lemongrass flavour and slightly charred. It would have been perfect it it was a little bit thicker and tender. For someone who loves lemongrass and pork, this is a must-try item.

Vietnamese Sesame Chicken @ RM12.90 - essentially it's some kind of deep fried chicken coated with caramelised sauce and sesame seed. Crispy on the outside while moist on the inside, this dish won us over with its sweetish taste and the aroma of sesame.

Cucumber lemon soda @ RM6.90 - odd combination but rather refreshing :)

Leo's verdict - To be honest, Vietnamese food is not really on top of my eat-list but I was in for a surprise. It changed my perception and now whenever I crave for Vietnamese food, either this place or DuViet (Uptown 37) will be my choice.

Vietnam Kitchen
Lot S312, 2nd Floor,
1 Utama Shopping Centre,
Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya
Tel:03-7724 1336

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.