Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Wok Sifu

Wok Sifu opened its doors for business a month ago at Jusco Metro Prima. It took over the premises vacated by Food & Tea. 

A couple of Saturdays ago, after we had purchased our tickets for Cowboys and Aliens, we decided to have our dinner at Wok Sifu. The decor looked promising....mmm....don't ask me why I thought a restaurant's decor is related to its food quality, because it really isn't. Wok Sifu turned out to be a disappointment.

Hubby had the noodle soup with Taiwan pork meatballs. The meatballs (only three of them) were good, but the soup wasn't anything to shout about. Price: RM9.90

I ordered the cheese baked rice with beef, but there was hardly any cheese flavour, if at all. It was mostly evaporated milk and egg baked rice. They had just opened, and were already cutting corners! If they can't make a cheese baked rice at RM14.80, they should have just marked it up a bit more. I am sure their customers wouldn't have minded.

The only thing that was good was the hot almond tea with egg. 

They gave us the above vouchers for our next visit, but we left it behind. Sorry, even though there are freebies and discounts, we won't be going back.

Wok Sifu
1st Floor, Jusco Metro Prima,

Room Eighteen

Room Eighteen, one of the Tai Thong Group of Restaurants, first opened in April 2009 at Tropicana Mall. The restaurant offers Hong Kong style cuisine.

Last Saturday, not feeling well, I was in no mood to explore the myriad of restaurants at Hartamas Shopping Centre. I wanted only porridge and Room Eighteen seems like as good an option as any.

The crispy lotus root with salted egg yolk caught my attention right away. I love anything deep-fried in salted egg and I knew I had to try it. No regrets ordering this dish. The thin slices of lotus root coated in mashed salted egg yolk was unique and crispy. Truly delicious.

The deep-fried brinjal was not bad either, although I found it to be a tad salty and not so unique. 

The fish and duck meat congee was superb. The fish fillet was thick and chunky and the congee was cooked in that perfect, smooth texture that Hong Kong chefs are famous for.

Hubby ordered the egg and beef congee....he loved it. 

Michelle ordered the Thai soup rice or something.....sorry, I can't recall the name of the dish as I forgot to take the receipt...blame it on my unwell condition. Michelle was a bit disappointed with this, said it was not authentic. Hmm....well, it's not a Thai restaurant, it's a Hong Kong style restaurant, so I suppose they do not know how to prepare a Thai dish. :)

Simon ordered the spicy brinjal rice. I tried a spoonful and found it to be spicy.

Simon had the sweetened sago with mango for dessert. He was the only one who still had room for dessert that night. It looked good. They had some interesting desserts that I would have tried had I been feeling better. As it is, I could not finish my porridge even though it was good.

I would like to try their other dishes, especially their signature menu, when I am feeling better and could really eat.

Room Eighteen,
Hartamas Shopping Centre,
Lot G18 & G19, Ground Floor,
Plaza Damas,
Sri Hartamas

Friday, 19 August 2011

Barbarillos @ Wangsa Link

In June, we bought a pair of Dealmates vouchers for a meal at Barbarillos. But until last Sunday, we weren't able to book a table for two, despite my calling them 5 or 6 days ahead. It was not until when we arrived at Barbarillos last Sunday did I understand why they couldn't honour our prepaid vouchers before that.....Barbarillos is a small, cozy pub restaurant.

For RM29.90 each (instead of RM95.60), we get a choice of starter, a choice of main course, a choice of dessert, a choice of 1 mug of draft beer or free flow of iced lemon tea, followed by a cup of hot tea or coffee.

We chose the beer over the free flow of iced lemon tea, though I didn't remember to take any pictures until we've drunk a quarter of it. Yumm....I love cold Tiger draft.....

The bruschetta was not good. Instead of using olive oil and fresh tomatoes, Barbarillos used  those bottled tomato sauce like Prego's or Leggo's. It tasted really weird...like a pizza crust with tomato sauce, but without any toppings. Not recommended.

The wild mushroom soup was not any better either. There was not even a hint of the wild mushroom in it. It could have passed for a canned soup, and perhaps it was, now that we know it's a pub restaurant and not a 'real' restaurant.

Both of us had the salmon fillet with lemon butter sauce, but while I opted for potato wedges, hubby chose the mashed potato. It was slightly better than the soup or bruschetta, but still, the kitchen was a bit too liberal with the salt. 

Again, both of us ordered the same thing -- warm chocolate brownies. It was edible, not too bad, after a not so good meal.

I would return for the beer, but not the food. 

1, Jalan Wangsa Delima 12,
Wangsa Link, Wangsa Maju,
53300 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: (03) 4142 8507

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Victoria Rossa English Tea Room

Tucked away in a suburban mall, Hartamas Shopping Centre, is a little 'secret' that makes me ecstatic as well as invokes memories of my time in the UK.  It's none other than Victoria Rossa English Tea Room, very appropriately named for its white Victorian furniture.

Victoria Rossa English Tea Room boasts of two traditional English fare --- its scones and toad-in-a-hole. No, there is no toad, at least not yet. It is merely a Yorkshire pudding with sausages peeking out. And for those who do not know, Yorkshire pudding is NOT a pudding either. It's made of savoury batter. Don't ask me why those unusual names....the English are known for their eccentricity.

Toad-in-a-hole is traditionally a pub fare, and is served with gravy. At Victoria Rossa, however, it's served plain. But still tastes great! Hubby, who tried it upon my recommendation, was pleased with the flavour. RM9.90 for 4 pieces.

Those who have been following my blog from day one when it was known as blackie007 would know that for scones, I'd travel hundreds of kilometers for a good quality scone. A good quality scone is defined as one with a slight crust on the surface, and soft and fluffy on the inside. A bad quality scone is one that is crumbly or crusty on the inside. 

Victoria Rossa passed the test. I do not have to travel to Cameronian Inn, Cameron Highlands, for its scones anymore. The scone is RM6 each, and the clotted cream is an additional RM1 each. Being the gluttons that we are, we ordered one each.

Other varieties are available too: chocolate scones, walnut scones, almond scones, etc, but I still like mine the old-fashioned way -- plain.

We shared an Old English Cottage sandwich between us. The sandwich was just an ordinary, cottage cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ham and cheddar cheese on rye bread. Not quite worth the RM16.90 for it, I think.

We ordered a pot of Mazie's tea to share. It is a blend of hibiscus, orange peel, cinnamon bark, rose hip, lemongrass, mango and passion fruit. A very exquisite blend, at RM9 a pot.
Even their bill has character!

Victoria Rossa English Tea Room
Level 1 (opposite a Korean safe shop)
Hartamas Shopping Centre
Sri Hartamas

Friday, 12 August 2011

Uncle Duck @ Berjaya Times Square

Uncle Duck is run by Chef Marco Ma, and specializes in roasted duck, Hong Kong steamboat and Hong Kong delights. We've been to Uncle Duck a couple of times since it opened many years ago and really liked the steamboat. Each customer gets their own individual steamboat pot, like the Ketam Steamboat at Ikano, both of which I did not blog as no photos were taken.

On a Sunday afternoon some time last month, we had to go to Berjaya Times Square to cancel the Digi broadband, which was getting progressively worse. We decided to have our lunch at Uncle Duck. But instead of the steamboat, we opted for those quick individual plates. After all, we didn't want to spend too much time over a meal.

My first exposure to beef with tomatoes was at Wong Kei, Wardour Street, London. Wong Kei was a cheap place for a student with a limited bank account to have a fast and decent meal when said student had a craving for Chinese food. You need to know their menu well, though, as they were good with some dishes and truly bad with others. The chefs and staff are all from Hong Kong, and they are famed for their brusque and rude manner.....that is, until you become a familiar face and they treat you better.

With that as my benchmark, I found Uncle Duck's beef with tomatoes a tad too sweet. My gripe is that the sauce tasted like ketchup with sugar, and nothing else. It did, however, motivated me to try to create my own beef with tomatoes dish the next week. It has been many, many years since I left London, and it wasn't easy to recall what Wong Kei's sauce tasted like. But I think I did a fairly close imitation. :)  My informal recipe could be found here

Hubby ordered the beef with egg, a dish he was first exposed to when he was a student in Toronto. According to him, it's close to what he had in Canda.

One thing I have to say for the Hong Kong chefs....they know how to cook moist, tender beef like no other chefs in the whole of Malaysia. 

We ordered a bowl of steamed egg each. It was a little overdone.

Hubby also ordered a plate of fish balls but he finished it before I got a chance to take my camera out of my bag. The total bill came to RM32.25, with the tomato & beef rice @ RM8.80, egg & beef rice @ RM9, steamed egg @ RM4.50 each, fish balls @ RM2.

Uncle Duck
Lot 03-107, 3rd floor, 
Berjaya Times Square, 
Tel: (03) 2144 8998

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Secret Recipe @ Jusco Metro Prima

Ever since the opening of its first outlet in 1997, Secret Recipe remains one of my favourite cafe for cheesecakes. Despite the fact that they later branched into main courses, I had always gone to Secret Recipe for only a cheesecake and tea. It might be due to their being a franchise chain, and that we don't rate franchise-chain food very highly. 

But whatever it was, two Saturdays ago, after we bought a pair of tickets to Captain America, we decided to give their main course a try. I think the main contributing factor could be due to the limited food outlets in Jusco Metro Prima. It's not like 1-Utama, where there were many choices.

Service was quick, and before our seats were sufficiently warmed, our orders were served.

Pumpkin soup - RM5.50

The sprinkles of ground black pepper was added by me, for a more aesthetic-looking photo. :-D  At first, I was puzzled at its unusual curry powder taste, and wasn't sure if I liked it, but it later grew on me. Hubby had no such reservations though. He liked it immediately. Incidentally, they had only two types of soup on their menu - pumpkin or mushroom. 

Cod in honey lemon mustard sauce - RM19.80

The cod was a little overdone but the honey lemon mustard sauce was super yummy. I slurped it all up.

Mozzarella baked fish - RM17.50

I love anything baked in mozzarella cheese, and the only thing that stopped me from ordering this dish was the dory fish. Dory is not my favourite fish, and I eat it only under duress, haha. But hubby loves dory, strangely he likes the texture of the fish.....

Now I must google for a honey lemon mustard sauce recipe, as my tastebuds could not detect the individual ingredients used to make it......

Secret Recipe
1st Floor, Jusco Metro Prima
Kepong, KL
Tel: (03) 6258 5828

Pinang Lanta Seafood @ Kepong

Even though Penang Lanta Seafood has been around for the past four and a half years, we only paid them a visit exactly a month ago, on July 9, 2011. We had tried, many times, to eat there before. But each time we were there, the restaurant was always crowded, with a long line of customers standing outside the premises waiting for an available seat. Until five Saturdays ago. We were there early and managed to get a seat.

Our delight was short-lived, however. We had expected some really sumptuous food. The food wasn't bad as in bad, we've had worse, but the quality was rather mediocre, which we hadn't expected, considering the constant crowd.

Being only two, we ordered their house-specialty noodles, clams in superior stock (song tong lala) and crab in salted egg.

House-specialty noodle - RM7

Of the three, the house-specialty noodle was the worst. Extremely dry and with only the taste of dark soya sauce, It could have been fried by a ten-year-old kid. I wonder what their other dish which aren't house-specialty would be like.....rocks and pebbles?? We didn't finish it.

Song tong lala - RM16

Although the song tong lala was slightly better than the house-specialty noodle, it was the worst we'd ever had. There was not a single hint of Chinese rice wine in the soup, neither was there any ginger or garlic flavour to it. In short, if you like blander than bland song tong lala, you won't be disappointed.

Salted egg crab - RM33 per kg

The crabs were probably the only saving grace. Sorry, let me correct myself. The salted egg was the only saving grace. It was really tasty, with lots of salted egg yolk flavour. The crabs, however, was very small, the size where other restaurants charge you RM18 a kg. Not worth the hassle of picking apart the shells to get to the meat.  

We left the restaurant wondering if the crowd that patronizes this restaurant had never had a better meal for the same price, or even less. The best salted egg crab is still found at Lala Chong at Ara Damansara, PJ, for RM40 a kg the last time we were there. Hmm....speaking of Lala Chong, I should take some photos and blog about it the next time I'm there. 

Pinang Lanta Seafood
3G, 5G, Block 5, Jalan Metro Perdana Timur 2
Taman Usahawan Kepong,
52100 KL
Tel: 013 - 484 9612 / 016 - 377 2028

Friday, 5 August 2011

Nobel Family Steak House @ Viva Home

Nobel Family Steak House, which originates from Taiwan, is a steak house with over 150 outlets, and more than 40 franchises. Their tag line is 'indulgence fit for the noble class at an affordable price', which is prominently displayed on the wall next to the entrance at the back.

They have two outlets in Malaysia, at USJ Taipan and Viva Home (formerly known as Plaza UE3) at Jalan Loke Yew. Those aren't neighbourhoods we frequent, and we would not have known about them had Groupon Malaysia not sold a discount voucher for them. RM20 for a meal valued at RM77 -- Choose 1 main course from 11 varieties + buffet of side dishes + free flow drinks. 

How could I resist such a deal? For RM20 each, hubby and I could pig out like there's no tomorrow. Well, there is, but we'll worry about that and our weight another day....

Although Nobel is a steak house, hubby and I are more of a seafood person than beef. We both ordered the lemon salmon.

And with that salmon, we helped ourselves to the buffet side dishes........

There was sweet corn soup and mushroom soup...we opted for mushroom soup, though hubby helped himself to some sweet corn soup later.

I don't like my plate to be filled to the brim....I like to see empty space on the plate.

Hubby's plate of salad......compare it with my plate of salad....as I said, I like to see empty space on my plate.

I took enough transfat for both of us.....otherwise, I'd have loaded even less fries to have more empty space.
The beef mushroom sauce for our transfat

My dessert. I love the gula melaka and the sago, it was truly yummy. The dragon fruit wasn't bad either, but the agar-agar were a little on the dry side. I didn't like them.

Ice-kacang.....hubby asked why someone would make an ice-kacang like that instead of mixing it all up like it should be. Well, I like my food to be compartmentalized, so it's easier to eat in alphabetical order. That's how I put my economy rice dishes, too!  :P

Hubby's dessert - a herbal tea egg.....very healthy.... :P  

Some pictures of the side dishes buffet.....

They have chicken, rendang, and rice as a side dish, too!  :-o

Noble Family Steak House
G09, Ground Floor
Viva Home, Plaza Uncang Emas (UE3)
Jalan Loke Yew, KL
Tel: (03) 9281 6784

Mee Bakso & Assam Laksa @ Temerloh R&R

Normally, food at highway rest stops are barely edible, and we eat only enough to prevent extreme hunger before we reach our destination.

It was, therefore, a pleasant surprise to find some decent noodles at the Temerloh rest stop, on the KL to Kuantan side of the highway.

Hubby ordered mee bakso, a beef noodle dish with origins from Indonesia and slurped it all up. He said it's one of the better mee bakso he has had.

I ordered the assam laksa with some trepidation. I hate those with the thick broth and can't handle the ones that are sour, but although I was hungry, I didn't feel much like eating that morning....due to lack of sleep the previous night, I think. Anyway, it was a good choice. The soup is neither sour nor thick, and it perked me up for the rest of the journey.

The stall at Temerloh R&R