Thumbs Up For Ramen @Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Pavilion KL

Date of Visit:  May 3 2015

I (or rather, my mom) had finally found the best ramen in Pavilion! ūüėĄ

The joint is on Level 6, in the Tokyo Street Precinct. I would say it is pricey (price for a regular sized bowl starts at RM32, add an extra RM4 to upgrade to large) but the quality is well worth it.  First, the broth did not leave an after taste Рproving that no MSG was added.  The bone broth was cooked  and simmered away for ages to a milky creamy consistency as shown in Exhibit A below.

Note:  Eat the preserved plum first to get your saliva glands working.  The puckering sourness will heighten the sweetness of the bone broth! 

Exhibit A: Creamy Miso Ramen

Exhibit B: Spicy Miso Ramen

Exhibit B was spicy but not too spicy for me. I did find the broth on the salty side, but that is because I am that person who never season food with salt (thus a low sodium reading in my blood test). I should concur then, the saltiness is within reasonable standard for the normal mortals!
There are set meals available including cold ramen, sushi and rice sets.  No doubt a revisit is in order with a longer post forthcoming!

Name of the joint is: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, find it on FB here

Cronuts and Sweet Stuffs @Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit:  June 5 2014

As far as fads go, cronut is so yesterday, but I finally tried my very first cronut in Kuala Lumpur in Cafe Marco at Shangri-La Hotel (wa..aay back in June!)!

IMG_3651

Cronuts in Cafe Marco, Shangri-La Hotel

Cronut‚ĄĘ is a trademarked creation of Chef Dominique Ansel in New York, described to be a croissant-doughnut hybrid where the pastry is made by frying laminated dough in grape seed oil, which is then sugared, filled, and glazed. ¬†Launched¬†on May 10, 2013, it became the most¬†virally talked about pastry¬†in history – from New York to Hong Kong and to Australia!

As the cute pictogram shows, a Cronut = Croissant + Doughnut. ¬†Translated: Flaky layers of pastries (i.e.croissants) but round in shape with a hole in the middle (i.e doughnuts). ¬†This deep-fried cholesterol clogging villain is named by TIME Magazine as one of the “25 Best Inventions of 2013” in¬†December of 2013!

IMG_0532

Cafe Marco makes¬†different flavours each day. ¬†I tried a couple, but did not really like them. ¬†The cronuts were very¬†greasy, soaking through the layers with oil. ¬†¬†Also, not a good choice for breakfast at all… but hey, at least I’ve ticked cronuts off my list!

IMG_3667

Apple Pie Cronut

There’s also the Cronut Brownie… In fact, let imagination run, many flavours can be concocted! ¬†

IMG_3654

Cronut Brownie

The traditional me still prefer an almond croissant anytime!

IMG_0539

The sugar sculptures for cake-toppers on display are very cute and pretty to look at, but I bet they cost an arm and a leg.

IMG_3657

Up Up Away

IMG_3658

Pinocchio

IMG_3659

Faraway Tree

Burrr….gers @Fat Boys, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit: June 6 2014

Everybody loves a burger, right? ¬†Greasy, greasy…totally bad for your heart, but yet so satisfying!

There’s been write-ups in¬†mags of the¬†many new restaurants in Avenue K, so off I went to suss out the place since I was nearby in KLCC. ¬†The last time I was at Avenue K, the place was jacked-up in total shambles, so I was expecting to see a new-look mall. ¬†*Horrors!*¬†ūüėĪ ¬†What lies beneath¬†million-$$¬†apartments are ‘flea-markets’!

Word. ¬†Many restaurants alright, but I am suspicious of East-Meets-West type of innovative cuisines… there’s a couple of South American types of eateries, Japanese fusion, Taiwanese fusion…etc. ¬†Finally settled on an American diner with cartoons on the walls advertising burgers and milkshake, clear and simple.

20140608-183031-66631429.jpg

Pretty crowded joint

I was surprised to find that pork is served Рgot my thumb-up here Рbecause everybody knows lard and cholesterol go hand-in-hand!

The menu is very comprehensive about the burgers, milkshakes and specials.

Fat Basterd:  Double-patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, fried egg on sesame bun

20140608-183029-66629478.jpg

Fat Basterd RM29

Bushtucker:  Beef patty, bacon melted cheese, wild arugula on whole wheat bun

20140608-183028-66628587.jpg

Bushtucker RM20

Perhaps I should have ordered a burger as well. ¬†My pork and beef meatballs were very tough. ¬†I don’t like food drenched in gravy… but the mashed potatoes and coleslaw¬†were pleasing.

20140608-183030-66630330.jpg

Mighty, Mighty Meatballs RM20

What I liked about the place was the free-flow soda drinks Рand that includes Diet Pepsi!

So, aptly named – ‘Fat Boys’, but I don’t want to be part of the family! ¬†Perhaps,¬†FaceBook Warriors?

20140608-183027-66627728.jpg

ūüí™ ūüí™ ūüí™

 

Scouting for Protein @ O’Galito Bar & Grill and Carlos Mexican Canteena, Pavilion KL

Date of Visit: January 11, 12, 13 2014

Ever since my trip to Kuala Lumpur in January, a month ago, I had not managed to make any progress in losing body fat.  Extremely annoying and frustrating especially since that I was making good progress prior to my trip.  Moreover, on my return to Hong Kong, I sprained my foot and had to take time off running in the park. As we all know, dieting while on travel is a real bummer!  Although I try to plan for all contingencies Рand even went ahead to pre-book a fruit platter for my meal onboard.  It was very tough staying mindful of what I should and should not eat, especially when there is a free-flow alcohol involved.

IMG_2406

My healthy fruit-platter lunch on-board flight CX725 from HKG to KUL

To make matters right, never despair‚Ķ as they say: “Start your day right ¬†with breakfast!” ¬†Thank goodness there’s a GNC store downstairs in Pavilion Mall where I bought EAS low-carb protein ready-to-drink packs (RM12.90) for breakfast. ¬†Only 100 calories to bind me over to the assorted calorie-laddened ‘nasi*’ for lunch! ūüėį

20140115-091242.jpg

My Saviour!

RIGHTO!¬† In this post, I’m gonna tell you my search for ¬†protein to fulfil my bodybuilding requirements!

The plaza outside the Pavilion Mall called ‘Connection’, a very ‘happening’ loud, boozy and smoky place.

  • Loud = cacophony of music blaring from the assortment of eateries, bars, the huge TV screen and people all around.
  • Boozy = ¬†Although predominantly a Muslim country, alcoholic drinks are legal and readily available for purchase, as long as one is over the age of 18 and a non-Muslim. ¬†Prices for cocktails are pretty standard, around RM27-29 – cheaper than a glass of wine.
  • Smoky = Don’t get me started here! ¬†(But I will nonetheless…¬†ūüėą ) ¬†The plaza is¬†definitely not a smoke-free zone, a non-smoker can literally be overcame by smoke and keel over – no kidding. ¬†On any given Monday morning, one can see the cigarette receptacles ¬†filled to the brimmed with cigarette butts. ¬†Not sure whether it is the culture there, but I see women in stilettos puffing away early in the morning whenever I grab my morning my cup of joe from Starbucks. ¬†Not cool – not sophisticated – and you are shortening my lifespan!
20140114-210955.jpg

Connection @ Pavilion Mall, KL

20140115-085914.jpg

The ‘famous’ Crystal Bowl Fountain

O’Galito¬†¬†was the first restaurant where we had dinner. ¬†I couldn’t figure out what type of restaurant it was – whether Italian, Spanish or French from the menu, but after searching on line, I found out that it is a ‘Mediterannean restaurant’. ¬† Hmm, figures with the generous of tomatoes, olives and herbs. ¬†I should also have known that it is Portugese from the bacalo and piri piri¬†ingredients – and from¬†the sparse but clean (this is the cleanest restaurant I’ve came across in the Connection) decorum of the restaurant hinted at Portugal with patterned ceramic tiles on the wall harkening to eateries in Macau! The waitress was very polite and was curious to know whether I am Japanese or Korean. ¬†Err‚Ķ neither!

20140112-103547.jpg

Interior

20140112-103557.jpg

Bar

I refrained from ordering any drinks because I had downed at least 1 bottle of liquor on my way to KL. ¬†I stuck to my Soda Water‚Ķ so here’s what the gang had…

20140112-113835.jpg

Mojito served with generous dash of rum and plenty of mint

IMG_1390

Frozen Margarita

Food was served rather quickly and came out piping hot.  I noticed that the chef is an expat aka balding rotund white guy.

20140112-113852.jpg

Bacalao (RM48):
Cod fish fillet, braised onion, cherry tomatoes and olives

20140112-113858.jpg

File de File (RM72):
Beef tenderloin served with baked red skin potatoes and grilled vegetables

I had the chicken. ¬†Tender, moist and delicious. ¬†I’m happy to get some protein for the day – and I love rockets!

20140112-113904.jpg

Piri Piri Chicken (RM37):
Chicken piri piri on a bed of roasted vegetables

While enjoying our dinner, we were given 2 slices of dark rye bread but not sure who they were for – perhaps they were accompaniments for the beef tenderloin as it is the most expensive on the menu.

IMG_1404

Rye bread

I’m happy with our choice of restaurant. ¬†This is my new go-to place for protein! ¬†ūüĎć

****

Date of Visit:  January 12 2014

The next night, we tried another restaurant at Connection called ‘Carlos’, which we mistook for an Eygptian restaurant due to the shisha stand in front. ¬†Again, we were misinformed with the cuisine served here, nevertheless, we wandered in. ¬†It was only when we were settled that we realised that this is a Mexican restaurant properly called Carlos Mexican Canteena! ¬†So, let’s blame the poor signage design and the shisha stand! ūüėĚ

20140114-211003.jpg

Carlos Mexican Canteena

20140114-211011.jpg

Shisha stand

The restaurant is dim, dank and down-right grubby with an irritating loop of Jennifer Lopez’s ‘On the Dance Floor‘ playing-over-and-over-and-over-again! Each table is given a portable ‘service button’ to call the waiters. ¬†Ergonomically, the seats were very low and tables overly high, making us look like kiddies sitting at an adult’s table! ¬†¬†What’s more I couldn’t stop sneezing and was wondering why until I saw that smoking is actually allowed in the restaurant! ¬†I mean, shisha is smoke, right? ¬†I read from ‘The Guardian’¬†here that some experts say “a single shisha session is the same as smoking 200 cigarettes”!! ¬†Help, my lungs! Tolong*! Tolong*!

20140114-211020.jpg

An ‘Arabeque-looking’ interior for a Mexican Canteena, further perplexed us

The first to arrive at our table was the rib – a humongous rib! ¬†Couldn’t help that we had over ordered. ¬†Are Malaysians big-eaters or the waiters are trained to up-sell? ¬†In Hong Kong, the waiters are all trained to estimate the patrons orders and will stop them from over-ordering. ¬†The current phrase here now is ‘Waste no Food’ campaign. ¬†In any regards, the ribs were perfectly cooked, very tasty and juicy and fall off the bone easily. ¬†The mashed potatoes were very creamy with lots of butter and cream.

20140114-211152.jpg

Mexicana Canteena Tender Beef-ribs (RM68++), served with mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables

20140114-211200.jpg

Mexicana Canteena Tender Beef-ribs

Our carb-attack was potato skins.  Tasty as well, with a side of salsa.

20140114-211232.jpg

Mexican Potato Skins (RM18++)
3 pieces of oven baked potato skins stuffed with beef covered with melted cheese

Our fajitas were terrific too.

20140114-211316.jpg

Fajitas (RM29++):
Grilled chicken on bed of sautéed bell peppers and onions served with fajitas sauce, cheese and tortillas.

20140114-211309.jpg

Chicken Fajitas

Unfortunately, for Carlos, I¬†don’t see myself coming back anytime soon. ¬†Too much fat and carbs. ¬†No good for building a healthy body!

*Tolong means ‘Help’ in Malay

*Nasi means ‘Rice’ in Malay

Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur 2014

Date: Early January 2014

Whoa! Long time no blog! I’ve seemed to have dropped out of ¬†the blogosphere the past couple of weeks, but rest assured, there’s certainly no horsing around for me when I was in KL last, having accomplished what I had set out to do ¬†– and willingly falling ‘victim’ to the ample carbohydrates-fueled yummies there! ¬†ūüė≠

So let me present you in pictures (via my trusty iPhone 5s), how KL dressed up to herald the upcoming Chinese New Year on January 31st! 

First up, right in front of my proverbial doorsteps, the Pavilion Mall Рas usual the best decorated mall in the whole of KL.  Lanterns, lanterns and MORE big garishly red Chinese lanterns in front of the Pavilion Mall Рtotally OTT!  HOT!

20140115-085907.jpg

20140123-173723.jpg

The theme, as one can easily guess is HORSES GALORE!

20140123-173740.jpg

20140123-173746.jpg

Horses in fariy-lights along Jalan Bukit Bintang.

20140115-085921.jpg

Street illumination

Of course, more horses in the the hotel lobby.

20140115-085928.jpg

JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur

A stallion galloping throughout the woods of cherry-blossoms in Suria KLCC. ¬†For those single dudes and dudettes, the first thing you should do, when you wake up on CNY morning is to run around the cherry blossom trees a few times. ¬†A centuries-old tradition to boost your luck in finding your Mr or Ms Right! ¬†(Personal opinion, it doesn’t work – been doing it for AGES! ¬†But still, am going to run a few laps this year. ūüėĶ¬†ūüėĶ ūüėĶ)

20140115-085937.jpg

20140115-085944.jpg

20140115-085950.jpg

My first Lion Dance show of the year, performed by a bunch of school kids at Suria KLCC. ¬†Pretty good, despite me waiting a good 40minutes for the short-lived 15minutes show to start‚Ķ¬†ūüė≥

 

A British Affair @ Harrods Restaurant, Suria KLCC, Malaysia

Date of Visit:  Numerous times

Fancy a good solid Brit fare in Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC)? Well, do I have a recommendation for you!

Harrods¬†is a fine dining establishment in Suria KLCC or the shopping mall under the famous Twin Towers. I first dined there when it opened in 2009 and saw that there was a chef from Harrods HQ in London and another expat manager. ¬†A fair guess would be that the menus and fit-outs were all under the HQ’s specs, and the waiters all underwent silver-service training.

In the front is a retail section with a range of Harrods branded merchandises including dry foods, teas, coffees and the signature Harrods shopping bags and teddy bears.  There is also an impressive bar area for drinks. Since then, the store has added a bakery section selling cakes, pastries and macarons Рbusiness must be good, with Harrods expanding into Harrods Cafe on the ground floor, which I had done a review here.  

P1010134

Iconic Harrods Teddy standing guard outside Harrods in Suria KLCC

P1010133

The Harrods Bear attracts a lot of attention with people posing with it. The placard says: “Please do not touch me, I am at work” Funny!

The restaurant is at the back, modelled after the famous Georgian Restaurant in Harrods London.  It is very comfortable and relaxing i.e quiet and far from the maddening crowds in the mall.  The toilet is nice too.  Scented Harrods liquid soap, moisturiser and towels are provided.

20130418-212039.jpg

Interior shot of restaurant #1

20130418-212057.jpg

Interior shot of restaurant #2

P1010125

Fresh flowers

20130420-170845.jpg

Starched linen table-clothes and fresh flowers

20130420-170901.jpg

The walls of the salon are adorned with framed memories and iconic images from Harrods illustrious history.

Harrods serves traditional British fares.

P1010124

Leather-bound Menu

For lunch on weekdays, they serve Set Menu (Choice of Salad or Soup, Main and a Drink) which works out to be more cost-effective (cheaper).  Here is a sample:

Complimentary Bread and Butter

20131213-202801.jpg

Plain Butter and Sundried Tomato Butter – presented in traditional silverwares

P1010129

Soft Pretzel Roll

Drinks: Harrods do not serve water, they only serve bottled waters, that means you have to pay!

20130418-212314.jpg

Mango Slushy

20130420-170930.jpg

Carrot Slushy

Appetiser:  Soup of the Day

20130418-212331.jpg

Purple potato soup

Mains:  There are a couple to choose from which rotates daily

20130418-212403.jpg

Chicken Schnitzel

20130420-170945.jpg

Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding – Highly Recommended!!

A la Carte Includes:

P1010130

Steak Sandwich with sides of chips and pickles

P1010131

Chicken Caesar

Harrods also offers a British High Tea Set in the afternoons.  I have not tried it, perhaps you have and do let me know what you think!

20130420-170914.jpg

Views out to KLCC Park and the water fountain

Assam Laksa @ JP Teres, Grand Hyatt Hotel, KLCC

Date of Visit:  November 28 2013.

What’s the 7th best food in the world? ¬† According to a CNN Poll conducted in 2011, it was¬†Penang Assam Laksa! ¬†Lusciously described as ¬†“Poached, flaked mackerel, tamarind, chili, mint, lemongrass, onion, pineapple ‚Ķ one¬†of Malaysia‚Äôs most popular dishes is an addictive spicy-sour fish broth with noodles (especially great when fused with ginger), that‚Äôll have your nose running before the spoon even hits your lips”

Wow! ¬†Assam Laksa even beat the world famous Thai spicy soup King –Tom Yum Goog –¬†which¬†came in at the 8th spot.

Admittedly, this is my first time eating a bowl of Assam Laksa, a basic street food in Malaysia of Peranakan¬†origin – and the irony is that I am eating it in the up-market air-conditioned comfort of a 5-star hotel.¬† Nonetheless, with a tissue ¬†in ¬†hand, ready to wipe my runny nose, ¬†let’s dig in! ¬†

20131202-123442.jpg

Assam Laksa

My assam laksa arrived with fresh red chili peppers and a calamansi on top of the noodles.  Other toppings on the soup included the obligatory cilantro, shallots, fresh ginger, cucumbers and a  sliced hard-boiled egg.

Assam laksa is a chowder made from shredded mackerel in a lemongrass-infused broth thickened with tamarind and served with thick rice vermicelli noodles. The key ingredient of the soup is tamarind (or assam in Malay) which is used generously in the soup base.  Garlic, onion, ginger, pineapple and fish paste or belacan are also used in the broth as garnishes.

20131202-123629.jpg

Assam Laksa

The shredded mackerel was evident floating on top of the noodles as a mass of thick brown mass.  I mixed everything up in the bowl and after tasting the broth, which has a complex taste of a mixture of sour-citrusy-fishy, I added a squeeze of the calamansi and extra  fresh chillis, simply because I love my hot and spicy amped up with a bite!  The noodles itself, were very chewy Рlike udon noodles.

It was overall a very stout bowl of assam laksa. ¬†The broth was as good as I have had, and well worth returning to – and I am definitely a return customer, my previous visit sampling other local fares¬†here¬†– another strong point about this broth is that it is NOT EVEN OILY! ¬†¬†ūüėö

Ah yes, the tissue did come in handy!