Que Volveré @ La Boca Latino Bar, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit: July 2 2013

With the bright colours and funky murals evoking Bohemian vibes, one would expect La Boca Latino Bar to be easy to find. In my case, it was not. I had walked past it countless times without knowing the existence of a bar tucked away near the thoroughfare, hidden under the escalator on Level 3 of The Connection at Pavilion. It was a mere coincidence that I was in the vicinity one day and was led by the loud music to a crowd gathering in front of the bar. Apparently this is a popular bar for live singing and dancing, in particular tango and samba nights. I made a mental note to visit the bar when it is quieter, which happened to be on this particular Tuesday night.

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The essence of the rough-and-tumble shanty barrio of Carminito’, in the La Boca dockside district of Buenos Aires are recaptured by the brightly coloured hand-painted murals on the wall.   Together with colourful flags,  balloons and chairs, they added an eclectic ambience together with  little touches of novelties such as window-shutters to frame the portraitures, wrought-iron balconies and spiral stairs to further enliven the space with loud music.   My only hang-up was that it was not air-conditioned and a smoking restaurant.

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Welcome! Giant mural depicting Tango dancers

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Bar featuring flags from latino countries

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Stage for Live Music and Performances

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2-D Murals

With a mixologist hailing all the way from Brazil, an extensive drinks menu showcasing his skill is a must and only proper.  Alas, me being me, I still ordered our usual tipple – a Caipirinha – nothing more perfect to end a hectic day than a zesty alcoholic kick with mouth-puckering fresh limes.

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The menu is another extensive list of Latino cuisine detailing foods from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and Peru (a reference to the colourful flags at the bar).   It was hard to pick, but we settled for the ‘Argentinian theme’.  We were looking forward to sample Argentinian rotisserie steak (which comes in skewer) but advised by the server that it will be a slab of steak instead.

Striploin (RM68) was cooked medium-rare as requested.  Charred on the outside, still juicy with a bit of red on the inside.  Served ‘gaucho-style’ with chimichurri sauce, and a side of   mixed green salad and chips.  It would be wonderful if the cut originates from Argentina, but then again happy with the Aussie alternative.

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Pizza Rellena (RM30) is Argentinian folded pizza, similar to the Italian calzone.  I had a mild shock when it arrived, for it was a huge thing!   Relief came after cutting it open to find  that it was puffed up by  hot steam.  I  was delighted  with the generous stuffing of ham, salami, mozzarella, basil and olives.  A tomato sauce came with it, but did nothing to enhance the already delish pie/pizza.

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Overly-stuffed, we did not opt for dessert although we were looking forward for the Churros when we first sat down.  This and also the very rowdy group of red-neck expats just seated at our next table made for quick exit.

All-in, service was affable and smooth (quick) and I believe we met the proprietor as well.  Judging from his friendliness and his overly familiar use of the word ‘tapow, tapow‘ (take away), I am sure he uses it often on his customers for the huge serves he serves in his bar.

Que volveré !  I will be back for Peruvian next, for Creviche and Pisco Sour.

Steik World Meats @K11 Mall, TST

(A scheduled post from the Chica currently on a month-long luncheon in Japan)

Date of Visit: February 21 2013

Apparently Steik World Meats at K11 Mall, TST was recommended in the Michelin Guide 2011 and 2012. It had the American steak-house look – dark timber and dark carpeting. It also has an open kitchen. The ceiling is interesting resembling the spots on the cows – howdy do Cowboys!

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Interior of Restaurant

I enjoyed the warm and soft breads fresh from the oven.

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Bread Basket with free refills

It is common in Hong Kong to have Set Lunch menu, so we all ordered the 2-course Set Lunch which included tea or coffee. The price of the Set Lunch varies depending on the main course. Dessert will cost an extra HK$30 (but since the serving size were rather big, and we are watching our weight, we skipped dessert)

ENTREE: This was the most popular with us all ordering the same entree. There’s chicken liver and foie gras parfait, parma ham, pork terrine, duck rillettes, pickles and toasted baguette. The cold-cuts were excellent – I like them all especially the chicken liver foie gras which is very creamy and rich.

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Charcuterie Plate

MAIN COURSE: What I noticed is that there is no standard in the cuts and presentation.

My pork loin was cooked perfectly with a pinkish center and it was tender. However, the buttered spatzie was rather burnt – it’s kind of doughy like gnochi, but in noodle-form and pan fried like chow-mein.

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Canadian Pork Loin with Buttered Spatzie, Sauce Charcuterie $198

The steak looked good. But cooked in Chinese cafe-style, what is missing is the hot sizzling plates!

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Chef’s Choice Cut of the Day 7oz Dry Aged Steak with Sauteed Potato, Lyonnaise Glazed French Beans, Shallot Jus $228

The fish came dry and burnt. Both my aunts ordered fish – one had the tail and the other the belly. Shouldn’t the cuts be the same in fine dining restaurants? I guess not…

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Fresh Fish Fillet with Sauteed Vegetables and Lemon Butter $176

Personally, I think Steik World of Meats is a high-end Chinese cafe, service is very fast and super-efficient, not exactly silver-service though. So in my humble opinion not worthy of Michelin recommendation…just my two-cents. There is a clubby bar area with a well stocked liquor and spirits collection and with the Happy Hour promos would be a decent place to chill out after work or a long hard day of shopping!