Grabin’ A Grub @ Morganfield’s, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit: July 1 2013

The first 3 days of July sees me jetting into KL again. The views of KL city was pretty from the plane with the low-laying layer of opaque haze. However, before I could further romanticise the views, the door to the plane opened allowing the acrid smell of smoke to fill the cabin and my eyes started to water. Fantastic! I’ve left the Borneo jungles and now fronting the developing world problem. HAZE! *cough* *cough*

With my city digs at The Pavilion, I have to front yet another developing world problem, that is, where to eat? I am fast running out of ideas. Spasso (my review here)  came to mind, but wishing to reduce my carbohydrate intake due to my lack of exercise and thus guilt for inactivities for the last couple of weeks (blame haze and heat), I reached for one of the dozen food apps I had installed on my mobile for a recommendation from strangers.  Speaking of which, I am also venturing into the world of food apps development. To be more specific, I am investing into a food app start-up, a real physical company which I am very excited about.

Righto, I am 0.9km away from Morganfield’s and photos of the ribs and desserts looked delish…

So here we are at 6:30pm, myself and one other arrived in front of service discussing of whether we should go in.

The diner is basic and grubby, smelling of grease, smoke and stale ciggies. Judging from the huge bar area, one could certainly discern that alcoholic beverages is huge selling point here (like the rest of the joints clustering at the Connection Bridge in Pavilion). To help with our decision the helpful service at the front showed us the menu. We did a quick glance and went in for a punt.

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Walking towards our table, we passed by a couple of tourists wearing bibs (?!) eating a humongous platter of ribs, chicken, chips and corn bread served on a metal tray. This is a definite ode to obesity!

The disposable placemats on the tables has recommendation options for the sharing plates, which are way too big for the 2 of us.

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My dining companion ordered the Smokin’ Cheese Burger.  It was a huge double-patty cheese burger stabbed with a steak knife for added drama, but  did not ‘wow’.  Chips were edible but erred to the salty side, understandable since the diner has to up-sell drinks. It was gobbled up simply for the sake of eating.

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My Smokin’ Duck Salad has a dodgy Peking Duck’s influence – lettuce, cucumbers, spring onions, capsicums and strips of defrosted Peking duck sprinkled with sesame seeds.  It came with sesame soy sauce on the side.  No complaints, the vegs filled me up and it was a long time I had eaten the century egg.

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The service rings of Malaysian hospitality – all smiles, friendly and professional.  The decor was unfortunately a confused eclectic assemble of a pseudo-American diner.   Pictures hanging on brick walls, and a juke box at a corner.  There was also a  TV  showing Mr Bean which kept the little girl from our next table entertained.

Dessert was a Bread Pudding  which came with a stingy serve of  ‘special’ whiskey sauce.  It radiates home-made with store-bought Nestle vanilla ice-cream.  Satisfied our sweet-tooth nonetheless!

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We did not linger long at the diner after dessert. On our way out, I noticed the couple still struggling to finish The Carnivore.

In all fairness, Morganfield’s is a ribs joint.   Here I am, using my food app for recommendation from strangers, knowing full well that each person has different taste buds and what I ate was not rated nor recommended by these strangers, so I was at my own peril.  It was nevertheless pretty interesting.

Will I be back? Never say never, perhaps I might try the ribs one day if I can justify the carbs.

A Crunchy Piece of Piggy Heaven @ Tonkatsu, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit:  June 10 2013

Tonkatsu – a piece of crunchy deep-fried pork heaven – is an ubiquitous cafeteria staple in Japan.

But, did you know that tonkatsu has European roots?  Katsu is the Japanese pronunciation of ‘cutlets’ (pronounced ka-tsu-reh-toh in Japanese), whereas Ton means ‘pork’ in Japanese, thus tonkatsu, thus pork cutlets.   As a very amateur cook, the Chica is pleased to explain that the underlying difference between the European’s pork cutlets and Japanese tonkatsu lies in that the Western pork cutlets being coated with bread crumbs then pan-fried with butter, whereas the Japanese Katsu is deep fried in vegetable oil rendering it crunchier while maintaining the juice and tenderness of the meat inside.

Never mind…

As you probably notice, there are also many restaurants specialising in tonkatsu around.  In Pavilion Mall, there is Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen, located on Level 6.

I should state that I am very apprehensive to anything deep-fried especially for calorie-sake and the type of oils used in the frying.  Having been to China, I have heard too many horror stories about re-using dirty recycled oil.  Nevertheless, I was prompted to try since there is not many eating establishments on Level 6 that I have not eaten, besides, I wanted to tick-off  Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen on my list.

Following a quick welcome by the staff at the door, we were seated promptly.  I am thrilled to see Japanese bankers (they were wearing their tags) having their lunch as their presence vouch the authenticity of this tonkatsu place.  On the table was a tray of condiments – vinegar, dark soy and a bottle of sesame seeds.  Seeing that a grinding bowl and wooden pestle is provided, I took it as a DIY exercise to grind my own sesame dressing.

Should I point out that one should grind the dry sesame seeds before adding in the liquids?  A major faux pas on my side, see the picture below.

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My tray of Katsu Soba arrived shortly after.  On the tray was  a small dish of Japanese chilli flakes for me to sprinkle on my soba and my crispy pork loin katsu resting on a rack (I am not sure whether other orders come with their katsu on the racks, but I had asked for my katsu to be separated from the noodles since I don’t like my katsu to be soggy).   In my bowl of steaming soba are some seaweeds, bamboo shoots and half an egg.  The soba was cooked to my liking – al dente, however, perhaps this is a Malaysian-thing, the soup was simply too sweet for me to drink.

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Needless to say, it was wonderfully satisfying to sink my teeth into a crispy golden piece of juicy katsu and hearing myself chomping away.  With limited stomach space, I had to guiltily leave 2 pieces of the katsu heaven behind, thus hoping I am pursuing the greater karmic goodness through feeding those creatures less fortunate in the food chain

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The other set that my dining companion ordered was the very simply called Set 1, which has pork-cutlet tonkatsu served with shredded cabbage, rice, mixed egg plant and miso soup.  Unbeknownst to us until later, the shredded cabbage is refillable gratis

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Minced pork with egg plant topped with scallions for a bit of colour.  A very flavoursome side dish

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The accompanying katsu for the rice set is a piece of choice pork-cutlet with a different texture to my pork-loin being a different cut of meat.

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A hearty meal tucked in deserved a little rest before heading back to our erstwhile duties.  While we would be happy to spend more time in the pleasant environment, time beckoned for us to leave and around RM35 lighter each (including drinks).

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