Saturday, January 14, 2012

Urban Spoon Bistro @ Sri Hartamas

Urban Spoon Bistro

About a month ago, I received an email from Sean of Urban Spoon Bistro for an invitation to have a taste of what Urban Spoon has to offer. Little did I know that in fact my sisters also received the same invitation, so we picked a date and did this together.

It's relatively quite easy to look out for Urban Spoon as they are at the new Plaza Damas 3, just opposite Hartamas Shopping Center and facing the main road. For that, I don't think they have problems with getting walk-in customers.

Cocktails - Apple Mojito, Watermelon Margharita, Soho La, Lychee Gimlet (RM25 each)

We were greeted by Sean who is the co-owner of this new establishment which is about a quarter-of-the-year-old. With the play of colours - stripey blue diner booth-style seats, brick walls at a corner, a bar counter that's grey but not gloomy, and curtain laced walls, Urban Spoon did not fail to impress at first glance.

After we were comfortably seated, the waiter whipped out the menus to us. Of course, we studied the menu to see what are the 'extraordinary' dishes that no other restaurants would have attempted - but decided that we will leave it to the chef to decide what goes in our stomach that day. We took the liberty to order the drinks though.

Soft shell crab tempura (RM18)
with apple-papaya som-tam, garlic lime dressing

Stuffed Jalepenos (RM18)
with cream cheese

Roast beef salad (RM18)
with French beans, shallot, lemongrass, chilli, eggplant, with lime & fish sauce dressing

The starters that Chef Steven picked were soft shell crab tempura salad, stuffed jalapenos and the roast beef salad. We enjoyed all three starters as they really whet our appetite with the potpourri of sourness (that comes from the fish sauce) and spicyness. Sensing that the roast beef must be some really good meat, we asked Chef Steven what type of beef was used - he said it is a aged beef and they are all hand sliced, there is no sight of a slicer in the kitchen! Wow, talk about skills!

Carrot and orange bisque (RM14)
with seafood ceviche and braised leeks

The soup was very delicious too, creamy, slightly thick but not starchy and came piping hot. It would have been mistaken for a pumpkin soup from the colour. I like the use of caramelised shallots and leeks which gives a crunch to the soup.

Emperor Tang duck confit (RM38)
with roasted potato, seasonal vegetables, maltose, soy, calamanzi reduction

Pandan chicken & 'kam heong' angel hair (RM28)
with guacamole, leek compote, baked onion

Yaki fillet of cod (RM55)
with sauteed tomato, oyster mushroom, seasonal vegetables, wasabi mayo, anise-mirin glaze, bonito flakes

Cajun wagyu beef burger (RM38)
with homemade spicy tomato chutney, cheese, fried egg

Sunshine is halved

Chef Steven's pick for us for the main courses were a duck confit, cod fish, angel hair pasta, and beef burger. That's quite a balance of seafood, poulty, carb and protein. The mains bear more of a fusion theme, i.e. the duck confit which not only named after a chinese emperor but the method of preparing this is through steaming. Unfortunately, it didn't go too well as the meat was stiff though I did read elsewhere that somebody else had a good experience with this dish.

The kam heong angel hair pasta was something different, the guacamole was the saving grace from the too-dry pandan chicken (according to the menu, soft shell crab is used, but Chef changed it to a chicken side as we already had the crab for starters). The cod fish was alright, though in my humble opinion cod fish is still best cooked via the chinese way of steaming and soy sauce! The best mains of the day had to be the wagyu beef burger which all of us really enjoyed. The minced patty is perfect, sunny side up was a bonus and the buns was soft - a must order.

Zesty crepe with vanilla ice cream (not in menu)

Black pepper tamarind macerated strawberry & peach (RM14)
with chardonnay au gratin & watermelon-basil slashy

Chocolate cherry fondant (RM18)
with vanilla ice cream and alcoholic option

Desserts time! We were first served with the crepe & vanilla ice cream which was not in the menu. Then we got to taste the dessert that caught out eye in the menu due to the complicated name 'Black pepper tamarind macerated strawberry & peach'. It does look like a very complex dessert, appearance wise it looks like mochi but actually it's crepe covered with what I think are breadcrumbs and underneath there's foam, peaches, and strawberries. With this, there's the watermelon slash to go with it. Interesting, but complex.

The other more straight forward dessert is the choc cherry fondant that will make any chocolate desserts lover squel in delight. Warm and chocolate oozing centre, pair it with the cold ice cream and cherry chunks - sinful. Make it a double sinful dessert with the alcoholic option where Grand Marnier is used as an ingredient for this dessert.

Cafe latte (RM10)

We ended the lunch with coffee and exchanging stories about kitchen affairs with the chef. Overall, there are some hits and misses. Improvements I'd like to see is the expansion of the desserts menu and hope the consistency issue can be addressed.

Urban Spoon Bistro
Plaza Damas 3,
Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-6201 2108
Business hours: Mon - Sun 11:am - 11:00pm

* Visuals by iPhone 4

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. Please don't sue me, I don't have money. Kthxbye.]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mods Cafe Melaka

Mods Cafe

Sometimes the best places are discovered by chance, not the long queues spotted from a mile away.

I am sure most will not disagree.

And this rare gem of a find is in Melaka, it's actually a quaint historical shoplot called Mods Cafe. We stumbled upon it when we were doing our usual 'touristy' Jonker Walk-around. Mods Cafe is not exactly along Jonker Walk though, one needs to get out to the street branches and look for one that shows Jalan Tokong.

What attracted us and prompted us to 'have a look' is the brightly coloured VW van parked inside the shop! Next to it are tables and chairs, so we'd figured it's a cafe. The decorations are as retro as you'd imagine - those spinning barber lights, old skool tv and stereo sets, miniature figurines of Vespa scooters, and adorning the wall is about 200 empty beer cans from different parts of the world! (Oooh love the red switches too)

Now, how can anyone not like it here?

Cafe Latte (RM8)

Cafe Mocha (RM9)

We had the Cafe Latte and Cafe Mocha and they're both nicely done with the right amount of froth and beautiful latte art. Believe the guy who served and brew our drinks was Albert, the owner of Mods Cafe (I later googled about it and discovered many who also likes and recommends Mods to be a must visit).

Mods Cafe has become our favourite coffee place in Melaka, and we will surely return when we're in Melaka the next time! We would strongly recommend to skip all the touristy places and be adventurous to find your own gem.

Mods Cafe
14, Jalan Tokong,
75200 Melaka.
Facebook page:

* Visuals by iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. Please don't sue me, I don't have money. Kthxbye.]

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sunday Buffet Brunch @ Acme Bar & Coffee

Acme Bar & Coffee

On my birthday a month ago, my sister suggested to celebrate it with a Sunday brunch at Acme Bar & Coffee (ABC) @ The Troika. For those unaware of where The Troika is, it's a new luxury condo located in the heart of KL with KLCC as its neighbour - how awesome is that. Needless to say, one can expect high standards and quality if any retail or eateries open at that location.

The array of salads

The setting of the outlet is simple yet brilliant. Instead of plain solid walls, the area overlooking outside of the building is surrounded by glass for sunshine (feng shui says sunshine is good chi), laminated wooden floor, comfortable furnitures and space for people to enjoy their meals with a good catching up session.

Smoked duck pizza and selections from the sea - mussels with chilli pesto, smoked salmon potato fritters, fresh prawns with dips

Poultry carving section - roasted spring chicken, roast leg of lamb, roast beef, salt baked fish

Desserts corner - Apricot bread & butter pudding, profiteroles, christmas fruit cake, opera cake, churros with choc sauce, sago gula melaka

Prawn bisque and mussels

The buffet is segregated into a few sections, an array of almost 10 types of salads / small chomps, the poultry carving section where roast beef, lamb, spring chicken and salt baked fish is dished out freshly from the oven, a few other trays of mains like pasta, fish, and chicken, and at the bar area lies the desserts section.

Overall, I think we all enjoyed the array of salads, my favourite being the grilled zucchini and eggplant salad, the prawn bisque is served warm and individual, and the mussels, prawns, salt baked fish, roast lamb and beef are delicious too!

My only grudge is the desserts selection which we all agreed is too limited and not exactly people's favourite type of desserts - we ended up only enjoying the churros and ice cream which was individually served as well.

Clos du Caillou 2009

The Sunday brunch buffet is priced at RM89++ per pax and does not cover for beverages.

Good company

Thank you to all who celebrated and treated me to a good birthday brunch! Cheers :-)

Read Eiling's review here.

Acme Bar & Coffee
Ground Floor @ The Troika,
Jalan Binjai,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2162 2288
Business hours: Daily 11:00am - 12:00 midnight, Fri & Sat till 1:00 midnight

* Visuals by iPhone 4 and Olympus XZ-1

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. Please don't sue me, I don't have money. Kthxbye.]

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tanzini @ GTower

Complimentary bread with assorted dippings

This may come by as a pretty old post, thanks to group purchasing websites, we were able to get a deal that offers a RM30 voucher for RM70 worth at Tanzini @ GTower back in mid last year (2011). It certainly does not take a genius to know that meals at any of these 5 star hotels in the heart of KL will not be easy on the pocket!

Sashimi yellowtail tuna

Frutti smoked duck

We chose the set dinners which was perfect as there were 2 options for each of the entrees, soups, and mains so it gave us the opportunity to sample all it has to offer! (The set dinner was at RM155++ if my memory serves me well)

Prawn bisque

Wild mushroom soup

Sorbet to cleanse the palatte

Lobster tail angel hair

Aged wagyu tenderloin (160g)

Done medium rare

Petite 3 desserts

I really enjoyed my wild mushroom soup and steak. A bite into the medium rare juicy tenderloin makes you wish the cut to be just a little bit bigger. The prawn bisque was very flavourful and the same flavour seems to be used for the lobster tail pasta as well, the both tasted very similar. While everything hit the right note, the only forgettable part of the almost perfect dinner was the desserts which were nothing more ordinary than 3 little pieces of cakes.

With the picturesque night view of KL as the background setting, dimmed lights and posh environment which will certainly impress any first dates, I do recommend Tanzini as a venue for any dinner dates (order the steaks!).

Happy New Year 2012 to all, may the year fill us with more good food!

Tanzini @ G Tower
Level 28, GTower,
Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2168 1899
Business hours: Monday to Saturday (11:30am - 2:30pm > Lunch; 6:30pm - 10:30pm > Dinner) Closed on Sundays

* Visuals by iPhone 4

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. Please don't sue me, I don't have money. Kthxbye.]
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