Sunday, May 27, 2007

Groove Junction, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL

(Note: All photographs in this post are courtesy of Riz Ainuddin)

I usually get my yearly dosage of jazz music from the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas MPO Jazz Series, where the Bald Eagle and I hold season tickets. So naturally, I was excited to find out that there was a new kid in town (as far as jazz bars cum restaurants are concerned anyway) called Groove Junction.

Brian from All Dat Jazz, on behalf of the owners of Groove Junction, Joanne and Jennifer, sent us an invitation to sample their food. Jazz musician, Jose Thomas, is a musical director here, while his wife, Ellena, is the head chef at the restaurant. I found out, later that evening, that Ellena used to run a restaurant at Riana Green. The lovely Korean lady has been cooking for a number of years and has mastered not only Korean and Western dishes, but also Indian cuisine.

I love the decor and ambience at Groove Junction. The restaurant is tastefully decorated in earthy tones of cream and brown and the soft lights lend a cozy feeling to the entire place. Live music is always great, and we were entertained that night by Cheong, a bossanova specialist.

The menu has an extensive range of choices with a number of dishes creatively named after jazz greats. We were served an appetizer consisting of two items on their menu, namely Yam Nam - glass noodles with roast beef, and mushroom bruschetta. The Yam Nam is a cold dish with a tangy flavour from the squeezed lime which is refreshing and spicy due to the addition of finely chopped chillies.

I especially enjoyed the mushroom bruschetta made of a velvety creamy sauce with a generous helping of sliced mushrooms.

The mains included Beef Panne, which was essentially tender slices of grilled beef served with a herb sauce which had a strong hint of pepper.

This dish is named after famous American jazz tenor saxophonist, Dexter Gordon. Chicken breast with a ham and cheese filling is fried to obtain a crisp outer layer. I loved the chicken, but didn't care much for the serving of fries on the side. But I suppose I ought to remind myself that this is not only a restaurant but a bar as well, and fries do fit in well in a bar environment!

I love fish, so I suppose I can relate to Billie Holiday, the name of this pan-fried sole dish. The creamy mint sauce seemed to have a hint of yoghurt or sour cream, and I felt it went beautifully with the fried fillet.

I am no fan of red meat, but this dish, Ellena's lamb steak, was undoubtedly my favourite. A dish named after the chef herself must certainly be good, and I was not disappointed. The meat was very tender and the sauce sweet. Chef Ellena mentioned that she used fruits to tenderise the meat. That certainly made sense as fresh fruits like pineapples, papayas and pears do have enzymes that can tenderise meat.

The final main course that we tried was the pan-fried chicken rolls in orange sauce named after Sonny Rollins, another jazz tenor saxaphonist. (Incidentally, Sonny Rollins, born in 1930, is still performing, having outlived most of his contemporaries.)

We also got to sample some of the finger food available at Groove Junction. The fried Chickalina's is a dish of bite-sized pieces of chicken fried in a sweet black sauce. Can I say it's finger lickin' good?

I found the lamb curry a little mild, but I suppose it was toned down to suit the tastebuds of the masses. It was, nevertheless, reminiscent of my childhood days (well, and even now, I suppose) where I'd dip slices of bread into curry, gobble down the bread soaked in spicy goodness and slurp up the remaining curry afterwards.

By this time, we were rather full, but still had a little more space for dessert. I do have a sweet tooth and a weakness for cheesecake, so I didn't require much persuasion to eat this dish!

I liked the creamy serving of tiramisu served with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

These banana rolls were served with ice cream. This is one of Ellena's specialties, so do try it if you have a chance to visit this place.

It was a pleasant evening spent with fellow bloggers, Boo_licious, KY and Riz Ainuddin. A special thank you goes out to Joanne, Jennifer, Brian and Ellena for organising such a lovely meal for us.

Also check out Boo_licious' review here.

Groove Junction (visit their website here)

1-1, Jalan 22A/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603 6201 8990

Closed on Mondays. Open from 6pm onwards.

(Note: Thanks, Riz, for allowing me to use your wonderful photographs. We should do this again! You can view Riz's gorgeous pictures here.)


Anonymous said...

The tiramisu is so cute! Jazz with good meal, such lovely combination.

Big Boys Oven said...

Hello, looks delicious. Hope to hear from you too, do drop by at bigboysoven, we are new in the food floggers.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jason: it's a great combination. Go check out this place when u come here. :-)

big boys oven: Welcome! I look forward to seeing your new blog up...1 June, rite? :-)

Lee Ping said...

Dear Lyrical Lemongrass,

I can eat more than one piece of that cheesecake. Something that would be a challenge for me to reproduce at home.

p/s At first glance, I thought all that food for just bald eagle and yourself :) It became clear to me that that wasn't true after I finish reading the entire post.

k.t.x said...

i love all sort of live performances too, they r talented in one way or another altho i enjoy most chillin out listening to jazz more. lol.

foodwise, a bit bistroish or sekret resipi isn't it? lol. but a lamb mutton is such a good introduction in the bar/pub scene, wonder who initiated it.

u hv a good weekend beb.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

lee ping: it's hard to turn down a good cheesecake, isn't it? Well, we shared the cheesecake, which was just as well, since we had so much to eat before then. I should have mentioned that we shared all the dishes. :-)

k.t.x.: if you like jazz music, you should visit Groove Junction whenever you're in the neighbourhood. They have live music every nite. As for the food, it is FAR from secret recipe. This is restaurant quality food. The chef is mighty talented. I had a good weekend, btw. :-) Still smiling...

k.t.x said...

aiyoh...LOL...lamb mutton??? pfffft. mutton curry la i meant. made a fool out of myself...LOL. sorry. lol.

hs not properly sat down to savor good jazz jams for a really loong time since a gig in emporium in bangkok last year.

Anonymous said...

I'll make note of the address ;)

RennyBA said...

Fanny you posted about food and jazz today. Yours looks delicious - I hope you'll like my JazzBrunch post too. And since you've been in Oslo, Norway, you might have been there too?

Anonymous said...

No wonder the mushroom bruschetta looked so familiar ..!! i saw the review on Masak-masak first.. ;) i have to say it again..!! the mushroom bruschetta is to die for..!!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

this shall be for my next food hunt after gym..yumm! ba black sheep..come to my big fat mouth!..

boo_licious said...

Yum! Must drag WMW and Pea here for makan session one day.

backStreetGluttons said...

no wonder we seldom see her now in Riana ! Must be a great place with all those little fine dishes

MeiyeN said...

a pretty cool place and it's @ hartamas? good... :D

sc said...

beautiful pictures! good music and good food, sounds like a great combo for me :). shall look for this place soon

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

k.t.x: why have u not gone for any jazz jams since last year? Maybe it's time to break the virgin mould for 2007? :-P

jason: no need lar. I'll take u there. :-)

rennyba: Your post of the jazzbrunch is fantastic. I'll have to try it next time I'm in Oslo. I'm afraid I never got to try it the last time though as we were more preoccupied with getting to the U2 concert there!

mama bok: ya lor...that boo is really fast at posting one! :-P Yups, the mushroom bruschetta is to die for!

joe: ya is just behind True Fitness. Convenient, hor?

boo: agreed! the luscious sisters have to get together this month!

team bsg: now u know where Ellena's disappeared to! hehe. She's a great chef!

meiyen:'s only 2 months old...still undiscovered, so go there before the crowd packs in!

sc: the credit for the pics shud go to Riz. Check out their website to see who's playing...they have their schedule posted up.

Anonymous said...

Haha, thanks! Can "save" you already! :P

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jason dahling, I don't really need saving, do I? :-)

Jackson said...

wow.... great picture of all food !!! expensive??

Henry Yeo said...

Anyone going up to Genting on June 8-9 for the Jazz festival?

we might even do the Olive for fine dining.

wmw said...

Eh, what happened to my comment earlier? I did write about us sistas making a trip here! LOL...

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jackson: mains are approximately RM20 - RM30 each. I'd say it's quite reasonable!

henry: I hate Genting and nothing would make me go up there. Maybe some of the other food bloggers may be interested though?

wmw: I think your comment may be on the earlier "preview" of Groove Junction. :-)