Friday, June 29, 2007

Birthday Greetings!!

bald eagle

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~Lucille Ball (or Bald??)


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eat Work Shop, Glenmarie, Shah Alam

eatworkshopWhen I first heard of Eat Work Shop, I laughed. What workshop? A workshop with food? It certainly sounded like one of the many car workshops in the city which had chap fan (mixed rice) stalls parked right in front of them to cater to the blue-collar workers in the area.

My imagination was further fueled when I found out that Eat Work Shop was located in the industrial area of Glenmarie. I concluded that it was definitely a food stall in a workshop.

I have a knack for spelling. When I was 5, I was given a sweet for spelling rhinoceros. It was a proud moment for me. And so, when I saw the spelling for Workshop spelt "Work Shop", I laughed again. How typically Malaysian, I thought to myself. Trying to be creative, I bet!

Well, as you can imagine, the last laugh was on me. Eat....Work....Shop. Duh. ALTHOUGH, Yang Ariff, there is no shopping in this place, so why "shop"?

Finding this restaurant in the middle of the night with nary a soul in sight within a 2km radius felt like an achievement. As we climbed through a tiny gate attached to a wall that looked like it was still under construction, I suddenly knew what it felt like to be Aladdin when he first chanced upon the treasures in the cave. Before me, there stood a restaurant in the middle of nowhere with warm lights peeking out through huge glass windows, welcoming a hungry stranger in. There didn't seem to be many customers that night, though, but perhaps it was the location or the misleading name!

panfried seabass

I love the pan-fried seabass which came creatively presented on a couple of risotto pancakes. The flesh was firm and the segments came apart easily as I cut through the fish. The accompanying passionfruit sauce added a tangy, yet sweet, flavour to the entire dish and did not compete with the flavour of the fish. (Note: this dish was not on the menu and was recommended to me by the lady serving us.)


Bald Eagle had the chicken with cubed potatoes and asparagus in a mango sauce (RM22.80/US$6.70). Again, I applaud the chef for his creativity in matching the uniquely created sauces with the meats.

dessert chocolate cake

For dessert, I had the chocolate fondant (RM12.80/US$3.70), which was essentially a moist chocolate cake that was served with pineapple confit and vanilla ice cream. As I sliced through the cake, warm melted chocolate oozed out to my delight and I quickly lapped it up together with the side servings. Perfect.

I'm rather lucky that Eat Work Shop is located so close to home in Bukit Jelutong, but even if we weren't living in BJ, I'd gladly make a trip here despite the distance.

Also check out:

Eat Work Shop
No. 9, Jalan Peguam U1/25
Glenmarie Business Park
40150 Shah Alam
Tel: 03-5569 7763

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mizu, Japanese Fine Dining, Bangsar Village

It has been 12 days since my last Japanese food post. I still love Japanese. I just don't have many friends who appreciate Japanese food as much as I do (hint: if you like Japanese food, feel free to apply for position as "friend". Interviews will be conducted within a week of application. Knowledge of Japanese is not essential but will be an advantage).


The following conversation takes place all the time with the Makan Club:


Bouncing Barbie: What's for lunch today? (Note: Same question every day)
Lyrical Lemongrass: Let's go for Japanese!
Pretty Pui: Ewww!! I hate Japanese food!


Bouncing Barbie: What's for lunch today?
Lyrical Lemongrass: Let's go for Japanese!
Pretty Pui: Ewww!! I hate Japanese food!


Bouncing Barbie: What's for lunch today?
Lyrical Lemongrass: Let's go for Japanese!
Pretty Pui: Ewww!! I hate Japanese food!

I suppose you get the picture.


A window of opportunity opened up one day when Pretty Pui wasn't around:

Bouncing Barbie: Japanese? *wide grin*
Lyrical Lemongrass: Hai dozo! *wide grin*


We had heard of the cheap set lunches at Mizu in Bangsar Village, and because budget is always a factor, the decision to go there was a no-brainer. Finding the main entrance was a little more difficult. A dark narrow passageway (where I half expected ninjas to pounce on me, but that would be a different restaurant) eventually led to a modern setting with water features, sleek furniture and open-concept kitchen.


Barbie's grilled unagi set came with huge, juicy looking grilled eels served with rice, miso soup, chawan mushi and pickled vegetables. I thought the serving was quite substantial and could easily feed two people. This was good value at RM26 (US$7.50) for the set. The accompanying chawan mushi was rather disappointing though. It was watered down and too plain for my liking.

Service was extremely fast. Perhaps it was because I whispered to the waiter that we were in a terrible hurry (which wasn't a lie). Our lunchtime is normally from 1.00pm to 2.00pm and we had risked going to a fine dining place just to satisfy a craving. No, we are both not pregnant, but thanks for asking.

salmon ikura don

My salmon ikura don (RM28/US$8) is what I would term sushi in a bowl. The ingredients were there - vinegared rice, strips of seaweed, raw salmon and fish roe. I love biting into ikura (fish roe) and feeling the juices burst into my mouth as they trickle down my tongue and throat. The slightly salty taste of the ikura went well with the vinegared rice, while the thick-cut slices of salmon, drenched in soy sauce and wasabe, provided a full-bodied taste to the rice dish.

We made it back to our office at 2.15pm. I think that's pretty good timing.

pickled vegetables

Also check out:


1st Floor, Bangsar Village I, Bangsar, KL.

Tel: 03 - 2283 6988

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Max! Kitchen & Wines

P1030755 P1030766 P1030735

P1030726 P1030741 P1030730

The key ingredients were all there: a good restaurant, fun company and excellent food.

We met at Max!, post-Just Heavenly Pleasures' official launch, to celebrate a quiet evening together. As it turned out, and I should have expected this, we took up most of the place upstairs at Max! and caused the glasses to shatter (figuratively speaking) with our loud chatter and excited conversations with each other.


There are times when I want to cry from sheer happiness upon tasting good food. Last night was one of those moments. My shiraz braised wagyu beef cheeks with mushroom ragout (RM60/US$18) was velvety smooth and melted in my mouth as I exhaled a sigh of pleasure. Max's dish will now be the standard against which I compare all wagyu beef preparations.


I also ate off Bald Eagle's and Nigel's plates, so I can vouch for the chargrilled lamb cutlets (RM50/US$15) and the seared tuna loin (RM28/US$8). The lamb cutlets were very tender and went well with the accompanying garlic confit, while the tuna was seared to a perfect crisp on the outside while remaining rare on the inside.

P1030754 P1030739 P1030738

P1030721 P1030743 P1030713

The above is a selection of starters and mains ordered by the other food bloggers.


It was a wonder that I could still eat anymore after that orgasmic experience with the wagyu beef, but when the proprietor and chef, Max Chin, suggested a white chocolate tart, there was no hesitation in my reply as I absolutely LOVE white chocolate. The tart was nice, although I found it a little mild, tasting more cream than chocolate, but the crisp chocolate shell and the chocolate ice cream were a good foil for the white chocolate.

P1030762 P1030763

The desserts selection was small, but satisfying. The warm, freshly prepared chocolate souffle which I swiped from Bald Eagle was extremely good.

P1030732 The food bloggers were excellent company. Nigel and Allan - once again, congratulations on your launch. It was indeed a pleasure to be able to celebrate the special day with you. Paprika, looking forward to more eating sessions with you. Love your pretty red earrings, by the way! And Hunky, don't forget to order wagyu beef cheeks on your next visit. :-) Mavis, love your photographs of pets! Soo Yin, small world, huh? :-) Who would have thought that you knew Bald Eagle all along?? Jason, WMW, Joe and Nicole, sadly, the long table was too long, but I heard the word nipple mentioned several times! Bald Eagle, thanks for sharing your food, dear. Splashie Boy, you and Paprika were great lightings people!! Boo_licious, thanks for organising this once again. It was definitely worth the wait!

Max! Kitchen & Wines
27, Tengkat Tong Shin
50200 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2141 8115

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sate Kajang Haji Samuri, Damansara Uptown


Delicious phallic symbols of glory.

There's a certain rawness of manner in using one's teeth to pull out the pieces of skewered meat on a stick. Almost primitive. The warm meat mixed with the crushed peanut sauce is harmonious.

Human beings have short memories. News today, garbage tomorrow. The case against the popular Kajang satay company on the discharge of toxic effluents is long forgotten. What price for delicious satay?

satay and ketupat

Sate Kajang Haji Samuri used to be available only in Kajang, but the success story has been replicated all over the Klang valley and beyond. Closer to home, for me at least, is the restaurant at Damansara Uptown. Same satay in an attractive setting. Wear your heels and your finery if you like, but remember that all decorum fizzles when you use your fingers and teeth to remove the deliciously grilled meat.

The price is reasonable too. 60 sen (less than USD$0.20) per stick of chicken, beef, beef tripe, chicken liver and fish satay, while mutton, rabbit and venison satay ranges between 90 sen (USD$0.25) and RM1.60 (USD$0.50) per stick. Nasi impit (compressed rice), sliced cucumbers and sliced onions are essential side dishes.

The thick and delicious peanut sauce is served separately from the sambal. Add the sambal at your own risk. It is potent, but guaranteed to make you break into a heated sweat.

Also check out:

Sate Kajang Hj Samuri
No. 79, Jalan 21/37,
Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7710 5318

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Of very non-halal quiches and an honorary Makan Club member

bacon and mushroom quiche by fbb

Our Makan Club has thrived on the diversity of tastes of the various members. And sometimes, looks can be quite deceiving. For instance, it would be wrong to assume that the only person with Indian blood in the Makan Club would have a high tolerance for all things spicy. On the contrary, most of the Makan Club members put me to shame when it comes to eating food with chilli.

The members of the Makan Club consist of people who work at my office. Not because we're snobs. Far from it. It is merely for the convenience of travelling together to a food destination. So when Smokin' SOB informed me one day that he would be leaving the firm for "greener pastures" (I am unsure if the pastures are indeed greener, for what could be more joyful than working in our beloved firm? ---> Boss Man, please take note of apple polishing), I was unsure what our future as the Makan Club would hold. It was certainly an unprecedented move for the Makan Club. As a founding member, I didn't want to delete Smokin' SOB's name from the list. It would feel so final.

Several farewell parties had been thrown in honour of Smokin' SOB. One such party was held last weekend...a sort of potluck party (where most of the food was purchased rather than cooked at home! Accountants are busy people too)...and to redeem myself for not cooking, I decided to impress the group with only the best dish. Thankfully, Fatboybakes came to mind; he suggested a very non-halal bacon and mushroom quiche and I immediately agreed. After all, it is virtually impossible to get a good, very non-halal quiche here, and I knew my friends loved very non-halal food. The quiche was amazing! Baked with oodles of chopped bacon and mushrooms in a buttery base, its texture was fluffy and smooth at the same time due to the use of cream rather than milk and it made all the difference in the world. Certainly worth every cent of the RM60 that I paid.

Fatboybakes takes orders, so drop him an email if you ever want to impress your friends. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you passed off his pie or quiche as yours either. Pop it into the oven and let the scent envelope your home. Aaah...better than any room fragrance!

Smokin' SOB

Smokin' SOB - thank you for being a friend and a confidante. The man at our regular tea stall will miss your taunting. I shall miss my German beer "kaki", my punching bag, and your car. The office will be quiet without your loud expletives. Okay, that's a good thing. :-) And I shall probably be less drunk without you! Hmmm. Is it me, or does this seem good too? Sigh. There goes the only negative influence in my life.

Call us if you're ever hungry, dude!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jangan Lupa Kawan Lama


6.00pm. Immediately our body clocks signalled tea-time.

Having tea with friends at the mamak (said in the very broadest of terms) stall is a Malaysian pastime. It's a time to take a break from the drudgery of work as we make our way to the stall and partake of the local fare. Half an hour later, after a satisfactory meal, we return to our tables and chairs and computers and calculators and files. Until it's time to go home.

Pretty Pui (PP) and I had a favourite tea-time stall. Located at Jalan Tun Sambanthan 3, opposite the Petronas petrol station in Brickfields, we had been frequenting this place for several years. The slightly wrinkled man with smiling eyes knew our orders by heart. I would get a teh halia (ginger tea) while Pretty Pui's order was a Nescafe Ais. If we wanted to eat the prepacked nasi lemak, we knew we had to go there early. I would always request for extra sambal for that extra oomph. And sometimes, when I felt extravagant, I'd order a fried omelette, generously drizzled with soy sauce, for that lovely saltiness that tasted so good. On days when we were staying back late at the office, we would order maggi goreng (fried instant noodles) or nasi goreng (fried rice).

At this stall, PP and I would update each other on accounting standards, legal updates and news of the stock market.

That would have taken the whole of 2 minutes.

For the next 28 minutes, we would discuss in detail on ways to get the attention of the cute guy next door.

Occasionally, the wrinkled man with smiling eyes (we called him Uncle) would join in our discussions and offer us nuggets of wisdom. Well, not about getting the attention of the cute guy, but about life in general. He'd always say that it didn't matter what our jobs were, as long as we earned an honest living.

He led a simple and happy life. When his daughter gave birth, he explained that his wife, who normally worked by his side, had to stay at home to help take care of the grandchild. He loved his wife, giving her whatever she wanted. On Deepavali day, he'd go to Jalan Masjid India to buy new clothes for his wife and his children, ignoring his own needs. He always told us that he didn't need much to be happy.

Weeks before we moved out of Brickfields, PP and I discussed how we'd inform Uncle of our move. "He's definitely going to be upset", we told each other. "We need to soften the blow."

When we finally summoned the courage to tell him (or perhaps, it was only a way of comforting ourselves of the big move), he took a deep breath and his eyes looked tired. "Jangan lupa kawan lama," he told us. Don't forget old friends.

For months after the move, despite not being able to visit his stall as frequently as we did before, PP and I still made the effort to drive over to Uncle's stall for our favourite drinks and familiar company. When one of us went without the other, he'd ask, "Mana kawan? Ada sihat?" (Where's your friend? Is she okay?) Sometimes, Boss Man visited his stall, and he'd come back and tell us that Uncle asked about us. Boss Man told us that he could tell that Uncle was very fond of us. Words like that warmed our hearts.


It has been over a month since I last visited Uncle's stall. Boss Man told me today that Uncle had passed away from a heart attack 2 weeks ago. I never got to say goodbye.

This is my goodbye. What a privilege it has been to be a part of your life. I'll never forget you, old friend.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Japanese Dining Sun, Chijmes, Singapore

sashimi mori

Boss Man Malaysia (Boss Man MY), Superbikers SG President (SSP) and I were having drinks at an Italian restaurant at Chijmes when Boss Man Singapore (Boss Man SG) decided to drop by.

SSP had to leave shortly after that and Boss Man MY stepped away to say his goodbyes.

Meanwhile, Boss Man SG looked at me.

"How do you feel about Japanese?", Boss Man SG asked.

"Like I died and went to heaven", I replied.

"Okay. You'll love Sun", he pointed to the restaurant next door. "Does Boss Man MY like Japanese food?"

"He loves it." I had just told a lie. I was desperate for Japanese.

Boss Man MY appeared, and Boss Man SG repeated his question to get some assurance.

"My stomach's a little queasy. Can we try something safer?", Boss Man MY asked, a pained expression on his face. He was obviously looking for a way to get out of a Japanese dinner.

Boss Man SG didn't get the hint. "It's okay. We'll get you a hearty soup and some warm Sake to make you feel better!"

I could have kissed Boss Man SG's feet at that point.

cupI was greeted by rows of bottles (mostly Sake) and sake cups, prettily arranged in baskets as I entered Sun. The decor is contemporary, and the structure of the original convent school is maintained thus retaining its high ceilings which makes the place look large. We were directed to a table next to a column covered with a gauze like material which created an illusion of textures as I touched the material.

sakura masu 2 sakura masu

A specialty at this restaurant is the Kamameshi, which is a rice casserole cooked in a stainless steel pot embedded in a wooden frame. The dish is served with the lid on and an hourglass timer placed on top of the pot. The diner is expected to wait until the sand goes down (approximately a minute) before he proceeds to mix the ingredients up (somewhat like a claypot rice meal) and dish it out into the accompanying bowl. Boss Man SG and I both ordered the kamameshi. I had the japanese trout with japanese pepper leaf - Sakura Masu (S$38) (top right) from the seasonal kamameshi menu, while Boss Man SG had the unagi kamameshi (bottom left). The rice, despite being cooked at high heat in the pot, did not stick to the sides. The ingredients and the sauces had also had sufficient time to seep into the rice, thus creating a lovely aroma and flavour to the rice.

unagi kamameshi teriyaki chicken

Boss Man MY, as i had mentioned earlier, was ill, and thus played safe with his order of teriyaki chicken with rice (top right).

When the food came, I looked at him. "May I photograph your food?"

"Certainly. It's for your blog, isn't it?", Boss Man MY guessed correctly, then turned to Boss Man SG. "She has a food blog, you know."

"Please don't publicise my blog to all the bosses!", I exclaimed.

Boss Man MY looked at me, "Well, if the bosses don't read it, then who does?"


Subsequently, they indulged me and my photography as I shot at various angles and caused the food to get cold while they talked shop.

sushi mori

We shared a platter of sushi mori consisting of a delightful selection of sushi....

sashimi mori 2

...and a bowl of sashimi mori served on a bed of crushed ice. I expected nothing less than the freshest sashimi, and I was not disappointed. The sashimi slices were cut thickly, and I was able to savour each bite in my mouth without feeling like it was all being gulped down too fast.

desserts2 mochi

By this time, our stomachs were screaming for us to stop eating. Nevertheless, we couldn't refrain from ordering the mochi from the desserts menu. The mochi was nice and chewy, although I found the savoury sauce accompanying the dish to be an acquired taste (meaning, I don't like the sauce!). I ended up eating the remaining pieces of mochi without the sauce or the red bean paste that was placed on the side.


Japanese Dining Sun

30, Victoria Street

#02-01 Chijmes Singapore 187996

Tel: 6336 3166

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Simple Life in Singapore

Have you ever experienced a moment where all the factors come together to make your dining experience special?

It's not just the food that has to be good. Although that helps. Sometimes, it's the balmy weather. And on other times, it can be the incomparable company.

For me, it was a combination of attentive service (with a smile, if I may add) on a lazy Saturday afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of busy Singapore's Orchard Road. I had a table by the huge glass window overlooking the world going by and only my company to enjoy. In a setting like this, food is only ancillary.


I had picked the quietest restaurant in Wheelock Place. With a name like The Simple Life (think Paris and Nicole), an unlikely tagline "Authentic Asian Cuisine", and a set menu priced at S$14.90 for a starter, main course and dessert/drink, I was immediately attracted. I normally don't visit half empty restaurants, but I wasn't in the mood to hear loud chatter from neighbouring tables. So the stage was set.


My starter was a fruit rojak. Cubed fruits like pineapples, jicama, cucumbers and mangoes were tossed with bean sprouts, fried firm beancurd and sliced yau char kuay in a sauce made of thick prawn paste. What made the dish exceptional was the generous topping of coarsely ground peanuts. The sauce, because it was quite undiluted, was on the salty side, but I forgave them because it is rare that one can taste the prawn paste so distinctively.

prawn noodles

My prawn mee was a sight to behold. Huge prawns presented seductively on a bed of noodles with succulent pieces of sliced pork...very tender, I might a rather clear broth boiled with prawn heads, prawn shells and pork bones. Slices of fish cake completed the picture. I approached it with hesitance. Partly because the broth was too clear and quite unlike what I am familiar with, which is usually a murkier soup. I'm not quite sure if I like the soup though because the flavour was rather faint. But the prawns were fresh and delicious as were the huge pieces of pork.

Instead of a dessert, I chose a refreshing calamansi drink. I needed it after all that walking during the Great Singapore Sale. I've never seen people queuing up to enter an LV shop before. :-)

Also check out Chubby Hubby.

The Simple Life

Wheelock Place #02-18


Tel: 6738 3212

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tu-Long, Midvalley KL

Tu-Long shanghai steamed meat dumpling la mian in hot & sour soup

We are frequent visitors to Midvalley Megamall as it offers convenient parking at lunchtime when we're not in the mood to walk the distance to Petaling Street only to sweat it out in the unbearable heat over a hot bowl of wantan noodles. When you're in corporate clothing, airconditioning is a premium, and so it made sense for us to look out for airconditioned restaurants whenever we went out.

We had noticed Tu-Long a long time ago. We called it the Red restaurant, primarily because the entire facade was red! I must admit that I am attracted to anything shiny, so the long row of chandeliers lining up the centre aisle of the restaurant felt very welcoming. Tu-Long is located in the Boulevard Offices directly across from Starbucks.

The first thing that caught our eyes was the shanghai steamed meat dumpling (siu long bao). The two young men in the glass cage skilfully and intently produced the dumplings like a factory line, unperturbed by the nosy glances of the curious patrons. We were pleased with the dumplings (RM8 for 4 pieces). Despite the rather salty broth enveloped in the prettily wrapped dumpling, it was full of flavour and passed all tests. The skin wasn't too thick either.

The other "performance" which I thoroughly enjoyed was the solo la mian (noodles) puller. I also found out that the Master Chef got his name in the Guiness Book of Records when he made 8192 Noodle Strings from a single piece of dough in 59.29 seconds! Well, naturally, if they were promoting la mian, I was going to try it. My order of la mian in hot & sour soup (RM12) was nice, hot and sour (but of course!) and I certainly have no complaints about it. Perhaps, at RM12, I was expecting something extra, but it felt very ordinary.

la mian dried scallops and chicken soup

If you have lost all your tastebuds due to a recent illness, then the la mian with dried scallops and chicken soup (RM14) is perfect for you. The noodles were nice, but the soup in which it came was so plain, it made hot water look good. One would have thought that the accompanying bowl of dried scallops and chicken soup would be some compensation, but try as she might, Bouncing Barbie was unable to recognise any taste of scallops in her soup. Digging all the way in, she found a few slivers of scallops, but that didn't improve her mood. She ended up drowning her noodles in FOC chilli paste which she said tasted a whole lot better than the RM14 she paid.

shanghai fried rice flour cake deep fried durian pancake

Pretty Pui's shanghai fried rice flour cake (RM14) was the best tasting dish among all that we picked. The rice flour cake was sufficiently cooked with a soft bite to it and the sauce complemented it well.

Our order of deep fried durian pancakes (RM12) arrived early. Like Christmas morning, we wore wide grins on our faces at the anticipation of biting into the durian pancakes. Pretty Pui took the first bite, and said nothing. I was curious, and took a bite. My expression changed. Barbie looked at us, concerned. "That bad?", she asked. Barbie took a bite. The decision was unanimous. It was horrid and absolutely TASTELESS. Every tourist's dream....smell-less durians. My worst nightmare. I wished Nigel would appear at that moment with his lovely chocolate durian cake. Service was good. They apologised and took it away. I was more concerned about the fact that the chef didn't recognise that the durians were tasteless. What happened to quality control anyway?

souffle egg white ball with red bean paste and banana souffle ball with red bean paste and bananan

As a replacement, we ordered the souffle egg white ball with red bean paste and banana (RM9 for 3 pieces). This was a lot better. The white dust that you see on top of the balls is icing sugar. Biting into the marshmallow-like texture, I found a very small quantity of red bean paste and a small slice of banana. Despite the rather measly ingredients, the entire dish tasted lovely.

Also check out Pasankia's review.

25G, 25-1, 27-1, The Boulevard Office, Midvalley, KL.
Tel: 03-2283 3115

Conjoined twins of KayEll

This is totally unrelated, but I felt that after such a negative review of food, I should feed you with something better. Photo taken at the Attic last Thursday.

Introducing the conjoined twins of KayEll.

Bald is the new black, folks.