Sunday, September 23, 2007

We're Going Live, Baby

I thought I'd be able to blog easily while on vacation in London.

I was so wrong.

Not having access to the internet has been utter misery, most of all because I am unable to blog. Bald Eagle isn't complaining, as he is now able to see more of me!

Going to London is like going home. Hearing the words "Mind The Gap" is equivalent to a "Welcome Home" to us. :-)


As I read The Times this morning, I came across an article on Malaysian cuisine. I read on and spotted my friend, Adly's name in that article. Adly - you're famous now! :-) It's a great article, and hopefully, Londoners will be tempted by the wonderful descriptions and gorgeous pictures of Malaysian food and make a trip to Malaysia to sample our diverse cuisine. Sounds like a sales pitch? Well, who wouldn't be proud of our local cuisine? Malaysian food rocks.


My friend in Norway, Gard Karlsen, has been constantly prodding me to work on a Google Map which shows the location of the eating establishments which I have been blogging about. Well, his nagging has paid off! This is the first version of the A Whiff Of Lemongrass Food Tour. It is not intended to provide directions to the location, but it will be useful if you're looking for food in a certain area. Details of the restaurant and location can be found when you click on the flag. This map will also be included on the sidebar for easy reference.

View Larger Map

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nyok Lan Kajang Satay, Restoran Malaysia, Kajang

chicken satay

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Looking at the crowd at Restoran Malaysia, I am convinced that Kajang folk eat satay every day of the week.

So this evening, we sat down to partake in an age-old ritual in Kajang.

mutton satay

The restaurant has been operating since 1971. That's way before I was born *cough*.

And is the satay here any different from other satays in Kajang?



First, the marinade. I ate all the sticks of satay without dipping the satay in peanut sauce. I hear whispers of "she's mad". How can a true satay connoisseur not eat satay dipped in peanut sauce? Well, of course she can. She eats satay without peanut sauce when the satay's good enough on its own.

You see, the flavours are exceptional. I love the sweetish flavour of the marinade on the satay which is enhanced when the meat is slightly charred.

The chicken satay consisted wholly of lean meat. No bits of fat and no chicken skin on the skewers. The only setback with this type of satay is that the meat doesn't glide off as easily from the skewer. And naturally, lean meat is tougher than fatty meat, so if you have trouble chewing, this may not be the satay for you.

I normally refrain from eating mutton satay because I always have this idea that mutton satay is tough. So when the orders were made, I said I'd eat the obligatory one piece just to be able to give my two cents worth on it.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

The mutton satay was sooooo gooooood. The meat was tender and was literally falling off the stick, and the flavour was sweet and spicy and masked the strong smell normally associated with mutton.

peanut sauce with chilli

Despite not dipping any of my satay in the peanut sauce, I'd have to say that the peanut sauce was good, especially when eaten with the sliced cucumber and ketupat (compressed rice dumpling).


Cleanliness isn't their forte, but if you're able to look straight ahead instead of down, you'll be fine. Just don't step on the cat like I did.

Chicken and beef satay costs RM0.60 a stick, while lamb, mutton, duck and fish satay costs RM0.90 a stick.

Also check out:

Babe in the City - KL
Honey Star

Restoran Malaysia (near Metro Inn)
No. 31, Jalan Semenyih,
43000 Kajang, Selangor.

Tel: 03-8733 1160

Closed Tuesdays.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Char Siew at Soo Kee Restaurant, Ampang

Char Siu from Soo Kee

The series on some of the best char siew in the Klang valley continues, and I present to you, Soo Kee Restaurant in Ampang. This char siew is legendary, and was once probably the standard by which other char siews were measured. Nevertheless, despite its years (The restaurant, that is. Not the char siew. Maybe the proprietors too...snigger) , the char siew at Soo Kee can hold its own against some of the best in town.

If you like dark and sticky char siew, this place is for you. Let's just say that Bald Eagle and I couldn't resist the warm sticky fragrant to-die-for char siew and wolfed down half of it while driving back with our precious cargo. I ordered a portion for one (for takeaway), and it cost me RM10. Certainly not the cheapest in town, but hey, I have absolutely no complaints. Mmmmmmmm!!!

Other char siew restaurants in the series:-

Also check out this most excellent Miss Char Siew pageant, my inspiration for this post.

Soo Kee Restaurant
No. 373-1, 4th Mile, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-4257 0767

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Lunch at The Magnificent Fish & Chips Bar, Changkat Bukit Bintang

magnificent fish & chips

I really hate the name.

I mean, I would have visited this restaurant sooner if it had a different name. But it came highly recommended by so many people that we decided that we should just go and have a look for ourselves.

Also, I had been pretty well-behaved the whole week, and Bald Eagle didn't have an excuse to make me pay for an expensive meal again. He tried, though. As we sat down in the restaurant this morning, he thanked me for lunch. I merely fluttered my eyelashes at him (yes, it still works even after X years of marriage) and he knew what he had to do.

The restaurant looked quite nice and somewhat cozy. What's interesting here is that they don't have a food menu. Everything's written on several blackboards placed on the walls using just chalk. That's a cost-effective way of doing things. Of course, it can be quite a chore to walk up to the blackboards to figure out what you want to eat. And God forbid if you're shortsighted.

fish & chips

Paying due reverence to its name, we both decided to go with the obvious choice - fish & chips. Well, in all honesty, I was more keen on the big breakfast (it was, after all, just 11.15am), but when I found out that it wasn't very different from the other big breakfasts I had sampled at other restaurants, I figured I'd be better of with the fish & chips.

There is an astounding number of options just for fish & chips. Dory, barramundi, coral trout, parrot fish, grouper, salmon and silver cod at prices ranging from RM26 to RM45.

Once coated in batter, both choices (barramundi and parrot fish) tasted the same, although Bald Eagle's parrot fish had bones in it, so one would have to eat very carefully, or risk being rushed to the hospital (seriously, a friend just related that story to me where she had to seek outpatient treatment because she had a fishbone stuck in her throat - NOT at The Magnificent Fish & Chips Bar).

I loved the thick cut potato chips. And dousing everything in vinegar (instead of Malaysia's all-time favourite chilli sauce) was so satisfying. I think the restaurant tried to make the experience as "authentic" as possible by putting layers of newspaper underneath a thin piece of white paper on which the fish was placed, and I suppose there was a certain charm to how it was presented. Am not sure of the practicality of such an action, though.

mushy peas

What I really enjoyed was the mushy peas. This is typical pub food and is probably quite simple to make by adding dollops of butter into mashed peas (sometimes mint is added to this, but I didn't taste any here). At RM5, the serving is substantial and sufficient for two. Did you know that in Yorkshire, this is called Yorkshire caviar?

latte The entire meal, with coffee and taxes, came up to RM90. Thanks, Bald Eagle! I love it when I'm well-behaved.

The Magnificent Fish & Chips Bar
28, Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2142 7021

Opens daily, 8.00am - 1.00am weekdays and 10.00am till late on weekends.

Also check out:

The Argot of an Eidolon

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rite Bites - Bangkung Food Crawl - Fit For 2, Cava, Opus Bistro, Wine Cellar, The Attic and Just Heavenly Pleasures

I love my Maxnetic card. (No one paid me to say this!)

In just one month, I have enjoyed savings of over RM50. Okay, it's probably a sign that I'm eating too much good food, but seriously, if you're a person who eats out a couple of times a week and shops once a week or so, then this card is for you. I have saved money at Bisou, Bijou, Opus and Just Heavenly Pleasures, and my friends who bought me lunch at Palate Palette could have saved money if I had known that the establishment accepted the Max card (oops!).

It's hard to be excited about something without having it sound like a sales pitch, so I think I shall stop sounding like Max's Milo man.


Thanks to Nigel of Just Heavenly who acted as Max's messenger, we received an invitation to enjoy (in Max's words) an evening of scrumptious indulgence at KL's best kept secret - the boutique boulevard of Jalan Bangkung in Bangsar. Ordinarily, I'd have said no, as I prefer to pay for my own meal, but since that option wasn't available at that time coupled with the fact that Nigel told me that I could say exactly what I thought about the food, I yielded.

I do have a soft spot for that yummy baker. :-) Oh, his cakes are not too bad either.

I discovered Jalan Bangkung a long time ago when some of you were crawling in your nappies. At that time, Fit For 2, Cava, Opus, Wine Cellar and The Attic did not exist. After a while, I dropped out of the scene (i.e. I turned boring (got married lah)), and when I returned to Jalan Bangkung, lo and behold, there was not a free carpark in sight. Thanks to my husband, who had kept me chained in the kitchen for several years, I had missed out on some revolutionary food experiences. (Bald Eagle: Lies! All lies!! She last used the kitchen in 2004!)

Where were we? Yes. Revolutionary food experiences.

I mean, suddenly, cupcakes became the new buzz word in the Klang Valley. And I became the latest victim, socialising with other ladies while enjoying a cuppa and a dainty little cupcake with strawberry swirls.



When I first heard the name Fit For 2, I thought it was one of those yoga places, but I soon found out that I was not so correct. Expectant mothers hang out here (to exercise and socialise). Talk about a niche market. Fit For 2 has also got a little café where they serve itty bitty cupcakes and cakes from Bisou (same owner) and so I was definitely not disappointed with the lovely cakes that were served to us. My favourite? The pretty lemon cupcake with strawberry cream – what a delightful combination of tangy, buttery flavour against the sweetness of the strawberry frosting! The men in our group seemed to favour the chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes, although I could see Fatboybakes struggling, both in conscience as well as with his fingers (probably wondering if he should stick his pinky out), to appreciate the petite little things. As much as I don’t want to generalise about gender preferences, this place seemed to be an obvious chick hangout.

Equally good were the chocolate brownies with pretty pink flowers piped onto them (such attention to detail!), sandwiches made with thick-cut bread and wholesome fillings, and a very nice, albeit sweet, pumpkin soup that was smooth and creamy.



Cava appealed to my senses.


Rows of wine bottles lined up one wall, attractive pictures were placed on terracotta coloured walls while wrought iron chandeliers hung from the ceiling providing dim lighting to create an ambience of romance and mystery.


The menu at Cava takes on the influence of Catalonian style cusine with hints of Greek and Mediterranean. We were served an array of tapas including prawn pil-pil, sautéed baby octopus, Spanish lamb boulette, sautéed black pepper beef, Spanish omelette and patata bravas. The prawns, I thought were too soft (possibly overcooked?) while the lamb balls were very nice, with its meat minced thoroughly, thus providing a smooth texture to this dish. I loved the Spanish omelette; I had never tasted Spanish omelette before, and so did not have a basis for comparison, but this one had a certain amount of firmness due to the layering of the omelette with potatoes, cooked just right so that it did not disintegrate when it was sliced through. The cross section of the Spanish omelette was like a layer cake. Very pretty.


The seafood paella was a bit of a disappointment. The rice was too soggy for my liking and all the ingredients basically stuck together. I’d like to try this again, though, because to be fair to the establishment, they had cooked the dishes earlier and placed them on foodwarmers, and I suspect that the food had been left out too long while the photographers had a field day with the visual feast at Cava.

We downed everything with some excellent Sangria (perhaps a little too much!).

Do note that the food at Cava is pork free. Cava is currently running a set lunch promo with soft drinks and dessert at RM25.

No.71, Jalan Bangkung,

Tel: 03-2093 6637




Opus Bistro has always been packed since I first discovered it. KL-ites are a discerning lot, and so, where there is good food, people gather. Not only does Opus serve a variety of traditional Italian dishes, their wine list is equally extensive.


The carbonara pasta was creamy; its sauce was thick and clung to the pasta. This is great as I’ve come across carbonara dishes where the sauce would glide off the pasta, almost like the pasta was being rinsed in the sauce rather than being married to it.


I was surprised that the restaurant chose to serve two creamy white sauce based dishes consecutively, as the second dish of roasted cod fish with lemon capers sauce could not be fully appreciated by some because of the richness of the sauce. I, nevertheless, managed to enjoy this dish by putting just a dab of the sauce on my fish. As a result, the combination provided a very light creamy flavour with a slight tangy taste thus allowing the flavour of the cod to dominate as opposed to allowing the tartness of the sauce to overwhelm the dish.


Lemoncello, a traditional aperitif with a tangy flavour that shoots straight to the brain, was served during the meal, together with wine from Wine Cellar introduced by a dashing French Sommelier. We were subsequently given a tour of the wine cellar, although at this point, it was hard to take in everything due to the heavy consumption of food and wine at the outlets before this!


Opus is pork free and is open for lunch and dinner, Mondays to Saturdays, while on Sundays, only dinner is served.

Opus Bistro
No. 67, Jalan Bangkung,

Tel: 03-2092 4288



Wine Cellar
65, Jalan Bangkung
Tel : 03-2093 1919


Intoxicated with sangria, lemoncello and wine, we somehow made it upstairs to The Attic, KL’s only gallery-bar-lounge. This place has a wide-open airy feeling, mostly due to the high ceilings, but it is small enough to feel cozy. It is also a non-smoking bar, so one does not get the feeling that one has to scrub one’s self clean after a night out at The Attic. Of course, if you are a smoker, you can always step out to the balcony and puff your lungs away. Just don’t puff into my squeaky clean, hard-to-wash, perfectly groomed hair.


I like the industrial style bar counter. It has a certain starkness that contrasts well with the paintings displayed on the walls. The pictures are changed every month as new artists from around the world including Malaysia, Romania, Switzerland and Italy are featured.

La Dolce Vita

Now, if you’re the type who’s lazy to eat cake but would still like to have a go at it anyway without using your teeth, have I got news for you! Ask the bartender for “La Dolce Vita”. The expression, “drinking cake in a cocktail glass” was coined here…two Saturdays ago. A pretty short lived expression, no doubt, but will carry on if enough people try La Dolce Vita! You will never want to eat cake again!


But then again, how can one resist Just Heavenly Pleasures’ cakes. You’d have to use your teeth, of course, but the effort is worth it. :-P We were served three cakes that were just going to be included to the current selection of awesome cakes at JHP: The Raspberry Madeira, a rich, golden sponge soaked in a tart raspberry crush, the Mango Upside Down, a lovely open crumbed cake topped with caramelised, sweet mango chunks, and the Chilled Lemon Cheesecake which was a light, creamy chilled cheesecake on a buttery digestive crust. My favourite was the Chilled Lemon Cheesecake, and guess what? The dudes at Just Heavenly made that cake for my birthday party a week later!!

Just Heavenly
No. 47, Jalan Terasek
Bangsar Baru
59100 KL

Tel: 03-2287 9866

Just Heavenly Pleasures
G1.05 Epicure
Jalan Medan Setia 1
Bukit Damansara.

(Open 11am - 8pm)

Tel: 017-251 3202

Website: /

The Attic
61-2, Jalan Bangkung
59100 KL.

Tel: 03-2093 8842


Thanks, Kyan and friends, for the invitation. I’ll be back.

Also check out:
Jackson Kah Part 1 and Part 2

Monday, September 03, 2007

Famous Seremban Favourites (FSF) Restaurant

char siu at FSF

I'm a char siu slut. I love all types of char siu (barbequed pork). But the best ones are usually the ones that are sweet (but not necessarily sticky like, say, the one found in Salak South), slightly charred and melt-in-your-mouth. Now how does one explain "melt-in-your-mouth" in relation to meat? Well, imagine that you're toothless. This type of meat doesn't require much chewing, but slowly disintegrates in your mouth as you bite (not literally, if you're toothless, but I suppose you can use your gums in such a case!) into the tender char siu bits.

Boo_licious introduced a wonderful char siu to me. It fulfilled all my criteria for good char siu, and life has never been the same since.

hakka mee

Another great find at this kopitiam is hakka mee. The dish looks simple enough. Yellow, egg noodles covered with minced pork and topped with chopped spring onions. Don't be misled by the appearance. Despite its simplicity, this is one tasty dish.

fishball at FSF

One can also find good fishballs here. Pillow-soft, I have no complains about the fishballs.

Famous Seremban Favourites Restaurant
No. 80-1 (Ground Floor), Jalan PJU 1/3B,
Sunway Mas Commercial Centre,
47301 Petaling Jaya

Tel: 017-279 8582

Operating hours: 7.30am - 4.30pm daily (char siu is available after 10am - go early!)

Closed Tuesdays.