Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pik Wah Restaurant, KL

Nope. I don't think I'm quite ready to say goodbye to you.

14 years is a long time to know someone. Remember when you were my flatmate and you rushed to the kitchen when you heard my piercing scream? It was my first time cleaning a fish and I didn't know how slimy it would be, and you took over my chore because I was whimpering.

When I got married, you were not just a bridesmaid to me, but also my friend and my confidante. When I was running late for my wedding, I couldn't answer the impatient phonecalls from my parents (didn't they know that the wedding couldn't take place without the bride?), so you took the mobilephone firmly from my hand because you could see that I was getting hysterical, and calmly answered all subsequent phonecalls.

We'd laugh and gossip and chat everyday over a breakfast of nasi lemak or steamed bread. "Kak, Nescafe ais dua!", we'd take turns ordering our daily staple. It will feel strange to order just one Nescafe ais.

Pattaya style Garoupa

At your farewell luncheon at Pik Wah Restaurant, we ate quietly, whispering and conspiring, knowing what would be ordered and how it would end because all farewell luncheons were approximately the same. The Pattaya style fish would definitely be on the menu because it was a house specialty.

Suckling Pig

I fretted because the suckling pig was not on the menu. It was served at Smokin' SOB's farewell, and I remember its crisp skin and delicious thin slices of meat.

Braised pork trotters

But you had something else that was very good too. The braised pork trotters were delicious, although I know you don't care much for the layer of fat. The sauce, mopped up by the sweet buns, was a delight to eat.

Pretty Pui China is but a phonecall away. I think I won't say goodbye to you.

After all, 14 years is a long time to know someone, isn't it?

Please name your first child after me.

Restoran Pik Wah
MABA House, Basement Level Stadium Block
6, Jalan Hang Jebat, 50150 KL.

Tel: 03-2072 3668, 2078 3668

Sunday, November 25, 2007

When Bloggers Get Together To Decorate Cupcakes

Or How To Tell That It's Her First Time


When the recipe says, "Cream butter till smooth, then add icing sugar", she thinks it's okay to do the reverse.


She curses under her breath when the icing comes out from the other end of the bag.


I firmly resolve never to laugh at Fatboybakes again.

The good people of Abu Dhabi may view pics HERE.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Robson Heights Seafood Restaurant


The mechanism was already in place. Change. Inevitable change. It had become clear to me that I was moving into a different phase of my life.


She leaves in a week. I tease her that she will miss us, but I know that it is only to mask my impending feeling of loneliness. We used to joke that we were like nomads - moving from friend to friend; never quite settled down. I suppose we'll all survive in our new environments. Even if it's 3,000km away. Despite that, I'll probably be able to hear her cackle.


Tonight, the first of many "makan" sessions marks her farewell. Robson Heights Seafood Restaurant in Taman Seputeh is one of our favourite seafood restaurants even if it lacks the seaside atmosphere or the smell of the ocean. Its close proximity to the city spells convenience and brings with it a waft of fumes.

salted egg yolk crabs

The Makan Club's closeness hinges on many things, one of which is crabs. We ordered two types of preparations. The salted egg yolk crabs (RM59) were prepared in a thick sauce that clung to the shells, the saltiness mitigated slightly by a sweetness of taste that was probably due to the addition of sugar.

crabs in3 steamed egg white and superior soup

We loved the crabs steamed with egg white and chinese wine (RM63). The crabs were really fresh and sizeable, while the flesh was naturally sweet. The steamed egg white was plain on its own, but was immediately transformed when eaten with a little wine that had simmered with the crabs. The flavour of the dish was further enhanced by the large amount of shredded ginger thrown into it.

salt baked prawns

The salt-baked (fried?) prawns (RM30) were tasty but I thought it could be a little more crispy. Despite its freshness, the dish didn't excite me.

black-pepper udon

One of the house specialities is the fried black pepper udon (RM20). The thick, wheat noodles dish was fried with lots of black pepper and tasted a little sweetish. Despite the peppery taste that irritated my sore throat, I nevertheless thought this dish was exceptional in spite of its simplicity.

mixed vegetables

The mixed vegetables (RM15) were also very good. I loved the sweetness of the water chestnuts that contrasted well with the other flavours. Also, the contrast of the textures made the dish very enjoyable.

Pretty Pui - thank you for a lovely meal!!

Robson Heights Seafood Restaurant
10B, Jalan Permai,
Off Jalan Syed Putra, 50460 KL.

Tel: 03-2274 6216

The good people of AD may view pics HERE.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kampachi @ Pavilion KL

sushi & sashimi bento

It was one of those spontaneous moments when JFKA wannabe, Nipples, asked me to join him for dinner at the latest mall in town and I said yes. I wanted to eat at Kampachi, and he didn't mind eating at Kampachi again, so it was an easy decision to make. After all, I never say no to Japanese food.

Seasoned baby octopus

Getting a table wasn't very difficult on a weekday night, but we chose to sit at the sushi bar instead, hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the action behind the counter. We were not disappointed. 2 little plates of seasoned baby octopus were placed in front of us. I loved the sweet and savoury dish which went down in an instant.

cold soba with dried nori tsuyu with condiments - raw quail's egg and chopped spring onions

Since Nipples didn't get a chance to eat soba on his first visit to Kampachi, this was his obvious choice. His cold soba served with crisp nori came with a tsuyu broth with raw quail's egg and chopped spring onions.

grilled fish tempura

His set also came with tempura and grilled fish. If I'm not mistaken, it cost a little over RM30. He seemed quite pleased with his meal.


I took the sushi and sashimi bento (RM40). What I like about the sashimi is that they were generous portions - thick cut and very fresh.


It also came with grilled unagi (eel). Aaaah. Despite the unadventurous orders, this was comfort food for us. The food's good. The prices are reasonable. The ingredients are fresh. Definitely worth a second visit.


Also see Lots Of Cravings and Masak-masak for reviews of other good stuff.

Kampachi @ Pavilion
Level 6, Pavilion, KL.

Tel: 03-2148 9608

Friday, November 16, 2007

The MIGF dinner that almost was - feat. Gobo Upstairs, Traders Hotel KL

IMG_2192 The month long Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) is back. It features a number of really great restaurants, but the prices can be rather expensive (a relative term) even though one would get pretty good value for the prices paid.

On Henry's persuasion, I enthusiastically rounded up a group of foodies to visit Gobo Upstairs, a restaurant in the relatively new Traders Hotel. Unfortunately, as the day arrived, my body was suddenly attacked by the dreaded flu, but being the responsible coordinator that I was, I persevered for the greater good. Ahem.

The thing about the flu is that one loses practically all of one's tastebuds, except maybe the ability to taste salt. Anyhow, I decided that instead of wasting RM160++ on the MIGF menu, I should consume something hearty instead. Like soup.


And that's exactly what I had. A robust lobster bisque bursting with flavour (which I could taste!!). The others, except for Henry, took my lead and decided to order from the ala carte menu which was surprisingly priced very decently. I mean, can anyone think of any other fancy restaurant that serves baby beef short ribs at just RM38? And according to those who tried it, the meat was literally falling off the bone. The lamb shank, at RM38, was apparently an equally good option. I could literally see Fatboybakes' face glow with happiness in the very dimly lit, chic restaurant. Nipples Joe had a very strange looking pumpkin risotto which he guarded with his life, so I didn't get a chance to taste it. Oh, they treated me like the plague just because of a little itty bitty flu, so I wasn't allowed to share any of their food. Except for Precious Pea, that sweet darling. She was kind enough to share a creme brulee with me.

creme brulee The creme brulee came in four different flavours. My favourite (and Precious Pea's least favourite, my gain) was the ginger flavoured brulee. The other four sections consisted of coffee, chocolate and hazelnut. My main course of grilled cod was overly salted, but other than that, I found the flesh to be very moist and tasty.


Henry's choice of the MIGF menu came with a tomato appetiser, Black Ink “Spinosi” Tagliatelle with Octopus Merlot Ragout and Green Asparagus for the starter, Chargrilled Australian Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Confit, Lentil’s Fava Beans and Fresh Mushroom Ragout for the Mains, and Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate for desserts.

Overall, I like the ambience at Gobo, and I'd certainly revisit the place for a few reasons:

1. Service is excellent. From the moment I entered, I was greeted by name, and they made the effort to explain all the items on the MIGF menu as well as the ala carte menu. They were also able to make recommendations on house specialties.

2. The restaurant is lovely, if you like the modern look with subdued lighting. It doesn't feel cramped, although it isn't a very large restaurant with a seating capacity of approximately 60 people. Gobo

3. Good value for money. One can get a good meal for about RM100 per pax. Am not sure about the wine selection, though, so maybe someone can enlighten me on that?

4. Parking's a breeze. The hotel shares the parking area with the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, so there is ample parking.

Traders Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Reservations: +603–2332 9888

Also see Fatboybakes' take on Gobo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hon Kee Porridge (Off Petaling Street)

Porridge with raw fish

One of my favourite meals is a bowl of rice porridge. I love how the steam mists my glasses as I inhale the scent of sesame oil that is drizzled onto the porridge. I love the smooth texture, and enjoy the sensation of the almost liquid substance gliding down my throat. The strips of raw sliced ginger and chopped chinese parsley all heighten the overall sensation of consuming this deceivingly simple dish.

fried intestines

Fried intestines (RM3) are a lovely addition too. The crunchy pieces, a little sweet, get slightly softened when thrown into a hot bowl of porridge and add a new dimension of textures.

Fried Yau Char Kwai

Throw in some fried yau char kwai (chinese crullers)(RM1 for a big plate) into the bowl of porridge. These amazingly simple and aromatic dough puffs are such a pleasure to eat.

Raw fish - river carp (wan yue)

I love fish, and this place serves raw wan yue (river carp)(RM4.50) which is stirred into the bowl of porridge. The heat cooks the fish almost instantaneously.

Porridge with Pork meatballs

Also available is Pretty Pui's favourite - Porridge with meatballs (RM4).

Hon Kee Porridge Blink, and you may just miss this stall. Memorise this sign. Located at Jalan Hang Lekir (Petaling Street), it is near the famous Koon Kee wantan mee stall and opposite a Hong Leong Bank branch. Operating hours from 4.30am to 2.30pm.

Also check out:

she, the epicuriousgirl

Click HERE if you are unable to view pictures on Flickr.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

7 Years of Surprises...And To Many More, Darling


molten chocolate cake My life has always been about 3 guesses. For 18 years of our lives (7 spent married), we'd been playing the guessing game.

"What's for dinner tonight, dear?"
"I'll give you 3 guesses."

"What movie are we watching?"
"3 guesses before the next ad comes on!"

"What car are you buying?"
"Guess lah."

Well, you get the idea. However, sometimes, the guessing game backfires.

"Where are we going tonight?"

"Guess." He keeps me in the dark.

I make my guess, and dress in a nice smart casual outfit and meet him after work. That's when I spy loads of elegant looking people dressed to the nines in Choo and Blahnik, dripping with jewels.

"Fock man. You could have told me!! The fockin' Queen is here, and I'm dressed in......focking' office clothes??!!?!"

He eased up on me for a couple of months, but resumed his impish ways soon after. A leopard never loses its spots.


Bald Eagle It was our wedding anniversary and we were going out for a romantic dinner. The usual charade ensued.

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise. I'll give you 3 guesses."

"Give me a hint, at least."

"Fine. I'll give you 2 hints. It's connected to The Gardens (Mid Valley), and it's Japanese," he offered graciously.

That seemed simple enough. "Yuzu," I proclaimed. "We're definitely going to Yuzu."

"Wear something nice," he winked, neither affirming nor denying.


Since he was buying, I offered to drive (after all, marriage is a 50-50 deal, isn't it?).

I was soon driving past Mid Valley straight on to the roads leading to the American Embassy. As we drove into the carpark at MiCasa, I still couldn't figure out his clues. (I really should have paid more attention to Fatboybakes' blog entry on Cilantro last week instead of merely gawking at the stupendous amount of foie gras he had consumed.)

"Ok. Explain yourself," I demanded. "What has Cilantro got to do with The Gardens or Japanese?"

"Cilantro will be opening a branch in The Gardens," he paused for dramatic effect, "and Cilantro is a French-Japanese fusion restaurant!" Did I imagine the "ta-da!" at the end?

Bald Eagle = 1, Lyrical Lemongrass = 0.


freshly baked bread truffle butter As we sat down in the plush semi-circular seat, we were told that the bread would take another 15 minutes. "Freshly baked bread!" I exclaimed. And what a magnificent treat it was to eat the bread spread with the most delicious truffle butter! We loved it so much that we actually finished up all the bread on the table, only to be asked politely if we wanted any more. I blushed and mumbled that the truffle butter was glorious, and the kindly looking lady nodded knowingly, probably used to the same reaction from all her guests.

IMG_2067 A tiny bit of chicken sausage served with a gelatinous topping came with the chef's compliments. I never thought chicken sausage could taste so good.

unagi and foie gras My starter was a Pan-fried Unagi with Foie Gras (RM68). The grilled eel was layered with foie gras, then coated with flour and fried. Cut horizontally across the layers, pop it into your mouth and feel the sweet richness melt in your mouth. Along with cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels, this must definitely be one of my favourite things.

truffle souffle The appetisers list was extensive, and it was a tough choice. How does one choose from 6 hot and 6 cold appetisers, all carrying names with at least 5 words in each? He, being the more decisive person in our relationship, took only 2 minutes as compared to my 10 to decide on the the first dish. His Baked Truffle Souffle with Parmigiano Reggiano (RM48) came with a creamy truffle sauce that was utterly decadent. Another melt-in-your-mouth experience.

palate cleanser In between courses, we were served a white wine granita to cleanse the palate. It had a nice granular texture.

lightly smoked salmon

I've always loved fish. But this time, I made sure I spent 15 minutes scrutinising all the items on the Main Course list before I made my final decision. My Lightly Smoked Salmon with Confit of Beetroot, Truffle Soy Vinaigrette (RM68) was perfect. The outer layer of the slab of salmon was lightly cooked, and as the layers progressed to the centre, it was almost raw. The musky scent of the truffle mixed with the distinct salmon flavour together with the generous portion of salmon roe created a rather salty combination, but mix it with the sweet creamy sauce and a perfect balance of flavours is created. Every bite was ecstacy.

wagyu cheeks

He was equally enraptured with his Wasabi Crumble Crusted Wagyu Cheek with Roasted Mushrooms (RM68). The flavour of the wasabi very lightly caressed the tender slab of wagyu cheek. Another recommended dish.

green tea souffle Desserts are priced at RM32 each, but a group can opt for 4 choices (dessert platter) at RM98. Although I was initially keen on trying the dessert platter, sensibility prevailed as I accepted the reality of the situation. I was stuffed. And so, reluctantly, I chose the dessert which I felt would be the lightest - the Home-made Souffle in Green Tea with Green Tea Ice Cream. It was a great choice as the eggy smell wafted into my nostrils like a temptress after her diamonds. I loved the souffle as it wasn't too sweet thanks to the green tea which added a hint of bitterness to the overall flavour. The green tea ice cream was definitely homemade.

molten chocolate cake Bald Eagle went for the bold and brazen choice of Dark Chocolate Cup Cake with Earl Grey Ice Cream. Ah...what is there not to like about a molten chocolate cake!

I hear that the restaurant will be undergoing renovations come March 2008, so if you're keen to visit this place, do so before then. Also, rumour has it that the new outlet at The Gardens will be serving predominantly Mediterranean cuisine, so expect a different menu.

Restaurant and Wine Bar
368B, Jalan 1/68F, Off Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-21798000 or 03-21798048 (DL)

Operating hours: 6.00pm to 1.00am Mon to Sat; 12.00 noon to 2.00pm every Friday. Closed on Sunday.

The good people of Abu Dhabi who are unable to view my flickr pics may view pics here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Deepavali


To my Hindu readers, Happy Deepavali! The kolam is an apt design to start off the celebration with. It is a design drawn on the floor and filled in with coloured rice powder as a sign of welcome and prosperity.

deepavali lamp

The festival is celebrated with lamps and lights, signifying the victory of good over evil.

Deepavali feast

Deepavali Day is always celebrated with a lot of food cooked by my mother. This year, sis-in-law, Kat, took over some of the responsibilities and passed with flying colours.

Mutton curry
Mutton curry by mum

Penang achar
Penang achar by Kat

mutton peratal
Mutton perattal by mum

fried chicken
Fried chicken by Kat

fruit salad
Fruit salad by Kat

What's unique is that these two ladies (mum and Kat) do not come from an Indian background. Having married men of Indian/part Indian heritage, they picked up the skills and can now cook a fantastic array of Indian cuisine, some of which are influenced by their Chinese and Nyonya heritage. And this is what being truly Malaysian is all about. I can't help but salute these two women. (Note: Lyrical Lemongrass' area of specialty is eating, and not cooking! We all have our strengths. :-P )

Deepavali cookies and muruku assortment
Deepavali cookies and muruku assortment (muruku, kara muruku, achi muruku, omapodi) by mum and Kat

Those who are unable to view my pictures on flickr, including the good people of Abu Dhabi, may click HERE to view the pictures.