Monday, February 28, 2011

on the plate - +Wondermilk, Damansara Uptown

One night, we were looking for a place to grab a quick and light dinner (it was probably about 9pm, yes we were both working late again). We had seen this place a few times, usually while driving to pneo's place nearby, but never had the opportunity to drop by.

This time, we decided to give it a try. First impressions of the place - it's cosy, but way too many stairs (the place is uneven so there's lots of steps going just up or down by one or two steps. It's a nice effect, but just ever so dangerous especially if you're carrying trays of hot drinks)

Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the kitchen had closed, so no hot dinners to be had. However, they did say that they could still make sandwiches, so we ordered some sandwiches from the menu, and I decided to try out their signature drink - wondermilk of course!
Drink more milk. Indeed.

Banana wondermilk (RM6) - It was nice, but I felt slightly cheated by paying RM6 for a tiny cup of milk with a shot of banana flavoring. 

the sandwiches came in a small box with salad by the side.

Honey mustard chicken sandwich (RM12.90) - single slices of roast chicken breast with some honey mustard sauce and some cucumber on nice toasted bread. And salad on the side. Tasted good, but not really worth RM12.90?

Mr. Beefsteak sandwich - again, single slices of roast beef with some dressing, peppers and the ubiquitous salad by the side. And again, it tasted good, but not really worth RM12.90?

+Wondermilk is a nice place, but ultimately, I don't think I would really be inclined to patronize the place too often as the price just seems a little too steep for what you get.

+Wondermilk is located at Damansara Uptown, on the outer side facing houses, on the same road as the TM Point

Food:       6/10
Drinks:     7/10
Service:    7/10
Value:       4/10

on the plate - Brunch at the Bee, Jaya One

 Jaya One is fast becoming a food hub for PJ, with lots of good choices for food and all. This time let's take a look at a nice little place called the Bee, which is an unassuming place opposite Wendy's and Starbucks, and would otherwise pass unnoticed by most.

Firstly, the ambiance is a little funky, but cosy nonetheless. They have a stage placed at a little nook in the corner, for some privacy, and, on certain nights, live music as well. Their menu is full of innovative little goodies that add a twist to the usual stuff that you find on almost everyone else's menu (such as chicken chop, etc.). Of course they have burgers and fish & chips and salads and all, but again, like I said, with a little twist to it.

So, one day after the weekly Sunday celebration at DUMC, our usual dilemma surfaced - where to eat with the rest of our cell group? I had suggested the Bee before, but the idea got shot down before as someone had thought it was only pancakes for lunch. On weekends, they don't serve their regular menu (maybe the chef is on leave during the weekends?!) but they do have a special brunch menu.

We decided to give it a try. Here are the results:-

Huevos Rancheros wrap (RM17) - beef bacon, beans, fried egg, and melted cheese in a lovely tortilla wrap, served with potato hash by the side. This was light and wholesome at the same time, and the mixture just blended well together.

the Bee Big Breakfast (RM24) - two eggs done any way you like them, beef bacon, sourdough bread, potato hash and other stuff. One of the best big breakfasts around.

Bacon Pot Hash (RM22) - heavier on the bacon, TWO hash patties, and two eggs on top. With tomato jam for flavor. I added an additional sausage (mmmm, real sausage) for extra effect. Absolutely and wonderfully tasty. In case you were wondering where the hash is, they're under the eggs. That's right, I got TWO :D

Salmon Benedict (RM25.50) - smoked salmon, with eggs benedict. What more could I say? The picture just says it all.

Honestly, brunch at the Bee isn't cheap by any means (unless you're comparing to a hotel or something). But what you do get for the money, is good, honest food that's really right up there in terms of taste and quality. They do magic with eggs - I've never seen eggs done so well in so many varieties. Seriously, all the eggs done, whether fried, poached, scrambled - they were some of the best cooked eggs I've seen. The beef bacon was much better than the usual crud we see in most halal places, it wasn't crispy, but it had the right amount of saltiness, and certainly felt very nice and meaty.

And we come to the hash. Yes, I'm a fan of McDonald's hashbrowns. They're not the best, but good potato hash is hard to come by anyway. The hash patties here blow everything else out of the water. Finely shredded potatoes, mixed with some sage and then fried to perfection... again, one of the best hash I've ever had anywhere.

The only cons that I would probably have to point out really are that: it's small, and can get very crowded as they don't have much seating capacity; it's very open, so it can get pretty warm especially on sunny days; and the service can get a little unpredictable. They've got their good moments and bad moments.

When I get the chance to go for the regular menu, I'll put up another post, but for the meantime, kudos to one of the best brunches around. And I didn't even have to travel far for it :)

P/S:- had a late night drink here as well... the churros are really good too (churros are Spanish pastries, much like the Chinese yau char koay). And they've got good ice cream from the Last Polka as well. Nutella ice cream!

The verdict (brunch only)
Food:     8/10
Drinks:   6/10 (with brunch, you only had a choice of tea, or coffee that come together with the meal. They were good quality, but how about some juice or ice lemon tea or something else instead of being forced to order those seperately?)
Service:  6/10 (sometimes great, sometimes blah)

Friday, February 11, 2011

off the plate - ChicKing, Tropicana City Mall

Worst. Ever. Fried. Chicken. Experience.

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? The newest fried chicken chain to hit this place, hailing all the way from the UAE, ChicKing opened its first PJ outlet (I think) at Tropicana City Mall just a few months ago. Like any other curious foodie, I went to have a try.

Firstly, to be fair, the actual chicken (which should be their core product, eh?), there's nothing wrong with it. The marinade is good, and the flavor permeates the meat rather than simply staying on the skin alone (yes, I'm looking at you, KFC). Mostly tender, the pieces are a little on the smaller side, and the skin isn't very flavorful, but overall the chicken is okay.

Everything else is where it all falls apart. Let's forget for a moment that it serves Pepsi (which is a cardinal sin in my books). The mashed potatoes... a complete disaster. The potatoes had a strange consistency (I would call it... powdery?) which smacked of cheap instant mix (even the Maggi mashed potato from the vending machines were better), and the gravy - completely tasteless and felt weird and starchy. The coleslaw - not fresh at all and it also tasted weird. I never thought any coleslaw could taste any more chemical-y than KFC's but this just took the cake.

Even the 'Royal Crunch' which should have served as their largest burger, didn't really seem any bigger than a KFC Zinger. Which is saying a lot cause the Zinger is simply small.

The verdict, ChicKing has decent fried chicken, but don't bother with anything else like sides or whatnot. I certainly wouldn't go there again. For now, I'll stick to Popeye's, at least until the most awesome fried chicken in the world, Church's Chicken, gets here. Hopefully, someday.

Food:      3/10
Drink:      3/10
Service:   6/10

Monday, February 7, 2011

quick bites - Funky Villa, e@Curve

There are times when I go to a place that I want to review, but don't manage to take pictures because I didn't bring a camera, or the lighting doesn't permit it, or for whatever other reason. So I'm starting a new series called "quick bites" which will have a quick review of the place, sans photos, but will hopefully still give useful information about the restaurant.

Anyway, Funky Villa is located at e@Curve, the newly (well, not so newly) renamed Cineleisure. The owners of the neighboring Curve decided to take over the running of the place after Cathay failed miserably to run the place properly. It still has one of the worst car parks around, but that's something they couldn't change I guess.

From the name, and the décor, you would never guess that this place actually serve Thai food, but it does. They've got a good set lunch that starts from RM9.90 and if I'm not mistaken doesn't go above RM18 or so. Good value for money. I've tried it before and it's pretty good.

This time we decided to try stuff a la carte this time, ordering pomelo salad, crispy fish tom yam, green curry chicken, basil fried beef, salted egg squid, Thai otak-otak and morning glory (vegetable).

The pomelo salad was good, lots of pomelo with chicken and prawns in a nice sour and slightly spicy dressing, while the otak-otak arrived in a large coconut. It was excellent and the coconut was a nice different way of serving it rather than the usual leaves they usually cook it in.

Green curry is one of the things I always order at Thai restaurants, and this one didn't disappoint. Creamy and savory, it definitely was up to standard, and the basil fried beef arrived as beef slices with whole basil leaves and some vegetables, that dish wasn't extraordinary but it still tasted good anyway. I like how they use basil in Thai cooking. It imparts a very nice flavor to the food, especially meats.

I didn't try the squid since I don't eat it, the tom yam was good, though. Most people order seafood tom yam because they want the prawns and squid and stuff, we elected to try out the crispy fish instead, and we weren't disappointed.

I definitely have to mention also that the service was excellent, the waitress was attentive and friendly, and helped us with our orders and was efficient with refills and other requests.

Funky Villa is a comfortable, friendly place with pretty good Thai food, the décor may be slightly questionable but hey, if you're not rolling in the big bucks or celebrating some fancy dinner, you probably wouldn't be eating at a place simply for the décor, would you?

Food:     8/10
Drink:     8/10
Service:  9/10

Friday, February 4, 2011

on the plate - Bavarian Bierhaus, Jaya 33

So last year, for my birthday, I thought of going German for the year (possibly due to my actually knowing more German than actual Chinese). Since I can't actually go to Germany (not on my salary anyway), German food is probably the next best thing. So, Bavarian Bierhaus, which is located in Jaya 33 (right behind my church) seemed a logical choice. So! Without further ado... here's the food, and my thoughts on the food, unfortunately I can't remember prices but all I can say is... it's rather pricey...

Farmer's soup - Leek and sausage soup... arrived slightly warm, tasted alright but not as tasty as I would have liked. I prefer my creamy soups to be thicker, but it's certainly not bad, and as always, German sausages don't disappoint.

Mixed Grill - I can remember the price for this one! It's RM58. That price nets you meatloaf, bacon, sausage, lotsa potatoes, sauerkraut, a fried egg and a whole bunch of other good stuff. This dish is the bomb. Seriously. Everything is grilled to perfection, and the sear marks on all of it do serious psychological damage to any diet plan.

Another view of the mixed grill, from another angle. BACON!

Sausage platter - a combo of almost every type of sausage that they have, with righteous potato salad by the side. They recommend this to share, and I definitely DO NOT disagree. It may look small from the photo, but that amount of sausages can defeat all but the most voracious of appetites.

Honey roasted pork knuckle - the piece de resistance... RM68 (or so) nets you this monster knuckle. I've had knuckle before that's small and... bleh. But this one, this one! Crispy, succulent skin that's glazed with sweet honey, well marinated meat inside that's tender and tasty. And it's got potatoes, bacon and sauerkraut by the side. BACON!

A close-up of the star of the show. I couldn't resist stabby time : D

Someone ordered weisswurst (white sausage). It came with sauerkraut (big surprise there) and a large pretzel.

German meatballs came with some strange German noodles and red cabbage which apparently nobody really liked. Must be an acquired taste. The meatballs were good though.

A sampling of German beers. These are Franziskaner beers. Refreshing and not too heavy.

And for dessert, an apple strudel. It was alright, nothing really great to shout about.

Quite the feast, I admit that I attempted to finish the pork knuckle on my own. And failed miserably. But it was good. Very good. I'll be back to attempt it again, but probably not by myself. Service was alright, nothing to shout about, and the drinks and dessert were okay, nothing out of the ordinary, but the food was glorious. BACON!

The verdict: Seriously good food, mostly in portions that will make you go all exploding sheep if you're not a big eater. Order to share. Drinks are mostly beer (what else, considering it's a German place). Prices are on the steep side, but not overly prohibitively so. BACON!

Where: Jaya 33, it's in the front facing the main road, at the corner (if you come out of the main entrance, turn right and walk to the end of the building and you can't miss it)

Food:    8/10
Drink:    7/10
Service: 5/10

second day of CNY

haven't really had time to relax yet. Yesterday went visiting and all, whole day out. Today went for a movie (I Love HK - typical Eric Tsang madness).

Speedy is still in the hospital. Hopefully he'll be discharged tomorrow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Greetings earthling

With Chinese New Year now upon us, I believe it is now time for my customary greeting for the season. So here it is.

Go fa cai yourself.



It's about 1.30am, first day of Chinese New Year. Freaking tired after a long day at work. Can't sleep because some idiots are playing with fireworks and firecrackers and it's scaring my doggies.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Speedy update

Thank God that Speedy has had his operation done successfully and now he's recovering at Gasing Veterinary Hospital.

For those who aren't in the know yet - Speedy ate something sometime unknown to us, I came home from work on Friday to see vomit all over the floor, and some strange-looking hard plastic or metal object lying in one of the pools of vomit. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was, but it was quite large and certainly wouldn't fit down my throat if I tried it. I cleaned up and didn't think any more of it until he continued vomiting a few more times the rest of the day. He certainly wasn't really looking himself and was quite lethargic.

After coming back after midnight from a friend's birthday celebration, he was even more lethargic, and refused to eat any food and just lay collapsed in his bed. That was certainly what made us panic, we called up the Veterinary Hospital and rushed him there. The vet x-rayed him and saw another piece of that foreign object still stuck in his intestine. His advice was to observe him and hopefully he would either vomit or poop it out. By the way, consultation after midnight incurs a RM200 surcharge on top of the regular bill.

Saturday, and we were hoping that Speedy would improve and actually improve more. By night time, we could see that he was actually not getting any better, he didn't play with the other doggies, and he only had some wet food and promptly vomited it all back out after a while. By Sunday we could tell his condition was deteriorating rapidly so we rushed him to the hospital again. He was checked in and put on drips (he hadn't eaten for 2 days by then). They said they would probably try a barium test on Monday to see if they could see where the blockage was, and then maybe operate on Tuesday.

Monday came around and we asked the vet to just x-ray first and see if they could find it, without needing to do barium, as that would take up a lot more time. They did and thank God they saw the foreign object on the x-ray, enabling them to make a precise cut and remove the object. The intestine was already inflamed, and they had to remove 1.5" of it.

Thankfully they got to it in time, if they hadn't the intestine would have soon ruptured, and would most likely have killed him.

Speedy is now recovering in the hospital and he's in good spirits, although weak. Keep praying for his full and speedy recovery (sorry, bad pun, couldn't resist).

new beginnings

new year, possibly new starts, trying afresh with a new blog, mainly cause I wanted to consolidate my Google account. But anyway, I hope to be slightly more active here, hopefully! We'll see how it goes.