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sians
This is sians living in Kelana Jaya. I like to hang out in Kuala Lumpur City Center, Bangsar, Kelana Jaya. Japanese, Malaysian variety, French are my favorite cuisines. I also love Café, Restaurant, Street Food.
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Showing 16 to 20 of 38 Reviews in Malaysia
quar/tet , ttdi OK Apr 13, 2014   
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Categories : Western variety | Café | Desserts

ttdi.

hipster. but in a good way, of course.

it has become a trendy and popular rendezvous for new cafes to prove themselves with their brunch offerings and coffee.

in fact, the ideal hunting ground for a caffeine lover such as myself in search for THE perfect brunch.

let's call this mission o1.

quar/tet.

 

you might have guessed the reason behind the name but interestingly it represents four friends from different indie bands who came together to play a different kind of song - a quaint, charming cafe that serves brunch classics.

however, it was a challenge to find the cafe without a proper signboard to exclaim "you are here!" since i had to guess where it was based on gps. (please put one up - it will be good for the directionally-challenged)

perhaps the best clues to help with locating the cafe are:

one - look out for a black canopy; and
two - it is behind the row that faces the main road.

hopefully it will help you find the place a little easier....that and good luck! ;)
vinyl records

vinyl records

 

 
in spirit of its name and true to its hipster neighborhood, the vintage-like contemporary and minimalist decor houses a collection of vinyl records and the record player spinning some almost forgotten tunes. in fact, the music corner was probably my favorite spot of the cafe that suggests a laid back ambiance that is suggested throughout the rest of the space with their choices of comfy furniture.

quar/tet manual: useful food purchasing tips.
the one page menu

the one page menu

 
o1. the menu: its on every table - limited selection of the usual brunch suspects as well as some sandwiches. oh and bagel too.

o2. food and drinks are ordered at the counter and pre-paid (the sign asks nicely enough ;) ) and cash terms ONLY.

 
o3. semi-self service. the drinks should be collected around the corner at the drink station where you have the power to choooooseee! sugar syrup, honey, vanilla sugar, cocoa! take your pick! and you can get complimentary water here too.

btw, food is delivered to your table....hence the semi-self service. drink - counter. food - table.

 
o4. check out dessert on the way to your table so you would know if you should save some tummy space for some sweet endings after the meal.

the menu is limited that the handful of food offerings and drinks could all fit in a single page but there was a mix of sweet and savory brunch options.

the coffee department
:: latte (rm 9)

 
commonly this was my measuring stick to test the skills of the barista with the coffee. not bad but not my favorite. mainly overcame by bitterness. off to the next latte.

other beverages department
:: iced chocolate (rm 10)

 
{mh}'s insight: very similar to local's cocoa drink - the milo and she would have preferred more richness in the chocolate.

the food department
:: french toast | soaky eggy bread served with golden syrup and berries compote (rm 12)

 
two pieces of white toasts in thick cut triangles, basked in the pool of golden sweetness and punctuations of red and deep blue hues from the berry mix of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries reduced in a sweet and tart compote and finished with the mandatory sprinkle of powdered sugar. the serving size was huge considering the price which is a plus point. it was as tempting as i remembered from my friend's instagram of the same french toast that induced immediate cravings - i just couldn't wait to dig into it.

 
while some crispiness bordered the rest of the soft toast, as i cut into one of the edges revealed white insides of the bread. i was anticipating for an almost-bread pudding-like consistency in the middle so perhaps a longer soak in the sweetened egg mixture jacuzzi could have done a lot of good! the berry compote was borderline cloyingly sweet on its own but was a great accompaniment with the french toasts. even so, it was almost monotone that it left me seeking for the occasional contrasting exclamation in both flavor and texture. two triangles in and i was done - granted that the serving size was huge.

the food department
:: eggs ben | turkey ham, poached eggs & hollandaise sauce (rm 15)

 
presentation was simplistic..minimalist, if you will. it looked rather drab but sloppy on the huge, bare white plate, somewhat clunky. definitely could have used a side salad to bring some color and brightness to the dish to elevate the dish further with an injection of freshness. the under-seasoned eggs benedict was served in the most literal sense to its description on the menu on the too lightly toasted english muffin halves.

 
the positive, the poached eggs were done beautifully with its rich bright yellow yolk
streaming down the layers of turkey ham and english muffin in the sexiest way. all the
ingredients were there but the dish itself was just mediocre.

quartet's comfortable, laid back ambiance and friendly staff stole the limelight at this brunch establishment. while it is awesome that the price tags are in the lower end compared to similar brunch counterparts, it was reflected in the basic and very classic intepretation of their menu items where a few tweaks in flavors profiling and execution could elevate the flavors to another level.
 
Date of Visit: Jan 26, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately RM25(其他)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 2  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Value for Money
 5

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rendezvous at les deux garcons  OK Mar 16, 2014   
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Categories : French | Café | Sweets/Snack | Bakery / Cake / Kuih

my relationship with macarons started off shaky to the point we almost called for a break up in california but reconciled months after with promise of better things in chicago and subsequently progressed into adoration in tokyo before growing into love in kuala lumpur.
macarons are one of the most delicate desserts that require quite the finesse to achieve the perfect balance in flavors and textures. so i am constantly in search of one that would even come close to gratifying my picky sweet tooth .

"it cannot be too sweet... it can't be too soft.. it has to have a crispy exterior... its flavor should be more than just sugar......"

my acquaintance with les deux garçons began at shell tower in 'little india' earlier this year in january. the danger of temptations was imminent considering it was close enough for me to drop by for some sweet surrender way too often. i wonder if it was a blessing in disguise that i haven't heard of their main patisserie located in taman desa and their more popular location in telawi, bangsar which started more than two years ago. as it is now, i have visited enough times that the friendly staff recognizes me as i walk to the macaron counter at their shell tower kiosk.
variety of macaron

variety of macaron

 

much more than just macarons in their reportoire, this french patisserie flaunts what malaysianinsider.com coined as the best croissants amongst all the viennoiserie as well as a range of other desserts that could fulfill one's sweet desires. these confections don relatively steep price tags; justifiable by the creative flavor combinations and attention to detail in each creation which could ultimately lead to contented satisfaction. and like the french, coffee is enjoyed with the dipping of croissant at breakfast while coffee serves as meal-enders after the serving of desserts at lunch and dinner which explains their breakfast sets of black/white coffee with a piece of viennoiserie that ranges from rm 10 - 12.

the petite kiosks of les deux garçons are dressed in classic combinations of black and white hues sprinkled by occasional gold fonts, the perfect canvas for displaying their bright, colorful desserts. the bangsar and shell tower outlets are more designed for to go desserts but has a few small tables at these locations.

coffee :: hot caffe latte (rm 9)

absolutely thrilled to find illy coffee, and had high expectations that it would rival my favorite coffee from espressamente illy. perhaps i have found a nearer coffee substitute!
first sip, it made me frown slightly.

 



" too bitter"

slightly over brewed. sigh.

the lessons from my coffee appreciation class crossed my mind - the taste of coffee is not determined merely by the quality of the coffee beans but also very dependent on the barista's skills & moods.

perhaps it was a bad day for coffee. hopefully, better luck with the pastries...

le favori
:: pistachio biscuit tender . raspberry brûlée . pistachio mousseline . white chocolate . cocao dust. (rm 17)

 
resembling a block of miniature golf green, this pistachio dessert was surprisingly light on pistachio taste but seemed to feature green tea although it wasn't described in the place card. the raspberry tartness gave it a fresh tart berry-ness that was inviting and echoed an overall delicate demeanor that was reflected similarly in the two-toned soft textures. if there were white chocolate, i didn't discern it, which was a delight for me.

l'amer :: 72% dark chocolate mousse . biscuit tender . black mirror glaze . chocolate fence . chocolate pieces . gold leaf . (rm 16)

 
this confection sang a tribute to dark chocolate with its mousse-like consistency that highlighted the richness of the cacao creaminess but was borderline too sweet for my liking. while it was good, i didn't feel it was anything outstanding but perhaps the chocolate addicts may sing a different tune than myself. smile


le marquis
:: noisette dacquiose . crispy feulletines . chocolate creameaux . 72% dark chocolate mousse . black mirror glaze . crushed hazelnuts . gold dust (rm 17)

 
in comparison, l'amer pales in comparison to the this work of art made out of chocolate hazelnut whose name is le marquis. equally as grandoise in creamy chocolate richness but with a nuttier disposition, each layer was a textural symphony to the taste buds. savoring in nibble-fuls, i was greeted with pleasant surprises from the play of different ratios of chocolate to hazelnut of each layer and smoothness from the mousse and crunchiness of the crispy feulletines and hazelnut for a textural treat. the playful creation that engaged both the flavors and textures in a nice balance made this an irresistible lure for a nutty chocolate escape. it was on the brink of being too sweet but was mellowed by the hazelnut.

tarte au citron :: pâte sucrée . biscuit joconde . citron creameux . burnt swiss meringue (rm 14)

 
a departure from the chocolate desserts, the lemon tart was a mini tangy citrus explosion. we had a slight difficulty cutting through the crust but granted it was a rather flimsy plastic fork so it might work better with a proper metal utensils. skipped most of the crust which was a crumbly, buttery shell to hold the tangy, slightly tart, sweetened citrus pudding crowned with the sweet, soft, marshmallow-like torched meringue.

passion :: silky passion mousse . mango coulis . biscuit joconde . velvet chocolate coat . chocolate piece (rm 17)

 
one of les deux garçons unsung heroes of the tangy passion fruit and its loyal classic sidekick, the sweet mango. a light airy mousse that captured the tropical breeze with a bright yellow coat that pulled me in like a bee drawn to a fragrant flower. the sweetness of the soft biscuit joconde with light nuances of vanilla that countered the fruity tart fragrance of the passion-mango fruit combination just works for me.

macaron lovers are spoilt for choice with the variety of macaron flavors les deux garçons has to offer and i've had the pleasure (and perhaps displeasure?) of tasting 8 out of the many flavor combinations - one of which was the premium macaron (doubles the price of the regular macarons - i just had to to satisfy my curious cat inside me)

 
{ casis } sweet and texturally pleasing. the flavor was a punch of blackcurrant.perfect for those who loves the fruit.

{ dark chocolate }cloyingly sweet, despite it supposed to be dark chocolate rendition.the filling in the middle wasn't creamy, which was disappointing.

{ cho + passion} dark chocolate sandwiched between passion fruit shells where the former overpowered the latter in an unflattering way. too sweet for me.

{ rasp, rose & lychee }mimicked the flavors of ispahan but no where near the counterpart.
no distinct prominent flavors.

{ wasabi }interesting, yes. a favorite, nope. accented the wasabi punch which was odd in a dessert.

it has come down to my top three favorites that i've tried, thus far. a disclaimer: these three are top of the eight i have tried and thought it was special to make it to the list.

winter truffles
:: premium (rm 1o)

 
the fine gold dust shimmers on the two off-white, delicate meringue cookies that hugged the almost pearl white colored filling. the aroma of strong earthiness of the truffle emanated as i took a sniff, followed by a punctuation on the taste buds. it was a strange sensation when this petite confection hits the tongue - it was strongly earthy alternating with the sweet which was interesting in an odd way.

but i have to give the patissier kudos for his/her audaciously adventurous spirit in this creation.

pistachio (rm 5.5o)

 
pistachio flavored - done right. light on the nuttiness and balanced on the sweetness. enough said.


salted caramel
(rm 5.5o)
love love love.

love love love.

 
perfection in the texture - the smooth meringue thin shells had crispy exterior, enveloping the chewy, airy, almost ethereal under the crust that embraced the soft, smooth and light creamy filling to make a complete masterpiece. what makes it outstanding is the balanced collaboration of the salty and the sweet from the salted caramel.

 
les deux garçons is gradually making its mark in the desserts industry via some of its chef-d'œuvre in the forms of croissants, macarons and cakes. whilst there are some room for improvement for some of the creations, its outstanding work of art called the salted caramel macaron has claimed a spot in my heart that induces a nagging craving to seek almost constantly for its sweet comfort.

to that, i'd say:
"go on..... give that salted caramel macaron a try.
you know you want to" ;)

to read a full review and all the photos, please read on at http://sians.blogspot.com/2014/03/les-deux-garcons.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  le marquis,tarte au citron,salted caramel macaron
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM20(其他)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 2

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burps & giggles OK Feb 24, 2014   
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Categories : Western variety | Café | Burgers / Sandwiches | Sweets/Snack

" burps & giggles"

 
hmm. an intriguing name for a restaurant/cafe.

well, its whimsical name was what initially captured my attention but it was the other blog reviews that brought me there.

 
there was a wait list when we arrived but managed to get a table in 5 minutes because we agreed to squeeze in a small table. i savored the artistic, bright and disjointed art murals that crossed the three petite old school shops. a collection of vintage rustic decor pieces gave the restaurant character that revolved around childhood nostalgia. my sisters, on the other hand, had a different views on the decor and wasn't too fond of it.

the pork free menu can be found all around the shop on chalk boards but it irks me that they didn't have printed menus. since there was a lack of manpower due to cny celebration, the restaurant served only a limited menu of gourmet burgers and i was slightly disappointed since i was looking forward to taste some savory crepes. good thing they still offered the other item i came here for - the prized wagyu burger!

burger :: bam-bam burger | wagyu pattie, egg, cheese, tomato, beetroot, carrot, horseradish, onion (rm 28 )

 
prized wagyu patty for under rm 30 is considered a steal. the tower of sunny side up egg, slice of slightly melted cheese, wagyu patty, a thick slice of tomato and beetroot with a slather of horseradish sandwiched between the slightly toasted burger bun with carrot slaw.

just listing out the ingredients itself is quite the mouthful, so needless to say, trying to wrap my mouth around the burger was definitely a challenge that i had to resort to knife and fork to devour this (i'm probably getting a disapproving look from burger connoisseurs - sorry!)

 
let's begin with the star of the burger - the patty. since the meat was finely minced, it was difficult for me to discern if it was truly wagyu. cooked medium well, the well seasoned beef patty was moist and juicy to the point it falls apart but i would have preferred a better crust on the meat. the burger was over-sauced from the carrot slaw made it very rich on top of the sunny side up egg. in the midst of the different flavors, the cheese and beetroot faded into the background, almost unnoticed. a solid burger but would have definitely preferred less sauce on this burger that over powered everything else.

chicken sausage & cherry tomato quiche | soft baked eggs in puff pastry (rm 10)

 
burps & giggles calls it egg tart but it resembled more of a quiche to me. this breakfast favorite can be found in the pastry display by the counter.

encased in a buttery and flaky puff pastry, the chicken sausage pieces and eggs were soft baked where the undercooked yolk oozed its golden love over the dish to give some nice richness, which is makes it lovely.

 
while it was tasty and my sisters actually chose this as a favorite over the burger for the simple pleasures of breakfast elements, it could have shone brighter with a sprinkle of seasoning, more cherry tomatoes for a tart freshness and fresh herb to just bring the whole dish to a home run.

coffee :: latte (rm 10)

 
i was first greeted by lovely coffee foam art. call me a picky coffee drinker, this latte was overbrewed, proven by its over-bitterness. (btw, i know coffee is supposed to be bitter but good coffee has a great balance of bitterness and tartness) so i wasn't a huge fan of this glass of latte.

cake 10 | cheesecake (rm 10)

 
the dessert choices of the day were also as limited as their entree menu. my sister picked out a cheesecake, which had a base that i'd venture a guess was oreo crumb crust. perhaps an oreo cheesecake? sadly, there was something slightly off putting about the flavors, which was also too sweet for me. there was the occasional punch of mint, which i am not a fan of and neither is the edible confetti on the cake.

burps & giggles has a promising menu with a huge selection that could make boys burp and girls giggle except it didn't really happen for us. with a some finesse in the execution of food, it could leave us in stitches.

for more photos and full review, check it out at http://sians.blogspot.com/2014/02/ipoh-burps-giggle.html
 
Date of Visit: Feb 02, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately RM20(午餐)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 2  |  
Value for Money
 3

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oh! o banh mi at damansara uptown OK Feb 08, 2014   
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Categories : Vietnamese | Restaurant | Burgers / Sandwiches

despite not having to have visited vietnam before, i've had the chance to try some vietnamese food while i was in chicago at argyle, the city's vietnamese 'town' filled with local asian grocery stores in the center of many pho restaurants and banhmi cafes owned by residents of vietnamese descent.

 
daniel nguyen and chris bui are two best friends from hanoi opened a cafe to share their love for the food they grew up with - the banhmi. located in damansara uptown where the parking in itself is an adventure itself, you can find this petite cafe a couple of doors away from 'the ship' restaurant.

the cafe's decor was clean, simple and minimalist. the brightly lit petite space was sprinkled with colorful vietnamese art pieces to mirror its identity amongst the high top counters and high communion table in the middle of the cafe.

 
what i love is the fact that they bake their baguettes fresh since what makes and breaks a sandwich is the bread as the vehicle to encase but at the same time showcase the filling. for the freshest & out of the oven bread sandwiches and your #outofoven #osofresh and #osmokinghot experience, there is a baguette reload schedule of 8am, 12:3opm, 1pm and 6pm. read on to find out if the freshly baked baguette was worthy of all of its hashtags.

 

drink :: vietnamese milk coffee (hot/ice) | premium vietnamese milk coffee. deliciously rich and creamy. this coffee is authentically vietnamese. you won't be loafing around after having this stuff (rm 4)

 
typically i would go for hot coffee, but it just seemed right to get this particular iced. i liked the strong coffee flavor but with a slight distinct indescribable flavor. it was a smidgen too sweet that it masked the bitter undertone slightly and top that off with creaminess.

main menu :: o school | the original vietnamese baguette served with pâtés, homemade mayonnaise, ham, pickled radish & carrots, chili, cilantro, and lemon grass chicken. one sandwich fits all (rm 8.2o)

 
a apt representation of what the traditional vietnamese banhmi is made of, which i was quite surprised since this wasn't something i have gotten at the banhmi store in chicago. with the usual suspects of the pickled radish & carrots and more than just a handful of cilantro as garnish, i was interested in seeing how the lemongrass chicken, ham and pork pâtés worked together. oh, i will get back to the baguette in a bit.

 
with all the ingredients, it was intriguing that the pâté, ham and chicken was still light in flavor. the lemongrass seasoning in the roughly chopped chicken was merely a soft whisper, a complete opposite what i've had before in the past. the pickled julienned carrots and daikon presented a nice contrasting crunchy texture with a sweet and lightly tangy. the combination of the sandwich filling was pleasant and moist that equates to a pretty good sandwich.

yeah i'll come to the baguette soon. don't worry, i didn't forget about it.

main menu
:: o bbq | fresh baguette served with bbq pork, sunny side-up egg, homemade mayonnaise, pickled carrots & daikon, and of course, vietnamese chili sauce (rm 8.2o)

 
i was looking forward to the bbq pork, anticipating what i missed and loved about the banhmi i've had in chicago. with the same basic foundations of bread, pickled salad and cilantro, it was then the bbq pork and sunny side up egg that were supposed to take center stage. i was rather disheartened by the pork. it wasn't moist and in fact it was overcooked and dry, a stone throw's away from being meat jerky. so much so that it took over my thoughts and distracted me from the flavors of the meat itself.

the egg yolk was cooked all the way through, far from being called a sunny side up because the richness of the creamy yolk would have gone a long way to compensate for the over grilled meat but would have appreciated some seasoning on the egg. the sandwich description mentioned vietnamese chili sauce which tasted more or less like regular chili sauce. it was an uninspiring sandwich that fell flat.

one thing i noticed about the sandwiches is that the filling was stacked in a way that was hard for me to get all the ingredients into one bite so i could appreciate the nuances of each components separately and combined at the same time.

extras! :: fresh baguette | tuesday to friday (rm 2.5o)

 
finally, i've arrived on the bread. read more about it on my blog entry smile

{owy}'s assessment was similar to mine - the sandwiches here were tasty but would we call it authentically banhmi is still up for discussion. the flavors were muted with the exception of the pickled salad of daikon and carrots & garnishes of cilantro and they needed to step out of the shadow to be what could have been a outstanding. since i love the fresh baguette to crumbs bits, perhaps my next visit is to try something off the menu that is not the cafe's namesake - the hearty stew seems like a attractive choice.

o banh mi, a good effort but there's definitely room for improvement.

for more photos and full entry please find it at http://sians.blogspot.com/2014/02/oh-obanhmi-damansara-uptown.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  fresh baguette
 
Date of Visit: Jan 19, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately RM12(午餐)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 5

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garage 51 OK Jan 23, 2014   
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Categories : Western variety | Café | Burgers / Sandwiches

it is very natural to want to fit in.

in fact, garage51 seemed to have taken the notion of fitting in the neighborhood to another level - down to its very name. smile

 
located in bandar sunway, this cafe under coffee societe's repertoire, drew whimsy decor inspiration from its car workshops/garages neighbors. hence, the name garage and 51 is simply the building number.

firstly, finding a parking space here is almost just as bad as trying to find a parking spot in midvalley on the weekends :: CHALLENGINGLY DIFFICULT just like finding one of the golden tickets to willy wonka's factory. i'd say it's a good idea to bring a leprechaun or a rabbit's foot with you for luck or simply have a ton of patience.

 
the line out the door and extensive waiting list as we requested for a table for two, confirmed the cafe's popularity. the space was petite with a quarter of a second floor to accommodate more tables. the hues were kept to the basic black & white, echo-ing the whimsical industrial approach with its smooth concrete floor, while being the ideal background for some bright colored oil barrels, converted into seats. these were complimented by the rustic tables and metal chairs.

 
with publika's coffee societe's grabbing the coveted award by time out kl for the best place for coffee 2o13 and my love for coffee, i had to get me one of those.

white coffee :: latte (rm 8.9o)

soy latte - my usual go-to cuppa joe for new cafes to confirm the skills of the barista.

the good: a perfect ratio of foam to coffee for latte.

 
the lacking: unfortunately, the espresso was overbrewed, leaving an unpleasant bitter aftertaste and dominating my palate that i was completely distracted, followed by distraught that i didn't notice the other elements of milk and temperature of the drink. the coffee beans were so blatantly over brewed, noticeable via observation when i compared my glass of late to {owy}'s regular latte - the shade of my latte closely resembled a mocha instead.

oh, the inconsistencies :/

to be fair, {owy}'s latte displayed a better balance of bitterness mellowed by the creaminess of the milk. however, not enough to displace my top favorite from its pedestal.

weekend's brunch :: roll-with-a-hole | smashed avocado on bagel with salsa, sliced salmon, cream cheese (rm 18)

 
the bagel was somewhat fresh with a nice chewy softness but surprisingly the upper half displayed a different texture that was a tad dense. a thin slather of cream cheese spread (wished for slightly more) to impart a creamy tanginess to counter the sweetness of the diced tomatoes, and the mild saltiness of the thin, raw salmon slices. the dish worked as a whole but a few more slices of the salmon would have bring a balanced ratio of fish to bagel.

 
the side salad was a mix of greens and cherry tomatoes tossed in a garlic-y sweet vinaigrette which did not connect with the flavors the bagel had to offer.

tldr: the dish as a whole was okay.
room for improvement: a better salmon/avocado/tomato ratio to bagel and perhaps a pinch of salt.


weekend's brunch :: kipferl jr | croissant with egg mayo (rm 12)

{owy} was craving for buttery and flaky croissant. i had a bite of the egg mayo and was taken aback by the taste. two words: mayo overload!

 

 
the mayo was overused that it felt it was mayo with a side of smashed eggs combined together. mayo was all i could taste and the richness of the mayo becomes too much very quickly. not something either {owy} or myself would order again.

garage 51 has left us a little disappointed with the food and my coffee (well, {owy}'s latte was miles better than mine) considering the trouble we took with the parking. in fact, this experience has left me wondering if i'd return for a second visit anytime soon

for full review and more photos: http://sians.blogspot.com
 
Date of Visit: Jan 04, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately RM25(早餐)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 3

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