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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 21 to 25 of 38 Reviews in Malaysia
acme bar and coffee OK Dec 27, 2013   
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Categories : Western variety | Café | Bar & Pub | Steaks / Chops | Sweets/Snack

located in troika, acme bar & coffee (abbreviated to abc) is just a couple of blocks away from ampang park lrt station. as i entered the cafe (which btw has a splendid outdoor patio - sadly, not ideal with the noise and dust from the kl traffic), i was awed by the high ceiling, the essence of a rustic industrial decor approach peppered with vintage chic accents. to top it off, ceiling high windows all around the cafe where the natural lighting filled the room entirely in a grandoise manner.

 
utterly and completely right up my alley...

needless to say, i fell in love with the place.

i've been meaning to come here since i first heard about the cafe like months ago. i was so excited that i did some research on what the other foodies had to say about their food - i even had a dish in mind before i even entered the cafe.

as luck would have it, the dish that i wanted was no longer offered on the menu.

bummer.

 
it then took me twice as long to order since i was still trying getting over my disappointment of my disappearing dish that i wanted from the menu that i had to triple check to make sure i was certain that i didn't miss it.

tea :: honey yuzu | natural renewal green tea. bright, exotic citron flavor of yuzu and special reserve green tea sweetened with full blossom bee pollen (rm 15)

 
as the menu aptly described it, the tea was light with a mild citrus flavor which was sweetened slightly from the honey. my first whiff of the tea highlighted the yuzu in a gentle manner and it was a refreshing warm tea, perfect for a rainy afternoon.

tea :: coco truffle | a deeply rich chocolate brew, airy with fennel, licorice and cardamom to produce a soothing, guilt-free indulgence. seductively delicious that delights the palate and treats the soul (rm 17)

 
i definitely had tea envy and vowed to get this brew for my next visit to acme. a steep price for a cuppa tea but it's just so yummy! (yes, the pun was intended.. hehe ;) )

pots & pans :: root vegetable truffled fries | mix of sweet potato, lotus root & yam fries lightly drizzled with truffle oil (rm 13)

 
it is because i missed truffle so much i was willing to try my luck with this one. a colorful mix of thick cut starches with the offerings of purple and regular yam in addition to slices of lotus roots and sweet potato. it was so greasy that even the bowl was coated in oil. and unfortunately, they weren't crispy as i would have expected BUT it was completely cooked through. on another positive note, the touch of truffle flavor was sufficient to affirm its presence but not overwhelmingly so.

my favorite was the lotus root which was crispier than the rest followed by the purple yam with its natural sweetness that contrasted the sprinkle of salt in a very delicious way.

main :: mushroom pot quiche | vegetarian - creamy mushroom chunks, leek in semolina crust pot (rm 27)

served with a side salad of mixed greens and red & yellow bell peppers slices tossed in a light and citrus-y vinaigrette, topped with fried little drops of dough spiced with cumin for textural difference but the spice threw the flavor combinations a little off balance.

 
the pot quiche in general was disappointing. the bottom crust which was nutty and crumbly was alright but the top crust with cheese baked on the quiche was slightly off putting texturally and in taste. the generous serving of mushrooms were cooked and seasoned beautifully, weaved in the egg "filling" but the quiche as a whole was not agreeable with me. just not a fan.

 
we saved room for dessert from the beginning and despite their tantalizing selection of cakes, our final pick was acme's signature cake which was given the thumbs up by a couple of food bloggers.

desserts :: jackfruit cake | depends on availability (rm 15)

a signature creation of the cafe, probably because of its novel and interesting choice of flavor of jackfruit. crusted with chopped pistachios on the sides, the sponge cake was layered with this local tropical fruit frosting.

 
perhaps it was an off day for the pastry chef, but while the cake was airy, it definitely required the frosting to compensate for the slightly dry texture of the cake. the cake tasted vanilla and the jackfruit flavor was too mild that it lacked that floral fruity sweetness you'd expect. to top it off, it was too sweet for my liking. this spelled a second strike for acme :/

acme bar & coffee's ambiance and decor and its amazing selection of tea is sufficient to entice me to return for a second time, perhaps with an interesting story book in hand. its lackluster food, however cannot justify the price it asks for although it could be the choice of dishes i picked may not have worked for my taste.

but i believe in second chances and the other selections acme has to offer since i wanna love this place not just for the ambiance but for its food as well. and after all, acme is defined "the point at which someone or something is best, perfect, or most successful" and i hope it lives up to its name.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  coco truffle tea
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM40(午餐)

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

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nutmeg, bangsar OK Nov 05, 2013   
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Categories : Western variety | Café | Sweets/Snack

nutmeg
"one of the two distinct spices from a fruit produced by the evergreen tree, native to banda islands of indonesia, often called the spice islands. best used grated fresh."

breakfast
"the first meal of the day, usually eaten in the morning. some might even say it is the most important meal of the day"

 
nutmeg, bangsar
"a cafe, located in bangsar village 2 - adheres to their motto of 'good food from our kitchen' by serving breakfast food all day long from am to the pm (lunch & dinner options available too) and boasts of their 3 must haves - classic reuben, their namesake big breakfast and their gravlax sampler"

perhaps that's the reason behinds the cafe's name: being secretly special. my other theory is the warmth it intends to bring with their offerings in similar fashion the nutmeg imparts warm flavors.

 

 
the same secretly special warmth was reflected in the nutmeg cafe's decor - an eccentric mix of vibrant artistry with hints of vintage industrial chic and modern baba-nyonya. i love the use of the mason jars as lamps at the counter where you could watch the chefs hard at work, preparing the dishes as the aroma wafted from the open kitchen into the dining area.

 
with brunch, lunch and dinner options aplenty, surprisingly it took me no time to pick my plate of choice when my eyes zeroed in on something that i've been craving for since returning from the states and haven't really been able to find anywhere else so far.

but first...

drinks - iced teas :: nutmeg mixed fruit tea | black tea, mint, orange juice, pineapple juice (rm 9)

 
the iced tea tasted tropical, where the pineapple dominated with the occasional orange flavor sneaking in. the main star, the black tea was as subtle as the mint - so much so that more mint infusion could take the drink to another level of refreshing goodness. {mw} wasn't too thrilled with it. my take - it was pretty nice albeit slightly too sweet for my liking.


lunch & dinner - sandwiches
:: bagel & lox | toasted bagel , cream cheese, choice of house-cured gravlax, capers (rm 21)

the toasted bagel had a crispy exterior contrasting the slightly chewy insides but was almost borderline dry. what i assumed was half a block of cream cheese (would have been a whole lot better if the consistency was of a schmear) was spread on the bagel that i scraped off enough for another serving. the side salad was a delightful crisp field of greens tossed in a vinaigrette that combined light berry sweetness and tartness.

 
HUGE kudos to nutmeg for getting the gravlax aboard on the flavor train. fresh raw salmon, which was mildly salted paired perfectly with periodic briny burst from capers and the tartness of the cream cheese granted desirable yummy mouthfuls. the one small thing (and i'm nitpicking in this case) was i wished the lox was slightly more salty, which i eventually was fulfilled when i finally reached on the last slice which i suspect was from the end of the cured salmon block. on the flip side i have to admit that the mild saltiness allowed the salmon's natural flavors to shine.

all day breakfast :: nutmeg gravlax "croissant-wich" | smoked paprika gravlax topped with scrambled eggs, toasted croissant (rm 26)

 
not very dissimilar from my dish, {mw} offered me a bite off her croissant-wich. the eggs were fluffy and seasoned perfectly with the buttery, chewy pastry and finally made whole by the same fantastic gravlax with a hint of smokiness from being mildly paprika-ed. {mw} gave her nodding approval for the dish and from the small bite i had, i'd give a preliminary concurrence smile

breakfast comforts :: hotcake stack | three pancake stack . vanilla ice cream & chocolate hazelnut praline ganache (rm 16)

 
instead of breakfast for dinner, this is more dessert for dinner! {kbg} wanted something "lighter" and was determined to get a breakfast dish when i first told him that they served breakfast options for dinner, which to him, was quite an interesting concept. unfortunately, the pancakes were probably the least successful where it ended up dense and almost chewy instead of the fluffy pillow-like airiness that it should be. the chocolate hazelnut praline ganache was delectable though - mimicking the flavors of nutella.


nutmeg cafe, which was initiated by two brothers-in-law, has turned heads for its novelty idea (probably one of the firsts in malaysia) of serving breakfast food all day - be it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. while there were a couple of misses in execution, nutmeg's gravlax had me at first bite. smile

"good food from our kitchen?"
yes, yummy but not out of this world....
....with maybe the exception of the gravlax.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  gravlax
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM30(晚餐)

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

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brunching yeast Smile Oct 21, 2013   (Related Review)
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Categories : French | Café | Sweets/Snack

yeast and i parted ways on okay terms when we first met for dinner plans. and yet i could not stop thinking about what could have been with brunch. that was reason enough to prompt me to make plans for brunch at yeast as early as i could - the following weekend.

unlike my dinner experience, the morning crowd was a lot more bustling and the cafe could only offer us seats at the counter, which was perfect because that was was exactly where i wanted to be - i can see all the action go down during the busier shift of the day!

 
entering the cafe, we were greeted by shelves full of crusty and rustic breads where their beginnings were aptly described by the cafe's name. the smell of butter and the sweet aroma of freshly baked pastries from the oven whetted our appetites as the melody screeching of the espresso machine performed a duet with the sizzling sounds from the pots and pans filled the petite cafe as we made our way to the counter seats.

the executive chef of yeast, chef clara champonnois was leading the breakfast/brunch/lunch service with precision and such skills at multitasking, her taking on similar role during my dinner last weekend. in fact, her attention to detail shone when she noticed that the fries were soggy and called for a new batch of fries to be freshly fried before expediting the dish to the runners.

 
breakfast is served from 9am -3pm while the lunch menu for both cold and hot meals begins at 11am to 3pm. while {hr} had already decided on the egg benedict before we even got here, i was torn between a couple of dishes and if we waited for the additional 10 minutes, we'd have an even wider selection of french classics.

caffe vergnano since 1882 - espresso ricco :: latte | (rm 9)

 
brunch is incomplete without a cup of my favorite espresso based drink - the latte. the comforting aroma of coffee hit the nose as i took my first sip. it was leaning slightly towards the bitter side implying that the espresso was over brewed slightly rendering the latte less creamy but i sure wished it was warmer. but a decent cup of coffee in the morning with a lovely foam art to boot! smile

breakfast - eggs :: oeufs cocotte | 2 soft baked eggs in a cocotte with smoked duck, gruyere cheese, toasted farmer's bread and greens (rm 16)

 
i wasn't sure what to expect but i guessed that the cocotte would resemble a mini ramekin. as i pierced my fork through the melted cheesy layer of gruyere, the egg white oozes out, reminiscent of a half boiled egg. below the golden layer hides the chunks of smoked duck ham which gave it a savory, salty flavor to bring flavor to the rich combination of eggs and cheese. as i look into the petite cocotte, the rawness (and here i mean literally uncooked) of some of the egg whites persuaded me to also break into the runny yolk in order to mix all the ingredients together which was happened to be the perfect way to eat the dish, thank you very much smile perhaps, that was the chef's intention.

 
the richness from the the runny egg yolk, the creamy undercooked whites combined with some of the cooked whites from the bottom of the mini ramekin, paired with the melted with a bitter undertone of gruyere and salty, savory, smoky chunks of duck is quite a yummy mouthful to dip with the toasted farmer's bread which tasted akin to a mild sourdough bread to cut through the richness. the combination of all the ingredients took part in a lovely complete play with the different textures each ingredient brought. the side salad was no slouch either, where the crisp, fresh greens were tossed in a light, fresh, lemony vinaigrette featured as the contrasting element on the plate.


breakfast - eggs
:: ouefs poches benedictine | 2 soft poached eggs on brioche toast with smoked salmon or smoked turkey, bernaise sauce and greens (rm 18)

 
{hr} ordered the smoked turkey (although i wished it was smoked salmon) and offered a taste of his dish to which i gracefully accepted.

 
i've always considered the test of a breakfast place is the chefs' skill at making poached egg in which yeast has passed with flying colors. from the taste that i had i liked the softness of the bread and the saltiness of the smoked turkey that paired rather well. {hr} seemed to have enjoyed his meal immensely that he almost licked his plate clean.

breakfast - danish & pastries :: brioche au chocolat | chocolate brioche (rm 5.50)

 
at the nudging of {hr} , i wanted to try out their pastries and i wanted something sweet as my dessert substitute. i have a weakness for chocolate and it was either this or the pain au chocolat. and i figured that brioche might be slightly lighter than the latter. sadly, baked chocolate chips on the top of a bread usually spells burnt chocolate which was almost the case for this one and the brioche was borderline dry. i wished for more chocolate melty goodness was what i was looking here.

breakfast - danish & pastries :: chausson aux champignons | white button mushroom puff (rm 11)

the pastry that i didn't get a photo of turned out to be really delicious. the puff expanded like a mini balloon, proudly displaying the layers within the flaky golden brown shell that shielded the soft, chewy buttery insides. with the perfect amount of seasoning of the white button mushroom filling encased within the expertly made bread gets a yummy in my tummy vote smile

yeast definitely shone brighter in the morning than it did at night. since i've started the ranking system, they are the first cafe that imo deserves a 4 out of 5 forks for their brunch meals after espressamenta illy. offering a myriad of french classics all day, i am honestly tempted to take my food relationship with yeast bistronomy to the next level - by returning for more pastries and perhaps a shot at their lunch selections smile

 
Recommended Dish(es):  ouefs cocotte,white button mushroom puff
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM30(早餐)

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

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yeast bistronomy by night... Smile Oct 16, 2013   
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Categories : French | Café | Sweets/Snack

like with every story, it always begins with the introduction..

...followed by getting to know each other....

yeast and i didn't start out awesome. in fact, yeast kinda played hard to get...

the first time i was looking forward to its brunch, i was greeted by closed doors because they decided to take the day off on a public holiday.

 
even so, i didn't call it quits with yeast. instead, it made me want to eat there more. my determination did not waver and i had dinner plans there set in stone the week after even though my original intention was brunch. smile and boy, oh boy, was i so happy when they were opened for business.

 
as the sun was setting for the evening, the petite cafe that predominantly shone in bright mustard yellow that matched the evening atmosphere was tastefully paired with chess tiled floor while the decor comprised of vintage paintings and chalkboards with daily specials. the yellow walls were complemented by the maroon furniture and light fixtures that were dimmed to create a cozy ambiance. in fact, it was reminiscent of what i'd imagine a french cafe in paris would be.

 
the dinner menu selections, with their names in french (which i will probably never attempt to say them cos that would force me to butcher the beautiful language) offer from entrees to pastas. thank goodness for their translation to english so i could comfortably order my meal without having to guess what the french word means... 'parfait'! lol

since yeast is an apt name for a lovely french boulangerie, we were so happy to be served freshly baked, warm french baguette with a side of soft butter especially when two starving people are sitting by the counter where the chefs were creating yummy smells. i am not sure if it is a good thing that i could watch how many spatula-full of butter that goes into each dish even though butter makes everything better.

 
the rustic bread had the crispy shell that encased the chewy soft bread insides that describes the plain original baguette, served with rich, creamy butter was the wonderful introduction to what yeast does best. the other variation of the baguette had a nuttier flavor from the seeds and grains which also gave an additional textural difference.

pasta :: spaghetti de fruits de mer "en mariniere" | seafood spaghetti, garlic, shallots, white wine parsley sauce (rm 40)

 
pride fills me up when i could still remember that fruits de mer translates to seafood from french. smile adorned with two butterflied, shell-on shrimps, the pasta is tossed in a light white wine sauce with a generous serving of clams and squid subsequently garnished with chopped parsley.

 
imparting a strong seafood flavor to capture the essence of the dish, the fresh shrimps and clams were cooked to perfection, parading its natural sweetness in the white wine sauce that whispered flavors of garlic and shallots. however, the calamari was slightly overdone (very slightly) making them a little bit chewy. the pasta was cooked al dente and seasoned wonderfully all around. surprisingly, the parsley was not as pronounced which i would have prefer since it could have brought a freshness and on top of that, it could have probably used a splash of fresh lemon juice or a sprinkle of lemon zest.

tldr version: good but it wasn't outstanding.

pasta :: risotto de courge et confit de canard copeaux de parmesan | butternut squash & duck confit risotto, shaved parmesan cheese (rm 42)

 
{owy} offered a taste of her risotto which i was very excited when she did. the dish represented such beautiful colors that mimicked the colors of my favorite-est season, romantic fall.

the tender and flavorful savory, gamey duck confit that was further accentuated by the flavorful stock the creamy but undercooked risotto. the butternut squash lent a lovely sweetness that was contrasted by the stock and the sharpness of the parmesan. the flavor profile represented a delicate yumminess and could have been something really stunning if not for the slightly crunchy risotto.

post-entree, they presented us with the dessert menu and it was a challenge to say no. it was just easier for me to give in and just pick one to share to officially complete the whole dining experience.

it came down to madeleines chaudes, profiteroles or the souffle but after discussions with the waitstaff, souffle was our pick.

cheese & desserts :: souffle au chocolat, glace noisette | valrhona chocolate souffle, hazelnut ice cream (rm 22)
the dessert menu warned that the souffle would take an additional 15 minutes to bake.

 
we asked the waitstaff if we really had to wait for 15 minutes but he promised it would be done 10 minutes..lol (not that we were pressed for time, we were just wondering) when it was served, i was ecstatic to see how high the souffle puffed & rose where a hazelnut ice cream quenelle pierced the soft, airy, pudding-like chocolate delight, gradually melting in the warm nest of chocolate. funnily, souffle actually means puff in french. smile

checking off all the criteria that makes an ideal souffle, this chocolate souffle had a melting texture, with a barely cooked and soft, creamy center hidden within the light and high dessert although there were occasional crunch from the sugar. rich on the chocolate creaminess which was great but unfortunately, it was cloyingly sweet that took away what was right about the dessert. the hazelnut ice cream added to the sweetness too which didn't help in this case.

one guy whom i can only guess is the owner of the restaurant came up to us and asked us if we enjoyed the meal to which we responded that the dessert was too sweet in our opinion for our liking. it was very proactive of the restaurant owner to collect feedback from his diners, and return to the back of the kitchen to try out the batter to reconfirm with our comments to share with their pastry chef to see if they could further improve their quality.


yeast bistronomy (bistronomy is coined from the combination of bistro and gastronomy) featured the makings of yummy plats français (french dishes) where the classics shine through the skills of the people behind the stove albeit the pricing is a little steep. i know i'd love to go back for the risotto but this time it will be all mine! tongue

even after our dinner experience, i still had intense cravings to get back to yeast for brunch which was the story for the weekend that followed. so wait for it in the next entry for yeast at brunch smile

find more photos and original post at http://sians.blogspot.com/2013/10/yeast-bistronomy-at-night.html

 
Recommended Dish(es):  duck risotto
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM50(晚餐)

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

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whisking up lattes OK Sep 26, 2013   
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Categories : French | Sweets/Snack | Bakery / Cake / Kuih

being a coffee junkie, searching for the best coffee in town is inevitable.

found a favorite in kl (and that is illy) and it is the foodie's job to not settle and find for one that tops the best! smile

 
my visit to whisk was spurred by a newspaper article, detailing how the petite shop started and the person behind it. i wanted to try it simply because it was coffee and it sounded promising!

 

 
a petite cafe just a couple of shops away from jaya grocer in empire shopping gallery, whisk was set up in the simplest, rustic way that can only be described homemade but in a nice way, clad in a theme of black and white. the space was small and the seats limited.

 

 

 

 
the cakes proudly presents themselves on a pedestal of glass cake stands while beckoning you to take a bite into a slice of your favorite dessert choice(s) with a cup of warm coffee.

espresso bar :: caffe latte (rm 11)

 
my yard stick for all espresso based drinks - the latte. the simplicity of espresso and milk is not a mere task but requires finesse and mastery to produce a good quality cup of latte. oh and the mood of the barista helps too so be nice to them smile

the big question comes with the first sip of latte that i took. did that cup of latte take over the throne of yumminess from illy's? not quite but it's very close. whisk's caffe latte now reigns as one of the my other favorite cuppa joes which is stole my heart in a different way than illy's did. whisk's latte took of a more full bodied, creamy, smooth approach that complimented the coffee/espresso itself. the bitter note that ends with every sip of the latte was mellowed by the lovely milk creating a delicate balance between the two. yum!

the desserts enticed and i responded by giving in. a slice of red velvet cake makes it to our table with some expectations of what it will taste like. it was slightly overly sweet and i thought the cocoa was masked by the other ingredients of the cream cheese frosting. it was alright but doesn't give my favorite red velvet cupcake a run for its money.

where there is good lattes and coffee, you know you'd see me there and whisk is one that i wouldn't mind returning for more.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  caffe late
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM20(下午茶)

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

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