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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 26 to 30 of 38 Reviews in Malaysia
ben's general food store OK Sep 25, 2013   
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Categories : Western variety | Restaurant

one of the first restaurants under the B.I.G family that i've tried was ben's general food store in bangsar village.

it was a sunday afternoon and bangsar was bustling with people. the same was with ben's general food store but it was a good thing that we managed to get a seat without having to wait too long.

 
i loved the decor -- cozy, inviting and somewhat rustic with a touch of vintage. the main hues were black and white on wood cladding the walls as well as wooden furniture. a couple of recipes fill the blackboard space around the restaurant..

 

 
there is also patio dining but considering how warm and humid the weather is usually in malaysia, i'd prefer staying in the inside (hail to the air conditioning!). for those who are wifi starved such as i am until i get my unlimited internet (yum!), they have it! ^^ i think you may need to request the password from the wait staff.

 
the menu was quite extensive ranging from salads and pastas to deli items and pizzas. {wy} and i kept looking at each other, trying to see what the other person was going to order... lol.

shake 'em buns :: lamb burger | served with fries and coleslaw (RM24)

 
as i looked through the menu, i realized i kept picking out things with lamb...lamb shank pie...lamb meatballs.. and then finally the lamb burger which was what i had my heart set on. i was quite surprised that they didn't ask me about what doneness that i wanted.

 
it came well done with excellent grill marks. could have done with more crust on both sides of the patty. the gamey flavor was rather light, probably masked by just enough seasoning and good punch of herbs and spices rooted in the mediterranean style . it was flavorful and juicy -- which was a great job since they managed to lock all the juices despite cooking it all the way through. the bread was soft and could have used a bit of a toasting in the oven for textural difference.. and the arugula lends a subtle bitter flavor but fresh touch coupled with the tartness from the sauce. but overall an enjoyable burger and i'd order it a second time..

i can't say the same for the sides..the coleslaw was overdressed and i wished it was chilled. the fries were neither all that crispy except for a couple -- but it definitely needed salt.

hot deli items :: b.i.g. lasagna | served with side salad (RM23.90)

 
it was quite the generous serving of lasagna -- {wy} was craving for lasagna and b.i.g. lasagna was chosen. i had a small bite and thought the sauce could use some more fresh herbs and extra cheese but overall a decent lasagna. {wy} seemed pretty happy with it but it got too much as she tried to finish the whole lasagna.

{wy}'s dish comes with a side salad. she ordered the marinated button mushrooms & barley but instead they served her scorched sweet corn & crabmeat with frisee, lime and mayo. it's somewhat a good thing since as soon as she asked for mushroom salad as her side salad, she laughed and admitted that she wasn't a fan of barley lol. which was probably why we didn't ask them to take it back in exchange for the salad we ordered.

 
i absolutely love sweet corn. {wy} offered to share her salad which i gratefully tasted. fully expecting it to be sweet, the corn lacked in that aspect -- almost flat in flavor which was disappointing. the crabmeat was scarce. the dressing was almost right. i'd give the salad an okay. i do, however, think that it's great that any salads on their menu is fair game which is a plus and you don't just end up with a garden/tossed salad with a generic vinaigrette.

ben's general food store is one of the many popular restaurants under ben's independent grocer. extensive menu of classic favorites but it definitely has room for improvement. the ingredients are pretty fresh which is the base for awesome dishes waiting to happen. not amazing but alright..
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM30(午餐)

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

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fat spoon OK Sep 24, 2013   
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Categories : Malaysian variety | Western variety | Café | Noodles

fat spoon had me at its decor.

well, at least enough to get my attention

 
my story with fat spoon started with a friend's instagram picture. like its decor, i found the whimsical creativity of using story book favorites we used to grow up with somewhat endearing . a blasphemy to book lovers though >.<

 
located in damansara uptown, its exterior is reminiscent of the petite colonial houses in penang island and malacca, with detailed accents - a home-y feel that is inviting.

 

 
i am kind of a sucker for vintage inclined decor in a modern setting, which was its main theme. it's interesting how fat spoon is able to make disjointed pieces of decor work tastefully together, which i loved. almost eccentric but artsy. smile to give it a cozy ambiance, the presence instax of happy moments, the rustic feel of the furniture pieces with the backdrop of walls of exposed clay bricks completes the whole stage.

 
i was expecting the story book menu so i wasn't taken aback when i was handed peter and jane books. the menu was an interpretation of malaysian homemade classics with a fusion of different cultures, which i have yet to decide whether it was good or bad.

grandma's recipe :: sambal fried rice | wok friend rice with sambal belacan and dried prawns served with kunyit fried chicken (rm 11.90)
sambal fried rice

sambal fried rice

 
a favorite at fat spoon, i usually try to not take huge chances with food choices when it comes to my first time at restaurants. i was expecting a plate of spicy fried rice but instead was surprised by the sambal belacan served separately in a little dish. well, i suppose you could decide the level of spiciness you'd like that day. the fried chicken with a lovely seasoning of salt, pepper and tumeric was fried to perfection resulted to crispy skin and moist inside. i wish the piece was a tad bigger. the fried rice had the pleasant surprise of the chopped up dried shrimps in it, lending an occasional seafood-y burst of saltiness but in general could have used a bit more seasoning.. the undercooked long beans could have definitely used some more time in the pan. the main star of the dish - the sambal was a spicy yet delicious accompaniment that worked so well with the rest of the ingredients.

grandma's recipe:: spicy beef macaroni soup | a comforting bowl of spicy beef broth over served over macaroni (rm 11.90)
spicy beef macaroni soup

spicy beef macaroni soup

 
{wy} was in the mood for something soup-y and i was more than happy to give it a taste when she offered. the one sip, i thought the taste was lackluster and lack the seasoning. it was missing the robust flavor that i was searching for when it was neither here nor there with the spiciness but it did offer some comforting warmth. {wy} requested for a couple more of lime halves to try to spruce up the flavor profile which helped give it a tart note to the monotonous broth.

grandma's recipe:: dry spicy beef macaroni | dry version of our signature spicy beef macaroni garnished with coriander & topped with medium boiled egg (rm 11.90)

this was probably my least favorite of the bunch. the under seasoned noodles was topped with equally under seasoned beef which rendered the dish bland. so much so that the coriander was a pleasant addition although i am not a huge fan of the herb.

spicy - ever so slightly. dry - yup, perhaps too dry that i had to shower the noodles with the side bowl of soup (which was also a move to add flavor). i even had to ask a couple more lime halves to salvage the meal but even after the addition, i just couldn't finish it. the medium boiled egg was cooked very well though but not enough to make up for the rest of the meal.

desserts :: red velvet cake (rm 9.90)
red velvet

red velvet

 
one of my favorite cakes, i'm always searching for one that blows me away. the classic pairing of cocoa infused cake with cream cheese frosting, this one did not have the right proportions of sweetness (it was too sweet) and the tartness of the cream cheese to counterbalance. the other flavors were so pronounced that it took the cocoa flavor out of the equation. and what surprised me even more was when they served the cake warm - it was probably heated the microwave for a few seconds. i chuckled at the first warm bite...never have i had red velvet cake warm especially with cream cheese frosting and it threw me of in a not so good way.

where the food is they serve is a reflection of its decor, fat spoon serves malaysian classics which we have grew up eating in our homes but with minor updates with the chef's personal twists. unfortunately, i think i am more besotted by its decor more than its food. if you're interested in trying, i'd say keep to the classic favorites.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  sambal fried rice
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM20(晚餐)

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

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espressamente illy love Smile Sep 23, 2013   
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Categories : Italian | Café | Burgers / Sandwiches | Sweets/Snack

my love for coffee probably had similar beginnings like everyone else - the need for caffeine in order to survive the day! lol

however, my affection for coffee simmered into passion with each bitter sip, enhanced by the creaminess of foamed milk.

i've never really knew that so much went into making an excellent cup of latte (or any expresso based drinks, for that matter) until i attended a coffee appreciation class by illy. it happened to be the spark that ignited {mw}'s addiction to coffee and also where we were introduced to espressamente illy!

 
there is only one espressamente illy in malaysia, located in the heart of kl - pavilion. it's a pity that there is only one to spread that lovely espresso love. recently i've only found out there other sister cafe in bv1 has recently been closed. sad


timeout kuala lumpur's testament to illy's awesomeness came in the way of awarding the bragging rights as the best place for coffee in the 2011 food awards.

my thoughts :: the coffee here speaks for itself.

 

judging by the number visits i've accumulated over the months - (i'm embarassed to admit but) about more than a handful of times and i don't even live in KL...it's gotta mean something. the petite and cheery illy cafe in pavilion is illuminated by the streams of light through the glass windows and offers a patio for those who prefers outdoor seating (but extremely limited seating during rainy days).

their menu offers a few varieties - the warm, the chilled and the liquor. illy also offers food choices including salads, sandwiches and pastries for the hungry bellies. but let's focus on the drinks, shall we?

caffe calda {hot coffee} :: caffe latte | a single espresso topped with a large measure of emulsified milk (rm11)

my go-to espresso drink has always been latte - mainly because i love to taste the espresso at its purest form (after espresso shots, that is...but i don't drink those cos they are too intense). it's always a treat whenever i order a drink here at illy because i'm always looking forward to seeing what beautiful foam art they are bound to impress me with.
caffe latte

caffe latte

 
what i love about their lattes is the balance of the bitterness and creaminess -- just the perfect ratio of both. the bitterness was evident but not to the point it overwhelms. unfortunately, my first visit was a bit of a disappointment because the bitter aftertaste was so prominent that it turned both {mw} and my heads towards the barista to see if he was having a bad day (we learned that 50% deliciousness depends on the barista's mood that day..lol)

with the exception of my first time, the lattes have been consistently creamy smooth with notes of bitter and whispers of tartness of the espresso. due to its simplicity, a minor slip up would be obvious. the lattes at illy are just phenomenal!

caffe calda {hot coffee} :: caffe fondente | a single espresso served with chocolate and topped with emulsified milk (rm12)
caffe fondente

caffe fondente

 
illy's take on mocha that made it on my top 10 eats of 2012. it's essentially latte but with a splash of delicious rich chocolate. first, like you do with every coffee beverage, start off with savoring the fragrant, rich aroma of the beans that hits the nose. then combine it with the sensation of your tastebuds when the slight richness and sweetness of the chocolate danced with the bitterness of the espresso and finally made whole by the creamy and warm, foamed milk. the combination of the three different flavor profiles performed a lovely symphony for the tastebuds.
cafe fondente

cafe fondente

 
i'd recommend this for chocolate and latte lovers alike. and for those who would like to begin a relationship with espresso and loves hot chocolate, this is the perfect drink as an introduction to the wonders of coffee. my favoritest espresso based drink, thus far.

caffe calda {hot coffee} :: cioccolata calda | delicious italian hot chocolate (rm13)
cioccolata calda

cioccolata calda

 
{mw} was not up for caffeine during one of our visits. and she was also curious how their hot chocolate would fare. her comment was it was too heavy on the milk alongside with the weak chocolate flavor made this a no go for her. her ultimate comment was :: stick to coffee at illy! lol. oh, she tried a sip of my cafe fondente and definitely had a case of drink envy! lol.

caffe calda {hot coffee} :: mugaccino | a single espresso topped with warm emulsified milk (rm11)

similar to the latte, this cappuccino by illy had the similar makings of an excellent mug of coffee - perfectly pressed espresso and foamy, warm milk. however, the slight difference in taste was the cappuccino was slightly less creamy and the bitterness was more apparent. still lovely but i gotta to give it to the lattes. i had a friend, {mnw} who commented the taste was light yet strong in flavor - perfection.

cakes :: red velvet slice (rm15)
red velvet cake

red velvet cake

 
i'm always on the lookout for a delicious red velvet slice since it is my favorite type of cupcake. plus {mw} has never had one before so i figured this was a good pick to try. while illy excels at coffee making, not the same can be said for their red velvet cake baking. the cake lacked the cocoa flavor and was really too sweet for my liking. one saving grace was that it was moist. the cream cheese frosting had a prominent cream cheese flavor but i didn't like the texture of it. and it could definitely do without the red frosting decoration on top of the cake.

if you ever order these drinks to go, don't forget to appreciate the barrista's artistic expression using foam! i was rather surprised when i opened the cap and saw the intricate foam artwork! you'd imagine that they wouldn't bother with it since it's concealed in a cup but omg, they do! smile pretty, isn't it? ^^

 
i suppose i should try the cold ones on my own. since i am a creature of habit, i enjoy the warm ones immensely even though the weather here is hot & humid... so evidently, i tend to gravitate to things that i know are awesomely yummylicious.

that's probably also the reason behind the inevitable sighting of me making a beeline towards espressamente illy so often for a glass of addictive caffeine loaded creaminess smile it's currently reigning as my favorite coffee place to go. caffeine cravings? give espressamente illy a shot and maybe you'd find your favorite cuppa joe here smile

 
Recommended Dish(es):  caffe fondente,tiramisu
 
Date of Visit: Sep 16, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM20(午餐)

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

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antipodean cafe in bangsar OK Sep 20, 2013   
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Categories : Western variety | Café | Steaks / Chops | Burgers / Sandwiches

antipodean.

defined as:

o1. relating to new zealand or australia; or

o2. being on completely opposite ends or opposite sides of the earth.

 
antipodean cafe.

defined by:

o1. its motto - coffee . cafe . culture
o2. it being shortlisted for time out kl food awards' best coffee 2011 and 2012 and in 2011 for best new restaurant.

perhaps that's the reason behind the hype for this cafe.

my stumble upon this cafe was not intentional - sorta. the original plan to try a french patisserie in the area fell through when it declared its own public holiday last monday. plus, the crowd at antipodean cafe lured us closer, filling in as a substitute for our much anticipated brunch.

with the huge parties waiting ahead of us, i assumed it might be a rather long wait but surprisingly about 5 minutes after we put our names on the waiting list, we were seated in the petite cafe that was a borderline fire hazard as a result of it being overcrowded. proof: there were barely room to sit comfortably between tables. the decor was simple with the coffee bar lined with silver bags of fresh coffee beans against the bright hues of red and orange.

 
sunlight streamed in the wall lined with windows, highlighting the opposite wall painted as a blackboard where the menu was handwritten. loved the wall menu idea but it sorta irked me that they didn't have printed menus and instead had to strain our necks to read the cafe's one and only menu.

 
it was off to a bad start when one of the staff stood by the table instantly after we were seated and asked if we were ready. it's good to be enthusiastic but seriously, how can i be ready the minute i walk in and haven't even had the chance to glance at the rather extensive menu selections. i responded with a "i'm not ready yet" and off she went to attend to another diner. less than 2 minutes later, another wait staff paused at our table with a notepad and pencil out and before he could utter the words, i impatiently repeated "we're not ready to order yet". less than 2 minutes later, i gave up when another came to get our order and i ordered something even though it felt so rushed. it put a slight damper to the rest of the meal but i brushed it off.

drinks :: latte (rm 9)
latte

latte

 
appreciating the beautiful coffee foam art, i took a sip and was greeted by a good amount of bitterness from the espresso (although lacking that tart note in the end) mellowed by the creaminess of the milk that shone with a crown of foam.warm and satisfying. but if i had to compare to my favorite-st cuppa joe, it was missing the same smoothness and richness. however, overall a yummy mug of caffeine goodness.

breakfast :: smoked salmon omelet (rm 20)
smoked salmon omelet

smoked salmon omelet

 
smoked salmon omelet

smoked salmon omelet

 
a huge portion of omelet served with a side salad of greens and sweet cherry tomatoes tossed lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. when i picked out this dish, i expected the smoked salmon to be semi raw but was slightly disappointed when i noticed the salmon pieces were cooked completely after my first bite. the smoked salmon sprinkled saltiness in between each bite of the soft fluffy eggs which was otherwise slightly monotonous in flavor and lacked textural difference. the dish's saving grace was the crunchiness of the salad with occasional flavor injections of sweetness and tartness from the lovely tomatoes.



breakfast :: all day breakfast | toast, bacon/chicken/beef/pork sausage, baked beans, scrambled egg, grilled tomatoes (rm 20)
all day breakfast

all day breakfast

 
all day breakfast

all day breakfast

 
{hr} selected the chicken sausage from the list of proteins and also found out that any extras of mushrooms or hashbrown, to name a few, resulted to an additional rm 9 to the price tag. while {hr} was happy with the huge serving portion, he concluded that the food itself was lackluster. i had a bite of the 'grilled' tomatoes - if you can even call it that. the open-faced thick sliced tomatoes lacked grilled marks and caramelization that i was hoping from being grilled. it literally tasted like they seared one side of the tomatoes for 30 second.

a quick glance at the offerings of food on the adjacent table, i was appalled by the doneness of the bacon - it looked like the bacon could have spent more time in the pan to get it crispier &gt;.&lt;

i began to understand the reason behind the quick turnover of diners. as soon as we took the last bite of our food, they cleared the plates off the table. some might construe that as effective and efficient but it got out of hand that they wiped the table before we even asked for the bill - almost like they were hinting for us to leave.

oh, my suspicions were confirmed when the wait staff came by to ask (i suppose it was done politely) if he could bring us our bill so that they can accommodate the patrons on the waiting list. without even asking if we wanted more food or desserts.

i paused and thought. "wow. i think i was just 'kicked out' of the cafe" i don't think i've been ever asked at any restaurants or cafes to pay the bill and leave just minutes after i finish my meal, no matter how busy or popular the place is.



was the cafe worthy of all the hype?

my response: honestly, its popularity boggles my mind.

the food, in general, was mediocre at best. however, the combination of the overly effective service that annoyed rather than impressed me as well as my first time ever being "kicked out" from a cafe/restaurant (even though it was done in a polite manner) have left a bitter taste in my dining experience at antipodean cafe.

as i described my experience to {mw}, she captured it rather accurately - it sounds more like a stressful, brisk morning brunch. definitely opposite from how i'd imagine myself spending my free mornings.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  latte
 
Date of Visit: Sep 16, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM30(早餐)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 1  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 2

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ippudo ramen in kl OK Sep 09, 2013   
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Categories : Japanese | Restaurant | Ramen/Udon/Soba

t was about two months ago when i first saw its picture on instagram.

i was tempted.

as i read more about it, i was convinced to try it as soon as i could find a food buddy.

actually i first heard about it almost a year ago. i was researching on the food scene in tokyo to complete my food itinerary, ramen was on my must try and this place was one of the two options i had a hard time picking out. (funnily we ended up not having either lol cos {ym} recommended her fav, which was located in tokyo station)

i've been waiting far too long, ippudo smile omg it's finally happening! hehe.

located in pavilion, it is actually NOT in tokyo street. instead, it is situated next to nike and chatime on pavilion's restaurant row aka 'connection' section. since my introduction to pork broth ramen noodle, which is ippudo's signature ramen, it's my number one ramen to go to these days over shoyu and plain miso. (so yeah, this restaurant is definitely NOT pork free)

 
the decor was a modern take with an asian twist with main hues of wood, red, black and white. the bowls and spoons are used as decor pieces, which i thought was rather cool. there is also the option of sitting at the counter where you can watch the chefs hard at work. one thing i was not too keen of was there were a few communal tables that i think should not be adopted by restaurants anymore because of the awkwardness of dining with strangers.

 
from my research about ippudo, the one to try was akamaru and if i were gonna do it, i was gonna do it right. surely, the special was what i would go for so i could try different aspects of the chef's mastery.

ippudo original tonkotsu :: akamaru special {赤丸スペシャル} | akamaru with flavored egg, pork belly & seaweed (rm 36)

 
as ippudo describes akamaru as "ippudo's original tonkotsu broth enhanced with a special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. served with thin noodles, belly chashu, kikurage and spring onions. a refined, modern-style ramen."

 
tonkotsu broth means pork based broth. let's start with it since we are on the subject - it was rather flavorful, packed with pork sweetness mingled with miso paste with a hint of garlic and whispers of heat. the broth was rich, smooth and a fullness in a deliciously balanced way but i have to agree with {mw} that it was borderline salty. a lil greasy yes, but expected and comparatively less greasy than the other tonkotsu ramens i've tried.

 
when u place your order, the server would ask how firm you'd like the noodles to be ranging from soft, firm or hard, where i went for firm. noodles are what makes a bowl of ramen. i could taste the freshly made noodles and it was cooked well.

 
when i saw pork belly on the menu, i just had to try it out cos i've been missing pork belly for a while now. however, i was a tad disappointed because despite the fat on the pork belly, the meat didn't fall apart like how i would imagined it. in fact, it was almost a little dry - which i found surprising. i wished it could have been seasoned a little more.

 
the final thing that would complete the ramen ensemble is the seasoned egg. this seasoned egg while cooked very well, it lacked the marination in shoyu like a few other seasoned eggs that i've had before.

 
overall, the bowl of akamaru ramen noodle was not mind blowing but it was yummy that i'd like to return for a second time - perhaps to try something else to see how it compares. although the serving was big that i was stuffed at the end of the meal, i have to admit that the price of the noodles is steep so i might have to think twice before going back. regardless, give it a try if you are in town and are in the mood for some hakata tonkotsu ramen smile

 
Recommended Dish(es):  hakata tonkatsu ramen
 
Date of Visit: Mar 02, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM36(午餐)

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

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