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Cheryl Chan
This is Cheryl Chan living in Cheras. I am a Secretary, work in Ampang. I like to hang out in Ampang, Sungai Besi, Sri Petaling. Japanese, Italian are my favorite cuisines. I also love Café and Steamboat/Hotpot, Pizza/Pasta, Vegetables.
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Japanese BBQ @Taman Desa Smile Sep 30, 2013   
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Categories : Japanese | Stall / Warung | Steaks / Chops | Ramen/Udon/Soba | BBQ

 
Having a colleague who'd always mention about pork during office hours at least once a day isn't helping me into getting a slimmer body figure, but to crave more for the non-halal piece of meat.
Thanks to Daniel, another carnivorous eater, who has recently joined force as my partner-in-crime for food explore, hence off we go to the famous Japanese BBQ at Taman Desa.

First attempt was a disaster, we went there on a raining Monday night, only to find out that all the 3 restaurants by Mr Seiji Fujimoto (along with Maruhi Sakaba and Sanuki Udon) were closed. Oh yes, don't ever trust the "opens daily" as published from elsewhere, they are all closed on Mondays.
Second attempt was a gamble on luck, there was still drizzling at 5pm and finally stopped when we were there.

 
Faber Plaza was pretty easy to find with the help of "Jalan Desa Jaya" on Waze navigation apps.
Japanese BBQ is located at the center court of Faber Plaza, easily recognizable with its zinc roof, red bricks, and the red lantern with the words of 居酒屋 (Izakaya).Rustic environment with al fresco dining.
Though not preferable especially at this hot weather of Malaysia, we went on a good timing for BBQ which is after the rain, hence the cool evening breeze.

 
豚肉ラーメン Pork Ramen RM10
This ramen has quite justify its value of RM10, or even did more than that. Still far from the level of those chain Japanese Ramen restaurants but good enough to fill our groaning stomach while waiting for the meat to be ready.

 
ラムジンギスカン Gengkhis Khan RM20
This is the only lamb dish in the menu and would be the first dish if you ever order it, since it comes in a sizzling hot pan.
Mongolian lamb stew of tenderness, minimum gamey taste yet so flavourful that I wished to have a bowl of rice with me.
By the way, that's the ultimate compliment one can give in chinese culture.
We even finished all the cabbages as they have absorbed the essence of both meat and broth.
Not even one drop of the soup was wasted as the staff poured it all for us while he takes the hot pan away.

 
キノコホイル焼き Mushroom Foiled Yaki RM10
Oyster mushroom, enoki mushroom, shitake mushroom, chopped onion with butter as seasoning.

We've ordered ビーフリブアイ Beef Ribeye RM10, ポークベリー Pork Belly RM10 and ポーク内もも Pork Inside Leg RM10.
They are all small in portion I must say.

They also offer meat selections of lamb, pork and beef along with long list of innards to choose from, such as tongue, intestines and much more.

 
We then proceed with the grilling after the staff has taken away the hot pan.
Dripping pork lard had just made the fire gone wild.

 
While the meat was fresh with minimal marination, it goes great with the sauce provided which is a mixture of Japanese soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, garlic and sesame.

 
野菜焼 Mixed Vegetables RM5
Heated but uncooked vegetable?
While this doesn't make sense, it did happen. The vegetable was either overcooked with burnt edges or too raw to be consumed. Top up another RM5 to Teppanyaki Vegetable is highly recommended.

Unlike other restaurants that do online marketing, this restaurant has no namecard, no contact number and no facebook. Their only marketing was word of mouth, either from patrons or bloggers. Still, many would come to pay a visit, so do come early.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  pork belly
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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Categories : Chinese | Restaurant | Steamboat/Hotpot

 
When I first received an email from Henry asking to review his restaurant's new concept dishes of fruit-based dishes, fruit-based soup and even Yong Tau Foo made of fresh fruit, I did raise one side of my eyebrow, couldn't help but being rather skeptical. Really? Fruit and Steamboat?
From many years of my gastronomical experience, fruit is only supposed to appear before or after the main dish instead of together, am not the too health conscious one that would have fruit as main meal.

However, this was only the first impression, read on for my final verdict:

 
Home Style Yong Tau Foo RM1.20 each
(From left to right) Star Fruit, Mango, Pineapple, Jambu
The fruit which did not overripe during the cooking process and surprisingly maintain its state of fresh and crisp managed to balance out the excessive greasiness of what supposed to be in a deep fried dish.
Even Daniel, my companion of the day, took his first bite of this yong tau foo in his favorite mango and nodded in approval
In fact, what's not to love for eating yong tau foo of fish paste combine with the fragrance of fruit in light taste but crispy deep fried texture?

 
Minced Pork Rolls RM7.90
Aromatic minced meat stuffed into roll shape and deep fried to perfect golden brown. Its crunchy texture with tasty meat filling in between definitely deserved to be one of the chef's recommendations.

 
Fruitaste Set 创意火锅套餐 RM33.60 for 2 pax along with mee and 2 eggs

 
Fruit Lover Soup Base
(Left) Fresh & Sweet 美白清爽水果锅
(Right) Sweet & Sour 开胃酸甜水果锅

Fresh & sweet soup of chicken stock was on the salty side yet giving out aromatic fragrance of apple and pineapple fruit. Sweet & sour on the other hand was of the same chicken stock but with star fruit and passion fruit, a rather appetizing combination. These were the most innovative and special steamboat broth I've ever had. Best of all, these came with my steamboat set so no charges applied.

 
Unlike the usual steamboat sessions where the thick layer of oil accumulated on top resulting from the meat fat, it is not visible here. I think the fruit based soup did a good trick on that.

Alternatively, there are still clear soup and tomyam soup, making 4 soup options in total.

 
Sliced Pork RM 9.90
Alternatively, upgrade to Pork Slices Set for RM39.90, an addition of RM6.30 from Fruitaste Set.

 
Honestly this was the biggest fruit tart I have ever seen. Comprising of star fruit, dragon fruit, strawberry, green and red apple, this fruit tart has 3 layers of sponge, cream and custard. A good dessert that was not too sweet to my liking.

Opened in 30th March this year, Henry has used 6 months to come up with this innovative fruit-based dishes concept and another 2 months just to fine tune the taste. That is the perseverance shown by him and the taste approved by both our stomachs.

By the way, if you think the photos in the menu were good, it was taken by our very own Henry ;)
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Home Style Yong Tau Foo (Fruit)
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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Paradise Inn Smile Sep 30, 2013   
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Categories : Chinese | Restaurant | Seafood | Noodles | Business Dining

I was delighted to be invited along with Agnes to Paradise Inn, which famed for its double-boiled soup.
Upon entering, I was surrounded by modern wooden dining chairs, light blue pattern that resembles traditional Chinese window pattern, along with orange lanterns in river stream-like arrangement.

 
Double-boiled Bamboo Fungus with Dried Conpoy Soup 干贝菜胆炖竹笙汤 (RM43.90 per pot)

 
Stewed Pork Belly served with Lotus Bun 招牌扣肉包 (RM4.90 per piece)
Paradise Inn certainly know what's best for their patrons where pork belly can only be right with the fatty part. Just gobble this tender and fatty layered pork belly that has been simmered for hours, sandwiched in soft Chinese bun along with lettuce and embrace as it moves down to the throat from your tongue. A must-have for pork lover.

 
Coffee Pork Ribs 咖啡排骨王 (RM20.90 small)
Though we Malaysians might not heard of this interesting combination of coffee and pork ribs, this dish is pretty common in Singapore. Thanks to the Paradise Group, which was originated from Singapore to include this unique dish in Paradise Inn menu. I would say whoever that have come up with this combination is a pure genius. Slices of pork ribs being deep-fried and coated in the coffee-based sweet sauce: maintaining the fragrance of coffee but not the bitterness. Odd, but perfect.

 
Crisp-fried Crystal Prawns in Wasabi Mayo Sauce 青芥末虾球 (RM29.90 small)
Another dish that would take lots of effort in preparation: removal of intestinal vein, crisp fried the prawn to curl into pretty ball shape, coated with wasabi mayo sauce and garnished with fish roes. I personally prefer prawn with intestinal vein removed as it's much more comforting to know that I'm not eating the prawn's waste and it could also be affecting the overall taste. The usage of wasabi in this dish was minimal, just enough to stimulate the nasal passage and clear its way for prawn and mayo flavor. One of my favorites for that night.

 
Hot Plate Tofu with Preserved ‘Cai Xin’and Minced Pork 菜香铁板豆腐 (RM18.90 small)
What's not to like for this smooth bean curd served in sizzling hot plate with a layer of egg at the bottom and topped with generous amount of 'cai xin', minced pork and mushroom? We were told that this is one of parents' favorites in feeding their kids with another add-on rice.

 
Individual Mini Wok Set Meal
Supreme Seafood Fried Rice 海鲜皇鸳鸯炒饭 (RM20.90)

Brilliant solution made specially for single patron or companions that would like to have their own set of dishes from RM19.90++. There are also other varieties of individual set meal such as Hot Steaming Basket, Chargrilled and Hot Stone Bowl where each set comes with a traditional double-boiled soup of the day, a platter of fresh vegetables and side dishes of the day. (with compliments homemade Thai Chili Sauce)

 
Chilled Lemongrass Jelly with Lemonade (Chilled) 酸甘香茅冻 (冷)(RM6.90)

 
Rice Dumplings (2pcs) in Red Bean Paste (Warm) 红豆沙汤圆 (温)(RM6.90)
Black sesame rice dumplings (tong yun) served warm in red bean paste of sago, accompanied with lovely scent of dried citrus peel.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Stewed Pork Belly served with Lotus Bun
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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Melur & Thyme @KLCC Smile Aug 12, 2013   
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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Restaurant | Pizza/Pasta | Burgers / Sandwiches | Noodles

 

 
Gunner & Mint Limeade

Gunner & Mint Limeade

 
(left) Gunner RM15
Ginger beer, ginger ale with a dash of fresh ginger extract and honey
(right) Mint Limeade RM15
Fresh mint leaves, fresh lime squeeze, topped with water or soda

Agnes and I were more than happy to take up their Digi rewards offer of free drink worth RM15 upon ordering from selected mains. She had Gunner and I who'd always love the minty flavor, opted for mint limeade. I was expecting the mocktail version of mojito with visible mint sprigs followed by moderate lime and sugar, perhaps in the proportion of 3:2:1. But mint leaves were nowhere to be seen as in the menu description, more of like lime/lemonade soda.
Carbonara with Smoked Duck

Carbonara with Smoked Duck

 
Carbonara with Smoked Duck

Carbonara with Smoked Duck

 
Carbonara with Smoked Duck RM28
Traditional rich creamy carbonara sauce with duck eggs blanketing spinach tagliatelle and juicy slices of smoked duck

Wise combination of spinach Tagliatelle, a narrower flat ribbon pasta than Fettucini in matching its sauce of carbonara with duck eggs: Rich (in flavor), yet not cloying. Did I even mention that the pasta was cooked to al dente? Each bite is heavenly and we wiped clean till the last drop.
Encountered with previous horrible experience of spring onion with carbonara, I overlooked on this because the taste was so insignificant. However, it's better to leave them out of sight next time.
Grilled Herb Chicken

Grilled Herb Chicken

 
Grilled Herb Chicken

Grilled Herb Chicken

 
Grilled Herb Chicken RM29
Boneless chicken breast marinated with thyme and spices, sous vide to perfection and served with vegetables, mash potato and cilantro garlic oil

Sous Vide, a French word of "under vacuum" is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in water bath for longer than normal cooking time, in order to maintain the level of "doneness" inside out. ~ Wikipedia

This grilled herb chicken was mediocre in terms of flavor with stuffed spices but lacking when it comes to texture. I am unsure of its cooking method of sous vide and/or grill because it has failed to grasp the essence of either. Mash potato was good with its less milky flavor and potato chunk contributing to better texture.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

 
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake RM10
For one who can easily finish up one whole jar of peanut butter, this was too dry and too dense for me to take. Appreciate the fact that it came warm, but it was not a happy ending.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Carbonara with Smoked Duck
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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MediTeca Wine Tapas KL Smile Jul 04, 2013   
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Categories : European | Restaurant | Seafood | Group/Family dining

Mediteca @ Fraser's place, smack in the middle of busy downtown KL and amidst million ringgit swanky luxury suites and a mere 10 minutes walk from KLCC (though it took me almost an hour navigating traffic from Jalan Ampang but what is KL without the traffic?)
Complimentary bread

Complimentary bread

 
Firstly I'm not a big fan of spray on food. To me anything that comes out from a spray nozzle is used to annihilate pesky bugs. For the EVOO and Balsamic vinegar, I'd much prefer the traditional pour and dip.
Stewed Sardines with Tomato Basil Sauce

Stewed Sardines with Tomato Basil Sauce

 
Stewed Sardines with Tomato Basil Sauce RM24
Not my favourite due to the strong fishy taste and smell and for the typical Malaysian sardines are associated as swimming in tomato and IN A CAN. So after a customary and obligatory bite, that's it for me.
Casserole of Stewed Beef Cheek

Casserole of Stewed Beef Cheek

 
Casserole of Stewed Beef Cheek RM12
Perfectly cooked beef cheeks served in a little casserole dish and a delight to eat by itself or the accompanied baked on site bread. A wonderful play with spices make this tiny but hearty dish an absolute wonder for the mouth. The best dish of the evening!
Bruschetta with Rocket Salad and Artichoke

Bruschetta with Rocket Salad and Artichoke

 
Bruschetta with Rocket Salad and Artichoke RM22
I must admit that I'm not a big fan of vege on vege but I can't fault the chef for putting a handsome price as the combination of peppery rocket salad, artichoke, tomato on a perfectly crispy bruschetta is an absolute wonder. A word of advice, eat it fast, then again it's tapas, you are supposed to.
Garlic Prawns

Garlic Prawns

 
Garlic Prawns RM22
3 skewers of prawns coupled with roasted garlic. Perfectly cooked and perfectly coupled with the roasted garlic. A great start though we were forewarned by the beautiful host Rachel that "we were in for a meal".
Seafood Vermicelli

Seafood Vermicelli

 
Seafood Vermicelli RM36
As for the mains we were served seafood vermicelli, with seafood. More like spaghettini with offerings from the dining halls of Poseidon, the dish is my second favourite for the evening as everything Poseidon gave was given due justice in this non too subtle seafood dish. I would say the vermicelli ties this dish up perfectly.
Entrecote Tagliata with Parmesan & Glazed Mushrooms

Entrecote Tagliata with Parmesan & Glazed Mushrooms

 
Entrecote Tagliata with Parmesan & Glazed Mushrooms RM70
Fancy name for a sir/strip loin beef done perfectly with roasted garlic and button mushrooms. The Parmesan cheese was beautifully masked and this is a worthy red meat dish nonetheless. I've had better beef dishes (the casserole of stewed beef cheeks) so I'm a bit biased on this one. That's the trouble when one reaches the climax on the very first bite. Darn it!!
(L) Baked Rosemary Custard RM12  (R) Yogurt Mousse with Mango Cream

(L) Baked Rosemary Custard RM12 (R) Yogurt Mousse with Mango Cream

 
(L) Baked Rosemary Custard RM12 (R) Yogurt Mousse with Mango Cream RM16
I found yogurt mousse with mango cream offering a tad too sweet, trying to discern the yogurt but the mango sauce made it difficult. Baked rosemary custard is more to my liking though at my advance age, I tend to mellow down my sweet cravings. The rosemary tang wasn't too subtle, you know it is there and the crackling of caramelised sugar adds a very nice touch.

Write up by Lawrence Lim
Photo by Cheryl Chan
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Casserole of Stewed Beef Cheek
 
Date of Visit: Mar 05, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM80(晚餐)

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

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