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nigellow
This is nigellow living in Kuala Lumpur City Center. I am a Blogger, work in Kuala Lumpur City Center. I like to hang out in Kuala Lumpur City Center, Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara. Japanese, Chinese, Western variety are my favorite cuisines. I also love Café, Hotel Dining and Bak Kut Teh, Banana Leaf, Buffet.
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Categories : Chinese | Restaurant | Private Party

A few days ago, I had a chance to dine at 1919 Restaurant Kuala Lumpur. Located at the busy road of Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, the outlet gave me an initial impression of a high class restaurant with its expensive vintage interior decoration, exquisite bamboo furniture, old rare antiques and photos that are displayed on the wall until I met Roy, the restaurant owner who greeted me in a very friendly tone. As customers started pouring in soon after that, the whole place transformed into a family restaurant ambiance with loud chatters and laughter that reminded me so much of a classic kopitiam restaurant of the bygone years.

 
1919 serves classic Southeast Asian cuisine. When I asked Roy whether the restaurant was established back in the year 1919, he started telling me the story behind the restaurant’s name. Apparently, 1919 has a significant meaning in terms of its numerical arrangement. 1 signifies the lower end while 9 is the upper end. Metaphorically speaking, 1919 is akin to a cycle where there are always ups and downs in life. Moreover 1 + 9 equals to 10 which means perfection; a trait that 1919 strives to achieve in its dishes. 1919 is also the first year of peace after the end of the first great world war and marked the beginning of a decade in which enchanting things happened. Ironically, its first outlet was only established in 1995 (called 1919 Restaurant & Galleri in Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh). Due to its popularity, the restaurant spread its wings to Kuala Lumpur, more specifically at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in the year 2010.

To keep their food as authentic as possible, Roy insisted on using some of its ingredients from Ipoh. “Items such as bean sprout, Chinese Pan Cake and Hor Fun are sourced from Ipoh. Even the Home Made Sour Plum (RM 5.90) is specially brewed by my mum from Ipoh. We want our customers to enjoy the original taste as if they are in Ipoh.” he chuckled.

 
Roy exudes his personal philosophy that if the food is not good enough, it won’t come out from his kitchen. “Such high standards are crucial for us as Kuala Lumpur’s food scene is very competitive. If the food is not good, do let me know personally. I will get my chef to cook the dish again. What is important is that we want to protect the good name of our establishment.” he stressed. True enough, we thoroughly enjoyed out dinner that night. Every dish that came out was met with a smile on our face as the aromatic flavour reminded us very much of how good Chinese food should taste like. For example, the 1919 Special Tofu (RM 23.90) is home made with a special sauce that was meticulously made from fish extract and wine. The tofu has a very smooth texture while I love the presentation with a few prawns and asparagus on the top.

 
Philippines Eggplant (RM 11.90 – small / RM 22.90 – large) had a pleasant crispy texture without being overly dry. 1919 Restaurant KL uses a special home made flour to ensure that the fried eggplant has a unique texture.

 
I was also a big fan of their Stir-Fry Four-Angled Bean & Petai with Special Sauce (RM 15.90 – small / RM 26.90 – large). The sauce is Roy’s creation which uses blended mushroom stalk with garlic to produce a very unique and flavourful taste. The Four-Angled Beans were crunchy and fresh as well.

 
Their Thai Style Siced Fish (seasonal price) was another winner. The taste was predominantly sour akin to asam sauce with a nice tangy flavour without being overly spicy.

 
Roy also came up with the idea of combining Kerabu with Yam Basket. Known as 1919 Style Kerabu Salad (RM 23.90 – small / RM 33.90 – large), the dish was certainly unique given the fact that no other restaurant that I know has combined the ingredients in such a creative way. The crunchy textures of the sour mango, sliced cucumber and crushed peanut contrasted very nicely with the soft mashed yam that was coated all over by a thin layer of crispy and flaky skin. In fact, these Yam Baskets are wholly prepared and cooked in Ipoh before it is transported to Kuala Lumpur.

 
As for the Chinese Pan Cake with Ice-Cream (RM 31.90) it was a perfect way to end the dinner. The hot pan fried Chinese Pan Cake with sweet fillings paired with icy cold mint and chocolate flavoured ice-cream kind of reminded me of a yin yang concept. This is one dessert that is not to be missed!

 
Suffice to say, it was a real treat to dine at 1919 Restaurant KL. The ambiance was homely while the food was fantastic. With Roy helming the restaurant, I am pretty sure that the quality will stay consistent given his strict quality checks on all the food that are brought to the table. While we can sometimes get rather tired of eating the same old Chinese dishes (I do at times), the food at 1919 was very inviting and certainly set a new benchmark to the Chinese cuisine that I had so far.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Home Made Sour Plum,1919 Special Tofu,Philippines Eggplant,Stir-Fry Four-Angled Bean & Petai with Special Sauce,Kerabu with Yam Basket,Chinese Pan Cake with Ice-Cream
 
Spending per head: Approximately RM30(晚餐)

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

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Categories : Burgers / Sandwiches | Bakery / Cake / Kuih

The astonishing feature about Bangsar Shopping Centre is its unique layout where there is always something new to explore at every every nook and cranny of this shopping premises. I came across Marquise Pâtisserie Chocolaterie a few months ago by accident while walking not too far away from where The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is at. Situated at the back corner on the ground floor, what caught my attention was the gorgeous handcrafted cakes that were nicely displayed in the window panels just next its entrance. Inside, the outlet has a cosy and elegant ambiance with a mix of contemporary chic romantic setting courtesy of its warm and inviting atmosphere.

 
Marquise Pâtisserie Chocolaterie was founded in 2010 and inspired by the unique European culture of chocolate making. The pastry and chocolate outlet chose its name by associating its first word with noblemen and women of high ranking people, thus giving it a prestige connotation. This means using the finest Belgian chocolates to produce their range of high quality chocolates and cakes giving their end products the “Wow!” factor at every bite. Take their Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut & Almond Nibs (RM 27.00 / 100 gram) for instance. It has a good balance of chocolaty taste without being overly bitter that is usually associated with typical dark chocolate flavour.

 
Apparently, Marquise Pâtisserie Chocolaterie adopts the entire chocolate making method including its conching process from Belgium. This means using the freshest and highest quality ingredients to produce rich, indulgent chocolates. Most of the chocolates used are from the bittersweet variants as Asians typically favour this type of flavour. The prices of their cakes and chocolates are also very competitively priced. I liked their Green Tea Roche (RM 27.00 / 100 gram) which has a nice balance between the green tea and chocolate flavour without overpowering one another. I find myself nibbling the chocolate rather than letting it sit on my tongue to melt by itself due to the irresitable soft crunchy texture which I presume is from the nuts inside the chocolate.

 
The Black Nougat with Hazelnut (RM 27.00 / 100 gram) has a nice aesthetic look with tiny bits of hazelnuts studded onto the chocolate surface. The taste has a nice milky chocolate flavour and caramel like texture.

 
I also enjoyed eating the Hazelnut Praline Swirl (RM 27.00 / 100 gram). The chocolate has a smooth vanilla taste with an occasional hint of chocolate flavour from the melted swirls.

 
Using real Belgium chocolates rather than processed ones, the Forêt Noir (RM 10.80) was simply delicious. Inside, I could taste the fresh dark berries and layered chocolate sponge that gave the cake an interesting mix of chocolaty and fruity flavour.

 
I was also attracted to the sight of the Hazelnut Royaltine (RM 10.80) as the huge and chunky hazelnuts studded on the all sides of the cake were so visually pleasing. The cake has a rich and deep chocolaty taste.

 
Marquise Pâtisserie Chocolaterie also serves a selection of milkshakes (RM 16.80), smoothies (RM 13.80) and frappe (13.80) to compliment their cakes and chocolates.

 
As I have mentioned earlier, Marquise Pâtisserie Chocolaterie uses the best quality Belgian cocoa for their cakes and chocolates. Thus, their products are naturally high quality and handmade to perfection using authentic Belgian artistry methods. If you have a sweet craving for chocolates or cakes, do drop by their outlet to delight yourself with their freshly made quality products.


 
Recommended Dish(es):  Almond Nibs,Green Tea Roche,Black Nougat with Hazelnut,Hazelnut Praline Swirl,Forêt Noir,Chocolate Ivory,Oreo Cheesecake,Banana Strussel,Hazelnut Royaltine,Red Velvet,Smoothies,Frappe,Milkshake
 
Date of Visit: Jul 18, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM20(其他)

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

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Joseph@Kitchen @ Bangsar Smile Jul 08, 2013   
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Categories : Western variety | Restaurant | Pizza/Pasta | Steaks / Chops

It is rare to come across a restaurant proudly accentuating its cooking philosophies from behind the kitchen doors. Hence, when I had a chance to hear Shirene, Sylvia, and Edmond sharing their fascinating stories behind Joseph @ Kitchen, I soon realised that they have poured their heart and soul into creating culinary delights that would make their customers smile.

The first thing that I asked was “Where is Joseph?”, as I instinctively presumed that Joseph is the real owner of the restaurant. But that wasn’t the case.

It all started when a customer named Joseph dropped by their previous café at KL Sentral to have a meal one fine day. However, by a strange twist of fate, he ended up teaching them how to cook instead. Essentially, Joseph is a man who believes in cooking tasty food using simple ingredients. Now, this is an unfamiliar person that they knew nothing of other than his first name, stepping into their kitchen and generously imparting his knowledge about cooking. The peculiar part of this tale is that they had never knew his full name or his whereabouts. Much like a fleeting breeze, Joseph left soon after teaching them and never came back. Nevertheless, Joseph’s brief visit taught them many things about cooking among which is to always put their heart and soul in cooking. This simple yet profounding statement was the starting point for Joseph @ Kitchen in recognition of his contribution. They hope that by using the word ‘Joseph @ Kitchen’, he would one day find out about the restaurant and come visit them again.

As much as I was fascinated with their story, the food was equally enticing as well. Joseph @ Kitchen’s Tomato Pappa (RM 8.90) was certainly full of natural goodness. Using tomato puree and fresh tomatoes, it certainly packed a good punch. I could tell how much tomatoes were used judging by its thick and creamy texture. Although it was sourish, the soup was a good appetizer to ‘open’ up the stomach for more tantalizing meals to be served.

 
If there is such thing as food romance, then I had certainly fallen in love with their Waldorf Salad (RM 11.90). Made from fresh apples, celery, raisins and walnuts, the salad was really appetizing. The natural sweetness of the apple chunks complimented the slightly sourish taste of the Japanese mayonnaise while the crunchy walnuts provided a contrasting texture to the softer raisins. Highly recommended.

 
When Joseph @ Kitchen pointed out that not many restaurants out there can cook good spaghetti, I concurred with a heavy sigh. Thankfully, their Mushroom Olio (RM 14.90) was exceptionally good. Cooked with fresh mushroom and herbs, they have competently used the right amount of ingredients to prepare this simple traditional spaghetti.

 
Their Chicken Taco was also one of my favourite dish that day. Chunks of chicken meat was perfectly cooked with taco seasoning mix are layered in crisp taco shells with lettuce, cheese and tomato for a great good bite. The spices, tomato and the chicken created the perfect harmony for this wonderful meal.

 
I also loved their Toasted Focaccia Bread with Smoked Salmon, Lettuce & Onions. The slices of salmon were undeniably fresh while the Focaccia bread has the right texture. Coupled with the fresh crunchy lettuce and onions this is one sandwich not to be missed at Joseph @ Kitchen.

 
And for something lighter, their Ceasar Salad (RM13.90) is a good choice. Mixed greens and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes and finished with a boiled egg, I find myself enjoying this salad as much as the Waldorf Salad. Again, the ingredients were fresh.

 
The lunch ended on a perfect note with servings of their Scones (RM 5.90 each). It has such a lovely crisp crust with a rich buttery flavor and light and fluffy texture. Each scone gave a delightful bite which put a smile on my face just as how Joseph @ Kitchen advocate their food philosophy.

 
Suffice to say, Joseph @ Kitchen is a wonderful place to dine with its cozy ambiance and great food. Their passion for cooking is clearly reflected in their range of cuisines that are both healthy and tasty. With the big ‘smile’ on its logo, they have clearly not forgotten that great food will always put a smile on their customers’ face.

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chicken Taco,Tomato Pappa,Waldorf Salad,Mushroom Olio,Toasted Focaccia Bread with Smoked Salmon,Ceasar Salad
 
Date of Visit: Jan 19, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM20(午餐)

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

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Kluang Rail Coffee @ Kluang Smile Jul 05, 2013   
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Categories : Malaysian variety | Café | Halal | Nasi Lemak

A few days ago, I ventured into the charming Kluang town famed for its Kluang Rail Coffee. Located 107 km from Johor Bahru, Kluang derives its name from the Malay word ‘keluang’ which means flying fox. However, don’t expect to see much of these creatures around nowadays as hunting and destruction of their natural habitat had dwindled its population. Apparently, Kluang Rail Coffee has a rich history tracing back to 1938, where it started off as a canteen catering for train passengers arriving at this town. Currently, the shop is managed by the 3rd generation of the Lim family that started the business.

When I arrived there at mid morning, there was already a sizable crowd waiting patiently for their food and beverage. Service was nevertheless quick. The waiter informed us that their Mee Siam has finished. We tried their Nasi Lemak (RM 0.70) instead which came with a dollop of sambal wrapped with a piece of banana leaf.

My first impression was “So small one ah?”, when I saw how petite the package was. Inside, there was nothing much at all apart from the rice, a few pieces of anchovies, roast peanuts and the sambal, of course.

 
However, looks can be deceiving. The aromatic coconut rice was very appetizing and I could actually taste each grain of the rice nicely infused with the coconut milk. This has to be one of the best nasi lemak that I have eaten so far. And for the price, what is there to complain about?

 
Next up was their famous Roti Bakar. With a choice of either Roti Keping, Roti Bun or Roti Wholemeal, we ordered the toast bun with butter and kaya spread.

 
At (RM 1.10) each, the bread was simply heavenly. Charcoal-grilled to perfection, the bun was layered with thick homemade kaya and thick slabs of butter. As simple as it may be, this was one awesome toast bun! They certainly did not skimp on the butter as drips of melted butter was oozing out from the bun when I took the first bite.

 
Their half-boiled Telur Kampung (RM 1.00) costs 30 cents extra as compared to the normal eggs but it was nicely cooked with the usual runny texture.

 
And as far as coffee is concern, one should never missed out on their famous Kopi Susu (RM 1.30). Grown locally and roasted with butter, the coffee has rich and punchy flavour that is hard to resist.

 
I am glad that my first visit to Kluang Rail Coffee was so satisfying. Although the franchise has grown to a few other outlets, I was told that nothing beats the one located at Jalan Station when it comes to the original taste of the coffee & toasted bread. Highly recommended!

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Nasi Lemak,Roti Bakar,Kopi Susu,Telur Kampung
 
Date of Visit: May 25, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM5(早餐)

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

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Pondok Satay @ Subang Jaya Smile Jul 05, 2013   
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Categories : Malay | Restaurant

When it comes to satay, I always believe that Kajang is the best place to enjoy this dish. After all, Kajang town (also known as “Satay Town”) is synonymous with this popular food with Sate Kajang Hj. Samuri being the best satay restaurant. Hence, when I was told that there is another place at USJ 8 which is popular among satay lovers, I was curious to try it out.

Known as Pondok Satay, many wouldn’t be aware of its existence due to its inconspicuous location if it wasn’t for the word of mouth about the popularity of this place. I was lucky to reach this restaurant just about time they opened their business for the day. Good thing their charcoal was already amber red despite being early.

 
I ordered a handful of chicken, beef and mutton satay just to try out each variant. Within no time at all, rows of skewered meat was nicely laid out on top of the satay grill with an electric fan blowing onto the amber red charcoal to intensify the heat.

 
It took aroound 10 minutes for the meat to be fully cooked with constant turning on either side just to get a slight charred texture.

 
The chicken satay was chunky, although I generally prefer a combination of lean and fat meat on each skewered just to get a better variety of texture and taste.

 
Pondok Satay tends to serve their chicken satay with minimal fat which may appeal to those who prefer only skewered lean meat. Taste wise, it was not too bad but I wouldn’t say it was fantastic either. For those who are wondering, Pondok Satay serves onions and cucumbers unlike some other stalls that I know which only provides cucumber. No complaints here.

 
The mutton satay was a different thing altogether. Honestly, I have never eaten mutton satay until I visited this place. Now I wished I had tried it sooner. The meat was tender and very moist.

 
You can literally feel the juice oozing out inside your mouth when you chew on the meat. While the meat is really tasty, the peanut sauce lacks the thickness and fragrant peanut flavour as compared to Samuri’s sauce.

 
It was tastier than the chicken satay which I guess is due to the well marinated meat. If I had a chance to visit this place again, mutton satay will be my only choice of meat. As for me, I wouldn’t hesitiate to go to this place again just to have their mutton satay.

 
Pondok Satay

Price (per stick):

Chicken RM 0.75
Mutton: RM 1.10
Beef: RM 0.95

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Mutton Satay
 
Date of Visit: Feb 22, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately RM10(其他)

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

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