Friday, July 13, 2007

I Virtually Grew Up In This Building

In the good old days of yore (also known as my salad days....I found out "salad days" refers to one's heydays), this building was the venue for BONTON, one of the premiere restaurants in town, and hey, had food bloggers existed then, the reviews for upscale restaurant would be over within a week. I remember coming here for many a date, with different cast.....

Some years ago, the place became TOP HAT
but I suspect there was some link with the original BONTON because the menu, layout, etc, remained suspiciously similar. In fact, I think these three establishments probably came from the same source, and share the same DNA. TOPHAT, BONTON AND SUCHAN. Does anyone know what mysterious cord links the three?

Anyway, cousin who works in London is back for holidays, so as self proclaimed president (by virtue of age) of the council of cousins, we insisted he buy us dinner, as the pound is 7 to 1. He chose Top Hats as the venue, based on recommendations by his friends. We asked him why he didnt consult us, but propriety dictated it was impolite to ask the guests for recommendations. Got such thing one ah?

They have quite a range of sets, the Mediterranean Seafood one being the most costly. The chicken & mushroom pie set is RM55. I usually have that, but decided this time not to. Wife had that C&M Pie set, which came with 6 top hats, the mains, and a choice of dessert. I had the asparagus soup, which I had to return, because it was way too salty (the proprietess who agreed it was too salty said, "aiyo, the cook must be in love la"), and got it replaced with some tomato /french onion kind of combination. For mains, the tenderloin.

The tophats, or pie tees, were okay. Nothing to ooh or ahh over, but tasty enough, and when hungry, actually very palatable.

My replacement soup, which seemed a tad oily. However taste wise, it was not too bad. That thing on the spoon is that cheese on bread thing that they usually serve with french onion soup.

Wife's chicken & mushroom pie andaccompanying vegetables. I liked the pastry of the pie. I think its a form of Flaky Pastry. I wonder how they get it so evenly browned though.

Cousin's fish.... Looked good. Forgot to ask him how it tasted.

Another cousin's nasi bryani spread. They used to serve these in large rattan platters.... now its on an ordinary plate.

Sister's ox tail stew.

My tenderloin, which was a bit tough. Taste wise it was okay. I quite liked the mushroom crepe that accompanied the dish, (the one with the two brocolli pieces on top) and the two pototo croquettes.

Ah, this is one of the few desserts that I simply love ordering, because I can't replicate it, after years of searching for a recipe. Also, since no one in the family likes pear, this pear ginger upside pudding might not receive an audience if I did make it. Ah, guinea pigs needed. Served with treacle ice cream, it is one of the FEW sweet desserts that I CAN stomach. But actually this was part of wife's set.

Sago gula melaka, such a simple yet refreshingly good dessert. Sago is another thing I've never gotten around to doing. I always reckon things like sago, nyonya kueh, kek lapis, glutinous rice dumplings are somehow not worth the effort making, because they are readily available, and such good quality and affordable prices.

Thanks cuz for a lovely dinner and great company.


babe_kl said...

oooooo we frequent Bonton too back then where there isnt dat many nice and decent dining places.

the story was Sue Chan (owner of Suchan) used to work in Bonton hence she recreated the same tiramisu.

as in how Bonton turned Tophat was Bonton decided to shift to another bungalow in Jln Stonor (now torn down and some condo is coming up). it took Bonton about a year plus to straigtened things up cos they din get license to convert the bungalow into a restaurant or something like that. there was a change of ownership too.

by then the former GM, Maria Danker, of Bonton, took over the old premise and turned it into TopHat. she managed to retain the old chef.

Bonton is now located at Jln Conlay which could be easily missed. shares the same land as that seafood restaurant further down Prince Hotel. Havent visit Bonton since they shifted over here.

babe_kl said...

miss out this in case you wanna go and check bonton out

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i will be more then willing to bcome ur guinea pig after gymming..hahaha so nearby only..

looks like the food is so so only..

HL said...

"TOPHAT, BONTON AND SUCHAN. Does anyone know what mysterious cord links the three?"

Erm, six-letter words? :p

Nvm, babe_kl's got the story...

Sze said...

and the connection to bonton in langkawi?

the pound is 7 to 1. that is just cruel.

MeltingWok said...

You really made me cry, with your durian cheesecake I saw over at tummy's blog :PPPP I was thinking of that cake on my birthday not too long ago, while eating my mascarpone cheese tiramisu cake :PPPPPPPPP

boo_licious said...

I've not been to Tophats but Bonton was always a choice for us when we wanted to celebrate a special occasion or to bring my overseas cousins who wanted a slice of Msian life. Used to hang out at Suchan's though long ago but not anymore. Should try to revisit them since they have opened another outlet in Bangsar Village.

jason said...

Ahem.. I supposed if the dessert doesn't tastes too "gingerly", I wanna sign up to be your guinea pig!

Timothy said...

Heyyyy ... been a while eh? Yeah ... I used to go there as well, Bonton right. Hmm ... I didn't even know they changed it to Top Hat. Nice ...

team bsg said...

as u have reiterated some time ago , if really real authentic KL / PJ foodie buffs like u , babe , boo , wmw ( and to a little small backSteet xtent da team )were to fuse palates just a tiny bit , a real Authentic Guide to KL Eats can be published for the benefit of our present and future generations. Otherwise all these national like yr 6 letter evergreen romantika sentimentality treasures will soon become well , just history, over an Indon overfried Pg CKT, Burmese underroasted ex-Chinese chicken, Thai oversexed white BKT & Arabian blue coffee ItellU

fatboybakes said...

babe, i didnt know we're from that same era. you look so young and sprightly.

nips, how's the back?

hl, so typically observant.

sze, cruel for us la, not for you, you who dine with french ambassadors....

meltingwok, long time no see...aiyo, you live in america ma. let me know when you're around, i'll pass you a sample.

boo...hmmm, have not heard good things about the new one in BV.

jason, it IS a pear and GINGER upside down pudding. actually i like my flavours strong.

timothy, i cant remember what you look like liao la buddy.

team bsg, wah, your language dam flowery la these days.

babe_kl said...

told you you're not dat "old" kekeke