Thursday, March 19, 2009

Loitering At Leonardo's

Every now and then, you get one of those delightful sms-es, inviting you to an event you know instinctively would be fun. Such an sms came from dear fellow flogger, Julian Si, the intrepid Klang Valley food explorer, inviting me and Ciki (of Cumi and Ciki fame) to a food tasting at Leonardo's. Although Wednesday is usually dinner with the inlaws in Kajang, this offer was too good to refuse....so that was canned. (as in Kajang dinner)

And then, yesterday, I get an email, originating from Nigel Wong, of Urban Rhythms, informing us where to meet etc. Oddly enough, on that recipient list, apart from Julian Si, was another Julian Wong. I had an old schoolmate of the same name, and wondered to myself, "could it be?". I even checked the email address to see if it was his, but nah, it wasn't. And then, the NEXT email I opened, was from Julian Wong, saying, "Yes, it's me, in case you're wondering". Boy, either I am way too predictable, OR he's a blardy psychic. But no, he wasn't, because, later on that evening, another classic moment ensued, when we introduced him to the Executive Chef of Leonardos (and Cava, Opus, and Moxie), Aidy. Now, Julian Wong and Aidy were roommates in school, and I knew this. But didnt let on to Julian. Ah, the look on the fler's face was priceless. It was gonna a great evening, I knew.

I also got to meet Memoirs of A Chocoholic, another delightful food blogger who I found out shares the same interest in Body Combat, amongst other things.

The briefing began, by Nigel, ....much like a general briefing his troops on the strategy for attacking the enemy...but far more peaceful. We were to be split into 3 groups, one to Tea for Two, one to the Tasting Room, and one at Leonardo's. The purpose of the event is for the upcoming "food safari" thing, organised by Urban Rhythm, via their portal, NIBBLEISH.COM.

Commercial Break:

Nibbleish.com aims to introduce a new & exciting dining concept in KL aimed at promoting awareness of the gourmet experiences that can be found in the city.

The basic concept is to get diners to sample various f&b, the specialty dishes and beste sellers, at various restaurants...

They make reservations on line, prepay in advance (at a discounted price, of course), and choose from 3-4 different locations, all within walking distance, to have their entrees, mains and desserts at 3 diff establishments.

End of Commercial

Like food crawl la. So yeah, our job was to taste these items that will be on the menu for the Bangkung food crawl, which will be held sometime in April.

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The General, briefing the troops.

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The troops... Hotlips and err... Hawkeye?

I was originally assigned the Tasting Room Squad, but Jules had already eaten at Leonardo's a few times, so asked to swap....heh heh, which I think worked out in my flavour...

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A platter of garlic bread with creamy mushrooms....as a starter, not on the main menu. I could get full on these alone. Lovely buttery garlicky bread, .... and crispy in all the right places. And the mushrooms, yum...

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A virgin margarita. One of those rare occasions when men aren't happy to be with Virgins.

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Leo's Cured Salmon Carpaccio...I can't imagine anyone calling Leonardo (Da Vinci) LEO....fennel parsley orange salad with campari dressing. How exotic is that! It was yummy. Slivers of very fresh cured salmon, in a tangy subtle dressing that tantalizes the palate.

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Waldorf Salad. Well, the exec chef did work in New York for many years, so its not surprising to find this in the menu. Very refreshing, and light, not drowned in mayonnaise, though a few of the walnuts were off. But only a few.

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A side profile of Waldorf Salad. I must get myself some of these long white serving plates. So classy hor....

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An aerial view of the Virgin Margarita. Actually it was rather refreshing.

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Italian Sausages & Onions, with red wine, capsicum and tomato sauce. One of those snacks that would go exceedingly well with beer, but I dont think I'd actually order this as my own starter. More a communal dish. Oh, did I mention that Leonardo's is not halal?

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The menu listed this as the Virgin Martini, but we questioned, how does one virginize a Martini? Turns out, she was no virgin. And rightfully so. Some drinks should not be virgins. It's like eating vegetarian meat.

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A most divine Miso Glazed Salmon. Usually not a fan of cooked salmon, this one was done to perfection, on a bed of edamame, spinach (Yuen Choy), mushroom, and yup, those lovely pieces you see adorning the top of the fish, like wings, are bacon. Real pork bacon, complete with fat. This would be high on my choice of mains. Through this, we had the pleasure of the Exec Chef's company, explaining to us virtually all the dishes. Ah, the perks of knowing people in high places. I did mention he was my classmate right?

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Grilled Pork Chops with Strawberries, Balsamic, mesclun, and sweet potato mash. Hmmph, some people thought it was pumpkin. I, ahem, of course knew straightaway it was sweet potato. One has to know one's tubers. Now, the pork marinade etc was delicious, as was the mash, but the pork chop itself was a tad dry. I reckon its cos it was all lean meat. Eating lean pork is like eating a tofu burger. You're better off just munching on beans for a protein fix. Chis.... but apparently its popular with Westerners, (same category as chicken breast, which to me, taste like blotting paper), ...and probably Singaporeans. I hear there is hardly any fatty charsiu in Singapore.

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Spaghetti Vongole - Malaysianised with Bunga kantan, mmmm, splendid, and chili padi, fantastic. My kinda pasta. Choco mentioned the clams were a bit overcooked. But I LOVED the zingy pasta. I could eat a plate of this, no problem, as a main.

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Tiramisu, simple but effective. Lovely dollop of mascarporne, complemented with another dollop of chocolate ice cream, and sponge fingers soaked in liqueur. It's like Obama...black & white, and everyone loves him.

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Affogato.... there's something so classy hor, about saying AFFOGATO...affogato pay my credit card bill last month, and got whacked with a heavy finance charge...Honey, donfogato buy eggs today.... cos affogato....
Not really my cuppa coffee this one... but I can see why it would be popular. Vanilla gelato, espresso, whipped cream and kahlua... wow...

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Nothing like a lovely cheese platter to end a meal, though being uncultured as I am, I dont mind even having a cheese platter at the beginning....

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Waffles..... Exec Chef and I had a brief discussion on how to imitate the A&W waffles, arguably the best ever!!! Light, fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside. HOW DO THEY DO IT?!!!! These were okay, but we were pretty stuffed by this time....fortunately the other troops from the other battle stationed had joined us by this time.

Oh, in case, like Ciki, you see the pics and think I single handedly ate all of it by myself, let me clarify that all the dishes (single serves) were shared by 6 people.

Ah, meanwhile, not all were as fortunate as us, and were not satiated by their portions, so actually had to order extra food to fill up the tank. Cumi, Jules etc were tucking away into Leonardo's famous pork knuckles, as dessert....

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Further good news, for drinkers....Leonardos will be featuring a supper menu, which includes things like BAK KUT TEH!!!!!! (see below)....porridge and noodles!!! I love this place already. Still in trial and error stage, but getting there.....

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As I was leaving, some of the remaining flers tucked into this ice cream platter.

Well, thanks Jules for this timely invite, as I've been meaning to check out Leonardo's for the longest time, and even had to turn down an invite from the owner before, as had something else on.

Do look out for this food hopping event coming soon in April. I believe it will be reasonably priced, and it even comes paired with drinks...some virgin some not....but sounds like a damn good deal. To find out more, check out Nibbleish.com.


25 comments:

Julian Si said...

WELL WRITTEN as always :-) Cheers, great meeting up bro.

ps - Nice plug too!

======================

http://juliansi.blogspot.com/2009/03/bloggers-and-pork-knuckle-at-leonardos.html

Anonymous said...

Great pics. Looks delicious!

WP

Sean said...

wow, just went to nibbleish.com ... the prices for the tours are impressively low. hmmm, but no details about what exactly will be on the menu...

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Lovely pictures as usual! And vongole with chili padi...me like too!! =D

Nic (KHKL) said...

the aerial view of the virgin is rather aptly la. hehehehe...i see leo has began to take effect on ya! ;D

now that u mentioned it, yah, i've not really seen or eaten really crystal-like transparent char siew in sg before. i must pay attention next time.

good writing, dude. ;D

J2Kfm said...

this is cool. food tasting session, with ravenous wolves.

affogato mention, the pork knuckles deserve better than leftover desserts! :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

looks like indeed time to go try leonardos..esp after a round of wine there awhile ago..

r u referring to Ed (the owner)? knw him via a fren's fren..he mentioned that he knws u haha..

its surely a damn small world..

babe_kl said...

see... you deserved to have a fan club of your own for being able to rub shoulders with ppl in the high places :P

Tummythoz said...

Hawhawhawheehawhawhaw. Your affogato quips are just too farnee!

Your adoring fan,
tummythoz

thenomadGourmand said...

ahh.. readin ur post nvr fails to mk me laugh out loud (eliciting stares frm my housemates..)..
affogato..only u can think of such creative ways to use it in normal sentences!
And i know waht u meant by un-satiated portions, some food tasting sessions actually leave me hungrier than be4!

fatboybakes said...

TNG, heheh, glad that could elicit some laughter...
actually, we at leonardo's were satiated la, i dunno about the guys from the other two places. have to wait for their writeup!

tummythoz, awww, u are just too kind.

babekl, where got ppl in high places? who? who??? ppl like awhiffoflemongrass la, rubbing shoulders with the owners of AFC, etc etc..

nipples, KL is far too small. sleep around and you've had it!

fatboybakes said...

j2kfm, snigger, yeah, well, it wasn't like in the "rank" of leftover dessert, but in "position".. you know what i mean. like a 4th wife in first wife position, as opposed to 4th wife in 4th wife position.

hairy berry, one can only aspire towards prose like yours and thamby. mine are mere chicken scratchings on the dusty soil.
yeah, do check out the charsiu.

bangsarbabe, me too, i lurve pasta with chilli padi. so malaysian hor.

sean, i think you can be sure of quite a decent spread leh. we should do it hor. good excuse to meet up.

anonymous, WP...hmm, you arent one of the owners of leo's are you?

jules, thanks again for invite.

Eunice said...

you've fast risen the ranks to become my favourite food brogger. i don't normally read lots of sites unless its to drool over creations and sexy photos (food, food!) but ur writing style so chun the moon - subtle deadpan humour, zang toi writing style (creative i mean), and terrah content & thoughts - I can't help but come to terms with the fact that u are my fav flogger!

well now that ive come into self realisation, *grows pai seh* what's next on the menu!

xin said...

hey this is totally uncool! :( i am so so hungry after looking at your pics :(

FBB said...

xin, hahahaha, well, i also suffer from the same thing when i check your blogs wat. heyyyy, arent u and 550ml one and the same????!!!!

eunice, aiyo, blushing oridi la. thank you thank you, i am not worthy.

Anonymous said...

damn .... busted! :-) 1st time I comment on yr blog and u figured me out ... ha ha ... you're good!

And the answer to your question is .... drum roll .... yes.

WP

Life for Beginners said...

"A virgin margarita. One of those rare occasions when men aren't happy to be with Virgins."

I'll have to agree... I guess most men would prefer Experience over Innocence, but what about the ladies? ;)

P.S. My first time @ Leonardo's was with the Lyrical One. I wonder which flogger beauty will accompany me next? FBB, maybe? Hehe.

Henry Yeo said...

Leo's BKT? have to give it a try now.

PS: enough of the pun with the affogato.

thule a.k.a leo said...

Wow!!! So many exciting things happened during my absence :) I'm craving for good food now... haven't had any since my child's birth. All home cooked food

GFAD said...

Where's this place again? Always on the lookout for western restaurants that serves porcine delights!

BTW, here are some interesting 'goodies' that can induce a heart attack just by looking at it!. Oh don't get me wrong - on its own, each ingredient is delicious, but to put them together like that... *turns lightly green*

Anonymous said...

GFAD, you can find a map at www.leonardos.my. It's right above a bakery called "Suanson". Reservations recommended especially on weekends so you wont get disappointed.

fatboybakes said...

anonymous, thanks for the clarification. heh heh... i know who you are.

GFAD, okay wat, doesnt look gross at all.

thule, congrats!!! baby looks sooo adorable.

henry, let them perfect the taste first. the one i tried not enough kick. still under R&D.

LFB, have u gone blind? FBB, a flogger beauty?

The Duo Dishes said...

We love carbs! All that bread gets us excited.

Julian Si said...

In case this takes your interest, Sir FBB...

http://juliansi.blogspot.com/2009/03/nibbleishcom-event-tasting-room-jalan.html

I know you are probably more interested in my hic... hic... views on 12 year v 18 year vintage of dreammmmmmy Macallan :-)

The Duo Dishes said...

We have to move to Malaysia right away.