Monday, February 22, 2010

Warung Cafe, A Brilliant Discovery By Le Couple Toy

Every now and then, you make a discovery that makes you want to spread the good news. To be honest, when ToyBoy invited me for lunch, at midvalley megamall on a Saturday, the week before Chinese New Year, images of being stuck in a 2 hour crawl in the carpark, suffocating from CO fumes (that's Carbon Monoxide, for those of you who've given back your Chemistry to your teachers), conjured in my mind, and short of giving an excuse that I was having morning sickness, I reluctantly hauled myself there.

Warung Cafe is easy enough to find, its in the North Court, opposite FOS kids, and just at the entrance to the footbridge to the Komuter, and Northpoint. It's a small food court set up, and very pleasant, cosy, and bright (in the day time). The gregarious and my new idol owner, Sue, was there at the table, where Logan was already tucking into a bowl of delectable looking mee rebus all by himself. Thamby of course would add another delectable adjective before Logan's name.

Their signature 3 layer gula melaka tea. Surprisingly, it is not as sweet as it looks, and tastes magnificent. Seriously, just thinking about it (and the other stuff) makes me wanna hop over to midvalley right now. Anyway, its not a flaming lamborghini, and you are supposed to mix it up before drinking, or you'd end up drinking pure gula melaka. Seemed a pity to destroy the gorgeous strata.

An assortment of nyonya kuehs were also served. All delicious, and I'm not just saying that coz the meal was free. It's quite easy to get awful nyonya kueh, ....just go to most hotel buffets. For some unbeknownst reason, nyonya and malay kuehs at hotel buffets are usually bad.

Gotta give it to Sue for creativity. This is a serunding toast. Much like kaya toast, but laced with yummy serunding. However, the bread does fill you up, so if you are eating other stuff, best to stay away from this, as it will soak up and expand in your stomach, and you wont be able to try the OTHER goodies.

The Petronas Twin Tower rice, this dish is called.

I'm kidding, its nasi tumpang, blogged about eons ago by our definitive queen of the food bloggers, Masak Masak. According to a friend I spoke to over the chink new year break, nasi tumpang is kelantanese and usually comprises leftovers etc. But not THIS nasi tumpang. If it was leftovers, it was glorious leftovers. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!!! Layers of serunding, fluffy rice, chicken curry and more serunding, that would give a geology student an O. the lass up here ....

Look at that. Glorious layers of goodness.

Tumeric Fried Chicken, ....can't go wrong there. Needs to be eaten when freshly fried. Sue prides the place (she says she is not the owner, her son is, and she is a regular paying customer) with using clean oil, which is true, coz the Fried Chicken tastes so "clean", and freshly fried.

A happy nasi tumpang camper.

Nasi Lemak, which was also yummy. The rice is steamed. The sambal was good. However, by this time, we were, as you can imagine, feeling realllllly stuffed.

To really finish us off, ...Sue fed us with more, Soto Ayam.... I love soto ayam, and there are many versions of it. I do prefer meehoon to nasi impit. But we were really far too full.

Roti Canai, just for we needed it.

Another piece de resistance, the dried prawn serunding rice. The rice is covered, like a veil over a bride, with a large omelette, and as you lift the veil, oops, omelette, you discover the beauty that lies beneath. (unless you're Jacob and Leah). A spicy complex but delicious "hair bee" ...apparently its toygirl's favourite dish.

The girl and her roti....

And a cool ice kacang to really finish off the job, and exploding our stomachs. Its funny how VASTLY different people's expectations of a good ice kacang are. With corn, without corn, no kidney beans, must have kidney beans, red beans, no red beans, etc etc...the list and permutations are ENDLESS!!!! For me, my favourite combination is Corn, Red Beans (not kidney beans, I HATE those), Leong Fun, (grass jelly) ...and on the ice, generous amount of evaporated milk, gula melaka, dribble of rose syrup, and dash of santan.

I honestly dunno where Frat mustard appeared from, but he disappeared as quickly as he appeared. Was it just an apparition?

Anyway, Sue, (my new idol, I did mention right) is such an entrepreneur. She also owns the Himalayan Herbal chain, which we all visited (like a school field trip), and bought lots of stuff. She also owns Che Che, some girly handbaggy stuff, at which point I went to Carrefour to buy Oreos for baking.

Thanks for organising, ToyCouple, and thanks Sue. I can't wait to bring the kids and friends there. I NEED NASI TUMPANG!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chinese New Year Again

Finally, my brilliant writing skills have paid off, when I entered the slogan contest in the Queen's blog, awhile back. Of course, I also entered a similar competition in the other Queen's blog, but didn't even get a sniff at the prize.

Today, JUST IN TIME FOR ME TO COOK MY REUNION DINNER, via that wonderful Fed Ex, I received my prize.

And as we approach yet the turn of another Lunar Year, a time for reflection, and making of New Year resolutions, afterall, we are chinks, so we follow the Lunar Year, and not that Auld Lang Syne singing at the stroke of midnight, I can only feel an inordinate sense of gratitude that I am not from China.

As in, I myself am not from China, because my ancestors, hundreds of years ago, had the good sense to become "Pendatangs" in this wonderful Tanah Pusaka. Let the bones be white, but eyes cannot white. Why am I grateful I am not from China? Look at the chaos!

I am sure if I was living in China, I'd ahem, be working in the big cities, like Beijing or Shanghai, afterall, I am a city boy, and one can't expect me to be holed up in my little ancestral village in Hainan Dou. Heck, I could be that guy in the queue, waiting for my train, and ferry (Hainan is an island) to balik kampung.

Instead, here I am, in Bangsar, the nearest Village being the shopping mall 100m away, and about to go home without having to queue in long queues. Lihatlah dunia!!!!

Thank you my beloved country. (Malaysia laaahhhhh).

And wishing everyone a happy chinese lunar new year, regardless of whether you celebrate or not. Oh, and as for angpows, if you are my friend or acquaintance, and fulfill these THREE criteria, do drop by and collect yours. The criteria are:

1. Unmarried
2. Unemployed
3. Untainted


Monday, February 08, 2010

Rama V Fusion Degustation

A few weeks back, I got a very last minute call from the suave and handsome owner of Rama V, Andre, requesting some of us to try out a special menu he had planned for a special occasions. Never one to turn down free food, especially with the prospect of good company, and nice ambience, (incidentally I just checked, ambience and ambiance are both correct), I agreed, although we were to be fed only at 9.30pm. Usually the digestive faculties would be winding down by then, ah, but what the hey.

Andre and the brood.... Monkey Boy, Monkey Girl, and Memoirs of a Chocaholic. Ooh, all start with M.

Jelly Fish Yee Sang. We were the first guests to be served Yee Sang for the year. Wow, what an honor. Also, being the first, I think the cook was not aware that Jellyfish has to be soaked long before serving, because it is preserved in salt. So, while the other stuff was lovely, the jelly fish felt like it had been working in the salt mines of the dead sea. Good thing we were there as guinea oink oinks to point this out.

The lovely blue lotus dumpling, CHOR LADDA, a personal favourite of mine, served together with a glorious crab meat otak otak. The otak otak was very unique, as the texture of the crab meat gave it some body, and it had a nice chewy feel to it. (HOR MOK POO)

Yum Kum Pisek
Another starter, which was a very Thai saladish thing with a couple of succulent prawns. However, most of the condiments are for show, as it can't really be eaten, unless you've the disposition of a Thai Elephant, and can chew through lemongrass and chilli padi. I found the taste palatable, a nice tangy and fiery feel, though my eating compadres felt it was too hot. Wimps.

A special crabmeat and something soup, not usually on the menu. A bit on the sweet side, compared to the Chinese version of something similar.

Kung Non Hae
Prawns in gold net, literally translated. Egg omelette made a bit like roti jala, to give that net like (net as in fishing net, not internet) shape, wrapped around the prawn.

Yam King Ornsai Kung Mankorn
My favourite for the night, and how can it not be. Look at that succulent mother of all prawns, (think District Nine!), with that gloriously crimson roe. River prawn in young ginger and spring onions...basically a chinese method of cooking, but oh so good. The original menu, for the special event, would be lobster. But hey, prawns these size are just one step away from lobsterhood.

Dang the prime lens and bokeh! This picture is to show the prawns err...sprawning. Spawning, I mean.

A leetle scallop with asparagus. By this time, and this hour, we were completely stuffed, so I was grateful the scallop was miniscule. I think for the real deal, they'd give at least two. (scallops).

Pla Pa Ping
Doesnt that just rolll off the tongue. Pla Pa Ping. Saying it is like balancing a ball bearing on your tongue. Deep fried fish fillets. It was a favourite of the others, but I am not a big fan of battered fish. (even though there is no domestic violence involved, like battered spouses).

Nue Yang.
Beef tenderloin. Hmm, is Nue beef in Thai? Sound like Mandarin. Mine was overcooked, but the others were luckier with their pink slivers of tender loin.

Pineapple fried rice, which we unanimously agreed should be struck of the degustation menu for this event, and replaced by noodles instead. It's good on its own right, but somehow, seems a bit plebian after all the other fine dining stuff.

Mmm, this lovely dessert called Salim. There's always room for dessert. It's almost LIKE that tap tim krup thing, but not quite. Strands of glass vermicelli (tong fun) make it very unique. Not overly sweet, it was the perfect end to the great meal.

Anyway, just so you know, Rama V does do customized degustation type menus, as we have seen here, to cater for private functions. Rama V is an ideal venue for parties up to 100 plus pax I think, located on Jln U Thant, in a quaint old bungalow with large spacious grounds.

Great night as usual, thanks Andre. For the other takes on the night's events, check out Chocoholic's Post and AlilfatMonkey.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sage, Redux Redux....

Some Sagely advice from FBB, to all you young dating/courting couples out there. Especially to the men. Do Not Do during courting what you don't intend to do the rest of your married life. For example, giving flowers, opening car door, (that's what remotes are for), love letters (shudder), buying jewellery, because it WILL come back to haunt you....10 years down the line, nag nag nag... aiya, why last time dating you buy me flowers, why this why that.

I am proud to say, Mrs FBB has never asked me those questions, because, well, she can't (cos in my wisdom, I never did any of those things).

I digress as always. The word Sage always evokes so many different thoughts in my mind. This would be my third time in a span of 1 year and a bit that I've been to Sage, at the Gardens. Feeling uncharacteristically un-frugal, I decided, yes, I shall treat myself to a nice lunch with good friends. (no, I wasn't treating them, it's the Netherlands method we used)....

It always pays to know people who know people. In this case, our pal, Paranoid Android, who dines here the way ordinary mortals dine at kopitiams. On a regular basis, so that everyone here knows his name. If you do go, just name drop, "I'm Paranoid's friend", and look around in a paranoid way for gangsters who might mug you. (I'll bet you are, they'll think).

Don't you just LOVE IT, LOVE IT, when you sit down, and don't have to think, and there's a menu planned out for you? And I don't mean those that start with "The Wedding Dinner of Mr So and So" and the rest is in chinese.

A virgin like mojito like drink. Refreshing and cleans up the palate in anticipation of the goodies that are about to be served.

Isnt she the epitome of elegance?

Monkey Boy with his new toy. He's a genius with it. Added to his comical flair, it's best to get his autograph now while you can, before he's famous and looks at you and asks, "who are you?". Even name dropping Paranoid's name would be futile.

Their signature bread and dipping sauce, something like a pesto in olive oil. Basil is definitely one of the featured ingredients. The pleb in me still screams out for butter... but on this occasion, I refrained.

Aren't they a gorgeous bunch. Paranoid refuses to be photographed. Hence ....

Smoked Salmon Starter.... With Akame herb. Simply sublime. Not too salty, like the commercial smoked salmon, a thick sashimi sized slice, if not bigger, with a layer of crispy skin. Fabulous contrast in texture and tastes. The freshness was superb, makes you wonder if Mr Salmon Rushdee was swimming in the sea hours before that.

More carbs to fill us up. Nothing to shout about. Cheese on toast, basically.

Mmm, my favourite. Angel Hair pasta (capellini) with seafood. I could eat a main portion of this easily. The pasta was perfect, and had soaked in the flavours of the seafood and sauce, and oooh, shudder in esctasy, oh so good. The seafood was delightfully fresh, and scallop sweet and succulent.

I opted for the Wagyu, which reminded all of us a bit of charsiu. The wagyu was a bit overdone, as I asked for medium. The overdone-ness was more apparent in the leaner cut of the wagyu whereas the piece with the fatty layers was more forgiving. But still, very tender, and was still a treat to the palate.

The Mulloway Sea Bass, (is that from Mullholland Drive?) which the others had. I think it was good. I sampled a morsel, which was not enough to give me a real taste. It's like that teeny spoon of sampling ice cream at a baskin robbins, that gets lost on the way to my tongue. But I think the sea bass was good. Afterall, it's Mulloway wor. What's Mulloway? idea.

Then, just as we thought the best was over, Paranoid Android brings out his cherries!

These were no ordinary cherries. They were humongous. Of the Bing variety, (read about its history from Ciki's blog), and look at how huge they are....two cherries cover the entire phone screen.

Delectable Su couldnt refrain from fondling Paranoid's lovely jewels, looked like an esctatic schoolgirl in a candy store. They were seriously seriously DELICIOUS!!! Succulent, firm, sweet, moist, RM220 per kg, they better blardy well be.

The kids playing with Paranoid's cherries.

Dessert, the red cherries flambe with nougat glace. Coincidentally, more cherries. Yum. But Sage's cherries, compared with Paranoid's, almost seemed shrivelled...had we NOT had paranoid's cherries, the Sage's cherries would have been fine, if not perfect. A lovely dessert though, to cap off a lovely afternoon of fun and good food.

If life were a cherry, that'll be about right, I am half way through. ARGHHH, sob sob sob.

The set lunch is priced at RM80 net, a damn steal if you ask me, for that quality of food.