Monday, February 23, 2015

Living Food by Ashley's....Living Around the World Menu

To my horror, I discovered this draft post, long overdue.  Apologies to Ashley!!!

Not sure whether the "Living Around the World" special menu is still there, but nevertheless, it was rather interesting, and I am sure some items would have found its way into the regular menu.

Mushroom Pattie... well, it's certainly not meat, so feels exceedingly healthy.

Green curry with Jicama Rice.  It's all the rage, Jicama (pronounced hicama), and turns out it's actually our sengkuang.  Jicama certainly sounds far more exotic than sengkuang.

Cherry Tomato Tartlet, which strictly speaking, is probably a deconstructed tartlet, as there is not tart shell to speak of.  Raw almond panna cotta with pesto.  Love the almond panna cotta.

Avocado Verrine, a gorgeous medley of avocado, walnut butter, strawberry, lettuce and truffle oil.  Light and refreshing, with a summery feel.

Walnut Pate and Olive Pate.

A very interesting mango wrap, kind of like a huge vegetarian spring roll.  The wrap itself is made of mango, and has an interesting leathery texture, but I couldn't really tell that there was mango present.  Whilst the vegetables within the wrap were crisp and refreshing, I personally didn't like the mango wrap, unique though it was.

Vietnames Rice roll, which is probably the most "normal" and instantly recognisable thing on the menu.

The nasi ulam, again, with Jicama, a lovely fragrant combination of herbs that make up nasi ulam, like ginger flower, french beans, kafir lime leaves, in a spinach wrap.

Tabouleh, or a form of it, made from quinoa.

A very healthy tempura...

Lemon Tartlet for dessert, together with the very pretty and elegant Eton Mess...

As an encore, lest we were not full, their signature squid ink pasta, which is really very good.  The noodles are nicely al dente and the seafood fresh.  A rather substantial meal on it's own.

And finally, their signature pescatarian burger, with bun made from forbidden rice.  Forbidden rice is rice that was reserved for royalty, and therefore forbidden to the masses.  The burger is very lush and filling, with a variety of flavours to tingle your palate.

11, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
017-325 3663

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Lovely Afternoon Soiree at Jeff's Place - Private Dining Supperclub

Whether private dining and supperclubs are a fad, or are here to stay, is irrelevant, because so far, all my experiences at supperclubs have been most enjoyable, I guess because firstly, you're likely to be with your own familiar crowd, secondly some have been really quite novel, like in a bicycle shop, or in apartments transformed into nyonya kitchens, or in someone's dining room...and lastly, the food is usually good, as it tends to have that home made loving goodness, that is a combines the best of home cooked, and the expectations of "commercial" cooking, if you know what I mean.  I mean, you can't jolly well serve your ABC soup to a supper club and charge RM matter how lovingly prepared.

I am always very blessed by my friends, in this case, the inimitable Fay Cheng, owner of Oriental Cravings, 1u, who invited me unexpectedly for a luncheon at her friend's private dining supper club, in Bangsar.  We were introduced to the Chef and owner, Jeff Koit, his lovely wife and son Justin who doubled up as waiter and subsequently barista.  Don't worry, it wasn't child labour, the "son" is an adult.

Located in the serenity of Bangsar Heights, one of the few green pockets left in the concrete jungle that is Bangsar, the Koit's apartment seems to have been "modified" to cater for this endeavour.  The view at night from the balcony I can only imagine, must be quite spectacular.  As the only rose amongst the thorns, I took my seat at the dining table, amidst the luminary company of Fay, the Makan Fairy Godmother and some of Fay's other lady friends.  So much estrogen in the air, I could have sworn my ahem, chest, went one cup size bigger.

The most wonderful chicken liver pate, prepared with madeira, and two other types of booze.  The texture of the pate perfect, velvety, and the taste, sublime, accompanied by crackers and some breads.  Actually for a luncheon, I could have just eaten this and sipped a good chilled white, and be very happy.

Speaking of wines,, this doesn't come as part of the dining package, although I am sure Jeff would be more than happy to quote for dinner with wine pairing.  This larverly bottle of champagne, my favourite, as it turns out, was brought by our ever generous hostess with the mostess...(that's her below), which went so well with the food.  I was quite crimson by the time the soup was served.

A refreshing salad, with my all time favourite salad ingredient...EGGs, and this was great because I hate hard boiled eggs with hard yolks.  A very balanced meal, protein from the ham and the eggs, tomatoes and lettuce with a light vinaigrette dressing.  Very tai tai kind of food actually. 

Okay, this is one of those cases where you look and think, huh??? Is that it?  A clear soup?  I also can do la!!! But actually it was a very flavourful broth, some kind of consomme that was chockful of flavour, but yet so clear.  Chicken soup for cleaning the soul kinda thing.

Time to flex those mussels.  Grilled salmon on a bed of unidentifiable vegetable or tuber, which I think turned to be err... something quite expensive, hence not in my vocabulary.  I am not a mussel fan, to be honest, so I would not opt for this pescetarian selection in the menu.  But that was a HUGE slab of salmon, and the weight conscious lady guests were hurriedly slicing off halves of the fish onto a common plate.

This, on the other hand, are right up my alley.  Special barbequed pork ribs, tender, falling off the bone, although Jeff said that he left it a minute too long in the oven.  No damage done, it was still moist.  Aye for the ribs.

Almost as an "encore" we were treated to a fine selection of coffees by hobbyist barista, Justin Koit, who kept the ladies enraptured with his explanations of the various beans etc.

The ladies paying rapt attention to the barista...

The perfect cuppa... although I prefer mine a bit stronger.  The tastes of the various beans etc were all too complex for my plebian palate.

That's the man himself, Jeff Koit, (who has since shaven off his facial extras) entertaining, affable host, and puts his guests totally at ease.

And finally, the delicious chilled blueberry cheesecake made by Mrs Koit, light, ethereal texture in a chilled cheesecake, which I can never seem to achieve.

As as a final encore, another variety of pate, which was also oh so good, but we were soooo stuffed by then.

I believe the dinner price ranges from RM150 onwards, and corkage is free.  (very important knowledge for the alcohol ghosts).

You can join his FB page HERE, and contact him via that page for reservations.

Location: Bangsar, near NSTP area.

44@APW, A Cute Lil Pop Up Cocktail Bar

When I got an invitation from old friend, Jasmine, I was INTRIGUED at the idea of a pop up cocktail bar, and was really looking forward to discovering the place.  It really takes an inordinate amount of faith in the directions given, because, looking at the place from the entrance, you would be hard pressed to believe that such a place exists, I guess hence the term pop up.

Located on Jln Riong, just before the entrance to NST's Balai Berita, within the compound of Art Printing Works, a functional printing press, behind the new coffee cult place, Pulp, lies 44 @ APW.  Why 44? No idea, the main address outside is 29 I believe.

This is what it looks like from the outside.  Fear not, fine adventurers, just follow the straight path, until you see the main clue, that striking sign that says, ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT HAND IN YOUR DRINK.

The odd bits of printing press paraphernalia dot the place, giving it a minimalist eclectic feel, and despite the lack of airconditioning, the place is rather cool, in more ways than one.

Lilliputians gazing in awe at the number 44....

Our "mixologist", CK, is actually the GM Of the Bar for all their outlets (The Bee group of restaurants) and we were honored to have the boss mix for us that day, because the regular mixologist was on sick leave.

The most fascinating thing about the place is the choice of alcohol, most of which we had never heard of before.  Definitely none of your generic Glens or what not, and most of them have the most interesting names.

We were given a sample of this smoked salmon flavoured vodka.  The taste of the smoked salmon was rather distinct, almost as if you ate a piece of smoked salmon, and then washed it down with some vodka.  An acquired taste, no doubt, that smoky, fishy, boozy combination.  I liked it, but it's not something I'd actually ORDER to drink.

The first cocktail was a Vodkatini, not in the menu, but uses the aforementioned smoked salmon vodka.  Well, imagine a martini, slightly stronger than usual, with that whiff and aftertaste of smoked salmon.

If drinks had gender, this is definitely a hot chick.  Sex and the City Meets Cosmopolitan.  Or was it the cosmo FROM Sex And the City? Whatever it is, it's definitely a chick's drink.  From colour to taste.

And speaking of chicks, here's one....

The Jungle Bird Campari...which I liked, coz of the slight bitter aftertaste.  Campari, wow, they used a mainstream drink, is always associated with the older generation, like my late grandfather, who enjoyed the odd Campari 7 Up which sounded so exotic those days.

The silhouette of someone familiar.

That would be Jasmine and me...

The Fall Reviver... Not sure if "Fall" is referring to autumn, or a FALL when you pass out after too many cocktails.  Predominantly apple based, with cinnamon and cider.  A rather refreshing drink, with slight hints of apple, etc.

And finally, to ensure that we left with a buzz, a whisky tasting...with names like 7 Stars Moonshine....Alaska Outlaw and Catoctin Creek, we were sure we were going to have a buzz.
The Rye whisky would be the equivalent of single malt I guess, except it was single rye...

And just in case you were still not lubricated enough, some old engine oil should do the trick.  But this might not be on the menu either.  I liked it, like a stout.

And one last one for the road, the Old this time, I forgot to take notes, but it's on the menu.

Cheers to the drinking posse!!!

The pop up bar opens from Wednesdays to Sundays, 5pm onwards.  Unfortunately, they do not serve food, which I think is a real pity, cos that REALLY limits alcohol intake, so I hope they will look into serving something soon.  Even some nasi lemak or ramly burgers would sell like hot burgers....