Monday, August 27, 2007

Max's Rite Bites

One of the perks (I am a pervert...the word perk or perky always reminds me of NJoe Who Is Constantly Craving) of being a so called food blogger is knowing someone who knows someone who is in a position to invite you to sample their wares and produce. Of course, one does not sell one's soul just for a donut, although some people of Facebook might have nominated me so. So, it is purely on the proviso that we are allowed brutal honesty, that I undertake some of oh so difficult tasks for traipsing from one restaurant to another on a delightful Saturday afternoon, sacrificing Body Combat and opting instead for Body Comefat.

The event, organised by MAX, the latest lifestyle card in town that offers F&B privileges in and around the Bangsar area, and beyond, was called RITE BITES, centred along that charming little row of shops along Jalan Bangkung, namely Fit For 2, Cava, Opus Bistro, Wine Cellar and The Attic.

The thing about going out to eat with food bloggers, they zoom in to shoot the food as if it were a national geographic documentary of some rare species of gazelle mating to preserve themselves from extinction. Make shift tripods on their fists, strobes from handphones, etc.... it is a veritable mini studio producing food porn.

Anyway, moving along, the first sight that greeted us, apart from the human beings, like the charming owner, Debbie, was of course, these.

A two tier tray of assorted cupcakes and brownies. Now, not intending to sound Male Chauvinistic here, I honestly think cupcakes, and anything dainty, are the ambit of the fairer sex. I honestly don't see what is the hysteria about, then again, I don't understand the hysteria about handbags, shoes .....or cars....oh dear, I must be a passionless soul. But ya, cupcakes. Okay, they look gorgeous and all, but in my book, anything that looks too pretty to eat, and can be consumed 100 times faster than it takes to make, hmmmm.....

There were 3 flavours of cupcakes, chocolate, peanut butter and a strawberry lemon. Of the three, my favourite was probably the chocolate. Overall, I personally find the icing on these things way too sweet, thus often rendering cupcakes as nice to look at but not to eat, for me.

These brownies were nice and chocolatey, and went well with the very nicely brewed coffee.

In between pictures, let's talk about the place. Fit for 2 is a cafe/studio that caters for expectant mothers. The owner, Debbie, runs pregnancy focused exercise classes in the studios. All her outlets seem very child friendly, for she also runs Bijou, Bisou and Bianco. I recall seeing disposable diapers available at the restroom of Bijou. However, since it is targetted at PREGNANT women, it's unlikely that I'll be a regular fixture there, for while I may have the silhouette of a pregnant woman, the similarity ends there. But IF I were a woman, and pregnant, of course you'd see me here all the time.

It was evening of food in reverse, for we started with dessert, and ended with soup. It was a pumpkin soup, which Nigel(la Lawson) said was probably roasted first to give it that lovely sweetish tinge. Sweet soup isnt everyone's cup of tea, but this sweetness was fairly natural, and I loved the soup. The tuna sandwiches accompanying the soup I found a tad dry.

Having run half an hour late as per schedule, we trotted over, already quite full, to the next stop. Cava. It means cellar in Catalan. (don't ask me what is Catalan. Probably the Spanish equivalent of Cantonese) I was greeted by my old buddy, Param, the manager.

A buffet spread lay before us, at 5pm. Gosh, and I had a dinner that night as well. The spread comprised Prawn Pil Pil, Sauteed Baby Octopus, Spanish Lamb Boulette, Cauteed Black Pepper Beef, Spanish Omelette, Patata Bravas, Paella Mariscos (Seafood).

I love the ambience at Cava. It's elegant yet laid back setting has been the backdrop for many a happy drink.

The seafood paella was served with generous portions of sea food. However, I found the rice a bit too wet for my liking. Not a paella expert, and not having a golden standard by which to compare, I had to just base my conclusions on my own taste buds. Too too wet.

These testicular looking things are actually not the anatomy of any animal, but are spanish lamb boulette. I presume boulette was derived from bulat, and means balls. Interesting flavour, but way too heavy for tea time.

The cosy bar ambience that I was talking about.

Everyone knows who this superstarlet is.

Ah, the highlight of the Cava Stop. The absolutely Sensational Sanguine Sangria. One lady mentioned, "oh good, it doesn't have that annoying fruit pieces to deal with". Everything had been blended together, thus ensuring your don't choke on pieces of orange or apple. Well chilled, and smooth, it really elevated the entire mood. Highly recommended.

We then adjourned to Cava's sister, Opus. They basically have the same parents. Again, many many a happy moment has been spent here at Opus, so I was no stranger to the place, though having not been there for awhile, the cast and crew had changed, and sigh, no one knew me anymore.

One of the highlights I daresay, for the fairer sex, was ahem, the French Sommelier. Aiyo, all that shameless ogling. When I mentioned whores, Lyrical Lemongrass perkily said, Oooh, yes, call me Scarlet O Whore-A. Bravo LL!!! What a brilliant name. Nigel then lead the conversation to the murkier grounds of "what is your striptease name".

Whatever their designs may have been on the lad, I have to say that his wine choice was very good. I forget the name now, but it had a slight eucalyptus flavour, and went very well with this lovely piece of roasted cod fish with lemon caper sauce.

This mini carbonara pasta was superb, despite the beef bacon. Also, that tiny portion was perfect, for I doubt I can actually wade through an entire plate of this, no, not even for dinner. It is so rich, that it makes Bill & Melinda look like paupers. That's the thing about carbonaras. I love the first few bites, but beyond that, it's like drowning in a vat of fat.

Opus also serves a selection of cakes supplied by our dear master bakers from Just Heavenly. The key lime pie looks sinfully delicious.

Alas, because I had to rush home and prepare dinner for 15, I could not stay on for the rest of the show. I missed out on the serving of Lemoncello, at Opus, tour of the Wine Cellar, (a wine cellar next door that stocks a wide range of wines, and very reasonably priced, I'm told), and the last stop at the Attic, where there was more booze and desserts from Just Heavenly. I shall rely on my fellow food bloggers and read their reviews.

A big thank you again to Nigel, Kyan and Alex for organising a wonderful Saturday evening. Cheers!!! Special thanks to Boolicious of Masak Masak who tahpau-ed some of Just Heavenly's debut desserts, ie, the mango upside down cake, madeira and lemon cheesecake for me.


Anonymous said...

Aiyo, I look half-dead in the pic.

Diary of Kay El said...

You lucky lucky people!!! Food, wine and great company - AND a French sommelier.. **drools**

boo_licious said...

It was a great afternoon - glad I had the opportunity to join all of you. No problems on the cakes since it's on the way home.

Anonymous said...

everything looks gooood!

Anonymous said...

Oh noo .. didn't realise I was slouching so much. Ate too full! Is he french ? I though he sounded italian ?

Sze said...

catalan is what's spoken in the basque region of spain. heh are cantonese secessionists too?

and how on EARTH did everyone have the space to eat all of that??

Anonymous said...

The mini pasta look soo delish~ And the cakes~!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

how did "perks = joe?" .. i dont exactly give out perks u know.. like i said b4..damn i was not in town..cant enjoy all this delights..

Precious Pea said...

I shared the same sentiments on the food...can copy and paste ar? LOL! That reminds me that I have to start doing some homework here...too much food making me LAZY!

fatboybakes said...

jason, no lah, you dont look half dead. you look half alive.

diary of kay el, join the queue of those shameless women la, for the sommelier.

boo, whats a blog event without the head of floggers?

karen...well, honestly, not EVERYTHING was good...

foodielianne, yes, nigel probed and found out he's french

sze dear, it was bite size portions. ah, basque region hor. thank you.

cookies cream - yup, pasta was gooood. small doses only though. you REALLY want me to explain?

precious pea... yalar, slacker...still full from all that japanese grub your good hubby bought leh.

wmw said...

So fast posted up already! Hey, that's me...tripod and handphone lights! haha

Sze said...

err sorry i meant catalonia. makes sense heh. though i guess they're both regions which have had stirrings of separating from spain, in my defense!

daphne said...

argh.... these pictures are so tempting...

fatboybakes said... did you guess hor.

sze...bow bow, i am not worthy of such knowledge.

jackson, you always look good...

daphne, yup, it was a great outing.