Showing posts with label chickpeas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chickpeas. Show all posts

Friday, March 01, 2019


A Blue Latte seems like a befitting drink to mark our visit to the cosy Jamaica Blue café at Setia City Mall in Setia Alam. Adorned with a delicate latte art ‘tree’, the pastel blue beverage tasted similar to warm vanilla-scented milk; its unique colour rendered by blue Curaçao (a type of bitter orange) syrup with white chocolate and frothy milk used to create the velvety, caffeine-free treat.
Established in 1992 by Foodco in Australia, Jamaica Blue was inspired by the majestic Blue Mountains of Jamaica — one of the best coffee producing regions in the world and home to Wallenford Estate® Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. Todate, Jamaica Blue boasts an international network of more than 170 cafés in Australia, New Zealand, China, the United Arab Emirates, UK, Singapore and Malaysia.
In Malaysia, Jamaica Blue has 9 outlets; thriving on its ‘fine coffees and fabulous food’ concept. The Jamaica Blue café at Setia City Mall is one of the bigger outlets, cosily furnished with plenty of comfortable seating. True to its name, Jamaica Blue strives to evoke the laidback spirit of the Caribbean with an idyllic oasis-like setting complemented by the premium taste of award-winning coffee and seasonal fresh menus.
The ardent coffee lovers in our group had nothing but praises for the smooth medium roast Jamaica Blue Mountain Cappuccino (RM23.40). Made from 100% Arabica beans, the Jamaica Blue Signature Blend Cappuccino (RM11.70) held its own; its medium, well-balanced body proffering a creaminess with subtle chocolate aftertaste.
Even our choice of non-caffeine beverages such as the chocolatey Gone Banana Smoothie (RM14.50) and Mango Smoothie (RM14.50) came up trumps. Perfect pick-me-uppers to counter this sweltering hot weather!
Breakfast fare is now popular among city folks at all hours of the day. At Jamaica Blue, you can enjoy crowd-pleasing Eggs Florentine with Smoked Salmon (RM26.50) anytime you step in. If you’re a light-eater, a serving of the poached eggs, wilted spinach with smoked salmon and warm hollandaise sauce on toast is ample enough to feed two. We enjoyed every scrumptious mouthful of this offering.
A special handcrafted recipe from the Jamaica Blue kitchen that’s healthy and heartwarming we sampled is Warm Forest Mushroom, Feta & Spinach Bowl (RM20). Before you diss it as yet another boring salad, we can vouch for this unexpectedly good bowl of healthful eats. 
Who would have thought earthy mushrooms, feta crumbs, sunflower seeds and wilted spinach contrasted so well with quinoa and almond 'porridge', chickpeas and poached egg? Throw in a dusting of herbs and dukkah and presto! it was culinary magic made in heaven.
However, local tastebuds seeking more familiar fare may prefer the delectable Vintage Ground Beef Burger (RM28.90). Featuring Jamaica Blue's own housemade beef patty, the toasted burger is guaranteed to satisfy as it's packed with briny beef strips, cheddar cheese, pickles, aioli, fresh rocket leaves, tomato slices and caramelised onion. A fresh green salad is also served on the side.
Italian style ciabatta forms the basis for the Classic Steak Sandwich (RM28.60), another viable option to consider when you feel peckish. The moist, juicy filling comprises grilled scotch beef fillet with beef strips complemented by sliced tomato, rocket, caramelised onion, aioli and gherkins.

Non-beef eaters can take comfort in the Jerk Spiced Chicken, Avocado & Mozzarella Roll (RM20). Lean chicken breast meat tossed in creamy chipotle (Mexican-style spicy dressing) sauce and coriander.
Don’t be surprised to find no creamy sauce drowning the pasta when you order Jamaica Blue’s Traditional Pasta Carbonara (RM22.90). Here, it’s whipped up the trad Italian way with just egg, garlic, olive oil, turkey strips and parmesan cheese. We relished every forkful of the deliciously al dente, flavourful pasta down to the last strand.
Mindful of local preferences for robust tasting dishes, the Chicken Laksa Pasta (RM20.90) should prove bang on. Slathered in lush santan-rich and spice-enhanced sauce with a touch of coriander, the pasta with chicken pieces got enthusiastic thumbs up from us.
Sweet treats are aplenty here too. Two dessert we’d recommend are the Sticky Date Pudding (RM14) and the luscious, fudgy Dark Chocolate & Walnut Brownie (RM12).
The former proved its irresistibly factor when my partner — a non-dessert fan —sought repeat helpings of the date-studded pud with warm butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream. Other baked goods such as croissants, lemon yoghurt loaf and scones are also available daily.

For more information on Jamaica Blue, visit or Facebook:

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Meet the pièce de résistance of Al Nafoura restaurant in Wangsa Maju. A hearty Yemeni rice dish that takes about 20-30 minutes to prepare, Maghdout is well worth the wait. You can choose either Lamb Maghdout (1/2kg RM39, RM75 1kg) or Chicken (RM35 half, RM65 whole) which has long grain basmati rice pressure-cooked to perfection in tomato-based sauce with lamb or chicken and aromatic spices
Prepared only upon order, the resultant speciality had us hooked on its deep-seated flavours; the fluffy rice a nice foil for the chunks of meltingly tender meat. Served with a side dish of Al Nafoura Salad (RM10) - diced Japanese cucumber, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese, this signature dish is ideal for sharing and worth repeat visits.
Opened in February 2016, Al Nafoura - the word means water fountain in Arabic - has garnered a steady following despite its low-key existence. The chefs working at Al Nafoura are Yemeni as are the ingredients. The resto owners, Rahim and Izana ensure dishes served remain as original as possible to those found in Yemen, especially Rahim who had studied in Saudi Arabia and spent years relishing Yemeni food in the Middle East.

According to them, Yemeni food is heavily influenced by Africa, India and Turkey after the country's fisherfolks, merchants and traders brought exotic spices and recipes back from their forays. Also Yemenis thrive on rice as a staple unlike the rest of the Middle Easterners who prefer bread. Having sampled the assorted Yemeni and Middle-Eastern specialities, we realised they outshone those proffered in the city centre.
The opening salvo of freshly made and baked Mullawah Bread (RM5 small, RM8 large) was ample proof. Layered and folded with butter or ghee, this deliciously rustic Yemeni bread is only available on weekdays (after 6 pm for dinner only) and weekends.
Tear up the fluffy bread and savour it with Hummus (RM12), house blended chickpeas with olive oil and Prawn Salona (RM22). Both these tapas-style offerings hit the spot as we were ravenous after the long drive to the resto.
Tomato, onion and cumin formed the alluring base for the Prawn Salona, a robustly flavoured house speciality with shelled prawns. You can also enjoy the bread with Chicken Oqda (RM17), a well-spiced albeit slightly drier chicken stew with potatoes, tomatoes and carrots. In Arabic, oqda means knot - referring to how nicely 'tied up' the ingredients are. Think of it as a scrumptious Middle Eastern rendang.

Al Nafoura also served its own distinctive Garlic Sauce (RM4) - a creamy blend of garlic, egg white and sunflower oil to complement the array of lamb and chicken dishes. Of course, you can expect Shaweq - an irresistible relish of tomato, garlic, coriander and bird's eye chilli to accompany most of the food too.
The menu also includes ubiquitous Middle-Eastern dishes such as Mandi Chicken (RM16 quarter, RM26 half) - delectable spice marinated chicken grilled and served with basmati rice. I had my fair share of this and more commonly found fare on a recent assignment but I daresay Al Nafoura's is one of the more notable ones worth savouring and suitable for both adults and kids.
You'd find it hard to eat another lousy mamak mee goreng once you try the resto's hybrid Maggi Goreng Kabsa (RM18). Boldly flavoured with sedap giler tomato-spice nuances similar to the house speciality of Maghdout, we polished off this crowd-pleaser within minutes.

Partial to lamb? Then Kabsa Lamb Rice (RM23 small, RM37 large) should convert you into part of the flock once you have a taste of the hearty lamb stew laden with aromatic Yemeni spices served with fragrant basmati rice.
Dessert can be rather hefty to deal with single-handedly after all that carbs and protein. We suggest a serving to share especially if you wish to dig into Areeka (RM18). It's a sweet-savoury bread pudding of sorts, rustled up with housemade Yemeni wheat flatbread with minced dates and nuts. Crowned with cream and grated cheese, the decadent treat was rich and filling.
Cheese lovers may prefer Kunafe (RM15), an Arabic cheesecake of sorts which is made from shredded phyllo dough and white soft cheese baked and topped off with a dollop of cream. Simple yet extremely lush and not to be trifled with lightly. Good with a warm cup of Adani Tea (milky red tea enhanced with spices) to finish.

For reservations call Al Nafoura, tel: 03-4131 4886. Address: 9-G, Plaza Wangsa Maju (Hedgeford Galleria), Jalan Maju Ria 2, Wangsa Maju, Section 10, Kuala Lumpur.

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