Showing posts with label mee jawa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mee jawa. Show all posts

Saturday, July 12, 2008


On scorching hot days, nothing beats a bowl of cold soba noodles! Found one recently at a little Japanese outlet known as Hokano in Damansara Uptown. The place also serves reasonably priced set lunches and a variety of imaginative sushi rolls. But that's another story altogether.

I find the easiest way to revive jaded tastebuds (well, mine at least) is to eat something spicy or robustly flavoured. For some inexplicable reasons, I have this urge for mee rebus and mee bandung. So imagine how esctatic I was when I stumbled upon this nondescript outlet enroute to Kajang town which sells Mee Bandung Muar. The outlet - D'Muar World (inspired by Akademi Fantasia's hottest winner of all time, Mawi no doubt) has always had lots of cars parked in and about its vicinity so we suspect the food must be pretty good. Once I had my first bite of the mee bandung, you can almost see one of those big cartoonish speech balloons popping up above my head with the word 'Sedaaaapppp!!!' in it. The gravy is thick and richly flavoured with prawns and spices with a just hint of sweetness. Super yummy!

Nowadays, green is in but how many of us really conscientiously bother to adopt a low-carbon, eco-friendly diet? My token efforts amount to nothing more than buying and using that occasional organic wholewheat flour, sea salt and veges. Yeah, I've got a looooong way to go before I become a full-fledged greenie. But I must say I felt really good after eating Woods Macrobiotics' 5 Energy Somen Noodles. Don't they present a pretty picture? Made from organic wholewheat flour, their different coloured noodles are resultant from ground organic soya, bitchotan charcoal, green tea, beetroot and carrot powder. Each type of noodles supposedly helps to strengthen the heart, liver, kidney and stomach. I'm all for eating my way to good health!

Being the chilli fan that I am, Mee Siam naturally is one of my all-time favourite noodle dish. Toast & Toast Cafe in Balakong serves a decent version which is spicy enough. The rice vermicelli is also not too dry which is nice. Actually I can dish up a pretty mean version myself but slothfulness and work deadlines have prevented me from venturing into the kitchen. So the one at Toast & Toast will have to do for now ;-p

Nothing reminds me of my childhood more than Hokkien Mee. Believe me, this dish of ubiquitous noodles is bound to make its appearance come any tai yat chee or Chinese festivals in my grandparents' house alongside the park chit kai (white-cut steamed chicken) and popiah (spring rolls). Mom is a consummate expert at dishing this black soya sauce drenched noodles but she has since retired from culinary duties years ago! So what's a Hokkien gal to do but resort to search for alternatives? Luckily, the Klang Valley (especially in PJ - why is that??) still has 2-3 stalls that offer a decent version - not quite my Mom's gold standard but heck, beggars can't be choosers now eh? Our favourites? The no-name stall in Jalan Pudu (average wait 45 min-1 hour!), Millennium Eighty Six CoffeeShop and O&S Restaurant.

Last but not least, pasta is fast becoming a staple in our household. Especially with the little one who eats it faster than you can say Yee Meen! Don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that Italians have cheesey sauce ... Our little weekend luxury treat is to pop into Susan's Bistro at Bandar Mahkota Cheras (yes, that famous no-toll access road area which saw a battle royal between big money-making toll company and 'rakyat' months ago) for Spaghetti Carbonara. Creamy, unctuous yet oh-so-delicious, it takes Herculean effort from a light eater to finish a singular portion! But who's complaining eh?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What A Banquet

Crispy Salt-Fish Flavoured Chicken Wings

Super-rich Foie Gras for the well-heeled crowd

Hip & Hot Hokkien Pork-free Prawn Mee

Must try! Spaghetti with Crackling Duck Skin Croutons

Heavenly death by Chocolate with Truffle to boot!

The eclectic crowd who knows about chic Parisian-style eatery, Café Café at Jalan Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur will adore this place. Despite being newcomers to the cut-throat F&B biz five years ago, Ben Yeong and Toto Ooi have naysayers flummoxed over their success. And they about to repeat it with Banquet.

We stumbled upon the outlet when we went to check out the newly opened Bangsar Village 2. With old folks in tow and a kid, it's not easy to find an eatery that suit everyone. Still the classy place offers a good East-West menu (NOT fusion but segregated into separate sections). Get past the 'chi chi' chandeliers and you'd feel right at home, lolling in the white wicker chairs that go with the white marble tables. Rows of potted fir trees give the dining area a mock outdoorsy feel. One tends to have the impression of being waited on hand and foot by a battalion of chefs as the service team is immaculately garbed in spotless white chef’s uniforms.

We were surprised the local items stayed true to tradition while the European-style salads, appetizers and mains will strike a chord with more sophisticated tastebuds. Definitely a good place to bring Mom, aunties and trendy gal-pals!

Had a recent windfall? Treat yourself to the Pan-Seared Foie Gras (RM45++) served with olive oil and fruity apple reduction. Supremely smooth yet light enough to leave you feeling hugely satisfied. Oh, we guarantee your diet will fly out the window once you sample the Baked Escargots with Anchovy Garlic Butter (RM24++).

The luxurious Wild Rocket, Parmigiano, Sliced Pear and Roasted Pine Nuts drizzled with Foie Gras Reduction (RM25++) is too good for rabbits so greenies will do well to order this.

Who says ham yue (salted fish) is only fit for a pauper's table? Crushed and mixed into the batter for Aromatic Chicken Wings (RM14++), the dish is fit for a king! Imagine biting into crisp batter and then moist, juicy and subtly briny chicken wings - oooohh...this humble ingredient deserves some new-found respect.

But all said and done, we always look for a kick-*** dish that defines a particular restaurant. We certainly found it in the Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato and Duck Skin Croutons (RM25++). Inspired by an unforgettable French peasant dish of solidified duck lard eaten with fresh sliced baguette, Yeong's duck skin croutons are good enough to rival the regular chee yow char (deep-fried pork lard dices).

Tossed with pasta, olive oil and sun-dried tomato, the simple combination worked like a charm. One gets a light, well-rounded gamey aftertaste in the pasta, with the crispy duck skin bits heightening the sun-dried tomato’s delicate piquancy. In turn, the latter prevents the dish from being overly rich.

OK, local foodies can take comfort that the Prawn Noodles (RM16++) has all the requisite flavours nicely balanced too. The soup is spicy without being tongue-numbingly so and has a tasty prawny sweetness to it. The recipe comes from one of Toto Ooi's relatives who runs her own prawn noodles shop back in Bukit Mertajam, up north in Penang. Served with decent size prawns, blanched beansprouts, kangkong, sliced chicken and hard-boiled egg, it is now one of Banquet's hot sellers. My only beef is the absence of crispy fried shallots to give it that essential finishing touch but Ooi has promised to rectify this.

Imagine eating a rustic dish like Mee Jawa (RM16++) in achingly hip Bangsar! Well, the noodle dish is on the menu and worth trying. Even though the mildly spicy sweet potato and crab gravy is not as thick as I would have liked it to be, the dish more than passed muster with its generous accompaniments of sliced flour fritters and fried firm beancurd, crunchy flour cracker, prawns and beansprouts.

Another diet-busting temptation that you must not miss is the Hot Chocolate Cake. You have to wait 15 minutes for it but heck, this light, ultra-decadent chocolate cake with a molten liquid centre imbued with white truffles is simply to-die-for! Don't let the RM30++ tag deter you - go on and have it just this once! Saner diners may want to opt for the classic chocolatey or peanut butter filling.

Inject a burst of 'sunshine' onto your palate with the Lemon Tart (RM9++) or pick up some Italian smoothness with its Tiramisu (RM18++).
Overall, Banquet is well worth a visit for its prompt service, stylish ambience and most of all, some ravishing dishes. It won't be cheap but it's not gonna cost you a king's ransom either to feast at Banquet.

Banquet (pork-free)
1F-28 Bangsar Village II
2 Jalan Telawi Satu
Bangsar Baru
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 2282 3228

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