Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bangsar Shopping Centre. A very pleasant transformation. The Pressroom at BSC, O Gourmet at BSC and WIP.

(no pork served)

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha to all Muslim friends! Two exciting news to be shared this week. One is the opening of the O gourmet food hall at BSC. A really wonderful place, where you can get cakes from A Slice of Heaven, beautifully aromatic tea from Singapore's TWG tea , Nurnberger Stollen Christmas cake, Whisky Honey, etc... I was dizzy the moment I landed there.


One of the more interesting items would be Dominostein (or Dominosteine in plural) from Germany. This 3-layered gingerbread is a Christmas confection with a layer of sour apple jelly in between and coated with dark chocolate. The Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) tins that are sold in O gourmet comes in the form of music boxes and musical revolving merry-go-rounds as well.


Notice the Blanxart Dark Chocolate above? They come with Ginger and Rose Petals! Have yet to taste them, but the curry infused chocolate came highly recommended by Boo.

The Pressroom is another restaurant located at the Ground Floor, is part of the La Bodega chain. Alilfatmonkey happened to be around and we had the opportunity to dine together. The concept of the restaurant is Anglo-French cuisine, but the menu seemed to be very "Mediterranean" inspired.

For Starters, I had their White Asparagus with Ravioli. As everything was white, including the plate, I had to distort the colour of the photo a bit. The lack of colour was made up by the Beautifully prepared Egg Ravioli with a creamy taste and perfect texture. The Asparagus was served with some sour cream sauce as well.


For Mains, I had the Saffron infused Linguine, with seared scallops, artichoke and black truffle oil. This was another beautiful pasta and the Saffron imparted a beautiful hay like flavour to the slightly bitter and spicy pasta. The perfect Linguine with a beautiful yellow hue imparted from the Saffron.


John was still stuffed from breakfast, and just had desserts. His apple strudel did not come in the expected light, fluffy crust, but the filling was still beautifully spiced up with Cinnamon. I had the Pineapple tart Tartin. The Puff pastry was rather tough and leather, but the filling was great, with the right mix of sweetness and sourness flavoured with ?anise. The Food here was interesting, and the dining atmosphere beautiful. I went there to check it out again fro dinner, but the kitchen was closed due to some technical problems. Too bad, but I will definitely go back and try out other items in their menu.


Another place you may like to check out would be WIP. Initially known as Work In Progress, it has been renamed Whipped In Place. Clever. Brought to you by the same people who run Souled out and 7ate9. It is located just next to the Pressroom.


The photos were taken with my phone. The Mango Avocado Salad was very bland. The Portobello Mushroom that came with the chicken burger was beautifully grilled and still moist inside, but the burger pattie was just too salty. The cheesecake was rather run of the mill, but adequate. Service was excellent. And the book (which did not come with the meal) is McGee's On Food and Cooking. Fact laced, I bet you did not know molecular cuisine was started by an Oxford Don, who was chuffed that "we can measure the temperature in Venus, but do not know what goes on in a souffle!". Every important ingredient that is used in cooking is discussed in this book, which is never dry and boring. Anecdotes, history and scientific properties of food, mixed together in this compendium.

Remember I mentioned two exciting news? The second one is Cilantro will be reopening in Micasa on the 16th of December! Chef Takashi will be leaving Sage, which will still be under his supervision and Chef Daniel will be taking over there. Jason will be at Cilantro.

What is a paranoid Android post without something from Sage, right?


The Taglietelle pasta with Hokkaido Scallop and King Prawns is a very delectable variation of the alla olio pasta, the Roasted Lamb Rack with Sautéed Mushroom and Meaux Mustard was tender but slightly too fat. The Apple Tart Tatin was not too terribly exciting.

Do forgive the hurried post again. Done in an energizer bunny beating the drum style. Work schedule has been punishing so far and I do apologise for not updating this blog regularly! Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weissbräu, Pavilion, KL. A Quick Lesson In Vulgar Slangs.


(non-halal)

Wiener! It's not very pleasant when somebody calls you that. It is actually the shortened form for Wienerwurst sausage and since the Wiener resembles a certain male organ, it is also used as a vulgar slang. I don't know why out of the 1500 different varieties of German sausages, the Wienerwurst has been given the honour.

Germans are also avid pork lovers. The average German consumes 72kg of meat per year. And pig in German is Schwein. The German's love affair with Pork can be illustrated by one commonly used phrase in the German Language, Schwein Haben, which literally means to have a pig. But the expressions means to get lucky!

With these two sang words/expressions. I begin this post on a restaurant that has generated s much interest among food bloggers. A cathedral to worship the Schwein in all it's glory, 9am till 12midnight, in every cooking style imaginable, right in the centre of town.


Breakfast is served all day long, which is godsend for me. Had Egg Benedict and the German word for egg is Ei or Eier (plural). One of the ways to insult another person in German would be to call them Land Ei (Country egg) or Village idiot. That's another insult to learn, another way to call your Bos when he is not around. The eggs were not poached, but fried and the Hollandaise Sauce was not tangy, but the Bacon was crispy and nice.


Country Farmer Sausage, very old world, chunky and contains Marjoram and Caraway, not unlike the not unlike the Nürnberger Rostbratwurst from Franconia. It cam served with Roesti (made from fried sliced potato wedges) and Sauerkraut. The Sausage was beautifully flavoured and fresh and erved with some deliciously lardy red wine reduction sauce. You will have to agree that German Sausages are better endowed than the wrinkled and hard Chinese Lap Cheong. There are a lot of beautiful expressions in the German language using the word Bratwurst, but in order to mantain the PG13 rating of this blog, I'll have to omit them.


Nothing much to look at, but the Sausage was served with some Sauerkraut as well. Wonder why Germans are called "Krauts" (usually derisive, don't use that term) by Americans? Sauerkrauts are rather popular n Germany and it is actually Cabbage that has undergone some fermentation and hence is slightly sour and pungent. I happen to be a big fan of pickles, and I loved it.


Well, in keeping with the General Theme in the Menu, the only seafood dish here is also served with Pork. Grilled humongous Alaskan Scallops, wrapped with Bacon and served with Grilled Mushroom, Onions and Tomatoes. The Scallops were mist , juicy and seared just right. It is served with another very traditional German side dish, the Spaetzle which was wonderfully milky and smooth.


Remember Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music singing "My Favourite Things"? One of the lines goes "Crisp Apple Strudel and Warm Woolen Mittens....". Well, the Apple Strudel here was not crisp, but leathery. But the filling was nice and tangy with a hint of Cinnamon. And the Vulgar meal with lots of Oinky Porky Dishes ended with the Strudel.

I have to say that Weissbräu is a very welcome addition to Pavilion. The food served is beautiful, rustic German Pub Grub and there is a huge variety of German Beers for the jaded Alcoholic. Items to look out for will be the German Pork Knuckle and the smoked pork loin and bacon. My LX3 after the firmware upgrade has been better in preforming under low light conditions (pics above ISO200 and 400) and the white balance has been a little bit more accurate as well.

Weissbräu
Level 3, Pavilion
Tel: 03-2142 0288


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Lazy Post, with Apologies. Elegant Inn, Dim Sum, Menara Hap Seng KL. Da On Korean Food, Pavilion, KL. Sage Menu this week.

(non halal at Elegant Inn, no pork served at Da On and Sage)

Sorry for another very hasty and lazy post. Been very busy, running around in circles and finally, I have got my Identity Card, 10 years down the road. Since having the Hairy Crabs at Elegant inn, I wanted to get back there to sample their Dim Sum.

Elegant Inn
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6.03.20.70.93.99


Their Fried Yam Rolls were wonderfully crispy, crunchy and light. The ones I have had at other places were usually badly fried and very heavy and soggy. I really have to compliment the Chef at Elegant Inn for his frying technique.


The Bean Curd Rolls were filled with fish patty. Nothing outstanding. The obligatory Har Gao and Siew Mai in any Dim Sum was palatable, although the shrimp in the Har Gao was a little bit too cooked, resulting in a very tough consistency.


The Lotus Leaf wrapped rice here is a bit special. They used duck meat and shredded dried oysters and is beautiful carbo laden dish.


For dessert, I had glutinous balls with black sesame in ginger syrup. Another beautiful chinese dessert and the ginger takes away the satiety of the brunch.

Da On Fine Korean Cuisine
Lot 6.40, Level 6,
Pavilion KL

Tel: +6.03.21.41.21.00

On the same day, I had to go to Parkson at Pavilion to get finish up some shopping vouchers and by chance, landed at Da On, which is a swanky looking Korean Resturant with a cavernous interior that has somehow eluded me in the past. I had wanted to get some Thai at Celadon, but they were closed for renovation.

Photos were taken with my Mobile Phone Camera (I did not expect to be posting anything later that day).


As you have noticed, I was at nearly at the end of my meal when I hastily took some photos of the food. The Chicken BBQ was excellent and they were of course served with the little Korean Side Dishes including Kimchi, Stir Fried Vegetables, Mushroom and some pickles. The Kimchi soup (bottom left) deserves and honourable mention beacuse it was so piquant and served with slivers of beef. Dessert was some beautiful Black Sesame Ice Cream. I wmust come back and do a full meal here again.

Sage
Gardens Hotel and Residences
Tel: +6.03.22.68.13.28

This week's menu at Sage is a little bit less decadent.


The Fricasse of Foie Gras with Sweet Bread and Mushrooms. Sweet Bread is the Thymus Gland of Veal/Lamb and here, it was breaded and deep fried. It lies behind the piece of Foie. The mushroom fricasse was slightly heavy with cheese.


The mains is a rustic French/Creole Meunière of Pomfret Fillet with Crab Brisque served with Vegetables in Cocotte. The Pomfret fillet was lightly dusted with flour before being fried and them served on Prawn Bisque instead of the traditional brown butter sauce.


The vegetables were served in a separate pot and consisted of French Beans, Endamame Beans, some local sprouts and choy sum.


Dessert was a spectacular Gratinated halved Strawberries with Cointreau Sabayon and Kiwi Sorbet. Masterful.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Would You Patronise A Restaurant That Refuses To Allow You Take Photograph The Food They Serve You? Momofuku, The Book.

Thanks to Boo from Masak Masak Blog and her tweet, I found out that David Chang, the current enfant terrible, darling and genius of New York Food Scene has released a cookbook. The cover of the book spots a plywood motif and a small lovely peach, in keeping with the decor of his 4 restaurants which interior is mainly constructed from unglamorous plywood and very very industrial/spartan in design.

This includes his Flagship in the East Village, Momofuku Ko. In order to get reservations for the coveted 32 spots for dinner, one does not depend on impressing the receptionist, nor could you claim to be friends with the chef, utilize your concierge at Waldorf Astoria, or part of the entourage of some celebrity. It is done in a very sterile manner through the internet. Reservations are open at 10am one week in advance. From there on, it is something like a lottery draw. With the Gods of the internet on your side and a 1000Mb/s connection, you MAY be able to secure your coveted seat, at your preferred time slot to indulge yourself in some of the most inventive cooking that you might have experienced. Frozen Foie served on Riesling Gelee, The Famous KO egg, steeped in Anise and served with Caviar. A myriad of unimaginable combination of ingredients and cooking methods that works. Cost is pretty reasonable. US 125 for a 8 course dinner lasting 2 hours.

One of the regulations for dining at Momofuku Ko (but not at the other Momofuku outlets) is that NO PHOTOGRAPHY is allowed. While doing the booking via internet, you will come across this clause. For me, it is understandable. Ko is a very small, spartan and narrow restaurant and the seating is not unlike in a Sushi Bar leaving very little space in between other diners. Those who are endeavoring to take the perfect shot and angle will certainly intrude into other diner's space. In fact, David, during an interview with Bourdain came up with a very famous (?disdainful) quote. "It's just food. Eat it!". Link to the video, click here.

This sparked a mini debate among foodies on whether restaurants should allow food pornographers and pimps to take photographs of the food they were being served. It seems quite a few fine dining establishments were not too happy with bloggers snapping pictures of their restaurants in careless abandon in New York.

The points raised were:-

1. Other Diners were annoyed at Foodies who used their flashes incessantly in the restaurant.

2. While trying to get a certain angle of the dish, the foodies invaded other Diner's "space".

3. The presence of foodies photographing their food is very distracting for other diners who felt like a photo shoot was going on at the other table.

It would be a matter of time before this trend of prohibiting photography, especially in fine dining restaurants hits our shore. Link to the "serious eats" website where this was discussed in June, click here.

I hope that I have not been guilty of these transgressions, and hope that other food bloggers will be aware of the potential discomfort food photography can be for other diners. I usually do not bring my Camera out to restaurants when I am on work-lidays because somebody else is sponsoring my trip and while having a meal with my sponsors, who usually go to great lengths to satisfy my lust for food, I cannot appear to be distracted. It would be rude.

I don't know about your guys, as far as the no photography policy in restaurants, I am fine with it. I have to respect the rules of the restaurant that I am dining in. Some require formal attire, some do not allow noisy mobile phones, some do not allow photography. Fine. But, I would like to be informed about it to prevent a potentially embarrassing situation for both me and the restaurant itself. Probably a no photography sign at the entrance would suffice.


As for Momofuku, the book, it was a good read. It is a honest testament of his obsessive passion for Ramen, a tribute to the people who have helped paved his career and a treasure trove of ideas, recipes and facts. The other book on the bottom right is Low Boy, which is an exhilarating journey to the depths of New York Subway with a Schizophrenic Teenager, try to save the world from a meltdown.

I am hoping some of the celebrity food bloggers would start a side column listing restaurants where photography is not allowed, to be updated regularly by the readers. Please do not misunderstand my intentions. It is not a call to boycott the restaurants or to punish them. But I am sure you would like to know beforehand before you lug your 1 kilo DSLR, set it up and after that, told in a nice way that you can't take photos.

Have a nice weekend, everybody!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sage, Gardens MidValley, KL. Food Porn for This Week

Am postng this in response to Boo's tweet about deciding whether to luxe lunch at Sage or Senses and Agent Cikay's love for oysters tweet. Sage has revamped their menu for lunch starting this week and have introduced some new dishes. Hopefully the pictures here will help her make up her mind.

1. Trio of Oysters with Condiments and Potage


The potage is spinach based and has some oysters inside as well


I am not able to identify all the condiments, but it has some dashi based sauce, some citrus flavoured peel.

2. Sea Bass Escalope with Hokkaido Scallops and Squid Ink Sauce


Beautifully fresh pan fried Sea Bass in a Prawn based Squid Ink Sauce, served with Kailan, French Peas and Yau Mak. Wondrous and spectacular. The sauce was light and not overpowering at all.

3. Galette de Rois


A very traditional French Dessert, Cake of Kings. Plain Puff Pastry served with a dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

Enjoy the Food Porn from Sage this week. And the lunch was, naturally ORGASMIC.

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Unless stated otherwise, all the posts and food here is paid for by the Paranoid Android. He dose not receive any financial compensation for posting in this blog. The views expressed here are an opinion and as usual, taste is subjective and varies among people, time and mood as well! Please feel free to contact me at humanist dot philo at gmail dot com. Unless otherwise stated, the photos here belong to the owner of this blog. You are free to use it for any non commercial purpose. As courtesy, just drop me an email and credit the photo to the blog. Thanks for dropping by!

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