Chocha Foodstore and Merchant’s Lane @ Petaling Street, KL

On our Awal Muharram public holiday today, the hubs took us to one of the most happening touristy places in KL for brunch. I always have this holiday feel whenever I step foot into Petaling Street. Today I felt like a tourist walking the streets of Petaling Street and hopping into two quaint cafes that I have never been to for brunch.

Our first stop was at Chocha Foodstore. Chocha is Hakka for sit and drink – the tea culture is alive and well here, with steaming-hot pots of Aged Fujian Shui Hsien from Mount Wuyi (RM18; served with chestnuts) & other representatives of the dark or scented classifications. You’ll also find cold-brewed tea – Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong & Yunnan Black Tea with osmanthus flowers & star anise (RM16 per bottle). We had a pot of aged Liu Bao (RM18) to wash down our appetizer of Kerabu Mango Rojak and CFC (Cencaluk Fried Chicken).

I had a deja vu of sorts when I walked into Chocha Foodstore. As I walked to the back of the cafe, the deja vu got stronger. I felt as if I had been there before and then I remembered that the structure and design of the colonial shoplot with a long sunny court yard, its interior and decor were somewhat very similar to that of Mugshot Cafe @ Chulia Street Penang, a cafe that we went to two years ago.

Chocha is another brothel-turned-cafe that’s rather similar to Merchant Lane, the next cafe that we hopped into just minutes later  but this one looks more “raw” and unchanged.  I’d definitely get the creeps if I were to walk right down to the back of the cafe where the toilets are at night! 👻

Love this tantalizing and very delightful Kerabu Mango Rojak (RM20); I can chow down the entire plate myself!

The CFC (Cencalok Fried Chicken) (RM26) with the aromatic flavor of fermented shrimp sauce is succulent and well balanced by a sweet and sour fresh summer salsa of tomatoes and pineapples, plus thick, kitchen-made tomato chutney.

This part of the building upstairs will definitely look creepy at night!

Chocha is housed at the now defunct Mah Lian Hotel. This is one Instagram and Facebook worthy cafe to pop by for camwhoring while tucking into some very good food and sipping tea.  Good food, good ambience (not at night though, for me!) and reasonably priced morsel.

Chocha Foodstore
156, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.
Opens from Tuesday – Sunday
Opening hours: 11am-9pm.

After our appetizers at Chocha, we segued into Merchant’s Lane located just a few steps away, for our main meal and desserts!

Merchant’s Lane is beside a stationery shop run by a friendly old couple. The mil later bought a 2019 calendar from them.

I got fooled by the tiny door leading up to Merchant’s Lane Cafe. Inside, you’ll be amazed to see how spacious and huge it is.  Old colonial buildings tend to have a very long hallway, leading to the bathrooms at the back.

Just like Chocha Foodstore, Merchant’s Lane is yet another former Petaling Street brothel, reincarnated as a crazy-atmospheric cafe that has launched thousands of Instagram and Facebook photos.

Merchant’s Lane is an intricately crafted cafe (its designer has links to the group of Sekeping Retreats) and is an irresistible magnet for cafe enthusiasts.

This is a pork-free cafe, thus you’ll see a good show of Malay patrons.

Patrons queuing to be seated:

Our breakfast set:

Taukay Burger with juicy meat pattie:

Kuli Eggs with crispy Roti Canai. The half boiled eggs are cooked with potato dhall and served with cheese so that when you scoop it up from the clay pot, the mixture gives you the ‘pulled’ cheese effect.

Hot chocolate for Cass:

New York cheese cake ~ very yummy:

Dessert named ‘Better Than Sex’ but we did not find it orgasmic enough to be named so. It is composed of pandan flavored Roti Jala served with ice-cream, strawberries and toasted almond flakes. I find the Roti Jala a tad thick and dry with not enough syrup and ingredients to go with it.

The menu:

The damage:

 

Merchant’s Lane KL
First Floor,
150, Jalan Petaling, Off Chinatown,
Kuala Lumpur.

Papa’s 75th Birthday Celebration (continuation…)

After a heavy brunch at Vishal Food & Catering Restaurant on papa’s actual birthday, the hubs drove us around KL for a short sight-seeing city tour.  Then he brought us to Naj & Belle @ Bangsar for a surprise mini celebration for papa.  It’s my first time at this cafe.

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Above 3 photos credit: Google

When the waiting staff brought out the cakes and started to sing Happy Birthday to papa, he was totally taken by surprise and was overwhelmed. In fact, no one knew about the surprise! Not me either!  My hubs loves giving surprises to us.  When I was about 22 or 23, he organized a surprise birthday party for me at a karaoke and invited all my besties to the party. I was completely overtaken.  He even bought a new MPV 7 years ago and did not inform me until the day he drove it back home! I was super mad at him for doing things behind my back and then bang, surprise me.  And one of his biggest impulse purchases was Happy our Beagle, made 12 years ago.  Sadly I didn’t have the time to love and care for a dog as Alycia was only about 2 years old and Sherilyn still an infant. We gave up Happy for adoption a year later.  Had he surprised me with a puppy now, it will be an entirely different story altogether now. I will be super duper elated to have a puppy in the house!

OK, back to foodie talk!

Here’s my beaming papa with mum.  He doesn’t look a wee bit like he’s 75 eh? Same for mum who will turn 72 next month.

Our favorites were the watermelon strawberry cake and salted caramel cake. There’s an entire chunk of squarish fresh watermelon wedged between the layers of sponge cake and cream! My favorite is always salted caramel. I love all things caramel.

This lychee cake was a replacement for us as the cempedak cake didn’t taste very fresh.

After a heavy brunch followed with another carb-piling dessert chow down, papa was getting ready to go for another surprise birthday mini party with his sisters and brother in law.

Papa’s sister, my very talented aunt Maggie made him a longan jelly cake and a big pot of red bean sweet soup.

The next day (Monday), before papa and mum returned to Ipoh (praise God papa can still drive long distance at 75!), we had Taiwanese cuisine for lunch at Fong Lye Restaurant at Desa Sri Hartamas.


Delectable appetizers of deep fried yam sticks and deep fried tofu with anchovies; tomato omelette.


Deep fried pig’s intestines (totally not my choice!) and ‘Sam Pei Jee’ (Three Cup Chicken) ~ my all-time favorite at Fong Lye.


Fried fish with soy sauce.


Pork ribs and sauteed vegetables with edamame beans.


Sauteed beef with bitter gourd; sauteed hard bean curd sticks.

After papa’s birthday celebration, our fridge was really well-stocked with cakes, jellies, kuih and doggy-bagged restaurant food that took us 5 days to deplete.  Till today, I am still feeling cloy with all the pigging out for 4 days back to back.  And it’s not helping that I am not exercising  all through the week-long school holidays. I’m so going to have to workout extra hard when school reopens next week.

I’m really happy that this year my brothers and I managed to get together to celebrate papa’s birthday. It’s my hope that we can do this every single year for many more years to come.

Joint Birthday Celebration, 18 August 2018

This year papa’s birthday is very special.  He turns 75 today (19 August 2018).  We planned 2 days filled with celebrations and surprises for him. And this year papa had a joint birthday  celebration with his twin grandbabies (my brother’s twins) who will be turning one on 1 Sept 2018.

We’ve had back to back feasts and merriment since the day my parents arrived from Ipoh on Friday.  On the eve of papa’s birthday on Saturday,  we first had breakfast at O&S Restaurant (kopitiam) at Paramount Garden, PJ.  After tucking into some of the best hawkers fare in the Klang Valley, we walked to the nearby Awesome Canteen (Cafe) for cakes, coffee and tea.

Mum has to wear a hat most of the time  to protect a deep wound on her head.  About two weeks ago, she tripped on a stool at home, around midnight, resulting in a  fall where her head landed on the sharp edge of the kitchen door.  She required 7 painful stitches on her head. Praise God that her brain wasn’t affected.

We are all so grateful that she is well enough to make the trip to KL to celebrate papa’s birthday.

On the eve of papa’s birthday, we had a sumptuous dinner with karaoke at OUG Jade Restaurant.

It was truly a joyous double celebration and best reunion dinner ever where everyone was present on papa’s 75th birthday and my miracle twin nephew and niece’s 1st birthday.


Baby boy R is the more sociable of the two babies. He can be carried by anyone without crying. Everyone just loved cuddling and coddling him.


Baby girl R being carried by aunty Madonna, her Pinoy nanny / helper. Hopefully the next time we meet the twins again, this baby girl would have already overcome her separation anxiety and would allow us to carry her.


Super cute baby boy R whom I just love to cuddle and play with:


Super nanny feeding both the hungry twins on her own.

Our RM1k+ dinner menu:


Sharksfins soup.


Pig’s stomach soup with pepper and chicken feet.


Victory chicken (my favorite!).


Peking duck wrap and suckling pig (not my choice as I am not a fan of either) 🤐


Drunken prawns.


Steamed Soon Hock fish, which was very fresh and well executed. Meat was very smooth and not tough.


By the time the Longevity Noodles arrived, we were already too full for it. Thus, we doggy-bagged almost the entire plate of noodles home.


Stir-fried mixed vegetables with macadamia nuts.

The birthday cakes:


Papa’s yummo Chocolate On Chocolate cake was baked by the Kneady Baker @ Front Room.


The little twin stars’ very first birthday cake. They’ve come a long way and we are all super proud of their progress.

This dinner was only our first celebration with papa. Stay tuned for more updates!  🍰 🎂

Baan Thai 2 Seafood & Thai Cuisine, Jalan Kuchai Lama, KL

We finally made it to Baan Thai 2 last Saturday, 11 Aug 2018 after passing by this restaurant many times and wanting to try it. What turned us off each time was the long queue.

Though the waiting queue was massive, the hubs went ahead to get a queue number.  We waited for almost half an hour for a table. Pretty fast considering it was a Saturday night.

The waiting patrons:

Super spacious restaurant with high ceiling:

Comfortable and excellent ambience. Waiting staff were aplenty and they were all efficient and quick in clearing the tables and serving food. Service was pretty good.

We didn’t order any Tom Yam or spicy food as the hubs was feeling a tad ‘heaty’.

Pad Thai and steamed fish:

Braised pork with tofu and eggs; Khao Phat (Thai fried rice):

Green curry:

BBQ squid:

Grilled lobster, which was the star dish for the night, came towards the end of our meal. Love the oozing creamy roe, which ain’t good for my cholesterol!

Heavenly santan-ish desserts! I could feel inches creeping up my hips just by looking at them!

The owner and chef are Thai, thus the authenticity of the food and Thai feel of the restaurant. Food was scrumptious and we enjoyed our dinner very much. This is definitely our kind of meal ~ toothsome and not too spicy. We’ll definitely be back again to try other dishes.

Baan Thai 2 Seafood & Thai Cuisine
Jalan Kuchai Lama
58200 Kuala Lumpur
Call 016-280 3715

Restaurant (Tai Chow) Meng Kee, Old Klang Road, KL

Our lunch last Sunday was at Meng Kee ‘tai chow’ restaurant. I can’t really call it a restaurant as it is a pretty dilapidated make-shift roadside stall. You will see colorful recycled cardboard egg cartons lining the roof of the stall. This is done so that the cardboard absorbs the heat of the hot afternoon sun. Be prepared for occasional sightings of rats and roaches crawling on the floor 😅  But don’t be intimidated by its appearance and hygiene.  For the best steamed fish head  and steamed rice wine lala in the world, the shortcomings can be easily forgiven.  And be prepared to be drenched in sweat if you go there on a hot afternoon.

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Meng Kee is located just opposite Scott Garden and is easily recognizable by its bright red signboard sitting out on the road.  Your reward will be delicious tai chow done right.  The great-for-sharing Steamed Fish With Ginger and Soy Sauce is a must-order. The flesh of the fish is very fresh, fleshy and smothered in copious amounts of chopped ginger and a sauce redolent of rice wine.  Not to be missed is the Steamed Lala. Cooked in a similar style, the shellfish is delicious and fresh in its own juicy right. The quality extends to their meat dishes. The hubs ordered the signature crispy Pei Pa duck, which is a toothsome deep fried duck.  You will see patrons dropping by to ‘ta-pau’ several Pei Pa ducks.

As I had no time to eat my breakfast, I was famished by the time I had lunch at 12 noon at Meng Kee. I quickly gobbled up the fish in flash. It was so yummo and fresh.

The one thing this road-side stall lacks is parking space. My tip to you is ~ be there before 12 noon for lunch and you may be lucky to find a spot to park right outside the shop.

We added a plate of fried lobak (meat roll) towards the end of the meal as I was tempted to try it  but I don’t really fancy the pork fats used. The lobak is very tasty with hint of five-spice powder but I find it too greasy for my non-greasy palate.

The steamed crab with ginger and rice wine was spectacular too.  Hubs paid RM150 for two large crabs.

I doggy-bagged a little bit of everything that we ordered for Alycia who stayed home to revise for her weekly tests.  She ate crabs for the first time after having her braces done!  But still found it hard to manged the crabs.

Moobaan Thai Village, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur

There are at least 5 Thai restaurants at Taman Desa and all 5 of them serve pretty good Thai food. On Saturday night, we had Thai as our regular Chinese restaurant was closed. We chose Moobaan Thai Village as we have not tried it yet, though the restaurant has been around for 2.5 years.

At Moobaan Thai Village, one can hardly go wrong with their unpretentious Thai street food marked with affordable price. A non-halal restaurant, so the authenticity is certainly much closer to the country of origin. Most of the dishes here are pocket-friendly, except for fish which can cost up to RM45 each.

The Phad Thai is by far the best that we’ve tasted; Tod Man Pla (Thai Fish Cake) with a spicy nutty sauce for dipping and Gor Moo Yang (Grilled Pork Neck). I didn’t quite like the grilled pork neck as it had a strong pork odor on random pieces.  Can’t comment on the fish cake as I didn’t even have the chance to try the it as I was busy at work with the photography! If it can be gone within a couple of minutes of serving, it must be good.

Thai green curry chicken was very decent with the right balance of thickness, flavours, spiciness, sweetness and ingredients. Love the Thai eggplant in it. Have you seen a Thai eggplant before? They are very small and has a soft juicy texture.

Thai eggplant

Thai fried rice was very aromatic which came from the flavorful Thai spices. There was also a fried Kangkung, which was delish and slightly sweet which I didn’t take a pic.

Of all the Thai omelette that we had tried, Moobaan’s omelette is the best as it’s not super oily and salty like the rest. The egg was cooked to just nice, fluffy with slightly crisp edges, filled with aromatic green leaves at the center. I finally found a Thai omelette that’s not drenched in oil!

The Thai style steamed squids stuffed with meat balls was my favorite and the girls’ too.  The four of us comprising mother and daughters are crazy over sotong 😝 But we are not a lot of blur sotong ladies ya.

Pla Lat Nam Pla (deep fried fish served with Thai sauce) is super crispy and addictive.  Last but not least, a Thai meal would never  be complete without  tomyam. Moobaan has two versions: the regular red tomyam and white/clear tomyam.  The foodie hubs chose the red tomyam, which came with generous servings of sotong (yay!), prawns, oyster mushrooms and aromatic kafir lime leaves. Though really appetite whetting and aromatic, the spiciness level is too strong for the girls and me to handle. It should be just right for those who can stomach really spicy food.

The girls had Thai milk tea, which was REALLY refreshing on the burning mouth after a spicy meal. I had chilled lemongrass pandan water sans sugar. At RM4 a cup, it is refillable.

According to the lady boss (coz I asked her), everything from the milk to the tea and to the sauces are imported from Thailand, except for the perishables. If you are a fan of Thai milk, Moobaan serves it too. They are bottled and kept in the chiller.

We would definitely be returning to Moobaan Thai very soon to get our Thai cravings fixed. I’d love to try their Boat Noodles and papaya salad.  They serve good and authentic Thai food with prices that won’t hurt your wallet, the lady boss is very friendly and accommodating (she read out every item that was printed on our bill for us to counter check before paying), what’s not to love?

Moobaan Thai Food Restaurant
Address:
15, Jalan Bukit Desa 5,
Taman Bukit Desa,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12PM-3PM; 5.30PM-10PM (Mon-Sun)
Contact: 016-312 3331
Faceook: https://www.facebook.com/MoobaanThai/

Ruay Thai BBQ Restaurant

Lunch with the hubs, girls and mil today was supposed to be at Seng Kee, our favorite ‘tai chau’ restaurant, but it was closed.  We then tried Ruay Thai, a newly opened Thai restaurant as the RM12 set lunch promotion banner outside the shop caught my eyes as I was driving.  Good thing we gave it a shot. Food was to our liking.

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Cass ordered boat noodles, which was delish. The broth is guaranteed to warm your soul and get your taste buds dancing! It is slightly sweet, with aromatic Thai spices and has a generous serving of beef slices, meat balls, liver and smooth rice noodles.  Cass was lapping the broth away and I had to stop her from downing all the broth.  As the hubs only joined us later, he ordered another bowl and it was finished to the last drop.

Thai fried glass noodles with big prawns for Drama Queen and green curry + rice for the mil.  Both dishes were very flavorful, especially the green curry.

Pineapple fried rice and Thai style minced shrimp omelette. Love the omelette, though it was a tad oily as it’s deep fried. The omelette is uniquely executed and tastes like those deep fried egg floss / egg strings scattered on Chinese style butter prawns.

Both the green curry and pineapple fried rice sets came with a bowl of tomyam soup. The tomyam soup was very aromatic but the chilli padi was too stinging on my mouth and I just couldn’t swallow it down my throat. If only the spiciness level was milder, I would have walloped the soup as I love the aromatic taste of Thai spices and lemon grass.

The RM12 set meals came with a glass of super refreshing and aromatic chilled pandan drink.

I also love how the food is served on pretty Thai enamel trays and bowls.


By the time we left at 1 p.m., the restaurant was already fully packed.

The bill came up to RM74 for the 5 of us.  Will definitely be dropping by Ruay Thai again soon to try other dishes.

Ruay Thai BBQ Restaurant
51A Jalan Desa Bakti, Taman Desa
58100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Call 03-7971 1333

Go Noodle House, Mid Valley Megamall, KL

Last Thursday, I went to Mid Valley Megamall with Alycia and the mil to grab some stuff for the mil to bring to Hong Kong and Auckland.  She flew to Hong Kong today.

To kill time while Alycia took her own sweet time choosing novels at MPH Book Store, the mil and I enjoyed a bowl of noodles at Go Noodle House, which is just outside MPH where I can have a perfect view of who goes in and out of the book store.   We found a table placed right in front of MPH.  This particular Chinese noodle restaurant  caught my attention  each time I walked past it for the past few months as it is perpetually swamped with patrons.

We ordered a bowl of bitter gourd noodles with pork balls and a portion of fish paste.

As I had expected, the noodles, pork balls and fish paste were good.  My interpretation of good is – not salty, not oily and fish paste must taste of fish and not starchy.  The soup is light and not too salty nor oily. Very suitable for kids and adults too. The best part is our bowl of noodles  didn’t cost  more than RM16. Definitely a bang for your buck for a restaurant in Mid Valley Megamall.

I like it that I could leave the girls to do their shopping and reading at MPH for an hour or so while I find a table right in front of MPH and wait for them. Perfect!

We will definitely be back to try other items on their extensive menu.  The girls will be very happy to have their meal here as the restaurant is right outside their favorite hideout place, which means that they can let loose and read all the books that they want after their meal while I sit there to wait for them.

Tip: do not go during peak lunch or dinner hours. The queue can be really, really long.

GO Noodle House
LG-059 MID VALLEY MEGAMALL
(right outside MPH Bookstore)

Mother’s Day – 14 May 2017

On our Mother’s Day Sunday, hubs dropped Drama Queen and me at UTC Pudu to collect our ICs. I had brought Drama Queen to UTC the day before to have her IC done while I had mine changed with a new address.  I thought that I had to wait at least half an hour, considering it was a Sunday but we were really lucky. We got our ICs instantly upon taking our numbers. Our numbers were called the moment the number tickets were churned out. Before hubs could even park his car, we were already out from the building! All in, we were in the office for less than 10 minutes! Never had things been at such lightning speed from my previous experiences at Malaysia government departments, I am impressed!

Next, we went to Pik Wah Restaurant @ Wisma Maba for an early Mother’s Day brunch.  Good thing we went there early as only those who had made reservations got a table.   The restaurant was full house, with many families having their Mother’s Day lunch as well. Since we were there at 11am, we got a table, albeit it being at the end of the restaurant, at a corner next to the loos 😷   Nonetheless, we enjoyed our lunch very much. We were all commenting how much more satisfying this meal was compared to our dinner the night before – taste wise and price wise.


Pik Wah’s specialty – crispy skin ‘char siew’


Steamed free range chicken 


Smoked duck paired with pickled jellyfish


‘Yin Yeong’ Cantonese fried noodles


Fried rice with deep fried baby anchovies

After a very satisfying lunch, we had desserts at LDG (Les Deux Garcons).


Banana fritters with peanut butter and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream


A stack of fluffy pancakes for our 3 pancake-craze girls


A scoop of complimentary ice-cream with a pretty flower crafted from strawberry for the mothers.


I had a pleasant surprise receiving this card from my eldest daughter! It was a big surprise for me coming from this girl who is an introvert, who is totally not poetic, theatrical nor expressive with her words and feelings. She’s an ice maiden of sorts. I had to ask her a hundred times if she wrote it herself or copied it from somewhere 😂.  The big girl retorted jokingly, albeit pleased and flattered that I loved her card, “huh, is that an insult to me mummy, that I can’t write a poetic card? I wrote it myself, really, really, like really! Go Google and see if you can find similar poems”  😝💘💘

Our Sunday – 12 March 2017

After church service, we had lunch at Paradise Dynasty @ Pearl Point Shopping Gallery.  Xiao Long Bao is Paradise Dynasty’s signature and award-winning dish.  The xiao long boas sure are droolicious but are a tad pricey.  The innovative 8-flavor / color ones (picture below) are priced at RM29 a set.   There was a good crowd at the restaurant – this goes to show that when it comes to food, we Malaysians are really a generous lot. We really don’t mind paying to fill up our tummies with delectable grub despite the current economic scenario in our country. My connoisseur hubs falls into this category but definitely not me, haha!

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After a sumptuous lunch, we went to Popular Bookstore. That’s our main intention of going to this mall – to get workbooks for Drama Queen who is sitting for her UPSR exam in 5 months (wish it’s 15 months!) and reference books for Alycia.

Next up was an exciting dessert time at Take Eat Easy Modern Bakery & Cafe. This cafe serves up a panoply of gastronomy selections for your ultimate satisfaction; starting from all day breakfast choices, freshly baked breads, pizzas and pastries, multi-cuisine courses, garden salads, sandwiches to gelato for the sweet toothed.  Take Eat Easy opened their outlet at Pearl Shopping Gallery late last year after their successful and booming maiden branch in Kepong.

Below – British Breakfast Set (hello carbs!)…

Below – fresh juice served in a cute light bulb bottle. I love the denim prints on their plates.  Take Eat Easy focuses on classic yet contemporary style in its interior design, i.e. wood and denim. Their chair seats are wrapped in denim fabric with eye-catching prints of your denim pants!

Below – crispy waffle served with fresh cream, strawberries and ice-cream (swoon)!

 

On our way home, we made a stop at Le Point to grab some gourmet bread loaves and buns for the girls’ breakkie the next day.

 

Isetan The Japan Store @ Lot 10, KL

The foodie hubs and his foodie buddy went to the brand new Isetan The Japan Store @ Lot 10, KL early this week to take a peek at the much raved about newly refurbished Lot 10, which opened its door to the public on 27 Oct 2016. There are only two Japan Store concept stores in the world, the other one being its smaller counterpart in Paris.  My foodie hubs was very impressed and could not wait to bring us there.  Despite a heavy thunderstorm on a Saturday evening, we braved the rain to the heart of bustling KL to where Lot 10 is yesterday. Traffic was heavy as expected and we had to queue to the car park.

Each floor is designed to generate its own distinctive appeal:

LGF: The Market – experience the seasonal flavours
GF: The Museum – experience the ultimate japan
1F: The Studio – experience the fashion live
2F: The Room – experience the grateful lifestyle
3F: The Cube – experience the inspiring culture
4F: Restaurant Floor, will open in 2017

The Market:

What attracted the hubs the most is the food hall. Oh well, he is a gourmand isn’t he? He lives to savor the finest food and is happiest when his tummy is satisfied.

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The food hall was flooded with fans of Japanese cuisine.   It was hard to find a table. We spotted a table at Yakitori Hanabi and quickly got ourselves seated and ordered several yakitori items before the foodie hubster went to the individual stalls to order more food.

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Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

I never liked natto, a fermented soy superfood but over time, I have acquired the taste and have now learned to appreciate the distinct pungent flavor of the natto beans.  This bowl of natto + egg rice is very flavorful but the kids haven’t yet acquired the taste.

This skewer of humble grilled salted cherry tomatoes is so flavorful and juicy.

Yakitori with leek.

Teppan sirloin steak bought from one of those individual stalls.

 

 

We also brought home 2 packs of frozen saba fish at RM20.80 a pack. Can’t wait to do a grilled terriyaki saba for the girls next week!

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After our ‘main course’ of meat, we had desserts from Tsujiri.  The girls fell in love with the matcha ice-cream from Tsujiri when they tasted it for the first time in Hong Kong during our vacation last year. We had to queue up for everything albeit the prices of food there ain’t cheap. Well, if you’re a fan of all things Japanese, you wouldn’t mind the long queue and the price.

Part of our desserts from Tsujiri…

After a satisfying dinner, we walked around the impressive Japanese food hall.  For a moment, the girls felt like they were in Hong Kong. For me, I felt like I was in Japan as all the petite and pretty Japanese food stuffs that the mil and sil normally get for us from  Japan are mostly available here now.

**coughs**  Would you pay RM49 for a punnet of two apples flown in from Japan?  Not me!!  The most expensive apple that I am willing to fork out is Envy apples costing RM5 each.

Grapefruit juice right out from a fresh grapefruit! Total awesomeness!

A grapefruit only costs no more than RM2 each. Here, we paid RM10 more to suck the juice out from the fruit directly. I am in total awe with Japanese technology!  I am more in awe with the level of cleanliness of their toilets.

Fancy getting one of those grapefruit hole puncher thingy for yourself?

Frozen fruit popsicle sticks. If not for a tummy with Tsujiri ice-creams and desserts sloshing around, we would have tried these alluring colorful fruit popsicles.

A wide variety of sweet potatoes flown in from Japan. Some are designed to be low in sugar and high in nutrients but  at RM7.20 per 100gm, would you buy them?  Errr, my trencherman bought one to try and it cost a frigging RM12 each *choke*

We had the sweet potato for breakfast the next day (today) and it didn’t taste good anymore. It was bitterish and the skin was super hard. There goes his RM12 but at least we tried grilled Japanese sweet potato without having to fly to Japan 😀

As we walked into the hall where all the Japanese sweet delicacies are sold, I could not stop telling everyone that I felt like I was in Japan.

My connoisseur of food bought World Champion Financiers from Henri Chapentier.  He wanted to try the best financiers in the world listed in the Guiness World of Record, 2 years in a row.  At over RM50 for 3 super tiny financiers, I really think that the financier sponge cakes are over-rated. It is so small that our 3 girls commented that they can stuff all the 3 financiers into their tiny mouths at one go!   Well, at least we tried this award winning financiers without going to Japan! haha!

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Sake…

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Pick your choice of vege powder, freshly pounded for you…

A panoply of smoothie and fruits…

Vegetables planted in state-of-the-art LED lighting plant…

Many of the staff at Isetan The Japan Store are Japanese.  As we left the store at 9pm, which is the store’s closing time, the staff wished us good night and thank you while doing the courteous Japanese bow.  We were all truly impressed with this awesome Japanese store. This makes me want to visit Japan soon to immerse in the real Japanese culture. I love everything Japanese! 🙂

Isetan The Japan Store
Lot 10, 50 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL
Tel: 03 2382 7777
Website: www.thejapanstore.mistore.jp
Hours: Daily, 11am-9pm.

 

Our Deepavali Holiday Weekend (29 – 30 Oct 2016)

On Saturday which was Deepavali, we spent our afternoon at Mid Valley and Gardens Mall.

Hubs the epicure wanted to try something different and we settled for An Viet @ The Gardens. Good choice made as we enjoyed the delightful and very flavorful authentic cuisine of Vietnam, comprising mainly of fresh aromatic leaves, flowers and vegetables.

Ãn Viet’ translates into ‘Eat Viet,’ and its aim is to encourage people to truly eat their food and to curb wastage. Serving portions of noodles and rice can be customized so that patrons order only what they can finish; plus, for everyone who finishes his or her entire meal, the restaurant channels RM0.10 to KOTO, a social enterprise that helps disadvantaged Vietnamese youths gain access to skill development opportunities.

The first item that arrived was a hot bowl of beef Pho Bo.  I love Ãn Viet’s concept of curbing wastage and order only what you can eat. You can order an amount of noodles based on weight – 80gm, 120gm, 160gm or 200gm – all for the same total price of RM18.90 per bowl.

The coconut ice-blended creation is simply delightful, aromatic and refreshing. It will surely tantalize the taste bud of any coconut fan. We all fell in love with it, even the hubs.

I ordered a glass of lemon grass & ginger drink and it was really refreshing as well with the aromatic fragrance of lemon grass.

Deep fried rice paper wraps.

A Vietnamese meal is never complete without Goi Cuan (fresh spring rolls).  As expected, the girls hadn’t quite acquired the taste just yet just like I did when I was much younger. Hubs and I polished off this dish.

Grilled chicken with lemon grass is another mouth-watering aromatic dish.

Banana flower salad – this salad is highlighted by the hot-tart play of chili and lime off the crisp rings of the banana flower.  It is a very refreshing and aromatic dish with such fresh and healthy ingredients as lime juice, julienned banana flower, julienned carrots, roasted peanuts, raw shallots, cucumber strips, mint leaves, basil leaves and prawns.

The girls loved this Vietnamese baguette pork chop the best.  Cass didn’t even want to let me have a bite of it until I growled at her, ha ha ha!

The big princess enjoying every bite of the pork chop baguette.

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And Drama Queen had takeout fish congee from Canton-I (just next to An Viet). She is recovering from inflamed tonsilitis.

 

Sunday, 30 Oct 2016:

Sundays are maid-free days.  Today I taught Cass to mop the floor with a magic mop and wet floor wipes. She was pretty thorough I must say.  My condition set on the girls before they are allowed to use any e-Gadgets is that they have to help out in house work. They will be very thankful to me one day for all these domestic on-the-job training 😀

Awal Muharram Holiday – 3 Oct 2016

One of the best things to happen on a weekday is to have Monday off – off goes all our Monday blues 🙂  And we had just that yesterday. It was such a LUXURY to sleep in on a Monday morning of a school-going week. Total bliss.

We spent our holiday at Avenue K. It’s been more than half a year since we last visited Avenue K.  The one restaurant that we craved to eat at was Tokyo-based Bankara Ramen.

Bankara Ramen serves one of the tastiest ramen in town. If you have tried their pork-infused creamy and luscious broth that comes with each bowl of ramen, you wouldn’t want to have ramen anywhere else.

Check out the spoonful of spicy bean paste chilli. It was so spicy that we wouldn’t eat it but when hubs told us that it costs a frigging RM2 (or maybe RM2.50) as add-on, Drama Queen quickly poured some onto her noodles.

If you are not into ramen, try their Oyakodon, soul food of steamed rice with succulent chicken, soft-boiled egg and shredded seaweed.

Ramen (volcano) egg and Onsen egg.

Deep fried baby fish.

As we walked out of Bankara Ramen, we saw the newly opened Hokkaido Cheese Tart stall at the concourse.  Being the foodie that he is, hubs wanted to try this much raved about baked cheese tart from Hokkaido.

The baked cheese tart craze started in Hokkaido, Japan, took over the country and eventually invaded Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore, before making its way to Malaysia.  The mousse centre is made with a blend of three different types of cream cheese, piped into a crunchy shortcrust pastry base. To ensure freshness and perfection, each tart is baked fresh daily at the outlet.   With a crumbly exterior and warm, soft, meltingly cheesy filling, it is no wonder this treat has taken the world by storm.

Each tart goes for RM5.80, and there is a six-for-RM29 promotion going on currently.

So are the cheese tarts really worth a whopping RM5.80 each? If you are a cheese and tart fan, then it is absolutely worth the price. I would give it a 5-star rating for taste and quality. I ate one this morning right out of the fridge and the tart still tasted heavenly.

 

A few steps away from the Hokkaido Cheese Tart stall were some token-operated kiddie rides. Guess who wanted to ride on it (without buying the tokens of course)? Hahahaha! I guess the big girl missed being a kiddo again.  Once upon a time, she used to love riding them.  I remember hubs and I once collected so many one Ringgit and fifty sen coins just so we could use them for such rides during the weekends.

While I brought the girls shopping, the hubs went for a Thai massage to kill time.  We went to H&M and were pleasantly surprised that there was a sale going on. Lucky us as we managed to grab some real good deals. We also popped by Popular Book Store and Daiso before meeting hubs at Franco Japanese French restaurant for a very early dinner at 4pm!

While waiting for our food to arrive, we sampled the Hokkaido cheese tarts. They were SO good I think I walloped 2 tarts! Drama Queen whacked a tall glass of matcha ice-cream milk shake. Gawd, I would have puked had I put this entire cup of creamy milk shake into my tummy.

Hubs ordered a squid ink rice with mushrooms, squids and omelette which was really rich and delish.

Ham, cheese and egg on a super thick slice of toast.

Warm and soft chocolate pudding.

After stuffing myself with so much rich food, I felt really cloy and had the familiar overeating stomach discomfort. For someone who eats very little food each day, my stomach had a hard time digesting so much high calorie food.  But I think I burnt off all the calories  by this morning. Before I plonked myself onto  bed last night, I did 80 bicycle crunches on the bed. This morning I brisked walked for 40 minutes and back home, after downing a packet of Izumio, continued with a few sets of Swiss Ball crunches on my fitball.

 

Our Saturday – 30 July 2016

Today is the day that both Cass and Drama Queen have been waiting for. They have spent many days practising for their sports day.

We reached school at 7am. After roll-calling, we had a quick bite at the canteen before rushing off to the running track.

Marching event…

Perfect shot of Cass’ team mate passing the baton to her in the relay event.

One of the boys in her team made a boo boo and the entire relay event was disqualified.  They did a rerun.  Her team did not win and Cass was really, really disappointed.

Drama Queen had to give up running in 3 events today as she is still nursing a sprained foot. Nonetheless, she still participated in marching and dancing.

Cass recharging her batteries with Izumio hydrogen water after the run.

As expected, yours truly the Puteri Lilin had a throbbing head after being grilled by the sun for 4 hours.  The morning sun today was ferocious and torched us mercilessly.  But after downing a packet of Izumio, I was all perked up and the headache gradually subsided. Izumio rocks!!

After a torturous morning standing under the sun waiting and cheering for Cass, we went to Glasshouse  to enjoy the air-conditioning while tucking into brunch of big breakfast, lasagna and chicken pie. Desserts were delectable cakes.

Delectable By Su’s cafe is located on the second floor of Glasshouse at Seputeh.

Located just a few metres from the popular Siu Siu Restaurant, Glasshouse is surrounded by lush greenery.  Stepping into the restaurant gives you the feeling that you are inside a modern cottage cafe set inside the woods.  The impressive building boasts of floor-to-ceiling glass walls that allow you 360-degree views of its green surroundings. Its raw brick walls and cement floors also make it the perfect backdrop for any event. Even the roof structure is see-through, allowing natural sunlight to pour in or give you a peek of twinkling stars at night.  Glasshouse at Seputeh is ideal for parties or corporate events.

Glasshouse at Seputeh offers sweeping views of the greenery around and natural light in the comfort of a fully air-conditioned space.

 

 

 

Glasshouse at Seputeh
Lorong Syed Putra Kiri, Taman Seputeh, KL

For more details, visit their website:
www.glasshouse.my,
www.facebook.com/glasshouseatseputeh

Tomorrow my day will start early again. I will have to tumble out of bed by 7am to get some chores done before attending a training session by Naturally Plus at their office.  This week has been a hectic and tiring one for me, with no chance to sleep in on any day. Hopefully I’ll get to catch up on my beauty sleep next weekend. I miss moseying around the house on weekends with absolute nothing to rush into and no where to sprint to by a certain time.

What about you? I hope you had a funtastic Saturday and a relaxing Sunday awaits you for you to recharge your batteries to full bar to face another new week with gusto.

Happy weekend!

 

Sitka, Yellow Brick Road & Wicked Pancake Parlour @ Batai Village, Damansara Heights

After dropping Drama Queen at her friend’s house in Bangsar today, the foodie hubs brought us along on his foodie trail in search of gastronomical food.  What makes my man happiest is food, basketball and more food 😀

Now you see why I cannot afford not to exercise 5 times a week? I would expand just like my man if I do not do this.

First stop today was at Sitka @ Batai Village, Damansara Heights, a restaurant opened by one of his friends. Sitka is a Malaysian-Scottish collaboration that’s determined to deliver innovative cooking fuelled by local produce.  While waiting for the food to arrive, the foodie hubs told us that we would all be awaiting a little surprise with what would be served. This meant celebrity chef dishes. Customers can expect to pay rational prices for satisfying meals that transcend run-of-the-mill recipes. He was right. We were really satisfied with the top-notch food (taste and presentation), executed with much effort and ingredients.

First dish that arrived was salt baked beets with chickpeas, cilantro, humus, peas and orange.  The beets were tender, juicy and flavorful. Healthy  and full of fiber, I loved this salad dish.

Below – lobster roll on charcoal bun with pickled baby radish, hard boiled mashed egg and grilled sweet corn with cheese.

Below – pulled beef brisket with flat bread.  The beef brisket was full of aroma and taste, juicy and tender and paired well with the flat bread.

Below – we then moved to the next entree featuring roast seabass with yummylicious sambal atop served on a bed of roasted carrots, pumpkin puree and crushed roasted peanuts.

Below – roast chicken was wholesome and comforting. The meat was moist, juicy, flavorful and perfectly-done.

After lunch at Sitka, we walked a few doors away to Yellow Brick Road & Wicked Pancake Parlour, as we had initially wanted to lunch there but there were 8 tables booked ahead of us, so we put our name to book a table.  I was already pretty stuffed with all the delish food at Sitka but the foodie hubs wasn’t exactly done yet with his foodie trail so…

Sitka Restaurant
8-5, Jalan Batai, Bukit Damansara, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2011-1117
Below – Sitka is the 3rd building in white on the right.

Yellow Brick Road & Wicked Pancake Parlour

Yellow Brick Road shares a same corner lot with Wicked Pancake Parlour in Batai Village, Damansara Height (near Bangsar). They are run by the same folks.

Yellow Brick Road is the home for Malaysian Barista Champion (2013-2015) and their punch line is “Built for Dreamers for Dreamers”

Their customer load is normally very massive during the weekends and today was no exception.. thus we had to make a booking and then walked over to Sitka for our entree before going back to Yellow Brick Road and Wicked Pancake Parlour for desserts.

We intended to tuck into only their pancakes but something caught the foodie hubs’ eyes and he ordered a Balik Kampung dish with poached egg and mango kerabu!

An Asian local main course that lives up to its moniker, tastes like home, something that your mak will dish out when you “balik kampung” (going back to your hometown). The percik chicken delivers juiciness, flavors, aromatic spices and ain’t that spicy. Though we were already stuffed up to our noses, we could still wallop the entire plate of dish.

The Rubic’s Cube crazed princess…

Below – chocolate brownie topped with an ice-cream – everyone’s favorite. Gawd, this is the 2nd time this week that we had chocolate brownie with ice-cream.  And I still have an outstanding post on our foodie trail with the hubs done on Wednesday, which was a public holiday.

Below – Nangka (jackfruit) pancake and Apam Terbalik pancake.

The pancakes were fluffy and pillowy. Each plate of pancake was accompanied by a cup of aromatic gula melaka syrup and a scoop of ice-cream.

Yellow Brick Road (Beside Torii and Sitka)
8-7, Jalan Batai,
Batai Village,
Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: 9AM – 6PM
Contact: 03- 2035 5922
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yellowbrickroadcafe

Wicked Pancake Parlour
Batai Village, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.
Open 4pm-11pm on weekdays, 10am-11pm on weekends.
Above & affiliated with Yellow Brick Road.
Closed Wednesdays

 

 

Gravy Baby @ Taman Desa

On Saturday morning, a Wesak Day holiday, we had an early breakkie at 9:30am at Gravy Baby, which opened its doors for the first time on that day.  Gravy Baby is a cafe that serves gourmet pies, sandwiches, cakes and pastries.  This cafe is opened and run by some British chefs.

We thought we were early but there were many early birds earlier than us.  The entire neighborhood has been waiting impatiently for the opening of the cafe. By the time we left, the cafe was already packed to the brim. Foodies and food bloggers, all well equipped with their DSLR cameras were seen snapping pictures of their food and the establishment.

We waited pretty long for the food to arrive . As they are still very new, things were moving pretty slowly.  Pies and waffles were not ready yet. We were really disappointed as our main intention of going there was to try their gourmet pies. We came back the next day to take away some pies.

Finally our food came after the long wait.  Everyone patiently waited for me to snap the pictures before we attacked and dug into the food.

Check out the curry puff on the below right picture. It cost a whopping RM18!  The spiciness level of the curry puff is very mild and suitable for those who cannot tolerate hot and spicy food but have a penchant for spicy food. The taste and texture are somewhat similar to Murtabak but this is purely my own opinion.

The bill came up to a choking RM200+ with taxes and that’s just for breakfast!!  Food was just OK, nothing to shout about.  To be fair, we will have to try other items from their extensive menu before I can finalize my review and I think it won’t be too long before the foodie hubs who enjoys gourmet pastries, cakes, sandwiches and coffee drags us there again!

I heard that the inventive cocktails at Gravy Baby are mixed by a French bartender who flew into KL from a stint in Buenos Aires.

The next day (Sunday), we had 2 takeout Blighty-style pies that cost a frigging RM46+ (RM20 each plus service tax).  The size of the pies was pretty small – not filling for my 3 growing girls. For that price and 3 girls who were still hungry after sharing the pies, I think I’d get something more filling for them the next time. The petite pies would be perfect for someone on a diet.  Sorry, there is no picture of the pie but the slow-cooked beef pie was yums… but a tad expensive.

Here’s a picture of Gravy Baby’s pie, picture credits to Eat Drink KL.

Off the pie section of the menu, you will find a long list of tempting options like braised steak & ale pie or blue cheese, potato & leek pie – a credit to the team led by Gravy Baby executive chef Paul Elliot, who spent the past few years helming the kitchen at London’s Army & Navy Club.

The next time we have brekkie or lunch at Gravy Baby, we will definitely try their pie bundle. I am sure having hot pies served with accompaniments like mash and beans at the cafe itself would give us a better experience vs. taking out.

Gravy Baby
5A, Jalan Desa Jaya, Taman Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur.
Opened daily, 7am-11pm