Kampungkayell

Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

Bermuda & Onion in Changkat Bukit Bintang

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

(Warning; some people may not be used to seeing a suckling pig being deboned. If so, don't scroll all the way down. I believe that we should know where our food comes from and it's not the neat, sanitised square pieces we see in the supermarkets, hence my decision to include that photo)

There's nothing like the feel of a sincere hug. ALMOST nothing beats the intimacy and wholehearted physical communication of a hug lovingly given and gratefully received.

The religious zealots and self righteous will now be screaming blue bloody murder. After all, even school uniforms are now symbols of sexual perversions. Men, you have been labeled perverted pigs who will lose all semblance of control at the barest hint of nubile, satiny smooth, warm, flesh. What I find interesting is that Malaysian men in general have not come out in droves to protest the insult to their honour and self control. Is there a tacit acceptance and agreement among Malaysian men that we are somehow less than human and animalistic in our lack of self control?

But I digress.

Warm Sunday afternoons on quietER KL streets are always conducive to sitting around with good friends and just generally talking about anything and everything. A time to speak from the heart meaningful but forgettable words which fill the ether with a contentment of camaraderie and nothing else.

Accompanied by that most needful of neccesities; good food.

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Under the watchful gaze of Jack Nicholson at his most "Shining" moment, we sat tucked at the back of Bermuda and Onion (B&O) right by the seat of honour; the kitchen in all it's glassed up glory.

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Amidst a stylish, contemporary, bistro interior, sporting funky fans with clear plastic blades that droop chicly (is that a word) to create a lamp when stationary, Chef Max serves good, hearty Italian inspired food. For lovers of comfort food, this is your place.

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Deep fried frogs legs, Wild Boar Fettucine, and ' Cassola' (the Italian version of 'Cassoulet') feature on the menu. Max was kind enough to invite me into his kitchen and fished out an entire Pigs Head from the stock pot, proudly and mischievously stating that "this is going into our Terrine."

If you're looking for effete "fusion cuisine" please look elsewhere. The word "fusion" when applied to food sends shivers down my neanderthal spine.

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Pots were boiling, skillets were sizzling, chefs and assistants were bustling around wrapping slices of bacon...individually. The bacon that is, and not each assistant.

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How can you not fall in love/lust with this place? Bacon on a Sunday for brunch/lunch. There's something so visceral about sizzling bacon and that oh so heavenly waft of smoky caramel savouriness of the fat that wends its way through your nose into your heart and the pit of your stomach.

The gathering is complete when along comes lyrical lemongrass and hunky hubby, Bald Eagle. One of those loving hugs later and we sat down with Blessings Homestay's, Yew Mun, and Handsome John (he's sort of taken but do ask) and of course the both of us to complete an afternoon of bitchingcomplaininglaughterteasingbonding.

As this trencher of mixed cold cuts and meats made its way to our table (something the folks at B&O call the Rustic B&O Platter), we gasp at the cornucopia before us. It's listed in the menu that it's for 2 persons. But the 6 of us , accompanied by warm, crusty farmers bread, barely finished the parma ham, salumi, and bresaola combo. Not to mention the parmesan, brie, gorgonzola, and various other cheeses that sat on that glorious slab.

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If that wasn't enough, a bowl of stuffed olives and kalamatas as well as Caramelised Balsamic Onions came to accompany the meats.

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We made the mistake of ordering individual breakfasts. Of course, by this time, we had been so transported by the carnivorous urges brought on by the sight of so much meat, our collective discretion just flew out the proverbial window. So we committed the sin of what the cantonese call "eyes wide, cramped tummy" and ordered TWO of the "English" breakfast plate.

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And TWO of the "Rich."

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AND Grilled Ribs (that's Handsome John by the way, and both he and the ribs were yummy, thank you very much). The ribs were meltingly tender with a good pull and moist as anything. A hallmark of a good "low and slow" barbecue. The accompaniment of beans and potatoes were flavourfully indicative of a lovely, long slow stew.

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Operating on the principle of 'there's a separate stomach for dessert' I brought a Rosemary Butter Cake which went rather well with B&O's vanilla bean-flecked home made ice cream. When we eventually and regretfully took our leave our wallets were lighter by about RM56 per person. It wasn't just a case of sufficient food. It was the practice of stuffing your face even after you were full. And for that, it was super value for money.

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Along the idyllic stream of that Sunday afternoon, we got to see Chef Max bone a suckling pig (yes, they serve that too) and while away a lazy day in enjoyable company with some great food to accessorise and punctuate the moments. Isn't that what life is all about?

I never got to ask what Bermuda & Onion meant though. Oh well, there's always next time. And believe me, by hook or by crook, there will be...

For more pictures, click on the following link;

Bermuda & Onion
No 41 Changkat Bukit Bintang
03-21458333

Opening hours;

Weekdays 12pm till 11pm
Sat & Sun 10am till 11pm

Rosemary Butter Cake Photo courtesy of A Whiff of Lemongrass

Oriental Spoon in Sooka Sentral

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

"You brought a bottle of wine? YAY!"

We all know what's important to me. FBB had graciously brought a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to go with our dinner at a new place called Oriental Spoon in Sooka Sentral.

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Where's that you might ask. We did too. After a few false turns it turned out that Sooka Sentral is right behind Suasana Sentral, next to the Hilton Kuala Lumpur. And Oriental Spoon is in that shopping centre. Parking was easy as well. Right up front.

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Ming Lee of Bangsar Seafood, which owns Oriental Spoon, had ordered a parade of dishes and by the time we were halfway through, we were ready to have our lugnuts tightened and our alignment and balancing done.

There were some definite highlights to the evening. Generally, flavour and presentation were above average with some scintillating items on our menu.


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The restaurant itself is very contemporary. The design is open with the kitchen all glassed up so you can see the "action" behind the glass.

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All tables were decorated with a single anthurium and the ones with lazy susan's had the vase embedded in the centre with the lazy susan turning around it. I thought it was quite clever.

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As dish after dish came there were one or two real winners. The Stir Fried Salted Egg crab was divine. Thick, unctuous sauce coating everything there was to coat on the crab. Even the shells had their fill of sauce.

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Allan scored big when he picked up his crab claw and the shell literally shucked off leaving him with a huge chunk of claw meat waiting to be savoured.

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The presentation of the Two Combination Prawns was innovative and added to the enjoyment of the dishes themselves. The prawns were done to a turn. If there's one thing I can't stand it's overcooked prawns and these were absolutely spot on. Firm, juicy, sweet, with the slightest bit of crunch.

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For orientals, the presentation of the Deep Fried Garoupa with Flavoured Meat Sauce would be par for the course. It mimicked a garoupa almost leaping out of the water (and onto my waiting plate). For our caucasian friends (some of you who might be reading this) it might be somewhat horrific to see that gaping maw facing you while you're about to dig some flesh out of it's side. Amazing how aesthetics can influence your appetite isn't it? ;-)

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This was my favourite of the evening. Tender, short, buttery, pastry wrapped around Lotus Root and mince chicken meat. I loved the way they tied and twisted it to look like Lotus Root.

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The Chee Cheong Fun is one of the de rigeur items on a dimsum list and this one was no exception. It is easily one of the easiest dishes to ruin as well with overcooked seafood or underflavoured meat. But Oriental Spoon did this simple dish proud.

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This particular dimsum item was definitely unexpected. In keeping with the Halal Food in this restaurant, we had a Steamed Black Pepper Lamb Short ribs. Practically melting off the bone on a bed of succulent white radish which had sucked up all the flavours of the lamb, this was definitely a must for those who enjoy the gaminess of lamb. Slightly spicy, rich, and sweet, it melted in my mouth.

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The carrot cakes fried with bonito flakes was a new twist to what is arguably also a dimsum staple. All these dish items had the decorated, hand carved animals of the zodiac on them.

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The "Woo Kok" deserves special mention. The crust was flaky and crisp and you bit into a lovely smooth mash of yam and flavourful chicken mince.
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Another innovative plate on their Ala Carte menu was the Oriental Three Combination but served and plated for individuals. The "chook tarn" or Bamboo fungus wrapped roll presented in a chinese soup spoon then "glued" onto the plate with arrowroot starch was particularly fetching. And oh yes, it also tasted good.
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The Venison in Birds Nest was also scrumptious. Good sauce flavouring and the birds nest itself should be eaten. Light, crunchy, and without a hint of the oil used to deep fry it.

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I included these Black Sesame Steamed buns only because they were the cutest things around. I believe they're hedgehogs. This would be a treat for kids to keep them occupied.

Oriental Spoon closes at 8pm right now but from what I've heard, if you make reservations to come at 730pm they will stay open for you. There are plans to open later when traffic increases.

Dimsum is served only in the afternoons(from 1130am to 5pm) but they have an extensive Ala Carte Menu for those who would like to come for dinner. Prices are reasonable. From RM5 to RM12 for dimsum (and halal dimsum at that) and anything from RM10 to RM48 for the Ala Carte Items.

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For dessert, FBB brought his luscious famous, Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake with thick cream (45% fat which really means we should just break out the butter and slather it on) and Lyrical Lemongrass brought her favourite Durian Puffs. FBB's cake was everything an upside down cake should be. Lovely and puddingy with the warmth of ginger, the sweet slight bitter bite of treacle and luscious sweet poached pears tempered with the cool, flavour transporting, gorgeous, thick cream.

All in all, our little group who attended last night's dinner had a fun filled, snap happy evening. Always the case with our friendly food blogging community. Thanks must go out to Jade, Ming Lee and "Boss," as FBB calls her, for organising this.

Oriental Spoon
First Floor,
Sooka Sentral,
Jalan Stesen Sentral 5,
50470, Kuala Lumpur.

03-2261 3222

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