Kampungkayell

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

Dinner & Ramadhan Menus at Bangsar Seafood (HALAL)

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

"What la you! I've been here for 30 minutes waiting for you on my own already! I'm heartbroken!" So sings the oft repeated refrain from A2, otherwise known as toyboy(not mine, he's taken). I've warned him about crying wolf too often but to no avail. And he does it so charmingly, so I play along.

Roll 393Fatboybakes had arranged a food review with Bangsar Seafood Centre on request from their Public Relations Consultant and had put together a flogroll of about 20 odd people to say something about the food. As is usual with this crowd, honesty is the best policy. So we were asked to write about what we had and what we liked.

In addition to that, these occasions are also great opportunities to meet new floggers/bloggers and for old friends to reconnect. So there we were having a rip-roaring time, especially thanks to Paranoid Android and Frat Mustard ( the one who brings his ceramic avatar everywhere) because of their generous contribution of a few bottles of the most amazing amber nectar, uisge beatha or 'water of life.'

Roll 392As with all dinners like this, the menu is varied and at Bangsar Seafood, presentation is always given importance. I particularly like the vegetable carvings and the "go-for-height" aesthetics that the chefs practice. The omelette was particularly interesting in this regard with a stalk of spring onion speared right through the 10 pieces.

I absolutely adored the Butter crab (butter is the secret of the Universe) and the salted egg crab (and salt is the other) as well as the Stewed Cabbage with Dried Scallops. The Curried Roll 391Prawns were also amazing and the sauce was creamy & curried, redolent of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf. It was just heaven to sop it up with a little of the "mantou" at the end. I got them to save the sauce in a bowl for our table.

The rest of the dishes were home cooked fare, well presented. Bangsar Seafood Centre also has a Ramadhan promotion for buka puasa. For some of the menus, there is a free gift of 1kg of crabs.

IMG_2258Yes, Ramadhan Menus. That's the beauty of Bangsar Seafood. It's certified halal. Not just pork free. More and more there is a market for good, chinese food catering to our muslim brethren and for those who might find that important, its comfort on a very personal level.

Service has always been decent and customers are given good value. Come here with the family. :-)

Dine in style, this Ramadan:
Enjoy 9 signature dishes. Devour 1 KG of crabs for free.
Fom RM 498+

RM 498+: Appetizer, Shark’s Fin Soup, Chicken with Ginger, Spicy Fried
Fish, Lychee Prawns, Signature Beancurd, ‘Kampung’ fried rice, Custard
Buns, Dessert

RM 598+: Appetizer, Sharks Fin Soup, Chicken with Plum Sauce, Pomfret with
Bean Sauce, Prawns with Sweet Corn Sauce, Steamed “Sang Gan”, Tom Yam> Noodles, Banana with “Gula Melaka”, Dessert

RM 698+: Appetizer, Double boiled soup, Roast chicken, Red snapper, Otak
Otak Fried Prawns, Braised Sea Cucumber, Oyster Fried Rice, Chinese
Pastries, Dessert

Roll 39RM 898+: Homemade appetizers, Sharks Fin Soup with Pumpkin, Boneless Duck,
Curried Garoupa, Braised Seafood, Mango Prawns, Garlic Fried Rice, Banana
& ‘Gula Melaka’, Dessert

Bangsar Seafood Centre
63, One Bangsar
Jalan Ara
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2282 2555

Sage in The Gardens - Lyrical Lemongrass's almost-quite SURPRISE birthday party

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Roll 426Sage is a restaurant conceptualised and started by the Chef of the old Cilantro. Put that together with bunch of food bloggers bent on treating a dear one to a surprise birthday luncheon and you have a recipe for carnage. Either that or an orgy! What with the moans and groans from around the table, you would think that sex had been replaced by food.

Wait...

That's the case with this bunch actually!

But Sage is perfectly placed for food orgasms. Its luxe lunching (saw that phrase somewhere and I had to use it) at its best in Kuala Lumpur. The ingredients are always an adventure (like the Jerusalem Artichokes made into a creamy veloute for the starter). For RM100 you embark on a culinary sexual escapade with partners from all around the world. From Sashimi grade JapaneseRoll 423 scallops to buttery melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu beef cheeks and French style Bavarian creams using English Earl Grey served on a steamy Malaysian afternoon with Spanish sounding sorbets, your palate is teleported around the world on a platter.

For RM100 nett in a comfortable, contemporary setting which isn't the least bit pretentious, you have a world class food experience. Everything is of the best quality but quietly so. People who "dress" like this favours Bottega Venetta. No ostentatious brand logos all over the place. Just quiet confident quality.

The Vichyssoise of Scallop with Grated Summer Truffle was as delicate as it was pale. Served at the perfect temperature of cold refrigerator water, it was creamy, had a great contrast of textures and temperatures and the taste; delicate, soft, Roll 424earthy, sweet, but possessed of a delicious light unctuousness. I thought it was pureed celeriac but it turned out to be pureed jerusalem artichokes instead. I'm so glad I chose this over the more usual Foie Gras. Don't get me wrong; I love Foie Gras. But I know what it's supposed to taste like. I like trying new stuff.

Roasted Seabass with King Prawn and Sauteed Mushrooms showcased everything that was good about the ingredients. Not the most scintillatingly entertaining dish in terms of imagination but it was a solid, wonderfully tasty dish of sweet Chilean Seabass and technically flawlessRoll 425 technique of cooking.

Dessert, was insane. Texture, combination of flavours, the contrast of temperatures, the presentation. Siggghhhhhh....Ummmmm, aaaahhhhhhh, oooooooo. The Earl Grey Bavarois with a Chocolate Sorbet and a Ginger Confiture, although a mouthful to name, was a masterpiece. A Bavarois is traditionally a creme patissiere (custard cream) which is set with gelatin. Many times it can come out too firm. Almost bouncy. This one was wobbly, it had enough body to barely sit on the spoon while having some bulgy sides (guys with love handles would absolutely know what I mean) and it just slipped, literally, into your mouth, began melting, and slid like the most IMG_2460luscious cream past your tastebuds and down your throat. The Bergamot was a hint wafting up your nose, the tea came through, the chocolate sorbet had that touch of grittiness that was the textural counterpoint to the silken smoothness of the bavarois. The only disappointment (and I say this to nitpick rather than as a recommendation) was the ginger confiture. It was a clever name but my expectation was set. Basically it was thin slices of ginger "pickled" in sugar and herbs/spices. The texture was a little tough. I would have preferred a light crunch contrast.

Roll 422

All in all HIGHLY recommended for a great afternoon or evening of "luxe lunching" or "decadent dining" at night.

Sage Restaurant and Wine Bar
The Residences Level 6
The Gardens, Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
0322681328

The Ming Room (non-halal)

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Roll 41From terracotta horses hand-carried all the way from Xian, China, to the yummy ginger cod mee hoon soup and the luscious durian pudding, The Ming Room has returned with a Roarrr!

In any case, since we were free one Sunday, Ms Chan Mo Lin, one of the owners of The Oriental group of Restaurants invited Allan and myself out to lunch to catch up. Along the way, we dragooned "Amelia" to come along. Mo Lin very kindly consented to have me blog about the experience when I asked her permission as I think that everyone should have the pleasure of dining at such a well conceptualised, and executed experience.

And that's what a restaurant is. An experience. Whether its on a budget and you compete on price or you compete on artistic imagination, which tends to be on the other end of the monetary scale.

The restaurant should be on "message." The minute you walk in, it should "look" like the food it serves and tell you a little bit about it's purpose and the price that comes with it. And The Ming Room does that in spades. There's an inherent understanding of that down to the red table cloth. As a matter of fact, some friends and I used to call this one Chinese restaurant in Bangsar, "Red Table Cloth." I might have an objection to the colour but there's no denying the message it sends; "good value chinese food."
Roll 413
Which brings us to the core of what every restaurant should be about.

The bubbled skin and layered translucence of "siew yoke" appears on the table. Slightly warm. Salt crystals crunch with the glass like brittleness of the skin and Then my favourite...Char Siew. Chinese Roast Pork. Sweet, tender, creamy, caramelised dark surfaces, glistening in the light. Tender, fall apart meat. Perfect.

A dizzying array of dimsum, noodles, and and food finds its way onto our table. If I wrote how much I loved everything, we'd be here till tomorrow. Some dishes which merit special mention;the poached cod in a ginger paste on top of soup meehoon (vermicelli), "Char Choi"(preserved turnips) tripe soup, and the scallop dumplings.
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The cod was perfectly poached. I've a suspicion that what we call cod is actually a Chilean Sea Bass. A high fat fish. Hence that meltingly tender flaky texture. And the sweetness that comes with flavourful, "good-for-you" Omega 3 oils. The counterpoint of the ginger paste is stunningly simple but effective. This part is no surprise as its been done well by many Chinese restaurants and is quite standard. But added on top of a hot flavourful broth, sopped up by delicate vermicelli was an added dimension of texture and taste. It was almost like a lovely picture had been transformed into a masterpiece by the addition of a beautiful frame.
Roll 411
The tripe and "Char Choi" was another favourite. More delicate than the street food it's obviously inspired by, it worked well. Peppery, tender tripe, with the sour salt contrast of the preserved turnips, not to mention the crunchy, vegetal texture was an eye-opener.

IMG_2388
Then we were served dessert. Oh YUM! Almond milk steamed IN a papaya. The Almond milk was creamy, yummy, and basically almonds crushed into water, boiled and then pressed for the milk with a touch of almond flavouring. Not too strong mind you. And sweet, warm, soft papaya. Great flavour. Great texture. And great colour!

AND Durian Pudding! Very attractive presentation with dry ice bubbling away and a drift of smoke and vapour lend to an experience of cool pudding redolent with the taste of fresh durian. That's important. Many cooked durian desserts taste like durian dodol. Not good. This however, was a revelation.

The service was proficient and of the standard that you would expect of a good Chinese restaurant. Before you say that we had better service because we were sitting with some of the owners, I should say that I was watching some of the other tables and they were all served within moments of seating with food appearing very soon after ordering.

IMG_2390

The ambiance was comfortable, contemporary, and speaks of what The Ming Room purports to be; an upper medium scale Chinese restaurant. You would never mistake it for anything else.

I thoroughly recommend this place.

The Ming Room
3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 KL
Tel: 03- 2284 8822 | Fax: 03- 2284 3822 | orirest@po.jaring.my
www.orientalrestaurants.com.my