Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let’s mambo – La Boca Latino Bar

Heus! Meaning “Hi!” spoken in Latin language, quis mean “delicious” and pleni means full. You must be wondering why I’m saying these Latin words, this time we are going for a Latino bar located in Pavillion, behold the La Boca latino bar. Last Saturday my brother and I happen to be in Pavillion for chillax, so we had our lunch at this nice Latin American restaurant, why we choose this place for our lunch? Maybe we got caught by the colorful wall painting and the nice interior design that standout, with the help of the lighting installed and the bricks design, the whole shop look very inviting.

Look at the colorful restaurant.

Wondering why the chairs are all in different colors separated by section.

Ok, so basically as you can see these photos are the interior of the restaurant, the reason why they decorated it such way is because the theme for the restaurant which in this case the Tango street of “Caminito”, a real street located in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Just done a quick search on google, Caminito is a tango music composed by Juan de Dios Filiberto, because the song is famous so there is a street museum name after it, and the images found in google is quite the same as the painting in the restaurant (Even the colors are so colorful in real life).

Their kitchen guarded by the guy at the wall....

After we finished decide our food and drinks, we asked the waitress to take our order, after she did she suddenly moved the chair from another table to our table and we just sat there looking each other for a second, she was actually offering a space for my brother’s camera bag, we smile and thanked her, nice services here. Below are the food I ordered:

Main dish
Nachos Rancheros - RM 26.00 (with added beef - RM 5.00)

Side dish
Sorrentinos - RM 32.00

I only ordered 2 dishes because my brother had his late breakfast so I thought I only ordered food for myself, we ordered coffee for our drinks, a Café con Leche - RM 9.00 and an Affogato - RM 12.00. After a while our drinks are served

Café con lecho

Affogato - Scoop of vanila gelato poured over with espresso

The drinks are quite normal, the only significant taste is the Affogato, it has a sweet taste at first due to the vanilla gelato and then after a while you will feel a slight bitter for after taste.

After a few minutes the Nachos Rancheros is served


Alright Nachos Rancheros is made by corn tortilla chips, refried beans, jalapeno, melted cheese, guacamole (green color), and sour cream. It was quite a small portion compare to the image in the menu but I smelled a strong smell of cheese, so how I consume it, naturally I took a tortilla chip and dip some guacamole sauce and some sour cream, it was tasty and it made me wanted to have another one due to the sour cream that increased my appetite, the beef part comes with tomato sauce. I like the cheese part, the cheese Is basically not so liquid type kind of cheese that I expected, it is already half-harden state, but they provided a huge amount of cheese and I like cheese plus the sour cream I thought I could finish it in no time, but I was wrong, I cannot finish it even though my brother is helping me, the portion might be medium, but it is capable of making you full, it was a good food though and it’s their recommended food as well.

Next dish

Sorrentinos - handmade Argentinean style ravioli stuffed with turkey ham, mozzarella and ricotta cheese in a rich roma tomato and basil sauce
I didn’t know that an Italian pasta can shape like this until I try this dish, honestly I thought they given me a wrong order, so after a quick search and I found that the term “ravioli” might be the answer, “ravioli” is a type of Italian filled pasta, nice, gained a knowledge by literally eating it. The sorrentinos’s filling look like this


A lot of cheese inside but only small portion of the turkey ham, it would be better if they had a larger turkey ham I think. The food was good but due to the fact that I am already half-full, this pasta is above average in terms of taste, it will taste better if you dip the pasta in the tomato and basil sauce.


After we done with our food, we have reached to the maximum of our stomach’s capacity, we are contented with nice environment and the food overall, the food was worth of its price and it is not disappointing, this is a restaurant for people who enjoy food and music from other culture (they play Latin songs), the main target audience here are mostly westerners.

Be sure to check it out, I’ve included the google map.

View Larger Map

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shanghainese specialties – DRAGON-I restaurant

It is Sunday morning, initially a friend and I planned to wake up to have Chinese Dim sum early in the morning, unfortunately our plan did not work out because we cannot wake ourselves up, the reason is simple: we did not usually slept early most of the night as part of our habits, that is a bad habit guys, so I personally advice do not follow us and we are trying to change that too. Therefore we change our breakfast plan into lunch and we decided to have our meal at a Chinese restaurant named DRAGON-I (龍的傳人) it means “Descendants of the dragon” Chinese often use this term of a sign of ethnic identity. We went to the restaurant located in Leisure Mall, Cheras.

Short introduction of the restaurant in Malaysia, this company specialized in Chinese culinary, the culinary style is from the regions of Shanghai, Szechuan, Beijing and Lanzhou, Dragon-i was established in 2004, its first outlet opened at Mid-valley. This restaurant’s signature dishes are “Xiao Long Bao” which is soup dumplings and “La Mian”, hand-pulled noodles, I made a quick guess because they written the words on their restaurant signboard, their menu, and their black sealed towel, so I guess this is their famous items to have. So there was I looking at their menu after my friend and I sat down.

While thinking what to have our lunch, I noticed the images of the food are special, I mean their food presentation is very attractive, colors, decorations, etc. very tempting; So after a while I had decided to have myself as followings:

Front entrance of the restaurant
The menu with Chinese design

Main dish
Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables in Hot Stone Pot (石锅梅菜扣肉)
– RM 20.00

Side dishes
1) Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings (上海小笼包) – RM 10.30
2) Steamed Meat Dumplings with Chili Soy Sauce (红油抄手) – RM 12.00

Double-boiled Pear with White Fungus and Red Dates (红枣雪耳炖雪梨)
– RM 12.00

I ordered a soup because I think their drinks they have in their menu are normal besides I think Chinese soups are generally worth a try. After a while, the waitress bought us our utensil, there is one thing I like about this restaurant’s way branding is they have a custom made chop-stick stamped with their restaurant’s logo on it, so is their black towel.

Words written:"Descendants of the dragon"

Ok, around 15 to 20 minutes of waiting, the Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings is served

Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings (上海小笼包

Once the waitress opens up the cover, the steam literally burst out, it must be fresh cooked~! Allow me to show you the way to eat a dumpling: First you place the dumpling on a spoon, then you pinch a small hole at the top with your mouth and carefully sip the hot soup inside, then only you consume the whole dumpling with ginger and Chinese black vinegar they provided. There you go their signature dishes, containing minced pork shank, ginger and natural pork skin gelatin, all covered with a skillfully handmade dumpling skin with at least 18 delicate folds (sounds pretty epic huh?), personally I like the filling of the dumplings and the soup, I actually prefer a thinner dumpling skin though, it should be strong enough to hold the filling and yet thin enough to be translucent.

Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables in Hot Stone Pot (石锅梅菜扣肉

Before we finish our dumplings, my main dish has arrived, honestly I was a little bit of a disappoint to the presentation of the food, because it is far too different to the menu, maybe because of the color of the soup is dull, but I should not jump to conclusion of the taste yet despite of its first impression, I ordered a bowl of rice for this dish, I scooped some soup to the rice and have my first bite, I am pleased with the taste of the soup with rice, it is quite salty but it is fine with rice. The braised pork and the preserved vegetable is a good mix, these two combination makes the pork belly does not taste oily even though you can see the thin layer of fat from the meat, because the preserved vegetable kind of counter the oily part, overall I am satisfied with this dish, must have it before it gets cold.

Double-boiled Pear with White Fungus and Red Dates (红枣雪耳炖雪梨)

And then the soup came just in the right time because I need some liquid form to clear my throat and mouth, this soup is boiled out of pear it is good for our health basically, the pear itself helps in digestions, prevent dizziness, normalize blood pressure, good for throat (ah-ha!) and etc. the red dates helps in lowering the blood pressure, strengthen out immune systems and etc. I can go for a long list of benefits for soups even though the taste is not tasty, but it contain a slightness of natural sweet, I did not mean those artificial sugar sweet. Chinese herbal soups have one thing in common they are all specialized in strengthen our inner organ and immune systems which is why I stated in the first place, their soup is worth a try.

And finally the last side dish has made its way,

Steamed Meat Dumplings with Chili Soy Sauce (红油抄手

I would say this dish is normal, nothing special about this dish, just that the volume of the soup inside is a lot more than the Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings because when I took my first bite, the soup burst out from the side of my mouth, I was shocked and quickly cover my embarrassment with a poker face, pretending nothing happen.

First of all this restaurant is non-Halal, because it served pork, the environment here is nice, it provide a smoking area outside, the interior has a very nice design of Chinese elements, dragons, red and black colors, you name it, my friend and I has a good time there, oh they have music too, just it is not oriental ones, I think they should have play Chinese oriental music, but overall it is a good place to spend with families and friends.

Below is the google map for this restaurant.

View Larger Map

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taste or place? - CHATEAU DE C.A.F.F.E.I.N.E.E.S.

Last Friday like most people after the exhausting work, a bunch of friend and me plan to go for a nice dinner somewhere in Cheras. After some hard time on deciding what food and which restaurant to land our feet on, (happen always…) we come up with this place, CHATEAU DE C.A.F.F.E.I.N.E.E.S.

A short introduction about this place, CHATEAU DE C.A.F.F.E.I.N.E.E.S. was first founded in 2006, it starts off as a humble coffee joint and now it became such nice looking restaurant. Their customers range are wide, from students to workers, from friends to families; the restaurant is designed to serves for events such as ROM ceremony, Wedding, Anniversary, birthday party or company dinner.

So as we parked our car within their compound, there are assistants there to help you in difficult parking slots, do not worry it is free of charge. The environment there is relaxing as most of the stuffs there are painted in white color, the lights there are quite dim, and I am sorry I did not manage to take any nice photos because my phone is not good in taking nice photos in low light condition.

Alright as I walked in I heard there are people singing “Happy Birthday” in a room somewhere, so I am guessing this place is quite happening even in the night. So after we found a place to sit and we start to browse through the menu, it serves more on western food more as I expected, there are pizza, steaks, salad, pasta, burgers and many more. After while I decided to order their

Honey sesame mustard lamb loin (RM 29.00)
The description is written: New Zealand lamb flame grilled with fresh wholegrain mustard sauce and mashed potato

Beef Pepperoni pizza (RM 22.00)

Crispy squid GOMA salad (RM 22.00)
Description as written: green vegetables salad served with authentic Japanese sesame dressing & grilled chicken

While waiting my food to serve, I noticed there are also some other people having some shishas and chill out there. I also noticed most of the customers here are all well-dressed and with a camera holding in their hand, I guess they are celebrating something too? Or they are going to take photo with all the nice interior design as background? Either way I think the environment here is pretty classy (no wonder they offer a wedding ceremony event)

Not many minutes ago the wait is over!! Here is the photos I am trying to capture, it is not that clear as the lighting there is quite dim (sorry again~)

Honey sesame mustard lamb loin

Let us start with the lamb loin, by the looks of it, I can see the tomato is not that red, I think it is an old tomato? Was it meant to be like that? Well it does not look very appetizing to me, the mashed potato is fine, just that it is a little cold, then I try the lamb loin, first bite is nice the taste is good especially added with the wholegrain mustard sauce, however the lamb loin is very chewy, I need to bite several times to break lamb into pieces, too bad it is kind of a letdown.

So I started to try the pepperoni beef pizza

Beef Pepperoni pizza

The taste is tedious, it does have the smell of cheese, I can barely taste the beef as well, and the bread is thinner than I thought it would be because it is written in the menu that the bread will be thin but for me I think it is way too thin for me to bite.

Then I went for the salad,

Crispy squid GOMA salad

When I saw the word “GOMA” I am curious about the meaning of the term, so I done a search on the web and I found that it is a Japanese way of dressing a salad here is the source from Wikipedia:

Goma-ae (胡麻和え), sometimes also spelled Gomaae or Gomae is a Japanese side dish. It is made with vegetables and sesame dressing (goma meaning sesame and ae meaning sauce in Japanese).

So after a few bites of the salad, to be honest I kind of like it, the vegetable is fresh, the squid is crispy and the portion is big enough, at least the tomato looks fresh, it is very appetizing and taste just fine.

I think CHATEAU DE C.A.F.F.E.I.N.E.E.S. restaurant consider a type of restaurant that provide super nice environment for customer, it is capable in creating a cozy mood for us to chill out with friends, have some families gathering and such, I have yet to try out most of the food there but this time I feel it is just normal, maybe what I am paying is the moment I spend there with my beloved ones? Anyway I will try other dishes next time.

Whoever interested go visit the restaurant, here is the Google map

View Larger Map

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween dinner night out - Chicago Rib House, Gurney Plaza, Penang

Last Thursday night it was the festival of Halloween, me and my friend happen to be at Penang for a few days trip, allow me to sum up out trip in short. We went for the “Kek Lok Si” temple and had a walk around that place, had some of the famous “ice-kacang” there, we went for a place where we can enjoy the nature, the Penang Botanic Gardens, you can see some monkeys there too and yes there are not caged so do not eat while walking as that will make them snatch food from you, like seriously. Well that’s some interesting places we went at Penang. After all day of traveling from one place of interest to another in Penang, it is already night, I stumbled upon a western restaurant, the name of the restaurant is “CHICAGO RIB HOUSE” and I decided to give it a try simply because it’s Halloween and the decoration in the restaurant is in Halloween theme so why not right?

So what is about this restaurant? I have done a quick search about this restaurant via their twitter website:

“CHICAGO RIB HOUSE – Not limited to great ribs and steaks, our products also extends to fresh oven baked pizzas, juicy burgers, crispy salads and mouthwatering desserts!”

I grabbed their menu and take a glance of what food they had to offer, for main course they offers pork rib, steaks, burgers and sandwiches, pasta or pizza, chicken as well as seafood. As usual for a western restaurant, they offer starters, desserts, soup and salads, alcoholic and mock tails beverages. As for me I personally like to try some pork related food and maybe some sandwiches, no specific reason felt that I should just going to start with these dishes as a first timer to this restaurant.

After some while of deciding which type of serving style of pork rib, I have interest in trying the “Beer battered fried pork chop” for RM29.90 the description writer there is

“*Tantalizing pork chop fried with our signature beer batter and served with country gravy

All main courses are served with your preferred choice of two side orders”, oh cool, I can choose two of the side dishes to accompany this main course, and the selection they offers are:

i.) Beer battered French fries
ii.) Coleslaw
iii.) Fragrant rice
iv.) Baked potato
v.) Mashed potatoes
vi.) Corn on the cob
vii.) Fresh vegetables

I have picked Fresh vegetables and Baked potatoes as my preferred side orders, well at that moment I like to have vegetable with pork meat for the night.

After a few minutes my food is here 

The portion of the pork was huge as you can see, I begun by slicing my first pork and it was very crispy and easy to slice it off, alright here is the part I like the most, the smell is very tempting, maybe after a long day of traveling but I am sure it made me to eat it desperately, but after the first bite and I thought the pork was just ok because the meat is not as soft as expected, some part is quite chewy, kind of a letdown for me. As for one of the side order the fresh vegetable, it is not hard to bite, they just boiled it with hot water and it is a little bit tasteless to be honest; the baked potatoes in the other hand seems promising because it has salad sauce and onion as dressing. It is ok for me, not too hard or soft for biting, its potato skin can be peel off easily the overall is ok for the potato just that I do not prefer to eat these type of potato skin cooking method.
After my meal I also ordered a sandwich, a “Chicago Cheesy Sandwich” for RM 26.90 as its description:
“Grilled Chicken Breast topped with melted cheddar cheese and grilled pineapple ring on a toasted burger bun”

This is the photo of the sandwich

As you can see, the chicken meat is quite thick (around an inch) and on top of that got a huge ham, there are two pineapple rings, it is shaped like an onion ring just that it is a pineapple ones; the french fries are fried with oat as side dishes. Alright, for sandwich there are several ways of eating it as far as I know, you can either slice it into small pieces, fork it and dip it in the cheddar cheese and enjoy, for me this time I am going to take out the top bread for the moment for me to place the melted cheddar cheese in the inside part and cover it back only slice and eat it. The taste was actually not heavy but luckily with the company of ham and the melted cheddar cheese, it became tastier. The french fries are good, I mean it is fried with the oat and the smell is nice but the taste had over taken by the sandwich.

So that is what I had tried on my Halloween night, the food there was ok, oh and the environment of the restaurant is all about western culture, you can notice it by the design (notice there is a big spider web on top).

Anyway I have included a Google map below for you all who are interested to try out this restaurant.