Monday, July 23, 2007

Simple yet Exquisite (at Prego, Westin KL)

One of my favourite Italian restaurants in town is Prego at Westin Kuala Lumpur. And my favourite dishes there? The simpler, the better.
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Starting with the complimentary bread, I really, really like their bread. Wonderfully soft with a good crust, it is simply delicious when dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar or even their homemade tomato dip that they usually provide together with the bread. I always have to remind myself to go easy with the bread before the meal. LOL.
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Another favourite of mine at Prego is one of their house specialties. I forgot the exact name of this appetizer but it is softly poached eggs on a bed of salad with sprinkles of black truffles on top. Simple yet so exquisite in taste.
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Pasta. The pre-requisite to a good Italian restaurant. And of course, I do like the pastas at Prego. Seen here is also one of my favourites. Mixed Seafood in Tomato-based Sauce (aka Marinara). Fresh seafood in a thick and slightly tangy tomato sauce, it's simply good. But I'll recommend not to have this with fettucine (you get to choose your own choice of pasta) but to go with either angel hair, spaghetti or even penne. With fettucine, it just seems "too much".

Besides pasta, their pizzas are pretty awesome too. And not forgetting their mind-blowing Sunday Bubbly Brunches as well, of course!

The Westin Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Phone: (60)(3) 2731 8333

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hawker Food Feast @ Medan Selera Section 17, PJ

It never crossed my mind to try out the Medan Selera (Food Court) in Section 17 despite passing it numerous times until I read Masak-masak's rave on their Fishball Noodles. That got me interested enough to give this little nondescript place a try. Actually it does look a little bit forbidding and unwelcoming from the outside, giving me the impression that unless you are a resident of the nearby flat, enter at your own risk...haha....But of course, my impression was just nonsense!

Anyway, here it is. Teowchew Fishball Noodles from Stall No. 14.
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Smooth kuey teow noodles (no idea if it is homemade though) in clear and relatively MSG-free broth, topped with some spring onion, sliced fish cakes and homemade fish balls. Everything was great in its simple goodness, but obviously the highlight is the fish ball. Fresh, no overpowering fishy smell and with just the right bounce.
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From the same stall, you can also order Char Kuey Teow which also seems to be rather popular judging from the flow of orders from customers. I sampled some and it was good too! It was fried a "darker" version and topped with generous sprinkles of cockles and bean sprouts with enough wok-fire, it was delicious even for a non-CKT fan like me.

There is also a tongshui stall a few stalls away, selling a variety of tongshuis and snacks.
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I tried Lotus Glutinous Rice Dumplings in Osmanthus Flower infused broth. The taste of the osmanthus flower is rather unique but the broth was a bit on the diluted side. The dumplings were just average only, texture and tastewise.
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This is something called "Lek Tau Suan" (Skinned Mung Beans broth). Again, rather average.

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Outside the food court (across the road) are two vans selling Rojak and Cendol.
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The rojak was rather disappointing. Served with the usual condiments, the sauce lacked taste and the entire concoction was just not very satisfying.
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The cendol fared better but not memorable. Just a slightly better-than-average cendol for me, but good enough the appease the bothersome heat on a hot day. You can read a more detailed review of the cendol here.

Disclaimer: No, I did not have all the above food all by myself, in case you are wondering. *grin*

Monday, July 09, 2007

KLue RSVP: Market Place Restaurant & Lounge

Amuse Bouche: Sun-dried tomatoes on watermelon (IMO)
Having missed a few KLUE RSVP events for the last few months, I was looking forward to going to this once with a bunch of friends. An evening of dining and trying out a new restaurant with free flow "drinks" in the great company of friends at a very affordable price, it clearly looks set to be an intoxicating (in more ways than one) evening for sure!

This time, the dinner was held at Market Place Restaurant & Lounge at Lorong Yap Kwan Seng in KL. I must admit that I have never heard about this place before this event and neither do I frequent this side of the city. Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are a few more charming restaurants along the road which I will surely return later to try them out.
Back to Market Place. The restaurant is housed in an old converted bungalow. Looking rather chic, it seems to be a good place to chill out for drinks. But let's focus on the food this time. In the promotional leaflet of the event, the amuse bouche (pictured above) was listed as Goat Cheese with Strawberry Compote but what came instead was Sun-dried Tomatoes on Watermelon. The pairing although not extraordinary, was pleasant enough as a starter.

Appetiser: Homemade Mushroom Soup with Cream
This has got to be my favourite of the meal. Thick, rich, hearty mushroom soup. Simple comfort food but yet truly delectable.

Main Course: Pan-fried Cod Fish on Mash and Greens
For my main, I had the Cod Fish. Again, on the initial menu, it was listed as Pan-fried Cod Fish with Wasabi Mash and Fresh Passion Fruit but the chef must have a change of mind again for I didn't detect any fresh passion fruit nor tasted any wasabi in the mashed potatoes although I appreciate the addition of some leafy greens in the dish. Well, it is rather difficult to spoil a cod fish as long as it is fresh and not over-cooked and I happened to love this fish a lot! Other than that, this dish is rather unremarkable, particularly in terms of creativity. It would also have benefitted if served a tad warmer.

Main course: Pan-fried Salmon
All of us, except one chose the cod. This particular friend of mine broke the mold and had the salmon instead. *grin* Again, the chef must be having a fitful day. I guess the "fresh passion fruit" originally planned for the cod fish went to this dish instead, replacing the pernod sauce which was originally planned. Again, this was a rather average dish that could have benefitted if served warmer, as commented by my friend.

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse
Here comes dessert! Martini-glassed Chocolate Mousse. Appearance-wise, reminds one of "you-know-what" but tasted divine although I found the texture to be a bit strange, almost like semi-melted rich chocolate ice-cream that was served slightly warm, not very mousse-like. Would be even better if served colder. But the strangest thing is that quality differed from glass to glass. Some of my friends had theirs in a darker-colored version, lighter texture but tasted bland. Hmm..... I guess that I was lucky mine tasted just fine.

I didn't take any pictures of the drinks this time because they were the same from the last event with the exception of a special creation at the end of the night, Martell in Sour Lemon which was really good! After what seems like endless rounds of drinks (it was a rather warm night and hence we were *ahem* pretty thirsty), we called it a night but not without promising a return trip to explore the interesting-looking restaurants in that area.

Market Place Restaurant & Lounge
4A Lorong Yap Kwan Seng, Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
Kuala Lumpur.