Monday, June 23, 2008

Dinner with Porky Bess @ Wendy's Bistro

Didn't plan it this way; but somehow all the dishes we ordered that night happened to be courtesy of Porky Bess.
It seems like more and more outlets that specializes in non-halal dishes are springing out. This one is closer to home although not exactly new. Reading this article, it reminded me that I did previously plan to try this place but never got around to it until now.

The restaurant seems cozy and family-like. On the other hand, it was a little bit too dim and the tables were rather too close to each other which might just be a nightmare for the claustrophobic.

A healthy(ier) start to what's to come later, we shared the Grilled Bacon Salad.
Grilled Bacon Salad
Tagged as "Must Eat" in the menu, the salad was described as crispy streaky or back bacon on baby spinach, tomatoes and chillies with creamy balsamic dressing. But we could have sworn that those grilled bacon were fried ham slices instead. It sure tasted that way although not in a bad way at all. I was happy that the salad came with plenty of fresh baby spinach leaves although the same couldn't be said for th tomatoes and chillies (chillies? what chillies???). Liked the salad dressing and the fact that the it was served on the side.

Then came the sausages. I ordered a combination of Pork Chorizo (another "Must Eat" dish) and Pork Oriental.
Combination of Pork Chorizo Pork Oriental sausage.
Served with fries (good texture but too salty) and some simple salad, the Pork Oriental reminded me of those sweet-ish Taiwanese sausages. The Pork Chorizo on the other hand, was not bad.

I was told that the "stars" of this restaurant must be their Grilled Pork Belly and Grilled Spare Ribs. Fortunately for the customers, a Mixed Combo of these two are available.
Mixed Combo: Grilled Pork Belly and Grilled Spare Ribs
Served with a scooped of mashed potatoes (average) and coleslaw (this was pretty good!), we enjoyed both. The succulent pork belly was first marinated in manipur sauce before being grilled. The spareribs were mostly tender although there were some chewy bits. I wouldn't rank them as my favourites but that doesn't mean that I did not enjoy every bite of the meat as witnessed by our empty plates with only totally licked-clean bones on them at the end of the meal.

The desserts selection were pretty uninspiring. Nevertheless, we still ordered Cookies n Cream Ice-cream Cake when we discovered that they use Movenpick ice-cream.
Cookies n Cream Ice-cream Cake
Nothing fancy here. It's just ice-cream sandiwched between 2 layers of plain sponge cake and frosted with sweet whipped cream. I think I have made a similar cake before. Anyway, at the very least, the ice-cream was still enjoyable.

Prices were fair. The dishes above ranged from RM18 to RM25. Desserts are about RM8 onwards.

WENDY’S BISTRO (Non-halal)
20, Jalan PJS 8/18,
Dataran Sunway Mentari, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-5630 1699

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dim Sum @ Celestial Court, Hotel Imperial Kuala Lumpur

My Starwood membership was expiring and I still had a handful of vouchers to go. It was quite funny how I rushed to utilize most of the "complimentary" vouchers during the last month of my membership. Anyhow, one of it was the "Eat-All-You-Can" Dim Sum at Celestial Court, Hotel Imperial Kuala Lumpur (previously known as Sheraton Imperial Hotel).

Celestial Court
It was rather difficult getting a booking as this special deal was only available during weekends. Could it be there were also tons of other members who were in the "same situation" as me? (I.e., Utilizing all the vouchers at the very last minute before they expire). That was why I was rather surprised to see that the restaurant was rather empty when I went there. I knew that this special promo has been discontinued and not available to the general public but due to the Starwood vouchers given last year for their members, the restaurant had to honor them. Hence only Starwood members who hold such vouchers are entitled to the free-flow dim sum. Perhaps the restaurant pre-allocated the maximum number of reservations/tables for those utilizing this voucher. But seriously, since it was rather difficult making reservation and the fact that they actually called a couple of times to re-confirm the reservation, I was expecting at least a semi-crowded restaurant. Hmmppff.....

Back to the food. A special menu was given for this "Eat-All-You-Can" promo. Selections although not vast, were sufficient. Here are some of it.

Starting with the "steamed" varieties:

Shrimp Dumpling (Har Gow)
The Har Gow was good. Big, fresh, juicy prawns in thin translucent crystal skin.

Another type of dumpling with Konnyaku noodles in Spicy Chili Sauce

HK-Style Chee Cheong Fun with Shrimps served with Pea Sprouts
Nice and smooth cheong fun. Again, shrimps were fresh. But the measly pea sprouts looked rather pathetic and out of place on the dish.

And now the "fried" varieties:

Pan-fried radish cake
This was just average.

Deep-fried Yam Pastry with Minced Meat Stuffing (Wu Kok)
Didn't really enjoy this although wu kok is one of my favourite dim sum. Just lacking of something which I couldn't exactly pin-point. Or maybe it wasn't served warm enough.

Sesame Spring Roll with Shredded Roast Duck
Sounded promising but was rather forgettable.

Honey Stuffed Cruellers (Yau Char Kwai)
Too "dough-y".

Pan-fried Dumplings Beijing-style
Totally forgot what was inside.

From the "roast" section:

Crispy Skin Roast Duck
This was the "star" of the entire meal. Thin crispy skin and tender flesh. Absolutely no gamey taste to it. Perfect with the accompanying dipping sauce. So good that we had 2 of this.

Sweet Endings:

Chilled Sai Mai Lo
Needed something cold and chilling to help elevate the feeling of being "stuffed to the brims with meat". Not a very good sai mai lo. Too diluted, perhaps.

Chilled Almond Jelly with Longans
I usually detest almond puddings, broth and jellies hence I was somewhat surprised that I liked this a lot. The pudding was so smooth and silky with just a very slight scent of almond (which was what usually put me off). Nice!

Celestial Court
Hotel Imperial Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Phone 60 3 2717 9900

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dinner @ Sassorosso Italian Restaurant, KL

I have to be honest here. I first discovered this restaurant when I was looking for another restaurant, took a wrong turn and ended up along the street where Sassorosso was located. I was impressed with its charming facade from the outside and made a note to return for a visit. Unfortunately, I soon forgot about it until a friend suggested to dine at this place recently.

Clockwise from Top-Left: Sassorosso - interior, Sassorosso - exterior, bottle of Fiano di Avellino (white, Italy) which was pretty enjoyable, Complimentary Bread Basket.

From the outside, the restaurant looksto be very classy and elegant. The interior, although tastefully-decorated gave a rather warm and less formal ambience. Once seated, it wasn't long before we were served with the complimentary bread basket (which would have tasted even better if served a tad warmer).

We started with Beef Carpaccio with mustard sauce, wild rocket salad, tomatoes confit and parmesan flakes. Paper thin slices of quality raw beef, it was a classically good starter to our evening meal.
Clockwise from Top-Left: Starter-Beef Carpaccio with mustard sauce, wild rocket salad, tomatoes confit and parmesan flakes; Siciliana Pizza, Grilled Whole Sea Bass, Squid Ink Pasta with Fresh Scallops and Broccoli.

We opted to share three main courses. The first to arrive was the Siciliana Pizza. A combination of mozarella cheese, ricotta cheese and parmesan with fresh basil and eggplant with a tomato sauce base on a wonderful thin-crust pizza, the pizza was just excellent! I would even add in to my list of favourite pizzas. On the other hand, the Squid Ink Pasta with Fresh Scallops and Broccoli was less remarkable although pleasant. We were getting stuffed by then but wait, the highlight had yet to come. And when it did, we were "wow-ed" by the serving size of the dish. Grilled Whole Sea Bass with Mixed Vegetables, it was meant for 2 persons but it was definitely more than adequate for the four of us. Granted, we were already feeling half-full by then. To be frank, I didn't like the first few mouthfuls. I thought the grilled fish had a strong "fishy" taste to it (actually, not surprisingly given the absence of local spices that most of us prefer in our local version of "ikan bakar"). However, as my palate slowly grew accustomed to its simplicity, the grilled fish turned out to be tastier than my first impression of it.

Desserts: (Clockwise from Top-right) Good strong cup of coffee, Tiramisu and Panna Cotta.

Finishing off with a couple of desserts, their Panna Cotta and Tiramisu managed to satiate our sweet tooth but I doubt they would linger in our thoughts after the dinner was over.

9 Lorong Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 21 666 428 Fax: 603 21 666 429