Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Han Room @ Garden Shopping Mall

The Oriental Group of Restaurant is no stranger in town. Since the opening of its first restaurant at Jaya Shopping Center in 2000, the group has expanded their foothold to places like Bangsar, Maju Palace, Jaya 33, Jalan Imbi, Viva Home and The Garden Shopping Mall. 
A stunning array of condiments - Assam onions (my favorite), green chili paste and red chili paste
BBQ Char Siew (RM16) - Well caramelized BBQ Pork with notes of honey, five spice powder, dark soy sauce and Hoi Sin sauce. 
Steamed Cheong Fun with Prawns (RM8) - The combination of fresh prawns wrapped in silky soft rice noodles roll went well with the light soy sauce. 
Dried Scallop Dumpling with Spinach (RM7) - These sweet humble packages were filled with dried scallop and spinach, garnished with some roe. 
Chives Dumpling with XO Sauce (RM7) - The aromatic chives added an unique twist to the dried prawns. 
Imperial Har Kau (RM8) -  The filling of a har kau may not be revolutionary, but this is a quintessential dim sum dish. 
Siew Mai (RM7) - The Siew Mai was rather disappointing, as it was not served steaming hot. =(
Fish Ball with Asparagus (RM7) - The fish ball was subpar, thanks to the stale fishiness. 
Deep Fried Bean Curd Roll with Shrimp (RM7) -  Crispy bean curd wrapped with fresh shrimp was enhanced with a smear of chill paste
Braised Egg Noodles Village Style (RM24) - The marquee dish was filled with egg noodles, bean curds and Chinese mushrooms. The dish was rather sappy, with limited "wok hei".

Overall, there were some hits and misses, in my opinion Oriental Classic at Jalan Imbi still serves the best Chinese food under the Oriental group family. Nonetheless, The Han Room is settling into Garden Shopping Mall quite nicely.

Verdict: SOMEWHAT SMITTEN

The Han Room, Midvalley Big Badge

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Morimoto @ Napa Valley

You might think you know Japanese food, but a meal at Morimoto, Napa Valley will change that. Chef Masaharu Morimoto is truly a Japanese master among masters! The restaurant's interior was modern and vibrant, represented by the exotic hardwood tables and sleek wood cabinets. The menu was nothing short of amazing, with bountiful choices to choose from. After flipping through the menu back and forth, we decided to go with the Omakase (US$120).  
A wall of fish at the entrance hallway
The furniture were sleek and modern with a touch of urban Japanese sense.

Did you know that the Iron Chef has his own line of sake, shochu and beer?
 He even has his own line of utensils! 
Morimoto's executive chef, Jeffrey Lunak who helped opened the restaurant back in summer 2010 was at the kitchen that night.

The dining area
The bar
Would you like some Morimoto sake?
Chef Signature Toro Tartare - The fatty tuna was served on a wooden tray with nori paste, fresh wasabi, sour cream, chives, avocado, rice balls and soy sauce as delicious condiments.
A spatula was used to scoop the thick creamy toro. I really enjoyed mixing all the different condiments together - Such a fun way to start a meal. The Chef also left a yamamomo or mountain peach to clean our palate. 
Yellow Tail Sashimi drizzled with light sauce and garnished with some greens and garlics. The carpaccio dish may be simple but the flavors were vibrant.
Veggie fondue - Beautiful assortment of vegetables served next to an oil fondue with garlic anchovy paste. This was my favorite dish  - the fondue was brilliant, I could literally lick the bowl clean! 
Close up look of the anchovy paste in olive oil. Love the idea of  fondue-ing in a Japanese restaurant. 
In addition to the omakase, we ordered a portion of Bone Marrow. The slippery marrow was crazy good with the baked crust.
Foie gras Chawanmushi - This egg custard was infused with foie gras soup, topped with a tiny piece of duck breast. The texture and taste were amazing. Pure decadence!
 Watermelon wasabi sorbet was presented as a palate cleaner - Such a stunning sight. Can you see the  strawberry?
No omakase would be complete without a sushi course. The fish was top grade, perfectly cut with a nice portion of rice.
Surf and Turf - Willington chutoro wrapped together with foie gras and unagi (Left), waygu flatiron with sea salt (center) and veal cheek tempura served with pickled red onion and onion foam (right). The complex blend of flavors went perfectly well together.
Bubble tea with scoops of green tea sorbet mixed in an icy carbonated lemon grass soda water. The coconut macaroon was nutty and crispy with a super soft center. Both desserts were heavenly! 
Chocolates baby... Morimoto chocolates....
At Morimoto, expect nothing less than stunning platings and pristine dishes with a distinct Japanese accent. 
Moritmoto definitely takes it to the next level. 

Verdict : TOTALLY SMITTEN

Morimoto Napa on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Beanbag @ Publika

Red Beanbag's menu dazzled with hearty Australian dishes that are fairly priced. The interior was modeled after Australian-inspired cafes, with rustic tables and concrete counters filling up the empty space. 
Cute beanbags hanging above the kitchen window.
Leave it to the passionate baristas to provoke your taste buds.
Beautiful coffee art.
Eggs Atlantic (RM17.90) - Poached eggs with hollandaise, asparagus, mushrooms and smoked salmon. The eggs were cooked perfectly with hearty vegetables and fresh smoked salmon. The only disappointment was the bread - a toasted bread would make a good finishing. 
Long Black - Very drinkable coffee with a soft body and decent aroma.
Eggs Benedict (RM15.90) - Poached eggs with hollandaise, asparagus, mushrooms and streaky beef bacons. A simple hearty meal to kick start our day.

 A meal at Red Beanbag feels like a blissful Melbourne vacation. We are fortunate to have new cafe like this popping out around Dutamas area.

Verdict : SOMEWHAT SMITTEN

The Red Beanbag Big Badge

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boon Fly Cafe @ Napa Valley

Located right next to Carneros Inn, lies a quaint little red barn that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu toggles between signature dishes and fresh creations, inspired by the agricultural heritage of the region.

Our first stop at Napa - A modernized red barn with a chair swing.
The restaurant was homey in its modern minimalist design. 
The open kitchen gave the feeling that I was dining at someone's home.
World Famous Boon Fly Donuts (US$9.75) - Tiny donuts dusted with the right amount of sugar and cinnamon. Worth US$9.75? Definitely not. 
Boon Fly Benedict (US$15) - Beautiful poached eggs covered with a generous amount of Jalapeno Hollandaise sauce. The Caggiano Ham was a sweet surprise, tucked between the eggs and artisan pain levain.
Poppa Joe's Eggs In Hole (US$13) - Griddled sourdough bread with 2 fried eggs in the center, paired nicely with a THICK piece of ham and "oil free" hash browns.
 The eggs were the focal point of the bread.
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it turns crucial when one decides to spend the entire afternoon roaming the vineyards.
 I always like the idea of food before drinking =)

Verdict: SOMEWHAT SMITTEN

Boon Fly Cafe on Urbanspoon