Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ocean Shabu Shabu @ Taman Mayang, Petaling Jaya.

The sky is getting darker and gloomier. It was rather hot and humid. Weekend traffic crawls are never ending. Everyone is in a rush, somehow. Rushing to reach home, rushing for dinner, rushing for a movie, rushing for a great night out... Rush rush...a Paula Abdul song came to my head and started humming to the rythms.

It's a nigth out to celebrate a friends' birhday and it is going to be loads of food and loads of fun. I remembered mentioning this in one of my previous posts that spending precious time with friends or family over good food is just precious.

And it was a good choice of selection for tonight's dinner. We won't be dining in any posh restaurants, not Italian nor French, not the usual Chinese or Japanese food, nothing close to Mamak or Indian food but we will be having Hong Kong style Shabu Shabu 'steamboat'.

Ocean Shabu Shabu was the chosen one and we decided to dined at their branch in Taman Mayang instead of driving all the way to Sri Petaling where they first started. I have heard so much about this place for thier good shabu shabu and it is also famous to be expensive.

This place was in tip top condition as it is still new. The interior renovation was beautifully done and top notch too. It has an upmarket feel to it. The place was well lighted up and well air conditioned. It has two levels and very spacious. The selection of wooden chairs with fabric uphostery was comfortable. A portion of the wall (upper level) was covered up with beautifully taken pictures of the food they served which makes it even more appetizing. Crowd has started building up and we were all ready for a great feast.

In Shabu Shabu what is most important is the 'soup'. I have heard so much about how wonderful the 'soup' is and we could not stop ourselves for being over excited. We were hungry and all those pictures at the wall are making us drool. LOL

Pork Bone and Corn Broth @ RM20.00++
No wonder the soup or broth was the talk of the town. One look at the pot tells you that they put in lot's of ingredients to make it taste good. Pork carcass, lot's of corn, red dates, Chinese herbs etc.... it will taste better with all the food being put in to cook. This was one of the 10 different broth you can chose from.

The different type of broth are as follows: Pepper Pork Broth, Shark's Fin Bone Broth, Chicken Marinated in Yellow Wine Broth, Chew Chow Broth, Fish Broth, Preserved Eggs with Chinese Parsley Broth, Thai Tom Yam Broth and White Fungus Papaya Broth.

In Shabu Shabu you can have a freedom of choice with your orders. There were plenty of varieties to chose from and this was what we ordered.

Fried Octopus in Typhoon Shelter Style @ RM30.00++
This was for appetizer. The birthday gal specifically wanted to order this dish. It was fried with lot's of garlic and chili. Wonderful taste to it and we even saved the garlic and chili flakes for the main Shabu Shabu dish. Frankly, the octopus was slightly overcooked and it was pretty hard to bite. Otherwise, it was a perfect dish to start off with.

Four Seasons Meat Ball @ RM20.00++
This was the house specialty and a must try for first timers. These meat balls was freshly made special in-house ingredients. All home made.

Hong Kong Style Pork Ball @ RM10.00++
Deep Fried HK Fish Skin @ RM10.00++
This deep fried HK fish skin was superb. It was very aromatic and tasted very different. Great experience.

Angus Striploin Beef Slice @ RM30.00++
These beef slice was amazing. Well, not as amazing if compared to Kobe beef. It was good.

Mixed Mushrooms @ RM16.00++
Spinach Noodle @ RM3.00++  &  Fried Bean Curd @ RM5,00++
Celery Dumpling @ RM12.00++

Vegetable @ RM5.00
Dipping Sauce
As you can see we sure did ordered a large variety of food. We enjoyed this wholesome meal and never wanted to stop. Everything was so fresh which is very important.

Conclusion : No doubt it was rather costly to dine here but paying for good quality food which was both fresh and delicious was indeed worth the money. Of couse you cannot be having this everyday or every week but having it once in awhile would be really great. The restaurant was clean and in tip top conditioned. Service was rather poor as most of the waiter or waitress are foreigners, something that I really dislike. A3.5/5. And this is a NON-Halal restaurant.


Ocean Shabu Shabu Sdn Bhd
Lot 2-1, 3 and 3-1
Mayang Oasis Commercial Centre
Jalan SS26/9
Taman Mayang
47301 Petaling Jaya.
Tel : 019 228 8962.

Note : The above review is solely based on my personal opinion.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Memphis Bistro @ Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.

What has happened to the weather nowdays? One minute hot and shiny as the desert and another minute thunderstorm rainfalls like the sky's giving way. This has been going on for days now. Just unbelievable and unperdictable. With all this chaotic weather it is a good idea to stay in and start blogging.

Today I will bring you to a fantastic restaurant that is tucked away from the hustling bustling area. It is located at 'Dana' at Ara Damansara. 'Dana' is a commercial place filled with offices and some retail outlets. "Memphis Bistro" is located towards the end of the most inner role of shops. My friends brags about how good the western food is.

We had to call the restaurant to place a booking for a table for 8. Otherwise you will not be able to dine there at all if you chose to walk in especially on a weekend. So, please play it safe and call to make a booking first.

I really loved this restaurant as it has the 'family restaurant' feel. This is one reason why you have to call to make a reservation because most patrons who dine there are regulars and who will more or less book the entire restaurants for small private function or just family dinner.

It is quite serene and we really do love the ambiance. People there are really friendly and it was a pleasure having the chance to dine there. Besides food they also have an area where they specialized in servince wines. So, for wine lovers this will be a good place to wine & dine, indeed.

A look at the menu confirms how well this restaurant flares in western food. So, the best way to prove it is to eat em all. LOL.

Manhattan Clam Chouder @ RM10.50++
First to come is the starter. We ordered 'Manhattan Clam Chouder' a classic creamy vegetables and clam soup sprinkled with some crushed cracker biscuits. Damn, oops...mind my language, this soup is out of this world. It is really yummy. The texture the taste and the presentation was simply amazing.

Escargots (1/2 Dozen) @ RM19.50++
Next in line came another starter and a great favourite of mine. The very first time I had these snails was dining at 'Victoria Station' almost 20 years ago. I never did look back since that day and it has been my all time favourite.

Escargots is baked French snails in shells with garlic butter serves with garlic bread. When the snails was brought to us I just couldn't hold my excitement and all I wasnted to do was to sink one of the snails into my drooling mouth. But.... I was dissapointed... dissapointed with how it tasted. It was not as good as those found at 'Victoria Station'. Really. It's not aromatic enough, not enough garlic-ky, not enough zing. Dang! we ordered 1 dozen. :D

Classic Caesar Salad @ RM9.00++
Salad for the ladies. Classic Caesar salad is a bed of romaine lettuce tossed with 'Caesar' dressing topped with croutons and Parmesan crisp. We were playing it safe with this order as this is another favourite of ours. This is another great dish one should not miss. It tasted really good and very appetizing.

Main dish will be next and first to be introduced is a couple of pastas.

Spaghetti  'Oriental'  Chilies Prawns @29.00++
I totally fell in love with this pasta. There is a great amount of frest water prawns together with spaghetti stirred in spicy chili sauce. Simply marvelous. Prawns was fresh which is important and the entire dish was full of the aroma of prawns which adds a little zing into it. Noodles was not overcooked, not too spicy and it was sheer pleasure to have had this meal.

Chicken Regina @ RM18.00++
This pasta consists of chicken tenders sauted with mushrooms, jalapenos chilies and tomatoes in cream sauce served over tagliatelle pasta.

Being a fanatic for cream based pasta I was expecting this 'chicken regina' to shine. It did shine but not at it's brightest. Firstly, it was not creamy enough and does not have the 'oomph' factor. It just lack something probably... garlic as it does not produce the sort of aroma which I craved for. Chicken tenders was OK. Could be better.

Breast of Chicken Madison @ RM23.00++
Doesn't it look pretty? It is making me hungry again by just looking at it. Yeah it was as good as it looks. The breast of chicken was panfried til golden brown, laced with forest mushrooms and sauce and comes with a grilled prawn. Was marvelous and very delicious. The sauce was the best part of this meal otherwise it will be a little bland.

Cajun Chicken Thigh @RM18.00++
Chicken thigh marinated in cajun spice basted with southern BBQ sauce and served with fries. Not my cup of tea. Didn't like anything with BBQ sauce. I just felt the strong taste of BBQ sauce will just kill or cover the entire taste of the chicken. Should not depends too much on the sauce to make this dish good.

Grilled Tasmanian Salmon @ RM32.50++
This palate was drizzles with some sesame-soya dressing. Not too bad indeed. Anyway, I am a big fan of salmon regardless how it was done. What is important is that the fish meat was not overcooked. Otherwise it's going to taste like a hard nut. Meat was still moist which is good. A tad pricey.

Hot Chocolate Lava Cake @ RM10.50++
This was supposed to be the house speciality and was highly recommended to us. I am not sure whether the chocolate lava cake didn't live to my expectation or I was too full to fully enjoy it... whatever.... there are much room for improvement.

Conclusion : Food was pretty good. Atmosphere or ambiance was good. Service was good. A tad pricey. Make sure to make reservations if you do not want to end up eating mamak instead. Non-Halal restaurant. A 3.8/5.


Memphis Bistro
Pusat Perdagangan DANA 1
Jalan PJU 1A/46
Ara Damansara
47301 Petaling Jaya.
Tel : 03 7843 6818.

Note : The above review was purely based on my personal opinion.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Manhattan Fish Market @ Pavillion, KL

This is one surprise lunch we had totally unplanned for. The best part of it was that everyone was available for it. As usual all of us jumped into one of our colleague's 'bus' that can ferry the 10 of us. What a joy to have such vehicle available for such occasion.

We headed towards Pavillion Kuala Lumpur. Frankly, we headed there without any knowledge of what we will have. We had to go somewhere where majority decisions outgunned minority. And we ended up in 'The Manhattan Fish Market'.

The place was quite crowded as it was lunch time. A lovely waitress showed us to our tables and she waited for awhile before proceeding with taking our orders. This lady is simply marvelous and she is good in what she does. And not forgetting she's got a great ability to remember all the orders she took from all of us without even need to pen it down. True champion indeed.

We ordered quite a number of dishes and the first to appear is the 'Garden Salad'.

Garden Salad
This was specifically ordered by the ladies. A great appetizer, a great way to kick start the feast. It was good, the ladies loved it and we were ready for more.

Mussel in Cream Sauce
Garlic Bread
We were a little disappointed with the mussels. Firstly, the sauce was a tad too watery and it didn't taste oomph enough. Not enough cream and not enough cheese. It was over cooked too. As for the garlic bread, again it was pretty hard and not enough zing in it. It should have had more garlic in it in order to live up to it's name.  :S

Fried Calamari
Fried Mushroom
Time for some light bites or finger food. These two fried stuff are overdone again. What is wrong, mate? Yeah, we know that they were supposed to be fried stuff but by over doing it will just kill the food. Didn't like it at all and for those who have dentures please be careful.

Grill Dory
Fish & Chips Dory
Grill Dory was good. Like the texture and meat was juicy and yummy. Finally something that is edible. Phew.  Fish & Chips was so-so and the fries was the worst I have ever had for years. Even McDonald's fries tasted better. Anyway, all this fry stuff are junkie food and should not be taken too much.

Grill Salmon
I have always loved salmon and there was nothing that I do not like about it. The garlic rice is one of my favourite but it was pretty cold when the dish was served to us. It would be great if the rice was warm and had more garlic-ky taste to it.

Gala Platter
Such a wonderful sight. I get all drooled up by just looking at it but then again sometimes looks can be deceiving. Grilled fish was ok, clams was a little eeww, fries are a little soggy and loses out to McD fries, prawns was small and not that fresh and the garlic rice is not warm enough and still lacks the garlic-ky feel.

Mushroom Spaghetti
Chicken Spaghetti
Time for some spaghetti. These sets of spags tasted ordinary and nothing to shout about. I don't blame them as I do not think their chef can dish out some killer spaghettis as these are not the restaurant's strongest dish. Anyway, for those who would loved to have varieties this is ok.

Conclusion : Compared to the first time I had these food, it was like 2-3 years ago I find that food quality then was much better compared to now. We were very disappointed with the overall food we had and everyone was complaining about it. This could be one of the reasons chain restaurants are finding it hard to maintain it's quality. Total bill came to RM257.60. To be frank again it was too costly to pay for mediocre food. I will only give it a 2/5 and credits to the waitress with the golden memory.


The Manhattan Fish Market Pavillion
Level 1.18.02
Pavillion Kuala Lumpur
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03 2141 4341.

Note : The above review is solely based on my personal opinion.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Restaurant Bukit Tinggi BBQ, Bukit Tinggi, Bentong.

The first time I was introduced to this place was back in 2011. My ex-colleague who is my good buddy now  kept telling us that we should go to this restaurant as he was bragging about how good and fantastic the food was. No one took him seriously in the beginning but my buddy being a top salesperson finally managed to close the deal and convinced us all to make a trip there.

I can clearly remember it was during a weekday and we headed towards Bukit Tinggi straight after work. We all jumped into a Perodua Alza and off we went. That was really a memorable trip with good company and good food and I have never looked back since. Thanks to my buddy I've repeatedly made trips there and it's time to share with you.

This place is called 'Bukit Tinggi BBQ'. I reckon this is a very popular makan place as I've been told by other friends about it and also many other food bloggers has shared their reviews.

The restaurant is tucked away from the main road. So, it is rather difficult to find it if you are making your first visit there. But then again no worries I will help you in getting there. There is only one petrol station (BHP) in Bukit Tinggi. You will never miss it. This restaurant is located just behind the BHP petrol station and there are ample space for you to park your vehicle.

It is a building by itself and it's surrounding is filled with lot's of plants. One could just ignore it as there is no signage visible unless you step into the compound of the restaurant. Just remember it is behind the one and only BHP petrol station in Bukit Tinggi town.

The interior of this restaurant is pretty unique. A look up into the ceiling you will find the decor to be umbrellas of all colours and sizes hanging upside down. I reckon all this was given or sponsored by thier regulars. It is also a good way paved for cheap publicity. LOL.

Various Umbrella Decor Hung Upside Down

Besides this part of the wooden wall was decorated with plenty of empty wine bottles of all sizes too. It is really different and one will be taken aback by all this. And not forgetting lot's of greenery too.

Specially designed wall racks to display bottles.
Trees & Plants beside the restaurant. GO GREEN.
This place is always crowded and since this is not my frist visit there I made sure that we arrived early to avoid any disappointment. I have had experienced before that they have sold out all thier food and we had to look elsewhere for a meal. I reckon they only prepare a certain amount of food to be sold in a day. So, once everything is being sold out .... they close shop. Yup.

The Crowd.
We got the waiter over and put in our orders ASAP. Yeah, it's rather funny eh cause we do not want to be disappointed. LOL. This is a pure case of 'kiasu'. Ahahahaha...... just kidding.

Wu Li Tan Tou Farn
Have anyone of you ever heard of 'Wu Li Tan Tou Farn'? Yeah, that's in Cantonese. It means (it's difficult to translate) 'anything can be put in and cooked with rice' dish. Frankly, I do not know what they put in but from the look of it there is vegetables, peppers, some meat..... yup that's 'wu li tan tou'.

All the ingredients are being mixed and cook together with plain white rice. Rice was soft because of the amount of gravy that came with it. This meal is perfect for those who have 'gum' issues. LOL...because it was easy to eat, easy to chew and easy to swallow.

I didn't like the taste of it. It tasted funny and a little sourish. It wasn't appetizing at all. This wet wu lin tan tou rice didn't go well with the other dishes we had ordered as we preferred to have white rice instead. We got conned in putting in an order for this as the lady was bragging about how good it was. LOL.

Steamed Chicken
We didn't order steam chicken instead we order 'grilled spring chicken'. This was a pure case of taking and delivering the wrong order. We did voiced out but we decided to accept the wrongly delivered chicken dish as we do not want to wait any longer. We have already waited long enough to reach this level. Oh well.... it turned out the chiceng was overdone and the meat was rather hard, tough and rough. It was badly done. I would have loved the grilled spring chicken. :D

Fried Eggs with White Tofu.
This is a wonderful dish. It's simple and nice and goes so well with rice. How it's being done is that firstly they steamed some white tofu and put in on the plate with some soya sause and fried shallots sprinkled on top. Then they would fried a few eggs, york still half cooked and lay it on top of the white tofu. Viola.... isn't it simple? But it sure does tastes good.

Fried Green Chilli
Don't you think this is weird? I found it really weird but still went ahead with the order. This was supposed to be one of their famous dish. Anyway, whatever they dished out are all famous. This is because their menu is very limited and don't expect to order anything other than what's being offered here.

This fried green chilli are oily, still very green, not spicy and I don't know what's the great deal is all about. Whoever who has been there will tell you that 'hey, have you tried fried green chilli? no! you should try it at Bukit Tinggi BBQ'. Hmmm..... what's the hype all about? Nothing really... it's just something different I reckon that's why it gets people to talk about.

BBQ Lamb
One thing that surprised me was thier bbq lamb. I have never imagined a local Chinese chef can dish out something so wonderful. Frankly, I am not a lamb person but when it comes to this I am totally transformed. I do not fancy the fatty side of the lamb. I would normally disposed them and only eat the lean meat. This is the only thing that I could complain, really. Otherwise, these lambs arekillers. They are so yummy and juicy and I bet it was marinated for hours before they are being cooked. The mint dipping sauce was a winner too and it goes really well with the lamb.

Seafood Pot
The queens of kings or kings of queens is this lovely pot of seafood. This is what poeple come for. This is one pot that you will see on most of the customers' tables. This is the winner, folks!

As you can see the pot has got 2 levels. The top level is where all the yummy seafood are being placed. The bottom part is the broth which was used to steam or heat up the seafood. The broth was made even more yummy and delicious from all the juices that came from the seafood.

This is what you can find in the pot : pretty large prawns, good sized clams or lala and crabs. There are abundance of it as the portion is pretty good. Everything is fresh which was a pleasure to eat.

The bottom pot where the delicious broth are will be taken away for s short moment in order for them to complete the cooking procedure. Broth cooked with mushrooms and vegetables is my favourite. Without fail I will gulp up most of the soup as it is really yummy. What a way to finish off this feast.

The last thing I would like to share with you is the following :

The Bill
Very creative way of taking orders. Can you make up what icon is for which dish? The only thing I know very well is the total bill came to RM267.00.

Conclusion : Cool environment, cool decor and equally cool food. Service can be poor when the crowd builds up. Another thing I am not happy with is there are dogs and cats roaming freely in the dining vicinity.This is so not hygiene. I would rate it a 3/5. And this is a non-halal restaurant.


Restaurant Bukit Tinggi BBQ
P.T.15792 & 15793
Jalan Bukit Tinggi
28750 Bentong
Pahang Darul Makmur.
Tel : 09 233 0330
H/P : 012 357 7111.

Note : The above review is solely based on my personal opinion.
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