Month: July 2024

At last, truly authentic Flavors of Mexico

At last, truly authentic Flavors of Mexico

My latest obsession – a hidden gem in Plaza Damas KL called Beszz Cafe. This is probably the only authentic Mexican resto in KL, if not Malaysia. Mexican chef Ivan Chavarria Hernandez has made it his mission to share his Mexican heritage food and educate 

Pigging out at El Cerdo

Pigging out at El Cerdo

If someone breaks a plate, I’m startled at the crash. At El Cerdo, it’s done puposely when someone orders the house specialty, but every time a plate breaks, I still jump a bit.  El Cerdo is known for its piggy dishes, so it was interesting 

Wine and dine on nyonya and Chinese accents at DS Wine

Wine and dine on nyonya and Chinese accents at DS Wine

It was instant reconnection with chef Julia Ung as we shared food stories and nyonya history at her latest abode DS Wine. Together with chef Onion, they make up Jung & Co, taking care of the food aspect at wine bar DS Wine. We had a succession of small sharing plates that boasted nyonya nuances with chef Onion’s Chinese heritage shining thru each creative dish, with excellent wine pairing recommendations by Happy and David. 

I declare that all Scotch Eggs should be made this way henceforth! A flavour bomb to an otherwise boring English snack plate, the century egg in the middle topped with bunga kantan (torch ginger flower) made this ensemble outta this world. Probably one of my top fav dishes for the night. But only if you like century egg otherwise, move along, nothing to see here. 

I loved, loved, loved the pork liver pate topped with cracklings paired with the Chinese black olive butter, to be slathered on fragrant round mantou. Each serving comes with 3 mantou but you can easily eat another basket of 3 buns with the given pate/butter portion. Sinfully rich and savoury, this also goes into my must-order list.

The other amazing thing being the simple banana with salted egg crumbs on roasted banana and kaya toast – a dessert to die for, the strong almost simultaneously sweet and salty flavours hit the tongue and your palate goes into alive mode, begging for more.  

I also wanted more of the Tsukune, or more accurately, the marvellous sauce with pineapple and sweet potato and dunno-what other sorcery which made it irresistible. That’s not to say the other dishes were any less creative – Angus Slice paired with calamari and squid ink base was an unusual combination that was a bit mind-boggling yet weirdly wonderful and addictive.

Other dishes that we had included Pekasam, a very unusual Malaysian salad that was like a version of ulam but given chef Julia’s own interpretation with young papaya leaves, pegaga and daun kesom; otak-otak croquette; prawn pancake; tang yuen – glutinous rice with shiitake, kucaijin hua ham, dried shrimp and celtuce – reminded me of the Hakka abacus dish; and ceviche with chef Onion’s touch that gave it a Asam laksa nuance.

And to top it all off, the rum and raisin ice cream packed a heck of a punch on top of tapai!

Every dish had been given attention to detail, with interesting flavour notes that made each one unique and stand on its own merit. This is not a place where you eat and run, but where you have to sit to enjoy the wine, and savour and appreciate each precious morsel cooked up by the Jung team. Thank you Julia and Onion for a most memorable meal. Can’t wait to go back! 

Add: 12, Jalan SS 20/10, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya. hp: 012-857 6870

Fresh off the hotplate of Teppan Maru-Take

Fresh off the hotplate of Teppan Maru-Take

Teppan Maru-Take is located deep, deep inside Seibu department store in TRX KL. In fact, I had no idea there were so many Japanese eateries inside, including a small omakase dining corner. It makes sense that Teppan Maru-Take, an offshoot of Okonomi in Pavilion KL, 

All fired up over The Charcoal Grill

All fired up over The Charcoal Grill

It was one of those days when we were circling Damansara Uptown for a nice place for lunch on Mother’s Day and stumbled on the newish The Charcoal Grill. This is a branch of the first one that opened in Kota Damansara. A quick sweep 

Souffle, pasta and so much more at Marco Creative Cuisine

Souffle, pasta and so much more at Marco Creative Cuisine

It’s been years since I’ve been to Marco Creative Cuisine. Back then, it was known as MM French Cafe (which stood for Miam Miam in French, meaning yummy). Lots have changed since but the famous souffle which made a sensation when it first came out, is still as inviting and indulgent as I remember it. Probably the first souffle offered by a cafe back then, Marco has evolved into so much more, offering delectable main courses and delicious pastas.

“Usually only available at French fine dining restaurants, we wanted more people to know and enjoy the souffle,” says chef Daren Leong.

After a change of hands, MM became Franco and later, when the brand was bought up, Daren rebranded to name the resto Marco – like the explorer… and his son.

Too early for dinner, Daren let us sample a couple of signature dishes which has since become firm favourites here. 

Carbonara – probably one of the few resto in KL and beyond that make carbonara correctly, with just egg yolk and cheese to achieve the creamy rich consistency, without cream or milk. This was simple yet thoroughly enjoyable, with the depth of the flavour of the bacon and pecorino coating each stand of the spaghetti. 

Wild Mushroom Rissoto is another standout dish here, comforting, soulful and satisfying. Each Arborio grain is still in tact, not mushy at all, yet melded into one complete entity. 

Our protein was Pork shoulder with Ikura glaze with pomme puree (mash potatoes). Beautifully sou vided, the meat was tender but not dry at all, flavour heightened by the ikura glaze. 

The extensive menu also offers a huge variety of pastas, steaks and even pork wellington. So much to discover here, so little stomach space…

Add: Lot G146, Ground Floor (Old Wing), 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya. hp: 012-7731823