Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Food Adventures January to July 2017 - March 2017

Prior to the two month sojourn around Wales, France and Sicily across August through to mid October, I had been a bit taken up with a project that took me away from the food and wine writing (and the songwriting and recording) but I then got a bit of a breather to try and reflect over where the Lengui and I had eaten over the previous couple of months (well, seven actually). So I figured rather than try to document them individually, better to just load them all into a single narrative and see how it looked. So this is a full-ish listing of where, when, and with whom we ate and drank over this period. Some are barely one liners, others have a bit more detail. Whatever, it made for a more than usually long read so it got broken down into months for ease of, er, digestion. Not sure if it will prove useful, but when taken in total it does represent quite a litany of gluttony. Phoooooooo....

10th March Tanzini with Lenglui niece birthday
This was for the 60th Birthday of Lenglui's niece. Theme was Alice in Wonderland. Champagne starter, Chilean white and Bordeaux Red accompanied some visually sparkling food. Can't remember much about the taste, but far from unpleasant. Lenglui danced the night away at a disco upstairs with some pretty boys hired for the occasion; I kept quaffing the tasty red. 
Creamy Lobster and spicy soup
Cup Cake, er, Cake. Hello Alice... 
Fiery Phoenix. Tasted remarkably like chicken...
Queen of my heart...<3

Cupcake Dessert
Pretty Boy / Beefcake Dessert
March 11th - Birthday at Overseas Jalan Imbi
This was our UK Foodie friends having a birthday dinner to get all the family and friends together. The partner (Malaysian born) is brilliant at maintaining friends through the years by organising get togethers like this and catching up. We got parked next to the wine and the ice bucket and I did usual service as sommelier opening the bottles. Always carry a corkscrew. Food for me has become increasingly average at the Overseas over the last few visits though it clearly remains the restaurant of first choice for Chinese family celebrations. Char Siew used to be the stuff of legend; now it is all caramel and sticky gum sucker. We doggy bagged some of the veggies and prawns for home. Sang my usual Chinese Party pieces; struck awe in the assembled who could not believe a gwailo can sing Chinese songs. I am legend. Yes.

Happy Birthday!!
March 14th Supertanker with the DQ
Supertanker has moved from its corner lot to the Damansara Glo Mall which is up the road and, er, round the corner. A cavernous space greets my entry - long and wide and table after table. Should be able to cater to 1000 at least, though the man at the back might be a bit hard pressed to see what is going on at the front. Used to be legend for its pork ribs and other delights. This time not so memorable. Seems to have lost a bit of the zap from previous. Perhaps it was the vastness of the space that intimidated the taste buds. I have half a memory of corkage and crappy glasses, though I may be wrong (about the corkage at least - the glasses were crappy).  Company was strange - our friend the DQ was in the process of becoming a Catholic and had brought his sponsor and wife to the restaurant along with a beau he seemed keen on wooing. There is probably a movie script somewhere here given the characters and their various drives…

Can buy the booze three floors down at the Ben's Grocers - fair selection, some of which is kept in the wine fridge. We had our standby Oyster Bay SB and went for a Portuguese red that I recall being a bit thin and reedy. Can't see this Mall surviving - most of the lots have remained empty since I first came here a couple of months back. Some food outlets seem to be surviving and Ben's draws a crowd. But there is nothing much else here and looking increasingly likely to stay that way. 

March 17th You Mi Qi with May and gang
This is a cute place well worth unearthing. Great starters of incredibly tasty rice flat noodles make way for the big central bowl of soup into which goes all the seafood of the day. The stock is magnificent, though not cheap. We started coming here some years back with our Dr Gan who waxed and gushed about the Shunde style and authenticity. We have since had some great wine nights there with various foodie gangs. Though we did take a hiatus for a couple of years when the prices seemed to get hiked a bit more than we felt worthy of continued support. Didn't see the bill for this one, though I think they might have started charging corkage. We brought our own glasses. Some magnificent white wine on display - one of the crowd was the AsiaEuro rep Michelle. And the Money was there with some stellar Austrian white as usual. We brought fizz and a SB. Great raucous and boozy night with well tasty food. Can valet park RM5 ish.

Little bit of theatre with the Kampong Rooster - these are apparently emasculated at an early age which allegedly gives their meat way more textural subtlety than their, er, jingling contemporaries. Which is completely lost on this white boy. Not sure why they made the poor chap stand to attention. Maybe makes it easier to carve off the meat. 

March 18th Wedding at Overseas in Armada Building
 Last time I was here was also a wedding and about eight years ago. The food then was reasonable but not the standard of the Big Brother in Jalan Imbi. Tonight it was awful. All salt and soy sauce and overcooked. The kitchen was clearly struggling with two weddings going on at the same time and the output for me became yuck. The rice was good - remember scarfing three bowls to soak up the wines. Not a patch on its Big Brother in Imbi. But somehow it continues to draw a crowd - as said, two weddings going on the same night. And this must be every weekend. Wedding parties in KL need to book a venue at least a year in advance because they do get snapped up. Darn good business. Niche, but a captive market. Shame about the food.

March 21st - Taman Seputeh breakfast
One of my occasional errands is to deliver newspapers to some of Lenglui's old friends, one of whom lives in Taman Seputeh. On occasion I will stop off for some Roti Canai and a Teh Tarik at the Mamak stall to feed the soul. Is not the best, but is easy to park, get clean trays, and the greenery is pleasant. More to show overseas friends the day to day reasons why Malaysia is a brilliant place to live. 
The Mamak stall 
I see trees of green... a wonderful world indeed
Fluffy crispy pan bread, curry gravy, and condensed milk tea - perfecto
March 23rd Robson Heights Seafood Boys Night
I enjoy the Robson. Excellent crab, stellar pork ribs, juicy fingerlicking prawns, superb fried rice and bring your own glasses and suck on your corkage free wine. Total soul food. Good craicq with the boys and the booze, talking nonsense and putting the world to rights.

March 24th Flint with Rubber Baron
Flint is the latest incarnation of the Vintry Restaurant Group. The previous eaterie on the premises was also a Vintry venture. I recall going there once with the IWFS at Yin-How's invite and we had a kind of medieval feast upstairs. This incarnation has another Bertha oven and looks to be doing more Bistro fusion style dishes. And the big ass steak. Lenglui and I both like the good steak as does the Baron so this was a no brainer. Mrs Baron had a fish dish, whilst we others got stuck into 1.2kg of US Prime T-Bone. Think there was some soft shell crab starter and salad and potatoes along the way. But the meat was front and centre. Along with a half decent burgundy along with the Baron's pre-decanted 2000 Ducru Beaucaillou. Finestkind. The meat was excellent, seared and done to perfecto. I haven't been to the Marble 8 because of the food and corkage prices, but Flint will do me anytime the carnivore inside raises its hunger growls for the big red meat. 

I have walked past the Flint on a few recent occasions en route to the Sapore and it just does not seem to be buzzing. The food stuns, the wines are well priced - it just can't seem to capture the imagination. Which is a shame. In contrast, Sapore down the road is going gangbusters. The difference? My guess is Pork - Sapore does amazing roast pig, Flint is pork free. There have been a number of restaurants over the years whose business turned around when they started to offer pork dishes. Equally, others who took it off the menu declined. 

March 25th Tai Chi Roast Pig Jalan Telawi
This was a house party with the Tai Chi group. On arrival we were greeted by the sight of two Roast Pigs getting chopped up and plates being handed around. The pig was excellent. There was buffet inside (bread, salad, pasta, other stuff) which looked and tasted pretty ordinary. Not much place to sit either with fifty people milling around. Not the most fun night I have had with this group. But the pig was excellent. Brought a couple of St Clair SBs to swig with El Manica - she likes this one. 

March 26th Bak Kut Teh lunch El Manica
This was a morning trek to some place claimed to be the total business for Bak Kut Teh, which necessitated a dutiful trip to test the veracity of the claim. Somewhere in Klang. Readers might remember how I normally rebel at these expeditions. I am a right grump when it comes to leaving the airconditioned comfort of the TV room on a Sunday for the hot bumpy two hour drive to the middle of nowhere. This was also an El Manica special, second guessing both the driver and the husband as to whether her Waze was more correct than the other two. Drives me mad. As it was, we missed the first turn both getting there and coming home. Hmmm…   It was indeed decent Bak Kut Teh, with massive leg bones of meat in rich thick broth and loads of tasty dishes going round the table. Whether it is as good as elsewhere, I didn't quite get it. Though I have learned to never trust a white boy opinion about Chinese cuisine. And I was still suffering from the night before. And the journey. 
This is why we drive...
March 28th DC Restaurant with UK Foodies and Dragonlady
Same old same old - love it when we are there at the DC, can't remember a darn thing about the dinner the day after. Also can't seem to find the notes. Good wines, amazing cheeses, the company is quite entertaining, though somewhat one way with the conversations. Don't get a chance to say much. This crew seem mostly interested in holding court about themselves. Quite entertaining, though - I sit back and chug the booze. They know their food and they do bring the good booze -  tonight was lovely champagne and some tasty Bordeaux 2012 which they got at very good price and which we subsequently bought from their supplier - was a fire sale (I suspect from the split of SW Wines since some of the labels and packaging look familiar) so we snapped up some half decent Burgundy and Bordeaux for dinners with the Baron. Photos of the dishes are a bit grim, I half remember getting told "no flash photos" by the Lenglui - the Samsung dies in a low light place. Good excuse to go back though...

Taste of DC Five Course RM398++
Chef's Amuse Bouche
1st Course - Takao Cold Somen with Bafun Uni, Mentaiko: Truffle Celeriac Cream
2nd Course - Smoked Butterfish, Mulberry Yogurt: Spiced Sofrito
3rd Course - French Sea Scallops, Green Papayay "Tom Sep" Essence, Greeen Gazpacho
4th Course - choice of 
100% Black Angus Prime Rib, Pickled Baby Turnips: Bagna Cauda
NZ Line Caught catch of the day, Avruga emulsion
AOP Pigeon de Bresse (slow roasted and confit), Green Gazpacho, Burt Carrot with Parsley Aioli
Japanese Kobe A3 Wagyu (120g)
White Strip Australian Lamb Rakc roasted 16hr in hay and harrisa

5th Course - 2 part dessert or Cheese Board

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