Sunday, December 4, 2016

Vin’s Restaurant & Bar @ TTDI

Your Friendly Neighborhood Good Eats!

Talk about your neighborhood restaurants that leave a lasting impression and Vin’s Restaurant and Bar comes to mind. Not that I live in TTDI but if I do, Vin’s would be one of my favorite joints for good food and drinks. Tuck away in a secluded spot in TTDI, you’ll be surprise at how many flocks to Vin’s in the evening.

The restaurant and bar has been serving many since 2010 and has continued to be a local favorite hotspot till today. There is no secret to their successful except to always be consistent in serving scrumptious food, lots of happy giggle juices and service with a big smile.

The ambiance is pretty much the understated décor that diners can unwind after a long day at work. Elegant with minimal design, we adored the urban brick wall, dark wood furniture and splashes of colors from the pieces of art work. The bar is gorgeous, glowing majestically with a backdrop of liqueurs while a wine cabinet cleverly sectioned off a private section for diners.

We also like that Vin’s offer privacy at their alfresco dining area with tall shades of greens.

One can count on their long list of beverages to kick start the dining experience. We decided to let the bartender show off their giggle juices and were glad we did. Whiskey Sour (RM31), Tropical Sour (RM33) and Clover Club (RM33) are the latest hit list of cocktails and we revel in merriment with these.

Whiskey Sour, made the classic way that includes an egg white foam was sublime! The lustful bittersweet cocktail is so well balanced in flavors, exuding tingling sensations of satisfaction after a day at work. The Tropical Sour was more fruit and sweet with a delicious tanginess that freshens up the palate while the Clover Club, a gin based cocktail is beautifully perfumed with fresh strawberries.

Vin’s menu offers tapas, bar bites, soup & salad, burgers, tacos, pizza, pasta, main courses of meat & seafood as well as sharing platters and desserts. From the sharing platter, I highly recommend the Dips & Spreads (RM86). A feast at sight, we couldn’t resist a few seconds of ogling before diving into this long platter so sumptuous dips and cheese.

A little of everything goes a long way and the platter consisted of mascarpone mushrooms, tomato confit, truffle butter, caramelized onions, roasted sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, avocado, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, candied walnuts, roasted cashew nuts, toasted house made bread and some chopped greens.

I really enjoyed the platter so much I forgot about our other dishes to come. In fact, the three of us polished this whole platter happily with our cocktails. The gorgeous smoky, spicy and sweet caramelized onions, moreish mascarpone mushrooms, juicy tomato confit and salty feta cheese was exceptionally tasty and goes so well with all the other bits and pieces. A must order and great for sharing…

From the tapas’ list, a simple but delicious Tomato Confit Bruschetta (RM24). Tomatoes, little plump cherry ones that burst with sweetness are paired with basil, ricotta cheese and a light drizzle of balsamic reduction, sat on crisp toast. Simple yet utterly delicious in every bite.

Next on the tapas list worthy of a succulent treat is the Creole Tiger Prawns (RM35). Large prawns roasted with cayenne, paprika, chili flakes, garlic and more are juicy, tasty and smoky. This one is worth every penny for its robust and spicy flavors.

When meatballs are made right, it is a sure crowd pleaser. Vin’s Italian Lamb Meatball (RM29) are little bombs of pleasurable flavors. Well-seasoned and tender, the lamb meatballs are seared and then braised in house spiced up tomato sauce till it has absorbed all the wonderful earthy flavors of the sauce. We polished these up and even had more bread to soak up that lovely sauce.

We were told that the next dish in the Bar Bites section has been a signature of Vin’s since it has started. Over the years, there has been very little tweaking and the current version of the Madras Spiced Lamb (RM31) had us enjoying a richly spiced laden curry of lamb meat and marrow bone. The wondrous balance of spices is not over whelming and just right to enhance the dark meaty notes of the lamb. A 4 hour cooking process resulted in a velvety and gorgeous curry dish that is very much one of Vin’s best seller on their menu.

If you had read my previous post, you would know that I love Baja tacos. It’s so hard to find a decent one here and so when I saw that this was on the menu, I had to try this. The Baja Cod Soft Tacos (RM36) here is pretty yummy and one of the better ones that I have had in the city. Soft flour tortilla provides the envelope for strips of crispy cod fish fritter together with crisp shredded lettuce, bell pepper, cheddar cheese, jalapeno, onions, cilantro, sour cream, garlic aioli and lime. Needless to say, the tacos were full of flavors and textures. Makes a great light meal on its own.

I would never have ordered the Smoked Turkey Fusilli (RM42) but the chef assured us that we will enjoy this pasta dish. True enough, the pasta dish turned out to be great pasta. Made spicy with a good kick of heat, the al dente pasta had generous pieces of tender and moist turkey and bitey mushrooms. It was smoky, spicy, unctuously tasty and great to whet the appetite for more.

The Crab Romesco Linguine (RM42) was also just as good as the earlier pasta dish. It also shares the smoky and spices element but has a sweet and sublime note from the vodka laced sauce with chunks of crab meat and soft cherry tomatoes. The light bitterness of the arugula completed the robust flavors of the dish.

Pan Seared Halibut (RM68) also hit the right note with us. The thick cut of halibut is heavenly on the palate with its creamy, soft and flaky flesh. Beautifully seasoned, we loved how perfectly cooked the fish is. The only small gripe was that we didn’t care for that pesto fettuccine as we felt it overpowers the delicious flavors of the fish but that is really minor because the main piece was superb.

Despite us being so full, we took a look at the Rogan Gosht Pizza (RM42) and knew that this dish was going to be another winner. Gorgeously golden and crisp, the pizza had bold colors of dark and rich chunks of lamb rogan gosht, cheese, roasted cashews, tangy yoghurt sauce, chili, coriander and lime. It was a firework of flavors in the mouth and the heat with the smoky aroma is very appetizing.

Dinner ended satisfactory from the savory end. The sweeter side took form in a simple and yet delicious house made dessert of The Classic Vanilla Rum & Raisin Ice Cream (RM16). Rum soaked raisins added much pleasurable bite to the cold vanilla ice cream, also laced with more rum. Well, there can never be enough rum in this dessert for us for sure…

The next dessert of The Elegant Cappuccino Panna Cotta (RM22) was decent too. Generous in portion, the espresso infused panna cotta was crowned with chocolate shavings and bits of fresh strawberries for another level of flavors.

The longest standing and most popular dessert at Vin’s has to be their Decadent Treacle Cake Pudding (RM24). Looking deceptively simple and plain but the flavors and textures are simply amazing. The cake had a pudding like consistency and lusciously aromatic. Pour on the thick cinnamon custard sauce and enjoy the lush treacle cake pudding with its warm and earthy flavors.

A great dining experience at Vin’s, one that I would definitely go back for. We like how the no-frill restaurant and bar serves up great food, awesome drinks and its friendly and efficient service with a smile. Now if only Vin’s was located in my neighborhood… I would definitely be a regular patron too!

No. 6 Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000, KL
Operating hours: 4pm to 2am
Tel: 012 200 2119

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Meatology Restaurant & Bar @ TTDI

Meat-ing Expectations

You know you can always count on certain restaurants for a great dining experience. Meatology is one of them. Revamp from the previous Boathouse, Chef Yenni Law never fails to deliver a delightful menu filled with great Asian and Western cuisines.

We have dined a few times at Boathouse and have always enjoyed the affordable and scrumptious menu Chef Yenni offers. After her successful launch of her cookbook Meatology, a compilation of her signature dishes collected from her years of culinary passage from helping her mom in the kitchen to her travels and culinary stints in Europe, Chef Yenni has renamed her restaurant to Meatology in conjunction with her book.

The restaurant has always exuded a warm and comfy atmosphere. When we walked in again recently a few weeks ago, we were greeted by the familiar settings, now jazzed up with some new enhancement, like the handmade bottle lightings made by the chef herself.

The bar remains at its usual spot while a long panel of mirrors are added to create more space and comfort for the dining area parallel to the bar. Meatology is a great place to hang on after a day’s work for drinks, food and to catch some sport actions as well on the tv available by the bar.

For a quieter dining, head on back to the main dining area where a large chalkboard displays specials of the day. We have always love the charm this restaurant radiates and the menu it has.

A large wine display features the lovely list of wines available at Meatology.

If you’re looking more just to hang out casually, head on up to Myth, just above the restaurant. The lounge is pretty cool with a glowy dim lite area for drinks and maybe some games.

We are here as Chef Yenni has revamp her menu and added new dishes to the list of her previous favorites. Kicking off the evening, we lock in our usual giggle juices, opting to try out Meatology’s latest cocktails. Whether you’re sipping White Lady (RM26) or Slippery Martini (RM26), both are delicious giggle juices to pave the evening for more yumminess to come. Order three of their special cocktails for RM68.

For wine lovers, there is a promotion on Wine Flight of four glasses of wines (white, rose, red and ice wine) for RM119.

Left to right: Château de Cathalogne Bordeaux, Château de Fesles Anjou Rosé (Loire Valley), La Closerie des Lys Rouge (Languedoc Rousillon) and Pilliteri Vidal Ice Wine (Niagara-on-the-Lake).

Chef Yenni’s repertoire is vast and versatile and her menu consists of classic fine dining dishes to her own creations of comfort food. Rest assured, there’s also plenty of swine for more shiokness to swine fans like me.

Leading the list is French Escargot (RM13), succulent morsels of escargot cooked with cream and spinach served in its own shells. A different sauce than the usual garlic butter and beautifully luscious on the palate.

Another premium ingredient on the list that one may not expect from Meatology is Foie Gras (RM49). Chef Yenni’s skill is really shown here as her foie gras, gorgeously and perfectly seared, is served with spiked peach wedges and a sticky balsamic sauce. The sweetness of the fruity peach goes so well with the sinful and creamy goose liver and brandy laced balsamic sauce.

After that two fine dishes, we get thrown back down to earth with a rustic bar snack of Gizzard Frito (RM13). Not that I enjoy chicken gizzard but once I tasted these crispy little nuggets of crunchy battered gizzard, I surprisingly went back for another two bits. Hand me a beer please…

Mains arrive and the first one had our palate all fired up! Fiery Ribs (RM45), listed on the menu with secret spicy sauce looked damn good at sight. The three giant pork ribs are literally smothered in a thick and lightly chunky fiery looking sauce, served on mashed and veggies.

The ribs are tender and yet offers a good firm bite on the meat. The sauce is not for the faint hearted and packed enough heat to titillate the taste bud to savor more. It is also robust enough with savory and sweet flavors, making this dish a bit hit on our table that evening, especially with me.

We went ducky over the hunky slab of sliced Duck Breast Confit (RM43). Smoked in-house, the plump duck breast is tender and moist with a smoky aroma. Served with a citrus trinity sauce made from orange, passionfruit and berries, the savory duck breast flavors are balanced with the tangy and fruity sweet sauce.

Most restaurants don’t choose to serve tableside finished dishes anymore but we are glad that Meatology still offers some flambé actions. Nothing like a kitchen action to enhance the dining experience right?

Our Swine Neck Steak Flambé (RM59) certainly went up in flames!

A generous piece of pork neck is beautifully seasoned and finished in brandy and served with a peppery brown sauce. Pork neck is well-known for tenderness and flavors and so the dish is often a favorite these days with many. Albeit a little dry but this is easily remedied with that delicious rich and peppery sauce that comes with the dish.

Meatology Ribs (RM45) won many hearts or should I say stomachs that night? Haha…

Another generous hunk of pork ribs basted in Chef Yenni’s hush hush secret BBQ sauce is also set aflame at our tableside with brandy. The ribs are superb in texture and flavors. Tender and yet firm, it’s the marinade and sauce that took the ribs to sensational heights of flavors.

Simply a must-order for rib-loving fans, the sublime hush hush BBQ sauce has such a harmonious balance of sweet, savory, smoky and umami note. Damn awesome if you ask me….

And just when we thought the flaming actions were over, we got another flaming action with our Steak On Fire (RM50). 200gm of Australian tenderloin, cooked to medium rare and flamed up with VSOP brandy is served with a creamy and pepper sauce with mashed and veggies.

The tenderloin is so gorgeous on bite and I enjoyed that luscious peppery mustard sauce very much. For foie gras lovers, you can even add a slice of foie gras to this dish for an additional RM30.

Chef Yenni has certainly got a way with meat. Cleverly taking a tougher cut of meat and turning it to a tasty one is showed in her Smoked Lamb Muscle 3 Sauces (RM43). The leg of lamb muscle is deboned, tied up and smoked for flavor and aroma. Cooked slowly till tender, the lamb is served with three sauces of mint sauce, fiery spicy sauce and horseradish with mustard sauce. Love the sauces as it gives the lamb different levels of flavors…

Besides meat, Chef Yenni also does a beautiful Blue Fin Tuna (RM69) for seafood fans. Sashimi grade tuna is just nicely seared and left raw in the middle. Thickly sliced and fan out like pretty petals of pinkness, the tuna goes well with the sweet and sticky citrus ponzu sauce. Delightful and not overly heavy, the tuna makes a lovely meal if you are not into meat.

Now who would have thought that one can do wonders with marmite besides slapping it on bread? Spaghetti Marvelous Mite (RM29), a creative concoction of pasta with a marmite based sauce is crowned with salty and luscious slices of Parma ham and rocket leaves. Its umami and savory marmite flavors are quite prevalent so if you enjoy marmite, you’ll certainly enjoy this pasta.

We never fail to leave room for desserts and this round, we had four creative desserts. Sinful Soufflé (RM22), a dark and bittersweet chocolatey sensation, had my palate floating on cloud nine. The freshly baked soufflé is worth every minute of waiting with its fluffiest cloud of cake set with a dark runny chocolate center filled with dark cherries cooked in booze. What more can a girl ask for…

I don’t care for dates but I do enjoy date puddings. Meatology’s Date Pudding (RM18) is another dessert worth every calories it has. It looked pretty light and plain but once you tasted the moist and dense date pudding with boozed up brandy butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream, you be awarded with a caramelized and sinful, sweet and sticky goodness. Super rich and super yum!

Cutely coined as Reggae Pudding (RM17), dig into freshly baked custardy bread pudding studded with bananas and raisins and crumbly sweet sugar crust. Sweet, creamy, eggy and heavily laced with rum, the pudding even comes with vanilla ice cream for a hot and cold sensation.

Though stuffed to max by now, after a look at the flaming Nasty Alaska (RM23), I even tried this small bite of the classic angelic dessert made naughty with peanut butter and lots of alcohol. The light fluffy meringue is just nice without being overly sweet and the combination of ice creams, peanut butter, cake, plump boozed soaked dried fruit and crumbly crust is naughty and nice for this coming festive season.

There’s so much more at Meatology’s menu that warrants a visit with more people so one can share all the delicious dishes. I would go back for other dishes such as Jack & Chic, Pork & Roll, Pig’s Balls, Poison Pork, Claypot Wild Boar Curry with Corn Chips, Wagyu Skirt Steak, Beer Breast, Meatology Smoked Belly, Octopussy Risotto and more.

16, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
6000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-7727 4426

Business Hours:
Mon to Sat   4pm to 2am
Closed on Sunday

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