October 31, 2014

The Gastro Project: New Brunch Menu

Start Your Day with Brunch!

Jumping on the bandwagon for a delicious brunch menu, I was recently back to The Gastro Project at Section 17. The Gastro Project is famed for their concept of dining with movies as blogged on my previous post. This round, they have just launched the new brunch menu filled with local and international brunch favorites.

Stepping into the familiar scene of The Gastro Project, the few of us quickly check out the new brunch menu and settled in with some of their new mocktails.

From left to right: Berrylicious, Juicy Fizz, Green Eye Monster, Cha Cha Ocha, Apple Mojito and Mango

I had the Berrylicious which is really good… fruity and fresh, it also has a fizzy touch!

Brunch delights kicked off with Fluffy Pancakes with Maple Syrup, Berry Compote and Chantilly Cream (RM17.90). Three pancakes with fresh strawberries in between are served with a very berry compote. Simply drizzle in the glorious maple syrup and dive in. My little would have loved this pancake a lot. Pancakes are good so make sure to eat this while its hot as the flavours won’t be the same if it gets cold.

Home-made French Toast spread with Kaya and Toasted Almonds (RM19.90) would have also been my little one’s favorite too. Thick slices of bread dipped in egg batter and pan fried till golden brown, spread with more eggy kaya and completed with crispy almond slices and fresh banana. I like the combination of kaya with the French Toast and almonds. It works for me in flavours and textures.

I know a few of the foodies was not a fan of the Greek Style Yoghurt layered with Toasted Muesli, Berry Compote and Fresh Sliced Banana (RM21.90) due to the strong and sour notes of the thick Greek Yoghurt but I was pretty much a happy camper. I polished off this one with gusto. Maybe it’s because I am a huge fan of Greek yoghurt. The bold creamy and sour notes of the yoghurt with berries, lightly toasted muesli is a great balance and extremely bursting with appetizing flavours.

There were two types of baked eggs available such as Spicy Sausage Baked Eggs with Garlic Toast (RM19.90) and Spinach and Mushroom Baked Eggs with Garlic Toast (RM19.90). Out of the two, I prefer the later. Spicy Sausage Baked Eggs is not too bad but I enjoyed the creamy Spinach and Mushroom Baked Eggs for its light and earthy flavours. The eggs were a little over baked and we feedback to the chef to have it cooked right to ooze the much appreciated creamy and eggy notes that we all love in our breakfast or brunch. It would also be great to be able to dip the garlic toast into creamy soft egg custard.

The Turkey Bacon and Mushroom Short Crust Tart (RM21.90) is pretty much similar to the Baked Eggs but this one has a tart crust. This dish tasted more towards a quiche.

I love chicken pies and the Spicy Chicken Curry Pie in Puff Pastry with Cucumber Raita (RM19.90) works for me. It’s a spicy version with a filling leaning towards our local curry puff filling but with a chunky and spicy filling. Served with a chilled cucumber raita, it’s a good call as it cools down the heat level in the filling.

I had the Lamb Kebabs with Flatbread, Olives and Special Tomato Pesto (RM25.90) before in my previous visits. It’s a take on Middle Eastern fare and is pretty much easy to enjoy.

Chicken and Avocado Salad Wrapped in Flatbread with Fries (RM19.90) was a favorite of many that night. The chicken and avocado filling is very delicious with a creamy and savory note. Served with crispy golden thin cut fries, how can we say no to the yummy combination?

Smoked Salmon, Avocado, Poached Egg with Hollandaise Sauce on Toast (RM29.90) is the piece the resistance to the menu. Luscious salty smoked salmon, sliced creamy avocado, alfalfa sprouts, poached egg on toasted baguette and served with buttery hollandaise sauce is a combination that work wonders on flavours. Don’t know about you but I am a sucker for such dishes, especially if the poached egg has a molten egg yolk center that intensifies the richness of the dish to another level of foodporn!

There is the famous TGP Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken, Prawn Sambal and Condiments which we didn't managed to try since it was not available that day. So if you must have our national favorite dish for brunch, The Gastro Project has it too! The brunch menu is available on weekends from 10am onwards so get your brunch fix there during weekends for some breakfast love...

No.25, Jalan 17/56, Section 17,
46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603-7931 6465
Email: info@thegastroproject.com

October 30, 2014

Bari Uma Ramen, Jaya Shopping Centre: Luscious Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen with Thick Cut Flamed Chashu

A Ramen Feast with Sublime Grilled Pork!

It has always been my beacon of comfort, the Japanese ramen that is… A bowl of piping hot thick broth bursting with meaty essence, bouncy al dente ramen noodles, porcine slices of deliciousness, a soft molten Ajitama and maybe some spring onions. It’s thoroughly satiating and many have devoted to a lifetime of perfecting their own bowl of ramen.  I am told that in Japan, no bowl of Ramen taste alike. Every ramen vendor has their specialty recipe that is closely guarded and whipped up to a tee each day to produce luscious bowls of ramen.

Being the ardent fan or ramen, I am always scouting around for ramen joints. This round, I headed over to Bari-Uma Ramen at Jaya Shopping Centre in Section 14 Petaling Jaya. Now I have also heard about Bari-Uma Ramen way back when it opened early this year but never had a chance to visit since I hardly wonder to that area.

Bari-Uma Ramen is famous for their signature Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen jazzed up with thick cuts of grilled pork chashu. If I am not mistaken, Bari-Uma is the first to serve flamed chashu with ramen here in Malaysia. So I was pretty excited about savoring this porcine sidekick to the ramen!

Located at the newly renovated Jaya Shopping Centre, Bari-Uma Ramen is set on level 3 together with other restaurants. The restaurant’s interior is a modern take on Japanese classic where lots of wood is used to create the ambience in the whole restaurant. Pale cream walls provide the backdrop for bold Japanese art works while red covered chairs added bright spots of colors. At one side is a huge bar counter with a view of the open kitchen for some kitchen actions.

At Bari-Uma, it’s about passion. Ramen is serious business and the people at Bari-Uma sure take each bowl of ramen to heart. The menu is tight and decent, focusing on their famous signature Tonkotsu Shoyu broth served with various toppings and two other broths of Shoyu and spicy Kara-Uma. There are additional condiments that one can order to add-on. I am a firm believer that one do not need quantity if something is good, just make sure to do something good well with quality and it is good enough for most foodies.

Besides ramen, Bari-Uma also serves Gyoza, Salad, Yakitori and Ishiyaki Chaofan. Our meal started off with Gyoza that comes in three flavours and is made with a filling of chicken. These pan fried chicken dumplings are perfected in every serving as they have a special Gyoza machine that makes these delectable dumplings consistently each time. Choose from Original, Negi-Mayo Gyoza or Teri-Yaki Gyoza. One can order these dumplings in a serving of 5 pieces or 10 pieces.

Our original Gyoza (RM11 for 5 pcs / RM20 for 10 pcs) is indeed pretty perfect. They are nicely pan seared to a nice crisp on one side and beautifully steamed on the other side. The fillings have a moist consistency and it well seasoned. Dip this Gyoza into a little soy sauce with some dashes of chili for extra flavours.

Ishiyaki Chaofan Chashu (RM14.90) also arrived before the ramen. Served in hot stone bowl, the aroma was heavenly. The light sizzling sound is utterly delightful as I can imagine the rice gently crisping up on the heated hot stone bowl. Served with loads of spring onions, the bowl is a beautiful sight of colors.

As we gently mix up all the rice and its condiments while removing those crisp bits, the aroma smells even better. The rice is moist and fluffy, well studded with bits of vegetables and chashu. The spring onions really added lots of tasty notes. I love the rice. Pure comfort food and definitely easy to enjoy!

As mentioned, Bari-Uma also serves up various varieties of grilled pork and chicken skewers. We had the Yakitori-Combo (RM13.90) that has all five types of meat skewers on one serving. One gets Sasami (Chicken Breast), Tori-Niku (Chicken Thigh), Negima (Chicken Thigh and Leeks), Butabara (Pork Belly) and Butanegima (Pork Thigh and Leeks). One can also order these separately and it comes in a pair in each order.

All the meat is grilled and glazed with Tare sauce, a yummy smoky and sweet sauce. The skewers of meat are juicy and tender. I was particularly fond of the Butabara and Butanegima. It was good so we had another round of these skewers.

The main reason we were here for arrived. First up was Noritama-Uma (RM29.00). One of the most popular combinations at the restaurant, a bowl comes with ramen noodles in the famous pork Tonkotsu Shoyu broth with thick-cut flamed Chashu, Ajitama, Menma and Seaweed.

The broth is cloudy and darker than other Tonkotsu I have tried. This is because Shoyu is added to the broth I suspect. According to the owner (we had the pleasure meeting him at this dinner), the Tonkotsu Shoyu broth is brought in directly from Bari-Uma headquarter in Japan. The recipe is closely guarded and to ensure authentic quality, the base of the broth is imported in from Japan and cooked up here on daily basis. So each bowl of ramen here at Bari-Uma Malaysia is as authentic as it is in Japan!

The flavours do emit the characteristic of a gorgeous Tonkotsu broth but with a richer depth with the addition of the soy sauce. It’s pretty much creamy and well pumped up with the essence of meaty goodness. The broth is also nicely balanced and is not heavy on the salt so one can enjoy it better. There is a light sticky essence of the broth which can only mean that the essence of the meat and bones has really emulsified into the broth. The standard bamboo shoots, spring onion and seaweed also contributed another level of flavours to the ramen. The molten Ajitama was cooked to my liking with just perfect molten egg yolk center.

Despite all the passing marks of the broth and condiments, I must say that the star was truly the thick-cut flamed grilled chashu! Now at Bari-Uma, even the pork is imported from Germany. After going through different pork local and international, it was settled that the quality of the pork from Germany is best suited to make the signature Bari-Uma Thick-Cut Flamed Chashu. The pork is braised for few hours till soften before it is braised again in their special marinade till the flavours are well infused into the pork. The pork is then left to cool in the marinade till an order is placed. Then it is sliced thickly and chargrilled to intensify the flavours of the pork belly, turning it into a damn good piece of Chashu!

If you love Chasu, order a side of this gorgeous Aburi-Chashu (RM18.80) which comes with four generous slices per order. There is also Aburi-Salmon (RM17.80) too for salmon lovers.

They make their own ramen noodles too. The ramen here is medium thick and has a lovely firm to the tooth texture which I really like a lot. Bari-Uma also practices Kae-dama which is where one can order these extra noodles for RM4 to add-on to your bowl of ramen. The ramen noodles comes in three textures of firm, original and soft so make sure to let the wait staff know what is your preference.

Now if you are a purist, then order the Bari-Uma (RM26.00) that has the same Tonkotsu Shoyu broth, ramen, Menma and spring onions. It is a favorite among the Japanese as they love simplicity in their bowl of ramen.

I love some heat and so I chose the Kara-Uma (RM26.00), a spicy version of the signature broth. Though it looks pretty spicy, I assured you that the heat level is very decent and fairly mild for me. It does give the ramen a great umami note with the chili heat. The Kara-Uma comes with a slice of Chashu, bamboo shoots and spring onions. Needless to say, I added an order of the Aburi-Chashu to this bowl and slurp happily.

My partner also went straight for a meatier touch and took on the Chashu-Uma (RM32.00). This bowl has the signature broth, four pieces of Chashu, bamboo shoots and spring onions. He was pretty happy with the bowl and polished it off with ease.

Dessert is basic with two choices of Macha and Kurogoma Ice Cream (RM7.90 each). I really didn’t mind as ice cream is perfect for ending a ramen experience. The cold and creamy factor is good for removing the heavier notes of the ramen. Both ice creams have a good wow factor. I really enjoyed the beautiful smooth intense Matcha green tea while the Kurogoma is simply awesome as it is silky smooth, nutty and aromatic with bits of whole black and white sesame seeds in it.

In total, Bari-Uma has eight varieties of ramen in their menu. Of course, one is welcome to make it his or her own and add on more toppings. The choices here are not as large as the other ramen houses but it’s sufficient to satisfy most ramen lovers.  With house made ramen noodles, Tonkotsu Shoyu broth from Japan, Chashu pork from Germany and beautiful molten Ajitama, it just can’t get any more serious than this. The dedication of Bari-Uma’s ramen is truly shown in the flavours and the quality of the ramen with its ingredients.

Looks like I have found another strong ramen contender in KL and I am pretty sure I will be heading back here for the Thick-Cut Flamed Chashu!

Jaya Shopping Centre
L3-11, Level 3,
Jalan Semangat,
46100 Petaling Jaya,

Website: www.bariuma.my

Store Hours:
Monday-Sunday 10am-10pm

October 28, 2014

Kontiki Restaurant, The Federal Kuala Lumpur: Official Opening of The New Kontiki

Kontiki Brings A Modern and Edgy Touch of Deliciousness!

Step into the brand new Kontiki Restaurant at The Federal Kuala Lumpur and be enticed by a lavish spread of scrumptious signatures of hotel. The modern contemporary restaurant open officially on 19 September this year and many were invited to catch the first sight and taste of the poolside restaurant. The stylish and groovy ambience show off an elevated interactive buffet dining experience filled with lots of kitchen actions in the spacious open kitchens placed around the restaurant.

Walking into Kontiki Restaurant, I was greeted by two giant wood Tikis at the entrance and five more Tiki pillars colored bright yellow. The whole restaurant is beautifully spacious and decorated with a minimalist contemporary edge. Raw high ceiling, wood flooring and 3D tiled walls gave the whole ambience a simple yet stylish feel. Rattan and wood chairs mixed with marble tables and globe lightings completed the inside ambience of the restaurant.

One side of the restaurant showcase the interactive open kitchen and buffet counters. The counters are creatively made to mimic wooden cargo box crates with marble tops while wall panels are reflect container panels splashed with colorful graffiti. There is a touch of fun element that plays on the name of Kontiki.

Walked outside the restaurant and there are al fresco seatings and a BBQ cum Grill Station. I already spied a few chefs busy managing the grill and the aroma of the evening was heavenly delicious. The restaurant is actually located by the poolside of the hotel so guests are treated to a lovely sight of the evening glow on the pool surrounded by greenery.

Kontiki serves a luscious spread of international and local delights with fresh seasonal ingredients. That evening, I hit the Seafood on Ice station for a spread of Crayfish, Slipper Lobster, Crab, Prawns, Scallop, Oyster and Mussel.

The Kerabu and Salad bar is laden with lots of East meet West kerabu and salads. There is even Thai Papaya Salad or Somtam freshly made to order by the chef there. Rojak Buah is also available for some DIY action.

Hit the all-time-favorite Japanese Sushi Bar and Appetizer bar where Smoked Salmon and Cold Cuts are generously served on large platters.

Duck is a signature of Kontiki so make sure to hit the Roast Station for Peking Duck with Pancakes, Pee Pah Duck and various styles of Hong Kong’s barbequed duck and chicken. I really enjoyed the Peking Duck with traditional pancake and the crispy skin Pee Pah duck as they are really moist and flavourful.

The star of the buffet has to be the cylindrical BBQ station where lots of seafood, shellfish, poultry and meat are waiting to be picked and to be grilled to your likings. Select your choice from Tiger Prawn, marinated Squid, Sausages, Chicken Wing, Steak, Lamb, Satay and more available that evening.

From the Rotisserie oven, there are Prime Rib Roast, whole Rack of Lamb, Roast Chicken, whole Grilled Fish and more, all waiting to be paired with the assorted sauces available as well.

From the hot buffet inside, there are plenty of Western, Malay, Indian and Chinese dishes available as well. Pots of Emince of Beef with Wild Trumpets, Potato Cheese, Beef Rendang, Ikan Masak Asam Pedas, Udang Rebus Pucuk Asam, Jingha Masala, Palak Paneer and more are kept warm and perfect with rice.

If you ever spied Nyonya Laksa on the buffet menu, do not miss this gorgeous Nyonya curry noodle. The Nyonya Laksa is beautifully spied and superbly creamy with the right balance of thickness of gravy. It was so good, I went back for seconds. Yum…

Save some room for desserts with a list of Ice Cream, ABC, Mini Puddings and Cakes, Fruits, Nyonya Kuih and Assorted Cheese.

Love this quote for Kontiki “Lunch has its hours, Dinner has its hours, but Cocktails & Mocktails are anytime!!!”

Mondays – Fridays (except Public Holidays), 12pm to 2.30pm
RM88+ per person
RM48+ per child/senior citizen*

Mondays to Thursdays & Sundays (except Public Holidays), 6:30pm to 10:00pm
RM98+ per person
RM58+ per child/senior citizen*

Fridays & Saturdays, 6:30pm to 10:00pm
RM118+ per person
RM68+ per child/senior citizen*

Saturdays & Sundays, 12.30pm to 4pm
RM68+ per person
RM38+ per child/senior citizen*

+ Subject to 6% government tax.
* Child below 12 years old/senior citizen above 55 years old – Malaysians only.
Terms & Conditions apply. Prices and offers are subject to change without prior notice

From now till 8 December, 2014, there is as 25% discount for Tiki Buffet at Kontiki Restaurant. Head over to their Facebook here for more instructions.

For reservations for Kontiki Restaurant, please call 03 21489166 or visit their websites for further information.

The Federal Kuala Lumpur
Mezzanine Level
35 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: [603] 2148 9166
Fax: [603] 2148 2877