Friday, September 25, 2015

Epicuro @ USJ, Taipan Subang


Porky Brunch at Epicuro New Branch in Subang!


Following after its successful outlet of Epicuro in Uptown Damansara, Yugin and team has now opened their second outlet of Epicuro in USJ, Taipan area in Subang Jaya. We visited this new branch when it was only a few weeks old for brunch and also got a taste of some of the new dishes to be feature in their menu.


Words has gotten out pretty quick and the new branch was pretty filled up when we arrived. The restaurant was decorated differently from its original outlet but kept to simple, modern and a minimalist décor, sharing the same similarity to its original outlet in concept. The themed here was neutral and bright with spots of tiles on wall and bar to give the whole place a modern retro ambiance. This outlet also seats more with 60 pax as well.


The menu had a lot of repeats from its original outlet but we were assured that more new dishes are coming soon as they were still tweaking the menu. Though choices are not plenty, the ones available are sufficiently satisfying and scrumptious enough to warrant a return as always.


Cappuccino (RM10) is always a good start in the morning to get some adrenalin going…


Health conscious folks can opt for the healthy Crush Pure Fruit Smoothies that comes in Banana Pineapple, Citrus Goji-Ra, Jackfruit Twist, Super Spinach, Mango Fresh and Gua-Pel. I tried their Super Spinach and love how refreshing, thick and smooth the beverage was.


To kick off our brunch, we had their Big Breakfast with Scrambled Egg (RM26.90). A platter of hearty porky bacon, pork BBQ sausages, crispy hash browns, scrambled egg, sautéed cherry tomatoes and mushrooms and toast. Each element was well cooked, an effort that showed on the dish. The bacon was also not over crisp and had a good bite while the scrambled egg is creamy soft and delicious. One can also opt for Sunny side up egg if scrambled is not to your fancy.



Another wise option for brunch is Epicuro’s Waffle Brunch (RM18.90)! Yugin has nailed his waffle recipe to a T. Golden crisp waffle with a lightly chewy and tender inside is perfect with savory breakfast treats of bacon, pork BBQ sausage, Sunny side up egg and some greens. The light sweetness of the waffles goes so well with all the salty and savory ingredients, rendering an unforgettable brunch sensation for me.



Pasta is another wise choice at Epicuro as I had previously raved about how good their pastas are. At this outlet, one simply must try their Prawn Aglio Olio with Sauteed Spinach (RM24.90) and Mixed Mushroom & Bacon Aglio Olio (RM23.90).


Prawn Aglio Olio with Sauteed Spinach is a sublime treat of juicy sweet prawns jazzing up the classic aglio olio. Epicuro’s version also had cherry tomatoes, lots of herbs and a liberal sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes and garlic. Flavours are big in this one and we all really enjoyed this a lot.


Another version of aglio olio but this round catered to bacon lovers is the Mixed Mushroom & Bacon Aglio Olio. This one is earthy with all the assorted mushrooms and bacon crisps sautéed with lots of added herbs and the usual suspects. The pasta here has a solid al dente bite too. At Epicuro, foodies like me will always be pleased as the pasta here are well-studded with lots bacons and other ingredients besides just pasta.


Kids and adults will also adored the Fish and Chips (RM19.90). Two thick pieces of crumbed fish are gorgeously crispy and golden with a moist inside. Served with the fish are spicy stick fries that turned out to be such a hit with us, so much so, we had to order this as additional side serving. It may not be the classic version but we are certainly enjoying this version a lot.



Our star of our brunch turned out to be Epicuro’s new item of Seared Pork Shoulder Loin. Now the first outlet already won our hearts with their creamy pork chops but we are still glad that Yugin is now offering another recipe of his famous technique for succulent and tender pork chops. This one uses pork shoulder loin and is pan seared till just right. The salty and moreish pork shoulder is divine in flavours and textures. A side of seared onions and potatoes together with steamed broccoli, carrot and radish gave the dish a healthy boost. Make sure to ask about this dish as it is still fairly new!



As said earlier, we can’t help but to order a side of Spicy Stick Fries (RM7.90)!


We thought a good brunch should deserve a sweet ending. So we had the Waffles with Homemade Ice Cream (RM15.90). Perfect waffles here again and this was made even better with Yugin’s homemade chocolate ice cream. The chocolate ice cream is also utter delicious as it has intense dark and rich bittersweet chocolate. Waffles are simply a Must-Order!


A new dessert of Homemade Raspberry Sorbet came with a surprise. Homemade, the Raspberry sorbet is intensely tangy and sweet with a burst of raspberry flavour. The additional crunch crushed biscuits, chocolate bits and chocolate sauce took the sorbet to new heights. Not on the menu yet but again, do ask as you may never know if Yugin has made a batch of this…


Tiramisu (with Alcohol) is one of Epicuro’s signature items. We never failed to order this at every visit to Epicuro. The one here is laced intensely with alcohol, making this dessert so addictive and sinful.


Looks like Epicuro USJ Taipan is going to do really well! Crowds are already in, the menu is still as stronger as ever and growing and diners are assured of scrumptious dishes that is pretty consistent on our many visits. With brunch now added, diners can enjoy Epicuro from breakfast to lunch or dinner. Go early as they tend to filled up pretty quick, especially the weekends!


EPICURO USJ
2A Jalan USJ 10/1J
Taipan Business Centre
47620 Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-80811182 (reservations available only on weekdays)


Business Hours:
Opening hours: 10am-11pm (Tuesday till Sunday)
Closed on Mondays

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mido Korean BBQ Restaurant @ SS2, Petaling Jaya



Korean BBQ in Style


Korean cuisine has taken our dining scene by storm. Many have sprouted all over our nation and now Korean cuisine is gearing up to be as popular as Japanese cuisine. The Koreans are indeed famous for their Kimchi. You’ll either love it or hate it. Glad to say, most Malaysians do love it as well as their other signatures like Korean BBQ and stews. Even my family admits to indulging Korean cuisine at least 3 times a month.


One of the latest Korean restaurant in Petaling Jaya is Mido, located at the bustling SS2 area. Mido is the brilliant brainchild of young Korean business owner Mr. Joseph Lee and his partners. After arriving in Malaysia, Joseph has decided to pursue his F&B interest to add on to his other businesses. The young entrepreneur opened Mido in July this year, serving up lots of Korean classics of BBQ, stews and even Korean Fried Chicken.


The restaurant’s front is designed to look just a like a Korean house with big heavy wooden doors. There are two windows on each side and unlike most restaurants, one cannot see the dining unless the windows are open. Walking into Mido, diners are immediately transported to warm and vibrant interior filled with lots of wood. We were told that Mido’s interior is actually designed and finished by Joseph and his team as well. Vibrant warm walls, sectioned panels giving diners privacy, Korean Hahoe masks, paper lanterns and more earthy elements summed up the gorgeous interior. Mido also has private rooms with seating on the floor.


Dining at Mido certainly feels like I was transported elsewhere, without any trace of the bustling SS2 traffic outside since the whole restaurant is closed up. Another plus point for Mido, they use the underground ventilation system which is better as it prevents the usual BBQ smoke from seeping into our clothes and hair.



Let’s eat! Korean meal is never without Banchan. These side dishes are always such a treat and most restaurants allow refills in moderate quantity. Mido serves less Banchan than other restaurants I know but they have more types of sauces and plenty of fresh lettuce, seasoned lettuce together with the fresh cut garlic and green chilies. Their Kimchi is really yummy and we kept having refills of this gladly. Mido serves four sauces – Sesame Oil with Salt, Ssamjang, Basil and Peanut sauce. Though classics are good, I really enjoyed the Basil and Peanut sauces as they really perked up the BBQ meats in flavours.




Mido’s menu has limited options of the various cuts of meat but I personally think the ones they have are sufficient for me. The Korean BBQ meats available are Chicken BBQ (RM28 for 200gm), Pork Collar (RM30 for 200gm) Marinated Pork (RM33 for 200gm), Chili Paste Pork (RM33 for 200gm) and Marinated Beef Rib (RM65 for 280gm).




The meats here are cut thicker than most other places I have had and I certainly didn’t mind this at all. The wait staff helps to grill the meat for you so you just need to enjoy them. Once grilled under the hot coals, these meat are deliciously tasty, moist and so irresistible with the sauces and lettuce. I was particularly fond of the Pork Collar and Marinated Pork because of their tasty flavours and tender texture.


While man cannot live alone on BBQ (or maybe they could!), we also had other goodies. 


A bowl of Pumpkin Soup came complimentary and this was a good bowl to settle our tummies. It had a good balance of sweetness and savory notes.



Besides the pumpkin soup, we had an order of Doenjang Soup (RM22). A Korean favorite, this bean paste soup has seafood and fresh tofu. It is quite nutty and pungent with a saltish edge but it goes really well with rice.


I love Korean pancakes. We had both of the Seafood Pancake (RM25) and Kimchi Pancake (RM25). Crispy edges, tender doughy inside filled with lots of seafood bits and spring onions, the Seafood Pancake was a big hit among us that evening. The Kimchi Pancake didn’t fall too far behind and had solid kimchi flavours. Look how lovely and crisp the Kimchi Pancake is…



Talk about having a secret weapon at Mido, they serve this wicked dish of Spicy Pork Skin (RM20). Pork skin has loads of collagen so enjoying these are bound to give one some lovely doses of beauty benefits. The gelatinous pork skin is cooked with a good hit of heat and is served with bean powder on the side. We attached this with so much gusto and had a reorder of the dish!



Ok so fried chicken wings are not seen at Korean BBQ places but Korean Fried Chicken are getting quite the attention these days. Mido has two styles of one non spicy and the other spicy. The Korean Fried Chicken Wings (RM25) were decent with a nice balance of savory sweetness while the Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Wings (RM25) had a spicy sweet heavy note.


It was unanimous that we all enjoyed the Tofu Kimchi Casserole (RM45). A big iron pot filled with lots of ingredients such as kimchi, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, Korean vermicelli, rice cakes, sausages and more sat in a pool of kimchi based soup. As the stew boils, the soup intensify in flavours and the ingredient are gently cook to absorb the pungent and spicy kimchi flavours. It’s very comforting in many ways or maybe I just happen to be a big kimchi lover… yum!



We also had their Bulgogi Casserole (RM48). Bulgogi is a classic favorite dish in Korea. Here the beef is marinated in the classic sweet flavours of Bulgogi and is accompanied by lots of vegetables, mushrooms and Korean vermicelli noodles in a beefy sweet broth. It was slightly a tad too sweet for my preference but that’s how Bulgogi taste and so there’s really nothing to fault here but my own taste bud. Others didn’t seemed to mind and enjoy the beefy sweet stew happily.


Don’t forget to order Makkoli (RM28), a Korean rice wine that went so well with the BBQ meats, Spicy Pork Skin and Korean Fried Chicken Wings. I love how it was served in a big clay bowl to be ladled on smaller bowls to be sipped slowly.


Mido serves solid authentic Korean BBQ and stews. Their plus points are the gorgeous ambience to enjoy a hearty meal of Korean BBQ and stews. Highlights includes Spicy Pork Skin, Korean BBQ, Seafood Pancake and Tofu Kimchi Casserole. Oh… and don’t forget to order the Makkoli for extra happiness…



MIDO KOREAN BBQ RESTAURANT
11-G, Jalan SS2/64,
47300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7865-9779


Business Hours:
Mon to Fri – 11.30am to 3.00pm (Lunch) / 5.30pm to 11.00pm (Dinner)
Sat to Sun & Public Holidays – 11.30am to 11.00pm

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cedar on 15 @ Impiana KLCC Hotel


Modern European Fine Dining with a Majestic KL Skyline View



The city never fails to amaze many and its night charm is best viewed from high above the skyscrapers for the full effect. One of the place to enjoy the city’s gorgeous view and to also indulge in a sumptuous meal of fine dining gastronomy is at Cedar on 15 at Impiana KLCC Hotel. The modern European dining located on the 15th floor of the hotel offers a luxe dining experience and hangout bar for many. Whether you are here for its European cuisine or the KL skyline view, you are assured that this will be an unforgettable experience of what this city has to offer.


Choose to dine in elegance at its modern contemporary dining room brought to life by its bold interior design themed of cool black, grey, red and white illuminated by the massive freeform curves of the lighting or simply head over to the alfresco area backed with lots of glass panels to offer one of the best city skyline views to lounge casually by the open bar. Either space is fine as the main open or grilled kitchen offers diners a sumptuous 2 page menu of delights.


That evening was wet and heading to the city was an obstacle but as soon as I walked into Cedar on 15, every ounce of stress magically disappears as I sat down to a Cosmopolitan to unwind my day.


Fresh House Bread Rolls were served with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The breads were so yummy, a good indication that dinner can only get better.


A course of Amuse Bouche of Salmon played up our appetites to look forward to more dishes to come.

Cedar on 15’s latest dining concepts takes on the aromatic oils from Vom Fass, a gourmet company that produces fine oils, vinegars, spices, wines and spirits. The menu is carefully paired with selected Vom Fass oils at every course from start to finish.


Dinner commenced with Cedar Salad with Pomegranate Balsam (RM42). Tender leaves of baby spinach paired with sharpness of freshly shaved parmesan, toasted pine nuts and a mustard walnut vinaigrette is a treat of freshness. Though the salad is flavourful already, diners are encourage to explore and drizzle on the Vom Fass Pomegranate Balsam for extra oomph of fruity sweetness.


The next course of Fresh Burrata Cheese with Basil Olive Oil (RM45) was a personal favorite. Fresh Burrata cheese is hard to come by in our country and this one was divine. Read off the menu as Air flown from Italy, the young creamy and soft mozzarella is painstakingly wrapped with a balsamic gelee into a long cylindrical pipe and presented with sweet slices of roma tomatoes, greens, herb pesto and Vom Fass Basil Olive Oil. Using thin pipette to add droplets of the intense basil olive oil really brought out the luscious burrata flavours to a crescendo. The balsamic gelee also pulled its weight in cutting through the richness of the cheese and oils with its tangy sweet notes.



Jeruselum artichoke is an unfamiliar ingredient here but once you have tried it in the Cream of Topin Ambour with Truffle Oil (RM38), you will be pleased on how wonderful this root vegetable is. Also known as earth apple or sunchoke, the flavours of this Topin Ambour is more refine with a mellow rich earthy note. Each spoonful of the silky smooth bisque is enhanced further with the highly raved truffle oil. The bisque also has baby bocconcini on crouton as an extra treat. Poured tabled side, the bisque is piping hot and extremely satisfying on the palate.


Vying for equal attention in the bisque section is another gorgeous dish of Australian Scallop Velouté with Garlic Oil (RM52). The sweetest sliced raw scallops together with a sundried tomato timbale is gently cooked in the luscious and velvety seafood velouté. The dish is a brilliant and thoroughly thought of dish as each element contributed to indulgence of the dish. From sweetness of the scallop to the savory creamy seafood bisque and the tangy sundried tomato, it’s a dish of finesse and flavour!



More indulgence took form in our main course of Lobster ala Cedar with Vegetable Tagiatelle and Garlic Oil (RM388). Served two ways, each half of the Boston lobster was grilled with herb oil. One half was grilled and served on extreme heat from the block of Himalayan Rock Salt to boost the aroma of the king of crustacean and the other half was served with a side of vegetable tagiatelle.


The half on the Himalayan rock salt block had more smoky and charred notes, rendering more intense essence of the lobster with unadulterated taste whereas the other half showed off more delicate sweetness of the crustaceans. The second half was also juicier. Either way, add on the Vom Fass Garlic Oil for another dimension of garlicky flavours to the sweet lobster.


Cedar on 15 also has a solid list dry aged beef featuring various cuts of Australian Black Angus and Wagyu. We opted for the Black Angus Filet Mignon with Rosemary Oil (RM88) with side of Mashed Potato with Truffle (RM14). The Black Angus had such a robust beefy flavour and was buttery and tender too. Cooked to medium rare to my preference, the beef really only needed some salt and pepper. A few drops of rosemary oil raised the bar in aroma.


Though all grilled meat comes with a side dish, we decided to go one step further and opted for the extra special side of Mashed Potato with Truffle. No regrets as the mashed was so smooth and creamy with a good hit of truffle aroma.


There is also lamb for non-beef lovers, and the New Zealand Lamb Loin with Porcini Oil (RM84) was beautifully presented on a plate with a kaleidoscope of colors. Lamb loin crusted in parsley crust and cooked to lovely pink medium was surrounded by fondant potato and served with a side of oven roasted brassica vegetables. The lamb loin was tender and went well with the rich demi-glazed sauce. The light parsley notes gave the lamb a unique aroma. I would definitely encourage diners to add on the porcini oil for this dish because the piquant porcini aroma went so well with the lamb.



Our last main dish of the evening was Seafood Aglio Olio Spaghetti (RM48). Executed well with all the markings of al dente pasta soaking up the garlicky chili oil and seafood, there’s no reason why this dish is not a contender with the other dishes on the menu.


We were full from all the courses and yet our heart wandered longingly for dessert as it seems the right experience at Cedar on 15 should end all the way with a sweet note. The Crepe Suzette with Grand Marnier (RM44) wasn’t flambéed at our table but we didn’t mind. The thin crepes were decent and had a good soaking of orange and Grand Marnier while the ice cream made it more luscious. Not the best I have had but enough to really make our dining experience a satiating one.


Our dining at Cedar on 15 was truly a luxuriant and pampered experience. It was everything from food to ambience and the city’s view that made this unforgettable. All out to impress someone? Bring them to Cedar on 15…



CEDAR ON 15
Impiana KLCC Hotel
Level 15, Club Tower,
13 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2147 1111
Fax: 603 2147 1080
Toll-Free: 1 800 88 3100
Email: info.klcc@impiana.com

Website: www.impiana.com

Business Hours:
Lunch (Mon – Fri) 12.00pm to 2.30pm
Dinner (Daily) 6.30pm t0 2.00am (dinner is served till 10.30pm)

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