December 29, 2016

Merrow Pasta @ USJ, Subang Jaya

Fresh Pasta Rules!

There are plenty of Italian restaurants on our shore serving pastas but there’s hardly one who serves fresh pastas made from scratch. Most restaurants tend to use the regular pasta for many reasons. Fresh pasta is extra work and doesn’t keep as well as the dry ones too. Texture of fresh pasta is also very different and takes extra effort to ensure that the al dente texture is well controlled during cooking.

Merrow Pasta, located in USJ 10 in Subang, was born because the owner enjoys fresh pasta. Hoping to introduce fresh pasta to our shores, Merrow Pasta offers a solid list of house made fresh pasta daily paired with various classic sauces.

The restaurant has a really lovely décor. The moment one walks in, one feels at ease and in comfort. Lots of wood are set in contrast with black. The whole dining room is set around the open kitchen and so one actually catches live action cooking as well as the aromas that waft through the air. A minor setback here is that the open kitchen does set a smoky ventilation for the restaurant. However, we were assured that the restaurant is now considering to seal up the open kitchen with glass soon to provide a better comfort to diners.

Since we were there during Christmas season, the whole restaurant had really lovely festive décor. There is also a wall filled with many photos of the patrons that dine in Merrow Pasta.

The menu is indeed decent with quite a few pasta classics as well as some appetizers, salad, soup, main course and desserts.

We quenched our thirst with Refreshing Green (RM9.90), Cappuccino (RM9.80) and Macha Green Tea Latte (RM10.30). All coffee and tea are from Caffe Richard.

To kick off our meal, we decided to try their house signature Smoked Salmon Salad (RM19.60). It wasn’t what I expected but nevertheless, this one is very good. It’s quite a sizeable portion with smoked salmon rolled with crisp greens, warm beef bacon potato salad and egg. The potato salad was delicious, reminding me of German potato salad. It was tangy and quite tart with soft potatoes and beef bacon bits in mustard dill dressing. The tartness of the dressing did overpower the salmon but since I like the potato salad, I didn’t mind this pairing.

The Fruitti Di Mare Fritto (RM17.80) had crispy and lightly battered squids and prawns served with Tartar sauce. The appetizer was also decent and well cooked. We enjoyed this despite having to peel the large prawns with the sauce.

I always love soup so when I saw that Merrow Pasta had soup, I wanted to try the Fresh Seafood Soup (RM19.80). At sight, the soup looked wonderful with its gorgeous hue of orange and medley of seafood. At taste, the soup was even better. Rich with a moreish and tangy seafood essence, the tomato based seafood soup was delicious. There were also generous seafood of clams, mussels, squid, crab and prawns in the soup.

Pasta time and we were told that the Carbonara (RM19.60) is one of their best seller. The pasta looked enticing at sight with the poached egg. Well sauced, the spaghetti had generous turkey ham slices and was finished with herbs and black pepper. It is very rich with the heavy cream and poached egg with molten egg yolk. Overall this was decent but not my favorite. The pasta was good as it had the al dente texture that I enjoy.

The Marinara (RM20.80) tasted quite similar to the seafood soup earlier except this was thicker. Lots of mussels, squid, clam and prawn again in this pasta, making it really value-for-money. The pasta was cooked well again here but I personally felt the sauce was a tad weak here. It’s not bad but I prefer a heavier tomato flavour so it’s more of a personal preference since my other friends enjoy this dish.

What I enjoy a lot was the Con Salsa Al Nero (RM27.60). The squid ink sauce had delicious garlicky and wine flavours with a surprising hit of chili heat. The bonito flakes also gave the pasta a rich umami flavour. The plump and tender squid was also yummy with the al dente pasta.

The Smoked Duck in Teriyaki Dry Chili Sauce (RM19.60) was also scrumptious in my books. The spiced up teriyaki sauce had a nice balance of sweet and savory with a bit of heat. The smoke duck added a nice flavours and texture to the pasta.

The dish that actually came out on top of my list that evening was the Lasagne Al Forno (RM24.80). Served in a cast iron pan, the lasagna was piping hot and oozing with much cheesy lusciousness. The pasta sheet was soft and provided a beautiful tender blanket for the beefy tomato sauce and creamy cheesy béchamel sauce. Each bite is heavenly yum. An excellent dish that I would order again…

As it was the festive season month, we decided to enjoy desserts. Chocolate Pasta (RM19.60) had us curious and so we went with an order of this. Basically inspired by mille feuille, this one had a chocolate pasta baked till crispy and layered with whipped cream, strawberries and berry coulis. Pretty unique way of eating pasta!

The Lave Cake with Ice Cream (RM18.80) was sinful and sublime. Gorgeous molten chocolatey center with a crisp cakey outer layer, the chocolate was dark and luscious. Paired with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and berries, this dessert was classic and so yum…

The Orange Creme Brulee (RM13.80) was not too bad. It had a really lovely cream that was nicely set but it lacked the crusty crunch of the caramelized top. Nevertheless the crème brulee had a nice subtle citrusy note that was refreshing and sweet.

Some hits and some misses here but Merrow Pasta still scores brownie points for making their own fresh pasta daily. The highlight of the pasta for me was definitely that awesome Lasagna and Con Salsa Al Nero. Merrow Pasta’s ambiance is also great for parties and gathering.

No.67, Jalan USJ 10/1A,
Taipan Business Centre,
47610 Subang Jaya
Tel: +603-8081 6767

Business Hours: 11.00am to 10.00pm daily

December 28, 2016

Sangkaya Celebrates CNY with Opulence Bowl and Fortune Shake

More Than Just Coconut Ice Cream!

If you love coconut ice cream, you would know that Sangkaya is the place to go to for luscious creamy coconut ice cream. A Malaysian founded creamery, everyone knows Sangkaya with its tagline #nutsaboutcoconuts!

Famous for their coconut ice cream, Sangkaya uses coconut milk as the base for all their ice creams, making them extra luscious and delectable in flavors. All Sangkaya’s ice creams are made fresh in small batches daily. It is GM free with no artificial additives or preservatives. Check out all their 37 outlets here.

This festive Chinese New Year, Sangkaya has join the festive cheers by introducing Opulence Bowl and Fortune Shake in all their outlets. From 15 December 2016 to 28 February 2017, ice cream lovers will be able to enjoy two festive Opulence Bowl creations of Orange Tang and Pineapple Zest, both priced at RM8.40 each. There is also two Fortune Shakes of Orange Sunrise and Pineapple Breeze at RM7.40 each.

Orange Tang Opulence Bowl features 3 scoops of creamy orange scented ice cream, dried orange peel and a wedge of lime in a waffle cup. Squeeze the lime on to the ice cream to enhance the citrus tang. The orange ice cream is definitely in tune with this festive season. A fortune cookie seals the deal.

If I have to pick, my favorite would be the Pineapple Zest Opulence Bowl. The pineapple ice cream is refreshing, zesty and tangy with a creamy coconut finish. It is topped with chunks of pineapple and is also served in waffle cup, completed with a fortune cookie too.

To quench the thirst, sip on the icy refreshing Pineapple Breeze Fortune Shake that will guarantee to cool you down with a lovely fresh tang. It was so good, I had two of this lovely shake.

There is also the citrusy Orange Sunrise Fortune Shake for orange lovers. Beautifully scented with orange aroma, the shake is easy to enjoy and get our vitamin C for the day.

Visit Sangkaya during the festive CNY season now and you may also receive some lovely Sangkaya ang pow packets!

For more information, visit Sangkaya Facebook page: or website:

December 26, 2016

Baba Nyonya by Sambal Chilli @ AvenueK

Delectable Nyonya Food with Local Touches

After a successful first outlet in Atria Damansara, Baba Nyonya by Sambal Chilli opened their second outlet in Avenue K in the city recently. Serving Nyonya cuisine as well as some other local classic dishes, there are certainly plenty of dishes to cater to everyone who enjoys spice laden dishes.

We paid a visit to their latest outlet and was immediately pleased to see how lovely the interior of the restaurant was. Bright and bold with lots of colors backed with wood furniture, there are also plenty of greenery incorporated into the ambiance to bring a sense of nature and comfort.

The restaurant has dining areas sectioned with panels to offer more privacy in dining. A mural of young Nyonya girls added a nice charming touch to the place. There is also a counter at the entrance of the restaurant where packets of Nasi Lemak and Asam Beehoon as well as some Nyonya kuihs are displayed to tempt diners.

The menu is also very pretty in design with its color. Filled with lots of Nyonya dishes as well as some other dishes, we notice that the price is very affordable for the cuisine.

Drinks came first and Baba Nyonya by Sambal Chilli has some lovely mocktail concoctions like Markisa (RM10.90), Pandan Kasturi (RM10.90) and Iced Honey Lemon (RM4.50). These were great thirst-quenchers.

We just couldn’t resist having a packet of the Asam Beehoon (RM2.50). It was so good, we ended up having a second packet before our dishes came. The thin rice noodle is very tasty and has a piquant tang of heat to it, making it delicious with every bite.

From the Small Bites list, we decided to order some dishes as starters. The Tom Yam Popcorn Chicken (RM9.90) fared well. Nuggets of tom yam flavored chicken popcorn was crispy and tender. It’s tasty enough even without any sauce.

The Fruit Rojak (RM9.90) was yummy. Sufficient prawn paste sauce with hints of heat, generously drenched on to the mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables. Crushed peanuts added a lovely nutty aroma and texture to the rojak. Pretty decent version here that I wouldn’t mind ordering again.

The Fried Belachan Chicken Wings (RM9.90) was mediocre as I thought it was a bit too battered and not flavorful enough. It is still juicy and tender. If they can pump up the belachan flavor, the wings would definitely be better.

We were surprise to find a few Thai dishes in the menu as well. From the Daily Plates – Rice, we tried the Green Curry Chicken Rice (RM14.90). This was surprisingly very tasty. A generous portion, the green curry was creamy and beautifully redolent of a lovely balance of spices and herbs. It has a chockful of tender pieces of boneless chicken, soft eggplant and other vegetables. The curry was so good I kept piling on my rice.

Luscious bouncy bites of prawns cooked in an unctuous sweet and spicy sambal sauce with stink beans summed up Sambal Petai Prawn (RM29.00). Another dish that had just the right balance of sambal flavors that I enjoyed a lot.

If I have to pick a favorite dish that evening, it would be the Curry Prawn Claypot (RM36.00). The curry was very creamy with a nice burst of spices. Not spicy in heat at all, the curry was also not like those thick ones but rather more drinkable. The prawns were really fresh and a good size with sweetness that goes so well with the extra creamy curry. There’s also lady fingers, eggplant and other vegetables in the curry.

Crispy Fish with Sambal Sauce (RM56.90) had a whole siakap fish fried till crispy and drenched with the house signature sambal sauce. The fish was fresh and had a sweetness in the soft flesh. The sauce was generous and went well with the fish, beckoning us to pile this onto more steamed rice.

The Salted Fish Chicken in Claypot (RM22.90) is also very tasty. Served in claypot, the sizzling dish was wondrously aromatic and I can definitely smell the salted fish distinctive aroma wafting as the dish was placed on our table. The unctuous salty flavor was nicely balanced with the sweetness of the dark soy sauce. Boneless chicken cubes were tender, just right with rice.

Cincalok Omelette (RM12.90) is a crowd pleaser. We dug into fluffy egg omelette punched up with the salty pungent cincalok. Another dish that calls rice due to its rich savory flavors.

A rather simple vegetable dish that relies heavily on the sambal, the Steamed Ladies Finger with Sambal (RM12.70) was pretty decent. I enjoyed the lady fingers with the sambal very much.

Nyonya Chap Chye (RM16.90) was also yummy. A medley of vegetables sautéed with taucheo, this one had more sauce than the one I am used too. It’s good for young ones as my son enjoyed the sauce of this dish on his rice.

Baba Nyonya by Sambal Chilli also has a kid’s menu on their list and my little one had Under The Sea (RM12.90). A cute thoughtfulness for little ones because it made my son very happy to see the bears under the egg blanket. He polished off the whole dish happily.

Desserts is a must in a Nyonya meal as there are classic favorites that end the meal with sweetness. Opt for the Cendol (RM3.90) or ABC (RM9.90). Both icy concoctions of dessert that is really lovely and delicious after the rich Nyonya dishes.

There is also a very good Sago Pandan Gula Melaka (RM4.90) that is worthy of an order with its luscious syrupy Gula Melaka over sago and creamy coconut cream.

If you prefer hot dessert, try the Bo Bo Cha Cha (RM4.50). This one has Gula Melaka in the coconut sweet soup. There’s also plenty of sweet potatoes, yam and other stuff in the dessert.

If there is one dessert that is a must-try, it’s the Banana Fritters (RM11.90). Golden and crispy banana fritters served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a side of black spicy sauce. The flavor is unique with its sweet and spicy sauce.

It’s a decent place for Nyonya cuisine and the price is value-for-money indeed. Baba Nyonya by Sambal Chilli has more to offer with their long list of dishes and I would certainly go back there to try their other dishes. Expect hearty classics that will please everyone of all ages.

Lot UC-1, Upper Concourse
Avenue K, Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2181-5544

Business Hours AvenueK:
8:00am to 10:00pm