Friday, August 19, 2016

Alaskan King Crab Special at B Cascades, Kota Damansara

Dear seafood lovers,

You must not miss this exciting news. B Cascades, a new restaurant & bar in Kota Damansara; Dataran Sunway to be exact, is introducing a monthly special starting Aug 2016. Every month, there will be a special dish on their menu (it’s more like a secret menu to me) and it’s available for 30 days only. I’m sure you would like to know what this secret menu is all about!

From 16 Aug to 16 Sept 2016 (yes, 30 days), B Cascades presents to you their special Alaskan King Crab dish. This gigantic crab is flown all the way from Alaska! To maintain the crab’s freshness, it’s being blast freeze in Alaska before it’s being flown to Malaysia. 

This Alaskan King Crab is priced at RM488 (not including GST and service charge) and weight 2kg. This entire platter fits for 2-3pax. Reservation at least 1 days in advance is required for this Alaskan King Crab.

The gigantic king crab is being seasoned well and is served with special homemade sauce and crispy french fries. 

There are 2 types of dipping sauces available – both are savory and it’s the Chinese styled of dipping sauce to me. There’s chopped garlic (or maybe onions), coriander and chilies in the dipping sauce – with a soya sauce or broth as a base. Both go well with the sweet and fibrous (layering) texture of crab meat. Heavenly! 

And this giant Alaskan King Crab is great for photo opp too! Be sure to snap a few pictures with the whole king crab platter before the friendly crew dissect it to make it easier to munch on. Check out the dissecting process of the Alaskan King Crab below!

Here's the beautiful Alaskan King Crab which is ready to be eaten!

I’m lovin it and gotta thanks Eddy for tagging us along to try this Alaskan King Crab! We also tried some dishes from the brand new B Cascades’ menu. Stay tune for more info on the delicious fusion dishes at B Cascades! 

 Do follow B Cascades's Facebook page for more updates on their monthly special.

B Cascades
LG, Dataran Cascades,
No.13A, Jalan PJU5,
47810, Petaling Jaya.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hugos by Modestos, Oliq Damansara Hotel

Hugos by Modestos is one of the newcomers in town which serves delicious local and international cuisine. It is conveniently located in Oliq Damansara Hotel which is right next to Empire Damansara. 

From the name of the restaurant itself, you can probably figure out that this restaurant is one of the brainchild of the infamous Modestos chain of restaurant. If you are not aware, Modestos has been serving delicious food (particularly Italian food) to Klang Valley folks since 1995. Let’s cut the history lesson short and you can read about its glory history here. 

The Hugos By Modestos serves as the main restaurant at Oliq Damansara Hotel which offers the best of both worlds to its customers. This stylish and chic place consist of main restaurant with a medium-sized bar inside it, a full-service bar by the poolside; complete with live band as well as a poolside dining area – suitable for a quick meal or even a coffee chill out session. 

The main restaurant at Hugos by Modestos offers a variety of food from its infamous Italian offerings, Western fare as well as local favourite dishes. I love the interior setting of the restaurant where there’s a few grand chandeliers welcoming you by your doorstep. It makes the interior setting feels upscale and creates quite a romantic dining atmosphere. There are quite some interesting pieces of painting on the walls as well as an eye-catching piece of artwork near the door entrance. 

There's also a long table at one corner which is suitable for family or even friends gathering. The interior set up makes you feel at home!

Besides that, the medium sized full-service bar located inside this main restaurant has quite an interesting look and feel. It features a stunning giant transparent wine glass with a grand chandelier that you will snap some selfies with. Well, be sure to place your much-needed alcoholic drinks with the bartender on duty!

Moving on to its menu, you can find a long list of dishes which are divided into a few categories such as the Western & Local Starters, Soups, Pizza, Pasta, Western & Local Mains and not to forget the sweet endings on the last page of its menu. Thanks to the dedicated team of Hugos by Modestos, my dining partners and I managed to sample quite a number of their dishes that night. 

Before I move on to their food, do remember to try their Signature Mojito. You can order it from their bar at the pool or inside the restaurant. The drink is refreshing with balanced of flavours – it goes down smoothly down the throat. Bravo!

Now, the real culinary journey begins. From their Western Starters list, we sampled two types of its available starters. The first one is the classic Nicoise Salad (RM32) which consists of French beans, black olives, ripened tomatoes, red onions and my favourite hard-boiled egg. Love the combination of texture and freshness of ingredients in this one. I bet my favourite part is the egg with red onions and ripened tomatoes – my kind of appetizer to kick start my meal.

The second Western Starters which we had is the Calamari Fritti (RM30) which is deep fried squid coated with in-house batter recipe. I love deep fried squid and you gotta dip their fried squid into the mayonnaise based dipping sauce provided. Don’t missed it out!

Next, it’s their Local Starters presentation time. We also tried two types of items from this list. First and foremost, it’s one of the top local favourite dish; the Malaysian Satay (RM15 for ½ dozen and RM30 for 1 dozen) which comes with a choice of either chicken or beef. This Malaysian Satay is served with its accompanying condiments such as cucumber, ketupat (glutinous rice cake), onions as well as the signature peanut sauce. I would say that they did a great job in making this dish – especially the peanut sauce, it gives an oomph in my mouth.

The next Local Starter is suitable for vegetarian as well as someone who wanted a light starter to kick start their meal. It’s the Vegetarian Spring Roll (RM18) and is served with an authentic Thai chilli sauce. It’s good to start off with some greens in your meal – saving stomach space for the upcoming food.

Now, we move on to the Soup list. There’s a total of 5 types of soup choices available on the menu (including their Special Soup of the Day choice). That evening, we tried the Crema Di Funghi (RM18) which is Cream of Mushroom soup. I love the mushroom soup quite a lot. It’s freshly made by blending the different types of mushroom and then cooking it in a creamy vegetarian soup base. Yum! Double serving of soup please! And if you’re looking for something spicy, I would recommend you to try their Tom Yum Kung (RM23)!

You’re now done with the Appetizers category  - hope you’re not too full at this point because great things are worth the wait. In its Pasta category, it offers 10 types of pasta as well as a risotto dish. You might be overwhelmed by the dishes’ name but you can always refer to its short and sweet explanation of the cooking methods and its accompanying ingredients below the dish’s name. We had this signature Linguine Alla Modestos (RM52 for a single serving & RM90 for 2 pax). It’s linguine served in a special tomato based seafood sauce. It comes with a generous amount of seafood such as crabs, prawns, squids, mussel and clams. Sauce is good and goes well with the pasta. It’s because to order a portion for 2 for sharing because I’m sure you’ll crave for more upon finishing the 1 person’s serving size :)

Up next is the Pizza, one of the essential elements in an Italian cuisine. As we were already halfway through our stomach space, the chef prepared 2 types of flavours in one pizza – so that we can try more! We had this Hawaiana (RM36 for full serving) and Al Salmone (RM36 for full serving). The Hawaiana is the classic Hawaiian Pizza which comes with chunks of pineapple, premium turkey ham, onions and tomatoes and generous amount of cheese. On the other hand, the Al Salmone comes with smoked salmon, capers, tomatoes and cheese on the pizza. I love the Hawaiana one more because there’s a a balanced of citrus and savory flavours on the pizza – it’s just personal preference. The Al Salmone is great too – comes with generous amount of smoked salmon. Besides these 2 types of pizza, there’s quite a long list of options available on the menu, be sure to try them all. 

We also try the Classic Fish & Chips (RM34) from its Western Fare category. Unlike the usual fish & chips which uses dory fish; the Fish & Chips at Hugos by Modestos uses red snapper fillet which do not have the smelly fishy smell. This delicious red snapper fillet is being coated with a crunchy battered and served with fries, tartar sauce and lemon wedge. Do squeeze the lemon wedge on the fish as well as the tartar sauce so that the acidity in the lemon can ignite the flavours between the both. 

If you’re craving for some Local Favourite dishes, fret not; they serve delicious Local favourites such as Fried Mee Mamak, Char Kuey Teow, Curry Laksa, Prawn Mee as well as Hokkien Mee. No worries if you’re not into some western fare when your dining partner tag you along to satisfy his or her craving for it, you can always choose to have your very own local favourites :)

If you’re only dropping by to have a drink or two with your friends, there’s also some choices of side orders available for you to munch on while sipping your beer. That evening, we had this Potato Wedges (RM12) and Mashed Potatoes (RM12). From these two of carbs choices, I love the Mashed Potatoes very much. Creamy and smooth spread of mashed potatoes is something you cannot refuse even you’re bloated to the max. Heavenly! Better than any other mashed potatoes served outside. 

We’re coming to the end of the meal and finished it off with some special sweet endings. We had the Tortino Al Cioccolato (RM22) and Panna Cotta (RM20). The Tortino Al Cioccolato is Chocolate Brownies served with Vanilla Ice-Cream and Panna Cotta means Italian Milk Pudding. The brownies is rich and I would love it if it’s served warm – just a personal preference. And if you love the milk pudding, you will love the Panna Cotta here because it’s really smooth and has the Vanilla milk flavours. I would recommend you to try their Signature Tiramisu Modestos (RM22) if you still have stomach space or you can only choose one dessert from their list.

There’s a lot of delicious food on their menu and you gotta come a few times to try them all! And there’s a special event every Friday night called Salsa Friday. You can show your Salsa move in its stunning restaurant with grand chandelier shinning above you. And DJ Sam (from 10pm to 2am) will also be there to play you some afro-latin song to accompanying your moves. Come and dance your heart out at Hugos By Modestos every Friday night. 

For more info on their latest offerings and promotions, follow their Facebook page at Hugos By Modestos today.  

Hugos By Modestos
1st Floor,
Qliq Damansara Hotel,
2 Jalan PJU 8/8A,
Damansara Perdana

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Restoran Apa Khabar (老北村家煲仔堂), Kepong Baru

Introducing another hidden gem spot in Kepong Baru which you need to drop by to have a taste of their authentic and delicious yet affordable Chinese food. This place has an interesting name which you can remember easily. It's called Restoran Apa Khabar or known as 老北村家煲仔in Chinese. I bet you can easily remember its name in alphabets - 'Apa Khabar' aka How Are You in English. 

This Chinese restaurant is located nearby Tai Thong Odeon Kepong - about 3 minutes walking distance away. It's a corner shop along Jalan Ambong Kiri 1 and parking is not a problem here in the evening. As it's the only eateries which operates along the road on the lovely evening which we were there; plenty of parking lots available right in front of the shop. You can spot this lively restaurant when you're turning into that road. Not many people knows about this place but it's definitely a must-try place on your bucket list. 

It's a clean and neat restaurant with indoor and outdoor tables available. You gotta drop by earlier as the restaurant was packed to the bream at about 8pm when we were there on a weekday. The interior of the restaurant focuses on a clean white tiles covering the wall with traditional round food cover hanging around -  which showcase a traditional Chinese home's setting. That giant round-shaped food cover in red are part and parcel in most traditional Chinese's home - I have them in my house too as well as all my relative's house which has been used for more than 10 years.  

Restoran Apa Khabar aka老北村家煲仔specialized in Chinese cuisine - particularly in claypot dishes. It has a super thick menu in the form of an photo album. Pretty straight forward; pictures of the dishes available with its name and price. Dish's name are only available in Chinese words but no worries - just point on the dish's picture to order; you can grasp the dish by looking at its pictures. 
Gotta thanks Eddy and the team at Gourmet Hunter KL for organizing the dinner as well as introducing this restaurant to us. My partner and I had a great moment with the delicious dishes served. It's now on our dinner places list too. 
We tried an array of dishes that was served that evening. I would say that it's like a complete 10-course Chinese dinner being served to us. We love Chinese dishes and we gave a double thumbs up to all the dishes served that evening in terms of quality, variety, taste as well as price. It's not easy to find good Chinese dishes at an affordable price around Klang Valley.

You might already updating your own to-order list while browsing through their menu. It's hard to select the finalist on your to-order list. No matter what your choice are, you gotta include their seafood dishes on the list. This restaurant is also famous for their Claypot fish dishes. Two most common fish served on their menu is the Tilapia and Catfish. As for me, I don't really eat Tilapia fish (depending on the cooking method) due to its smell but it's really famous here - do try them while you're here. 

Instead, we tried their Claypot Catfish dishes which we love them very much. All fishes are served on a big claypot with the perfectly cooked fish and a decent amount of broth. Best thing about the broth is that the amount served is enough for you to drizzle them on your rice for an extra flavors. You don't need to ask for more sauce or broth like you do when you eat steam fish at other shops which always ended with a black face on the serving crew. The broth which comes with the fishes are lovely that we drank them as if we're drinking soup. 

The first type of fish that were served is the Claypot Catfish with Preserved Radish (RM48) aka 金沙菜宝白须.You can identify this dish from the crispy chopped preserved radish aka choy poh in Cantonese and the fried garlic & ginger which was garnished on top of the fish. The preserved radish is being fried together with minced ginger and garlic to release its flavours before being cooked with the fish. Catfish is fresh and cooked perfectly! You can smell a hint of the Chinese wine which is being mixed together with it superior soy sauce that forms the basis of the sauce. Claypot dishes must be enjoyed when it's piping hot because it's the temperature that the food taste at its best. 

The second type of claypot fish which we tried is the Claypot Catfish with Spicy Bean Paste Broth (RM48) aka 香辣白须and it's also one of my top favorite fish that evening. The sauce is something like the bean paste steamed fish aka cheong jing fish that I had tried outside. However, the spicy bean paste broth which was served has a balance of savory and spicy element in it that goes really smooth with the catfish. You might feel that the spiciness is quite intent in your mouth but it does really gives a kick to your palate. I love them and not to forget the coriander which act as a garnishing too. Coriander always gives an extra mile to the dish.

The third type of claypot fish which was presented is the Claypot Catfish in Chinese Wine with Minced Garlic (RM48) 醇香白须公 where the catfish is surrounded by a strong Chinese wine base broth. There's also extra flavoring ingredients in the broth such as the lemongrass, chopped chillies, garlic, gingers and etc. The broth has a bit of tangy, spicy and savory taste and the sourish element is not that strong. Order more rice to go with them.

Next, we move on to their poultry dishes. Like the seafood dishes, they have a long list of poultry dishes too. If you're not into Claypot fishes; opt for their Claypot Chicken dishes instead. We tried this Claypot Salted Chicken in Chinese Wine Broth (RM35 - Half Chicken) aka 盐酒村. It's actually salted village chicken (Kampung chicken) with a Ginger based Chinese Rice Wine broth. This dish is good to dispel unwanted gas in your body as it brings the heat element to your body. The chicken is not overly cooked that there's still herby flavours retained in the chicken. Good to try it on a rainy day. 

We also tried the Nutty Buttermilk Chicken (RM18 for Small & RM25 for Big) aka沙皮. I would called it a buttermilk chicken but in Chinese; it's called Shar Pei Chicken which means sandy skin Chicken. It's basically a fried chicken cooked in a creamy and nutty buttermilk sauce with bites of nuts as a coating on its skin - where it gets its name as a sandy skin chicken in Chinese; where the nuts resemble the sand thing here. It's just a personification. It taste great with a strong and creamy nuts flavor sauce. Great for those who love buttermilk and nutty food. It might sounds like a peanut butter chicken to you - but it's more to the buttermilk chicken kind of taste. 

Up next is the porky dishes; an authentic Chinese cuisine is not complete without the porky dishes. We were quite excited with this Braised Pork Knuckle (RM68) aka 老北元when it was being served. The first thing that might come into your mind is that, it's full of fats and no meat. Fret not, once you cut open the enriched collagen layer, there's a huge chuck of succulent meat lying underneath it. I'm not a fan of the thick pork knuckle skin but if you do, it's a natural source of collagen to your body. The juicy meat lying beneath it is flavorful and the meat just fall off its bone kind of texture. Yum!

If you love the braised kind of strong flavors dishes; you will fall in love with this Stewed Pork Ribs (RM8/each) aka 老北香口骨(一块). It looks something like the Barbeque kind of dishes due to its colour. But yes, I presumed the ribs is being grilled or barbeque before it's being braised in the rich savory sauce. Unlike those super chewy pork ribs, the meat actually falls off from its bone too and there's a huge percentage in meaty part to bones ratio in this dish. 

If you're looking for something to snack or a crispy texture kind of dish; this Crispy Pork Belly Slices (RM20 for small & RM25 for big) aka香汁花is perfect for you. It's actually deep fried pork belly slices coated with a sourish-sweet sauce. The pork belly is thinly sliced and deep-fried to crispiness that it's like a piece of potato chips texture in your mouth. It's really that crispy! You might want to order a bigger portion of this because just like your bowl of chips, it finishes faster than you know it. 

This restaurant also offers a few types of soup to go with your rice. We tried this special Tom Yum Gong (Fish Maw and Squid) (RM20 for small & RM38 for big) aka 老北东炎公 (鱼鰾和sotong). Unlike the traditional Thai styled Tom Yum soup, this Tom Yum Soup at Restoran Apa Khabar comes with generous amount of fish maw, squid and vegetables. It's my first time trying a spicy tom yum soup with fish maw! It taste really good with a good source of collagen from the fish maw - I'm a huge fan of fish maw. If you don't really consume fish maw due to its fishy taste, you can try this soup because the strong flavors of tom yum helps to dispel the fishy fish maw taste. And yes, perfect soup on a rainy day!

Last but not least, we also had a plate of greens to balance up our meal. I quite love this Stir Fried Wild Fern (RM20) aka 柠香巴古菜. I personally love this young wild fern vegetable and it's quite hard to get the young shoots in the market - not all Chinese restaurants have this too. This young leafy wild fern is prepared in a Kerabu kind of style where it's mixed with a Thai styled sourish and spicy sauce as well as raw onions as a finishing. A must-try dish here and a serve as a great appetizer dish! 

The food served at Restoran Apa Khabar is great! I'm sure that you will order extra bowl of rice to go with them - guess what, my partner and I indeed order extra bowls of rice to paired it with the dishes served. This is a perfect Chinese claypot dishes stop for your meal. 

For more info about their amazingly dishes, visit their Facebook page at Restoran Apa Khabar.