Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simplyd Cafe, NuSentral KL

Every week; I'll be traveling back Ipoh for the weekend. And with the opening of Nu Sentral; my journey back to Ipoh is a comfort one. Because I can have a delicious meal while waiting to board the train or when I've just reach KL.

Today, I was quite hungry after a 2 hours plus journey in the train where I've been sleeping soundly with the rain that splash on the window. With a half awake look; I  know exactly where to dine. I had been following updates of certain shops that are going to open in NuSentral. And today; on 29 June; it's the opening of the new Simplyd Cafe at NuSentral. Remembered follow this shop earlier and they had posted some dishes which will be on the menu when their shop is open. Was attracted by the menu on their Instagram and finally, I can dine in this shop :P

This shop is a unique cafe in NuSentral. From outside, it looks like one of those chic coffee shops in Klang Valley but don't get it wrong. It's actually a cafe serving good food! You will need to order your food at the counter, pay for your food and you will be served with the food once it's ready.

Have a glance at the menu and the word "salted egg pumpkin" caught my attention before the two friendly staff introduced their menu. Well, it's actually a mix and match option/style of menu. Let me show you how:

Step 1: Choose your style

The "style" refers to the type of food/ingredients/meal that you would like to have.

Step 2: Choose your pasta/noodle
For instant, if you were to choose Sweet Basil & Cashew Nut Pesto; RM12 from the Step 1 earlier, now you can choose the noodles that you want to go with. There's options of linguine, angel hair, spaghetti, flat white noodles, fusilli, soba noodles and even the common yellow mee. From the list, it is recommended that the pesto will goes well with fusilli. However, it's up to your choice if you decided not to have pasta today and go for other noodles such as soba or flat noodles. You can play the mix and match game here which makes it even more interesting. I think it's a good concept because sometimes we would be craving for a pasta due to the ingredients/sauce but not the pasta noodles itself. Now, you can have a Carbonara/Pesto, etc with the noodles of your choice. 

Step 3: Choose your add on
 Complete your meal with some sides such as ikan bilis, egg, sausages, etcc.. 
For me, the ingredient in the meal is already quite a big portion thus would not be able to finish it if there's an add on. But I don't mind pairing my pasta with ikan bilis and chinese tea egg. ;p 

Besides the pasta/noodles; there's salads, beef burger and sandwiches on the menu too. And there's a variety of homemade dessert which will catch your attention from the outside :)

For drinks, it's also a mix and match style!

Step 1: Choose your style
Choose the type of drinks that you would like to have. There's a choice of iced tea, lemonade and iced blended. Available in 2 options; 12oz and 16oz.

Step 2: Choose your flavour
This is an interesting one. The flavour refers to the "flavour" you would like to match with your drink. Let say you choose Iced tea from Step 1; you can have it with probably a Thai Mango Lychee :)

Besides these cold drinks, they do serve caffeinated drinks too such as long black, mocha, latte, etc.

The interior design of the cafe is another interesting factor too. They have these stools where the stool have an interesting quote on it such as "Life is uncertain; eat dessert first" by Ernestine Ulmer. It's a a right place to chill while waiting for your transport at KL Sentral. If there's another possibility that your train got delayed; do chill yourself at Simplyd.

Beautifully designed wall.

Orange and yellow stools with quotes.

Waiting for food to be served :)

The dining utensils given is interesting too. You have the typical Chinese style chopstick with spoon and a fork!

 Okay, here's my experiment using the menu. "hehe".
This is called Lemonade + Green Apple; RM6. I choose lemonade and the staff recommended green apple as the flavour. But it does taste good. "thumbs up". It makes a unique lemonade. 

Here's my evil experiment on the meal. 
Salted egg pumpkin fusilli; RM12. Nope, I did not match it with other noodles because I wanted to try it in its original form. hahaah..

Overall, it's a good meal. The salted egg pumpkin pasta is like a new version of Olio aglio. I'm sure when we look at any other pasta menu in shops that served pasta, there's always this tomato based sauce, cream sauce or olio aglio; the olive oil one. I've always got bored of these tomato and cream based. But olio aglio is quite bored too.

The salted egg pumpkin fusilli comes with pumpkin coated with salted egg, fresh mushroom, asian curry leaves, local green vegetables and some spices. There's no thick tomato or cream based sauce on it. The salted egg and pumpkin gives the omph texture to the fusilli and the salty taste comes from the fresh mushroom which was carefully seasoned. Then, the curry leaves brings the smell and enhance the salted egg pumpkin taste. It comes with some green vegetables which usually comes with your wan tan mee! Often, there's no greens in the pasta and these green vegetables shows that the pasta is being adapted locally to suit our taste buds. Well, the crunchy green stalks of vegetables does cleans and refresh your taste bud before continuing the next scoop of pasta. It's just perfect. And although there's salted egg, it don't taste very salty like you're eating your usual salted egg. Thus, some might want it to be a little bit salty due to our usual salty level of typical Malaysian (such as boyfie) but it's just right for me.

Since it's their opening today, they are offering free ice-cream for this week when you dine in. You can redeem the free ice-cream on the spot or on your next visit.

Keeping my voucher for the next visit.

And they this all day set meal. There's a set meal on offer everyday!

Love their mix and match style and the food is good. It's not your normal next door western cafe but the food here is superb. Will come back to try others and of course dessert. The giant pink macaroon already caught my attention when I was paying for my meal at the counter.

Lot G9, Nu Sentral Mall;
Located beside the korea BBQ shop.

Follow them on Instagram: @simplydcafe

* From the starbucks in Nu Sentral, turn left and you can see Starbucks, O' briens and BBQ korea. Simplyd is the corner shop beside the korea shop.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Taiwan 2014: Day 1 - Alishan

For this year's annual trip ; I've went to Taiwan back in March 2014.

Exactly 3 months after I'm back from the trip; here's the first post on the trip.
In March, it's spring season and I would call it end of winter season due to the cold and misty weather. In spring, it also marks the blooming of the cherry blossoms flower which is quite popular in Japan. Well, in Taiwan; there's cherry blossom too! Was there from 5-12 March and Taiwan is so interesting that 8 full days is not enough to enjoy the beauty of Taiwan.

As usual, we took Airasia ~ Everyone can Fly with Airasia :)  where the return tickets costs RM520+. FYI, I bought the tickets back in December 2013 (about 3 months before the trip) during the Airasia promotion. For a comfortable flight to Taiwan which takes about 4 hours and 45 minutes, I've upgraded the seats to a quiet zone area. This area is located between the super expensive extra long legs area with flat bed seat and the normal seats. Best part, our seats are nearer to the door and got to board the flight early (coz the seat is nearer to the door) and meals is served to us earlier too.

View from the quiet zone area.

During the flight, enjoy the beautiful scenery of these puffy clouds that looks like cotton candy!

Or maybe the clear blue sea.

Oh right. And we got the entire "section" by ourselves. Well, normally each side will have 3 seats and coincidentally; we have no other passenger sitting beside us. Thus, occupying the seats meant for 3 for both of us. Utilizing the seats to put bag :P

After some time, our pre-booked meal is served. We had the infamous Airasia Nasi Lemak and Green Curry Chicken. Completed the meal package with beverages and desserts add on option. Do pre-booked your meals before you board the flight. It's more value for money. We ordered an extra cup of instant noodles when the cabin crew served the meals because we wanted to try how it feels like Maggie hot cup in the air. HAhaa.. It taste better when you have nothing to do but to sleep and eat in the air. 

Airasia Nasi Lemak. It's delicious and comforting the flight experience.

Green Curry Chicken and we ordered an extra cup of instant noodles too. Maggi Hot Cup in the air :)

Once you are able to see the patches of green fields or small lake look-a-like; you are now in Taiwan's sky. Taiwan is a country which emphasize heavily on its agriculture sector. Thus, you will be able to see different shades of green patches field from the sky. These are the plantations and located out of Taipei. Here's the view from the flight.

Beautiful tone of earthy and greens..

From the airport, we took the UBUS to bring us to the TaoYuan High Speed Railway (HSR) Station .It costs NT30 each and it takes approximately 20 minutes. It's because our driver will fetch us up to Alishan from Chiayi HSR Station. From Tao Yuan HSR, we board the HSR and bring us to Chiayi HSR Station. To get to Alishan, the nearest HSR station is Chiayi.You can also get to Alishan via bus from Taipei but it would take about half a day.

We reached Chiayi HSR at about 5pm and due to the winter/spring season, the sun sets at about 5.30 to 6 in the evening. Without further delay; our skilled driver bring us up Alishan using his Toyota Wish. We booked the driver from RoundTaiwanRound. Do engage with them if you want to ensure a safe and efficient trip in Taiwan. They will help you to get the best driver and ensure you have a good time during your holidays.

One of the scene you will see when you are about to reach Chiayi.
Our journey up the Alishan Mountain is a dangerous one. You see; the sunset is at 6pm and we only started our journey at 5pm. it takes about 2 and half hours to reach uphill. Therefore; we were in the midst of darkness halfway uphill and the road are more winding than our route up Genting Highlands. Moreover, there's a sudden thick midst welcoming us in certain area where even with our car lights on; we can't see the road in front of us. To make the situation worst; there's no lights on certain area of the road  :(
We were so scare that we dare not talk or move while going uphill. However, the driver was not afraid and with his great experienced in driving uphill; he just continue driving and we reach Alishan National Scenic Area safely. Bravo to our brave driver. Do engage a driver with RoundTaiwanRound if you would like to have a safe and comfortable journey up Alishan.
And for the fact that we are the ONLY vehicle going uphill to Alishan despite that it's already sunset. (Because even the hotel reception was surprised that we check-in so late and coming uphill in darkness). Do visit RoundTaiwanRound and I booked my driver with Grant Lee (

 From the main carpark in Alishan, our driver help us to contact our hotel reception and the hotel send a shuttle van to the carpark to fetch us to the hotel. It's because third party vehicle are only allowed to reach the Alishan main carpark area (the place where main shops and restaurants in Alishan were located) and prohibited to go further towards the hotels area. Thus, all hotels in Alishan have their own free shuttle to pick and drop guests from the hotel to the main carpark area. We bid goodnight to our driver and there we are in Alishan House hotel's lobby. Alishan House is the most beautiful hotel in Alishan which is located further up from the carpark. It's located very near the ZhouPing trail. Checking in was fast and within a few minutes, we were already boarding the hotel shuttle down to the main carpark area again for dinner.

In the mountain area, as the sky gets dark faster; the shops and restaurants are mostly close at around 8.30 or 9pm. Thus, we went for dinner at this restaurant right beside the JiujiuJiu (999) Restaurant. Forgot what is the name but it's located right beside JiuJiujiu Restaurant because Jiujiujiu was closed when we reach. Although it was spring season, the weather in Alishan is very cold at about 6 or 7 degree.

Back to the restaurant, they had set menus and steamboat. The steamboat portion is for a big group of people; thus we went for the set meals instead. It's actually quite cheap for the set dinner consist of fish, chicken, soup, etcc. Alishan cuisine is quite different from other parts of Taiwan. It's a mountain area and most dishes are cooked using local produce. Commonly found in most of the dishes are fresh bamboo shoots, ear fungus, lily bulbs, etc. Here's what we had:

This soup is clear and sweet which comes form the fresh ingredients. It's a vegetarian soup without meat. Soup comes with fresh bamboo shoots and fresh lily bulbs. In Malaysia, we often used DRIED lily bulbs with mushroom and black fungus to steam chicken. Having to taste the fresh lily bulb is just awesome. And it's completely different from the dried ones that we have.
Soup from fresh bamboo shots and fresh lily bulbs.

 Ever tried stir fry fresh bamboo shoots? Apparently, bamboo shoots is a local produce in Alishan and it's very crunchy and sweet. 
Stir fry fresh bamboo shoots.

Okay; we are suppose to eat this chicken with the skin! Tried one and skin was half chewy and crunchy texture and it's cold. However, it taste good. Probably they have marinated or braised this chicken with salt or etc.  
Forgot the name. But it was something about crispy cold chicken.

 Hot and spicy bean curd come to rescue on a cold day :)
Mala bean curd.

Fish meal up on a mountain area? Well, it's fresh okay. And the sauce is unique.
Fried fish.

Our first meal in Taiwan and it's located up at Alishan!
4 dishes with a soup. With a fish, chicken, beancurd, vegetables and a soup; it will cost a bomb if you are having such meal in Malaysia. However, in Alishan; it's half the cost that you usually pay back home. Thus, it's good !!!

This is our first meal in Taiwan and it's at Alishan!!! Surprisingly, the meal here do not contains any MSG. It's pure vegetable sweetness. Their dish might be simple but it's tasty. And realized that they eat dishes more than rice which makes sense that the set meal comes with 4 dishes and a soup :)
Oh, forgot to mention that I find it weird to have our rice served in a tiny paper bowl which can fit only a mouthful of rice. Well, of course the rice is refillable but I find it weird to serve in a mini paper bowl. But it's good that they don't need to wash so many plates since the paper bowl can be thrown away and it's recyclable material. After I few days passed, I realized that it's the norm way rice are being served in certain shops. Well, and I got used to it too!

After the dinner, we walked back to our hotel because the hotel shuttle ended at 8.30pm. Thanks to the hotel shuttle driver who taught us how to recognize the path back to our hotel. It was freaking cold and we were only in our sweater and not a winter clothing when the temperature is at 6 degree. Well, we survived the cold and there were no one else walking out in the dark like us. Was so afraid that some giant bears or dogs will come and attack us (ahaha). But we enjoyed the view of Alishan in the dark where it's quiet with cold wind blowing. After walking about 20 minutes uphill, we finally back in our hotel room :)

Btw, the hotel rooms in Alishan House were built with thousand years old wood and our room was a Japanese style room. There's a bath tub made from thousand year old wood that grows in Alishan. I'm gonna stay here again when I'm back in Alishan next time.

That sums up our day 1 back in Taiwan. Was excited and tired at the same time. Well, why Alishan on day 1? Because the journey up hill takes about 3 hours and since we arrived in Taiwan in the evening, might as well use the time to go uphill and can enjoy the sunrise the next day.

Stay tune for Day 2 coming up soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Naughty Babe Dirty Duck, Desa Sri Hartamas

This shop's name sounds like a branch of the Dirty Duck restaurant in Bali. Well, they are not related at all! (How I wish Bali's Dirty Duck is here!) This restaurant is located very near the famous BreadFruits Cafe (a few rows behind) and it's a corner shop which you would not miss. From the name itself, they seems to be specialized in duck but don't get it wrong. They are specialized in pork instead. Well, of course they have some signature duck dishes on the menu.

The interior of the restaurant looks quite dark from the outside (and inside too) and when I were there; the sky's still shining bright. Thus, I don't feel the whatever romantic atmosphere you called it. I prefer dining at a place with with sufficient light to have a proper sight of my food. The atmosphere would come in place when the sky gets darker.

Wooden planks was used as the shop's wall interior and decorated with simple lighting on the ceiling.

This huge baby pig statue match the menu but not sure about the shop name which has the word "duck".

To start off, we had the Pineapple Juice; RM6.50 to cool off ourselves under this hot weather. Do note that filtered drinking water/ice water is cost at RM1 per glass.

Pineapple Juice, RM6.50
If you are looking for something to munch, go for the "Dirty Fries Basket". Sounds weird? It's basically mixture of potato fries and sweet potato fries. Love the sweet potato fries more.

Dirty Fries Basket; RM9.00

For our mains; we had a duck meal and a pasta meal. Since the shop's name is duck; duck must be one of their signature besides pork.

The Dirty Duck; RM32 comes with roasted duck leg, saute vegetables, fried yam cubes and finished off with gravy. The duck is juicy and it would be good if there's more sauce. Practically, the duck leg is quite small and the fried yam cubes will fill up your tummy.

Just a thought, what if those fried yam cubes turned into fried yam fries. It would be good :) 
Dirty Duck; RM32

Here's the Naughty Ball; RM19. Yes; the name might sounds obscene. It's the name of their signature pork ball pasta. Juicy pork meatballs with tomato based spaghetti. The pork balls is so good that I ended up munching all the pork meatballs and boyfie had to finish up the pasta. Haha!

Naughty Ball; RM19

Naughty Babe Dirty Duck
42, Jalan 25/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Pie Thing, Damansara Uptown

I had spotted this bright and lively shop whenever I pass by Damansara Uptown. It's situated below a boutique hotel and that bright shop sign caught my attention. Plus, it's a unique and trendy name; "A Pie Thing". Here's the view of the shop from LDP highway.

They sells the thing they know best; PIES! For the first timer, try "The Mashacre". It's their signature and comes with all the sides which they have on their menu. All you have to do is choose the savory pie filing of your choice and they will top your pie with mash potatoes, green peas mash and finish off with mouth watering gravy. For ala-carte it's price at RM16.90. If you need a drink to accompanying your food, add on a bottled water (RM17.90) or a soda water (RM19.90). Well, yes you need a drink to accompanying your pie. After munching halfway through your pie, you will feel the need to add on some liquid down your throat. For the savory pie choice, there's beef, lamb, chicken and even vegetarian.

The Mashacre - s!

We tried the Pulled Lamb and Chicken and Mushroom. Was tempting to choose the vegetarian but go for the chicken and mushroom instead :) Pulled lamb and the beef is their best seller too. From the picture above, they both looks the same right? Well, they have a good way to differentiate the types of pie and to prevent you from grabbing your buddy's pie accidentally when served.The box below the pies has a unique design to indicate the pie's filing.

Here's the design on the box containing the chicken and mushroom pie.

The chicken and mushroom pie is good but I love the lamb one more! And the gravy there is important because without the gravy; your pie will taste like an ordinary pie. And the mash plays an important role too. Between potato and green peas mash; of course I will go for green peas. It's unique and you don't get this green peas mash in any other shop.

Here's the cute design for the pulled lamb pie.

Pulled lamb pie. Strong flavor and it's good!

Besides that savory pies, they do sell dessert style pie such as Banoffee pie, Lemon Meringue pie, etcc.. Do check out their daily special. Will take a chance to try their non-savory pie next time. For the savory pies, not recommend to have it take away because the pie will be cold plus all the gravy would be running dry by the time you reach home. Not to forget that they do have a small counter which sells good quality chocolate.

The shop opens from 4pm onwards till it's sold out. Do try your luck if you are craving your pie at night.

A Pie Thing
Jalan SS21/35,
Damansara Utama, 47400
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

BreadFruits Cafe, Desa Sri Hartamas

There's been lots of new places mushrooming around Klang Valley which served good brunch choices. Not far away from the busy street, BreadFruits Cafe is getting really popular lately. Be prepared to queue if you are not the first few customers when their shop is opened in the morning.

BreadFruits Cafe also serves as an organic fruits shop besides being a juice place/restaurant. They sells a wide range of organic fruits and do visit them from time to time to see what's in season. Guaranteed organic range. Besides that, they are specialized in various types of power juices. Each with a different functions and health benefits. For me, I would rather go for juices when dining in this cafe because "their juices taste better than the caffeinated beverages" :p

Their shop opens at 8.30am and their kitchen which served hot food close at 5pm. Do note that their shop is not close at 5pm. If you are going there 5pm,you can shop for some organic fruits, try their homemade cakes and have a cup of power fruit juice or coffee.In the morning, they have a variety of breakfast menu and come noon; they served the full menu choice.

Here's the glimpse of the Breakfast/brunch menu :
(sorry about the blur pic)

Basically, they have 1 and 1/2 pages of brunch menu choices.

Brunch menu page 2!

Some of the power juices that you can order.

Great juices to start the day!

     From left to right: complimentary tea, "Weight Loss" juice, RM8.90 and complimentary juice of the day. 

We ordered the "SatisFry Up"; RM22.80 which comes with a choice of coffee/tea and a glass of complimentary juice of the day. This SatisFry Up consist of all the carbs, protein and fiber you need to start your day. From pork sausage/bacon, scrambled egg, toasted bread, salad, roasted cherry tomato, saute mushroom and mashed potato.  Boyfie's must have for breakfast; the complete egg, sausage, bread, and side dishes for Western breakfast.:)

SatisFry Up, RM22.80

This is their infamous version of baked eggs; "The Wholesome Spanish Baked Egg"; RM16.80. Best part, their baked beans are homemade and you can taste the sourish tomato sauce while biting the fresh baked beans. Inside this hot plate covered with freshly baked beans, there's bacon and egg and served with salad and toasted ciabatta. Oh, I love their bread too. Wish I could buy their bread and munch them on the go. Fresh and soft bread :)

The Wholesome Spanish Baked Egg; RM16.80

Boyfie's grinding pepper in the background. :)

Guess what. I was at their door at 8.30am sharp during the weekend and there's whole bunch of hungry customers already waiting at the door. Luckily we were able to get a sit once their shop opened. Be early or be prepared to wait!

Great brunch choice and will be back for more.

BreadFruits Cafe
17, Jalan 26/70a,
Desa Sri Hartamas
50480, Kuala Lumpur.

Opens at 8.30am till 9pm.