Thursday, October 31, 2013

Johnny Rockets Malaysia @ The Curve

Eagerly anticipated for months, Johnny Rockets blasted off at The Curve this week, the first Malaysian satellite of a California-based U.S. burger franchise.

 Ferociously sunny staff members _ nicknamed 'Rocketeers' _ orbit this diner-style restaurant, their smiles remaining intact despite having to regularly dance in public to hot-blooded hits like 'That Thing You Do,' 'The Twist' & 'YMCA.' A slice of Americana.

 Folks who loathe Chili's or TGI Friday's won't love Johnny Rockets. But there's primal satisfaction in biting down on a well-loaded burger.

 Bacon Cheddar Single, comprising a beef patty, beef bacon, cheddar cheese, coral lettuce, sliced tomato & white onions in a thickly dense potato bun (can be substituted for wholemeal). RM24.90++, comes with fries & a side salad.

Route 66, a beef burger topped with Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms & mayo. Chicken patties can be requested, no problem.

The patty's substantially meaty _ chunkier than most fast food joints' _ but its qualities are debatable: Some will say it's juicy enough, others will disagree; some will insist it's somewhat salty, but objectors will point out that burgers were never for low-sodium diets.


 Fries show some skin. Pretty good actually; we'd happily finish every fry, carbs be damned. 

 Add RM2.50 to upgrade the fries to either sweet potato fries ...

 ... or better still, crunchy-chunky onion rings. The coleslaw? Crisp.

 Not into burgers? No worries: Johnny Rockets also serves everything from Philly cheese steaks (with pepper jack cheese) to melt sandwiches & Caesar salads.

 The peanut-butter-&-choc milkshake (RM18.90++) had melted by the time we photographed it; while it might look terrible (our fault), it tasted terrific. Creamy & well-balanced in flavor, reputedly hand-spun with premium ice cream, whole milk & whipped cream.

Johnny Rockets Malaysia,
G52, The Street, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara.

The Oct.-Dec. inaugural edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews & information for 100 pretty nice eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets.
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013
This link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gyukingu @ Kota Damansara

Gyukingu claims it's the best yakiniku restaurant in town. That could be true.

Don't be cowed by the thought of braving traffic to Kota Damansara, not when what's waiting at the finish line is a fine feast of brilliant beef.

Gyukingu's piece de resistance: Miyazaki & Saga beef, not for the fat-fearing.

Magnificently marbled Miyazaki, possibly the ultimate in Wagyu beef; a 200-gram slab of supreme succulence could set customers back by RM600. Legend says it's hand-carried here from the Land of the Rising Sun with certificates to prove its provenance.

Extremely rich; even two small slices, grilled lightly & lovingly, might prove sufficient.

Alternatively, try Saga beef, cheaper by about half but still about RM150 per 100 grams. Both Miyazaki & Saga beef are named after the Japanese prefectures where the cattle is raised.

By comparison, regular cuts of non-Miyazaki, non-Saga beef look nearly fat-starved.

Plenty of fat dripping on the coals below equals lots of flames shooting high; watch your fingers!

It's DIY at Gyukingu, but the efficiently friendly service team can help out, no problem.

Mercifully, there's more to this restaurant, which opened this year, than budget-busting beef; recommendations for a bill below RM60 per person include ...

... ox tongue, thick & floppy ...

... as well as pork tongue, relatively diminutive & springier.

Grill them side-by-side & eat them one after the other for a fun comparison.

Okinawan-bred pork is also available here, mistakable for the tastiest, sweetest Iberico.

Some items require advance orders; the sumptuous, savory pork rib is worth the effort (special thanks to Kelvin for not only pointing out this place to us but also letting us know what to try).

Finally, some of the biggest, baddest oysters in the Klang Valley. We wouldn't have guessed where they're from: Penang. Gyukingu really is a restaurant that's full of pleasant surprises.

The formula for being forced to call into work sick the next day (though fortunately, we were already going to be on leave).

A bottle of wine & another of shochu, combined with what seemed like half a cow in our stomachs, proved enough to subsequently keep us in bed for several more hours than usual.

"It's more than a meal, it's an experience" is Gyukingu's tagline. Again, they might be right.


Gyukingu,
28-2, Jalan PJU 5/17, Kota Damansara.
Tel: 03-6143-7750

The Oct.-Dec. inaugural edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews & information for 100 pretty nice eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets.
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013
This link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link.


Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Interlude @ TTDI Taman Tun Dr Ismail

A fairly nice new tapas bar & restaurant with a well-orchestrated selection of inventive recipes.

Chilled terrine of cucumber jelly with goat's cheese & chili coriander oil (RM16++), the ideal introduction to the playfulness of the menu crafted by a Malaysian chef who recently returned to KL after working for more than a decade in Melbourne.

 Laksa bisque (RM17++), a hot, creamy concoction that combines the brininess of shellfish with the mild spiciness of coconut curry to create something special.

Chickpeas braised with spinach & picada nut-&-garlic sauce (RM16++). Prices seem suburb-suitable, but the tapas-sized portions mean a full meal will easily still exceed RM50 per person.

Braised baby leeks with parmesan foam & pork bacon bits (RM17++). Also worth noting: Interlude has a strong service team of people who work enthusiastically to ensure a pleasant evening for customers.

Spiced carrot 'pappardelle' with oregano & mint (RM16++). Is this pasta or vegetable? Turns out to be the latter, pleasurably crunchy, a beautiful counterpoint for the lush, naturally sweet puree.

Crispy school prawns (RM23++), an addictive snack prepared with chili, garlic & spring onions.

Roasted almonds, endowed with the sweet smokiness of paprika.

 Norwegian salmon confit (RM35++), succulent-soft slabs with fennel-apple salad & citrus cream.

Chunky, seventeen-hour slow-cooked pork belly with shallot ginger jam. RM36++.

Being Bubbly: Prosecco, Cava & Sangria. Probably too much for only two of us.

Interlude TTDI
50, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Open 4pm-1am, except Mondays. Tel: 03-7733-7119

The Oct.-Dec. inaugural edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews & information for 100 pretty nice eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets.
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013
This link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Monday, October 28, 2013

Quar/Tet @ TTDI Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Music's the food of love at Quartet, tunefully run by four friends belonging to various indie bands.

Quartet, which opened this past weekend, will probably prove a smash hit in Taman Tun; it's the ideal hipster hangout for this neighborhood, buzzing with positive vibes.

Check out Quartet's vinyl collection; the playlist is a little too loud & lacking in melody for our liking, but then, music's even more predicated on personal fancies than food. The harmonic highlight of our two hours here: The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love," making us wish that Quartet had found space for New Order, Depeche Mode & Erasure as well on its speakers.

The menu plays it safe with crowd-pleasing favorites; expect eggs pleasantly poached with either spinach (our choice, RM15 nett), smoked salmon or turkey ham, drenched in hollandaise sauce.

Honest, hearty fare; the bagel stuffed with salmon & cream cheese, paired with a crisp salad (RM16), works well for brunch. Quartet's soft-opening menu remains limited, with a kitchen that closes by 6pm, but eventually, a fuller selection will be available for dinner.

Chicken-&-spinach quiche. Nitpickers might resort to the abominable cliche that this isn't something to "shout about," but satiated stomachs are more desirable than hoarse throats.

Our Quartet favorite: The French Toast (RM12), fulfilling in its flavorful fluffiness, served in a mighty portion with syrup & berry compote. Order this one.

Cakes & muffins look OK. The usual suspects of chocolate, carrot, red velvet & walnut.

Quartet currently obtains its coffee blends from Artisan Roast (one of its founders formerly worked at that increasingly venerable institution; others have links to Subang SS15's Grafa cafe).

Coffee mocktail, intriguingly named 'Jerusalem': Espresso, soda, syrup & ice. This is a cafe where coffee fans congregate; one of VCR Cafe's owners might be spotted chilling out here.

 La Vanilla ice-blended & Old-fashioned hot chocolate; both serve a purpose on a rainy weekend.

Time to raid the closet for mothballed tracksuits?

All in all, Quartet's a place with potential. It helps that the people here seem really nice.

Quar/Tet TTDI
21, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Row behind Vin's
Sun-Thurs, 8am-9pm. Fri-Sat, 8am-10pm

The Oct.-Dec. inaugural edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews & information for 100 pretty nice eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets.
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013
This link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my