Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pyramid Secret Egyptian Food @ Solaris Dutamas

Wrapping up 2013 with an exploration of Pyramid Secret, which we visited once this year & subsequently sought to return to, but it seems to be closed for now; let's hope this mysterious restaurant springs back to life in 2014.

Pyramid Secret is/was run by several Egyptian friends who came to Malaysia in search of opportunities; this was one of the few eateries in a high-profile location like Solaris Dutamas where customers could feast on true-blue Egyptian fare.

Kushari's the highlight here, a moreish medley of macaroni & spaghetti topped with chickpeas, chicken liver, lentils, fried onions, garlic juice & house-made tomato sauce.

Filling & fulfilling, comfort food to the max. Four can share a serving that costs under RM30.

Also intriguing: Mulukhiyah, a somewhat slimy but healthy-tasting broth ...

... made with the leaves of the Corchorus veggie & mixed with chicken. Below RM20.

Pyramid Secret's team was friendly, serving us complimentary desserts even though the two of us were stuffed on what we ordered. The food was exotic to our taste buds & seemed well-priced; we really hope this restaurant will be reincarnated someday, in Solaris Dutamas or elsewhere.

Pyramid Secret
A2-G1-1, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur

The latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites for January-March 2014 is now available online, featuring 100 pretty nice eateries, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. The eBook can be read & downloaded for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. 
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Jan-March-2014 (This link expires April 1, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).



Beginning late January, a free email newsletter will be sent out every Monday to subscribers, highlighting new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits for the Klang Valley.
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Jam & Kaya Cafe @ PJ Palms Sports Center

Jam & Kaya brings the Klang Valley's best year yet for independent cafes to a triumphant close; visiting this winsome venue is a potent reminder to value the people who pour their hearts into creating these places. Dismissing these cafes without knowing their stories is blatant disrespect.

Jam & Kaya represents the friendship of Janice & Karen, who studied in Melbourne this past decade & left with the dream of running the kind of cafe they cherished there. Janice's subsequent stint learning the art of pastry-making at Le Cordon Bleu Paris supplied the culinary foundation for the two to open Jam & Kaya this month by the pool of PJ Palms Sports Center.

Brunches are a treat here; the Eggs Royale (RM21) feature irresistibly delicious poached eggs, resting atop thick slices of smoked salmon & crisp leaves in a croissant.

Available through 5pm, so late risers like us can mercifully still have breakfast for lunch.

The menu remains a work in progress, but it's excellent to see these baked eggs that borrow inspiration from the Tunisian-origin recipe of 'shakshouka' ... 

 ... creamy with a thick, tomato-rich base that conceals soft chunks of eggplant. RM18.90. Dinner specials include chicken ballotine, beef stew with potatoes & salmon with couscous.

 Pancakes are a pleasure here: try the one with salted caramel & macadamia nuts (RM16.50). Other varieties come with caramelized bananas & yes, even jam & kaya.

Save space for dessert; these babies are a star attraction in their own right.

Praline cheesecake, very rich, sumptuously smooth. Gotta try the tarts next time.

Coffee's constructed with Colombian beans; not a bad latte, definitely.

Love the hot chocolate here, mixed with tiny, crispy chocolate balls for extra enjoyment.

One of Jam & Kaya's charms: It isn't trying to be cool. Its musical selection of Peabo Bryson & All-4-One might send hipsters screaming out the exit.

All in all, Jam & Kaya has the potential to become a firm favorite, surmounting its relatively hidden location & avoidance of advance publicity. It's our top cafe recommendation for December (followed extremely closely by Damansara Uptown's Ecole P).


Jam & Kaya Cafe
PJ Palms Sports Center, Lorong Sultan, Petaling Jaya
Open 10am-10pm, Tues-Thurs, 8am-11pm, Fri-Sun

The latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites for January-March 2014 is now available online, featuring 100 pretty nice eateries, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. The eBook can be read & downloaded for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. 
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Jan-March-2014 (This link expires April 1, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).


Beginning late January, a free email newsletter will be sent out every Monday to subscribers, highlighting new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits for the Klang Valley.
Please consider subscribing to Eat Drink KL Weekly via this following link: 
Thanks very much; subscriptions are appreciated.

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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lucy In The Sky @ Tun H.S. Lee, Chinatown

KL's former High Street won't run low on caffeine, thanks to Lucy In The Sky, a newbie on the fringe of Chinatown that's set to soar in the popularity stakes.

This easygoing hangout, surprisingly spacious inside, might be a magnet not only for backpackers but nearby white-collar workers on weekdays & cafe-hoppers on weekends.

Breakfast is served: Lucy is the latest place where people can customize their brunch platters, choosing three items for RM12.90 & adding RM3 for every extra selection.

Lucy In The Sky promises relatively healthy cooking, relying on organic ingredients whenever possible. But that's not necessarily meant to provide customers with carte blanche to overdose on four preparations of eggs in one sitting: poached, scrambled, sunny-side-up & over-easy ...

... even if the eggs are partnered with deliciously nutritious lentils & buttered corn. Other possibilities for this plate include chicken sausages, sauteed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, onions & hash browns.

Other options: French toast made with Hailam bread (RM10), pancakes paired with raw honey (RM8.90), plus cream of cauliflower, pumpkin or mushroom soup with muesli bread (RM10.90).

Come lunchtime, the starving masses can munch on pasta (pesto's recommended, flavorsome with sun-dried tomatoes & spinach, RM15), beef & chicken burgers made with wholemeal buns, as well as basic salads & sandwiches.

Lucy's coffee, constructed with Arabica beans, should please. Praise outpaces complaints here. 



Lucy In The Sky
167, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur. Pretty near the Hindu temple landmark
Daily,  11am-9pm from 16th of December 2014. Tel: 03-2022-1526

The latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites for January-March 2014 is now available online, featuring 100 pretty nice eateries, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. The eBook can be read & downloaded for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. 
Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Jan-March-2014 (This link expires April 1, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Beginning late January, a free email newsletter will be sent out every Monday to subscribers, highlighting new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits for the Klang Valley.
Please consider subscribing to Eat Drink KL Weekly via this following link: 
https://confirmsubscription.com/h/d/5106C196432BB23D
Thanks very much; subscriptions are appreciated.

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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

All You Can Eat @ Si Chuan Dou Hua, Parkroyal KL

Si Chuan Dou Hua, the Parkroyal hotel's Sichuan-&-Cantonese restaurant, serves an all-you-can-eat menu for lunch & dinner everyday (except public holidays) at a relatively economical _ but not necessarily rewarding _ RM55++ per person.

Customers can order from a roughly 60-dish selection that looks promising on paper, featuring plenty of prawns, served steamed ... 

 ... or deep-fried in kataifi-inspired pastry ...

 ... or with cashews & chili. Each ends up being less than memorable though, whipped up with competence but little complexity or flair.

Prawns in garlic sauce, battered with wasabi mayo & deep-fried with spicy salt, mainly examples of irrefutable quantity over irresistible quality. 

Roast chicken. Patrons should probably request dark meat, since the breast & wings provided here border dangerously on dryness.

Chicken braised with black mushrooms, deep-fried with butter & with lemon sauce. To be fair, it's difficult to find deals elsewhere that stretch RM55++ this far.

Fish of the evening, with hot bean sauce. Could have been fresher & less muddy-tasting. 

Stir-fried beef (a bit mushy in parts) & bean curd all succeed in stuffing the stomach. 

Skip the xiao long bao, cursed by the thickest skin we've ever seen. 

Soup's up: Eight-treasure with slivers of seafood is worthwhile, while the dumpling soup isn't.

Seasoned baby octopus & ginger-sauce mushrooms. Service could be more cheerful; also note that dishes can sometimes take a lengthy time (up to half-an-hour) to emerge from the kitchen.

Marinated spicy chilled cucumber & stir-fried vegetables with garlic.

Crispy noodles with shredded chicken. Enjoyable enough, this one. 

Dan Dan Noodles, sufficiently flavorful. Perhaps it might be prudent to return someday to sample Si Chuan Dou Hua's regular a la carte menu instead; that would probably prove more satisfying.

Watermelon & honeydew, Chinese pancakes (too doughy), bean curd with wolf berries, longan with inexplicably nonexistent lotus seeds (served sadly at room temperature instead of cold).

Fortune cookies can be fun, even when they spout nonsense like "You have a potential urge and the ability for accomplishment." 

Be warned that tea costs an extra RM7++ per person, separate from the RM55++ for the food. It's tasty tea nevertheless, served with stylish showiness. 

Si Chuan Dou Hua
Parkroyal Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2782-8303

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 Jan. 2, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Beginning late January, a free email newsletter will be sent out every Monday to subscribers, highlighting new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits for the Klang Valley.
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Thanks very much; subscriptions are appreciated.

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