Friday, March 24, 2017

Rosie & Ortolana @ Auckland

One of our favourite brunches in Auckland: An offal sausage constructed of lamb liver, black pudding & kidney, with beetroot vinegar & white beans; alongside smoked minced fish balls with a pullet egg yolk & tomato green chilli chutney. Inventive fare, with pleasing flavours & perfectly executed textures. A terrific cafe in the tony Parnell suburb.

Orchard-to-table dining takes centre stage at this chic brasserie beneath a glass canopy; think burrata cheese with squash & currant sofrito, or figs with anchoiade & walnuts. The cocktails too showcase evidence of garden work - prosecco with winter flowers & cassis, or vodka with feijoa, lime & mint.


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Asap Steamboat & Grill @ Puchong

Firing up Puchong's steamboat scene, Asap smokes the competition with a fun perspective to communal feasting, run by a family that has persevered in the fickle sector of food service since 2004, operating a catering business for more than a decade before launching this restaurant in December last year. Set in a renewable shipping container that took six months to refurbish, this is a spacious, striking sanctuary where the crowds mainly show up after sunset for alfresco dining by starlight.

All-you-can-eat dinners are Asap's raison d'etre: Every evening from six to midnight, the buffet counters are filled to flowing with plenty of raw protein - beef, chicken, lamb & fish are the scene stealers, distinctively available in an array of marinades that showcase various herbs & spices - plus prawns, squid & shellfish, & a dizzying diversity of sliced sausages, crab sticks, seafood cakes & yong tau foo, with no lack of eggs, noodles, mushrooms & vegetables to ensure no customer leaves hungry.

 Pile your plates with everything that catches your eye, from bamboo clams to quail eggs to carrots & broccoli - the experience costs RM33 an adult & RM16.50 for children between six & 12 years old, a reasonable rate in this era of ever-escalating costs.

You can choose to cook your food in the boiling steamboat or on the oil-slicked grill at the table, to savour both soupy comfort (in a selection of chicken broth or tom yum) or sizzling satisfaction in one meal. The meats prove tender & tasty, the seafood is fresh & fleshy, & the vegetables feel crisp & hefty, complemented by zesty sauces & textured dips.

Asap's kitchen also serves warm snacks as part of the buffet, with the crunchy-fried, bite-sized crabs as the addictive star attraction (pop 'em whole into your mouth), alongside bone broths, baos, sweet corn & more. Ais kacang & ice cream complete the spread, bolstered by a non-stop flow of hot & cold beverages. Many thanks to the friendly Asap team for having us here.

Asap Steamboat & Grill
 Lot 94 Jalan Tempinis, Kampung Tengah A, Puchong, Selangor. Daily, 6pm-12am. Tel: 013-485-8944



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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