Eat and Cook @ Bukit Jalil

Stepping into Eat and Cook, we were immediately being greeted by their friendly staffs whom guided us to our seats. I love the open kitchen concept where you get to see the chefs in actions and to top it off, the chefs were very patience in explaining the dishes to us.

We started the night with a Ciabatta. At first glance, it looked just like any ordinary bread but the moment you bite into it, you could taste the Tom Yum flavours coming through very subtly. We were told that the team was inspired by the vibrant flavours of Tom Yum and wanted to incorporate that into the bread, without the spiciness of course. So the end product is a bread that's light, chewy with aromatic Tom Yum flavours to awaken your palette before moving on to the first course. Instead of your usual balsamic vinegar or butter, the bread was served with a Tom Yum flavoured dipping sauce that give the bread a much needed creamy element.

Our first course of the night was a scallop dish. The scallops were perfectly seared and tomato flavours brought out the sweetness of the scallops, while the "crackers" added texture to the dish and the lacto-fermented tomato had such intense flavour yet doesn't overpowered the delicate scallops. If you are wondering what's the cracker made of, it was sago cooked with scallop broth from its shells! You might be able to taste the seafood flavours in it.

Moving on to our second course of the night is a plate of mushrooms prepared in 5 different ways - king oyster mushrooms cooked in oyster sauce, topped with dehydrated enoki, lacto-fermented mushroom, mushroom duxelle and pickled mushrooms sitting on a bed of lentils. If you are a fan of mushroom, this is a plate of umami bomb that will leave you wanting for more.

Our third course is sea bream wrapped with kombu strips. Apart from sugarcane, they didn't add any salt or seasonings to the fish while cooking it. The fish was nice and flaky with a hint of smokiness, served with tomato budu sauce, balsamic vinegar, crispy curry leaves and onion pebbles. The umami and acidity in the tomato sauce paired perfectly with the smokiness of the fish, while the onion pebbles added a touch of sweetness to the dish. 

Before moving on to our main course, we were served with a palette cleanser. A citrusy sorbet with kaffir lime and Assam boi powder. I prefer the kaffir lime powder as it was really refreshing.

Our main course was duck and agnolotti. Inspired by Siew Long Pau, the agnolotti was bursting with flavourful duck jus that was made from 19 days dried-age ducks and charred onions, topped with dried-aged duck breast and shiitake duxelle. This plate of freshly made pasta is definitely the flavour bomb that you wouldn't want to miss out.

What better way to end the night with a dessert that was inspired by apam balik. It has all the flavours and textures that you would expect from an apam balik - light and airy baked honeycomb cake served in between crispy shells with red corn puree and peanut butter, and creamy coconut ice cream at the side.

All in all, it was truly a pleasant dining experience at Eat and Cook. Using local ingredients, the chefs take the patrons on a journey down the memory lane of familiar Malaysian flavours with a modern twist.

Eat and Cook
H-6-1, Pusat Perdagangan Bandar, Jalan Persiaran Jalil 1,
Bukit Jalil
57000, Kuala Lumpur

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday (6PM - 11PM)
Contact: +603 9765 6898

Photos credit: Aaron Paulraj

Gin Rik Sha @ Bukit Damansara: Indian Cuisine with a Modern Twist

At first glance of the name "Gin Rik Sha", I thought it was a Japanese restaurant as the name means "pull rickshaw" in Japanese. But, Gin Rik Sha turned out to be serving Indian cuisine with a modern twist.

Located at the hillside of Bukit Damansara, this peaceful restaurant provides a nice hideout for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. Stepping into Gin Rik Sha, I couldn't help but noticed they have done a very good job in keeping the "modern" theme consistently throughout the restaurant, from the contemporary furniture to the metal and copper elements they have incorporated in their decor.

Mango Chicken Pappadoms. We started our dinner with some Mango Chicken Pappadoms. The well-marinated chicken and sweet mango goes perfectly well with the crispy pappadoms. It is best eaten as soon as it was served, as the gravy and mango juice might soak through the pappadoms.

Bombay Masala Salmon. I enjoy salmon and I love masala, but it was my first time pairing both together. The salmon was perfectly baked with masala, served on a bed of couscous. This is definitely a healthier version of Indian cuisine.

Paneer Tikka Masala. This is one of the must-order dishes whenever I'm at an Indian restaurant. This vegetarian alternative to chicken tikka masala has certainly hit all the right notes of creaminess and spices.

Pistachio Kulfi with Caramelized Bananas & Sesame Brittle. There's no better way to end a meal with some icy cold kulfi. The sweetness of the kulfi, caramelized bananas and crunchy sesame brittle was a perfect way to end our night.

Apart from the food, Gin Rik Sha has a cocktail bar and they have some interesting cocktails too. When we were asked what our preference is, I opted for something with a savoury note and my friend just had 1 request - to have her cocktail strong. LOL!

Makati. A vodka-based cocktail with a touch of coffee in it. It was smooth and what's not to like when it's a combination of coffee and vodka!

Firaun. Inspired by the word "pharoah", Firaun was definitely a strong option yet refreshing at the same time. If you are looking to start off the night with something light on the taste.

Moscow Mule. A classic vodka-based cocktail with a touch of of heat from the ginger and refreshing lime.

Gin Rik Sha has definitely redefined Indian cuisine with their modern interpretation. If you are looking for a place to chill with friends over nice food while getting away from the busy streets of Klang Valley, Gin Rik Sha might just be the perfect spot for you.

To know more updates on Gin Rik Sha, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

Address: 37, Ground Floor, Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Monday - Saturday (4.30pm - 12am), Sunday CLOSED
Contact: 010-243 8266

Sapore Italian Spanish Restaurant & Bar @ Ampang

Two years ago I've visited Sapore and it has been one of my favourite restaurants. Sapore is one of my go-to/recommended restaurants for my friends, whenever they are looking to have Italian or Spanish food.

This time round, we are back to Sapore to try out their new menu!

Cold Cut Platter (RM 88). We started our meal with an array of cold cuts - Chorizo Pork Sausage, Salchichรณn Spanish Sausage, Parma Ham, Capocollo Salami, Porchetta Pork Roast, Mortadella with rockets and olives. They are generous with both the selections and portions of the cold cuts, and you can choose to pair it with bread or have it just as it is.

Focaccia (Complimentary) / RM 5 (additional). The homemade Focaccia has a perfectly chewy texture and slightly crispy salty crust. It is a perfect pairing with the cold cuts.

Greek Salad (RM 18). I absolutely love salad, especially when it comes with feta cheese. The bowl of Greek Salad is well-marinated with tuna bits and creamy feta cheese. The salad is a perfect option if you are looking for something refreshing yet pack with a punch of flavour to start off your meal.

Mushroom Potato Croquette (RM 18). I love potatoes, but I'm never a fan of croquette. However, if you are, you'll definitely enjoy this, as they are generous with their fillings.

Roasted Octopus (RM 128). The Roasted Octopus is one of my favourite dishes at Sapore! The octopus was tender and well-seasoned, and goes very well with the roasted potatoes at the side. I could have this dish all to myself! On the other hand, if you have very low tolerance in salt, you might find the Roasted Octopus to be a tad too salty.

Pork Tortellini with Mushroom Sauce (RM 38). The moment the dish was served, we were hit by a very subtle truffle scent. I wasn't quite sure what to expect as most of the tortellini dishes I've had, the pasta was either too thick or you could barely taste the fillings in it. However, Sapore does theirs just nice. The ratio of pasta to fillings is just nice, and I like the earthy flavours of the mushroom sauce that binds the dish together.

Grilled Iberico Abanico  Loin with Salad (RM 52). I love a good tender pork loin, and this just hit all the right notes for me. The meat is tender and juicy, and the mustard work perfectly in cutting down the fattiness in the meat.

Vanilla Creme Brulee (RM 16). Thin crispy crust with smooth and silky custard, the Vanilla Creme Brulee is a nice way to end our meal of the day!

Apart from your usual wine selections, Sapore offers a variety of cocktails too. What better way to spend some girl times than sipping on some cocktails!

Sapore Italian Spanish Restaurant & Bar doesn't have extravagant or beautiful interior design, but they certainly compensate this with the quality of their food. Regardless if you are looking for a quiet spot to have a meal with loved ones or to have a private space for you event, Sapore will be a good option.

You can visit their Website to know more of their menu. To know more updates on Sapore Italian Spanish Restaurant & Bar, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

Address: 18. Persiaran Ampang, Desa Pahlawan, Ampang, 55000 Kuala Lumpur
Operating Hours: Monday - Friday (11.30am - 3pm, 6pm - 11.30pm) | Saturday & Sunday (!1am - 11.30pm)
Contact: +603 4266 6362

Uncle Chong's Local Delights @ Bukit Jalil: The Taste of KL

Before KL became a concrete jungle, it used to be a place that's full of warmth and friendly faces, with foot carts all around selling local delicacies. Many would gather around and bonded over the food, while sharing how their days or weeks have been. I could still remember the stories my dad told us, how he used to roam around the streets and everybody were just like one big family.

Sadly, as the years went by, shop lots were taken down and replaced by office buildings and shopping mall. Shop owners were forced to move out and find a new place for their business. Eventually, what used to be "the taste of KL" is slowly being forgotten. However, there are people who are working very hard to prevent it from getting lost forever, for example the owners at Uncle Chong's Local Delights.

The business was founded by the grandfather of the current owner, and it has been running for 3 generations! Grandpa Chong started by selling ONLY curry noodle at Petaling Street and they have been doing this for more than 40 years! Could you imagine how perfect a dish would be, when a person has spent 40 over years perfecting it?!

Uncle Chong's Curry Laksa (RM 8.90 - Small | RM 11.90 - Big). The curry laksa at Uncle Chong's is exactly how I love my curry to be - thick and aromatic curry broth with tender chicken and the most important part - cockles! For me, perfectly boiled cockles are must-haves in a bowl of curry laksa.

Ayam Penyet (RM 10.90). When it comes to Ayam Penyet, many would immediately think of a piece of perfectly fried chicken paired with spicy sambal. However, this is not how Uncle Chong serves theirs. Instead, you'll get a piece of ayam penyet generously coated with aromatic sauce. This is the version of ayam penyet that the owner's dad had when he was travelling in Indonesia. He loved it so much, and decided to bring the flavour back to Malaysia. The sauce has similar taste to rendang, but it's lighter.

Assam Laksa (RM 8.90). I'm not a big fan of assam laksa, but I like ones at Uncle Chong. They use fresh ingredients to make their laksa broth, and it has a nice balance of spiciness and acidity.

Dry Curry Chicken Noodle (RM 8.90). This is another dish that was a crowd favourite. Compared to the curry laksa, the dry curry has deeper flavours.

Salted Chicken with Chinese Herbs Rice (RM 9.90). If you are not a fan of spices and curry, this homey dish is perfect for you. The chicken is tender and well-marinated with Chinese herbs. All I need is a bowl of rice and this would be a perfect meal for me!

As much as I love my espresso-based coffee, I enjoy sipping on local coffee too. In order to preserve the flavours, they have been using the same coffee supplier since the family first started business. Thick and smooth local coffee is the perfect match!

When it comes to Uncle Chong's Local Delights, it is not about the interior but the authenticity in their dishes. With over 40 years of experience and determination of preserving the "taste of KL", this is definitely a place to go, if you are looking to reminisce on the good old days or to tryout authentic local food.

The pricing is very reasonable too. During the day, the traffic at the area might be a little bit busy. Hence, I would recommend dropping by during dinner hours - as the traffic would have died down and is easier to get a parking spot too.

To know more updates on Uncle Chong's Local Delights, check out their Facebook.

Address: Commercial Center, Aked Esplanade, No. 3-G, Jalan Jalil Perkasa 13, 57000 Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Operation Hours: 10am - 10pm (Monday - Saturday) | Sunday CLOSED
Contact: +6016 330 0555