Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ikea Restaurant & Cafe

Visiting Ikea is more than just great home shopping experience. It's filling the apetite too. A trip to the swedish home store is not complete without dining at its popular restaurant and cafe. I, for one, had developed my own craving for its baked salmon dish that it's always the top of mind the moment I hit the usual long queue at the restarant. The food offerings are simply enticing and it's not difficult to find a favorite. For us, we usually go for these ones...
Meat Balls Pasta

Baked Salmon

Baked Chicken

Mushroom Soup

Baked Chicken Set Meal

Fried Chicken Wings

Raspberry Cheesecake
If there's one thing that I would like to see improved on my next visit, it would be the dessert choices. Some pastries are just too plain and short in taste delivery. Like for instance this raspberry cheesecake which tasted too sour. Also, the cream cheese didn't complement the base well. Hence, the overall taste balance is highly compromised. Other than that, Ikea's Restaurant remains to be one good gastronomic stop to replenish that much needed shopping energy.   

Breakfast Buffet at Traders Hotel Orchard

I always look forward to great bonding weekend with my family everytime I return home from a business trip overseas. Hence fresh from the KL trip, last weekend was started with a good buffet brunch at Traders Hotel in Orchard Road. Boy, this was far better than Marriot Hotel's. The entire spread is just enough for filling choices. The food sections are divided into bread, salads, cold cuts and cheeses, noodles & soups, fresh fruits & juices, cereals, dimsum, meat and comminuted products (e.g. sausages and hotdogs) as well as local viands (vegetable curry, fish, fried rice etc.). For a S$30 worth of breakfast buffet, this is good value for money compared to other less appealing buffets around town. The ambiance is likewise serene so you get to enjoy your food at a relaxing pace.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Good Eats in Kuala Lumpur : Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Revisited) Part 2 of 2

It was my second time to visit KL and it was indeed lovelier this time around. Largely because I have enjoyed the local food more. I owe it to my colleagues for their hospitality and for having a well travelled taste buds. They just know where the good foods are.

Our first stop was La la Chong Seafood Restaurant which happens to be the most popular seafood village in Malaysia for its wonderful repertoire of seafood cuisine. It's a household name made famous for its version of La la Soup (Clam Soup). The soup was really good. It's refreshing with just the right amount of ginger and spicy notes. I won't be surprised if it will be called by the locals as their comfort food. Apart from this signature dish, there are other equally delicious fare available.

Salted Egg Yolk Prawn - creamy, crunchy, spicy (all the goodness rhyme!)

Satay Chicken - creamy, nutty, really tasty, the satay sauce just perfectly complements the chicken, the lemongrass is distinct and it gave an enjoyable kick in the chicken meat

Sauted Vegetables - made the entire meal complete

Sauted Fern Vegetables with Tuna - spicy with good sauted notes, the vegetables have a distinctively pleasant nibble

Chili Crab - spicy, a tad sour, creamy, perfect for a fried bun (although a bit less tasty than Singapore's version)
By far the best Fresh Coconut Juice I've ever had! Mildly sweet, nutty and the coconut meat was very soft.

The next stop was at Shiang Hai Vegetarian Restaurant. It offers vegetarian foods that are creatively thought of and well executed. Look at these delectable sushis made of vegetables, fruits and herbs. They were an absolute beauty on a plate. Likewise, the taste is a delight to the apetite too.

On the whole, every morsel that got into my palate undoubtedly brought a lasting gastronomic memory of Malaysia. I was captivated and left wanting for more.   

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Revisited) Part 1 of 2

I took an early morning flight to KL for a short business trip via Tiger Airways. It's my first time to try the airline and the Singapore Budget Terminal. Checking in was a breeze and things were uneventful until boarding time. Contrary to some unfavorable comments about the budget terminal, my experience will state otherwise and I'm quite satisfied with what's on offer service and ambiance wise. In fact, Singapore's budget terminal might even be better than the infamous NAIA Terminal 1 in Manila.

I stayed at Sunway Pyramid Hotel, a 4 star hotel in Subang area. Although it's not located in the city center of KL, the hotel is surrounded with commercial establishments and shopping center. The rate per night is reasonable and the room is generally acceptable. However, I'm not really impressed with the breakfast buffet offering at their cafe. Cititel MidValley Hotel has an even better selection.


View of the entrance door and the closet

My malaysian colleagues brought me to Pao Xiang Bak Kut Teh Restaurant for a taste of authentic Bak Kuh Teh. It was my first malaysian meal for the day and I was more than glad that it's the popular Pork Rib Tea. I have tried a few in Singapore and the version here is totally different from that in Malaysia. Undoubtedly, the later won me over many folds. Unlike Singapore's version which is overpowering in pepper note, the Malaysian type is more full-bodied, creamy, fatty, meaty, juicy, caramelic, very mild in herbs and spices. They use a dark or brown sauce (almost to a soy sauce hue). There are different types of pork cuts to choose from but the same sauce is used. You may choose whichever you prefer and the overall taste varies depending on the type of pork piece be it prime ribs, short ribs, pork knuckles and others. There was a note in their menu that they will open a branch at Marina Bay Sands soon and I just can't wait for it to open. There's no need to go to Malaysia whenever I will crave for this great tasting meat dish.

Father's Day 2011 @ Rise, Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Due to the not so good buffet experiences we had recently, we were not in the mood to take chances for a place to dine on Father's day. Hence, we decided to go somewhere safe. This is our third time to visit The Rise Restaurant at Marina Bay Sands Hotel. From the lunch repertoire, we initially noted that the food spread was not as extensive as that of dinner time. Nonetheless, it's good enough for lunch. After trying this buffet for 3 times in a row, I won't rave much on the food's quality. However, the dessert choices are quite extensive. Generally, The Rise offers a mid range value buffet. There's none in particular that you would severely crave to come back for but definitely you'll get your money's worth.



Cold Dishes - Ham & Cheese Wrap, Prawn with Horse Radish Tomato, Orange Vodka, Marinated Seafoods (Prawn, Mussel, Baby Octopus, Cuttle Fish, Hotatae)

Fruits galore!..

Cold Cuts & Fish Market - Pastrami, Pancetta, Salmon, Yellow Fin Tuna etc.

Antipasti - Mesclun, Romaine Lettuce, Olives, Anchovies etc.

Sushi and Sashimi...

Indian Cuisine - Tandoori Fish