Archive for February, 2010

The plan was to have dinner at 7 and then proceed to catch a movie at 8:45pm at GSC at Megamall. And what happened was we only arrived at the restaurant around 7:30. The restaurant seemed to be running a full house for dinner on first day of CNY.Luckily we had reserved a table and had pre-ordered – a la carte menu plus some new year dishes 1 week  before the occasion.  

At about 8pm, we managed to get the waiter to start serving and we asked for the dishes to be served quickly and the staff  were most cooperative. The sequence of the dishes served weren’t according to the norm, but we are not stickler for all that, what we want is to be fed ,finish all the dishes and not be late for our movie!

First up was Fried Imperial Crispy chicken (RM45), the kids fought over the keropok and unveiled the chicken. The chicken was rather good, crispy skin, tender and tasty meat, and the whole dish was gone after about 5 mins ( apart from rushing for time, we were seriously very hungry too ) 

Vegetable and fresh scallop (RM80), deja-vu ? we started to joke that we are having the same menu as what we ordered for our reunion dinner the previous night ( read here) . I must say that this was so much tastier that what we had the night before ! The vegetable were nicely fried, crunchy and fresh , vege include :  lotus root, celery, sweet pea, magnolia petals ( pak hup) and carrots. The scallops were fresh and juicy. Yummm..

 

A plate of wax meat combo was brought to our table and at the side table, the waiter was mixing up the rice in the casserole –Steamed rice with wax meat in casserole. My mouth is watering as I write this, remembering the warm and fuzzy feeling I had when I took the first spoonful of the rice. The rice was charged with the fragrance of wax meat, the oil, the aroma..aaayyaahhhh….so very the nice one..the texture of the rice was very good too. And you might have noticed that normally rice are served at the end of the meal, but then, in our rush,  there was no longer any order . Although I absolutely love the rice, I was reluctant to finish it..wanting to save space for the other dishes..but it was tooo tempting..i emptied my bowl.

 

Oh..i forgot to mentioned the wax meat : Chinese sausage ( lap cheong -nice, not too much oily bit),  Liver sausage ( yune cheong- an acquired taste , and I acquired that ..haha..i love yune cheong, this was nice too), wax duck ( lap ngap- not as salty , maybe all the flavours had gone to the rice ?), wax meat ( lap yoke- kinda tough and tasteless)

 

Roast pork and Char Siu (RM60), the roast pork was average. I find the char siu a bit too lean and maybe that was why it was kinda tough. But this  was also cleaned up in 10 mins.

 

Braised dried oyster & sea cucumber with mushroom, the mushrooms were thick and succulent, dried oyster with that distinctive taste..ahhh…springy sea cucumber in tasty gravy and surrounded by blanched broccoli. Again the comparison crop up with the earlier meal, and this was so much more tasty and enjoyable. Nice.

 

At this point, everyone at the table were showing signs of being full, i.e. they start to fidget, play with their food, walk to the loo, look around at the other tables, look at the CNY decorations etc and luckily we are down to our last dish :  Steamed cod fish. When the dish arrived, it was like wow…they are out to slaughter us la..sooo many pieces of cod fish ! do we need all that..wow..how much is this going to cost us..wow..anyway, back to the fish..this was slightly overdone. The section at the surface was a bit dry, although the insides were succulent and soft. The soy sauce was simple yet tasty.  It was pleasant, but maybe a bit too much for all of us at this point of the meal. (FYI, this dish came to ~RM140)

 

Overall- a good meal and the gang seemed to want to come back next year . The bill ( including some softdrinks ) came up to ~RM700, which was reasonable and for comparison sake comparison – then last night meal seemed a bit exorbitant !

And guess what ?  we completed 7 dishes in 45 minutes ! and even managed to get some popcorn for the show.

Spring Valley is part of the Tai Thong group

Spring Valley Chinese Restaurant

Lot G (E) 018, 19 & 20
Ground Floor, Mid Valley Megamall
Mid Valley City
59200 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : +603-2938 8668

Map above extracted from Tai Thong website.

Not that dificult to find , head towards Boulevard Hotel’s lobby, exit from the lobby and  Spring Valley is just a few doors

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When I first read the good reviews about Chef Choi from the blogs a few months back, I wasn’t sure when would I get a chance to dine there as the place seemed to be somewhat above my budget bracket lah. Anyway, when I was given the chance to suggest a restaurant for the important Chinese New Year eve- reunion dinner, this was one of the places that I included in the restaurant list.

We didn’t go for the CNY set menu and I must commend that the Restaurant Manager and the staff were very courteous and helpful while we were discussing the menu, and luckily Chef Choi –continue to serve most of their usual dishes during the CNY period. After a few e-mails and phonecalls we finally decided on the menu ( and price) and then it’s just counting the days to the feast.

 First up -Chef Choi Barbecued Crispy Pork脆皮烧猪肉-  The roast pork was rather good,  – some of the pieces had rather thick layer of fat but that goes really well taken with the crispy skin and the tender aromatic meat. Nice..

 

Special four Hors D’oeuvres 特式四热荤 – mushroom stuff with fishball/minced meat, stir fried squid, baby octopus and fishball/minced meat wrapped in crispy beancurdskin. The stuff mushroom was ok, the squid was springy and fresh, I think the kids were a bit terrified of the notion of swallowing the baby octopus whole- head, tentacles and all- this was sweetish and pretty ok. The favourite of the four was possibly the crispy beadcurd skin thingy- crispy on the outside and meaty on the inside plus a tinge of celery or something which enhance the taste.

 

Braised shark’s fin with mushroom and fish lips 什锦鱼唇翅- sorry, again, I forgot about the sharks and without thinking  included this in the menu, if there’s any comfort – I didn’t enjoyed this. There were a lot of this stringy vegetable ( not sure what that was) and shreds of mushroom, there were also some gelatin-ish thingy – fish lips or shark’s fin I guess, Overall the taste was so-so, I guess I tasted better shark’s fin soup at the usual Chinese wedding dinner lah.

  

Deep fried Garoupa with light soy sauce 油炸石班鱼 —there were a lot of objections from the family when this was included in the menu – Deep fried fish…how can ! good fish should be steamed mah..anyway, the blogs that I read mentioned that this is very good, so had to try it lah..The fish looked like it was doing a balancing act on it’s  tummy. Although the fine texture and the sweetness of the garuopa can still be tasted even after deep frying, I felt that the enjoyment of tasting good fish had somewhat lost some of it’s essence as i found the fish a tad too dry, I missed the smoothness of the meat, of tasting the cheeks of the fish ( which was impossible to extract in this deep fried version)..

 

Braised pork shoulder with mushroom, sea moss and scallop 冬菇带子发菜元蹄 – I was a bit too slow in taking a picture of the shoulder before it was ‘destroyed/ cut up’ but the waitress, so what you see here is just broken pieces of the meat. This was more meat that mushroom ,sea moss or scallop. The meat was tender and well marinated but the accompanying mushroom, sea moss and scallop weren’t that impressive.

 

Roasted crispy chicken  吊烧菜园鸡 the skin of the chicken was fragrant and crispy, the meat was a bit salty and dry .The accompanying crackers disappeared in a matter of seconds but the chicken took a bit longer though…. This was kinda average

 

Stir fried asparagus with fresh scallops- 露笋炒带子 wow..so many scallops, actually too many scallops until it seemed like everyone was fighting to get their share of the asparagus instead. This was kinda average .

 

Chef Choi special fried noodles 蔡师父炒面–lotsa ingredients in the noodles ( somewhat like yee-mien) ,   this was rather tasty, although I find it a bit too salty

 

Creme Brule 法國布丁 – rather strong milkish taste , the texture was a bit  too soft and watery for my liking.

 

Excluding drinks and service charges – the meal came to ~RM1200   for 12 pax.

Location :

Restaurant Chef Choi Sdn Bhd.,

159, Jalan Ampang,

50450 KL

Tel : 2163 5866

the map can be found on their website http://www.chefchoi.com/

Yes, another outing at  Kuchai Lama.

We drove around the blocks looking for a parking place and it was quite a scary (and shocking) experience to find that some of the shops that we makan-ed a few months/ weeks ago or hadn’t even makan-ed , had ceased operations.gasppp..I guess I have to take another drive one of these days to check this out and to update my makan-ed list for the status of these eateries.

K3K Benta Kaya is relatively new to this area (I hadn’t noticed it before) . It is prominently located at a corner lot , making it pretty hard to miss.

The environment was rather nice and cozy, two choice of sitting arrangements , at the corridor in lower tables and comfy armchairs or at the interior – kopitiam style complete with marble tables and wooden chairs. While  waiting , a waitress came by with a rattan basket filled with nyonya kuihs, which we politely declined. Beside us was a poster of  tv hosts  that had dined here.

The menu was very interesting, full of local ( and traditional) delights like nasi kunyit, ki chang ( alkaline dumplings), roti jala, rojak, tauhu sumbat , nyonya kuihs etc . After seeing  Yam rice on the menu i  got fixated on that and the rest of the menu seemed rather pale in comparison. My fellow makan companion decided to go for  the tom yam noodles ( choice of bee hoon, koay teow), we wanted to try the K3K version of the keropok lekor. For drinks, we choose to have traditional cincau and asam boi.

Traditional Cincau (RM3.50 )- was cincau in gula melaka. I am not a fan of gula melaka drinks, so I didn’t quite like it, I prefer my cincau in plain sugar syrup. Thank you. Asam Boi ice (RM3.80 ) was normal lah

 

Yam Rice (RM6.80)-  the yam rice came wrapped in lotus  leaf, served with 2 halves of hard boiled egg, cabbages and a bowl of soup plus 2 meatballs. The yam rice was good, richly flavoured  and fragrant yam rice. The cabbage tasted like it was cooked with kunyit ( I expected it to be the salty vegetable version), the meatballs ( I actually do not know what sorta balls they were, fish /chicken/etc ? this was tasteless and floury, the soup was normal broth ( again, based on Yam rice in Penang, I expected it to be sourish and pepperish). So, apart from the actual rice itself which was good , the rest of the items that came with the rice were so-so.

 

Tom yam soup with koay teow ( RM7.80) – the K3K version tasted more like penang asam laksa than a tom yam. It wasn’t spicy or sour – but more skewed to being sweetish. The base of the soup wasn’t strong /distinct enough.  I didn’t like this.

 

Keropok lekor (RM3.30) – hmm.. . I tasted more flour than fish and it was a bit too soft and lacked the chewy texture of keropok lekor. To satisfy your craving for keropok lekor, I would suggest you get it at a pasar malam or from the warongs by the roadside.

 

We were ready to settle the bill when it dawned on us that Eh ! K3K Benta Kaya, and we hadn’t tried the kaya wor. So, we rang the waiter and asked for kaya roti kok. From the menu, there were a few other things that come with ( or with option of) kaya , eg.  toast ( of course), ki chang, char kuih, roti jala , French fries. Wow, French fries with kaya, imagine that !

 Kaya roti kok ( RM2.50) – roti kok are those crunchy hard roti thingy ( I remember back in my black and white days where the bakery behind our house used to make these roti kok shaped like a doughnut, which I wore  as a bangle and gnaw at it at the same time, (that probably explain the sad condition of my teeth )). This wasn’t as hard or crunchy like my ‘bangle’, but a milder version- nice for soft gnawing . I find the kaya kinda watery and not as rich or fragrant as I expect it to be.

 

Overall, a so-so dining experience.

Location :

No 1, Jalan Kuchai Maju 8,

Off Jalan Kuchai Lama,

58200 KL