Saturday, August 25, 2007

Empayar Seremban Siew Pow

I was down in Seremban two weeks back and this is kind of a delayed post. Work has been busy and me away from writing. You must be wondering, am I writing about the famous Seremban Siew Pow? Well, no I'm not. We decided to check out this place after watching Ho Chak, which featured the in-house breed fresh water prawn utilizing Japanese technology that leaves the prawn completely free of the usually found black tiny waste at it's back.

Let's get started with the food.

The entrance - it's a huge sign board that make it impossible for anyone to not notice this place, at least from the highway.

The place - dining place was as huge as the sign board outside. It easily seat up to 500 people with a stage for performance or entertainment.

The menu, that's it.

The live stock/breeding area.

The prawn.

The huge crabs.

Superior Soup Dipped Prawn (RM33 per kg) - we were recommended this dish as the starter. It was a simple dish, prawn that get awash lightly in Superior Soup to bring out it's natural sweetness. A quick dip in the soy sauce served alongside enhanced the taste and the crunchiness will keep your hand busy with another serving. Sweet!

The prawn, absolutely clean and you can see the texture that has that crunchiness you'd like for your prawn.

Fried Tapioka Leaves with Garlic (RM8) - The taste was alright but the portion is absolutely too small for 5 person.

Steamed Red Talapia in Blended Ginger/Garlic Sauce (RM22) - The sauce was superb. The fragrant of the ginger and garlic mix is so good that I forgot the last time I loved this dish. A definite must try if you're a fan of your neighborhood restaurant of the same dish. You'd come back for this the next time around.

Deep Fried Crab is House Specialty Sauce (RM 45 per kg) - Loved this dish. It makes me wonder why Ho Chak never feature their crab dish. The crab was huge, deep fried before tossed in the House Specialty sauce that came in a mixture of sweet and hot with a slight sour taste. Excellent.

Steamed Tofu and Egg topped with Minced Chicken in Soy Sauce - Not really a fan of this. It wasn't anything special and the taste was rather bland. I'd prefer the usual flair of just steamed egg which would taste better than this one.

How to get there?
Empayar Seremban Siew Pow is located in Kepayang, Negeri Sembilan. You should take the left turn once you pay your toll tickets at the Seremban Exit. Once you took the left turn, there's a left and right option. Take the left road and keep to your right to make a U-Turn before the traffic light junctions. Keep to your left afterwards and take the 2 left small road. Drive straight and you will see the Pasar Borong Kepayang where the restaurant is located.

Price do change based on season, the usual rules for Seafood restaurant so do expect differences in price when you plan to visit.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sushi Groove - One Utama

Located just next to Bangkok Square Restaurant, you can't missed Sushi Groove if you were coming into One Utama from the Rain Forest section. It was a dining place set in dimmed lighting, Zen inspired interior, with very posh like waiting area - comfortable sofas coupled with Japanese styled coffee table backed with huge wall emitting warmth lighting to the area that also housed the drinks bar, constructed in such a way that you do not felt disturbed by their existence with high wall.

I had always wanted to try this place since the first time I saw it a couple of weeks back. Luck wasn't on my side each time I came about for dinner where dozen of people are already in line, waiting to be seated. This time around, I've decided to come for lunch instead and it definitely looks like the right time. We were here at around 1.15 PM, so the crowd wasn't as mad. I guess we're late for lunch?

We were greeted by the waiter (can't really remember his name) and he was very polite by having us to wait for a while so he can go on to usher a couple to their seat. When he's back, he show us to the waiting area, having us to take a look at the menu while waiting for available dining space. It was a good 20 minutes or so, before we have a seat for ourselves. What I can say was it's all good despite the wait as the waiters are generally very polite and accommodating. I had to say the same thing for the guy who took our order, very attentive and good mannered. He did realized that I'm a fan for raw dish when I'm asking for recommendations and go on to tell me what he think it's good. Unfortunately though, Dynamite Ball, which he recommended turned out to be a definite loser.

Let's just turn to the food shall we.

Plate Setting, this is what you get when you're at your table. A single triangular plate coupled with a saucer with 3 place holder and a chopstick.

The crowd, turned out to be quite a number of people during lunch. There are 4 long tables located in the middle of the restaurant while there are a scores of 4 person seating tables on the left side.

Seaweed Salad (RM 5.90) - Loved this one. A mixtures of greens with the dried fish flakes tossed in marinated seaweed and cherry tomatoes. The sauce was delicious but it proved to be a little salty towards the end. It makes perfect sense to eat this together with other stuff to wash down the salty taste.

Salmon Sashimi (5 pcs - RM 13.90, 2 pcs - RM 5.90) - We ordered the 5 pieces option and expected it to be thinly sliced Sashimi in regards to its really cheap price. We were in awe to look at the generous cut of 5 thickly sliced salmon, served in cold plate. A must try for any Sashimi fan.

Golden Gate Roll (RM 12.90) - Cooked tuna, avocado slice wrapped in a roll and topped with raw tuna slice sprinkled with fish roes. It was a good roll but I'd prefer if it was served cold instead as the warm raw tuna doesn't taste as good as I'd like it to be.

Rock & Roll - Beef (not sure what the cut is) rolled and stuffed with cheese and mushroom, grilled over fire and topped with their house sauce. There isn't anything special with this and I thought the beef was rather tasteless. It wasn't feel like it was marinated with anything. Apart from that, I felt it was slightly over grilled and it tasted a little bitter towards the end.

Fusion Dragon Roll (RM 14.90) - This is a killer. It tasted so good and I'm literally going "OMG!" when I had it in my mouth. "It's soooooooooo gooooodddddd!". Yeah, that's the expression I had to my friend. You just got to taste it for yourself. A very creative roll wrapping up prawn tempura, avocado slices and some other stuff, while the outer part of it was beef bacon torched with fire and a dab of cream cheese on top. Fabulous!

Takoyaki Croquette (RM 6.90) - Tako Tako. Like those you can find outside of Jusco of maybe your neighborhood "Pasar Malam". The only difference is that this doesn't taste as good as the others. Need I say more?

Agedashi Tofu (RM 5.90) - It came in 2 separate bowl which is unusual for Agedashi Tofu servings that I used to. Nothing to shout about, the usual dish. I just wanted to see if it taste any better. You can expect miracle happens all the time, can you?

Flying Geisha (RM 9.90) - This is the awful dish. All I can taste was rice. And yeah, that's about it. Nothing made you feel like you're a flying Geisha alright...

Dynamite Ball (RM 9.90) - Another disappointing selection. When I decided on this, my take was it's raw salmon coupled with cream cheese. That should make it taste fusion, raw fish with sour cream cheese, yummy. But it came out to be rice ball (really looked like chicken rice balls to me) topped with torched salmon and cream cheese instead. I'm not a fan for this one.

Tuna Capaccio Roll (RM 11.90) - You got to eat this fast. We leave it a little while later when the coldness were gone and it taste rather not as good. So take this while its cold, and you should savor the best of the dish itself.

Overall, I think Sushi Groove does a really great job in having a dedicated team of waiters that are well mannered and do know how to appreciate their customers. I'll definitely make a come back and take another go on their extensive list of creative sushi offerings. Give yourself a try.

One Utama Shopping Centre.
Ground Floor, Rain Forest Entrance.
Find Gap from Rain Forest section and you should be able to locate Sushi Groove.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ms. Read - One Utama

It has been a while since I last posted here. Work commitment has taken most of my time, and I hardly visit any food place that's even considered blog worthy in recent times. That sounds like a good excuse don't you think? First post after such a long time, I have the chance to try Ms. Read at One Utama Shopping Centre (New Wing) last night with a group of friends.

As usual, customer service is my priority in dining. We get a warmth greeting upon entering the eatery. The girl is kind enough to inquire whether we wanted to be in smoking or non smoking, which we chose the later (I ain't a smoker, but most of my friends are). We were told to walk out the glass door and there will be people that attend to us.

We chosen a table at the corner, where they have the sofa like seating on one side, accompanied by 2 steel chair. Environment was alright, the kind of rattan inspired settings - ratting windows blind served as the roof decoration while the sofa and low lounge were made of the same material, slightly Zen-ish.

The waiter that attend to our table was named Joe (not a made up name, I wouldn't be bothered). Why I'm writing with such a way already? We get sucked up service, again! So, this Joe guy came over our table - no greetings or smile, nothing in that nature. Put down the menu for each of us and walked away. We're feeling slightly belittled, trying to ignore his f**ked up manners, go on to choose our meal. To cheer you guys up a little while I continue to moaned on another of my bad dining experiences, here's the food we ordered:

Death by Iced Chocolate (RM 9.90) - It was just OK. Nothing that kills me. A blend of normal chocolate powder in milk served with Vanilla Ice Cream and a heavy dope of melted dark chocolate sauce at the bottom. Tends to get slightly sweet at the end.

Iced Cappuccino (RM 9.90) - shall I say more? Don't think so.

Wild Mushroom Soup (RM 9.90) - HUGE portion! Yes, the bowl is huge. We end up sharing this bowl and I got to tell you that the soup is very thick and full of flavor. I loved mushroom soup and I can said this one does not let me down. It tends to get very salty at last, just share this soup if you decided to order as eating this on your own could caused severe blood pressure increment (I'm just kidding).

Spicy Seafood Spaghetti (RM 21.90) - Spaghetti tossed in spicy olive oil and seafood mixture of shrimps, squids and mussels, sprinkled with coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves on top. Mr. D goes on to complain throughout the meal of his tasteless spaghetti, it doesn't taste anything for him, neither does it salty or spicy. Poor guy that keep on picking up the salt & pepper grinder. Get the idea? Tasteless.

Shepherds Pie (RM 17.90) - Minced Beef in Tomato Sauce, Oven Baked with Mashed Potato on top served with coral leaves salad in cream mustard sauce. Good portion, it may looked small but it's fulfilling. Despite the fact that the minced beef patty below tasted almost like those you find in lasagna, it is still a tasty item. Loved the cream mustard sauce in the salads. It gives a nice combinations of vinegar, mustard and slightly sweet lingerie taste.

Duck Confitt Spaghetti (RM 21.90) - No, don't mistaken this as the previous one. I know they looked alike, but believe me, it's Duck Confitt. I'm not exactly sure what it is but well, I loved duck. So there you go, another spaghetti. This one tasted just like the one earlier. I'm lucky that this one came in a mixture of sun dried tomatoes and duck meat in olive oil. The tomatoes lend a little of the sour bits to give the dish a little appeal, failure to which this is just as bland as what Mr. D had. Just an OK dish again.

Classic Beef Lasagna (RM 17.90) - Like the dish name suggest itself, it's pretty much self explanatory. I tasted better lasagna before, so this one get just an OK from me. Try it for yourself and see if you agree with me.

(The bitching continues...)
Joe came back to our table, standing there - again, not smiling or any greetings. Just stand and look at us, signifying he wanted to take order. See, I'm saying "signifying". This freak just doesn't bother to greet his customers! I'm already at my furious level, still trying hard to contained myself while looking at his eyes throughout his presence at our table. Still, I didn't managed to cracked his conscious that he's serving an angry customer already. Incredible service we had in Malaysia, don't you guys think?

Once he's done with his order, my friends already sensed my furiousness and suggest that we just let him alone. "Let's not let that kind of jerk that doesn't get laid last night to spoiled the night". And you're safe - you son of a bitch.

I guess we, Malaysian are too kind and tolerate with such low level of customer service and such people goes on to demonstrate their frustration at work towards their customers. This is definitely unacceptable and most of the time, I'll do a complain directly to the Manager, doesn't matter if it works or not. I'm paying 10% customer service and exorbitant (maybe not that exaggerating, but still..) price for comfort food, I deserved better customer service.

Moral of the story:
Don't think I'll go to Ms. Read again. On another note, my friend told me that his friend had the same kind of experience that we had tonight. Go figure yourself alright mate?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Old Town Kopitiam

Kopitiams are like a trends these days. No longer do they look shabby and dirty but Kopitiams can be found in mostly all major shopping malls and they definitely do look good. One of the most agressive player in expanding their business is Old Town Kopitiam. Their latest opening located in Sungai Wang 3rd Floor (along the walk way to the entertainment zone).

The usual fare of Kopitiams made up their menu offerings. Their specialty is of course the brown coloured Butter & Kaya toast.

The famous brown bread Butter & Kaya Toast

Curry mee - loved this, soup are thick and you can literally taste the coconut milk richness.

Lum Mee - looks like school-days canteen Mee Soup, and tasted like one too, but at the price is not 50 cent like in old school days la..

Prawn Mee - tasted alright but I felt the soup are slightly watery. Add in the "Sambal" given does compensate the soup texture.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Madam Kwan Mid Valley

Madam Kwan gave me a very bad service experience about 5 years ago. That was when I first dine in their KLCC's branch where I find their waiters are extremely snobbish. From that experience alone, I told myself not to ever, ever stepped in to dine here again although I remember how good their Nasi Bojari was.

Why they are snobbish? For me personally, I think the waiters look at us as though we're a bunch of kid that do not have a lot of money to spend, or maybe do not have the money to spend and decided to served us last and not attending to our request. Located in KLCC where tourist are lots abound and our service industry performing double standards in their customer service, totally unacceptable. Undeniable however that their food are still of top quality as I decided to tag along with my friends to have dinner in the Mid Valley branch. If I am to choose where to dine, Madam Kwan will not be the first choice ever. Customer service is very important for me and if you tried to served me like I don't have the money to eat, I keep that close to my heart.

Nevertheless, let's spread a little joy of the tasty food but suck-iest customer service of Madam Kwan:

Nasi Bojari

Nasi Lemak