Monday, February 29, 2016

Vietnam Kitchen @ Cheras Leisure Mall Malaysia

Dad wanted to lunch at Wong Kok Cafe but it was packed on a Saturday. Hence, decided on Vietnam Kitchen since it was less crowded. Moreover, parents and sis have yet to try Vietnamese cuisine. Service was courteous and friendly. We were ushered in quickly to our table.

Value sets are available and prices ranges from RM34.90++ (for 2 pax) to about RM86.80++ (for 4 to 5 pax). We decided to go ala-carte, and ordered three appetisers and two mains to share amongst 5 pax.

menu - set meal and ala-carte dishes

Dad ordered  a crepe pork roll, which was basically a minced pork chee cheong fun topped with mushrooms. It also had two slices of what tasted like chicken ham. Quite nice actually.

crepe pork roll @RM10.50++

Mom and sis shared a plate of chicken chop rice. The rice set came with a bowl of meatball soup that was a little bit sourish to whet the appetite. The rice was topped with a sunny side up, served with pickles and a slice of pate. The chicken chop was of a good portion. There were also some shreds of stuffs which I thought was beancurd but was rather odd tasting.

Chicken Chop Rice @RM17.90++

Bro, of course, had a bowl of vermicelli to himself. A man needs to eat like a man.  The bowl of noodles was quite huge and its of a dry version. Plenty of beansprouts, served with some fresh greens and pickles. The thin fried springroll has some minced pork in it. Served with a small bowl of tangy sauce.

Springroll with Lemon Pork Vermicelli @RM15.80++

The appetiser that we got was a lapcheong springroll.

(lapcheong) sausage turnips rice springroll @RM8.35++

Actually, it was my first time seeing the lapcheong roll and chee cheong fun in an original Vietnamese menu. Nevertheless, both tasted quite good.

For me, I went for the traditional prawn springrolls, with a glass of orange juice since my choice of drink; soda chanh, wasn't available. Hmm, the drink cost as much as my food! The orange juice was nicely sweet and has a sour plum in it. Yums. The springroll was healthy and packed with lots of vegetables. Served with a hoisin peanut dip.

Prawn Roll @RM8.35++ and orange juice @RM8.35++

Sis ordered a teapot of Atiso tea (Trà atiso) for RM6.25++. It was kind of unique as this was the first time we've tasted artichoke tea. Quite mild and light. The small pot contained two teabags and request for hot water refill was acceeded to without a fuss, though they had to boil some water first. Haha!

We spent about RM20 per pax. Service was friendly and food was served within reasonable time. If you are at Cheras Leisure Mall on a weekend and in the mood for some Vietnamese cuisine, then I would recommend to drop by Vietnam Kitchen.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

COCOTTE Weekend Brunch Trolley @ Wanderlust Hotel

The group decided to have brunch at COCOTTE@Wanderlust just the other weekend, so reservation was made. Cocotte (noun) means casserole, and COCOTTE Weekend Brunch Trolley@$69++ per pax, was what we were looking forward to.

First time having rustic French for brunch, and didn't really know what to expect. Never did any research on this place as well, though I think am still a subscriber to their mailing list. Was somewhat excited to try the food here. For brunch with free-flow Prosecco, that'll be $119++. Hmm, wine is always expensive in Singapore!

many accolades
waiting for our table

Ambiance was nice and cosy. Place feels adequately spacious. Brunch starts from 12pm, so if you are there early, or if need to wait for table to be ready, you could have a go at the foosball table.

retro barber chairs?

Liked the tables by the window, and how the natural lights gently flowed in. Feels a bit homely, a bit countryside.

table for two
Though there wasn't any menu for the brunch, the friendly service crew will drop by the table to explain on how's the experience at COCOTTE was going to be. Food will be pushed out via the trolley and guests will then be served on individual small plates. There will be a few appetisers, followed by three main meats and finally, the desserts trolley. Sounded good, and we were so ready!

And, when they start, the food did come by rather quickly.  First trolley soon appeared next to our table. First appetiser was the bacon and mushroom quiche.

appetiser trolley

For the cautious us, we started by sharing a slice of quiche amongst two pax. The quiche was really lovely. Imagine firm crust and warm wobbly fillings. The quiche was suitably seasoned and flavoured. Expect mild and natural flavours to shine through. Good.

bacon and mushroom quiche - side view

Next, let's have some fresh greens. Next we knew, a plate of salad was presented to our table. The dressing was light and tangy, and the addition of pear gave the salad a fruity sweetness. Actually, it was only in retrospective that we asked the staff what went into the salad. Blue cheese was revealed as one of the items. No wonder, there was a subtle hint of smokey flavour to the salad. Lovely and healthy!

salad leaves with pear and blue cheese

Next up, make a guess. Brunch usually will have some form of bread, right? So, the next appetiser was a trolley laden with sandwiches.

ham & brie sandwich
close up view
The sandwich was good. No kidding. A good slice of ham, with some cherry jam spread and melted brie. Ooh-la-la! Savoury sweet combo? Checked. Crusty bread but not jaw breaking? Checked. Lovely, and wished I had one more. But no. Decided to save the tummy space for the next unknown.

Next up, was a fish dish. Oh, does that mean main items had arrived? Liked the sea bass quite a bit and was also contemplating on whether I needed a second plate of this! But no, am not succumbing to temptations. The fish was moist and adequately seasoned. Once again, it was all about natural flavours with the other ingredients complementing it well.

pan-fried sea bass with dill, one more please
At this juncture, we were contemplating on our drinks. Wine? Yes, please. But first, the next course had arrived. Eggs done two-ways, cocotte-style.

sous vide egg with white beans ramekin (front)
scrambled egg with veal tongue and mushrooms

The sous vide egg was nicely done and with thick bright coloured yolk. The taste of the white beans was a tad like a milder version of baked beans. Enjoyable. The scrambled egg was nice too. The veal tongue tasted a bit like a slightly leaner version of ham.

break it and mix it up

Thirsty? Let's order some drinks, ala-carte. The brunch doesn't come with any drinks, except for the prosecco brunch. Coffee/tea/soda are available ala-carte as well.

There are two choices of house pours so I chose a blended white from France. Actually, the other house pour of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc from Barossa and Eden Valley was also to my liking, and had more pronounced flavours.

M. Chapoutier Cotes Du Luberon La Ciboise Blanc 2012 Rhone Valley
house pour white wine @$13++
Now am ready for the meats. Bring them on! Oh, not yet? Still at appetisers? Wow, that was plenty of food and just for appetisers. Next up, we had the mussels and beef tripe. The sauce for the mussels lacked a certain umami'ness to it, while fried beef tripe, well...stewed ones I like, but fried tripe was just lacking in the taste department.

what surprise lies in that pot?
fennel, cream and white wine clams & mussels, served with rustic bread

fried beef tripe with wholegrain mustard and pickles

For meats, we had roast chicken, pork and beef. But first, a sip of the wine. Then, commençons!

roast chicken with couscous

The roast chicken was tender and even the breast meat was alright for me. But the best part, had to be its skin. So flavourful and in limited edition for our plate. Have not tasted that many couscous in my lifetime, and for this dish, it also didn't leave any impression.

The pork was flavourful and slightly chewy but thoroughly enjoyable. Two slices each would be good.

roast pork with pumpkin puree
oyster blade roast beef with kale and roasted pumpkin

The roasted pumpkin was so sweet. Almost like a dessert. The beef texture was tender and one could taste its natural flavours. Meat and wine. Yums.

oyster blade roast beef with kale

Finally, we have reached the final leg of the brunch, and desserts trolley was next. By this time, we were feeling rather full.

For that weekend, the desserts trolley had four-types of desserts; Pistachio creme brulee, homemade basil ice-cream, banana walnut cake with chantilly cream, and chocolate cake with apple tart frangipane.

desserts trolley

Of course, we asked for each items to share and one ice-cream each. Basil ice-cream, how exotic!

banana walnut cake, basil ice-cream and pistachio creme brulee, apple tart and chocolate cake

The apple tart frangipane had an unexpected texture (at least to me) but the taste of it, grew with each bite. It was dense, much unlike the usual apple tart. A cup of coffee would go so well with these cakes.

apple tart frangipane, chocolate cake
basil ice-cream and pistachio creme brulee

The basil taste was really strong in this ice-cream but I think I quite liked it. Texture was good, and tasted refreshing. The pistachio creme brulee was torched at the table-side. Likeable.

But the winner of the desserts trolley, was really the banana walnut cake with chantilly cream. Thumbs up!

banana walnut cake with chantilly creme and macadamia nuts

With a glass of wine, expect to spend about $96 per pax.

Special shout-out to the makan kakis; Elle, Ivan, Hence, Tracy and Kris.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Rakuichi @ Oasia Hotel

If you are looking for a quiet place for lunch, this might be it. Located at the ground level of Oasia hotel, next to Marmalade Pantry. Unlike Marmalade, the entrance to Rakuichi is not via the hotel. Second visit to Rakuichi, and this time round, chose the Tokubetsu set (トクベツセット) @ $29.80++ that is available during lunch only. About five items in the set inclusive of salad, miso soup and dessert.

Food was served up very quickly as the restaurant had only three tables seated then, including ours. First item to arrive was the salad. This time round, the salad had crispy salmon skin bits added to it. Green tea was complimentary and a wet towel was provided for customers to wipe their hands prior to the start of the meal.


The salad was enjoyable with the tangy sauce, fresh leaves and crispy salmon skin. Next up, we were served the assorted semi-grilled (aburi) sushi. Noticeably, the sushi was slightly smaller than previous visit.  Liked the tamago and the hotate ones the most.

assorted semi-grilled sushi (7 pieces)

Then, all the remaining items were served up together all at once. Miso soup, grilled prawn and potato, and pan-fried fish head with butter and teriyaki sauce. The miso soup was pretty ordinary with some tofu and kelp.

miso soup
grilled prawn and potato with mentaiko sauce

The prawn dish was nice but lacking in the mentaiko sauce. The cheese layer was good, though this wasn't mentioned in the menu. Thought it was potato gratin! Speaking of potato, this smallish hotplate contained potato wedges at the bottom then with some grilled prawns assembled, then topped with cheese. Melted cheese ontop of the prawns? Yes, please.

The pan-fried fish head was easily the best dish. Caramelized teriyaki sauce with deep fried fish head (though a tad bony) was yums with slight smokey flavour.

pan-fried fish head (salmon?) with butter and teriyaki sauce

Meal ended with goma ice-cream. Have to wait a short-while as the ice-cream was still rock solid when served. No worries, as this meal can be accomplished within the lunch hour. Service was friendly and efficient.

sesame ice-cream

Expect to spend about $35 per pax.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

[Gadgets] Hello Kitty Limited Edition Windows 10 Tablet

Calling all fans of ハロー・キティ. If you have always wanted to get a 10.1 inch tablet but yet to do so, plus plans to optimise a budget of less than SGD380, then good news! E-Huge Technology Limited had launched its first Sanrio-themed 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablet from the WMP Character Series in Singapore on 17 February 2016.

Priced at SGD379 and available now at all BEST Denki retail outlets and online store in Singapore. Click here to BEST Denki Online Store.

Grace 10 Light Hello Kitty Limited Edition Windows 10 tablet @$379

The Grace 10 Light Hello Kitty Limited Edition Windows 10 tablet not only comes with an exclusive pretty-in-pink Hello Kitty Pigo keyboard, it also runs on Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 10. Wow. That means one can try out the new computing and browsing experience with Microsoft Edge, and Continuum.

This tablet is powered by Intel® Atom™ Processor Z3735F processor, with 2GB DDR RAM, 32 GB Flash storage and weighs approximately 600 grams. With built-in wifi, 2M front and rear camera and its battery stated to last about 5 hours.

For productivity on-the-go, snap on the Hello Kitty Pigo keyboard, and get some work done as if using it like a laptop.  The Microsoft Office Mobile apps can be downloaded for free on the Grace 10 Light tablet. Or, if you prefer the full Office experience, then do take advantage of the Grace 10 Light tablet Hello Kitty Limited Edition promotion offered by BEST Denki, where you can save SGD20 off the subscription of Office 365 with the purchase of this device. Click here to view the offer. Get a Sennheiser earphone worth $119 for free when you purchase two qualifying products. Terms and conditions apply.

Grace Light 10 Hello Kitty Limited Edition Windows 10 Tablet - get yours today

Yay, now I can bring this lightweight device whenever I go travelling. It will be so handy (and カワイイ).


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hung Kee 亨记饭店 @ Cheras , Malaysia

It was during the recent Lunar New Year and we were visiting relatives around Ampang and Cheras area. The time was about 2+ pm and we were rather hungry. Cousin drove us to Hung Kee for food refuel. Surprisingly, the restaurant was still open during that hour. Usually, Chinese restaurants would be having their pre-dinner time break by then. Oh well, glad that they've stayed open. Let's eat! 吃饭咯!

sample of available dishes

We were a group of 6 adults, so ordered two meats, one tofu, one vegetable dish and another side dish to eat for fun, or in Mandarin we termed it as '吃爽'.

Marmite Pork Ribs
Stir-fried yau mak (油麦) with fermented beancurd (豆腐乳) and garlic
steamed tilapia with minced ginger

The most impressive dish was the steamed fish as it was huge! However, this was the first time that we have minced ginger style that has soy sauce in it. Usually, soy sauce style is for Cantonese steamed fish and minced ginger sauce would be predominantly ginger. This was a hybrid but it still tasted good. However, the fish was rather big and certain parts of its head, looked a tad raw.

The stir-fried vegetable with garlic and 'fuyu' looked rather deceiving, as underneath those green leaves, were some chopped bird's eye chilies.

The marmite pork was very tasty with strong marmite fragrance and sticky sweet caramelized sauce, so it was a pity that most of its meat were rather tough.

Here's one dish that I think, is seldom found in Singapore; the stir-fry 'sang cheong' (生肠) with ginger and scallions. Do you know what is sang cheong? Nope, it is not pig's intestine.

stir-fry 'sang cheong' with ginger and scallions

Some may find it gross to eat innards and in particularly the sang cheong, but I found it utterly delicious. Texture was sprightly and crunchy, and tasted just fine with ginger and scallions. Utterly yums!

Didn't bother to take a picture of the tofu dish as it came to our table last, and we had already started eating halfway through by then.

The cost of the meal was about RM153 for 5 dishes, 5 plates of small rice and a pot of tea and fed 6 pax comfortably.

The place seemed more famous for its charsiew wanton noodles as we spied most tables ordered this, with roasted pork as well.

Hung Kee 亨记饭店

Address: 18-20, Lorong 4/91, Taman Shamelin Perkasa, 55300 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact: +60 3-9282 0133
Business Hours:
Open daily, 6.30am-10pm 
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