Daily Archives: June 20, 2016

Hello by Kitchen Mafia – B-G 1 Jalan 17/13, Happy Mansion, PJ

Hello by Kitchen Mafia is helmed by Shearson Lian a Celebrity Chef.  So let’s just start out by saying that the bar is now placed rather high.

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It was a lazy cool Sunday. Have you noticed how this weather just makes you hungry all the time? Well two friends and me decided to go out for a late lunch and I decided on Hello by Kitchen Mafia because someone told me about it.  So once again having no expectations except that it belonged to Shearson Lian and also Johnny Fua, we went a couple of rounds and found a park.  And who should be outside his restaurant as we waited to go in, The MAN himself.

The restaurant was crowded because of Father’s Day so he told us we had to wait for a few minutes. So Shearson handed us three menus and we perused through it looking at the rather comical names like Apek Fried Rice and Kampung Boy Fried Rice and the likes, so we had to make sure we didn’t order something ordinary with a funny name.

So finally we were seated.  I’d like to mention that tables were quite small and I got worried because of what we ordered.  After paying and just getting ready to chat half expecting the food to take a while since the place was full… out pops the Crispy Banana Blossom with Spicy Mango Kerabu.

So of course we did the obvious and took a few photos, I mean it was less then five minutes of ordering I should say.  And before we could figure out what we were about to eat, the three main courses came.  Now we had four dished on the table coupled with three drinks and glasses of water and it was beginning to get suffocating.

We quickly took photos and and started to eat and as we were starting with the Crispy Banana Blossom, half guessing it might be the soft shell crab, the Duck Egg Calamari came.  So I told the waitress to please slow down and before we could breathe, Shearson himself comes with  the Salted Egg Butter Milk Squid and the Soft Shell Crab. He looks at the table and does nothing to ease the situation.  I got a little peeved with this because as the owner of the place and having been overseas countless times as seen on TV, he should have done something.   Don’t ask me what, I’m sure he could have figured out something!

Then we start eating as fast as we can, the Tortilla Pizza comes.

We were so overwhelmed that we had to rush to have space. In fact I had to pick my little tin plate in my hand and eat from it ala old Chinese style.  That was how rushed and how fast the food came.

My followers would know by now, I never ever have the whole list of food ordered, but this was how it was yesterday.  Everything came so fast that we were left breathless rushing through our meal.  This might have affected the whole meal experience, however in all due respect, the food was good.

So let us begin.

We rushed to finish the Banana Blossom and kerabu.  This was nice and flavor some, and frankly speaking we had trouble wondering if the kind of tempura’d Banana Blossoms was actually the soft shell crab we ordered.  It was that mysterious.  The Kerabu was excellent and the addition of thinly sliced long beans gave it that much needed crunch.  The sweet and sour taste along with that tiny  hint of spiciness gave this dish that extra kick.  This is how anything sweet and sour should be.  I was not too fond of the peanuts, I am not a peanut fan so this was just me.  I would have preferred whole peanuts so I could pick at it.

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By this time they took away our cutlery container and we were left with just chopsticks to eat the kerabu and pick at the long beans which I thoroughly enjoyed.  We couldn’t eat up the whole dish because there was no spoons and we had to move forward to the next dish as quickly as possible.

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We had to strategize this meal to make sure we still enjoyed ourselves. So friend and I suggested we eat all the small plates first.  So we started with the Soft Shell Crab with the Siracha Mayo.   The crab was well done, and crispy and juicy and when you bit the middle there was still that water sac inside.  That is always the case with soft shell crab unless it is chopped in the middle.  I think the Siracha Mayo did not do justice to the Crab.  I think the sambal belacan that came with the main course gave a better flavor. I think perhaps if they mixed the sambal belacan with the Mayo, it would have been something rather special. Ok plate cleared!

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Next!

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The Duck Egg Calamari. This was an interesting dish so to speak.  I must say by now we had forgotten what we had ordered. We knew it was calamari something but we forgot it was even duck egg.  We just ate and commented that some of the pieces were tough and hard to chew but the bigger pieces were perfect.  Perhaps if the pieces were a bit bigger, then it would have been perfect.  I didn’t taste anything Ducky with the duck egg topping and all.  I remember eating Char Koay Teow with Duck Egg once and there was a pronounced after taste.  The hint of curry leaf probably took away any duckiness.  I like curry leaves. I just enjoy eating them like this. I wish there was a bit more curry leaves.

All in all still very good.

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Next was the Tortilla Pizza with 3 cheeses as topping.  Now I must say this was what the doctor ordered so to speak. It was a good blend of cheese with just the right ratio of Parmesan, Aged Cheddar and Blue Cheese.  Nothing was overwhelming and those blue cheese haters would have never detected blue cheese at all.  As we were beginning to have breathing space now with plates and all being removed, we started to enjoy our meal much more.  I could have had two plates of this and would still long for more.

I am not a fan of heavy pizza, and while a  Tortilla base might sound fast food, it was perfect.  Had they decided to use thin crust pizza base, it would have totally spoilt  this dish.  I loved it! And so did the other two.

Now we had the main courses to reckon with.

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Ok by now, main courses were a tad bit cold. The Salted Egg Butter Milk Pesto sauce kind of started to get the pasta all stuck together. This needs to be eaten hot or fresh from the stove.  Flavor wise, it was excellent as sticky and bunched up as the pasta was, it was nice.  I loved it and so did the rest.  I think I could have had it even without the Soft Shell Crab which was cooked to perfection I might add.  Ok.. As I am typing this, I can still remember the flavors so avidly. Well Done!

Spicy Thai Beef was next.  The fusing of flavors together with the fresh basil gave this heavy looking dish a sense of lightness.  The spiciness took it to another level.  It was a wonderful flavor and by now there were three father full boys and yet we all enjoyed it.  One little setback for me anyhow was the use of minced meat.  I figured for some reason it would be thinly sliced beef a la Pho Bo style.  The noodles were eaten rather quickly and in the end all the meat was below.  Note too, we still used chopsticks as everyone was too busy to take any notice of our need for spoons.  In the end when the middle of the restaurant long table cleared, we saw the cutlery thingy and got three spoons.  We needed it now to taste the meat and also to scoop the last dish which was the Ginger Beef Fried Rice.

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Now before I end with the Thai Beef, I have to say eating the meat on it’s own was not too enjoyable.  The mince was dry, obviously Shearson uses good quality and low fat, but it became hard to swallow and don’t forget it was cold.   Perhaps if we had eaten it together with everything in the bowl, then it would be different.  Still very enjoyable.

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Finally, Ginger Beef Fried Rice.  I like Ginger Beef.  Now as a fried rice, this was truly something else.  The gingeriness gave it a nice flavor. Now I love anything ginger, so I have no complaints.  The meat was perfectly flavored and it was not tough.  I liked it. It was a nice comfort food kinda flavor. Nice on a cool to cold morning.  The sambal belacan had a nice flavor too, but we kind of forgot to eat more of it because we were quite full.  All that rushing had taken it’s toll on the once three hungry boys.   I did find the fried egg to be a tad over fried though. Perhaps if the yolk was a tiny bit runny and so we could mix it with the rice and it would break easily into pieces.  This didn’t happen.

All in all, the food was very good.  We will go there again and REQUEST A BIGGER TABLE.

I think if you sell Tapas, you need to provide bigger tables.  I have a tendency of going over board with Tapas when I am really in the mood and could have ordered a few more, but we didn’t because I knew the table would be a problem.

I love those cute enamel plates.  I mean it made me feel very retro and gave an old feeling to rather modern food.

The staff were excellent.  Everyone had big smiles and one of the girls had the most prettiest smile I’d ever seen.  This just made up for the food piling.

Now the Coconut Latte I feel could have had more coconut.  I had it in my head that it would be served with coconut cream. I wonder how that will taste?  This might be something to try out I think.

So there you go.  Hello by Kitchen Mafia.. a sure to go again restaurant.  Well Done Shearson Lian and Johnny Fua.

 

 

 

 

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Dolly Dim Sum – LG43, NU Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

I’ve passed Dolly Dim Sum many a time when I am in that area but it is always after I have eaten or am carrying many things or as usual I might be all by myself, so I never ever ventured in.  Now I always notice a crowd especially during lunch time and so I guess it must be good.

I love Dim Sum.  I love any kind or morsely food and so Dim Sum tops the list followed by sushi, then followed by other foods that come in small portions.

So today I had a chance to go because I had a friend in town.  When we reached there it was still closed, well they were just arranging the place and preparing the tables and all, so we waited.  Now I didn’t realise Dolly Dim Sum was halal for some reason till I saw an employee with a Tudung rush in.

So finally they allowed us in.  I always like entering a restaurant that is not too full so I can be seated where I like, ie a point where I can see everything.  Menu came, and the lighting was a little bit dim to read the blue lettering, either that or I might be needing glasses soon, so I had to switch on the phone torch to see better.  Choices were made and so we waited.

20160618_111837We ordered a pot of Pu Er tea as always.  Now for some reason, the Pu Er was not the best I’ve tasted.  It was calming for  a cool day but didn’t leave that lingering taste on the palate.  Still it was nice to talk over a cup of tea before the foods started appearing.

20160618_112034First to arrive was the Crystal Prawn Dumpling.  The skin was ‘Crytally’ enough, the prawn and scallion filling ratio somehow wasn’t right because you tasted more scallion than prawn.  And the prawn used somehow wasn’t as big as I am used to.  Still the flavor was good.  Of course I had two pieces of it, because friend being from Kota Kinabalu is quite anti vegetables, so he only ate one piece.

20160618_111942Then the Salad Prawn Dumpling.  This was nicely fried, but badly presented on the plate.  No garnish and it looked like it was just chucked on the plate.  I actually had to arrange them so I would take a photo.  As I was half expecting them to come back and cut it into two, alas that didn’t happen.  Taste wise it was good.  You actually tasted prawn. I didn’t care much for the sauce.  For me a good Dim Sum should taste nice without any sauce.

20160618_111949Now the Prawn Cheong Fen………. long pause needed to describe it.  I feel this was not prepared by someone who is a Dim Sum Chef so to speak because this was the standard you would eat in an ordinary unair conditioned Dim Sum place around.  The Cheong Fen skin was thick and and you could hardly taste any prawns and the soy sauce that went with it hardly permeated through the Cheong Fen so even if you ate it together there were two distinct flavors.  The Dried Prawn and Chilly Concoction too couldn’t cover the Cheong Fen taste.  This is always my favorite and luckily I didn’t order two varieties.

20160618_112005The Pan Fried Radish cake was nice.  It was not overly powering and oily albeit a little bit smaller then usual.  It was nice enough I must say.  And it didn’t have that starchy after taste like some that I have tasted previously.  I was half expecting Loh Pak Koh but they didn’t have it.  Some times I don’t understand why they just cannot make it when they already have the main ingredients and all they need is Bean Sprouts, Eggs and Chives and a bit of Garlic and Prawns.

20160618_112052The Har Gao was nice although I did feel the skin was a tad thicker then usual.  Prawn was evident so that’s a plus.  One tiny problem I had was I felt the prawn was not really tasty, like it lacked a bit of marinade or something.  Still it was fresh so that’s important.

20160618_112105The hit for the morning was the Szechuan Dumpling.  Now this one was the BOMB!  It literally exploded in flavor once it entered your mouth and once you bit into it, the flavors would give you a nice burst to the senses.  It might have been a little spicy but it was a tasty nice spicy. We could have ordered another plate if we didn’t order all the rest.   This one we both liked.

20160618_112419The Sweet and Sour Bean Curd Roll was tasty and not over powering in sauce, but I also tended to feel that the sauce lacked a bit of boom.  You know when you put something sweet and sour into your mouth, you need to get that sweet and sour flavor before you bite into the meat that it is coating. The flavor of the bean curd roll was nice but just lacked that bit of oomph.

20160618_112424Siu Mai is the basic staple of any Dim Sum.  I found Dolly’s to be nice in flavor but very clumsily served with the fish roe all over as seen in the photo.  It also lacked a bit of shine or glisten, perhaps this was because of the lack of oil, as there is less oil in chicken meat then there would be in pork.  Flavorwise it was good.

20160618_112602Now the Golden Fish Cracker was something I totally unexpected.  Dolly’s doesn’t have photos in their menu so this was a total surprise. It wasn’t bad in flavor of anything, it was just not what I expected.  It was well received by the two of us I must say, but I have this thing about salted egg yolks and of late I find salted egg yolks are not as salty as before.  And this was the case. Now had it been more salty then this would have enhanced the flavor even more.   Still it was nice.  But do note, this has to be eaten while it is still hot.  Once it is cold, it will taste ordinary.  I don’t know but this is me, perhaps if the added a teaspoon of salted egg white, it might have given this dish some flavor.

20160618_114946After proclaiming how full we were, we ordered dessert.  We ordered the Mango Pudding with Sago and Pomelo and  A Coconut Pudding.

Now I have always had my Mango Pudding a little harder and you ate spoonfuls of it with a bit of the topping.  Dolly’s however, was very soft.  Like unset custard.  flavorwise it was good, just too soft.  The Coconut Pudding stole the show. It was light and flavorful and not overwhelmingly coconutty.  And the shredded coconut flesh took it to another level.  It was a refreshing feel to the palate.

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I was told the Dolly Dim Sum in Aevnue K is better.  Maybe I will venture there one of these days and check it out.  I don’t think that should be the case though, because you’re under one name, everything should be the same.

Do try Dolly’s when you are at Nu Sentral.  It’s pleasant and the ambiance is nice.