Sunday, October 17, 2010

on the plate - Frames, Sunway Pyramid

Was supposed to try this place out much earlier at the recommendation of a friend, but when we tried to look for it at its previous location at TTDI Plaza, it wasn't there anymore. Good thing I guess. TTDI Plaza is absolutely horrible, especially in terms of getting there, parking (I've never seen such a poorly designed car park ever before in my life. The architect who designed that car park must have been drunk when he thought it up), and the cigarette smoke that wafts through the air due to all the pubs and stuff. Sunway Pyramid is a much nicer and more accessible location.

Frames is a cosy place that has a nice comfortable ambiance, they've got framed photos all over the restaurant, photos taken by amateur photographers who otherwise probably wouldn't get a platform to display their works. The food is pretty good too.

Barrae (RM8.90) - one of their signature drinks, it's soda with strawberry puree, and other fruits as well. Nice and refreshing. 

Crusted salmon (RM26) - one of the most expensive items on the menu. It looks like not much, but it actually is substantial. A nice fillet of salmon crusted with herbs complementing the tender flesh of the salmon. Complete with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus, some aragula leaves, and a tasty mash (sorry I had mutilated it before I took the photo), and a lovely butter reduction that adds a different dimension to the meat.

Mango tuna sandwich (RM18) - one of the owner's creations, it has lots of tuna accompanied by mango slices, sliced eggs and vegetables, encased in a nice herbed bread. Sorry the picture doesn't really do it justice. The flavor combination is very good, the sweetness of the mango complementing the tuna and other ingredients very well. And if you're feeling wierded out by the combination - don't. The sweet & savory really do work well together in this one.

the Burger (RM22+10) - It's supposed to be either a beef, fish or chicken burger. Apparently if you're hungry you can add another patty (beef, chicken or fish) but another RM5. My friend upped the ante by asking for one of each. The burger comes with the usual fixings, and a fried egg to boot. All patties are hand made in the restaurant, and seasoned very nicely. Even the fish pattie is actually a real fillet of dory that's breaded and fried, not some reconstituted fish parts thing.

Frames is a nice place where you can chill out and hang out, with good and friendly service and good food and drinks, I do recommend it for a good time out with friends or a quiet dinner.

Food: 7.1/10
Drink: 6.9/10
Service: 7.1/10

Location: Oasis Boulevard, at Sunway Pyramid. Go out the main entrance (facing the highway), and make a right turn, and you'll see it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

on the plate - Betty's Midwest Kitchen, Aman Suria

Right. Again, I apologize for the long wait for any updates to this blog. I get busy, you know?

But anyway, I digress... This post is long overdue for one of my favorite joints so lemme put it up now before I procrastinate and leave it for much longer...

Betty's Midwest Kitchen is a relatively new place, it's been open for about a year or so (opened in 2009 if I'm not mistaken). It's a family run business, the wife does the cooking, the husband manages the place and the grown-up kids help to serve and take orders and stuff. It really is one of those honest to goodness places where you really have that sense of family going on. It's a nice, cosy place, someplace where you can enjoy and nice, hearty meal with friends and family.

the cosy interior of the restaurant, on a busy night
the cheeseburger. They have a couple of types, this is  the regular one, and they have something called the Juicy Lucy, in that one, they actually embed the cheese inside the patty.

Dog food, looks gross, but it's seriously yummy. A tray of fries, baked with gravy and cheese and onions. All sorts of gooey, unhealthy goodness. Don't try to eat this alone. Trust me. It will be painful if you try.

The meatloaf (RM15) comes with peas (my favorite!), onions, and mashed potatoes that are silky smooth with yummy gravy on top. At first looking at the pictures I thought it was bacon on top, but when it came it was actually barbecue sauce. The meatloaf tastes good but I found it to be a little too soft and crumbly (I like my meatloaf to have a little bit of bite). Still good value and good flavor though.

Pigs in blankets - sausages wrapped in bacon. The bacon was fatty and added a whole new realm of flavor to the sausages. Oh, and did you know that natural fats don't add to cholestrol? :p

Ribs (Rm32 or somewhere thereabouts) - They were okay, nothing spectacular to shout about but still tasted good.

Soup (RM8) - their soup is generally very good, they change the soup every week and it's always a clear broth with meat and vegetables, very nice, heart warming stuff. Definitely a recommendation.

Pork Chop with apples (RM23) - Most people who saw this were rather disgusted with the idea of having savory stuff with fruit. However, pork with applesauce has been an American staple for what, centuries? Decades? I won't get into that, but the marriage of pork with fruit actually does work very well (for those of you who still can't wrap your heads around it, doesn't sweet and sour pork also have fruit, in the form of pineapple and stuff?)

Sausage platter (RM35) - probably the most expensive thing on the menu, you get 4 (yes, FOUR) large sausages (the real thing, not the over-processed junk we normally get) of different varieties with coleslaw and fries (in this picture my friend asked to have them replaced with mash). The sausages are meaty and bursting with flavor, although I think one of the sausages wasn't to most people's liking (it's a soft white one, I can't remember the name now... in German it would be weisswurst?)

Apple Crumble (RM8) - nicely done with ice cream. Purists will be appalled that they make their crumble with cornflakes. It adds a nice crunch to it, and it tastes good, with the apples, crumble and ice cream making a nice combination.

All in, Betty's is a value-for-money place that has no airs or pretences at trying to be what it's not. What it is, though, is an honest to goodness family place that unapologetically serves pork, pork and pork. There are non-pork options for those who are not inclined towards that direction, such as fish and chips and fried chicken, but the specialities are the pork. Also, the house lemonade is pretty good, and one of the cheaper drink options on the menu.

And here we go, the ratings:
Food: 7.8/10
Drink: 6.5/10
Service: 8.1/10 (can be a bit slow, but always polite and with a smile)

Where is it?
In Aman Suria, facing the NKVE, it's just a few doors away from the Kayu Nasi Kandar.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

food updates!

My apologies, have been too lazy to actually write words, so I've been posting pictures in Facebook instead. But anyway, some of the latest places to be visited and reviewed (and if I have the time, reviewed here) are as follows, with a short summary.

Betty's Midwest Kitchen, Aman Suria - Simple, hearty American fare. With pork, lots of it. What more could a carnivore like me ask for? Meatloaf, baby back ribs, burgers, steaks, apple crumble, and more. Food is high quality stuff, too, and it won't break the bank. Most expensive dishes are around RM30 or so, while regular stuff like meatloaf and burgers are well below the RM20 mark. Definitely will go again. 8.1/10

Kitchen Creatures, Centerpoint BU - Attempts at Western fare, it's main selling point is that there's no service charge or tax. If they could just improve on the food and drinks, I'd gladly pay the service charge instead. Very average food and extremely watered down drinks. Not too keen on a repeat visit, especially if they can't really even do a cup of coffee or a simple hamburger right. 4.1/10

Tao Cuisine Buffet, Sunway Giza - an ala carte buffet that was unexpectedly good and high quality. Most of the cold items such as salads, sushi, sashimi, oysters, etc. are laid out on the buffet line, while teppanyaki is made to order and almost all hot dishes are also made to order and brought to the table. The teppanyaki beef is tender and juicy although can be a tad too salty for some, while the teriyaki butter fish and salmon and grilled lamb chop are fantastic. At RM58++ per person, not the cheapest around but worth the price. 7.5/10

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chance for a free holiday? I'll take it!

Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency

WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is celebrating it's 5th year in business during July of 2010, and we would like you to have a chance to celebrate with us, so we have decided to give-away a FREE Boracay Package complete with 5 Star accommodations at the luxurious Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel on Boracay Island. The lucky winner will win the following Boracay vacation package.

Vacation Package Inclusions:
- 5 Days / 4 Nights Luxury 5 Star Accommodations at the Le Soleil de Boracay  Hotel
- Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines
- Island Transfers - Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila Domestic Airport
- Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Boracay Activities - Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat
- PLUS - 5,000 peso Spending Cash

Read More Information:

on the plate - Belanga @ Empire Shopping Gallery

Was supposed to go for someone's birthday dinner at the Farmland Steamboat place in SS18, but with poor planning and other unforeseen circumstances, we ended up at the new Empire Shopping Gallery, and only three of us.

Parking was still free, and about 2/3 of the shops are open. We wanted to have a simple dinner at Chili's but it was closed. That sucks. But thankfully I spotted Belanga on the list of restaurants, and it wasn't crowded like most of the other eateries.

Belanga is a place specializing mostly in the food of Kelantan and Terengganu. Which means their specialties are Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Ulam, and the like. We had two orders of Nasi Kerabu (RM13.90) and one order of the standard Malaysian favorite, Assam Laksa (RM9.90).

The Nasi Kerabu come with either Ayam Percik (marinated barbecued chicken with spicy gravy) or roasted beef tenderloin, or grilled fish. We had one with the chicken and one with beef. The rice was soft and tasty, and mixed with the kerabu sauce and fresh vegetables and a bit of salted egg (which you do yourself, if you like the flavors all mixed in). The chicken was nicely marinated, and came as an entire chicken leg (drumstick + thigh, for the uninitiated), while the beef was slightly tough but tasted pretty good nonetheless.

The Assam Laksa came as a large portion, and was nice and fragrant, with lots of fish in the soup, and tasted pretty good, just a tad spicy.

Overall the food is pretty good, most would argue, why pay so much for eating simple Malay food when you can get it elsewhere? Well, this place is pretty reliable with the quality, and the cleanliness, and comfort levels. Plus, you won't normally get the same combination of all the different types of Malay foods at the regular warongs and stuff. So there.

Food : 6.8/10
Drink : 6.7/10
Service: 7.1/10

P/S:- yes I forgot to take pictures. Didn't bring camera, and I was hungry

Saturday, May 8, 2010

on the plate - Tepi Sawah Restaurant, Ubud, Bali

For some reason I decided to add a review on some overseas stuff as well. Let's start with something from last year. Went for a trip to Bali over the Easter holidays, stayed at this place called Tepi Sawah Resort. It's a small boutique resort in Ubud, a town near the middle of the island of Bali. It's quiet, peaceful, and far removed from the chaos that is Kuta (the tourist capital of Bali, and the place where the bombings took place)

One of the nights we just stayed at the resort and took in some of the resort food, as guests at the resort we got a discount on dining at the restaurant.

A platter of mixed rice, Balinese style. Sorry I didn't get a good picture and this is rather dark. It had rice, some satay, vegetables, tempe (Indonesian beancurd stuff) and some other stuff, I don't remember. It was good.

And the star of the show, one FULL LARGE rack of pork ribs. This was obviously while I was still learning how to use the camera to take pictures, especially in low light.

The pork ribs were, quite simple put, absolutely delicious. As you can see, the rack takes up pretty much the whole plate. They were succulent and tender, and simply basted with a bit of barbecue sauce and served with fries (not pictured). And the best part? The whole rack of ribs with fries only came up to a grand total of RM18-19 (or thereabouts, at the exchange rate of that time). Incredible.

cool orangey-green (or is it greenish orange?)

Spotted this really cool guy in my garden a while back. Quite a unique color for a dragonfly, eh?

on the plate - Coffee Ritual @ Section 14 PJ

yes, introducing Coffee Ritual, in Section 14, near the old Jaya and the Digital Mall. In fact, it's just down the road from TGI Friday's.

was picking up my violin one evening and we were hungry, and this was kinda opposite my friend's violin shop. So, we popped in as it looked decent.
the place is spacious and clean, with a pleasant atmosphere.

They have three options that you can choose from on the menu, firstly, you can choose anything ala carte from the menu, or, you can choose any main and turn it into a combo, which adds a drink; third, you can choose almost any main and turn it into a three course mail, with either soup and bun or salad, the drink, and dessert to go with it. Not a bad deal.

So, we had a black pepper chicken crepe, and a cajun chicken chop.

I had the three course meal, but was too hungry to snap pictures. The soup and roll went quickly. All I can tell you is that the tomato soup was creamy and very tasty, one of the better tomato soups I've had so far. The roll was soft and warm, and went superbly with the butter and dipped into the soup.

We had to wait quite a long time for the main courses to come, I think if not for the soup and roll, I might have been flat on the floor after a while :p

the black pepper chicken crepe was very peppery. It came with a side of salad. It was alright, nothing really special. The cream sauce was infused with a lot of peppery taste and it kinda permeated the entire dish. Not too bad but not something I'd really go for again.

Why is it that nobody here knows how to really do cajun chicken? Throwing on a few herbs and pouring gravy on it does NOT constitute calling it cajun chicken. Note to anybody attempting to make cajun chicken, use the internet and see how it's done right. Don't go passing off regular chicken chop with a few herbs sprinkled in as real cajun chicken.

/rant over

Anyway, the "cajun" chicken was actually decent, just that it wasn't cajun in any sense of the word. The baked potato that came with it was steaming hot and tasty, although didn't have quite enough sour cream. The vegetables were excellent, though and the chicken was tasty and nicely done.

All in, I wouldn't mind going to this place again, although the parking situation in Section 14 might put me off from attempting to go again. The food is decent, as are the drinks (iced honey ftw!) but the service, although friendly and good, can be slow (coming out from the kitchen... can't fault the front line waiters).

Alright, ratings
Food: 6.8/10
Drinks: 7.1/10
Service: 6.5/10 (I wanted to give two different ratings, but this is an average)

Where to go (for those with gps): 35 Jalan 14/20, Petaling Jaya
(03) 7956-1080

Sunday, May 2, 2010

eager anticipation

"just a few more rounds"

30 turns later

"I'm almost done conquering these stupid Mongols. I'll stop when I get their capital city"

5 turns later

"What? Those darn Romans turned on me and conquered one of my cities. I'll show them"

8 turns later

"how the heck does a horseman defeat an armored gunship? it doesn't make sense"

20 turns later

"just a few more rounds"

CIVILIZATION 5 come quickly!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

on the screen: How to Train Your Dragon 3D

urgh. Back at work, after a relaxing holiday in Krabi. Couldn't wake up this morning for work, but oh well. Managed to catch a flick last night at GSC Midvalley.

How to Train Your Dragon was one of those movies that didn't have much hype surrounding it, at least not here. Saw a large billboard for it near my house, but it wasn't promoted by the cinemas nearly as much as any of the other recent blockbusters.

After a few good reviews, though, we decided to give it a whirl and see if it really was any good. And it was. This is one of the few movies that actually seems like it does have a point in being in 3D, unlike some other movies that were all hyped up in 3D but just didn't really seem to be effective in that medium.

A heart-warming story and excellent graphics along with good voice acting make for a good experience, despite the corny title. I'll give it a 7/10

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

hanging in there

Wednesday is almost over, weekend is imminent. Whoop-dee-doo! : )

Monday, March 1, 2010

hates people cutting in, either in person or on the road

A common sight, especially at traffic lights, is cars blocking another lane while trying to jump queue and cut in front of a line of cars that are patiently waiting for their turn. Sometimes, it doesn't even need to be a traffic light, it could simply be a u-turn or some other place where people have to slow down.

It really gets me very mad at these people. Is their time more precious than mine? Do they have fewer hours in a day? Do they have their pants on fire or something? The thing is, it's easy to blame this on the 'bengs' but lots of people do it, young girls, older gents, even family men with their entire families in the car, all swoop in at the last minute and just cut in and cause even more traffic to build up with their selfish actions.

The worst of the lot, if you honk them, will simply slam on their brakes right at the intersection and not allow anybody else to pass for a minute or so. As if it's your fault that they're downright rude and have the manners of a Neanderthal. Actually that's an insult to Neanderthals, I'm sorry.

And sometimes, they will block an entire lane that's actually free to turn, simply because they want to get ahead of a few cars. The complete selfishness of these people astounds me. How can they actually go about their business and all and even sleep at night? Would they be angry if someone did it to them?

So, because of the actions of a few idiots, who can't wait, honest drivers who have been waiting for 5, 10, 15 minutes, get forced to wait longer, simply because some uneducated idiot can't wait a bit.

Meanwhile, I have the same peeves with people who try to check out baskets full of items at express lanes in supermarkets. I mean, can't they READ when the sign says 8/10/whatever items or less? If there were like 11 items or something I'd understand, but I don't understand how they are going to try to sneak like 102 items through the express lane.

The beauty of this is, when the cashier has the guts to stand up to them, they get upset. They either argue with the cashier, or sometimes they just leave in a huff and leave all their items behind. Yeah, way to go, getting all upset because someone had the temerity to stand up for what was right. They can go without their groceries, for all I care.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pos Malaysia, finally actually doing their job

Finally got two out of the three parcels I was waiting for, this week. Two months overdue.

Checked the order number, they were both the re-sent parcels. Which means that the original ones are still missing (after a month, I told the senders that my orders did not arrive so they sent another shipment, FOC). Some thief out there has them, and is probably enjoying the use of MY stuff somewhere. Brill, absolutely brill.

I still have some guitar picks that I ordered from the US that are supposed to arrive sometime. Even that order was re-sent. I hope they actually arrive.

hey yo! Air Asia and other pet peeves

hi hi! back again, decided to move the blog back to this domain and keep my own custom domain to myself for my own nefarious purposes. So for all intents and purposes, I'm back. at least for now.

so! a while ago I booked a flight through Air Asia, got the booking number through my confirmation e-mail and everything. Decided to try checking the baggage allowances and in-flight meals and stuff through the website.


I entered in the booking number, flight dates and airport information correctly as requested, exactly as it's given me from the confirmation e-mail. The website tells me there's no such booking number.

So I e-mail them (as directed by Air Asia's website).

No response.

I e-mail them again a couple of weeks later.

Still no response.

So I guess I'm gonna have to call them? I would have thought that actually just following instructions would get the job done.

Or does that not work in this country?

I have no idea how these airlines win any actual awards.