Friday, May 27, 2011

"POP!" goes Wisdom, Sunday Almost-Liquid Lunch, Giovino's

Bubbles. Free flow. A concept that should be approached with caution, both by restauranteurs and patrons alike.

But before you wise up to that (like maybe on the eve of a 30-something birthday), you may want to have a fizzle and see why the counsel. For RM128++ per pax, Giovino's Sunday Lunch Special lets you (and some choice company preferably) have your fill of Prosecco, a spread of appetisers and a wide selection of ala-carte mains and desserts.

We'll take the bottle, thanks! And keep 'em coming!

Spread of this and that... we didn't exactly go crazy with these, distracted by the pop-and-pour action that was going on elsewhere in the room.

More appetisers, designed to line the stomach before the inevitable feeling of bottomlessness and invincibility takes us over. The highlights here could have been the grilled baby octopus and clams, for I remember nothing else.

This Pan-fried Cod Fillet, wrapped in bacon went down a treat. I remember eagerly helping myself to more than my share of fish, lightly crisp, moist flakes of tenderness. Contrasting flavours worked well too - intense heady bacon, meet shy, gentle cod!

We chose to combine forces for the remaining mains and got the Grilled Seafood Platter, fed more than just two! Fresh and sprightly, with bare seasoning, steeping in juices of the sea. We were especially fond of the squid - not the usual rubber blubber we were used to!

We were steadily working our way through bottles of the tart but utterly guzzle-friendly prosecco throughout the meal and by the time dessert orders were placed, we were simply too giggly and delirious to care. I can only surmise that they tasted as good as they looked!

Pretty Panna Cotta

Fail-safe (surely!) Warm Double Chocolate Flan with Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Fudge Mousse with Caramelized Orange Zest - yay, chocolate and fruit!

At this point, a general sense of foreboding and moroseness began settling over us, as the clock inched closer and closer to the end of the meal. We sulked a bit, and somewhere, there's a vague memory of arguing with the patient wait staff members.

Giovino, serving up lots to eat and drink to hungry, happy people every Sunday from 12 noon to 3PM. We must extend a silent salute to the staff, who remained civil and courteous while they witnessed the general deterioration of our table etiquette and sense of decorum, faster than the speed of "POP!!"

After more birthday cheers and beers at Healy Mac's next door, we joined in the Sunday evening traffic jam back to suburbia. Not sure how we did it, but we did! Maybe Age lets in on a thing or two after all!

Giovino Restaurant
Changkat Bukit Bintang
Tel: +603-2141 1131

Monday, May 23, 2011

We Butter the Bread with Butter, Antipodean Cafe

Lovely name for a band, We Butter the Bread with Butter. But hard as I tried to get into the music, I could not, I simply could NOT. Why didn't I think of the name first? And what happened to the days when I could hack these angry, growling bands?

Once you embrace the Soy Latte-with-heart-shaped-foam-pattern sipping lifestyle, you don't go back.

But let's get down to the business of my beef with this namesake. So we're enjoying a rare lazy breakfast on a public holiday at Antipodean Cafe, a luxury in this age of metamorphosis into complete homebodies where we are frankly, finding it difficult to see a point in going out when there's so much to DO at home.

His Big Breakfast arrives quickly, like so.

Do you see what I see? The slice of bread comes ready buttered. He picks up his fork and dives right in, to my horror. I don't know about you but the act of buttering one's bread remains strictly the domain of the breakfast owner. The liberty to spread it heart-stoppingly thick, with great gusto or wafer-thin, sparingly with dignified restraint must remain mine and only mine! Pre-buttered bread is big brekkie blasphemy - they may as well serve us margarine!

To be fair, he doesn't take much offence, and the arrival of my Smoked Salmon Omelette silences me. It is sunny and serene, the furthest thing from a gourmet gaffe, no room for any grouses. Creamy enough without being sloppy, fancy enough without the overkill. The absence of bread (and butter) here helps to douse the unexpected outrage.

Late arrival of extra side of Bacon (generous for RM6) melts the last of holiday angst away. But this I remember when I make it back at Antipodean for breakfast - I butter my bread, with butter, not you, nor you, no one else!

Cue the deathcore music! GRRRR-OWWWLLL!!

Antipodean Cafe
20 Jalan Telawi 2

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm Spicy Thai

Petaling Jaya's latest Thai offering I'm Spicy is located in the fringes of Section 17 bordering SS2, on the same row as Kanna's.

Green Curry Chicken Rice was a very moist, almost wet affair. We probably would have fared better ordering the curry standalone and loading up on white rice on the side instead.

The recommended Som Tam Tort (Deep Fried Papaya Salad), which was regretted. Appreciate that it's a different twist to the good ol' dependable Som Tam but just didn't see the point of dunking all that freshness and different textures of fruit, nut and vegetable into oil.

I'm Spicy did pass the Tom Yam Goong test - not good enough to be declared super awesome but it does get the sour & spice balance tick.

The menu is somewhat limited but the restaurant does serve pork and declares it a specialty, specifically the deep fried pork ribs (which we passed because in favour of the deep fried salad). Not willing to write this one off till we have a go at that.

I'm Spicy
1 Jalan 17/45
Petaling Jaya
46400 Selangor
Tel: +603-7954 2281

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Better than Home Improvement at Chip 'N' Dale, TTDI

After years (yes, years!) of anticipation, the move into new home is finally done! But if I had envisioned for one second that the move meant the end of the chapter where I'm planning, deliberating, calculating and fighting pretty much every spare minute from work, I got set straight pretty much as soon as we moved everything in and started unpacking.

OK, so the work is never really going to be done, as are the squabbles over the most trivial things (like the function-assignment of different types of kitchen towels) and quick-and-nasty meals from the neighbourhood dai chow. Upon prompting from recent blog post at Eat Drink KL, we made it a point to drag ourselves away from home one evening to do what we did best, better than home improvement, at least - beer and pork!

Chip 'N' Dale is one of the new joints that's cropped up along Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, infamous suburban stomping ground for the thirsty.

Good ol' Tiger hits the spot, at RM35 per jug all night long. I (almost) forgive him for putting a hole in our newly-painted wall accidentally. There's Kilkenny and Guinness on tap too at decent guzzle-friendly prices. If beer's not your poison, there are plenty of other options from a clearly well-stocked bar.

Took cue from Sean's post and thought why not the Drunken Pork Chop? The sauce was definitely saved the dish from being too commonplace a pork offering - they certainly weren't sparing in the use of alcohol here!

We both liked the Pork Escalope better though, which while crumbed and pan-fried, still came light and moist on its own. Barely minded the meagre serving of the mushroom sauce accompaniment. If only we agreed about things at home as easily as we did with this dish.

The food took about 40 minutes to come, even though there were barely two or three tables occupied. Must be pretty laid-back in the kitchen, would need to step on the pedal more if they were serious about the dining crowd.

Not sure about how the look the place is trying for but I'm not crazy about it - for one dining on those rickety bar tables just isn't ideal, and the seats lining against the wall are way too narrow to be comfortable.

Would come back for the food menu and the drink prices the next time we need a break from home improvement. Hopefully they'll have more decent, derrière-forgiving seats then!

Chip 'N' Dale
Lorong Rahim Kajai 14 (towards the end of the row away from the junction)