Monday, April 27, 2015

Panchos Mexican Taqueria @ Mid Valley

Dónde está la taqueria? Opening this week in Mid Valley, Panchos claims it serves the city's tastiest tacos, burritos & quesadillas; there are a couple of other contenders in KL for that crown, but fortunately, this isn't entirely an empty boast - Panchos' food harbours lively, full-bodied flavours that linger in the memory, mirroring its founders' confidence.

Panchos does justice to the fundamentals of a taco shop - customers can choose from soft flour tortillas or crispy shell corn versions, filled with one of the following five - smoky chipotle slow-roasted pulled beef, slow-braised sweet-sticky beef brisket, flame-grilled herb chicken, picante chilli chicken or pan-fried fish - plus pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream, cheese & lime. Convincingly textured, with an unmistakable vitality in taste that's a testament to Panchos' kitchen-produced marinades & fillings, which reputedly include pinto beans from Mexico, made-from-scratch salsa & market-fresh tomatoes, cilantro & onions.

Panchos' burritos are possibly even more enjoyable; have 'em rolled in a warm, whole-wheat tortilla or in a cardboard 'bowl' without the tortilla; either is hearty enough for a filling meal at RM16.90. While Mexican food has its admirers in KL, it still boasts more of a cult following than true mass appeal; Panchos' accessibility - extending to its easy-to-like flavours, its fair prices & convenient venue near the GSC multiplex's ticketing counter - could play a part in promoting a Mexican food wave.

Nachos (RM18.90) & quesadillas (RM14.90) are available too, though these may not stand out as much as the tacos & the burritos. Order a beef filling if you like prefer robust dynamics & heftier dimensions, & add extra guacamole (the rendition here is juicy rather than creamy, with a raw zing & rich zest). Trivia: Panchos is founded by KL-based couple Thomas & Jennifer, who'll be familiar to folks who've patronised their previous project, a private kitchen called Jumak Dining. Thomas is Korean, but his gastronomic influences are genuinely global, having spent years continent-hopping through Mexico, the UK & Australia.


One more tip: Don't overlook the sauce counter, not noticeably tucked beside the slushie machine, where customers can choose hot seasonings & sliced jalapeno peppers to spice up their meal. The extra heat is worthwhile & can be enjoyably washed down with a bottle of Jarritos - refreshing Mexican soft drinks in fruit flavours like grapefruit, pineapple or tamarind.

Panchos Mexican Taqueria
Level 3 Mezzanine, Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur. Same floor as Madame Waffle

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-April 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires April 30, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Eat Drink KL Official Mobile App For iOS & Android


It's here! By restaurant lovers, for restaurant lovers: The new Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available for iOS & Android, connecting restaurants with customers & promoting a positive spirit of community.




Starting 2 March 2015, every restaurant featured on this app will reward users with a 6 percent discount off their receipts, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long, with no advance bookings required. In return, users will share photos of their experiences at these restaurants, creating a new community of food fans across the Klang Valley.

For every transaction made through this app, 20 sen will be channelled to a charitable organisation every month. The funds will be completely contributed by the restaurants. 

Our first charity for March to May 2015 is the Dignity For Children foundation, which works to help underprivileged Malaysian children break the cycle of poverty through education. 

In March, we raised a total of RM158 for Dignity For Children through your transactions.

The app offers something for everyone who enjoys eating out. Besides a photo feed that's fully powered by users, it also provides a news feed of the latest promotions & highlights at your favourite restaurants.

From local fare to Japanese & Thai to French & Spanish, plus plenty of cafes & coffee bars, you'll find it all here.



The EDKL app is a self-funded, independent initiative by a tiny team of Malaysians. Users can now use the app at the following locations. We'll add many more venues in the weeks & months to come, & will continue updating this list on this page as well as on the mobile app:

BANGSAR
KGB Killer Gourmet Burgers
LA/PA
La Creperie De Caroline
Mercat
Piggy Tail
Rendez-Vous

BANGSAR SOUTH
Nexo
Thirdwave

BUKIT BINTANG
Boat Noodle (Berjaya Times Square)
Kafe Vietnam Express (Berjaya Times Square)

CHERAS
Boat Noodle (Ikon Connaught)

CITY CENTRE
Cherry Bomb (Menara See Hoy Chan)
Drift Dining & Bar
Fatboy's The Burger Bar (Avenue K)
Hubba Hubba (Bukit Ceylon)
The Front Door (Jalan Sultan, Chinatown)
Tujo (Ascott, Jalan Pinang)

DAMANSARA PERDANA
Boat Noodle
Cat In The Box
Epique
Friendscino
Mosano Coffee
Sevencups
Talent Lounge

DAMANSARA UPTOWN
Ecole P
Epicuro
Lammeeya
Swich Cafe
Xiao Lao Wang

KLANG
Boat Noodle (Klang Parade)

KOTA DAMANSARA
3 Bags Full
Bmon Cafe
Burger Junkyard
Gyukingu Japanese BBQ

PETALING JAYA
Bangoya (Jaya One)
Boat Noodle (Jaya One)
Go Thai (SS2)
Kissaten (Jaya One)
Kitchen Creatures (Centrepoint, Bandar Utama)
Robata Monkey (Jaya One)
Strangers At 47 (Section 17)
The Bee (Jaya One)
The Humble Pie Co (Section 17)
Vvaffle (Jaya One)

PUBLIKA / SOLARIS DUTAMAS
Ante
Boat Noodle
Fatboy's The Burger Bar (Avenue K)
Swich Cafe
The Bee
The Red Beanbag

PUCHONG
Agape Love Your Food
CAFFEine
Kafe Vietnam
Porcupine Place
Ticket To Korea

SHAH ALAM
Boat Noodle (Gamuda Walk)
Kissaten (Setia City Mall)

SRI HARTAMAS
Breadfruits

SOLARIS MONT KIARA
Wanderlust

SUBANG
AMPM Cafe
Brooklyn B Bagel Bakery & Cafe
Tryst

TAMAN DESA
Encore Patisserie

TAMAN TUN DR ISMAIL
Boathouse
Chequers
D Legends
Frisky Goat
Interlude
Meat Point

Pickle & Fig
Quar/Tet
Torii
Viv's

OTHER AREAS
Bites (Lake Fields, Sungai Besi)
Foodlogy (Viva Residency, Sentul)
Hubba Hubba (Menara CIMB, KL Sentral)
Kissburger (Desa Park City)
Miss Ellie Tea House (Taman Melawati)

Thank you to all readers & restaurants for supporting us on this initiative. We hope you'll have fun exploring the app & its features, & enjoy exploring the featured restaurants.

Here are the THREE easy steps to redeem your discounts at restaurants. Simply (1) TAP, (2) SHOW, & (3) UPLOAD.

1. TAP on the "Activate Discount" button on the restaurant's app profile page, which will take you to a discount coupon page. No advance bookings are required; you only need to activate the discount when you are already physically at the restaurant.



2. SHOW the discount coupon page on your phone (example below) to your server or cashier, either when placing your order or requesting your receipt. The cashier will deduct a 6 percent discount off your receipt before payment. It's as simple as that!



3. On the discount coupon page, tap on the button to UPLOAD your own photo of the restaurant or the food/drinks that you ordered. This photo will be publicly viewable by other users. You must also upload a separate photo of your receipt for administrative purposes; your receipt photo will be private & not viewable by other users. Please complete this final step - otherwise, you cannot activate further discounts, & we cannot channel any contribution to charity for your transaction.

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cake Jalan Tiung @ Shah Alam

Did Shafinaz bake her way into Hidzad's heart? The former banker says she began brushing up on the art of creating cakes several years back because her beau had a sweet tooth - now blissfully married, the couple have unveiled Cake Jalan Tiung this month, fronting the charge in Shah Alam for the Klang Valley's current onslaught of outrageously beautiful cake shops.

Check out the origami birds - pimped up in Cake Jalan Tiung's signature shades of blue, yellow & white - that float over the counter & threaten to flutter out through the spacious first-floor cafe's lofty windows. You'll also be able to admire the awesome craft of Malaysian furniture makers like LAIN & Fine Grit Studio while basking in serene silence - the outlet hasn't purchased speakers to play music, so the sole soundtrack to your coffee break might be Hidzad intermittently chattering on his cellphone.

It's been less than three years since Shafinaz sold her first cake, but since then, you may have encountered her red velvet cakes & root beer cupcakes in some of KL's favourite cafes, from Empire Damansara's Sevencups to Bangsar South's Thirdwave & Taman Paramount's Awesome Canteen. Or you may have ordered them directly from Cake Jalan Tiung's previous baking base in Bukit Robson. If not, it's worth making the trip to their new cafe - scarcely a 15-minute drive from Subang - for temptations like this nut-studded Christiung Applegate apple cake, available by the tall & thick slice (RM12).

From salted caramel to triple chocolate cakes, the Cake Spade lemon meringue to Berry Sue pavlova, Cake Jalan Tiung's treats taste like cakes should - fresh from the oven (in this case, a Taiwanese-made beast of a machine that weighs more than an adult male gorilla), before a chiller saps them of their flavour & lushness. Shafinaz & her team of hard-working elves currently can bake only 10 cakes per day, so come early or run the risk of pleading for crumbs. Cake Jalan Tiung opens at noon & closes by 8pm so that Hidzad can escape to play late-night football - customers who want the cafe to extend its hours can sign a special petition here, or better still, tell the people of Cake Jalan Tiung in person or through Facebook.

As compelling as Tiung's cakes might be, it's possible that their cranberry blondies are even better, swoon-worthy in the way the initial perfect crunch of each bite melts into mouth-filling, buttery glory with a fruity richness. The Almost Gluten-Free Brownies are great too, dense & gooey but a little healthier than the norm, with brown rice flour, brown sugar, olive oil & a sea salt surprise that kicks in after a second & really rounds out the recipe. Even the chocolate chip cookies can be written home about, addictive for those of us who love the chips more than the biscuity bits. Note that Cake Jalan Tiung's offerings taste uncompromising in their sweetness, suitable for the inner six-year-old in each customer that's clamouring for more cookies.

But if you're seeking something sugary that's still somewhat wholesome, Tiung's chilled chia puddings are nutrition-packed jars of luscious fruit-&-seed goodness. Lovely kitchen-made cold-pressed juices are available too (in ever-changing combos like carrot-beetroot or orange-pineapple, RM10 each), as is almond milk for bottled take-home convenience. There's also coffee.

The cafe's shelves merit close inspection too, profiling the respected brands of chocolate, baking powder & jam that make Tiung's wares entrancingly evil. Cake toppers & party favours by Akudankraf are also showcased for sale. All in all, Hidzad & Shafinaz have taken a leap of faith by jettisoning their corporate careers for F&B, but both of them know all about assessing & managing risks that'll pay off - Cake Jalan Tiung could be on the cusp of super-stardom.

Cake Jalan Tiung
31M, Jalan Tengku Ampuan Zabedah J 9/J, Section 9, Shah Alam. Wed-Sun, 12pm-8pm (baking classes Tuesdays)

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. 
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-April 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires April 30, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my