Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jamaica Blue Coffee @ Mid Valley

Another Australian-headquartered cafe franchise is breezing into Malaysia: Jamaica Blue, billed as 'the home of fine coffee,' emerged this month at Mid Valley, broadening a cross-border empire of more than 130 outposts that stretch from New Zealand to China, Singapore to the United Arab Emirates.

For shoppers seeking a stop to rest & refuel, there are choices aplenty at Jamaica Blue; the food is prepared on-site, from the mini frittata with roasted potatoes, shallots, turkey ham & tomato chutney (RM7.90) ...

... to avocado (not quite smashed, but more of sliced) with tomato, coriander & lemon on toast, topped with a poached egg (RM22.90 before taxes). Everything from omelettes with smoked salmon to French toast to blueberry pancakes is also available.

Muesli with nuts & dried fruits, paired with milk & extra honey & natural yoghurt (RM10). The selection is fairly well-prepared, served by a friendly & efficient team. Expect more Jamaica Blue outlets to surface in the months ahead in other major malls.

Jamaica Blue's display shelves are also lined with ready-to-go temptations galore, including savoury treats like lasagne, rolls with beef & caramelised onions, & bagels stuffed with turkey & brie ...

... & sweet ones such as brownies, friands, scones, cakes, cookies & assorted pastries.

And of course, coffee: Jamaica Blue offers single-origin coffee from the Wallenford Estate in Jamaica's Blue Mountains, as well as a satisfying signature blend from five different regions.

Not into coffee? Not a problem: Chai lattes, chocolate banana cream frappes & Clipper loose-leaf teas are available too.


Jamaica Blue Fine Coffees Malaysia
Level One, Mid Valley Mall, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2938-3333

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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

Friday, August 22, 2014

Daro Crispy Chicken @ Telawi, Bangsar

Cluck three times if you like chicken: Fans of fried fowl have a new reason to rejoice, thanks to this week's launch of potential fast-food franchise Daro Crispy Chicken on one of Bangsar's most prominent streets.

Peanut butter alert! One of Daro's selling points might be the sauces that are coupled with its chicken. Six wings (RM7.80) come with a choice of peanut butter or honey lemon. Or if you're not into sauces, then simply order them as 'originals' or 'spicy.'

On the plus side, Daro's chicken isn't too noticeably greasy. But it's still ultimately a quick-service, mass-market outlet, so the guilty-pleasure food is predictably saltier than some folks might prefer. The sauces are thick & flavoursome but taste processed.

 Boneless chicken chop for convenient eating, partnered with honey lemon sauce (RM7.30), lives up to Daro's 'crispy' description. Fried chicken balls will also be available by this weekend, stuffed with fruits & cheese (RM7.05 for six pieces).

 In the end, the original recipe works well enough, without sauces. It's all right for fried chicken; not discernibly different, but not disastrously disappointing either. Tastes like fried chicken, nothing more, nothing less.

 'Uniquely Canadian, Distinctly Asian' is DCC's tagline; the staff says this restaurant has Canadian roots, but it might be under a separate name in the Maple Leaf State. The service team is friendly at this Bangsar branch.

 Wrapping up with something special at Daro: The Signature Sandwich (RM4.95), featuring grilled chicken with kimchi & cucumbers with fried mantau buns. If you think you'll like this, you'll likely will.

Daro Crispy Chicken
38, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Open 930am till at least midnight.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hamasho, Tatsu Mi & TWO Japanese Restaurants @ Desa Sri Hartamas

Tantalising new Japanese restaurants have surfaced this month all across Desa Sri Hartamas; here's our definitive deep-dive introduction for three of them, starting with grilled seafood specialist Hamasho, then rolling on to oil-fondue experts Tatsu Mi, followed finally by contemporary eatery TWO. Take a deliciously deep breath.

Charcoal stoves seize the spotlight at Hamasho, as compellingly Japanese as a restaurant gets in KL, complete with menus pasted on the walls that few Malaysians can decipher. Thankfully, Hamasho's owners & team nurture a patient & helpful nature.

Squid receives star treatment, brushed with a mix of sake & shoyu, terrific in taste & texture, as if newly netted from the sea. It might well have been; Hamasho secures fresh seafood shipments five days a week. RM25++.

Prefer squid tentacles (RM15++)? That's possible at Hamasho, the first Malaysian outpost of a Japanese-based F&B business.

'Hokke' Arabesque greenling fish (RM25++), a true treat at Hamasho. Fresh & fleshy, smoky & savoury.

Crab 'head' flesh, scooped up from the shell & mixed up altogether for an interesting preparation (RM18++).

Gindara teriyaki might sound cliched, but the cod fish at Hamasho is a should-order, beautifully buttery, flaky & flavoursome.

Bonito sashimi (RM30++). With so much seafood, Hamasho makes a nice companion restaurant to sashimi-serving Uokatsu nearby (though the two are not affiliated to each other), with their fabulous food reminding us why Japanese cuisine is one of the mainstays of this website, with more than 200 Japanese restaurants reviewed since 2008.

Not into seafood? Deep-fried chicken gizzard (RM15++) is fun to snack on here ...

... as well as made-for-beer-pairing burdock chips (RM15++), salty with a curried tinge ...

... & sliced yam laced with sake & squid guts, an acquired taste.

 What lies within the foil? A mix of mushrooms; tastes better than expected, possibly one of the best of its kind in KL.

 Sake is pricey at Hamasho though; a 360-ml serving that only two can share costs RM90++.

Overall though, we think Hamasho, which has a fun & welcoming vibe, possesses the makings of a smash hit; expect to hear more about this place in the months ahead.

 Next up, Tatsu Mi, where the highlight is oil fondues, partnered with seafood, meat or veggies.

Fondue for two indeed; that's the minimum order here (two people). A serving of seafood costs RM60++ per person.

 The selection comprises salmon, scallops, tuna, squid, prawns, pumpkin, broccoli, carrots, lotus roots, yam & asparagus.

It burns! The chunks of seafood take only a few seconds to sizzle in the oil & be cooked enough for the eating.

 Beef fondues are also available; all in all though, it works better as a novelty rather than mouthwatering nourishment.

Oden is served as a complimentary appetiser; liquor can be ordered too, of course.

 Wrapping up our Hartamas expedition with TWO, which doubles up with Japanese & Western cuisine, but our focus here is on the sashimi & sushi, not the seafood pasta or the mussels with lemon sauce.

 TWO features the work of two chefs, Yoshi & Kent, who both honed their skills at New York eateries. The menu proudly bears the 'fusion' label, with ostensibly French & Italian influences, resulting in hits & misses.

 Summer flounder, sliced & served with shoyu (RM28 before taxes), pretty much passes the mark for freshness & flavour.

 Yellowtail with ponzu-based sauce & jalapenos (RM30), a bit of a mess, with the heavily savoury sauce completely overwhelming the fish.

 TWO's signature sushi roll (RM30) showcases tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado & crab stick wrapped with cool, crunchy cucumber strips. Not a bad change from regular seaweed-reliant rolls.

Ooba Maki (RM16): Tuna, mint leaves, avocados & asparagus, fried & paired with sweet chilli sauce, the undoing of this dish.

 Sushi pizza (RM28), blanketed with fish, guacamole & again, a cloying sauce that undermines everything else on the plate.

 Booze is offered & service is friendly; we wish TWO luck, though we think it'll be tricky for it to secure a competitive advantage.

Hamasho
42, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. 
Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday (but closed this Saturday, August 23). Tel: 03-6206-1127 

Tatsu Mi
7 Jalan 19/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Dinner, except Mondays.

TWO Japanese & Western Cuisine
B-G-03A, Glomac Galeria, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6201-0010

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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