Sunday, November 23, 2014

Polpetta @ 10 Boulevard, Petaling Jaya

A meatball cafe? This new family-owned restaurant has a fun hook with heaps of potential - after all, everyone likes meatballs.

Polpetta is the brainchild of 20-year-old Egbert Nah, largely inspired by The Meatball Shop chain in New York City, as well as Egbert's stint working at MyBurgerLab. Egbert's family has deep roots in F&B - his uncles own Champ's in Centrepoint & BSC & Bernard's in Centrepoint.

The concept's similar to The Meatball Shop's - choose your balls (beef, chicken or meat-free mushroom), select a sauce, topping & an optional base. True to Polpetta's name, the recipes are mainly Italian.

Chicken meatballs with a pasta base, marinara sauce & parmesan cheese topping (RM13). The meatballs are big - supposedly six centimetres in diameter, bigger than a golf ball & close to a tennis ball.

Chicken meatballs with mashed potatoes, pesto sauce & beef bacon crispy crunch (RM15). Polpetta is still tweaking its recipes to make these meatballs juicier, though they're already nicely textured, with a home-made coarseness & real-meat tenderness that combine for a satisfactory bite & a fulfilling chew.

Note that stocks can run out fast; we reached at 1pm on a weekday & the vegetarian balls made with white mushrooms were sold out for the lunch session (they would only be replenished during dinnertime). Polpetta is also open on weekends, when parking is much more plentiful in the 10 Boulevard complex.

Beef balls with more mashed potatoes (the brown rice & salad bases were also sold out), cheesy cream sauce & roasted garlic topping (nuts or roasted onions are the other two possible toppings) for RM13. Further customisation is possible - patrons can skip the base & save RM3 or add on a fried egg for RM1 or hash brown for RM1.50.

No complaints - portions are hearty; everything tastes fresh & reasonably nourishing, tasting pretty much as good as they look. Total comfort food. As time goes by, we hope Polpetta will come up with more imaginative preparations & components to keep things interesting & expand the horizons of this 'meatball canvas.' Service is friendly, efficient & welcoming.

Polpetta has other dishes to add variety - we like the eggplant 'toasties' (RM8), served steaming-hot, crispy on the outside & succulent within, crowned with creamy tomato sauce & cheese to make this pretty much a parmigiana - absolutely addictive. Fried chicken wings, beef goulash & oxtail soup are available too.

The petite Red Cupid cupcake - red velvet with Nutella cream cheese frosting - is freshly baked everyday & makes for an enjoyable ending to a meal at Polpetta. Pair it with a green tea latte.

Polpetta cares about its coffee too - blends are secured from Subang's MyEspresso Cafe.

Polpetta Cafe: Your Meatball Canvas
10 Boulevard, Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The cafe is on back row of the complex, not visible from the Sprint Highway.
Open daily, 11am-9pm


Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. 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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ratha Raub @ Damansara Uptown

This casual, family-owned restaurant is fast becoming one of Damansara Uptown's most popular new hangouts this year, welcoming crowds who've been eager to savour a three-decade-old culinary legacy that was first born in Pahang's Raub town.

Ratha Raub was conceived by Mr & Mrs Rathakrishnan, who started their restaurant in Raub in 1981. The business has come a long way since then; Ratha Raub is now TripAdvisor's top-ranked restaurant in Raub, & the couple's children expanded their brand successfully to the Klang Valley in early 2014.

By now, an entire generation has grown up enjoying Ratha's renowned fish head curry (RM59 for a portion four can share), cooked with red snapper, golden snapper or grouper, depending on what's best available everyday. The fish is fresh & fleshy, heartily immersed with veggies in coconut cream curry that's tangy with tamarind, aromatic with aniseed, turmeric & coriander.

Ratha Raub's a treasure trove of no-nonsense recipes that the Ratha family worked to perfect in their kitchen over the years; they've vowed to ensure that standards remain consistent, so that this squid-&-prawn sambal sizzler (between RM25-RM35) remains a precisely fine-tuned pleasure in both Raub & Damansara Uptown - it's a firecracker of flavour, but not overly spicy.

 The fried NZ lamb shoulder (RM9) has won over many fans; it's not only very tender but uniquely tasty with a sweet richness that's made complex with cumin, ginger & garlic. Best shared, since it's a sinful snack.

 Ratha is also proud of its fried chicken (RM4.90-RM5.90), expertly prepared with golden-crisp skin & succulent meat.

 We're fans of the claypot lamb briyani - fairly priced at RM13.50 for a substantial portion, mixed with heaps of gravy-soaked meat, a whole boiled egg, shallots & nuts to turn each spoonful of the firm, fragrant rice into an ideal treat for briyani lovers.

Vegetables also prove well-executed here, from ladies' fingers (RM7) to long beans, cabbage to cucumbers.

 Many thanks to Mr Ratha's son, Mani, for hosting this meal. There's still much more for customers to explore on the menu, from nasi lemak to chicken varuval, roti canai to capati & tosai.

No lack of beverages either to cool down with; our best bets were the mango lassi (RM5.50) & barley (RM2). 

 For customers who want to bring a bit of Ratha back home, the restaurant also offers convenient packages of curry paste, with varieties that include fish head curry (it's the exact recipe that's used for the restaurant's fish head curry), kurma curry & rendang curry, comprising no artificial flavouring or colouring. Each 380-gram packet - made with freshly ground chilli powder - costs RM4.70-RM8.70 & takes only 15 minutes to turn into a ready-to-eat serving.

Restoran Ratha Raub
32 Jalan SS21/35, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-7733-9287

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. 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

Michelin Dinner Series @ Mezze, Medan Damansara

Mezze is on a roll this year - the beloved Bukit Damansara restaurant hosted two Michelin Dinner Series events for 2014, collaborating with chefs from Michelin-starred establishments in Europe to cement its status as one of KL's essential eateries.

First came chef Alexy Fuchs from Le Gavroche in Strasbourg, France, back in August. This month, chef Marco Cavallucci from La Frasca in Cervia, Italy, had his turn to work with Mezze's resident head chef Yves Pierre Renou for three memorable nights.

Many thanks to Mezze's Ling for having us at the Nov. 10-12 wine dinners, which kicked off in a tangy fashion to perk our appetites with sips of watermelon gazpacho, alongside dainty cannoli with puttanesca sauce - bite-sized snacks that manage to maintain Sicilian culinary traditions while instilling a contemporary interpretation of familiar flavours.

Scallop with deep-fried sardine & aubergine puree combine for gastronomic alchemy, fusing the ocean's bounty with the harvest of the land. Paired with MGM Mondo del Vino's Mannara Pinot Grigio.

Quiche of prawn, brimming with crustacean brininess, layered with Momotaro tomatoes & aubergine, elegantly garnished with fried basil leaf & encircled by morsels of ratatouille. Paired with Ricossa Gavi 2012, one of our favourite matches for the night.

Lemon sorbet with limoncello for a liquor lover's palate cleanser - can't get more brilliant than this.

Two carnivorous main courses ensure that guests leave with both their taste buds & tummies satiated - tender pigeon with savoury, firm-to-the-bite red wine risotto & rosemary ...

... & truffled boneless lamb loin rosettes with clean, precise flavours over a bed of potato gratin. The former was paired with Ricossa Barbera d'Asti 2013, the latter with Soprasasso Amarone della Valpolicella.

Cassata, another Sicilian speciality presented with a refreshed twist here, accompanied by with ricotta-stuffed cannoli & fruits.

Petit fours bring the evening to an enlivening end; after five years & several revamps & refurbishments, it looks like Mezze is firmly entrenched to remain one of the city's most relevant dining destinations for a long time to come.

Wondering what's currently on Mezze's regular menu? Everything from charcuterie platters to bacon-crowned tarte flambee.

Mezze Bistro
132 Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Open Mondays through Saturdays. Tel: 03-2095-0122

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. 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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dal.Komm Coffee Malaysia @ Damansara Uptown

Desserts, drinks & music come together at Malaysia's first outpost of South Korean cafe chain Dal.Komm Coffee, which opened this month in Damansara Uptown, with a second branch also newly ready in Cyberjaya's D'Pulze Shopping Centre & a third to follow soon in Putrajaya's IOI CIty Mall.

Thanks to Dal.Komm's friendly team in Damansara Uptown for hosting our recent visit; this bright & spacious two-level cafe is now completely operational & serving the public. It will hold its official launch ceremony on Saturday next week, November 29, with South Korean pop band 2AM as the special guests.

Walk on up to Dal.Komm's first floor, where customers can currently find a couple of iPads preloaded with wide-ranging songs (Colbie Caillat, anyone?) & headphones for privately enjoying their tunes of choice.

Bingsu mania continues to sweep across the Klang Valley - the shaved ice dessert is served in fun ways at Dal.Komm; the most striking might be this one, with a hot, freshly made chocolate lava cake to contrast with the rest of the frosty components, which include a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Also noticeably pretty in presentation: Bingsu topped with lemon or blueberry tarts, for fans who like tangy-fruity flavours.

Dal.Komm's recommended beverage is the Iced Honey Grapefruit, a sweet & refreshing concoction that's constructed with grapefruit juice bolstered by a thick, luscious slice of real grapefruit & drizzled with honey. RM14.50.

With plenty of unique options, there's something for every preference, from the Honey Coffee Cube - RM13.50; honey milk crowned with coffee ice cube crystals - to iced foamy cappuccinos with espresso ice cubes (RM13) to sweet potato lattes - RM12; sweet potatoes blended with frothy milk ...

... to mocktails that include Lychee Earl Grey (RM12; made with TWG Tea) & non-alcoholic Aloe Vera Mojito (RM12).

For cold, rainy evenings, there's coffee & hot milk with a chocolate dipping cube & orange infusion (RM13.50).

Solid food is available throughout lunch, tea & dinner - warm honey toast bread with a creamy-runny egg comes intriguingly paired with kimchi, a Korean-inspired savoury combo that might be an acquired taste.

For folks who crave something more sugary: Toast with choc ice cream & bananas or vanilla ice cream with strawberries.

All in all, this franchise could become a cheerful addition to KL's Korean cafe scene, especially for younger customers.

Dal.Komm Coffee Malaysia
61, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. 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