Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nana's Green Tea Cafe @ The Gardens, Mid Valley

A matcha match made in Mid Valley: The first Malaysian branch of Japanese chain Nana's Green Tea Cafe has finally launched in Kuala Lumpur's Gardens Mall, more than a year after Singapore welcomed the inaugural Nana's outpost for Southeast Asia.

Nana's can get packed during peak hours, but it's probably worth waiting awhile for a table; the food is reasonably priced & relatively interesting. Comfort-food highlights include hot, soupy bowls of udon blanketed in fresh-tasting seaweed, spring onions & a poached egg (RM15.80 before taxes).

Salmon sashimi (top-notch, exceeding expecations) served over cereal-mixed 'millet rice' with sesame, nori, pickled ginger & pea sprouts (RM18.80). Other items on the menu include chicken karaage salads & beef hamburg in tomato loco moco sauce.

Ultimately though, it's the tea-based temptations that's supposed to lure customers. Choose from the simplicity of the Uji-Cha, the wild fragrance of the Karigane-Cha, the toasty-nutty flavour of the Hoji-Cha or the roasty brown-rice aroma of Gemmai-Cha. 

The selection of tea drinks & desserts is sweeping: We like the the matcha slushie, cold & creamy, topped with soft-serve vanilla ice cream (RM12.80).

Parfait-lovers should like this complex combo: First, green tea kanten jelly is scooped into the base with with matcha syrup, then piled on with layers of ice cream, corn flakes, red bean paste, whipped cream & warabi-moshi (bracken starch dumplings) dipped in kinako roasted soybean flour (whew!). RM19.80.

Not into green tea? There's still the Azuki Latte, a nice blend of milk with red beans (RM8.80), natural-tasting & not too sweet.

Nana's Green Tea Cafe
Lot 231A, Lower Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur

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 is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses


Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mikey's Original New York Pizza @ Telawi, Bangsar

As Ol' Blue Eyes once crooned, start spreading the news: A slice of The Big Apple has surfaced in Bangsar, a safe harbour for huddled, hungry masses yearning to breathe free & binge on hot, hearty pizzas.

For weeks, we've plagued Mikey's Original New York Pizza with phone calls & text messages on when it would finally open, following postponements because of missing pieces in its customised pizza oven. Mikey's marks a collaboration between native New Yorker Michael Helfman & Andrew Bellucci, a former New Jerseyan who began making pizzas in the 1990s. Helfman lured Bellucci to Kuala Lumpur with a mission to serve the sort of pies that Helfman has missed throughout his five years in Malaysia.

Mikey's pizzas will likely satisfy cravings, straddling the fine line between thin & thick for its excellent crust, crisp but simultaneously tender & easy to fold, light but luscious. First-timers can start with the classic, topped with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato sauce, olive oil & grated Grana Padano cheese (RM8.88 by the slice).

Mikey's Favorite, topped with kitchen-made meatballs, roasted peppers, caramelised onions & garlic. Customers can order this & other pizzas here by both the slice (RM10.88 for this one) & the entire 18-inch pie (RM69.88).

On a diet? Fuhgeddaboudit! Andrew's Favorite (RM10.88) is a four-cheese pleasure that's worth the calories, crowned with cheddar, mozzarella, ricotta & goat's cheese, plus black pepper, olive oil & garlic.

Mikey's plans to launch delivery services soon, starting with Bangsar before expanding between KL Sentral & Damansara Heights, so residents can conveniently pick up the phone & order the Pizza Rustico (RM12.88 by the slice), featuring goat's cheese & roasted garlic partnered with mortar-&-pestle-made pesto.

Game for a challenge? Masochists can try the 9-1-1, call-the-fire-department pizza; it's ferociously fiery, so folks who can finish the whole pizza (RM88.88) will have their photos placed on Mikey's Hall Of Fame Wall. We surrendered after barely two bites.

Here's our favourite: The Tony Soprano, a meaty creation of meatballs, pepperoni, sliced steak, roasted peppers & roasted garlic with mozzarella. RM15.88 by the fairly filling slice; two will certainly suffice for some customers.

Not into pizza? Not a problem: Mikey's also offers breaded, boneless buffalo chicken wings, coated in a seasoned butter hot sauce & served with house-made blue cheese dressing, carrots & celery. As much of a notch above mass-market chicken nuggets as the pizzas here are compared to what the massive pizza chains sell.

 Waffle fries here are assigned in name by borough _ The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens & Manhattan. We placed our bet on Brooklyn (RM12.88), smothered in cheddar cheese & paired with beef gravy.

Hero sandwiches, the menu's final component; the Shrimp Parmigiana features four prawns with marinara sauce (RM19.88).

 Thirst-quenchers: Budweiser (but of course), the milky-chocolatey New York Egg Cream soda & Half-&-Half lemonade.


Walls lined with memorabilia seek to put patrons in a New York state of mind without needing to hop on the Hudson River Line, hamstrung though by a soundtrack that swings from the Chairman of the Board to Cypress Hill. Be warned: These photos make Mikey's look empty, but they were taken before the outlet officially opened for business. This place could be crowded at night.



Mikey''s Original New York Pizza
17 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Open for dinner on April 16, with lunch operations commencing thereafter, seven days a week. Tel: 03-2202-0080



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 is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.


This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses


Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Brew Time @ Empire Damansara, Thinking Cups @ Aman Suria & Jeneris by Ahren @ Nu Sentral

Some cafes swing for the fences to make their settings seem singular & striking; here are three such notable newbies.

Brew Time at Damansara Perdana's Empire Damansara is a playground for coffee fans, in more ways than one. Thanks to its cool choice of furnishing, here's where caffeine lovers can truly swing when they're winning _ but no crying over spilled coffee.

Brew Time serves Doi Chaang coffee cultivated by the Akha tribe on Thai mountains in the Golden Triangle _ single-estate organic Arabica coffee, shade-grown, hand-picked & sun-dried, with profits shared fairly with thousands of indigenous farmers in lush, ecologically sustainable Thai plantations. Light bites include Greek salads, creamy-crunchy egg-&-apple sandwiches with brown country rye, plus New York cheesecakes.

Also worth a look: Thinking Cups at Aman Suria, which features a brick wall where customers can scrawl messages to leave their own personal mark on this place for posterity.

This is a calm venue where customers can sip in silent contemplation, with shelves filled with books for both adults & children to leisurely browse.

Coffee mocktails are available here, mixed with the likes of passion fruit to pair with basic hot meals like Japanese curry spaghetti, chicken pies & beef sliders.

Final destination: Nu Sentral's Jeneris by Ahren, where the crimson shipping container theme is eye-catching.

Sumatran Gayo Mountain coffee is available to pair with all manner of pastries & cakes. Quantity, Jeneris has it in spades.

Hot takeaway meals cater for KL's Sentral's crowds-in-transit; the rice with mutton & potato curry could be a pleaser.

Jeneris is the opening salvo in a potentially ambitious cafe chain, with each outlet named after a different small town in Malaysia (Jeneris refers to Kuala Jeneris in Terengganu).

The next outlet by the Ahren group will be Tytap at KLIA2, opening next month.

Brew Time
Empire Damansara, Damansara Perdana
Daily, 10am-7pm

Thinking Cups Coffee.Books.Space
B-G-20, Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria Damansara, Petaling Jaya
Daily, 930am-8pm. Tel: 03-7886-3856

Jeneris By Ahren
CC-14, Concourse Level, Nu Sentral, Kuala Lumpur
Daily, 10am-10pm


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 is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses


Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Small Businesses, Huge Flavours


Small-scale, independent entrepreneurs form the increasingly crucial & colourful threads in the fabric of Malaysia's F&B evolution, weaving a mouthwatering tapestry of temptations that span home-made sausages to sambal, peanut butter to fruit jams, muffins to marshmallows, ice cream to yogurt, sodas to juices.

Call them artisanal, call them ambitious, call them addictive, but most importantly, call them as soon as possible to order what they're offering.

Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first online directory to help customers do that, navigating through a diversity of non-restaurant F&B businesses and narrating the stories of the people and the passion behind these brands. 


This is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople _ the reasons why they painstakingly bake & boil for countless hours in their kitchens to supply some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.

There are common ties that bind these tales.

The familial roots: Elsie and her sister Jennifer experimenting with mango recipes such as chutney, onde-onde & tong yuen. Sarah helping her mom & grandmother make festive goodies. Micheele learning the art of creating Indonesian layer cakes passed down through at least three generations.

The adventures abroad that ignited the imagination: Hui Ming's romance with ice cream in London. Eugene's & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo. Sookie baking for her college friends in Brisbane. Prakash experiencing an epiphany with wine in Margaret River.

And perhaps most of all, the all-consuming love for outstanding ingredients & innovation that have prompted Kenneth & his wife, Hoa, to open their home for Vietnamese-cuisine supper clubs; European expats Carina & Elke to offer deliveries of raw, organic meals; Pooi Ling to bring in coffee machines from Italy & Spain to supply to Malaysian cafes and homes; former classmates Lin & Wan Chiun to scour the country for fresh fruits to produce their bottled juices.

Thank you to these first 20 brands for being part of this eBook's launch.

This eBook will be continuously updated throughout the year with new listings, including several more this month, so check back regularly at this permanent link _ www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses _ to find out what fresh treats await. 

There are six categories in this book: Savouries, Beverages, Catering & Meal Deliveries, Private Kitchens, Services, & to save the best for last, Sweets. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cumulus Up @ Melbourne

This first-floor wine bar that launched this past year on Flinders Lane, upstairs from chef Andrew McConnell's immensely successful Cumulus Inc, proved to be a hive of activity on one recent Wednesday evening, buzzing with Melburnians seeking a delicious dinner to drive away the work-week blues.

This is the sort of venue where customers should come ravenous; even though the menu isn't exceptionally extensive, everything from the peppered butcher's steak with pomme frites ($32) to the pappardelle with mushrooms & pecorino ($24) sounds tempting & seems to surface in mighty portions (once we're past the olives with pickles, that is).

Cumulus Up's signature treat is its duck waffle, with confit duck meat & skin mixed with buckwheat flour for the batter, topped with foie gras parfait & prune puree. Playfully pleasurable, arrestingly addictive.

When visiting the state of Victoria, consume oysters as often as possible _ advice that we were happy to accept here. 

Double-smoked 'large black' ham (RM14), marvellous for mindless munching.

Gnocchi that's fluffy with ricotta cheese, pine nuts, oregano & citrus-infused burnt butter, a terrifically tasty recipe.

Spiced lamb ribs ($4.50 each), tender & flavoursome meat with a creamy smoked tomato sauce.

Roast chicken isn't an afterthought here, hearty comfort food with grilled leeks, peas & cos lettuce ($32 for half a chicken) ...

... well-partnered with sides of potatoes (irreproachably prepared) & a basic salad made more enjoyable with hard-boiled eggs. 

Desserts are simple but satisfying: Can't-fail profiteroles with chocolate sauce & house-made vanilla ice cream, strawberry Eton mess & rum baba with creme patissiere.

And of course, lots of wine & cocktails are available to keep the crowd very happy till very late.

Cumulus Up
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia



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.

Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).