Friday, May 22, 2015

restaurants underrated: BigFood.

hello you,

My baby brother is obsessed with the existence of Bigfoot, so much to the extent that he would google "is bigfoot real?" on my boyfriend's phone. So when I told him I was bringing him to Bigfood for dinner, he was over the moon. Until he saw the signboard, hahaha.

Bigfood is located in Taman Kolam Ayer, pretty near my house. I first discovered it when I was still going to REPS Fitness, keyword is was. I no longer do. Back to Bigfood, it is actually the other end of REPS and it's a corner lot, so it's pretty hard to miss. Sorry I went at night and it was drizzling so I couldn't get a better shot than this.

Glass doors welcome you at the doorstep, it's a normal weekday and it was raining pretty heavily a while back so the restaurant wasn't too packed. Trust me, other days when I drove past it, it is super packed, even the second storey is full.

The interior, very simple, but we came for the food so it was good enough for me. There's a play area too for the kids, so parents can eat in peace. 

What actually caught my eyes were the wide array of bakes on their mini fridge. Cakes, brownies and puddings. Way too many. Their bakes are actually by Petals & Bakes, and I actually want to go back and try all of them. 

Our drinks, as you probably already know, I'm not particular about beverages at all. Maybe because they tend to fill you up then you have less space for food, so I usually just share my drinks. However, alcohol is an entirely different story. But anyway, we ordered Ribena Longan and Milo Panas.

Okay, this dish might not be the most photogenic but it's the most special one. You know some days you want to have cabonara, but you don't think you can finish it all because it tends to get pretty gelak at the end. But you don't want bolognese because it's too bland. Tada! Bigfood gives you the best of both world, combining the ying and yang of Cabonara and Bolognese! It's pretty interesting to your taste buds if you mix them together, which was what I did. However, the portion is extremely big, so only order if you're sharing. Don'e expect italian restaurant standard for the pasta, I mean, you're in a cafe after all. But I would say it's pretty decent, the spaghetti was cooked just right (not al dente, unfortunately) and the sauces are pretty ok. I would think the kids would love it.

The picture makes it looks like it's salted egg crab, but it's really just butter chicken! I have tried fried pork ribs with milk powder and it was heavenly, so I had pretty high hope for this Butter Chicken. Fortunately, it didn't disappoint! The gravy was thick and buttery, but not too overwhelming. The toast they provided were coated with another layer of butter, and it tasted extremely good with the gravy. This dish is so big it should be an entree instead of sides. If you like your chicken sweet and salty at the same time or you love salted egg everything, this is the dish for you. Less sinful than salted egg yolk I would say.

The boyfriend and I almost never say no to nasi goreng. I mean, no matter how badly done, a nasi goreng will still taste good right? He couldn't decide on whether to have nasi goreng kampung or nasi goreng tomyam, but I got to decide so I chose Nasi Goreng Tomyam with Soft Shell Crab, because well, I love soft shell crabs. Sadly, the soft shell crab was hard and bland, quite a disappointment. But nonetheless, the nasi goreng was good. Not too spicy, it's doesn't taste the most authentic thai tomyam, but I would say it's the type of malay tomyam that I like. Order just the nasi goreng without the crab I would recommend.

Here comes the bomb. Voted the favourite dish among the three of us, the Indomie Special. I love instant noodles, I can eat it all day everyday and I won't get sick of it. I love instant noodles so much that I created a hashtag #yesjunesinstantnoodlesadventures on instagram to document my love for instant noodles. So when I saw indomie on the menu, I knew I couldn't say no. Not only is this indomie special, it has beef and a sunny side up with it. What's even better, you can order single or double (portion). Obviously I ordered double. The noodle was springy, tasted amazing with the beef, it's almost a little bit oriental (like the beef chow mein in hongkong) but it's so good! Oh the chilli is even better, super kick. 

The three of us each took turns to have the noodles, and what's more convincing than a little boy slurping down the noodles. Trust me, do yourself a favour and order this.

The little boy's dessert, while the boyfriend and I were extremely full from all the food (we didn't finish all) the little boy insisted on having the Smores Pudding. I mean, I have to give in to him because seriously who can resist anything smores right? Sadly the portion was pretty small much less to the boy's liking. I thought it's just right, I mean it's super sweet (the melted marshmallow) and chocolatey (the choco pudding) so this little cup is just about right! More and you get sick (figuratively and literally).

Well, that was all that we had that day. Like the name of the restaurant, Bigfood indeed. So try not to be like us when you do visit, under order instead of over because the portions are huge!

I would certainly go back again, so if you're going, jio me along k?

Till the next pig out!


restaurants underrated: Cafe Caffe.

hello you,

I am striving to bring you guys a restaurant review every fornightly, I'm trying my best but my resources are very limited. If you guys have any recommendations or any secret haunts you would love for me to check out, do leave me a comment or drop me an email on the sidebar and let me know! Thank you so much, because my brain juice is drying out!

Today I shall share with you guys my favourite restaurant in JB, it's really hard for me to share this out because this place has always been my hidden gem for years. I stayed at Taman Perling for almost 10 years, and this little restaurant has never failed to make me happy every time I'm there.

Cafe Caffe (or what my family and I affectionately call "uncle") is situated in Taman Perling, it's right beside Yew's cafe. Their signboard has changed recently, so it's pretty hard to miss. It might not look fancy schmancy, not even a little bit, but don't judge!

The interior of the restaurant, nothing impressive or "atas", this place feels almost like "Ciao Italia" in Perth that was highly raved by my friends. You know, cozy and homely restaurant. The best thing is, the restaurant is run by the owner's family and the chef is the boss. You know your food is going to be good when the boss is the chef!

The metal tray that you see wrapped up is the homemade tiramisu. I'm not a fan of dessert, but I've tried a few times with my mummy and brother (who are big tiramisu fans) and they love it.

Let's get started on the food! I have tried a lot (I mean, I've been there for years) but I'm going to share with you guys my "must order" items there!

First up, is the Mushroom Soup. Handmade from scratch, you can even taste big chunks of button and shiitake mushrooms in the soup as well. Not too creamy, but full of flavour. It might not be the most photogenic mushroom soup in the market, but beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and to me it's one of my favourite mushroom soup.

My photos quality will vary a little, because my very sweet boyfriend refused to charge my camera's battery, insisted that the battery will last, and it did not. It died on the second dish FML. So some of the pictures are taken on my phone in square format.

This is the Fried Mushroom, it came a little bit late that day, I usually have it as my appetiser. It's my top top favourite, despite having mushroom soup already, you must must order the fried mushroom. No it will not be mushroom overload, it will be a complement to the soup in actual fact. Super crispy, the mushrooms are super juicy. I love the batter, it's not too bland but yet not too salty. Dip it with the mayonnaise provided on the side and party in your mouth! Do not miss this dish, trust me. 

Homemade Breadsticks, I might not always order this depending on how much I've ordered, but this dish is a delight. The bread is homemade, crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. Dip it in the tomato puree sauce provided and ooooooh perfection. The bread is also garnished with rosemary, so it's very fragrant when it comes out in the little basket. I love to eat the ones with the sides because it's extra crispy! 

This is my favourite pasta, Pasta Granchio, which is just pasta with crab. You can choose the base (creamy as pictured or tomato cream) and both are my favourite. There was a time I ordered both, and nope I did not get sick of it. I chose penne for this, and I highly recommend you to do so as well, because the sauce will actually be kept inside the tube and the sauce is super shiok! Spaghetti works but penne will be a better choice, trust me.

Don't expect chunks of crabmeat (I mean, this dish is below rm20) but the sweetness of the crab is still there and really, this dish needs not a lot of garnishes, just black pepper on the top and it's the best thing I've ever had. 

This, my friend, is the best dish in the entire menu. I am not even joking. It might not look like much but wait till you open it. Make a guess! 

It's Wrap Pasta! With loads of seafood no less! The pasta is actually cooked (baked) with a bit of stock and seafood (mussels, clams, prawns and squid) and is being baked all wrapped up. The gravy (stock with bits of garlic, mixed with the sweet sweet juice from the seafood itself) is heavenly, my boyfriend finished every single drop of it. I can't explain how it taste exactly, because it's mildly creamy and sweet and garlicky, but it is sooooooo good. It's a little fusion-ish, which I think everyone will enjoy. 

If you don't like you pasta creamy, or you don't like the slightly sour tomato base or you find aglio olio too bland, then this is the perfect dish for you. It might not be the cheapest in the menu, but it is worth every single cent. Trust me, I know I said this many times but you really must trust me. 

That's all that we ordered, the whole bill cost us less than RM80. Yes, I'm not joking. Super affordable yet super delicious, don't wait and go try it out yourself. As the restaurant is only run by a family, if you can, try to go slightly earlier than dinner time so you don't have to wait for long. 

Till the next pig out! 


cafe hops: jwc老店,墨跡手沖館.

hello you,

I realised I have not been posting about my supposed cafe hopping guide since last year! Goodness gracious. Honestly, I have checked out quite a few cafes all these while, however some of them really kind of not that amazing. So I am contemplating if I should go ahead and post with my honest review, or to give them a few more tries before I write about them. Let me know what you guys think too!

Well, we all know jwc (just want coffee) is not a stranger in the cafe scene in JB, so naturally their newest addition caused quite a hype. Themed as a heritage cafe, Eh He is quite different from all the other outlets. Heritage-wise, it is not only located in one of the "old street" in JB, the whole building exudes a retro feel towards it. I shall let the pictures do all the talking.

Can I take a moment to say that I love love love signboard that uses those kinda old school lightbulbs. Very old Hollywood/broadway kinda feel. Super love. I want something like this installed in my future home. 

The shopfront. The sighboard so cool! So old cheena school. Bringing the cheena out of me man. 

The chinese name for the cafe. I supposed it translates to ink stains manual brewed cafe? Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

Where all the actions are. It's very interesting looking at them making the coffee. Sad that I don't drink coffee so I don't really understand the whole thing behind making a good cup of coffee. 

Staircase leading to a whole new world, wtf. The staircase also so nostalgic! I remembered my maternal grandparents' place had such staircase too! 

The seating areas are located upstairs. This is one "segment" of it. 

This part is slightly more spacious, so we chose to sit here. Very cool right, they even had the old hairdressing salons' chairs and table and mirror! 

Where we sat! I didn't get the memo that it's monochromatic day!

I'm going to start with the food first, because they did arrive before the beverages haha. This is the highly recommended tofu cheesecake. I personally prefer this to the signature cheesecake, simply well because it's fluffier and less "jelak". And the cheese is not too overpowering. 

The signature cheesecake, biasa saja I would say. Just the normal cheesecake you would expect anywhere else. 

This looks like a salad, but it is not entirely one. It's the garden pizza, which I assume is garden salad on pizza crust. They did not use mayo or mozzarella as dressing but their homemade tofu sauce. Quite refreshing and definitely healthy I would say. Good for sharing! 

The highly raved waffle! And it certainly lives up to the name. It's different from the usual waffle in the sense that it has sesame seeds infused in the waffle, so it has a lot more flavour especially with both black and white sesame, it's so crispy it almost tasted like cookies! The cream is the boyf's favourite, not so much of mine. But I like the butter with the waffle.  Very old school, the simple kind of goodness. 

Finally the drinks arrived! Since we went at night after dinner, none of us ordered coffee. We had the hot and iced chocolate instead. Oh, their menu is all in chinese, with lots of fancy schmancy names, so you would need the help of the crew to help explain to you what is available and what they are actually. I forgot the name of the chocolate, I think it has "meng4" in it, because the whipped cream on top has a tint of lavender, so I supposed it's to help with sleeping? The chocolate is very rich and despite the lavender scent, it does not "langgar" with the chocolate taste. 

This is a photo I took of the sweetest couple. Anyone couple wants me to do a shoot, I charge very low! 

Another shot I took of my favourite boy. Crazy about photography lately, recently bought a dslr, but has yet to use it yet! Any kind soul out there want to teach me a few tricks using it? Thank you many many in advance! 

Conclusion, I would recommend everyone to check this place out. There is also a small gallery that house a lot of photos and artifacts from the chinese community in JB. Very interesting and educational, even. Reminds me of the heritage tour I did back during secondary school days. Prices are slightly steep, but nowadays it's all about the ambience no? 

Till the next cafe hop! 


restaurants underrated: Chef's Table.

hello you,

I'm finally baaaaaack to talk about food oh glorious food! This is super extremely backlogged, but forgive me because I've been really busy. It's not easy being a lifestyle blogger, because there are just so many things that I want to write about! I'm someone who is full of ideas, mostly nonsensical but nonetheless, I have so many things that I want to write and share with you guys about! I want to write a post that talks about music (what I like to hear and the singers that I particular like etc), then I want to write about books (that I've read and highly recommend), I also want to write about beauty (beauty regime or what's inside my makeup box). If any of the above interest you, do let me know so I will buck up and try to write more frequently. Even if you guys lack interest, I'm still going to write them, because 姐就是任性!

I am always digressing, come let's go back to today's topic. I have actually been to Chef's Table twice. The first time that I was there, it was during Christmas, and they had set course meals, which is not to my liking. I mean, for sure I know that during peak seasons, it's best for restaurants to offer set course meal because it will help save a lot of time and the chef can then manage better because the crowds are mostly going to come at more or less the same time. But it's really a personal preference I guess. Most set course meals have "meat" as their mains, and I'm kind of not into meat so that kinda puts me off a little bit. But nonetheless, I was pretty impressed with their appetizer, so I was back again with my favourite girlfriend! 

The first time I was there, I was given a pretty small table and the lighting was pretty bad so I didn't manage to take photos so I made sure that I requested for their cozy sofa seats this time round so I can take pictures! The staff at Chef's Table is very kind and accommodating to my request. So here I am, on the very cozy sofa taking picture of what greeted me on the table. 

The black menu on the left is their main ala carte menu, while the white one is the Chef's Specials menu. Very thoughtful gesture because most restaurants opted for whiteboards and it's very easy to miss out. 

The interior and mostly kitchen area. It's an open kitchen concept. And let me tell you how hard it is to actually maintain an open kitchen, it is very extremely hard. And kudos to Chef's Table for having such clean and tidy kitchen! You can see all the actions going on right there, it was almost like you're in an episode of Hell's Kitchen, but there wasn't any Gordon Ramsay-ish chef la. Everyone inside seemed extremely calm and composed. See the little chef figurines on the table? Literally chef's table! HEHEHE.

For starters, we were given two tiny cups of soups! We didn't order soup this time but I have tried their 

Cappucino of Roasted Mushroom (the right cup) during Christmas, and it was pretty good! What's most interesting is they were actually served in cups, but I won't be surprised because it was smooooooth! The left side was the Ocean Bisque with Cognac Cream, I'm a fan of bisque and I love it! Very rich and seafoody! I saw on their FB that they are serving chowder, and I really want to give it a try because I have yet to taste a good chowder here in JB.  

Ah, here comes my favourite dish! Oatmeal crusted oyster with sweet chilli air, you know how all the tze char outside serve oatmeal prawns, but because I'm allergic to prawn I can't take them. But they look so good! It was torture to me. And when I saw that Chef's Table actually had oatmeal oyster, I knew I had to order that. And trust me, it didn't disappoint. It was so refreshing, I don't always eat cooked oysters because it kind of loses its freshness (I like my oysters big and fresh) but it actually taste pretty good being deep fried! The oatmeal coating made it less greasy and the "bubbles" tasted of sweet chilli and lemongrass so it's really flavourful altogether. Must try. 

This is another of my favourite, Seared Goose Liver and Miso Egg. I wasn't always a fan of foie gras, because most restaurants in JB don't do them very well, they usually came out too "nua" for my liking. But Chef's Table did a pretty good job searing and it was just the way I like it. Though the only downside is that the portion is a little too small to actually pair with the brioche? Haha, perhaps I'm too greedy la. The miso egg is perfect! This is then the so-called egg sous vide! Done to perfection, so another must try.

Thin Crust Al Fungi and Tomatoes Pizza, well if you were to compare this with it's mind blowing appetisers then it wouldn't be fair la. But the pizza is pretty good, the crust is thin so it's very crispy and it's not so big so it's perfect for sharing! I would like to try their seafood curry pizza the next time though! 

Ok, there was only the two of us but we were pretty hungry so we ordered another soup! We ordered soup of the day, which is Potato and Bacon soup and it was good! Who knew soup of the day actually tasted better than the soups on the menu! It was very creamy but not to the extent of "gelak" and the bacon crisps blends in perfectly with the thick soup. Now, I can imagine how their chowder will taste like. Anyone tried their chowder before? My favourite chowder will still be the ones in San Francisco, but I can't really afford to go back to SF just to have chowder, so I'm hunting down the best chowder in JB to satisfy my cravings! 

I ordered Spicy Mushroom Pesto Penne, I don't usually order pesto because I'm not quite a greens person. But somehow I always skew towards spicy pasta, because I like my pasta hot and my bass down low. Wtf I'm getting seriously lame by the day. Not exactly raving about this dish, perhaps pesto is really not my cup of tea. 

W had Aglio Olio Linguine instead. We both opted for pasta instead of meat because we wanted a lighter meal (been having meat for days) but judging at what we ordered in total, not exactly light la hor. The aglio olio is quite ok, although if it had scallop or prawn on the side it would be more pleasing on the palate. Just my two cents. 

Dessert time! Ok I really have to apologise because I forgot the name of these two dessert! I had the above crepe with bananas and ice cream (my memory is horrigible) and I enjoyed it! The crepes are done thin and well and it exudes a wee bit of sweetness on its own. If only I can buy their batter home so I can make my own crepes! A very light dessert, so no matter how full you get, you will still finish it. Because I did. 

We also ordered the chocolate pie, this dish was what I used to tempt W to go Chef's Table because this girl likes her dessert pretty, just like her! This was more like a whoopie pie to me, but the filling is very interesting cos not only it has the "cream" but also fruit! So it's chocolatey and zesty in every bite, although the pie is slightly to the hard side, it's overall pretty good! 

That's all that we had (like it wasn't enough), and I would definitely recommend Chef's Table's appetisers because they are way too creative. Although a bit of improvements could be made to their pastas. Oh, they serve quesadilla too! I haven't tried it, but I'm hoping to! So go try Chef's Table if you still haven't and let me know what you like most from them, and what you think I should most definitely try!

Till the next pig out!