Restaurant Discovery #11: Acme Bar & Coffee @ Jalan Binjai

My visit to Acme Bar & Coffee is long overdue. The first time I went, the waiting time for a table for 2 was 45 minutes so my friend and I decided to skip it. Only last week I manage to finally try the dishes at this “the talk of town” restaurant.

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Acme Bar & Coffee is located at Troika, Jalan Binjai. The whole design of the restaurant is very contemporary but cosy. They have only launched their winter menu and so the restaurant was decorated very christmas-sy which I absolutely adore. It’s never too early to start getting excited for christmas! I had to make a reservation to avoid waiting for a table again and I was glad that they do take reservation.

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The winter menu looked great. They had a mixture of everything. I was spoilt for choice, I did not know what to order. In the end, for my starter, I had the Mozzarella Berries Burrata (RM35.00). It is a beautiful tiny serving of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, sake cherry tomatoes, berries, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. A gorgeous modern twist to a classic Caprese Salad. I truly enjoyed this dish. The balsamic vinegar was reduced to the perfect consistency, it was sweet but still holds its tartness. The sake cherry tomatoes had a similar taste to sundried tomatoes but very juicy and plump. The star of the dish had to be the fresh clean-flavoured mozzarella. It was just beautiful. Definitely worth the money!

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My friend was raving about the Strawberry, Pamelo & Rocket Salad (RM25.00) which she has previously ordered and so she ordered it again. The salad was a funny one to be in a winter menu as I thought it was the perfect summer salad. It was fresh, tangy, sweet and very citrusy which the kind of taste that does not belong in winter. The combination of flavour of the fruits and rockets were beautifully combined with the balsamic vinaigrette.

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For my main course, I ordered the Baby Lobster Fettuccine (RM35.00). Most restaurant when they do fusion, they shy away from the variety of flavours and play it safe. This dish impressed me because it shows that the chef is confident in his mixture of flavours that you taste each and every one of the ingredient. You can smell the beautiful saffron in the sauce that coats the perfectly cooked fettuccine. The taste of turmeric doesn’t overpower the other flavours of the dish and you still get the beautiful smell and taste of thyme in the cream sauce. The lobster was sweet and juicy, the beans and asparagus still had a bit of crunch to them. I had no trouble finishing this bowl of delicious pasta. The flavours were combined amazingly.

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My friend ordered the Aloha Pizzadillas (RM33.00) for her main course and I had a few slices of the pizza. The base was not the usual thin crust pizza base but they used a pitta bread instead which made it so much lighter and I must say to my surprise, I much prefer it on this base. Instead of using the traditional tomato sauce, they used herbs cream sauce which was delicious. The smoke turkey breast was not dry although they were teared into small pieces. The pineapple was sweet and juicy, rockets added freshness to the pizza and the generous amount of cheese on the pizza was what made it even more delicious than what it already was.

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After we were done with our main courses, we decided to order the Patate Fritte (RM25.00) which was chips in a form of balls. It was crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The curry leaves didn’t do much to the flavours. It came with a chilli mayo on the side for dipping and it was nice. Perfect for a snack while we continue chatting and gossiping.

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Although I am not a fan of all things chocolate, I had to give their infamous Sizzling Brownie & Oreo Ice-Cream (RM19.00). As the waiter walked on to our table with the pipping hot sizzling bowl with a piece of brownie in it, I got worried because all I could smell was something burning. It was fun watching  waiter pour the chocolate sauce and it started sizzling and bubbling away. The brownie was not too chocolate-ty which I like and it had bits of nuts in it. The oreo ice-cream was dreamy. It was what made the dish truly special.

Overall, I am very impressed with Acme Bar & Coffee. It lived up to the hype and I can see that I will be visiting this restaurant regularly. The service is fast with friendly staffs, the food is on point and the deco is just beautiful. Although when I was there, they had problem with their air conditioner so it was pretty annoying having a massive fan in front of us.Hopefully they have fixed that problem by now.

Ambience: 8 out of 10
Food: 8 out of 10
Service: 8 out of 10
Price: $$

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Acme Bar and Coffee (ABC)
Ground Floor at The Troika,
19 Persiaran KLCC,
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

+60 3-2162 2288 

Good luck!

Love,
A

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Restaurant Discovery #10: Metal Box @ Empire Damansara

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“People think they can open a fancy, cool looking restaurant, serves below average food and charge us ridiculous amount of money for it and call it a good business” was what my dad said after we left Metal Box for my sister’s birthday dinner last week.  And I have to agree.

Metal Box is a new trendy eatery that is located at a new mall/office space in Damansara. When you walk in, you get the whole industrial, minimal but cool deco going on. It was a saturday night and I was expecting a full house since I have heard raving reviews about this place. It was not as busy as I was expecting.

The menu was small but still ambitious serving mostly western food. There were only 5 pasta dishes, 5 mains and the rest were appetisers and side dishes. Even that, on a saturday night at around 8pm,  a couple of the main dishes were “unavailable”. Nothing annoys me more when I’m all set to order and the waiter says what I wanted is currently unavailable. I would’ve appreciated a little heads up before I look at the menu and made up my mind what I wanted so I wouldn’t be disappointed.

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I wanted the Steak A La Minute and much to my annoyance, it was unavailable. So instead I opted for the Smokey Chiken Pesto (RM18.90). The portion was tiny. It was literally pasta with pesto sauce and smoke chicken. Nothing else. The pesto sauce was runny and and lack basil flavour. There was definitely more pine nuts than basil leaves in the pesto. The sauce was so runny it did not stick to the pasta so I had to ask for extra parmesan cheese. The pasta was al dente but lack seasoning. However, the smoke chicken was slightly salty so I’m guessing that is why they didn’t season the rest of the dish. I was expecting something more than just a green pasta with chicken. At least some mushrooms.

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My parents ordered the Orange Swimmer (RM33.90) even though my mum actually wanted their My Last Barn which is a half spring chicken but that was also unavailable. The Orange Swimmer was described as “pan-seared marinated salmon steak paired with tempura avocado and gnocchi, dressed in homemade vierge sauce & red wine glaze”. Firstly, as you can see from the picture, it is not a salmon steak. More like half a salmon steak. It is tiny for the price which explains my dad’s statement in the beginning. Tempura avocado is too out of the box that it did not work. Avocado is creamy in texture and taste. To fry it, made it soggier and the taste was not right. Gnocchi was too soft it melts in your mouth without any bite to it and the vierge sauce with red wine glaze was overwhelmingly bitter. Non of the ingredients on the plate work well together. It was too ambitious and too much going on in a plate.

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Vegetarian Aglio Olio (RM15.90) was what my sister’s boyfriend ordered. I get that Aglio Olio means garlic and oil, but there were too many roughly chopped garlic that you will end up biting a big piece of garlic with every mouthful of pasta. The bell peppers that was in the pasta over powered the whole dish. All you could taste was the bell peppers until you take a bite of the garlic. Other than that it was decent.

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My sister’s friend also joined us for dinner that night and ordered the Beef Ragout Pasta (RM18.90). On the menu it wrote “signature” on the side of the dish so I was expecting a lot when I had a taste of this dish. The sauce was again too runny it did not stick to the pasta. The Australian striploin was a waste of good piece of meat as it was so dry that it actually tasted like it had a chicken liver texture. The mushroom added an extra umph of flavour to the sauce but there was nothing special about it for it to be their signature dish.

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The birthday girl ordered the Seafood Marinara (RM24.90) and was happy when she saw the size of the prawn that was on the dish. 2 pieces of prawns and 3 tempura calamari to me does not scream seafood. There should be more creatures of the sea on that plate for that price. The marinara sauce was average. It could do a few more minutes on the stove to intensify the tomato flavour but other than that the tomato sauce was decent.

We were thinking of ordering dessert but after everyone being not very impressed with their mains, we decided to skip dessert and make our way home.

Ambience: 6 out of 10
Food: 3 out of 10
Service: 7 out of 10
Price: $$

Metal Box Restaurant & Cafe
G12, Empire Damansara,
Damansara Perdana,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

 

Good luck!

Love,
A

Melur & Thyme @ Suria KLCC

Day 48: Melur & Thyme

Today my colleague and I went to Suria KLCC for lunch and we decided to go to Melur & Thyme. I have been here before a couple of times, but never at lunch time on a weekday. I was surprised the service was pretty slow. I had to wait 20 minutes for my food to arrive.

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Regular Salmon Crockets (RM23.00)

My friend’s food came first and she ordered the Salmon Crockets (RM23.00) and she let me have a bite. As you can see it was pretty much a fancier version of fish cake/fingers. It was such a disappointment that it was a tiny portion for a regular sized tapas. I thought for the price and the size there would be a lot of salmon hidden in the fingers. Nope I was wrong. They used tiny bits of smoked salmon to emphasized the smell of the fish and also the taste. It was pretty much 90% potatoes and 10% salmon which I thought was a rip off. However, the garlic dipping sauce that it came with was amazing. If they made that sauce themselves, they deserve a round of applause.

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Grilled Herb Chicken (RM29.00)

Once my friend was done with her meal, my food finally arrived. It annoyed me that our food didn’t come at around the same time so one had to stare at the other person eating. But I thoroughly enjoyed my Grilled Herb Chicken (RM29.00). The chicken breast was slightly dry but forgivable. The vegetables were steamed and seasoned well – they still had a bite to them. And the mashed potatoes were beautiful. They were the rustic but creamy kind where there are bits of the skin and its not too smooth that it melts in your mouth before you could enjoy it. Finally, the thyme sauce goes really well with the chicken and it was worth the wait.

Melur & Thyme
G03H-I Ground Floor
Suria KLCC
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2181 8001

Good luck!

Love,
A

 

Oiso Korean Traditional Cuisine and Cafe

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Day 20: Tteokbokki (Korean Spicy Rice Cake)

I was one of those shallow people who thought Korean food was mostly just Ramen and Kimchi which don’t look too appetising. However, I was introduced to proper Korean cuisine by my colleagues and it was eye opening to find out that there are more to Korean cuisine than just fermented cabbage and instant noodles.

Oiso Korean restaurant has a branch near my office and after my 3rd visit there I have found my new favourite Korean dish – Tteokbokki. Literally translated “stir-fried rice cake”, the chewy rice cakes in spicy red chilli pepper paste taste like no other. The different combination of textures and flavours from the rice cake, sliced carrots, cabbage, boiled egg, fish cake and spring onion all mixed in spicy red chilli pepper paste sauce made every spoonful of this dish so heavenly.

Oiso Korean restaurant in Menara Hap Seng is a small cosy restaurant with plenty seating area. The restaurant usually gets full during lunch time on weekdays and service is pretty fast. The servings are huge and reasonably priced. Thoroughly enjoyed my time every time I go there for lunch. Do you know any other Korean meal that I should try?

Ambiance: 5 out of 10
Food: 6 out of 10
Service: 8 out of 10
Price: $

Oiso Korean Traditional Cuisine and Cafe
No. 01-019
First Floor
Menara Hap Seng
Jalan P. Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Good luck!

Love,
A

Restaurant Discovery #2: F.I.Q’s Gastronomy

Food, Innovation, Quality is what the acronym stands for. Interesting concept of serving fine dining food in a casual environment. Opened in February, F.I.Q’s is in an unfamiliar area of Subang that my dad was so amaze we found it. Ample parking space all around. As you walk in, it has this industrial decor – red bricks, white walls with ageing wood benches, chairs and tables and colourful cushions. They had an open kitchen, with half brick wall separating the kitchen and the dining area. Still warm and cozy and customers can witness the chefs hard at work preparing the dishes.

The menu is very ambitious to say the least. Looking at it, seems like they promise to serve you food with new interesting combination of flavours that you would only expect to get in a fine dining restaurant. But can they deliver?

Lets jump to the food review!

First, to drink, I ordered the mocktail F.I.Q’s Mojito made with mint leaves, sweet basil, sugar, lime and Sprite. As you can imagine, it was OVERLY SWEET! Why add sugar when you use Sprite? Sprite is sweet enough. It could also do with more mint. I ordered a glass of water and gave the Mojito to my sister.

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F.I.Q’s Mojito (RM11.00)

For our appetisers we had the Roasted Gnocchi which was served with crispy mushrooms, capers raisin emulsion, herbs walnuts and powdered olive oil. Straight away Heston Blumenthal came to mind. The gnocchi was fluffy but dense in the best way. So smooth it melts in your mouth but still have a bite to it. You can taste that it was probably made with 90% rich buttery mashed potato instead of having loads of flour in the mixture. The capers raisin emulsion was interestingly good. It had a rich flavour to compliment the gnocchi. Mix everything on the plate together and you get an explosion of flavours with different textures to stimulate your appetite.

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Roasted Gnocchi (RM20.00)

We also ordered the Crunchy Calamari which as usual, disappointed us. I don’t know where to get good fried calamari. They were overcooked and really tough although the batter was really crunchy and seasoned really well. It came with this aioli and that was good. Calamari had a sprinkle of paprika and it goes well with everything. If only the calamari didn’t taste so much like rubber…

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Crunchy Calamari (RM14.00)

Mac & Cheese was listed under their starters menu which was a bit of a surprise but it did state that it was “light”. Creamy cheese sauce which wasn’t too heavy which is why they said it was “light”, chewy macaroni and crunchy beef bacon. Do I have to say more? It was nicely baked with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top to add to the crunch. It was definitely light enough to be a starter. Thumbs up to that!

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Mac & Cheese (light) (RM15.00)

As for main course, my Spinach Risotto served with pan fried chicken breast, carrot puree and fried onions failed to impress. When I ordered risotto, I was expecting a rich creamy dish with almost a porridge- like consistency yet each grain still holds its shape and texture. Instead, I got an undercook risotto that was too salty to even consume – bare in mind I like my salt. I couldn’t take another mouthful so I returned the dish and politely asked if they can prepare me another one minus the extra salt. About 10 minutes later, came out my new risotto. Lets give it another go. It was still a tad undercook, not as bad as the first one, and it was still salty but edible. It was not creamy and it didn’t have that porridge-like consistency that I was looking for. The carrot puree helped to sweetened the dish and reduced the saltiness. The pan fried chicken breast was actually delightful. It was crunchy on the outside but manage to keep its moist on the inside.

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Spinach Risotto (RM25.00)

As usual, I had a taste of everyone’s food. Sharing is caring! My sister ordered the Roasted Chicken served with loaded mash potato with bacon bits, chives and almond, mix greens (which was just lettuce), roasted mesquite gravy and soft rolls that they made themselves. Loaded mash potato was not that loaded. It was just a spoonful of potato puree and it was smooth and creamy with crispy bacon and almond to add a bite to it. The chicken was probably a minute overcook. It was still moist but you can tell that if it stayed in the oven a second longer, it would’ve been dry. The gravy tasted like your usual roast gravy with a touch of barbecue sauce. They proudly advertise that they make their own bread and the bun was in fact soft and fluffy but we didn’t see the point of it being apart of the dish.

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Roasted Chicken (RM27.00)

I managed to convinced my mum to order the Salted Beef Fettuccine. I must compliment the chef on the pasta as it was made and cooked to perfection. Oh did I mention that they try to use all fresh ingredients and that they make their own pasta too? Yes! Handmade pasta has to be the best thing ever and it was! it was really good. The fettuccine was cooked with basil oil, tri herbs and chilli flakes served on a bed of 150 gram of beef brisket. All of the flavours complimented each other well. The pasta balanced the saltiness of the beef and the chilli flakes added heat to the dish. 150 grams of beef was a tad much for the tiny amount of fettuccine it came with. Ended up having to eat the salted beef by itself and it was well, salty!

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Salted Beef Fettuccine (RM27.00)

Pan Fried Seabass served with chinese kale, miso carrot emulsion, maldon sea salt and apple raita was Dad’s choice of main course. You can taste the freshness of the fish and it was cooked perfectly as the fish flaked off from the crispy skin beautifully. The miso carrot emulsion didn’t go well with the fish, it didn’t enhanced the flavour of the fish in any way. The tartness and sweetness of the green apple cubes coated in yogurt was an added crunch to the dish. It was a good dish according to dad as he cleans his plate but I must say when he fed me the greens on the dish, salt overdose took over the chinese kale. The fish was a pretty thin slice and it was small too. Didn’t fill up the big guy at all.

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Pan Fried Seabass (RM26.00)

I was beyond disappointed when the lovely waiter told me they don’t have the Baked Alaska that I was excited to devour. So we ordered the Smores instead. the Smores came in a jar with the crackers at the bottom, followed by marshmallows on top, then chocolate ganache and more marshmallows at the very top. It looked amazing. But it was so difficult to reach the crackers at the bottom without making a complete mess. Chocolate ganache was too thick but it didn’t taste too chocolaty which I like. The tiny marshmallows were probably just quickly blow torched so it didn’t melt on the inside. Disappointed yet again!

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Smores (RM10.00)

All and all they have a good concept to start with but there are still rooms for improvement. I am pretty sure they are working on their menu still and are planning to bring out more exciting experimental flavours for us. So will I come again to F.I.Q’s Gastronomy? Yes I definitely would give it another go. There’s a lot on their menu I would like to try. Have you been to F.I.Q’s?

Ambience: 6 out of 10

Food:  5 out of 10

Service: 7 out of 10

Price: $$

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FIQS Gastronomy
34 Jalan SS19/1D, Subang Jaya
Tuesday-Sunday, 12pm-1030pm.

Tel: 03-5613-0473

Good luck!

Love,
A