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

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

Cafe Discovery #9: Lapis @ Wangsa Maju

Day 99: Lapis @ Wangsa Maju

My family and I went to Lapis cafe today for dinner. Lapis means layers in Malay. I was told that the menu was rather limited and that it is a cafe not a restaurant. The decor is very “hipsteresque” which I like. Very modern and cute. Definitely an instagramable spot.

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The menu only had 10 main dishes, a couple of sides and kids food and a few drinks. Very limited. They also do daily specials and today, it was “pulled” lamb sandwich (RM 18.00). Of course I ordered that as my main dish. Service was quick and it arrived rather fast. They buttered up a cut of french bread and had a few thinly sliced lettuce and a generous amount of shredded lamb meat in between the bread. It came with chips, garlic aioli and a runny chilli vinaigrette. The chips were decent. Really thick cut, soft on the inside chips. Garlic aioli I found really garlicky and the runny chilli vinaigrette was strange. It had a really strong vinegar smell and taste. I don’t know whether to have that with the lamb sandwich or the chips. It definitely didn’t go with the sandwich. Neither was it any better with the chips. The lamb sandwich was dry. There was nothing interesting about it. The lamb smells and it had no taste. It would’ve help if it had a barbecue sauce or caramelised onion or even pickles to help give it taste and not leave it so dry.

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My sister ordered the Creamy Fusilli (RM16.00) which was basically fusilli in a bowl of mushroom soup.  It was literally just garlic, onion, cream, thyme and a few slices of button mushroom. It was well seasoned and the sauce was nice. The sauce was just too runny to be a pasta sauce. Runnier than a bowl of mushroom soup. Some parmesan cheese would’ve help to thicken the sauce and make it stick to the pasta.The fusilli was over cooked – you don’t have to chew it anymore, it just melts in your mouth. Since the sauce was too runny, the fusilli ended up tasteless and tasted separate from the sauce. It was a disappointment really.

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Usually cafes like this, they concentrate on their coffee and desserts. Since I don’t drink coffee, I had to try their dessert. I ordered the carrot cake and it was a tiny portion. It definitely was an awesome slice of cake. The creme cheese frosting was smooth and not too salty. The frosting and cake ratio was perfect. The carrot cake was moist and it was not over powered by the spices. Walnut was in the cake too and it added texture. It was beautiful.

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My sister ordered a banana flavoured whoopie pie (RM2.50). I’ve never tried a whoopie pie before. But I know it’s traditionally a tiny sponge cake with icing in between. Their whoopie pie was dense probably because of the banana flavour. I’m not too sure. It was nice and moist and not too sweet. I can taste a little bit of nuts in the cake, probably walnuts. It was decent but the carrot cake was definitely a winner.

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The service was fast and waiters were all attentive to the customers. However, I was pretty concern when I saw all the waiters with long hair, men and women, not tying their hair serving customers with food. I don’t think thats proper. Thats just my opinion. Lapis is a nice cafe for when you want to grab a quick bite or to catch up with friends over coffee and cake. It is a really pretty cafe. I adore the decor.

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Ambiance: 7 out of 10
Food: 5 out 10
Service: 6 out of 10
Price: $$

Cafe Lapis
No.3, Jalan Wangsa Delima 1A
Seksyen 5 Wangsa Maju
53300 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:  03-4141 8297

Good luck!

Love,
A

Little Penang Cafe @ KLCC

Day 87: Little Penang Cafe @ KLCC

It is no surprise that my family and I have been to the Little Penang Cafe on numerous occasions. This restaurant is amongst one of the top restaurants in KLCC. There is always a long queue during peak hours. Fortunately, we had a really late lunch and we did not have to queue for a seat even though the restaurant was packed.

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I ordered a couple of side dishes. Firstly I ordered the Lorbak (RM10.50) which was described as “tender chicken rolled in soya bean skin and deep-fried to perfection” and it was exactly that. The beancurd skin that covered the chicken was light and crispy. The chicken was marinated in some spices and had a bit of an after taste that I did not particularly enjoy. But it was forgivable and I really enjoyed the dish.

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Then, we had the Pie Tee (RM9.80). I wrote a post once about the Pie Tee that I love from the Chicken Rice Shop. This, I must say is slightly better. The Pie Tee crust were very thin and light which made it beautifully crunchy. The vegetable were slightly sauteed and seasoned with some bits of dried prawns if I’m not mistaken. The chilli sauce that came with it had a bit of a kick and slightly sweet so it complimented the whole cup beautifully.

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My dad ordered the Penang Curry Mee (RM12.20) and it was nothing to rave about. In the bowl it had the traditional ingredients of a curry mee such as prawns, cuttlefish, fish balls, cockles, fried tofu and garnished with mint leaves. The consistency of the gravy was too thin that it lacked flavour. There are better options on the menu and I suggest to stick with the Chef’s recommendation section on the menu. This Curry Mee was not on that section and as such we did not expect too much of it.

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My sister and I ordered the Char Kuey Teow (RM12.20) to share which was under the Chef’s Recommendation section. It was also stated on the menu to allow 20 minutes for the preparation of the dish. Which I guess is due to high demand of the dish. Since I last remember, their Char Kuey Teow was their best dish. So our dish came slightly later after dad’s Curry Mee but we were warned. Was it worth the wait? It was not bad but I remembered it being a lot better than what it was today. The Kuey Tiaw was good and it had the good old slightly burnt wok taste which is amazing. The prawns were juicy and the crab meat was too little to add any taste to the dish. The cockles however were not fresh and it left a fishy smell which I cannot handle. The portion is pretty small now too. I was expecting a lot more from the Char Kuey Tiaw.

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For desert, I ordered my all time favourite Red Ruby. This is not actually a penang dish and I was surprise to see it on the menu. But as usual, it is hard to get this dessert wrong. So I was happy with it. The water chestnut held its crunch inside the red jelly coating and the jackfruit was really sweet. The coconut milk was a good consistency and everything put together was not overly sweet. Delicious.

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To drink I ordered the 3 layer tea which had only 2 layer when it arrived on our table. It was slightly too bitter that I thought they had given me the 3 layer coffee. Again, I’m pretty sure 3 layer tea is a thai thing, but oh well, it was good. I’m not complaining.

The Little Penang Cafe @ KLCC is still a good spot for a quick meal. However, if you have been here a while ago, you might be a tad bit disappointed with the quality of the food now. It has dropped in my opinion. The food is still good, just that it was better before.

Address:
Little Penang Cafe
4th Floor, KLCC
50088, Kuala Lumpur

The Office Tapas & Grill @ Menara Haw Par

Day 83: The Office Tapas & Grill @ Menara Haw Par

I often opt for lunch set meals when they have one on offer at The Office. Most times it is decent, you get a 3 course meal with tea or coffee for RM21.00 which I think is a pretty good deal. The Office looks nothing like an office, unless of course you work in a shmancy bar type of thing. On today’s menu we have Fish Chowder for appetiser, Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Sausages or a Chicken dish which I completely forgot the name, sorry. As for dessert, we were in for a surprise as it was not specified on the menu. Then of course tea or coffee.

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I honestly got excited when I saw chowder on the menu. Haven’t had a good bowl of clam chowder in a while so I was excited to settle for a fish chowder. I was taken a back when the chowder came and it was not creamy in colour or taste. I was not expecting a tomato base soup to be served but it was pretty good. I’ll stop calling it a chowder because I don’t think it is. The fish soup was well seasoned and served piping hot with a couple of buns. It had only two small pieces of fried breaded fish in it. The tomato soup was really good, the sweet and tad bit tartness from the tomatoes came through. The portion was small but enough to tantalise your appetite.

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On to the chicken dish. This, I truly enjoyed.  The chicken was perfectly cook. It was crunchy on the outside and kept its moisture on the meat. Although the batter was nothing special, the chicken itself was really nice. When I saw the little cubes of bell peppers on the sauce, I did not want to try it. I am very fussy when it comes to the taste of bell peppers, the same for onions. But when I had a taste of it, it was really good. It goes perfectly well with the chicken and the sauce was well seasoned and the cooked peppers added extra flavour to the sauce which turned out amazing. The english style chips were decent and the potato salad I had nothing to complain about. So main course was good.

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Dessert however was a complete let down. When it was served to me, I was actually scared to try it. It did not look very appetising. Lack of effort when it comes to the presentation. When I actually had a bite, it was just slightly thick crepe but too thin to be a pancake folded into a little square with pineapple curd inside it. The pineapple curd was not good at all. It was just bland, not sweet nor sour. The thick crepe/thin pancake had nothing to it. That is why dessert was a let down.

All in all, for the price of RM21.00 for a three course meal is a pretty satisfying meal. I was only disappointed with the dessert and that the chowder wasn’t really a chowder. Other than that, everything was good. I recommend The Office for lunch time if you work around the area. The ala carte menu is reasonably priced and I hear it is good.

Good luck!

Love,

A

Restaurant Discovery #6: Saffron @ Sri Hartamas

Day 66: Saffron @ Sri Hartamas

Hidden in a quite nook of Sri Hartamas, this little restaurant feels pretty homey as you walk in. The decor is a bit on the outdated side and could use a revamp. I guess that’s what made it feel so cosy. Surprisingly, it was my parents that found this little gem a few months back and loved it. So today, they made us try it.

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Butter Chicken (RM14.25)

We had a few main dishes and shared some bread and rice. My sister straight away knew what she wanted and that was the butter chicken (RM14.25). The chicken cubes in almond and butter sauce was pretty creamy and you can taste a hint of sweetness coming through in the end. The portion was pretty small for the price but I think it was worth it as it was really good.

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Bhatura (RM3.50)

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Bindi Masala (RM8.70)

My mum was so excited for her Bhatura (RM3.50) which is this some sort of naan bread but it is fried. The bread was crispy yet still held its moisture and you cannot taste any oil on it. It is definitely a must try. It goes well with everything. My mum ordered the Bindi Masala (RM8.70) to go with it. Bindi Masala is okra sauteed with cumin and coriander. It had a lot of flavour from all the masala spices they put in and it was divine.

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Saffron Rice(RM3.00)

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Murg Masala (RM12.75)

My dad ordered the Saffron rice with Murg Masala (RM12.75) which is chicken masala. Unlike the Bindi Masala, the chicken version lack flavour. It was more subtle and did not over power the fluffy saffron rice. I would have preferred it to have more punch. It was delicious nonetheless.

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Bhoona Gosh (RM12.75)

For myself, I ordered the Bhoona Gosh (RM12.75). I am the only person on the table that eats mutton, so I devoured the mutton braised in highly spiced gravy of tomatoes, onions and herbs on my own. The mutton dish was cooked until almost dry so the flavour of all the spices were really strong which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, I must mentioned that most of the food was prepared in advanced and probably heated up quickly when it is ordered. My mutton dish would’ve been perfect if it was pipping hot.

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Aloo Pratha (RM4.50)

I also ordered a side of Aloo Pratha (RM4.50) which is pratha bread stuffed with coriander spiced potatoes. The stuffing tasted like a really mushed up curry puff filling. It was nice but I much prefer the Bathura.

This simple cosy restaurant will make you feel like you just walked in a Punjabi’s household. If you enjoy northern indian food then I suggest you pay a visit here. My definite recommendation is obviously the Bathura bread.

Ambiance: 4 out of 10
Food: 7 out of 10
Service: 6 out of 10
Price: $

Saffron
5 Jalan Sri Hartamas 7,
Taman Sri Hartamas,
Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-6201 1375

Good Luck!

Love,
A

Pad thai

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Day 57: Pad Thai

Pad Thai is almost certainly the best-known examples of Thai cuisine worldwide. This simple stir-fried rice noodle is my absolute favourite when it comes to Thai cuisine. When I went to Krabi, Thailand, Pad Thai was the only thing I ate!

Surprisingly, I have struggled to find a decent Pad Thai in Malaysia even though we have plenty Thai restaurant all over the country. My search was over when I tried the Pad Thai at Absolute Thai. It brought back the beautiful memories I had in Krabi. It had a hint of spicy, a little bit of sweet and utterly delicious. And the presentation isn’t bad either. Every single time, in any branch, Absolute Thai absolutely deliver when it comes to their Pad Thai. I never go anywhere else when I want me some Pad Thai.

Good luck!

Love,
A