A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
I love my Maxnetic card. (No one paid me to say this!)In just one month, I have enjoyed savings of over RM50. Okay, it’s probably a sign that I’m eating too much good food, but seriously, if you’re a person who eats out a couple of times a week and shops once a week or so, then this card is for you. I have saved money at Bisou, Bijou, Opus and Just Heavenly Pleasures, and my friends who bought me lunch at Palate Palette could have saved money if I had known that the establishment accepted the Max card (oops!).
It’s hard to be excited about something without having it sound like a sales pitch, so I think I shall stop sounding like Max’s Milo man.
Thanks to Nigel of Just Heavenly who acted as Max’s messenger, we received an invitation to enjoy (in Max’s words) an evening of scrumptious indulgence at KL’s best kept secret – the boutique boulevard of Jalan Bangkung in Bangsar. Ordinarily, I’d have said no, as I prefer to pay for my own meal, but since that option wasn’t available at that time coupled with the fact that Nigel told me that I could say exactly what I thought about the food, I yielded.
I do have a soft spot for that yummy baker. Oh, his cakes are not too bad either.
I discovered Jalan Bangkung a long time ago when some of you were crawling in your nappies. At that time, Fit For 2, Cava, Opus, Wine Cellar and The Attic did not exist. After a while, I dropped out of the scene (i.e. I turned boring (got married lah)), and when I returned to Jalan Bangkung, lo and behold, there was not a free carpark in sight. Thanks to my husband, who had kept me chained in the kitchen for several years, I had missed out on some revolutionary food experiences. (Bald Eagle: Lies! All lies!! She last used the kitchen in 2004!)
Where were we? Yes. Revolutionary food experiences.
I mean, suddenly, cupcakes became the new buzz word in the Klang Valley. And I became the latest victim, socialising with other ladies while enjoying a cuppa and a dainty little cupcake with strawberry swirls.
When I first heard the name Fit For 2, I thought it was one of those yoga places, but I soon found out that I was not so correct. Expectant mothers hang out here (to exercise and socialise). Talk about a niche market. Fit For 2 has also got a little café where they serve itty bitty cupcakes and cakes from Bisou (same owner) and so I was definitely not disappointed with the lovely cakes that were served to us. My favourite? The pretty lemon cupcake with strawberry cream – what a delightful combination of tangy, buttery flavour against the sweetness of the strawberry frosting! The men in our group seemed to favour the chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes, although I could see Fatboybakes struggling, both in conscience as well as with his fingers (probably wondering if he should stick his pinky out), to appreciate the petite little things. As much as I don’t want to generalise about gender preferences, this place seemed to be an obvious chick hangout.
Equally good were the chocolate brownies with pretty pink flowers piped onto them (such attention to detail!), sandwiches made with thick-cut bread and wholesome fillings, and a very nice, albeit sweet, pumpkin soup that was smooth and creamy.
Cava appealed to my senses.
Rows of wine bottles lined up one wall, attractive pictures were placed on terracotta coloured walls while wrought iron chandeliers hung from the ceiling providing dim lighting to create an ambience of romance and mystery.
The menu at Cava takes on the influence of Catalonian style cusine with hints of Greek and Mediterranean. We were served an array of tapas including prawn pil-pil, sautéed baby octopus, Spanish lamb boulette, sautéed black pepper beef, Spanish omelette and patata bravas. The prawns, I thought were too soft (possibly overcooked?) while the lamb balls were very nice, with its meat minced thoroughly, thus providing a smooth texture to this dish. I loved the Spanish omelette; I had never tasted Spanish omelette before, and so did not have a basis for comparison, but this one had a certain amount of firmness due to the layering of the omelette with potatoes, cooked just right so that it did not disintegrate when it was sliced through. The cross section of the Spanish omelette was like a layer cake. Very pretty.
The seafood paella was a bit of a disappointment. The rice was too soggy for my liking and all the ingredients basically stuck together. I’d like to try this again, though, because to be fair to the establishment, they had cooked the dishes earlier and placed them on foodwarmers, and I suspect that the food had been left out too long while the photographers had a field day with the visual feast at Cava.
We downed everything with some excellent Sangria (perhaps a little too much!).
Do note that the food at Cava is pork free. Cava is currently running a set lunch promo with soft drinks and dessert at RM25.
No.71, Jalan Bangkung,
Tel: 03-2093 6637
Opus Bistro has always been packed since I first discovered it. KL-ites are a discerning lot, and so, where there is good food, people gather. Not only does Opus serve a variety of traditional Italian dishes, their wine list is equally extensive.
The carbonara pasta was creamy; its sauce was thick and clung to the pasta. This is great as I’ve come across carbonara dishes where the sauce would glide off the pasta, almost like the pasta was being rinsed in the sauce rather than being married to it.
I was surprised that the restaurant chose to serve two creamy white sauce based dishes consecutively, as the second dish of roasted cod fish with lemon capers sauce could not be fully appreciated by some because of the richness of the sauce. I, nevertheless, managed to enjoy this dish by putting just a dab of the sauce on my fish. As a result, the combination provided a very light creamy flavour with a slight tangy taste thus allowing the flavour of the cod to dominate as opposed to allowing the tartness of the sauce to overwhelm the dish.
Lemoncello, a traditional aperitif with a tangy flavour that shoots straight to the brain, was served during the meal, together with wine from Wine Cellar introduced by a dashing French Sommelier. We were subsequently given a tour of the wine cellar, although at this point, it was hard to take in everything due to the heavy consumption of food and wine at the outlets before this!
Opus is pork free and is open for lunch and dinner, Mondays to Saturdays, while on Sundays, only dinner is served.
No. 67, Jalan Bangkung,
Tel: 03-2092 4288
65, Jalan Bangkung
Tel : 03-2093 1919
Intoxicated with sangria, lemoncello and wine, we somehow made it upstairs to The Attic, KL’s only gallery-bar-lounge. This place has a wide-open airy feeling, mostly due to the high ceilings, but it is small enough to feel cozy. It is also a non-smoking bar, so one does not get the feeling that one has to scrub one’s self clean after a night out at The Attic. Of course, if you are a smoker, you can always step out to the balcony and puff your lungs away. Just don’t puff into my squeaky clean, hard-to-wash, perfectly groomed hair.
I like the industrial style bar counter. It has a certain starkness that contrasts well with the paintings displayed on the walls. The pictures are changed every month as new artists from around the world including Malaysia, Romania, Switzerland and Italy are featured.
Now, if you’re the type who’s lazy to eat cake but would still like to have a go at it anyway without using your teeth, have I got news for you! Ask the bartender for “La Dolce Vita”. The expression, “drinking cake in a cocktail glass” was coined here…two Saturdays ago. A pretty short lived expression, no doubt, but will carry on if enough people try La Dolce Vita! You will never want to eat cake again!
But then again, how can one resist Just Heavenly Pleasures’ cakes. You’d have to use your teeth, of course, but the effort is worth it. We were served three cakes that were just going to be included to the current selection of awesome cakes at JHP: The Raspberry Madeira, a rich, golden sponge soaked in a tart raspberry crush, the Mango Upside Down, a lovely open crumbed cake topped with caramelised, sweet mango chunks, and the Chilled Lemon Cheesecake which was a light, creamy chilled cheesecake on a buttery digestive crust. My favourite was the Chilled Lemon Cheesecake, and guess what? The dudes at Just Heavenly made that cake for my birthday party a week later!!
No. 47, Jalan Terasek
Tel: 03-2287 9866
Just Heavenly Pleasures
Jalan Medan Setia 1
(Open 11am – 8pm)
Tel: 017-251 3202
61-2, Jalan Bangkung
Tel: 03-2093 8842
Thanks, Kyan and friends, for the invitation. I’ll be back.
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Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.