Friday, November 28, 2014

Victory Monument VM @ SS2 PJ & Aroi-Kaa Boat Noodle @ SS15 Subang

Boat noodles make their triumphant entry into Petaling Jaya's SS2, with a tempting twist this time - this new outlet reputedly relies on the recipe handed to its founders by the owner of Victory Monument's most popular boat noodle eatery in Bangkok.

 
This restaurant's three Malaysian founders spent a week in Bangkok learning how to make boat noodles exactly to the specifications of Ratchanee Paengkesorn, who'll visit this outlet once every few months to ensure standards remain solid.

 
Now's the perfect time to visit VM Boat Noodle - the outlet is offering a free first bowl to all customers for the next few weeks. No terms & conditions; you won't even need to order a second bowl if you prefer not to.

The sight of bowls of boat noodles has become a familiar one by now; who could have predicted at the start of 2014 that this would become one of the year's biggest food fads? VM Boat Noodle serves six types, each costing RM1.90.

 Our favourites are the two versions with broth thickened with pork blood - one is topped with beef & the other has pork, both satisfyingly rich & creamier than the norm (the beef one has an edge, if we had to choose), with a potent sweet-savoury tang.

The other recipes comprise dry glass noodles (one beef, one pork), plus two more with clear soup & clear spicy soup. Basically not a bad choice if you're in SS2 & interested in boat noodles.

 
 
We like this one: Boiled dory fish - fresh & flaky, soft to the bite but not mushy - served with a salad & spicy sauce. RM5.90.

 
 
Tender water spinach, also worth ordering (RM1.50), before wrapping up with coconut custard pudding (RM1 for two).

 
VM makes its own lemonade (RM2.50); coconut juice in husks are offered too (RM5.90). Thanks to VM for hosting us here.

But if you live or work in Subang instead, here's another new option that's closer to you: Aroi-Kaa in SS15.

 
Despite the deluge of boat noodle eateries, each one does have something definingly distinctive. Here at Aroi-Kaa, it's a boat!

 
 
Aroi-Kaa's menu is concise - beef soup, clear chicken soup or (our favourite of the three) tom yam chicken soup, a bit punchier in flavour than the other two. No pork at Aroi-Kee.

 
Plenty more protein here, with soul food like braised chicken feet & mixed beef soup (value for money for RM4.90 each).

 Maximum-guilt snacks at Aroi-Kaa include crispy fried chicken skin (RM2.90) & chicken joints (RM4.90).

 Victory Monument VM Boat Noodle
68, Jalan SS2/67, Petaling Jaya. Open 11am-1130pm daily.

 
Aroi-Kaa Boat Noodle
Menara Rajawali, Jalan SS15/8, Subang Jaya, Selangor. Open 12pm-10pm daily

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

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: 
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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 resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tim Ho Wan Malaysia @ Mid Valley

One of Kuala Lumpur's most breathlessly anticipated new restaurants this month is ready to launch: Hong Kong's Tim Ho Wan brings its famed 'Michelin-star dim sum' to its first Malaysian branch in Mid Valley's Boulevard beginning Friday, November 28. 

 
Thanks to the Tim Ho Wan team for this preview of the outlet, which replaces Italian eatery Blu Med on the boulevard. This foray into Malaysia is part of the brand's exuberant expansion since last year, with offshoots spreading across Singapore, Hanoi, Manila & Taipei; outposts in Sydney & Melbourne will unfurl next year.


 
Much of HK dim sum maestro Mak Kwai Pui's Mongkok-origin menu is offered here - the highly deified 'Big Four Heavenly Kings' repertoire includes princely portions of the signature baked buns with a mildly crisp exterior, its insides concealing sweet-savoury BBQ pork. RM10.80 for three pieces; thousands will likely be sold each week in KL. It's a satisfactory snack.


 Pan-fried carrot cake, a relatively low-grease rendition, textured with morsels of pork (RM9.80 for three pieces). Tim Ho Wan's main challenge might be managing expectations; there will be plenty of people who'll insist on telling you, "not as nice as the ones I had in Hong Kong," or others who'll complain it's overrated. They're not necessarily wrong, but they are wrong-spirited.


The two other 'Heavenly Kings' - considered a primer to Tim Ho Wan - comprise smooth vermicelli rolls stuffed with pork liver (RM10.80 for three pieces) & autumn-hued steamed egg cakes (RM7.80) that everyone calls fluffy for a reason - that's what they are; plus, they feature pleasurably natural-tasting nuances of eggy flavour.


But this is our favourite item at Tim Ho Wan - this is what we loved the most, the gem of the menu: Congee that's been blended with salted egg yolk, so each creamy spoonful is rich & tastes drop-dead fantastic, tinged with bits of salted egg, century egg & pork (RM9.80). This is what we'd line up for.


 
If a dim sum meal is meant to be all about comfort food with flavours that transport us back to our happiest around-the-table memories with family & friends, then the rice with fried egg & tender beef might do the trick (RM10.80). Uncomplicated virtue.


 
 
The stand-outs from the steamed selection are probably the two items that are listed last: Flavoursome Teochew-style dumplings & spinach dumplings with shrimp. The stand-outs overall at this restaurant might be its staff members, who work with a cordial grace & calm efficiency despite the crowd's demands, serving everything swiftly & clearing plates promptly.


 

 
Fussy palates will voice scant joy over the siu mai (RM10.80 for four), har kao (RM11.80 for four), beef balls with bean curd skin (RM7.80 for three) & bean curd skin rolls with pork & shrimp (RM8.80), but fussy isn't equivalent to discerning. While these recipes might not pack the strongest punch, they're consistent with the well-thought-out flavour profiles of the food here.


 
 
Fried fare: Spring rolls with egg white & wasabi prawn dumplings. Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong has long milked its renown for being 'the world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant,' noted for long lines of patient patrons waiting outside its outlets; expect a similar situation in KL well into 2015.


 
Lotus leaf glutinous rice (RM12.80). Dim sum here is reputedly made to order - not pre-steamed & reheated. And there were no tell-tale symptoms of thirst after we enjoyed this lunch.


 
Tim Ho Wan's dessert list is short &, well, sweet: Choose chilled osmanthus cakes (RM6.80 for three) or mango sago pomelo (RM6.90); either should prove a prudent option. All in all, we're happy Tim Ho Wan has opened in KL; it might be more of a curiosity-satisfying destination for most customers right now, but we hope it'll eventually settle into becoming a reliable one too.


 
 
Tim Ho Wan Kuala Lumpur
27G, The Boulevard, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur. Outlet opens at 11am daily, queue could begin well before then.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

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 resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my