Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Real Food @ 1 Mont Kiara

Real Food started out in Singapore, where it now has three outposts, before launching its first Malaysian branch at Penang's Straits Quay in 2013. This month, it finally reaches KL, determined to draw health-concerned consumers in 1 Mont Kiara Mall.

Real Food is both a beautiful vegetarian cafe & a bountifully stocked grocer with an impressive repertoire. Expect the kitchen to offer everything from gluten-free kombu & shiitake soup (RM16) to miso mulukhiyah soy noodles (RM22) to fried Bario rice (RM17), organic pizzas made from scratch (RM30) to kombucha iced tea (RM10) & kale-apple smoothies (RM17).

Start with a snack - Real Food enables shoppers to skip the heavily processed fast-food fries at most malls & munch instead on crisp 'chips' of baby spinach leaves fried in a light, vegan-friendly sesame batter (RM12).

Real Food will be a magnet for customers seeking distinctive fare - pumpkin pancakes are a prime example, made with a dense mash-up of organic pumpkin, soy milk, coconut oil & self-raising flour, served with fruits & agave syrup (RM23). Add RM11 for a scoop of vegan brown rice milk ice cream (flavours include coconut or chocolate - ice cream is RM13 on its own).

Guilt-free burgers are also a highlight - there's one with a hand-made patty of beetroot, carrots, onions, millet & potatoes, stacked with guacamole, greens & biodynamic-farmed tomatoes, served with organic potato wedges & vegan mayo (RM30, tasty but pricey, reflecting currency exchange rate realities, since this currently costs $12.80 on Singaporean menus) ...

... & another with a croquette-like patty built with lentils, oregano, mushrooms & roasted walnuts, complemented with an organic potato salad & sprouts (RM30). We respect how the food here emphasises complex textures & wholesome nutrition, striving to be accessible instead of an acquired taste.

With a selection this broad, there are bound to be both hits & misses. Order the sun-dried Oriental noodles with Real Food's signature vegetarian steamed dumplings drizzled with organic sesame oil & tamari (RM24) - it reputedly takes three people six hours to painstakingly make 60 sets of these plump, juicy dumplings. But skip the pasta with organic aubergines, tomatoes, cucumber & mushrooms (RM24); the pasta is made with raw material organically grown in Italy with pure spring water, slow-dried at a low temperature to maintain its nutrients, but this recipe is too bland to satisfy.

Real Food's heartiest offering is the steaming-hot baked claypot quinoa, delicious with coriander, mozzarella & optional garlic (RM34), in a surprisingly filling portion that two patrons could easily share.

Beverages include a warm, nuanced & dairy-free blend of fair-trade raw cacao & soy mik (RM13.50), plus espressos & lattes that rely on Viennese-roasted, Sonnentor-brand fair-trade beans. Ignore the wine bottle - we purchased it at Village Grocer.

Real Food
G-11, Ground Floor, 1 Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6211-9078

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. 
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, at least RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

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, 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.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for May-August 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 

Buckle your seatbelts: Eat Drink KL is partnering with Uber to take restaurant lovers on new adventures across KL & Selangor!
If you haven't used Uber yet, it's time to begin! For new users, just follow the steps below to redeem free rides:
1. Download the Uber app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store - and register your Uber account.
2. Apply the code EATDRINKKL as your first promotional code & you'll receive 2 Free Rides worth RM30 each.
3. Request a ride through the app and ride for free to any destination (with two ride values of up to RM30 each).
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

Eat Drink KL Official Mobile App For iOS & Android


It's here! By restaurant lovers, for restaurant lovers: The new Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available for iOS & Android, connecting restaurants with customers & promoting a positive spirit of community.




Starting 2 March 2015, every restaurant featured on this app will reward users with a 6 percent discount off their receipts, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long, with no advance bookings required. In return, users will share photos of their experiences at these restaurants, creating a new community of food fans across the Klang Valley.

For every transaction made through this app, 20 sen will be channelled to a charitable organisation every month. The funds will be completely contributed by the restaurants. 

Our first charity for March to May 2015 was the Dignity For Children foundation, which works to help underprivileged Malaysian children break the cycle of poverty through education. In March-May, we raised a total of RM 488 for Dignity For Children.

Our current charity is The Nasi Lemak Project, a young, independent movement to help counter poverty in Malaysia.

The app offers something for everyone who enjoys eating out. Besides a photo feed that's fully powered by users, it also provides a news feed of the latest promotions & highlights at your favourite restaurants.

From local fare to Japanese & Thai to French & Spanish, plus plenty of cafes & coffee bars, you'll find it all here.



The EDKL app is a self-funded, independent initiative by a tiny team of Malaysians. Users can now use the app at the following locations. We'll add many more venues in the weeks & months to come, & will continue updating this list on this page as well as on the mobile app:

ARA DAMANSARA
Jac's On The 8th
Chai Bar

BANGSAR
KGB Killer Gourmet Burgers
LA/PA
La Creperie De Caroline
Mercat
Palazzo Viva
Piggy Tail
Rendez-Vous
Straits Food Company

BANGSAR SOUTH
La Cucina (Pullman uala Lumpur Bangsar)
Link (Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar)
Nexo
Thirdwave

BUKIT BINTANG
Boat Noodle (Berjaya Times Square)
Kafe Vietnam Express (Berjaya Times Square)

CHERAS
Boat Noodle (Ikon Connaught)
That Latte Place (Ikon Connaught)

CITY CENTRE
Drift Dining & Bar
Fatboy's The Burger Bar (Avenue K)
Hubba Hubba (Bukit Ceylon)
LOKL Coffee Co (Jalan Tun H.S. Lee)
Salad Atelier (Avenue K, The Intermark, The Weld)
The Front Door (Jalan Sultan, Chinatown)
Tujo (Ascott, Jalan Pinang)

DAMANSARA HEIGHTS
The Point

DAMANSARA JAYA
Pizzolo (Atria Shopping Gallery)
Swich (Atria Shopping Gallery)

DAMANSARA PERDANA
Bisque Cafe
Boat Noodle
Cat In The Box
Epique
Friendscino
Mosano Coffee
Sevencups
Talent Lounge
The Curious Goat

DAMANSARA UPTOWN
Bingsu
Ecole P
Epicuro
Lammeeya
Swich Cafe
Xiao Lao Wang

KLANG
Boat Noodle (Klang Parade)

KOTA DAMANSARA
3 Bags Full
Bmon Cafe
Burger Junkyard
Gyukingu Japanese BBQ

PETALING JAYA
Bangoya (Jaya One)
Boat Noodle (Jaya One)
Go Thai (SS2)
Kissaten (Jaya One)
Robata Monkey (Jaya One)
Strangers At 47 (Section 17)
The Bee (Jaya One)
The Humble Pie Co (Section 17)
Vvaffle (Jaya One)

PUBLIKA / SOLARIS DUTAMAS
Ante
Boat Noodle
Fatboy's The Burger Bar
Swich Cafe
The Bee
The Red Beanbag
Whimsical Gelateria

PUCHONG
Agape Love Your Food
CAFFEine
Kafe Vietnam
Porcupine Place
Ticket To Korea

SHAH ALAM
Boat Noodle (Gamuda Walk)
Kissaten (Setia City Mall)

SRI HARTAMAS
Breadfruits
BWB Yakitori Bar

SOLARIS MONT KIARA
Wanderlust

SUBANG
AMPM Cafe
Brooklyn B Bagel Bakery & Cafe
Epicuro
Map's

Tryst

TAMAN DESA
Encore Patisserie
Riverboat

TAMAN TUN DR ISMAIL
Boathouse
Chequers
D Legends
Frisky Goat
Interlude
Meat Point

Pickle & Fig
Quar/Tet
Topshelf
Torii
Viv's

OTHER AREAS
Bites (Lake Fields, Sungai Besi)
Buns & Meat (Lake Fields, Sungai Besi)
Cielo Dolci (IOI City Mall Putrajaya)
Foodlogy (Viva Residency, Sentul)
Hubba Hubba (Menara CIMB, KL Sentral)
Kazoku-Ai Modern Teppanyaki Kitchen (Old Klang Road)
Kissburger (Desa Park City)
Miss Ellie Tea House (Taman Melawati)
Streaky Hot Dogs (Sri Petaling)

Customers can also order from selected restaurants via GoGet.my: See here for more details.

Thank you to all readers & restaurants for supporting us on this initiative. We hope you'll have fun exploring the app & its features, & enjoy exploring the featured restaurants.

Here are the THREE easy steps to redeem your discounts at restaurants. Simply (1) TAP, (2) SHOW, & (3) UPLOAD.

1. TAP on the "Activate Discount" button on the restaurant's app profile page, which will take you to a discount coupon page. No advance bookings are required; you only need to activate the discount when you are already physically at the restaurant.



2. SHOW the discount coupon page on your phone (example below) to your server or cashier, either when placing your order or requesting your receipt. The cashier will deduct a 6 percent discount off your receipt before payment. It's as simple as that!



3. On the discount coupon page, tap on the button to UPLOAD your own photo of the restaurant or the food/drinks that you ordered. This photo will be publicly viewable by other users. You must also upload a separate photo of your receipt for administrative purposes; your receipt photo will be private & not viewable by other users. Please complete this final step - otherwise, you cannot activate further discounts, & we cannot channel any contribution to charity for your transaction.

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Stoked @ Kasah, Medan Damansara

Stoked fans the embers of a scorching-hot new era for Medan Damansara's restaurant enclave - replacing Ribs By Vintry, this admirably ambitious effort by KL's long-venerated Vintry group is one of 2015's most notable F&B freshmen, with a rustic elegance that evokes a French wine cellar & an oven-powered oeuvre that sparkles with steaks, seafood & much, much more.

Stoked may be Asia's first restaurant to bank on Bertha, a British-built, cast-iron charcoal & wood-fired oven that fuels meat-loving establishments across England, from Searcys at The Barbican in London to The Plough Ivy Hatch in Kent. Stoke's mild-mannered executive chef Yu Yao oversees the 300-kilogramme oven, carefully cooking everything from meat to vegetables at soaring temperatures of up to 600 degrees Celsius to lock in moisture & flavour while imbuing a smoky char in the produce.

This is one of those rare & precious restaurants with a start-to-finish consistency of thoughtful excellence. It begins the moment you enter, welcomed by a sterling service team (spearheaded by manager Daniel) that's determined to take care of you thoroughly. Even the amuse bouche that emerges is far from a time-passing afterthought - whether it's foie gras terrine with mango & balsamic sauce, cherry tomato stuffed with molten mozzarella, chicken tinged with truffles, duck with capsicum, or a bread roll with sumptuous butter, the curtain rises in a manner that foreshadows culinary stagecraft at its most captivating.

Come ravenous & commence with the roasted beetroot, blood orange & mascarpone cheese (RM25), a composition of lyrical nuances that sing like the sweetest symphony. Stoked is also a maestro of mushrooms - its medley of roasted field fungi with confit garlic & onions (RM25) proves a persuasively orchestrated melody of earthy chords, aromatic notes & voluptuous tones.

When Vintry founder Yin-How & his team first tasted this pan-fried foie gras with cubed mangoes (RM48), they realised they were on the right track in birthing an ingredient-driven restaurant that commands the understanding of what makes food good & how to showcase recipes that shimmer with skill, honesty & imagination.

Seafood showdown: Our vote goes to the grilled squid with arugula & truffle vinaigrette (RM38), thanks to its enjoyable subtleties of complex flavours, since the seared scallops (RM38; with orange & fennel salad) turned out a slight shade too dry. Still, both manage to impressively mix confidence & character in their conception with graceful restraint in their preparation.

Here comes the main event: Steaks are Stoked's forte - the reasonably priced repertoire begins with the Blackmore Wagyu 'Bavette' Skirt Steak (RM80 for 200 grammes & RM115 for 300 grammes), wending its way through an Aussie chilled Black Angus rib-eye (RM78 & RM112), tenderloin (RM88 & RM125), USDA Prime rib-eye (RM98 for 200 grammes) & Wagyu Sirloin MB5 (RM108 & RM155), tackled with a consummate respect for the meat that results in robustly flavoursome succulence.  

Yin-How's inspiration for Stoked stems from a visit years ago to Victor Arguinzoniz's Asador Etxebarri in the Basque Country. It's no surprise then that the passion for flame-licked meat burns bright here - Stoked plans to soon also offer a steak tasting platter for sharing & sampling, featuring three cuts in one serving. Here's a potential preview, with slabs of rib-eye, tenderloin & the one-off bonus of a lamb loin - unbeatable for those evenings when you need to chow down on meat & more meat.

The zealously clear-eyed attention to detail extends to the meal's accoutrements - distinctive sauces like the wasabi yuzu that packs a green chilli pepper's punch, intriguing salts like the Hawaiian Black Lava, cutlery like Laguiole knives, & even the water: the UK Chefs' Choice award-winning Hildon mineral water, chosen for a natural purity that complements Stoke's fare.

Fans of Stoked will be forced to make multiple visits here - fish is a should-order, with a locavore philosophy that brings in Malaysian catch like a whole flounder (seasonal prices prevail) from Perak's coastal town of Hutan Melintang & coral trout (RM78) from Selangor's Tanjung Karang. The flounder we had was clearly a beautiful fish, & it was ravishingly done.

It could be worth enquiring about off-menu specials - you may be rewarded with juicy, fleshy guinea fowl. But if not, take consolation in the always-available guinea fowl eggs en cocotte, luscious with prosciutto, button mushrooms & truffle oil.

Customers who cherished Ribs By Vintry will be heartened to learn that Stoked still serves pork ribs, including the finger-lickin' rosemary Iberico (RM72), the Barbarian Ribs (RM74) & Original BBQ Ribs (RM45). Enjoy with oven-cooked sides like Japanese purple sweet potatoes (RM15) or pumpkin chunks with prosciutto crumbs (RM15); even the leeks, a vegetable we love to hate, turn out to be atypically tender & tasty.

When dessert arrived, we thought the best was over - but we were wrong. Stoked has produced an unbearably compelling sticky date pudding (RM25) that ranks as the best we've had in KL - it scores A+ for taste (sweetly punchy but not cloying), A+ for texture (straddling the balance between fluffy & dense), A+ for temperature (fresh & warm), served with sea salt for extra dynamics & Fatbaby vanilla ice cream for an exuberant contrast. One of our favourite desserts this year, no ifs, ands or buts.

Nothing else quite compares to the pudding's magnificence, but the dark chocolate mousse & soil (RM25) is nonetheless a cacao lover's fantasy, while the mixed fruit salad with yuzu ice cream (RM25) comprises a dreamy mix of ripe morsels of avocado, grapes, dragon fruit, kiwi fruit & mango. Even the dark choc truffles yield a pleasant surprise - the tang of ginger.

A discussion of Stoked wouldn't be complete without its Italian-built Enomatic wine dispensers, which enables customers to try a meticulously curated, evolving selection of 24 wines - including some uncommon vintages - in three serving sizes: a 25-ml tasting portion, a 75-ml half-glass & a 125-ml full glass. Prices range from RM5 for some tasters to RM20-RM56 for a glass.

It's a enlivening & enlightening experience, both for the wine novice & the pundit, taking the Vintry brand to fun new heights. For a steak/seafood & wine dinner, Stoked seems an easy recommendation; many thanks to the team here for the hospitality.

Stoked Restaurant & Bar
Jalan Kasah, Bukit Damansara, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. Tues-Sun, 12pm-3pm, 6pm-late. Tel: 03-2096-1645

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. 
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, at least RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

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, 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.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for May-August 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 

Buckle your seatbelts: Eat Drink KL is partnering with Uber to take restaurant lovers on new adventures across KL & Selangor!
If you haven't used Uber yet, it's time to begin! For new users, just follow the steps below to redeem free rides:
1. Download the Uber app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store - and register your Uber account.
2. Apply the code EATDRINKKL as your first promotional code & you'll receive 2 Free Rides worth RM30 each.
3. Request a ride through the app and ride for free to any destination (with two ride values of up to RM30 each).
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