Carlos D'Cantina review

carlos d cantina

Carlos D’Cantina is a TexMex eating establishment
located behind The Beach Club in the heart of the clubbing district of
KL. The eatery spans three stories – there’s al fresco dining options
spanning the entire ground floor of the place, with pool tables on the
second floor and a VIP lounge in the works for the third floor.

carlos sign

I went there for dinner with Justine last night courtesy of Larry,
who is a partner of Carlos D’Cantina, and has been nothing short of
hospitable the whole time we were there. The dinner menu was personally
selected by him and we managed to sample the offerings Carlos D’Cantina
has on its portfolio.

carlos tv

The ambience of the place is great – it’s interestingly done up with
the al fresco concept obvious in the architecture. There is a huge
screen at the seating area, but the volume was not overwhelming – it
manages to strike the perfect balance between being audible and
allowing conversation at the same time. The service at Carlos D’Cantina
is also flawless, and most important of all, unpretentious, for a place
in this district.

carlos chilli cheese fries

This is Chilli cheese fries, one of the flagship
dishes of Carlos D’Cantina. It’s a hearty mixture of fries, chilli, and
melted cheese…the ground meat and cheese topping makes this a great
starter. There is a really interesting anecdote behind the conception
of this particular dish, which involves a late night call for munchies,
but it’s not my story to tell. Go and ask about it. ;)

carlos chilli cheese fries flash

Here’s another shot of the chilli cheese fries with flash. The bed
of fries is literally smothered by the topping; it’s one of the dishes
where you just have to dig in. TexMex food at its prime…the portion
is huge though, so I would recommend sharing this dish to reserve space
for one of their mains.

carlos chilli dog

This is the Texas Chilli Dog, one of the main
dishes Carlos D’Cantina serves. It comes with fries, hot sauce and a
side of pickles. I noticed that the sausage (or hotdog, if you will) is
different from the ones I’m used to having – it’s very tender and maintains the taste of hotdogs that mass produced sausages do not have.

carlos chilli dog flash

It turns out that the hotdogs Carlos D’Cantina uses is specially
made from a distributor – there’s no excess filler and binder in the
sausages. I liked the chilli that tops off this hotdog as well…more
meat is always good. The cup of lettuce which has a tomato slice, a
ring of raw onion, and one slice of pickle completes this dish.

carlos bbq chicken

The Texas Style BBQ Chicken is also another great main dish. It comes with a side of french fries and corn on the cob wrapped in foil to keep it warm.

carlos bbq chicken flash

The chicken is nicely tender, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth
texture and the jalapeno based sauce is hot, a wonderful combination.

carlos corn on cob

The spiciness of this dish is offset by the sweet notes offered by
the corn on the cob served alongside it. Larry also furnished some
off-menu items for dinner, concept creations that will make it into the
menu in the near future. We also had the very spicy Habanero hot wings,
which comes highly recommended from me if you like your food hot. It’s
hot. I can take a lot of chilli. If I say it’s hot, it means it’s hot.
;)

carlos dont ever touch

The chilli powder at Carlos D’Cantina is home made and is a closely
guarded secret, as this “Don’t Ever Touch!!” labeled container shows.
It’s a mix of several varieties of chilli and peppers blended for the
perfect taste and spiciness factor.

carlos just me larry

Carlos D’Cantina is a great experience – the food is great, the
portions are generous and this is one of the rare eating establishments
where they take pride in the food they serve. It comes highly
recommended from me…get some of the chilli cheese fries or Habanero
hot wings to soak up the alcohol after clubbing!

Guide to eating a Top Off coconut

top off coconut array

The Top Off coconut experience is commonly available in food
courts…it’s the shrink wrapped coconuts at the drinks counter with
the top partially serrated for easy opening. It’s a very user friendly
coconut.

top off coconut

It comes in several varieties – a fully green one (skin on) which
tastes a little tart, a mostly skinned white one which has a sweeter
content, and the Thailand variety which is a small, fully skinned
coconut. I have had all of them, and my personal preference is the
partially skinned one.

top off coconut unwrapped

The whole coconut is covered with shrink wrap – including the top of
the coconut. You need to remove the shrink wrap before the coconut can
be consumed. The removal of shrink wrap goes according to user
preference – I tend to just tear off the top of the shrink wrap.

top off coconut open

Next, you use the side of the provided standard spoon to remove the
“cover” of the coconut. The easy way to do this is to analyze the
partial factory cut top for the largest point of possible entry and
wedge the side of the spoon (the thin side) down, before using leverage
to “scoop” the whole top back up.

top off coconut opened

It should look like this after that step is completed. Do not, under
any circumstances, allow the top of the coconut to fall back into the
coconut. It should also be noted that this is the most difficult part
of the process, as there is a distinct possibility of causing a faux
pax by twisting too hard and spilling coconut juice all over the place.

top off coconut top

The user may proceed to use the spoon to separate the coconut flesh
from the now separated top for consumption. The flesh of the coconut is
edible, and the top of the coconut contains a significant amount of
coconut flesh…this should be appreciated by eating said coconut flesh
from the top.

top off coconut drink

The next step is to insert the (provided) plastic straw into the
open coconut receptacle. The coconut juice can be sipped straight from
the coconut. Optionally, the spoon can be used to harvest more coconut
flesh from the inside of the coconut. It is important to remember that
the entire internal circumference of the coconut is coated with coconut
flesh…which is edible.

top off coconut scoop

The coconut juice should appear as a clear liquid, unless the
coconut has been disturbed in any way (e.g. internal flesh scooped for
consumption, vigorous stirring etc). Do not be alarmed if the coconut
juice turns murky. This is perfectly normal and the coconut remains safe for consumption.
The color change is caused by cross contamination from the coconut
flesh, but this is not as bad as it sounds…since the flesh is edible.
Certain connoisseurs also appreciate murky coconut juice. I reiterate -
murky coconut water is perfectly fine.

top off coconut ice

There is an option of adding ice to the coconut for a chilled
coconut drink. The user does this at the risk of diluting the coconut
juice. Coconut connoisseurs frown at this practice, but it is
widely…er, practiced for a colder drinking experience.

Enjoy your coconut.

Nike "Play To Win" football vending machine

nike football vending machine

I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a football
vending machine…this is the Nike “Play To Win” football vending
machine in front of Sungei Wang Plaza. I’ve seen the Nike commercials
on TV – the Play To Win series of ads. The most memorable one was the
forest scene with a guy playing solo football (or soccer, if you like)
where he scores and the wind going through the tree leaves sounds like
stadium applause and it ends with the tagline – “Play To Win”.

nike football vending machine RM45

These are the exact same footballs from that commercial. It’s the
Nike Total 90 Swift soccer ball series and the vending machine has
about 20 of the footballs going for RM 45 each. There’s a slot for
inserting RM 1 to RM 10 denominations and presumably, a football will
drop down from the vending machine into the flip up receptacle at the
bottom. I didn’t have a spare RM 45 to find out, but I would project
that as the likely scenario, since it’s a vending machine.

I got a HP iPAQ hx4700 just now for RM 2,300. The retail price was
RM 2,488 and I probably could have brought the price lower, but I was
in a good mood, the shop has just opened – it was the first sale of the
day for the commission based attendant. She was happy about it,
probably made her day, so I didn’t mind. Passing it on and all that. ;)

Just: The new way to enjoy wine

just wine display

The Just label is not well known for wine…at least I haven’t heard
of it, until I saw this display at the Jusco supermarket. The
attractive features of the Just wine display is the unconventional wine
bottle size, the wide range of varieties available and the affordable
price at RM 8.50 per bottle.

just wine display close

Just seems to be a new label and has an interesting tagline which goes Just: The new way to enjoy wine.
The small Just wine bottles are color coded based on the type of wine
it contains – there are various options of red and white wine.

just cinsault merlot

I couldn’t resist the interesting bottles and grabbed two different
ones, a Merlot and a Cinsault. The bottles have easy screw on “metal
corks” (otherwise known as covers) and thus can be appreciated without
having to purchase a corkscrew. Just wine is a produce of France.

just merlot

The Merlot is described as “a round and balanced Merlot with aromas
of ripe fruits” and weighs in at 12.5% alcohol. It tasted alright, but
I’m no wine connoisseur so I can’t be more descriptive than that,
unless I sprout some pretentious bullshit about the wine being “naughty
to the palate at the beginning, with an aftertaste that caresses the
tongue with warm notes of oak” or something to that effect. ;)

just cinsault

The Cinsault has a label that describes it as “a consistently fresh
and aromatic Cinsault with delicate aromas of red fruits”. I’ve never
heard of the word Cinsault before, but it tasted like a rose wine. This
one comes in at a slightly more satisfying 13% alcohol. I had it at
room temperature, and it tasted alright nevertheless.

just new wine

Just: The new way to enjoy wine!

Promegranate fruit

promegranate fruits

The promegranate fruit, sometimes spelled as pomegranate, is a seed
based fruit that I’ve seen around in Australia and Malaysia, but never
got around to trying it, not being a big fan of fruits.

promegranate fruit

I got one of them to eat just now though – it retails for RM 3.59
per fruit and the promegranate fruit originates from India. It looks
rather like an onion with its bulbous shape and flared ends – a large,
reddish onion.

promegranate half

The pomegranate fruit is filled with red seed pulps in segments much
like the pomelo fruit. I was told that only the seeds are edible, and
not the skin.

promegranate eaten

Much like the pomelo fruit, the pitted areas around the skin and
segments tastes bitter, but the seeds have a slightly muted
tartness…muted being the keyword here. I found the fruit rather
bland, to be honest, and didn’t find eating it fresh particularly
interesting, though I imagine it would go well in other preparations.

Food Junction @ Midvalley Megamall – Western Food

mm food junction

Food Junction is the food court located at MidValley Megamall which
I’ve been frequenting due to the close proximity to the hotel I’m
staying at (it’s just next door).

mm western food

There is a Western Food section on the entrance of the food court – there are several themed food eateries at the place.

mm western counter

The Western Food category has displays of their menu repertoire in a
visual format, which I found to be very useful in gauging which of the
dishes is likely to be good.

mm western display 1

This is the first row of the food dishes that this section offers…

mm western display 2

The second row is also filled with cooked dishes on the second tier, with condiments on the bottom one…

mm western display 3

The third row has both tiers filled with food.

mm spag seafood

This is the Seafood and Spaghetti with Cream Sauce (RM 15.90) that my CTO ordered…it looks creamy and nice, and has several prime seafood items on the dish too.

mm baked seafood

I went for the Baked Seafood (RM 19.90) which was
recommended as one of their specialties. I was not disappointed…it
was spicy, with tones of garlic and the toppings were piled on – more
prime seafood: prawns, large mussels, smaller mussels, squid…the
works!

Soon Fatt Beijing Roasted Duck

soon fatt beijing duck stall

Soon Fatt Beijing Roasted Duck is a popular roadside stall in Jalan
Pasar (Market Road) in Pudu, KL. I went there for a late lunch with a
couple of people. The ad hoc seating arrangements of plastic chairs and
tables were packed full of people, from, dare I say it…all walks of
life.

soon fatt beijing duck close

The stall front has displays of whole duck and other meats and the
front is adorned with a newspaper clipping which shows the stall in a
paper write-up. Adhering to the all-in-one stall design, steamed rice
containers, soup cauldrons, tea kettles are all within easy reach and
the wash basin is in close proximity with the back. Nifty,
self-contained roadside stall design…

soon fatt beijing duck

This is the main platter that we ordered – there’s a thigh of their
renowned Beijing Roasted Duck, as well as a cut of breast meat,
together with sweet meat and deep fried pork under a bed of nice gravy
and sprinkled with stalks of spring onions. It comes with a serving of
rice and soup…and the duck tasted good.

Cititel Mid Valley Hotel, KL

cititel kl water

It’s a good thing that the drinking water is complimentary…like
most hotels, they have their own drinking water, and the guests have
complimentary breakfast at Citi Cafe every morning too. The lobby area
and Citi Cafe has Wi-Fi access, but I opted to use my Digi EDGE
connection to my notebook since the AP down there is RM 30 for 2
hours…which I would have gone for, if I don’t have an existing free
connection. ;) It’s also notable that this is the first trip in which
sixthseal.com updates in real time, thanks to my notebook and GPRS/EDGE
cell phone.

cititel kl room card

I’m staying on the 20th floor of Cititel, Mid Valley. It’s a smoking
floor and I’m in room 2006 – please feel free to ring the doorbell at
odd hours of the night if you’re so inclined, but I’m likely to be out
the whole day. ;)

cititel kl stalk

The view from the 20th floor is great – it feel good to be in KL
again…I was walking around Mid Valley just now and have been to bsc
and other places earlier during the day. KL feels like the place for
me…I’m not sure why, it just feels like the right place for someone like me to be living in. :)

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