Rolina Traditional Hainanese Curry Puff – the second to get Bib Gourmand

Rolina-Singapore-Curry-Puffs

Rolina was the second ever curry puff stall to get a coveted Bib Gourmand award in the Michelin Guide Singapore this year. The first was J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff. Interestingly, J2 claimed in an interview that most curry puffs are similar so they didn’t know why they were selected. Haha. Since I’m giving out anecdotes today, the name of Rolina is a mispronunciation of Novena. Chinese speakers regularly say “Rolina” instead of “Novena” so they used the Singlish pronunciation as their stall name.

Rolina-Traditional-Hainanese-Curry-Puff

Rolina only has two types of curry puff – Sardine and Curry Chicken & Egg. They both go for SGD 1.50 each. They’re much smaller than J2’s curry puff and the crust is different. These babies are handmade and the crust is buttery and thin. There’s a decent amount of stuffing inside too. The owner was exceedingly friendly and courteous. I found this unusual in a hawker center stall but most welcome.

Rolina-Bib-Gourmand

I brought some back to Malaysia but it’s not as nice after reheating since the skin doesn’t keep its crispness. It’s much better when it’s hot and fresh. The buttery crunchy skin is an important part of what makes a curry puff good. I liked both the curry chicken and sardine but the sardine one resonated with me more coz it’s spicy. It’s a lot spicier than I expected. Very good.

Nouri Singapore (1 Michelin star) – Teishoku lunch at a superb restaurant

Nouri-SG

Nouri is one of the new restaurants who received their first Michelin star in the Michelin Guide Singapore 2018. I was excited to check out this place. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. The main seating inside the restaurant is a large white marble dining table which flanks the kitchen. The chefs literally plates in front of you so you can see them working while you eat. Chef-owner Ivan Brehm was there to cook and explain the dishes to all the customers.

Nouri

I love places like this coz I’m a total food nerd. Burnt Ends have a similar setup. The same restaurateur group is behind both. This makes the dining experience more intimate as you can see the elements that goes into your dishes and talk to the chefs while they’re preparing your food. I was here with my dad for their “Teishoku” style a la carte lunch. You choose the main (vegetable, pork or fish) you want – appetizers and desserts are included.

Rice-Sourdough-Basil-Butter

The meal started with a slice of rice sourdough bread made in-house with basil butter. The bread was warm and crusty – delicious! I like how easily the basil butter spreads. This is a minor thing but some restaurants – even Michelin starred ones – serve cold butter that’s nigh impossible to spread. Both my dad and I loved this.

Brazilian-Street-Snack

Chef-owner Ivan called this complimentary appetizer a Brazilian street snack. He explained that many people here think it’s Indian but it originates from South America. The caviar-like pearls on top are okra seeds. That’s ingenious! There’s tons of flavor in both the crispy lentil filled bite and the exquisitely nuanced frothy base with oil. It’s so yummy my dad couldn’t hide his approval.

Nouri-Seafood

I went for the Seafood (SGD 44) which is described as locally caught parrotfish, physallis beurre blanc, watermelon radish salad, red vein sorrel. There are 4 side dishes included with every main. I’ll explain them later. The grouper was mild tasting, but the Cape gooseberries adds a nice acidity to the dish. The creamy sauce was excellent. It’s overall a more subdued main dish with clean flavors.

Vegetable-Restaurant-Broth

Vegetable “restaurant” broth. This simple sounding side dish is made of 7 different types of organic vegetables. It’s served hot in a double walled shot glass you can pick up and slurp. I really enjoyed the intense and varied flavors within, as did my dad. He was very impressed.

Organic-Watermelon-Radish

Organic watermelon radish with black pepper sauce had dashi jelly, Tahitian vanilla and wild whole green pepper mixed in. I thought that was very interesting. It’s an unusual flavor combination but I like it.

Sambal-Ikan-Bilis-Acaar

Yacon and tapioca with sambal ikan bilis and red chilli achaar. This small side dish is absolutely packed with flavor! The anchovy sauce is so intense tasting. It goes very well with the creamy element and milder tasting tapioca. Excellent combination. My dad liked this a lot.

Snowpea-Beetroot-Salad

Snow pea and beetroot salad with fermented tamarillo dressing was done competently but the light flavors made this more of a palate cleanser. Nothing wrong with that, the different intensities in flavor help balance things out.

Nouri-Vegetable

My dad went for the Vegetable (SGD 32) which was described as 48 hour caramelized orange, aged carnaroli rice, roasted yacon, Carles Roquefort. Roquefort Carles is a famous unpasteurized artisan blue cheese. It was intense! So rich and complex. We both loved it! There’s bits of orange fruit to cut through the strong flavors sprinkled on the dish. We both enjoyed this tremendously. The carnaroli rice is very different from our rice – each grain is distinct and firm. Very well executed.

Pickled-Lemon-Cranberry-Ice-Cream

Dessert was pickled lemon and cranberry ice cream with clove and creme fraiche. This was a sublime end to our lunch. The bright, acidic flavors of the ice cream finished the meal on a delightful note. I always feel acidic desserts work better than chocolate ones. My dad, not being a big dessert fan, finished everything on his plate. That’s how splendid it was.

Chef-Iven-Brehm

The service at Nouri was extremely good. All the waiters and chefs were very friendly and attentive. I dropped my napkin and they promptly changed it. Chef-owner Iven Brehm came over to introduce every dish and served us personally, which was an excellent touch. One of them remembered I wanted to take a photo with Chef Ivan and prompted me as we were about to leave. The prices for lunch was very reasonable too! We spent SGD 102 (RM 310) in total. There’s a SGD 5 charge per pax for their water but I don’t mind it at all. I’ll definitely be back for dinner! I feel Nouri has great potential to move to 2 Michelin stars in the future.

Nouri-Singapore

Nouri
72 Amoy Street, Singapore

Sneak Peak: Probably The Best Party 2018 by Carlsberg, The Roof

Karaoke-Party

Carlsberg has the best events. You’ll never lack for delicious food, refreshing beer and great company. I was lucky enough to be part of 300 people invited to a preview of “Probably The Best Party”. Carlsberg showcased the First Prize of a promotional campaign for guests and media. I repeat, this will be an actual one-of-a-kind experience for 50 lucky winners and 80 of their friends. You’ll get to choose a venue and theme of your choice if you win. You’ll be the most popular guy in your friend list!

Oriental-Party

There are five themes that winners can choose from – Oriental, Kollywood, German, Sports or Karaoke Party. The Roof was transformed into a magical wonderland to give the guests a taste of what the winners will get to experience. There are also different themed food at each venue e.g. Indian food at Kollywood, Bavarian fare at German, snacks at Sports.

Fresh-Fish-Prawns

I started out my night with the Oriental Party at Yezi. I did a detailed survey of all the themes and decided this offered the best selection of food items. You have slices of fresh fish and huge prawns ready to go into the steamboat broth. I probably ate 4 plates of fish slices, but none of the shrimp coz I’m lazy to peel them. It was delicious! I tried all their soup bases and my favorites are the truffle and Shaoxing wine ones.

Yezi-Fish

I managed to glean the recipe of their delectable dipping sauce from the owner. It’s coriander stalk boiled with soy sauce and sugar. Simple, yet yummy.

Oriental-Pole-Dancers

The first performance of the night was a duo of Oriental pole dancers who mesmerized the crowd. I believe the only eyes not on them were watching through a viewfinder or mobile phone screen.

Kollywood-Party

Kollywood Party @ Ballers was home to a really hype Indian performance that had the guests dancing along. I was tempted to as well and would have if I wasn’t carrying my backpack from work. I came here straight from the office.

Chicken-Dance

German Party at Signature had a band and the Carlsberg promoters got everyone to do the chicken dance. I had fun singing along to the band. Crowd favorites like YMCA were played and we did the hand movements to go along with it.

Sports-Party

Sports Party @ SCORE features sports themed performances and had footballers doing tricks.

German-Party

Karaoke Party at Play was where we adjourned for the rest of the night. This was my favorite theme due to the insane performance by Mad August. They played everything from Cantonese rock classics to Nirvana. It was excellent. We drank and sang along and had tons of fun.

Yezi

There were lots of interactive activities like Loudest POP Challenge, Giant Stein Challenge etc. The free flow of beer and food made it a very festive environment. We were given a pass to get chopped at each station for a goodie bag which we were supposed to redeem at the end of the night. I promptly forgot to do that coz I overindulged in the amber fluid. I could barely get into a Grab as it was. An excellent night of fun! I had a blast.

Games

BTW, there have already been three lucky First Prize winners in this promotion! These 3 will be partying with 80 of their friends in the upcoming weeks. The campaign runs till end of November and there will also be three Grand Prize winners who will each enjoy an all-expenses paid trip with five friends for “Probably The Best Winter Party” in Copenhagen, Denmark. I would rather win this than the First Prize party coz I’ve never been to Denmark. Haha.

Carlsberg-Girl

Grab your chance to win “Probably The Best Party” by checking the inside of the bottle caps of big bottles when you enjoy Carlsberg or Carlsberg Smooth Draught at participating coffee shops and food courts. If you drink at bars and pubs, you can check your Gift Cards when you’re there.

Best-Party

Supermarkets, hypermarkets and ecomm platforms are not left out coz the Gift Cards will be included in the inner panel of Carlsberg and Carlsberg Smooth Draught 6-can packs! You will also receive a Gift Card for purchases RM 15 and above at convenience stores.

Carlsberg-Best-Party

There are 47 more lucky First Prize winners to go! Don’t miss out on this chance of a lifetime to host Probably The Best Party for 80 of your friends for free! Follow www.facebook.com/CarlsbergMY or visit www.probablythebest.com.my for more information.

PUTIEN Kitchener Road (1 Michelin star)

PUTIEN-Michelin-star

My dad and I are both Heng Hua from Putien. The Heng Hua diaspora is one of the smallest groups in Malaysia. I thought it’ll be a great idea to bring him for dinner at PUTIEN, Kitchener Road. PUTIEN serves authentic Heng Hua cuisine. They have many branches in Singapore and Malaysia but only the original Kitchener Road one has a Michelin star. I’ve met many people who swear by the food here and it’s the only PUTIEN they’ll eat at.

PUTIEN-Kitchener-Road

I asked my sister to call them coz they only accept phone reservations but for some reason they didn’t have my name on the ledger when we arrived. Luckily, we were able to share a table with another duo. The Kitchener Road outlet is exceedingly packed – I saw a guy trying to secure a 30 min slot via walk-in. He claims he’ll be able to finish eating and be out within half an hour!

PUTIEN-Pomelo

I ordered a few of their signature dishes to try. PUTIEN furnished us with complimentary pomelo from Putien in China as an appetizer. It was pink and sweet with very little bitter notes. I also like the attention to detail – they served it on a bed of shaved ice.

PUTIEN-Sweet-Sour-Pork

PUTIEN Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees (SGD 13.90 for small) is their flagship and it tastes amazing! I love sweet & sour pork but a lot of the dishes in zi char restaurants are done as a mere afterthought with not much attention paid to it. It has become a pedestrian dish but PUTIEN’s version has a crispy exterior wrapping tender whole pork chunks with a delicately sweet sauce. It’s well balanced and very moreish. 10/10! It’s the best version of sweet and sour pork I’ve ever eaten. I love the lychees too. Yum.

Bian-Rou-Soup

PUTIEN Bian Rou Soup (SGD 4.80/pax) is something my hometown of Sibu is famous for as well. It’s minced pork in a wrapper but PUTIEN does a higher end version of it. The pork is chilled, never frozen, and pounded using a mallet instead of a chopped with a cleaver. The wrapper they use is gossamer thin and delicate. It’s very good! It tastes like the ones we get in Sibu but a lot more sophisticated – better rice wine, higher quality vinegar etc.

PUTIEN-Homemade-Tofu

Homemade Bean Curd (SGD 10.90 for small) was my dad’s selection. He loves tofu and he’s a bit of a tofu connoisseur. It’s something he always orders when we have dinner, so I’ve also eaten a lot of tofu by proxy. This is very exquisite – soft, yet firm tofu with a nice textured “crust”, an intricate silken sauce and well-balanced flavors. It tastes like one of my dad’s favorites from Rejang Park in Sibu but superior in execution. Delicious.

100-Second-Croaker

“100-second” Stewed Yellow Croaker (SGD 13.80) is another one of their famed dishes. It’s a type of fish found in Putien that has been steamed for just 100 seconds in a claypot. Unfortunately, this fish has a lot of bones. By a lot, I mean every single minute piece has 100 bones inside. You’ll probably not enjoy this if you don’t like bones in fish. Neither my dad nor I liked this, which wasn’t really helped by the lack of flavor.

PUTIEN-Heng-Hwa-Beehoon

Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon (SGD 9.80 for small) is a must order here. This is a Chinese National Intangible Cultural Heritage item and the noodles are milled by hand in Putien. There’s quite a lot of seafood under the dish – clams, prawns etc. The noodles are nicely textural with a bit of a bite and there’s a lot of smokiness. Lots of wok hei. It goes very well with their sweet and sour lychee pork.

PUTIEN-Spice-Mum-Chilli-Sauce

You must add the PUTIEN Spice Mum Chilli Sauce to the bee hoon to kick it up a notch. Their chilli sauce is excellent! Spicy, acidic and appetizing. I even bought a bottle to bring back home. It usually retails for SGD 6.80 but they had SGD 1.80/bottle promotion as part of their 18th anniversary celebrations.

PUTIEN-Chopsticks

The cashier gave me a pair of PUTIEN branded chopsticks as a free gift when I paid the bill! I thought that was cool. I love food related souvenirs.

PUTIEN-Us

PUTIEN Kitchener Road has very attentive service. I told our waitress I’ll serve myself coz I wanted to take photos first. The waitress noticed I wasn’t using the bowls they provided for the 100-second croaker and told us it tastes better with the soup and served us when she saw I was done with my pictures. The food was also delicious! It tastes super familiar to us, which means the food in Sibu is authentic Heng Hua too, despite being away for several generations. Everything tastes like home but better executed! The bill came up to just SGD 67 (RM 200) which is very reasonable! Recommended!

Tarte by Cheryl Koh (Pastry chef at 2 Michelin star Les Amis)

Tarte-by-Cheryl-Koh

I’m not the type of person that goes gaga over desserts. I am faintly bemused by the parade of unicorn shakes, cheese drinks, bingsu and HK egg waffles that has taken over the minds of the populace by storm. I enjoy desserts, I just don’t normally seek them out. Tarte by Cheryl Koh was an exception. I made a pilgrimage after my Shisen Hanten lunch so I could check them out. Cheryl bakes all of the tart bases here personally!

Tarte-by-Cheryl

Cheryl Koh was awarded Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2016 by S.Pellegrino’s 50 Best list. She’s also the resident pastry chef of 2 Michelin star Les Amis. That’s very impressive credentials and the tarts she serves has an equally impressive price tag. Tarte by Cheryl Koh sells each small tart for SGD 10 (SGD 11 for dine in) which is high even by Singaporean standards. Despite that, I saw a constant stream of people dropping in to takeaway some tarts. I wanted to experience the café so I ordered a latte (around SGD 8) to go with my sweet tart.

Seasonal-Fig-Tart

I asked the girl which tart she thinks is best and she recommended the seasonal fig tart (SGD 11). There are beautiful slices of fresh figs on top of fresh cream and a buttery, crumbly tart base. The flavors go very well together, and they’re accentuated even more by my palate-cleansing latte. Their coffee is by Gryphon Coffee (a small batch roaster) and it’s very tasty! I was also amazed by how delicious the fig tart is. It’s mildly sweet so it’s not cloying. This is perfection in a tart!

Tarte-SG

I also ordered a pistachio tart (SGD 10) to go since I like their takeaway box. There are crumbs of pistachios on top of pistachio cream and their faultless buttery tart base. Delectable! All the tarts at Tarte by Cheryl Koh are newly made. They don’t keep a lot of inventory and there’s a constant stream of freshly baked tarts appearing. It’s a little costly but well worth the money. This is the quintessential representation of a perfect tart. 11/10!

Big Prawn Hor Fun @ Kok Sen Restaurant (Bib Gourmand)

Kok-Sen-Restaurant

Let me share with you one of the best things I’ve eaten this trip. It doesn’t have a Michelin star but it has won the Bib Gourmand award for three years running – ever since the inception of Michelin Guide Singapore. I hesitate to use superlatives but Kok Sen truly is Flavortown! I should add that I came here with a friend after our 1 Michelin star Labyrinth dinner so the review isn’t colored by my hunger. It’s even more impressive considering I was slightly full, or at least, satiated.

Kok-Sen-Singapore

Kok Sen is best described as a zi char restaurant. It has been serving up favorites for over 50 years! There’s no air-conditioning and the place is extremely packed. You’ll need to queue up for a table and tables are shared for parties of less than 4-6. It’s very noisy and slightly uncomfortable but the premises are very clean, especially compared to Malaysian dai chow places.

Kok-Sen-Big-Prawn-Hor-Fun

This is the famous Kok Sen Big Prawn Hor Fun (SGD 18 for small). It’s one of their signature dishes. The thick, sticky sauce is made with peanuts 🥜, sweet chilli sauce 🌶️ and egg 🥚. It tastes like a cross between satay sauce and chilli crab 🦀. The sauce coats the hor fun perfectly. This comes to your table piping hot and it’s best eaten immediately. The dish is topped with 2 big prawns 🦐 sliced into halves that’s cooked to perfection. I don’t know how something can taste so good but this wok hei packed dish is divine!

Kok-Sen

I was lost in the incredible flavors and my tasting notes were reduced to Trump-like simple hyperbole. So prawny! So umami! So salty! So belacan-y! So yums! So much wok hei! So saucy! So so so recommended! I’m lost in Flavortown!! There you have it. All I wanted to do was to shovel more hor fun and sauce into my mouth. I couldn’t get enough! It was a compulsion – my brain was telling me to EAT MORE OF THIS GOODNESS! I wanted to immerse myself and swim in that awesome gravy. I highly recommend Kok Sen. 10/10. You need to come here and try this.

Brickfields Famous Char Kuey Tiaw & Cendol

Brickfields-CKT

Who wants to sit under the blazing hot sun on uncomfortable stools strewn by the sidewalk with loud motorbikes and cars zooming inches away from you while you eat a plate of CKT? Surprisingly, quite a lot of people. I’m not sure if the exhaust smoke adds to the flavor but this no-name stall in Brickfields is packed during lunch. Or so it seems when it was at the sidewalk opposite. Now that it’s at a roomier five foot way, it doesn’t seem that crowded.

Char-Kueh-Tiaw-Brickfields

I’ve been wanting to eat here and my adventurous lunch kaki and her friend jio me today. Brickfields Char Kuey Tiaw is just a stall built with corrugated sheets at a pedestrian sidewalk near my office. It’s a mystery how a place like this received operating permits. I imagine it was grandfathered in back in the days coz you never see stalls like this outside of a permanent structure now. The famous cendol in Brickfields is located right beside it.

Brickfields-Famous-CKT

You need a certain type of person to appreciate the CKT here. If you insist on air-conditioned comfort, Brickfields Char Kueh Tiaw is not for you. It’s sweltering hot, very noisy and quite uncomfortable. I have to admit, I did wonder why people want to put themselves through this. I’m not a huge fan of getting soaked with sweat and walking around for the rest of the workday with BO. But I wanted to try it. They fry each plate of CKT individually and have a sign stating they’re open from 12:03 pm – 9:32 pm. I thought that was hilarious.

Brickfields-Cendol

The cendol is slightly salty due to the unsweetened (or salted?) coconut milk. I like it but one of my lunch companions didn’t. I think the slightly salty cendol is nicely balanced. It’s a lot more interesting to eat this than a one-dimensionally sweet cendol. Your taste buds are a lot more interested and engaged with a sodium tinged cendol. 8/10.

CKT-Brickfields

I ordered the CKT with an extra fried egg (RM 8). I had been warned that the CKT here is not the dry wok hei type of affair. It’s a slightly soggy and moist plate. You will likely be let down on your first bite. The taste creeps up on you. There’s prawns, siham, lap cheong, and crispy fried pork lard – all the ingredients that’s supposed to be in a plate of CKT.

Brickfields-CKT-Us

I prefer eating rice with lots of meat so maybe my verdict is slightly colored by my penchant for flesh. I’m inclined to be more carnivorous during mealtimes to get my protein macros in. It’s not a bodybuilding thing, I’ve always liked eating lots of meat products. Taste wise, it’s alright but not the best plate of CKT I’ve ever had. I give it 5/10 but you may like it more if you enjoy eating CKT.

Saturday brunch @ Foo Hing Dim Sum, Puchong

Foo-Hing-Puchong

The last time I went to Foo Hing was over 6 months ago. I was writing an article for Malay Mail about dim sum and they were one of the places I covered. You can’t sample a lot of different items when you’re eating alone, so when May organized a casual dim sum brunch, I thought I’ll take this opportunity to find out more about what’s good here. I know they’re famous for their Portuguese egg tarts, and justifiable so, but I’m less familiar with their savory offerings.

Foo-Hing-Dim-Sum

I tend to order the same thing every time since I know what I like. These will inevitably be some variation of har gao (prawn dumplings) coz I love the stuff. But after watching an episode of Samurai Gourmet, I realized that I’ve been too safe and adventurous while ordering food. Their chai tow kueh (fried carrot cake) with chai bo (pickled turnip) is decent. I was tasked with finishing this and I didn’t mind at all.

Fried-Egg-CCF

I also discovered a very beautiful thing – this is chee cheong fun with egg. It doesn’t sound like much and it looks quite pedestrian but it’s delicious! They fry an egg with lots of oil so it bubbles up Chinese-style, and roll it in the CCF. You get the familiar comfort of a fried egg with the slippery texture of the thin rice wraps. It’s surprisingly good. This came highly recommended from May and I’m glad I had it. It’s something I wouldn’t have discovered by myself. Simple, yet delectable.

Dim-Sum-Foo-Hing

This was Ah Bok’s selection. It’s Chinese short pastry filled with BBQ pork and topped with pork floss. I also enjoyed this tremendously. I like sweet notes in my meat and this has it in spades. The texture of the pastry is also quite pleasant.

Deep-Fried-Prawn

I went with a few variations of deep fried prawn dim sum. There’s a tubular version with thin wonton wrap and a thicker, doughier one. They both taste similar, but the textures are different. Mouth feel is very important in dim sum.

Soy-Skin-Dim-Sum

This soggy mess of pork with soy bean curd wrap is also quite good. Again, something I wouldn’t have chosen myself but I’m glad I tried.

Portuguese-Egg-Tarts

Naturally, we finished with their yummy Portuguese egg tarts. I really like them but as I mentioned in the Malay Mail article, my favorite Portuguese egg tarts are the ones KFC had circa 2010. Haha. You won’t believe me but they’re the fucking bomb! Perfect pastry crust. Please don’t lynch me. 😄

Guilinggao

Foo Hing also have a range of tong sui desserts. I went with gui ling gao. I haven’t had this in a long time and I enjoy the bittersweet flavours. Pretty good. I read that most gui ling gao is not actually made with turtle due to the high cost of said ingredient.

Foo-Hing-Us

Dim sum at Foo Hing for the 5 of us worked out to around RM 30 each. I usually run up a similar bill by myself and I get to eat less variety. Dim sum is best enjoyed with other people so you can eat a range of different types. I also tapau 2 egg tarts home and tried their bakery style bun with BBQ pork filling (decent). We went for milk tea after and all the food and drink managed to fuel quite an intense workout session later. All in all, a nice Saturday morning.

Brooklyn Beer x Saro Lounge food and beer pairing

Brooklyn-Beer-Girls

I’ve had Brooklyn Lager once before this dinner. I saw a beer I haven’t tried before in Jaya Grocer and picked it up. I thought it was a small batch import by Jaya Grocer, which they sometimes do via distributors. I almost joined one such company which imports overseas snacks and candy and sells them to people like Jaya Grocer and the airport duty free shops. In the end, I chose my current company but it’s an interesting line of work to be in.

Brooklyn-Experience

I digress. I was at The Brooklyn Experience yesterday. It’s an exclusive food and craft beer pairing session at Saro Lounge, Pavilion Elite organized by Thirst and Carlsberg. Carlsberg is the distributor of Brooklyn Beer in Malaysia. I liked the lager from Brooklyn Beer and I was keen to try the East IPA one, which is supposed to be bolder in character.

May-Ng

The session was fun and intimate – 4 medium tables with a diverse mix of people. I saw one filled with retirees, a younger crowd, and what looked like expatriates. There was an introduction to Brooklyn Beer (which was named as such coz it originated from that borough in New York) and a video by its founder. We also got to touch, smell and taste the grains and hops used in brewing this craft beer.

Brooklyn-Beer-Hops

Except the hops. We were warned not to eat the hops coz it’s so bitter it’s going to ruin your palate for the night.

Fusion-Lamb-Skewers

The dinner started with Mini Burgers and Fusion Lamb on Skewers and Garlic Fried Rice paired with Brooklyn Lager. I liked the slightly mochi glutenous garlic rice and the tasty NZ lamb skewers. The mini burger’s buns were a little stale. I still finished them though coz I was very hungry by this time. The strong and salty flavors go very well with the crisp, refreshing Brooklyn lager. You can’t go wrong with robust flavors and lagers, that’s why lagers pair so well with Asian food.

Brooklyn-Lager

Brooklyn Lager is an American amber lager in the Vienna style. It’s 5.2% ABV and is described as having a firm malt center with a refreshingly bitter and floral hop aroma. I hear the brewing process uses something like cold brew coffee where they steep cold beer with hops after fermentation in a process called dry-hopping.

Linguine-Garlic-Prawns

Next up is Beef Burrito and Linguine Aglio Olio with Garlic Prawns. There’s a 3rd prawn hidden under one of the mounds of pasta. I thought this was just on my plate, a friendly greeting from the chef or an accidental addition, but everyone had it. I thought that was cool. Unexpected prawns = best 🦐. It’s quite spicy, and that’s coming from me, someone who eats cili padi whole. I really enjoyed it, but it was too much for most of my table. That’s okay, more for me! Haha. The wraps were pretty good too! I thought the flavors were interesting.

Brooklyn-East-IPA

Brooklyn East IPA clocks in at a slightly higher 6.9% ABV. You need to watch out for that lest you think flirting with the pretty girl beside you is a good idea. I enjoyed this more than Brooklyn Lager coz it’s more flavorful and hoppy. There’s also a fruity aftertaste from the East Kent Goldings hops. It can be a bit bitter for people used to lagers but I enjoy IPAs, especially the maltier tasting ones like these. I hear East Coast (of USA) breweries tend to do a maltier IPA.

Brooklyn-Beer-Me

I love chill events like these where you get to eat and drink in relative peace and learn something new while you’re at it. Beer pairing is not as foreign as it sounds – many places offer it nowadays as an alternative to wine. It’s a signature of the 10-course tasting menu at 1 Michelin star Upstairs @ Mikkeler in Bangkok. The craft beer and beer pairing trends are positive ones for food and drink lovers like me. It was a thoroughly enjoyable night, although I was slightly sleepy the next day at work. 😄

Vishal Food & Catering BLR, Brickfields

Vishal-BLR

I got recommendations from 3 separate people to try Vishal BLR (banana leaf rice) after my previous post on the best lunch spots around Brickfields. I did a bit of Googling and heard a lot of positive things about them. Thus, I roped in my colleague and went to check it out just now. My office is in Menara 1 Sentrum but getting lunch partners interested in Indian food is a bit of a hard sell. The workplace is predominantly Chinese, and we usually go for Chinese food.

Vishal-Me

However, I’m a huge fan of Indian food and two of my favorites around here are Husen’s bombastic onion chicken and Singh Chapati House. I’m also going to Singapore in a week’s time and I booked 1 Michelin star The Song of India to check out their Deepavali dinner.

Vishal-Banana-Leaf

I decided to see if Vishal would impress. It certainly has its legion of fans. Vishal BLR is a 9 minute walk from my office, which is at the upper limits of how far people are willing to go for lunch. The furthest place we’ve been is 2 minutes less than this.

Chicken-65

I was told to get the fish cutlet and the “red color chicken”. Thanks June…that’s very helpful. 🙄 It’s not like most Indian chicken dishes are red. Hehe. She later clarified it looks like tandoori chicken and it’s fried, so I think I managed to get the right one. It’s Chicken 65 but I later found out this was the wrong red colored chicken. It wasn’t anything special.

Fish-Puttu

I also got some fish puttu, which is minced baby shark fried with egg. This tastes exactly like the dai chow shark’s fin and egg dish they serve at old school Chinese restaurants. The one you wrap in a lettuce before eating. It’s very plain. I expected more from Indian food. It didn’t make me go doo doo doo doo in joy.

Stringray

My third selection was stingray cooked in a sour sauce. “Eh, how come this dish sour one?” my friend squinted suspiciously. I also noticed she didn’t eat the stingray after that first bite. The flesh of the stingray was overcooked and rubbery and the sauce wasn’t the best I’ve had.

Vishal-Brickfields

I want to say that the flavors are beautiful and inviting. That it’s a symphony of seasoning on my palate. Or probably a Bollywood tune since it’s Indian food. That the distillation of spices and aromas into a song-and-dance in my mouth with lots of loose-flowing saris and grinning men doing the Indian head bobble on my tongue is a magnificent experience. That it was a “10/10 groomed mustaches” experience.

Vishal-Food-Catering

Unfortunately, I found the whole experience rather mediocre. Worst still, I felt like I have wasted my calorie allowance by eating this BLR. The prices are quite reasonable though – RM 6.20 for the rice with refillable veggies and curries and around RM 6 per small plate of protein. But I probably wouldn’t ever return. Have you ever been to Flavortown? I have, and it’s not here.

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