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!

Tonka Bean Cafe @ Impiana Hotel Ramadan Buffet 2018

Tonka-Bean-Ramadan-Buffet

There are so many incredible moments in the Tonka Bean Café @ Impiana Hotel’s Ramadan buffet dinner that I can’t say for sure which my favorite one is.

D24-Durian

The delicious D24 durian at the stall outside?

Sup-Tulang

The huge sup tulang gearbox that you suck up with a straw?

Baskin-Robbins

Their renowned Baskin-Robbins ice cream selection? I love all those and more!

Chocolate-Fondue

Their in-house bakery does some really magical pastries too. I may have been tempted to “take away” some of their delicious creations if I were a less scrupulous man. There’s only so much I can stuff into my stomach over the course of several hours.

Seafood-Platter

I always make it a point to eat in a savory-sweet-savory format so I don’t overwhelm my tastebuds at buffets. I started out at their cold seafood section where there’s crabs, mussels, prawns and scallops on offer.

Durian-D24

My friend Joyce told me the durians outside were ready so we headed out. I was pleasantly surprised to find out this was premium D24 durian! Impiana Hotel doesn’t just serve any durian – these babies are actually great quality D24! I was lost in the complex flavors of the D24 and I ended up eating 12 seeds. It was a bit of a mistake coz I was slightly full at this point but I have to say – WORTH IT!!!

Coconut

They also have local delights like whole coconut water and sugarcane for drinks.

Briyani.jpg

I also enjoy eating biryani rice and they have two huge vats with chicken and lamb biryani inside.

Prawns

They also have a wide range of cooked dishes with a focus on lamb and seafood.

Fish-Head

There’s a huge fish head.

Crab

Crab!

Roast

A whole roast.

Fried-Chicken

Fried chicken.

Live-Band

There’s also live entertainment playing, which is great for long dining sessions like this. As a bit of an introvert, you don’t want your awkward conversation or piped muzak to be your only companion. Hehe.

Salmon.jpg

I also managed to help myself to some delicious salmon to end things.

Ulam

They have ulam too so you can break up all those rich flavors with some palate cleansers.

Buffet

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and stuffed myself so hard I feared some of my shirt buttons might pop off. It was worth the 2 hours I took to drive here from Shah Alam during rush hour.

Tulang-Gearbox

Sinar Ramadan Al-Mubarak is a month long dinner buffet at Tonka Bean Cafe @ Impiana KLCC Hotel. It’s RM 148 nett per person from 16th May to 14th June 2018. Children rates are RM 74 nett from 4-12 years old. Kids below 4 eat for free. Dinner starts at 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm daily. There’s an Early Bird promotion where you can buy 10 get 1 free until 15th May 2018.

Epic Fit Meals Food Review 2018

Epic-Fit-Meals-Menu

I have been going through a bit of a body transformation as of late. I know you guys have noticed but I just want to say it to syiok sendiri k. Let me pat myself on the back sometimes, jeez. Anyway, a lot of these efforts are made in the kitchen. I do hit the weights in a systematic way everyday but to get a leaner body type, diet is very important. That’s why I’ve mostly been cooking myself at home.

Merryn

However, I got an invite from Wick Kee (one of the founders of Epic Fit Meals) to drop by and check out their new, revamped menu. I went with Merryn and Joyce last Sunday. Their meals have friendly macros so it won’t affect my diet. If you didn’t know, Epic Fit Meals does Melbourne inspired meals with an emphasis on healthier options. The calories of their meals are listed on their menu.

Chicken

I’ve actually met Wick Kee a few years ago when I went to their first outlet to see their offerings. I’m also a customer coz I saw their flyer with a free chicken deal when I was living at my previous condo. I’ve always wondered how they managed to get up there since Cascades has really strict security. Haha. It’s a higher end place. Effective marketing though.

Grilled-Chicken

Besides their macro friendly grilled and schnitzel chicken offerings, Epic Fit Meals also has a range of other proteins and menu items. This is perfect for people like Merryn who’s not a huge fan of chicken breast. I think it’s pretty bomb, especially when paired with their delicious range of sauces.

Epic-Sauces

These sauces range from 13 – 89 calories. The most yummy one to me is their Fire S.O.S. which is a sweet sambal sauce. It’s also the 89 calorie one. Figures!

Pollo-Supreme-Pizza

They also have pizza. This is the Pollo Supreme with lean chicken and various vegetables. It’s pretty good.

New-Menu

I enjoyed the Beef Buffy too. It’s a beef burrito with pulled beef and their delicious cilantro lime rice that brings a zingy zest to it. It makes the chubby very refreshing.

Chummy-Burger

The Chummy Burger is another new menu item. This is the Chicken Chummy.

OZ-Strip-Steak

I also liked their OZ strip steak…

Butter-Citrus-Baked-Pollock

…and Butter Citrus Baked Pollock, which are both protein options in their Epic Fit Meals.

Baked-Pollock

But the clear winner for me is the Herb & Lemon Crusted Pollock. It’s baked but tastes fried and I could detect a note of shrimp in the batter. I’m not sure if I’m having taste hallucinations but it’s good.

Epic-Fit-Meals

Epic Fit Meals delivers within 45 minutes to selected areas. You can order online at their website or pop into one of their 3 physical outlets.

Impiana KLCC Hotel’s Chinese New Year Buffet Dinner 2018

Yee Sang

I had the opportunity to check out Impiana KLCC Hotel’s Chinese New Year Buffet Dinner and Yee Sang last night. I’ve been in calorie restriction mode for 2 weeks now and I thought a buffet dinner would make the perfect cheat meal. I can eat all I want without worrying about gaining weight. That’s what Chinese New Year is about anyway, right? I might as well start early.

Seafood

I love how they have a wide range of different types of foods. Desserts took up one whole row! There’s also a selection of seafood on ice which I tackled first. There’s scallops, mussels, prawns and also tuna and salmon sashimi to the side (with sushi and maki rolls). I love seafood so this was the ideal appetizer to whet my appetite. Yum.

Lamb

There’s also a lot of cooked foods so I’ll just go over some of my favorites. I liked their roasted lamb, which came with a variety of sauces to choose from. There’s also a station where you can get cooked to order meats and seafoods.

Peking Duck

There was a chef there making sure the Peking Duck has been sliced and wrapped with the thin pancakes (complete with spring onion and sauce) so you don’t have to do it yourself.

Tempoyak Patin

I’m also a huge fan of tempoyak ikan patin, which is a type of fish that’s been stewed in fermented durian. I used to eat a lot of this when I lived in Kota Damansara coz there was an outlet opposite my condo which brought in ikan patin tempoyak from Temerloh. The gravy is super appetizing, spicy, with mild sour notes. This version reminded me of that.

Fried Chilli Crab

The fried chilli crab was awesome too. It’s a different take on chilli crab, which usually comes with a sticky gravy. This is the dry version which keeps the taste but not the mess.

Marmite Prawns

The Marmite Prawns was a huge hit too. It goes very well with the nasi briyani ayam gam they had. Awesome flavor combination. That’s the best part about buffets, you can to create different flavors in your mouth. I love it.

Ulam

In case you were worried about the rich flavors, they also have an ulam (raw vegetable) station to the side. I thought this was a nice touch.

Baskin-Robbins

I was finishing my food when someone told me they also have Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Lo! They have not only one, but two of those ice cream carts filled with various BR flavors. I really love ice cream, especially good ice cream and since this was a buffet, I thought I’ll eat a whole plate of ice cream. Not a small bowl. A stacked dinner plate. I’m just greedy like that. Apparently, this was a lot of ice cream coz my table mates all oohed and aahed and some even took my plate to pose for a photo. I didn’t even think it was a lot! I finished everything you see here AND went back for seconds. Pistachio. Two scoops to finish things off.

Chocolate Fondue

And I still had room after that for dessert. The chocolate fondue had a selection of fruits (including unusual ones like jackfruit) and sweets for you to dip inside the milky chocolate. I liked coating the macarons on a stick and eating several of those.

Kueh

There was also an array of kueh which they’ve created for Chinese New Year.

Pralines

And pralines. You shouldn’t miss these. It’s delicious! The one with the Chinese character is a hazelnut chocolate type praline which I would rate as #1. Coming in a close second is the praline flanking the right, with a beautiful white-red edible cover. It’s a chocolate praline with crunchy bits inside and a hint of orange. Very moorish! I was tempted to tapao a few back.

Chef

We were also treated to a live food preparation by Chef Bustami Osman, the senior sous chef of Impiana KLCC Hotel. He cooked Fried Boneless Chicken with Black Pepper Soy Sauce, one of the signature dishes on the special menu for the CNY buffet in Impiana KLCC Hotel.

Cooking

Impiana KLCC Hotel’s Chinese New Year Reunion Buffet is located at its all-day dining restaurant, Tonka Bean Cafe & Deli featuring special delicacies like Jelly Fish with Szechuan Paste and Sesame Seed, Braised Seafood Soup with Crab Roe, Fried Tiger Prawn with Special Soy Sauce, Fried Chilli Crabs, Deep Fried Lotus Paste Pancake. The buffet dinner will start from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm on the 15th February 2018 and is priced at RM 148 nett per person.

Macaron Fondue

Their signature Prosperity Yee Sang is also available from Tonka Bean Cafe & Deli starting from 28th January – 11 February. There are a few selections of yee sang such as Jelly Fish, Soft Shell Crab, Salmon, Abalone and Lobster for 5-10 pax. The yee sang is also available for take away from 12 pm – 10 pm daily.

God of Prosperity

If you’re still craving for Chinese New Year food, Yee Sang Hi-Tea is available on the 16th February 2018 from 12:30 pm – 4 pm. Priced at RM 98 nett per person (adult) and RM 48 nett per person (children), the high tea is inclusive of Jelly Fish Yee Sang and Roasted Duck.

Cigar Kampung Chicken

I thought this was pretty interesting. It’s 1 whole chicken smoked with applewood chips and it tastes pretty good. It takes 20 minutes to arrive coz it’s cooked to order. I had this at the Black Market outlet below my new place. I just moved to Main Place and was searching for something to eat when I saw this. Yeah, I ate 1 whole chicken! It’s not very big though, it’s one of those free range kampung chickens. I’m trying to eat less carbs now so it’s only protein and vegetables.

Indomie Jumbo Platter (4 packets + 4 toppings + 2 eggs)

Mukbang

I ate this monstrous amount of food and managed to finish everything. The Jumbo Platter has 4 packets of Indomie + 4 toppings + 2 eggs. It’s quite a lot of food. I didn’t think I’ll be able to finish it since I haven’t been able to put down 4 packs in a long time…much less with sides. However, after a significant amount of preparation (actually, I just skipped breakfast and lunch) I successfully ate everything on the plate + 2 milkshakes.

People have given me some great feedback about my YouTube videos and I’ve been told that I have been slightly wooden in past videos. This one has 30% more genki/pep. It’s just coz I’m feeling a lot better now – the previous Big Hug one was filmed when I was still feeling a significant amount of Suboxone withdrawal. I was not myself. I’m still not fully back to normal but it’s very close now, I’m feeling better and better each day! I apologize for the blurry focus at the beginning – I had set the focal area to a wrong part and only fixed it in the middle when I went to check.

There are also 3 cuts in the video but I’ve learned a few tricks since so it shouldn’t be too visible. I used the new morph tool in Premiere CC to make the transitions better. I had known about this before filming and arranged each cut as I was leaning in to take a sip of the milkshake and go back to the same position as I went back. It sounded like a good idea but in reality Premiere needs your full face to be in for better results. I’ll remember that for next time.

It was a bit of a challenge to finish everything too. I asked one of the friendly waiters if he could turn on the lights and turn off the stereo so I could record. Now I know why all the mukbang people say doing on-site videos is hard, you sometimes have to impose a little so I try to go during off-peak hours. It was still full on one side then so I couldn’t sit where I wanted. I did move a few tables for better lighting though, so it takes bit of coordination to do these things better.

Hope you enjoy the video. Thanks for watching.

Big Hug Burger, SS 15 (and some YouTube thoughts)

Okay, it’s no secret that I’m trying to get more YouTube content out there. It’s something I’ve always been interested in, I want to do documentaries and maybe even a movie so I have to start learning shots, editing, things like that. I got a video tripod the other day so I can have stabilized videos – one of the comments I got was that the captures were very shaky from holding the dSLR using my hand. I also know the audio isn’t very clear and I’m shopping for those battery powered voice packs they use to wire up people before a show. That’s the next thing on my list that I’m going to purchase, hopefully before Sunday as there’s something I want to do then.

I’m also moving house so tomorrow I’ll go and shoot my new place and show the changes as I get the contractors in and what the condo is like. It’s not going to be super furnished since I’m on a bit of a deadline to move in (have been putting it off due to Suboxone withdrawals but I’m so much better now and getting 2-3 hours of sleep NATURALLY each night). I’ll write more about my new place when I start moving, I found out that it’s actually quite near a lot of interesting food places.

…and that was how I found this place. Big Hug Burger is in SS 15 and I actually went over the weekend but I thought I’ll go again when I went to get my condo keys since it was just around the corner. I brought my tripod and dSLR and made a mukbang – the staff were kind enough to turn down the music while I filmed. The burger is HUGE and at RM 24, very worth it. The bill was RM 31 coz I added RM 7 for fries and free flow drinks.

I love how they carry Coke Zero here. A lot of places, even McDonald’s and mamaks don’t carry Diet Coke or Coke Zero and that’s bad. I think the awareness of sugar is lacking in Malaysians. Don’t look at me like that, I’m not one of those SUGAR IS EVIL tree huggers, I just think you shouldn’t consume calories in drinks. Sugar is very calorifically dense e.g. it will make you fat. Why would you want to *drink* sugar when you can eat it in the form of chocolates, desserts etc. I much prefer to eat my sugar so all the soda I drink nowadays is calorie free (yes, these diet/light sodas are actually zero calorie so you don’t have to feel bad about drinking them).

Knowing that, I can’t go back to regular Coke or regular sodas. The sugar content just puts me off coz I know I can get a similar (close enough) taste without having to consume that much sugar. Again, sugar isn’t bad or evil, it just makes you fat, so why drink your calorie allowance? Wouldn’t you rather eat an ice cream instead? I have to admit that I’m not immune to the charms of a sugar packed Iced Milo with lots of sweetened condensed milk but I’m trying to get into better shape now and to have a nice body, you need to give up certain things. Sugar is one of the things I’m giving up so it’s only zero calorie sodas for me from now on! It’s good stuff, I actually prefer the taste of the milder sweetness level.

Grand Taipei, Sunway Giza Mall

Grand Taipei

Grand Taipei is a relatively new cafe, restaurant and tea house (that’s what they call themselves) in Sunway Giza. If you thought it looked kinda familiar, you’ll be correct. There was a place called Taipei Taipei inside the mall a few years back. It didn’t do well and closed permanently. The old Taipei Taipei has been relaunched as Grand Taipei but the chopstick covers still has the old name.

Grand Taipei Sunway Giza

This spot seems to have bad feng shui or something. There has been a lot of different bars and restaurants at this exact spot which shuttered and got replaced by a new one. The latest to try is the ex-Taipei Taipei from inside the mall. The interior looks really nice – there’s an old movie projected to the walls, vintage furniture, jukebox, and a small stage.

Taiwanese Style Pork Chop with Rice (RM 15.90)

Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice

This is their signature dish! Grand Taipei does a mean pork chop rice. There’s a large slice of savory and delicious pork chop on top of a mound of rice. The rice isn’t just plain rice but mixed with minced stewed pork (what the Taiwanese called kou rou). There’s also a triangle of vinegar tofu which balances out the dish with a bit of acid, as well as vegetables. It’s pretty good, reminds me of the food I had in Taiwan.

Brown Sugar Red Bean Milk Tea (RM 9.90)

Red Bean Milk Tea

This is Taiwanese milk tea but with red bean instead of tapioca balls. They have a tapioca ball style bubble tea version for RM 8.90 too. It’s better to order the “RM 8 Business Lunch Set” which allows you to choose a drink and provides you with a daily side dish (pickled cucumbers shown above) so you save between RM 1 – RM 2 on your drink and get a small side.

Grand Taipei Me

Grand Taipei will have familiar food if you’ve been to the old Taipei Taipei. They specialize in pork chop rice and they’re pretty good at it. The pork chops are fried to order and it’s served hot. I like how they have multiple sourish sides (pickles, tofu) coz the oily pork chop can be a bit hard to stomach after a few bites and the acidic dishes help cleanse your palate. Lunch for me cost RM 23.90 which isn’t bad for the amount of meat they serve.

Cafe Koel, Kota Damansara

Melon Bingsu

Cafe Koel is a Korean owned and operated restaurant in Kota Damansara. It just opened a few weeks ago and I’ve eaten there twice already. My better half wanted to eat bingsu last weekend and we came here for the icy treat. She noticed that they serve Korean food too and we brought her parents with us for lunch Sunday afternoon.

Cafe Koel

The owner of Cafe Koel is a friendly South Korean lady. She’s always cheerful and bubbly and that really makes her service stand out in the F&B industry. There are no reviews or buzz yet for this place (except for the one my dear wrote) coz it’s just so new so I thought I’ll write one coz we really enjoyed the food. Her parents did too!

Kimbap (RM 7.90)

Kimbap

My better half ordered a stuffed rice roll coz she wanted to save space for bingsu. We had something similar a few weeks ago from the Korean grocery near Chicken House in Solaris Mont Kiara and we liked it very much. This is a similar product – the rice is rolled in seaweed and stuffed with pickles, vegetables, egg etc. I love the takuan (pickled radish which the Koreans call danmuji) and the ends are the best part of the kimbap coz it has extra long pickle sticking out! smirk

Japchae (RM 18.90)

Japchae

My dear’s mom had this. It’s stir fried sweet potato noodle mixed with vegetables and sliced chicken. I’ve seen mung beans noodles before but never sweet potato noodles. It seems quite common in Korea though. The slippery texture of the sweet potato noodle is very pleasing and I like the savoriness of the dish. I ate so much from her plate that I felt a little guilty. Haha.

Bulgogi Deopbap (RM 16.90)

Bulgogi Deopbap

Her dad and I ordered the beef bulgogi with rice. I have eaten bulgogi in Korea before (and even had bulgogi burgers in both Lotteria and McDonald’s Korea in Busan) and I like the slightly sweet nature of the dish. This is the pan cooked version instead of the grilled version which I’ve seen in mukbang videos. The sweetness of the meat is perfectly balanced by the salty freshness of the kimchi served as a side.

Melon Milk Snow Flake Bingsu (RM 49.90)

Bingsu

This is made from a whole honeydew melon. I saw the melons in the fridge and the flesh was scooped out to use as the topping/side. The cavity is filled with their delicious milk bingsu and served with red bean paste and more melon milk on the side. It was really good but a bit too large for 2 pax. It was a bit of a challenge to finish it coz the kind owner also gave us her new coffee bingsu to try that day.

Milk Snow Flake Patbingsu (RM 17.90)

Patbingsu

I ordered this yesterday as part of my meal. It’s RM 24.90 together with the bulgogi rice bowl or RM 17.90 separately. We were craving for the bingsu since our trip the week before and we had planned to order more once we finished our meal. However, the owner surprised us with 4 servings! She added on 3 more on the house so we could each have our own bingsu. That’s a really nice gesture. I loved the kinako (toasted soy bean flour) that goes on top of this.

Bingsu Us

I have been craving for their bingsu ever since Sunday and wanted to drop in this afternoon but they were closed. Cafe Koel is just opposite my condo. It’s an undiscovered gem located at Dataran Sunway beside Sunway Giza Mall. We got a small gift each time from the Korean owner and her friendly touch makes us always feel welcome. There are a lot of Korean owned restaurants in the Klang Valley nowadays and this is one of the better ones. We’ll definitely be back for more!

Mr. & Ms. Cafe @ Oasis Ara Damansara

Mr Mrs Oasis Ara Damansara

I was craving for Vietnamese pho over the weekend. I’ve been craving for pho for a very long time and thought I’ll finally scratch my itch when my better half said she’ll rather go somewhere nearer instead. Thus, we headed into Oasis Ara Damansara for our weekend brunch and saw Mr & Ms Cafe. It was packed to the rafters!

Mr and Mrs

There was another cafe called Crave Cafe beside it which in contrast was totally empty. Naturally, we went to the popular one. You can’t ignore 20 pax, especially if you haven’t been to either before. Mr and Ms is a Melbourne style breakfast place with surprisingly competent wait staff. The visitors are overwhelmingly Chinese, although I believe the place is pork free.

Yummy Duck & Eggs (RM 24)

Yummy Duck Eggs

This is ultra flavorful shredded duck with baby spinach on a baguette, topped with two poached eggs. The sauce they use is reminiscent of braised duck and it’s very good. I love the addition of raw spinach too, the earthy notes complement the dish well. The orange segment on top was gold! It actually adds a lot to the dish. The portion was slightly small but it turned out to be enough.

Fried Chicken, Portobello & Eggs (RM 22)

Fried Chicken Portobello

My better half had this. It came later than mine and she had eaten my duck first, which was a huge mistake. The chicken tasted positively bland in comparison. They use a breaded chicken breast and it’s cooked to order, which explains why it took 20 minutes to get out. To be fair, the waitress apologized for the delay, but usually restaurants will write down the wait time for longer dishes on the menu. It was decent though, just don’t eat the duck first.

Hot Chocolate Nutella

I also had a latte (RM 9) while my dear went for the Hot Chocolate Nutella (RM 12). Mine was decent while hers was slightly diluted with hot milk. Mr and Mrs also serves freshly squeezed orange juice with no added sugar or water for RM 10. It was mind-numbingly sour but I was glad I had it. It’s packed full of nutrients. I presume anyway, I refuse to believe I drank something this acidic for no good reason.

Mr Mrs

Mr & Mrs Cafe is a great destination for breakfast. The bill came up to RM 81.60 for the two of us. We didn’t order any desserts coz they only had one left. The cafe distinguishes itself with two (2) selfie props on their table in lieu of the usual fresh flowers. There is a moustache on a straw and a lipstick red pair of lips on the same. I guess you’re supposed to pose with them. I did, anyway, my better half was not as willing to embarrass herself in public.

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