Betty’s Midwest Kitchen, Dataran Prima

bettys kitchen

I remember going to this pork friendly (or rather unfriendly, if you’re a pig, it really depends on where you stand smirk) establishment way back when it opened. I stayed at Dataran Prima Condominium when I came to KL again in 2008 and this was just around the corner. It generated a lot of buzz when it came out – and I thought it closed down and haven’t been there in years, until last night.

bettys midwest kitchen

It was a rainy night and also a Chinese festival (Winter Solstice) and we decided to go back to see if it’s still open. It was…and business is booming!

bettys aman suria

I mean that literally, we arrived early so we were seated within 5 minutes but there were others waiting on stools while it rained for an hour! It’s the only shoplot that has a security guard to direct and seat people too. Haha!

(He did also help us get into the car by escorting with dual umbrellas)

Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale (RM 18)

dead guy ale

This is a “craft brewed” beer that’s brewed in Oregon, following the Midwest theme. They have a couple of beers from that region (mostly from Rogue Ales) at a reasonable price so I had this maibock with dinner. It’s an import, robust (it’s a bock, not an ale as the name suggests) with all the sediments you’ll expect to find, I liked it.

pigs

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen is known for their porcine menu offerings – I remember their “Dog Food” best, which is fries and pork and cheese all churned together into a melted and delicious mess. This time, we ordered three mains:

Pulled Pork Burger (RM 12)

pulled pork burger

This is another popular offering – a filling main with fried burger buns and pulled pork at a reasonable price. I like the way they fried the buns and the slow-roasted and shredded pork tastes good with their “secret” BBQ sauce.

Baby Back Ribs (RM 32.50)

baby back ribs

This is probably the most expensive item on their menu. It’s grilled pork ribs marinated in their special rub and sauce and grilled to succulent tenderness. That’s the menu description, the reality is a bit of a let down. I remember them having way better ribs than this. The dish we had last night was rather disappointing.

I recommend Racks Bar and Baby Backs in Changkat Bukit Bintang if you’re looking for awesome ribs (wonder if it’s still open?).

Pork Chop with Apples (RM 23)

pork chop apples

Hot off the pan, their pork chops are pan-fried to juicy tenderness and served with their delicious house mash potatoes (love their sauce). There’s two huge chops and the apples naturally goes well with pork – you know the cartoon pig with a *shiny red apple* in its mouth ready to be roasted? :)

I liked this dish, it’s one of their better ones. The entire meal cost RM 94.05 for the both of us. Betty’s Midwest Kitchen charges RM 0.30 for iced water according to their menu but they waived it for us in the bill.

betty us

Overall, the service was decent and the food was good. However, it wasn’t as good as when I ate here years ago. It’s still intensely popular and they enforce a lot of rules (like no seating until entire party is there) so I guess they must still be doing something right. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s just not the awesomeness that I remember it to be.

tong yuen

My dear made me some tong yuen for the Winter Solstice and that’s a wonderful dessert to end the night! <3

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen
Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Racks Bar and Baby Backs, Changkat Bukit Bintang

racks bar baby backs

I recently went to the newly launched Racks Bar and Baby Backs in Changkat Bukit Bintang for dinner. This place specializes in pork ribs and also has a menu with a plethora of all things porcine.

Racks

I’ve written about this place for Lifestyle Asia – the Nice Racks in Changkat Bukit Bintang article is a piece I did for them as a freelance writer.

The starters

special pigs special blankets

Special pigs in special blankets (RM 24)
The suggestive presentation is intentional. Heh. These are spiced oxfords wrapped in parma ham. Parma ham is a slow dry cured ham from Italy – it takes 12 months to complete and is served uncooked. The result is a sweet slice of heaven with a heavy pork fat aftertaste.

asparagus

Asparagus under prosciutto (RM 22)
The steamed and buttered asparagus gives a little balance to the food pyramid. It’s quite refreshing after all the pork dishes and asparagus is one of the few vegetables I actually like.

angels in parma

Angels in parma (RM 32)
I love oysters and I love Prosciutto di Parma (Parma ham). What could go wrong with a combination of the both? It’s delicious and the spicy sambal on top provides a fusion twist! I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to oysters – I still prefer it au naturale but this is horizon expanding stuff.

peaches n parma

Peaches ‘n’ parma (RM 22)
This is a brilliant implementation that wraps parma ham around fresh peaches before grilling it. The sweet peach juices provides a nice contrast to the savory parma ham. It’s my personal favorite from the appetizers menu.

Racks of Ruin

These shooters comes in a rack of 12 for RM 200 and is also the part of the namesake of the restaurant (in addition to racks of pork).

the molotov

The Molotov
This Shock and Awe shooter is made with vodka, tequila, Jack Daniels and…Tabasco sauce. The last ingredient will leave mere mortals gasping for breath. It’s one of the stronger shooters and it makes sense to put in Tabasco sauce as it masks the copious amounts of alcohol well.

test tube babies

Test Tube Babies
Vodka, peach schnapps and a dash of cranberry. This is to extinguish the fire caused by The Molotov. It’s sweet and a more traditional shooter.

Racks of Ruin

Illusion
The mix of Midori melon, pineapple juice, vodka and run is positively delicious. I think of it as a holiday drink, something to sip while lounging by the beaches.

Mains

cold cut platter

Cut, pickles, jams, mustard and bread (RM 54)
This is a selection of cold cuts with jams and breads (all made in-house). I like the freshly baked bread – it goes very well with their apple-chilli jam and the slivers of cheese and cold cuts provides the savory twist to the sweet jam slathered bread.

Pork Burger

Racks pork burger (RM 28)
Nestled among the buns is a 7 oz juicy home-made patty. The pork patty is juicy and tender, one of the best pork burgers I’ve ever had. Don’t be fooled by the deceptively simple presentation – this is great stuff. The burger has the works, the only beef (smirk) I have with it is crispy bacon. I’m a soggy bacon kinda guy but I’m sure they’ll switch it if you ask.

big bad sandwich

Racks big BAD sandwich (RM 26)
The BAD stands for bacon, avocado and dried tomatoes. The fascinating thing about Racks is that they use their own oven to dry the tomatoes – it’s not something you get off-the-shelf and it shows in the taste. I found the bread a bit too much though but that may be coz I’ve been eating a lot of it in the previous dishes.

Hot And Spicy Pork Ribs

Hot & Spicy Pork Ribs (RM 52 full rack, RM 32 half rack)
The piece de resistance. It reminds me of this pizza place near my campus when I was studying in Melbourne. They make the best hot and spicy pork ribs ever and I’ve struggled to find an equally good one since. This fits the bill. It’s really something you can get your hands into – a sticky, messy but delicious eating experience.

Sweet And Sticky Pork Ribs

Sweet & Sticky Pork Ribs (RM 52 full rack, RM 32 half rack)
This is my favorite dish of the night. It’s the marmalade glaze and scallions that sold it for me. The pork ribs at Racks are slow braised and glazed on the spit for six hours and it shows – the meat literally falls of the bone and melts in your mouth. This comes highly recommended from me – the sweet marmalade sauce complements the pork ribs nicely.

full rack size

Racks Bar and Baby Backs will be coming up with more varieties of pork ribs in the future. I can’t wait to try it – the Sweet & Sticky pork ribs had me craving for more. Thanks for the invite Winnie, Shu Min and Paul! They also have an an all-you-can-drink apple martini breakfast on weekends – just add on RM 48 for free flow drinks. I like how Racks makes their dishes to order and most of the ingredients are made in-house too.

full pork ribs rack

Racks is located beside Finnegan’s on Changkat Bukit Bintang.

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