Secret of Louisiana Wine & Dine crawfish dinner

louisiana wine dinner

I just gotta say this:

connie hb blog

Look ma! My blog is on display! smirk

live crawfish

I was at the Secret of Louisiana Wine & Dine event on Monday. It’s a four-course dinner paired with wine and there are various exhibits of Americana (or should I say Louisiana) on display during cocktails. There’s a tank of live crawfish for one. I’m not sure if I ate one of them later but at this point they’re all alive. πŸ˜‰


I like how the canopy is set along the lake so all dining is al fresco. There are videos and cooking demonstrations (had some pretty good Cajun shrimp made with just 4 spices) and I love how they printed the menu on re-labelled wine glasses together with the table number.

New Orleans Chowder
A wonderful rich soup, loaded with clams, shrimp & calamari, slow simmered with diced potato, onion and celery in a creamy thick soup.

dessert wine

This was paired with a Kim Crawford Pinot Savignon Blanc that I thought was very appropriate – it’s very refreshing, bubbly and easy-to-drink, a perfect starter wine. The chowder each had a whole crawfish inside too!

new orleans chowder

I loved the creamy soup – I had two in fact. There’s loads of seafood treasures inside and you can crack the crawfish and eat it if you want, although it’s meagre pickings. Crawfish like this doesn’t have a lot of meat inside but the soup more than makes up for it! Lovely!

Louisiana Bayous
Best ingredients from the bayou. Creole crawfish, creamy seafood gumbo & crabmeat mashed potato on corn fritter.

This is a dish of three different small appetizers. I like the crab meat mashed potato on corn fritter but I felt that this dish came out too late – it was already slightly cold (room temperature). The timing was a bit off for this one, some things are no doubt meant to be served cold and vice versa, but not at ambient temperature.

louisiana bayous

I can understand that cooking for so many people presents a unique challenge, but this was the only dish that was served slightly late. All the other dishes were nice and warm (even the dessert!). However, I can see the awesome potential – I loved the crab meat on corn fritter! πŸ™‚

Trinity Jambalaya
Famous blackened red fish and jerk chicken with a rice dish consisting of onion, pepper and celery which makes up the β€œholy trinity” of Cajun cooking.

trinity jambalaya

I absolutely adore this dish! It’s full of seafood – huge shrimps, mussels, scallops! The red fish was wonderfully spiced – I love the hearty dose of pepper coating the fish. It’s a very heavy dish, broken up with several asparagus stalks.

wine hb

This is paired with a Wente Bayer Ranch Zinfandel, a nice red that goes against the guidelines of white meat with white wine and red meat with red wine, yet pulls it off with panache (it’s just a general rule of thumb many wine dinners I’ve been to has espoused). Absolutely the best dish of the night – perfect representation of Cajun style cooking and everything was still smoking hot!

(except the wine, as far as I know mulled wine does not originate from Louisiana)

Mud Pie & Praline
A rich New Orleans treat – roasted pecan on buttery praline and rich warm chocolate cake.

mud pie praline

A wonderful end to the dinner. It’s paired with a McGuigan Black Label Moscato, a sweet dessert wine. I liked the mud pie but what really got me was the buttery praline!

It’s awesomeness distilled into a messy chunk on your plate. I loved it so much I ate the entire caramel-like praline that left me wanting for more!

eiling hb

A great finish to a wonderful dinner! Eiling and Ziling was there too – good to see you again!

blog post signing

Oh, and here’s one of me signing the printed out Secret of Louisiana review of the first dinner. Heh.

kings and queens

Thanks again to Connie for a wonderful dinner! I learned a great deal about how to properly pronounce the etymology of the word β€œjambalaya” from the US Embassy representative.

us embassy

It’s sham-pal-ha-ya. πŸ™‚

Secret of Louisiana, Plaza Kelana Jaya

secret of louisiana food

Secret of Louisiana is a Cajun-style seafood and steak restaurant opened up by a chef who used to live there. Word is, he wanted some authentic Louisiana food in KL (or rather Petaling Jaya) and a star is born. Or so it goes.

secret of louisiana

I’ve never been to this place before – it’s really nice, situated beside a lake (didn’t even know there was a lake in Plaza Kelana Jaya and I lived there a couple of years back) with covered al-fresco dining by the pier. I was invited by Connie and Ayu to come sample a couple of their signature dishes.

Seafood Gumbo (RM 22.90)
Sauteed assorted with thick creamy sauce, rich in herbs and cheese, served with garlic toast. Gumbo has been called the greatest contribution of Louisiana kitchens to Americans cuisine!

seafood gumbo

This is the appetizer and I must say, a great start to the dinner! I love the rich, gummy seafood gumbo. It’s a hearty combination of seafood and you can taste the chunks of deep sea lovin’ right inside. You’re supposed to eat it on top of garlic bread but I found myself just spooning the seafood gumbo by itself. Highly recommended.

Louisiana Famous Shrimp Scampi (RM 30.90)
Buttery and lush with fresh garlic, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and lemons, topped with 5 pieces grilled large prawns, the most popular pasta dish among all our pasta dishes.

louisiana famous shrimp scampi

I was entranced with the pasta dish too. The prawns are HUGE and fresh and everything tastes garlicky, which is something I dearly love. I would come back for this and the seafood gumbo again.

Seafood Jambalaya (RM 33.90)
An authentic Cajun dish, it’s perhaps the most versatile main dish that Louisiana has to offer, our version is rice cooked with fresh assorted seafood, sausages, tomatoes, corn, celery, mushrooms and fresh herbs.

seafood jambalaya

This came off as sorta like a wet paella. I love seafood and I like the chunks of fish, shrimp and squid. It’s mixed nicely with rice too, which reminds you of the soupy rice that you get fed as kid when you’re sick. Heartwarming food for the soul.

Red Fish (Red Snapper) (RM 38.90)
Dredged Snapper fillet on Cajun spice mix and seared on hot cask iron with butter. Blackened style with Cajun vegetables.

red fish red snapper

I found a lot of people who enjoyed this dish but for some reason it didn’t quite agree with me. I found the style of cooking to be too dry, maybe it’s just a personal thing.

Nut & Seed Layered Chicken (RM 32.90)
Grilled chicken breast with Cajun spice, sliced with and layered with organic nut & seed, served on lightly mashed potato and carrot. Drizzled with Fig chutney sauce.

nut seed layered chicken

I also found this selection from the Poultry menu to be a tad too dry for my tastes but it’s named the favorite dish of Suanie’s friend (who’s unfortunately allergic to crayfish). I really love the sweet fig chutney that goes with it though – it’s absolutely mouthwatering.

…and the various nuts scattered around! Lovin’ it.

Louisiana’s Mud Pie (RM 16.90)
We begin with a large slice of our rich Hot Chocolate Cake and top it with our hot fudge and big scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is covered with whipped cream and topped with sprinkle of crusted walnut and cherry.

louisiana mud pie

This is really good mud pie. I’ve had some great mud pies and this ranks up there with them. Hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, it’s hard to argue with that. I ended up eating most of this. Heh.

louisiana group photo
L-R (from back): Suanie, Eiling, Shah, Huai Bin (me)

I’ll love to go back to Secret of Louisiana again. It’s relatively close to where I live and I didn’t know such a chill place existed. It’ll be nice to just lounge by the pier and eat some of the seafood dishes. I loved the first two and dessert.

secret of louisiana restaurant

There will be a wine pairing dinner on the 14th of January which features a Cajun culinary feast, a tour of the State of Louisiana (not literally – there’s going to be features and videos on that day), a folk dance performance, a special cooking demonstration plus a speech from the US Embassy to Malaysia.

louisiana sauces

The event kicks off at 6:30 pm and there will also be wine appreciation tips and mystery gift giveaways. If you’re interested, the tickets are RM 250 per pax, you can get them by calling Sharine Chua (019 983 0230) or Ayu (012 234 7066). You can also surf over to their website.

ayu connie chef

I’ll be going to check it out. Last I heard, 1/3 of the tickets are already sold and that was a week ago so give them a buzz if you wanna join us in this wine pairing dinner. The food will not be the same as the one that we ate, it’ll be a specially prepared menu for the occasion, just passing along the info. πŸ™‚

Chan Sau Lin fish head

fish head

I remember having really good fish head in 2005. I was working in Kuching at that time and one of our partners brought us to the famous Chan Sau Lin fish head during a business trip here. As luck would have it, we went to the very same place yesterday.

chan sau lin

It’s now moved from Jalan Chan Sau Lin No 3 (thus the Cantonese moniker) to Jalan Chan Sau Lin No 5. The place is huge, with a semi-outdoor (meaning it’s ventilated but covered) court and an air-conditioned area.

tai sam lou

This is what’s left of the famous hot and sweltering fish head at Tai Sam Lou with the famous tree – a faded photo. The tree stump is apparently still there.

chicken steamed

I don’t go around to these parts pretty often and a lot of people say that the fish head has deteriorated. They do serve a pretty mediocre plate of pak cham kai (steamed chicken).

curry fishhead

We ordered two fish heads – one is the curry version which I didn’t like at all. The curry gravy overpowered the fish. I like my fish to be as close to natural as possible.

fermented soy fish

The other one we had was the fermented soy sauce fish head. This is delicious! The way it’s cooked left the fish head relatively unmolested and there’s bird’s eye chili on top to add that additional zap to the palate. Succulent and tender, it left me digging into the head for stray pieces of fish.

me fishhead

Here’s a cheesy shot of me. The new place is at Jalan Lima off Jalan Chan Sau Lin in Sungai Besi. Don’t ask me for the GPS coordinates coz I broke my phone in Phuket but you can call 017-224 2133 for Hoi. I gleaned all that from the card I took from the place.

Lunch cost us RM 99 for four people, including a dish of bean sprouts I didn’t bother to take. πŸ˜‰

Tang Shifu

tang shifu

Tang Shifu literally translates to β€œsoup master”. I was surprised that there is a place which has soup as the predominant feature of it’s menu. There is just a token nod to other dishes (probably half a dozen or so) but their menu is filled with pages and pages of soup! πŸ™‚

tang shifu cheesie

I went there with Cheesie last week for lunch. I didn’t feel like eating a huge meal and a place that serves up soup (no, it’s not a soup kitchen) sounds pretty appealing to me so we headed over to Tang Shifu. It is actually a franchise with most of it’s branches in Johor but there’s two outlets in the Klang Valley.

tang shifu soup

American Ginseng Bei Qi Sharks Bone Chicken Soup (RM 19.90)
This is supposed to be a souped up version of chicken soup. It claims to replenish blood cells, calms the mind and nourishes the lungs. Ringo had this for lunch.

american ginseng sharks bone chicken soup

I like how they serve it – it comes in one of those containers you use for Cantonese style double boiling soup.

dried scallops petite abalone mixed rice

Dried Scallops & Petite Abalone Mixed Rice (RM 15.90)
To be honest, I ordered this one coz it looks good in the menu. Heh. It’s supposed to nourish and strengthen your physique and I like how they mix the steamed rice into the soup.

petite abalone

I’ve never seen abalone like these either. The petite abalone is *tiny* – it’s the size of a piece of contact lens…that’s how small it is. It tasted pretty healthy (which means it’s blander than the stuff I normally eat) and you have to consume it quite rapidly before the rice starts soaking up the broth but it’s good soup. πŸ™‚

snow jelly with gingko

Snow Jelly with Gingko (RM 8.90)
This is Ringo’s dessert – it’s a classic one, and the menu says it revitalizes and moisturizes your skin, calms your mind and regulates breathing.

dried pear with chuan bei

Dried Pear with Chuan Bei (RM 6.90)
I also went with this coz it looks appealing in the menu. It’s supposed to help with coughs and clear phlegm in addition to relieving heat. I don’t know about that but it tastes pretty good. πŸ˜‰ It’s the presentation more than anything – the slice of dried pear with the assortment of other things you’ll usually find in a Chinese herbal shop in a bowl, chilled.

tang shifu us

Tang Shifu has stuff like Buddha Jumps Over The Wall (RM 69.90) too. However, it doesn’t seem to be very popular – the lunch time crowd was decidedly absent, we had the place to ourselves except for two other tables and Tang Shifu is a huge restaurant…that specializes in soup. (of all things)

Familiar Faces Nyonya Food & Noodle House

Familiar Faces Nyonya

I had dinner at Familiar Faces Nyonya Food & Noodle House with Janet last night. She’s also from Sibu and came over to work in KL about a month ago. I picked her up from Cheras and was about to head down to either PJ or KL when the massive Friday night traffic congestion made me decide against it.

Familiar Faces Nyonya restaurant

It was about 8:30 pm and we were still stuck in practically gridlocked conditions so I consulted the GPS for an alternate place for dinner. We were in Sri Petaling at that time and we chose this place due to the proximity to our current location. I’ve never been here before and Janet is new to Nyonya food so I (slowly) inched towards the restaurant.

Familiar Faces Nyonya rice

Familiar Faces Nyonya Food & Noodle House serves a wide range of Nyonya food, which you can order a-la-carte or in a single serving with rice. I asked the waitress for recommendations and she suggested some of their flagship dishes. The place has a healthy portfolio of seafood, meat and vegetable dishes but does not serve pork.

Familiar Faces Nyonya tea

One of their specialties is the home made Chrysanthemum tea with bits of nata de coco at the bottom. It’s surprisingly refreshing and I didn’t even notice the cubes at the bottom until Janet pointed it out to me.

Familiar Faces Nyonya petai

The first dish that came out is the Nyonya Shredded Petai (RM 12). Petai is something you either love or hate. It’s also called β€œsmelly bean” and has a slightly bitter aftertaste. I found this incarnation pretty good though – there are bits of meat and chilli in the sauce, which offsets the less palatable qualities while maintaining the signature crunch of this vegetable.

Familiar Faces Nyonya squid

The squid cooked in Nyonya sauce (RM 13) was a bit of a disappointment. I found it rather bland but the squid was prepared well – it’s tender and moist, with none of the chewiness associated with overcooking.

Familiar Faces Nyonya fish

We also ordered the Nyonya Sambal Fish (RM 12). There was an initial concern over whether it would be too dry, considering it’s fried fish but that dissipated as soon as we dug in.

Familiar Faces Nyonya sambal fish filling

The fish is stuffed with sambal and other assorted fillings and it goes very well with a squeeze of lime. There isn’t too many bones to contend with too, which is always a good thing. Most of the dishes at Familiar Faces Nyonya Food & Noodle House is served on a piece of banana leaf, which is a nice touch.

Familiar Faces Nyonya chicken

However, the best dish that we had was the Nyonya style Sweet Potato Chicken (RM 12). It’s cooked in a savory sauce that seeps all the way into the bed of thinly sliced potatoes under the dish. The gravy saturated potatoes tastes even better than the chicken itself!

Familiar Faces Nyonya us

The total bill came up to RM 56.40 which is very reasonable. The service is friendly and there’s a warm and homely ambiance to the place. I have my doubts about the authenticity of some of the dishes but it’s still a good find. There’s also a very popular steamboat restaurant in the same row which is worth checking out.

Familiar Faces Nyonya food

Familiar Faces Nyonya Food & Noodle House is located at Jalan Radin Anum 1, Taman Sri Petaling with the GPS coordinates N 03°04.031′ E 101°41.423′.

Coffee Garden @ Garden Hotel review

coffee garden

Coffee Garden is the anchor restaurant of Garden Hotel and is a successful F&B establishment in it’s own right. Although Coffee Garden doesn’t draw the local crowd to the extent of the wildly successful Peppers Cafe (Tanahmas Hotel), it does have its regulars and it’s a nice and (relatively) private place for lunch and dinner.


The interior of Coffee Garden has been given a major overhaul, with glass facades and mood lighting, creating a very pleasing ambiance. The post-modern architecture (actually, I don’t even know what post-modern architecture means, I just wrote it to make myself look more intelligent ;)) with reflective wall length mirrors looks amazing.


There are LCD screens placed strategically around the restaurant and an al fresco seating area outside for the nicotine brigade. Coffee Garden serves surprisingly good food, perhaps even better than Peppers Cafe. The measure of a successful hotel F&B outlet is the amount of locals patronizing the restaurant, and Coffee Garden has a loyal following.

garlic bread

The dinner menu at Garden Cafe is very comprehensive and covers Chinese and Western cuisine. There is complimentary garlic bread with every meal and the prices for most dishes are very reasonable.

seafood platter

This is the Seafood Gala (RM 16 ++) which is similar to the Manhattan Seafood Platter at Manhattan Fish Market. It consists of baked mussels, pan fried fish fillet, deep fried calamari rings and grilled shrimp served with garlic butter rice (Mmm…) and lemon butter sauce. The only thing missing is an MFM waitress going all Firebat on the platter (StarCraft reference here). πŸ˜‰

mixed grill

The Garden Mixed Grill (RM 17 ++) has grilled lamb chop, grilled beef (otherwise known as steak), grilled chicken, sausages and beef bacon. There is a great portfolio of edible mammals represented in this dish and it’s perfect as a sample of everything they offer.


Coffee Garden also serves a wide variety of beer and alcopops at hotel prices. Their Guinness Stout goes for RM 10 ++ per mug and RM 40 ++ for a jug but regular beers goes for RM 30 ++ per jug, which is pretty much the price you’ll expect to pay at other watering holes.

I have been going there regularly for lunch with Autumn to eat through their entire set lunch menu. The lunch menu is limited and priced at RM 8++ inclusive of a drink and soup.


Fried Chicken With Peanut Soup


Autumn had this during our first lunch date there. I’ve had it as well, it’s pretty good but a little on the bland side. It should be noted that some of the waiters and waitresses are not very good photographers so you may have to get them to take several shots. πŸ˜‰


Fried Fish Fillet with BBQ Sauce

first lovebite

This was also on our first attempt to eat through the set lunch menu. This is the best dish in the set lunch menu in our opinion. It’s the BBQ sauce…it tastes great. Notice the similar office wear but please do not comment on the lovebite. πŸ˜‰


Fried Squid in Celery

second shared

I shared this dish with Autumn coz we were not both not really hungry that day. I think this was a couple of days after the first visit since I was wearing a tie to cover up the still visible hickey. The squid is probably the other dish I would eat, the others are pretty bland.


Fried Beef with Garlic

third time

I had this during the third trip to Coffee Garden. It’s nothing to write home about. Astute readers will notice a new hickey on my neck. I swear, it’s not due to Autumn. I don’t know how it got there. πŸ˜‰


Fried Duck with Black Pepper


Autumn had the duck during the third trip. It’s alright, but again, Coffee Garden’s lunch menu isn’t really as good as the dinner menu.

chiew fong

It took us about two weeks to get through the five (5) set lunch menu coz you don’t want to eat the same food everyday. It’s still one of our regular hangouts though due to the privacy of the place.

coffee garden end

Coffee Garden is a great place for lunch and dinner. The set lunch menu is cheap considering the air-conditioned comfort and privacy of the establishment and it manages to attract quite a few of the lucrative 9-5 crowd during lunchtime. Their dinner menu is excellent – it’s much better than their set lunch menu, which is mass produced. I give Coffee Garden two thumbs up.

Fisherman Restaurant review

fisherman restaurant

Fisherman Restaurant is located at a rather decrepit part of town and maintains an unassuming facade. I’ve always wanted to check the place out and went with a couple of friends last night for dinner.

fisherman residents

The place even has it’s own 24 hour security detail…living out of cardboard boxes. I’m sure that provides a very nice ambiance for some people, but it didn’t do much for me. πŸ˜‰

fisherman interior

Fisherman Restaurant’s main claim to fame is being featured on TV3’s Jalan Jalan Cari Makan. They’re the first in Sibu to get on the TV food program as an eating establishment serving authentic Melanau food.

fisherman crackers

Complimentary keropok (local prawn crackers) is served when the diners are seated. It’s actually made of fish and expands to a gigantic size when deep fried.

fisherman waitress

The service at Fisherman Restaurant is excellent, with a lounge waiting area and attentive waitresses in uniform. The proprietor also came over to ask how the food was, which is a nice touch.

fisherman menu

We ordered mainly from the TV3 selected menu for their program. This was recommended by the owner as the best of the best.

fisherman umai

This is Umai (RM 10) which is hands down the most well known Melanau dishes out there. It’s made with raw, thinly sliced black pomfret (a kind of fish) marinated in onions, chillies, and calamansi lime juice. It’s a staple of Melanau fishermen out at sea and eaten with sago.

fisherman paku

The proprietor also recommended the Paku Santan (RM 7) which is a special that’s not on the menu. It’s local jungle ferns cooked in a rich coconut milk sauce with shrimps and chillies. I loved it but the two girls didn’t like the Spice Factor (TM) of the dish.


Lokan (RM 9) is another one of Fisherman Restaurant’s flagship dishes and it’s supposedly “the only one in Malaysia”. I’m a little skeptical about this claim since I’ve had the very same molluscs in Sabah. Lokan is a shellfish from local rivers.

lokan inside

This implementation takes the lokan flesh and minces it with a combination of other ingredients before stuffing it back in and deep frying it. It tastes great, this is easily the best dish of the night.

fisherman beehoon

The final dish was also recommended by the proprietor since we didn’t want to eat rice. It’s Melanau Fried Bee Hoon (RM 3.50). Bee Hoon is rice vermicelli and the owner was so proud of this that he insisted we try the rice vermicelli instead of noodles. It’s actually pretty good, and the only dish that the two girls ate any significant amount of.

fisherman group

Fisherman Restaurant is a great place for authentic Melanau food in Sibu and it serves great food despite it’s unassuming exterior. The Lokan is a must try if you eat there.

I heart lokan! =D

Payung Cafe review

payung cafe hidden

Payung Cafe is a new eating establishment nestled in a quiet corner of town. It’s only open for dinner so not a lot of people are aware of the existence of this place yet. Payung translates to “umbrella” in the our fine national language.

payung cafe

Payung Cafe is meant as a secluded al fresco dining establishment that allows you to BYO wine. It has a nice, quiet ambiance that is well suited to conversation. The owner of Payung Cafe is also the resident chef.


The concept of Payung Cafe is to serve fusion food incorporating elements of the ASEAN countries. The seating arrangements are comfortable, with freshly cut orchids garnishing the tables. It’s nice touches like this that gives out good vibes to the customers.

payung green tea shake

The special of the day was the Green Tea Shake (RM 5) which most of us opted for. It’s made from freshly brewed green tea, not the stuff in cans. It tasted great, the milk doesn’t overpower the green tea and less milk is a Good Thing (TM) nowadays since I seem to have become lactose intolerant ever since I was admitted into ICU for overdosing and got renal and liver failure. Strange eh?

payung papaya salad

The Papaya Salad (RM 5) was the recommended appetizer which we shared. It has strong Thai influences and tasted surprisingly spicy (even for me). It’s nice though, chillies always get the appetite going, or so I’ve heard. πŸ˜‰

payung spring rolls

Spring Rolls (RM 6) is the Vietnamese influenced starter and it tasted pretty authentic. I know coz I did a tour of duty back in ‘Nam during the 60’s. Me love you long time!

payung shrooms roll

We also ordered the Mushroom Roll (RM 6). I have a lot of experience with the more magical variety of mushrooms and I’m sorry to inform you that this doesn’t contain that kind of mushroom. πŸ˜‰

otak rice 

This is the Otak Rice (RM 8) that Joyce ordered. She missed the otak otak from her days in JB and have been craving for it since.

otak otak

It was so good that she ordered another four (4) otak otak (RM 32) for us to try. Payung Cafe’s implementation of the otak otak contains a secret killer breed of chillies that makes it so spicy even the hardened ones amongst us (me and Kath) were tearing up due to the sheer Spice Factor and the others won’t even touch it. Heh!

payung beef ball bread

I went for the Beef Ball with bread (RM 15). The presentation for this carnivore staple is great, with mint leaves garnishing the dish. However, it should be noted that the portions at Payung Cafe tends to be on the small side. It’s a little bit too small for a main dish.

payung beef ball

There were about 3-4 large beef balls (not the dangling kind, the processed meat) covered with thick tomato based sauce…

payung bread

…and three (3) minuscule slices of garlic bread accompanying it. I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it bread, it’s more like crumpets.

payung pork chop

Colin had the Pork Chop (RM 18) which was also rather conservative in size. Size does matter, okay. It tastes good though, I had a small bite (which took up about 1/4 of the pork chop).

payung dessert 1

The proprietor was kind enough to serve us complimentary desserts though. He also handed me a pen and paper and asked me for my dubious guidance in naming the dishes. The first one was a baked banana pie sprinkled with powdered sugar. I wrote down Tropical Paradise, Bonkers for Bananas, and Banana Pockets.

payung dessert 2

The second dessert is a soft custard topped (heaped, more like) by ground peanuts, sultanas and raisins. I could only think of Nuts about Raisins and Tropical Shower. I don’t know if he’s going to end up using my suggestions but it was a fun exercise nevertheless.

payung group

The obligatory group photo thus ends this post. I’m the one in white. πŸ˜‰

payung cafe end

Payung Cafe is a quiet alcove nested in a town that has excellent service and great food. The ambiance is soothing as well. They could do with larger portions for the mains but overall, we enjoyed the experience. Cheers!

Panzer Restaurant

panzer restaurant

I went to Panzer Restaurant last night for dinner. My sources informed me that the place is about to close down and he suggested a bloggers meet at the soon to be defunct Panzer Restaurant before the fat lady sings. Unfortunately, we already made plans for the next weekend’s bloggers meet so thus I went with Faye instead to catch one last dinner before the place shuts down.

panzer interior

Panzer Restaurant has been a regular haunt of mine due to the proximity to my home but to be honest, the quasi Italian fusion food with heavy local influences isn’t really anything to write home about. However, I’ve heard rave reviews from other people. I just go there coz it’s convenient. *shrugs*


She ordered a cappuccino (RM 5) for her drink…


…while I went with the more manly Heineken (RM 7). πŸ˜‰

panzer crispy breaded prawns

We ordered the Crispy Breaded Prawns (RM 14.50) for the starter.

panzer sweat prawns

It’s served with sweat and spicy sauce, which made me more than a little dubious about trying the dish.

panzer prawns

It turned out alright though, I think they meant sweet and spicy sauce there. πŸ˜‰

panzer spaghetti

I had the Spaghetti ai fruta di Mare (RM 19.50) for the mains.

panzer fish

It’s spaghetti with chilly, shrimps, prawns, fish and tomato sauce and is one of their premium dishes. I do not recommend their “flagship” Spaghetti Panzer (RM 16.50) since it’s a poor imitation of this dish and does not come with the fish.

panzer lamb

Faye had the Lamb Shoulder Steak (RM 13). It comes with salad and French fries as well as the sauce of your choice.

panzer garlic

She’s a big fan of garlic sauce despite the havoc it can wreck on your breath. πŸ˜‰

panzer dragon eye

We shared the Dragon Eye (RM 6.50) for dessert.

panzer dessert

It’s dragon fruit slices with two scoops of the ice cream of your choice and whipped cream.

panzer us

Panzer Restaurant – Catch it before it closes down for good.

The Manhattan Fish Market

manhattan fish market

Manhattan Fish Market
(MFM) is a high end fast food eating establishment
in the vein of T.G.I. Friday’s and Chili’s Grill & Bar. The Spring has
one of the franchise outlets and Irene brought us there for lunch coz we
didn’t eat on the flight to Kuching.

mfm interior

The Manhattan Fish Market traces its
history back to the Fulton Fish Market in Manhattan, New York. The 180
year linage of the Manhattan Fish Market under the Brooklyn Bridge is the
basis of this seafood restaurant franchise. MFM specializes in seafood of
all sorts – fish, oysters, mussels, lobsters, crab etc. If it has fins or
a shell, it’s probably on the menu at The Manhattan Fish Market.

mfm tv

outlet at The Spring shopping mall has a wood based interior with solid
timber dominating the features, a rather environmentally unfriendly but
warm design implementation. The localization attempt has a huge plasma TV
showing a video from Ikan Terhandal Malaysia (Expert Fishing Malaysia), a
monthly magazine for fishing enthusiasts with a VCD showing recreational
fishing amateur footage.

mfm wood

The Manhattan Fish Market also has a consistent
theme – the focus is on seafood and there are old framed posters of fish,
lobster and crab on the walls, presumably the very same ads from the
Fulton Fish Market nearly two centuries ago.

mfm board

The table has the signature
MFM chopping board in place of the usual plate setting in other
restaurants. This trademark is from the Fulton Fish Market days when fresh
tuna (and other catch) were brought in and chopped up before being

mfm quencher

Captain’s Quencher (RM 6.90)

This is a carbonated orange twist that I ordered. Very refreshing and thirst quenching. No misleading naming conventions here. πŸ™‚

mfm espresso

Espresso (RM 12)

A much needed shot of caffeine to jolt myself awake…

mfm mussels

Garlic Butter Mussels (RM 13.90)

Delicious poached mussels in creamy Manhattan garlic butter sauce. Comes with slices of baguettes.

The mussels in garlic sauce tastes absolutely divine! There weren’t
enough to go around.

mfm catch

Grilled Catch of the Day (RM 17.90)

Grilled catch of the day complete with
Manhattan garlic butter sauce – a healthier choice (presumably compared
to their famous Manhattan Fish & Chips)

Irene had the grilled catch of the day (think it was halibut for that Saturday)

mfm platter

Manhattan Seafood Platter For
(RM 42.90)

Deep fried fish fillet, calamari, oysters, and prawns served with chips and garlic rice.

mfm flaming

I shared the Manhattan
Seafood Platter For Two with Phoenix. The waiter had a can of combustible
material and flamed the platter in front of us. This flaming treatment
chars the top of the platter and ensures the carbon goodness is
transmitted properly. πŸ˜‰

mfm us

The Manhattan Seafood Platter is meant for two
(2) people but even the three of us couldn’t finish it. The serving
portions at The Manhattan Fish Market is generous, meant for larger
appetites than ours. I think the flaming treatment got too close to Phoenix coz her face seems a bit charred from it.

mfm irene

It was really good to meet up with you again on
this trip, Irene! πŸ™‚

mfm logo

The Manhattan Fish Market – now available in

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