Thursday, May 31, 2018

Korean BBQ @ Ma Eul Cup Bab, Damansara Uptown

Knowing how much I love Korean BBQ, our friend suggested our next dinner meet up at BBQ Ma Eul Cup Bab in Damansara Uptown. We were lucky to get a parking spot right in front of the restaurant, however you may also park at The Starling Mall and walk over. The restaurant was fairly quiet when we arrived at 5.30pm, but very soon it started filling up and by the time we left, even the tables at the sidewalks were all taken up. 

Guide to Korean BBQ (on one of the walls), featuring Bart Simpson :P

We ordered Set 3 (RM59 - for 2-3 persons) which comes with sliced pork belly, pork shoulder and grilled baby octopus. Once you place your order, the staff will serve you with a selection of ban chan (side dishes), usually about 8 types and a salad. The ban chan are refillable (self service) and you can also help yourself to the seaweed soup.

The ban chan selection includes fish cake, anchovies, radish kimchi, kimchi, spinach, pickled radish, beansprouts and glass noodle. Later on, they also brought out crispy seaweed which was really good.

The staff will cook the meats for you so just sit back and enjoy the ban chan while waiting for your grilled meats. You can dip the grilled meats in the sesame oil-salt condiment or the doenjang (bean) paste.. personally I prefer gochujang with my grilled meats.

I enjoyed the pork belly but found the pork shoulder to be a bit tough.

The grilled octopus had a nice marination, and was very nicely grilled. Love the chewy, crunchy texture.

Since we still had room for more meat, we supplemented with an additional order of hanjeongsal aka pork neck (RM25). When the meat arrived, I knew it was gonna be good... judging from the lovely marbling on the meat. True enough, it was excellent - I prefer this over the pork belly and shoulder anytime.

Super juicy and tender!

Menu at BBQ Ma Eup Cup Bab

Verdict: Enjoyable dinner, good service. 

Opening times: Mon-Thu 11am to 12am daily; Fri-Sun 11am - 1am.

Price: Total bill RM89.05 for 3 pax.

Location: BBQ Ma Eul Cup Bab, No. 48, Ground Floor, Jalan SS21/58, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: 03-7732 9955

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Wantan Mee @ Peter's Kopitiam, Cheras

Growing up, wantan mee was always my favorite choice of noodles for breakfast. This street stall in Cheras has been around since1979 and serves up a fantastic plate of wantan mee.

This stall (合記) was one of many hawker outlets inside Peter's Kopitiam in Cheras, sadly the kopitiam closed down sometime last year. As the only remaining stall, it now occupies the outdoor space next to the restaurant.

Place your order with the friendly lady boss owner; other than wantan mee, they also do curry mee, konlo noodles (loh shi fun, yellow mee, meehoon) as well as roasted meats with rice. So far we've only tried their wantan mee and we like it a lot.

Thin, springy noodles are tossed in a delicious dark sauce and topped with your choice of roasted meat. We usually go for the char siew (please remember to specify for pun fei sau for the ultimate indulgence). Each plate of noodles come with three wantans and they're pretty juicy.

Other than char siew, you can also choose braised pork ribs, minced pork, chicken feet and mushrooms and more for your noodle topping.

As Hubby likes his wantan mee with curry sauce, he asked for some to be topped on his noodles during another visit. Some of the tofu puffs which soaked up the curry sauce was served with the noodles. The curry sauce was pretty rich and tasty, perhaps I should try their curry mee next time.

They have also offer nasi lemak bungkus.

Opening times: 5am to 1pm daily.

Price: Total bill for 2 noodles, 2 drinks RM18.

Location: Peter's Kopitiam, 125 Jalan 1, Pekan Batu 9 Cheras, 43200 Batu 9 Cheras, Selangor (right next to 99 Speedmart - street parking available).

GPS Coordinates: 3.070877, 101.768186

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Friday, May 25, 2018

So SPA, Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara: KL's First Luxury Hammam

In Kuala Lumpur, no other hotel encapsulates French luxury so well as Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara. The arrival of So SPA, Sofitel Hotels and Resorts' luxurious wellness concept marks the opening of KL's first luxury hammam and further cements the hotel's position as one of the finest luxury hotels in Malaysia. 

So SPA is located on a dedicated floor sprawling over 3,700 square feet, housing 7 treatment rooms including an exclusive couple room and a separate male and female private hammam room. Our first impressions as we arrived at the spa was how dreamy the space looked, thanks to the soft sculptural  wall panels and hand-carved feature lighting inspired by French couturier as well as the plush pastel furnishings.

Designed to bring guests into a complete state of relaxation, restoration and rejuvenation, So SPA combines ancient wellness traditions from around the world with the refinement and skills of modern French cosmetology. Drawing inspiration from a gourmet restaurant menu, guests can choose from an à la carte menu made up of Starters, Main, Desserts, Specials and Menu Suggestions.

So SPA offers treatments that are inspired by Malaysian influences such as the Malay Urut Massage, featuring long, kneading strokes focusing on blood flow to stimulate energy points while relaxing the muscles. In addition, the Oriental Massage is a traditional deep tissue massage using medium to strong pressure which integrates ancient Chinese acupressure and Shiatsu elements to relieve the body from fatigue and stiffness. These two treatments are exclusive to Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara.

Other treatments that are found in So SPAs around the world include the So Exhilarating Massage and So Rejuvenating Facial, both focusing on a euphoric experience. Guests can also discover the benefits of a traditional Hammam at So SPA; we selected the 120-minutes So Hammam Rituals (RM590 each) as it is one of the signature treatments here.

Sheer elegance - the Spa Reception

Welcome drink - a cold, refreshing Hibiscus Tea

After filling in a short questionnaire, we were led by the Spa Manager to the couple treatment room to prepare ourselves for our Hammam experience. Hubby donned a plush robe, while I dressed myself in a pretty red floral tube top and long skirt. Our spa therapists then ushered us into the separate Hammam rooms. A traditional Hammam would require you to strip naked, however at So SPA you get the option of keeping on the tube top (if you're too shy) as well as your disposable undies.

So SPA single rooms

Inspired by the Turkish Hammam, the experience begins with the Maghreb traditional cleansing ritual using Savon Noir Beldi olive-rich black soap followed by a Ghassoul mud body wrap, to cleanse and remove all the impurities. After being bathed, steamed and scrubbed (with a Kassa glove) for about an hour, my skin definitely felt smooth and refreshed... in fact, I've never felt so clean in my life!

After drying my body, I returned to the couple treatment room for the So Relaxing Massage, using tea elixir and Argan oil. This was definitely my favorite part of the experience; true to its name, the full body massage was so relaxing that I drifted off to dreamland. It fuses a mixture of Balinese and Swedish massage techniques. Once the treatment has ended, guests can retire to the Relaxation Area to enjoy some refreshments and healthy snacks such as pistachio nuts and apricots.

A truly enjoyable experience, we highly recommend So SPA to anyone seeking a refined Hammam ritual, in an elegant, private setting.

So SPA is located on level 2B and is open daily from 10am to 10pm. For enquiries and reservations, please email HA123@SOFITEL.COM or call 03-2720 6688.

Location: Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara, No. 6, Jalan Damanlela Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Parking available in DC Mall)

Tel: 03-2720 6688


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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bala's Banana Leaf @ Bangsar, KL

One of the best banana leaf rice places that our #BLRGang came across recently in KL was Bala's Banana Leaf in Bangsar.

Taking up a corner lot shop at Taman Lucky Bangsar, the restaurant is spacious, clean and well-ventilated. We placed our order for Banana Leaf Rice (RM8) which came with a choice of either chicken, fish or mutton curry or dhal. The curries were thick and well-spiced. It came with four types of vegetables, most of them were potato-based and I was happy to see my favorite stir fried cabbage. :) Pappadums were nice and crispy, and rasam is also served with your meal. One of our friends took the BLR without the R(ice) (RM6.50) and had it with chapati (RM2.10).

Nice, thick curries

We also ordered the fried chicken (RM8.50) which was cooked to order, mutton varuval (RM10.60) as well as crispy, fried bittergourd (RM3). They do daily specials and during our visit it was Chicken Rajasthan (RM10.60), thick chunks of chicken in a rich, fiery gravy.

Mutton varuval - tender chunks of meat.. delicious!

Fried bittergourd - nice and crispy

Chicken Rajasthan

Service here is friendly and welcoming, and definitely adds to the whole dining experience.

Price: Total bill RM62.70 for 3 pax, including drinks.

Location: Bala's Banana Leaf, No.25, Lorong Ara Kiri 1, Taman Lucky Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur. (Street parking or park at Bangsar Village and walk over towards TCM direction)

Tel: 03-2201 7107

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mian, Aman Suria: For Awesome Noodles & Char Siew

Located in Aman Suria (aka Sunwaymas Commercial Centre), Mian serves several types of noodles along with various roast meats such as BBQ pork (char siew), roast pork (siew yuk) and poached village chicken.

We got here pretty early, so only the char siew was ready. Roast pork (siew yuk) is only available on weekends from 9.45am onwards.

We ordered one large Char siew Black Kampua (RM8.50) and one large Char siew White Kampua (RM8.50). The Sitiawan-style black kampua comes with noodles tossed in dark sauce and topped with beansprouts, fried shallots and spring onion as well as thick chunks of glorious char siew.

Meanwhile the White Kampua is Fuzhou-style; whereby the noodles are tossed in peanut soy sauce and topped with minced pork, fried shallots, spring onions and char siew. Both noodles come with a side of soup with deep fried beancurd and meatball.

They were both delicious, though when eaten side by side, my preference lies with the black kampua. I especially enjoyed it with the pungent pickled garlic... So appetizing!

Black kampua with char siew

Some of the condiments to go with the noodles - chilli sauce, pickled green chilli and pickled garlic

White kampua

The char siew was really good and exceeded our expectations. It had the right proportion of lean meat to melting fat with a delicious sweet-savory glaze.

We enjoyed the char siew on our noodles so much, that we ordered another portion of this meaty goodness (RM12 for small). Look at the beautiful, glistening pieces of meat :)

Definitely one of the best char siew we've eaten in Klang Valley!

Menu at Mian

Opening times: 8.30am to 3.30pm daily, Closed on Mondays.

Price: Total bill RM32, including 2 drinks.

Location: Mian, No 9-1, Jalan PJU 1/3C, Sunwaymas Commercial Centre, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (Street parking available)

Tel: 016-692 8147

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