Favola, Le Meridien – Antipasti Buffet at RM35++!!

My previous visit to Favola for dinner was barely a week ago.

And I’m back this week for their antipasti lunch buffet, which says a lot about what I feel in regards to the quality, portioning, taste & value of the food here.

The assortment of antipasti was richly varied, and a main might not even be necessary if you are opting for a light lunch.

antipasti buffet

But for a heavy LUNCH eater like me, I thought an additional pasta or pizza might have to do …

till I saw this…

Favola antipasti6

Oh baby!! All that for me???

LOL. No, of course it’s not only for me. But it could have been; for there were only a number of tables occupied throughout the lunch hours of 12 to 2pm, & most diners opted for ala-carte.

So I had serious fun at the buffet, literally polishing some serving bowls clean; like for example the WONDERFUL seafood salad below, with its springy prawns, bouncy squids & meaty scallops (that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like prawns under normal circumstances) .

The mushrooms tossed in olive oil topped with parmesan shavings & rocket were superb! So marvelously juicy & sweet! Even the grilled vegetables; (zuchini, capsicums, chilli & carrots) were nicely charred & drizzled with gourmet olive oil.

And I learned that these little cut (triangular or rectangular) sandwiches are called tramezzini in Italy. For lack of a better description, they are crustless tea sandwiches. Except, Italians do not have them with tea, but with wine.

Lastly, in the collage below, is the stuffed loaf. It looked wonderful, packed full of ingredients but was actually just tomatoes, capsicums & a load of other vegetables which was nice, but do skip if you are hard up for precious stomach space.

Favola antipasti9

My favourites are of course, the BREADS. If you are a bread lover like me, it is a futile attempt to try stopping at one slice.
Each loaf is remarkably fragrant with its crusty outer layer & soft chewy centres. There is an assortment of dips & spreads for you to flavour your breads if you so wish.

Favola antipasti8

The Carpaccio of angus beef, marinated with pistachio (that was what Chef Amir said), frozen & sliced just prior to serving was nicely presented on the buffet spread with pine nuts, pesto & figs. I enjoyed it very much & the same goes for Bresaola, the shaved dried beef.

Favola antipasti4

Then there was this intriguing jelly-like thing. The first thing that crossed my mind was it could be a terrine of some sort. Upon tasting its frutti essences (& being the pleb that I am), I couldn’t place nor identify what it was till Chef Amir explained that it was FIG JELLY! And why is the jelly presented with the raw meats?

Favola antipasti5

Done with the cold cuts, I moved on to these little cute fellas, where the one on the left below is self explanatory, followed by the interesting crab mousse with tomato & pesto and then the colourful (both visually & tastewise) red, yellow & green capsicum puree.
Seriously, isn’t this buffet such an interesting feast for both the eyes & tummy???

Favola antipasti

Italians are so healthy. I mean, other than the cheese, cheese & more cheese and yeah, wines, they do eat a lot of vegetables. (Anyone been to Italy? Do they eat like this everyday??)

I do not know where Favola got their supplies of tomatoes, which is so freaking JUICY it makes me almost comtemplating asking the Chef for the supplier’s name.
The feta cheese stuffed tomatoes (I thought it was blue cheese at first) was very pungent, so be warned.
Melanzane alla Parmigiana; baked layered eggplant, zucchini & parmesan cheese with tomato sauce & basil is worth at least a bite for taste.

Favola antipasti2

I love quiches & this was one of the first few appetisers I grabbed off the spread.
Turned out it is an Yorkshire-pudding inspired creation, stuffed with potatoes, eggplant, onions, grapes & GREEN APPLES.
Some onions inside lends a hint of pungency while the sweet tartness of the apple makes this an interesting mouthful. I truly like this.

Favola antipasti1

This innovation fat bag of a ravioli was sitting pretty in its little pool of tangy bleeding-with – absolute-flavour sauce.
I slashed open the bag, to find a TOO THICK skin encasing some delicious innards. Needless to say, I didn’t quite fancy the skin but I did suck the insides dry ;)

Favola antipasti3

And then we have these jars & jars of pickles.
Clockwise from top left; we’ve got sun dried tomatoes, pearl barley (big shallot), mixed olives,
gherkins, garlic, & shallots.
No comment on these since pickles ain’t my thing & I didn’t try them.

Favola antipasti7

All of the above is a lot for RM40.25 right?

BUT there’s more below!

The octopus, crunchy to the bite & chewy for the finish. Very nice!
Feta in oil.
Mozzarella buffalo cheese balls bathed in olive oil & capsicums. It was bland, milky, & provided a very firm meaty bite.
Capsicum & olive oil Salad.
Fresh vegetables with dressing.
Light potato salad.
Chestnut & Artichoke salad. Oh my! All that artichokes!

Favola antipasti10

Ok, this is just a picture I accidentally left out from the collage ;)

asparagus

So there you have it, what I ate for my Favola Antipasti noon buffet.

And below is the Favola DESSERT noon buffet.

dessert buffet

Not as much choices but I have heard good reviews about Favola’s desserts so maybe I will give it a try one day.

ps: They got this huge jar of parmesan cheese!

parmesan jar

Note:
Favola’s Antipasti buffet @RM35++ is only available NOON, 12-2pm SUN to FRI.
On Saturdays, Favola is open for dinner only.
Dessert buffet : Likewise as above.

Based on the selections available, this is value for money! Food is fresh, ingredients are of top quality & each dish is skillfully prepared.

I was there from 1230pm to 2, & noted that there were no refills of the antipasti if it was finished. I’m inclined to think that was because there wasn’t much diners for the buffet spread & hence there wasn’t a need for a refill.

The array of antipasti was supposed to be both Hot & Cold (according to one of the waitress) but even at 1230pm, every dish was cold.
However, they all tasted fine to me.

Favola, Le Meridien (8th floor)

2 Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Malaysia

Contact: + 603 – 2263 7888

http://www.lemeridiendining.com.my/

Midweek Lunchies with the Babes – Robert’s Char Kuey Teow, Say Huat, Sect 17, PJ

This is actually Part 2, since Part One is the FSF char siew we had a few weeks ago. I’m still in the process of unearthing the pics..which may be in my C,D, E, camera, or external HDD ;p

Anyhow, for this round of mid-week lunchies, we’ve got the memoir- babe with us.
We are out to sooth her poor soul after reading about her disappointing experience with the Jalan Batai’s Seng Lee Char Kuey Teow.

bangsar-babe came to the rescue with her recommendation of Robert’s Char Kuey Teow, in Say Huat Restaurant, Section 17, right in front of the make-shift morning market, which then becomes a parking lot at noon & further transforms into a food haven at night, with one of my favourite tong shui stall among all the hawker fare.

CKT SAy Huat

Now, I must say I love this area. I remember the short stint I had staying in Section 17, & it was the only place that I know to find food.

But this is Robert’s Char Kuey Teow is the first for me. As I trust bangsar-babe’s recommendations, I wasn’t too worried of getting disappointed.

And true enough, it wasn’t let down.

robert CKT

The chilli is the winning oomph!, and the all the necessary charred wok- fire aroma (wok -hei) was present.

Robert is an affable fellow who handles all orders patiently (no gruff, grumpy demeanor; a common trait in those hawkers whose business is too brisk for their own good). He speaks Hokkien too!
Man, I feel right at home ;)

CKT SAy Huat1

Below: All the necessary ingredients for a good char kuey teow laid out. Cockles, chinese sausages, chives (kuchai), fresh bean sprouts (taugeh), springy prawns & loads of garlic fried with his own secret soy sauce brew.

nec ingredients

Though sorely tempted to order a plate after helping myself to batch-fuls of bangsar-babe & memoirs-babe’s CKT, I stuck to my initial plan of trying the economy rice here.

Seriously I love my “chap fun” for lunch, and moreover when rif says the sweet & sour pork here is good.

econ rice

Well..it was good. Which is why the picture is missing. Cos I finished it without realizing I forgot to take a pic! ;p

No worries, more visits to this outlet for lunch from now on. So I’ll save that for another post ;)

Here’s another picture for you to drool over ;)
So reasonably priced right? RM4.50 for a plate of this!

Robert CKT2

I was craving something sweet & cold too & was half-appeased with the ais kacang (ABC), RM2.50. Definitely not as good as the one in SS2 Wai Sik Kai – stall #41 as the sago wasn’t fresh & chewy.

CKT SAy Huat2

I’m certainly having fun with our mid-week lunch trysts ;) & this week’s chosen venue is Anuar’s Fish Head Curry in Bangsar! I can’t wait!

Members of the Mid-week Lunchies with the Babes – bangsar-babe, Shum-babe, thenomadG & occasional we have rif joining us too!

Another Christmas party ..with a WHOLE roast lamb!

christmas tree

Please Santa, all I want for Christmas… is another party like this!

Food

You know you are at the right party when you walked to the house & got greeted by this...
A whole LAMB, grilling over charcoals, right at the FRONT GATE.

The lamb!

This is one lamb worth dying for. Juicy, tender & thoroughly marinated with its meat imbued with flavour, it was absolutely AWESOME!

more lamb!

At RM700, yups.. RM700, for one of that splendid creature, grilled 2 hours before the start of your party, sliced, served & then all utensils cleaned up after the lamb is finished. It’s pretty worth it, IMHO.
So, anyone to sponsor one for Unka’s house warming???
;p

I liked the fact that the hosts were strict on the quality and choices of food. They kept it firmly to the theme of an English Christmas and that means fried rice, roti canai and etc is strictly prohibited!

Hence, this had to be the closest I will ever get in experiencing a proper Christmas dinner. Darn, the only thing missing is EGG NOG!!! Anyone with a do-able Egg nog recipe to share?

The turkey was roasted in-house, & this is the crazy host shoving the stuffing into the cavity of the bird.
The charming lady who prepared & craved the lamb graciously cut up our turkey for us too ;o)

fat turkey

It was a pot luck, and everyone came with their BEST dishes! Lucky me ;)

Baked potatoes, cold platter of ham, toasted baguette with creamy homemade salmon mousse, sausages, pear, egg & apple salad.

light platters

Lamb, chicken wings, Chicken & vegetables Quiche, Bacon & mushroom fettuccine & the lovely lovely smooth pumpkin soup!

pasta, pumpkin soup

These beef ribs totally rocks! Utterly delicious & tender, I didn’t mind eating beef for once.
The angel hair marinara, thick mushroom gravy, creamy avocado, prawns & green apples salad were no less appetizing.

ribs, quiche

The sweet endings..fruity egg tarts, DARK chocolate cake, Blackforest & home-baked Panettone.

desserts

Wine, ice cream & cheese.

drinks

BURPPP

Merry Christmas everybody!! ;p

Another Crazy X Mas Party at KY’s !


Many thanks to KY for having me again at his yearly X’ Mas party!

I had an awesome time last year, (read about it HERE!!!) and this year was no exception.
Do hop over to read KY’s full account of this year‘s party (HERE)! ;)

The Venue: KY’s humble abode.
That amazing wall mural was painted by the VERY talented Haze Long of blushberry.blogspot.com.
She does REALLY GREAT blog skins too so if you are bored of your current template & want a customised- truly one of a kind design, drop her an email!

venue

The people: ..that made the event FUN.

the peeps!

The FOOD. (& free flow beers all nite sponsored by Heineken).
Tender lamb (yum yum yum), mango and coconut flakes spring rolls (i kid u not!), chicken in some cream sauce, rich brownies with dates, and HUNDREDS of sticks of satay.

food


The things
we do to keep ourselves amused throughout the night….
..like drinking Absinthe + beer from this contraption courtesy of Terence, the GOD.

activities

The highlight of the party – The gift exchange session, which has always been a merry affair.
Expect some great gifts; like for this year -a set of Banana Republic Cocktail Shaker & Glass, a REALLY cool black, asymmetrical Rubic cube that totally spells ‘Haze Long‘ (she’s a pro at it!!), 2 ‘Tulen’ WarCraft sets, bak kua from Bee Cheng Hiang & some silly laughable ones (a milk box shaped clock that Horng was trying to offload all night..hahaha) and even cheeky ones (adult diapers!). All in the name of fun of course.

KY christmas

The rule of the game is very simple; each person picks a number from the box, and starting from the person with the number 1, he/she chooses a gift from the pile and opens it for all to see.
Whoever that is next is given the alternative of taking another gift from the pile or to “steal” from anyone that was before him/her that has already taken a gift.
The person whose gift is hijacked can then either steal from another, or pick a new gift from the pile.

The popular gifts: 2 boxes of ‘TULEN’ WarCraft, which I ‘hijacked’ off Terence.

warcraft

The Rubic Cube which exchanged ownership like 10 times that night. It eventually deservingly went to Haze, who is probably the only person that could play it anyway. It was damn difficult!

the popular rubic

Elaine (fireangelism.com) was totally ecstatic with her gift of 6 packets of Penang Laksa, kept chilled in a coleman, & was transported back to KL that very day from Penang by Yee Hou. Poor girl was deprived of Laksa for a year because she was in Singapore.

laksa!

I lost the WarCraft games (can’t remember who stole it off me ;p) & in turn went for the cool Banana Republic Cocktail Shaker & Glass set.

banana republic shaker

Naturally, I lost that too, since it was a much much sought after gift that night, so I grabbed the GODIVA hazelnut spread off Tim Tiah!
While I was happily dreaming of Christmas morning brekkie of THICK toast with equally thick GODIVA hazelnut spread, KY kindly burst the bubble & saved me the calories. *wails!!*

I finally managed to hang on to this – & its something I really needed – a laptop sleeve! Woot!!

godiva and the laptop sleeve

As per tradition, the party went on till the wee hours of the morning, with the obligatory police visits, with this year surpassing last’s, since this time I think they came around more than they did last year!
At one point, the police actually came down to speak to KY! And all of us actually cheered when that happened! LOL.

It was great fun meeting with all the bloggers, some who are old friends, some reacquainted ones & some new. I certainly enjoyed the company & here’s to welcoming 2010 in a week’s time!!

Merry Xmas everybody!!

ps: some of the pics credited to KY as I got them off his FB album. Thks KY! ;p



Pork Chee Cheong Fun at Hon Kee Restaurant

Yeah, I know this place is famous for their fish porridge, but being the rebel that I am, I ordered the Pork Chee Cheong Fun instead.

I believe in being different you see (*roll eyes* ;p).

pork ccf

It turned out to be a good choice, not exceptional, mind you, but good nonetheless for the sheer fact that it is PORK curry.
For RM4.90 I thought the dish could do with a bit more pieces of meat but they do give a substantial portion of chee cheong fun.

Anyhow, the rest of the food bloggers that were there; Feeq, Kelvin,and WP ordered the fish porridge and a combo of chinese fried crullers from the stall at the entrance of the shop.

hon kee1

Initially I didn’t want to order any since it was all pre-fried and cold, put on display on the counter for god- knows how long. But it turned out alright, and my favourite is the Chinese Donut, eaten with a sprinkle of icing sugar on top.

Yau Cha Kwai/ You Tiao (Chinese crullers ) @ RM1.00
Ham Chim Peng (plain and with red bean) @ RM1.00
Ham Chim Peng (the one with glutinous rice) @ RM1.00
Mah Kiok
(the one with sesame seeds) @ RM1.00
Siew Hou Jou @ RM1.80 (this was my least favourite, it was hard and crumbly & a bit bland)
Sa Yung (The Chinese Donut) @RM1.50 (My fav! Soft and spongy, it was like a denser version of donut).

hon kee

The famed Fish Porridge @ RM5.50 did not disappoint. A nice big bowl of smooth tasty gruel, served piping hot and fresh.

hon kee2

The ikan haruan (snakehead) is delivered fresh from their trusted supplier every morning and the stringent quality control has ensured Hon Kee of its reputation throughout the years.

The Hon Kee name spans three generations starting from their late grandfather Wong Yu Wah, who got the congee stall going 60 years ago in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.

Hon Kee Logo

Since 1949, don’t play play!

Hon Kee’s outlet at Lot10′s Hutong food hall & Damansara Uptown is managed by Eric and Herbet while Petaling St outlet is managed by their sister.
I am pleased to say that their fish porridge is as good as the one I had in Petaling St. so kudos for the quality control!

The others tried the Chicken & Century Egg porridge as well but I had to rush off for err..another food pig-out with Unka ;)

Anyhow, the soya bean here deserves a mention. It was thick, aromatic & made fresh daily.

From top right… Iced Milo (RM2.50), White Coffee (RM2.50), Chinese Tea (RM0.80) & Soya Bean (RM2.50).

drinks

Thanks again, Mr Eric Wong for the invite! I will definitely be back to try out your new menu!

Address:
No 71, Jalan SS21/1A,
Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya.
Contact
Telephone number: 012-2380362

Website: http://www.honkeeporridge.com/

Same row as the TM Point Uptown, WonderMilk and behind Starbucks.



Ceviche and Mole – authentic Mexican at Frontera, Jaya One

Foodies must be adventurous.

And adventurous foodies must try the Mexican Mole.

Take for instance; myself.
I first heard of this intriguing chocolate chilli sauce during this makan – makan gathering we had in Frontera. On the same night, Kevin, a very fussy fellow foodie, fueled the discussion by gushing non-stop of their ceviche.

And so that’s it. A re-visit was immediately planned.
Everyone’s excited. Everyone asked to be included.

But it took months before the re-visit materialized. Ah well, as expected it was difficult to get everyone together, yaydaydda…

Anyways, months months months later, we finally made it.
It was one balmy evening, & we sat in Frontera at Jaya One, and waited impatiently for our ceviche to be served.

shrimp ceviche

AND THIS WAS DARN WORTH THE SUBSEQUENT VISIT!

According to Wikipedia; Ceviche (also spelled as cebiche or seviche) is a citrus-marinated seafood (fish, clams, octopus, shrimps, squids are commonly used) dish originating from the coast of Peru.

Here in Frontera, our Ceviche used raw FRESH prawns which were cubed and left to sit in citrus juices all day. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured, which is like the effect of “cooking” the seafood without heat.
At the serving hour, it was tossed with fresh cubes of tomatoes, onions and cilantro leaves.

ceviche

(pretty much as per what I read – source: Wikipedia)
“I
n Mexico and other parts of Central America, it is served in cocktail cups with crackers, or as a tostada topping and taco filling. Shrimp, octopus, squid, tuna, and mackerel are popular bases for Mexican ceviche. The marinade ingredients include salt, lime, onion, chile, avocado, and coriander (known as cilantro in the Americas). Tomatoes are often added to the preparation”.

Our shrimps were cooked just to the right degree ( nice & springy), while maintaining some form of rawness within (its flesh still streaked with some blui-sh tinge).
This was a wondrously delightful perk-me up appetizer, with each cubed shrimp imbued with the sour refreshing tang of lime & absolutely addictive eaten with the crunchy nachos.
Sweet, sour and spicy at the same time, it was such a pleasant juxtapose of flavours!

Mole

Making mole is not for the timid. It requires a commitment to authentic ingredients as well as a commitment to following each step precisely and without taking any shortcuts.
With such a robust-multilayered flavoured sauce, the chicken breast was kept plain and simple. Each bite allows you to savour the complexities of the sauce and I gave up trying to pinpoint exactly the words to use to describe it after while!

Apparently, there are many versions of mole, and the one we sampled that night was one of the popular kinds from the Mexican states of Puebla, called mole Poblano.

Now, like I said, it is really hard for me to describe this choco – chilli sauce. The slight bitterness from the chocolate, which is discernible more as an aftertaste rather than a main flavour in this paste-like sauce, compliments & adds character to the dish.
I find it salty, & not as spicy as one would have assumed although mole is a made from a variety of chilies, onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, sesame seeds, several types of nuts.

This last dish was an expected addition.
Tender Mesquite Grilled Chicken Breast with San Antorio – style Cilantro Cream. RM26.95.

Chic with cilantro sauce

This dish was actually complimentary of Frontera’s gracious owner, Larry.
I had to admit, the mole really got to me.
The complex juxtaposition of tastes and flavours was really weird & I was scraping the mole paste sauce off my chicken breast so I could eat it plain!
Larry noticed, shook his head and said “I know what you Asians would like. Our cilantro sauce would fit the bill nicely. Would you like to switch?”

I hastily agreed. Why not, I thought. I get to try another sauce. And seriously the mole didn’t catch my fancy.
So my mole was sent back into the kitchen & I expected the staff to just add another ladleful of cilantro sauce to the dish. After all, I have eaten half of it.
But no, Larry graciously swapped my mole, with a full dish of his San Antorio – style Cilantro Cream chicken. That was certainly unexpected!

Anyhow, the San Antorio – style Cilantro fared slightly better for me, though again I find the sauce a bit strong, and salty.

But hey, it was one helluva experience that all foodies should attempt and Larry did let out that Frontera is revamping its menu so expect new dishes & more authentic Mexican offerings.
Now, anyone for a trip to Frontera again?

Frontera requires an advanced booking of min 3 days ahead (barring unforeseen circumstances & availability of ingredients) so give Larry a call if you are game to sample the mole (RM35) & Ceviche (RM38).

Frontera Bar & Grill
18-8-2, Block L, Palm Square, Jaya One
72A, Jalan Universiti, PJ.

03-7958 8515.