Monday, October 29, 2012

L'Ardoise Restaurant @ Paris

horrible french restaurant

It was a restaurant highly recommended by a friend that turned out terribly wrong.

It was meant to be a meaningful New Year's Eve dinner. I was in France, and of all places, Paris. 

A fine dining experience was to be expected. And L'Ardoise was strongly suggested; and soon it would be added to my list of series of unfortunate events in France. 

This was a long time ago, and my first lesson to French fine dining: always reserve before arrival. First rule of thumb to the start of any good dining experience, always call up to reserve a table, and always ask for the best table. With the best view, in a quiet corner, avoid seating close to the toilet or entrance. 

In this case, I called to reserve, but didn't inquire about a table. In Malaysia, it is fine to assume when you call up to reserve early, the restaurant manager will automatically assign you to the best table, or a reasonable one; but in France, if you don't ask for it, you get a table, but you don't get guaranteed a good one, and in most cases, you will be allocated to one of the worse tables in the house. As you've guessed, I was seated terribly close to the entrance. 

Upon entrance, I was asked to sit down immediately, and was served an amuse bouche (basically a pre-appertizer, usually comes in bite-size serving). I assumed it was complimentary since we weren't given any menu. So I ate it. And then looked through the drinks menu while waiting for the food menu. It didn't come. So I asked for it. 

To my utter surprise, the waitress told us we have already been served first course of that evening's set menu. And it cost 80 euro each. That was more than RM700 at that time. And we weren't even given a choice! Neither were we informed about the fix set menu info on NYE's dinner, since we read up all the reviews and knew what we wanted to order that night. 

We could have walked out, but it was NYE and we didn't know where else to go and we felt bad for having eaten the first course, thought now that I think back, we SHOULD have walked out. But in my defense, that was not knowing what we would be expecting next. 

Food came. First, second, third, fourth courses. Appertizers were good, first main and second main, bad and worse. 

pea soup and salmon tartar
some bisque soup that was decent

scallop dish
by now we were impressed because scallops and sauce were great. 

pot of foie gras

This was when things go downhill, the foie gras that came in a jar was tasteless, possibly because it was steamed and there's the taste of lard and fat and well.. nothing else. It was one of the worst foie gras I've ever put in my mouth. 

foie gras

dry chicken

chocolate tart
Really good dessert, perhaps the only thing the French can never do wrong; apart from good appetizers, the French can really do excellent dessert. 

When the main course chicken (before the dessert) arrived, it was too much to bear. The chicken was SO DRY and TOUGH it was impossible to even chew and swallow. We complained this to the waitress, to which she just shrugged and said: " well we can't do anything about it."


"Well, if you could head in and inform the chef, that's all we want" we said. Which was true. We weren't looking for any compensation, but if the food's bad, I think it's the customer right to voice it out, and an opportunity for the chef to improve.

"Okay I will do that but we can't do anything about it" said waitress.

WTF x2 ?!

Few minutes, she walked out from the kitchen.

"The chef said he cannot do anything about it." she said. 

Effing serious? Are you running a restaurant? Are you qualified to even be in the service line? 

And then we realized the senior French couple sitting next to me were having something we're not. They were having a la carte food! (with wine) Did we just got conned into having the set menu?

Furthermore, what's with the horrible service attitude? Well, apparently it's extremely rude to complain that the chef's food is horrible in France. I suppose it's also the best response to tell their customers there were nothing they could do about it. Viva la France, indeed.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Elephant Thai Restaurant @ Hartamas

my elephant thai restaurant

Decided to have something spicy one night and ended up in My Elephant in Sri Hartamas at 930pm. Great thing was that they opened till 10pm that night (called to check) and it was one of the few proper sit-in restaurants that's opened so late.

Between the two of us, we ordered a seafood tom yum gung, BBQ chicken with lemon grass and some tomato based fried tofu.

my elephant thai restaurant
The tom yum soup was a bowl big enough to share among four people. Or two spicy-loving people with no other dishes.

We couldn't handle our spicy food well so this was a challenge despite ordering it 'mild'. Credits to the freshness of their seafood and well booked it is in the soup.

my elephant thai restaurant

my elephant thai restaurant

Most of their food are heavily herb-ed so one might get the illusion of a big servings; in truth the food are politely portioned so feel free to order more varieties even if you come in a small group of two.

my elephant thai restaurant

my elephant thai restaurant
My Elephant only serves brown rice for their patrons. It makes you feel a little (just a little) better about having a healthier choice for food.

We were panting from spiciness by the end of the meal and I had to take-away the leftover tom yum so I could dilute it and recook the next day for lunch (nothing beats left-over food seriously). The bill came up to about RM80+ for both of us which was very reasonable.

I would recommend this restaurant for Thai (or spicy) food lovers.

my elephant thai restaurant

My Elephant Thai Restaurant
20-2 Jalan Sri Hartamas 8
Taman Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6201 0649

Section 17 branch: 
Block C-G4 Happy Mansion
Jalan 17/13 Section 17
46400 Selangor.
Tel: +6010 220 1283

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Aromatic Duck London

blogged about this before here.

london aromatic duck

Can't remember which restaurant I had this in, but it was one of the famous ones in Chinatown, London.

And I have to be really bold to say this but I think that London has THE best duck in the world. From their roast duck to aromatic duck; which frankly, the latter was created in London as a replacement of the dish peking duck to serve to the local Chinese immigrants in the past; because it was such a waste to just eat the crispy skin when you can have the whole duck, shredded up and wrapped in thin pancakes with hoisin sauce and shallots. Yum.

aromatic duck

In a way, you could say that the most authentic aromatic duck in the world is, actually, in London.

Among other things we ordered that night.

tong po meat
exorbitantly expensive 'tong po' meat.

fried mantis prawns
exorbitantly expensive oat deep fried mantis prawns.

Monday, October 15, 2012

English Steak Pie with Mash and Peas

steak pie and mash

One of the most staple food in England; the English Pie.

Usually with mince meat, or chunks of beef, or chunks of beef/steak with liver.

It's a whole lot of goodness and it's one of those feel-good finally-I'm-back-in-England meals I must have whenever I visit the UK.

steak pie and mash london

The gravy, the awesome peas (would have been bleh~ if served in another country, but then I'm biased lol); It's all perfect. Best ordered in an English pub.

steak pie and mash and peas

What's your favourite English dish?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

London Marks and Spencer

I do love Marks and Spencer in England.

marks and spencer wine section

Hellooooo alcohol...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bird Nest Soup

Bird Nest Soup = Motherly Love.

It was a hot afternoon in Melaka as I sat watching my mom, with her reading glasses, hand-picked tiny feathers out of the soaked bird nest from bowl to bowl.

I should have helped, but it was too hot, and it was too surreal a moment just to sit there and stare.

It's one of those extremely previous moment you know you will never be to buy back no matter how much money you have. The snapshots of those moments burnt deep into my mind. There was so much love, so much care, so cautious and so gentle.



I think this would be the beginning of my addiction to bird nest soup. And I will never get sick of it, even if it meant I have to drink those horrible tasting herbal things she ever now and then likes to put in soup, it's bitter but I drank every sip of it. Because I've never tasted anything more amazing than this. I want to be able to drink this forever.


Although she did promise to make a more pleasant, minus the herbal ginseng thing (whatever it's called), bird best with red dates and honey for me this weekend. Looking all forward to it.


Best mom in the world. Period. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ciao Ristorante @ Off Jalan Tun Razak

Ciao Italian Restaurant

Visited Ciao Ristorante for dinner during my imprisonment at the model search, it was one of those nights that we had off, rare nights those were.

Ciao claims to serve authentic Italian food in KL and said to be the oldest Italian restaurant in KL.

Ciao Italian Restaurant

Which was a surprising fact for me since it was my first visit to Ciao; but upon arrival I was taken in by the no-pretense ambiance here. It's tastefully furnished and decorated that it provides its patrons a relaxed no fuss semi fine-dining experience. One could come here in T-shirts or an evening gown and would fit right in immediately.

Ciao Italian Restaurant

We ordered two dishes, one was a spinach ravioli Ravioli di Spinaci alla Caruso which my dining partner swore by. Generous amount of buffalo mozzarella with eggplant, basil pesto and tomato cooked with spinach and ricotta-filled freshly made ravioli.

Ciao Italian Restaurant

Honestly, I haven't had good ravioli for a long time and Ciao did this really well. It was cooked perfectly, not al dente as I usually find that too 'raw' for my liking, this was cooked slightly longer that gave off a softer texture. just my style, and I had a knack that they've fine-tuned the recipe to suit Malaysian taste after all these years of operating. No complains there.

I had the seafood platter Grigliata di Pesce that came with whole lots of salad, very fresh and very healthy, just what I needed as I was watching my weight.

Ciao Italian Restaurant

It was surprisingly fresh seafood to be served in an Italian restaurant that's not operating by a coast.

We also ordered a side dish of fried calamari, fried to perfection and rather fresh squid, which was a joy to have.

Ciao Italian Restaurant

And ended it with a molten lava chocolate cake for dessert.

Ciao Italian Restaurant

Ciao Italian Restaurant

It was a simple typical dessert and they perfected the recipe. I was more blown away by the rich creamy homemade vanilla ice cream on meringue while my dining partner declared he absolutely loved the molten lava cake.

Ciao Italian Restaurant

Food here are not fancy, but they're good. And very reasonably priced at 20-40 per dish on average. My platter was at a higher range of RM62, which was still reasonable for a dish with king prawns and scallops.

Ciao Ristorante
No. 20A, Jalan Kampung Pandan,
off Jalan Tun Razak,
55100, Kuala Lumpur

Mon - Fri : 12.00 pm to 02.30 pm (Lunch), 06.00 pm to 11.00 pm (Dinner)
Sat - Sun : 06.00 pm to 11.00 pm (Dinner only)
Tel : 603-9285 4827

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ikkousha Ramen @ Bugis+ Singapore

During my short modelling trip to Singapore, I made it to Bugis+ mall on the free evening we had to try out the famous Ikkousha Ramen, URC (Ultimate Ramen Championship) of 2011, being Singapore's best selling ramen last year.

100,531 bowls, to be exact.

ikkousha ramen
Special Ramen, $16.50 (sing dollar)

Famous of their Hakata-style thin ramen, which I love, blanched exactly 15 seconds only, Ikkousha ramen has amazing broth. Very rich pork flavor without the pungent taste. Their ajitama (flavored egg) has good accurate runny yolk but I still prefer's Marutama's soy-salty darker appearance eggs, which were more flavorful given the extra savory taste.

The pork slices were generous and very big in portion; thin, but big. But they lack fat in them which resulted in a tougher texture. I like my 'char siew' fattier and softer.

ikkousha ramen
Spicy TAKANA Ramen, $15.50

The spicy version doesn't have the eggs and with only one slice of pork but given the extra chili flakes, which provided oomph to the broth. You can order add-ons of the eggs and pork.

Ordered Gyoza which was a tad oily and mediocre. No photo.

Verdict: love the broth, the noodles, not so much the pork slices and eggs.

ikkousha ramen

located inside Ramen Champion
201 Victora Street, BUGIS+ (formerly ILUMA)
in BUGIS, #04-10
Tel: 6238 1011
Opening hours: daily 11:30 am to 10:30 pm

Ramen Champion
Changi Airport T3
Tel: 6214 2958
Opening hours: daily 11:30 am to 10:30 pm

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cadbury Highlights Milk Chocolate

A friend got me this years ago from Brunei knowing I was a fan of anything chocolate.


I didn't know why but I kept it in my cupboard and has since moved between two homes before settling down in my current place. And now that I've started to be more conscious of what I eat, there would be times where I'd rather a cuppa of simple chocolate drink instead of a full on meal.

But this came in just handy because it doesn't require mixing the powder in milk, instead just add hot water to it and it will taste great.

Having a cup of imported Cadbury ice chocolate my friend got for me from Brunei in air-conditioned room. Love it!  #snug #cozy #dessert with #starbucks mug

I had it with three teaspoonful of the cocoa powder mix (and additional tsp for good measure) with hot water and added lots of ice to it. Since it's Malaysia and I usually prefer my chocolate drink cold than hot here.

Each serving (3 tsp) is only 40 calories, 3g of sugars, 1.4g of fat, with sweeteners of course. Which was an incredibly good replace for old fashion chocolate drink that comes heavy with full cream milk.

It's the perfect and best low calorie chocolate drink I've had so far.

starbucks mug

Imported from the UK and suitable for vegetarians.
Guess I'll be hoping by an expat-friendly supermarket soon to scout for more of this. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tomato Juice Tastes Nicer in the Sky

A research German airline Lufthansa showed that people prefer tomato juice more when they fly than they would on ground.

Reason to this is that our sense of taste varies with pressure. In higher altitude where there's lower pressure, tomato juice taste sweeter than in normal ground pressure.

No wonder tomato juice tasted sweeter the last time I visited England than the musky taste here in Malaysia.

The next time I fly, I'm going to order myself a glass of tomato juice.

Article Source.

Unreal Candy

If candy won't get you to click on the video, Gisele Bundchen will. ;)

The coolest thing on earth.

I want one so bad. I don't care if I have to pay more to get it. It sounds too good to be true, it's unreal! lol
And it taste better than Reese and M&M's? Get outta here!

See the nutritional facts on

Article Source.