fatbaby ice cream

we met sometime mid-last year in the most unassuming way.  
it was a sunday morning, over one of my favorite meals - brunch.
i think it was bbc that introduced us. it caught me by surprise.

then our paths crossed again at publika's weekend bazaar, unexpected.
just a taste - it remained in my mind for a long time. 

fast forward several months, we had a brief encounter after work.
and it was beautiful. 

and finally just a few weeks ago, we reunited at ss15 subang jaya. 
over two scoops of ice cream, we got to know each other a little better. 

you're my kind of sinful delight, fatbaby ice cream

the second part of #thehunt: ice cream edition.

an intriguing name. weekends are a whole lot yummier and cooler as fatbaby ice cream scoop shop becomes the yummylicious haven for #iscreamforicecream hashtaggers.

its walls of pastel blue and white were the backdrop against the cheerful splash of colors from the many canvases of memorable ice cream quotes. the decor sung hints of vintage diner against the minimalist yet whimsical elegance of marble countertops and the white tiled back wall. it was a weird combination that oddly somehow, somewhat worked. 

opened only on the weekends + friday, the weekdays are dedicated to churn out the many different flavors that are varied every week. fatbaby ice cream begun by making their little pots of ice cream available at several cafes/restaurants but the flavors are limited to a few. 

spoiled for choice, these interestingly named flavors may put a semi-frown on the face, mildly contorted in confusion but what comes after can turn that frown upside down. THE best part, free tasting to find that one that tickles your tastebuds and makes your belly happy. 

basically, the modus operandi :: choose cup/waffle + # of scoops - flavor profiling - taste exploring - picking out favorite - order & pay - take your table tent to your seat - wait.  

recounting my first engagement with fatbaby wasn't at the scoop shop but in the bbc waffle at standing theory - cornflakes ice cream

"we’ve all done it, soaked our cornflakes in the milk to get that slightly smoky milk flavour – that flavor is, what we believe, the best bit of eating cereal in the morning. this ice cream captures that and we’ve even added clusters of cornflakes caramelised with honey to boot. truly a breakfast of champions in our books!"

the cornflakes ice cream even managed to stand out with and enhance the crowd of ingredients that make up the brunch of champions. think frosted flakes in very cold milk. the creamy ice cream with milky's mild sweetness echoed by the honey sweetness to contrast the still-crunchy-how-do-they-do-it cornflakes. it was so mind boggling, it made an impression.

little pots of ice cream :: salted caramel  | "smooth salted caramel ice cream laced with rich salted caramel swirls. a winning combination that will have you licking the spoon bowl and tub clean!"

if you know me well, the marriage of sweet and salty makes my knees go weak and the world go round. and an excellent salted caramel is one of the epitomes of that contrasting yet complementary combination. the good news is fatbaby ice cream does it justice capitalizing on the balanced ratio of saltiness against the sweetness. the creamy base, just sweet enough and the occasional surprise from the unexpected saltiness was enough to secure a spot on my favorites list.

the bad news: price varies with the cafes that carry them. 

ice cream :: double scoop (rm 13)

despite the many different flavors up for grabs. i ended up sticking with the classics. of course, salted caramel was a natural choice, and the other. chocolate took the scoop.

"not for the faint hearted, this is our intense take on chocolate ice cream. made using 70% cocoa, this ice cream is deep, dark and deliciously smooth"

70% cocoa. definitely my kind of chocolate. not cloyingly sweet, the dark richness was prominent with its decadence but shy with bitterness as the cold, creamy ice cream melts on the tongue with every spoonful. 

i am ashamed to admit i finished the double scoop all by myself. but it was just so good.

waffles :: single scoop waffle (rm 12)

their version of an updated banana split + waffle.

the warm waffle cushioned to the melting ice cream, topped with the sliced bananas and finished with drizzle of salted caramel. {mh} seemed to be contended with the waffle choice with the apple crumble ice cream.

"a slice of apple crumble with ice cream? a-may-zing!. what's even better? apple crumble ice cream! that's right, each scoopful has chunks of tart granny smith apples interspersed with home made buttery crumble and laced with ice cream"

she liked how it reminded her of apple crumble and the fact that it was ice cream. after reading mixed reviews on the apple crumble flavor, some may have forgotten that it is ice cream laced with crumble and diced apples and not vice versa. i had a small bite - moderate sweetness but i would have preferred a tad more apple tartness but i could definitely detect the crumble.

{wj} had the same only with white choc-raspberry ice cream.
he was less of a fan of the main star - the flavors were a little muted and it wasn't as creamy as he would have liked it. but he enjoyed the waffles, which had a sliver of sweetness in the crispy yet soft textures.

fatbaby ice cream starts with honest to goodness ingredients with passion evident in their handmade and handpacked ice cream. if you want to share a little of the love, you can find liquid gold (a.k.a salted caramel) in jars and ice creams in the pints (rm 28) for sale.

thus, 'twas the tale where the little encounters + delicious promises that led to my emotional attachment to the fatbaby ice cream - growing from intrigue to surprise and from like to love.

fatbaby ice cream | location
47, jalan ss 15/4b
subang jaya
{opens fridays & saturdays: 2pm to 10 pm;
sundays: 2pm to 8pm}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

tim ho wan, KL

the unforgettable meal of my #siansEATShongkong 2014 series.

when that very same cheapest michelin guide restaurant from hong kong steamed its way into the local food scene and found its first home in mid valley, there was only one thing in my mind. 

-- a dining encore!

for the food, yes! 
for the queue -  negatory. 

the first few weeks months of kl's tim ho wan's opening last november, the lines were ridiculous!

perhaps it was novelty. some probably wanted a piece of hong kong's pride. others may have the same idea that i had - we needed to relive the moment when we sunk our teeth into our first siu mai and cheung fun. it was a love at first bite.

we reconnected with our ol' dim sum love only months later after its opening, when the line of pursuers had diminished. even so, we still had to wait for about 20 minutes in line before we were seated in the dining space where the ceilings were fringed tastefully by the mini bamboo steamers. in similar fashion to its original shop, the table arrangement optimized the space with perhaps a little more breathing space. 

to expedite the turnover rate at this restaurant, we placed our orders on the order sheet while waiting in line and immediately had our order placed as we took our seats. i was tempted to reorder what we had in hong kong to have a taste comparison but figured it would be awesome to try a few of tim ho wan's big four heavenly king dim sum. 

p.s. our visit was prior april so the prices may vary.

congee :: congee with lean pork, century egg & salted egg (rm 9.80)

with similar quality of porridge as the ones in hong kong with its smooth textures, it was filled with  dices of century egg and salted egg but small dices of the moist and tender lean pork. the congee was seasoned sufficiently. the century egg was good but not better than the one from wong chi kei while the salted egg had imparted most of the flavor into the congee. 

it was probably our favorite pick of our dim sum brunching, served not too hot nor too cold. it was just nice. ;)

steamed :: pork dumpling with shrimp (rm 10.80)

'twas the moment of truth. the siu mai dumplings. 
how would thee compare to its hong kong counterpart. the original.

succulent and moist pork and a piece of fresh shrimp encased in a yellow dumpling skin. the makings of these bite-sized morsels begin with the same ingredients but the end results does not seem to have the same wow factor as the one i had in hong kong. it was lacking something that i can't pinpoint exactly but it might have been missing that umami flavor. and the shrimp seemed to have overwhelmed the flavor profile. 

vermicelli roll :: vermicelli roll with shrimp (rm 12.80)

not as smooth as the its taste comparison counterpart, the roll was thicker than i'd like. once again the fresh shrimp flavor was prominent against the slightly sweetened soy sauce. 

however what stood out more that chinese chive garlicky flavor that left an aftertaste and overtook the taste senses and not quite in the good way. overall, a little bit of a letdown in terms of the overall flavor balance. 

the big 4 heavenly kings :: baked bun with bbq pork (rm 10.80)

the famed bbq pork buns that we missed previously had left me with crumb of rue not having to try it.      it was served still warm, freshly baked. it was slightly unconventional from the normal bbq pork bun; it was as if polo bau and bbq pork bun got together and gave birth to this famous favorite from tim ho wan. in fact it is the first item on their menu item. 

this baby had all the right genes from its parents - texturally it had the crispy sugary top that was reminiscent of the pineapple bun where it encased the chewy bun, a bit hollow and finally the steaming, sweetened bbq pork. i wished it had more of the meat to give a better meat to bread ratio. perhaps it is to alleviate the sweetness that eventually became too much for me. however, i liked the warm filling against the crispy bun.  the play of texture was really nice. 

dessert :: tonic medlar & osmanthus cake (rm 6.80)

a jelly dessert that my friend recommended as a must try.  osmanthus petals are suspended in cooled, golden colored jelly with mild sweetness and occasional hits of herbaceous fragrance. the goji berry lend some additional sweetness  to the cake and chewiness.  the osmanthus flowers are said to aid digestions while goji berry are packed with antioxidants and vitamin a. it was an acquired taste for some flavor wise; {mh} wasn't too fond of this dessert. 

kl's tim ho wan started off as a hunt for a satisfying encore but fell short of my expectations. i have to be honest here, the bar has been set really high and so were my expectations. don't get me wrong, the dim sums were fresh and cooked well but it didn't quite replicate my dining experience in hong kong. perhaps you may be able to find really nice local dim sum places for a cheaper price tag too. however, you should probably try it out on your own to form your own opinion about hong kong's most famous dim sum restaurant. 

update :: there is a new branch opened in one utama since april 2015. 

tim ho wan, kl | location
unit 27-g, the boulevard
mid valley city,
lingkaran syed putra,
59200 kuala lumpur
{opens weekdays : 10 am to 10 pm;
opens weekends : 9 am - 10 pm}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

fatto a mano

when i first read the name of this cafe/restaurant, two things.
it was italian.
does it mean  fat man

to me, it made sense as a name of a restaurant. perhaps the food was so good, it would make the diners into fat men, or perhaps its food is prepared by a fat man/chef.

either way, they both imply great food. 

that was BEFORE i checked the internet. 

post-internet search, i was right about 50%.  on the flip side, i also realized that had really bad grasp of the italian language. 

fatto a mano means handmade in italian. 

it is the name of a relatively new casual italian restaurant/cafe in telawi, bangsar started by the very same team behind yeast bistronomyone of my favorite brunch places in kl. in fact, fatto a mano was located next to its sister restaurant. 

paying homage to its roots, the decor took on minimalist with a hint of industrial chic and a lot of cozy. i especially love the use of pattern floor tiles around the wooden counter against the white brick walls. the occasional stripes of the italian flag colors of green, red and white highlighted its identity.

we sat at the counter just so we didn't have to wait for too long for a table. to be honest, i had a smidgen of expectations for its food because of my love for yeast bistronomy. in fact, i craved to try it out as soon as i found of its existence. could this cafe become one of my favorite brunch places?

pizette :: prosciutto | prosciutto crudo. mozzarella. arugula (rm 24)

i have been craving for yummy shavings of cured meats especially good quality dry cured ham, thinly sliced, served uncooked typically as antipasto. its name is prosciutto crudo. add a healthy amount of mozzarella for mild flavored cheesy goodness, which is pretty much some of the staples of the italian cuisine. 

the pizza crust was thin and toasty attributing to its crispy texture. a couple handfuls of melted cheese atop the tomato sauce that i'd preferred bit more herbs to add another flavor dimension. the prosciutto had a smoky, prominent cured flavor with a hint of fat that could be too salty if eaten on its own but worked well to season the pizza. even so, i could have done with a few more slices of prosciutto for a better meat to bread to cheese ratio. the very little amounts of arugula (some semi-wilted) felt amiss and its significance was quickly noticed to give the much needed herbaceous peppery punch to offer a different facet of flavor into the equation. in other words, more arugula would have been better since the flavors became a tad monotonous, as i worked on my second slice.

eggs :: contadino | peasant breakfast casserole - 2 eggs over potatoes, onions, spinach & pancetta (rm 22)

brunch has always been one of {mh}'s favorite meals of the day, which meant contadino seemed completely up her alley. the meal was as described plus a piece of bread and nothing more. i suppose the only italian element is pancetta and that is really just bacon, unsmoked. the meal itself was just what it was, not particularly thrilling nor special but what stood out was really the bread. oh remember to request how the eggs are done.

desserts :: tiramisu with amaretto (rm15)

i am a sucker for good tiramisu. and i was dying to find one that was done deliciously right. 

it was actually between this and the fried zeppole but it was an easy pick when i saw the chocolate sauce is combined with candied orange. chocolate and orange - just not a huge fan of it.

first, they placed a spoon each since we were sharing. then came an empty plate much to our confusion and seconds later, the waitstaff came out with a enormous glass bowl of tiramisu where layers of cheese and cake were visibly stacked lovingly on each other. two scoopfuls onto the empty plate, sprinkled with a few shakes of cacao powder.

and voila! buon appetito!

soft and mild cheesy creaminess layered with the melt-in-your-mouth ladyfingers biscuits. the tiramisu was pretty good, flavor-wise and probably is one of the best in the town but it could have used an extra espresso punch to accentuate the mild sweetness of the cake. i would have probably preferred a more solid texture too. not the best i've ever had but it was still a pretty delightful treat.

fatto a mano uses some great, quality ingredients for the beginnings of some of italian classics we know well and love. perhaps it was the expectations that i unconsciously pegged onto my dining experience at this casual italian cafe, there were some lackluster points in the execution that calls for improvement but overall not a bad experience.

fatto a mano | location
22 jalan telawi 2,
bansgar baru
59100 kuala lumpur
{opens wednesdays to mondays: 8 am to 10 pm}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.