9:01 AM sians 1 Comments

it is very natural to want to fit in.

in fact, garage51 seemed to have taken the notion of fitting in the neighborhood to another level - down to its very name. :)

located in bandar sunway, this cafe under coffee societe's repertoire, drew whimsy decor inspiration from its car workshops/garages neighbors. hence, the name garage and 51 is simply the building number. 

firstly, finding a parking space here is almost just as bad as trying to find a parking spot in midvalley on the weekends :: CHALLENGINGLY DIFFICULT just like finding one of the golden tickets to willy wonka's factory. i'd say it's a good idea to bring a leprechaun or a rabbit's foot with you for luck or simply have a ton of patience.

the line out the door and extensive waiting list as we requested for a table for two, confirmed the cafe's popularity. the space was petite with a quarter of a second floor to accommodate more tables. the hues were kept to the basic black & white, echo-ing the whimsical industrial approach with its smooth concrete floor, while being the ideal background for some bright colored oil barrels, converted into seats. these were complimented by the rustic tables and metal chairs.

the queue was long and we were starving, {owy} and i settled on sitting at the outdoor "patio" while putting our name down for a table inside for perhaps a dessert & coffee after our main meal.

brunch is almost always synonymous to a cup of caffeine-rich coffee...

well, at least for me.

and with publika's coffee societe's grabbing the coveted award by time out kl for the best place for coffee 2o13 and my love for coffee, i had to get me one of those.

white coffee :: latte (rm 8.9o)

soy latte - my usual go-to cuppa joe for new cafes to confirm the skills of the barista.

the good: a perfect ratio of foam to coffee for latte.

the lacking: unfortunately, the espresso was overbrewed, leaving an unpleasant bitter aftertaste and dominating my palate that i was completely distracted, followed by distraught that i didn't notice the other elements of milk and temperature of the drink. the coffee beans were so blatantly over brewed, noticeable via observation when i compared my glass of late to {owy}'s regular latte - the shade of my latte closely resembled a mocha instead.

oh, the inconsistencies :/

to be fair, {owy}'s latte displayed a better balance of bitterness mellowed by the creaminess of the milk. however, not enough to displace my top favorite from its pedestal.

weekend's brunch :: roll-with-a-hole | smashed avocado on bagel with salsa, sliced salmon, cream cheese (rm 18)

bagel has always been one of my favorite options for breakfast/brunch. good bagels are hard to come by even in united states, and what more in malaysia. add my fondness for raw, sliced salmon coupled with creamy mashed avocado - and bam! there you have it, a must-have breakfast (i mean, for me)

the bagel was somewhat fresh with a nice chewy softness but surprisingly the upper half displayed a different texture that was a tad dense. a thin slather of cream cheese spread (wished for slightly more) to impart a creamy tanginess to counter the sweetness of the diced tomatoes, and the mild saltiness of the thin, raw salmon slices. the dish worked as a whole but a few more slices of the salmon would have bring a balanced ratio of fish to bagel.

the side salad was a mix of greens and cherry tomatoes tossed in a garlic-y sweet vinaigrette which did not connect with the flavors the bagel had to offer. 

tldr: the dish as a whole was okay.
room for improvement: a better salmon/avocado/tomato ratio to bagel and perhaps a pinch of salt. 

weekend's brunch :: kipferl jr | croissant with egg mayo (rm 12)

{owy} was craving for buttery and flaky croissant. i had a bite of the egg mayo and was taken aback by the taste. two words: mayo overload!

the mayo was overused that it felt it was mayo with a side of smashed eggs combined together. mayo was all i could taste and the richness of the mayo becomes too much very quickly. not something either {owy} or myself would order again.

we were finally offered a seat inside the cafe several minutes after we were done with our meal. service was good, considering the crowd for the weekend brunch rush and despite the waiting list of diners, we were not asked to pay our bill and leave although we were just hanging out for a catching up session over two glasses of water. a big kudos for that.

even so, garage 51 has left us a little disappointed with the food and my coffee (well, {owy}'s latte was miles better than mine) considering the trouble we took with the parking. in fact, this experience has left me wondering if i'd return for a second visit anytime soon

garage 51 | location
no 51, jalan pjs 11/9, 
bandar sunway
4165o selangor

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


foodie love :: 2o14 food projects

9:08 AM sians 1 Comments

sians's food projects for 2o14
objective :: to become a better foodie than before :)
i've decided to start a food journal, my personal accounts of my food journey this year.
 { project one }

at least one new recipe a month attempted, 
what i hope will be an effective avenue to learn new techniques and nuances of flavors :)
so far i have embarked on making claypot chicken rice, which will soon be a new blog entry. 
maybe now i will try cooking up some delicious dishes from my newly bought recipe books
from my favorite iron chef america, michael symon

 { project two }

the continuation of my yearly project as a foodie :) 
and with much yummy (not hopefully not many of the not-so-tasty) pleasure. 

  more than just restaurants 
(which btw i am more than open to hear from you all your favorite restaurants that i will look forward to try as always - so please share your favorites by leaving comments or dropping me an email :D), 
{owy} has recruited me to explore the list of 2o must try coffee places in kl with her 
in her search for the ideal spot for her weekend afternoon reads. 

and that would only lead to one thing - my notes from my visits! :)

 { project three }

my long overdue read by my favorite food critic.  this has to be completed by mid year!

i am stoked and really excited to learn about food, cooking and eating from his perspective,
i truly admire his ways. :)

i may have a couple more projects in mind but
since the 'lack-of-time' might get in the way so i am saving it for the near future :D
one of which was to start on my 'the professional chef' -

the food bible that i have coveted for ages and finally have it on my shelf.
can't wait to soak in all the knowledge the book has to offer.

alright! need to get myself off my butt and get started with the project.
"determination, please don't fail me now!!"

i hope you will join me in my gastronomic journey via my entries
 as i embark into the discovery of new flavors and combinations 
to feed my cravings, inner satisfaction and passion.

and of course, my belly! :D
go forth and savor on.. :) happy yummy-eating!

p.s. i would love to hear from you via comments/emails for any suggestions in food places/recipes if you love to share em with me 

p.p.s: restaurant review entries are coming up soon! i have a couple in mind and also my claypot chicken rice food log :D


top eats of 2o13

7:56 AM sians 0 Comments

to pick candidates for top eats every year has been a herculean feat.

there were a lot of the food i've had in the past 365 days that were delicious but those that made it to the list possessed a special greatness about it that it made a lasting impression in my mind and deserved a noteworthy mention.  similar to past years, the list is in no particular order. 

one :: cafe komugi's half baked cheese aka "hanjuku cheese"

one of the most memorable dessert finds from the japanese patisserie called cafe komugi. the original flavored hanjuku cheese has earned its rightful place as one of the best desserts i've ever had and it's all thanks to the genius pastry chef - chef furuta yoshikatsu {古田 圭克}. 

cool. light. airy. creamy. fluffy. soft. melt-in-your-mouth. honey-like end note. a few adjectives that i can think best describes what is perceived as a simple dessert but is indeed an intricate and lovely play on flavors that would leave me all fuzzy and satisfied with every bite.

two :: kitchen table supper club's chilled cucumber soup

i think that the cooks behind this bowl of yummy goodness may have some super powers when every spoonful presented a surprise of different combination of flavors that complimented each other and worked so well with the coolness of the slightly tart soup. the flavor combination acquaints itself nicely with the four taste senses of salty, sweet, sour and bitter at different proportions in a good way. excellent balance with the creaminess from the greek yoghurt, the crisp freshness of the cucumber, tartness of the sherry vinegar and sweetness of the corn with mild bitterness of the fresh herbs that ends with mild spicy notes.

 the proof lies in the empty bowl, just shy of being licked clean at the end of the course.

three :: acme bar & coffee's coco truffle tea from tea forte

if you remembered from 2nd to last post that i wrote last month, it blew my mind when i tasted a cuppa tea that mimicked hot chocolate - except a lighter and guilt-free version. 

need i say more?

four :: nutmeg's gravlax "croissant-wich"

nutmeg's all day breakfast offerings included an excellent option of croissant dish where the yumminess is rooted in the well executed elements of a perfectly toasted flaky and buttery croissant giving a crispy exterior in the midst of the fluffy buttery insides, generous portion of soft, well seasoned eggs and the fantastic and fresh gravlax that i can't get enough of. all of them combined makes it one of the top eats of 2o13.  

five :: kampachi's special sushi bento box

since my trip to tokyo - sushi dai and kyubey, i have not felt the same way for any sushi/sashimi i've tried after returning from the land of the rising sun. however, kampachi's special sushi bento box returned some of that happiness. the combination of different japanese signature cuisine contained fresh cuts of raw fish in the form of thick cut sashimi and sushi as well as unagi that was enough to make me savor with every biteful. it wasn't as phenomenal as my sushi experiences in tokyo but it was one of the best i have had since.

there you have it, my list of top five items i had the chance to try in 2o13. i am hoping to embark on a more delicious journey this coming year. with a couple of food projects in mind, i am excited on a gastronomic journey of discovering flavor combinations. 

go forth, eat away and if you've found something out of this world, i would love it if you could share it with me as always! :)

my plans on my food project this year will be the next entry :) please wait for it!


a new year, new resolutions

1:11 AM sians 0 Comments

it is customary for the first day of the year.

may the next 365 days be fulfilled with more good things, yummylicious tummy fillers and happiness wrapped in a huge bow :)

now that that's out of the way....

2o13 has been an interesting and challenging year for me - a small leap for my personal growth.

a quicklook back of the past 365 days of the year 2o13 and of the memorable highlights i have accomplished that makes me beam with a sense of pride and satisfaction.

o1 | fulfilled some of my last year's new year resolutions, some semi-fulfilled and others are a work in progress. 

o2 | the top winner for malaysian's contest - 'best of the best 2013' to emerge as the best food writer :) for my entry about cafe komugi

o3 | shortlisted as one of the nine nominees for 2o13 buzzkorea award's event under the blog of the year category :) for my entry on korean street food = love

o4 | my first all-nighter ever (i was up for close to 30 hours and i've never had to pull an all-nighter for college) for work which happens to be bid submission for my first ever project.

o5 | my first time to indonesia for business travel and jakarta was my introduction.

o6 | discovered a hidden secret gem in kuala lumpur.

o7 | my first kitchen supper table club experience :)

and etc. 

as we step into the new year of 2o14,

i have to admit calvin's sentiments don't quite reflect mine..  hence the new year brings new resolutions.  

o1. at least two new restaurants explored every month which will hopefully lead to delicious sessions as materials for blog entries.

o2. try out one new recipe per month - practice makes perfect

o3. travel to a new destination at least once per year.

o4. patience is a virtue and that is a work in progress for me.

o5. new friends, new experiences :)

o6. learning some new languages - korean, german or french.

o7. have a more positive demeanor and cheerful outlook.

o8. be decisive in many aspects of my life.

o9. work towards my future goals - it's not explicitly described for a reason

1o. drink at least half a gallon of water a day and sleep more than 5 hours every night.

11. learn the art of networking.

12. reaching & maintaining my happy, ideal weight :)

the year 2o14 holds a lot of uncertainty but at the same time excitement to be explored and to look forward to.  :) wish me luck ;)

love you guys and have a great year ahead! :D