Feb 29, 2012

Beer Belly : Berbelly?

Beer had never been the fanciest friend that I would like to have for the past 21 years in my life. I shared the common disgust over the bitter and gaseous liquid that was comparatively less enticing than wine and liquor. That probably explained why I would not bother to touch the cans of icy cold beer lining up the side of the spacious fridge during Chinese New Year.

Well, I always hear people saying, "One will change over time". My reservation for such statement was nevertheless immense, just like how everyone would, until one finally experiences the same. I guess I am one of the sample of the whole population, and the outcome of test of hypothesis was positive.


My initial perception towards beer was reasonable, considering the lack of good beer that I had came across. It was Guinness which evolved my whole idea of beer. Smooth yet boldly flavored and less gaseous, it is the package I seek in every pint of beer and this Tetley's in Beer Belly satisfied all of the above. The less intense flavor of Tetley's perfectly paired with the smoothness of the light brownish liquid, it reminded me of Hoegarden, but this was better.


If you were to give me a choice to choose between liquor, cocktail or beer, the hierarchy of my preference would be the sequence as stated. Besides the ease of drinking, cocktail is known to be packed with calories that one could easily gulp it down and ask for the second. I would say cocktail is "dangerous" to the purse and your body. Nevertheless, this Mojito is considerably decent to my standard : a little strong, well balanced with sourness of lime, sweetened with something which I couldn't identify.

Beer Belly, the name couldn't be anymore befitting. To be frank, I was taken by surprise. Instead of serving you only overpriced finger food, there are more varieties for the mains that are beyond good! Just put those overpriced yet standard finger food aside.

Bintulu Belacan Fried Rice

Added with a touch of locality, the Chef at Beer Belly was more than glad to serve you her hometown special. The taste of belacan was unusual; it wasn't too spicy, but towards the end of subtlety. Paired with the distinct texture of rice, crowned with a well done egg, it was an ideal meal when you feel like loading with carbs.

Linguine al Pesto

Pesto has recently became my preferred choice, other than extra virgin olive oil. Loaded with nuts, the unnoticed crunchy texture was obvious to me. This linguine was graciously loaded with pesto, I must say I love this more than the Bintulu belacan fried rice. The only thing it could be made better is that the linguine was al-dente.

Beef Stroganoff

After a little Bintulu and Italian, our night was not less interesting. This Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana or sour cream. Which one? I couldn't tell. I was too immersed at the fancy name of stroganoff and dug in just like everyone else did. It might looked alittle intimidating, but it was not spicy at all. Tenderly cooked, the beef was easy going.

Birmingham Chicken Balti

Back to the basic poultry, we had this Birmingham chicken balti. The sweetness of the dish was no doubt to be the tomatoes. The rest of the ingredients remained unidentified. Intriguing, I would like to try it again some time.

Apart from the Tetley's and cocktails served, we were graciously welcomed with some Jack Daniel's. I love mine neat, and always so. Overall, the mains were good, the finger food was advisable not to try, the liquor and beer were decent and oh, they serve Jägermeister too!

Located at the back of the Strand, Kota Damansara, this Beer Belly is worth trying.
Are you ready to beer the belly out?

Feb 12, 2012

Hitomi : Here I lie, waiting

The sound of dogs barking in the neighborhood was creeping on my nerve as I laid restlessly on the soft, fluffy white bed sheet smelled of fresh lavender. I took a deep breath, hoping it would soothe my mind, yet it seemed too much to ask for. My mind was a little heavier than I would want to. This nausea feeling was not much of a desirable company either. The dimly lit screen of my MacBook Air showed a few notifications but little did I bother.

Here I lie, waiting for this feeling to fade away...

Feb 10, 2012

Featuring Sofnny : Would you be my Valentine?

To the couples all over the world, Valentine's Day would surely be one of the celebrations of the year. For the true love that is found, for the happiness and sorrow that is shared, for the existence of another half that makes your life meaningful once again.

Despite the convention of celebrating Valentine's Day on 14 February every year, why wouldn't we make every single morning, awaken by the sunshine that showers your room with much enthusiasm, a blissful Valentine's Day? I believe most of us would share the same view.

For the singles out there, Valentine's Day would be your hate-to-the-core day ever. For the lack of companion to express your overflowing love, for the loneliness that strike you when you least expect it, Valentine's Day serves as a cruel reminder.

If you ask me, it is very much dependent on how do you see it altogether. Gathering a bunch of friends, hanging out in malls, sipping red wines on soft couch or having some pillow talk, you just need to name it. Why would you stifling yourself with pessimism when you have bunch of friends or a family that would stand by you during sunny and rainy days?

All the more you should celebrate Valentine's Day, even though you have not found the One. Make it a day to show your love to your family and friends. Spend some quality time with them and you will make their days and they will make yours.

Happy Valentine's Day to young and old, to the couples and singles, to You and Me!

Feb 5, 2012

Speakeasy : Valentine ain't fussy

Thursday, 2 February 2012 (Rainy Day)

The last I have seen my boyfriend was at Kelana Jaya, sending him off to work before he flied to Hong Kong. I missed him so badly on the same day itself, probably because of the argument we had. The silly girl in me took over my body, I ended up sobbing after work on his bed. Few hours later, his iMessage appeared on my slightly smudgy screen of my iPhone 4S. A big smile carved on my face, a tingle trickled my heart. He always have such magical power to make my day.

12 days, less than two weeks, would be my first Valentine's Day with Him. Despite everyday being our valentine, the girlie me still feels excited about the "special" day to come. Forget about the shitty queue, lousy booking, rocket high price, ordinary menus, most restaurants are banking on to juice all the couples for the mere sake of Valentine.

A friend of ours happens to be consultant for this "underground gold mine" which is tucked away in a secret spot in town. Hidden in Ming Annexe Building, Jalan Ampang, this restaurant with a catchy name "Speakeasy Restaurant and Bar" did not fail to flatter with its Valentine menu despite its unusual pick on location. Oops, didn't I just say Valentine? Ours was celebrated a little earlier.

Fresh Canadian oyster, served with pernod pickled fennel and moluga caviar

I am not an oyster person. By all means, I would reject any oyster that is sent my way. When I first looked at this Canadian oyster, I was not persuaded at all, not until He gave an approving sign. I held the shell gingerly in one hand as I was quietly appreciating the texture, while another hand tried to scoop it up. Juicy, crispy, it was totally the opposite of what I thought oyster would be, which is slimy. The sour Pernod pickled fennel worked very well in balancing the oyster, of which it was one of the reasons why I managed to finish my oyster. It was officially the first place I had ever mustered my courage to swallow an oyster, no kidding, it was that good.

Double boiled chicken consommé, served with prawn and scallop quenelle, enoki mushroom and tempura baby asparagus

After we were done with the exotic oyster, what followed was this small portion but delicately made consommé.  The consommé looked so clear and understated. Definitely a healthy choice but too concentrated to be consumed on its own. In contrary, the quenelle was mild and undertoned the complexity of the dish. I must say it was a very interesting dish with an acquired taste, it might not be your cup of tea.

Home tea smoked salmon on boiled pink potatoes slices, Alaska crab creme fraiche, ikura pearls and organic petit sprouts

After the appetizers, we proceeded to the primi, which was this home tea smoked salmon. A simple set up with an artful play of colors, it was appetizing to both the eyes and tummy. Similar to the consommé, smoked salmon had this intensifying flavor that one would usually shiver at the end of every bite. The pink potatoes absorbed the essence of the smoked salmon with crab creme fraiche, and texturized the whole dish alongside with the organic petit sprouts. It was so rich that we felt full just as we dug into less than half of our dish.

Red Wine Braised Ribeye on truffle scented mash, topped with seared foie gras, grenadine onion marmalade and merlot glace

We were given a choice between beef or fish, but we decided that we could use some beef, considering the primi that we just had. Thinking the top layer was "beef", I sliced it into a smaller version of "beef cube" and commented that this "beef" was so smooth and no resistance at all. He laughed at me and told me that was foie gras. I literally slapped my forehead. The braised ribeye was  pretty tender, with slight resistance that wasn't too hard to overcome. When paired with a small piece of foie gras and some mash, it resembled mascarpone on the beef, sans the cheesiness, further muted by the mash and sweetness kicked in by the grenadine.

Chocolate Rose with passion fruit and lime infused honey dew.

Last but not least, our dessert of the night. Never have we thought Speakeasy would be this good. We were impressed by almost every dish and we were charged with slightly high expectation towards the dessert. I was smiling to myself when they served the chocolate rose. It looked better than I thought so. However I found myself liking the chocolate wipe and crunchy almonds, as the texture of the chocolate rose was too tough and felt like a piece of tasteless rubber.

The night ended well with two bloated tummies and happy faces. This early Valentine was good, thanks to Speakeasy for doing such a great job. For the fine dining like experience and the delicate 5 courses above, it is just RM150++ per pax. What do you think?

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