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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Acme Bar & Coffee (ABC)


My brother-in-laws birthday is also in March. So, we were invited by his girlfriend for dinner at Acme Bar & Café (supposedly those in the know call it ABC) located at the Troika apartments near KLCC. The restaurant had very large windows giving it nice views across the street. We were sitting on the upper floor which gave our party a little privacy. The interiors were modern, with metal frames on the windows and wooden floors. The furniture was simple with cushioned chairs and wooden tables. Modern and classy, if I were to sum it up.

We arrived on time, but everyone else was running late, so we ordered a started first since I was starving. I ordered the Grilled Zucchini and Ricotta. I loved that dish. It was a little cold in the restaurant so the warm zucchini with a tomato sauce base with creamy ricotta on top really hit the spot. When everyone got there, they decided to order a few starters to share, so I tried the Lemongrass Shrimp Wontons, which was alright; the Salt Egg Yolk Chicken Strips, crispy and slightly spicy and the Grilled "Bacon" Wrapped Snails, which were wrapped in bacon and cooked with coco beans (looks like lentils to me) and a parsley garlic sauce and surprisingly very nice.

For mains I had the Roasted Dover Sole in a lemon butter sauce which they served with sautéed lettuce and artichokes. It was nice, but nothing mind-blowing. Hubby ordered the Beef Bourguignon, and it was superb. It’s basically a French style stew, with a red wine reduction, so we ordered some sourdough bread to go with it. The sauce was lovely and the beef was so tender it was falling off, making it easy to eat with the bread.

My brother-in-law ordered the Wagyu Burger in Man Tau bread. I didn’t taste it, but hubby did and he wasn’t too impressed with it. Everyone else ordered steaks, I had steak for lunch so didn’t want to overload on meat that day. No one had any complaints about the steak, but someone did send back her steak because it wasn’t cooked well enough. Other than that, no complaints.  

We had a Choc Chip Chocolate cake for the Birthday cake, so all of us had that for dessert and ordered coffee or tea. The cake was chocolat-y and crunchy, and had the most delicious crust. Unfortunately they sliced it too large, and I couldn’t finish it so it was a bit of a waste. But all in all, a nice evening out with good food and good company.



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gobo Upstairs


It was my husband’s birthday last week, so I decided we should try Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill in Traders Hotel since I’ve read good reviews about it. There we were, all dressed up and ready to go and it starts pouring bucket-loads of rain. Alright, we thought it would die down, so we went ahead to town. Well, it started raining even more, and it started flooding in a few places. We even had to avoid a floating plastic road barrier. It was like we were sailing through KL. I was just really grateful that our car engine didn’t die on us. The amount of water we went through was just unbelievable.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand: birthday dinner. We reached the hotel in one piece, thank God. Proceeded to the sixth floor. Gobo Upstairs is a bar and grill, so expect steaks, ribs and such. However they were having a Taste New Zealand promotion for the whole month of May, where they served beef, lamb and seafood sourced from New Zealand. So we didn’t get to try the normal menu, instead they had a special set menu plus limited ala carte items.

We chose the ala carte option and started off with the Lamb Loin Salad and Clam Chowder. The lamb in the salad was perfectly done, it was tender, juicy and melts in your mouth, coupled with some salad greens and light dressing, it was a perfect start to the meal. The Clam Chowder was creamy, yet not too thick as to fill you up too much. I’m not a big fan of mussels, but the Green Lipped Mussels that they used in the chowder were really good and fresh. This soup was so appropriate on such a cold and rainy night.

For mains, hubby had the Grilled Tenderloin which he requested to be well-done. I would have preferred it medium-well, but even though it was cooked well-done and slightly crispy on the outside, it was still tender and juicy, with a really beefy flavour (since tenderloin doesn’t have a lot of fat).

I had the Grilled Sea Bream, which I was a little apprehensive about since some fish can too ‘fishy’ for me. But it was good, with a nice lemony buttery sauce, sautéed asparagus and fried potatoes.

For dessert we shared the Granny Smith Apple Strudel with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Vanilla Sauce. In my opinion, it’s just another Apple Strudel, but the addition of the Cinnamon Ice-cream made it a little more special.

Luckily, it had stopped pouring when we finished, but there was a slight drizzle, so we went back through the Duke Highway. The next morning, the papers were full of stories of flooding in town and the surrounding suburbs. I quickly got together some of my son’s old clothes and shoes for some kids that had lost most of their stuff in the floods. Hopefully all those people affected by the floods have received the necessary assistance needed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Steaks


I’m hungry at the moment so I’m going to talk about food. Specifically, steaks. I sometimes have this craving for a really good steak almost every month, so we splurge a bit because you just can’t beat a well-cooked steak.

My number one restaurant for steaks has to be Las Vacas. They are butchers and restaurateurs. Good steaks at very reasonable prices. My only beef (pun intended) with them is that their Mont Kiara branch doesn’t serve dessert. I love their chocolate mousse dessert and I have to go to Kelana Jaya to get it. But other than that, I really have no complaints. I usually have a Black Angus ribeye medium well, but I also like the lamb cutlets and burgers. The steaks are usually served with garlic bread and salad. I’m also happy they’re serving roast potatoes as a side dish as well now, before this they only had french fries and garlic bread.

Another all-time favourite is Jake’s. We usually go to the restaurant in Damansara Heights. They have the best nachos and potato skins. No other restaurant comes close. Their steaks are excellent and always cooked perfectly and come with a salad, steamed vegetables, corn and baked potatoes or french fries. Another reason come here is their nut brittle, caramel-ly, rich, nutty, toffee-ish all at the same time. Your visit will not be complete without the nut brittle, trust me. Unfortunately, their prices have gone up the past few years, and a dinner for two will set you back around RM200+. So we usually go there only for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. It’s kind of noisy as the staff will sing Happy Birthday to customers who are celebrating and there’s at least one customer celebrating their birthday on any night of the week there, and you get a free brownie.

The most expensive steak restaurant we’ve been to has to be Prime in Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. Luckily my brother-in-law paid. The steaks there are sourced from the best suppliers around the world. I had Argentinian beef and it really melts in your mouth. Definitely the most amazing steak I’ve tasted. But the steaks come by itself, any salad, potatoes, bread or other condiments have to be ordered separately. I’m used to my steaks coming with potatoes, salad and some corn even, but not here and this is where your bill goes higher and higher. It’s also not somewhere your kids can run around, it’s elegant and quiet. It’s nice for a romantic dinner.

If we’re eating at home, we’ll usually buy some steaks from the Las Vacas butcher and grill it ourselves. We’ll also make some baked potatoes, salad and steamed vegetables to complete the meal.