Friday, 16 March 2018

Two Hands Restaurant @ Qliq Damansara

It was the photo of an irresistibly stunning looking hunk of meat in eatdrinkkl's post that first attracted me to this place, Two Hands Restaurant @ Qliq Damansara, which opened a little under six months ago.

And well, since it was our gang's usual monthly meet-up (we had missed meeting up for two months), what better place to splurge some extra 'budget' than here...on a piece of Tomahawk! ^_~

The place exudes a warm, welcoming vibe with lights dim enough to bring out the romantic ambience and bright enough to offer warmth.  The lighting on the wall says it all (and the small touches of candles on the floor)...if that doesn't say romance, I don't know what will.  But the place is also ideal for a quiet dinner with family and friends.

I don't usually make reservations but I did in this instance.  Luckily so, as the dining area was rather small but spacious enough for it to be cosy and intimate, making the space very personable.  There's a bigger al fresco area, shaded with lots of potted plants, that's ideal for drinking (and smoking)...and perhaps partaking in some small bites.

As we walked in, through the entrance from within Qliq Hotel, we were greeted by chef-and-owner, Vic himself (I recognised him from his Facebook postings), who showed us to our table, something I wasn't expecting (perhaps we were early and the chef wasn't busy yet), still it was a nice touch.

In a way I was glad that I did make reservations (for once) as we got a table in a nice, secluded corner which was just great for our party-of-nine.

When we were there, their menu was still printed on a simple laminated piece of hard paper but they've since launched a proper hard cover menu.  You can see (from his Facebook entry) just how excited (and proud) Chef Vic is about the new menu!  Incidentally, their all day breakfast and lunch menus are real value deals.

First things first, let's get the kids' meals out of the way, shall we?  My friend's girls had the Seafood & Tomato Basil Bucatini @ RM27.  The spaghetti-like pasta (with a hole running through the centre) came filled with prawns and squid tossed lightly in a tomato-based sauce.

My other friend's boys shared a Chilli Shrimp Fried Rice @ RM28...hold the chillies, of course.  It was served with grilled pineapples and a tomato and onion relish on the side, together with a sunny side-up egg.  I didn't taste either dishes, so I can't vouch for the taste, but both dishes were wiped clean.

With the kids' meals taken care of, it's the adults turn.  From the Sharing Starters of eight choices, we picked four starting with the Crispy Parmesan Cauliflower @ RM22 that uses local organic cauliflower, tossed in gluten-free flour with Spanish smoked paprika, sprinkled with Parmiagiano Reggiano and parsley, served on top a dill yogurt sauce.

Who knew that a humble ingredient like cauliflower, when seasoned well, could turn out so tasty.  It was just soft enough but still had a crunch and it paired beautifully with the creamy dill yogurt.  I was surprised that I would like this dish of cauliflower that much.  But I guess I shouldn't be as I'm always on the lookout for this dish of fried cauliflower florets tossed in curry powder and some other Indian spices (when I'm at an Indian restaurant) and this was probably Chef Vic's modern interpretation of that.  It turned out to be my second most favoured starter of the night.

Next on the list was the Fried Calamari (also gluten free) @ RM26 comprising of market fresh squid, marinated in fresh dill and smoky chili flakes, served with a mayo-like citrus dip.

The calamari was tender with a very crispy, flavoured coating making this simple dish easily welcomed with open arms...or mouths, in this case.  And the best part were the little bits of batter that dropped off from the squid...don't leave them on the plate, you wouldn't want to waste those super crunchy morsels of delight.

Another appetiser for sharing was the Salted Egg Custard Prawns @ RM28 made up of sustainably sourced white sea prawns (I think there were 4 - 5 good-sized ones), swimming in a salted egg sauce, tossed with fragrant curry leaves, and served with house-made butter croissants for dipping.

The prawns, fresh and firm, were soaked in a delicious gravy that's best eaten with the buttery croissants (wished they were a tad more crisp though).  You'd want the croissants to mop up every last bit of the sauce and, if you need more, you can add-on another three pieces for RM6.

The final starter we picked was the Aged Soy Glazed Chicken Wings @ RM24 of chicken wings (four of them) marinated with smoky aged soy with a hint of spice and served with garlic mayo.

This was my favourite starter of the night.  The well marinated aromatic chicken wings were perfectly fried. With looks mimicking a good "ayam goreng berempah" (fried spiced chicken) but far better in taste, it was crisp on the outside yet still juicy within...and jam packed with flavour. ^.^

From the offerings of mains, we opted for the Grilled Portuguese Chicken & Dirty Rice @ RM58 which featured a whole chicken leg marinated in spices and aromatics (I'm guessing dried oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, chillies, lemon juice, brown sugar could be in the mix) rendering a deep flavour in the chicken.  And then it was grilled beautifully to give it that added charred flavour...absolutely scrumptious!

The dirty rice raised some eyebrows with its name...I'm not sure what's dirty about it though...hehe!  Served on a sizzling hot plate, the rice, drenched in a tomato-based sauce, had pronounced flavours of Indian spices.  Some of the rice bits got a bit crusty at the bottom when it came in contact with the hot plate.  If you're a lover of Indian spices, you should so order this.

And finally, the very dish we came here for....the piece de resistance...the Black Angus Tomahawk Steak @ RM370...and when it arrived, you'll know it'll be a dinner table discussion point with its amazing presentation of a well marbled ribeye steak attached to a long, exposed bone served caveman style! O_o

The tomahawk was served with an array of delicious sides such as extra juicy vined cherry tomatoes, braised in a fresh tasting tomato sauce, roasted garlic cloves and housemade buttery croissants with a trio of flavoured butters (truffle, herb and orange-balsamic), wholegrain mustard and smoked flake salt.

Besides an assortment of sides, the tomahawk also comes with Chef Vic's personal touch of explaining the dish to you and slicing the steak in front of you.  Just look at that glorious slab of perfection! O_o

The properly rested, beautifully marbled, monster bone-in steak, served caveman style was cooked to a perfect medium rare as requested.  Time for some cutting action!

As the chef skillfully slices with precision into the tomahawk, my mouth was watering in anticipation of what I'll be feasting on very soon.  I mean who wouldn't when confronted with such a marvellous looking specimen.

We were told that the Black Angus beef is dry-aged for 30 days and you can have it with a sprinkling of smoked flake salt or a smear of wholegrain mustard, mashed garlic or flavoured butter.  I don't think I shall need anything since I like my steak 'naked' in order to savour its pure flavours! ;)

Chef Vic sprinkled a little smoked sea salt to get us going and said we could add on more if we like.  You can get a good 15 slices (at least) from the tomahawk, so it can easily feed two very hungry carnivores or sufficient enough for four not-too-greedy people on its own.

The tomahawk, generously crusted with freshly cracked black pepper, was seared to perfection yielding a lovely char while the steak remained immensely tender, succulent and juicy.  This being my first experience of eating a tomahawk (and dry-aged) steak, it was everything I hoped it would be! ^o^

I loved the aroma and the deeper, intense flavours of the dry-aged steak compared to a typical steak and every bite was worth savouring....slowly! ;)  You'd want the taste to linger in your mouth coz it's just that good! ^o^

Wine, cocktails, beer and coffees are available for your drinking pleasure but we opted for freshly blended fruit juices (with no added sugar).  The three choices available were orange, watermelon & apple @ RM12 a bottle.

My Personal Opinion

Tomahawks are well sought after these days as it's the ultimate 'wow-factor' steak.  It used to be more common in top (and expensive) restaurants but I'm glad to see reasonably-priced ones popping up in more restaurants nowadays making it within reach of more diners.

Even though we might not be able to indulge in a Tomahawk regularly as price is definitely a factor, nevertheless it's worth the money to splurge on one occasionally...especially the one here since it's also one of the more affordably-priced tomahawks I've come across.  Having said that, the rest of the menu deserves some love too as I couldn't fault any of them either.

Order a tomahawk and get it sliced table-side by Chef Vic himself for that one-on-one with him! ;)  Although we spoke only briefly, he comes off as friendly, approachable and humble...and he's also clearly passionate about the food he puts out (check out some of his videos on Facebook and you'll understand why).

So, head on over to Two Hands Restaurant soon...and rest assured, you'll be in very good hands here.  It'll be a sterling meal and one you'll reminisce of having again! ^_*

Two Hands Restaurant
Unit No A-LG-05 Qliq Damansara
Jalan PJU 8/8A
47820 Petaling Jaya 
Tel: 012-424 1194

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

#ewew makes Rainbow Fruit Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

Chinese New Year is a time for overeating, snacking...and, ultimately, weight gain? ;)  I know, I know, we're supposed to practise moderation...but who can when tempted with so many of our guilty pleasures.

One way to redeem ourselves after too much unhealthy food would be to eat porridge.  The other would be to eat salads.  But just not any salad.  I particularly love fruit salads.  So, here's my take on a Rainbow Fruit Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing.  Actually, it's just a simple fruit salad made more "atas" (luxurious) by simply adding 'classier' fruits...and a classier name.  Hihihi! ^_~

I've made many, many fruit salads before but always with different fruit combinations.  That's why this is a super flexible dish as you can use any fruits that you like or fruits you have on hand (leftovers).

This time, I decided to make a decadent one with strawberries after learning from phonghongbakes that Korean strawberries is the way to go.

I got these Korean strawberries (RM14.90) from Aeon supermarket (they were the only ones I saw on the shelves).  Taste testing one (at home), it wasn't very sweet...but, at least, it wasn't tart.  So, I'm happy with it (I guess different brands of Korean strawberries have different quality).

While I was getting the strawberries, I couldn't resist the blueberries (RM9.50) next to it.  I love berries of any kind but don't buy them as often as I would like coz they're really expensive.

A taste test revealed that the blueberries were sweet and juicy but there were some that were slightly tart too.  Just these two fruits alone (I still need other fruits!) and I'm poorer by RM25 already.  Haiz, it sure is costly to eat healthy! :P

Time to prep and assemble my fruit salad....starting with the strawberries (remove the green stems and cut them in half).  The blueberries need no prep.  As for the rock melon, honeydewpapaya and watermelon, cut them into cubes.

Put all the prepped fruits into a bigger bowl.  For visual presentation purposes, choose different coloured fruits, obviously, for a pop of colour.  It'll look like summer in a bowl! ^_*

Prepare the dressing.  I chose a simple honey lemon dressing of one part honey to one part lemon juice.  You can also use yogurt, cocktail sauce, mayonnaise, orange juice, anything you like.

Toss the fruits with the dressing (I think it needed a splash of green) :P

And that's my simple Rainbow Fruit Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing :)

You can make a batch and keep it refrigerated.....for healthy snacking any time of the day.

You can even eat this as a meal replacement.  I do that with a protein added...and (for me) a healthy choice of a protein would be two hard-boiled eggs.

Just remember to season the eggs with some salt and black pepper.  Incredibly good. ^.^

The key to making a delicious fruit salad is pretty simple too.  Just choose a combination of fruits that gives you different flavours and textures for best results...from juicy-sweet (like mangoes, strawberries, papaya, honeydew, rock melon, purple grapes, red & white dragon fruit) to extra juicy (watermelon, pears, red & green grapes), slightly tart (kiwifruit, pineapples, oranges, green apples) and crunchy (like red apples, guavas)...or even creamy (like avocados).

I absolutely love, love, love a juicy, refreshing and not too sweet fruit salad....with a selection of fruits that I fancy, of course (but then again I like pretty much any fruit...but not apples)! ;P

Monday, 12 March 2018

Just One Food - Nando's Coco Cataplana

I don't eat Nando's very often.  The last time I was here to try a new flavour, I ended up enjoying their rather tangy and zesty Mango & Lime flavour very much.

So, when I read about their introduction of a new dish, I knew I wanted to try.  So, after completing my grocery shopping one morning, I stopped by Nando's for breakfast cum lunch.

This new dish of Coco-Cataplana @ RM29.90 is actually peri-peri chicken basted in a mix of a new coconut and peri-peri sauce.  You get to choose the part of the chicken you want, either drumstick or wing portion, and the flavour from Mango & Lime to Lemon & Herb, Mild, Hot or Extra-Hot Peri-Peri (I picked Lemon & Herb).

First of all, the dish came served in a cataplana, or copper pot, a kind of traditional cookware used in Portuguese cuisine.  What a unique presentation :)

Once the copper pot is opened, you get a whiff of this lovely aroma of "santan" (coconut milk) permeating from the dish.  Oh, it smelled really good....I was stoked.

The dish was filled with the Lemon & Herb drumstick portion I wanted (cut into two) and grilled vegetables on a bed of fluffy Mediterranean rice.  A squeeze of lime and sprinkling of coriander gives the dish a lift of freshness.  The chicken is like any Nando's chicken, moist and juicy, drenched in a fragrant, rich and slightly sweet coconut-y sauce and with the rice, cooked in a tomato-based sauce, blend together for a rather flavourful combination.

The grilled seasonal vegetables of carrots (could be softer), green & red bell peppers, onions, zucchini and broccoli, together with fresh button mushrooms, were lightly charred to instill a bit of that smoky flavour (I wouldn't have minded a tad more charring).

A glass of Citrus Iced Tea is recommended with the dish but I loved the zesty and refreshing Tropical Fruitea @ RM9.90 so much the last time out that I just had to have it again.

I did enjoy this Coco-Cataplana dish.  The menu said that the dish can be shared by two (maybe two kids...haha!).  Well, I think it's just nice and filling for one with a good appetite! ;)  In the end, RM30 for a dish of chicken and rice may seem pricey to some (especially those who associate it with fast food).

I think this new Coco-Cataplana is going to be yet another hit...especially to those who love the flavours of the rich and creamy coconut sauce though some might find the sauce a tad too rich and (perhaps) a bit on the sweet side.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...