Friday, 30 October 2015

Two Scones One Cup @ Sec 17 PJ

After our lunch at La Casa, we proceeded to our next stop for more chit chat and a bit of afternoon tea.....and what could be better than a tranquil afternoon of teas and scones, right?

So, we found ourselves at the doorstep of Two Scones One Cup @ Section 17 PJ, opened since March this year, by a group of five young entrepreneurs.  Located in a housing neighbourhood and occuping a corner lot directly facing a row of residential houses (parking is scarce), there's a cosy indoor space and an al fresco area for you to dine in.

We chose to sit inside and glancing at the menu, we just zeroed in on the two things we came here for....and that is scones and tea!

These are the various scones they have available (rotated on a daily basis).....plain (or original), cranberry, raisin, black sesame (tahini), green tea, blueberry, rose petal, orange and apple cinnamon oat.

On the day that we were there, they had 7 types of freshly baked scones available minus the blueberry and raisin, if I remember correctly. 

I ordered six scones (RM9 for two) and asked for one flavour each (excluding the green tea).  The well-made scones arrived warm and all were good but my preference was for the original and cranberry ones as these seem to pair better with the jam.

They serve their scones with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry jam, the only way you should have your scones, they (or the English) would say, but you can also choose to have it with kaya and butter (a more Malaysian way, perhaps)....hee...hee! ;D

I found the scones to be buttery and light with a moderately crumbly texture.  I did like it better with the clotted cream and jam rather than the kaya and butter.  Scones are one of those desserts one can indulge in if you don't have a sweet tooth coz they aren't all that sweet (in the first place) and you can very much control the sweetness with the jam.  We ended up asking for more strawberry jam and they gladly obliged.

Now you can't enjoy your scones without a cup of tea, can you?  Knowing that this is a scones place, you'd expect a long list of teas available, some of which are more common than others.  They have British Breakfast, Earl Grey Lavender, Chamomile Dream, White Ginger Lily, Pearl of the Orient, Lemon Ginger Mint, Lemongrass & Ginger, Green Tea, Ravishing Rose Petals, Fruit Tea, Pu-Erh Classic and Imperial Long Jing (this last one being the most expensive one of the lot).  They use mostly Gryphon teas here, though not all, according to the nice gentleman who served us.

We chose a common one of Earl Grey Lavender and two we've not tried before, White Ginger Lily and Ravishing Rose Petals @ RM9 a pot each.  All the three teas we tried were nice but the favourite one across the board was the Ravishing Rose Petals which was fragrant with a light floral taste and a slightly tangy flavour.  Besides tea, there are also other options like coffee, soda, juices and coolers as well if you're not into tea.

You can choose to have the pot of tea meant for one or two at the same price.  For the pot meant for two (the White Ginger Lily), we just get a bigger pot but with the same tea bag, so the flavour would probably be milder.

I spotted this rather charming porcelain tea cup set on top of their cake counter which I assume is for display only.  To drink from this would certainly have added more style and elegance to our scones and tea experience! ;D

Apart from scones, they have numerous cakes you can indulge in if scones and tea is not your 'cup of tea'!  Among them...hazelnut torte, salted caramel chocolate, tiramisu, green tea mille crepe, vanilla mille crepe, oreo cheese and salted caramel mousse.

Or go with a simple teatime favourite, the Victoria Sponge Cake @ RM5 a slice with a choice of jam or kaya in between two layers of butter and rose flavoured cake.

It's a good spot for a calm and quiet afternoon tea.....just that the calm and serene part ended prematurely for us when a little one in our party decided to launch into her *singing career* (aka crying her lungs out)...and we had to scoot out of there real quick! >_<

My Personal Opinion

In the end, our 6 Scones 3 Pots at 2 Scones 1 Cup did hit the right spot...and was memorable and pleasurable at the same time!

I've not eaten enough scones to rank this the best scones in town but I'll admit it's among the best I've had and certainly better than the famed ones in Cameron Highlands (proclaimed a friend in my 'eating party' who had just returned from there a day earlier and tasted the scones there).

So, the next time you're looking to wind down with a nice cup of tea and some terrific scones, come on over to this spot where service is personal, warm and friendly.  And they not only serve tea and scones but hearty, comfort food as well.  I'll be coming back to try those in the not very distant future! ;)

Two Scones One Cup
627 Jalan 17/8
46400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 012-613 8200

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Just One Food - Oh Chien

Fried "Oh Chien", or otherwise known as fried oyster omelette, is a street food that's commonly found in Penang but a bit more elusive here in the Klang Valley.  These oh chien hawkers seem to be a dying breed these days as they're not easily found in coffee shops in the Klang Valley.  But, I suppose, if you have a craving, the easiest (probably) would be to get it from the Oyster King chain of restaurants.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a such a stall (new addition) in my neighbourhood's "pasar malam" (night market) the other day.  It's one of my favourites if they can get the texture and consistency right.  So, I made an order and waited for the hawker to fry it up.

The starch solution is first poured onto the hot iron pan.  He then spreads it out into a thin layer and let it crisp up slowly.  I'm not sure what goes into the starch solution (but from the information online), it could be just one or a combination of flours like corn flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, rice flour or even wheat flour.

Next, he cracked two eggs in (he was making two portions) and added a handful of chopped spring onions (sometimes chives are used) and spread the mixture around.

He pan fries the egg and starch mixture till it's cooked and waits till the edges get crispy before flipping them over.

He then adds some kind of sauce to the oysters before throwing them onto the flat pan (in the foreground).  The fresh oysters are cooked separately and not tossed with the egg mixture (his cooking technique).

A little bit more tossing of the omelette and he then dishes the omelette pieces into a box, scoop up the oysters and place them on top.  Scallop oh chien (in the background) is also available at this stall.

Overall, this was a very decent oh chien.  It had a slightly gooey sticky base at the bottom but not too thick until it had a gummy texture.  It had some crispy textures too (although it did lose some of its crispiness when I got home) and wasn't overly oily.

The oysters were fresh, decently sized, plump and briny in taste.  When you bite into one, it releases a burst of juices into your mouth....and you'll feel like you're in oyster heaven! ;D  This oh chien (with 7 - 8 oysters) costs RM10 a serve which I think is quite reasonable seeing how expensive oysters are these days.

It's best eaten with a good dollop of freshly prepared vinegared garlic chilli sauce and his version was pretty good (in fact, it wasn't enough for me).  The only thing missing was that I wished he had added some chopped fresh coriander on top to make it more fragrant and give it a bit of freshness.

The stall also does a version with scallops (which is just as good) at the same price of RM10...and the scallops aren't those tiny ones either.

I think what differentiates one oh chien from another, fresh and juicy oysters aside, lies in the consistency of the starch mixture and the frying technique...and this stall does both well.  Get these two things right and you'll have an addictive and decadent dish of skillfully prepared oh chien loved by many!  I don't know about you but I know I do!! ;-)

Monday, 26 October 2015

Revisit: Fougasse Boulangerie & Patisserie @ Pandan Indah

A branch of the Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie group, Fougasse Boulangerie & Patisserie @ Pandan Indah has been my 'go to' café if I want coffee and a western breakfast in my neighbourhood...coz it's the only one we have here! T_T

Since my previous post, they have changed quite a few items on their Breakfast Menu although they have also retained some of their highly popular dishes like the Tuna Mushroom Croissant and Scrambled Egg Croissant. 

The Big English Breakfast @ RM16.80 featured scrambled eggs, chicken ham, sausage (only half), baked beans, mushrooms, tomato and toasted bread.  This one (minus the baked beans on request) looks (and tastes) ordinary, something I can easily whip up myself at home.

This is one of their new breakfast items, the Ham & Egg Muffin @ RM13.80 which is an English muffin "kiap" (sandwiched) with a fried egg and chicken ham served with hash brown and a green salad.

I liked the simple taste of a soft muffin with a fried (but not oozy) egg and it was one of the options (for me) that didn't come with cheese.

Another new breakfast item is their Omelette @ RM13.80 which is filled with sautéed mushrooms, chicken ham, spinach and cheese with a potato salad, salad greens and toasted bread.  The potato salad may not be the smoothest around but it has a few hidden gems like chicken ham and chopped crunchy Japanese cucumbers in between that makes for a nice bite.  There wasn't an abundance of cheese in it, so it was tolerable still for me.  It was a hearty and filling breakfast.

Yet another new item on their breakfast menu, the Eggs Benedict @ RM15.80 came with two (supposedly) poached eggs on homemade beef patty, sautéed spinach and cheese sauce on log bread, served with a side salad and potato wedges.

This was no ordinary Eggs Benedict, in fact, I wouldn't even call it Eggs Benedict.  I just jumped at ordering the dish without reading the was a big mistake! T_T  It wasn't hollandaise sauce, it was cheese sauce...and you know I hate cheese sauce and this one was really foul tasting! :'(

And, instead of getting perfectly cooked poached eggs (with an oozy centre), I got this almost hard-boiled egg with an overcooked yolk.  When I complained that the egg was way overdone, the server (and later the supervisor as well) said that's how the egg is supposed to be! O_o

Let me show you the other egg on the plate.  This one had a slightly runnier yolk, the egg whites were still solid like hard boiled eggs.  Does this qualify as a poached egg?  I think it'd more at home in a bowl of ramen.  Do not, (I repeat) do not order this dish's downright horrible! >.<

Of course, the best thing is that a complimentary tea or coffee is included in all the breakfast orders which makes it a really good deal as you don't have to pay extra for a cuppa!

If I want to grab a breakfast to go, my usual haunt will be the mini sandwiches which comes in four quarter slices in both white and wholemeal bread.  This is my all-time favourite, the Tuna & Ham Sandwich @ RM7.30, with crunchy vegetables of cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes.  I liked that the tuna is mixed with some sweet corn to provide a burst of sweetness.

And this is the Chicken Ham & Egg Sandwich @ RM6.90 with lettuce and cucumber interspersed with smashed hard-boiled eggs and chicken ham.  The bread is slightly thicker than usual ones and very soft.  There's nothing to not like when it comes to simple sandwiches made fresh.

I sometimes accompany these sandwiches with a Fruit Salad @ RM5.90 to make a light lunch if I'm not particularly hungry.  You get crisp lettuce leaves with some freshly cut mangoes, strawberries, blueberries (a few), raspberry (just one) and blackberry (also only one).  It came with a dressing of an almost puree-like mango sauce and olive oil mixture that tasted a bit zesty.
I also noticed these pound cakes (5 flavours) selling on a recent visit...Lemon, Cinnamon Nut, Earl Grey Cranberries, Caramel Coffee and Chocolate Cheese @ RM3.20 each and decided to get some to try.

The Lemon Pound Cake had a moist buttery richness with a rather intense flavour of lemon from the bits of lemon peel in the cake.  If you love the tangy taste of lemon, you'll certainly enjoy this as it comes with a good dose of lemon flavour.  The Caramel Coffee Pound Cake was not as soft as the lemon pound cake but what was interesting about it was that you'd find pineapple cubes in them (which I initially thought were white raisins until I read the list of ingredients).  It was a surprising blend of pineapple and coffee taste but it worked...I liked it!

The Cinnamon Nut Pound Cake had a contrasting crunchy texture coming from the cashew nut and walnut when you're lucky enough to bite into bits of it.  Finally, the light textured Earl Grey Cranberries Pound Cake had more cranberries than earl grey tea flavour.  Overall, all the pound cakes had a nice texture but my favourites were the lemon and caramel coffee.

My Personal Opinion

If I had another choice of a café serving western breakfasts in my neighbourhood, I certainly wouldn't be patronising this place....but I don't :(  All the hot food from the kitchen ain't that great as some of the items tasted processed or frozen to me.  But, if you still need to eat here, go for the breakfasts with croissants, the less disappointing choices (in my opinion).

From now on, I think I'll just stick to the pastries, breads, sandwiches and cakes when I'm here for least those are decent enough! ;)

Fougasse Boulangerie & Patisserie
No 25G Jalan Pandan Indah 4/6A
Pandan Indah
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-4280 0618

Thursday, 22 October 2015

La Casa @ Mont Kiara

Ever since I saw photos of this place online (especially The Yum List's), I earmarked it as a 'must visit' place in my next "makan" trip with friends.  The place I'm talking about is La Casa @ Mont Kiara.

On reaching La Casa, you'll find abundant parking spaces in the Verve Suites parking lots or, if you're lucky enough, you'll get to park by the road directly facing the restaurant.

Of the many cafes I've been to so far, I've not adored the ambience of the place as much (since Yellow Brick Road) till now plus this one felt more spacious because of the high ceilings and I was happy to see long tables that can cater to larger groups.  There is the indoor dining area but you can also choose to dine in the alfresco area.

La Casa exudes a cosy and casual vibe, yet stylish in appearance, and you can certainly feel relaxed in an environment like this that you'll want to spend many hours here.  Their Facebook Page says that they serve Italian/Western cuisine from thin crust pizzas to pastas, mains, seafood, sweet delicacies, pastries, cakes and macaroons but I also noticed some French dishes on the menu.

Although we were here at lunch time, we could still order from the breakfast menu.  We started with the ever popular and singularly most ordered item in any café breakfast menu...the Big Breakfast which is known by many different names in different cafes.  The one here is called the One Pan Breakfast @ RM32 which comes with a choice of homemade chicken, spicy Italian chicken or beef sausage, turkey bacon, sautéed mushrooms, roasted potatoes, cherry tomatoes, hash brown baked beans, two sunny side up eggs with wild rocket and toast (but we didn't get any hash brown and wild rocket though).

The sausages at La Casa are all made from scratch and the spicy Italian chicken sausage was simply amazing (not to worry, it wasn't spicy at all).  Freshly made sausages are worlds apart from those processed ones.  Everything on the plate, we were happy with....even the toast was soft, fluffy and toasted to a crisp and great accompanied by Elle & Vire French butter (absolutely creamy and decadent).  This is everything you'd want in a pan....and more!

For our next breakfast item, we went on a more Italian route (you could say) and chose the Breakfast Gnocchi @ RM28.  [#Tip: Gnocchi is basically an Italian soft dough dumpling commonly accompanied with melted butter with sage, pesto or some other sauces.]  The ones here were homemade gnocchi with pesto, chicken sausage, egg cocotte (unfortunately a bit overdone) and wild rocket with balsamic dressing.

I requested for the original homemade chicken sausage for this plate since we've already had the spicy Italian chicken sausage with the previous dish.  I definitely preferred the original to the spicy Italian one.  The gnocchi was really nice, well-seasoned, soft and fluffy to the bite.  I enjoyed this tremendously.

After two breakfast dishes, we went with pasta for our next two orders.  The first was the Teriyaki Salmon with Spinach @ RM42 which featured a pan-fried Norwegian salmon on a bed of spinach and garlic pasta finished with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce.

We asked for the salmon to be cooked to medium and it was perfectly pan-fried to that doneness.  The salmon was superbly fresh, moist and flaky.  The teriyaki sauce brought some sweetness to the salmon and the dish overall.  Only downside was that the spaghetti was a tad oily (when we got to the bottom of the plate) but it was still a very good dish nevertheless. 

Our next pasta was the Duck Confit & Wild Rocket @ RM29 (as stated in the menu) but the dish didn't contain any wild rocket.  I chose linguine for our pasta and it was tossed with shreds of pulled duck confit, sundried tomatoes and bits of chillies, onions, garlic and herbs. 

The pulled duck confit was rich, tender and immensely flavourful.  We were happy that this turned out to be yet another very successful and delicious pasta dish.

Although my friends and I would be heading elsewhere for dessert, there was no turning back once I took a peek of their cake counter.  But since we did order one main less (as we had plans to go to another two dessert places after this), I thought a few 'extra' desserts here wouldn't 'hurt'.....I ended up ordering three! ;D

I didn't order the Framboisier that I saw as we've already tasted one before in Frisky Goat.  A framboisier is basically a raspberry cake but La Casa describes it (in more detail) as a biscuit joconde infused with raspberry syrup, layered by raspberry butter cream and a thin layer of berries jelly, topped with seedy raspberry jam.  If this one is as good as the one from Frisky Goat, this will be a good cake =)

I ordered the Mont Blanc @ RM13 as it intrigued me from the way it looked plus I've never had one before.  [#Tip: On googling, I realised that it's a dessert of pureed, sweetened chestnust topped with whipped cream.]  Secondly, I picked the Lemon Tart @ RM12 as I was attracted by the shiny, smooth lemon curd on top.

The swirls of pureed chestnut sat on top of a crumbly cake base and the cross-section revealed a filling of whipped cream in the centre.  The dusted icing sugar on top made the cake look like a snow-capped mountain (and hence the name, I presume).  This Mont Blanc was not too sweet and it's not very common to find this cake at cafes, so try it here if you have the chance.

The Lemon Tart was made up of a mini buttery shortbread crust filled with the most luscious lemon custard that had just the right balance of tangy and sweet.  The little specks on top were lemon (or lime) zest which probably intensified the flavour.  The velvety lemon flavoured filling was totally fresh, lemony, zesty, vibrant and refreshing...all at once :)  It was oh-so-good!

Our final dessert was a slice of Sweet Pleasure @ RM14 which was essentially a chocolate cake....but just not any's Valrhona chocolate!  Since I didn't take a snapshot of La Casa's description of this cake, I'm just going to do the best I can with my description.  I can't recognise all the layers but I do see a layer of chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse and three very thin layers of tempered milk chocolate in between (other blogs mentioned a layer of hazelnut praline).

This one piece of cake highlighted various textures in perfect harmony, from the crunch of the perfectly tempered chocolate to the luxurious chocolate mousse and ganache, when you take a bite...and, most importantly, it wasn't overwhelmingly sweet.  It was met with a thumping approval from everyone (in fact, all three desserts did).  Like its namesake...sweet pleasure, indeed!  A slice of heaven, to be exact!

This being our first stop of the day, we had to have our coffees.  And here were the hot ones...Cappuccino @ RM11, Mocha @ RM13 and Flat White @ RM11.

The cold ones...Iced Latte @ RM12 and Iced Hazelnut Chocolate @ RM14 (a bit sweet).  All the coffees were fab!

I like the look of these cute and colourful metal-type seats, so I thought they deserved a few extra shots with my Flat White.

My Personal Opinion

Everything I tried here, I liked....and some I loved!  The terrific homemade salt and pepper breakfast sausages...I loved....they were fragrant and peppery with just the right amount of saltiness.  The gnocchi was manifico....the duck confit pasta was fantastique.

All three desserts knocked it out of the park but, if I really had to choose my top favourite....hmmm, I can't and I won't!

The menu here is quite extensive, so it'll take quite a few trips to sample everything but it's certainly a place worth returning to over and over again.  It's a place where all three components are impressive...the food, the desserts and the coffee.  A trip (or trips) back is definitely on the horizon! ;)

La Casa
Verve Suites Shops Mont Kiara
G-5 Ground Floor
No 8 Jalan Kiara 5
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6211 8825

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