Thursday, 31 March 2016

Lancelot Tea-Guild @ Bandar Sunway

Although my friends and I are more of a coffee lover, we decided to have tea for a change when we met up last Saturday (since our last tea meet up was more than five months ago at Two Scones One Cup).

I chose this place, Lancelot Tea-Guild @ Bandar Sunway, after spotting it featured on eatdrinkkl...and remembered being enchanted with the looks of the place.  A check on their Facebook Page revealed that they've been around since December last year.

Stepping into this English-inspired tea house, I was pleasantly surprised to find a cafe of two halves with contrasting decor and ambience between the front and inner part of the cafe.  The front portion of the cafe was modern and sleek with clean white lines (from the walls to the counter, table and chairs).  I especially loved the pristine white wallpaper on the walls.

The inner portion, on the other hand, was medieval in style with portraits of knights in shining armour and shields adorning the walls.  It was dark and warm with comfortable plush red sofas and armchairs.  It was like a medieval kingdom set in a modern world! ;)

It was 3.30pm by the time we got there and the place was packed at that hour...that's because they have high tea sets (3pm - 6pm during weekends) @ RM68 (Tea for Two).  Probably the seats of choice for the afternoon tea would be those big plush sofas and armchairs that are really comfortable for you to sink into and relax. But, if you intend to have a meal, I would suggest those white table and chairs instead that seem more comfortable since the seats aren't as low.

Since there weren't such seating available, we had to take the last table with these tufted couches instead.  In the end, it wasn't all that bad...and we ended up having our late lunch in really comfortable chairs...hehe! :D

Unfortunately, that table also happened to be beneath a chandelier with surrounding blue, my apologies if the photos are tinged with a blue hue >.<

Their a la carte menu offers anything from starters to soups, salads, snacks, sandwiches, main courses and desserts.  When I got down to ordering, I quickly noticed that none of the dishes on the menu were the ones that first enticed me on eatdrinkkl's blog.  I immediately gestured for help and a pretty young lady (one of the owners, perhaps?) came to my aid.  I told her, "your dishes are different from the ones I saw on a blog"....and 'lo and behold', she completed my sentence...."different from the ones you saw on eatdrinkkl?"  She then told me that those dishes are part of the revised menu which will only be available starting next week (which should be launched by the time this blog post comes out).

It was my mistake for "jumping the gun" and not taking note of the date in eatdrinkkl's blog.  She later came back with the 'soon to be launched' set meal menu offering three of the dishes I saw on eatdrinkkl.  And then, like 'music to my ears', she said they were willing to prepare them for us if that's what we want.  Yes, yes...that's what we want....all three sets, pleeeeeze!  Hmmm, I wonder if that makes us the first paying customers of the new menu :)

Since there were four of us, I ordered an extra dish of Fish & Chips @ RM19.90 featuring almond coated crispy fish fillets served with french fries and tartar sauce.  No complaints on this simple dish which my friend's little kid was happy to help wolf down.

All the set meals came with a starter of Mushroom Soup.  Although we ordered only three set meals, four mushroom soups came which I highlighted to the server.  In the end, the server told us 'no worries' and to consume the extra bowl with compliments from them.

I found the soup to have the right thickness and consistency...just nice and creamy.  The meal started promisingly with a very decent mushroom soup.

The first main course of our set meal to arrive was the Pan-Fried Chicken with Rosemary Gravy @ RM25.90 served with slivers of a medly of softened vegetables comprising of eggplant, yam bean, carrot, green and yellow zucchinis.

The rolled chicken thigh was tender and well seasoned.  I loved the rosemary infused brown gravy which was nice and good!  You can't go wrong with a simple dish of pan-fried chicken with a good jus.

Next up was the Salmon Infused with Apple & Pomegranate @ RM29.90.  You get a thin slice of poached salmon topped with a mixture of cooked, softened fruits and some greens.  The plating and presentation was certainly a feast for the eyes with bursts of colours...of red cherry tomatoes, black olives, yellow sauce, green frisee and some red, blue and yellow flowers thrown in.

The slow-cooked salmon (without skin) was respectably executed and remained moist and juicy.  The accompanying saffron sauce had zesty and refreshing notes and complemented the salmon perfectly.

Our third and final main course was the Honey Glazed Lavender Lamb Rack @ RM29.90 for two lamb racks served with mint sauce.  My friends loved the tenderness and flavour of the lamb racks (although not beautifully frenched like the ones I saw in eatdrinkkl but, then again, there's no cause for complaint since they weren't even supposed to serve this menu until the following week).

The vegetables of purple, orange, green and yellow (eggplant, carrots, green and yellow zucchinis) again was aesthetically pleasing and added a splash of colour to the dish.

The meal came to a befitting end with a dessert of Scones with Tea Ice Cream

We weren't told and couldn't quite make out what house-made tea-flavoured ice creams were served that day with the set meal.  One tasted cherry or strawberry like (menu says it's cherry blossom) while the other, very mild in taste, could possibly be Morrocan Mint or Apple Elderflower Tea (based on the colour and the menu)...but it was all good! ;)

Of course, as the name of the cafe implies, you can't leave without tasting some of their teas and here were our choices.  Check out this cool apparatus for brewing teas.

The first was from their English Tea menu, Very Very Berry @ RM16.90 which is a blend of elderberries, grapes, blueberries, blackcurrants and hibiscus flower.  This obviously had an intense fruity berries flavour, otherwise it wouldn't be called Very Very Berry...hehe! :D  If you like your teas very fragrant, fruity and strong, then this one could be for you.

We also tried one of their Cold Brew Teas, Gunpowder Green @ RM12.90.  I think this is more suitable for someone who likes their tea really, really light.

Finally, we went with two Tea Mocktails, the first was Berry Promegranate @ RM14.90 coz you know how I like my berry-licious drinks! ;D

The second was the Jasmine Lemonade @ RM14.90.  You can taste the berries flavour in the first and lemon in the second.  Both drinks were truly refreshing and absolutely lovely on a hot day.

My Personal Opinion

This place offers accessible "atas" (luxury) dining but at affordable prices (check with for discounts) with a great decor and ambience to boot.  Service is friendly and engaging.

The portions of food may be a tad small (for hefty-eaters) but know that they come in wallet-friendly prices. What more can you ask of a main dish that's priced under RM30 which also comes with a starter and dessert. My favourites were the salmon and chicken dishes.

So, if you want the feel of medieval dining atmosphere, why not go on a knight's quest to'll certainly be a knight (or, in our case, an afternoon) to remember! ;D

Lancelot Tea-Guild
No 5A Nadayu 28 Dagang
Jalan PJS 11/7 Bandar Sunway
47620 Subang Jaya
Tel: 03-5613 6639

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

This ship has sailed.....Restoran Chong Yuan

I've never really considered my blog a foodie've got lots of good ones for those.  My blog is just to share my food experiences, so I'm going to 'go off the deep end' and share one now of a place (Restoran Chong Yuan @ Pandan Indah) that's no longer in business. 

What??  Yes, you've heard right....I'm going to write about a place that has closed down already! >.<  Well, why not?  I was planning to blog about this place until it closed shop suddenly.  I still have some of the pics + it can serve as a remembrance (of the good food I used to have here).  Now you see why my blog is not quite a foodie blog coz it's supposed to recommend good eats....not feature one that has closed down already....kekeke! :D :D

This place is nothing fancy, just a non air-conditioned "tai chow" place in my neighbourhood which my family and I have eaten countless times, sometimes twice a week.  "Tai chow", literally translated as "big fry", is actually a place where one can order a number of stir-fried dishes to eat with rice (so it's a meal that's closest to what a Chinese family would eat at home).  

The food is simple, cheap and good.  It also happens to be the best non air-conditioned tai chow place (in terms of price and taste) in my housing area!  You can easily get vegetables, tofu and egg dishes for RM8 - RM12, meat dishes from RM10 - RM15 and fish/seafood dishes from RM20 and up.  So, you can get a decent meal for about RM15 per person depending on what you order.

So, here are some of our favourite (and usual) dishes we had over a period of time that I happen to have pictures of.  Let's start with the pork dishes.....

Sweet Sour Pork (certainly ranks among some of the best tasting sweet sour pork I've had).

"Pai Kwat Wong" (which means pork ribs but don't know why it's called such since there are no ribs or bones but are actually small tender pork chops in a sweetish sauce).

Claypot Pork Ribs with Yam (in fact, any dish they do in a claypot is awesome)

"Hakka Char Yoke" (Braised Pork Belly with Wood Ear Fungus)

"Hakka Wu Tau Khau Yoke" (Steamed Pork Belly with Yam)

Now, for some fish and seafood dishes....

Fish Slices with Ginger and Spring Onions

Sweet Sour Fish (just as good as the pork version and they do it with chicken too)

"Sang Kan Yuen" (these are like fish paste wrapped in some kind of pork fat netting and deep fried till crispy...absolutely spot on)

We don't eat whole fish as much coz my family doesn't like to deal with fish bones + it's also more expensive at RM25 and above.  I've tried steamed, fried & assam style but couldn't find any photos of those to show. They also do a fantastic hot plate assam seafood with prawns, squid, ladies fingers, brinjal and tomatoes.

But this one we've eaten many times even though it costs RM30, some kind of Claypot Seafood Curry.

It comes with minced pork, squid, large prawns and salted fish cooked with dried chillies and chili padi in a concoction of milk (not santan) and spices.

I've not seen this anywhere's so good....I'm so gonna miss this one! T_T

And here are some of the more simple, homey dishes......

"Loh Hon Chai" (their version of mixed vegetables with "tau kan" or bean curd blocks)

Stir-Fry Kangkung Belacan (water convolvulus or water spinach in shrimp paste)

Tofu Hot Plate with Minced Pork and Egg

Minced Pork Omelette

They also do all sorts of fried noodles here...Fried Hokkien Mee, Cantonese-style "Ying Yong", Duck Noodles, Braised Yee Mee, Singapore Fried Beehoon and more.  But looks like I only have one pic in my archive...Moonlight Kway Teow.

But, sadly, this ship has sailed! :'(  You can't sample these dishes anymore! *Sobs*.....and here's why.......

#Sob Story:

This place is owned and run by a husband and wife team.  The husband, who is the main chef, suffered a ruptured appendix just prior to Chinese New Year (my neighbours, who are their regular customers, told me). No wonder I kept waiting for it to re-open after Chinese New Year and it didn't (I thought they took a long deserved vacation).  I guess they made the decision to give up the business since (I heard) the rental costs like RM7k a month and they won't be able to sustain the rent during the husband's down time (plus his other chef went on to greener pastures).  Passing by the place recently, I see it under be made into an air-conditioned restaurant by some new owner (hopefully, the food will be good).  Maybe, some day in the future, when the husband is all well, they will find another lot here and open up their tai chow place again (*fingers crossed*)!  Till (or if) we meet again.....and that's a big "IF"...I shall mourn your loss! T_T

Monday, 28 March 2016

Char Siew Zhai Wantan Mee @ Paramount Garden

Many have eaten (or at least heard of) the infamous flying wantan mee.....but then the one in Seapark is only available at night + the eating condition (at a roadside stall) isn't all that conducive or convenient for me.  So, to get flying wantan mee in the day (in a proper shop), we had to go to Restoran Char Siew Zhai @ Paramount Garden which has been around for quite a number of years (since 2009, I think).

Probably many wonder if this shop is related or affiliated to the stall in Seapark (that also tosses their wantan mee high up in the air).  I did ask the boss (at the pay counter) and he said they're not affiliated in any way. He further added that the Seapark char siew may taste almost similar to theirs but their wantan mee is not house-made like theirs (meaning the Seapark one buys manufactured wantan mee).  So, for those of you who have eaten both wantan mee, was there a difference in their wantan mee? ;)

The noodles are prepared here by blanching them in hot water, followed by a quick dip in cold water and then tossing them high up in the air before it's plated.  I'm not sure if the tossing of the noodles improved the wantan mee at all...other than just making it really dry before mixing it in the sauce.  To me, the tossing into the air is more gimmicky than anything else.  I'd much rather they don't do that...especially so when I can see the remnants of the noodles sticking to the wall which isn't a pretty or appetising sight >.<

As much as I'd like to, it's quite difficult to catch a pic of the mee flying through the air though.  Nowadays, it's the workers who do the tossing.

The shop offers all sorts of roasted meats (barbecued pork, roast pork, roast duck and roast/poached chicken) with wantan mee or rice as can be seen from the menu.

As the name of the shop implies, one obviously must try the "char siew" (barbequed pork) here.  The plate of Char Siew Rice @ RM6.50 was as basic as it gets...literally just char siew and rice! :D

We didn't request for a specific cut of the char siew when we made our order but got the "pun fei sau" (half lean half fat ratio) which turned out to be meltingly tender.  I liked that the char siew sauce was served separately to cater to the individual's taste buds as to how much sauce he/she wants.

On another occasion, there were at least some slices of cucumber on the plate.  We got a leaner cut of char siew the next time round but it was still as caramelised and good.

Next was the Dry-Style Wantan Mee with Char Siew and Wantan @ RM6.  The texture of the house-made noodles were pretty good in a nice, flavourful and not too oily sauce (suitable for those who likes a less robust sauce).  The char siew on this plate weren't as caramelised on the outside as the ones that came with the rice though.

I didn't care much for the accompanying chilli dips though.  The pickled green chillies (for the wantan mee) was cut a bit too thick + it needed a bit more pickling time while the fresh chilli dip (for the rice) was rather watery.

I went for Wantan Mee Soup @ RM6 as I wanted to see how the soup would stack up.  The noodles were understandably softer to the bite since it's steeped in soup but the broth didn't do anything for me.  Koon Kee's soup version is still the one I prefer.

The char siew is obviously their pride in that it was served separately when you're eating the soup version to ensure it's kept at its optimum taste level.  I got the parts that were the most caramelised with a smoky aroma...and also the most fatty!  Lucky or unlucky?  Personally, I'd prefer a wee bit more lean meat but I have to say that this was the softest char siew I've come literally disintegrated in my mouth....probably because I got a really fatty part (so I had to swap some pieces with my husband)! :P

On another day, I got to try the Poached Chicken Wantan Noodles @ RM6.  The noodles were served separately.  The noodles here are available in small, medium or big...but I can assure you that a small portion here is almost like one and a half wantan mee elsewhere.

The poached chicken was really smooth and tender and the skin wasn't overly fatty.  I usually don't eat the poached chicken skin but this one I was able to eat.

We didn't manage to try the "siu yuk" (roast pork) the first time we were here as it wasn't ready yet....but we were second time lucky and ordered a single portion of Crispy Roast Pork @ RM8.

The roast pork was certainly good with a crackling skin though some parts of the crispy skin may be a bit harder than expected.  My husband actually preferred the siu yuk to the char siew.

We also ordered the Fried Dumplings @ RM9.60 (for 6 pcs) which seemed pricey at RM1.60 a piece. Thankfully, the filling of minced pork, carrot and crunchy wood ear fungus was plump and generous.  They were decent with a crisp and a not too thick skin.....and came freshly fried and really, really piping hot (so be warned if you don't want to burn your tongue).

My Personal Opinion

You shouldn't leave the shop without trying the char siew which was indeed super tender (if you get the right cut) and well caramelised for a smoky flavour.  Though the 4 - 6 pcs of char siew they give may not look like much but these were thicker cuts than usual.

It's a decent place not only for char siew with your wantan mee.....but also for roasted pork and poached chicken though I noticed that the place doesn't seem as packed (both times when we were there on a Sunday). I think this is probably due to the fact that the shop looks rather drabby and old but the wantan mee here is decent enough...and certainly at portions larger (and more value) than those in Chan Meng Kee.

Restoran Char Siew Zhai Wantan Mee
No 5 Jalan 20/13
Paramount Garden
46300 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 012-628 1348

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