June 2014 - Narcissism is Necessary

Archive | June, 2014

Monte’s – a gem in Bangsar Shopping Centre

Monte’s has been around for years but we never got around to eating there because….who knows?

We do eat regularly at Bangsar Shopping Centre or BSC but had always just stuck to the few obvious choices – Pressroom (for its wonderful steak tartare – I mourn its recent demise), Chinoz (for my favourite pumpkin gnocchi which quality had recently went down the drain), Ippudo (they took over Pressroom’s lot but no bad blood as I am contented with replacing my favourite steak tartare with Ippudo’s mindblowing seared salmon roll) and Chilli’s (the keyword is consistency) of course.

So with Pressroom gone, Chinoz going through teething problems, and slight boredom with both Ippudo and Chilli’s, we felt that a change of taste was in order. And we walked around aimlessly till we stumbled upon Monte’s.

We hit up Foursquare and was pleasantly surprised by the number of positive comments, from the most recent to those dating back to a few years ago. So a decision was made, we would eat at Monte’s eventhough the place looked rather quiet.

# – Monte’s Restaurant and Wine Bar.

The restaurant is really spacious with unpretentious furnishings and has plenty of seatings especially if you come in groups.

# – This is only half the restaurant…I was too lazy to walk around taking pictures.

Service was wonderful, the staff spoke excellent English and were very attentive without being intrusive.

# – Complimentary bread and butter.

We knew we wanted steak and some kind of seafood. In the end we settled for grilled scallops, escargots and steaks.

# – 1/2 dozen escargots (RM 19).

Possibly one of the best escargots we’ve had for a long time. Must say it even beat the ones we had in France, hahaha. The snails were big and succulent. The wine garlic sauce was simply addictive, we wish we had some bread to soak it up! In hindsight, we should have requested for more bread.

# – Seared scallops with sweet potato puree and tarragon butter (RM 39).

The scallops were beautifully cooked. Still springy on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside. With the delicate sweet potato puree (which wasn’t too sweet by the way), the dish was moreish. In fact, throughout our time at Monte’s we were contemplating ordering another serving of scallops, they were that good.

For mains, the husband chose “Surf and Turf” which was described as air flown steak and prawns. The picture in the menu looked exceedingly good and when the dish arrived, we were happy that it looked exactly as depicted in the menu :)

# – Surf and Turf (RM 53).

The hubs reported that the prawns were nicely done and the steak was really good too, cooked to medium as he likes and not gristle-ly.

# – Fat, tender prawn flesh.

I had the “Charbroiled Fillet Mignon”, which was served with sauteed mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

# – Charbroiled Fillet Mignon (RM 60).

The portion was generous and the filet mignon was perfection. Cooked medium rare, it was tender to a fault! I ate it all…I ate everything. Not one bit of steak was left on my plate. Even the mushrooms were incredibly delicious.

# – Medium rare.

We finished our meal with Monte’s signature brownie. When we ordered, the waiter mentioned that they serve the best brownie in town.

# – Brownie (RM 13).

Well, I am inclined to agree. The brownie was packed full of chocolatey goodness, so fudgy and dense. A lot of flattened chocolate cakes are disguised as brownies these days so I was happy to be eating an actual brownie.

So will we go back again? Yes indeed. The prices are incredibly reasonable for the quality of food – which is high. We left the restaurant satiated and happy.

# – Obligatory I was there (sowee bad hair day).

Monte’s Restaurants and Wine Bar,
Lot F 112, Level 1, Bangsar Shopping Center,
Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 2094 1112/3
Operating hours:
Monday – Sunday, 11.30 am – 11 pm

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Epicuro – lovely non-halal brunch spot in Damansara Utama

For a pursuer of porcine goodness, it’s always heart-warming to see a restaurant in Malaysia so gloriously proud of being non-halal.

Located along the shops in Damansara Utama that face Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), Epicuro is one such place.

# – Non-Halal

Parking was expectedly difficult although we would do it all over again for the wonderful fare offered at Epicuro. Perhaps parking conditions could be better in the evening.

# – Epicuro

I really like the interior of the restaurant. The yellow and black theme is eye-catching and modern.

# – Yellow and black themed interior.

# – Cute wall decorations.

Hubs ordered the “Big Breakfast” which consisted of wholemeal toast, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, pork sausages, pork bacon, hash browns and a choice of sunnyside up or scrambled.

# – Big Breakfast

It tasted as impressive as it looked, which in truth is not an easy thing to achieve for fryups. How many times have you been served an impressive plate of fryups only to be disappointed by multitude of issues such as soggy mushrooms, tough bacons, cheap sausages and bland un-caramelised tomatoes?

Everything has to be cooked to perfection and at the right temperature, something Epicuro has managed to deliver. Well done! At RM21.90, the Big Breakfast is reasonably priced too.

I chose the signature pulled pork sandwich with an addition of sunnyside up egg.

# – Pulled pork

Pulled pork is something that’s not easily pulled off too. Cooked too long and you’d get stringy, dry pork floss. Cooked too quickly and you’d get tough, barely chewable meat.

Not at Epicuro though, the texture of the pulled pork was perfect – generous amount of meltingly tender pulled pork packed into toasted bread with fresh lettuce and coleslaw. If there’s anything to complain, I’d say the pulled pork was just a tad too spicy and may not bode well with some palates. The addition of the sunnyside up does help to calm the strong flavours of the pulled pork.

# – Egg porn.

Mid-way through eating, a friend recommended via Instagram to try the tiramisu and so we did.

# – Tiramisu

It was not a bad tiramisu at all, smooth, creamy and flavourful only perhaps lacking in some boozy kick.

Hubs ordered a latte to go with the dessert and he enjoyed his coffee.

# – Latte.

# – Obligatory I was there.

Will we go back again? Yes. Nice environment, nice food and decent service. Agreeable pricing too.

Epicuro does have quite an extensive menu and we look forward to trying out more dishes. Apparently they also serve sous vide scrambled eggs, which is very intriguing to me.

20, Jalan SS 21/35,
Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Tel: 03-7733 3110
Email: info@epicuro.my
Operating hours:
Tue – Fri, 11am – 11pm
Sat – Sun, 10am – 11pm

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The Good Batch – a wonderful brunch spot in Damansara Uptown

We’ve been on a mission to try as many new restaurants as possible instead of sticking to the few familiar ones. I must say that this newly hatched open-mindedness has found us gems that will keep eating out from devolving into a necessary and boring experience.

The most recent restaurant to have made an impression on us is called “The Good Batch”. Located in Damansara Utama, or Uptown to most of us PJ-ians, the restaurant is what I would describe as a modern gastropub – serving both booze and high quality food.

# – The Good Batch.

The interior’s modern and unpretentious with plenty of comfortable tables and seatings. I wish more new restaurants would aim for comfort than avant-garde.

# – The interior.

# – My carrot juice.

Ironically, the husband ordered a dish called “The Hangover Mess” which was a delicious beef hash packed with chopped capsicums, served with two sunny-side up eggs, a toast and hollandaise sauce.

# – The Hangover Mess.

# – The hash beneath the sunny-side ups.

It was delicious! The eggs were cooked to perfection, yolk oozing into the moist but flavourful hash. You don’t have to have a hangover to enjoy it.

As for myself, I opted for a vegetarian dish called “Portobello Road”. It’s two slices of toasts topped with breaded portobello mushrooms fried to perfection (with no trace of sogginess you sometimes get with badly done portobellos), blanched spinach, two gorgeous poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Served together was a generous amount of refreshing rocket salad with light vinaigrette.

# – Portobello Road.

I loved it! If all vegetarian food were made this way, you can guarantee that I will be a convert. The crunchiness and smokiness of the portobellos, with the rich eggs Benedict made Portobello Road the quintessential comfort food.

# – Egg porn.

Of course we had to check out the desserts. We ordered a the unassuming banana cake but it was pretty damn mind-blowing.

# – Banana cake.

Fresh sliced bananas and chocolate ganache sandwich between two incredibly moist but light banana sponges, slathered in peanut butter frosting. Say what????

This is the creme de la creme of banana cakes!

# – Yum.

Hubs also ordered a cappuccino to go with the cake, he said it was nice.

# – Caffeine fix.

# – Obligatory I was there.

Prices are reasonable and seem fair for the quality of food. Will we come back again? You bet.

The Good Batch
53, SS21/1A,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Operating hours:
Closed on Monday
Tue – Thu, 11am – 12am
Fri, 11am – 1am
Sat, 10am – 1am
Sun, 10am – 11pm
Tel: 03-7733 2303
Email: thegoodbatchkl@gmail.com

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