Monday, December 15, 2014

A GOOD SHELLING AT CRAB FACTORY

Belated congratulations are in order to Crab Factory: Original Louisiana Boil for being voted one of the Best Place for Seafood finalists at the 2014 Time Out KL Food Awards. This seafood restaurant has gone against the tide in a sea of Malaysian-Chinese restos; boldly swimming in a direction where no crab, lobster, prawn, mussel and other deep-sea denizens have attempted before.
Instead of kum hiong and sweet & sour sauces, faint-hearted diners are invited to dive into Zesty Lemon or Garlic Butter sauces while braver souls heed the siren's call of Crab Factory's signature spicy sauces: the tomato-based Jamba Jamba or Southern Bang that can be coyly mild to Death Valley hot.
 
True to its Louisiana "roots", TY Ooi & partners strive to keep the menu fresh and interesting by adding delicious Southern-style munchies such as Waffles & Southern Fried Chicken (RM26.90 - pix above) and Hush Puppies (RM8.90 - pix below) to the line-up.

I was smitten by the superbly crunchy fried buttermilk chicken - its crisp outer coating of cornflakes giving way to the boneless, lean and moist meat inside amidst a mouthful of soft waffles laced with maple syrup.

Considered a true soul food and a popular side dish to go with seafood in the Southern US, hush puppies are yummy deep-fried balls are made of cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk with chopped garlic, corn kernels and onion. Of course, the recipe varies from cook to cook and resto to resto...the ones at Crab Factory are homemade using oatmeal studded with chopped onion, corn kernels and ground black pepper. Good enough to be eaten on their own minus accompaniments but they are out of this world when dunk into the sauces that pool in the bags of seafood ordered.
For that requisite boost of green in your diet, a serving of Fried Okra sheathed in a flimsy golden brown batter coating dusted with paprika fits the bill marvellously.
Die-hard seafood fans who love a good shelling should keep tabs on Crab Factory's special promotions. In November, the resto hauled in a whole load of Canadian lobsters that were claws for celebration. Whether bathed in garlicky butter or the piquant Southern Bang sauce, the king of shellfish succeeded in reeling us in. Who could resist savouring sweet lobster meat paired with king mushroom, potatoes and corn?
As you can see, Crab Factory serves more than just crabs. The freshest catch is personally sourced from overseas by the owners so expect to sample new and unexpected ocean-fresh offerings whenever you visit.
 
On our recent visit, the prawns were excellent; their inherent sweetness amplified by the zesty lemon sauce.
But even they paled in comparison with the Japanese amaebi in our choice of Jamba Jamba sauce. The word sublime doesn't even justify the crustaceans' actual taste!
Obviously, many seafood fans out there are equally wow-ed by Crab Factory's uniquely Southern approach as the resto is packed out on most nights. Reservations are necessary especially for bigger groups of five or more. Prices for the seafood items also fluctuate according to market prices but true seafood connoisseurs know that good seafood ain't cheap and cheap seafood ain't good.

The restaurant often has special promos like the one below so you can always find out the latest deal via the Crab Factory facebook page. Now you know why TOKL readers voted Crab Factory as one of the worthy contenders of this year's Best Place for Seafood.







  


For reservations, call 03-7865 5850. Crab Factory, 21, Jalan SS2/64, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

CROISETTE'S CHRISTMAS SHOW-STOPPERS



Pix courtesy of Croisette Cafe
It's everything but the turkey this year as far as Chef Pierre MC of Croisette Cafe is concerned. Like the proverbial magician, the French chef has pulled out notable options from his oven: capon, pork loin, Aussie beef striploin and lamb leg in place of the big bird.

Fancy some out of the box Christmas eats? Call Croisette Cafe :)
There's also a set festive Christmas menu (RM118 per person) available for dine-in or takeaway (nicely packed in a convenient bento-type box) in the week leading to Christmas.

Dainty bites to set the Christmas spirit aglow
The set menu commences with a glass of red sangria with pear dices, to get diners into the proper celebratory spirit. Petite amuse bouche: quiche lorraine bites (with real bacon!) and crisp toast squares topped with olive caviar tapenade & semi dried tomato - aptly whet the appetite for other dishes to come.

Scallop to sweeten your festive dining experience
Chef's signature pan-fried scallops on a spicy leek fondue nest will be the curtain-raiser. The subtle heartwarming sweetness of the scallops is lush on the palate, emboldened by the creamy wilted leek.

Pig out on lean pork loin with roast potatoes & ratatouille
For your main course, you can select either roasted pork loin on a bed of young veges, wholegrain mustard and sage sauce, potato paysanne and mesclun salad; braised duck breast with raspberry sauce or seabass with sauce duglere, celeriac puree and vegetable tian (sliced grilled vegetable layered on top of one another).

Demure desserts that won't pile up on the guilt factor
A rousing Christmas platter of assorted fruit tartlets, vanilla mille feuilles, mini opera with Earl Grey cream and raspberry coulis brings the indulgent feast to sweet closure.

No need to get into a flap without turkey...capon will do just as well

Family feasts and home parties are made hassle-free by the Croisette Cafe team as they're offering festive roasts for dine-in as well as takeaways this year. Just give the chef advance notice and you can be the perfect host this Christmas.
In the pink...juicy roast striploin to sink your teeth into
Our top pick is the Aussie beef striploin (RM210/kg), best served medium rare. The mildly gamey roast Aussie lamb leg (RM160/kg) weighing in at about 2.5-3kg is ample for a party of 6-10 persons.

Great bites to be had out of this lean and muscly capon

Not into red meat? Then consider a 3kg capon (castrated male chook, RM95/kg) roasted whole as the alternative. The slightly muscly meat has a nice resistant springiness to it and tasty juiciness to it, the more you chew on it.

Go green with some Caesar salad topped with poached eggs and REAL bacon

You can complement these roasts with Caesar Salad with streaky bacon (or smoked salmon) at RM25/kg (yields 5-6 portions), Ratatouille (Mediterranean medley) at RM35/kg and Roast Potato (RM35/kg).

Aussie lamb leg that's just as ideal to kick-start your Yuletide celebrations
All the roasts are served with thick meat jus gravy except for the lamb which comes with pistou (sweet basil, garlic, rock salt and olive oil) flavoured with peppercorns.
Take away these pretty jars filled with rich sauces and desserts for an easy DIY festive dinner

Also available are pretty beribboned mason jars of country-style pork liver pate (RM48/kg) and prawn bisque with rouille and croutons (RM35/500g jar; 2 servings). House dessert such as Bavarois Mango/Raspberry, Trio Choc Cake and Passion Indulgence Cake are also available at RM28/half kg.

The Christmas Set Menu is available at Croisette Cafe, 28-0-3 (level 3), Cascadium Condominum, Jalan Penaga Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur and
Croisette Villa & Cafe Penang: 546E, Medan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah, Penang. Please call 016-330 4477 for reservations.