Friday, November 14, 2008

GREAT THAI-DINGS



Amazing Thailang best describes our many delicious discoveries in Bangkok and Pattaya. Street food is king here - if you truly want to eat what the locals eat then nothing beats the humble streetside offerings.

We chowed down on BBQ pork skewers, mini pancakes filled with shredded pumpkin and deep-fried chicken drummets en route to check out the shopping scene. There were tons of other stalls proffering coffee, economy mixed rice, fried noodles, fruits and iced drinks...

Lunch comprised bowls of hearty noodles in soup with sliced roast pork, meat balls, sliced kidney, fish balls, sliced fishcake and fried fish skin. Flat rice noodles similar to kuay teow but more slender in size were my favourite. The clear broth is good on its own but tastes better when perked up with the ubiquitous fish sauce, dried chilli flakes and lime in vinegar. Sliced red and green chillies are also available at many stalls. Bowls of granulated sugar are served to douse fiery-hot spiciness if need be.





In Pattaya, we stumbled upon a noodle stall tucked away in a sidelane. The premises are spotless as are the tables and chairs.







One of the best tasting specialities has to be Sticky Rice with Mango. For mere 50 Bhat (RM5) you get a generous portion of steamed glutinous rice topped with a whole ripe mango sliced for easy eating. It was such a heavenly treat that we had this twice in a row! The glutinous rice has a splendid soft chewiness about it and the mango was juicy and honey-sweet.







I also had a super-hot encounter with a Catfish Salad. It was a briny, tart, mildly sweet and extra spicy dish that literally made my hair stand on its end and broke out in a real sweat.



My other half and I also polished off this delectable pot of glass noodles with prawns. It costs 450 Baht (RM45) but we reckon it was worth every Baht - just look at the size of those fresh succulent prawns!

Monday, November 03, 2008

A VISUAL AND PALATABLE FEAST



Sometimes us Klang Valley denizens seem to take this habitat of ours so much for granted that we remain blind, deaf and dumb to some veritable treasures ensconced within its very core. Like the look out point that's nicely tucked away in one little corner somewhere between Ampang and Hulu Langat...you can call it our local equivalent to The Peak in Hong Kong.

After one rainy eve, we actually drove up there as hubby was intrigued to try out the eateries. Truth be told, I was far less enthusiastic - after one too many disappointing run-ins with Malaysian touristy-type attractions, I braced myself for the worst. The falling dusk wreathed in swirling mists gave me the creeps initially but once we found a parking spot, I was surprised to see how busy the place was.

Scores of people were already trekking up to the Look Out Tower while some families and couples milled around the three eateries. A chilly breeze sent welcome shivers down our spines - you wouldn't think it possible after the spell of sweltering heatwave we had been experiencing. I couldn't remember when was the last time I saw our capital city from a fresh perspective but that evening the breath-taking view left me literally speechless.



So when hubby proposed the idea of having dinner at Bread & Olive Cafe, I was sold on the idea. The eatery occupies a two-storey building with a spacious outdoor patio area that accords diners a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur.



Personally I thought it is more a restaurant than a cafe but I digress. The menu offers an interesting mix of Middle-Eastern fare with Italian, Mediterranean and localised Western as our orders included Lamb Briyani, Stuffed Doner Kebab with Chicken, Spaghetti with Cream Sauce and Chicken Chop with Black Pepper Sauce.



Whaddaya know? The food turned out to be surprisingly good too. The briyani rice was superbly redolent with spices and perfect with the huge lamb shank slathered in rich, tasty gravy that was piquantly spiced but not searingly hot on the palate. Even the salad was better than many mid-priced eateries in KL - with sliced black olives and fresh zesty vinaigrette perking it up.



The huge plate of pasta came generously covered in cream sauce and sliced chicken and mushroom so there was no complaints on this.



I love my delicious Doner Kebab which was packed with shredded lettuce and tomato laced with yoghurt. Even the simple Chicken Chop was juicy and the sauce lusty without being overly starchy.



Overall it was a greatly pleasurable experience which didn't hurt our pockets too much. Of course there are cheaper alternatives flanking this eatery but I daresay Bread & Olive's excellent food and view make for an irresistible combination that is hard to outdo. Especially if you're courting that special someone or out to celebrate a significant occasion.

Bread & Olives Café
No. 7, Lot Perniagaan Komplex Pelancongan,
Menara Tinjau, Jalan Ampang Hulu langat,
68000 Ampang, Selangor Darul Eshan.