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Burgers, Wings and American Fare @ Mean Mince, Mutiara Damansara

Mention Mutiara Damansara and most will think of IKEA and The Curve – but venture further in to the housing area and you’ll find a hidden gem, tucked within a quiet suburban spot just next to the Mutiara Damansara police station. Opened two years ago, Mean Mince dishes out American fare the likes of juicy burgers, wings, onion rings and deep dish pizzas, and has made a name for itself among burger fans for its unique deep fried burger.

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The shop is appropriately Americana-themed, with American license plates and black and white photos of New York and the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, while the speakers blast diner music. Plenty of natural sunlight makes for a cheerful, well-lit interior, and the ‘bar’ (setup looks like one but they don’t serve alcohol) is lined with rows of soda bottles. 

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The restaurant’s specialties are its burgers, in particular the deep fried burger – but I didn’t feel like having one so I ordered some snacks instead. I have read rave reviews about the burgers though, so might be back again to try them!

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They give you a small bucket of light popcorn to munch on while you wait for your order.

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The Very Vanilla Shake (RM10) was done right – thick, sweet and cold, they don’t skimp on the ingredients. Perfect with fried finger food, or to wash down your burgers and onion rings.

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Their Buffalo Wings comes highly recommended. For just RM13.90, you get six pieces of succulent, deep fried to perfection wings, coated in a sour and spicy buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese aioli. The wings are literal perfection: crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The sauce is what really makes the dish pop, though – I’ve had buffalo wings at many places in Malaysia, and they somehow can’t live up to the ones I’ve had at BWW in LA. The ones at Mean Mince taste authentic.

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Also, the main reason I came to check the place out: Mozzarella sticks (RM13.90). I’ve been craving mozzarella sticks for several weeks now and Mean Mince turned up in my search while I was googling for places that sold them in PJ. Again, portions are very generous – the cheese is almost bursting out of its batter, and the tangy tomato salsa that comes with it helps to cut through the heaviness.

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Gotta do that cheese pull

Overall, Mean Mince is a great place for American food, and the service is fast and friendly. Will be making a return visit for the burgers!

MEAN MINCE

31-1, Jalan PJU 7/16A, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 12pm – 9pm (Thurs – Tuesdays). Closed Wednesdays.

Telephone: 03-7733-2512

facebook.com/meanmince

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Review: Wingstop @ Nu Sentral Kuala Lumpur

When Wingstop opened its first outlet in Malaysia, I remember being extremely excited, because we don’t have that many places serving good buffalo chicken wings here. I even braved the evening traffic to Mutiara Damansara just for it – something I would never do under normal circumstances lol. But I guess it was because I had set my expectations too high, that when I actually got to try them, I was sorely disappointed. You can read the review here.

This time around, I was bumbling around KL after a trip to the art gallery and came across another Wingstop, this one a branch at Nu Sentral. It just so happened I had a craving for fried chicken, and decided to give them a second chance…

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Ordering mechanics were pretty much the same as the last time I went to a Wingstop – self-service via tablets, after which they give you a round buzzer that lights up when your order is ready. Gotta say their service was really good though! A staff member is on hand to explain how to order if it’s your first time.

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There are close to a dozen flavours to choose from, and you can also opt for different cuts, such as boneless, tenders or classic. I went for the 8 pc classic with two flavours; Buffalo and Garlic Parmesan. The set also came with a fizzy drink and a side (onion rings).

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Verdict: Slightly less disappointing this time around, but still not the best American-style wings I’ve had (that goes to Frankie’s). I know buffalo wings are supposed to be sour because of their vinegar base, but the sourness was a little overwhelming. The parmesan cheese on the other hand was underwhelming, with a thick, hard batter. Not to mention the chicken was greasy. It wasn’t terrible but again, I guess I had high expectations for it and it just didn’t hit the mark. Chicken was greasy as well, couldn’t finish eight pieces. The only thing they did well (again!) was the onion rings, which were tasty and crisp.

All in all, a ‘meh’ experience, although it did fare a little better compared to my first visit. Would I come back again? I know they say three strikes, you’re out, but with WingStop, perhaps two is all there is.

WING STOP (NU SENTRAL BRANCH) 

No. L4.11, Nu Sentral, 201, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM

 

Review: Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings @ Crossroads BGC, Bonifacio Global City

The gods of fried chicken wings hath spoken, and they have declared Frankie’s the best in town.

… okay, maybe not.

But they’ve certainly earned a spot in my book, ever since I had a taste of their excellent buffalo wings at SM Aura Premier on my last visit to Manila.

This time around, I pestered the Boy until he relented and brought me to a Frankie’s branch at Crossroads BGC in Bonifacio Global City. The setting is much posher than SM Aura’s foodhall kiosk, and it seems like a popular spot for the office crowd as there was a waiting list when we arrived for lunch.

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The interior is distinctively New York, with unfinished brick walls, exposed ceilings and purposefully bare concrete walls made to emulate the city’s ‘loft-style’ industrial spaces that were popularised in the 1960s and 70s. Ambient yellow lighting creates a cosy atmosphere, while tall windows allow for plenty of sunlight to filter in on the other side of the restaurant.

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Apparently Frankie’s Restaurants (BGC, UP Town Center, City Golf plaza, SM North Edsa) have more items on their menu compared to their food hall outlets. We went for the signature Buffalo Wings, with another half dozen order of Honey Garlic.

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The Classic Buffalo (We got the Spicy, but you can choose from mild, spicy or super spicy) was as good as I remembered them. At least the quality between outlets is consistent! Deep fried to juicy perfection, this is one that you need to use your hands to truly savour. I just love that crunch and the tangy, sweet and sour sauce each piece is smothered in. They ran out of ranch, but I found the Aioli dip a delightful substitute.

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The Honey Garlic was tasty but not mind blowing. The flavours were similar to soy garlic Korean fried chicken, but fell short, somehow. The Blue Cheese dip that came with it, though, was excellent. Cheesy, creamy and oh so sinful.

There were plenty of other flavours that I wanted to try, like Cheesy Bacon (hm!), Salted Egg and Wicked Wasabi, but a girl can only have that many chicken wings.

Can’t wait for my next trip to Manila so I can go to Frankie’s again!

FRANKIE’S (CROSSROADS BGC) 

2nd Floor, Crossroads, 32nd St. cor 8th Ave, BGC, Taguig City

Hours: Sun-Weds (11AM-3AM), Thurs-Sat (11AM-4AM)

Review: Buffalo Wild Wings, Conrad Manila

Yeah, yeah… I know I just had wings at Frankie’s a few days prior, but when I saw that there was a Buffalo Wild Wings, I just couldn’t resist. The first (and only time) I had it was during my trip to Los Angeles several years ago. The sports-themed bar/resto left a really good impression, so I walked in to their branch in Manila with some expectations. They did not disappoint.

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Located just next to the lobby of Conrad Manila, the interior has been modeled to look like the American ones, with the same cheerful bright yellow walls paired with brick deco, booth-style seating, mini bar and lots of sport paraphernalia, from posters to signed shirts. Large screen TVs playing sports channels dominate every corner of the ceiling. We were there early so the resto was quite empty, but service was quick, friendly and efficient nonetheless.

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The best combo. Tho I don’t drink beer. 😀

N and I got two flavours to share. They go from mild to moderate to spicy to you-will-cry spicy. You can also choose to have the regular wings or boneless.

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Buffalo dry rub. Wings were lightly coated, so the skin was thin, crisp and made crackling noises with each bite. Meat inside was tender, moist and juicy. The rub had just the right balance of savoury with a hint of sour. Dip was creamy without being cloying. Good stuff!

Asian Zing was a delectable, finger-licking combination of sweet, savoury,and tangy. The ranch dip helped to take the edge off the spiciness.

The wings were top notch, and we enjoyed munching on them as we watched some matches on the big screen TVs up above. It’s easy to polish off a dozen in one go! Prices are slightly above average but as expected of its location/setting. They also have branches in BGC and Makati.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS 

Conrad Hotel Manila, Seaside Blvd, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines

Opening hours: 11AM – 11PM (Sun-Thurs), 11AM – 12AM (Fri-Sat)

Phone: (02) 777-2905

buffalowildwings.ph

 

Food Review: Chicken Enchilada Soup / Buffalo Chicken Wings @ Chilli’s, Jaya Shopping Centre

Choices for food are pretty limited around my office, so sometimes I drive out for lunch to the Jaya Shopping Centre/Jaya 33 area. Originally I had planned to grab some McDonalds, but ended up at Chilli’s instead because I was craving buffalo wings. Didn’t want to get such a heavy meal so I ordered their soup of the day (served in bowl/cup – I recommend getting the cup because the bowl is quite huge).

Soup of the Day – Chicken Enchilada. Doesn’t look very appetising, but it tasted better than it looked – creamy with generous chunks of shredded chicken in it. My only qualm was that the chicken, despite swimming in soup, had a dry, rough texture on the tongue.

Buffalo wings (8 pcs) were not really wings – more like drumettes. Diners can opt for BBQ rub or Honey Chipotle, if buffalo sauce isn’t your thing. The dish was served with a dipping bowl of ranch + celery sticks. Taste-wise, it was definitely better than the disaster that was WingStop (review: here) although the meat wasn’t the freshest. The sauce coated the chicken well and the ranch gave it extra creaminess.

Chilli’s is a global brand that serves TexMex fare like nachos, burritos, hearty salads and huge burgers. For my review of Chilli’s at Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya, click here. 

CHILLI’S @ JAYA SHOPPING CENTER 

Lot G19 Ground Floor Jaya Shopping Centre Seksyen, 14, Jalan Semangat, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Open daily: 11AM – 11PM