Review: Fusion Food + Coffee @ Garage 51 Bandar Sunway

I had originally intended to grab some beef noodles for dinner at Bandar Sunway… only to realise that the Soong Kee Beef Noodle outlet near Sunway University had closed. 😦

Most of the other restaurants were crowded, so I popped into Garage 51, a cosy place serving fusion food and coffee. They’re also one of the pioneer Australian-style cafe/restos in the area, known for their gigantic milkshakes.

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The decor hasn’t changed much from my last visit; ie still sporting the ‘industrial chic’ look with lots of wood, steel and ambient yellow light.

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For drinks, the Mochatella (RM16) comes with a small pitcher of milk, which you can pour into a glass filled with coffee cubes and hazelnut chocolate. Since the cubes are made from coffee, you get an ice cold drink that isn’t diluted – and you can adjust how ‘milky’ you want it to be. Hazelnut chocolate on the bottom gives the beverage a good level of sweetness. I’d suggest not ordering this for dinner though, or you’d end up hyper until 5AM like I was lol.

Video: 

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Garage 51 serves a good selection of fusion dishes, from pastas to grilled proteins, salads and rice bowls. I went for the Hoisin Smoked Duck Rice Roll (RM16), which came in a generous portion with Japanese rice, tempura mushroom and onsen egg. Considering the price vs portion, it was pretty value for money! The duck had a sweet flavour which was closer to a teriyaki glaze, and the meat was tender but not gamey. Loved nibbling on the flavourful extra layer of duck fat on the top ! The tempura mushrooms weren’t greasy and gave the dish a crispy element. Egg was perfectly poached. All in all, a solid rice bowl.

Look at that egg: 

GARAGE 51 

51, Jalan PJS 11/9, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Business hours: 11AM – 11PM (closed Mondays)

Phone: 03-5612 5618

Opening hours: 11AM – 11PM (daily)

Review: Crema Crema, Section 52 Petaling Jaya – Coffee Sauce Chicken Chop

Update: This cafe is permanently closed.

*Came here on two separate visits, because the food was good enough that I returned with colleagues on another day 😀 

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As I’ve probably mentioned a dozen times, there aren’t too many food options around my office. As much as I like mamak food and mixed rice, there are just days when I feel like having something else. One of those days found me walking over to PJ New Town (Section 52) for lunch at a cafe called Crema Crema. Opened just over a year ago, the cosy establishment is located facing the roundabout (same row as Standard Chartered Bank). The inside is spacious, with graffiti touches, wooden furniture and pallets that double as wall menus.

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For lunch, all the main dishes on their menu come with soup of the day and a drink at no additional cost. Soup on my first visit was cream of corn, which was sweet but not in an artificial way, creamy but not cloying. Iced tea was unsweetened, which was just the way I liked it.

I ordered the pan-seared fish with cranberry butter rice. The flavours and textures were excellent. The fish didn’t feel like it was frozen: it was fresh and flaky, with a crisp crust that was almost like a thin batter. Seasoning was light but the mayo gave it boost. Cranberry butter rice was smooth although the cranberry taste was very mild. The vegetables tasted homemade; forgot what it’s called in English but the Moomikins likes to use it in soup – has a bit more crunch and body to it than your regular bokchoy or spinach.

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Second visit: Soup of the day was cream of cabbage. Again, nice ratio of creaminess and well balanced flavours – not too salty, not too sweet.

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The cafe’s signature is their grilled chicken chop with coffee sauce. It may sound like an odd combination, but the sauce has a nice coffee aroma to it and a slightly bitter tang which cuts through the creaminess and binds all the flavours together. The thigh meat was tender and juicy, perfect for soaking up the sauce. It also came served with cranberry butter rice, vegetables and a baked potato with sour cream – all for RM20. For the price, I felt it was value for money.

Service is warm, friendly and efficient.

  • Ambience: 7/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Food: 8/10
  • Price: RM20++

CREMA CREMA 

44, Jalan 52/4, Pj New Town, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Business hours: Mon-Fri (8AM – 11PM), Sat (10AM-11PM), closed Sundays

Phone:  03-7932 4452

Review: Food by Fat Cat @ Jaya Grocer, Sunway Geo Damansara

On the way back from work one evening, I decided to drop by the newly opened Sunway Geo Avenue to check out the place and grab some grub. The place was pretty quiet – aside from a couple of restaurants and a Jaya Grocer, there really wasn’t much to do. Anyway, I was here specifically to look for a place called Food by Fat Cat coz I read good reviews on eatdrink.my.

Successful location! It’s a bit out of the ways from other restos, since it’s tucked in a corner within Jaya Grocer. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, but I opted to sit outside coz it was cooling after the rain.

Interior is nice and cosy. Dark seats work well with the light beechwood furniture.

Counter, where there were also some cakes/baked goodies on display. Menu comprised mostly of fusion dishes, like chicken karaage with buttermilk waffles. I went for the quirkily named Fatty Boom Boom rice bowl. 

Service was quick and efficient! Wasn’t long before my rice bowl came, topped with crunchy pieces of fried chicken karaage drizzled over with a creamy cheese-like sauce and ebiko, fried egg with runny yolk and a side of juicy mushrooms. The chicken was nice and tender on the inside with a crispy outer skin. The rice was a bit clumpy though (probably from soaking up the sauce). A solid 7.5/10.

Side of fried oyster mushrooms with wasabi-mayo dip. The wasabi taste was really prominent! Mushrooms were fried to a nice golden brown, although they were a bit on the oily side. 6.5/10.

Washed down with an ice-cold glass of chocolate. Size of the glass was smaller than I expected but there was a rich cocoa taste to the drink.

Not a bad place for a nice, casual dinner now and again. Maybe I’ll try their homemade buttermilk waffles or some ice cream the next time around!

FOOD BY FAT CAT 

Jaya Grocer, Sunway Geo Avenue, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Selangor.
Business Hours: Daily, 10 am to 10 pm
Tel:+603-5650-5181

 

Review: Siew Yuk Pasta @ Aud’s by JJ Cafe, Ipoh

I’m back, guys! 

Was on a one week holiday playing tour guide to N, so I haven’t been able to update this space. But you know what that means – more food reviews and adventures coming up! 🙂

We visited Ipoh on our second day. The city is almost my turf (big claim? lol), since the fam and I come back here for Chinese New Year and to visit relatives. After breakfast at Nam Heong and a visit to the Han Chin Pet Soo Museum,we stopped by for lunch at a cafe called Aud’s by JJ Cafe at Kong Heng Square. They’re really new (just opened this month) so there aren’t any blog reviews yet – so dibs for me woot.

Credit: Aud’s by JJ Cafe Facebook page

They were formerly in another location and were called JJ Cafe, but have since moved to Kong Heng Square. Hidden by a curtain of ivy, the small but cosy space sits next to the optical-shop-turned-cafe that was Missing Marbles (now permanently closed). Wood, concrete and deliberately unfinished touches give the space a raw but old school charm. Patrons were mostly travelers, like myself, and young office workers.

Service was friendly and personal; the lady proprietor came to our table and laid out the handwritten dessert specials for the day, which was a nice touch.

As part of their opening promotion, diners who like their Facebook page will get a choice of either free tea or coffee! We got tea to go along with our meal. It wasn’t the cheapo stuff either; came in a nice pot and was full of flavour and fragrance.

N had the braised pork rice (RM10), which came with generous servings of marinated pork belly and herbal egg on a bed of fluffy white rice. The dish was quite similar to the Taiwanese lu rou fan. 

For the love of all things porky, I went for the Siew Yuk Pasta – a tasty rendition of the aglio olio with plenty of mushrooms and tender roast pork, topped with a poached egg (a bit over done though, the yolk was hard, but nice nonetheless). The pasta was al dente which was just to my liking, there was lots of salty siew yuk bits in there, and it was just a good dish overall.

Aud’s by JJ Cafe 

97, Jalan Sultan Yusuff, Taman Perpaduan Koperasi, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Opening hours: 11AM-6PM (closed Mondays)

 

Fusion Food @ Franco, IOI City Mall Putrajaya

 

So my college friend Evelyn was in KL for a job interview recently. The last time we met was last September, so we met up for some catchup and dinner at IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.

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After walking around for some time, we finally settled for Franco because they had vegetarian options (Evelyn is vegetarian). Now I can understand how difficult it is for vegetarians to find food, even in a big shopping mall!

Franco serves Japanese-French fusion food. Prices are pretty steep (RM20+ for mains) coz they offer ‘fine casual dining’. Okay, it’s not casual fine dining lol.  They are actually better known for their desserts, such as their thick toasts and parfairs. The savoury menu is pretty limited.

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Evelyn’s vegetarian pasta (RM28). While the portion was big and it was loaded with vegetables… RM28? Really? One can have a huge, meaty steak at Steak Shack with RM28. Tastewise, it was decent and felt healthy as it was tossed in olive oil, shimeji mushrooms, slices of cucumber and topped with poached egg, but pricewise, I don’t think it’s worth it to pay that much for vegetables. I could cook this myself for a fraction of the price.

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My Carbonara pasta (also RM28) had an egg yolk, slices of chicken ham over a bed of pasta swimming in a light, creamy broth. The sauce was more liquid than solid, but it gave the dish a light feel (usually with cream-based pastas, you get full/tired of it really fast). Again, a lot of pasta, only a few slices of ham – not worth it.

Since the bill was already whopping with just the mains and drink, we decided to skip their famed desserts. Would not come to Franco again for the mains, and only if I had money to splurge.

FRANCO 

LG-80C & 80D, Lower Ground Floor, IOI City Mall, Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City, 62502 Putrajaya, Sepang.

Tel: +603 8959 3928

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Second round of drinks – was feeling in the mood for some Thai iced milk tea. I love that stuff. Of course, it’s nothing like the authentic 20baht ones you get from streets in Thailand, but the ones from Cha Tra Mue are good enough.