Monday, September 7, 2015

Pasta Zanmai, Main Place, Subang Jaya

I'm done with my MBA assignments and I would dedicate my weekend clearing all backlog food photos in my handphone. After a food review from the hilly terrains of Camerons, I now bring you to a fusion Japanese food in the heart of urban Klang Valley. It's not a new chain though, it was already there since my university days. This is Pasta Zanmai, a sister company of Sushi Zanmai. This was a lunch in the Main Place outlet in Subang Jaya. (Photo above plucked from Pasta Zanmai's website)

Since its a treat from a friend, and its a fusion Japanese restaurant, lets save the Ocha for some other time shall we? Since I'm actually on a one-day work trip, let's refrain from Asahi or sake in that manner, bring on the orange and watermelon juices. LOL

The menu here is quite extensive with many unusual creations. But my eyes were attracted to my perennial favourite all this years... Soft Shell Crab! This is not a conventional Temaki handroll nor the rice based maki but tortilla base which serves as the wrap. Well, this is a fusion Japanese restaurant after all. This portion is for half roll serving, adeuately serves its role as a good appetizer. I'm not sure whether they serve Sashimi here because there is huge difference from the menu of their sister chain, Sushi Zanmai  

We oredered one of the Mini Pasta Set meals available. From the latest screenshot on their website, currently they have 8 different sets available. One of the dish will be a pasta (duh! oh course la, since its name mini pasta set) coupled with a rice dish, a pizza dish or a maki sushi. The set is around RM25-30 if I'm not mistaken. And take my word for it, the size is not mini at all! According to my friend, she usually shares this set with another female colleague.

Spoilt for choices, my friend took Set 6 since she said the Kimchi Oyster Pasta is good. I beg to differ though, probably because I am not a fan of Oysters, especially when they are cooked in a sourish broth. Errr... it didn't hit my preference for this odd Italian meets Korean fusion attempt but it may appeal to others though.

 I find more delight in the other half of the set in the form of Garlic Fried Rice with Tori Karaage (fried chicken cubes). If you observe the size of the lemon wedge and the spoon, I think you will agree with me that the portion of their "mini" is NOT mini at all! The fried chicken is piping hot, with a lightly spiced crispy exterior with juicy flesh within. The garlic fried rice is just average, nothing to shout about though. The version of Garlic Fried Rice in Sushi Zento, Festival Walk Ipoh still tops my list perhaps the portion is so small, every grain of rice is well dished and infused with smoky garlic aroma! The one here seems.... "mass produced" :p

The downside of doing a throwback post is... sometimes its thrown so far back, you can't really retrieve the actual name of the pizza from the corner of your brain. The faint recollection of the savoury toppings on a crispy pizza base points to me it should be called Teriyaki Chicken Pizza. Garnished with too much mayonnaise to my liking, but I would welcome the generous amount of seaweed and bonito flakes. So Italian meets Japanese fusion seems to work out a slight bit of magic in this creation.

 It's even harder to blog about a throwback food outlet especially you are not keeping the bill because this is a treat from a friend (The bill came over RM80 for just a 'simple' lunch. Yes, to KL people, this is considered 'simple'? Haha...) Would I return again to Pasta Zanmai? Well, I can't really take fusion Japanese food but sometimes their weird combination do stir up some surprises. Having said that, have anyone of you tried Maiale Japanese Italian Restaurant nearby Padang Ipoh? The chef is a Japanese, specialized in French/Italian cooking (imagine Iron Chef Sato) I heard. Feel free to share your comments about that place as I am still skeptical about fusion cuisines.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Lord's Cafe, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands

When it's making a trip to Cameron Highlands, a trip will not be completed without trying their tea definitely. And to complement this beverage, there is no other better than warm pastry. Google Scones and Cameron Highlands and I bet the top search list will lead you to the Lord's Cafe in Tanah Rata. Opened until late afternoon only, this is spot which you would not wanna miss, so plan your itinerary accordingly

Famous for Scones and Scones alone, they take pride in baking them in small batches regularly over their business hours to ensure you get the freshest possible piece. There are only 2 types available, the plain one and the one with Strawberry bits.

The plain scone (RM2.50) comes with whipped cream, strawberry jam and butter. Microwaved to serve warm, the scone is crumbly and is indeed a comfort food on a rainy day (especially when buttered generously). The Scones with strawberry bit is slightly pricier at RM2.80, already very fruity to be eaten on its own, that is why no strawberry jam is served along with it. I would prefer the plain one though if you are dining in, just divide it into many portions and try different combination of taste between whipped cream, butter and jam.

The Banana Crepe (RM3+) is actually a thin pancake. Dusted with icing sugar, there was no maple syrup nor honey nor butter to go along with it. The unripe banana used made this dish slightly disappointing. Perhaps one should just stick with ordering their scones as its their forte. But I do see other tables ordering their lemon cheese cake and the chicken pie, perhaps those are good too.

Other items are priced very reasonably. The Hot Chocolate is just RM2.20, and the quality of this beverage will put many Chinese coffeeshop to shame by attempted daylight robbery for diluted Milo at RM2.60! Fresh fruit juices are at RM3+ while milkshakes at RM5 zone. There serve sandwiches too for those who wanted a heavier meal. The teatime for 2 in the photo earlier just cost less than RM13 only.

Some simple home decor along the window panes. Books and magazines and some board games are available. There are motivating quotes on the wall, which mostly are Bible verses, perhaps that's why they changed their name from previously T Cafe.

 A lot of Mat Sallehs tourist, mostly are backpackers from the nearby budget hotel I supposed :)

There is no need for ceiling fan here, nor aircond in Camerons Highlands. Let the natural mountain breeze enter through the windows. The atmosphere here is simple and calm, a manifestation of their tagline "Peace to all who enter our Lord's home"

The Lord's Cafe is situated on the first floor of one of the shoplots at the main road of Tanah Rata, the row whereby you find the only Starbucks in Camerons. Keep your eyes open for this signboard at the stairs.