Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dozo Japanese Restaurant, De Garden

Jeng Jeng Jeng! It's been awhile since I posted a photo of theme behind the title of this blog. Crunchy whole fried soft shell crab karaage should be piping hot with a cripsy exterior with moist flesh within. A portion at RM28.80. From the angle of photo, it is quite obvious that I do not own the credit of this photo. The clarity of the photo is so obvious that it is taken using an iPhone6 and above.

The owner of this photo commented the salmon was flavourful with crispy skin and yet maintaining the moist and flaky flesh. Salmon Teriyaki for your omega-3 top up at a price of RM21.80. Now I start to understand why there is a long queue/booking during the opening launch whereby they offered a 50% on all food items for the first 3 days! Few weeks later, this place is packed to the brim at 7pm on a weekday! Yes, that's why parking seems to be of a problem in de Garden recently with addition of Dozo, Doma and Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf.

A snapshot of the Sashimi Set Meal at RM48.80. There are other sets available from RM30+ onwards. Once you have a glimpse of the menu, you will clearly see that they are giving Zento a run for the money. Okay, enough of the photos sent from a friend. Let the food review start below...

For the kaiten sushi, there is conveyor belt sushi available with 4 colour tier - RM2.30, RM4.30, RM6.30 and RM8.30. The yellow plate of Kani Mayo is obviously the cheapest one, while the purple plate being at RM4.30. The chuka idako (seasoned octopus) is priced at RM6.30 but come in generous portion, I think there were 7-8 pieces of Octopus. The slight drawback was the conveyor was installed above the eye level. Even somebody at 6 feet like yours truly need to tilt up the head to observe what item has run past me.

The ala carte menu is quite extensive ranging from premium sashimi, yakitori (grilled skewers), tempura (fried items), rice bowls, noodles and cooked seafood and meat. Under the rice bowls category. this is the Oyako Don - Stir fried chicken fillets on runny eggs and mushroom. Took a spoonful of it and don't find it very appetizing though. For RM19.80 I would give this dish a miss. Perhaps the stewed pork rice is a better pick? Yes, there is pork in the menu, that's why I said the war drums has been sounded and Zento would've feel the heat now.

Another rice bowl item, Gyu Don could be literally translated into Beef Rice Bowl. Thin slices of beef (tender but not well marinade and it tasted slightly bland). Well you can get it for half the price at Yoshinoya (half-heartedly done also in my previous visit whereby the staff actually simmered my beef slices instead of cooking them on the hotplate!)  or Sushi King. Back to the Gyu Don in Dozo, the bowl is big but by the time half of the rice is finished, there are not much beef slices left to go along with it. And need to pair the last few spoonful of rice with the Miso Soup.

The Kyushu Ramen bears similar ingredients which you can find in other Japanese restaurants namely the key highlight in the form of sliced pork (chasu), fish cake slices, strands of wood fungus, stewed hard-boiled egg and not forgetting bouncy noodles! The cloudy tonkatsu broth  (from pork bones) is tummy-warming, hearty and full of umami flavour. A bowl of comforting noodles at RM23.80, normal for Japanese cuisine nowadays?
Niniku Chahan (Garlic Fried Rice) is executed to near perfection. Each grain of rice is fluffy and not too overly doused in oil and yet it brings out the full aroma of garlic and fine coating of eggs. At RM6.80, this carbohydrate fix is the best bet to fill up the void in your stomach if you have limited budget to order a few more items. A recommended pair would be complementing it with teriyaki salmon or maybe tepannyaki dishes.

There is no 6% GST imposed yet as Dozo is actually brought in overseas! Yes, the first branch is actually situated in United Kingdom! Seems like the management of de Garden is doing a good reviving strategy to the mall tenancy with addition of some more established names. Will I be back again? Perhaps to bring a friend to try else I would revisit Doma again to try all their flavours of Bingsu and rice pancake

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Purple Moon Lover Cafe, Canning Garden

After a soft opening post by a netizen went viral, it just took less than few days for this new iconic cafe in Canning Garden to be talk of the people in Ipoh. The younger at heart at least. If you have passed by row of houses opposite Restoran Hollywood, chances that your attention will be drawn to this huge Christmas tree of blue and silver theme at the compound. And I am sure that you are aware that there is no coincidence it is called Purple Moon Lover cafe when it belongs to the same owner as Purple Moon Valley in Bercham and Petite Mary in Ipoh Garden East.

Having tried Petite Mary before, the strategy of style overweight substance seems to work for the chain of cafes here. Besides the iconic Christmas tree at the compound, much details was paid to the interior decoration of the cafe. The artificial greenery at the ceiling coupled with the laminated wooden flooring and wall with warm but bright lighting gives a natural feel yet modern "tree-house" feel. At one corner, there is a book rack which is filled with comics and novels

If you have been to Petite Mary, chances that you will recognize this item which is the cream puffs, as that is the most affordable item in their line up. Slightly pricier here at RM2.50, there are 2 flavours available which are the chocolate flavoured cream and the orange flavoured cream.

The cream is injected upon ordered hence you are assured that your pastry remains puffy when you break them apart and not to mention, the polo-bun-like topping remains crumbly.

Cheese tart at RM5 per piece. I never tried any half baked cheese tart before so I could neither give an accurate comparison nor judgement on the ideal taste and texture.

Nah, you all be the judge and have a look. Definitely not the oozing out gooey type. And not too generous with the cheese filling huh?

Matcha Azuki Slice at RM12. This is more like a mousse cake The centre layer consist of red bean layer encompassing whole azuki with cream. I somehow preferred the version in Petite Mary whereby that is really layers of green tea layered sponged topped with a mini Magnum-shaped green tea ice cream in a chocolate shell. Not being a die-hard fan of green tea, I have no other choice as most of the designer cakes at the display were sold out, leaving only a cute strawberry roll-like dessert (RM15) and an Apricot Chocolate mont-blanc like confectionery. Nevertheless I managed to spot few tables spooning in a dessert which is shaped like an egg-shell.

Beverages here are slightly pricey at RM10.50 onwards unless you are ordering Americano black coffee at RM5.50 or Genmaicha at RM4.50. I tried the Rose Tea at RM10.50 per pot with a surcharge of RM2 for requesting a separate cup only to find out skyjuice could be obtained upon request. Or I should've paid an additional RM3 for a cup of Americano. The rose tea was good though, remain flavorful even after two refills of hot water. And best of all, the tea pot design will be one of your best camwhore tool to update your Facebook or Instagram.

The "head" acts as the cup while the "hood" doubles as a cup lid and also the tea-pot lid. There! Could you see how it works from the two photos above? :)

They have many whole cakes for sale like green tea layer or black sesame layer. And the dessert cakes of their bento sets also feature mostly similar flavour. You draw the conclusion okay :)

Besides the cheese tarts, there are other bread and pastry available in the range of RM2.50 to RM5+. No photos on that because when I was there around 5pm on public holiday yesterday, most bread were nearly cleared off the baskets

And overview of the place during the day. Looks like those Japanese botanical garden right? Try coming on off peak period and you will get the sofa seat by the glass wall. Bear in mind that it could be a little warm from the scorching sun as indoor temperature is controlled by just numerous number of split airconditioning units here and there.

And will I visit again? Probably not if I have the choice. Unless I will come here after sunset to have a feel of it at night. But this place closes around 9pm+ as last order is at 8pm. Till then, early Christmas wishes from yours truly :)