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Restaurants & Bars 8

KL Food Journal #1

jbernag | Jan 2, 2012 11:55 PM

First time poster on chowhound and I figured i'd write some food notes from our trip to KL, Malacca and Singapore. My wife and I are from the United States and are here as artists-in-residence at MMU in Cyberjaya until the 18th. Friends have mostly shuttled us around, and we have had some great, and some not so great food so far.

We got into town in the evening of the 31st and our friends wanted to party at the towers, so we got some food at the top floor stalls in Suria KLCC. We wanted to go to little penang cafe, but they closed early for the festivities, so we settled on some malay food on the top floor stalls that wasn't very good. Tasted like boxed spices.

However the next morning we went to Tai Thong Imperial City for some dim sum. I was blown away. The delicacy of the dishes were impressive and the flavor overall was outstanding. The xiao long bao, taro puffs, chicken+century egg congee and the pork buns were some of my favorites, but everything was quite good except for the "sichuan dumplings", which were pretty average (not sure the exact name).

That evening our friends were talking a lot about this tea themed restaurant called Purple Cane. While our hosts seemed to enjoy the meal, my wife and I were pretty underwhelmed except for one dish. We had the crispy tea duck (very dry), braised chicken in tea (bland, tasted like dinty moore canned braised meat), macadamia nut vegetable stir fry (fresh, good ingredients, delicate and flavorful, my favorite dish of the night), ginger+tea steamed fish (waaaaay too much ginger, it totally overpowered the fish) and some assorted bland desserts. Not a fan of this restaurant.

Which brings us to yesterday, where in little india we went to Saravana Bhavan. We were torn on this place. On one hand, the initial flavors were rich and intense and absolutely delicious. But our meal ended up feeling VERY heavy in the end, the richness was overwhelming leaving us feeling lethargic. Among the dishes we had were the paper dosai, dhal makhani, the signature lunch plate (included raita, lime pickle, butter dal and some others), and aloo gobi fry. I’m thinking that we ordered wrong, because after a few bites we felt 10 pounds heavier and as a result began to enjoy the food less the more we ate. Nonetheless, you can tell that the food is high quality and I would be willing to try it again, just with some balance to the overall meal.

That evening we headed over to Hon Kee in Bukit Bitang because I had read on chowhound about how good their sliced raw fish congee was. I think the location was the mistake. It was in this food court underneath a mall where everything looked a little bit too slick. Nevertheless we ordered one sliced raw fish and one pork and century egg congee. The congee itself was rather bland, and it felt as if it were an issue with the stock rather than the other ingredients. The pork congee was better due to the well-seasoned pork, but even that was watered down by the congee. I know they have multiple locations, maybe it was a bad staff day?

We're looking forward to some amazing experiences while we're out here, hopefully my brief reviews will be helpful to somebody. :)

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