Sunday, 30 March 2008

Oysterette Lye's Sunday Bubbly Lunch

Jumping from one alcohol laden session to another, not that it was planned that way *wink*

Lye recently spotted a good deal in one of Bangsar's most desirable address and got herself a new home. I made it sound like she's buying a pair of panty doesn't it? Indeed. I am still amused with how she got the place transacted, done up and occupied in no more than 2 months. It's a hugeeee home, occupying an intermediate lot but instead of standard two storey, it's been extended left, right, centre, up and down to the max.

She invited a few friend's over for lunch today. AP felt like cooking for us and we did not hesitate to accept the offer.

Lye's living room. Spacious and minimalist with pretty cool furniture pieces. I adore the two rocking chair infront of the curtain. It was cool!Photobucket

The marble table and leather seat dining set were sturdy and solid. This is where we had our lunch.
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Something about white kitchen that turns me on. Even better when its fully equipped with the latest, newest gadget. How I wish to have such kitchen.
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While Lye showed me around, AP's brother prepared and started reheating some of the dishes cooked.
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Pete came with some bottles of Frontera!

Recognise these wines? There were the exact one the Oysterette had in EEST/Westin two weeks ago during my birthday dinner.
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As usual, I love taking a peek at people's kitchen and fridge. This was some bottles I found. Oh shucks ... my wine obsession is back after years of staying away. Help!
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Lye showed me, Pete and Julian around as its our first time here. While the boys, Lye and Honey tested the bed (ahem, nothing as what you imagined), I spotted a drawer full of junk food and Chocolates!

Needless to say, I helped myself to some, especially her chocolates *grin*
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This Lye ah, really know how to enjoy life. Not only she's got a walk-in wardrobe, she's got herself hugeeee plasma TV's in all her rooms (including her two guest room), and a jacuzzi too. Lye's hotel anyone?

Her furnishing were tip top, with best of the best stuff.

We adjourned to the third floor to the party area! There's a hugeeeee balcony overlooking Bangsar and it was fabulous!

Look what me and Julian found!
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That's TWO DOZEN Veuve Clicquot in her wine cooler!!! OMG!Photobucket

Soon after, AP intercom us to come down. Lunch's ready.

You should have seen how the two papparazi chased her around for a nice pic. We went underneath the table, around the table and finally, cornered here for a reluctant photo op *laugh* Poor Twinkle (correction, its spelled Tweenkle)
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We started our lunch with a gorgeously Boiled Soup of Old Cucumber, Pork Ribs, Longan, Kei Chee and few other ingredients. Actually, I'm not sure what's in the soup but its so sweet and flavourful. It was so good that everyone sipped silently, and helped themselves to more.
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This is a really good combination of Stir Fry Scallop with Kai Lan Head. The Kai Lan head were so crunchy, and addictive that I had lots of portion. Scallops were lovely, lovely, lovely and I had heaps coz I'm a scallop fan.
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The next dish is AP's specialty of Ham Yu and Red Onion Salad which saw a few of us polishing it off with lots, and lots of white rice. It was so simple and yet, so fragrant and good.
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AP gave this Baby Pompret a simply deep fry in a very hot oil. It was deep fried so well that we ate everyhing up, from its head to its tail.
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Sambal Petai took centre stage with its spicy, pungent aroma. When its cooked right, this is all I need with my plate of rice. Though a bit saltier than usual, AP's version is pretty good.
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Spicy, creamy and aromatic, her Curry Prawn was very good.
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Move over Prime; Julian's word. Apparently, this Roasted Lamb is really, really good.
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We had our lunch with Ribena. Lovely.
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Tiba tiba, Pete and Julian were given the honour to open a bottle of Choya, which Ester's aunt bought all the way back from Japan.
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Its Plum Liquor but are of different brand. The taste were similar like the ones I had few months ago but somehow, I find Lye's Plum Liquor slightly lighter. The aromatic plum smell with its slightly sweetish taste got everyone's thumb up.
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I can't remember what transpired that got Lye opening up a bottle of Prosseco. She had urged us to finish up this bottle in order for her to open up a bottle of Veuve, for taste comparison! Sadly, we were simply too stuffed. Next round first alright? We shall organize another makan session.

Thanks Pete for the wonderful insigh of using the right glassware when drinking. Thanks to for enlightening us why chef adorn a tall white hat when they cook.

Can our next session include Buddha Jump Over the Wall??? *big grin*
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For dessert, we had The Loft's yummy cheesecake. I had to honour of slicing each flavour to six pieces but really, it was not necessary. The flavour's we had were Blueberry Treasures, Kiwi Surprise, Berries Essemble Cheesecake and Inspiring Fluffy.

I loved them all. It is THE BEST japanese style cheesecake I'd ever eaten ... UHU-Hu!!! UHU-Hu!!! *don't laugh*

It was not as light as the usual Japanese style cheesecake, it was not as heavy as the western counterpart which I find gets a bit too much after a few bite.
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After our cheesecake session, we adjourned to the living room for a little R&R.

It was after awhile that Honey remembered something. Here's the finale item for lunch today; Baskin Robbins Ice Cream with Shortbread Crumbs, Grapes and Cream Topping of which she'd earlier brought over.
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4 kg's to go before next Sunday. Can I make it? I doubt so.
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Finally, Twinkle warmed up to both the papparazi aka Julian and me towards the end.
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That's our Bubbly Lunch in Lye's place. I can't wait for the next one, but that had to be at least a month later.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Lillian's Night in El Cerdo + Zeta Bar

It was perhaps more than 8 years ago that we got together to celebrate Lillian's birthday. I wonder how many more years counting that we will get the chance again.

With that, we'd planned for her small birthday dinner to be a memorable one.

First, dinner venue. She's a spanish food fan. Where else but at El Cerdo that we get to sample air flown piglets and a few Spanish delicacy all the way from Spain?

We were attracted, or rather, I was attracted by its warm hue colour decor. It was done tastefully, with a fine dining feel but casual enough for you to misbehave a little *ahem*

I mean the plate throwing *grin*
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My view from the corner of the room. The restaurant were packed and buzzling.
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The five of us decided to order a few dishes to share, but not before being threated to some delicious Mushroom and Ham Soup. It was thick and spot on.
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May, the only one whom had dined her twice commented that the Jamón Serrano (RM38) from Spain's good. It was served alongside the sweetest, juiciest rock melon I'd ever eaten and the combination of salty and sweet just blew me away.

I though it was such a great start.
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The oink oink, star of the restaurant took centrestage with “COCHINILLO AL ESTILO SEGOVIANO” or in simpler english Half Piglet Roasted Suckling Pig (RM110). Though the menu state its for 2 person, we thought that the serving were perfect for the five of us.
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This was how it looked, chopped up after an official chopping ceremony by the birthday girl. The gimmick were fun and befits the occassion well. Lillian were grinning from ear to ear.

The suckling piglet were, needless to say absolutely gorgeous. Tender juicy meat, with crunchy, crunchy skin that's out of this world. The sauce that came with it, though mild, went really well with the suckling pig.
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Some roasted potatoes to accompany the star of the restaurant. Roasted well, with a good mixture of vinegar/olive oil based dressing.
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It came with a fresh plate of salad too.
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I was contemplating over some pasta based main course plus a few other appetiser, but Lillian got excited when she heard the word Paella from my mouth.

"Of course we must order Paella la".

Well, I didn't know she's still into Paella all these years.

Thankful is an understatement. The Paella (RM88) was a fabulous choice. Not only was it laden with lots of Seafood, Chicken and Chorizo sausages, the aroma from saffron were absolutely wondrous.
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Me and May got her a Novelty Birthday Cake. My friends were asking me what happened to the Cheongsam dress request and how it ended up being a tube dress? The france flag based bedding too ended up being a tiny flag at the side.

What caught Lillian's eyes were the small piglet, which the restaurant added in. Photobucket

We were given 5 complimentary orange tequila shots too. The shots were yummy.Photobucket

Birthday girl Lillian, with her Oink Oink birthday song from El Cerdo staff.
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We enjoyed the fondant texture of the cake, but not the cake as we find them to be on the dry side. What I did was have them with the Orange Tequila shot and the problem's solved.
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Me ...
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The meal came up to around RM280 for the five of us, excluding the Novelty Cake which was RM150 for a kilo. Overall, we had a great dinner with a bit of a hiccup towards the meal ending part. Not feeling satisfied still, we adjourned to KL Hilton for some action and drinking.

Lillian and Angie's a Zeta Bar fan, Angie being a regular and Lillian loving to dance the night away, it was a perfect choice which got us there in no time.

Here is what's written about Akasha, the girl group whom performed in Zeta last night.

AKASHA LIVE @ Zeta Bar - The talented, beautiful, spontaneous and bilingual—in French and in English—girl group Akasha, all the way from Canada, will kickstart March into a month of all-night partying! Bursting with British, American and French flavour, their musical talent has jetted Akasha to famous showrooms in the world such as at the Sands Casino of Macau, at the Spectrum and Metropolis of Montréal, at the Taj Mahal Casino, at the Harrahs Casino, at the Trump Marina, in the Tropicana Casino of Atlantic city, in the city of Quebec. The contagious energy of Izabelle, Kathy, Valou, Chelsy and Mylene, will get you moving to their diverse choreographies—in blazing costumes—to music like Hip-Hop, R&B, disco and rock ‘n’ roll. Akasha will be performing for 3 months starting from Monday, 3 March 2008. So, come dance your heart out!

Seriously, they were simply AWESOME! How can one dance so much and yet, able to sing so powerfully? It's a MUST SEE.
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Free Calsberg from May. Thanks!
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I had a Mojito (RM29). Either May or Angie paid for me. Thanks girls for the lovely drink.
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Someone whom we don't know bought us a round of Tequila Bailey Shots.

Does this happen in Zeta Bar all the time?
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Okay, this is also free, but from Adam, Angie's friend from London. Phew, never though I'd down so much alcohol. Thankfully, no hangover.
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Later in the morning, I snuggled up to my pashmina and handbag in Hilton's Lounge trying to shake off the liquor consumed. My eyes were heavy indeed, but I was all ears listening to my
friends chatter and gossips.
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Just like good, old days ... we had so much fun!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Birthday Dinner in Villa Danieli

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I had an awesome dinner tonight in town. It is for another birthday celebration, yes, another birthday celebration in March and it is for Ruby, a girl I've known for sometime. She's almost a decade younger than me, nonetheless, we clicked really well and despite the age differences, we'd found ourself venturing together for trips abroad, shopping and makaning session too.

It was pouring earlier but nothing can stop us from driving all the way downtown to go check out Villa Danieli, in The Imperial Hotel, or the hotel formerly known as Sheraton Imperial. But what's with Imperial Hotel's lift system? To get to 1st floor from Ground floor, you have to take their generic lift to level 2 first, before changing to another lift there to get to 1st floor. Now, I do wonder why isn't there a lift to 2nd floor from the main lobby lift. Rather puzzling isn't it. But that's not all. To get to 5th floor where Villa Danieli is located, you have to get to a side lift, instead of the generic lift lining the lift entrance?

Aiya ... the fengshui of this place is not happening lah, not happening at all.

We made it to Villa Danieli's entrance, after some roundaround. Housed next to the swimming pool in an independent building block, Villa Danieli transported me back to memories of dining in Italy with its rustic and authentic looking architecture.
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The wait staff ushered us to a lovely table overlooking the grand ceiling mural. Quickly too, a basket of Italian Rustic Bread with Balsamic Vinegar were placed infront of our table to kickstart the dinner. Their bread were not bad, but I prefer mine where I baked them with lots of garlic, rosemary, olive oil and sea salt *pat back*
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Then came the complimentary Mushroom Brushetta with Basil. It was fresh, and tasty.Photobucket

We shared two appetisers of Salad Leaves, with Grilled Asparagus, Sliced Button Mushroom, Orange Segment and Honey Mustard Dressing and Pink Peppercorn Crusted Seared Tuna, with Endive, Radicchio, Mixed Leaves and Picollo Tomato Chutney. The Salad Leaves were light, and fresh with raw mushroom. This is my first time tasting raw mushroom and I'm surprised with its taste. It was light and crunchy, a combination that gave this salad a crunch it needed.
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Me and Ruby totally dig the Pink Peppercorn Crusted Seared Tuna, with Endive, Radicchio, Mixed Leaves and Picollo Tomato Chutney. The whole dish were flawless and absolutely delicious. The seared tuna were top grade, and fresh while the sweet, sourish chutney were out of this world. It was so good that we wiped the chutney clean with the leftover salad leaves and bread.

I must learn how to make this!
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I had a bite of Ruby's Black Ink Fettucine with Seafood Aglia Oglio. It was another wondrous dish that surprisingly, had very little squid ink smell. Unlike the packet ones where its al-dente at its best, theirs were firm and solid. Their prawn pieces were crunchy as it was so fresh, where else the squid were just oh-so-soft and tender.

It was perfect.
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Their set dinner came with three choices of main of pasta, fish and chicken. Chicken would be too boring hence I chose the fish instead. The name of the dish says it all. Crispy Skin Seabass Fillet, with Mashed Potato, Stewed Leek Radichio and Roasted Capsicum Coulis which had me salivating for more. A combination that worked really well, I love the crispy skin of the seabass against the soft, tender flesh inside. I did not think much of the mash potato though, but what drew me further to the dish were its stew leek radichio. It was mild with delicate leek flavour that went well with the fish. Perfect.
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When me and Ruby get together, we would go on a rampant makan spree and today is no exception as we topped out Set Dinner with a pizza. Most of its pizza had beef topping, with the exception of two and we chose Pizza Villa Danieli with Scamorza Cheese, Seafood with Bechamel Sauce (RM50++). It was an awesome choices as we totally dig the Scamorza cheese topping that came with its pizza. The pizza crust were thin and crispy, and again, seafood were absolutely fresh. It was an flavourful, mesmerizing pizza that resembled those served in Italy. Nothing less.
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Some info on its cheese; Scamorza is an Italian cow's milk cheese. It can also be made of other milks, but that is less common. It is a close relative of mozzarella. Scamorza is a plastic curd (or stretched curd) cheese in which the fresh curd matures in its own whey for several hours to allow acidity to develop by the process of lactose being converted to lactic acid. Artisanal cheesemakers would generally form the cheese into a round shape and then tie a string around the mass one third of the distance from the top and hang to dry. The resulting shape is pear-like. This is sometimes referred to as "strangling" the cheese. The cheese is usually white in color unless smoked. When smoked, the color is almond with a lighter interior. It is reputed to melt better in baking than mozzarella. It can be substituted for mozzarella in most dishes. If using the smoked variety (scamorza affumicata), it adds a nice background flavor in replacement of mozzarella. Scamorza is a favorite cheese of the Hazleton, Pennsylvania area and is found on cheese steaks, salads and french fries. In Hazleton, the cheese is pronouned "Scah-muhtz" Scamorza is also the cheese of choice for a pizza topping in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Elsewhere in the state, mozzarella is used. Scamorza is also an excellent cheese to use when making raclette.

To wrap up our dinner, I had their Dark Chocolate Mousse with Dark Cherry Compote. Perhaps, there's been a mistake as theres nothing moussey about this plate for it was actually a piece of brownie. Its set dinner menu mentioned White Chocolate too. Perhaps, the white chocolate decided to Billie Jean a bit and hence. That aside, I was a bit dissapointed with the slightly dry texture of the brownie. The dark cherry compote were its saving grace, thankfully.
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Ruby got super excited when she saw Crostini Trio Ice Cream Sandwich in their set dinner menu. First pasta, then ice cream. This woman is so predictable *laugh* Okaylah, let her enjoy her ice cream but, can I curi a bite? Whole heartedly ... she offered me a hugeeee bite which got me hooked. Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry smacked between wholemeal bread. It reminded me of Roti Ice Cream but better quality.
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A cup of bitter Hot Coffee.
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Birthday Girl Ruby.
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With her sinfully wicked Chocolate Mud Cake that came with a mousse texture. Strange indeed. The Mousse cake came with a cake texture where else this Mud Cake came with mousse texture. ????
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Whatever.

I had such a great time with Villa Danieli's food.
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For RM125nett per person, I though it was worth every single penny although I was fortunate to have complimentary vouchers for usage. *wink*