Monday, November 30, 2015

Lepaq Lepaq @ Ceylon Road, Off Changkat Bukit Bintang

Nasi lemak cakes, cotton-candy cloud coffee, a brunch version of Peking Duck, & one of KL's most massive big breakfasts: This intriguing cafe is inundated with culinary novelties, set in a curious two-storey space with a forested view of Bukit Ceylon.

To seize maximum advantage of the ambiance, seek a table upstairs at the front section of this cavernous sanctuary of calm, which is in a secretive soft-launch stage; the sole customers on a recent weekend afternoon were residents of nearby condos.

Nasi lemak cheese cake (RM15+) could become Lepaq Lepaq's best-seller, tinged with morsels of glutinous rice & peanuts, topped with cucumber gelatin, anchovies & sambal - an honourable effort at turning Malaysia's national dish into dessert, evocative of nasi lemak gelato & nasi lemak creme brulee, though the cake's flavours tip toward sweetish; the savoury & spicy components feel comparatively muted, illustrating some of the inherent constraints in making a peculiar cake taste palatable.

The cafe's social media darling is poised to be the 'Rainy Day Coffee,' with a cloud of cotton candy suspended above the steaming-hot cup - it's not wholly original (a simple online search reveals its presence at a couple of cafes in California & Shanghai), but it is pretty fun & exuberantly eye-catching. Sure, by the time the cotton candy melts, the saucer below is a sticky mess, & the coffee may not be for connoisseurs, but the experience should cheer up young-at-heart customers. RM13+.

We respect how The Crepey Duck tries to transpose a Chinese restaurant staple into a cafe setting - it's enjoyable enough, with tender roasted duck breast meat & crispy skin waiting to be folded in crepes; the traditional hoisin sauce is substituted with a kitchen-produced orange mayonnaise, which makes the sum of this recipe more mellow than punchy in flavour. RM40+.

Strictly for sharing, Lepaq Lepaq's Big Breakfast is a whopping serving of (deep breath!) truffle-scrambled eggs, toasted ciabatta, three types of sausages (foot-long chicken, cranberry lamb, & our favourite, smoked chicken with a melted cheese centre), two hash browns, turkey & chicken ham, mixed leaves, halved tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, baked beans, kidney beans & a sweet-spicy dip - some of the elements are more effective than others. It's RM55+, but it can feed three customers. 

Our favourite order turned out to be one of the least-heralded offerings: Sliced lotus roots, deep-fried with a coating of salted egg yolk & butter (RM16+). Hot & fresh, crunchy & deliciously flavoursome; we'd happily have this again. Note though that the menu may change from day to day, so what's available on Friday might not necessarily be the same as Monday's selection.

Drinks range from non-alcoholic mocktails served in boxes to the Yarra Valley's 5.5%-ABV Innocent Bystander Moscato. Service here is welcoming, with an amiable, eager-to-please team; the place has potential, so we wish its founders well.

Lepaq Lepaq
Lot 687, Jalan Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur. Same street as Regency Tower & Lanson Place. Daily, 11am-9pm

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. 
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, at least RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for Oct-Dec 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://issuu.com/eatdrinkkl/docs/ebook

Buckle your seatbelts: Eat Drink KL is partnering with Uber to take restaurant lovers on new adventures across KL & Selangor!
If you haven't used Uber yet, it's time to begin! For new users, just follow the steps below to redeem free rides:
1. Download the Uber app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store - and register your Uber account.
2. Apply the code EATDRINKKL as your first promotional code & you'll receive 2 Free Rides worth RM30 each.
3. Request a ride through the app and ride for free to any destination (with two ride values of up to RM30 each).

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tea Press Japanese Roasters @ Damansara Uptown

Ami Sugiyama & her team of Japanese & Malaysian 'tea sommeliers' are brewing a unique experience in Damansara Uptown, eager to introduce more locals in the Klang Valley to the nuances of Japanese tea. Serving a stimulating range of tea from Shizuoka, Tea Press is meant to be a casual venue where uninitiated customers won't feel intimidated - sit at the counter, order from an easy-to-interpret menu, & watch as the team goes through the soothing process of preparing your beverages.

The selection spans basic green tea & beyond, with variations like genmaicha & hojicha, plus tea blended with citrus elements (mildly tangy) or with raspberries & cranberries, or with cinnamon & chilli (toasty but not spicy). Each pot, which supplies several pourings of tea, costs between RM10 & RM12. Note: Tea Press plans to open a second outlet next year in Subang.

The tea's lovely to sip on its own, with simultaneously pure but multifaceted flavours. Tea Press also takes a contemporary tack with options like espresso-style hojicha (RM10; this has a bit of a 'burnt' taste) & a tea smoothie mixed with avocado (RM15; it's mellow). Might be fun to experiment with trying different varieties to figure out your preferences for Japanese tea.

 A compact menu of hot, rice-heavy meals complements the tea: classic comfort fare like mackerel-topped ochazuke (RM20, served with Japanese pickles, egg & simmered veggies), onigiri with fillings like ginger chicken or salmon (RM25) & chimaki sticky rice dumplings wrapped with lotus leaves & stuffed with chicken & mushrooms (RM20). The food aims for authenticity.

No absence of desserts: Our favourite is the sakura mochi rice cake with a red bean paste centre, presented in an edible cherry blossom leaf (RM5) - enjoyably glutinous, with resonant flavours. There are also warabimochi bracken starch jelly covered with sweet soybean flour (RM7), crunchy rusk-style biscuits in flavours like green tea, caramel or cinnamon, an interesting daifuku mochi that conceals a fresh white grape inside (RM5), as well as green tea anpan bread rolls with red bean paste (RM5; ours was overheated a little; if that happens, wait for it to cool slightly).

Tea Press Japanese Roasters
46G, Jalan SS 21/39, Damansara Uptown, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Open Tues-Sun, 11am-9pm

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. 
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, at least RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for Oct-Dec 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://issuu.com/eatdrinkkl/docs/ebook

Buckle your seatbelts: Eat Drink KL is partnering with Uber to take restaurant lovers on new adventures across KL & Selangor!
If you haven't used Uber yet, it's time to begin! For new users, just follow the steps below to redeem free rides:
1. Download the Uber app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store - and register your Uber account.
2. Apply the code EATDRINKKL as your first promotional code & you'll receive 2 Free Rides worth RM30 each.
3. Request a ride through the app and ride for free to any destination (with two ride values of up to RM30 each).