Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cassia @ Auckland

Named Auckland's best restaurant of 2016 at the city's Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year Awards, Cassia applies a modern artisanal touch to Indian dining, resulting in resonant flavours that are both deep & dense (yes, dense flavours!).

 The tasting menu is likely the best way to experience Cassia - it's quite a journey, from the perfect pani puri, conveying the taste & textures of potatoes, chickpeas & invigorating tamarind, to a luscious ensemble of scampi tail & cured kingfish with coriander & daikon. Through it all, the complex nuances remain faithfully, predominantly & unmistakably Indian, even when roasted carrots & cashew cream come coupled with Italian cavolo nero. Execution is irreproachable - both the lamb rump & free-range pork belly prove beautifully cooked, partnered with spiced eggplant & & whipped goat's cheese for the former, with vindaloo spices, apple & ginger for the latter. Even the palate cleanser is exceptional (curry leaf sorbet with ginger gel & almonds, clearly no afterthought), while dessert is a bliss-inducing tea sorbet linked with almond sponge, hibiscus & ginger.

Wine pairings for this menu are remarkable, with each step meticulously & magnificently planned out - crisp, zesty NZ stone fruits to go with carrots, for example, or a Spanish wine aged for 18 months in French oak barrels to supply a long-lasting finish that matches up with the lamb. The wines help heighten the element of surprise in each course - there were memorable moments we thought to ourselves, hey, this vegetable tastes like murukku, or when we sliced into the pork belly, & the heady aromas wafted out, followed by the spices that kicked in when we took a bite - it's all part of the magic & wonderment here. Check out the cocktails too, which stay true to the restaurant's Indian/Asian themes - the Kashmiri Dragon showcases Broken Shed vodka with Six Barrels feijoa syrup & Kashmiri chilli powder. All in all, Cassia is the kind of place an Aucklander might choose for a great dinner, or the sort of destination an out-of-town traveller may want to bookmark. Reservations are essential.

Cassia
5 Fort Lane, Auckland, New Zealand

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 RM0.10 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 may be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2016. 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).

Monday, May 30, 2016

TOKB Cafe, Centella Kitchen & Ann Nyeong Kerry Florist Cafe

It's not easy to write about TOKB - on one hand, we believe its founders have pure intentions, striving to create a place that reflects on the lessons of World War II & honours the memory of those who suffered, fought or lost their lives. But for now, those themes seem lost in a hodgepodge of wartime relics & replicas that teeter perilously close to exploitative gimmickry.

The menu spotlights flavours from Kelantan state (TOKB stands for Taste Of Kota Bharu, Kelantan's capital), with northeastern recipes like laksam (RM13.90) & nasi tumpang with serunding daging, ikan tongkol & ayam goreng (RM15.90) sourced from a woman who's cooked for three decades in Kelantan (the WWII connection lies in how Japan's invasion of Malaya began in Kota Bharu). The food on its own is inoffensive, though the signature drink, a frothy teh tarik with honey, left us disquieted - it may be inadvertent, but the beverage's name, 'Teh Atom,' feels unmindful of the grievousness of August 1945's atomic destruction. Plus, the cafe's huge portrait of soldiers from all sides happily sharing a feast of nasi kerabu in the jungle while attack planes soar overhead strikes too much of a false note, even if its motives may be noble. But we wish TOKB's friendly founders the best, & we hope their initiative will evolve to leave a positive impact by reminding us to value historical truths.

TOKB Cafe
Avenue D'Vogue, 3A, Jalan 13/2, Section 13, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. 
Currently open 12pm-9pm, Wed-Mon; will extend hours to include breakfast & supper eventually.

Green is good - Centella Kitchen's most intriguing temptations comprise fusion recipes with leafy hues: A Caesar salad bolstered by the crunch of Malaysian winged beans, or kacang botol (RM9); fettuccine infused with the restaurant's herbaceous namesake - centella, pegaga, or Asiatic pennywort - & tossed with pieces of chicken satay in a mildly garlicky sauce (RM16.90); & fruit mocktails, also tinged with centella extract (RM10.90). Respectable flavours for a satisfactory lunch.

Centella Kitchen @ Damansara Uptown
3 Jalan SS21/56b, Damansara Utama, Selangor. Daily, 11am-10pm.

Have a hot lunch of kimchi rice with fried egg (RM15.90) & topokki with hard-boiled egg (RM11.90), washed down with honey ginger tea & honey red ginseng juice, before picking up a bouquet for your nearest & dearest at this florist shop that doubles as a Korean cafe.

Ann Nyeong Kerry Florist Cafe
Ground Floor, The Vertical Podium, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur. Open 730am-730pm weekdays.

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 RM0.10 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 may be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2016. 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).