Thursday, 30 January 2014

Ben's & Nick's Diner, E-Tiara Apartment

Ben's & Nick's Diner, is one of the oldest western restaurants in Subang Jaya. It has been around for more than 10 years but it somehow never caught my attention due to its secluded location at E-Tiara Apartment. I only found out of its existence after Guan Ren told me about it. His brother took us for dinner there last year near Christmas and I was impressed with the food there. I did't blog about it at then because the photos were all blurred.

So when mum asked me to suggest a good western diner for a lovely dinner with my relatives, sure enough, B&N was the first on my mind so here we are!

Located at the corner of E-Tiara Apartment, B&N diner occupies just a small compound of the place. The sitting was really limited, really claustrophobic, if you'd ask me. B&N has a outdoor & indoor seating area.
It is advisable for one to make a reservation if you were to visit here on a weekend. I really love the indoor seating, as it felt really homey & cosy, with all the vintage posters plastered on the wallpapers & sweet, dainty decorations like tea cups and tea pots placed around.

Garlic Cheese Bread RM4.90
Sliced baguette spread with a generous layer of garlic butter & topped with cheese.
The bread was toasted to perfection hence explain the crunchy texture, bursting with an aromatic garlic taste. Love the generosity of the cheese given.
Mushroom Soup RM6.90
The mushroom soup was tad diluted and watery on my opinion as they blended the mushroom completely. Would have preferred if they would leave some bits and chunks of mushroom to give it some "texture"
Clam Chowder RM9.90
The seafood chowder on the other hand, fared much better than the latter. Generous amount of clamp & fish with a cheesy molten cheese on the bottom of the bowl. Creamy & flavourful with each mouthful, I was really reluctant to share this with my mum #badkid
Fried Calamaris RM16.90
The fried calamaris were served on a bed of fries so I was a little disappointed. I felt that this dish is a little too pricey as there were only a few pieces of calamari rings.
Taste wise, it was okay. Not too greasy, but not that great either. Loved the tar tar dipping sauce though. Tangy, delightful
Smoked Duck RM29.90
Smoked Duck served with Jam & Vinaigrette Salad & Granny Smith Apple Salad.
The smoked duck was bursting with flavours! Savoury and salty, this is definitely one of my favourite dish of the night, though my dad find it tad salty.
Cajun Prawns RM28.90
Fire-Grilled Shrimps, served with a side of steamed vegetables and fries
The cajun shrimps had a wonderful smokey flavour. It was really well marinated, but somehow I felt that it was tad dry.
Beef Carbonara RM16.90
Carbonara pasta served with your desired choice of noodles (angle hair/fettucini/spaghetti), topped with shredded cheese & a generous amount of beef bacons.

One thing I loved about B&N is the liberty to choose your desired noodles & toppings. All noodles are priced the same but the price of the toppings varies according to the ingredients.

Carbonara pasta is actually one of B&N's specialty. But the beef carbonara tasted quite diluted on that night. When I first tried it back in December last year it was a lot much better =/
Seafood Mariana RM28.90
Tomato based sauce served with your desired choice of noodles, topped with shredded cheese & a medley of seafood (Mussels, Prawns & Squid)
I didn't get to try this so I was unsure on how it tasted. But one thing for sure, the amount of seafood given was generous!
Lamb Shank RM37.90
Baked Lamb Shank served with a side of steamed veggies.
I thought that the lamb shank had some unpleasant smell which overpowered the dish =/ But the meat was tender and it falls off the bones easily.

Apple Crumble RM7.90
Homemade Apple Crumble topped with a giant scoop of vanilla ice-cream
As the apple crumble was pipping hot fresh out of the oven, the ice-cream melted really fast, creating a mess, that was blissfully wonderful. Definitely a must-try!
Bread Pudding RM7.90
Warm bread pudding topped with a generois scoop of ice-cream, and further topped with Raspberry sauce.
The pipping hot bread pudding was just fabulous! The sweetness was just alright, and the fluffy bread pudding goes really very well with the icy cold ice-cream! :)

Overall Rating: 6.0
The food was just so-so on that night, but the desserts were to die for :) Somehow I felt that B&N diner lacks of consistency in their food, because it was fabulous during my previous visit :/

Ben's & Nick's Diner
Lot G10,
e-Tiara Service Apartments, 
Persiaran Kemajuan 
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor 

Business Hours:
Mondays - Saturdays
1.45 a.m. - 2.30 p.m. & 6.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, 6.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m. on Saturdays

Contact no.: +60162010189

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Obanhmi, Damansara Uptown

*Non-Halal*

A few years back during one of my gastronomical adventure in Vietnam, I fell in love with one of their local street food which has received deep influence from the French during their colonization period, that is the  Banh Mi.  Banh Mi is basically a sandwich, using French Baguette & stuffed with various fillings which mainly consist of pork meat and preserved vegetables.

Ever since my trip, I've been craving for Banh Mi badly and am always on the prowl for a Banh Mi in Malaysia. And finally after waiting for years, Banh Mi has hit the shores of Malaysia @ Damansara Uptown! So dad & I, being fans of Vietnamese Coffee & bread decided to check it out on a weekend noon! 


A brainchild of three Vietnamese entrepreneurs, Obanhmi, a shop specializing in Banh Mi and Vietnamese coffee located in my favourite cafe hunting spot, Damansara Uptown. This little shop has a simplistic & frill-free facade, just a simple dark coloured banner as its signage. A little hard to spot for someone who is unfamiliar with Damansara Uptown like me if you'd ask me but thanks to the technology I managed to reach there without getting lost :)
The anatomy of a typical Banh Mi
The French Influence is prominent in the type of bread a Banh Mi uses. But unlike the French Baguette, the baguette used in making of a Banh Mi had been modified to lower the cost of production. The baguette used in a Banh Mi is more airy and has a thinner crust compared to a French's baguette, but it still tastes good no doubt





The menu- simple & straightforward. Me likey :) Partially because I am always so indecisive when it comes to ordering food.
The sweet & simple interior. Tall chairs, Long communal table, plain beige walls, with Vietnamese-inspired paintings hanging around. Love how everything just came together so well. 
The baguettes are freshly baked daily on its premises. A freshly baked batch of baguettes is available daily at 8am, 12.30pm, 1pm and 6pm. So mark your alarms to get your hands on the freshest baguettes available !

Although it might be really distracting, with the aromatic whiff of freshly baked baguettes wafting the air,tempting you to get another baguette :]

The Banh Mi(s) are made fresh upon ordering by their fast & efficient staffs. Our Banh Mi was delivered promptly after ordering despite having quite a big lunch crowd at that time. (Y)
O Sunny RM9.20
Vietnamese baguette stuffed with ham, sunny side up, pickled radish & carrots, with a generous layer of pate spread across the bread and not forgetting their delightful mayo and chili sauce.

I requested for the cilantro to be omitted but they've forgotten about it. So after the photos were taken I removed it straight away.

As I sink my teeth into the warm baguette which was oh-so crisp on the outside, soft & fluffy on the inside, my taste buds detected a wonderful amalgamation of flavours.
The creamy layer of eggs, crunchy pickled vegetables, savoury pate (pork liver) all comes together so perfectly in the crisp on the outside & soft & fluffy in the inside baguette. Yes pork liver. Oh, how I cringed when my mum orders a bowl of "pork spare parts" porridge. But not pate! The pate here was creamy. Any unpleasant taste was toned down by the tangy mayo & homemade spicy chili sauce, creating a sweet & spicy aftertaste that lingers on my taste buds pleasantly. Delicious!
O BBQ RM8.20
BBQ pork, Sunny Side Up, Pickled Radish & Carrots stuffed in a freshly baked baguette slathered with homemade mayonaise and chili sauce & topped with a handful of coriander.

The smoky and tender BBQ pork meat was a delight to the taste buds. Succulent & chewy, and a perfect balance of flavours :)

Vietnamese Milk Coffee RM4 (Add-on RM3)
I didn't want to have coffee at first as I have exceeded my "2 Cups a Day" coffee quota. My dad prompted me to have a sip and I went straight to the counter for another cup of Vietnamese Milk Coffee.

The coffee had a subtle chocolate and nutty taste and was irresistibly aromatic! The sweetness was just alright too.  Definitely a must try for all local coffee lovers out there!


Overall Rating: 8.0
A Truly Asian delight. Truly authentic Vietnamese Special, warm hospitality and a perfect respite, for those who are bored with Subway sandwiches. How I wished if there'd be one branch soon at Subang :)


Obanhmi
33 Jalan SS21/56b,
Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Business Hours: 
8.00am-8.30pm Tue-Fri
10.00am-9.00pm Sat-Sun
Close on Mondays


Contact no: 03-7732 8540
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OBMshop

Monday, 27 January 2014

Haikara Style Cafe & Bakery, e-Tiara Apartment [Second Visit]

With all the A2 stress and AS results stress kicking in (oh, life as an A-Level student), a few of my college buddies and I decided to have a lovely lunch together to reward ourselves for surviving well so far :) I suggested that we have lunch at Haikara as most of them had not tried that place before.  (Blog Post regardinig my first visit HERE)
Nestled in one of the secluded corner of E-Tiara Apartment, Haikara is a Western & Japanese fusion cafe, maned by a couple from Nagoya, Japan. You won't find any typical Japanese food such as Sashimi, Sushi, Ramen in this cafe. Yes, this cafe specializes in Western cuisine, with Japanese elements infused in it, of course.

I absolutely love Haikara Style Cafe. From its quaint, peaceful & relaxing environment, whiff of freshly baked bread waffling the air, to the friendly Japanese boss who welcomes you upon entering the cafe, cute little Japanese knick-knack and decorations around. and the wide array of delightful Western-Japanese food.

The full menu is available on their webisite, although Haikara had revamped their menu and a lot of new food items is available now. Set lunch is available on weekdays and each set lunch comes with a choice of Coffee/Tea/Iced Lemon Tea.
Coffee (Comes with Set Lunch)
 okay...to be honest I overdid the cream for photography purposes. So the coffee tasted tad too milky to my liking. The coffee served in Haikara is charcoal-roasted, so each sip actually delivers an aromatic distinctive taste. Remind me to go easy on the cream next time.
Tuna, Egg & Corn Salad RM13.90 (Lunch Set Promo) 
Corn kernels, Coral, Sliced Cucumbers & Tomatoes, Generous dollops of Tuna Mayo & Egg Mayo on a bed of Shredded Cabbage.
Who says salads are boring?

This salad is absolutely EGG-cellent. Mixed it up, and you get a tangy mixture of mixed greens, tuna-riffic salad . This bowl of salad is definitely very filling & enough to keep me going throughout the whole day :D Paired up with Japanese Roasted Sesame dressing sauce, this bowl of salad is the bomb!

Butter Toast (comes with set)
The butter toast was a delight- one side of the toast was buttered generously. The aromatic buttery taste tickles my taste buds as I set my teeth onto the crunchy toast. Toast bread is certainly a must-have whenever you visit Haikara :)
Mushroom Pasta RM19.90
Pasta tossed with a medley of mushrooms, served with two slices of garlic bread.
Each strand of spaghetti was cooked till el-dente, and perfectly coated with the delightful mushroom sauce. One bite, and the fragrant taste of mushroom & garlic pepper sauce just lingers around my taste buds, creating a memorable taste. Simply lovely.

Beef Stew Pasta RM23.90
Spaghetti served with beef stew, vegetables and two crunchy garlic bread..
Friend's order. According to her this was REAAAAAALLLLL GOOD
Chicken Cheese Roll RM16.90
Breaded Chicken Breast Stuffed with Cheese, deep fried into perfection. Served with a side of salad & wedges, and a choice of BBQ or Curry sauce.
The chicken roll was oozing with hot molten cheese! According to my friend, the chicken did not taste greasy at all despite being deep fried. The Curry Sauce that accompanied the chicken was superb! I've forgotten to snap a picture of it. It looks like your usual Japanese Curry, but it tasted extra aromatic & delicious! Definitely one of the best Japanese Curry I've ever tried :)
Unagi & Tomato Rice Plate RM19.90 (Set Lunch Promo)
The tomato rice was nice & fluffy with a subtle sweet taste of tomato. However, if you are someone who prefers to have their food heavily seasoned this wouldn't be the best choice. The fish was tender and well-marinated according to my friend. And the potato wedges were really nice and fluffy , and does not feel greasy at all.
Fuji-San RM17.90
French Toast topped with cream-cheese ice-cream and drizzled with raspberry sauce
The warm fluffy aromatic french toast, paired up with the icy-cold smooth cream cheese ice-cream & raspberry sauce, is like one of the most ingenious combination in the world! How well this combination is? It is just like Yin & Yang, the french toast & ice-cream just complements each other so perfectly they should just get married. Just blogging about this Fuji San is making me hungry and craving for more!
A MUST-HAVE!


Overall Rating: 8.5
Haikara Cafe is no doubt my favourite Japanese fusion cafe :) I just love everything about this cafe. Great food, alluring ambiance, and warm hospitality. <3


Haikara Style Cafe & Bakery
E-Tiara Ground Floor,
Jalan Kemajuan SS16/1,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor

Business Hours :
Tue – Fri 11.00am – 3.30pm & 3.30pm – 10.00pm
Sat – Sun 10.00am – 10.00pm
Closed on Monday

Contact Number : 03-5630 0743
Email : hello@haikara.com.my
Website:http://haikara.com.my/
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Haikara.Style

Sunday, 26 January 2014

COSANS Coffee, SS15

Last week, I received an invitation to Cosans Coffee's coffee & food tasting event. Finally, a blogger event that is held conveniently in my own "base", SS15 Subang Jaya! Just a convenient 5 minute drive from my house (:
Cosan Coffee! A new coffee place in the ever so happening SS15. Cosans Coffee is located at one of the busiest street of SS15- that is the row facing the pasar  (same row as Crayon Burger)

As I pushed the glass door open, I was greeted enthusiastically by Cosans Coffee's warm staffs. I was instantly mesmerized by Cosans Coffee's interior as I set my foot into that place. The dim lighting, cushioned chairs, oak tables & wall emits a romantic & cosy feel. The place is decorated like a wooden cabin in the woods, as it felt really quaint and homey inside. 
Like most cafes, Cosans Coffee practices the self-service culture where patrons have to make their order & payment at the counter. The friendly Cosans staffs behind the counter were all smiles when I made my order- the hospitality there was just lovely!
Cosans serves up an array of beverages, ranging from caffeinated hot & cold drinks, frappe, chocolate, yogurt smoothie & even sodas!
There's two types of beans patrons can choose from in Cosan Coffee, that is Equarre, which has a nutty & bitter body, and Carreau, which tasted more acidic & fruity.
The food menu on the other hand is still quite limited for the time being, but just nice to satisfy those little hunger pangs with their range of sandwiches, salad & soups.
The beautiful display of salad, sandwiches and cakes! The Tiramisu (RM12.90+) Cosan serves is from the same supplier that supplies Tiramisu to Alexis!
Sandwiches are made fresh upon ordering (:
Hazelnut Latte Regular RM11; Large RM13
Yes, Cosans have the cutest Coffee Art! Taste wise, the Hazelnut Latte has a smooth body, and a sweetness that was just nice for my liking (:
Mocha Regular RM12; Large RM14
Smooth, silky body, and an aromatic & rich dark chocolate taste, simply my type of Mocha (: Like the Hazelnut Latte, the sweetness was just nice because dark chocolate was used.
Caramel Frappe Regular RM14; Large RM16
Food & Lifestyle Blogger Carmen Hong said that she enjoyed this drink a lot despite not being a coffee lover, so I assume that it was good? :D

Oreo Milkshake Regular RM12; Large RM14
I thought that this milkshake needs a little more Oreo and less ice-cream as it tasted too milky to my liking. 
Nutella Strawberry Frappe 
I was quite skeptical to try out this drink at first, but it actually tasted not bad! Cosans uses up to 4 strawberries to make a cup of Nutella Strawberry Frappe. The Nutella Strawberry Frappe has a thick consistency & a strong Nutella body, I'd recommend one to share this drink as it'd get a little too cloying if one were to finish this on his/her own.
Cosans Double Mocha
This has to be my favourite ice-blended drink @ Cosans. Sweetness was just alright, and the chocolate had the perfect intensity of sweetness. Best of all, I did not felt jelak after finishing the whole drink on my own :)



Hanami RM10
Japanese Sencha with Cherry Blossom. In Japan, "Hanami" is an activity carried out by the Japanese in Spring, when the Sakura is in full bloom. Families & friends will get together to visit parks for picnic while enjoying the beautiful cherry blossom scenery. This "Hanami" activity is reputably able to give a calming effect to one's mind.
And yes, this tea actually lives up to its name. The sweet Sakura scent gave me a calming effect to my mind and soul. The fragrance of the tea is just love! A perfect respite from all the sweet & milky frappes we had earlier on.
Asianese Roasted Chicken RM12
Wholemeal bread stuffed with roasted chicken thighs, lemongrass, shallots & coriander. 
The sandwich tasted truly Asian, thanks to the addition of lemongrass and coriander that gives this dish a distinctive flavour. The chicken was tender and succulent. The sandwich felt really healthy, as the chicken was only marinated lightly and wholemeal bread was used.
This sandwich is enjoyable, if you are a fan of coriander. I was never a fan of coriander so I don't really fancy this combination. 
Smoked Duckling RM15
Wholemeal bread stuffed with Smoked Duck with melted mozarella, tomatoes and arugula
I was actually quite looking forward to taste this sandwich as I have a "thing" for smoked duck. Unfortunately, the smoked duck in this sandwich wasn't really on par of what I've expected. The smoked duck tasted bland and the texture was tad rubbery. I gave them the feedback about this sandwich and hopefully it'll be better in the future :)
We were also given a demonstration of two coffee brewing method- Aeropress & Pour Over, by one of Cosans Coffee award winning barista :)

aeropress method
It was certainly a very informative session- I never knew coffee brewing was such a precise & tedious process! From the size of the beans, to the temperature of water required. After this session I've learn to appreciate coffee more, and not just judge them base on the body and coffee art. :)

Thank you so much Cosans Coffee for the invite! Had a really great night with fellow bloggers! Get to know a few new blogger friends such as Emily, Sandra, Jessica  , Yvone & Zhi Xin and also got to catch up with blogger friends I've met in previous event hehe :)
OH and good news, kaokao talk users! Follow Cosans Coffee on Kaokao Talk and you are entitled to a 50% discount on your second drink purchase!
Not a user of kaokao talk? Download it for free from your app store before the promotion ends! :D

Cosans Coffee
No 30 (Ground Floor), Jalan SS15/4,
Subang Jaya,
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Business Hours:
10am-12am Sunday -Thursday
10am- 2am Friday & Saturday

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cosans.coffee
Website: http://cosans.com/
Contact Number: 03-5612 9600
E-mail: info@cosans.com
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