Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dognvill Burgers @ Oslo, Norway

Oslo is a city that loves its burgers, with numerous patty-flipping joints across the capital - Dognvill ranks among the most recommended; the beef is sourced from Norwegian farms in Jaeren & ground in Stavanger, with topping combinations that range from pulled pork & dry-salted bacon to tallegio cheese with butter-&-balsamico-fried portobello mushroom & herbal mayo. If you can brave the heat, try the surprisingly spicy Sterke-Nils, crowned with sauteed habaneros, jalapenos, green chillies & double cheddar. Down with some 'Dirty Fries' & a St-Germain cocktail.

Dognvill Burgers, Oslo, Norway.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Plated by Pinky Brothers @ IOI City Mall

The Plated showcases some fun ideas that represent a step up from the standard-issue fast food of a shopping mall, including East-West fusion concoctions like tortilla wraps stuffed with buttered deep-fried squid & curry leaves (RM19.90) & mantou-bun burgers sandwiched with Cajun-spiced char-grilled chicken breast (RM18.90); the caveat is that both recipes come burdened by a heavy reliance on cloying mayo-based sauces that seem to mainly target mass-market crowds.

Desserts & drinks emerge with a bit of visual flair, especially the competently executed tiramisu (RM15.90) & the creamy-frosty Brazilian lemonade (RM13.90). Plus points: Prices feel fair, the setting certainly has its charms, & service is friendly & efficient.

The Plated by Pinky Brothers
L2-20&21, Second Floor, IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Beef & Liberty @ Hong Kong

Give me liberty, or give me burgers: Here's a joint that means serious business, with burgers built of beef from cattle reared on a natural-grass, hormone-free diet, with the patties ground in-house daily, grilled pink & juicy. topped with Wicks Manor bacon & raclette cheese, complemented by Wilkins & Sons ketchup. Even the cocktails transcend the typical - Glasgow Docklands features Compass Box Glasgow Blend whisky, port reduction, angostura, orange bitters, filtered sea salt & crispy salmon skin.


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ground Hog @ TTDI

Ground Hog's emergence heralds the onset of pork season on this street in Taman Tun Dr Ismail - East-&-West offerings include the kitchen's take on fettuccine carbonara, soaked in salted egg yolk sauce with bacon bits (RM19), & a lunch special of rice with char siew & soy-braised pork belly (RM20 with a fizzy grape or mango drink). But even if you're not into the hog, there's no need to retreat back into your burrow; the curry laksa comes with a whole soft-shell crab for a hearty bowl (RM22).

Ground Hog
16, Jalan Wan Kadir 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Kitchen opens daily, lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-7733-7911

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2017 Menu: Sitka @ Damansara Heights

Turning three this month, Sitka continues to reinvent itself as one of KL's most engaging eateries, evolving now into a modern Asian restaurant & convivial wine bar. A meal here fires up both the imagination & the appetite, composed with a finely tuned balance of skill & style that's the lifeblood of a dynamic kitchen. Sitka's food is meant to be shared, savoured, talked about & remembered; start with what could be considered 21st-century, citizen-of-the-world dim sum - compellingly tender white cut chicken with a dressing that's both tasty & textured (RM20), beautifully stuffed prawn wontons in a lip-smacking Thai-inflected butter sauce (RM18), & radish cake blanketed in the fluffiest scrambled eggs & chicken floss (RM16).

While waffles & tacos have vanished from Sitka's current oeuvre, the venue maintains a flair for taking popular, crowd-pleasing fare & reinterpreting it in noteworthy ways. Baos have never been hotter in KL's modern F&B landscape, & Sitka puts its own stamp on them - the Shanghai burger bao is a hearty hybrid that sandwiches Sitka's own-baked, chives-laced buns with thick patties built of wagyu beef trimmings & house-made pickles (RM24), while the twice-cooked duck bao evokes the enjoyment of eating Peking duck, paired with steamed mantou, with lots of meaty fowl flesh, warm to the touch, to rip into & relish (RM38).

Through every offering, there's an intense commitment that's evident to real food, reliant on fresh, passionately sourced ingredients, prepared through honest, hard work. It's the ideal showcase for seafood to shine, from a standout salad of torched salmon vibrantly partnered with creamy eggs & peas that generate a genuine snap, rounded out with spicy yuzu aioli (RM27), tuna tataki, the smooth delicateness of the protein balanced by the uplift of yuzu kosho ponzu & pepper oil (RM23), & sesame-crusted market-chosen fish with garnishes that pay homage to Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City (RM34).

 Red meat secures respect too; seared wagyu flank steak promises primal, sink-your-teeth-into-this pleasure, complemented by a choice of fish sauce & lime or yuzu kosho butter & zucchini (RM38). The sense of capable versatility here is bolstered by lamb, cumin-spiced & presented with smoked yoghurt in the fashion of Chinese jian bing (RM18) or braised with Coca-Cola & chillies to sumptuous succulence (RM42).

Desserts adopt a quality-over-quantity approach - there are three sweet treats on Sitka's menu, & all merit investigation, from the butter cake irresistibly coupled with brown butter ice cream (RM18) to the nearly sensual chocolate cremeux with coconut custard & coconut espuma (RM18) & the complex ensemble of mochi with mango sorbet, condensed milk & pomelo (RM18). Browse the diversity demonstrated on Sitka's wine racks for a suitable vintage, but be sure to also check out a cocktail or two - combinations like bourbon & tamarind or vodka & sake with lemonade & yuzu salt (RM24 each) confirm that beverages are far from an afterthought here. Many thanks to Sitka for this terrific feast.

Sitka
8-5, Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-2011-1117

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