Review by SA

For vegetable lovers, this place is great - it serves delicious preparations of vegetables. My personal favourite is the Tarbush Salad at RM 7, made up of romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, lemon juice and olive oil. I would also recommend the Tabouleh, which is chopped parsley, tomato, crushed wheat, lemon juice and olive oil.

The meat dishes are pretty good too. My friends ordered lamb biryani (RM 14.00) and the Spring Chicken (RM 15.00) while I ordered the Mix Grill (RM 18.00). The meat was tender and succulent and well flavoured. Portions are pretty generous, so it's fairly good value for money.

There are a couple of interesting deserts - to date, I've only tried the creme caramel, and it's excellent. Creamy, smooth and rich.

Lebanese Cuisine
Lot G05 Ground Floor
Ampang Point Shopping Centre
Jalan Mamanda 3
Ampang Point, 68000 Ampang
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel : 03-42534177
Today the family and I went to Ipoh to do our Chinese New Year rounds and visited all our grandaunties there. My uncle from Penang also drove down to meet us there. Seeing that we hardly return to Penang these days, he took the liberty of bringing some of Penang to us. My favourites - assam laksa, chee cheong fun and 'kelinga' mee (indian mee).

Of course, our before we even got to it, we started the day off by having breakfast at Bidor, a small town about 45 minutes south of Ipoh which is famous for it's duck noodles. The shop is Pun Chun and it's on Jalan Besar (the main road). As I already had the noodles 3 weekends ago on the way to Pangkor Laut (post #36) I decided to go for the plain kwan lo char-siew wanton mee (dry noodles with wonton and roast pork). My parents and Uncle J, who hadn't been to the shop in over 20 years also ordered the same dish and they loved it - the noodles was homemade, handmade and kinda curly-wurly and the wanton fillings were generous in portion with minced pork and prawns. They also liked the woo kok (yam filled with minced pork) and siew pow (baked pork buns). For dessert, we could not resist when I spied kai tan kow (simple baked egg cakes) at the bottom of the display and it was absolutely delicious - light and moist.

I digress from the title. Will save the lunch review for another post.

Had the assam laksa, which is one of my favourite Penang hawker dishes of all time. Looked at mom and asked her, "Where do you think Uncle R got this from? It's definitely not from my favourite shop at Pulau Tikus."

Mom:Well, I think he would have got it there ... no, wait, they don't start business till later and seeing he would have bought this at like 9am-ish, it's probably some other shop.
Me: I knew it!
Mom: What's wrong with it?
Me: The soup is like a bit raw - not enough of something ... (I proceed to add some ha kow (shrimp paste) to it). That's better but I can still taste the rawness of the chillies .. like a young Chardonnay ...needs more time to mature ..
Mom: You are comparing assam laksa to wine?
Me: Yup! The laksa at the corner Pulau Tikus shop .. the body of the soup is to strong, too much of all the ingredients and boiled for too long. The one near Grandaunty #7's place is too light, not enough body and tastes almost watered down. The one from the Black's wife is perfect - just the right amount of herbs and fish, etc boiled with the right amount of water and not boiled too long so there's no overboiled mush taste and texture yet boiled long enough so that the raw taste of the ingredients like chillies, onions, bunga kantan are all blended really nicely ... like the Blue Pyrenees Estate 1997 Red!!
Mom: You're so weird!

Well, I don't know how else to compare the different tastes and textures of the assam laksa soup. Some are really thick, almost like a stew and if it's overboiled there's that burnt after taste. Some are really light and watery. Then the taste varies - to sour, not sour enough, too sweet, not sweet enough, too much prawn paste, too little bunga kantan, etc .. the list goes on and on ...!!

So, tell me what you think? What other analogies could I use to compare and contrast assam laksa soups? and while on the same strain .. curry laksa soups too!!

In my teens, whenever my friend Andrew was down visiting from Penang, without fail we would always go to Swensen's for their Earthquake creation. Then Swensen's disappeared for a while and revived not so long ago.

Anyway, decided to pop into Swensen's in SS2 on Tuesday night to discover that Tuesday nights = 50% off on Earthquake creations!!! Yeah!!

"Are you sure we can finish a whole earthquake?", CKL asked.
"Aiyah, only 8 scoops .. two of us .. can lah..", I replied.

Anyway, we bulldozed through the Earthquake which is still served in the large bowl but this time round with a little jar of dry ice in the middle which makes it look like a volcano had erupted. We had mocha almond fudge, peanut butter cup, cookies n cream, lime sherbet, mango, chocolate bits and 2 more flavours I can't remember with various toppings.

Great way to spend a Tuesday evening and it only cost us RM18.25 for all.

Swensen's Ice Cream Parlour
SS2, Petaling Jaya
We finally made it to Pangkor Laut Resort, the only resort on an old leper colony island off the larger island of Pangkor. 3 Days and 2 nights in paradise.....the island was gorgeous, and we had the Beach Villa which was great!!!

Guide to eating at Pangkor Laut Resort
For RM60 you can have a buffet breakfast at Palm Grove Restaurant. It's quite nice sitting and overlooking the pool and sea and with pea fowls walking around the place (you can't feed them though!). The selection wasn't bad and you could request for eggs done any way you like. They even had putu piring*. The biggest disappointment was that they didn't have nasi lemak. I mean, tout yourself as a Malaysian kampung (village) and not serve nasi lemak anywhere on the resort??? Anyway, they did have bircher muesli to pacify this cat, so all's forgiven ...

*Putu piring is a small, white, Malay cake made of flour and stuffed with gula melaka (brown sugar). It is eaten with grated coconut.

We had a choice of Chapman's Bar at Emerald Bay or the Royal Bay Beach Club.
Chapman's Bar
Located on the other side of the island, it's the only eating place on Emerald Bay. They serve a variety of tapas and burgers and pasta. We tried most of their tapas, the cold tomato soup, pasta and the beef burger. It was all ok though I was informed that the beef burger wasn't very good.

Royal Bay Beach Club
Located by the infinity pool, the food here is a variety of sandwiches, salads and pastas. On the day we were there, they were serving Mee Banding (RM33) which I tried. It was really spicy but quite tasty. The salads were very basic and nothing fancy, just tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce based with grilled prawns or chicken on top. I was informed that the Club sandwich wasn't too bad and neither was the pasta.

We had a choice of Uncle Lim's Seafood Restaurant or Samudra Malay Restaurant.
Decided not to eat at Samudra because have been told before hand that the food there isn't so great and they were having an Indian buffet on one of the nights we were there. Anyway, we were here to have SEAFOOD!!

Uncle Lim's is the Chinese seafood restaurant which has NO menu! Everything is based on recommendations, which may not be great because you won't know what things costs till after the meal .... :)
Anyway, we had
- roast duck - very yummy and we assume it came from some famous roast duck seller from Lumut!
- steamed sea bass (approx RM120) - very fresh
- asparagus with scallops (RM70) - it was cooked just with garlic and a bit bland
- deep-fried soft shell crab with chilli/ginger sauce - unfortunately, the crab was not crunchy enough and the chilli wasn't even slightly hot
- large grilled tiger prawns (RM85) - these were really large and we had one for each of us
- fried banana and ice cream for dessert - VERY yummy (unfortunately, they only had 2 types of dessert - the banana or mixed fruit)

For the first night, the bill came to RM550 for the 3 of us and for the 2nd night (we had similar to the above except that the prawns were smaller and we also had tofu) the bill was RM680 for the 4 of us.

Drinks - everywhere on the island, the fruit juices / mixed fruit drinks were all RM15 per glass and the alcoholic drinks are between RM40-RM50.

The best way to eat your way through the resort is to go on the meal plan which is RM200 per pax per day for all meals (exclusive of alcohol) or to take the 3D/2N package which is RM799 per pax inclusive of all meals.

There are a few other restaurants like Fisherman's Cove which we didn't try and also the Dinner on the Rocks where you get to sit on a platform built over a huge rock at Emerald Bay and watch the sun set as your have dinner. They only serve sets here (RM190 per pax) and a bar, Sri Lagenda Bar.

I really wished they served better desserts than just ice cream with fried banana or ice cream with mix fruits or plain ice cream. Then again, a lot of the food seem to come already prepared from the mainland. (We saw the dim sums arriving when we left). And I really think they need to serve NASI LEMAK!!!!

Pangkor Laut Resort


It's been there for ages and a real favourite with the Indians in PJ and for the lack of a better place to go, my sing-song friends ++ and I went to South Pacific in PJ State for yee sang dinner on the 2nd day of CNY.

The sing-sing friends are definitely one of the more difficult groups to cater for (in terms of dietary requirements) and we just finally decided on a set that catered to some - "No prawns please, Sharks Fin soup please, etc".

The yee sang wasn't too bad but we swapped the raw wan yee (freshwater fish) for jellyfish because it's not good to eat the raw stuff. Why? Don't know except that we were told "stay away from that stuff, it's bad for you". Unlike some of the other yee sang I have had, this one was ok, and wasn't as heavily colored as the rest.

Next, the dishes started literally flying in almost all at once;
- sharks fin soup with crabmeat - well, of course it wasn't real sharks fin but I really wonder why people like it so much, it's just like egg drop soup with cornflour to thicken it. Of course, I've never been a big fan of starchy soups....
- cauliflower with mushrooms,
- broccoli and mushroom (both which tasted the same thanks to the same sauce it was all swimming in!),
- 2 types of tofu (otak-otak tofu and house special tofu (fish paste/tofu mix) - this was what we substituted for the prawns (in hindsight, we should have just had the prawns .. I mean, when one person doesn't want the prawns, doesn't mean that everyone else has to forgo it right?),
- fried rice
- herbal chicken - bit salty
- steam cod fish - more like boiled cod fish head and then smothered with that damm sauce which was similar to the ones that came with the broccoli and cauliflower.
- dessert was fresh mango (which was probably the best dish which was probably the easiest to prepare) and watermelon

The set came to RM406 including tax for the 9 of us. I personally didn't think it was very worthwhile as the only "expensive" dish was the fish but hey, when you go out for CNY, it's more for the socialising more for the food I guess.

Overall, the food at South Pacific has really gone downhill, and this, coming from someone who's not so great with the Chinese cuisine. If I can tast the difference from a few years ago (the last time I was there) and now .. that's saying something! Then again, it could be the pre-cooked / conveyer belt food that they were cooking just because it was CNY ...

Go there again ....only if I'm really desperate but then, the next time, it will have to include proper seafood - prawns, squid, crabs ...

South Pacific Seafood Restaurant
PJ State (behind Lotus formerly known as State Cinema)
This year, we decided to celebrate YL's birthday at Marche Movenpick at the new The Curve at Mutiara Damansara. I've never been a huge fan of Movenpick even though I've visited their restaurants in Hong Kong and Singapore. Not sure why. Anyway, after our visit there to the first Malaysian outlet, I'm not in a hurry to go back again.

Really, it is a glorified food court ... with people lining up to get in!!
I arrived late and basically ate off what the others had ordered ... which was a bit of everything; pizza, soup, salads, cod fish, stir fried mushrooms, pastas (carbonara and tomato-based), sausages and rosti. I didn't think any of it was super delicious or anything, but definitely edible.

Desserts didn't look anything special so we decided to adjourne to Paddington's Pancakes instead.

I think Marche is pulling in the crowd because while it's a glorified food court, it's appeal to the yuppie suburban crowd is that it makes them feel as if they made some contribution to the cooking process i.e. they get to choose the "raw" ingredients that went in. I mean, these are the people who do not regularly go food shopping in the markets but rather, to places like Giant and Tesco, etc. So, to be able to choose the raw ingredients and put it into a basket will give some sense of domesticity. It's like, what we are eating now ... I chose the ingredients you know ...

Anyway, we ended up paying about RM50 per pax for 6 adults and that's rather expensive seeing we didn't even go for tiger prawns or anything. Oh well ...

Marche Movenpick
The Curve
Mutiara Damansara
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03 77289200