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Chocz

Sunday, March 25, 2007
Have you ever seen a chocolate fountain? I've seen one recently, while walking at KLCC shopping mall. Like a fountain, a chocolate fountain is a constant flow of melted chocolate flowing endlessly ... of course without the sprinkles and splashes. I was later told that chocolate, with enough cocoa butter, flows gently over a chocolate fountain for serving fondues.

If you are a chocolate lover or worst ... a chocoholic (chocoholism is a facetious portmanteau of "chocolate" and "alcoholism," referring to an addiction to chocolate. A person who is "addicted" to chocolate is often described as a chocoholic), you can never withstand the sight of a chocolate fountain!!! If you still can't imagine the sight of one ... refer to the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory acted by Johnny Depp ... notice the chocolate river ....

Anyway, I found the chocolate fountain at Chocz Cafe / Boutique on the 3rd level of KLCC. Fascinated by the uniqueness of the establishment, I decided to check it out. From the menu, their tagline says

"Our Chocolate, Our Passion"

A plethora of taste, with an excitingly wide and tempting range of flavours, the pralines from Chocz. are exclusively handcrafted to explore taste, aroma and the infinite creativity in fine European tradition.

Sounds interesting ... words may say it all until you try it, so I decided to order something. Flipping through the menu, I spotted the very first item on the page ... Nectar. From the image on the menu, the set consist an "oil-lamp" looking thingy, some chocolate platlets and milk. I read on and it says ...



Nectar is the epitome of all hot chocolate drinks. An intense and powerful shot of pure indulgence.

Whoaaa.... interesting. It's hot chocolate. Yeah. And I read further ..

"the divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A shot of this precious drink permits a man to walk a whole day without food" - Aztec Emperor Montezuma

Right. No wonder those Aztec fellows didn't survive. I mean, how can you rely on hot chocolate? Actually, I think they did ... they became Spaniards, didn't they? Ok, I shall leave those poor Aztecs alone and focus on Chocz. Anyway ... this Nectar thingy sounded interesting, so I placed an order for it.

My "Nectar" was finally served and for a moment ... I didn't know what to do. Good thing there were instructions in the menu. Imagine that ... you actually need an instructional guide to make this "Nectar" thingy. Anyway, to make this Nectar thingy ... you will need the "lamp pot" ... candles below it .... chocolate chunks and milk.

Now ... the 4 Steps to Chocolate Heaven

Step One
Select the preferred chocolate chunk flavour. There are 3 to choose from ... dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. I personally prefer the milk chocolate ... the white chocolate is a little too sweet for my tastebud.

Step Two
Add chocolate chunks until desired density is achieved. This is how "thick" you want your beverage to be ....

Step Three
Stir constantly with spoon until smooth. This is to ensure the chocolates are all evenly melted.

Step Four
Sit back and suck the sweet Nectar with "straw". This is a very special straw as it's the very same straw that was used to scoop the chocolate chunks into the pot and stir it.

Finally, tasting the Nectar is an experience. It is rich and creamy ... of course depending on the types and quantity of chocolate chunks. As for my preference, I love the milk chocolate as it's just nice. The dark chocolate would be a little bitter while the white chocolate is a little sweet.

To end the article, here's some more information on chocolate.

Research indicates that chocolate may be effective at preventing persistent coughing. The ingredient theobromine was found to be almost more effective than codeine, the leading cough medicine. The chocolate also appears to soothe and moisten the throat. (not an established fact. Articles available from Wikipedia)


A Little History on Chocolate


The word "chocolate" comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs of Mexico. The word is derived from the Nahuatl word xocolatl, which is a combination of the words, xocolli, meaning "bitter", and atl, which is "water". It is associated with the Mayan god of Fertility. Mexican philologist Ignacio Davila Garibi, proposed that "Spaniards had coined the word by taking the Maya word chocol and then replacing the Maya term for water, haa, with the Aztec one, atl."[verification needed] However, it is more likely that the Aztecs themselves coined the term, having long adopted into the Nahuatl the Mayan word for the "cacao" bean; the Spanish had little contact with the Mayans before Cortés's early reports to the Spanish King of the beverage known as xocolatl.


Contact Details

Chocz

Kiosk K31, Level 3 Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
50088 Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2382 0366

Opening Hours: 10am-10pm

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Choon Yien Restaurant

Friday, March 16, 2007
Char siu (Chinese: 叉烧), also known as char sau or Chinese barbecued pork, is a Cantonese cuisine using barbecued pork.

Char siu is usually made with long strips of boneless pork, typically pork shoulder. The distinctive feature of char siu is its coating of seasonings which turn the meat dark red, or occasionally burnt and black during cooking. The seasoning mixture for char siu usually includes sugar or honey, five-spice powder, soy sauce, red food colouring (optional) and sherry or rice wine (optional).

Before you start salivating away, let me introduce a place for you to get some really good char siu. The place mentioned is Choon Yien Restaurant, which is tucked deep in a corner of section 17, PJ ... a place called Happy Mansion. When I first heard about this place, I was like .. is there a place named Happy Mansion in PJ ? Apparently there is ... it's the name of the flats in that area. If you refer to my previous article on 6 to 10 Grill and Food Foundry, that's exactly where Choon Yien is. But worry not, I'll provide the map to go there down below.

A word of caution though ... this is a restaurant ala coffee shop i.e. not air-conditioned and it's pretty much open-aired. But somehow that doesn't stop me from going back there again ... and again ... and again ... and again ..... ok, ok .. I am sure you would've gotten my message by now. Anyway, back to the topic ... Choon Yien do serve very good char siu, if not the best. I never asked the name of the chef (I think he's the chef ... i.e. he's the moustache guy who does all the chopping on the chopping board) but I usually make my orders through James 'Ayam'. First impression of him ... very cocky (he's a little loud) but once you're familiar with him, he's ok.

Everything seemed quite process oriented here ... from the moment you take your seat. James or some other guy would approach you to take your order and usually they would know how much you 'can' eat i.e. the portion of meat served would be just nice.


There really isn'y much option to choose from ... char siu and chicken. And maybe some boiled vegetables.

I think ....

I don't recall any other dishes from there. Anyway ... orders were taken swiftly and your food is served promptly. Hmm... that came out like a tagline eh ... wonder if I can recommend this tagline to them.

Alright, now over to the char siu. Your first experience with it will be memorable....

Everything turns quiet as you grab your fork ... thrust it forward and sink the pointed edge into the meat.
You lift it up ... and move it towards you ... and as it approaches, you can already smell the perfectly barbequed pork. The effort, the passion of a chef in creating this beautiful piece of work ...

And finally, the moment comes when you sink your teeth onto it ... your first time .... feels ... juicy .... tender .... sweet ... and finally just slides down your throat ....

. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .

And you're ready to order some more ! Please don't forget about the rice ... it's equally good. The rice and the char siu ... it's like bread and butter ... has to be accompanied.


But before you start making your rush out the door to get there, please allow me to remind you that the precious char siu is very limited. Please go early if you want to get your share of it. Better still, call James 'Ayam' and drop your order with him before going there. Else, you will end up with a plate of chicken and probably some vegetables ... which would be a equally suffice for a simple lunch. Then again, we are not traveling all the way there, braving the heat and traffic to just have a 'simple lunch' ... are we ?


Well ... words are spoken, I let your imagination run wild .... while I present my reviews to you.


Contact Details
Restaurant Choon Yien
Happy Mansions, Jalan 17/13
Section 17, Petaling Jaya

Ratings
OVERALL RATINGs : * * * * (Yes, I am biased when it comes to rating, but I'd give anything for another piece of that char siu ... !!! And I couldn't care less if I have to sweat it out ...)
Environment Ratings : * * (I can't help you much here, James ... the truth is the truth)
Food Ratings : * * * * (Only selective ones are good)
Service Ratings : * * (Inconsistent, I do get different comments)
Value Ratings : * * * (Average pricing for a cuty restaurant)

Operation Details
Average Price : Pay RM10 to be a happier person
Business Hrs : Lunch hours only (please be early). Close on Sundays.
Accepted Cards: Oh come on, you're asking too much !

Miscellaneous Details
Halal : HA HA HA .. you think ?
Dining Method : You can dine anyhow and anywhere ... I doubt they care as long as you pay.
Food/Cuisine : CHAR SIU ..... chicken (who cares) ...vege ....
Ambience/Features : The only luxury would be a shade from the sun.
Reservations : Only for food. Bring collapsible table and chair la .. if no more seats.

Restaurant Capacity
I think I can estimate around 40 pax ?

Here's some recipes on making char siu :

Lily Wai Sek Hong
Recipeland

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Izzi Pizza, Pasta & Coffee

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

If you drive along Jalan Sultan Ismail, pass Sungai Wang .. you will come across a bright colored three storey building, almost next to Lot 10 shopping mall.

And if you stop your car next to the building, there's usually an guy in blue that'll run towards you. Don't worry, he's not about to mug you ... he's just the parking jockey for Izzi Pizza, Pasta and Coffee restaurant. And guess what ? It's free ... ! Yes, free jockey parking ... I think that scores, man. To have a restaurant along this ever busy street in Jalan Sultan Ismail ... it sure helps. And something else, the joint provides 'free wi-fi' too. I mean, yeah ... everyone does nowadays, but free AirZed .. that's quite cool. I could very very be posting this blog right from the restaurant...


And as you walk into the restaurant, you will probably like their interior decor and design. Simplistic furnishings and especially the bright blue glass ceiling makes the place look modern. As mentioned earlier, the restaurant has 3 floors ... and it comes with an ... elevator ! Gosh ... I mean, these Indonesians sure know how to enjoy life huh. Consisting of three floors, the place can easily accommodate more than 100 patrons. Their design concept is stylish, clean, artistic yet comfortable. The guests can even enjoy a rare view of the restaurant’s pizzaiolos (pizza makers) as they twirl and flip their pizza dough in the air from the show kitchen on the ground floor ... (that's pretty much like our local roti canai fellow)


Pizza or pizza pie is the name of an oven-baked, flat, usually round bread covered with tomato sauce and cheese with other toppings optional. While it is a typical dish of Neapolitan cuisine, it has become an extremely popular dish all over the world.

As mentioned in their tagline "Great Italian & Asian Cuisine", you will be expecting a great range of pizzas, pastas, local delights and even mee goreng !

Pollo Tropicale Pizza was the first order to arrive. Pollo Tropicale comes with smoked chicken, mushroom, red bell pepper, pineapple, garlic oil, dried chilli, mozarella cheese and tomato. That .... is a mouthful ! I am never a fan of pizza but I have to try some ... for sake of you guys, my readers. My first reaction ... it tasted good. I like the thin, crisp crust which is like .. super crunchy. But it does smell a little burnt. But for a non-pizza lover like me, it's got my vote.


After the Italian, it's time to make a comeback ... for oriental taste. It's the ever popular and favourite Mee Goreng (tasted a little like mee goreng mamak though). TO serve a popular dish such as this would require a certain amount of skills. The more popular a dish is .. the harder it is to meet the standards. Izzi prepares them well though ... very large portion and plenty of ingredients. A little squeeze of lime, aa few drops of sambal, and it's a complete meal ! Unfortunately, the chicken chunks were a little hard to swallow .. as it's equally huge ... otherwise ... a favourite.

Izzi offers a range of local delights in their asian menu. There's Ju Hu Char which is stir fried chinese radish, carrots, shitake mushroom with ginger sauce, served with crispy vermicelli and lettuce cup. There's also the local favourite, satay that comes in either chicken or beef meat. Deep fried Calamari with seasoning flour, served with Bangkok sauce and Izzi dressing sauce ... is something you shouldn't miss either. And then there's the Vietnamese Spring Roll ("po piah") which is Spring vegetable wrapped in rice paper, rolled fresh.

Spoilt with so much choices, sometimes it's quite difficult to choose. But comes Asian Platter to save the day .... it's a combination of all the dishes above served in a single platter. It's good, except that the calamari is a little ... salty for my comfort. Others may love it.

Izzi must love food fusion, from the example above. Another one is the Chicken Steak with Pasta. This is favourite in Izzi, noticeable from the thumbs up sign in the menu. It's Grilled Chicken served with mushroom sauce and linguine. I like the smooth linguine and the tender grilled chicken ... but the mushroom sauce tasted a little funny. Maybe I am not a mushroom fan but it tasted a little "slimy" ....

Pasta lovers would looooove the Fettucini con Funghi ... it's topped with olive and sun-dry tomato. The creamy texture ... with some parmesan cheese ... wouldn't it be heavenly ? Let's just say it's ... Creamily Delicious.

From the antipasti list, the Izzi Dough Balls are the perfect choice, especially when you’re starving and can’t wait till the waiter delivers your main course. The eight dough balls arrived freshly from the oven accompanied with garlic butter. The balls tasted a bit yeasty (no pun intended!), but the butter, which instantly melted on the smooth surface of the balls, added a delicious zest of garlic.


And here's what we had and the pricing :

  • Fettucini Con Funghi - RM15.80
  • Chicken Steak with Pasta - RM18.80
  • Pollo Tropicale Pizza (regular) - RM21.80
  • Asian Platter - RM20.80
  • Mie Goreng - RM12.80
  • Cheese Dough Ball - RM5.80
  • Soft drinks (refillable) - RM5.90
  • Strawberry Shakes - RM7.80
  • Peppermint Tea - RM4.80
Here is our usual reviews.

Contact Details
Izzi Pizza, Pasta & Coffee KL
44-2A, Jln Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-21415808

For Delivery and Reservation Call:
Delivery No: 1-300-88-5555
Reservation No: 03-2141 5808
Events/Functions No: 03-2141 4111

Ratings
OVERALL RATINGs : * * * (Generally a nice family place)
Environment Ratings : * * * * (Effortlessly worthwhile)
Food Ratings : * * (Only selective ones are good)
Service Ratings : * * (Inconsistent, I do get different comments)
Value Ratings : * * * (Average pricing for a cuty restaurant)

Operation Details
Average Price : RM20 & above
Business Hrs : Monday - Friday: 11.00 am - 12.00 am, Saturday - Sunday: 11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Accepted Cards: major credit cards accepted

Miscellaneous Details
Halal : Yes
Dining Method : Dine in, take-away and delivery
Food/Cuisine : Italian and Asian, Fusion
Ambience/Features : Modern and cosy
Reservations : Yes

Restaurant Capacity
Restaurant size : 305 m2
120 seats (including bar)
Full bar set up

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I'm Timothy From Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
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