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Friday, 28 February 2014

San Hui Wei Hotpot/Steamboat Goodness @ SS2 Petaling Jaya by FollowMeToEatLa

Welcome to the world of healthy and delicious eating of Chongqing Hot Pot cuisineSan Hui Wei (China Chong Qing) Steamboat offers a wide selection of fresh ingredients with more than 70 kinds of meat, seafood, vegetable and noodles for you to choose from. Take a trip down to SS2, Petaling Jaya for an escapade to China without having to fly.

Casual, comfortable and pleasant dining setting, this place has a seating capacity of up to 50 people. This lovely little restaurant is decorated with large posters of the mouthwatering hot pot delights. Besides that, each table is also equipped with a ceramic stove for clean, no messy and easy cooking.

** Elegant lady, Madam Maggie **
 Elegant lady, Madam Maggie
Madam Maggie, the restaurant owner is an expatriate from China. Her passion for food and search for an authentic Chongqing cuisine has lead her to opening her very own restaurant. She takes great pride in her signature hot pot broths, prepared under the expertise of Chef Tiang from Chongqing.

According to her, Chongqing is the birth place of the hot pot in China. It was a seasonal food designed to protect the locals against the low temperatures and frigid winds of the winter. People would sit around a table, eat hot pot, and revel in the instant warmth that would flood their bodies. Hot pot has become more and more popular today, and it is widely enjoyed by people and regardless of seasons and regions.
Sterilised Tableware
Sterilised Tableware
What was unique about the place was also the fact that the bowls and utensils for us were wrapped in plastic. The tableware goes through an ultrasonic high temperature cleaning and infra-red sterilization which guarantees clean and sanitary utensils for the usage of the customers. Wow, it can't go any cleaner that this, right?

Combination Soup @ RM 20
Combination Soup @ RM 20
Upon entering, my senses was overwhelmed with strong smell of the fragrant spices. Using fresh and high quality ingredients imported from China to preserve the authentic flavours of the soup, we have a choice of three different types of soups, including Chinese Herbal Soup, Combination Soup, and Sauerkraut Soup. A must-have is the popular Combination Soup consisting of Hot & Spicy Broth and Chinese Herbal Broth.

Fiery Red Hot  & Spicy Soup
Fiery Red Hot & Spicy Soup
Eating hot pot is a joyful experience. First, you need to choose the pot - spicy, pure or a combination of two - for the soup and dipping sauce. It comes in a large metallic pot partitioned in the middle and filled separately with each types of broth.

As the name suggest, The Hot & Spicy Broth really live up to its standard. It was distinctively spicy and pungent flavours with a rich interior fragrant with spices to it. Chilli pepper, sesame, fermented black beans, scallions, ginger, garlic, wine, soy sauce and an array of flavourings are used in this special soup.

Dry Spices like the star anise, Sichuan Peppercorn, black cardamom, green cardamom, sand ginger, cinnamon stick, liquorice and fennel seeds are among the spices used to prepare this special broth. Just imagine the taste, smell, flavour, shape, and nutrition are all carefully balanced in Chongqing dishes. No wonder people say that Chongqing food is not only attractive but nutritious!

Nutritious Chinese Herbal Soup RM 20
 Nutritious Chinese Herbal Soup RM 20
Soups are what I like most about steamboat. My favourites are always the non-spicy ones. Believe me or not, a good soup must come with the smell first, right? This aroma in the restaurant was completely filled with the fragrant of spices and herbs. From this moment, I knew I'm in for something good and delish! 

The Chinese Herbal Soup was heavenly, full flavour broth brewed to perfection with special chinese herbs and combination of pork bones or chicken skeleton. Aromatic and flavourful, it was very tasty and addictive, too! It was so good on it's own that I have several helpings even before the food were served that nite.

Here are the 3 types of dipping sauce are available to patrons for added spiciness. There is the red one, a spicy and tangy sauce made from fresh chillie & ginger, as well as a very special green sauce made from celery leaves (daun saderi), lemon juice, garlic & fresh chillies. Garlic oil is also available as part of the mixing of sauce too. Maggie showed us how we to mix the sauces together to come out with our own dipping sauces. She stressed that in this way each one can mix & match to come out with our very own concoctions with different degree of spiciness to suit our personal taste. Wow, how brilliant!

This sauce is a wonderful accompaniment to the fresh ingredients of hot pot. Not too hot or spicy, mildly sourish and come with a strong taste of the celery leaves. Therefore, don't miss the spicy dips and various dipping sauces you can DIY yourself.

Finest Pork Belly
Finest Pork Belly
Pork Belly is another fresh offerings from San Hui Wei (China Chong Qing) Steamboat. Well marinated and deliciously tender, not tough it practically melts in my mouth. The best part is that it doesn't curl up into tiny pieces that leave nothing to chew. Serving is generously good, costs RM 12.80 per plate only.

RM 12.80 per plate
RM12.80 per plate
Good to eat with the dipping sauces, especially the special green sauce made from celery leaves (daun saderi), lemon juice, garlic & fresh chillies. Tasted better if cooked in the Herbal soup instead of the Hot & Spicy soup. This is because the spiciness of the 'ma lat' soup sort of masked the flavouring of the pork. To experience some delicious goodness, remember to order this special Pork belly on your next visit to this place....

Most of the steamboat, shabu-shabu or hot pot restaurants served the usual or standard variety of processed food, selection mainly includes fish ball, pork ball, chicken ball, sotong sausages, fish cakes, foo chok etc. San Hui Wei Restaurant is pretty different in its own right as such that they focuses on serving fresh ingredient where they 'house-made' most of the food to preserve the authenticity of taste.
Homemade Parsley Pork Ball - RM 8
 Homemade Parsley Pork Ball - RM 8
One of their speciality is the Home made Parsley Pork Ball. Fresh made upon request, these roundish morsel was meaty, pure savoury comfort food. Loved the extra bits of chopped parsley within the minced meat, which gives an exceptionally taste to the palate. Sure winner with parsley lovers like me!

But fret not, if you re not a great fan of the parsley family, they do have the plain version without the parsley ie the Home made Pork Ball. Although, I was not given a chance to try it but I believe it should taste equally as good as the parsley ones.

San Hui Wei Restaurant
30, Jalan SS2/66
47300  Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7873 0559

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Frenz Delicious From Start To Finish @ Plaza Damas Sri Hartamas by FollowMeToEatLa

Last week, I was invited by an old time friend and ex-colleague of mine to review one of her favourite haunts for food. Quietly nestled within the confines of the affluent neighbourhood of Sri Hartamas is a homely cafe that has been around for more than 3 years. 

Cozy and pleasant dining indoor setting
Al-fresco dining ambience
Strategically located in Plaza Damas, Frenz is a no frills cafe, comfortable environment with outdoor garden courtyard and indoor air-conditioned dining space. The food is good and the atmosphere is casual which makes it a great place to dine with family and friends. Maybe that's why the owners called the cafe - Frenz,  short name for friends with a 'Z'. 

Some of Frenz's best sellers are Curry Fish Head, Asam Pedas Fish, Ginger Fried Rice, Salted Egg Chicken, Four Heavenly King, Nyonya Chicken & even Pan Mee Soup are noted on this well written board for its patron to choose from. A cafe that serves a selection of delicious Asian and Western dishes ranging from appetisers, rice, noodles, pasta, soup chicken, beef, seafood to vegetables too.

Some of the Western dishes to enjoy here are Lamb Chop, Chicken Chop and the Frenz's very own creation, Salted Egg Spaghetti with a twist of the East and West.  

Patrons can also indulge in local all-time favourite dishes like the Curry Fish Head, Asam Pedas Fish and Sambal Fish to eat along side with rice for lunch or dinner.

For drinks, the cafe serves everything under the sun from Brewed Coffee like Espresso, Cappuccino, Americano to Latte as well as English Tea like Earl Grey, Darjeeling to English Breakfast. Besides that, Frenz serves a range of freshly squeezed juices along side with other somewhat excellence but slightly unusual juices. I was pretty impressed with the varies combinations of juices available on the menu. 

Apart from the regular watermelon, apple, orange or carrot fruits juices available, one particular drink that caught my interest was the Celery & Bitter Gourd Juice. Excellent combination, good choice as this is a fabulous juice detox drink. High in antioxidants with detoxifying effect with endless nutritional benefits, I would recommend any that are feeling a little bit under the weather.

Many may find it difficult to consume. Tasted bitterly but refreshing with slight hint of the celery which did tone down the bitterness. I think it would be better if mixed with some green apples too. But if you can generally take bitter taste, you may be able to take this too. I'm not a fan of bitter gourd but I try it too, at least for all its health virtues!  

Next, is the Cucumber Lime Juice. Another nutritious juice, light and refreshing drink that sure brings relief from the heat of the sun nowadays. At first sip, it tasted a little sourish. Give it a chance though as it will taste much better after a few sips. This is the perfect thirst-quencher juice with a hint of zest from the good old lime. I wouldn't mind another helping of this!
Moving on to the main course, take your pick from a wide range of mouth watering dishes, like Nyonya Chicken, Salted Egg chicken, Sesame Chicken, Black Pepper Beef, Steam Fish, Sambal Fish, Curry Fish Head, Petai Prawn and 13 choices of vegetable dishes to choose from.   

We started off with the simple and delicious HK Kailan with Beef. The beef pieces were moist, tender and flavourful. HK Kailan, on the other hand were not over cooked, crunchy, well fried with wok hei too, just like the ones I ate at the 'Tai Chow' stalls in Pudu.  

This is a good dish if you are looking for a light meal to go with rice, packed with proteins and nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties.

Next up was the Curry Fish Head. The spicy curry gravy was altered completely and made lighter with milk instead of coconut santan. A Frenz speciality, this dish is a all-time favourite for its regular patrons. This dish came brimming with generous amount of long bean, okra, cabbage and brinjals, the garoupa is full of flavour from the well-mixed spices and not too spicy. Love the gravy as it went well with hot steaming white rice.

Frenz pride itself on the freshness and authenticity of its dishes as its ingredients are sourced directly from the market. To make sure the customers get the daily fresh and best, marketing is done at the local wet market at Section 17 to hand pick the freshest garoupa fish head for the day.

One of my favourites is the Nyonya Chicken which is not only delicious but nutritious. This heavenly dish is prepared with freshly ground herbs like lemon grass, wild ginger flower (bunga kantan), lengkuas, kaffir lime leaves and spices to tantalise your taste buds.     

This rich-flavoured Nyonya Chicken gravy was positively thick, with just enough spiciness to go with steamed rice. Drenched in the Chef's special gravy with shredded kaffir lime leaves, the chicken were soft  and tender, bursting with delicious savoury and slightly spicy flavours. If you want a full flavoured Nyonya-style chicken, this is the place to go.

Aside from the spicy cuisine, the menu also features some home-style dishes like this delightful Steamed Brinjal. This dish reminds me of my grandma's cooking which she usually served for dinner when time is tight. Simple dish to prepare, the Chef skillfully cut the brinjal into long strips and artfully arranged it into a circular design to season with soya sauce. Voila, the end result is picture pretty presentation of a hearty dish, topped with sprinklings of chopped spring onions, red chillies and deep fried minced dry prawns for added crunch and aroma.  

New offering in the Menu - Steamed Brinjal is pretty to look at, surprisingly with the near prefect taste and texture of all the ingredients. 

The Sinfully Delicious Salted Egg Chicken

Salted Egg Chicken is another tasty offering. Salted eggs lovers will be bound over with this popular dish. The chicken were well marinated and fried to perfection, served with generous servings of salted eggs cooked with creamy gravy to bring out the taste. The savoury and fragrant salted egg was an excellent partner to the crispy chicken. 

If you have a liking for ginger, the Ginger Fried Rice is bound to win you over, with its detectable morsels of chicken meat, egg and pounded old ginger fried together with rice. Even though fried rice is a simple dish to prepare, it takes a lot of skill to make it outstanding. It was very appetising filled with wok hei, and the old ginger gave up lovely flavours with every mouthful. The aromatic rice transports me back to the time where my beloved mum-in-law would cooked this special dish for me as confinement food.   

Fret not if it's not spicy enough for you or if you like your food hot and fiery, be sure to add on to your plate their highly recommended in-house made Sambal Belacan, that will definitely add a kick to your meal.

Happy mood posing with the super size wine glass on display

My fellow foodie blogger, Pancake gotten stronger with 'super powers' after a good meal @Frenz
Overall,  Frenz is great place to chill out with your friends and family for a quick lunch or dinner. Prices pretty decent, won't burn a hole in your pocket. Good food taste great when shared together, be sure to bring them along to chow down all that yummy goodness @Frenz !

G-0-1 Plaza Damas
Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Telephone: 012-719 6813 / 012-528 6832

Operation Hours : Monday  to Friday (11am to 3pm & 6pm to 10.30pm)                                                                                                       Saturday                 (11am to 4pm & 6pm to 10.30pm)                                             
                             Closed on Sunday   
No pork served