Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Alexis Bistro, Gardens KL

This was my first time here even though we usually walked past this restaurant when window-shopping. I was pleasantly surprised with their food but the price was a little steep for the portion.

I love the char-grilled baby squid and the spicy tangy "sambal" over it complements the charred, tender squid perfectly. At first glance the pale squids didn't look very impressive but upon taking a bite, it proved me wrong. The salad was a good accompaniment with the spicy rockets and zesty dressing.

The lasagna was alright in my opinion but Hubby seemed to love it and wolfed the whole plate down in record time. Haha! The garlic bread was nice and reminded me of the ones Dad used to make at home with lots of dried oregano.

My duck magret on the other hand was really small (as informed by the waiter) and reminded me of duck breast dressed in Char Siew sauce. The orange glaze slash sauce with it did not shine actually as it was overpowered by the sweet Char-Siew-reminiscent sauce. The duck was also slightly hard but I was hungry so I wiped the plate clean.

Probably a place for some special times with loved ones! 😋

Alexis Bistro

L209, First floor,
Gardens, Mid Valley Megamall,

Kenny's, Miri

This is one hard cafe to find. We saw the banner hanging between the path of Centrepoint facing the main road. However, after going around the area twice, we still couldn't find the shop. We only realised it could be at the same row as Puma Sera and decided to go down to find it. We parked in front of Banana Leaf and walked through the pathway separating it and the Ipoh Town Coffee Shop. Kenny's is located on the right.

The shop looks simple and as we were still quite early, it is still empty. We decided to try it anyway and over the time waiting for our order to arrive, people started arriving.

The coffee milk shake is quite delicious and is not as watered down as I expected initially. You might wonder why order if I had such low expectation. It's hard to explain but I usually want to try it once at least before refraining from ordering. I have had a few disappointments before when I ordered milk shake where some weird concept of milk shake nowadays involves lots of ice blended with milk instead of plain milk and ice cream like they used to do. *faces palm*

Not-so-French Onion Soup was really like it's name. Not-so. The taste is pleasant enough but I did not enjoy the watery texture. I guess onion soup just is not meant to be made without the cream. As it was watery, the decision to dump the garlic cheese toast in the soup in my opinion is a waste of good toast. The toast was wet and not too palatable when I wanted to eat it. It was a shame as from what I could taste of it, the cheese and garlic would have been wonderful if
dry. It could probably fare better if put on the side.

The buffalo wings. I think this should have some danger sign on the menu. I ordered the mild version. They have three: mild, normal and nuclear. The mild is mind-numbingly spicy. I cannot imagine the rest. To be fair, I actually took back the rest and had a few other more spice-and-heat tolerant people try them and they all found it to be very spicy. Nevertheless, the taste is there and I quite like the hint of lemon in the wings. A little more restraint on the tobasco will probably be better in my opinion.

The rib-eye is tender and delicious. I like the pink in the middle and the marinate reminds me a little of those used in The Ship. I am slightly put off by the amount of the veins in the meat, and I could not be sure if this is the correct cut. As I am quite used to the not-as-advertised condition for steaks in Miri, I have learned to lower my expectations. A bit sad but overall, I would probably be back.

UPDATE: I went back for a revisit and this trip was even better! I especially commend the Tuna Salad which comprises of lightly seared slab of tuna over a garden salad drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette. Lovely to start a me and quite filling for the small-appetite.

The pork ribs are quite delicious even though I was expecting baby back ribs as advertised in the menu and a full sized half ribs greeted me when the order came. Nevertheless the sweet BBQ sauce generously covering the ribs is quite delicious albeit a little cloying after the first few ribs and the buttery mound of mashed purple sweet potato is quite tasty on its own.

The prawn Aglio Oglio is slightly under seasoned but with the addition of salt, the whole dish is quite acceptable. I like it once we added a generous dash of salt and the prawns are quite big.

Fong Ip, Kota Kinabalu

Located on Gaya Street, this is one of the many coffee shops lining this popular stretch of tourist attraction. It's a random visit on our part as we just wanted to pass time before our flight in the evening.

What is special here would probably be their durian toast. For durian lovers, it is a must-try. Personally I felt the durian flesh used was a little bland but that could probably be due to the butter added. We ordered plain durian toast but they added butter anyway. An average eatery but could be a visit-worthy one if only to try their durian toast.

Look out for them along Gaya street Kota Kinabalu!

Ugly Duck, Miri

Ok, the first impression I have of this cafe is that their doors are so very hard to pry open. OMG, the first time I tried one of them I actually thought it was locked and proceeded to the other one. I like their rustic decorations-the half-done logs arranged in wire-mesh boxes and the partially done bricks. Even the colourful lanterns are quite endearing.

Overall, the menu is like a Vietnamese-fusion one with a smattering of local food. We went for lunch yesterday and ordered half portion of the western breakfast plus a grilled chicken sandwich.

The half portion came with a fried egg, a strip of bacon and a short sausage with hash brown and baked beans on the side. The price is quite alright I guess as Piato now charges nearly RM20+ for a plate. For RM12, this is probably enough for a small water. For something more substantial, a full portion will be at RM20.

My grilled chicken sandwich was quite filling and I like the warm, buttery grilled sandwich very much although it was a tad too salty. The tomato pesto on the side didn't do much for the dish in my opinion but overall, it is a nice enough option for a lighter lunch.

I was hoping for a sandwich place like O'Briens in Miri for a while and maybe Ugly Duck could be a place for Banh Mi and other sandwiches if anyone feels like a lighter option during lunch. Be warned though, the place is packed during lunch hour but maybe the crowd will die out soon once the hype of trying a new place died down. Haha!

Oh and their coffee is a let down so maybe that can be given a miss if you visit. Please try their "Three Sour" (a blend of lemon/lime, pickled Asam and dried ones). It is quite good!

UPDATE: I went for another visit and ordered a few other things. I like their Banh Mi but aside from the rather small portion, the baguette is nothing like the real thing from Vietnam. Somehow it's more like a bun rather than a baguette. The floss is a nice touch and I enjoyed it despite being a little hungry even after gobbling down the whole thing. I enjoyed the pickled chillies on top too!

The beef pho is also on the small side but is not really the best you can find, even in Miri. It is slightly bland with a strong peppery taste; nothing like how a real pho broth should be. Probably should give this a miss too!

I have mixed feelings over this cafe on the whole. A try or miss depending on what one decide to have.

Look out for them at:
Ugly Duck
2067, Marina Bay Phase 1,


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