Fat Olive Food Garage, Dataran Prima

I love Fat Olive Food Garage. It’s in Menara Prima inside of Dataran Prima. The food is good, the wine better. The ambiance is cosy, a testament to owners’ personal touch and hospitality.

Fat Olive Food Garage, Petaling Jaya

Spanish chef Kike (pronounced Kee-Kay) and Malaysian ex-advertising exec Stacee decided to move back from Shanghai to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life. Thus Fat Olive was born, in a quiet location that seemed out of place for their selected menu and pricing.

I was curious, and asked Stacee on their decision to stay put in Dataran Prima. I mean, it’s great for me, not having to leave my extended neighbourhood to get city quality restaurant food. But surely they would be able to draw a larger crowd if they were in, say, Bangsar or Changkat?

Fat Olive Food Garage - restaurant

“Nope nope nope,” said Stacee, “it can get a little quiet but this is a great set-up for us. We didn’t make the decision to come back, to get back into the rat race.”

For now she is hopeful that customers can recognise quality when they see and taste it. Chef Kike is particular about the ingredients in his kitchen, and how food is served to customers. Try requesting to takeaway their Spanish octopus, then watch them awkwardly, apologetically attempt to diffuse your enthusiasm, haha.

“Suanie, the quality would be so different… the octopus would be so tough… it’s really not recommended for takeaway. You would have such a bad impression of our food 🙁 Please choose something else?”

Okay okay.

Fat Olive serves sandwiches, burgers, al dente pasta and risotto, all from RM28+. If you need your pasta and risotto to be overcooked and mushy like how the rest of Malaysia erroneously does it, please make a special mention to the chef.

Fat Olive Food Garage - tapas platter

The fun menu starts from 6pm. Fat Olive’s Tapas Platter (RM135+) is an assortment of goodies – home-made sourdough bread, smoked chicken croquettes with arugula and parmesan shaves, Spanish tortilla, serrano ham, iberico chorizo/salami cold cuts, mussels in spicy tomato sauce, deep-fried calamari, baked eggplant with bacon and mozzarella cheese, and tiger prawns with chilli and garlic. Perfect for sharing, best accompanied by a decent selection of wine and beer.

Fat Olive Food Garage - enjoying tapas platter

They have lamb, tenderloin, and sous vide iberico pork ribs. There’s also Spanish octopus on roasted chat potatoes and red pepper with caramelised onion, and Spanish smoked paprika (RM92+).

Fat Olive Food Garage - Spanish octopus with paprika

Beautifully cooked octopus, tender and succulent. Comes at a bit of a hefty price tag, then again the cost of imported goods isn’t cheap. This is one tantalising meal that I would be glad to eat again, and again, and again, and again.

Fat Olive Food Garage - Spanish octopus

Their seared yellow fin tuna (RM78+) was delicious, says my friend Gary.

Fat Olive Food Garage - seared yellow fin tuna

I’m not one for uncooked or semi-cooked fish, so I didn’t try some. Though I bet it would go down great with the range of wines available at Fat Olive…

Fat Olive Food Garage - wine and sangria

Spanish wine is favourable to the palate, so easy to drink. I enjoyed the house white, the Hoya De Cadenas, Chardonnay 2015, from Utiel Requena (RM32+ a glass, RM158+ per bottle). And the El Perro Verde, Verdejo 2013, from Rueda (RM199+) which was a bit intense, fruity with a bold medium-long finish. Funny how it seems ridiculous to describe the taste of wine, eh. But it’s something you can only know once you’ve tasted said wine, to understand the meaning of each seemingly superfluous description.

Medium-long finish can also mean other things, but this is now a family-friendly blog.

Fat Olive Food Garage - dessert

The creme brulee and chocolate mousse were decadently delicious. That’s all.

Fat Olive Food Garage (non-halal)
B-G-17, Menara Prima, Jalan PJU 1/39
47301, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603-7887 5068

Opens from 1st to 25th every month.
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.30pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10pm

Facebook: FatOliveFoodGarage

Whup Whup, Subang Jaya

We finally got to check out Liang’s co-labour of love, Whup Whup, a casual French eatery in Subang Jaya’s industrial area. It was not difficult to locate the restaurant among all the factories, for Waze was quite accurate.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - entrance

The restaurant is massive, 10,000 square feet of what used to be an industrial yarn factory. High-ceiling, generous space for families with children, contemporary potted plants, and machinery leftover from its factory age now destined for decor.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - space

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - high ceiling

There’s also Liang, a man who wears many hats – singer, emcee, former radio DJ, chef and now aspiring restaurateur. So passionate about this path that he underwent an intensive course at Le Cordon Bleu and earned his Diplome de Commis Cuisinier.

Then he started Whup Whup with wife Pojoo Sim and friend Levi Asher. Must be stressful job, thus a request for a photo automatically gets you this

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - Liang

Right, on to the food. There were a few of us, so we got to order quite a bit from the French-inspired menu.

Nu Yolk (RM35) – beautifully seared scallops served with parmesan and salted egg puree. I thought the flavour was balanced, tender scallops went well with the puree, the taste was not overwhelming.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - scallops

Liang and friends seem to love unconventional naming, so tomato onion soup becomes Rosy Cheeks (RM10), served with a nice big slice of bread. Word of advice: consume this when warm, for it gets quite salty when cool. Not sure what food science is going on there.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - tomato soup

Fat Shrooms (RM12) – sauteed meaty eryngii mushrooms with tomato concasse. Hard to go wrong with a sure-win combination.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - mushrooms

Next, carbs. I read a lot about Whup Whup’s signature dish, the Duck 3 Ways (RM28) – a medley of pasta with salted duck egg yolk, duck bacon and duck breast confit.

Somewhere in a Facebook comment, Liang himself admitted that people either love this dish, or they quite dislike it. Indeed, I read reviews for both love/dislike parties. Me, I’m on the neutral camp, though I might not be able to consume an entire plate by myself, it is rather rich.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - duck pasta

The No Cream Carbonara (RM20) and Salmon Hayek (RM25) received thumbs-up from our group.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - carbonara

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - salmon pasta

My main was Citrus Glaze Confit Duck on Mash, Ratatouille and Citrus Sauce (RM27). Otherwise known as ‘dat dope duck dish’ and I rather agree!

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - duck confit

The duck meat was soft, tender, inviting. A forkful of meat with some of the concasse… very pleasing after all the pasta we’ve had.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - duck confit meat
On some days, the meaning of life is fork tender duck

Mike thought his main was pleasant, the Glazed Lamb Shank with Ratatouille and Rosemary Taters (RM38).

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - lambshank

For dessert, we shared a Gramps Apple Pie (RM10), a dark chocolate pie and Kapiti ice-cream. You’re looking at the dessert that I enjoyed the most, though I did wish it had more crust.

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - apple pie

A variety of beverages available, including craft beer. H20 is free, kudos for that!

WhupWhup, Subang Jaya - coffee

Looking forward to my next visit already!

Whup Whup Restaurant & Cafe
No. 12, Jalan SS13/3B
Subang Jaya Industrial Estate
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: +603-5612 6250

Pork-free. Opens Wednesday to Sunday, from 11am to 10pm.

Check them out on Facebook: WhupWhup.my

Recipe: Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken

Being Fuzhou (Foochow), it is a tradition to celebrate both the first day of Chinese New Year and our birthdays with a bowl of Fuzhou red wine chicken mee suah (ang zhao mee sua).

This one-dish meal contains sesame oil, lots of ginger, rice wine and rice wine lees. Sounds like a confinement dish, where these “heaty” ingredients are used to nurse a mother’s body back to good health.

We Fuzhou folks eat good stuff #justsaying

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken mee suah

Having said that, I’ve come to believe that this Fuzhou tradition is only adhered by the Fuzhou community in Malaysia and Singapore. Remember the relatives that we unexpectedly found in China? WELL! They do not feel the same as we do about this tradition, because they have no such tradition! While the dish is not foreign to them, they do not particularly consume it during celebratory days.

Turns out, this love for red wine chicken mee suah is purely a Nanyang Chinese thing. I’m all right with that!

***

My Mum learned the recipe from my late grandmother, a legendary cook in our memories. I took it for granted that Fuzhou red wine chicken tastes like how my family makes it – rich, spicy and delicious. Then I found out that it wasn’t true! So I became invested in getting my Mum to commit her recipe to paper.

It wasn’t an easy process. People who are used to cooking have this measurement method – agak-agak. It means a guesstimate, an intuitive form of measuring that comes with frequent practice.

“How much sesame oil to put?”
“You see lor, agak-agak lah.”
“MAMA I CANNOT WRITE AGAK-AGAK IN THE INGREDIENTS, IT’S NOT QUANTIFIABLE!”
“Ok ok ok we take out and measure…”

Haha! I hope you appreciate our effort in documenting this recipe. I admit it was fun for us, a mother-daughter bonding time with many moments like this:

My Mum: What the heck are you doing?
Me: Measuring the ginger la.
My Mum: Where got people measure ginger with a plastic ruler??
Me: Got lah! Me lah!
My Mum: .. -_-”

Hahahahahaha I love my Mum!

***

As is with most Chinese cuisine, the most exhausting part is gathering the ingredients. My family’s Fuzhou red wine chicken recipe calls for: chicken (duh), dried mushrooms, Bentong ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice wine and rice wine lees.

My Mum is a bit atas – she’d only make this recipe using kampung/ village chicken, or free-range chicken. I have less standards for myself, I’m okay with using regular chicken, or loose pieces of chicken instead of one entire bird.

Personally I’m not fussed about the meat because I care more about the soup.

There’s the dried mushrooms which you have to soak and cut. The measurement below is just an indication, that was how much we use for this recipe. Because I’m a mushroom person. Use however much or little mushrooms you want.

There’s the garlic cloves, peeled and smashed. There’s the ginger, use Bentong ginger if you can get it. It’s more expensive, but worth the extra moolah. For this recipe, we used approx 200g, or 32in. I know because I measured using a plastic ruler. YES IT IS A LOT OF GINGER!

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - ingredients

It is not difficult to get red glutinous rice wine. If you know someone who knows someone (preferably Chinese), you’d be able to get it easily. Otherwise, just make a trip to Sitiawan and stock up.

It’s the red wine lees that’s more difficult to get. Red wine lees is the residue, the ang zao from making red rice wine. If you know someone who knows someone who makes red rice wine, ask nicely and you might get it for free. You could buy it, but I don’t know where to get it.

Here, just to show you what it looks like: two batches of red wine lees, made by different people.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - ang zao

My family’s recipe uses a lot of this too, for a stronger taste. As we would say, more kick.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - red wine lees

Once you have all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking! Full recipe below.

***

Heat sesame oil in wok. Add ginger, fry till fragrant. Add garlic and mushroom, fry for a couple of minutes.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - fry ginger

Put in red wine lees (ang zao), fry for a few minutes. Add in chicken pieces, coating each piece of chicken with lees. Let it rest in the wok, for the oil from the chicken to surface.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - coat chicken with lees

Add water, enough to cover the chicken in the wok. Let simmer for a few minutes, then on medium heat, cover the lid and let boil for 20 mins.

While waiting, boil eggs – one for each person. Peel the hard boiled eggs, put aside.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - add rice wine

Add the rice wine and hard boiled eggs, let simmer for 15 mins, stirring the bottom occasionally so that things don’t get stuck at the bottom of the pot. After the 15 mins, switch off fire/heat.

At this point, you could serve the red wine chicken, yay! BUT WAIT! If you want a stronger tasting soup, do like how my Mum does it – cook this late at night, then leave it in the wok (covered) overnight. In the morning, reheat the soup and serve with noodles.

Resting it for a few hours is fine, but overnight is the BEST.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - soup

To serve, cook mee suah according to instructions on packet.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - cook mee suah

Add red wine chicken to the cooked mee suah and serve.

Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken - mee suah and egg

Bon appétit!
(Because I do not know how to say it in Fuzhou.)

Print Recipe
Fuzhou Red Wine Chicken
Cuisine Chinese
Servings
6 - 8 people
Ingredients
Cuisine Chinese
Servings
6 - 8 people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat sesame oil in wok. Add ginger, fry till fragrant.
  2. Add garlic and mushroom, fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add red wine lees (ang zao), fry for a few minutes.
  4. Put in chicken, coating each piece with lees. Let it rest in the wok, for the oil from the chicken to surface.
  5. Add water, enough to cover the chicken in the wok. Let simmer for a few minutes.
  6. On medium heat, cover the lid and let boil for 20 mins.
  7. While waiting, boil eggs - one for each person. Peel the hard boiled eggs, put aside.
  8. Add rice wine and hard boiled eggs. Let simmer for 15 mins, stirring the bottom occasionally. After this, switch off fire/heat.
  9. RECOMMENDED: Let the red wine chicken sit for a few hours for a stronger taste.
  10. To serve, cook mee suah according to instructions on packet. Add red wine chicken to the cooked mee suah and eat like there's no tomorrow.

This recipe serves quite a few people. If you’re #foreveralone, keep the portions you want to eat within the next couple of days in the fridge. Then freeze the rest… or do like I do, share it with friends. At any time, add water to the soup if it is too strong, which is usually the case when it’s kept in the fridge.

Selamat makan!

A lobster, a steak and a bottle of wine walk into a bar

I have a mole above my upper lip. In the Chinese art of face reading, its position makes it an ‘Eating God’ (shi shen) mole. Supposedly, it means that I am a connoisseur of music, food, drinks, and that I enjoy the good things in life.

Wow Chinese art of face reading, how did you know? Chinese art of face reading, you’re right!

Very little things make me happier than being lost in my own world, savouring whatever deliciousness is on my plate, observing details that may seem unimportant to others. Welcome to my ‘me’ time… no actually, for obvious reasons, stay away from my ‘me’ time.

One thing that is often forgotten: pleasure can be found in both an expensive 10-course meal, and an unassuming homemade grilled cheese and pickle sandwich. Yes, it is exactly like a cheesy (har har) over-the-top love declaration worthy of this Pat Boone classic.

This year, I’ve had some really nice things. One of my favourite is a starter served at The Restaurant in The Club, Saujana Resort.

Marble of lobster and tomato confit, with avocado, grapefruit segments and pomegranate truffle.

The Restaurant, Saujana Resort - marble of lobster and tomato confit

Look at this thing. I had no idea what was going on, but everything on that plate made culinary sense. I don’t even remember what it tasted like anymore. But the feels… bursts of colourful happy juices raining down from the sky, followed by a vision of Ryan Gosling reaching out to me, sensuously mouthing “come with me if you want to live forever” (I think I stole that line from a bug movie, but whatever, Ryan Gosling.)

Did you know how happy I was? That was how happy I was.

The Restaurant, Saujana Resort - black angus tenderloin

Some might say that the steak looked like it was ready to get up and run away.

At times, I genuinely do not know how to reply to such remarks. Was that a joke? Were you joking? An attempt at humour that painfully falls flat because it’s… not…. funny….? But I can’t say that to your face, “Wei, what kind of stupid joke you’re trying to make, so stupid” because it wouldn’t be nice? Why would anyone joke about Black Angus beef tenderloin?

Here, some jokes.

What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.

What do cows do for entertainment? Go to moo-vies.

Why should you never ever tell a cow a secret? Because it will just go in one ear and out the udder.

Lol.

The Restaurant, Saujana Resort - Jacob's Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz

I usually skip Shiraz, not a fan of spicy and peppery in my wine. But this Jacob’s Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz from Barossa Valley… wow! A rich full-bodied red, yet decidedly soft to the taste, more than its fair share of blackberry notes.

I liked it. So much so that I tried getting a bottle for myself, for personal consumption. But I suppose that people buy these things in cases, for my request to purchase one single bottle was never acknowledged.

That sucks. But what to do 🙂

Inspired with Anna Olson

Celebrity chef Anna Olson was in town to promote her new show, Inspired with Anna Olson which airs on Asian Food Channel (AFC) every Friday at 9pm.

At a private dinner held at Samplings on the Fourteenth, guests were treated to a five-course meal created by Anna Olson, assisted by the BERJAYA UCH students. The Asian-inspired menu clearly contains elements from Anna Olson’s visits to our part of the world.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - menu
Happy to choose the non-vegetarian option

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - setting
Stick a flower into an apple, why don’t you

In person, Anna (yes we’re on first name basis…) was warm, approachable and obliging. I knew her from ‘Sugar’, her breakthrough show where she makes BEAUTIFUL dessert then eat them on TV. Possibly one of the cruelest types of shows because it makes me want to go out, go mad and SPLURGE on sweets (because I can’t bake).

Anna was really nice. She asked if we had questions for her, about her life, the show, anything. I couldn’t think of anything to ask then. But now, I have a gazillion questions! Typical.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - guests
If I were a writer for those entertainment type mags, I’d be telling you who these people are. WELL! I know one of them is Anna Olson (tee-hee), and the other is Mae Ho of BERJAYA UCH. Then my editor would fire me because I was obviously having too much fun to write any of their names down. But nah, I’m not in any trouble, because this isn’t a paid gig. What I want to say is, let’s all be a tad more appreciative of those underpaid writers who do this for a living. We speak your name (but you’d have to tell us your names in the first place, heh you see where this is going…)

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - cooking demo
A cooking demo by Anna Olson, where she made Lime Crème Caramel, a recipe inspired from her culinary trip to the Philippines

We started with an appetiser trio – Salmon Tartare on Cassava Cakes, Maple BBQ Chicken Wings, and Mini Bao with Crab Salad. The ceviche was light and zesty, perfect with a dollop of sour cream. A reminder that the simple things in life are possibly the best, just what a happiness doctor would prescribe.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - starter
I took like, 30 shots of the wing and they all turned out bad. Look, salmon tartare!

Anna’s “Inspired” Beef Carpaccio with Pho Flavours came from Vietnam, don’t ask me how I know that har har. It was refreshing to have fat bean sprouts in lieu of the usual rocket leaves, and sliced onions instead of shaved parmesan. Fresh, crunchy, aromatic, on a meaty texture. Brilliant.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - beef carpaccio
Do you even carpaccio?

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - lobster chowder
Atlantic Lobster Chowder

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - roasted lamb rack
Rosemary Roasted Lamb Rack with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce and Canadian Wild Rice Pilaf

In the Philippines, chef Rob Pengson made Tocino de Cielo for Anna. The rich dessert inspired Anna to come out with her version, the Lime Crème Caramel. In the first episode of ‘Inspired with Anna Olson’, she shows you how to make it – you can watch it on-line for free at the AFC website.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - Lime Creme Caramel
Anna Olson made me dessert! Okay BERJAYA UCH students did, under the supervision of Anna’s husband, Mike Olson. But heyyyy! DESSERT!

There are 10 episodes of ‘Inspired with Anna Olson’. I can’t wait for the last 2 episodes as they will feature Malaysian chefs Ili and Chef Wan! Call me biased, but they are the best. BEST.

Inspired with Anna Olson, Kuala Lumpur - Anna Olson and Suanie
Anna was so nice. She let me take as many photos as I wanted. That was nice.

Thanks for having me!

Recipe: Lance’s Clam Chowder

One of my favourite pick-me-ups is a big hearty bowl of warm, filling soup. It speaks of comfort and reassurance, each spoonful as nourishing as a sympathetic personal Agony Aunt.

My friend, Lance, makes that kind of wholesome soup. His clam chowder never fails to lift my spirits, even long after he stopped making them to make way for other types of soup. I’ve replicated his clam chowder recipe many times, and blogged about it a few years ago.

I’ve learned a few things since then, and feel a need to refresh the recipe post. Here you go, with the full printable recipe at the bottom of this post.

Recipe Lance Clam Chowder - with mussels
Lance’s creamy clam chowder, mussels optional

Regular chowder is ridiculously easy to make. There’s no rocket science involved – just assemble the ingredients, throw them into a pot, and wait.

Surely there must be a catch! Well, yes. There are clam chowder recipes where they call for fresh clams. This is not one of them. Instead, we use canned clams, separate juice from clams and put aside, please. I normally use 2 cans, but feel free to add an extra one or two cans for a deeper, richer flavour (and get more clams in each spoonful!).

Here’s the tricky part – where I’m at, it may not be easy to get inexpensive canned clams. We normally get the Rex brand (pictured below) but it’s increasingly difficult to find them. There are imported canned clams, but they cost an arm and a leg, not prices I’d be willing to pay. So, good luck finding your clams!

Since this is a New England-style, we need milk and cream. We use evaporated milk – in Malay, it’s susu sejat (super expensive) or susu sejat penuh krim (reconstituted, less expensive). For milk, use either heavy, or double, or thickened cream. Use regular cooking cream only if you can’t get heavy cream.

This recipe calls for a whole bottle of (cheap) dry white wine, e.g. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay. Don’t want wine in your soup, even though the alcohol would have fizzled out before it reaches your bowl? Well then, just replace with more stock or water.

For stock, I’ve tried and tested regular vs salt reduced; the latter always wins. I’ve also tried cube stock, but still I prefer Campbell’s salt reduced beef stock.

What about bacon? Bacon, as unhealthy as it is, is possibly one of my favourite things in the world. You would probably have guessed by now that I have many favourite things, but really, bacon ranks quite high on my list. However if you do not share my love for bacon, you can substitute (pork) bacon with beef bacon or turkey ham. Think cured, think salt.

Recipe Lance Clam Chowder - ingredients
Not an inexpensive clam chowder recipe

Wash, chop, separate, sort your ingredients. Then it’s time to assemble and cook!

Recipe Lance Clam Chowder - aromatics

Start off with heating up oil in a big pot. Cook onions, celery and bacon for a few minutes.

Add clam juice, evaporated milk, cream and potatoes. Let it boil for a minute or two.

Recipe Lance Clam Chowder - potatoes

Add thyme, bay leaves, and wine. Boil for a couple of minutes.

Recipe Lance Clam Chowder - wine and thyme

Add beef stock, boil for 30 minutes.

Then simmer for another 30 minutes.

Recipe Lance Clam Chowder - boiling soup

Use a hand blender or food processor to blend the chowder till smooth. Don’t have a blender? Don’t bother. For real, don’t waste your money and time with this recipe if you ain’t got a blender.

Once blended, put the pot back on the stove/heat. Add clam meat and dill, and mussels if you have them. Simmer for a few minutes.

Recipe Lance Clam Chowder with bread

Serve with black pepper, warm bread and a smile on your face.

Recipe Lance and his creamy clam chowder

That’s the recipe namesake enjoying his own chowder. Thanks for sharing the goodness, Lance!

Print Recipe
Lance's Clam Chowder
A rich, delicious clam chowder recipe that uses only stock and wine for broth.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
6
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
6
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a big pot. Add onions, celery and bacon to cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add clam juice, evaporated milk, cream and potatoes. Let it boil for a minute or two.
  3. Add evaporated milk, cream, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves and wine. Boil for a few minutes.
  4. Add beef stock, boil for 30 minutes then simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Use a hand blender or food processor to blend the chowder till smooth.
  6. Put the pot back on the stove. Add clam meat and dill, and mussels (optional). Simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Serve with cracked black pepper.

Fest, Jaya One

When one door closes, another opens. That can be said of the many incarnations of the space in Jaya One that is now Fest, a cafe that offers good ol’ coffee and cafe food.

Not just any run-of-the-mill cafe food, mind you. But more on that later.

Fest Jaya One - latte

Fest was started by three friends who left their jobs and poured in (almost) everything they had into this venture – their money, ideas, time and youth.

I know this to be true; I am acquainted with one of them, Lisan, whom I knew since our active blogging days. Then years later, work projects got us back in touch.

Then one day she left to pursue her F&B dreams. One day she was talking videos and events, and the next day she was off baking cakes and brewing coffee. That was that, and Fest was born.

Fest Jaya One cafe

The first thing to know about Fest is that it has gained popularity in a star product, the Lemak Chicken Sandwich (RM14). A what now?

Fest Jaya One - nasi lemak sandwich

No kidding, it’s nasi lemak sandwich-style! How does one make this happen?

First, replace the rice with toasted sourdough bread. I know I know, it’s not really quite the same, but the chef is attempting to scale greater heights here.

What of the condiments one would expect of Malaysia’s national dish? Turn them – the anchovies, crushed peanuts and sambal into a paste, and spread them generously onto both sides of the bread! Then add toasted coconut, shredded cucumber, egg strips and chicken waffles to complete the assemble.

Sure, it’s unconventional. A tad gimmicky even. But somehow it worked, and I enjoyed the spicy, hearty sandwich.

Fest Jaya One - egg sandwich

The unadventurous may stick to safe options, such as the Egg Sandwich (RM12). Bread, lettuce, waffle omelette, eh it’s not bad. But it’s no nasi lemak sandwich.

Fest Jaya One - chicken waffle

Another recommended item at Fest is Chicken Waffles (RM16), where the waffles themselves are made from a mixture of mostly lean meat, chives, onions and eggs. Savoury, tasty and juicy waffles, should please those looking for something filling.

Fest Jaya One - duck salad

For my mother and I, we thought that the star was definitely the Duck Salad (RM13). A visually pleasing mix of roasted duck slices with carrot , cucumber, red onions, pomegranate and peanuts, splashed with sour plum sauce. It reminds you of yee sang eaten during Chinese New Year, just as crunchy and refreshing. A total winner in our books!

Fest Jaya One - Milo Dinosaur waffle

The young ones enjoyed Milo Dinosaur (RM12), a dessert waffle of Milo (a super famous brand of chocolate & malt powder, which according to its own advertising, created champions out of us kids who drank it faithfully growing up) and condensed milk topped with coconut ice-cream.

Fest Jaya One - latte coffee

Fest is involved in the Suspended Coffee movement, only that it’s rightfully called #BelanjaKopi here.

I’m glad it’s working out for Lisan and co. I mean, I would hate it if she had left her regular paying job for something that turned out to be terrible, hahah! But no, it looks like they’re on the right path to delivering unique products, and I wish them the best of the luck!

And I’ll be back to try out the delicious array of cakes available!

Fest
E-83-G.3G, The Square, Jaya One
72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: +60 3-7932 1523

Opens daily. For hours, go to festwithus.wix.com/fest
#FestWithUs Facebook | Instagram