Sunday, 27 April 2008

Reviews: Ume-Tei Japanese and Bubba Gump; Champs and Restoran Overseas

We tried 2 new places this weekend (Ume-Tei and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co).. and went to 2 firm favourites (Champs and Restoran Overseas).

1.
Restaurant: Ume-Tei Japanese Restaurant
Address: 3rd Floor, Amcorp Mall, Persiaran Barat, off Jln Timur, PJ
Tel: 603-79541397
Verdict: Value for money.

Rommel and I went for 11.30am Mass at SFX and were scheduled to pick my mom up at 3pm from church (they had a 2-day GSS this weekend). So what to do for about 2hrs? Rommel came up with the Amcorp Mall idea to check out the flea market. Something we've been meaning to do but just never got round to it.

So anyway, we'd read about this Japanese restaurant in Amcorp in the papers so figured we shd go look for it.

At first impression, this place is pretty nondescript, nothing really special but it does give off a homey type of vibes, similar to the little ramen shops I'd been to in Japan with the family. But we still went in anyway. What's the worst that can happen, right? You'll never know until you try.

I took the Ramen set which cost RM18. Really value for money! My set included:
1) the ramen - which was a decent size, had some chicken ham, crab sticks, ample veg and seaweed. Tasty soup but I detected quite a bit of MSG.
2) rice - which you can choose between the garlic fried rice or just white rice. We took the fried rice. Not very good but still addictive.
3) Chicken katsu - crispy and nice. Came with a side of salad and potato salad in small but adequate portions.
4) the usual pickles and cut fruit.

Rommel took the nigiri sushi set costing RM27. He's actually seen the a la carte sushi platter which was RM53 but the lady boss was honest enough to say they didnt have the belly tuna today so they weren't serving that. They also have a cheaper option where some of the sushi is from local fish and another even cheaper option with all just local fish. The set comes with miso shiru, chawan mushi, pickles and fruit.

Verdict: We decided that the place was worth a visit should we step into Amcorp during the day again. But maybe not a place to bring my dear ol' fussy dad. We've put it in the same category as Kajitsu Nihon Ryori and the Japanese restaurant in Faber Towers, both in Taman Desa, KL. Which therefore means, I'd just stick to these 2 places since they're in my neighbourhood.

2.
Restaurant: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
Location: The Curve, Mutiara Damansara.
(Sorry no contact details. I took a menu/pamphlet which I thought had their contacts but it turns out, it's only a list of their menu. But I'm sure you wont have trouble looking for it in the Curve. It's across from Marche, upstairs.)
Verdict: Wont be going back anytime soon.

The restaurant's theme is basically the Forrest Gump movie, very American - read big portions and cheesy tag lines. In the same category as TGIFs and Chillis (although Rommel and I vote that nothing beats Chillis!).

I got all excited after seeing an article on it in Friday's Star. So off we went that night itself.

We ordered the Cajun Shrimp and the New England Clam Chowder for starters. The shrimp were pretty small (but not as pathetic as the ones we get in the UK!) and I think it was too buttery and salty. The clam chowder tasted like it was one of those instant packet ones and you just add some extra clams and diced veg into it.

For the main course, we took Mama's Southern Fried Chicken and Bubba's After the Storm "Bucket of Boat Trash".

The chicken was not too bad, I suppose. An overdose of mashed potatoes though and they even put the gravy on top of the chicken. I dont know if this is how it's usually served, but I prefer my fried chicken without the sauce.

The "Bucket" consisted of deep fried shrimp, lobster tail (which were actually those mini yabbie lobsters, like the ones they serve in Max) and baramundi. Served with fries. It was alright but again, with everything deep fried, not the healthiest of options.

Enough said. I dont think we'll be going back anytime in the near future.

3.
Restaurant: Champs
Location: Centrepoint, Bandar Utama

We had dinner with the parents and some friends. 12 of us in total so luckily Aunty RubyAnn and Uncle Max know the owner. And someone had thought to book the table beforehand. Cos when we got there, it was super super packed!! I think it was partially because there was a Chelsea vs Man U game on so some ppl were there to watch the game.

Champs is pretty much your neighbourhood pub serving superb food.. and a decent pint.

My fav there is the char kuey teow. Stir fried to perfection with slices of Chinese sausage and a touch of fried lard to finish. YUM.... I seem to always order that whenever I go and I constantly have cravings for it (like now).

Champs is also famous for its Ipoh hor fun, its Hokkien mee (Black Worm Noodles in the menu) and its grilled baby back pork ribs (yes you read that right. I was so happy I found a place that sold proper pork ribs, as opposed to the beef ribs we have to live with in most restaurants here.). I remember my brother once ordered the Mee Mamak which was not too bad too.

The new item on the menu was the fish head soup noodles. My dad had tried it previously and said it wasn't that good but my mom ordered it anyway and I must say I like it! Peppery and not too much ideal milk... only thing was there wasn't enough noodles.

Always a favourite local pub in my books. I ended the night with a nice refreshing Hoegaarden. (Hey, you can't go into a pub, watch football and not have beer!)

4.
Restaurant: Overseas at Armada, PJ
Verdict: Best for steam fish

Sunday night's dinner venue. My dad defrosted the tail end of a grouper Uncle Loh gave us. He said, for such a fine piece of fish, we had to bring it to the chef at Overseas in Armada because his style of cooking such fish was unbeatable. And I agree, whole-heartedly.

We had the fish blanched in oil and then steamed... to perfection. I think this method of cooking is called "yau tzam wat" (sorry am really bad with Cantonese pronounciations although I really am trying to learn to speak the language)

Also ordered the sliced pork belly with salted fish in claypot. My sister's favourite so since I was talking to her while on the way there, she requested that we ate it on her behalf.

And the homemade taufu with "sing kua" veggie. My brother's favourite - he can eat a bowl of rice with just this dish alone.

And some chicken herbal soup which was the only option they had left for the night. Not bad. I always like soup.

And my favourite veggie - "dau miu" in Canto or "dou miao" in Mandarin. It's so difficult to get it in Malaysia. I ask for this dish at every Chinese restaurant we go to but rarely ever get it. We had it stir fried with garlic and strips of Chinese ham.

What was really funny was that one of the managers came over to talk to us and started commenting on the fish, trying to act like he knew a lot. Then my dad said, actually, we brought the fish, it's not from your kitchen. Then my dad started rattling off names of some managers who used to be at the Armada Overseas but have since been transferred around to the other outlets. Then the chef himself came out to say hi and said the fish was a really good piece. I guess the manager must have been new and maybe thought we didn't know better about the fish we were eating.

Anyway, that was it... Another weekend of feasting. and another weekend before my diet ever starts. Muahaha...

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