June 23, 2009

Snack : Copan Garlic Toast

Accidentally 'discovered' this packeted garlic toast during a Cold Storage Japanese fair recently - and am so in love with it!

During the fair it was selling at a discounted rate of RM 2.99 as opposed to the normal retail price of RM 4.99 - so I actually grabbed 3! (and regretted not grabbing 5 instead)

Ended up, my family, my boyfriend, his family, my colleagues and of course, myself - we're all so hooked on to it coz it's freakin' nice!!

What's so nice about this seemingly artificial garlic toast you ask?

Based on the feedback I gathered:-
1. it actually tastes better than a real garlic bread
2. packeted junk food normally doesn't taste 'fresh' - but this is every bit crunchy as if just out from oven or something
3. it's bite-sized and very 'friendly' to consume :P

What more can you ask for? This is like THE perfect snack!

Downside? A bit pricey I guess... coz the packet is not even half-filled with garlic toast :S

June 20, 2009

First Invited Review : Ko Fu Loft @ Gurney Plaza

Thanks to Criz Lai and Ko Fu Loft, I was given an opportunity to attend one of the bigger scale food review and it was indeed an honor to be part of the flogger scene! :D

I was so determined to head for a good start and all...... until I realized that I've just somehow dug my own grave for not putting this up *promptly* - Not only I owe Criz Lai an apology, I owe Ko Fu Loft one big one too! O_o

SORRY for not getting this done as soon as I'm supposed to!

Ok enough crap, let's get to the 'meat'...

Ko Fu Loft is a new oriental cuisine restaurant located on the 4th floor of Gurney Plaza - right where Food Loft used to be.

It has since been redecorated and though still inheriting some of the kitchen areas, most of the interior have since been improvised

The entrance where the backdrop is adorned with dim sum steamer deco

The surroundings...

The distinct kitchen areas specializing in the preparation of different types of food, and they have segregated one area just for Dim Sum as well

For those of us who would like a little more privacy for family or friends' get-together or business meals, Ko Fu Loft's elegant private rooms would be the ideal choice

Table setting

As I was busy snapping pics away, I was pleasantly surprised to find some of my sweet friends (enjoying McD desserts) dropping by (presumably) to give me some mental support! THANKS Kellin, Yuet Ling, John, Joe and Kok Yew! :D

The kind people at Ko Fu Loft started to serve us food in according to sequence and we were given the privilege to sample a total of 15 dishes ranging from 2 appetizers, 6 dim sums, 6 main courses and a dessert! :D

1. Appetizer #1 : Ko Fu Sesame Seed Ball (RM 10.90)

Though not a big fan of the sesame family, I can say I enjoyed this - the fillings made from carrots, mushrooms, celery were finely chopped and each bite was quite springy too. (Sesame was a bit too much IMHO)

2. Appetizer #2 : Crystal Spring Roll Skin Stuff with Vege & Chicken Meat (RM 6.90)

The presentation of this dish quickly caught my attention as I haven't really seen spring rolls with such translucent skin before. However, it's unfortunate that its taste didn't really meet up to the expectation if matched to its appearance. If not for the accompanying thai style chilli sauce, the spring rolls were pretty bland.

I couldn't really taste the chicken meat much, maybe because the portion was relatively small compared to the ampleness of the carrot, cucumber, sang choy and glass noodles. The spring rolls collapsed easily and wasn't easy to put together to consume either.

Next up - we were served the Dim Sums:

3. Dim Sum #1 : Steamed Fresh Prawn Dumpling - Har Kau (RM 5.50)

Being a lover of Har Kaus - I was pretty impressed with the sheer size of these babies and couldn't wait to get my mouth of them :P A bite did not disappoint - the prawns were indeed huge, springy and succulent; if the skin was thinner it'd make a perfect Har Kau!

4. Dim Sum #2 : Pork Dumpling with Fish Roes - Siew Mai (RM 5.50)

Siew Mais were equally Big as well and was filled with fresh prawns, topped with fish roes - plus points are definitely its size and generosity of ingredients but the taste just did not stand out.. was it the seasoning? I'm not quite sure

5. Dim Sum #3 : Minced Squid with Crab Claw (RM 6.90)

So long as it comes with crab claws - you'd be sure I'll get my hands on it so I was delighted to see this! :) the appearance did not really appeal that much, and it tasted a bit 'fishy' too - though I must add on that by the time we sat down and sampled it, it may most probably have sat there for way too long and wouldn't taste good anymore. So people, eat up your steamed dim sums as soon as possible k!

6. Dim Sum #4 :Signature Steamed Custard Creamy Bun (RM 5.50)

The first look at these buns - they look just ordinary right? But the chef was determined to do Ko Fu Loft's signature bun justice and informed us that the secret to this special bun lies in its golden custard fillings - it simply oozes out like larva from a volcano mouth... I was pretty fascinated by the fact that the custard filling flowed! See it to believe it:

This was my first time trying custard creamy bun but I must say I was pretty impressed with the texture of the bun itself - it was soft and silky (serious!) eventhough it was already cold by the time I sampled it; but the custard filling was a bit 'grainy'.

7. Dim Sum #5 :Deep Fried Yam Paste with Minced Pork (RM 4.50)

The fillings tasted good and kind of like the char siew pao fillings of Tai Dong's (which I like a lot); the outer most crust was crunchy too (plus point); but the middle crust was slightly too thick which I think spoilt the whole dish :(

8. Dim Sum #6 : Deep Fried Pandan Lotus Paste Dumpling (RM 4.50)

The dumpling's outer skin was too thick and had too much sesame covering it - and this made the whole chewing experience too jaw-tiring. The pandan-based fillings were too sweet to my liking as well

After the dim sum galore - we were served the Main Courses:

9. Main Course #1: Szechuan Aromatic Duck (RM 18.90)

Having tried a similar dish back in the olden Food Loft days before, this dish was slightly different in terms of the duck meat texture - the skin was hard and the meat fell apart pretty easily; not sure if this is a normal trait for a Szechuan duck, but one thing's pretty evident : the duck wasn't quite aromatic.

10. Main Course #2: Jingdo Pork Ribs (RM 14.90)

Ahhh... pork ribs... I have a soft spot for pork ribs and thiss tasted quite unique actually. Though I could not really make out what they used the spices, marinate or seasoning, but the taste is pretty memorable as I haven't tasted any other one like this before. The ribs were simply rich with flavor - wonderful :D

11. Main Course #3: Deep Fried Five Spices Calamari (RM 13.90)

Now most of us are pretty familiar with how calamari is made and tastes like.. normally it's deep fried and on the salty side (just the way I like my calamari) so when this plate landed - I was really, really suspiscious.

But I tell you, this dish is highly addictive - once you had one, you'd want more and more! Don't be fooled by its not-so-appealing outlook, as these calamaris are really good - its batter not too thick, the calamari within not too hard, and the five spices used really brought out the burst of flavor of this dish - Superb

12. Main Course #4: Deep Fried Homemade Bean Curd (RM 12.90)

Not sure what bean curd they use nor what made up the accompanying sauce - but I secretly like this dish actually, coz the crust is crunchy and I just simply like deep fried beancurd :)

13. Main Course #5: All in 1 Roasted Meat with Vegetables (RM 12.90)

I've never tried this elsewhere before, so the appearance really appealed to me. When the pot finally landed on our table, I chose 2 things to sample : pork skin and brocolli.

Verdict : Brocolli was still very much raw and the pork skin tasted.... rotten. And I'm seriously not kidding. Something must've gone horribly wrong with the preparation of the broth as the skin will be the one to absord the most. I gave up the whole dish after that :(

14. Main Course #6: Fried Seafood Emperor Noodle (RM 12.90)

Overall, the noodle did not impress me at all - for a few reasons : the presentation was just too 'khao khei' - and a glance revealed that nothing in the noodle is 'emperor'-like at all - from the ingredients used to the noodles itself. The noodles were not 'Q' and the whole dish was very much.. bland. There were no hints of 'wok hei' present in fried noodles too - let alone emperor noodle.

Artificial crabsticks, squids, prawns != seafood (in IT terms)

After we were pretty much done with all appetizers, dim sums and main courses, a lot of fellow bloggers were lamenting to me that this is a pretty fast review and we were all pretty positive, only to find out that we had to wait for an extremely long time for the dessert to be served

15. Dessert of the Day: Sago and water chestnut in coconut milk (RM 3.50)

Honestly? Everyone was really anticipating a nice dessert to end the day, but I was particularly disappointed with it...

Firstly, the dessert was not served hot - it was merely lukewarm. How can lukewarm hot dessert be nice? Secondly, the coconut milk tasted bad - and I never tasted any other coconut-milk based food like this before. Thirdly, there were only 2 ingredients inside - sago and water chestnuts - it's just so 'un-substantial'.

All in all, there are still rooms for improvement in Ko Fu Loft's menu. Variety-wise is OK but ingredients and consistency-wise, a lot more can still be done. Until customers are convinced and have confidence in the taste, price range is another determinant factor as well.

Thanks to Ko Fu Loft management and the hard-working chefs for the splendid food!

Ko-Fu-Loft (口福樓)
Add:170-04-59, Level 4, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang.
Tel: 604-229 5011

Other bloggers who have attended and reviewed:

http://crizfood.com/ - Criz Lai
http://cokeworldcitizen.blogspot.com/ - Jian
http://www.gourmetgarden.com.my/ - Gill & Jason
http://reginatravel-foodparadise.blogspot.com/ - Mary Teo
http://www.stevengoh.com/ - Steven Goh
http://buzzingbee.blogsome.com/ - Bee
http://cariso-food.blogspot.com/ - Carrie Soon
http://www.noweating.com/ - CW Chan
http://www.foodpromotions.com.my/ - Eunice, Siew Ying & Iris
http://yummy-station.com/ - Allen Ooi
http://yumyumbites.blogspot.com/ - Christy K
http://food-4tots.com/ - LK Low (Singapore)
http://www.penangtuapui.com/ - Huat Koay & Albert
http://www.what2seeonline.com/ - CK Lam