I was due to attend a seminar on the Abolition of Human Rights @ KL Convention Centre today with two other colleagues. Since the event’s registration would only commence at 2 to 3 p.m. (which was quite a generous window of time for these matters), we thought to have lunch at KLCC itself.
I’m not a frequent guest of the many restaurants in KLCC and my last-known sit-down dinner was with a friend at the beginning of this year at Madam Kwan’s. If I ever do drop by the place, it would be at Isetan for bento boxes or Kinokuniya for books.
So we settled for Ben’s. Now if you hadn’t been to KLCC in the past 6 months or so, lots of shops have altered their facades. KFC is no longer near Cold Storage, CIMB is now located near the current KFC and so on. So it’s no surprise that with all that relocation and stuff, Ben’s has now replaced California Pizza Kitchen (which still has a Malaysian presence at Fahrenheit 88).
As we had to make do with a quick lunch, I ordered their Crispy Duck Confit Spaghettini (RM22.90) whereas my colleague settled for the Pad Thai Seafood Linguine (RM17.90). None of us ordered drinks so we had boiled water instead.
This is the dish that I’ve ordered. It was rather greasy but that is how confit is prepared (by poaching in its own fat). Tastewise not particularly good but delectable enough. Otherwise, it was a rather filling dish as it came in generous portions. It came recommended by the waiter but I’d not agree.
By comparison, the Pad Thai Linguine that my friend ordered was pretty good. It came with reasonably large, juicy prawns and a healthy serving of peanuts, veggies and garnish.
When my other colleague joined us just as when we were wrapping up the main course, we decided on a Macadamia Cheesecake Sundae (RM10.90) to be shared amongst all three –
It could easily satisfy two people but would prove to be too much for one person to handle. Still, with three people, it was easily gone down in a wink. Rich in caramel sauce and topped with a good amount of macadamia nuts, it tasted great and the pricing was just right.
Overall, the damage came up to well over RM50 for two people (three, if you count the straggler who came along later) and I’d say that such occasions should be far and few between for those wary of emptying the wallet fast. The food came pretty fast too, although getting the waiters’ attention could prove somewhat a chore. Why, our receipt even came with another item which we didn’t order!
Now, on the next subject matter, many of you would already be aware that Isetan KLCC has been busy with their refurbishment works. I recalled going to their top floor food market sometime back (during the height of their construction works) for some bento and sushi late night and was surprised to see that none was on sale that day as they had turned off all their refrigeration systems.
It has all changed.
The Jaya Jusco 1Utama branch has also done extensive renovation to their supermarket and delicatessen/ bakery / food section and I must say that the wider range of Japanese food on sale there was impressive.
With Isetan shifting their supermarket floor to the (easily-accessible) ground floor, and adding many more stalls, I’d also want to come here more often. Especially, when they now have my favourite – okonomiyaki. I didn’t knew that the new Isetan would have the dish beforehand, which is pretty hard to find in Malaysia (unless you’d make the trip to Lowyat Plaza for Daimon Okonomiyaki or to 1Utama) but I went along anyway, predicting that they will. And they did.
Yes, the packaging was a touch messy – the okonomiyaki sauce was practically seeping out of the plastic container and the price (peep this) – RM18.00 ! I ordered the prawn okonomiyaki (I don’t really take beef and I wasn’t in the mood for chicken neither).
But was it worth it?
Yes – the portion was filling and tasty (if a little on the burnt side). The okonomiyaki sauce was splurged with some heavy-handedness as it made the pancake a tad soggy but it was pretty good. Still, it had no bonito flakes (katsuobushi) which lends the pancake its distinctive sourish flavour and the mayonnaise (a must!) was lost in the oko sauce. The amount of prawns given could easily be ticked down with the fingers of one hand. Having said that, it was a treat and you should check this out next time you drop by the place. I’m going there tomorrow to try their chicken version!
But the Jaya Jusco version is currently the better one – it may be significantly smaller but it costs RM4.90 each, had plenty of carved bonito flakes and lots of mayonnaise. I said ‘currently’ because standards tend to slip like the stock market and I’d rather be on the lookout for more alternatives than just plain settle for one or two places for my oko fix. It was also light on the oko sauce and had the right balance of veggies and batter. The perfect supermarket okonomiyaki if you ask me.