Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Food Review : Two Pesos, Kota Damansara

As an unsuspecting passerby, I have initially thought that Two Pesos was a restaurant that is specialized in South American or Filipino cuisines but they were anything but. The name was mused from the eventual two pesos that the owner of the restaurant have kept during his wife and his' trip to Boracay (ta-da), and their love for each other and food have transcended to the concept of Two Pesos.

Hot pots are normally conceptualize for sharing but the Two Pesos have adapted the idea of Taiwanese steamboats that are ideal for a diner (if by any reason you've decided to be #foreveralone for the meal, just drop by, no one is going to judge) or otherwise. Two Pesos insists that their hot pots are affordable, value for money and more importantly innovative in terms of their cuisine.

Extensive research have been done in order to pair the right soup or broth with the ingredients that go in it as well as the ideal pot to cook the broth altogether. I myself can be a clumsy wreck (at times), so if you are apprehensive about cooking, they will cook the fresh ingredients to order for you. Aside from the essential trio of dining, 色香味 (Color, Aroma & Taste), you can expect delectable presentation from the vibrant vegetables and meats used as well stylish pots that fits well to your social media feeds.

In term of the menu, it is converged to choosing the pot accompanied by soup of choice, one meat (ranging from pork, beef, seafood and fish) and a typical Asian complement of rice, yee mee or mee hoon. Add-ons are readily available upon, from additional meat, vegetable and other regular steamboat complements such as egg, tofu, fish balls and crab sticks among many others.

Here are some of the potted highlights of the day

1. Two Pesos BBQ Pot (RM 19.50)- When we wanted our vege to soak in the broth and enriching it but still have seared meat slices, this is just the pot to go for. Ideal when you're torn for both worlds.

2. Tajine Seafood Pot (RM 18) is interesting in the sense that tajine are traditionally used for Moroccan dishes paired with lamb, but Two Pesos innovated the seafood pot by using returning condensation towards the bottom of the pot, ensuring ideal stewing to bring out the best of the seafood flavours.

3. Italian Tomato Pot (RM 16) - When hearty tomato soup calls, this is the pot to go, not forgetting to mention the cute yellow pot that goes with it. 

4. I do quite fancy the taste of this Lemon Seafood Pot (RM16), the acidity and zesty note to this savoury soup does it for me. I think this goes well with fish, but pork does it for me too. And for some reason, they have opted for the Hello Kitty pot, which will be the kids' favorite.

5. My personal favorite of the day would be Milky Seafood Pot (RM 16). As the name suggests, the seafood are immersed into the milky broth, but I would add on some pork slices just to give the broth an extra surf and turf personality to it. 

6. The Basu Spicy Pot (RM 15.50) has enough spicy notes to it but not to the extend of knocking your socks off. A hot pot ideal for cold days. The pungent spices used is slightly overpowering for me, this might be for those with acquired taste for this spicy soup. Goes well with pork or beef.

7. The Japanese Sukiyaki Pot (RM 15.50) has the charm of the authentic mirin and soy taste in the Japanese sukiyaki sauce but incorporated to the hot pot concept, for those who prefers the Japanese take on it.

8. Another recommended favourite would be the Two Pesos Stone Pot (RM 15.00), slices of pork or beef are seared on the hot pot to slightly render the fats and cook the meat with scallions and garlic, before adding the soup base to it.

Bro Tips : Condiments are available to enjoy alongside the cooked meat or vegetables - Available condiments include garlic mash, spring onion, bean paste, sacha sauce and chilli sauce

Despite having to sample all the hot pot, I would visit Two Pesos again for a few of my favourite soup. Two Pesos also have a branch in SS2, Petaling Jaya, aren't we PJ people that lucky? :)

Two Pesos Kota Damansara
No 32-1, Jalan PJU 5/9,
Dataran Sunway,
Kota Damansara, 47810
Petaling Jaya, Selangor,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Food Review : Pretz n' Beanz, IPC

Pretz n' Beanz, brain child of Anna Chong and her husband from Singapore, marries the concept of enjoying freshly baked pretzels (conventional pretzels meet reinventions the key in their menu) and brewed coffee for a hearty meal to dine in or on the go.

Formerly known as Chillacup, IPC houses one of the two current outlets of Pretz n' Beanz (the other is located at Solaris Mt. Kiara). The rebranding was done to incorporate the concept of pretzels and coffee and making it relatable (Evident from its logo where you can spot the pretzel and coffee bean, intertwined to form a heart shape, and you could see the word '人' which is human in Chinese, and the vibrant background to sum that Pretz n' Beanz love for people and there are something for everyone).

Back to business, aside from the usual suspects of baked (not fried) pretzels, Pretz n' Beanz offers a variety of pretzel dishes (pretzel pizzas, pretzels and stew) and some other notable dishes such as pastas, breakfast menus and toasts.

It is literally my first time sampling these pretzels, and I must say on first bite I am sold. Being made fresh upon order, they absolutely did not compromise on quality, on every bite. Recommended pretzels would be their Basil Cheese (RM 6.90) and Cinnamon Sugar (RM 5.90), or really, on its own accompanied by dips.

If you are a hearty breakfast person or brunch hunter, the Champignon Baked Eggs (RM 17.90) is the way to go, runny yolks that coats the red sauce consisting of tomato, mushrooms and chicken makes it a perfect dip alternative for the pretzel.

New on their menu would be their Pretz n' Stew series - a choice of Beef Goulash (RM 20.05), Green Curry (pictured above, RM 17.90) or Cheesy Chicken (RM 17.90), all served with two freshly baked pretzels each. I do quite fancy the Green Curry, the compendium of spices worked well for the savoury dip for the pretzels.

Then came the fusion of pretzel and pizza, best of both worlds perhaps? Above is the classic Chicken Hawaiian flavour (pretzel dough blanketed with pizza sauce, chicken ham, pineapple cube and mozzarella) and the newly introduced BBQ flavour. As the dough is pretzel based, it won't be the thin crusted pizzas that we know but towards the fluffier texture. 

Pretz n' Beanz are not ALL about pretzels, they do have all day dining menu like the Baked Rice (pictured above, RM 14.75).

Or... if you are a pasta person, you could go for their aglio olio (with mushroom - RM 17.90, prawn - RM 28.50, or smoked salmon (picture above) - RM 26.40).

While their signature pretzels are worth the visits, Pretz n' Beanz are equally committed to their House Blends as well. Notable brews recommended are Espresso Macchiato (RM  7.00), Caramel Macchiato (RM 13.90) and their Caffe Latte and Cappuccino (RM 11.00 each).

Regardless of your cup of drink (caffeinated or otherwise - they do have healthy juices options too to combat the hazy weather and the heat), you can always rely on a comfortable stop in IPC after your shopping or strolls. Shout out to Pretz n' Beanz for hosting us, we definitely filled our bellies with the delicious pretzels and don't mind another visit :)

G23, Ground Floor, 
IPC Shopping Centre.
Tel: 03-7732-0175

Extra Bits :

Part and parcel of attending a food review is that we might be able to sample new, off the book dishes. This is fresh from the kitchen, unnamed but it is safe to say, it is a creamy dish in a bread bowl accompanied with fries to look forward to. 

Also, to support and in conjunction with Pink October month for breast cancer awareness, Pretz n' Beanz also introduced a limited time, pink inspired pretzel and beverage (do check it out if you're in the IPC outlet).