Saturday, 31 December 2011

Black Coffee Lyrics, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

As usual a trip home to the Gold Coast is filled with the great outdoors, plenty of wine quaffing and fabulous food. On the 'good things to eat' side Black Coffee Lyrics was recommended by a number of locals. A funky cafe, located upstairs in a run down arcade, it seems to be one of the few spots with a bit of intelligent life left in Surfers. They serve strong coffee which was a winning start for me. But their specialty is cold pressed coffee where the grounds are left to steep through a contraption (pictured above) for 24 hours making a wonderfully strong brew. It is refreshing served over ice with a drop of maple syrup but also worth trying with a dash of milk. I think it tastes a little sweeter than a hot brew. They are currently using a blend of beans from around the world that is roasted in Byron Bay but will soon move to a mix that is all local. 
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner some of the menu highlights are: Breakfast Roll with poached egg, basil cream, bacon and cheese served on Turkish bread; Vege Stack with basil cream; Avocado and Chicken Salad with sun dried tomatoes, mixed greens, granny smith apples, red onion, feta, pumpkin and a sesame dressing; Beef Burger with mushrooms, pumpkin, cheese, greens and relish (try anything with relish - it's something special); Frutti di Mare Pizza topped with calamari and octopus with lemon, garlic and basil; Shawster's Own Pizza with olives, semi dried tomatoes, mushrooms, bocconcini & chilly RELISH. There are plenty of vegetarian options and a new tapas menu that looks worth trying too. 
Black Coffee Lyrics just got their liquor license and will soon feature local and national wines plus their very own beer on tap. With a hip atmosphere, affable (and handsome ;-) service, and gratifying grub I'll be sure to revisit on the next trip home.

Black Coffee Lyrics
Shop 40 3131 Surfers Paradise Blvd
Gold Coast, Queensland, 4217
+ 61 0402 189 437

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Friday, 30 December 2011

A Slice of Heaven, Terrace @ Hock Choon, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lady Gaga cake - just an inkling into the creative genius of owners Nigel and Allan.

Take your taste buds on a wild adventure with this seemingly innocent cocoa lump - smooth chocolate coating with a hint of chili hiding one of their best sellers - durian cake.

 Chocolate cheese - another best seller.

Death by chocolate - yes please!

And... the cake they are best known for - red velvet.

Expats and locals alike will delight in knowing that there is a bakery in Ampang producing fabulously handsome cakes that taste heavenly too. A Slice of Heaven, run by the talented team of Nigel Skelchy and Allan Yap and recently opened in Terrace @ Hock Choon, has an indulgent selection of goodies. The four best sellers, all pictured above are, Red Velvet, Choc & Cheese, Durian and Death by Chocolate. The cupcakes are worth every calorie, but can be beaten only with a slice from the larger cakes. The Red Velvet cupcake, for example, is awesome on its own, but a slice of the whole cake is sinfully better with cream cheese infused throughout the layers not just on top. Your treats should be stored in the refrigerator but letting them stand at room temperature for 60 - 90 minutes before serving gives them just enough time to develop the gooeyness factor - where chocolate, cheese and toppings slightly melt infusing themselves into the cake layers taking your dessert to a whole new level of drooling moistness. One thing I appreciate about this crew is their high standards - if they're not happy with particular ingredients they simply will not make that treat until what they expect does become available - no settling for less or substituting substandard fare. Working together with the neighbouring Illy coffee shop means you can enjoy a gem onsite in cool air conditioned comfort or in the peaceful outdoors. 
Cakes can also be made to order and design is only limited by your imagination. Both children's and naughtier 'adults' only' interpretations will leave your mind spinning. Be specific or give them a theme and let this passionate pair dream up the masterpiece. Lady Gaga, above, is just a sneak peak of what these two are capable of. As if baking and decorating where not enough, this clever couple happily share their talents at bigger events too, by catering for conferences, workshops and special parties. If you give this create duo enough notice they can perform just about any act from table decorations to floral arrangements to taking over the planning of your event completely. A Slice of Heaven is more than just a tasty destination but a propitious resource to store in your smartphone.

A Slice of Heaven
Terrace @ Hock Choon
Lorong Nibong (off Jalan Ampang, behind Hock Choon Supermarket)
Ampang, Malaysia
+6 03 4251 7866

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Makan Kitchen, Double Tree Hilton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Makan Kitchen, in the Double Tree Hilton, is an ideal place to take guests who are only in town for a short time. You can experience Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisine all in one spot and not worry about unaccustomed guests' tummies adjusting to the local bugs they might be exposed to with street food. The buffet is spread over three huge dining areas with each section taking on the feel of the cuisine that is served in that area. The dinner buffet generally costs around 79++ RM but can vary depending on the season and other special promotions.

Makan Kitchen
Double Tree by Hilton
The Intermark
182 Jalan Tun Razak
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia 50400

Souled Out Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Souled Out Ampang makes it to The Yum List for their uber friendly service. There are few places around KL that try so hard. The staff are energized and do their best to make sure that you have an enjoyable evening. The ambience, in one word, is happy. Food here is unpretentious but decent and you'll be sure to find something to satisfy everyone's taste buds on the menu with both western and local fare given adequate coverage. Famous for their classic margaritas and lychee cocktails, Souled Out Ampang is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or two and a nibble with your buddies.

Souled Out Ampang
Menara HSC
187 Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2181 1626

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Feast Village, Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Feast Village at Starhill Gallery is a lovely spot to take visitors. A cluster of uniquely designed restaurants, walkways, walls, and ceilings make a visually very interesting space. Food is definitely not cheap but the ambience is truly lovely. The pictures speak for themselves. I suggest taking a drink in the bottle bar before taking a wander to choose on the dining location. Be sure to visit the bathrooms and take a walk through the starlit entrance coming from the Marriott Hotel.
Feast Level
Starhill Gallery
Jalan Bukit Bintang, 
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Starhill Concierge : +603 - 2782 3855