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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Generous Servings And Pretentious Up Scales

It has been awhile since I have blogged about my food experiences but what occurred over the past few days has compelled me to come out of hibernation. Firstly I just wanted to note down that despite their usually well deserved reputation nowadays of being price gougers, there are still some who adhere to what their forefathers exercised in times of yore. I was reminded of this when my family had breakfast at this mamak stall located at the end of a row of shop houses near my home, who serves a decent piece of roti chanai but with a killer dhall gravy or curry to accompany it. The fact that despite making their own delicious nasi lemak bungkus, they still offer ones made by outsiders to supplement that household’s income is already a plus in my book, the fact that when tallying up my bill that came to 10 ringgit and a bit he rounded up the bill was a pleasant experience. That only happens in rural shops that I have visited, and to find such practices still exist in big old Kuala Lumpur not only here but certain other mamak establishments reaffirms that not all businesses are profiteers.

That day was followed by lunch at KLCC where since rain cancelled our plans to have it at Ozeki , this gave us a chance to try the newly opened Yuzu within Suria KLCC itself. Walking in we saw some familiar faces that I finally blurted out was this part of the Nippon Tei chain, and to our delight it was an upgraded version of the restaurant that had closed down to our disappointment before. But here upgraded means just that, even though the menu is now offering some upscale food they have maintained reasonable pricing for some of the old favourites. The best thing they have introduced the grilled salmon belly they used to have at their Times square outlet, and my daughters was in Ikura heaven as they were generous with this salmon roe delicacy that seems to be disappearing from other Japanese joints. Another plus was that they are able to offer wagyu beef at very reasonable prices where you can get a grilled wagyu bento at only sixty three ringgit, but I stuck with Wagyu beef don as I knew I had to help my daughters’ finish their large unagi bento since they had ikura temaki on the side. And all this for a meal of three bento sets, 1 grilled salmon belly, two temakis and my wagyu don with drinks only came to around 220 ringgit.

So now let’s come to the pretentious bit where after noticing banner advertisements of the opening of a Sekinchan Ikan Bakar outlet near my place and checking the place out which surprisingly was located in the industrial part of the area and quite inaccessible the day before, we had dinner there last night as Sekinchan had a good reputation amongst food bloggers. Nonetheless warning bells started ringing when I saw the same price per 100 grams for all the types of fishes they had and they were charging the crustaceans at per unit basis. This made my scrooge mode kick in and I picked the most expensive fish available though my wife picked Tilapia to be brought back for her parents who stayed back. I can safely say the food is nice enough but when a meal cost me 78 ringgit because you charged me 32 ringgit for the small garoupa and 25 ringgit for the tilapia and 10 ringgit for a crab, I expect a grand meal but it is not to be. Especially when at that price I can get a kilo of the same at the nearby Sungei Besi market as my wife mentioned. Well I must say good luck to the restaurant for trying to charge upscale prices at the boondocks as I for one will not make a return trip and I do not expect others to make the trip too as Bellamy and other Ikan bakar outlets are as easily accessible, because if they think they can do the same as per their other upscale branches I am afraid this time their market research is definitely off the mark.

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