Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Red Cherry @ Jaya One


In the very quiet (at least on Sunday evenings) Jaya One lies a store called Pop, which is dubbed a "retail hotel". Basically it's a shop that sublets its space for a minimum of a day, so you'll find a hodge podge of kiosks.

Among these pop up stores is The Red Cherry, which besides selling Legos and children's clothing Gymboree, offers desserts by UnionJac and Cherry On The Cake.

I must confess to having a sweet tooth and after being delightfully surprised how yummy their crunchy cornflake cookies (rm16 for a box) were, I just had to try the macarons.

Have you had a bad macaron? My first one ever was. It was chewy and dry and cloyingly sweet, might as well down a spoonful of sugar la, no other flavor.

But I've been fortunate enough to have tried some really good ones since though I certainly can't call myself an expert. I can, however, tell if I've enjoyed it.

Back to Red Cherry, yes, they have macarons! At Rm4.50, which seems to be the going KL rate. 

I only took 2 flavours, because let's be honest, it feels extravagant to pay that much for an itty bitty cookie in our current economy. 

Pistachio and a special Valentine themed macaron called "Jack & Rose" (as in Titanic).

The pistachio gets a thumbs down for me. It had a nice flavor but was on the chewier side. I'm guessing it might be a little old?

But the "Jack & Rose" gets a thumbs up! Rose with a dark chocolate and raspberry jam filling. I am a sucker for chocolate and raspberry anything, and this one didn't disappoint. However, I did feel that rose is too delicate a flavor to pair with, so it was lost on me although the macaron itself was light and airy. 

Plus those little hearts are a nice touch. It seems that they come up with special edition flavors with matching designs for festive occasions ie a red and gold pineapple spiced macaron for CNY.

Verdict -  hit and miss! But I'd most definitely come back for more (just not pistachio) when the sweet tooth temptation is too great. I'd like to try the lemon poppyseed loaf another day.

The Red Cherry
POP @ The School, 
Jaya One
Jalan Universiti, 
46200 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Price - $ (for the food, not retail items)
no pork served

Friday, February 7, 2014

Eating Halal @ Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is one of my favorite cities, especially as it's pretty affordable and has a great public transportation system. But eating there can be such a challenge if you're going halal.

Halal food in Bangkok exists but not at all tourist spots! Or at least, not that we know of...

This isn't a review, more like a short guide of halal food in Bangkok based on our experience.

Soi Arab aka Soi 4 @ Sukhumvit
A few blocks away from the naughty nightclubs and bars of Nana and ladies (and ladyboys) of the night is Soi Arab aka Little Arab. You'll find plenty of middle eastern cuisine, thai and some familiar dishes like roti naan, roti canai/ prata. However, the prices here are like KL midrange and up e.g roti for rm5 (WAH LIAO!), briyani rice around RM15.
Nearest BTS - Nana or Phloenchit

Surao Alley @ Ratchatewi
A simple rule of thumb - where there's a mosque, there'll be halal food. Along the walk on Phetchaburi Road to the corner of Surao Alley is Darul Aman Mosque and several halal eateries. If you can't take the heat, head to Hayati Restaurant as it is air conditioned but the prices there are more mid range but the food mediocre. Skip their cendol as it was served with ice cubes instead of shaved ice, sugar instead of gula melaka. Other restaurants include Mak Yah and Ali Selatan.
Nearest BTS - Ratchatewi (about a 5 min walk)

Platinum Fashion Mall @ Pratunam
The food court has one halal vendor (look out for the sticker on their food display, none on signage). It can be a bit tricky to find if there's a queue blocking the sticker so keep a lookout! They also have one stall that sells only seafood dishes and an Indian stall. There was a vegetarian but it was closed (for the day or for good, we're not sure).
Do note that this is a food court with shared utensils/ cutlery although I think the cooking pots are washed separately. Eat at your own discretion.
Nearest BTS - Siam or you could take the Khloeng river taxi to Pratunam

Chatuchak Market
There are several halal stalls in Chatuchak! They should have a halal sticker on display. Relatively easy to find. 
Nearest MRT - Chatuchak

The Khloeng behind Jim Thompson House @ Rama 1
A few years we found a restaurant along the khloeng behind Jim Thompson House that sold inexpensive halal thai food. Authetic and delicious but alas, we cannot confirm if the place still exists as we didn't head that way recently. No harm taking a peek if you're in the area though.
Warning: it's right next to the khloeng. Speeding water taxis may spray you.
According to google maps, somewhere across the khloeng from Jim Thompson is Darul Faha Mosque. 
Nearest BTS - National Stadium

Siam Paragon
(Dated information) there's a halal indian restaurant but it's rather pricy.
The supermarket stocks some halal certified local items like sauces, pastes, cookies and snacks. The challenge is going through their extensive collection to find the halal ones!
Nearest BTS - Siam

I was told a few years ago from a trusted source that chicken in Bangkok is halal, so places like KFC are safe. However take this information with a pinch of salt as I've recently read this has changed, it depends on which outlet you go to. So to be safe, ask the staff!

Useful links: