Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Food: Mayfair, The English Kitchen & Bar @ Menara Taiko, PJ Trade Centre

*update 17/03/12: Mayfair has unfortunately shut down, we hear they're setting up again in a different location though. Will update once we find out.

The latest craze to hit the KL social scene has to be the arrival of group discount vouchers. Throw a virtual stone and you will probably hit any one of the numerous sites out there offering major discounts at all kinds of retail outlets. This review comes courtesy of vouchers that we bought from, one of the deal sites that I favour more because I feel their deals are more diverse and have more deals for food, which is the ones I am usually looking for.

Photo credit to Mayfair's Facebook fanpage. Wendy took one, but it was too blur.

Mayfair The English Kitchen & Bar has been open for about 5 months now (according to the chef, Ken). Located in the up-and-coming area that is the PJ Trade Centre, it's a restaurant that stands proudly open amidst all the construction that is still going on around it. Kudos to Mayfair for daring to take the first-mover advantage; it's not easy being one of the first places to open in a new area, and those first few months can definitely make or break a business. But I'm definitely hoping Mayfair sticks around for a long time, because, as you are going to see and read, the food is really worth going back for!

Since PJ Trade Centre is a relatively new place, I think it might be wise to give a bit of advice on the location of Mayfair.

Mayfair is located just outside the lifts of Menara Taiko. Yes I also thought of the 1001 jokes with that name. It's basically the menara with the biggest bad-ass in town =p. But Menara Taiko isn't the only menara there. There are about 3 other blocks that are accessible from the carpark, each with a separate lift entrance. This can be a bit confusing as you circle the carpark looking for the Menara Taiko entrance. It doesn't help either that the Taiko entrance happens to be at the end of the carpark. And when I say end I really do mean END - notice the yellow U turn sign on the road? On the left is the lift entrance to Menara Taiko. So if you are driving, you need to head straight to the back of the carpark, on the right side, and you will see the Taiko signboard.

Mayfair has a very interesting interior design, which by itself is worth a mention. I've talked about how I don't like the modern trend of minimalist deco, and thankfully Mayfair certainly doesn't follow that trend either.

The environment when we went was quiet and cozy, although that might be different on a weekend when the bar is fully occupied. The walls and ceiling are lined with metal bars that create interesting frame designs as they jut out of the walls at different lengths.

Yours truly trying to figure out the meaning 'behind' the frames.
The chairs and tables are comfortable, and there's a small section that has some really comfy sofa sets that I wanted to lie on so badly! Unfortunately we were there for dinner so no chance of relaxing over drinks that night. But let's not go too far into the decor, and instead talk about the most important part; the food!

As with all Mydeal vouchers at eateries, customers are given a set menu to choose from, and it usually consists of a starter, main course, and dessert. It's a perfect opportunity for owners to showcase some of their pride and joy, and for customers to try some dishes they would normally not want to pay normal price to try. A win-win situation if you ask me. =D

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Awe-Sum Croutons on the Side
First starter to arrive was the Homemade Creamy Mushroom Soup. For me, mushroom soup is a safe starter that can usually not go wrong. But it's also easy to tell when a restaurant is taking the easy way out and serving just plain old Campbell's soup. On the other hand, there are different ways to tell a good mushroom soup, and sometimes it depends on individual preference. At Mayfair, their version of mushroom soup is more watery than creamy, but dip your spoon inside and you will greeted by flavourful chunks of mushrooms. Thumbs up for that, because that's a general way of telling what kind of quality you are getting in your soup. Oh and those brown things on the side? Those are croutons. AMAZING croutons! (I have to caps the word 'amazing' to accentuate just how amazing I think it is.) Nicely buttered and toasted to perfection; those croutons will just melt in your mouth with every spoonful of soup. I couldn't get enough of them, and neither could Wendy.

The next starter to arrive was the Caesar Salad.

Fresh lettuce topped with bacon shavings and more of those croutons. What is there to not like? I'm one of those guys who has never liked to eat veggies since I threw my first tantrum as a kid, but if its a really good Caesar salad then its not that hard to make me eat my greens. This salad was a wonderful combination, and I was chomping through it faster than a snail. I would have eaten it all if I didn't have to share it with Wendy!

Linguine Carbonara on FoodistaLinguine Carbonara

Since there's 2 of us, obviously we each get to order one main course. I ordered the The REAL Bacon Linguine Carbonara (Yes, the REAL is in caps in the menu, just like that). Presentation was good, pleasing to the eye and tempting to the tummy. For some reason Mayfair likes to use long, deep dishes. I'm not complaining; it's just something you don't see at many places.

Carbonara is normally cooked with fettuccine, the fatter version of pasta. I like how Mayfair uses linguine, which is thicker than normal spaghetti but not as thick or wide as fettuccine, because the thinner the pasta is the better it can soak up the flavour. I will declare this pasta a winner because the mushrooms were plentiful, bacon shavings were generously sprinkled and sliced bacon was cooked to perfection - not too salty and not too fatty. A word of caution though: the serving for this pasta is quite large, and this is the dry version of carbonara that isn't swimming in cream sauce. So unless you really like carbonara or are sharing it with someone else, you might find yourself struggling to finish this one. I know I did towards the end, and I'm already a very big fan of all things creamy and cheesy. This can be found at RM 24 on their menu.

The next main course we had was a Freshly Grind Pork Burger. First impression is it doesn't look very big, but the menu clearly states that it holds a 150gm pork patty. So although it may look small, but looks can be deceiving! This is RM 28 on the menu.

After more than 2 years into our relationship, I can safely assume that every time we are somewhere new, if there are burgers on the menu then Wendy is going to want to try it. Pork burgers aren't easy to find; I think by now the easiest access we Chinese have to a beloved pork burger will be at the nearest Ninja Joe's. So did it surprise me that Wendy went for a humble burger? Not at all.

The inside of the burger

I have to say though, there was nothing wrong with having a burger at Mayfair. The potato wedges and salad were standard fare, but what is important is the meat patty, and I'm proud to say it delivered. Fragrant and meaty, that piece of meat was everything a pork lover could want. Together with the thick cheese topping, it made for a delightful burger. The only gripe we had was the lack of juiciness in the pork patty, especially near the edges. It was much better toward the middle :) Other than that however, no complaints at all. There was chilli sauce accompanying it, but to cover that rich well-marinated flavour of the patty with it would be an absolute disgrace to the chef!

Sausage Platter

The last main dish that we ordered for the night was a mixed sausage platter; something extra for us to share. Take a good look at this picture folks, because it didn't come with the Mydeal promotion and because you're not going to find it in the menu! That's because Mayfair only does a Sausage Platter for 4 that costs RM60. I'm a big fan of sausages, but I wasn't going to pay 60 bucks to stuff myself to the brim with more sausages than I could handle on top of my main course. So I kindly asked if the kitchen could accommodate my request for a half-serving of the sausage platter, and they agreed! So please don't go around asking for the mixed platter for two okay! Otherwise I'm going to be blamed as the one who told everyone they sell sausage platters for two when they actually don't.. =P

Pretty sausages in a row!
from L-R: Dynamite Chilli, Smoked Chicken, Pork Basic & Chorizo

I'm a guy who absolutely loves his sausages!! But a common problem when having sausage platters is you never really know which sausages are which as stated in the menu. However for the sake of this review I made sure I found out. To sum up the 4 sausages:

  • Chorizo - Wikipedia defines a chorizo as a term that encompasses a variety of pork sausages. The European version is apparently eaten uncooked, so this definitely wasn't it! If I go by Wikipedia's definitions, then the Chorizo here most closely matches a Spanish Chorizo, because of it's dark reddish colour that is supposed to come from the dried smoked red peppers that are used. Wendy enjoyed this one because it was the most unique of the lot next to the Dynamite. I thought this was the dynamite chilli..until I took a bite of that last sausage...
  • Dynamite Chilli - ...and when I bit down on that last one, I knew instantly this was definitely the dynamite! It literally sends flames through your mouth. I guarantee you that after one mouthful you are going to have tears in your eyes, and a hand reaching for the water. It is that hot, and yet so shiok at the same time!
  • Smoked Chicken - a welcome change from all the pork; the smoked chicken was nice. Nothing too special, but nothing out of the ordinary.
  • Pork Basic - the smallest of the bunch, but the one with most flavour, obviously; since it's a pork sausage. Not everyone can take a liking to strong pork flavours. Wendy wasn't too keen on it, but I will eat any sausage lah basically.. =D

Satisfying dessert to wash it all down.

I'm pretty sure this isn't the regular serving that you will get if you order ala carte. That's okay for us though, we were stuffed to the brim and couldn't possibly swallow any more. This tasted pretty good. I won't say it's the best brownie + icecream I've ever had, but it wasn't bad. A nice end to a wonderful dinner date at Mayfair. =)

And to show you just how satisfied we were with yesterday's dinner, it was biiiiig smiles all around on the way back after dinner. =P

P.S - Mayfair is closed on Sundays. It is also fully booked on all Saturdays because a record number of over 2400 people bought vouchers to eat at Mayfair! So you imagine laa... how many days it's going to take to give all those people a chance to try the food here! If you really want to go, we suggest you make time during a weekday and go after work. Trust me it's an experience you won't regret. =))

Mayfair, The English Kitchen & Restaurant | Link | FB
DG-03, Menara Taiko,
PJ Trade Centre,
Jalan PJU 8/8, 47820 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: +603 7726 4131

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