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Review: Purple Pasta Cafe, Oasis Ara Damansara

>> Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Overall comment: Delicious, pocket-friendly pastas in a comfortable cafe!
Halal: No (Pork-free)

The name Purple Pasta sure caught my attention. Tucked in the commercial area of Oasis Ara Damansara, Purple Pasta Cafe is an upcoming place for pocket-friendly & delicious meals!

The name Purple Pasta came about due to their freshly made pasta with purple yam, which unfortunately we didn't get to try on that day due to the pasta machine's maintenance. I would want to head back there to try their actual purple pasta!

Outside of the cafe

One section of the cafe (inside)

Main section of the cafe (inside)

What's most special with this humble cafe is their RM5.00/serving pasta! Yes, you read it right :)

Variety of RM5.00 pastas
Purple Pasta offers 8 different types of pastas under the RM5.00/pasta selection. You can also choose to complete your meal with any 2 items in the menu for an additional RM5.00 (same page)!

RM15.00 pasta
For larger portions of pasta with more ingredients, you can opt for the RM15.00/serving pastas & top-up another RM5.00 to complete your meal with 2 additional items :)

Other parts of the menu
Breakfast is also served here. This cafe is pretty much your one-stop place for breakfast, lunch & even dinner, coffee & snacks!



We were introduced to some of their RM5.00 pasta dishes for our tasting session. Here are two of their special pastas.

Lamb Marinara (RM5.00/serving)
The taste of the tomato-based sauce is well-flavored & well-balanced. You'll get 1 meatball to go with your pasta, which isn't too bad considering the price you're paying. The portion is actually enough for a small eater, but if you've a larger appetite, order 2 different RM5.00 pastas for the variety & portion! :)

Delicious lamb meatball

Authentic Carbonara (RM5.00/serving)
The authentic carbonara doesn't come with cream, but with egg yolk as the sauce. Poached egg done well results in really creamy & delicious carbonara, which is the pride of Purple Pasta Cafe. This pasta also comes with parmesan cheese & crushed 'ikan bilis' (anchovies)! Quite interesting, eh? The only thing lacking in our pasta that day was salt; the pasta was somewhat bland.

Get the yolk flowinggggg...

Garden Salad (RM8.00/serving)
For those who prefer to have a healthier meal below RM10, Purple Pasta's garden salad is a good option. The salad comes with arugula, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, croutons, Japanese mayonnaise & their special Balsamico (reduction of balsamic) salad dressing.

Tri-Sugar Latte (RM10.00/cup)
Isn't this pretty?? The sugar topped on the latte is the Azulette sugar from Germany. It's not a very sweet sugar, but has a floral note (lavender) to it. It goes well with latte & coffee in general!

I don't fancy sweet food, but I could actually eat a teaspoonful of Azulette sugar without thinking twice! :D It's NICE!

Purple Pasta Cafe is also planning to introduce some dishes for their dinner menu. Some of the ideas that they're toying with are the below (subject to management's decision to have it included into the menu):

Fra Diavolo Mutton (price to be determined later by the management)
This was my favorite for the day. It's a spicy & creamy mutton pasta! What's special with this pasta dish is that it has dark chocolate added to the sauce :D Chilli + chocolate = 'next-level of goodness'! They have to add this into their dinner menu...it'll be a waste not to offer it to pasta & mutton lovers.

Salmon Tartare
This is a classic tartare with a twist. You'll find cubes of Norwegian salmon, cured with rock salt & brown sugar, mixed with fragrant pears & ebiko. The delightful dish is finally topped with torched Japanese mayo & fresh dill! Savory, has some crunch & some bite - quite yummy although it's not an authentic tartare :D

Prawn Ceviche
This dish is only for those who are adventurous. The prawns are cooked with an acid (lemon bathe) & placed on a bed of shredded purple cabbage & sliced white onions. It's tangy, very appetizing & fresh, a dish not for the faint in heart.

Prawn Thermidor
 Chef Jay & his team are very ambitious. This dish is a creamy prawn, egg yolks & alcohol (usually brandy) dish, garnished with a side of baby radish, alfafa & arugula. I'm not sure if it will go into the menu as it's really very skewed towards a fine-dining experience, which may not be the best direction for a pasta cafe :) But it was certainly a good dish & I'm blessed to taste it!

Poached Chicken & Smoked Duck
I salute chef Jay. Sliced chicken poached for 10 minutes in Earl Grey tea with smoked duck & baked pears over a bed of mashed potatoes? Oolala...I wish the taste of tea is more evident though. It's certainly not a dish to fill your hungry stomach, but it's a dainty little dish to make you happy.

I really look forward to dining at Purple Pasta Cafe again. I'm hoping that the spicy mutton pasta gets into the menu. That's my main aim & I'll not be shy to introduce it to my mutton-lovers friends! :D

We've also provided some suggestions & feedback to the management. Perhaps someday soon, we'll really find purple pastas made from various purple food (dragon fruit, purple sweet potatoes, lavendar?) at Purple Pasta Cafe :D

Purple Pasta Restaurant & Cafe
D-G-06, Block D Oasis Square Ara Damansara
2, Jalan PJU 1A/7APetaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: (+603) 7859 9998
Email: marketing.food4drama@gmail.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/purplepastacafe

Dreaming of the spicy mutton pasta,


Review: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant, Tropicana City Mall

>> Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Overall comment: Fabulous selection of beef cuts with a variety of marinade options (they've other meats & seafood as well)! The best part is you'll not walk out of the restaurant smelling like a piece of bbq beef as Gyu-Kaku uses a special technology of "smokeless" bbq :D *thumbs up*
Halal: Yes

Ever had lunch or dinner at a Japanese barbecue restaurant? It's extremely rare to stumble upon a Japanese restaurant for barbecue meats compared to the many options for Korean barbecue! So far, Gyu-Kaku is the 1st that I have come across :D The major difference between Japanese bbq & Korean bbq are the importance of meat cuts. The Japanese are extremely particular with their meat cuts, so you can expect to get really fantastic meat cuts like those below! *drools*

Check out the marbling of the beef!
Wagyu Brisket (left) (RM26.90/serving of 100g) & Wagyu Karubi/short ribs (right) (RM45.00/serving of 100g)

Gyu-Kaku has over 600 outlets worldwide!! *wow* With 3 outlets in Malaysia i.e. at 1 Utama, Pulika & Tropicana City Mall, this latest player in the food arena is sure to reward Malaysians with their quality food, comfortable ambiance & friendly customer service.

What you get as a diner
At every Gyu-Kaku restaurant, you'll get your simple set of utensils + an apron (square folded item below chopsticks on the left) to ensure that your clothes do not get any stains throughout your meal.

Gyu-Kaku @ Tropicana City Mall

Spacious & comfortable ambiance

Come, let me bring you on a gastronomical journey through the photos that I've taken at the review! *giggles* I was the only blogger there with 3 of Gyu-Kaku's "pros". The load of food that we had was quite frightening...hahaha...SO MUCH FOOD!

Yuzu Hot Tea (RM2.90/glass)
I think this is a good drink to begin the meal. It's refreshing, tangy & fruity - very fun yet soothing after a long day at work.

Here we go....!

Appetizer: Shrimp Gyoza
This is NOT your typical gyoza, where the dumpling is just pan-fried. The whole gyoza is CRISPY like a fried "sui gao"! The shrimp mixture is still moist & perfectly cooked (not over-cooked) & the crispy dumpling skin with slightly sweet sauce drizzled on top of the gyoza binds the simple gyoza to perfection! Highly recommended for those who prefer crispy gyoza :D


Salad: Warm Horenzo Salad
My favorite salad thus far...silky spinach leaves (not the local spinach!!) & fresh button mushrooms with fragrant sesame seed Japanese mayonnaise topped with crispy fried garlic. These are a few of my favorite things! I want moreeeee....

Appetizer: Chicken Karage
Crispy on the outside, moist & tender on the inside - that's what Gyu-Kaku's Chicken Karage is like. They serve much larger pieces compared to those available at other restaurants, but it's still nice to eat although not as 'fun' & 'bite size'.

Soup: Tofu Jige Soup (RM15.90/serving)
If you're looking for a sumptuous soup at Gyu-Kaku just like at a Korean bbq restaurant, enjoy the Korean-style of tofu jige at a Japanese restaurant! :P Are you confused? It's called variety! I love the spiciness & 'sourness' from the kimchi.

Rice: Isyiyaki Mentaiko (RM20.90/serving)
Something very different & unique. It's like a Korean dolsot bibimbap, but this is the Japanese version, where you'll find rice, salmon & cod roe topped with dry seaweed & sesame seeds in a hot stone bowl. Eat it while it's hot/warm for maximum enjoyment! I loved this rice dish & couldn't really stop eating although I was quite stuffed with all the appetizers! *lol*

Isyiyaki Udon (RM18.90/serving)
Japanese noodle pan-fried with vegetables & chicken
Sizzling hot udon noodles with vegetables & chicken. Pretty tasty, but I still prefer hot stone rice to noodles.

I was beginning to feel full after enjoying all the appetizers, rice & noodles, but I had to ensure that I still have stomach space for the meats! That's like the MUST-HAVEs here at Gyu-Kaku.

The "smokeless" grill
Unlike Korean bbq restaurants where they have the air/smoke suction pipes on top of the grill, Gyu-Kaku's suction pipes are built in at the bottom of the grills! Very, very minimal bbq smoke smell will fill the air, so don't worry about walking out smelling like a piece of bbq meat.

Platter of beef cuts (from RM14.90 - RM35.90/serving/cut)
From front clockwise: Angus Karubi/Short Ribs (RM25.90/serving of 100g), Angus Rump Cap (RM21.00/serving of 100g), Angus Harami/Thick Skirt (RM18.90/serving of 100g), Beef Tongue (RM25.90/serving of 100g), & Angus Fillet/Tenderloin [middle of the platter] (RM35.90/serving of 100g). Different cuts have different textures; there are currently 8 different cuts offered at Gyu-Kaku. With the choice of 6 marinades available i.e. Himalaya Rock Salt, Tare, Shio, Miso, Spicy Miso & Miso/Shio with Leeks, get ready to tickle your taste buds & enjoy the meat-lovers' meal! Oh, my favorite was actually the Angus Fillet/Tenderloin. I loved the thick cut as it carries loads of flavor. The beef tongue was also very unique & doesn't taste like a tongue/muscle, but like a piece of meat...interesting...
Photo taken shows sample platter, not actual serving portion

Sizzling Goodness
I LOVE the tender & juicy beef pieces...more, more, more! *salivates*

My Wagyu Briskets & Wagyu Karubi..SO GOOD!
As the pieces of meat are bite-size, all you need is 10-30 seconds to cook it! VERY efficient, fast to cook, GREAT to eat! Suitable for those who are very hungry & love their meat cooked perfectly (medium rare, medium well...etc). Gyu-Kaku serves 2 dips for the meats as well, one that's slightly spicy + sweet, while the other leans towards savory.

Chicken Fillet/Thigh (RM12.90/serving)
For those who don't take beef, don't worry, their chicken fillets are lovely as well. You can have it pre-marinated with tare, shio, miso, spicy miso, teriyaki, garlic or basil.

Lamb Neck Fillet with Basil Marinade (RM15.90/serving)
If you love lamb, you'll enjoy this. They didn't use mint, but basil, which gives a nice aroma with a different twist :)

There are also seafood & vegetables (prices from RM4.90 - 18.90/serving) for bbq-ing, but I was too stuffed to have more food. You can find:
  • Sea Water Prawns, 4 prawns (RM20.90/serving)
  • Whole Squid (RM14.90/serving)
  • Norwegian Salmon with Shio/Miso Marinade (RM17.90/serving)
  • US Scallop with Garlic/Black Pepper Marinade (RM25.90/serving)
  • Oysters, 2 pieces (RM15.90/serving)
  • Ocean Seafood Platter (RM79.90/serving)

Gyu-Kaku is opened for both lunch & dinner, but the crowd for both meals consist of very different people. Those who are working or students will love their lunch idea of a quick, simple & pocket-friendly Japanese meal. Gyu-Kaku has 2 cooked chicken sets, 2 barbecue sets, 2 hot stone rice sets & 2 noodles sets, a very substantial variety for lunch!

Lunch sets
Gyu-Kaku has 8 different lunch sets for those on the go. Prices range from RM13.90/set - RM19.90/set, from rice to noodles & even bbq meats!

I tasted 2 of their lunch sets :D

Lunch set: Teriyaki Chicken (RM13.90/set)
Pan sauteed chicken teriyaki served with rice, wakame soup & milk pudding as dessert
Worth your penny as the portion is decent & the milk pudding is something not to be missed!

Lunch set: Chicken Katsu (RM18.90/set)
Although this set is more expensive compared to the teriyaki chicken set, I still prefer this set! I love the crispy & tender fried chicken thigh drizzled with Okonomiyaki sauce :D

Fuh! Now that we're all stuffed, we moved on to the final course of dinner, desserts! Gyu-Kaku offers a handful of good desserts. Two of their most popular desserts are the S'mores & Milk Pudding, items that you will rarely find elsewhere.

Milk Pudding (RM9.90/ala carte bowl)
Milk pudding topped with soya bean powder & Japanese brown sugar syrup
This was SO GOOD! Silky smooth, soft yet firm, not overly sweet yet sufficient to be a dessert & just SO comforting after a meaty meal! I WANT MOREEEEE...!

Smores (RM5.90/'sandwich')
Have you heard of S'mores?? Now you have...hahaha. Love this American dessert available at a Japanese restaurant! :P It's unique, fun & oh-so-rare to be found in Malaysia. What you'll be given is a stick of marshmallow, 2 slices of Graham crackers with 1 cracker spread with Nutella. *thumbs up*

Step 1: Barbecue the marshmallow 'til it's brown & crusty

Step 2: Place the marshmallow on the Nutella-Graham cracker

Step 3: Sandwich & remove stick!

Step 4: Enjoy the S'mores while it's warm :D

What are you waiting for? Make your own S'mores!

Kids Eat for Free during School Holidays
Your eyes did not deceive you! You read it right :D As long as the adult orders an ala carte dish/meal from the menu, the child will get to order a kids' meal from the menu for free!

It was a pleasant dining experience here at Gyu-Kaku. I'll surely be back for more barbecue meats! It's a different experience from Korean bbq, so don't expect loads of complimentary & refillable side dishes while dining at Gyu-Kaku, but you can certainly look forward to great cuts of bite-size meat!

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant
Lot G- 36, Ground Floor

Tropicana City Mall 
103, Jalan SS20/27
47300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: (+603) 7722 1625 / (+603) 7725 6798
FB: https://www.facebook.com/GyuKakuMalaysia

In love with Japanese bbq,

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