Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Villa Malaysia

So I was having a chat with my coworker yesterday about food, and she was talking about Ethiopian food, (that i've never tried) she said there's no cutlery and you have this pancake that you eat everything with.  Then it got me started on Malaysian food and my love for the roti.

I love the Roti Canai from Banana Leaf and seldom dream of floating away in a parachute of a giant roti... 

So i was like. i had to have it. and looked up the closest Malaysian place from work to try out.  Google located me to Villa Malaysia, which... got 4 stars out of 2 reviews on Urban Spoon so... that's... promising.

I got Chris to go with me, it's, it located in that plaza on East Beaver Creek and Hwy 7 in Richmond Hill.. or if you like specifics: Villa Malaysia 140 York Blvd | Richmond Hill | Ontario | L4B 3J6

It was the day before the blizzard, and it was also like 5:30... so we were the only people there.... it's a ginormous spaces, with private rooms with flatscreen tv's.  I guess they promote it as a lounge as well.

According to their website, they also own another Malaysian restaurant, Restoran Malaysia’.

It looked kinda trendy, and i'm always skeptical on trendy asian places, cause sometimes the attention goes on the decor than the food... however, i was most impressed with the food, given that, we were the only people in a huge empty restaurant (that wasn't a good first impression), but the food was really good!

Gado Gado    $6
   Beansprout-jicama-cucumber-fried tofu-boiled egg-peanut dressing

I had a roommate from Bali during undergrad, and she would bring back these packages of peanut sauce for gado gado, and she and her bf made it for me once and it was ammmaaazzzing... and i'd been in love ever since, so when i see gado gado on the menu, i order it.  This version was great!  I've never had it "chunky" style, but its the sauce that makes this dish.  The Jicama, not sure if i've had it before, but it reminds me of a cross between a water chestnut and turnip, very crisp and refreshing.  You finish this meal feeling satisfied and guilt-free, which is satisfaction in itself.

Roti Curry Chicken/Beef   $8.5
Two pieces of crisp and soft roti canai
So my whole raison d'etre, for that moment at least, was to satisfy my Roti craving.  I got the Roti Curry, with the 2 pieces of roti canai, and i was not disappointed. I love the Malaysian roti, I also love the Indian curry, but with this roti, there's this sweetness to it that i can just eat on my own, but when i pair it with the spicy curry, there's a flavour circus in my mouth.  I basically mopped up my entire bowl clean with my roti, it was that-good.  I didn't take a picture, but they offered a home made chili sauce that was tangy and packed a hidden punch... which i think was also a pokemon skill.......LOL

Banana Fritters with Coconut Ice Cream   $6

Now, i was satisfactory full when I finished my curry, but the attentive waiter came by and offered a dessert menu, and Chris had been staring at the giant poster on the wall, featuring the deep fried bananas. so why not. Love deep fried bananas, combined with the tropical flavoring of coconut.  When it came... i was kinda... put off by its ..... shall i say, phallic resemblance... but totally amused by its resemblance to also another animal of dark brown skin flaps...
It was pretty good, the banana was fried through, so it melted in your mouth, and the coating was super chewy, but added to a resistance in texture when combing the ice cream and soft banana together, so it wasn't just all mush.  There were coconut bits in the coconut ice cream, though i thought it could have been more coconutty.

On a side note, there was a tank of fishys that kept starring at us the whole time. they kept following you wherever you went... here's a pic of one smiling at me.  I'll come eat you next time.

Kenzo Ramen

I know i've been totally MIA... but it's totally cause i started reading the Millennium Trilogy books (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Girl who played with fire, Girl who kicked the hornet's next), and they're like 700 pages each. hehe. Totally consumed my life, i even had dreams and... hallucinations... 

anyway, so, when me and my friends want our ramen fix, we usually head to Ajisen Ramen,, where there's quite an impressive menu, not just ramen for those (*wink*) who don't like their noodle soup dish, side dishes like.... deep fried chicken knuckles (yum), tofu with roe, beef wrapped enoki, and that's the regular side menu i order.... There's a few of these, in Vancouver and Toronto, I patron the one across from North York Centre. But one day, one of my friends suggested we try Kenzo Ramen located around yonge and steeles,  according to some website: this is their info:

Kenzo Ramen 
6180 Yonge St (south of steeles, west side of yonge)
Toronto, ON
Open everyday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Anyway, I've always passed it when i took the yonge bus home, it looked like a cozy (read: tiny) place, but thats where a lot of good food comes out of, the heart!  Anyway, we all agreed that the broth at Kenzo totally blew Ajisen out of the stock pot.

So I started with a Okonomiyaki , or savoury seafood pancake.
I love this stuff, hot on the pan..crispy on the outside and chewy pancake and seafood on the inside.i think for someone who's not used to it, the okonomiyaki sauce (the brown stuff), can be a lil over powering cause its very strong in its sweet, sour, savory flavor, but i can top mayo on anything.  And i love the benito flakes, which is like, dried fish shavings... i like how they dance to the heat. 

I got the King of Kings Ramen off the spicy ramen menu... ordered the mild and my face still burned half off. It was awesome.  there's 4 pieces of grilled pork (charsiu), and bits and pieces of seasoned ground pork all around... the meat was really good, it almost tasted like chopped up sausages, and made finishing this monster sized ramen quite a pleasure. There were tonnes of veggies, ala sprouts and carrots, and some other stuff, and from what you can see, half an egg, fish cake? seaweed, and whatever that brown stuff is, how am i suppose to know.  What i do know is that this was for serious the most delicious ramen I've had in a long while. 

 Here's a wall pic of the their Specials menu, I saw a lot of people (well.. not really a lot since that place seats like...i dunno 12-15 tables)... but yes, a lot of people ordering the gyozas, and the takoyaki.  

As for the price, the seafood pancake was around 10 something and my royal ramen was like 9, though you can pretty good deal ordering a basic ramen and pairing it with a gyoza, or tonkatsu.  It's been my second time around, and i would definitely go again, and would recommend it to noodle soup lovers all around.