Sunday, February 26, 2012

Les Deux Garçons

The White Truffle macaron. Mmmm. ( mentioned further down)
Type of food: Western
Signature dish: Macarons
Location: 36, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 KL, Malaysia.
Opening hours: All days, 12.00p.m. - 8.00p.m.
Contact: 03-22847833
Other: Non-halal ( one flavor has alcohol, but that's about it I think)

Note: This post was written in February 2012, a full one year before their Facebook PR disaster. At the time, service was alright though not spectacular, but it was definitely not rude or hostile in anyway. The ill-conceived response to a customer's genuine complaint is deeply regrettable and has no place in a supposedly "quality establishment".
See for yourself here:

Les Deux Garçons is a deceptive little pâtisserie. For a start, its name literally means in French the two guys. No guys in sight, only one woman. Perhaps they should have named themselves La Seul Fille* instead. But beyond labels, this "boutique" holds many surprises- good things do come in small packages after all.

The restaurant has a very stylish, modern; simple yet elegant kind of feel. The white walls, with the expertly done marble tops are simply stunning. The orchid adds a nice dash of colour. Together with the white deck chairs and tables outside the shop, the whole sheer whiteness of the place just gives you an impression of- wait for it- heaven. And boy, it sure is heaven.

There is a wide menu of desserts and pastries to choose from, ranging from tarts to cakes. But of course, the macarons are what we are here for. I'm told that there are more than 12 flavours to choose from, including the berrylicious blueberry, traditional coffee cream, and for the adventurous, a spicy chilli one. 

After mulling it over, my friends and I decided to try five flavours-white truffle (rm 9) a premium flavor, vodka lime, pistachio, coffee hazelnut and dark chocolate ( 4 for RM 18.50).

Clockwise from far left: white truffle, vodka lime, dark chocolate, coffee hazelnut and pistachio.
First off, we tried the white truffle premium flavour. Yes, we shared that tiny thing. Imagine, three guys taking a knife and cutting these tiny sugary things into three pieces. What to do, we wanted to try more flavours without going bankrupt ma, a la Malaysian style. ANYWAY, back to the white truffle.

The white truffle is just elegant. Its got gold dust on it, making it almost too good looking to eat. Almost. A bite into it reveals an excellent balance of crunch, sweetness and gooey centre- melt in your mouth goodness. It feels like drowning in waves of pleasure. My friend, Kenneth insisted on this being the best flavour, but he's an elitist with food- expensive taste, ooh I love the truffle oil blablabla. ( I hope he's not reading this. Hehe.)

We followed that up with the vodka lime. It was rather disappointing to be honest. It has got an initial tangy, refreshing feel that strikes a good balance with the sweetness, and then as you're waiting for that final kick that will push it into pure bliss, it doesn't come. To me, the vodka was just not strong enough, and was just washed away by the sugar and lime- making this flavour rather one dimensional.

Dark chocolate is just great. The ganache for this flavour is more firm and chewy, giving it a good contrast to the other macarons. It has a rich, thick, natural cocoa taste that is just so sinful. 

Coffee hazelnut is my personal favourite. It brings back childhood memories of Kopiko- but now sandwiched in between two layers of sugary goodness and a fragrant background of lovely hazelnut. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Food-gasm.

Pistachio is yet another fantastic flavour. The texture of the ganache for this macaron is almost kaya like, and the nutty feel of the macaron just leaves you with a taste-bud busting aftertaste.

Drinking the illy coffee served at the shop, eating macarons on white deck chairs; makes me feel like I'm almost French. After the meal, the three of us sat there with our eyes closed. I felt like an angel bouncing on pink fluffy clouds. Or maybe it was just the sugar rush. Heh. Find out for yourself.

Les Deux Garçons
Taste: 9/10- Crunchy outside, gooey inside; pieces of heaven.
Value: 6/10- Pretty expensive, at RM 5 a pop. Only real reason overall rating goes down.
Health: 7/10- Great, natural ingredients, but it's still a lot of sugar and calories. 
Ambience: 8/10- Pure, chic decor gives an almost blissful feel.
Overall: 3.5 durians!

La Seule Fille- the only gal
Pâtisserie- French term for a bakery that specialises in pastry.
Macaron- sweet confectionary made with icing, egg white, etc; usually has a 'jam' sandwiched between two 'cookies'.
Ganache- Filling for pastry. The previously mentioned 'jam'.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nasi Lemak Tanglin

Type of food: Malay
Signature dish: Nasi Lemak ( coconut rice)
Location:Kompleks Makan Tanglin, Jalan Cenderasari, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan
Opening Hours: All days, 7.00a.m.-10.30a.m.
Contact: 03-22843366
Other: Halal. Medium spicy.

Nasi Lemak Tanglin is one of the best known Nasi Lemak stalls in Kuala Lumpur, situated in a food court near Lake Gardens/ Bukit Aman. It's been around for ages, and past 8am the crowd starts to form a long line. My father swears by this place, and it's easy to understand why.

The nasi* is fresh, fragrant, and especially in the early morning is hot and fluffy. The sambal is a good, deep-flavoured spice infused prawn base, it's obvious it has lots of herbs and spices that give it a layered taste. It might be a bit mild in terms of spiciness for some though, I find it just right.

There is a good selection of lauk to choose from, ranging from the more mundane fried egg to the more exotic cooked beef liver. I went for their specialty ayam dish, the sambal sotong, and fried ubi. The ayam is a fantastic one- it is not quite rendang, not quite curry, but is something born out of a union of the two. It has a good, thick santan and herb infused yellow gravy, the chicken is cooked perfectly, and with some rice, the aroma of kunyit is just sublime. The sotong is relatively tender, but otherwise nothing to really shout about; whereas the fried ubi is a nice, filling side dish for carbo-suckers like me. 

The meal, for both me and my dad costs RM 9.50. A pretty reasonable price, definitely worth it. It's near the Lake Gardens, so it's ideal spot to eat breakfast after a morning jog. Heh, I know, what's the point of exercise then, but I can say its worth the extra calories. 

There is also a Chinese kopitiam stall at the other end of the food court which serves decent coffee, tea and Hainanese toast, if you like your breakfasts a la muhibbah style.

Nasi Lemak Tanglin
Taste: 8/10 - One of the best nasi lemak in town.
Value: 8/10 - Can't complain about the price.
Health: 6/10 - Calories, but really, who cares?!
Overall: 4/5 durians!

Nasi- rice
Sambal- spicy paste
Lauk- dishes
Ayam- chicken
Sotong- squid
Ubi- Potato
Kunyit- Turmeric


Facets of A Malaysian’s Life. Episode 1

It’s been a long day. I try to sleep, back leaning against the metal pole, half-hugging it as the carriage vibrates, try to close my eyes as the drone of the train goes on.


I open my eyes, hoping for a newly vacant seat. I’m beaten to it by two men, Burmese by the looks of them, who run into the train just as the BEEP BEEP BEEP of doors close.

Damn la.

Anyway, those look rather dodgy. Heh, when the Star reports about illegal immigrants being criminals, for all you know, its these two. Best keep my distance anyway, no big deal.

Next to them, a young Chinese man in a shirt and tie is sweating away, a file used as a fan. Opposite him, a group of Indians are talking animatedly to each other. Diagonally across, a Malay lady is playing with her Iphone. Angry Birds from the looks of it.


All look up as the door opens.

An elderly mak cik walks in, almost tripping over the tiny gap as she carries all her Mydin plastic bags, flimsily clutching her purse. She stands just by the door.

A few moments pass, they all look away.

Except the two Burmese men.

The two of them rise with alarming urgency- they begin to walk towards her, hands outstretched, fingers curved- ready in a grabbing motion. They reach for the bags.


Mak Cik is sitting on the train bench with her goods parked next to her. The two Burmese men are standing where she was, smiling and talking to the mak cik.

All look down- at Iphones, at files, at shoes. Anywhere but at Mak Cik.


The two men get off, mak cik waving to them as they leave.

Damn la.

Note: This is the first of an ongoing series of short stories on the facets of Malaysian life. Be sure to catch the next story, City of Cutlery next week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Hello everybody! Real sorry for the delay in posting anything. The truth is, the IB has been catching up with me. This delay looks like it'll be here to stay. There's good news though!

The delay will stay because:
I've decided that holing myself up as a sociopolitical blogger is just stifling, and besides, its boring to read about the same thing all the time. Therefore, Durian Democracy will now feature everything under the goddamn hot Malaysian sun- food, cars, art, literature, news from other sources, debate etc. My aim is to make this blog a piece about Malaysian LIFE, and not just politics. After all, most of my political posts are on LoyarBurok anyway. As you can tell, I'm also going to make this blog reach out and more intimate.

2. Perestroika
Ooh what a fancy word. Nah, its just a Russian word for restructuring. Yes, restructuring! This blog is going to be changed, wiped clean, no more weird, badly cropped durian background! The blog is going to be revamped with a cleaner, easy to read format- as well as- individual pages for different categories of things- all the better for all you readers out there!

Now that I have obtained an all new camera, soon, we shall be witnessing original photos! I am also considering taking on new writers under the Durian Democracy wing, and really, just making this blog a more lively place!

Anyways, thank you to all my readers, and hopefully, you'll see me again soon enough!

From the core of the durian seed,
Kar Jin.