Life is nothing when you don't have love, people, work, travel, thoughts and food. Without these elements; there won't be stories to tell. Our lives revolve around talking over something (that is food), at least in Malaysia. It's evident during Ramadhan when cafes, restaurants and the likes are empty during the day as compared to other months.
So we, Malaysians - like it or not are foodie people.
The one thing I missed when I am away from Malaysia would be the late nights/ 24-7 eateries because in overseas it closes early! There's no place to lepak (hangout), other than pubs, clubs or your own cribs. Starbucks in London closes at 5pm. Oh the shock I had on my face said it all when I asked the first time.
Anyway, part of traveling consists of food. Anyone who travels, will most definitely want to know the best/cheapest/unique food. What better way than to have an extension to WT - FoodComa.
There were 7 of us being invited to Vansh, (603 2142 6162) Feast Level, Starhill, KL all thanks to Amelia (the superwoman behind MySelangorStory). The 7 of us come from different background and being a newbie in the new age blogworld, this was my first invite for a food review.
They say (whoever they are), there's always a first to everything.
While there are hundreds/thousands across the internet regarding foodbloggers, I will claim that I am NOT one. Not my forte. I'll introduce people to great places to eat, speak endlessly what's good but that's about it.
Therefore, the format may be different from the usual food reviews other foodbloggers are accustomed to.
Let the feast begin!
I read from Starhill's website, Vansh means a new generation within the family.
Well, that makes sense.
Well, that makes sense.
See, the thing about Vansh is that, I've passed by this place so often it just never crossed my mind to try it out. And since I got back from India, I've always wanted to go on an Indian cuisine food getaway. But didn't.
Much like other things I managed to checked in my to-do list, this is yet another one. 2010 is a whole wacky year, I can't even begin to describe it.
I thought the people in Vansh were pleasant. Full of smiles. Which I think is a breath of fresh air in this city. They don't mind smiling as you take their photos (especially when you ask for their permission) and it makes your visit all the more enjoyable. Mokim was our go-to person regarding the food served to us.
Maybe it's Tuesday, the night we signed our lives to be in food coma because the place was almost close to empty. However, that is something I like about Starhill, it's not overcrowded, not too silent either. You can have your space, your food and your company without compromising anything.
When we were served with Vansh signature dishes, we weren't expecting an array of goodness laid out in front of our eyes all at one go, yet that's what we were faced with.
For a moment, I think I forgot to even breathe. Too busy wanting to try each and every dish there were on the tables. At least 19 dishes altogether. Yes, that's how many there were.
We were served first with Mango Lassi and Papadom while they prepare the rest of the dishes. For the avid Lassi drinkers, this might not be the one that'll rock your world. I've tasted something creamier and mango-er(I can't find a word for it), then again I'm not an avid Lassi drinker, so I actually did not not like it. :) The papadom was a new twist. I've not seen it made the way it is, rolled into a cylinder which we are meant to dipped it with the 3 sauces (mint, raita and chili) they gave us. I actually loved the raita. The sourness was perfect for my taste bud.
Maybe the only thing I found a little bit frustrating was that, as I was biting the papadom, bits and pieces were falling off all over me and I felt like it was a waste (somewhat). I like to have my food in whole rather than feeding the table and floor.
Then again, I eat like a 5 year old a lot of the times..soooo..maybe it's just me?
After papadom, we were presented with three different kebab platters - chicken tandoori, vegetarian and variety sampler. Vegetarian platter featured Aloo Mutter Tikki, Tandoori Mushroom and Tandoori Paneer Tikka. This one I've never tried before and thought it was not bad. Chicken Tandoori was just as delicious, it being one of the most popular dish in Malaysia, one must not ruin this dish. Then I had a go with the Variety platter which had Malmali Sheekh, Murg Malai Tikka and Tandoori Tiger Prawn.
I must say, I have applied a new perspective to Tandoori. Tiger Prawn rules! (Ending the sentence with rules reminds me of high school all over again)
The next batch came before we could say "Next". I saw Bombay Pani Puri (crunchy semolina puffs wtih chilled spice water and sweet tamarind chutney) and couldn't help but feed the curious cat in me, it's an appetizer I thought was exquisite in taste and presentation. If anything, it was made well.
While I'm not a cheese lover, Paneer Tikka Chaat was a delight. I know the rest of us enjoyed this one.
The three Naans (Garlic, Butter and Plain) didn't score high in my book. The taste just wasn't there.
Yes there is a but.
For someone like me who is more often than not lazy to eat with her fingers, the Tandoori Lamb Chop was not the case. It was calling my hands to hold and eat it like a barbarian. I even licked my fingers after sucking on the bones to savour the spices absorbed in it. Now this is what I call a gastronomical experience baby!
When it was time to try other dishes, I told myself this was like a food marathon. It was back to back tasting this, munching that, smelling everything. (I suppose Dylan didn't have problem with it) Like marathon, I need to charge this with a good strategy. Small bites of everything then attack the ones I want more. There was really no time to ponder on what to eat next. It's more like ..
"Ok, I want that one, the other too. What's that? Oh that can do as well!" One after another after another after another..
Poor tummy of mine. At least you won't be singing hungry tunes for the rest of the night :)
Kashmiri Rogan Josh has my big nod for being one of the best dishes I've eaten, not just in Vansh but all over. And I'm not even a lamb eater to begin with! What is Kashmiri Rogan Josh you might ask? Well, it's lamb cubes simmered in a fennel scented yogurt gravy. Perfect marriage with it's next big dish - the lamb briyani. Oh yeah! I think I died and went to heaven at that moment. The Chicken Tikka Massala is a default dish many will order when they come to an Indian restaurants which I think was good.
Marc's been mentioning Vindaloo for at least 5 times throughout the night and he managed to get his dish. I think it was alright. Not one I'll order the next time I come but at least I know what Vansh's Vindaloo tastes like.
|Credit to Marc for Honey Kulzza's photo|
I actually didn't realised there was Samosa on the table (this is a proof how focused I was with the food I have in front of me) and was lucky to grab the final piece. It was not bad. The dip definitely made it tastier. Now, the Chili Cheese Kulzza was something else. It reminded me too much of a pizza but it's really just tasted something like Cheese Naan with..chilies on top. At least that's what I think. I didn't get to taste Honey Kulzza (fresh fluffy bread topped with a sweet spread of honey, tomatoes, coriander and onion seeds) but from what I've be told, it somewhat tasted weird. I think I have enough of pastries for the moment.
I was too absorbed with the tender, juicy, well spiced meat.
The Palak Paneer is a homemade cottage cheese in fresh spinach. While I may not have ordered it if I were to come here without tasting it before, I thought it was so-so. Of course if I were to overdosed on cheese, I might have puked, so I had to be smart about my cheese portion. It doesn't help that I'm lactose intolerant too.
One of the big stars in Vansh will have to be the Lamb Briyani. Hands down, one dish I couldn't get enough of. The lamb itself was so tender and juicy. The rice was well spiced and didn't stick together. That RM45 to me is worthy to spend on. It could feed 2-3 people comfortably with extra serving. And in every indian restaurant I go, I always order Chai Masala. It's just something I just had to do.
Amelia was looking at me like I grew horns and asked why was I sniffing the tea non stop. It's just too fragrant not to! Then she held her cup and she did the same. ;) The taste was just amazing. Just perfect. Just..everything I had in mind. Oh yes, surely I was in heaven by then right?
Honestly (and don't kill me), I am not a fan of Indian desserts only because more of often than not, it's too sweet to my liking. That perception changed when Mokim recommended us the Khajoor(exotic dates) Kulfi. Oh this was yummy. It wasn't sweet. Lychee Kulfi was nice but I'm definitely a Date type of Kulfi. Say what? Oh Kulfi is a homemade frosty flavoured ice cream :) And you know how I love my ice cream.
Great, just thinking about it is making me hungry right now.
No, writing this entire entry makes me hungry. Vansh I'll most definitely see you again.
Overall, I thought the food was delicious. Of course, it would have been better if the dishes weren't served all at once but given the circumstances, I thought it went successfully, especially for a noob like me. While there were some dishes that didn't get my vote, the good outweighs the not so yummy.
I'm a happy bunny. Good food, good company, good service and good ambiance. I like.
What do I think about the prices? For what it is and where it is at, I thought it was actually not as expensive as I thought it would have been, most probably because these dishes are meant to be shared. So if you think of it that way, it's a fair price.
I think Luciano Pavarotti said it best regarding food,
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~ Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story.
And it took us at least 30 minutes or more after we were done eating to come back to reality. We did had fun talking and laughing. A good way to summed up the night. Some were in expense of Quachee (and a little bit of Bella too). Big thank you to Rebecca for compiling all the dishes we had eaten that night. A life saviour that one. The best part of the night, it was as if I was waiting for the bill to arrive only to be reminded that this wasn't the case. Yes, I am a noob.
So that's it! This is how my first food review looks like. Woohoo!