Tourism Malaysia

Lemon Tree Restaurant at Melodies Garden, Johor Bahru

Lemon Tree Restaurant (N1.49135 E103.76201) is located along Jalan Bedara, Tmn Melodies, Johor Bahru. The restaurant is situated in a residential area since 11 years ago, and most of their customers are regular…
The owner – Mr Jeffery Bong said he surveyed the area before starting his restaurant and like the trees in front of the shop lot very much. And because of the trees stories, he named the restaurant as ‘Lemon Tree’, a popular song which was famous by Fools Garden, released on the year 1995 and became a major international hit in 1996.

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The setting of the restaurant is simple and cozy, with retro ambience. The warm lighting made the guests feel comfort while dining in the restaurant…

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The piece of bread evenly covered by tuna and nicely wrapped with cheese, the slice of cucumber and baby tomato provided extra refreshment to the appetizer, these Bruchetta were nice!

After the appetizers, each of us have a homemade mushroom soup served by the restaurant.

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The flavorful mushroom soup was nice, creamy, but not starchy, I can taste the mushroom started from the beginning till the end…the bowl of mushroom soup was just nice for a person.

Next, there were two 12″ pizzas were served. Tropical Hawaiian and Island Seafood Pizza.

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The Mixed Fruits Salad was the following dish…kind of like the foods arrangement by the owner – Jefferey Bong, because the refreshing fruits salad was served after the large amount of cheese loaded into our stomach…:)

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The fruits salad was prepared with the fresh fruits, and don’t forget the special dressing by the Chef Jeffery, therefore it definitely cool us down for the ‘part 1’ foods session…

After a short break, the ‘part 2’ began with 2 spaghetti, appeared on the table quietly…
The Spaghetti Hawaiian and Spaghetti Seafood Alio-Olio.

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Both spaghetti were delicious! The Spaghetti Hawaiian was served with hams and with sweet sauce, and the Spaghetti Seafood served with lots of seafood…especially the big prawns. We like the taste of the both spaghetti.

Before the we could finish the spaghetti, the New Zealand Air Frown Rib-eye presented!

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The steak served in the medium well doneness and the black pepper sauce was separated, which give a choice for those who like the original beef taste and those who like with the sauce.

The a bit char grilled steak was succulent, it could be better if serve in medium rare with the taste of meat juice…but this is my personal preference and it may not suitable for all of us, well arrange by the Chef! You will be surprise by the reasonable price of this steak, find out yourself! 🙂

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The Chef did serve some of the local delicacies on the following after having such a nice western cuisine, that were the popular Lemon Tree Special Fried Rice and the Mee Mamak.

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As I recalled, the Lemon Tree restaurant caught my attention few years ago from some of my friends comments on their nice and simple fried rice, as a fried rice lover…I was a bit late to try out but never regret on it!
The fried rice was fragrance and yummy, served on the perfect moist level and never too dry to enjoy it! The plate of fried rice served together with a fried chicken wing, ham, cheese, fried egg and the sauce. It can be a filling dish for lunch or dinner.
According to the Chef…the combination of fried rice was a advise from a regular customer who visit the restaurant 3 times a week, the customer requested to has more stuffs beside the fried rice and Chef Jeffery ‘tailored made’ the dish as what he need, surprisingly the dish sell very well from the kitchen…that’s the reason Jeffery named it The Special Fried Rice of Lemon Tree Restaurant!

The Mee Mamak was an enhanced version from the local mee goreng where easily available in most of the mamak shop. But the Lemon Tree’s version was slightly different, it topped up with many veggie and fried to the perfect taste…which mean not too sweet or salty. It was an eye opening for me to taste the mee mamak in the western food restaurant.

After all the scrumptious meal for the dinner, the lovely desserts surfaced…
The special edition of Tiramisu and the Chocolate Lava.
I’m not a dessert person but the desserts on that evening ‘seduced’ me too much! Haha!

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The Tiramisu was made in 3 types of coffee and with the unique cheese cream. The Wow factor was on the first bite! Not overly sweet (as peoples are more health conscious nowadays), and it was a surprise for me!

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The chocolate lava cake was made from the pure 70% of dark chocolate, it won’t be overly sweet…no worries! And the so called ‘Lava’ will not ooze from the cake once you cut it due to the high density of the chocolate cake.

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I believe the two desserts above will easily drive the girls crazy! It will become the favorite for the desserts lover!

We were satisfied for the dishes served by the restaurant that evening. Especially with the reasonable prices. The prices for the dishes above are within RM5.50 and RM49.00.

Lemon Tree Restaurant had expanded their dining area to the next door. According to Jeffery, the new wing is cater for private function or catering services, 20-30 persons.

The Chef – Mr Jeffery Bong was a executive chef of one of the 5 stars hotel in Singapore, he decided to came back Johor Bahru to start his own business 11 years ago. He wanted to serve his customers with the quality foods and a reasonable price, in fact…it’s a good news for the western food lover in Johor Bahru. The restaurant had been through more than a decade, and Jeffery continue to provide the best cuisine to his customers from day 1 till now…

Do drop by the Lemon Tree Restaurant if you are happen in Taman Melodies area, I believe you will find what you like!

Tourism Malaysia

Ratatouille La Gourmet, A Hidden Gem at Tmn Setia Indah, Johor Bahru

Ratatouille La Gourmet (N1.57163 E103.75767) is my first dining experience that enjoying such a good quality western cuisine at a very simple ‘Kopitiam’. It’s actually a stall in one of the Chinese kopitiam (aka small food court) named ‘Fu Sing Kopitiam’ and serving nice + delicious food. Thanks for the friend’s recommendation from Facebook.

We were there around 6pm on the Sunday evening, the Chef Brian politely introduced the series of western cuisines that serve by Ratatouille La Gourmet to us. After about 15-20 minutes, the first salad served on table – Caesar Salad.

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That was the first appetizer for us and the presentation was nice, taste not bad.

Followed by second appetizers – Foie gras, some of us just cannot believe it because we were enjoying a nice Foie gras in a ‘Kopitiam’…

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This was my first time in my life having Foie gras in kopitiam too! What a experience!

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The Foie gras was well prepared and served with some mushroom slices and piece of bread, the bite will bring some mild alcohol fragrance…excellent! The dish above is selling with a affordable price (RM38) for everyone to be able to try it.

The third appetizers – Escargot.
Escargot is a dish of cooked land snails, usually served as an
appetizer in France and in French restaurants. The word escargot is also
sometimes applied to the living snails of those species which are
commonly eaten in this way.
Source from Wiki.

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Another experience that having this French cuisine in ‘kopitiam’ again!
The escargots were served in 6 per order (RM18), I’m not in the position to say about the taste because I don’t really have much experience having it, but…actually they were acceptable and nice!

Next was the Spaghetti Bolognaise.
As for the Italian authentic ingredients including pancetta, carrots, celery, onions, tomato paste and a dash of wine, and the key ingredient is minced beef. This spaghetti did all right except I didn’t taste the wine…maybe it was my mouth problem. 🙂
The rich minced beef and the tomato sauce were really made our mouth can’t stop until the spaghetti is finished. (RM11)

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Anyway, it is a light and fast meal you should try if you visit Ratatouille La Gourmet.

By having the dishes above, Chef Brian served us two different type of soup – Mushroom soup and Clam chowder to let us have a break before continue our extraordinary dinner.

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The clams were fresh and the soup was rich flavor but not starchy at all. Their mushroom soup was another great version compare with others, fresh mushrooms and rich. Again, not starchy. We like the both soup.

Here come the first main course – Grilled Salmon with pumpkin sauce.

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The grilled salmon served with pumpkin sauce, broccoli and Ratatouille.

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The combination was excellent! The grilled salmon was well grilled to perfection! This was another different experience to savor the dish.

Another main course – Crusted Roasted Rack of Lamb.

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The rack of lamb were served in the medium doneness, succulent and juicy! The dish was served with Ratatouille, broccoli and mashed potatoes. We like the crusted outer layer of the lamb which was mixture of herbs and pine nuts that really brought us a new taste of the dish! The bite had give us a different layer of enjoyment, awesome!

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The last main course was the US Black Angus Ribeye steak.

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I had a chat with the Chef – Brian Soon, understand that he’s still working in one of the 4 star restaurant in Singapore right now…and only available at the stall during Wednesday, Saturday Sunday. Thursday and Friday’s duty will be handle by his wife. According to him, he’ll be full time at Ratatouille few months later within this year.

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Brian said, he wanted to introduce the nice and quality western cuisines to the public with a affordable price, and he’ll try his best to educate the local on the various dishes serve by Ratatouille La Gourmet.

The stall is operating by Chef Brian and his partner Mr Sherman, both of them are good friends since teenage until now and they are from Malacca. That is also one of the reason that the wordings at the stall has some Malaccan style on it, can you feel it?

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They also provide catering and private chef services to your house for private function. Do contact them from the email address below if you need it.

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This will be one of my regular place for western cuisine. The prices are very reasonable and affordable, beside that I also tasted the quality ingredients provided by the Chef.
Do drop by if you happen in the area, I believe you will be surprise by the dishes serve by Ratatouille.

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Tourism Malaysia

Sumptuous 4 course dinner at SkyBar and buffet breakfast at Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour, Johor.

Having dinner at SkyBar Traders Hotel Puteri Harbour – Johor was one of the most enjoyable and unforgettable dinner for our family! We had our dinner on one of the Saturday evening sometime November 2013 during our 2 days 1 night city escape holiday. I appreciated that Ms Aidah and the Executive Chef of SkyBar for the dinner arrangement.

We specifically chose the table situated next to the baby pool and had a breathtaking view for the Puteri Harbour night view. While waiting for the dinner to serve, the Chef presented a nice bread with 3 different sauce on our table.

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There were 2 types of bread and we like the 3 different sauce very much! Garlic, Rosemary and butter. Before we can finish the bread, the starter served…The Caesar Check-mate! Salad.

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The appetizer was unique and creative! Nice presentation on the piece of tile and this was the most creative salad I ever have!

Next appetizer was the ‘SHE Lobster Bisque’.

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Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin,
classically based on a strained broth of crustaceans. It can be made
from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish.
Souce from Wiki.

The rich flavored soup was yummy with the fresh female lobster meat. The highly seasoned savory appetizer made our conversation pause awhile, everyone just enjoyed very much. The empty plates tell it all…

The next dish was the main course of the night. The Herb-Crusted Roasted Rack of Lamb.

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I was looking at the Rack of Lamb for at least 5-10 minutes just to admired the presentation by the Chef. Well done!

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The portion was big and the lamb served on the medium doneness. Every bite of the juicy and tender lamb provided the satisfaction of the meal, it was sometime back I haven’t have a chance to taste the rack of lamb with the mint sauce, excellent! Well, I took the longest time to enjoyed this delicious Roasted Rack of Lamb among all of us…

The dessert served after the main course, it was the Combination of Screw pine Creme Brulee and Tiramisu with home-made Vanilla ice cream. Again! Another well presentation of the dessert from the Chef of SkyBar – Traders Hotel.
*  Apologies from me that my memory card having some problem that I can’t retrieve the photos.

Thanks for the humble Chef who came to explained on the dishes, and very much appreciated on the surprised chocolate birthday cake from the management of Traders Hotel. Ms Aidah and the team, thanks you very much on the arrangements and warm hospitality.

That was a wonderful dinner for us especially company by the breathtaking view from the surrounding of SkyBar and Puteri Harbour, the dining experience was totally cannot describe by words! You have to try it yourself to feel the different!

Our buffet breakfast on the next day was prepared at the Harbour Cafe of Traders Hotel. It was full house during we stepped in, nice and polite cafe’s staff arrange our table in about 10 minutes…

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The Cafe provided more than 50 types of breakfast for their guests to choose from. It was a nice breakfast with full of varieties, appetizers, main course and dessert from local and international. Photos below…

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It was a very enjoyable moment for our family having the buffet breakfast in the Harbour Cafe. The full varieties of foods really wake up my morning appetite and I like the sausages very much!

It can be very crowded during the weekend morning session at the Harbour Cafe, so please make a reservation from the hotel management if you wish to having the breakfast during the weekend to avoid any disappointment.

We will be back again on our next city escape!

Related post :-
*  The Traders Hotel at Puteri Harbour Nusajaya, Johor.
Deluxe Harbour View Room in Traders Hotel Puteru Harbour, Johor.

Tourism Malaysia

Menu Please Bistro along Jalan Maju, Taman Maju Jaya

Menu Please Bistro (N1.48083 E103.76612) is located along Jalan Maju of Taman Maju Jaya, Johor Bahru. The Bistro is easy to locate because not far away from the Plaza Pelangi, but vehicle parking can be quite challenge over here due to Jalan Maju is one of the busiest street in Johor Bahru.

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The environment is warm, cozy and relax, with some creative recycle decoration, I like it very much! You can slowly view through some of their creative deco photos below…

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Follow by the Creative decoration…

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The first dish we had was the Sesame Duck Salad as a appetizer.

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The salad served in the unique way which was in the glass jar. That was creative! The Sesame Duck Salad was mixed with ‘char siew’ sauce and tasted good! Beside the Saseme Duck Salad, they do serve Crispy Tofu Salad and Glass Noodle Salad with Prawn…in the glass jar too…

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Next : Wasabi Prawn Handmade Pizza (thin crush)

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The taste of the Pizza was Special! It was my First time I tried pizza with wasabi, it made a total new taste for the Pizza, well…it’s hard to describe by words, you have to try yourself. 🙂
The types of Handmade Thin Crush Pizza they have :-
*  Ham Cheese
*  Tomato Cheese
*  Mushroom Capsicum
*  Beef Pepperoni
* Oriental Duck
* Wasabi Prawn

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Salmon Coulibiac – Russian cuisine consist of a creamy melange of fresh salmon, rice, eggs and mushrooms enclosed in a hot pastry envelope.
Salmon Coulibiac in Wikipedia.

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The bite was surprising! The mixed with the rice, eggs, fresh salmon, mushrooms and spinach was excellent! The dish provided of different type of satisfation compare with other main course I had before, it become one of the reason to visit Menu Please Bistro because this special and rare dish in Johor Bahru.
We catergorized this as A Must Try dish!
They serve 10 types of main course with the affordable price from RM14.80 to RM29.80.

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The next dish was the Asian Delights – Menu Please’s Laksa.

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The taste of the laksa was slightly different from the JB local laksa, it more close to Singapore taste. I like the curry leafs on the laksa and it’s difficult to find it around the JB area nowadays…
They have 4 types of Asian Delights to try out if you choose to have the local foods…

Braised Beef Cheek with homemade Focaccia bread (another main course)

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Another Must Try dish if you are a beef lover. The beef cheek preparation took few hours before it can serve on the table. It was tasty and tender, the gravy was yummy too! It’s advise to having the Focaccia bread with the gravy. Delicious!

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Coming next was one of thier side dish : Oriental Potato Cake with Tamarind Dip.

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Crispy on the outside and soft at the inside, it was hot! The Tamarind Dip went well the flavorful potato and carrot. The bite was interesting! This dish will not be serve by the Bistro start from August 2013, due to the long preparation. If you want to try out the nice crispy potato, you have to act fast!
The Bistro has 7 types of side dish for guests to select.

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Dessert time! Warm Chocolate Cake

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It looked similar to Chocolate Volcano in some other cafe,  the warm choclate cake well presented and not too sweet, nice to enjoy after the sumptuous meal…

The second dessert was Creme Brulee also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream.

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The dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. Mr Jayson (the chef also the owner of Menu Please Bistro) advise to try it with the top layer and the custard together. I like it very much!
There are total of 5 types of dessert in the Bistro, I believe definitely one of it will suit you.

We had a chat with Mr Jayson Ang who is A freindly and humble guy, smile most of the time. He was the Chef from Four Season Hotel and Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore few years back, and now he decided to come back to his hometown (Johor Bahru) to start his own business and present all the delicious and creative foods to his customer. It’s also a good opportunity for the local who no need to travel to Singapore but still be able to try the nice Western and Asian delicacy from the bistro.

The prices is affordable, all from RM4.80 – RM29.80.
We like the environment and especially the creative deco of the Bistro. I will patronize this bistro more often in the future, to explore more on their foods.

Tourism Malaysia

Riverside rustic Italian

Truth or myth: Don’t flip the Simply Roasted 7-star Seabass over when one side has been eaten; just remove the bone.Truth or myth: Don’t flip the Simply Roasted 7-star Seabass over when one side has been eaten; just remove the bone.

Satisfying, New York-style dining – in Shanghai.

NO wonder the expats here look so self-satisfied.� The Lord Restrain leaned back in his low chair in the “farm chic� loft at Mercato, located on Shanghai’s Bund.

“I would be, too, if I could come here to eat every day,� he declared, while scanning the large, open dining space. Here, reclaimed wood and warm leather tones complement exposed steel, iron and glass, and wonderful cuisine.

On a chilly Saturday evening in January, it was certainly an inviting venue and was filling up fast by 7pm.

Hardly surprising, then, that without reservations we couldn’t get a Mercato table at celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recently opened restaurant. The famed three-Michelin-star chef already had a presence in the building with his fine dining namesake restaurant, Jean-Georges. So we took the window table offered near the bar, and with a not-too-restricted view of the world-famous waterway.

“The most excellent starters in decades,â€? proclaimed the Lord, not leaving a single crumb on his plate. I had to agree. The Housemade Ricotta with Cranberry Compote, Olive Oil and Grilled Bread (78 renminbi/RM38.20) was not what we expected; it looked simple and, well … rustic. But the light and creamy ring of delicately flavoured ricotta topped with the delectable cranberry cooked slowly with sugar brought a luscious combination of tastes and textures with each consecutive mouthful.

The Wood-oven Roasted Asparagus Fontina and Prosciutto (88 renminbi/RM43) that followed the cranberry carnival was no less impressive. The lightly grilled greens wrapped in soft slices of prosciutto were crunchy, yet moist. Slathered in olive oil, all it needed for a sharp tang was the juice of a lemon, and a wedge was already waiting.

The Lord is a big fan of Italian food and so, with a wood-fire oven adding warmth to an already agreeable dining room, we could not help but pick the Spicy Pork Sausage, Kale and Pecorino Pizza (118 renminbi/RM57.70). And our rustic pizza did not disappoint.

This house speciality was generously topped with sausage slices and kale, while the thin-crust pizza was surprisingly chewy and charmingly charred in spots. The blend of parmesan, mozzarella and pecorina cheeses artfully married their flavours, resulting in a comfortingly creative taste.

Aided by glasses of Italian white, generous and chilled just right, the evening was just beginning. The moneyed mélange of Shanghai, both local and expatriate, were in evidence as they came for an evening of bonhomie with partners, friends and families. Noted the Lord Restrain, “Elitist, ostentatious fine-dining restaurants should be replaced by places like this.â€? “Like what?â€? I asked. He pondered and proclaimed: “Casual … chic … really good food.â€?

By this time, the Simply Roasted 7-star Seabass (38 renminbi/RM18.60 per 100g) had arrived. Before I could even set my wine glass down, the top half of the roasted fish was gone.

“Should I turn over the fish?� I asked, with more than a hint of sarcasm.

“No!â€? He confided in me: “I was told by many Chinese friends over dinner that I should take the bone out, and not turn the fish over, especially if we are near a port. So that the fishermen’s boats will not turn over.â€? He paused and looked at me: “A myth, maybe?â€? Err …

The Spicy Pork Sausage, Kale and Pecorino Pizza is the house speciality atMercato.The Spicy Pork Sausage, Kale and Pecorino Pizza is the house speciality at

Roasted with sage, rosemary, tomato and lemon, the bass stewing in its hot sauce was uncomplicated and light. The clear sauce, with tangy hints of lemon, offered a bracing piquancy to complement the fresh fish.

Chef Vongerichten’s signature flair for balancing flavours and textures was at work here. The flesh, very lightly battered in a crispy shell, slipped easily off the bone and soon the fish had slipped easily off the plate, too. “The tomatoes are a little burnt …â€? the Lord announced as he popped another wedge into his mouth,â€?… but very juicy.â€?

Since the menu consists of Coastal Italian Cuisine, we decided to end our meal with a trusty Tiramisu (58 renminbi/RM28.40). This proved a wise choice, as the serving was more than enough for two, even two with such a pronounced sweet tooth. After such a great introduction to taste and texture, unfortunately, the tiramisu didn’t live up to our expectations. Not only was it stark and understated, the base was slightly dry and it was difficult to finish.

Nevertheless, the disappointing dessert did not detract us from our thoroughly enjoyable evening. Great restaurant ambience, stunning views of night-time soaring skyscrapers overlooking and reflected in the shimmering river. Moreover, I was rather pleased as I had only taken one bite of the dessert and left the rest to the Lord, who was eating it with much restraint.

“This is very relaxing,� said the Lord, slumping back in his chair, his mustard sweater contrasting pleasantly with the chair’s lime green upholstery. “You won’t feel that way when the bill arrives,� I replied. With two glasses of wine, fish weighed by the gram and two excellent coffees, the evening set us back almost RM500.

But Lord Restrain now looked pretty self-satisfied to me. As if to confirm, he leaned back in his low chair in Mercato’s loft, and muttered: “Ve-e-ery satisfying.�