Friday, May 12, 2017
Meeting at Marta's
SK's birthday was in the fourth week of February, but scheduling clashes pushed her availability to the last week of month. Since that was the case, her birthday celebration was combined with KH whose birthday was in the second week of March. No point mobilizing the BFF twice in such a short period. KH chose Marta's Kitchen, a popular place for paella and tapas in Desa Sri Hartamas. The restaurant is actually located inside The Signature Desa Sri Hartamas, a hotel cum serviced apartment. At first, we wanted to park at the basement car park, but we quickly backed out after seeing the charges-- MYR10 for the first hour and MYR5 for subsequent hours. Daylight robbery. The place was already packed with customers at 7:00 PM. Seems to be a favourite with expatriate families in the neighbourhood. No wonder they kept asking me to take the table at the verandah for 'my comfort' as the interior was quite packed. Not much space to maneuver.
At first, I made reservations for 12 pax. In the end, it was only 8 of us due to last minute cancellations. Didn't matter as they didn't any smaller tables anyway. Among the esteemed guests were JL, Khatijah, BeautifulMale, JJ and Janvier. JL was most satisfied with the choice of venue as it was walking distance from his condominium. He was no stranger to Marta's Kitchen and gave us some solid recommendations on what to order. From the tapas menu, we ordered the Patatas Bravas, grilled mushrooms with iberico, lamb skewers, chili and garlic prawns, Bechamel and ham croquettes, and San Jacobo. Heavier stuff was seafood paella, and Iberico pork ribs. The potatoes with spicy tomato sauce was yummy, bringing back memories of Barcelona. But the price tag of MYR18 pulled us back down to reality. LOL. So loved was the sauce that Khatijah nearly bit the hand of the waiter that wanted to clear the table. The alarmed waiter scuttled off to fetch a basket of bread for him to mop it all up. Khatijah's cackling filled the whole restaurant.
The lamb skewers were perfect, with a lovely springy texture, and no gamy taste. The gambas or prawns were fresh, sitting in a puddle of oil that's infused with the sweetness of seafood. The croquettes were basically fried half-solidified white sauce embedded with a piece of ham. San Jacobo was a Spanish dish of pork sirloin sandwiching a mixture of melted cheese and ham. Marta's Kitchen obviously took their paella very seriously. One can see huge pans of paella over an open fire in their open kitchen. I wasn't very awed by it, but I must admit that our paella had an amazing aroma of seafood in the rice. The star of dinner was the grilled Iberico pork ribs. It was handsomely grilled with an interesting aroma, and a lovely glaze. Ended the dinner with churros dipped in Valrhona chocolate. Yummy!
SK brought three bottles of wine to the party but we didn't drink them due to the MYR50 corkage. Instead, we walked back to JL's apartment for round two. We finished the wine and dug out more from JL's personal collection. Seeing so many guests, his mum took the chance to clear her stock of CNY snacks and mandarin oranges. And his dog was kinda ecstatic seeing all the guests. Went into a tail-chasing frenzy that lasted quite a while. Wow. It was great meet-up for the BFF.