After our less than stellar pre-Chinese New Year tapas and paella experience, I told my brother that we must look for an alternative to enjoy Spanish food.
My brother did some research and that's how we ended up at Marta's Kitchen last Saturday.
Marta's Kitchen is located at The Signature in Desa Sri Hartamas. We parked by the roadside and made our way up to the restaurant via this walkway (we later found out that if you parked inside, you can get your ticket endorsed and parking fee is RM5.00 for the first 3 hours).
That was our pre-lunch workout and being not-so-fit, we were huffing and puffing away. Besides it was a very hot day.
Once inside, we contemplated where to sit (it was early and there were lots of seats) when we saw Marta bounding energetically out of the kitchen to say hello to us (actually she was on her way to their private room at another wing of the restaurant).
This lady is so charming, warm and friendly. She told us that it was a very busy day for her as they were hosting a private function. Then she made her way out, leaving us star struck and very impressed.
|That's Marta on the left in black t-shirt.|
The restaurant is very spacious and I love the decor. This is a nice place to hangout with family and friends. As the hour progressed, we saw many families making their way inside.
The server brought us the menu and honestly, I am still quite unfamiliar with Spanish tapas but I knew that we had to have paella. With my brother's help we decided on our orders.
As usual, coffee! My brother had his favorite Latte (double shot, RM14.00) which was excellent. We love places that serve good coffee and good food.
I had the Mocca Coffee (RM14.00) and though it was nice and chocolaty, I should stick to my usual Long Black. The Passion Peach Tea (RM11.00) which I shared with my brother was very refreshing, though I found it too sweet for me.
The first of our tapas was the Marinated Pork Kebabs (RM20.00) comprising 3 skewers of very tender and juicy meat.
Though we enjoyed the succulence of the pork, we were not endeared to the spice seasoning which was predominantly cumin, a flavor perhaps more suited to lamb.
My brother made me take this photo to illustrated the juiciness of the meat.
Next was the Chilli and Garlic Prawns (RM29.00) served with a basket of bread.
Look at how generous they are with the garlic. The prawns were cooked just right and my oh my, the garlic oil was so delicious that we were tempted to ask for more bread to soak up all the garlicky goodness. But we refrained from doing to make sure we had enough stomach space for more food to come.
If you are wondering where are the chilies, well, they are there. They look like goji berries (kei chee) and when you bite into them, well, you will feel the effect.
My brother told me that the oil tastes very much like our mum's fish garam kunyit. We made sure to fish out all the yummy garlic before we were done with this dish. It seemed such a waste to let all that oil go....
Next up was the Iberico Pork Ribs (half rack, RM85.00) served by a gentleman whom I found out later is Marta's husband. He is equally warm and kind like his lady.
The half-rack of ribs is a very generous portion. Gee, how are we going to fit our two plates of paella (and desserts)? Well, eat first, worry later.
The ribs, were tender, juicy and well marinated. We were so impressed. We have never had such succulent moist meat. The flavors were so good that the ribs did not need any extra sauce.
When we ordered the paella, we were informed that there will be a 30 minute wait. That was a good thing as it meant that we would be getting freshly cooked paella.
See? The chef was busy working magic with two paella pans.
The Paella Valenciana (RM37.00) was to die for. Seriously good. It blew us away. I have not forgiven that other place for their wet and soggy paella. Marta's Kitchen is where we should come from now on to get our paella fix.
The Iberico Pork Paella (RM37.00) was rich with smoky flavors, porky but in a good way. I was wondering what those green vegetables were (looked like kangkung to me) and my brother told me that those are French beans. Oh!
In spite of our love for bacon and our appreciation for Iberico pork, we found ourselves gravitating more towards the Paella Valenciana.
In addition to the beautiful big solitary prawn and mussel perched atop the paella, you can expect loads of smaller prawns, squid and chicken as you dig in. This paella is without doubt cooked with a rich seafood stock. You can taste seafood in every mouthful. If you can have only one paella, make it this one.
By this time, we were feeling the stress in our tummies (though we did not at any time want to stop) and my brother asked me if I brought my trusty container. Well, I left it at home. So we trooped on and finished our paella.
I was delighted when I saw that Burnt Cheesecake was on the menu. This is something I have always wanted to taste (though I have baked my own) and it did not disappoint.
It was rich and creamy, with the right level of sweetness and no cheesy smell (my greatest fear).
And of course we had to have churros! We chose the Churros with warm chocolate (RM17.00). The churros here are very crispy and crunchy.
Although we enjoyed it very much, my brother prefers the ones at Molten Chocolate Cafe where the exterior is crispy while the inside was chewy.
Well, that was another of our epic lunches and we plan to return very soon. There's lots more to explore of the menu and then there's the Paella Valenciana which we must eat again.
On our way out, we passed by the private room. Going down the walkway was a lot easier in spite of our full stomachs heh...heh....
Many thanks to my brother for the scrumptious treat. Our next treat at Marta's Kitchen will be on me.
And to Marta, we can't wait to come back!