Jasmine Cafe Restaurant
Jasmine Café Restaurant in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands has a recent facelift giving it a much more open concept to welcome people into its premises. From my last visit of about a few months ago, the open door concept means that you will notice this food joint whenever you walk by. Perhaps it reduces its bar like atmosphere and turns it more into a restaurant. But I believe it has better "Feng Shui" and hopefully more highland wind would blow in more business for it too!
The café has been expanded and now includes some tables along the outer five-foot walkway. For those who don't feel cold enough, you can sit on those table and experience the full blast of Cameron Highlands cool weather!
Walking in on a cold night in Cameron Highlands, I decided to pay Jasmine Café Restaurant a visit and meet up with Mr Foong. He still remembered me from my last visit as we have a good long chat the other time. This time round I wanted to try out his other European specialties and also get to know more about the background of Jasmine Café Restaurant.
We sat down by a table next to the counter and chatted while I waited for my meal to be served.
Jasmine Café Background
As I have mentioned in my previous post, Mr Foong worked in Europe for some 20 years serving up European cuisine before returning to Malaysia and setting up this restaurant in the mid-nineties. His experience overseas has served him well and he knows just how the Europeans liked their food. Now his children are taking over with him as the Master Chef overseeing the operation, I bet. One of his sons is manning his counter while his eldest son is the main chef now helming the back kitchen together with his wife cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
Mr Foong eldest son plan to take over the mantle and thus was sent over to the United States to work with a relative restaurant in Atlanta for close to year to gain some experience. While learning the ropes, he happened to bump into Beckham and took a mug shot with the famous footballer. I could see his photo in the restaurant but could not get a chance to meet up with him. A little shy I suppose, perhaps next time round time round to congratulate him on a job well done!
This time round I savoured the beef steak as well as the grilled duck. And they both tasted exquisite. They tasted so well that I forgot to take a picture of the beef steak. Fortunately, Jasmine Café has a picture of the beef steak but it looked a little different from my version. Mr Foong explained that us Asians tend prefer our steaks server out like chops. It is easier for us to cut through the steak, whereas Westerner prefers to have them in chunky blocks. Usually chunky blocks are more difficult to cook through, so the central area will tend to be rare. That's how they like it, in fact there were some who requested their steak to be grilled just for a few seconds on each side! I can't eat that raw! That's more like shashimi and sushi beef version but Japanese raw fish is different!
The one that was served up to me was medium grilled with a nice brown on the surface with juicy tender meat which was semi-cooked in the centre. I think my dad would love this since he does like a good beef steak!
Next was the grilled duck. I don't believe you can get this kind of taste so easily anywhere in Malaysia. Once you sink your teeth in this, you would certainly want to come back again for more! I'm a bit loss for words to describe such a succulent dish. It has bit of a bacon taste, and the hint of grilled duck meat is not apparent. Take my word for it; you have to try this for yourself. However since the portion of duck served is derived from the duck breast area, certain portion of it may be a little tough. But overall the meat is still sufficient tender.
Mr Foong seeing that I was enjoying my grilled duck mentioned that this was one of the house specialties. In fact around December of 2010, a crew of RTM came over to make documentary about Jasmine Café Restaurant. It is probably in its post production and would probably be aired sometime in March or April 2011. Mr Foong said many of the host and crew took a liking for the grilled duck and all gave a resounding thumbs up in their photo shot! Well you got my thumbs up too!
So as far as European Western dishes go, here's my preference:
- Grilled Duck
- Beef Steak
- Grilled Chicken Chop
Of course you will have to try out on your own and come up with your own list. Now that's just the western cuisine. If you prefer a local taste, Jasmine Café Restaurant also has Asian fare too. And I spied a Western couple digging in heartily into their curry laksa and fried noodles. Perhaps I will try those next time.
Looking for an English Pub?
Jasmine Café also doubles as a pub and bistro as they have the necessary liquor license. Looking for some cocktails, well you can come over here and choose your "poison" as night clubbers would say. Not many food joint in Cameron Highlands has this license as it is very tedious to apply. Since Jasmine Café Restaurant has taken the trouble to get it, you now can enjoy a couple of rounds of gin and vodka and keep your spirits up, eh?
Like the place? Look them up at:
Jasmine Café House Restaurant
No. 45, Jalan Besar,
39000 Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands
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