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Topshelf, TTDI

Taman Tun Dr Ismail is well known for its many watering holes (including the infamous Sid’s, of course) and hipster coffee joints. But behind the busy Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, there is a lovely French restaurant called Topshelf, run by Chef Christopher and Hairenna, a friendly duo who is passionate about food and hospitality. I have been to Topshelf once but as I was also performing that night for a private even, I didn’t get to try a range of their food. Although I must say that the Duck Confit I had that night was pretty lovely. So it was nice to receive an invitation to try more of their dishes.

The interior is minimalistic and clean, which reflects Chef Yee’s taste for an efficient kitchen. The steel table tops may prove a little tricky for food photography, but adds an industrial feel to the decor. Chef Yee  has an extensive background in the F&B industry, having trained in Europe for years. He likes to keep his menu tight as to better manage the quality of each dishes offered. There are a few signature dishes and I was delighted to be recommended the Chicken Liver Pate, one of my favourite French thing.

Chicken Liver Pate (RM23)

Oh, just look at that glorious layer of duck fat! The Pate is paired with some toasted baguette, olive tapenade and the all essential pickles. Chef Yee said this is his favourite and I concur.

Delicious!

The smooth and velvety texture won my heart, and the creamy distinctive liver taste was addictive. Complete with the tart pickles, I too can enjoy this dish everyday. In fact I finished this (not the bread though) whole pot on my own and left wanting more.

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the traditional Salad Niçoise because I detest dry and flakey tuna (most of them came from canned variety… eurrgh). But top the salad with lightly seared Tuna with delightful dark pink centre and I am sold. Topshelf keep their salad light and fresh with generous serving of Tuna, Raw Green Beans, Mesclun leaves, Quail Eggs, Roma Tomatoes, and the Umami Olives; finished with a basic dressing that doesn’t overwhelm the ingredients. This is great choice for those on Paleo diet.

Salad Nicoise (RM26)

I have seen Topshelf’s Escargot appearing in a few blogs and generally good things were said. It’s kept fairly traditional with herbs, garlic and butter and baked to perfect chewiness. I would probably prefer for it to have more herbs and strong taste though.

Escargot (RM25)

You need a special utensil to dig the flesh out and the texture is similar to that of an mussel. Frank stared in disgust, but I gobbled all of them up. But then again Frank is the kind of person who refers Prawns and Crabs as Sea Insects/Cockroaches. Charming.

Mmm snail… do you dare?

The vegetarian gets the Pesto Capellini, which comes as a glistening mountain topped with generous spoon of fresh pesto, complete with pine nuts, shavings of Parmesan and the aromatic Truffle Oil. The pasta is cooked to al dente, and it was a relatively light dish owing to the herbaceous nature.

Pesto Capelini (RM28)

His other dish however is the total opposite. The Gratin Potatoes came bubbling hot with generous amount of rich garlic cream and gruyere. I could smell the cheese from where I sat too. And though the taste is excellent, some of the potatoes were a little undercooked which was a disappointment.

Gratin Potatoes (RM22)

For some reason I have been seeing things cooked in paper bag too often these days. But that’s not a complaint at all. In fact I really liked the Halibut baked in paper. Halibut is quite similar to Cod with smooth and tender flesh when cooked right. Here the delicate piece of fish is accompanied by my other favourite French thing: Ratatouille. Complete with another heavenly match: fennel; and finished with lemon and fresh herbs. The fish is perfectly cooked and I was a happy girl. This was once again a great choice for the Paleo eaters.

Halibut en Papillote (RM41_

Naturally, we finished our meal with desserts. Frank had the Tiramisu and that was pretty decent. I would say it’s textbook execution.

Tiramisu (RM25)

My Apple Tarte Tatin came with pieces of well-caramelised apple tinted with Cinnamon. The pastry was sufficiently flakey but I thought it could do with a few more minutes of baking. The Ice cream is of course made in house, and the combination of hot and cold is very pleasant to the palate.

Apple Tarte Tatin

No doubt I will be returning to Topshelf whenever I feel like a no-frill French meal. The friendly atmosphere and polite service makes a delightful dining experience one will remember.

Topshelf
No. 61 Lorong Rahim Kajai 13
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Business Hour: 4:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m.
Tel: 03-7727 7277
Website: http://topshelf.com.my/

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Massaged Kale Salad

Everytime I come across a Kale recipe on Youtube or blog, I feel a pang of envy because I have never been able to find that in KL. And to be honest this nature’s superfood was not on my radar when I was still living in Oz, as it hasn’t gained such a huge popularity yet. Oh, once I did see that in B.I.G but the price was way too crazy, I picked it up and hesitated. Only until a couple of days ago when we were at our local supermarket I finally saw some imported Kale for quite reasonable price, so I snatched a bunch in a heart beat.

Green and Beautiful

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts that have gained recent widespread attention due to their health-promoting, sulfur-containing phytonutrients. Curly kale has ruffled leaves and a fibrous stalk and is usually deep green in color. It has a lively pungent flavor with delicious bitter peppery qualities.

Nutrients wise, it has high content of antioxidants, dietary fibre, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and not to mention various Vitamins and Minerals. It’s no wonder Kale has been dubbed the new Superfood. And don’t be intimidated by the extreme green hue, when prepared right, it can be quite delicious (as far as vegetables can be of course, I’m not going to promise tasting bacon from this, although you are welcome to add some….).

There are many ways Kale can be cooked. Braised, Steamed, Baked in to chips, Blend into juice but for the first recipe, I wanted to try it in its Raw form. Particularly, I wanted to have a go at “massaging” the kale. So I explored my fridge for some salad ingredients and put this salad together. Of them there was a bulb of fennel I had wanted to cook with some fish but didn’t get to, but just as well because I love the aniseed flavour when it’s raw.

Eat the rainbow!

This salad took no time at all to put together and it has a lovely balance of sweet and tartness, complete with delightful texture and crunch. Here’s the recipe:

Massaged Kale Salad (serves 2 or 1 very hungry person)
2 large stalks of Kale
1 Medium Apple
1/8 Small Purple Cabbage
1 Small Carrot
1 bulb medium Fennel
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon honey (Omit for those on Whole 30)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Tear the kale leaves into small section and remove the hard stalks. In a large bowl, add a little olive oil and salt and get both hands to massage the leaves until the leaves are nicely wilted and soft. It’s quite a therapeutic process, mind you.

Slice the apple thinly and slice the purple cabbage, carrot and fennel into thin strips. Meanwhile mix olive oil, lemon juice, and honey and whisk well. Mix all fruits and vegetables together (arrange nicely if you like) and drizzle the dressing over. Season with salt and pepper if you like. Serves as is or cold.

Of course, when it comes to salads, the sky is your limit. Feel free to add your choice of fruits (mango is quite popular with kale, orange too) and perhaps some nuts too. I like to keep my dressing fairly simple to eat clean, you can always spice it up with more herbs and spices.

Kale Salad and a cat.

Bonus Pic: Featuring the very adventurous Harry (who once went missing for a week and caused a ruckus) was being his mischievous self nosing around.

Back to the salad:

I feel healthy just looking at this!

Can’t wait to buy more Kale!

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Liposonix with Dr Alice

Whenever my friends and I get together, one topic that comes up everytime (apart from food) would be fitness. Most of my girlfriends are very much into fitness and some of them are dedicated runners (I’m looking at you, Eve and Umei). While I’m not too bad at managing my diet (paleo at home, eating carefully during food reviews), I’m not that most hardworking person when I come to my fitness. Granted, my gigs are keeping me fairly active especially now we incorporate small dance routines into our songs, but during off days… well let’s just say I could do a lot better.

Which is why I still have a slight bulge on my upper and lower abdomen despite eating healthy, and this is when a little extra push could be helpful, and I was grateful to be introduced to Nadine from Solta Medical who suggested Liposonix treatment for me.

Yes, I know that I could just workout a little more without relying on technology, but my curiosity got the better of me. So I read up a bit more about this treatment and asked a few questions before I decided to go ahead with it.

What is Liposonix, you may ask. Well it’s a non-surgical treatment that is developed for people who lead a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising, but still have “an inch to pinch” around their waist. It’s non-invasive and scientifically proven to get rid of the stubborn fat. The treatment is only one hour long (plus or minus), one-off, and leaves no down time; and it’s only allowed to be administered by a Medical Practitioner, which is reassuring for me.

Liposonix penetrates and destroys the fat found beneath the skin, using advanced high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology to create a focal zone of heating, resulting in a dual tissue response: thermal destruction of targeted fat cells and contraction/thickening of subcutaneous collagen. A unique pattern delivery system within the treatment head delivers the energy in a controlled, consistent manner. Targeted fat cells are permanently destroyed without harming the skin, and the body naturally processes and removes the fat tissue over a period of 8 to 12 weeks.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s certainly not a cheap treatment, and it’s not entirely pain free, depending on your tolerance. But let me share with you my experience during the treatment and you be the judge.

Dr Alice’s clinic in Bangsar, she has another clinic in Klang too.

I went to Dr Alice Premitha Michael at Ageless Medispa, Bangsar for my appointment. Dr Alice wears many impressive hats with more than 10 years of experience devoted to aesthetics and cosmetic surgery on top of her training in Family Medicine, O& G and Dermatology. Apart from day to day consultations and procedures, she also has a healthy cooking show. When I grow up I want to be like her too. *wink*

Anyway, the day wasn’t very smooth sailing as Dr Alice was busy in the Operating Theatre when I arrived at the Clinic. So we diverted to Bangsar Shopping Centre for a meal while we waited. When we returned, I was instructed by the nurse to change into the gown and take a ‘before’ measuring and photo. I was also given a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (pain medication). So…. ready to see my flab? This would be the most I’ve shown on this blog so far!

Tada! Hope this doesn’t put you off your meal.

To be honest I was a little nervous as I was worried about the pain. But talking to Dr Alice relaxed me a little as she’s friendly and humourous, a important factor for good rapport. By looking, Dr Alice decided my muffin top does not have enough fat to be treated (silent Hooray in my heart) but she will go ahead treating my upper and lower abdomen. What’s left to do next is to mark my treatment areas and prep the machine for treatment.

Magical Machine!

To put it as simple as possible, each pass of the treatment deliver maximum heat intensity of 60 Joules/cm2 and usually the doctor will start from 45. A total of 140-180 pass (Joules/cm2) is administered to each marked section so that means at least 3-4 passes at the same spot. Some with lower tolerance may have to go down to 30, but I felt fine at 45 except for the spots closer to my ribs and pelvic bone.

Treatment in Process

Each time the heat is administered, the area has to be sprayed with water for better conduction and to distract the patient (me), an assistant nurse gathered the “flab” around with a bit of force. During the treatment of the milder area, I felt some ticklish session with a little of heat. And the areas near my bones were a little less bearable towards the end as I could really feel my fat ‘burning’. For the area with thicker fat, Dr Alice did the stacking technique where she did 2 passes at one go so that gets a little hot as well. But at Dr Alice said, it’s good to feel something so that we remember the treatment! After a little more than one hour, all my 18 squares were done and I was able to get up straightaway to change.

Dr Alice in action.

It’s now been 2 weeks after my treatment. Straight after the session I had some tenderness on my abdomen and over the next few days I developed quite impressive bruising at couple of spots. I was warned beforehand that if I generally bruise easily so I should be expecting bruising. So nothing alarming there.

There are a few more weeks to wait for the result. I haven’t changed my diet and still keep myself relatively active, though I’m still allergic to the gym. It might be psychological but I do feel that I’m starting to lose a bit of the fat and I’m looking forward to next month for the review check up!

For more information on Liposonix, check out their website http://www.liposonix.com/. You can also check out the list of medical centres that are licensed to perform this procedure. I will definitely recommend Dr Alice, and her details are as follow:

Dr Alice Prethima Michael
Ageless Medispa
257 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
https://www.facebook.com/Dr.AliceTotalWellnessCenter
http://www.aliceantiaging.com/

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Midi 57, Jalan Bangkung

After a great review session at Le Midi, I didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation for another session at the more casual Midi 57 at Jalan Bangkung. Also headed by very talented Chef Alimenti, the menu here is completely different as to cater for the drinking crowd. The ambience here is very relaxed with warm yellow and red hues and interestingly, the dining tables are all outside while inside of the restaurant are filled with high tables and bar stools beside a very large bar.

As you can imagine, the menu here is less “refined” if you will, but still thoughtfully created; including Deep Fried Tapas (read: beer food), Pizzas, Homemade Pastas as well as a new category making use of the wood-fired oven: Pot Plates. Pork is featured prominently here too, another difference from the sister restaurant.

Frozen Margarita

It is therefore appropriate to start the review session with some cocktails, and I got a frozen margarita which is rather strong. I switched to the my usual poison (Savignon Blanc) for the rest of the night though.

Mussels and Prawns in Beer Batter (RM18)

The skewers of Mussels and Prawns in Beer Batter appeared first on our side of the long table. While I think it’s hard to screw up deep fried food, seafood is another story. The skewer I took had a juicy mussel but slightly overcooked prawn. I would also prefer the batter to be lighter. And since we are at a restaurant that serves pork, perhaps wrapping the prawns in bacon might prevent it being overcooked? Anyway, we moved on to other dishes.

Foreground: Chicken Fingers in Red Wine and Rosemary Batter (RM18) Background: Potato & Ham Croquette in Walnut Crust (RM18)

The Chicken fingers fared a little better as it’s tender with a slight hint of rosemary, and the Potato & Ham Croquette has a pretty crumbly crust owing to the walnut, it has a surprisingly dense centre but tasty in its own right.

Deep Fried Polenta (Price unknown)

Of all the tapas, I liked the Deep Fried Polenta the most with the soft and oozy centre. It also falls apart pretty easily, but not a complaint at all. I wouldn’t mind having more of these.

Caprese Salad with Parma Ham (RM48)

But what really got my attention was this dish with delightful pieces of cured pork. I will admit I took a few pieces more than necessary. The salad was very welcomed too for my green intake, and I loved those baby Mozzarella.

Crispy Foccacia (RM15)

And then the carb options arrrived. This crispy foccacia is simply flavoured with garlic, rosemary and olive oil and it’s just what it is: fresh and aromatic thin crust. A good filler if you have a hearty appetite.

Porchetta Pizza (RM29)

The Porchetta Pizza is much more exciting with its toppings of Roasted herb pork, sundried tomato, rocket salad. Pork based pizzas are rare in KL and this one definitely hits the spot with its perfect pizza crust and umami toppings.

Spaghetti Carbonara and Lasagna (tasting portions)

Of course, we had to try the Carbonara with real bacon and here it’s made unapologetically rich with a base of cream, egg yolk, bacon fat and wine. I enjoyed fishing for the bacon bits and fear that I would not be able to actually finish a full portion because of its cloying richness. But if someone orders this, I probably can’t resist a couple of mouthfuls. The Lasagna is made with handmade lasagna sheets and filled with pork ragout. Very tasty stuff, but also quite rich due to the thick layer of cheese. I noticed an Aglio Olio with Pork Belly on the menu and I think that would be slightly easier to finish.

Midi 57 Bar Burger (RM28)

The burger here is made with Slow Cooked Minced Pork, tomato, lettuce, red onion, swiss cheese and served in homemade toasted bun and fries. The bread is sufficiently fluffy and has a very fresh taste with a hint of sweetness, good to transport all that flavours of the fillings. I think the patty could be juicier and there should be some kind of sauce to bind everything together, as it’s just a bit on the dry side for me.

Pot Plate: Chicken with Black Olives, Mushroom, Rosemary Sauce (RM25)

The Pot Plates are cooked in the wood-fired oven for hours, resulting in tender meat with flavours fully infused from the cooking process. This one is more favourable for me as I’m a lover of rosemary and chicken combination. It’s so comforting and I would happily devour the whole plate if I didn’t have all that food beforehand. Delicious. It was starting to rain pretty heavily at the point so this was a great dish for me.

Lamb Leg with Szechuan Pepper and Onions braised in Guinness (RM28)

Some of the guests prefered the lamb (I suspect it has something to do with the bold guinness sauce) though I found it a little too heavy. I guess it’s really difficult to get me to enjoy lamb nowadays anyway.

Chef Creation for that night – Choco Bomb

Do not miss Chef Alimenti’s desserts and I can tell you that he really loves pairing chocolate with fruits. Aren’t these glittery balls pretty? Cutting into the ‘ball’ reveals a filling of semifreddo. Love the surprise element. Though the dessert that got the thumbs up from everyone is the one below:

Chocolate and Ginger Ganache

Who would have thought that chocolate and ginger taste so good together? It’s rich and creamy while the note of ginger comes through strongly, the texture is like a firm mousse with a lovely mouth feel. Only problem is that this is a little too heaty for me so I could only try a small bite. Chocolate lovers take note!

The dining experience at Midi 57 is entirely different from Le Midi, which is more my cup of tea. But I wouldn’t mind coming back for those Pot Plates when the temperature dips.

Midi 57
57 Jalan Bangkung, (Off Jalan Maarof) 
Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 03 2095 1381
Open daily: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
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New Zealand Natural, Sunway Pyramid

I used to live right next to my uni in Melbourne. And those who are studying or have studied in Melbourne Uni would have taken the advantage of the “Italian street” just a few minutes walk away. Lygon street holds many fantastic memories for me and that’s where I discover the joy of devouring gelato in winter. I remember walking down from my apartment just to get a taste of those Passionfruit sorbet and then just strolled along the street. Strange habit, I know. But something about that double-cold combination which appealed to me.

Back in Malaysia, of course, good gelato isn’t that readily available, and it’s hot all the time, so Ice Cream and such melts at crazy speed. One saving grace is the ones located in a shopping mall. Like New Zealand Natural at Sunway Pyramid.

Storefront.

New Zealand Natural is one of the largest premium ice-cream chains in both New Zealand and Australia and it prides itself in using the freshest ingredients in its products. There’s something from everyone, ranging from ultra healthy sugar free fruit juices to the most decadent ice cream (Walnut Butterscotch, anyone?). New Zealand Natural landed in Malaysia, much to the delight of all ice-cream lovers, in 2003 and since then they have grown to a total of 7 outlets. Not bad for an Ice Cream Specialist.

Well here’s another piece of good news for you: New Zealand Natural has recently added some new items to their menu just in time for the Sunway Pyramid’s World of Cravings Campaign in April. We got to try them all (after our very heavy meal at Paradise Inn, no less) and let’s take a look at what they have to offer.

Yoghurt & Pudding Sundae (RM11.90)

The Yoghurt & Pudding Sundae comes with Forestberry Frozen Yoghurt, paired with juicy mango pudding and topped with strawberry and apple slices. This is clearly my favourite  of course, as I’m highly aware of what I put in my body, I prefer all fruity combination so I can enjoy all the health benefits as well.

Single Scoop Sundae (RM9.90)

This one is clearly for the Chocolate lovers. The Single Scoop Sundae comes with Chocolate Ecstasy flavoured Ice Cream, Almond Flakes, Chocolate CHips, Cone Pieces and Whipped Cream. Oh by the way the New Zealand Natural Chocolate Logo is entirely edible.

Affogato (RM11.90)

Those who are into the fine things in life would enjoy this Affogato, classically Italian using the best coffee: Illy Dark Roast Espresso. Keeping it simple with Vanilla Ice Cream, the bitter and sweet combination is quite a sensual experience.

Ice Cream Croissant (RM7.50)

Pairing Ice Cream and Croissant together may not be new, but it’s still a creative way to serve Ice Cream. Here the Ice Cream flavour is Pecan Praline Crunch which is delicious enough on its own but enhanced with the textural contrast of the cripsy croissant. I didn’t try it but my dining companions enjoyed them.

Ice Cream Doughnut (price TBC)

Ok, now this one is scary and not for the faint-hearted. The doughnut is topped with Cookies and Cream Ice Cream and finished with more chocolate sauce. I have long quit doughnuts so I can’t tell you what this taste, but I’m sure you can imagine it yourself.

Superfruit Sorbet and Lemon Lime Sorbet

For the health conscious folks, you might want to consider their range of Sorbet. All 99% Fat Free, cholesterol free and dairy free, they are made with fresh fruits and thus passable for occasional treats. I went for the new flavour: Superfruit which is made with the zest of pomegranate with tangy blackcurrant, exotic goji berry and tropical passionfruit. Tangy, refreshing, guilt free. The Lemon Lime flavour is excellent too especially as a palate cleanser after a heavy meal.

New Zealand Natural
LG1.70A, Lower Ground 1
Sunway Pyramid
3 Jalan PJS 11/15
Bandar Sunway
46150 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +60 3 5638 8095
Operation Hours: 10am – 10pm
http://www.nzn.com.my/

Just to remind you about the World of Craving Campaign for Sunway Pyramid:

1) Contest
During this month, when customer spend above RM50 (RM40 for HSBC cardholders) , they’re entitled to join the contest and 10 lucky diners can stand a chance to win RM2,000 worth of Sunway Pals points each.

2) Immediate Redemption
By spending RM150 (RM100 for HSBC cardholder) in a single receipt, diners will be rewarded with RM20 worth of Sunway Pals points.

3) Tap. Eat. Save!
Everyday in the month of April, 1 F&B tenant in Sunway Pyramid will be having a promotion. To be entitled for such promotion, diners have to download Sunway Pyramid mobile app and present it to the restaurants.

New Zealand Natural‘s Promotion is on the 10th April and on this day:
Free Up-size for Purchase of Junior & Regular Ice Cream
* Every purchase of Junior Ice Cream (RM6.90) will be upgraded to Regular Ice Cream (worth RM11.90).
* Every purchase of Regular Ice Cream (RM11.90) will be upgraded to Large Ice Cream (worth RM14.90).

Terms & Conditions
- Not applicable with any other promotions, voucher or credit card discount

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Paradise Inn, Sunway Pyramid

Sunway Pyramid isn’t somewhere I frequent due to the distance (and laziness, mostly to sit through the traffic), but the month of April is extra tempting with their World of Cravings campaign. During this month, there is a special promotion for different restaurant each day and diners get to join contests to win attractive prizes. One of these restaurants is Paradise Inn, which is a subsidiary of the Paradise Group founded in 2011.

The concept of Paradise Inn is simple and charming with authentic yet affordable food; as Inns are traditionally referring to teahouses. Here they serve a variety of double boiled soups, fruits and flowers tea and most importantly a lot of good pork dishes. Some dishes are given a new life with modern interpretations. Needless to say, this is a place suitable for all kinds of occasions. The interior is clearly Oriental with tailor made Chinese lanterns, rustic terracotta bricks with accents of Chinese Symbols.

I arrived in the restaurant with a hearty appetite after a long day of meetings and photoshoot (read: didn’t eat much during the day) and was happy to see the different pots of flower teas, good to relax my mind.

Floral & Herb-Infused Hot Tea: RM7.50 per person

All the tea has Chrysanthemum and Dried Longan as the base and my favourite is between the one with Lavendar/Rosemary and the crowd favourite with Forget me not/Rose. Each comes with their own list of health benefits too.

Pretty!

Paradise Inn takes their Double-boiled Soups seriously and we got to try 2 of them. The Double-Boiled Black Chicken with Ginseng is something I would do at home during hectic gig period as it’s good for our respiratory system and at the same time rejuvenates the body. The soup is savoury with a touch of bitterness from the ginseng, very comforting.

Double-Boiled Soup: Black Chicken with Ginseng (RM43.90) and Water Goby with Fresh Apple (RM42.90)

The Water Goby with Fresh Apple soup on the other hand, is a rather unusual combination for me and I’m pleasantly surprised by the clean flavours and subtle sweetness. This is also good for the lungs and claims to re-energise the mind too.

With all that liquid in my stomach, I was happy to get started on their signature dishes. The first one, is their Stew Pork Belly served with Lotus Bun. The pork belly has absorbed all the flavours from the stewing and is amazingly tender. Love the mouth feel along with the soft bun. The serving is quite substantial though so one if definitely enough.

Stewed Pork Belly with Lotus Bun (RM4.90 each, RM14.70 for 3)

We tried their Crystal Prawns cooked in 2 ways and I fell in love with the Salted Egg Yolk version. Then again, nothing will taste bad with an Umami salted egg yolk coating. With the crispy exterior and juicy sweet prawns, this is definitely a winner.

Crisp-fried Crystal Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk (RM29.90 for small)

The Wasabi Mayo version has a vibrant and alluring green hue, yet the wasabi taste is quite subtle and I was a little surprised by the sweetness of the sauce. It’s still delicious nonetheless.

Crisp-Fried Crystal Prawns in Wasabi Mayo Sauce (RM29.90 for Small)

I can’t resist a good chicken wing and here it’s marinated with Shrimp Paste and then fried to perfection. It has a lovely depth of flavour and a great mouth feel. Finger-licking good!

Crisp-fried Shrimp Paste Chicken (RM18.90)

Almost every Cantonese themed restaurant offers a Chinese Spinach soup with 3 types of eggs and here they up the ante by adding some mince pork too. The greens are still crunchy and vibrant, and the broth is absolutely delicious with the usage of superior stock and the eggy flavours. In fact, I would be happy to indulge in this dish alone, no need for rice. Yum.

Poached Chinese Spinach with Egg Trio and Minced Pork in Superior Stock (RM18 S, RM27 M, RM36 L)

A traditional Chinese feast would not be complete with some carb dishes. And to my stomach’s dismay, I decided to try all of them.

Crispy Supreme Seafood Fried Rice (RM19.90 S, RM30.90 M, RM40.90 L)

The seafood fried rice gets its golden colour from egg yolk apparently and is topped with some crispy rice puffs, which is a creative touch. It’s incredibly aromatic and you get bits of fish roe in between bites too.

Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage and Mushrooms (RM18.90 S, RM27.90 M, RM36.90 L)

Even more tasty is this one with Chinese sausage and Mushrooms, full of umami flavours and a touch of sweetness too. I have to stop myself from having more to prevent a food coma.

Braised Vermicelli with Pork Trotters (RM19.90 S, RM29.90 M, RM39.90 L)

But the ultimate winner of the night has to be this sinful Braised Vermicelli with Pork Trotters, presenting in all its glistening glory. The trotters are braised for hours, resulting in a wonderful gelatinous texture releasing all the collagen into the vermicelli. There is a slight char taste which means the dish even more addictive. So good!

Fried Hokkien Mee

I barely had any space for this but I did make sure I try the noodles with a couple pieces of crispy pork lard. Plenty of wok hei in this one, rivaling some of the best Hokkien Mees I’ve had in KL.

I was impressed with the standard of the food here and would not hesitate if anyone suggest to visit Paradise Inn again (or any of the restaurants within the Paradise Group, in fact). The service here is excellent too.

Paradise Inn
Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
OB3.LG1.7 & 1.8, Lower Ground One,
Oasis Boulevard
Tel: 03-5637 8822
http://www.paradisefnb.com.my/

So a bit more on the World of Cravings running from 1st to 30th April:

1) Contest
During this month, when customer spend above RM50 (RM40 for HSBC cardholders) , they’re entitled to join the contest and 10 lucky diners can stand a chance to win RM2,000 worth of Sunway Pals points each.

2) Immediate Redemption
By spending RM150 (RM100 for HSBC cardholder) in a single receipt, diners will be rewarded with RM20 worth of Sunway Pals points.

3) Tap. Eat. Save!
Everyday in the month of April, 1 F&B tenant in Sunway Pyramid will be having a promotion. To be entitled for such promotion, diners have to download Sunway Pyramid mobile app and present it to the restaurants.

Paradise Inn is doing their part in the campaign on the 27th April:
10% Off for Any of the 8 types of Double Boiled Soup for the entire month
50% Off for Any of the 8 types of Double Boiled Soup on 27 April 2014.

Terms & Conditions
- Applicable for Dine In only
- Price are subject to 10% Services Charges & prevailing government tax
- Not applicable with any other promotions, voucher or credit card discount

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Favola, Le Meridien KL

Favola is a beautiful restaurant located on the 8th floor of Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. Blessed with a rustic Italian setting complete with Venetian face masks, plush red chairs, patterned floor tiles, this restaurant is perfect for a romantic date in the evenings. During the day it’s much more relaxed as the restaurant is blessed with plenty of natural light and a pool view. There are private rooms to accommodate small groups too.

Wall of Venetian Carnival Masks

The menu here is extensive with strong focus on Seafood dishes. No molecular gastronomy to be found, but skillful execution of Italian classics with plenty of innovation while letting the quality ingredients speak for themselves. “Patron’s satisfaction is the measurement of my success and a passion for the culinary industry drives me to create greater meals.” Chef Mustafana is expressive in his cooking and leadership of the kitchen where he always aims to make every guest experience a favourable memory.

Bread and Condiments.

The bread at Favola is well-known and comes in several varieties, but it’s the spicy chili laced focaccia that is the most interesting. The condiments for the bread:  Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, White bean dip and Mixed Vegetable Aioli; it’s hard to pick a favourite.

Rucola e Salsiccia Anatra, Burratina and Asparagi alla Griglia

Blue cheese lovers should try the Rucola e Salsiccia Anatra, a beautiful mountain constructed with Arugula, Sliced Pear, Gorgonzola Cheese, Duck Sausage, and Toasted Walnuts. It’s a beautiful sweet and savoury combination.

Check out the size of those asparagi, imagine how tender they are.

The best starter has got to be the Asparagi alla Griglia: Grilled jumbo asparagus, poached egg, crispy bresaola, black truffle, brown butter and parmigiano. Cut open the egg and let the egg yolk flow all over the asparagus, truly a sight to behold. The tender asparagus and bresaola gives a contrasting texture, complete with the smooth egg yolk and aromatic truffle. Actually, let me just show you the picture:

Yolkporn indeed!

Burrata means “buttered” in Italian, and Burrata cheese is an Italian Cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It has gained popularity recently in the Klang Valley and Favola serves a generous ball along with Pine nuts and Frisée and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Cutting through the thin ‘coat’, a soft and creamy curd spills out gloriously. Taste wise, it has delicate flavour with slightly sour finish, making it a decadent treat.

Favola Pizza (Vegetarian)

Favola has a Wood-fired oven to cook the perfect pizza crust. For a vegetarian meal, try the Favola Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, olive oil and basil pesto. The pizza crust is thin with puffy sides and some charred bits, while the toppings are fresh and simple, with the basil pesto infusing that extra herbaceous note. Frank was a very happy boy after devouring almost the whole thing.

Conchiglioni Marinara al Cartoccio

Conchiglioni Marinara al Cartoccio refers to shell pasta baked in parcel with seafood in tangy tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and Parmesan Cheese. Breathe in the lovely aroma before indulging in fresh pieces of calamari, mussels, prawns and fish. Be sure to fill each shell with the delicious sauce because it’s too tasty to waste. I certainly couldn’t stop myself and instantly regret it when the next dish came.

Risotto con Carne di Wagyu Manzo Saltati

Do not miss out on the Risotto con Carne di Wagyu Manzo Saltati, an Italian rice dish cooked in stock and Wincon Wine (non alcoholic), flavoured with garlic, basil, chili and served with tender sautéed Wagyu beef strips. Rich, meaty, creamy with a nice kick of spice, it’s nothing short of amazing. I will admit I cleaned that bowl edned up passing out at home for a couple of hours before my show. Food coma is worth it when it’s this good.

Charcoal Grilled Grass Fed Angus Rib Eye Florentina

Meat lovers can go for the Charcoal Grilled Grass Fed Angus Rib Eye Florentina with grilled lemon halves, balsamic vinegar, grey salt and your choice of sides. The truffle mashed potato of course, is highly recommended. The steak is cooked to desired doneness and has just sufficient amount of fat for that extra juiciness. I could only manage 2 strips, what a shame.

Illy Inspired Tiramisu

If you still have enough space for desserts, make sure you give the Illy Coffee Inspired Tiramisu a go. Presented in a glass, their modern take of Tiramisu is creamy with layers of soft sponge soaked in freshly brewed Illy coffee, panna cotta, mascarpone foam and topped with cookie croutons. But the best bits are the popping candy for the surprise element.

Budino al Cioccolato

Their Warm Chocolate Pudding is almost pure black and will satisfy all chocolate lovers.

Mousse di Cioccolato Insalata di Arance

The Chocolate Mousse here is paired with a fresh orange salad, a match made in heaven.

No matter how great the food is at a restaurant, the hospitality is another important factor for the complete dining experience. Favola excels in this department, with friendly and knowledgeable staff who will put a smile on your face. Look out for the giant pepper grinder for extra amusement too.

Caption this.

Favola
Level 8, Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, 2 Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: 03- 2263 7434
Opening Hours:
Mon- Sat: 12:00 to 2:30 PM (closed for lunch on Sundays)
Mon – Sun: 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM

This writeup is published in The Malay Mail on 28th March 2014.

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