Rendang Tok Perak with Philips All-In-One Pressure Cooker

Unboxing a new kitchen appliance is always a very exciting affair. Especially when it’s as big as the Philips All-In-One Pressure Cooker. That’s right, I received my very own just a couple of weeks ago and have been cooking up a storm with it. The original Philips Pressure Cooker has been very helpful in our kitchen too, but with the addition of new functions, I don’t even have to cook on the stove very much anymore.

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One of the very first dishes I made was, of course, the Rendang Tok Perak, which is well-documented in the book co-authored by Chef Marina Mustafa and Sara Khong, “One-Pot Wonders”. By the way, if you own a Philips All-In-One Cooker, this book is highly recommended, with details instructions on how to cook each dishes in either slow or pressure cooker mode, as well as conventional method (although who needs to use the conventional method with this?).

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So, back to Rendang. Normally, it takes around 4-5 hours of cooking and you can’t go very far away from the stove as you’d have to stir it quite frequently to prevent burning. That’s why a lot of newer generation cooks don’t even bother anymore. But what if I tell you-you can make this dish in under 1hour, with almost the same result?

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Of course, the very best rendang also lies in its ingredients. Make sure you use freshly squeezed coconut milk, the kerisik you choose should be those submerged in oil for the best flavour, and the quality of meat does matter.

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As you can see here, my Rendang is a little bit on the wet side. And that’s because I didn’t let it cook till dry (it’s an additional 15 minutes or so). I happen to like the extra gravy and in fact I kept some for future use (Rendang goes fabulously with Pasta!). Anyway, here’s a video, shot and edited by none other than Kevin, hehe.

I’ve made beef rendang the traditional way in the past, and I honestly feel that this is just as delicious. And this was even better the next day when the flavours had the time to develop and the sauce continued to thicken as I left it in the pot to warm. Other things I’ve cooked with the Philips All-In-One Cooker includes a Kek Gula Hangus (that was amazing), Barbeque Pork Ribs, Pork Belly and Bittergourd Stew, Japanese Mille Feuille Nabe (Napa Cabbage and Pork hot pot). It has made my life so easy!

Rendang Tok Perak

Ingredients to marinate:
1kg beef, cut into 11/2 inch cubes
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp ground fennel
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Spice Paste (Blended)
2 large red onions
3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
2 inches galangal
4 stalks lemongrass
3 fresh turmeric root, removed skin

Other ingredients:
2 star anise
5 cardamons
5 cloves
2 cups thick coconut milk
1/2 cup grated palm sugar
1 tbsp Chili Paste (or a lot more…. if you want spicy)
2 tbsp tamarind paste, diluted in 1 cup of water, discard seeds
1/2 cup kerisik
2 tsp salt
3 pieces kaffir lime leaves
2 turmeric leaves, finely sliced

Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Rub the ground ingredients all over the meat and set aside until needed.
  2. Open the lid of the Philips All-In-One Pressure Cooker and press “Saute/Sear High Temp” and press “Start”
  3. Pour in oil when hot, add the blended ingredients, chili paste, whole spices and stir to mix.
  4. Put in the marinated beef cubes and stir for 20 seconds.
  5. Pour in coconut milk, tamarind juice, kaffir lime leaves & palm sugar. Stir til combined. (I accidentally added kerisik at this point but I don’t think it affected the outcome too much.
  6. Close the lid and turn the valve to “Seal”
  7. Press “Pressure Cook” button, choose “MEAT/POULTRY” and set the cooking time to 30 minutes (I actually set it to 40minutes because I prefer my beef more tender), press start.
  8. When “Keep Warm” light flicks on the panel, the beef rendang is ready. Open the lid and put in the kerisik, season with salt if needed. Since I already added the kerisik earlier I didn’t have to do much except for letting it reduce a little by putting it on “Saute/Sear High Temp” function. If you prefer a very dry/flossy rendang you just have to continue searing until desired consistency.
  9. Sprinkle with sliced turmeric leaves before serving.

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Thank you Philips Malaysia for your fabulous product, I’ll continue to post more recipes soon.

For more information on the Philips All-In-One Cooker, refer to my post for the product launch or visit www.philips.com.my/pressurecooker

 

Supperclub KL, TREC

TREC is currently the go-to place if you want to have a good time, with a stretch of entertainment outlets and a neverending supply of Live band, DJs, and of course, food & beverage. Of course, everything there including the parking is a little bit premium, which is why it’s perfect to bring your other half for a special night out, celebrations, or just showing tourists how KL never sleeps.

Personally, I’ve been to TREC quite a few times to perform, or to watch other people perform. But I had never realised that there are plenty of good food here too until I was invited to a review at Supperclub with the MHB girls.

Supperclub is an upscale Gastrobar and Lounge, though it also transforms into a nightclub after hours. But for the purpose of this post, let’s focus on their food and boy, we were for a treat! Entering the outlet, you notice a large island bar, equiped to quench your thirst for alcohol in any way you can imagine. There’s also a swing by the bar (seems to be an in thing nowadays, from Fatty Boom Boom, to Suzie Wong with their super steroid-ed version). You are most encouraged to dine al-fresco while people watching, though they also have ample space inside with lush table setting. I can imagine merry making here with a group of girlfriends; or even corporate dinners.

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We began our feast with their signature Oyster shooters. Which is pretty much like a bloody mary shot with a touch of ocean. As an oyster lover, I was most definitely satisfied with the freshness, and the mingling of flavours. Great way to get the appetite going.

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Salmon and avocado is a common pairing in Japanese cuisine, so there’s no surprise that someone would think of marrying Salmon with Guacamole (RM28). The Guacamole is nicely done with a good amount of tang, pairing with the tender salmon pieces, topped with briny caviar. Very moreish.

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The Scallop Ceviche (RM32) is another appetising dish with good amount of heat, tang and natural sweetness from the tomatoes and scallops.

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However, my personal favourite tapas would have to be the Grilled Eggplant with Ruffalo (RM32). Sheets of eggplant grilled with olive oil, then wrapped around a good chunk of mozzarella, topped with pesto. So herbaceous. And the cheese, so smooth and heavenly.

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Clearly enjoying the eggplant! Oh and by the way, the cocktail selection is pretty sizable here and I’d recommend trying anything from their Gin section. Delicious stuff.

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Seafood is clearly their forte here, with this textbook perfect Seafood risotto (RM38) beckoning us to dive in. Al dente rice cooked in a base of tomato and paprika, filled with plenty of treasures including fresh mussels, octopus, clams, squids, scallops & tiger prawns. Note that there are a lot more seafood buried underneath the rice, makes for a fun dining experience.

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Pasta lovers, you’d be pleased to hear that they are pretty competent in delivering tasty pasta dishes. We tried the Squid Ink Tagliatelle, which comes with homemade black flat pasta served with fresh scallops, broccoli & cherry tomatoes. A little bit of heat to complement the brininess of the dish. Love the bouncy scallop and the addition of broccoli to up the health factor.

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The dish that truly blew my mind that night was the Foie Gras Pasta. Don’t judge the seemingly small portion because the bowl runs quite deep and it’s packed with delicious silky sheet of tagliatelle coated with the most umami gravy, then topped with perfectly cooked piece of liver. Gosh, I wouldn’t mind having this again!

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So good it deserves a second photo.

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If you really feel like splurging, go for the Lobster Salad (RM288 for whole lobster), naturally the most expensive item on their menu. Just look at the fat juicy piece of flesh with amazing texture and natural sweetness. The accompanying salad was well thought out with crisp greens and sweet tangy chunks of mango. It’s also available with half lobster for RM148.

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Not into salads? You can also enjoy Lobster cooked in other ways. Here, the tail is roasted, and the claws are broiled and served with Rouille sauce. If you ask me, as long as the seafood is fresh, then it doesn’t really matter how it’s cooked, just serve it to me sans sauces!

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Meat lovers needn’t panic as they pretty good red meat here, cooked to your liking. All the Angus beef here hails from US, and is Grass Fed too, so you can be assured that the flavours would be rich. We had a slab of tenderloin cooked perfectly medium rare, served with black pepper sauce (other sauces available too). Here’s me looking a little bit too excited.

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So much food! Yet, there was more space for dessert of course. First it was the Tiramisu.

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I didn’t try the Tiramisu because I can’t eat chocolate. So luckily they also served us the Creme Brulee. And the Creme Brulee here is really good! They used a shallow ceramic dish so you get more crunchy burnt sugar goodness per bite, and that’s more than okay in my book.

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Stephanie trying to keep all the Creme Brulee to herself lol.

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Haven’t found a place to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s eve? Well, look no further than Supperclub. You can dine here, party here. And if you want, wander along TREC to find your next party spot! I can guarantee you’d bump into a lot of familiar faces anyway.

Thank you Supperclub for hosting us! Photo credit to our resident photographer Andy Kho.

Supperclub KL
Lot 12-14, TREC, Electric Boulevard, Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
+603-2110 0866
bookings@supperclubkl.com

www.supperclubkl.com

Opens 5pm to 3am daily

Hong Kong Hot Pot 香港热锅, Telawi Square Bangsar

I have a thing for Hot Pot. It’s the satisfaction of dunking fresh ingredients into boiling hot broth and then just enjoy the ingredients at its plainest state (well, with the help of some condiments), and it’s also a great way to bond. It goes without saying the ingredients need to be very fresh, and the broth needs to be wholesome enough to impart some flavour as well as providing a great base to a tasty soup at the end. Therefore, we are always on the lookout for good Hot Pot places and I think I might have just found my favourite.

Introducing Hong Kong Hot Pot (香港热锅), a new kid on the block located at Telawi Square. It’s only over a month old and it’s showing good potential to be a popular dining spot. The concept, as you might guess, is Hong Kong style Hot Pot, featuring a lot of imported ingredients from Hong Kong and other countries to ensure only good quality stuff are served to their customers.

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One Friday evening, the girls from Malaysia Hottest Bloggers and I turned up for a feast, and a feast we did have!

First, let’s start with their condiments:

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There are pots of coriander, soy sauce, freshly cut chili, raw garlic, spring onion, Sha Cha sauce (a popular Hot Pot condiment in Hong Kong/Taiwan/China, it’s basically the Chinese BBQ sauce), and homemade Chili which packs a punch. No prize guessing which is my favourite, of course.

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The Century Eggs here are from the famous Yong Kee Hong Kong. Served with ginger, it’s a lovely starter to the meal. I’m no century egg connoisseur but the see the little “snowflake” imprints on the egg “black”? Supposed to be a marker of good century egg. To me, the flavours are good and I liked that the yolk is slightly runny in the centre but is not pungent at all.

The soul of Hot Pot is of course the broth. We got to sample 4 different broths: Pumpkin, Sakura Pork Bone, Szechuan Spicy and Century Egg with Coriander.

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For a spice chaser, I’m surprised how much I like the original pork bone broth. It has that natural sweetness of the pork and while it’s sufficiently seasoned, there’s no MSG used. It’s even delicious enough to slurp on its own. The pumpkin base is a good vegetarian alternative (then again who really eats JUST vegetables at Hot Pot?), and it has a prominent ginger taste. Though I found it a little filling as it’s quite thick.
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The Century Egg/Coriander broth is something I’ve never tried before, though I don’t really detect the flavour of century egg as you can imagine, coriander can be quite overpowering. The Szechuan Spicy broth is quite mild in heat as compared to places like Xiao Fei Yang, but it’s tastier, thanks to the pork bone broth as base.

So we eagerly sipped the home brewed Herbal Tea, which is a refreshing concoction of Watercress, Red dates, Chrysanthemum and Palm sugar and this awesome platter landed on our table.
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The platter is technically not on the menu but can be ordered and it’s RM68 per person. The portion you see in the pic is for 3. And that really is a lot of food. It includes: Japanese Half Shell Scallops, Korean Oysters, Fresh Tiger Prawns, Local Bean Curd Skin (Foo Chook), Bean Curd Roll (Imported from Hong Kong), Crispy Fish Skin (imported from Hong Kong), Homemade meat balls (Prawn balls, Squid Balls and Fish Balls), Imported meat balls (Mushroom Pork Balls, Crab Role Balls), Home made Chive Dumplings, Home made Prawn Dumplings, Enoki Mushrooms, King Oyster Mushrooms, Udon, Yee Mee, Premium Pork Slices, Premium Marbled Beef Slices, Liver slices (Pig), Kidney slices (pig).

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Of course, I zero-ed in on the Oysters. You can’t eat these raw, but don’t overcook it either to enjoy the tender flesh. On the far left are the Bean Curd Roll, which has a beautiful name in Chinese: 響零. You dip this in the broth for precisely 4 seconds. And far right, crispy fish skin which you only need to dip for one second to maintain maximum crisp.

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Look at the beautiful marbling on both the beef and pork. I can’t pick which one I like more. So give me both!

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The beautiful slices of Liver and Kidney I will not reject, in fact I was tempted to eat the liver raw! The liver should be slightly undercooked and slightly pink for the best texture, while the kidney needs a little more broth time.

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Here’s a special fish ball with roe as filling. Talk about a pleasant surprise.

We were introduced to a special way of consuming the yee mee too. You first cook it until al dente, fish out the noodles, and sprinkle some crushed fish skin and bean curd sheet over, then pour in a little broth.

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Satisfying and comforting at the same time!

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I have to admit we probably overate that night, but it was one of the nicest review I’ve attended for a long time. Needless to say, I will be back, and soon.

Hong Kong Hot Pot
Address: Lot 9 & 10, Level 2, Telawi Square,
Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone: 03-2280 0242
Opening Hours: 4pm – 12am Daily. (Reservations from 12am – 4am can be made upon booking)

Memory Makers at Traders Hotel

Traders Hotel carries a lot of fun memories for me, from the time I was still a tourist til now. And it’s fitting that they have recently launched a selection of new flavours called “Memory Makers”, a series of new dishes and drinks created based on guests preferences over time. The Memory Makers are made to leave a lasting impression in terms of flavours, presentation and the experience the evoke. We were invited to dine at Gobo Upstairs couple of weeks back and safe to say it was a memorable meal indeed.

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First up, let me just say that if you are into theatrical displays, this meal will certainly wow you. Our starter was “Mushroom Tea” (RM35), a slate with a few pieces of salted tempura oyster mushrooms, a glass with mixed mushrooms (let’s pretend my glass was dry for a sec) and a teapot containing the “tea”….

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Which was then poured into the glass. The broth is infused with wild mushrooms, as you can imagine. Despite its light-ish appearance it’s definitely flavourful, and if I hadn’t practised restraint I can easily have that whole pot over the course of the meal. Then again I’m just a sucker for good soup.

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The tempura mushrooms were seasoned perfectly too, and the bits of sea salt, pink peppercorn and herbs help lifted the flavours.

Gobo Upstairs is as meaty as it comes, and it’s nice for them to offer a Three Meat Platter (RM250) for 2 so you get a nice variety of tastes in one meal.

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The steaks and fine cuts are of course the mainstay and here we get a tenderloin served with Pumpkin Puree and chunky fries. Cooked to medium rare, the steak is tasty enough on its own, but who can pass up the wonderfully done Bordelaise sauce, served in a syringe for the fun factor?

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I don’t even normally order Lamb Rack but this cutlet actually won my heart. So tender and flavourful, none of that gamey taste I dislike. That artichoke and coriander pesto is amazing I want to steal the recipe. Of course, it’s accompanying rosemary sauce (also in a syringe) is excellent too.

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Surprisingly, the poultry was really well done too, with juicy flesh and crispy skin which packs plenty of flavours.

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The dish that could really become an icon is the Nasi Lemak 2.0. Sure, you can get nasi lemak anywhere but if you want it fancy this is the place to go. Especially if you want to introduce this to friends from other countries. It’s like the famous Chicken Rice at Chatterbox, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, but even prettier.

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The usual suspects are all present, with an upgrade: Rice steamed with coconut water and milk in the coconut shell itself, which means you can scoop up the coconut flesh as well. You get a choice of Chicken Rendang or Fried Spiced Chicken, Prawn Sambal with succulent prawns, and the usual sides. If I have just one suggestion to improve the dish, I’d prefer to swap the hard-boiled egg to just slightly underdone for that glorious yolkporn. For RM35 nett, I think this is definitely worth the price tag and experience.

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Now we move on to the desserts!

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This is the Cherry Bomm (RM30). I’ve seen a lot of people sharing videos of this, and now we can finally get it in KL!

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The round sphere is made with white chocolate. You pour the dark chocolate over it and viola! The shell melts to reveal the treat within.

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Ours looked more like the crumbling tower of Piza. This is fitting for the most serious chocolate lovers.

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Le Bon Vivant Ice Kepal (RM20) is inspired by the local Ice Kepal treat that many will recall from their childhood days in the 70s and 80s. Topped with raspberries and drenched with syrup, the surprise twist is the ice cream core beneath the layer of shaved ice. I think I might be a little too young to remember this though.

There are also 2 cocktails from SkyBar we tried.

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Sky 33 (RM35), a fruity concoction with fresh apples, kiwi juice, a hint of kaffir lime leaves muddled with vodka on ice. Cubes of kiwi vodka jelly for that added kick. This was delicious in a dangerous way.

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Picking up from the existing signature cocktail, this improved Selangor Sling (RM48) is slung with Tanqueray gin, hibiscus syrup, Elder flower syrup, pineapple juice, a dash of absinthe, shaken and top with a roselle flower. I actually liked this better, though it is rather potent and might send you into a daze pretty quickly. Especially if you manage to finish the whole Memory Makers’ menu.

TRADERS HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2332-9888
Fax: 03-2332-2666
email: thkl@tradershotels.com
website: http://www.tradershotels.com

 

 

Chili’s Grill & Bar Chef’s Cuts Menu

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Chili’s Grill & Bar is a popular international restaurant chain with several branches in Klang Valley, and it’s great for groups and families to gather for casual dining or special occasions (many birthdays are celebrated here, that much I know). The first outlet in Malaysia is located at Bangsar Shopping Centre, opened since 1994, and it grew strong enough to branch out to nearly every popular suburbs. This one we went to in particular, is the closest branch to me at Citta Mall (almost walking distance, I might add).

The concept here is Souhwestern-inspired, Tex-Mex, I guess you can tell by its namesake, and Chili’s here means Chili Con Carne not just the spice. Things like Fajitas, Burritos, and Burgers regularly make their ways out of the kitchen. But they are also constantly updating their menu to spice things up a little. Well, the girls of Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers were invited to taste their new promotional menu called the Chef’s Cut menu, featuring a number of delicious beef dishes with interesting twists. This menu is created in mind for those who have a little more premium taste, especially since it’s come to year end with the festive celebrations.

To kick start our very meaty dinner, here’s a trio of appetisers to whet our appetite.

12339106_975729549140179_2198465181234127990_oBattered Chicken Crispers, Buffalo Wings and Deep Fried Southwestern Eggrolls along with some celery sticks to go with a trio of dips. Sitting closely beside were the mountain of tostada chips armed with tomato salsa. I needed to save my stomach space so I bypassed the whole starter. ‘

Oh by the way, the gorgeous photos are shot by none other than Andy Kho, so all credit to him.

Now, the main stars. The first dish that came to the table was a very pretty plate of the Texas Trio.

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Those who can’t decide which protein they want to have, or plainly prefer a bit more varieties, this is the dish for you. Three amazing tastes on one plate – tender 4 oz. salmon on slaw drizzled with honey-chipotle sauce, juicy 8 oz. beef ribs on mashed potatoes drizzled with classic BBQ sauce, and grilled 4 oz. chicken breast on corn salsa drizzled with roasted garlic BBQ sauce, all sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh cilantro. I’d suggest eating the Chicken first, followed by the Salmon and Beef in order of flavours.

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Personally, I liked the sauce on the beef rib as I’m partial to sweet and savoury combination, and you can tell that the rib has been slow cooked for hours for that level of tenderness. The honey-chipotle on the salmon is also quite a lovely combination, although I’d prefer my salmon to be slightly undercooked, these are quite well done (perhaps good to specify your order, we didn’t). Not a fan of chicken breast in general but I did try a bit of that garlic BBQ sauce and arrived at the conclusion that Chili’s does do pretty good sauces.

The second dish was unlike anything I’ve seen before. Who would have known you could pair beef with crab?

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The Spicy Crab Fillet features a tender 8 oz. fillet resting on bed of slaw, covered with spicy crab meat and melted Monterey Jack cheese, sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.

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It’s difficult to tell the flavours of the crab because it was so cheesy with both the Monterey Jack and Feta, but it ain’t a complaint because I love the interplay of textures. The cow in question hails from Australia, which explains the robust flavour. This particular cut is cooked to medium, and you all know how I like my beef (still eating the grass on the plate), so I shall keep my verdict for the other steaks cooked more to my liking.

And if that wasn’t cheesy enough, this dish also comes with a cast iron skillet full of sexy macaroni and cheese.

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I’m a sucker for Mac and Cheese, and this I can verify is a satisfying version. I’d happily JUST have this.

A pungent scent hit the nose and it’s unmistakably Bleu Cheese. That’s right, Bleu Cheese actually goes really well with steak (ever try a Bleu Cheese sauce at Squire’s loft, Melbourne? That’s amazing stuff I tell you), and here they went up a notch pairing it with some Chipotle magic. Throw the sauce on another piece of steak sleeping on a bed of slaw, and you have the Chipotle Bleu Cheese Fillet.

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I’d say that this one is an acquired taste, as you do taste the spice, and the stink (cheese), but they do gel together strangely. Good to have some refreshing slaw to cut through the richness too. This dish also comes with some mash potatoes (a rather huge portion of it actually).

My favourite one though was the Glazed Prawn Fillet.

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Here, the fillet is resting on a bed of corn salsa, topped with succulent glazed prawns, sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.

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It’s not uncommon to see Prawns with Steak, otherwise known as Surf’ n Turf’. What I love about this is the crunchy sweet prawns, and the steak here is cooked to my preferred doneness, which is superbly juicy. You don’t even need additional condiments with this. To complete the dish, a nicely balanced corn salsa to add to the fun textural play.

Here’s me enjoying the perfect steak.

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The last steak to arrive on our table was the Southwest Beef Ribs Fillet.

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The corn salsa, the steak, and the crumbled feta cheese plus cilantro are still there, but this time with some shredded beef ribs and pickled onions.

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My favourite part of this dish would probably be the pickled onions though, it was surprisingly sweet with just the right amount of tang, complement the steak quite well.

So that’s all 5 main courses done! But without desserts, it wouldn’t be a complete meal. The Chef Cuts menu also features a new dessert, the Chocolate Chipotle Cheesecake, with delectable layers of chocolate chipotle cheesecake and cracker crumbs topped with a dollop of whipped cream. As I’m sensitive to chocolate, I didn’t get to try the whole dessert but I did sample the top layer…….

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Sorry, I obviously took the term foodporn a tad too far.

And here are the MHB Girls!

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The Chef’s Cuts Menu is available until 17th January 2016, so visit your nearest Chili’s now! There’s also an instagram contest for you to win some vouchers, check this out:

Chef Cuts Activation

Website: http://www.chilis.com.my/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChilisMalaysia/
Email: chilismalaysia@chilis.com.my

Celebrate the Festive Season at Traders Hotel

A quick glance at the calendar tells us there’s only a few sleeps left to Christmas, and few more til 2015 draws to a close. I know I say it every year, but it’s still amazing how the time flies, or is it just plain scary? Either way, we still gotta celebrate the festive season and if you want to do it in style, you might want to consider Traders Hotel.

Starting with Sky Bar, one of the most iconic bar in KL with the most magnificent view, and for this festive season they have created 2 delicious cocktails, and you can sip merrily while waiting for the fireworks, which by the way, best view from Sky Bar itself.

Let’s take a look at Gobo Chit Chat, their all-day dining restaurant. I’ve done several reviews for the buffet and the food is generally good. There will be special festive items available for Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Brunch and there’s a not-to-be-missed New Year’s Eve Seafood Dinner as well. I shall let the food photos do the talking then.

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There will be these Crustaceans…..

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My favourite type of Shellfish..

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Sashimi galore.

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Can’t go without Roast Turkey for Christmas, of course. But if you have a hearty appetite, you will enjoy the red meats too.

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In fact don’t skip the Beef Wellington, it’s gorgeous.

p1200016202There’s also some Lamb with all the trimmings.

I shall also show you some of the hot dishes, ranges from Chinese, to Indian, to general Western:

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And of course, the desserts, to spread the Yuletide Joy:

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For even more of a premium experience, head over to Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill for their Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve Dinner. The kitchen team has curated a set menu, you can have either 3-course or 6-course for Christmas Eve, and for New Year’s Eve you can even have up to 8 courses! Here are some of the dishes we sampled.

The Chestnut Soup. It was delicious and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.

 

Deconstructed Seafood Tartare

Blue Swimmer Crab Meat served with Ahi tuna, fish cracker, black caviar and compressed honeydew. As oceany as it could get with all that exciting components.

Turkey Breast with Mascarpone, brussel sprouts and apple stuffing with cranberry sauce. Almost too pretty to eat. Love the pairing of mascarpone cheese with the otherwise bland turkey breast. Good thing they managed to keep it nice and juicy too, given how tough it is to perfect turkey.

Black Angus Fillet, aged 150 days. Amazing cut of meat, served with brussel sprouts, pomme puree and sauteed vegetables. Pure bliss.

Blueberries Almond Tart with rum & raisin ice cream, pot poached blueberries compote, raspberry volcano sauce and sprinkled with sea salt. Complete with some dry ice to for the wow factor.

D’Indulge – chocolate indulgence, gold flakes, meringue ring, crumble cookies soil, pistachio-coated cherries and mini vanilla cone ice-cream with raspberry sauce. Look at that shiny ganache!

For more information on the Christmas Menu, check out the hotel website, www.tradershotel.com

TRADERS HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2332-9888
Fax: 03-2332-2666
email: thkl@tradershotels.com
website: http://www.tradershotels.com

Estilo Spanish Tapas Bar & Charcoal Grill (Revisit)

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Spanish food and one of my favourite Spanish restaurants in KL would have to be Estilo, located at Publika, Solaris Dutamas. I’ve introduced it to the Kevin (who happens to be a big fan of Paella like me) and he approves too. By the way, my previous visit was documented here. So when Pei Shyen extended an invite to try out some of their new dishes, I didn’t hesitate for a second.

The reason they have revamped their menu is largely because of their new toy in the kitchen, the Josper Charcoal Oven, which is a unique combination of a grill and oven using an advanced technology that, under high heat, ensures all natural moisture and flavour of the food stays intact. Oooh, fancy! I will also admit I went and google the image of Josper oven to satisfy my inner food geek. Well, let’s take a look at the food then, shall we?

Champinones a la Trufa (RM18)

The first starter happens to be one of my favourite tapas here, the Sauteed Mushrooms, but this time Chef Pedro has upped the ante by adding Truffle Paste along with the intoxicating mix of Garlic, Wine and Cream.  The smell is amazing, and the gravy is just so rich and creamy, I soaked my bread in it and devoured every drop.

Aubergine Caviar con Mostillo (RM20)

I like how Chef called this “caviar”. It’s basically like Babaganoush, roasted aubergine made into a dip. This one is nice and smoky with a creamy smooth mouth feel, and I might be biased because I happen to love aubergine (ranked top 3 on my list along with zucchini and well, cauliflower). Lovely!

Brandada (RM20)
Brandada is a traditional dish made with Salted Cod and here it’s mixed with mash potatoes, sprinkled with cheese and baked. As a mash potato fan, I love how the salted cod added an extra dimension to the taste.
Escargot with Cherry Tomatoes (RM24)

I’ve had the Escargots at Estilo to but this time it has gotten itself a makeover and this presentation is definitely more eye-catching, with the skewers of entwining tomatoes and snails on a bed of roast potato, swimming in a lovely leeks and cream sauce. The snails remained juicy and tender, pairing perfectly with the rich sauce.

Coca de Anchoas & Boquerones (RM25)

Coca refers to any Catalan bread-based product be it savoury and sweet. The savoury type is very much like the Italian’s pizza, with various toppings on top. Here we have a selection of salted and pickled anchovies along with some smoky grilled vegetables (which has a fancy name called Escalivada). Not only it’s a pretty dish, I love the snappy sound the crust made, and the sweet smoky strips of red capsicum. Although you do have to be careful with the distribution of the anchovies because a little goes a long way.

Ensalada de Calabacin (RM26)

Estilo do their salads very well, and one of their newbies is the Grilled warm zucchini with Goat’s Cheese, Prawns, Croutons, Sundried tomato and walnuts. All my favourite things on the plate, and it can win beauty pageant too while at that. It’s obviously well-thought and I had fun with the textural contrast and that juicy zucchini. You’ll be sure that I’ll be replicating this dish soon.

Costillas de Ternera (RM52)

And for the final dish, a majestic looking piece of Beef Ribs arrived on our table. Cooked with the Josper oven of course, no doubt for a long time in low temp. The meat is buttery soft, with a fabulous smoky note, a mixture of savoury sweetness, with a lovely side watercress salad to cut through the richness and also a blue cheese sauce (of course, I had to warn Kevin to not touch this) to complement. The roast potato is nice and fluffy too. Superb!

In general the new menu looks great and there are some dishes I’m dying to try, so you bet your “insert body part of your choice” we’ll be back very soon for another feast!

Estilo Tapas Bar & Charcoal Grill
No 34, Level G2 Block C5,
Publika Solaris Dutamas,
Jln Dutamas 1,
50480, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6203 9883
Pork Free but Serves Alcohol

KLGCC’s Fiery Friday Poolside BBQ Fiesta

If you fancy spending some quality time with your friends or family by the poolside, sipping beer/wine/beverage of your choice while enjoying a range of delectable BBQ spread, you should absolutely check out the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC)’s poolside party, now on every Friday evening.

Gorgeous pool!

In conjunction with the Interntional Women’s Day, KLGCC organised a special Fiery Friday Poolside BBQ Fiesta and I was honoured to receive an invitation to attend the party. As it was a special night, there were a few treats for the guests. But of course, let’s take a look at the awesome spread first. I shall start with the meat choices; after all, BBQ is the star attraction here.

Chef Arnold Kwok, Executive Chef of KLGCC has led his team to create many mouth-watering delights. And I was even more impressed to find out that most of these things are Paleo friendly, using premium ingredients and mostly fit with clean eating principles. In fact Chef Arnold spotted me and told me I would have plenty of choices there, as we talked about my diet choice. He was right!

To whet our appetite, Chef Arnold also created an interesting welcome drink:

Spicy Passion Mocktail, with chili flakes for extra kick! It’s very thirst quenching indeed.

 

The Meats:

Garlic Marinated Australian Chilled Beef Striploin, served with Chimichurri Sauce
Sesame Soy Australian Beef Short Ribs, served with Garlic Chili Sauce.

 

Missed out the picture of the Whole Spit Lamb though.

Chicken Leg Golek Bumbu Cabai, served with Sweet Calamansi Chili Sauce, Fans of Chicken Breasts can opt for the Grilled Balsamic Chicken Breast instead.
Beef and Chicken Satay
Chicken Sausage and Apple Yakitori

The Seafood:

Charcoal Smoked Fresh Salmon with Dill, served with Cucumber Yogurt Mint and Cilantro King Mackerel, served with Lemon Wedges Grilled Spicy Garlic Butter Shrimps, Lemon Wedges
Garlic Butter Shrimps

 

Snapper Tikka, served with Coconut Chutney Braai and Apricot Chili Jam
Griddle Squid Aglio Olio, Tomato Salsa

Interestingly, all of the meat and seafood is paired with their individual sauce, gotta love the attention to details here.

To fulfill the vegetable quota, here are some of the Starters and Salads (listed in the order of my own preferences):

Coconut Milk Frittata
Raw Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad, looks exactly like something I always make at home!
Cucumber with Jicama, Almonds and Sesame Salad
Sweet Potato Salad with Pumpkin Seed and Egg
Potato Salad

Of course, what I ate for the evening. Brace yourself because I think I did overeat… just a little.

The Starter Plate.

I enjoyed all the salads and loved the frittata. I say the even if you don’t eat meat, you’ll be very happy here too. If you absolutely must eat starch, there is a lovely looking steamed multigrain rice, and potatoes cooked in various styles.

Seafood Plate.

The Salmon is amazing! Exquisitely soft with the distinctive aroma of dill, made even better with the cucumber yoghurt.

The everything else plate.

I was most impressed with how everything was cooked well, and for someone who doesn’t like much of red meat, I sure ate enough Iron for that night. The Striploin with chimicurri sauce is my favourite, and I didn’t even mind the lamb (usually too gamey for me). The Squid, on the other hand, was super popular that night. Not surprising though because it’s so tender, and seasoned perfectly. Yum.

I will admit that I sample a little bit of desserts too, how can you not when the dessert spread looks like this?

Sweet Heaven right here.

Food aside, we were entertained by DJ Patricia K, who was also Emcee for the night.

Looking beautiful as always.

And there was a special performance by KLGCC’s in-house band Acoustic Fourplay, a versatile band which has been in the scene for a long time. Being the daredevil I am, I went and have a chat with the boys and found out we do have some mutual friends (even my own band member, haha KL is too damn small).

Acoustic Fourplay

These boys are good! We were thoroughly entertained and towards the end I was invited to sing a couple of songs too. That was fun.

The Poolside BBQ buffet fiesta will be available every Friday, starting from 6.30pm onwards, priced at RM75nett per adult (non-member); RM60nett (member); RM37.50nett per child (non-member) and RM30nett (member). Children under 6 years old dines for free.

As a promotion, diners are able to purchase a bottle of Carlsberg beer and get one FREE, at only RM22.15nett per bottle. To avoid disappointment, early booking is advisable. For further enquiries, call+603 2011 9187 / 9189 or visit klgcc.com to gain insights on KLGCC’s latest happenings.

Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC)
No. 10, Jalan 1/70D,
Off Jalan Bukit Kiara,
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603-2011 9188
Fax: 603-2011 9288

Birthday Dinner at Gobo Upstairs, Traders Hotel

Can’t believe it’s more than a month since my birthday! Where has the time gone? I celebrated my birthday quite a few times this year and probably eaten more cakes than few years combined. The celebrations span through almost the whole month and of course I have many people to thank for organising the parties/dinners/surprises, as well as all of you who have taken your time to send me birthday wishes (I’m sorry I didn’t get to reply each of you on the wall). Of these, I would like to specially thank Traders Hotel for agreeing to host us for a birthday date. The Traders hospitality is undoubtedly warm and very personal, and you might have read my experience of staying at this hotel here, and I’ve also recently dined at Gobo Chit Chat for their Seafood Buffet. This time, we had a meaty dinner at Gobo Upstairs.

Gobo Upstairs prides itself for serving one of the best steaks in town. The restaurant has gone through a small revamp since our last visit, and now the lighting is slightly brighter with an overall blue hue (which you’ll see affected my food photos) but still has a romantic ambience.

The wall art is so me!

The menu is clearly divided and is pretty concise with good options for Paleo diners, while focusing on seasonal quality produce. The beef comes from Australia (though no mention whether it’s Grain-fed or Grass-fed) and you can go for either Black Angus or Wagyu. There are also quite a few seafood dishes too if beef isn’t your kind of thing. We settled down to ponder over the menu for a while before deciding on our orders. While the waiter brought us some amuse bouche.

Beef Stew served in a lettuce cup.

Tender chunks of beef in a thick gravy, not a bad start to the meal. Though I had to have Frank’s portion as well because he doesn’t like stew meat. His loss, I guess.

Charcoal, Olive and Wholegrain Bread, served with butter and celery puree.

Looks like charcoal bread is still a trend, but our favourite was the olive bread of course, with the fruity note and umaminess imparted from the olives, great with the celery puree.

Goats Cheese Salad RM37

The obvious choice for Frank was the Goats Cheese Salad, which has the perfect combination of beetroot, roasted walnuts, thinly sliced radish, mesclun leaves with a honey balsamic dressing. The sweetness is nicely balance by the slightly pungent goats cheese. I only managed to steal a bite before Frank polished it up.

Pan Seared Foie Gras (RM56)

I decided to totally pamper myself and ordered the Pan Seared Foie Gras (another obvious choice). Here it comes with slices of Smoked Duck Breast atop a Brioche toast and finished with Berries Compote. Berries with Foie Gras are always a winning combination and I like the slightly salty Duck Breast to complete the dish. The Foie itself? Well it’s perfectly cooked with slightly charred exterior and absolutely buttery interior. I was a happy girl that night.

For our mains, we ordered the steaks of course (yes, even Frank who usually go for meatless dishes while dining out). I went for the Wagyu Tenderloin and ordered a Black Angus Tenderloin for Frank, since he likes his steaks well done (it would be a waste to cook Wagyu this way!).

Wagyu Tenderloin (RM198) Marble Score 7

My Wagyu Tenderloin came with a Mesclun salad and Caramelised Onion Relish and I asked for a Bearnaise sauce to go with the steak.

Medium Rare perfection. And check out that beautiful marble!

I always say that I like my cow still bleeding (or still eating the salad on the plate) and here they achieved the perfect doneness for me. Tender, juicy, a little smoky, and full of bovine flavours. It is already delicious without the need for sauce, but I do like the rich, buttery and slightly tangy Bearnaise. The caramelised onion goes really well with the meat too.

Black Angus Tenderloin (RM130)
Frank’s well done Black Angus Tenderloin looked well done even from the outside (I don’t understand people who eat well done steak though, but that might just be me. Hehe), and is served with a roasted tomato with feta herb mayo, and the same caramelised onion relish. He liked it so much that he ordered a second steak! Even the chef was impressed.
Grilled Tenderloin with Foie Gras (RM150)

Lex, Communications Executive of Traders also joined us for dinner and this was his very pretty plate of Grilled Tenderloin with Foie Gras, which induced a pang of dish envy. The Bordelaise sauce looked amazing, I should order that next time I’m there.

We ordered a few side dishes to share as well.

Saute Asparagus with Parmesan (RM19)

Simply sauteed and then sprinkled with Parmesan, great for asparagus lovers like me.

Saute Baby Spinach (RM15)

Though my favourite was the Sauteed Baby Spinach with Raisin and Garlic, simple but so comforting to eat especially with its smooth texture.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes (RM15)

The Irishman was happy with the mash, which says a lot.

At this point I was actually pretty full, but it would be a sin to skip dessert during my birthday month (self-imposed rule?). In hindsight I really shouldn’t have though, you’ll know why soon.

Vanilla Panna Cotta (RM22)

The Panna cotta is served with candied hazelnuts and lime caramel sauce (!). It has the telltale wobble and wasn’t too cloyingly sweet, which suits my taste.

Uptown Girl (RM22) – Chocolate, Rum and Raisin, Strawberry.

Even though this is pretty simple (childish, even), it ticked the boxes for Frank the ice cream lover.

Just when we were about to wrap up our dinner, this appeared:

A. Whole. Chocolate. Cake.

A whole cake, along with Happy Birthday song. I sure was being spoilt rotten! Even though I could only manage a small slice that night. That cake sat in my fridge for a few days and made Frank a happy boy. I think he had enough Chocolate for a month at least.

So I just want to say this again and this goes out to Hui Zhen, Lex Ariff and all the staff at Gobo Upstairs: Thank you for making my birthday special. Looking forward to visit Traders Hotel again!

Gobo Upstairs Lounge and Grill
Level 6
Traders Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Malaysia
+6 03 2332 9910
www.shangri-la.com/kualalumpur/traders/

Viva El Sabor at Eccucino, Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur

I’ve always been fond of Spanish food for its vibrancy, be it colours, spices, and a wide spectrum of delicious ingredients. From delectable small dishes (tapas) to the decadent Paella, not to mention my favourite type of desert: churros; how to say no to such a feast? I don’t know about you but I absolutely cannot. So here’s a good news for you: from now until 9th Nov there is a guest Chef at Eccucino, Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur who’s ready to give you an extraordinary gastronomy experience: The Many Flavours of Spain.

Introducing Chef Jordi Gimeno, who came all the way from Barcelona. Chef Jordi has had over 20 years experience of Spanish culinary experience, having worked in many restaurants and organised successful Spanish Food Festivals in other countries; He has also been featured in the Michelin Guide in Catalonia and Sardinia. Safe to say, the dishes he crafted specially for the buffet would be super authentic.

Of course, Eccucino tries to please everyone by having more than just Spanish cuisine. I certainly didn’t mind the cold section of various seafood.

Smoked fish, Oyster dressed with salsa, and behind these an array of sushi and sahimi.

My buffet essentials: Oysters, Smoked Salmon, Sashimi.

See, I’m not that hard to please.

After filling my stomach with the raw seafood, time to check out the tapas!

The Gambas al Ajillo was very popular.
All matters of Spanish omelette.
Croquettes: there are vegetarian version as well as chicken and fish.
Potatoes in all shape and sizes and cooking styles were available too.
Chef Jordi spotted firing up a large pan of Paella.

Moving right along, there are many interesting Spanish dishes and of course I needed to taste all of them!

Squid Ink Calamari Ring on Rice.

Pour over Squid Ink on anything and I’m sold. Though I suppose it’s not the most ideal if you are say… on a date.

More Black Goodness!

For those who are adventurous enough, don’t miss out on the Fiduea, a traditional Catalan noodle dish made with seafood. This one is cooked with squid ink and assorted shellfish, and I love the al dente noodles, absolutely umami with ocean flavour.

Chicken Stew with Prawns

It’s not commonly to see both Poultry and Shellfish in a stew and surprisingly the combination is pretty good! The drumsticks are super tender, and the prawns bouncy and succulent. The broth is just so comforting, it soothed my poor tummy as I didn’t have time at all to eat that day.

Sopa de pescado: Spanish Fish Stew.

Check out the amount of seafood in that piping hot stew! I made sure I took a bit of everything and sip the soup in happiness. Nothing was overcooked and the broth is ever so briny.

Beef Sirloin with Orange, Chili and Garlic

There is no shortage of meat, so pick your favourite. I went for the carving station.

Mmmm come to mama!

The Roast beef was also popular that night, and I was happy to receive a medium rare piece. Great with a side of garlic oil, this was tender with a burst of bovine flavour. My inner carnivore was satisfied.

Of course, one does not go to a Spanish feast without sampling some Paella:

Seafood Paella

Every batch is freshly made on the spot, and disappears as soon as it comes out. So make sure you wait in front of the Chef when he’s cooking it. The rice has obvious hint of saffron, tomato, onion and seafood note. It’s one of the best Paella I’ve had in KL.

Some more main dishes:

Snapper
Lamb, I think.
Butter Chicken
Wok Fried Hor Fun.
There are plenty of desserts to choose from too:
For the sweet tooth.
More desserts.

But of course, I went straight for the churros instead.

Churros, also called Spanish Doughnuts.

We were also entertained by the flamenco dancer accompanied by a guitarist, sure took us away from the hustles and bustles of KL city.

Thank you Prince Hotel & Residence KL for the great hospitality!

The Viva El Sabor promotion at Eccucino is priced at RM98++ per person (Children under 12 free with any paying adult) runs until 9th November 2014 which includes cooking demos (only a few days more!). Sangria and Spanish wines are also available during this promotion period. Do check with the friendly waiters at Eccucino for more information. For additional 30% discount then head on to Prince Hotel’s Facebook page to download a discount coupon.
Eccucino
Lobby floor of Prince Hotel and Residence KL
Jalan Conlay
Kuala Lumpur.
T: +603 2170 8888