Lan Jie style Steamed Tilapia with Panasonic Cubie Oven

If you come into my kitchen, you might assume that I’m a gadget geek. Well, it wouldn’t be too far from the truth as we had to clear out a good portion of our kitchen to welcome the newest member, and joining my long list of high tech kitchen appliances is the Panasonic Cubie Oven.

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After using the Panasonic Cubie Oven for a week, trying out its different functions: I can now share with you some of the pros and cons of this device. The first thing I did with this, of course, was to steam a fish. Before this, I shall mention that Kevin and I had a debate on whether it’s possible to do a whole fish seeing it’s much smaller than our oven. Turns out, it might be compact, it’s definitely spacious enough to cook a good sized fish!

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Fish on the side for comparison. Turned on the steam mode to check how it works and prompted geeked out haha. More on that later.

Since we had a Tilapia in our freezer waiting to be used, what better to share our current favourite recipe?

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This dish is inspired by the famous Lan Jie restaurant which has numerous branches across Klang Valley. This restaurant specialises on Steamed Tilapia. In fact, that’s all everyone eats when they are there. Its concept is that everyone gets a fish each. You can choose the level of heat and that’s about it. Yet it’s the burst of flavours due to the super umami toppings that makes the dish so enjoyable.

The recipe is simple, so it’s important that the quality of the fish is good. The recipe I found was shared by Kimberly (Hi Kim! BTW I’m still following your blog religiously. Closet fan here haha). Actually, I couldn’t tell for sure if it’s exactly like Lan Jie because I always go for super spicy so it kinda drowns out everything else. But this recipe is tasty enough.

Lan Jie inspired Steamed Tilapia

1 Tilapia (I used a Red one, Lan Jie uses Black)
1 thumb sized ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chilli padi
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Soy Bean Paste (Taucu)
1 splash of Shao Xing Wine
Spring Onion and Coriander to Garnish

1. Heat a pan with a neutral oil. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add soy bean paste, soy sauce and Shao Xing wine and stir around for 1 minute until the sauce is nice and combined. Add chilli and then turn off heat (beware of the cooking fume… it’s pungent!).

2. Prep the fish as usual, making a few shallow slices across the body. You might want to quickly blanch it if you are worried about the muddy taste. If the fish is super fresh, it should be ok though. Place the fish on steaming dish. Once the sauce is cooked, poured it over the fish.

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3. Set the Panasonic Cubie Oven to Steam Mode – Medium, and set the timer to 15minutes. Or select Steamed Fish from the Auto Cook Menu (which is number 1) and put in the weight and press start. Then just watch the cubie work its magic!

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The Cubie Oven has a water tank on the top right corner which takes up to 600ml of water (cold, tap water will do. Never mineral water). During the steam mode, it basically squirts out water to a small sink then heat it for the evaporation. Kinda cool watching it work and in fact, I was totally geeking out during the first few times.

So I’ve tried both the Auto cook mode and Manual input and both works like a charm. The fish came out perfectly cooked!

And of course, to steam this normally, either do it traditionally over a wok (or whatever steaming device you have) for 15 minutes on medium heat.

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5. To serve, simply garnish with spring onion and coriander… and extra chilli if you like. Serve with plenty of rice!

Steaming food is a breeze with the Cubie. The only downside is that you do have to do a proper wipe down after it completely cools down because the water tends to pool at the bottom, even though there’s a drip tray at the front and bottom part of the oven (which should also be clean every time after use). Basically, it’s important to be diligent with cleaning to prevent limestone build up.

For more information on Panasonic Cubie Oven, hop over to their website, or check out Panasonic’s facebook page.

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CNY Menu at Dynasty Restaurant, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur

It’s now less than one week to Chinese New Year, the year of Rooster. How’s your preparation going? Have you been cleaning up a storm? Baking Chinese New Year cookies? Most importantly, have you decided whether you’ll be eating at home or eating out for the festive period? Well, here’s an option for you, celebrate it at Dynasty Restaurant, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur. Executive Sous Chef Kok Chee Kin and his team have specially created Festive Menus that will showcase the finest flavours of Cantonese cuisine from 11 January to 11 February 2017.

“Cantonese cuisine is famously subtle and the cooking techniques are kept simple, guests dining at Dynasty Restaurant will be treated to an interesting array of intrinsically light on the palate dishes whilst emphasizing on a distinct primary flavour” – Chef Kok

We were invited to a review session along with the media and bloggers and first impression of this restaurant: it’s warm, spacious, and definitely inviting with definite oriental touches everywhere. There is even a feature wall with all their past MIGF trophies.

The Festive Menu here features their Treasure Pots (Poon Choi), set menus range from 2 persons to 10 persons with the price range starting from RM288nett to RM3288. We were treated to the Fortune Set which is priced at RM2088 for 10 persons.

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Yee Sang is Dynasty offers 6 types of Yee Sang, all featuring a colourful mixture of raw fish or other exotic seafood served with crunchy vegetables, crackers and condiments. You can choose between Salmon, Fruity Fiesta, Jellyfish, Lobster & Salmon, Yee Sang of 5 treasures and Mini Abalone & Salmon. The fortune set comes with a Salmon Yee Sang so that’s what we had.

Auspicious wishes must be said when tossing the Yee Sang, and the higher you go, the better the luck! Of course in this state of economic most of us wouldn’t mind having more money for the new year. The Yee Sang is on the traditional side, I liked the balance of sweet and tangy in the sauce and the distinct aroma of mandarin peel.

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Next on our table was the Fortune Combination Platter, which comes with four types of hot appetizers -deep fried roll with crabstick and salted egg, money bags, gold ingot with dried oyster and stir fried scallops with asparagus and XO sauce. And why is there Crayon Shin Chan on our plate? Hehehehe actually it’s a rather cartoon-like sculpture of one of the Fu Lu Shou Deities, I’m going to guess it’s Fu (Prosperity), as we have lots of golden morsels here resembling money. I quite like the gold ingot with oyster, though the scallops would have to be my favourite.

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Our soup course was a Ying Yang scallop soup with dried seafood. It’s packed with different seafood and the soup itself is pretty light, best enjoyed with a touch of vinegar.

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The next dish was a pleasant surprise for us, the Dynasty Treasure Pot of Prosperity (RM428nett for 5 person) with whole sun-dried scallops, tiger prawns, siew yoke, fish maw, stuffed dried oyster, fresh scallop, flower mushroom, fu kwei abalone, farm chicken, roasted duck, money bag, sea cucumber, fish stomach and coral clam. Everything is cooked in this umami superior stock, for that extra decadence.

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I always love a simple steamed fish and this Tiger-dragon Grouper here is steamed whole with superior soy sauce, topped with scallion and ginger. The flesh is so soft and the sauce is a good mix of savoury with the natural sweetness of the fish. Yum!

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Dynasty does serve pork and what’s more decadent than a whole Braised Pork Knuckle? Here, it’s served with mushroom and sea cucumber. The pork knuckle is fork tender with gelatinous fat layer and skin. It’s heavenly! Personally, I’m not a huge fan of sea cucumber, though they did cook this well, with a slightly chewy texture whilst taking on the flavours of the broth. Buried at the bottom were some iceberg lettuce, which soaks up that delicious meaty broth too.

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Wok Fried Glutinous Rice with Waxed Meat might look like Lap Mei Fan, but it’s a whole different ballgame. The rice grains were definitely toothsome, aromatic; and there are plenty of waxed meat to go around. Both of us had seconds!

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The Golden Prawns with spicy minced garlic got us hesitating because of the shells, but then again the shell took on a delicious flavour you would want to suck on. The prawns are cooked to perfection too. How do you like to eat your unpeeled prawns by the way? My party trick is to just bite the whole thing then separate the shells with my tongue. Yes I know I’m lazy.

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After all the rich dishes, it’s nice to have a warm tong sui to refresh ourselves. We had the Double-boiled dried bamboo cane with aloe vera, fungus and tong yuen. The tong yuens are filled with either red bean paste or sesame paste. I love the bits of aloe vera and fungus, always a winner in my book.

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There were also four types of Dynasty’s fortune pastries for us to indulge, and I liked the Nian Gao best.

Thank you Dynasty Restaurant for hosting us!

For reservations or more info, please contact 03-2716 9388 or email rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com.

Dynasty Restaurant
Level 1, East Wing, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel,
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail & Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
(Parking rate: RM10 flat rate for diners)
03-2716 93
Website: http://www.klrenaissance.com

Blue House Steamboat Restaurant

Taking over the locally well-known Damansara Village Steamboat Restaurant (owned by Patrick Teoh), is Blue House Steamboat Restaurant. The change of ownership occurred somewhere around late last year when the lease ended for Damansara Village. Signboard’s swapped to a bright blue one, the interior refreshed (part of it rebuilt), but the attraction is still Seafood, prepared in the freshest way possible. New kitchen team has Cantonese cuisine as their forte, and the menu here is big, including steamboat and non-steamboat options.

We visited Blue House on their Grand Opening night, having done their soft launch for a couple of weeks prior. It was a rainy evening, no less, which makes for a pleasant dining experience when it comes to open air restaurant like this one. We took our time to ponder over the menu and decided we would go for their Signature Big Bowl Fish, along with 2 other small dishes.

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For our appetiser, the “Crystal Chicken” with Cordyceps Flower (Quarter Portion for RM19). I guess they used Village Chicken, for it’s slightly firmer flesh. The skin is lovely aromatic from the herbs and I enjoyed chewing on the cordyceps flowers (which is actually a type of mushroom).

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Kevin ordered the Salt and Pepper Tofu (RM8.80) because he’s partial to that stuff, and this is executed well. Perfectly crispy and well-seasoned, what’s more to ask?

Now, the picture of the Big Bowl Fish on their menu does not do justice at all to this dish. To be fair the staff did warn us that the portion is big, and half a fish (RM88) should be sufficient for 3-4 people, but we sure didn’t expect such a massive bowl!

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Actually, the word bowl is misleading. We got a basin full of soup with premium ingredients.

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I think this was my first encounter with 鲩鱼, which according to my research is a type of Grass Carp, a freshwater fish native to Eastern Asia. Here, the fish is simply boiled in the stock. The flesh is lovely soft when it’s cooked perfectly, but do turn a little stringy when overcooked. Those who are not used to freshwater fish might be deterred from the distinctive muddy taste as well, though it wasn’t too evident in this case, as I imagine very fresh fish was used.

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Other accompanying ingredients include Prawns, Squid, Clams, Fish balls, Tofu, Daikon Radish, Leek, Preserved Vegetable, just to name a few. And the resulting soup is so full of the natural sweetness of the ingredients combined, I was slurping up bowls after bowls. But even that, 3 of us were struggling already halfway through. We were told that if we wanted we could order some more ingredients to add to the soup. Imagine a side of noodles to soak up that lovely broth! Next time we come here, I’m rounding up a bigger group for sure.

This sure was a memorable meal and we will not hesitate to return for another visit.

Blue House Steamboat Restaurant

1067, Jalan Jenjarum, Off Jalan 23/10,
Taman Sea, 47400 Petaling Jaya.
03-7887 6066
Opening hours: 11am to 3pm, 5pm-11pm daily

Spring Reunion at Tai Zi Heen, Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre

This is the last of Chinese new Year menu review series and it’s none other than the very elegant Tai Zi Heen at the recently rebranded Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre (formerly Prince Hotel). I’ve previously dined at Tai Zi Heen before and was suitably impressed with what they had to offer, and this year’s CNY menu didn’t disappoint either. From 18th January to 22 February, the festive menu this year specially crafted by Chef Michael Wong and his team, with a view to create a harmonious blend of signature Cantonese festive dishes.

Ushering in the year of the Monkey, Tai Zi Heen offers three selections of a 9-course festive set menu packed with must have Chinese New Year dishes which will create a perfect reunion celebration. The festive set menus start from RM1788 per table, with portions for 8 to 10 persons. For the media review, Chef put together a few of the signature dishes from different set menus for our dining pleasure.

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This year, Tai Zi Heen introduces its new Crispy Whitebait Yee Sang, where the whitebait is fried to a crisp and golden brown in colour, paired with a variety of condiments and signature sauce which offers refreshing and crunchy bites after the toss. Other choices of Tai Zi Heen’s Yee Sang are Vegetarian, Salmon, Hamachi, Abalone and Four Seasons Prosperity Yee Sang (a combination of butterfish, salmon, tuna and jellyfish).
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We liked the Crispy White Bait, and also the hint of blackcurrant in a plum sauce. Never have enough Yee Sang, just toss away for bigger bank account! Haha.

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Beautiful Mess.

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The soup course we got was the Double-boiled Chicken and Vegetable Soup with fish maw and sun-dried scallops. Check out the size of the scallop! Never go wrong with Chicken soup, this one tastes naturally sweet and I enjoyed the slightly crunchy texture of the fish maw.

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Here comes the braised sea cucumber dish again. Chef Michael Wong prides himself in sourcing only the best ingredients for his dishes, the bok choy here is imported from Hong Kong (which proved to be extra crunchy) and so are the Dried Oysters. Interestingly, he uses Morel Mushrooms in this dish, which is an extra decadent touch.

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We checked out the set menus beforehand and one dish that really jumped out at us was the Crispy Prawns coated with Lemon Dressing, Tropical Fruit Salsa and Tobiko Caviar. And it sure didn’t disappoint. The prawns are juicy and bouncy, the dressing is slightly creamy, slightly sweet with just enough amount of tang. Pairing with tropical fruit keeps it refreshing and it’s a treat to bite into those caviar.
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The Steamed Dragon-Tiger Grouper (what a name!) in soy sauce, spring onions and fresh coriander is well executed, with soft sweet flesh and gelatinous skin. I will admit devouring the entire fish head too. Yum!
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Interestingly, the glutinous rice is stir-fried and then topped with Chinese-style Preserved Duck. While I enjoy the gooey texture of glutinous rice (I’m always partial to it), I felt that was a little too much sauce thus the flavours are on the heavy side.

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Ending the meal with a sweet note. Here we see more Salted Egg Yolk, this time as the filling of Sesame Balls. I’d prefer the filling to be more molten, but it’s tasty nonethless. The Sweet Potato is shaped into little carrots, cute.

Apart from the CNY set menu, Tai Zi Heen offers All You Can Eat Dim Sum brunch during Weekends and Public Holidays. With more than 45 variety of tantalizing dim sum for endless ordering, this is a perfect brunch for family and friends during the Chinese New Year. All You Can Eat Dim Sum brunch is priced at RM60.65 per person.

Tai Zi Heen remains open during Chinese New Year’s Eve and throughout the 15 days of the festival from 12:00noon to 2:30pm for lunch (Mondays to Fridays), 11:30am to 2:30pm for lunch (Saturdays and Sundays) and 6:30pm to 10:30pm for dinner (Mondays to Sundays). Private dining rooms are also available for groups of 12 to 30 persons. Reservations are highly recommended for the Chinese New Year promotions especially for Reunion Dinners. Please call 03-2170 8888 extension 8200 or email restaurants@pullman-klcc.com for reservation.

Tai Zi Heen
Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Jalan Conlay
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

Si Chuan Dou Hua Chinese New Year Menu, PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur

Si Chuan Dou Hua at PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur is gearing up to usher in the year of the monkey and the team led by Chef Foong Koon Sang has put together a variety of set menus of Yee Sang for diners to swing to a Prosperous New Year. There are 8 menus in total starting from RM388nett for 2 person to RM2188 for 10, so there’s something to suit every budget.

The menu we had the pleasure to sample was RM1988 for 10, so you can imagine the feast we had! Of course, with most Chinese New Year menu, we started with Yee Sang.

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We had the Prosperity Sliced Abalone Yee Sang, which comes with plenty of fresh ingredients.

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As usual, we muttered all sorts of auspicious wishes. More money, more job opportunities, more happiness and most importantly good health for 2016.

A soup course is to me, the most important part of the dinner and usually for Chinese New Year, really expensive ingredients go into this course. At Si Chuan Dou Hua, they still serve Shark Fin. Personally I don’t eat it due to ethical reasons, and diners may be pleased to know that you can swap your soup course too.

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Double-boiled Shark’s Fin Soup with Dried Scallop, Sea Cucumber, Bamboo Piths and Ginseng is definitely nourishing, but the Shark’s Fin free option is equally luxurious.

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The 8 Treasure Soup with Seafood comes in a delightful green hue thanks to the addition of Spinach. Little bits of scallop, crab, prawn and more, encased in slightly thickened soup, this is full of umami flavours and definitely satisfying.

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Fish signifies abudance so it’s important to eat plenty of them for Chinese New Year. This Tiger Garoupa here is simply steamed and served with Superior Soy Sauce. I love the super tender flesh of the fish, and with such supreme quality, nothing more than a dash of soy to complement the sweetness of the fish.
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The Steamed Village Chicken with Chinese Herb was hands down our favourite of the night. The Chicken has just a slight bit of chew, and the skin has absorbed the lovely aroma of Dong Guai. My favourite was the broth, so rich and intense and nourishing. I think we will steal this idea for our reunion dinner.

 

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A prawn dish is also commonly served during Chinese New Year because Prawn is pronounced as “Ha” in Cantonese, so this dish signifies plenty of laughters and happiness for the new year. The Prawns here are deshelled, and coated in a sweet and tangy sauce, not unlike those of Sweet and Sour, but a touch more umami.

Important to note that even though Si Chuan Dou Hua serves Szechuan cuisine, the CNY menu is veered towards Cantonese instead for some reason.

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The next course was the Braised Vegetables with Sea Cucumber Dried Scallop, Sliced Abalone, and Dried Oyster. Seems to be a standard dish for any CNY banquet, it’s enjoyable if you love these lux ingredients. For me, it was a good opportunity to fulfill my vegetable intake.

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The carb option at Si Chuan Dou Hua this year features this impressive looking Fried Rice with Black Mushroom and Smoked Duck. This is very well done, and totally irresistible as Kevin and I both tucked in double portions.

Our menu ended with double desserts, and the first was the Chilled Grapefruit Sago which was perfect to balance the richness of the meal.

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Filled with bits of fruits and sago, the grapefruit and mango cream is delightful to savour.

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And if you can fill yourself with more food, these deep fried nian gao with yam will sure end your dinner with a good note.

The 8 Set Menus (including a Vegetarian set) is available from 18th January to 22 February. Besides the above, Chef Foong has also crafted two ‘Poon Choy 7-Course Feast’ set menus which will be complemented by six other courses including a Prosperity Salmon Yee Sang or Wealth Sliced Abalone Yee Sang.Available from 1 January to 22 February, the sets are priced at RM418 nett for 2 to 5 persons and RM988 nett for 6 to 10 persons.

Celebrate Chinese New Year at Chatz Brasserie with a buffet lunch and buffet dinner on 7, 8 and 9 February from 12.30pm to 4.00pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm. All buffets include unlimited flow of juices and soft drinks.

Buffet Lunch – RM88 nett for 1 person, RM160 nett for 2 persons, RM232 nett for 3 persons, RM308 nett for 4 persons and a savings of 20% for 5 to 10 persons.

Buffet Dinner – RM138 nett for 1 person, RM248 nett for 2 persons, RM358 nett for 3 persons, RM468 nett for 4 persons and a savings of 20% for 5 to 10 persons.

For reservations or enquiries, please call +603 2147 0088 or email douhua.prkul@parkroyalhotels.com

SI CHUAN DOU HUA RESTAURANT
PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2147 0088
Website: www.sichuandouhua.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Parkroyalkualalumpur

New Dishes at WIP, Bangsar Shopping Centre

From its beginnings as a Work In Progress to a now popular hangout spot in KL, WIP is now Whipped Into Place. Located in the upmarket Bangsar Shopping Centre, the outlet offers an elegantly casual ambience with the design feel of an urban-tropic garden. Walking in, you’ll feel temporarily out of the hustle and bustle of a big city, while the friendly staff are happy to guide you through the whole experience.

The direction of WIP’s menu is cosmopolitan, with inspiration from different continents. You can either choose to be safe and order the local favourites, or be bold and try out more unfamiliar dishes. Good news, by the way, as WIP has just launched a few more new dishes to add into the eclectic mix.

Tomato Bruschetta is Italian in origin and here buttered garlicly sliced baguettes are toasted first, then topped with chopped cherry tomatoes mixed with basil. It’s simple, but when all the flavours are right, it can be so comforting and appetizing. Here, they’ve executed this starter particularly well.

The Popcorn chicken was next on the list of starters, and this proved to be great bar snack. The crunchy exterior, juicy flesh, completed with a piguant grain mustard aioli will have you reaching for more, while also encouraging you to reach for your beer/cocktail/wine. Delicious.

Are school prawns more intelligent because they went to school? Well, I don’t know about that but what I do know is that this species of prawn has a distinctive sweeter taste, and can be consumed whole, which is great news for people like me who are too lazy to be peeling prawns. Plus it adds to the whole crunchy factor that is so alluring to many. The chili mayo is creamy with a nice bit of kick, definitely moreish. I’ll happily devour this again.

For the mains, I had the Garlic Pan Seared Salmon, which comes with Black Bean Pilaf Rice, Chili Mango salsa and Sautéed Vegetables (Kale and Asparagus). Very fusion sounding and would definitely be a go-to dish if executed well. But here the Salmon is slightly overcooked for my liking and I’d prefer if there was more condiment (and sauce) to go around. The pilaf rice is surprisingly aromatic despite its pale appearance.

The other half went for the Alaskan Crab Burger, which came with fries and a side of cherry tomatoes not unlike the toppings on the Tomato bruschetta. The crab patty is impressively thick, packed with crab meat and it tastes like the ocean with its umaminess. The exterior is also nice and crispy, pairing nicely with the soft burger bun. Bonus point for the crisp lettuce too.

Our table also shared a pizza: the Triple Trio Supreme, featuring Chicken sausage, chicken ham, grilled chicken, onion ring, cocktail onion, onion marmalade, mozzarella, cheddar and emmental cheeses. The crust is sufficiently crispy, but taste wise a little one-dimensional because it’s just chicken and onion basically. Simplicity is its game I guess.

We also tried out some of the new cocktails they concocted, and my favourite would be the Spicy Cuban Mojito, made with Rum, red capsicum, blood orange syrup, mint syrup, triple sec, lime wedges. Coming close second would be the Madhu Mojito with Rum, lychee puree, lemon, ginger, honey syrup, mint leaves, lime wedges.

I love the presentation of the Muskmelon Sangria. Featuring white wine, mango syrup, melon liqueur, this is a thirst quenching mixture and is definitely suitable for a girly afternoon catch-up.

There are many more dishes which we didn’t get to sample. In hindsight, perhaps we should have been more adventurous and order dishes that we normally wouldn’t. Anyway, we know what to do during our next visit.

Nihari Gosht: Lamb ossobucco cooked with an Indian spiced gravy and servedwith naan
Tiger Prawn Arabiatta: Tiger prawn and basil in a rustic spicy tomato sauce.
Arroz de Morisco: Portuguese seafood rice with soft shell crab, fish, prawn, mussels,clams, olive, coriander and beef chorizo

The seafood rice is the one we most want to try next. Keep moving on….

Lamb Shank, Creamy mushroom risotto, French beans and apricot fig jus

This also looks really appetizing for those with a hankering for red meat.

And then we moved on to some desserts:

Peanut Butter Panna Cotta 

The taste of Peanut Butter is strong in this one, according to the other half.

Chocolate Lava Cake

Unfortunately I can’t eat chocolate, I heard few guests singing praises about this though.

Pavlova

What a pretty dessert! A nicely executed Meringue that was.

Thank you WIP for the afternoon treat!

WIP
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Jalan Maarof, Bangsar

Topshelf, TTDI (Revisit)

Time really waits for no man. I remember saying to myself following my first visit to Topshelf that we definitely want to come back again. Who would have thought that one year could pass by so quickly? Chef Christopher Yee has kindly extended an invitation for us to sample the new menu, and I was not about to say no to good French food! Although it did take me almost 2 months to schedule this in due to frequent sickness (I really need to buck up and get healthy, have recently just recovered from Dengue fever…. more on that later perhaps).

Topshelf is blessed with a proximity to many well-known pubs/bars in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, though it’s situated at the quieter side of the shophouses. The ambiance can be quite romantic at night though remains casual enough for all kinds of customers. The menu here is kept tight for better quality control, offering mostly French favourites along with some Italian influences. The new menu now includes Pork, which is good news for the Porcine lovers.

On the night we visited, Truffles happen to be in season so we were lucky enough to be treated to this beauty:

Truffles, Poached Eggs on Red Wine Braised Puy Lentils.

Look at the generous shavings of Truffles! The alluring aroma tickled our noses as this dish hit the table and of course I couldn’t wait to poke at the egg.

#YolkPorn!

What a sight to behold! And this tasted as good as it looks, of course. The lentils fully soaked up the full bodied red wine sauce and the overflowing egg yolk adds to the richness, while the truffles just complete the whole gastronomic experience. I loved the simplicity of it too, as nothing is overwhelming in flavour profile.

Hand Dived Scallop (RM30), Braised Leeks, Miso Eggplant

I love the presentation of this dish. A single scallop sitting atop an Eggplant round, a bed of braised leek, complete with white wine jus. The scallop has a beautiful sear on it while remaining lovely and soft in the middle, just the way it should be. The sweetness goes well with the umaminess of miso on the eggplant, while the braised leeks have been cooked enough for its natural sweetness to be released too. While the Truffle dish was the bf’s favourite, this was my highlight of the night.

Orange Quail (RM27), Bacon Hash, Poached Egg.

I don’t often order poultry at restaurants though this was a great choice by Chef Chris. The dainty quail is roasted to a perfect golden brown, nesting on a bed of fried leeks. On the side is a bacon potato hash and a poached egg. It’s obvious that the dish has been given a lot of thoughts. Before digging in, another YolkPorn is warranted. The bf obviously saw this dish in a different light and took a rather obscene photo which is inappropriate for this blog (let me just tell you a ‘kangkang’ quail can be a little porn-ish)…. so I’ll spare you the pain…

Ooooooo sexy!

The marinade for the quail is subtle but complementing. I highly recommend putting bits of everything together and savour at once. The juicy quail flesh, slight crispy bacon and potato, crunchy fried leeks, and luscious egg… just an explosion of flavours and texture.

Whole Baked Snapper

It’s rare to see whole fish presented in an non-Asian restaurant, but of course we live in Malaysia, which allows us to experiment with different presentations. For me, I always feel that serving a whole fish is pretty impressive, not to mention celebratory. Here we have a whole red snapper (locally sourced), baked with Provencal vegetables in a white wine bouillon. Once again it’s a simple dish with super clean flavours, and you’ll need the fish to be super fresh for it to be good. Did it pass our test? Flying colours. I love the light broth with a hint of wine.

Iberico Loin (RM56)

The Iberico Loin features a thick piece of pork loin cooked to just right (a hint of pink in the middle), served with mash and sauteed vegetables. It was decent at best, the loin has a nice bite to it while the vegetables remains sweet and crunchy, though not as impressive as the previous dishes.

Chocolate & Coffee Cremeux (RM19)

I forgot to inform Chef I don’t eat chocolate (not that I don’t love it, but it’s to protect my voice) so this amazing looking Chocolate & Coffee Cremeux came to our table, not that we would complain. Made with 70% noir dark chocolate,the dark bittersweet chocolate and coffee cream had a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt (because salt and chocolate is a match made in food heaven), complete with berries and a touch of olive oil. I love the sweet and savoury combo, and despite my ban on chocolate I finished a good portion of this (coughing afterwards, but worth it).

Thank you Chef Christopher Yee for you fabulous food! And hopefully we’ll return sooner this time.
TOPSHELF
61, Lorong Rahim Kajai 13,
Taman Tun Dr. Ismail,
60000, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-7727 7277
Website: www.topshelf.com.my
Facebook: www.facebook.com/topshelf.kl

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

Coco Ichibanya, 1 Utama

[Advertorial]

If you have been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed that I really love Japanese food. And the beauty of Japanese food is that it is so diverse, I could be craving sashimi one day, and ramen the next. But the ultimate Japanese comfort food for me would have to be Japanese curry (to be specific Katsu Curry Don). This was one of the first dishes I’ve ever ordered in a Japanese restaurant and forgive me if I sound like a broken record: I used to have it on a regular basis during my student days (dude, I’m starting to sound like an Obasan).

Anyway, imagine my excitement when I heard that one of the biggest Japanese Curry House is opening its first branch in Malaysia. That’s right, Coco Ichibanya already has 1,350 restaurants in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, North America, and Singapore. It’s truly the McDonald’s of Japanese Curry!

I was delighted of course to attend Coco Ichibanya’s launch night at 1 Utama early March along with Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers. It was a glammed up event with appearance of local celebrities too.

Amber Chia, Gary Yap, Orange, and Julie Woon.
The Gorgeous Debbie Goh.

The tagline of Coco Ichibanya is “The Tastiness You Can Choose”, as customers can customise their meal based on their preferences. You can choose the spiciness of the curry (mild, signature original flavour, and spiciness of level 1 to 5), toppings you like, and even the amount of rice.

There is a selection of over 30 meat and seafood to choose from chicken, beef, pork, prawns, clams and more, and some are paired with toppings such as egg, corn and croquettes. So if you really love Japanese curry, you can technically have all different combinations for a few month consecutively! Not to mention the more fusion dishes such are curry meat sauce atop spaghetti, curry gratin and more. If curry rice isn’t your thing, fear not. There are other non curry based dishes such are creamy pasta, salads, and soups too.

On the launch night, we were treated to some tasting portions of the dishes.

Fried Chicken Curry
Salmon Cream Croquette Curry
Fried Shrimp Curry

Though my favourite of the night would have to be this one:

Lightly-Crisped Chicken Curry

Almost all the proteins were fried in batter, although they weren’t greasy as I would have expected. The lightly-crisped chicken stood out though as it has the best texture and also I could actually taste the chicken (juice and tender as a plus). As for the curry sauce, most of them were served with level one curry which is not spicy at all (at least to me), but I still love similar taste of the curry. There were some level 3 and level 5 curry sauce ‘shots’ going around and well, no prize guessing which one I like! Level 5 packs plenty of heat and I would gladly tackle it any given day, but if I want to take it easy, then I would probably go for level 3 or 4. But what really caught my attention is this:

Pickle heaven!

Usually when I eat Japanese curry, it’s often served with only a few pieces of pickled radish and often they look quite processed. I have to portion it properly with the meat and rice, not a problem here! These are freshly made and unlimited! A match made in heaven with the curry sauce, I can foresee myself coming here whenever I have a craving.

What is the difference between Japanese curry and say, Malaysian curry you may ask? Interestingly enough, Japanese curry is actually more Western influenced, as the technique involves first making a “roux” out of butter and flour, like the French technique of cooking soup (that’s why the gravy is nice and thick). Then, curry spices are added and to infuse some sweetness, vegetables like onions and carrots forms the basic flavour profile and fruits like apples are often included as well.

Here are some of the dishes available at Coco Ichibanya (in the order of my own preference, hah!):

Pork Cutlet Omelette Curry – RM26.00

Is there any question? Omurice plus Katsu Curry wins hands down of course! I mean, just look at this:

Come to mama!

I can just imagine the crunch of the pork cutlet, the silky smooth omelet paired with the curry sauce, comfort food for sure.

Grilled Spinach, Bacon and Corn Curry – RM20.00

I would give this a go because it has Bacon and Spinach. Maybe as an extra topping to my Omu-Katsu-Curry Rice.

Seafood Spaghetti – RM22.00

If for whatever reason you come to a Japanese Curry House and don’t want to have neither curry or rice, this could be your choice (maybe you are not a fan, but your girlfriend is).

There are also a few meat-free options, including a very lovely looking Eggplant curry. For your vegetarian partner or friend.

The CoCo ICHIBANYA branch in 1 Utama seats a maximum of 65 persons in the 128 square meters restaurant which exudes a casual, friendly and unpretentious ambience. Folks in Penang, look out for the second outlet which will be opening in Queensbay Mall soon.

Of course, there are some obligatory group photos:

With Tim, Jia Yeen and Kate
With Jia Yeen, Kate, Sharon and Stephanie. Outfit Proudly Not Sponsored by Zalora.

So, I need a date to Coco Ichibanya soon, who wants to come with me?

Photo credit to Andy Kho (those without watermark are mine).

CoCo ICHIBANYA is located at:
Lot LG 333A, Lower Ground (New Wing),
1 Utama Shopping Centre,
Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor.
Telephone: 03-7732-8937

Operating Hours: Daily from 10.00am to 10.00pm

CoCo ICHIBANYA is a restaurant chain owned by Fuji Group, the company of Fuji Japanese Restaurant in Thailand, and for more information, head over to http://www.ichibanya.co.jp/english/index.html

Chinese New Year menu at China Treasures, KLGCC

I go to Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club on a weekly basis because I perform every Thursday (and sometimes other nights too) at one of their dining outlets, Connoisseurs Lounge & Restaurant. From time to time my band also gets invited to perform at special occasions such at CIMB Classics several moons ago. Needless to say, this is almost like a second home to me. There are several restaurants covering different cuisines at KLGCC, and you might be surprised to find out that these are all open to the public (just remember to keep up with the dresscode).

I received an invitation to dine at China Treasures and sample their Chinese New Year menu. Initially I had invited my keyboardist Vicky to come along to just eat, but as luck would have it, I received a call to replace the band that night. So as workaholics we are, we decided to do both anyway. It was my first time stepping into China Treasures and it is everything I expected: sophisticated, elegant but not over the top. The ambience is welcoming and non-pretentious. We left ourselves on the capable hands of Chef Eddie Chua and let’s take a look at the food.

Yee Sang

The Yee Sang at China Treasures is kept relatively traditional with Salmon. There are also other options such at Abalone too. After the usual chanting of auspicious phrases, we tossed our Yee Sang with gusto!

More money, more gigs, let’s make a new album!

Various forms of seafood soup is always present during Chinese New Year feast and here we were treated to a Crab Meat Soup with Braised Seafood.

Brimming with goodies!

Letting the natural sweetness of the seafood comes through, this is made perfect with just a tiny splash of vinegar. Of course everyone has their own preference but this is good enough for me to finish.

Crispy Roast Chicken prepared Two Ways

Well this is probably the most interesting dish of the night. The rectangle you see is actually fish cake wrapped with crispy chicken skin. There are almond flakes too, on the other side. Taste wise, you can tell the freshest fish is used and I just love the fun textural contrast with the smooth paste and crispy skin. Brilliant! In the middle was some black bean chicken presented in a fried vermicelli basket. It was tasty, but nothing to shout about.

Home style Steam White Cod

The cod is merely steamed to perfected and seasoned with premium soy sauce, placed on a bed of sauteed mushrooms, dressed with the usual spring onion, chili and coriander. Might be simple, but the taste is textbook perfect. Needless to say, it was the most popular dish of the night.

Braised Sea Moss Oyster Rolls with Sliced Abalone and Wheat Gluten.

Almost every restaurant serves this dish for their Chinese New Year menu. Why Broccoli? It isn’t really a Chinese vegetable to begin with. But anyway, I wouldn’t say no to some healthy greens. The Oyster rolls themselves are tasty though, with substantial pieces of whole dried oysters encased with fish paste.

Sauted Crystal Prawns with Hot & Sour Sauce.

The Chinese direct translation for this dish is actually Prawns with “Strange taste”, haha. I guess that probably would scare a few people. But strange taste it was not, the hot and sour (and slightly sweet) notes would appeal to many. Bonus for perfectly cooked prawns with its bouncy texture.

X.O Fried Rice with Seafood

X.O. sauce is always good with carbs and here the fried rice is made decadent with the addition of scallops. Very hearty.

Hot Soy Bean with White Fungus, Lotus Seed and Ginkgo Nuts.

Finishing our feast on a sweet note, the soy bean we were told is homemade. I can’t say I have had this preparation before, although white fungus is commonly seen in Chinese sweet tong sui. This is as comforting as it sounds and nourishing too, especially for us women.

The CNY set menu is available now until the 8th of March. Options of 6 pax and 10 pax, pricing ranges from RM1102.88 to the most premium Wealth Prosperity menu at RM4740.88. Place your reservation now for a wonderful gathering with your loved ones.

China Treasures:
Monday – Sunday
11:30am – 2:30pm
6:30pm – 10:30pm
+603-2093 4688
Email: chinatreasures.klgcc@simedarby.com

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