Weekday “Fantastic Feast” at Dynasty Restaurant, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur

Though they have converted to a Pork-free restaurant, Dynasty Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur shows no sign of slowing down with revamping their menu and constantly create hype by creating attractive promotions. This time, the promotion is super competitive, offering half priced dim sum (lunch) as well as a 4-course menu at only RM49.90nett per person (lunch and dinner).

Chef Kok Chee Kin who has masterfully helmed the kitchen through his unfailing adherence to Cantonese cuisine’s principles vows to treat his guests to an interesting array of dishes that are light on the palate while emphasizing on a distinct primary flavour of the main ingredients used.

We were invited to sample some of the dim sum items and also feasted on the 4-course menu, specially picked out to showcase their signature dishes. Let’s start with dim sum!

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First, the Emerald Dumplings with Scallops. By no mean an ordinary piece of dim sum, even comes with bonito flakes for that bit of Japanese fusion. The skin is thin enough with a slight chew, which is interesting. Love how they are generous with the filling and I could definitely taste the scallop.

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Steamed Rice Flour Rolls with Chive and Shrimps or simply known as Cheong Fun. The skin is a little on the thick side here. I’d stick with other items on the menu. Like the next one.

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Bean Curd Rolls with Cheese. Definitely a hit. Crispy skin, bouncy and juicy prawns and the delightful oozy cheese.

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Fluffy Buns filled with Barbecued Chicken (Char Siew Bao). Pretty good, even to a non Char Siew Bao eater. The filling is spot on.

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Crystal Prawns dumplings with Asparagus. Compared to the rest this was a little plain in flavour, but also the most traditional tasting. Asparagus added a little extra crunch.

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The Fried Taro Puffs were excellent, with all contrasting textures and great tasting filling to complete the experience.

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The Egg tart has extra creamy custard, not too sweet, and perfectly flaky crust. Yum.

The Renaissance team always strives to overfill their media guests and this time was no exception. Our 4-course meal arrived in full portions!

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For the first course, you get to choose a soup dish; and we got the shredded duck broth with chives. Very rarely do I get a duck soup in a Chinese restaurant so this was a pleasant surprise. Love the umami, slightly smoky flavour, freshened with the addition of chives.

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Second, out of Fish and Poultry category, we received the Stir Fried Grouper Fillet with Spring Onion and Ginger. Very simple and straight forward combination, that’s why it’s guaranteed to taste good. Kevin took an extra serving of spring onion and the ginger went to me. The fish was perfectly flaky and soft.

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For the Carb option, we got the Cantonese Wonton noodle with honey glazed chicken and vegetable. The Chicken char siew was really nice actually, with just the perfect amount of fat. I guess they used mostly thigh for this. But the noodles were a little overcooked. But hard to blame them since they had to cook such a large portion for us.

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I mean look at this? This is more like One Tonne noodles! We could barely scrape the surface. Like I said, they really overestimate our eating abilities. Because there was an extra dish for us!

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So if the 4 course isn’t enough for you, you can also add on another signature dish with a discounted price. We got the Pan seared stuffed Scallop (RM48 instead of RM88). But this dish was probably the best out of everything we had that day, so was worth it lah.

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To end this feast we had the Herbal Jelly with Honey. The perfect dessert to cool down.

This promotion is currently available, until 29th August, every Monday to Friday.

Located on Level 1, East Wing, Dynasty Restaurant is a beautiful Chinese restaurant with great ambience in the lovely Renaissance Kuala Lumpur open daily for lunch from 12.00noon to 2.30pm and dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.

Dim Sum breakfast is served from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Sundays and Public Holidays, dinner hours are as usual.

To discover more or to make a reservation, call at 03 2771 6692 or email
rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com

For more info/promotions, check out Renaissance Kuala Lumpur’s Instagram @renaissancekualalumpur and @dynasty_kl
or Facebook www.facebook.com/RenaissanceKL and
www.facebook.com/DynastyKL

Ruyi & Lyn, Bangsar Shopping Centre

Ever since Ruyi & Lyn opened its door to the masses back in June 2015, it sure has gotten people talking. I’m sure some of you might have seen their signature Nasi Lemak sushi which is essentially miniature nasi lemak served as a sushi. Yes, this provides a glimpse of what this place is about. The innovation of traditional food with a touch of fusion.

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Yet, as you step into the place, you get a little disoriented at the sheer size of it. The red carpet, soaring ceiling with dancing light, met with a large stage and a DJ console. Is it a restaurant, a club, a lounge? Turns out it’s all of them. There are also private areas for more intimate affairs, as well as a cigar lounge, a balcony terrace and a sizable bar. The overall ambiance is classy, yet casual enough for all kinds of events.

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RUYI represents a heartfelt desire of the good life. LYN is not only the name of the pretty owner, but also an acronym for Link Your Network: our dream of bringing people together – of all races, gender, religion, social backgrounds, and nationalities. Kinda reminds me very much of GEM Tang’s Get Everyone Moving.

The menu here is crafted by Executive Chef James Ho, a returning Malaysian with dreams of innovating the Malaysian food industry with his Pan Asian creations. He’s honed his skills in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea and Japan for the past 20 years. His skills are impeccable and his dishes are definitely photogenic, channeling a well of creativity.

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We started our dinner with a Thai inspired Morning Glory Tempura (RM28), a savoury and sweet treat with its sesame sauce. Unlike the usual Thai version that’s encased in a thick batter, this one is super delicate. A good accompaniment to some alcoholic drinks.

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Speaking of alcoholic drinks, Ruyi & Lyn has some impressive cocktails. We sampled a Bloody Mary that comes attached with a side of very tasty Ribbon pasta in Tomato sauce and capsicum. Talk about perfect food pairing!

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The French Fries Soda is a cocktail made with Southern Comfort and I tasted hint of Apple and Cinnamon in this. This one is especially pleasing to the girls.

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It is indeed creative to serve Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab in a form of Rojak (RM58), though this is probably the priciest rojak I’ve ever encountered. The crab is delicious though, covered in a sauce spiked with Ginger flower.
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The Hot Chick (RM43) is basically Szechuan style chicken popcorn laced with dried chilies. I didn’t try it because I don’t eat Chicken to protect my throat, rest of them gobbled these up though.

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The Dancing Fish (RM28) is part of their Ocean’s 8 promotion for May. The fish is fried to a crisp, then paired with a Patong Curry dipping sauce which is piquant and spicy, which is rather appetizing. I couldn’t resist taking the fish head which can be eaten as a whole, even.

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Also part of the Ocean’s 8 Seafood promotion is the Indonesia Curry Prawn (RM28), served with Toasted Sesame Mantau. This is super fabulous, with a great depth of flavours. The mantau dipped in gravy is just divine. RM28 is a steal, so get this promotion before the month ends.

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We also tried the Shanghai Fried Nian Gao (RM38), which was fried with eggs, crabmeat and XO sauce. The XO Sauce added a lovely umami taste to the dish and this was very comforting indeed with an extra decadent feel.

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The last of our savoury course was this very impressive looking tray of Crab Curry Fried Rice (RM68). The curry sauce is incredibly rich, in fact, I couldn’t stomach much of it because it’s just a little too creamy for me. Apart from crab (obviously), there are also scallops and prawns in the mix.

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We ordered some desserts though, and I have to say this Pistachio creme brulee is quite textbook, with the signature crust to crack, and the creamy custard that’s delightful to eat.

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More cocktails! The Dancing Jim features whole Passionfruit, a slice of peach, and is a mixure of fruity sweet and sour. Good stuff.

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Thank you Ruyi & Lyn for your hospitality! We even got to bring home a pack of these super addictive snack: Salted Egg Yolk Fried Chicken Skin!

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That’s right, fried chicken skin is already delicious on its own but combined with salted egg yolk for that extra umaminess, this is a winner! Best yet, a pack of this is priced at only RM6. Although I think you best buy a few of them because one is definitely not enough. Hurry before offer ends!

Ruyi & Lyn
4th Floor Annexe
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Jalan Maarof
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2083-0288

Opening hours:
Lounge
12.00noon-2.00am Mondays to Sundays

Restaurant
Lunch: 12.00noon-3.00pm (last order at 2.30pm)
Dinner: 6.00pm-2.00am (last order at 11.00pm)

Tapas are available at both Restaurant and Lounge:
12.00pm-12.00am from Sundays to Wednesdays (last order)
12.00pm-12.30am on Thursdays to Saturdays (last order)

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

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

Double the Dim Sum, Double the Indulgence at Tao, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

Dim Sum culture is still very much alive in Klang Valley, and in fact probably in any Chinese community around the world. It’s a great way to bond with family and friends over food and always a decadent experience popping little expertly made morsels in your mouth. Although, most dim sum places are always super packed during the weekends and you might have to wait ages to get a table, which is why the two of us very rarely do it these days. If you want to dine in comfort, why not give hotel dim sum a try?

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Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur houses an award winning Chinese restaurant called Tao; and from now until 27th November, they have a buy one free one promotion for their dim sum items every weekend. Instead of 3 siew mais, for example, you get 6! Of course, there are more than just your run-of-the-mill dim sums. Master Dim Sum Chef Lo Tan Sion has been making dim sum for over 20 years. Having trained in China, Taiwan, Japan and Indonesia, he is recognised for his talent in creating the delicate bite-sized savouries. His secret? Using premium quality ingredients and adaptation to the likes of local diners’ palate with stronger flavours. Better yet, each dim sum here is handmade from scratch and prepared fresh daily.

We were invited to sample some of his creations. First up, a soupy one to whet our appetite.

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We enjoyed the Double-boiled Abalone and Sea Treasure Dumpling in Bouillon, with it delicate flavours.

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The Steamed Diced Prawns, Chicken, Turnip Moneybags with Oyster sauce were well-received, with fun texture and bouncy prawns in each bite.

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The Steamed Smoked Duck “Mo Mo” Skin Rolls with Red oil sauce showcases Chef Lo’s creativity, condensing your typical Peking duck experience into bite-sized enjoyment. Love the slight smokiness mingling with numbing chili oil.

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You won’t get those ordinary rice noodle rolls here (not dissing the original, they are pretty comforting to eat), this one comes with soft shell crabs inside, and sesame sauce on top, inspired by Hong Kong’s “Zha Leong” when they usually use Chinese fried dough sticks (Yao Zhar Gwai). Needless to say, this is pretty decadent. Maybe even a bit too rich for us.

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We loved the Pan-fried Noodle Rolls with Dried Shrimps and Spring Onion. It’s full of umami flavours and the texture is amazing, with super crispy exterior, fluffy soft centre. We ordered a second serving!

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The Deep fried Taro pastry (Yu kok) here is pretty good too. The filling (smoked duck I think) has a wonderful depth of flavours and the Yam itself aromatic.

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I think I have a weakness when it comes to Radish cake, and here they come stir-fried with Tao’s own spicy scallop sauce. Moreish and comforting.

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We also had their Siew Mai, which is pretty decent for a non Pork version.

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The signature dessert here is a medley of Mango puree, Basil seeds, Pomelo and Ice cream. Refreshing after all that savoury indulgence.

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If you are after heavier dessert they also serves Egg tarts in Bamboo charcoal cup, which unfortunately we didn’t get to try. The Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao was not available during our review either (first photo).

Thank you Intercontinental for hosting us!

Tao Chinese Cuisine

Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

165 Jalan Ampang
Opens daily 11:30am tp 2:30pm, 6:30pm to 10:30pm
For reservation call 03-27826128 or email tao@intercontinental-kl.com.my

Latino Fiesta at TEMPTations and Refreshed Club Marriott at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

I’ve always thought that Renaissance is a gorgeous hotel, it has that old world charm, befitting to its name, and you do feel a sense of luxury stepping into the hotel. Though only 2 weeks ago, I found out that it actually belongs to the Marriott group. Thanks to the kind folks at Renaissance, we were invited to the launch of the Refreshed Club Marriott.

Club Marriott is a membership programme which includes a world of exclusive benefits and indulgences at over 100 participating hotels across the Asia Pacific. For example, members can enjoy discounts at F&B outlets (30% at Renaissance KL, 20% at participating hotels), discounted room rate/upgrades, and even cash rebate for Spa. (For member enquiries please call Club Marriott KL office 0327138433)

The launch kicked off with a cocktail session at TEMPTations, and the event was officiated by the newly appointed Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Club Marriott brand ambassador Ms June Yap (Mrs Borneo World 2015/2016, Top 12 finalist Mrs World 2016). Several local personalities joined the celebration too.
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We later adjourned to TEMPTations as it was also the launch of their Latin Fiesta. Seeing the Pinatas hanging all through the ceilings and the staff dressed in traditional costumes really set the mood for the evening. The Chilean wine was flowing too, which is always a bonus.

Spanish Guatemalan Chef Pablo Crespo, sous chef at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel is obviously the brain behind the Latino Fiesta. Born in Guatemala, Chef Pablo actually studied Law, but his passion for led him down the culinary path instead. He has worked in many 5 stars hotels and fine dining restaurants, and even a 5 star cruise liner where he honed his skills in International cuisine, before deciding to move to Malaysia in 2015 to join Renaissance Kuala Lumpur.

Let’s take a look at some of the dishes available that evening:

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A row of salad, including a very delicious ceviche.

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Brazilian Grilled fish with orange sauce

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Enchiladas De Pollo (Chicken Enchiladas).

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Vegetables Parillados con Chimicurri.

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Milanesa de Res (Beef Milanesa)

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An array of toppings for tortilla chips.

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Of course, seafood of all sorts are available too.

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The main attraction seems to be the Roast Lamb.

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There are some local dishes for those who want more variety.

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And of course, desserts aplenty.

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I seem to have lost the photo of the Churros station. Yes, the churros are freshly fried here. You can choose to have the sugar coated ones, or the naked ones, to dip in chocolate and caramel sauce. Yummmmm. Love them because they are perfectly crunchy and fluffy at the same time.

You can enjoy the buffet with Latino wines and cocktails every evening too, though on Friday Saturday and Sunday there will also be a liveband. The dinner buffet is priced at RM145nett per person and half price for children between 6 to 12 years old, and it’s available until the 28th of August.

For restaurant reservations, please call 03 2716 9388 or email rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com. Online reservations can be made at www.klrenaissance.com/dining. Book early to avoid disappointing your palate.

Price is inclusive of 10% Service Charge and 6% Goods & Services Tax (GST). 

Facebook www.facebook.com/RenaissanceKL
Instagram renaissancekualalumpur 

Sanoook @ Sunway Pyramid West Hotel

Caleen Chua is very much a business woman. Ever since she took over the director role of her father’s Chakri group of restaurants she has not stopped refreshing the brand. First, Hwan, a specialised Thai Dessert place; a catering division for Chakri Palace; and now, her very own brain child Sanoook, inspired by her love affair with Thai and Japanese cuisine.

Located at Sunway Pyramid Hotel West, which is the new wing of the Sunway Pyramid consisting few F&B outlets, Sanoook is fairly easy to be spotted. It’s vibrant looking, with plenty of tables and lights for a casual ambiance, featuring an open kitchen so diners also get to see the Chefs in action.

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‘Sanook’ means ‘fun’ in Thai and the extra ‘O’ to represents a circle of friendship. Hence, Sanoook means having fun with friends! Caleen kept her in house Thai Chef and hired a new Japanese chef to bring a creative twist to their dishes. Therefore, most of the dishes here would have elements of both Thai and Japanese cuisine, which can be a refreshing combination when done right.

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We began our dinner with the Soft shell crab sushi (RM34.90), served with Thai Mango Chili Sauce. Soft Shell Crab sushi isn’t that uncommon in this country, but the addition of tangy sweet mango work well for the dish.

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Be spoilt for choice by this 4-season platter RM37.90 (Salmon Cream Croquette, Thai Fish Cake, Crispy Calamari, Crispy Thai Chicken Ball, Vegetarian Spring Roll). I only tried the Chicken Ball because it looked the least deep-fried, and it’s tasty with a nice kick.

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Caleen’s personal favourite is the Pan fried tuna steak with spinach & mixed mushroom served with teriyaki sauce (RM28.90). While the tuna is lovely seared on the outside with perfect pink centre, I felt the dish to be one-dimensional in taste. Perhaps a touch of citrus will lift this.

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Sanoook Salad Japanese Cucumber wrapped with Salmon, Avocado & Baked Apple (RM29.90). Love the pairing of Salmon and cucumber as always and the sesame dressing will never go wrong I guess.

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The Tom Yum Soup with River Prawn (RM23.90) here is served with the soup in Sake bottle. Good amount of succulent prawns and buried underneath, some mushrooms as well. The soup is sufficiently tangy but can be a little spicier (maybe a good idea to tailor the spice level to personal preference?).

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Another sushi arrived on the table and this time it’s Tuna Sushi served with Tom Yum sauce (RM27.90). I think the presence of Tom Yum isn’t strong enough though, maybe they should try flavour the actual sushi too for a more fusion feel.

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This has to be the first time I’ve tried Wonton served in Thai Coconut Soup with Chicken (RM16.90). It’s a basically modern or fusion take on Tom Kha Gai, the luscious wonton skin against the smooth coconut broth is a lovely sensory experience.

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I guess it must be an Asian thing, whenever I see a Rice burger I must try it. We had the chicken burger with teriyaki sauce (RM17.90). The Chicken patty itself is tasty, though I think the rice patty is a little dense, which makes the whole thing very filling. This is definitely not something you can pick up and eat due to the size. The burdock chips (at the back) proved to be widely popular that night. A nice and healthier alternative to usual potato fries. The other sushi burgers include Beef with Thai Chili Sauce, and Salmon with Wasabi Mayo.

And then we had their signature: Skewers. The skewers here are probably more Mediterranean (size wise) than Japanese. There are quite a few varieties here. My favourite would be the Salmon Belly (RM77.90).

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The serving can feed easily 4-6 people depending on what else you order. Love the buttery soft salmon against the slightly crunchy vegetables. The accompanying Lime chili sauce works perfectly too.

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We also tried the chicken skewer with massaman sauce (RM32.90). Chicken here is cooked perfectly and I quite like the massaman sauce, although it’s lighter than the actual Massaman curry.

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For the vege intake we recommend the Vege skewers with Sanoook sauce (RM28.90). Each skewer filled with tomato, broccoli, mushrooms, capsicum, yellow and green zucchini, finished with a creamy spicy sauce. Good way to dress up plain vegetables.

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We also had the Beef skewers, which comes with the same Massaman sauce (RM34.90). Here the beef is slightly dry and tough, I think the chicken is still a safer option, or ask them to undercook the beef a little.

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We also tried a few of their drinks and while the alcoholic beverages aren’t yet available, this Red Ruby drink got the big thumbs up from the both of us.

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If you are a lover of Thai Milk Tea (chayen), this Thai volcano (RM18.90) will send you straight to heaven. It’s aromatic, not overly sweet but super refreshing. Best to share amongst 3-4 people because it’s huge!

Thank you Sanoook for hosting us!

Sanoook
Lot 4, Ground Floor,
Sunway Pyramid West Hotel,
47500 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Opening Hours:
Mon – Wed (10AM – 11PM)
Thu – Sat (10AM – 12am midnight)
Sun (10AM – 11PM)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanoookmy/

Rendez-vous New Menu with Chef Benjamin

If you ask me to list my Top 5 current favourite restaurant in Klang Valley, Rendez-vous would definitely on the list. It’s not just that I’m a Francophile, as mentioned in my previous post of the very same restaurant; but there’s a new face in Rendez-vous kitchen and the whole menu has been given a much needed overhaul to reflect the modern take on bistro-style French Dining. Introducing Chef Benjamin Reiles, a young Chef with quite an impressive resume, having refined his skills at prestigious places like Michelin Three Star Le Pré Catelan in Paris and Brasserie des Beaux Arts in Toulouse.

Rendez-vous itself is quite an inviting space, with great service and relaxed vibe casual enough for family outing, yet formal enough for a date. Another bonus? It features a large bar and the wine list will keep any wine enthusiast happy.

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A mojito to kick off the lovely evening. I always appreciate the effort that goes into this so this was enjoyed very slowly.

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Rather surprised to be receiving a Lamb Samosa as our Amuse Bouche. But definitely not going to complain as it’s filled with delicious morsel of lamb cooked for hours.

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Our first starter was “Escargots a la Bourguignonne” (RM28), featuring some Snails with parsley and garlic butter sauce in vol au vent. The snails are kept tender while the pastry soaked up that delicious butter sauce. And it’s mandatory to soak up that sauce with these freshly baked baguette.

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Probably the best bread we’ve ever eaten at a restaurant, make sure you do save some stomach space to eat this with everything. I think Kevin had the whole basket that night. Heh.

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“Soupe de poissons” (RM24). The Fish soup here is served in front of us. So first we get a bowl with all the pretty components sans the liquid.

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The soup has a great balance of tang, sweetness and briny umaminess. Something I wouldn’t mind slurping on time and time again.

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To sweeten the deal, we were also served a spoonful of Lobster nectar. Talk about a decandent treat!

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It’s also aptly paired with a 2013 Chardonnay from South Africa.

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The sardines are not on the menu but I enjoyed the tender flesh and the citrus pearls that came with it. It also came with a saffron tinted puree (Cauliflower, it seems) which goes very well with the briny fish.

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The mains here are divided into fish, poulty and red meat and we were treated to one of each. First the “Filet de loup de mer” (RM58), Seabass filet, creamy carrot puree and avruga caviar, citrus vinaigrette. For a main the seabass seems to be on a smaller side in comparison to the condiments given. Probably why it’s a little bit on the dry side, but I do love the carrot puree with the surprise addition of floral passion fruit.

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One thing of note too the price here is rather reasonable and even with wine pairing, it won’t break your bank.

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The poultry dish “Poulet façon cocotte” (RM36) comes as a form of stuffed chicken, mash potato and creamy mushroom. The chicken is so tender and juicy and the mash potato gets full approval from me. Love the presentation too.

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Paired with a very nice glass of Pinot Grigio.

Well we move on to the red meat and it’s non other than a traditional Beef Stew.

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“Boeuf Bourguignon” (RM59). Here the beef is braised for at least 8 hours in a red wine sauce. The sauce has a great depth of flavours, however I find some pieces of meat to be on the dry side, perhaps exposing to air for a little long. Nonetheless a good version of Beef Bourguignon I don’t mind having again.

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A hearty red to go with this dish. We are not much of Red wine drinker but found this pretty drinkable. I know it’s a terrible word to use for something like this, but there are some reds we just can’t tolerate so yeah.

Well, as usual with any food review session we had to cough up some extra space in our tummies and all that food and wine seriously had us waving white flags. But I would not say no to Lemon Meringue.

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“Tarte au citron meringue” (RM17). Lemon tart here comes with h hard and soft meringue. You get the best of both world in terms of the meringue. Love the pillowy soft, freshly torched clouds of meringue, while there’s also little crunchy for textural contrast. The lemon curd is wonderfully tart, the way I like it. Yum.

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“Crêpe Suzette” (RM28). The traditional French pancake is given the usual theatrical twist being flamed on the table with Grand Marnier. Nice way to finish a meal. Even nicer with a glass of crisp Prosecco.

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We went home with heavy tummies but very satisfied appetite. Thank you for hosting us!

If you pay very close attention to the interior you might notice a little doorway marked “Upstage Lounge“, aptly located upstairs of Rendezvous. And this is yet another great venue for live music and occasionally stand up comedy. They hosted quite a few international acts, while many local talents have also graced the stage. Comedians the likes of Papi Zak, Kavin Jay and Prakash Daniel have also performed there. So do check out their facebook page or website for any upcoming shows. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll see me there too.

 

Rendez-vous Traditional French Restaurant
100 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Open for lunch & dinner daily
Mon-Sun:
12:00 – 15:00
18:00 – 00:00
Tel: 03-2202-0206
https://www.facebook.com/rendezvousbangsar

 

 

Savini Ristorante Italiano, Intermark

The dining scene in Kuala Lumpur is constantly evolving and there are always new restaurants opening up in all sorts of genres. But in terms of great Italian fine dining restaurants, you can pretty much still count them in one hand. Will Savini, lives up to its promise of delivering unforgettable dining experience with exquisite dishes? Read on and judge for yourself.

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Savini is located at the Intermark, which is not exactly an easy place to get to during Peak hour traffic. But granted, it’s a classy venue and the restaurant itself is large, boasting a fully equipped bar, bar lounge, cigar lounge, 3 private rooms and a dining hall.

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With such opulence, it’s no surprise it will cost some considerable moolah to dine here. But of course, this dishes here are mostly laced with premium ingredients. Chef Azizan is the brain behind the menu and the food here is kept fairly classic, though with a modern touch.

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Our first starter was the Foie gras, Pan seared Goose Liver served on a Pineapple slice drizzled with Madagascan Vanilla Pod Infused Honey (RM45), served with rather eye catching splatters of red (raspberry, I think). The liver itself has a good sear, although I’d prefer it to be more buttery in texture. I think the pineapple slice didn’t really do anything for me, maybe the flavours will gel more if it’s more on the tart side. By the way note the first appearance of the Mango Salsa (and edible flowers).
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Next up, the Gamberetti cocktail, featuring Poached Shelled Prawns with Chili and Capers Infused Mayonnaise in a glass (ramekin) served with a Mesclun Bouget (RM45). Capers with Seafood always work well together, although I didn’t really detect the chili. It’s served with a quenelle of Caviar too.
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Bisque di Aragosta, Milky Foamed Lobster Bisque served with Cheese Bread (RM65) arrived on our table (along with more Caviar and…. flowers) and immediately the smell of ocean hit my nose. The soup is briny, naturally sweet, and just sufficiently creamy without being cloyingly so.

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Comes with chunky bits of Lobster, which is always welcomed.

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Of course, one does not dine in a Italian restaurant without having some Pasta, and ours came in a form of Spinach Ricotta Ravioli, with pillows of pasta stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese garnished with Herbed Butter (RM40). this one is slightly on the bland side, but it’s nice to get that herbaceous note.

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One of Chef’s signature dish is the Cod Fish Ala Savini, Cajun roasted Cod Fish with Cherry Tomatoes and Madagascan Vanilla Pot Infused Mango Salsa (RM90). It’s nearly impossible to mess up Cod Fish unless you overwhelm the dish with too much going on. Here I think the Chef has strike a good balance with buttery soft fish with just enough seasoning to entice the palate. Although the star of the dish is actually that roasted vine ripened tomato, bursting with umami flavour.

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Red Velvet Chocolate Cheese (RM39), I ony had a small bite of this because I don’t eat chocolate. But the cream cheese frosting is lovely.
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The Creme Brulee uses Madagascar Vanilla, and this to be was the best dessert of the lot, as it is executed to textbook perfection.

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A rather elegant presentation of Tiramisu with layers of coffee soaked sponge, Mascapone cheese and topped with cocoa powder. If I have one critique I would have liked to taste more coffee and sponge.

I’ve heard a few things about Savini’s mixologist, but we have kept to just wine that night. Incidentally the wine list is pretty comprehensive, and you can always rely on the staff to make appropriate recommendation. There’s also a live band every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for some entertainment (mostly oldies, and some Jazz).

Thank you Savini for having us!

Savini
Ristorante Italiano
Level 2, Lot 2-05, The Intermark
Jalan Tun Razak, 50400, Kuala Lumpur
www.savini.my
www.facebook.com/SaviniItalian
Hours:  Mon-Sun, 12:00pm – Till Late

Georgian Wine Tasting with Eurasia Trading

In my lifetime of wine drinking, I have to say I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting Georgian Wines. So it was an eye-opening (palate opening, more accurately) experience when I attended an intimate wine tasting session organised by Eurasia Trading at The Barn, Mont Kiara. Little did I know, that the wine of Georgia has been popular among the post-Soviet Union countries for many years. It is only in the recent years that Georgian wine expanded its markets and introduced the rest of the world to this unique variety of semi-sweet wine.

Georgia is often called “The Cradle of Wine”, with the earliest artifact of viticulture being 8,000 years old. The climate of Georgia is marked by sunny summers and frost-free winners, and the presence of natural mineral rich streams and the Black Sea makes the soil fertile, creating ideal conditions for vine cultivation. There are over 500 traditional grape varieties in Georgia, and around 10% are used in commercial wine making.

The traditional method of winemaking in Georgia involves crushing the grapes and pouring the mixture into a Kvevri, a clay jar resembling the shape of an amphora, for fermentation. The period of fermentation generally goes up to around 2 years. This method gives the wine a firm tannic texture and ensures a longer shelf life without any artificial preservatives.

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And that brings me to the story of Eurasia Trading. Long story short, Elya Tleuzhanova from Kazakhstan met Malaysian-born Stanley Chee and sparks flew, they are now happily married and started this company together as they share a common interest in fine wine. Thanks to them, we are now able to enjoy the delicious Georgian wine as well.

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There are currently 5 different wines under Eurasia Trading, and I can first tell you that these are great for those who tend to avoid dry or full-bodied wines. The wines are naturally semi-sweet obtained through temperature control settings in order to stop fermentation process and keep the natural sugar level.

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As I arrived at the event slightly late following a food review earlier in the evening, I managed to catch the tail end of it and tasted some of the wines. First is, of course, the Alazani Valley White. Made with a mixture of Grapes called Rkatsiteli, Kakhuri Mtsvane, Tsitska and Tsolikouri, this wine has an intense straw colour with the aroma of citrus and honey. Very delicious and fruity, best served with cheese, seafood and even spicy food.
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Here I was caught sipping on the Alazani Valley Red Semi-Sweet Wine. Made with Saperavi, Aleksandrouli and Odjaleshi grapes, this one has a rich garnet colour, and while nosing it releases aromas of blackberry and cherry. The taste is harmonious, balanced with a pleasant fruity freshness and a long finish. It caught me by surprise as I didn’t expect it to be this sweet. Certainly very different from the Red wines we usually get here, and I’d be happy to sip on this along with some fruits and maybe more cheese.

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Some of the finger food at The Barn to supplement the wine tasting experience.

My favourite is actually the Rose, however, as it is the least sweet of the lot (yes I know I’m kinda fussy with my wine). Made with Saperavi, Muscat and Mtsvane, its gorgeous redcurrant colour was reached through special technology, when grape skin is the leg for contact with grape juice for maceration for about 8-10 hours. This wine has velvety, fruity taste, with light flavour of May roses (according to its description, I have not developed palate fine tuned enough to detect the month of the roses).

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The 2 wines that I missed out on tasting was the Kindzmarauli, another Red made with Saperavi Grapes, a saturated garnet-coloured wine with an elegant bouquet of pleasant varietal fruit. The taste is harmonious, balanced, with aromas of blackberry and blackcurrant. The other was a Red Moscato, made using a unique antique method, keeping the 8000 years of Georgian winemaking traditions. Dark garnet coloured wine is enriched with the pleasant aroma of rose, blackcurrant and cherry. It is characterised by long-lasting, well-balanced ending with fruit tones and pleasant sweetness.

Do bear in mind that the alcohol content of these wine is generally a little lower due to the higher sugar content (most of them are around 11.5%).

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Here Poesy and I caught having a somewhat animated conversation over something. Thought I’d insert the photo because I like my hair here.

To order and for more information, simply head over to their website https://www.eurasia.my/. You can buy online using PayPal, credit card, debit card or bank transfer. They will ship to all cities in Malaysia and it usually only take 1 to 4 working days. And here’s something even better: I have a promo code for you! Use “KELLY10” when you check out and receive 10% off (valid until 9th April).

Thank you, Elya and Stanley for the wonderful introduction to Georgian wines.