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.

 photo IMG_20170111_185930.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170111_193151_edit_1484197650972.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170111_194633_edit_1484197684294.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170111_195001_edit_1484197733269.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170111_195313_edit_1484197782781.jpg

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!

 photo IMG_20170111_200446_edit_1484197816728.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170111_200337_edit_1485077479105.jpg

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!

 photo IMG_20170111_201632_edit_1484227194724.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170111_204758_edit_1485077533984.jpg

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.

 photo IMG_20170111_204644_edit_1485077509260.jpg

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

Steamed 3 Colour Egg with Mince Pork

When it comes to eggs, there are so many ways to prepare it. Fried, Boiled, Poached, Baked, Steamed, and work into different recipes be it sweet or savoury. And if you are bored of the regular egg, you can trust the Chinese to come up with different ways of preserving eggs. Salted egg is magical stuff. Use it to coat anything, instant umami boost. And for those who are truly adventurous, Century Egg may look funky but has a far more complex flavour. For today’s recipe, I have combined all 3 of them for a truly comforting dish.

I’ve grown up eating Steamed eggs of all kinds of variations. At the very basic, it can be just eggs, water and some seasonings. It’s also commonly paired with minced pork for a more substantial meal. Over time, this dish has evolved to be more and more elaborate. Nowadays, I usually add both salted egg and century egg in our dish for that extra decadence.

 photo 53f142f7-70cf-420b-b778-772d5302483e.jpg

There are a few basic steps to steamed eggs. The water to egg ratio is generally about 1.5 to 1 or less. You can do this by measuring water with the halved egg shells. But I generally eyeball it by the level of the liquid in the bowl. The heat can’t be too high, or you’d risk spoiling the texture of the egg. Some people are particular about the super smooth surface of the egg, you can achieve that by lowering the heat so the water droplets don’t form on the cover to drip down. I tend to be less pedantic about that, even sprinkling the spring onions before the eggs are cooked (I don’t like to eat super raw spring onions). I’m not sure if this one has a scientific explanation, but I was told to used boiled water instead of tap water for better texture.

 photo IMG_20170104_181834.jpg

My not so pretty steamed egg, haha!

Anyhoo, here’s the recipe!

Steamed Pork with 3 Colour Egg
150g Mince Pork
3 Eggs
1 Century Egg
1 Salted Egg
Cooled Boiled Water
Spring Onion
Sesame Oil
Soy sauce
White pepper
Half teaspoon cornflour

Marinate the pork with a touch of soy sauce, white pepper and cornflour and set aside til needed. Steam Salted egg for 5 minutes until cooked, then mash into small pieces. I usually crack it first to steam it in a small bowl. You could also steam the egg whole. Peel century egg and chop into small pieces. In a large bowl, crack 3 eggs and beat lightly, then add water. Mix well.

Prepare your steaming device (basic wok and metal trivet for me), making sure the water level is lower than the plate. Place the minced pork at the base of the steaming plate then pour over the egg and water mixture. Then scatter the chopped salted egg and century egg. Cover and steam for around 10 minutes. Then open up the cover and sprinkle spring onion on top, then steam for further 5 minutes or until done. To check, shake the plate, the egg should be slightlyy wobbly but set. Drizzle sesame oil on top, turn off heat and serve hot with rice.

 photo IMG_20170104_182055.jpg

The two other egg creates a jewel-like effect, very pretty! Usually this portion would serve around 5-6 people nicely, though in our household 3 of us can polish this.

What’s your ultimate homecooked comfort dish?

Oriental Lasagna with Cream Crackers

How many of you grew up eating Cream Crackers? Well I certainly did as my father has been working with Hup Seng for the longest time as a wholesale distributor and if there’s anything that’s omnipresent in our household, this is it. There are many years Malaysians love to enjoy Cream crackers. Some of you would probably vouch for Milo + Crackers as your breakfast growing up. Kaya is a popular one as well I’m sure. I used to drizzle condense milk on my crackers, definitely not the healthiest but since we are already going there, why not go all the way right?

I remember once I was at a house party in Bintulu (of course I was still very young then), and I came across this savoury snack made with cream crackers, or we used to like to call it Ping Pong biscuits back then. It kinda did blow my mind. The eggy filling with something as simple as luncheon meat was all the more comforting. That was my only encounter with this Foochow hybrid snack. I don’t even know what it’s really called. But google turned up some results and I guess I’m gonna go with Oriental Lasagna.

 photo IMG_20161019_162924.jpg

It resembles a lasagna because the cream crackers act as “Lasagna sheets”, you’ll do either 5 or 7 layers (depends how much crackers you want to consume). Although, the egg and milk filling also makes it similar to a quiche. The fillings always include Luncheon meat and onions at its simplest, especially back in the days when luxurious ingredients aren’t readily available. I added mushrooms in mine to errr lighten it slightly, haha. When cut up, it looks like this:

 photo IMG_20161019_180735.jpg

My layers aren’t so distinctive because my egg/milk ratio is slightly higher thus the layers look more filled up. Which is fine for me because I love the filling. How to make this? Very simple, even kids can do it!

Oriental Lasagna (苏打饼千层糕)adapted from My Cooking Escapades.

Ingredients:
27 pcs of Cream Crackers (36 if you are doing an extra layer, which is what most people do I think)
1 can evaporated milk
5 eggs

Filling:
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 can Luncheon Meat, diced
Button mushrooms, a handful and roughly chopped
chili flakes
salt (optional)
White pepper

In a pan heat oil on high heat and saute onions until translucent, then add mushrooms and luncheon meat. Cook until slightly coloured and season with pepper and salt if you want to. i didn’t add any salt at all. Turn off heat and set aside. Depends on the amount of layers you might want to divide into either 2 or 3 portions.

Beat evaporated milk and eggs together and soak cream crackers in small batches (I soaked 9 at a time so I can do the whole layer, you can do it in even smaller amount). Just a few seconds would be fine, you just want the crackers to be less brittle to handle, since you’ll be drowning everything later anyway. Meanwhile, oil your square cake tin too (23cm x 23cm would be ideal).

Start lining the soaked cream cracker, your tin should fit 3 x 3, if not you might want to consider biting off the edges (just kidding, a little bit of overlapping won’t hurt). Spread half the luncheon meat mixture over, then layer with more cream crackers. Spread the other half of the meat mixture, and finish with the last layer of cream crackers.

Pour the remaining of the egg mixture over the top. Use a spatula to press down the top layer gently to ensure all layers are submerged. Steam for around 30minutes, or cover the tin with foil to bake for 40 minutes in 180C oven.

Let cool slightly before removing. I’d suggest at least 30 minutes. It’s lovely when warm, but perfectly fine room temperature. Serve it with chili sauce for extra oomph. I recommend Lingham’s.

 photo IMG_20161019_162955.jpg

Don’t underestimate the serving. I think this easily feed around 10 people. I’m pretty sure this just blew Kevin’s mind today too. The sweetness of onion, savoury crackers and luncheon meat make such good pairing. A dose of chili sauce really elevates the whole experience too. This is something that will appeal to all ages for sure.

 photo 12322928_10154471196391163_1836912019030246980_o.jpg
Our breakfast!

This can keep in the fridge, although I’d guarantee there won’t be much leftover. Just reheat in the oven or re-steam before serving. I use my trusty airfryer of course. Though I’d recommend try baking it for a slightly crispy top for that textural contrast.

Please do try it at home and let me know how it goes!

Pork Belly Adobo

Words cannot describe how much I love pork belly in any form. Roast, Fried, Braised, Baked, you name it, I’ll eat it. Or maybe more accurately, I love biting into the succulent fat. It’s truly surprisingly I’m not obese by now. I guess that’s further supporting evidence that consuming animal fats isn’t the worst thing you can do to yourself. Note that I do have familial hypercholesterolaemia but my levels are actually pretty good ever since I change my diet habit to embrace real fats (synthetic fat is bad for you yo!).

Anyways, as you might have noticed, my work schedule is completely inhuman lately. With average of 20 shows per month, I really don’t have much time off to do my own thing. Therefore, cooking has to be fast and simple, yet not losing the flavours. In my last post, I’ve included a photo of this dish I cooked along with the Preserved Veges dish which some of you have eyes sharp enough to pick it out. And today I’d like to share the recipe of this delicious Pork Belly Adobo.

 photo P1220322.jpg

Adobo is pretty much a national dish of Philippines. It involves meat, seafood or vegetables cooked in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic. The name might be taken from the Spanish, but the cooking method is definitely native. Chicken is commonly used, so is Pork. It’s a no brainer which one I prefer.

The process involves marinating the pork for at least an hour, and then just a simple braising process to allow the flavours to penetrate the meat until it’s nice and tender. Technically you won’t even need a recipe for this, but I shall break it down for you.

Pork Belly Adobo

300g Pork Belly, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 Cup Light soy sauce
1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Vinegar
2 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Black peppercorns

Marinate the pork belly in half of the soy sauce, garlic for at least 1 hour. If you need to leave it in the fridge, make sure the pork comes back to room temperature before cooking.

Heat a non-stick pan and add all the pork in to brown (there’s no need for oil since there’s plenty of fat in the pork already), then add the rest of the ingredients except vinegar (soy sauce, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorns), stir to combine, bring to boil then turn down the heat to simmer.

 photo P1220302.jpg

Add a bit of water and let the dish simmer for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the pork is starting to get tender, add vinegar and cook for further 20 minutes. The cooking liquid should be slightly thicker at this point. Turn off the heat and let it sit for around 15 for the flavours to further develop. Serve hot with rice.

Here’s a close up.
 photo P1220320.jpg

If you like your food spicy, you can actually add a chili padi or two during the cooking process. I prefer to just serve it with chili to tailor to individual liking. This method can be adapted to chicken as well, but the cooking time will be much shorter.

Hope you get to try this one day!

Preserved Mustard Green with Minced Pork (雪里红炒肉末)

It’s amazing how with years of cooking vegetables I’m still constantly finding new exciting recipes to try. Recently Kevin and I went to a Chinese Restaurant that serves a huge variety of traditional Chinese dishes called Da Feng Shou (Good Harvest). The tag line mentioned Fu Zhou Home Cooked Dishes which piqued my interest (as you know I’m Foochow), but the menu appears to be a mixture, with a slight bias to Szechuan dishes. No big deal, plenty of things I like anyway.

Kevin spotted Xue Li Hong on the menu and insisted on ordering it. Its Chinese name translate to Red in the Snow, which could be a little morbid come to think of it. But it’s actually a type of Preserved Mustard Green, and it’s super easy to make at home. The dish blew my mind with its explosion of flavours and it goes so well with rice. Needless to say, I decided to try it at home. Here’s my version:

 photo P1220319.jpg

Traditionally, Xue Li Hong is made with Gai Choy, though nowadays Choy Sum is also commonly used. I opted for the latter as it’s easier to find. The process involves just few steps: First you wash the leaves clean and separate the stalks, then you generously sprinkle salt over and gently rub into the leaves, wait for an hour or so until everything softens, then put the whole bunch into a ziploc bag to preserve in the fridge. 1 or 2 days would be enough, checking it from time to time to drain exceed liquid, but 1 week would be more ideal.

When you are ready to cook, simply take the Xue Li Hong out, rinse it well, squeeze out the excess liquid and chop into small pieces. Like so:

 photo P1220309.jpg

I wanted to keep this dish simple yet flavourful, so I’ve chosen to fry it with Pork Lard, Mince Pork and a touch of chili. The ingredients are as follow:

 photo P1220308.jpg

Pork Lard (I cut it off a piece of pork belly I was using the cook another dish)
100g Mince Pork, marinate with a touch of soy sauce, Shao Xing wine and white pepper
Xue Li Hong (of course)
2-3 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 Chili Padi

First, let’s render the pork lard. Heat the pan and add in the small pieces of lard and cook until brown. You’ll see plenty of oil rendered with just that tiny bit. Keep the crispy bit in the pan of course, it’s like golden treasure.

Bring the heat to high, add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add mince pork to cook until no longer pink. Lastly, add the Xue Li Hong to pan along with chopped chili padi (I only add one because our chili padi is rather powerful, feel free to adjust to your taste). Just a splash of water to bring everything together, and you can turn off the heat. Serve hot with rice.

Take note that the Xue Li Hong is already salty, so there’s no need to add anymore salt.

 photo P1220315.jpg

The whole dinner spread:

 photo P1220323.jpg

Pork Belly Adobo and Green Bean Omelette. Simple dishes, maximum flavours, happy tummies!

Hong Kong Hot Pot 香港热锅, Telawi Square Bangsar

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

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

 photo 13071973_1052629568116843_4951110245894501078_o.jpg

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

First, let’s start with their condiments:

 photo 13064755_1052629161450217_7300789516142022764_o.jpg

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

 photo 13071799_1052629891450144_5354277047716387218_o 1.jpg

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

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

 photo 13055094_1052630541450079_1462666367507272372_o.jpg

For a spice chaser, I’m surprised how much I like the original pork bone broth. It has that natural sweetness of the pork and while it’s sufficiently seasoned, there’s no MSG used. It’s even delicious enough to slurp on its own. The pumpkin base is a good vegetarian alternative (then again who really eats JUST vegetables at Hot Pot?), and it has a prominent ginger taste. Though I found it a little filling as it’s quite thick.
 photo 13029636_1052629791450154_1825676421066590181_o.jpg

The Century Egg/Coriander broth is something I’ve never tried before, though I don’t really detect the flavour of century egg as you can imagine, coriander can be quite overpowering. The Szechuan Spicy broth is quite mild in heat as compared to places like Xiao Fei Yang, but it’s tastier, thanks to the pork bone broth as base.

So we eagerly sipped the home brewed Herbal Tea, which is a refreshing concoction of Watercress, Red dates, Chrysanthemum and Palm sugar and this awesome platter landed on our table.
 photo 13055272_1052629931450140_8656810772222757692_o.jpg

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

 photo 13047847_1052630138116786_2440174456719229887_o.jpg

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

 photo 13072865_1052629998116800_8425254912338948589_o.jpg

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

 photo 13029721_1052629984783468_3532523847117127778_o.jpg

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

 photo 13041074_1052630554783411_2028911458782069527_o.jpg

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

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

 photo 13029423_1052630631450070_779670960878360379_o.jpg

Satisfying and comforting at the same time!

 photo 13055898_1052630771450056_8967005250873466016_o.jpg

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

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

Flingstones Cafe, SS15 Subang Jaya

Ever since I moved to my current address with Kevin, we’ve been leaving our footprints all over PJ, and SS15 especially, is an area we visit a lot for its large amount of eateries, local and non-local alike. It’s quite a buzzing spot, owing to the college in the vicinity. Which is why there are a lot more interesting cafes there now than ever before. And though you’ll be spoilt for choice for food here, one I would highly recommend is Flingstones Cafe. Especially if you love pork, and Star Wars.

 

The day we visited, we had only just watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens (my baby is a die hard SW Fan) so imagine our excitement upon receiving this:

 

Darth Vader Coffee Cubes with Hot Milk (RM15)

 

You pour the warm milk into the glass and wait for the coffee cubes to melt. While the concept isn’t new, using Darth Vader ice tray is definitely a great idea to cash in with the current SW hype. The coffee itself was pretty robust and aromatic, and I enjoyed that without sugar. I’m not sure how long this will be available for, but all I can say is hurry before they take it off the menu!
Melting DV

There’s also the Stormtrooper version:

But this time it’s the opposite, the Stormtrooper cubes are made with milk, and you get to pour hot chocolate over it.

 

Ok enough with Star Wars. Moving along to their other drinks:

 

Dirty Gingerman- Chilled Milk with houseblend espresso and ginger Syrup which comes with a mini gingerbread man. RM13

 

I believe this was their Christmas Special and I’m not sure whether it will still be on the list. But safe to say, I’m quite pleased with their houseblend.
Piccolo Latte RM9.00
Just your regular latte, but the coffee is anything but ordinary.

 photo 12496115_989024947810639_5748659708933209763_o.jpg

Putting Gula Melaka into coffee is a nice touch, it’s not too prominent which is good because we don’t want it to overpower the
aroma of coffee. This one is a novelty and I’d gladly have it again if ever I crave sweet coffee. (Photo from Sharon because I accidentally killed my SD Card and lost some of my photos)

 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the food prices here are actually quite reasonable. I guess they do have to cater for students after all. First, we had the only salad on their menu:
Anytime salad (RM12): Shredded Cabbage, Egg, Bacon Bits, Cherry Tomatoes and Mesclun leaves, finished with a generous drizzle of roast sesame dressing. It’s so my kind of thing. Everything worked well together and I can tell you that I went home and replicated a similar version. Yum! I can actually have it anytime.

 

The next item was what I’ve been dying to try: The “Chu Yao Char” Angel Hair (RM18). Chu Yao Char refers to crispy pork lard and you cannot imagine how much I love this stuff. About time someone puts it in a pasta! Apart from the crispy nuggets of gold, there’s also bacon bits, shredded zucchini and cherry tomatoes. There is absolutely nothing to fault and I’d gladly finish all of it. Cholesterol? Animal fat isn’t bad for you as long as you do it in moderation.

 

Oink Oink Ribs RM33(full) RM28(half). Ours was a full rack, and it comes with a sour plum sauce, sweet potato fries and a mini salad. Really value for money. The ribs are sufficiently tender and has a touch of smokiness which I like, but I think the sauce is a little too sweet for my liking.

 

The next dish was the highlight of our meal:
Porky Fat Rice XL (RM20), their version of Nasi Lemak (no-holds-barred with their porcine dishes I see) with Mama’s Rempah Pork Belly, minced pork sambal, hard boiled eggs, cucumber, kangkung, ikan bilis and peanuts. First of all, that MINCED PORK SAMBAL! One bite of that and my eyes instantly lit up. It’s everything a sambal should be and more, I want it on everything. That pork belly though, sinful, delicious, aromatic, a porcine lover’s dream. Rice was cooked to perfection and the whole dish was well-executed. If they sell the sambal by the jars, I’ll definitely buy!
“Kapowww” Spaghetti RM18 was another fusion pasta dish and here it’s paired with Kung Pow Chicken. It’s a little bit on the sweet side, but I do love the heat to deliver that punch and a bit of wok hei to elevate the dish.

 

Babi Fried Rice RM18.

 

As for putting crispy pork lard in fried rice? Another double thumbs up for me! Along with lap cheong and crispy bacon on top, this fried rice was very well done indeed. The addition of century egg is a nice touch and complemented the dish so well. Another round of applause for these guys please.

 

Big Bang Breakfast RM25 may not resemble the Korean boy band in any way, but it is choked full of ingredients: bbq sausage, pork bacon, hashbrown, saute mushroom, porky baked beans (!), salad; comes with either scrambled egg/ sunny side up. The Porky baked beans sure had us wanting to dance to “Fantastic Baby” (sorry, I had to). Disclaimer: I may or may not have that song playing in the background as I typed this. 
Alright, moving right along to the desserts. First, the Smooth Criminal (gotta love all the creative names):

 

Essentially an Affogato, this version comes with Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream, Coffee Jelly and Houseblend Espresso.
By the way, I heard that Affogato actually originated from the Philipines. An Italian went to a cafe in Manila and ordered a coffee with ice cream because it was hot. So this came, and he got curious and asked the waiter: “What is this?” And the waiter said: “Sir, Affogato……” And the Italian waved him off. The waiter went back to his friend, and said: “I wanted to tell you A-Ffo-Ga-To put the coffee into the ice cream.”
You can blame this on Kevin.

 

Bananarama Gila Melaka RM12. Banana desserts are my weakness by the way (I think you know that I have plenty of weaknesses), and this one is very good indeed.

 

One night with the Cendolman (RM12). Not sure if I actually want to spend one night with the Cendolman himself, but this cake, I don’t mind.
Tiramichu RM12, which is made in house. I didn’t get to try this because I was getting super stuffed by then.

 

It was one of the nicest meal I’ve had in ages, and we will not hesitate to come back again. At least for the Porky Nasi Lemak. Mmmm!
Flingstones Cafe
24, Jalan SS15/8, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.
03-5879 9468
Opening Hours: 10am – 12am Daily
(Same row as Obanhmi, Opposite Taylor’s College)

Oktoberfest at Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant

Oktoberfest is upon us again and this year, we were invited to witness the beer tapping ceremony at one of my favourite German restaurant, Brotzeit. Located on the outside dining strip of Midvalley Megamall, Brotzeit is a popular watering hole and it serves pretty authentic German cuisine. The kitchen is head by a friendly German chap Chef Helmut, who is easy to spot with his height. Brotzeit has been around for quite a few years (actually celebrating their 5th Anniversary today, how fitting!) and now also has a few other branches including one in Sunway Pyramid and another in Bangsar Shopping Centre.

It was a lovely catch-up session for us few (Cumi & Ciki, Jason with his dates, Fireangel and her fiance) and we sat down to a feast for sure. But first, the ceremony. By that I mean the beer. 

The Paulaner came all the way from German and after the ceremony, everyone gets a glass!

Cheers!

There was also a liveband to entertain us with traditional Oktoberfest tunes as well as popular oldies and current hits.

Half of the band I’ve worked with before, which is pretty cool. Cathy looking especially pretty in that cute outfit.

We started with a trio of Appetisers: Smoked salmon tartare with cream cheese and chives, Obatza (Typical Bavarian crème cheese with onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes); and Pork liver pate with onions and herbs, all served with a side of German bread. Of these, my favourite would have to be the Salmon tartare, as you can really taste the briny fish and the chives just liven up the dish. We also enjoy the Pork liver pate by default as offal lovers.

We also had a German style Pizza (Fladen), which came with tomato sauce, mozzarella, baby spinach, feta cheese, vine ripened tomatoes, onions, garlic and mushrooms. The crust is denser than pizza (more German bread like), and the toppings are abundant. Love the hint of savoury feta cheese too.

If you come in a big group, you should order the sharing platter. It’s an impressive looking board loaded with food, just take a look at this!

Oven Roasted Pork Knuckle, Thick Slices of Bacon, Sausages, Pork chops, it’s a carnivore’s playground. The deep fried pork knuckle features amazing crackling and the flesh remains tender with a slight chew, and the gravy goes superbly with this. The sausages here are really excellent too.

A closer look!

You can also order your choice of 2 side dishes and we had potato salad and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut here is the real deal, with sufficient tang and great to cut through the richness of meaty dishes. I also love the potato salad here, fluffy and a little creamy, also with a citrusy tang. Definitely moreish.

We also tried Schnapps for the first time and we got to pick from several different flavours. I think mine was apple. You are meant to drink it like a shot and while it’s lovely and sweet, it’s pretty potent too.

White Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Bacon

Have you ever tried chocolate bacon before? If you haven’t, you need to! I am a sucker for sweet and savoury combo and even though chocolate might kill my voice, I couldn’t resist a bite. Worth it, though.

And what happens if you are a singer and you go to another party with a liveband? You get called out to the stage of course.

And here’s me belting out a classic, I will survive by Gloria Gaynor (Photo credit to the BF).

Thank you Brotzeit for having us, and if you want to participate in the Oktorberfest fun, they are repeating the party this weekend (9th and 10th October) at all their branches. Prost!

A group photo taken with Umei’s phont. It was a fun night for sure.

Sang Nyuk Noodle 東風生肉麵, SS15

Sang Nyuk Mee, or 生肉面 in Chinese), is an iconic food of Sabah. In literal translation, Sang Nyuk means Raw Pork. Now before you get squeamish, it actually refers to the tender, fresh, smooth meat slices served in soup. Essentially pork noodles but totally Sabah style. Originated from Tawau in 1970s, it’s now popular enough you can find it everywhere in Sabah. And if that’s not enough, we can even find it in Klang Valley now too, to cater the Sabahans who miss hometown food, and folks like us who basically love a good bowl of pork noodles.

If you are near Subang, and feel like having something different (or familiar, depends where you are from), there’s Sang Nyuk Noodle 東風生肉麵 . It’s a stone throw away from the famous local Pork Noodles without the one hour wait, by the way. Operated by a husband/wife team (Wife is from Kota Kinabalu), you see hungry patrons happily slurping the noodles, along with many Sabahan dishes they serve on a daily basis.

Now the main attraction itself: you can have Sang Nyuk Noodles in 2 styles, either in soup or dry (kon lou). Generally people would opt for the dry style, where the noodles are tossed in dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and pork oil, and served with the tasty pork broth filled with meat slices, meatballs and offals. And the best part? The crispy pork lard floating in the soup. And at 東風 (East Wind in case you are wondering) you can even order extra pork lard for RM0.50. Music to my ears. GIVE ME THE FAT! Let’s take a moment to admire the gloriousness of this dish.

Dry Sang Nyuk Noodles (RM7.90) , RM1.50 extra for Fried Egg

I ordered the handmade noodles and added fried egg on top. The noodles are tasty with the distinct aroma of pork lard. Adding the fried egg really enhance the experience too, nothing better than strands of noodles coated with egg yolk I must say.

YolkPorn!

There are a few other choices of noodles, and Kevin always asked for the Dong Guang Mee Hoon which are thicker than usual rice vermicelli, and is usually the default choice for Sang Nyuk Noodles. Both have different textures; I liked the chewiness of the handmade noodles, but also enjoy the smooth mee hoon. One thing of note is that they brought in their soy sauce, oyster sauce and chili sauce from Sabah, to ensure authenticity. The chili sauce here is made with vinegar for that sour edge, and has a nice good kick.

The broth is boiled with pork bones, which means you see that signature milkiness in the soup, with natural sweetness of pork. I was impressed with how tender the meat was, and I was told the meat is marinated overnight with their own blend of ingredients as well as meat tenderiser. As I’m a lover of offals, the liver and intestines ticked the right boxes for me, although as a Sarawakian, I do prefer the liver to be slightly undercooked, maybe I could try asking that next time.

We tried a few other dishes as well, including these Tendon Meatball Soup (RM5.90)

Love the bouncy texture of the meatballs, and note somemore pork lard floating in the soup. Yum!

Jiang Bao Meatball soup

Jiang bao refers to the fillings which spills out as you bite into the meatballs. I love the surprise centre and would definitely order this again.

Oh and I have to show you the plate of extra Pork Lard.

You. Come to mama!

Another of their signature would be the Mushroom Chicken Feet. I think I’m quite partial to eating weird things, the good thing about being a Chinese is that we’ve been trained to eat these stuff growing up. Heh.

The Chicken feet has been cooked in Chinese Yellow Wine and various Herbs, so it has a very strong herbal taste (the most prominent aroma being the dong guai). The chicken feet was not deep fried before braising (which is also how my family does it, and we have a pretty kick ass chicken feet dish if I may say so myself), which gives it a super soft texture, while the meat falls off the bone easily. My kind of dish!

We’ve already been to this place 3 times and I’m pretty sure we’ll be returning again soon! Having said that, if you have other suggestions for Sabahan food around Klang Valley feel free to throw it our way.

Sang Nyuk Noodle
53 Jalan SS15/4e,
Subang Jaya
03-5612 2868

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