Cava Restaurant, Jalan Bangkung

Jalan Bangkung in Bangsar houses a row of quality restaurants quietly serving the foodies for a number of years now. But did you know that most of the restaurants are actually owned by the same people? Peter, the man behind Cava (Spanish/Mediterranean), Opus Bistro (Italian), Lucky Bo (Wagyu Steakhouse), Leonardo’s (International) and Bobo KL (Mod European and Piano Lounge) has definitely found a winning formula to keep this part of Bangsar alive, covering a wide variety of cuisines to keep the diners excited and satiated.

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The Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers recently had our Christmas Party at Cava, a Spanish Restaurant, supported by Kronenbourg 1664. Spanish cuisine is right up my alley as I love the vibrancy and its spirit of respecting fresh produce, enhanced by just the right amount of spices. The restaurant has a relaxed and casual vibe yet is formal enough for most occasions. One thing for sure, you’ll never run out of drinking options here!

Inspired by the land and sea and its bouncy, Cava sources the freshest ingredients locally, and serves up a great selection of tapas, meat and seafood dishes. Though the restaurant is pork free, your palate will still be kept busy. We had a trio of tapas platter to start our lunch.

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Boquerones en vinagre: Fresh anchovies marinated in vinegar and olive oil, a slight umaminess balanced by the peppery arugula. We also had the cured version of anchovies which is a lot saltier and goes great with wine. The Pulpo a la Gallega, Galician style octopus has a slight lick of paprika, love the textural contrast between the bouncy octopus and waxy potato.

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Sopa de Mariscos, Traditional Spanish seafood broth with a dash of pernod is an excellent choice of soup with super fresh seafood cooked just right, and delicious briny broth which is light and tangy. I polished it clean!

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During our meal we also had some Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc for extra merry making!

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We then moved on to the meat dishes and everyone’s face lit up upon seeing the Baked Suckling Lamb. What a glorious plate of meat! Baked with rosemary herb, this dish is served with mashed potato, vegetables and lamb jus. The lamb comes with just the right amount of fat (read: a lot) and the meat is perfectly tender. Be sure to get those crispy bits too for layers of texture. Not gamey at all, which is important for me. Definitely the crowd favourite!

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The Slow Braised Oxtail is fabulous too, cooked for hours for extreme tenderness and great depth of flavours in the gravy. I couldn’t help but had a second serving and extra helping of the gravy. So good!

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A Spanish feast would not be complete without a theatrical serving of Paella. Cava’s Specialty Arroz Negro: Squid ink paella with squid and prawns, comes with garlic aioli for that extra decadence. The rice is a mixture of fluff, crisp (from the bottom) and definitely plenty of umaminess from the Squid Ink. The prawns is very well executed with some part of shell nice and crisp, while keeping the flesh juicy. But I’ve like to draw your attention to the top left corner, because that chili padi pesto is the bomb! Packed with a punch, its so tasty I had to order extra baguette to soak it up. If they bottle this I would buy it for sure!

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Cava is quite well-known for their Sangria and I can easily see why. The red Sangria is truly delicious with addition of Triple Sec on top of usual concoction of Red wine and fruits.

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Well after all that meat, it’s time to end the feast on a sweet note. And there’s nothing better than a Creme Catalana, Spanish version of Creme Brulee. The delightful sugar crust, light custard which melts upon contact just provided a much needed closure to this hearty meal.

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Thank you so much for the great hospitality and I hope I’ll be back here soon for another serving of Spanish delights!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!

Cava at Bangkung Row
Tel# +603-20936637
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CavaRestaurant
Web: http://www.cava.my
71, Jalan Bangkung,
Bukit Bandaraya,
59100 Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia

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It’s the Season of Celebration at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur

Celebrate this festive season at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel as WACS Global Master Chef Helmut Lamberger and his team have crafted superb festive feasts to please all palates on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

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We were invited to check out one of their dining spots, TEMPTations and experienced the festive buffet. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can enjoy a festive dinner buffet for RM148nett per person inclusive of a non-alcoholic welcome drink. The highlights of the buffet include the perennial Whole Roasted Turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings, Roast Prime Beef Ribs, Roast Leg of Lamb and more.

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The Turkey is done well here and I specially love the tasty stuffing and cranberry sauce.

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The Roast Beef Ribs is quite amazing too, especially when you do for the medium rare parts, so tender and full of flavour. But the highlight would be that giblet sauce, full of umaminess and goes exceptionally well with the Yorkshire pudding.

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Roast Leg of Leg with Pumpkin Mash

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Roast Fillet Mignon.

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More Turkey!

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To whet your appetite, start your dinner with their seafood on ice, featuring oysters, slipper lobsters, prawns and more.

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Great selection of salads and appetizers, with that Salmon Egg Mayo on Endive being my favourite of the lot.

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Yum.

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Feeling Japanese? Sashimi is available too.

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Balance your diet up with some dairy! Excellent selection of cheese.

The dishes do span from East to West, including some of our local favourites:

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Tandoori Prawns.

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Satays.

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Noodles station

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Sup Tulang (Bone Soup)

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Ayam Goreng Berempah

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Fish Curry

And of course, I have to mention the Gnocchi:

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May not look like much, but the Gnocchis are soft as pillows and the creamy sauce tastes amazing. I had to help myself to several servings of this.

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The Garlic prawns were quite enjoyable too.

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Baked Salmon, even though it’s fully cooked it’s not too dry.

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To fulfill the vegetables quota

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Some tasty spuds

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Chinese flavours

Moving on to the desserts, and I must say this is the first time I see a Croquembouche in flesh, after seeing it at one of the MasterChef Australia challenge years ago.

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A tower of custard filled choux pastry glued together by spun sugar. Yeap, pretty much accurate.

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Gorgeous Yule Log

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“Later we’ll have some Pumpkin Pie and we’ll do some caroling”

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Minced Pies!

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Hazelnut Eclairs

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Christmas Pudding

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A variety of mini desserts

The Long lunch buffet at TEMPTations will be served on Christmas Day and New Year’s day, priced at RM138nett per person.

Worth a mention is that Dynasty Restaurant will also be offering 2 delightful menus, 3-course Seasonal Special set and 4-course Festive Set priced at RM125nett and RM180nett per person respectively, available for lunch and dinner from 18th December to 1 January 2018.

On New Year’s eve, there will be a countdown party from 9:30pm at the hotel’s Convention Area’s concourse area. Diners at TEMPTations and Dynasty will receive complimentary entry to the party and for non-diners, the ticket is priced at RM48nett per person which comes with a drink.

For a hassle free celebration at home, you could also opt for their takeaway gourmet feast. The whole roasted turkey is priced at RM108nett per kg (4-5kg per bird), which comes with Pecan pie, 2 sauces and choice of 4 trimmings. Available from 23rd Nov to 1 January 2018.

To discover more of Renaissance Kuala Lumpur’s festive dining promotions, or to make a reservation, call 0327716692 or email rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com

Thank you Renaissance KL for hosting us!

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

Effortless, Bouncy Curls with Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler

As an entertainer/performer, I have to make sure I always look the part on stage. For many years, my hair has gone through a lot of changes but one thing is for sure, it can never be boring. Now that it has grown long again, the easiest way for it to look good is curling it for that extra pizzazz.

Unfortunately, a clumsy girl like me has never learnt to use a curling tong without hurting myself, even with many years of practice. If it’s not my neck, my fingers, then it’s my ears (ouch). Every. Single. Time. Because of that I’ve started looking out for safer (and quicker) options too. There are quite a few curling tongs which has automatic functions out there, and I’ve tried them a few, but have never been truly happy with the results.

And that is until I meet the new Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler. Launched just a couple of weeks ago, this fabulous tool is designed to let woman achieve salon-style curls without stepping out of the house, or even when on the go. The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler comes with breakthrough technology for hair curling that not only produces the ultimate curl but also is safe and non-damaging to hair. Great news!

At the launch event, we got to experience the Auto Curler for ourselves, but first we were treated to a mini fashion show with the models all spotting hair curled with the Auto Curler!

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Look, our very own Miss Intercontinental 2017, Sanjna Suri!

Mr Muhammad Ali Jaleel, Country Manager of Philips Malaysia, who launched the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler delivered his speech: “All over the world, women’s self-concept of beauty has changed over time, as we have ascertained through the Global Beauty Index[1]. Today’s women have a deeper sense of their own beauty. From the survey, we have learnt that their key motivation for looking beautiful is wanting to look their best for themselves (54%), with 70% of respondents also believing that beauty is something you define for yourself and not decided by someone else. By further developing conversations on beauty based on these latest insights, Philips aims to better understand the needs and desires of women across the world. Indeed, with 89% of women believing that there are lots of ways to be beautiful, we are motivated to further deliver meaningful innovations that meets these needs,”

“The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is precisely the type of innovation that offers women a boost in their styling regime beyond what was available previously. We recognised that curls are now a much coveted hairstyle for women everywhere, and many women want to achieve this look without a salon visit. With the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler, women can now achieve just the curls they want, at home and on the go,” said Ali. “However, creating consistent curls from the front to the back of your head can be challenging, as women don’t have the same field of vision or length of reach when styling their own hair, compared to using a stylist at the salon. Hence, the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is a great tool that can help women overcome this challenge. The innovative features such as a longer curling barrel and smart curling guards help women create bouncy, uniformly-shaped curls that last, for a professional, salon-style look.”

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Getting the Ultimate DIY Curl

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler possesses a number of unique features such as a longer curling barrel, two smart curling guards and an open vertical design. Combined, these features make perfect, lustrous curls an effortless reality.

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A little demonstration on stage by Sahil. Even a non-hairstylist can produce perfect curls!

To use it, switch on the curler to warm up, section out correct amount of hair and hold the curler with the front facing. Insert the hair into the curling chamber starting from the back of the appliance. Make sure you stretch out the hair strand before pressing and holding the curl button. The hair will be slowly wrapped around the curling barrel to be curled. The curler will beep slowly, then followed by a series of faster beeps telling you to release the hair, and voila! Perfectly styled ringlet! Continue with the rest of your hair until you look like a bombshell! Hehe.

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What the curling barrel looks like.

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And the curling button.

Increased curling surface

The new Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler features a longer barrel with 113% more curling surface than previous devices. This enables women to style twice as much hair in one go, creating the perfect hairstyle in just minutes! My whole head only takes me around 10 minutes, even I’m impressed with myself.

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Innovative open design

The innovative new open design of the Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler has been shaped vertically so that it follows the natural flow of long hair. This means there is less chance of the hair becoming trapped in the device, enabling women to style confidently and effortlessly, while knowing that the health of their hair is being protected. No more fried hair!

Smart Curling Guards

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler also features two smart curling guards. These ensure that the section of hair being styled is perfectly wrapped around the curling barrel of the device, therefore creating perfectly uniform curls.

Here’s a video of me experiencing the auto curler for myself, or rather learning to use it.

Happy Reunion with our fabulously curled hair!

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Pricing and availability

The Philips StyleCare Prestige Auto Curler is priced at RM629 and is available at the Philips Brand Store in Publika Shopping Gallery and The Gardens Mid Valley, both in Kuala Lumpur, and in Sutera Mall, Johor Bahru; at Philips Experience Stores in Menara Axis, Petaling Jaya and in Penang; at retail partners and distributor stores nationwide, and online via the Philips Online Shop at  http://www.shop.philips.com.my/

For further information, visit http://philips.com.my.

[1] The Philips Global Beauty Index is an extensive international study on women’s perceptions on beauty. Held annually since 2015, the 2017 study surveyed the opinions of 11,132 women aged 18 and above in 11 countries (USA, UK, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, Korea, and India) to provide insights into current beauty industry trends, perceptions and needs across continents.

For further information, visit http://philips.com.my.

I will be posting a video demonstration next time when I use the Auto Curler too to give you a more detailed “tour”, so stay tuned for the announcement on my social media!!

Mid-Autumn Mooncakes at Dynasty Restaurant,Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Are you a fan of mooncakes? In this day and age, the art of mooncake making has become so creative that everyone is introducing new and never used before flavours in their mooncakes, hoping to stand out from the crowd. We had a chance to visit Dynasty Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur to sample their mooncake selections.

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Dynasty Chinese Restaurant at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival with an array for their handcrafted mooncakes which are available for purchase at Dynasty Restaurant from 29 August to 4 October 2017 and at Mid Valley Megamall from 14 September to 4 October 2017.

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The restaurant will be offering a selection of 12 types of baked and snowskin mooncakes using pure and natural ingredients, for classics such as the Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk, low sugar White lotus paste with single salted yolkBamboo charcoal green tea black sesame and Red bean paste.

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Traditionally made of lotus seed paste embedded with a salted egg yolk, look out for some new flavors this season include Red pitaya lotus paste with mangoHoney lotus paste with chocolateYam paste with single egg yolkAlisan tea paste with green tea and Chinese chestnut paste with egg yolk.

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Amongst their Snowskin Mooncakes, personally I enjoyed their Alison Tea Paste with Green Tea. The tea aroma is quite prominent, with just the right amount of sweetness. The Yam Paste is pretty unique too. I don’t personally eat durian, but its smell is super strong and according to the others the taste is quite intense too.

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I also enjoyed their baked mooncakes, and the Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk stood up with its distinct flavour.

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The Red Pitaya lotus paste with mango is surprisingly pleasant with its slight piquancy.

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Besides the conventional baked mooncakes and the snow skin ones, Dynasty is also offering a range of baked mini mooncakes. The mooncakes are packaged in signature boxes with any choice of 4 pieces of traditional mooncake, 6 pieces of baked mini mooncake or 6 pieces of mini snow skin.

Discounts and Specials:-

  • Free delivery to one (1) location (within 5km radius of Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel) for purchase of 20 boxes and above. Additional charges apply for locations outside 5km radius.
  • All pre-paid orders of minimum 10 boxes before 16 September for pick-up between 14 September to 4 October 2017 will receive a 25% discount.
  • Selected credit card discounts apply.

To place your order or for more info, call 03 2771 6692 or email rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com

MOONCAKE MENU

满福楼月饼系列

Traditional Mooncake – 4 pieces per box
Baked Mini Mooncake – 6 pieces per box

Regular Mini
玫瑰豆沙月Red bean paste RM27nett
香港白莲月White lotus paste RM27nett
竹炭绿茶黑芝麻月Bamboo charcoal green tea with black sesame (low sugar) RM28nett RM20nett
單黃白莲月White lotus paste with single salted yolk (low sugar) RM28nett RM20nett
火㔫芒果月Red pitaya lotus paste with mango RM28nett RM21nett
上海單黃月Shanghai lotus paste with single salted yolk (low sugar) RM28nett RM21nett
單黃翡翠玉环月Pandan lotus paste with single salted yolk

满福楼迷你月饼系列

Mini snow skin mooncake (6 pieces per box) 

 

RM29nett RM20nett
高山绿茶月Alisan tea paste with green tea RM18nett
柠蜜莲蓉朱古力Honey lotus paste with chocolate

 

RM18nett
粟子單黃月Chinese chestnut paste with egg yolk RM18.50nett
單黃芋蓉月Yam paste with single egg yolk RM18.50nett
風味榴槤月Durian paste RM19.50nett

Siew Yoke (Roast Pork) with Panasonic Cubie Oven

There is something innately appealing about crispy food. Perhaps it’s because we associate crispy with great tasting food: generally crispy food is a product of the Maillard reaction, which leads to more intensely flavoured and savoury food, or maybe it’s the whole sensory experience of hearing that tantalizing sound of crunch and the texture. For me, the top 3 crispy food would be 1: Fried Chicken, which I have to cut out of my diet to protect my voice; 2. Tonkatsu (Japanese Deep Fried Pork Cutlet), which is another thing I have to eat sparingly of; and 3. Siew Yoke! Luckily this one I can eat whenever I want. Good news is that it’s also pretty convenient to make it at home.

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You, glorious thing.

With the gadgets I have at home, there are no shortage of ways to make this delicious treat. The convection oven is the standard, Airfryer is super convenient and foolproof, and now I have the Panasonic Cubie Oven too which can achieve the same delicious result.

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The Cubie in action.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, the Panasonic Cubie Oven has a few interesting functions, and you can read about its performance of steaming here. Today, I’d like to talk about the Healthy Fry function. Basically, akin to an airfryer. The oven circulates hot air to cook the food, so you can crisp up your dish without using much oil (or none at all if the ingredients are naturally oily). I’ve decided to try using this function to make my Siew Yoke. And did it work? It sure did!

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Before we get to that, let me also tell you that I’ve tried using just the Convection oven mode as well and while it can also produce a decent siew yoke, it does require a much longer time and as a result the skin is a little less crispy than the healthy fry version and the meat ended up a bit too dry.

Anyway, let’s get to the recipe then. The basic Siew Yoke requires only a few essential ingredients:

Pork Belly (obviously)

Generous amount of Salt

Pepper to taste

1 teaspoon 5 Spice Powder

1 tablespoon Vinegar (or Lemon Juice).

The salt, pepper and 5 spice powder are used in combination to marinate the meat side while the vinegar or lemon juice is combined with salt for the skin to draw out moisture. But it’s the preparation that makes a world of difference for the crispy skin.

1. So, first, you take a whole slab of pork belly and blanch it well, for around 15 minutes, making sure it’s cooked all the way through. Then, drain and pat it dry.

2. Next step is absolutely crucial. You must poke hundreds of holes through the skin. How do you do that? Either with a fork, a skewer (takes ages, trust me), or a spike meat tenderizer that looks a little bit a torture device. Do it over and over again until you are satisfied that every surface has been covered. Then wipe the skin dry and apply vinegar and salt. It’s also time to apply your salt/pepper/5 spice marinade on the meat side.

You might have noticed that the first and second picture look slightly different, it’s because I decided to score my skin the second time for easy cutting later.

3. Once you’ve done that and properly worked up some sweat, leave the pork near a window to air dry for a few hours. Wiping the skin dry occasionally if needed. If the weather is humid, you might even want to consider using a hairdryer to dry it for a minute or two.

4. When the pork belly is almost ready for the cooking, turn on the cubie oven to healthy fry mode and let it preheat (the preset temperature is 190 and it’s fixed). Set it to 60 minutes and put in the pork belly, skin side up. Make sure the slab sits evenly so the skin will cook evenly.

5. Check the pork in the last few minutes, if the skin hasn’t bubbled up, add another 15-20 minutes and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get burnt. For this batch, I also applied a miso/honey baste at the end for added flavour. It was such a good idea!

So the end product…. super crispy skin!

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Tasty, juicy meat, perfect crunch. Just watch them disappear in minutes!

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

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

Claude Bernard Swiss Watch Review

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There are different types of people in the world. Looking are the photo above, some might pay attention just to the car (pretty sure Kevin belongs to that group), some might look at the woman (ahem), and a certain type of people might actually notice the wrist watch. Yes, there are probably as many watch lovers in the world as Petrol-head, but this post is all about the Claude Bernard Swiss Watch on my wrist.

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I’m obsessed with keeping time and while there are certainly many ways we can do this nowadays with the variety of gadgets available; the traditionalist in me prefer a good classic watch.

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Yet, in contrast to my mostly feminine fashion sense, I have a taste for bigger, unisex look watches. None of those dainty girly ones where I can barely see the second hand on them (maybe I’m just getting old). Which is why when I was given a choice to try a Claude Bernard watch for size, I went for one of its Sophisticated Classics – Retrograde Day-Date in Black.

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In order to call themselves “Swiss Made”, 60% of the manufacturing costs and the essential manufacturing step must occur in Switzerland; passing the final inspection in Swiss means that Swiss made watches are of the highest quality and standards. Claude Bernard collection is carefully hand-assembled in the Jura Mountains in Switzerland where years of master watchmakers have perfected their craft for Swiss watchmaking, making each timepiece a masterpiece.

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Claude Bernard Retrograde Day-Date

  • Encased by a stainless steel watch casing (40mm), this watch is elegantly matched with a black crocodile embossed strap.
  • Small Second Hand Sub-dial surrounding a big date display, viewing time and day easily in a quick glance.
  • A retrograde mechanism, whereby when the day hand reaches ‘SUN’, it would swing back to ‘MON’, signifying a new week.

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Maybe just retaining the habit from those years working as a doctor, it’s important for my watch to have a second hand (to measure pulse, breathing rate etc). Here, the second hand is separated, making it even easier to count time down to seconds. Having the display of date, and time of week is useful too, so my ageing brain can always be reminded of the day whenever I need to.

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Overall this is a gorgeous timepiece which is practical and easy on the eyes. The price tag is reasonable, making it an accessible luxury, also a suitable choice of gift. Aesthetic wise, it goes with almost every type of occasion/outfit formal or informal.

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This is my first watch with a leather strap. I usually opt for bracelet type in fear of allergies caused by leather/rubber material. This strap has been surprisingly comfortable even with long hours of wearing. The weight is just barely noticeable but not limiting.

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Got distracted during the photo-shoot by a friendly feline.

I’ve worn this piece to dinners, casual hangouts with friends, business meetings, and even for my gigs.

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Forever the one waiting for my musicians to show up. Hehe.

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Goofing around before show as usual.

Here are a few more photos shot by Andy Kho during the MHB Afternoon Tea Party at Senja, Saujana.

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Even in black it doesn’t look out of place pairing with white floral dress.

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Thank you Senja for providing us delectable afternoon tea spread and entertaining us girls.

Necessary Data:
Model: 34004-3-NIN
Movement: Swiss Ronda 7004 quartz (battery operated)
Case: Stainless steel, 40mm x 10.5mm thick
Back: Solid screw-in back
Crystal: Anti-reflective Sapphire
Band: Black alligator grain leather
Buckle closure: 20mm
Water Resistant: 50 meters

The Retrograde Big Day-Date also comes in other colours. Instead of Leather straps, you can also opt for bracelet style in Gold/Silver.

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*Prices include GST

Claude Bernard Watches can be found at:

Parkson: KLCC 1 st Floor Suria KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur; Pavilion Level 3, Pavilion, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur; Sunway Velocity G-16, Ground Floor, Sunway Velocity Mall, 55100 Kuala Lumpur

Isetan: KLCC 3rd Floor Suria KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur; 1 Utama Level 1, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

SOGO: Kompleks SOGO, 3D Fashion Arena, 190, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman 50100 Kuala Lumpur

For further information and the full list of authorised watch retailers, please call Crystal Time (M) Sdn Bhd at +603 2938 3938 or visit the website at www.crystaltime.com.sg.

Claude Bernard social media pages:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ClaudeBernardMalaysiaBrunei/

Instagram: @claudebernardmy

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