CNY Menu at Dynasty Restaurant, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Dynasty Restaurant for hosting us!

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

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

Supperclub KL, TREC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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So good it deserves a second photo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.supperclubkl.com

Opens 5pm to 3am daily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Intercontinental for hosting us!

Tao Chinese Cuisine

Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

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

Sanoook @ Sunway Pyramid West Hotel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Sanoook for hosting us!

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

Rendez-vous New Menu with Chef Benjamin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Paired with a very nice glass of Pinot Grigio.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

Savini Ristorante Italiano, Intermark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Savini for having us!

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

Hong Kong Hot Pot 香港热锅, Telawi Square Bangsar

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

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

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

First, let’s start with their condiments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Satisfying and comforting at the same time!

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

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

Blue House Steamboat Restaurant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blue House Steamboat Restaurant

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

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

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

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

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

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Beautiful Mess.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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