Oriental Chinese Restaurant Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Dim Sum and Mooncake Launch

Ever since we’ve gone low carb, Dim Sum is no longer as fun as it used to be. So what would I do if I were to eat dim sum for a food review? Bring along a partner who can take it for the team and only touch the meat and vegetables haha. Anyway we visited Oriental Chinese Restaurant Pullman Bangsar a couple of weeks ago to sample their dim sum menu as well as be a part of their Mooncake launch.

The Dim Sum market is super competitive amongst hotels and being pork free, you have to bring it to the next level with good quality seafood to compensate. And I think this restaurant did a fairly good job at that especially with their innovative dishes.

 photo IMG_20180713_140422.jpg

Chef Ng Meng Loong mans the kitchen here and is responsible for these handcrafted dim sum specialties. Let’s start with some of the more traditional items:

 photo IMG_20180713_125654.jpg

Marinated Chicken Meat With Crushed Salted Egg Yolk 金沙鷄肉賣. With these Siu Mai it’s easy for me to strip the skin to eat. The filling is juicy, savoury especially with those salted egg yolk on top.

 photo IMG_20180713_125331.jpg

Australian Scallop And Shrimps Dumplings 原粒澳带餃. Another one that I could eat without the skin, the scallops are so lovely, perfected steamed to remain that little tenderness.

 photo IMG_20180713_125954.jpg

Chicken And Prawn Dumpling With Cordyceps Flower And Black Garlic 虫草花黑蒜賣. Love the herbaceous aroma of the cordyceps flower integrating with the sweetish garlic. The prawn bits are quite prominent too, providing a firmer texture.

 photo IMG_20180713_130242.jpg

Crispy Duck Skin Rice Rolls 焼鴨脆皮腸. I think this is quite unique as I’ve never come across anyone serving duck with their cheong fun. Their accompanying XO sauce is amazing too.

 photo IMG_20180713_125247.jpg

Blue Flower Glutinous Rice With Chicken, Mushrooms And Sun-Dried Scallop 古法藍花糯米鷄. Another interesting dish bringing the Blue Pea Flower in for their Loh Mai Kai, definitely good to create talking point.

 photo IMG_20180713_125531.jpg

Charcoal Bun Stuffed With Salted Egg Yolk Custard 日本竹炭流沙包. So pretty to look at, and that’s all I did. Kevin had the whole bun to himself and in his words it was definitely worth breaking the non-carb resolve.

 photo IMG_20180713_125738.jpg

Red Bean Paste With Coconut Milk Bun 紅豆椰汁包. Mixing Red Bean with Coconut Milk lends an extra creaminess to it, a little too creamy for Kevin’s liking though. Good for those who find regular red bean paste boring.

 photo IMG_20180713_125409.jpg

Matcha Buns With Pumpkin Paste 抹茶金瓜包. Well, you get the gist, they like unusual combination.

 photo IMG_20180713_125946.jpg

Japanese Unagi Cheese Roll Serve Yogurt Sauce 鰻鱼芝士乳酪卷. Who would have thought to pair Unagi with Cheese?! The lettuce and Nori gave extra crunch too. Very nice.

 photo IMG_20180713_125351.jpg

Yam Croquettes Filled With Minced Chicken And Sun-Dried Scallop 柱味鷄粒芋角. Such a huge croquette, providing a wow factor. Tastes like regular yam croquette though.

 photo IMG_20180713_125441.jpg

Cuttlefish Dumpling With Black Truffle 黑松露墨鱼賣. Didn’t get to taste this one.

More Sweet Stuff:

 photo IMG_20180713_125721.jpg

Rice Ball With Lotus Paste 珍珠莲蓉枣. Like a crispy mooncake.

 photo IMG_20180713_125621.jpg

Eggplant Shaped Glutinous Rice Ball With Purple Sweet Potato 紫薯像生茄子. So cute kan?

 photo IMG_20180713_140119.jpg

Durian Pancake 果王班载. Of course, neither of us touched this but it was very well received by the table.

The ala carte dim sum are priced between RM17 to RM28 and for premium Bird’s Nest desserts are at RM88 each. The dim sum are available from 12:00noon to 2 :30pm daily.

Chef Ng is also the mastermind behind Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar’s delectable range of mooncakes during the highly anticipated Mid-Autumn festivals. Taste traditional handmade mooncakes in Oriental Chinese with a modern twist, as we bring back to this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival delicious snow skin mooncake flavours that include White Lotus Bird’s Nest & Musang King Durian flavour – of which will be handcrafted by Chef Ng.

Oriental Chinese Cuisine baked mooncakes features a variety of 8 flavours like Pure Lotus Single Yolk, Black Sesame Gold, Red Bean, Pandan Delight, Scarlett Snow, Hana Kisses, Violet Harmony and Green Tea Apricot.

 photo Artboard 6.jpg

The baked mooncakes are packaged in stylish gift boxes with 2 designs to choose from; the Pullman Signature Series (RM138nett) and the Elegance Gold Series (RM128nett). Guests are able to choose from 2 sets of mooncake combination; a) Lotus Single Yolk, Green Tea Apricot, Hana Kisses, Red Bean or Pandan OR b) Pandan Delight, Black Sesame Gold, Scarlet Snow, Violet Harmony.

 photo Artboard 1 copy 3.jpg

The Musang King Durian and White Lotus Bird’s Nest snow skin mooncake series comes in a box of 6, 3pcs each flavour or 6 pcs of the same flavour for RM198nett.

 photo Artboard 1 copy 2.jpg

Mooncakes (Snowskin)

 photo IMG_20180713_140521.jpg

Musang King Durian

 photo IMG_20180713_140549.jpg

White Lotus Bird’s Nest.

All mooncakes will be available for sale at Oriental Chinese Restaurant from 13 July till 24 September 2018 (12:00 noon – 10:00 PM) and at the Lobby shop on the
hotel’s ground floor from 13 July till 24 September 2018 (10:00 AM – 6:00PM).

For more information and custom-made corporate orders please call the retail hotline at +03 2298 1888 (ext 5100) for more details.

 photo Hongkong Flyer.jpg

There will be a treat for dimsum lovers as Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar presents “FOODIE TRAVEL TO HONG KONG” contest where a lucky diner will stand a chance 3D2N stay in Hong Kong, inclusive of flight tickets! All you need to do is just to dine in during lunch at Oriental Chinese Cuisine Restaurant, take a selfie and tag 5 friends, Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar’s Facebook page and Oriental Chinese Restaurant Facebook page.

Contest period : 1 July 2018 – 31 August 2018 For more info : http://pullmankualalumpur.com/specialoffers/foodie-travel-to-hongkong/

Advertisements

Philips Raya Cooking Session with Chef Marina

It’s no secret that I am a kitchen gadget geeks, and it shall come as no surprise that I own most of the Philips kitchen appliances because of their functionality and convenience. I use my Philips All-In-One Cooker, Philips Airfryer (older generation so it’s almost time to upgrade) and Philips Blender on an almost daily basis and they have made my life so much easier.

 photo IMG_20180630_153118.jpg

Another name that is almost synonymous with the Philips Brand is Chef Marina Mustafa, who’s actually the official ambassador, and might I add, doing a fabulous job at that. It’s always a joy to spend some time with Chef Marina Mustafa as she’s jovial, down to earth and always generous with her knowledge. That’s why whenever Philips holds a workshop with her, I’d always try to attend. Luckily, the stars aligned a couple of weeks ago and we were able to join her Raya Cooking Workshop, held at the Philips Customer Service Centre.

 photo IMG_20180630_144949.jpg

The appliances featured during the workshop were the Philips AIO Cooker, Philips Airfryer and Philips Duravita Blender. And the first recipe she demonstrated was the Rendang Tok, which I’ve previously cooked and featured on my blog too. Click link Here for the recipe video featuring the Philips AIO Cooker. Let me just tell you her recipe is one of the best I’ve tasted so far! I’m still amazed how rendang done this way could taste so rich and full of flavours, even with the dramatically shortened cooking time, the beef is superbly tender. No more slaving over the stove for this!

 photo IMG_20180630_153123.jpg

She then made the Lemang, also using the AIO Cooker. No hovering over the charcoal grill for hours to achieve this! The banana leaf was first softened using the saute mode, then the rice is cooked with all the aromatics. A little trick she taught us, was to use the sushi maker to form the long shaped lemang (along with the banana leaf). Of course, this version would not have the traditional smoky aroma; but I would say that it’s delicious nonetheless.

 photo IMG_20180630_153129.jpg

Next up was the Otak-otak. Now, this was our favourite dish of the day, and I never used to like Otak Otak because of the mousse texture. And honestly, I had no idea it was so easy to make. The prepping was done with the blender and then the mixture was poured into a ramekin and then sent to the Airfryer.  I like how she blended half the fish, and kept the other half whole. The result? Smooth Otak-otak with bits of chunky fish to provide firmer bite, and the flavours were light enough yet super aromatic. I have to try and make this myself soon and share the recipe with you.

 photo IMG_20180630_153656.jpg

She also made a dessert: Kuih Seri Kaya Bakar, a traditional cake that’s often served in weddings, and of course during Raya Feast. You can actually make this using either the Airfryer or AIO cooker, and that’s the beauty of owning these two gadgets: sometimes you have to do multiple things at once and they do come as a great help in the kitchen. I didn’t get to try this because we can’t do the carbs, but the aroma was indeed tempting.

 photo IMG_20180630_155458.jpg

Thank you Philips for hosting this wonderful session and Chef Marina Mustafa for another fun cooking session. And that’s a group photo with my eyes closed lol.

For more information on the Philips All-In-One Cooker, do check out my previous post on the product launch here: https://kellysiewcooks.com/2017/06/01/traditional-meals-made-easier-with-the-new-generation-philips-all-in-one-pressure-cooker/

You can also check out other recipe recommendations on their website: http://www.philips.com.my

Oh, and since we are here, I’d like to giveaway a cookbook!

 photo IMG_20170619_180434.jpg

“One-Pot Wonders”, a comprehensive cookbook/guide co-authored by Chef Marina Mustafa and Sara Khong, is a must-have if you own a Philips All-In-One Cooker, or the older generation Pressure Cooker. Each recipe comes with detailed instructions on how to cook each dishes in either slow or pressure cooker mode, as well as conventional method, from Chinese Herbal Soup, Raya dishes, to Cakes and desserts. I have one copy to give to a lucky ready!

To participate in the giveaway:

  1. Comment below and let me know why you want this book, and if you already have a Philips All-In-One Pressure cooker at home/planning to buy.
  2. Like this page http://www.facebook.com/kellysiewcooks 
  3. And this: https://www.facebook.com/PhilipsHomeLiving.my/ 

And that’s all you need to do! Open to all readers in Malaysia only, entries close on 31st July 2018. 

Happy Cooking Peeps!

Ketogenic Lifestyle – Eating Out

So continuing from my last post about our diet change, I’d like to extend and touch on what we normally eat when we go out. And just to summarize it quickly: We don’t do any processed carbohydrates, which means no rice, noodles, pasta, bread, pizza, sweetened drinks etc; that’s obvious, right? But a lot of people don’t realise that almost everything has carbs (with the exceptions of fatty meat) and some vegetables have higher carbs than others. Apart from reducing carbs, the amount of fat would have to be increased significantly. You can imagine that eating out becomes a bit of a challenge. How do we do it? Here’s a general idea for you.

Bear in mind though if you do eat out, there’s always going to be some hidden carbs in the form of sauces and seasonings because you can never be 100% sure of what they put into your dish. Then again I think it’s commonly agreed that home cooking is better than eating out, am I right? But of course, not everyone has the luxury to cook every single day. So for the purpose of this blog post, let’s start with hawker centres and kopitiams:

Pork Noodles

 photo IMG_20180528_090914.jpg

Pork noodles stalls are everywhere in Klang Valley, and we all have our own favourite shop/stall. It’s the easiest dish to be made Low Carb High Fat. Ask for no noodles (most of them would happily oblige nowadays), extra crispy pork lard, and add an egg or two. It’d be good to check if they cook it with any sugar. The meatballs are made with fillers though, so best to avoid. The picture above is a dry version, but this one has hidden carbs from the soy sauce, so do count that in the macros. The vegetables they put in the soup is usually choy sum or lettuce, which is perfectly fine.

Chinese Style Roast Meat

 photo IMG_20180602_102318.jpg

Siew Yoke is another perfect keto food item that’s super easy to find. Ask for fattier cut, no sauce, then eat the cucumbers. The chili sauce (like the one in the pic) is best to be avoided too because there’s sugar in it. Note that Char Siew is not keto compliant because it’s made with a lot of sugar. Bored of Pork? Roast Duck is great too, just make sure no sauce or sweet marinade.

Curry Mee

 photo IMG_20180501_084839.jpg

Not the best choice but if you want a bit of variety you can try asking them to replace the noodles with bean sprouts, don’t eat the tofu pok and go easy on the soup because there might be hidden sugar. Those with Roast Pork would be better because of higher fat content. And on that same subject, I’ve seen people doing Char Kueh Tiaw with bean sprouts too, but hard to imagine that it’d taste good hahaha.

Beef Noodles

 photo IMG_20180526_124456.jpg

Again, same concept with the pork noodles, just the beef parts and broth, no noodles. Skip the meatballs. This picture above is from Yung Kee Beef Noodles, which in our opinion serves the best beef noodles in town. Now that we can’t eat their famous lai fun, we opt for the fatty cut of beef in broth and other parts like tripe. Yum!

Kueh Chap/Kueh Tiaw Kia

 photo IMG_20180506_103227.jpg

This is my favourite comfort food because it reminds me of home (Sarawak, though the one above is from JB). Admittedly both of these are not easy to find in Klang Valley, but if you do, you can also skip the noodles and just go for the pork parts and egg, no tofu though.

Chicken Rice

This should be quite obvious. Just the Chicken (thighs and drumsticks, both roast version and white version are ok), eat all the skin, eat the cucumber, no sauce. Organs are good too. No picture because well, I don’t eat chicken as my body reacts badly to it.

Bak Kut Teh

 photo IMG_20170306_122803_1.jpg

Well well, this is a controversial one. BKT is the easiest way to obtain fatty pork parts (Tua Kut, Pork Belly, Pork Leg… all great selections), but the only thing is, the thicker the soup, the higher the carb (from soy sauce and the Chinese herbs… Yes they have carbs). So eat the meat/fat, and only drink the soup sparingly if you must. Since you are eating without the rice and You tiao, you don’t even need that much soup.

Ok…. Moving along to restaurants/cafes. Our two favourite things would be Mookata (Thai BBQ) and Korean BBQ. Why? Because you can just eat all the meat and some of the low carb vegetables.

Korean Food

 photo IMG_20180506_200648.jpg

A few things you can order: Bo Ssam is Boiled Pork Belly served with Kimchi and Lettuce. As keto as it gets! Just don’t take the sauce because sugar.

 photo IMG_20180603_204023.jpg

BBQ meat is also an excellent choice, but do go for the ones without marinade though. The picture above is from Palsaik which has meat marinated in 8 different flavours including Gochujang etc…. give the sweeter ones with friends who are not on Keto hahahaha. Anything that says Bulgogi or made with Gochujang, skip. Kimchi is usually made with a little bit of sugar too so don’t eat too much of it.

Mookata/Thai Restaurants

 photo IMG_20180613_190807.jpg

Thai food is generally a little bit tough to be made Keto because almost everything has sugar as their seasoning. Mookata, however, is a pretty good option: just order the pork slices (no marinade) and some of the lower carb vegetables (water spinach, cabbage, mushrooms usually). Ordering the Basil Fried Pork with Egg and no rice is probably fine once in the while, and the Herb Omelette is safe too. Braised Pork Leg might be a good source of fat, but most of them tend to be too sweet so nowadays we avoid too. The grilled fish is great, grilled pork neck is probably fine too, but definitely skip the Moo Ping so it’s also super sweet.

Japanese

A wide range of choices here: Sashimi (choose fatty fish like Salmon and Tuna), Chawanmushi, Grilled Fish (salt grilled only), Yakitori stuff (pork, chicken, organs). No teriyaki sauce (sugary) or aburi/mentai-yaki stuff (coz of the mayonnaise).

Filipino Food

 photo IMG_20180610_194515.jpg

 photo IMG_20180610_194523.jpg

This one might come as a surprise to you but they do have a lot of keto friendly dishes. The Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette), Lechon (roast pork), Bicol Express (Pork cooked in coconut milk and cincalok), Sisig (Sizzling Pork Face meat… awesome stuff though careful with the amount of onion/garlic), Sinigang (tamarind based pork soup, but watch out for high carb vegetables) and of course the crispy pata (Pork Knuckle). But of course, skip the rice.

German/Bavarian Cuisine/General Western Cuisine

 photo IMG_20180420_200822.jpg

Go for Sausages, Roast Pork, Pork Knuckle, Roast Lamb, Roast Chicken, Salmon. Avoid Pork Ribs unless you can find those without BBQ sauce. Eat with, Green Salad, Roast vegetables (skip carrot/corn/anything else that grows below ground), Sauerkraut. Fantastic food to stay low carb. There are also a lot of pork-based restaurants around that serve these kinds of food: Three Little Pigs and Big Bad Wolf (this place even has a Keto menu), S.Wine, Brussels, The Brew House, Tipsy Boar, Uncle Don etc which made low carb meal an ease.

I hope this list is helpful for you to decide when you eat out. I’d probably come back to add more to the list, so feel free to add your suggestions too. Happy Keto-ing!

It’s been a while…..

Hi everyone! I’d like to apologize for my absence on this space. It’s truly been a crazy ride the first few months of this year. Everything was building up until our big trip (8 days are considered extra long for our lifestyle) in Siem Reap and Bangkok. There are many things I want to blog about, but then it’s hard to decide what to post first. So this post will serve as a general update for those who are still reading.

So after 2 years and a bit of being extra lenient on our eating habits, Kevin and I both were not feeling the best: bloating, allergy problem (mainly me), and just constantly tired and worn out. One day, as though seeing the light, he said: “B, we can’t continue like this anymore….. time to go on a diet!”

Me being me, was like: “Say no more!”. Prior to this, I’ve been reading up on a “new” way of eating: The Ketogenic Diet. The name is daunting as it sounds like a complete metabolic overhaul, and it is. Those who have been around here for a while would know that I used to do Paleo Diet for quite a period of time. And this is another step up from that. Basically, we are talking about severely reducing carbohydrates, increasing fat intake and moderate protein intake.

Long story short, we started the diet right after Chinese New Year, and to date, both of us have already reached our goal weight (he lost 6kg, I lost 5), his mother who was half forced (haha it’s a dictatorship when it comes to kitchen management in this household) into the diet lost 8kg! So it’s rather impressive, considering we never had to starve ourselves ever.

So I guess the next step here is to share some of the food that we’ve been eating (that I cooked) over the past couple of months. A typical meal would consist of a sizable portion of meat (fatty meat preferred), and probably around equal about of vegetables. No rice, no pasta, no bread, no noodles, no quinoa, and definitely no sugar of any kind. As for the vegetables, anything grown below the ground has to be avoided. And most fruits are also banned. Let me show you some of our meals then:

 photo IMG_20180515_095002_591.jpg
Pork Belly, Green Beans, Tomatoes

 photo IMG_20180507_185017_156.jpg
Minced Pork, Cauliflower Rice, Greens

 photo IMG_20180509_174656_464.jpg
Pork Hamburg, Broccoli, Green Beans

 photo IMG_20180525_094647_634.jpg
Tonpei Yaki (Bacon, Cabbage, Omelette)

 photo IMG_20180511_152117_997.jpg
Keto Compliant Pork Sausage (no sugar, no fillers, increased fat) with Green Beans and Tomatoes

 photo IMG_20180318_184853_924.jpg
Pork Knuckles and Grilled Vegetables

 photo IMG_20180607_185623_128.jpg
Beef Brisket Stew

 photo IMG_20180521_172611_777.jpg
Braised Pork Knuckle

 photo IMG_20180515_184902_207.jpg
Lechon Porchetta!

 photo IMG_20180515_185137_229.jpg
Because it deserves another photo: Lechon Porchetta with Homemade Sauerkraut and Greens. The crackling is amazing!

And speaking of crackling:

 photo IMG_20180525_190322_164.jpg
I’ve been perfecting my Siew Yoke (Crispy roast pork) and will be selling them soon too!

The eating out photos shall be shared as a separated post to give you an idea of how we avoid carbs in restaurants and cafes.

Apart from weight loss, there have been several other major benefits too. I no longer have cravings for anything (might not be a good thing for a foodie lol), you can sit in front of me and gobble down rice, noodles and bread and it will not tempt me. My mind is clearer too because there will never be any food coma without sugar and carbs. My energy level is better without the afternoon crash. We have yet to go for our yearly checkup though, that would probably be the next thing to do. I’ve always had high cholesterol. The Paleo diet helped me reduce a little, so it’d be interesting to see what happens this time.

Ketogenic way of eating is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. It requires a complete shift of mindset. We must first realise that sugar is the main cause of metabolic syndrome, and that cholesterol is our friend. That way, you would go into this lifestyle without holding back. I will be sharing more specific topics in the future, but if you have any questions feel free to throw it my way!

MHB Christmas Party, Samplings On The Fourteenth

Located at the East Tower on the 14th floor of Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant boasts a large collection of vintage wines and offers the finest Western cuisine that ignites your taste buds. Since opening its doors in 2011, Samplings On The Fourteenth Restaurant has built a steadfast name as one of the most distinguished fine-dining restaurants in the local dining scene. The restaurant is well-known amongst discerning food lovers in Kuala Lumpur for its excellent service standards, innovative menu, comfortable ambience, as well as unique culinary experience.

It wasn’t the first time I visited Samplings On The Fourteenth, although the last few times they’ve always had guest chef for the events. This time, the MHB had a Christmas Dinner there, presented by Calvin Klein and supported by Kronenbourg. A classy affair it was with specially crafted Christmas menu for us to feast on.

 photo 25440219_1607558109290650_7406714620987652526_o.jpg

The Amuse Bouche was a Tortelini filled with Spinach and Ricotta, dressed with a prawn bisque. Lovely enough to whet our appetite for the rest of the evening.

 photo 25438845_1607558252623969_2681102747506552796_o.jpg

Our starter was Pan-Seared Scallop served Avocado Tian with Mango-Tomato Salsa and few other vegetables including an earthy baby beetroot. The simplicity of the flavours was simply delightful, harmony of sweet, tang and earth and brine.

 photo 25487375_1607560762623718_4847976954450408892_o.jpg

There was a Soup course too, and I must say the Cream of Asparagus was executed well. Mushroom Crostini on the side was a little too garlicky for my liking, thus an overwhelming pairing for the soup.

 photo 25438676_1607558799290581_6536128554758684819_o.jpg

We had a choice of Fish, Chicken and Turkey for Main Course and no prize guessing which one I went for. Grilled Cod Fish with Truffle Risotto and Saffron, Fennel Coulis. Pretty much all my favourite elements coming together. The buttery soft fish with a bit of crispy skin, the creamy aromatic risotto, topped with the distinct aroma of saffron. Even the side grilled vegetables were delicious. A++!

 photo 25487609_1607562405956887_6905450192427458730_o.jpg

Since I didn’t go for the Turkey, the Xmas pudding was the most festive dish for me. Filled with mixed fruit and spices, this definitely brought a taste of Christmas to the party. It’s also a nice touch with the berry coulis and vanilla sauce.

As the party was supported by Calvin Klein jewellery, I had a few pieces of them on while dining:

 photo 25487285_1607561089290352_6793907332084391403_o.jpg

Definitely added to the classy vibe.

 photo CK1.jpg

Here’s me enjoying my glass of Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc.

 photo 25532258_1607562522623542_9219140300296010867_o.jpg

Thank you Samplings On The Fourteenth for having us!

Samplings on the Fourteenth is located at:
14th Floor, Berjaya Times Square Hotel,
1, Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia
Telephone: +60 (3) 2117 8000 ext. 8131
Website: http://www.berjayahotel.com/kualalumpur
Email: bth.samplings@berjayahotel.com

Closer look at my CK Jewellery

 photo IMG_20180102_130346.jpg

 photo IMG_20180102_130216.jpg

 photo IMG_20180102_125941.jpg

Thank you Calvin Klein for the lovely gifts!

Find Your Lucky Star Pop-up Dining at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur

I’ve been to Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel many times and most of the time the dining experiences have been satisfactory due to the great quality of food offers in their outlets such as Celestial Court, Essence and Villa Danieli. But nothing ever prepared us for the eye opening experience at their special pop-up restaurant.

“Find your Lucky Star” is conceptualised by multi award-winning global interior designer, Emma Maxwell. Drawing inspiration from European flavours, the celebratory menus are curated by two talented chefs; Chef Francois Mermilliod of famed French dining restaurant in Singapore, Bar-A-Thym as well as Chef Gaetano Di Stefano of Villa Danieli, the signature Italian restaurant at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. The mesmerizing dining experience runs for limited time only from 12 to 29 December 2017 for lunch and dinner and each session accommodates only 12 guests.

 photo find-your-lucky-star-sheraton-imperial-5.jpg

“In our endeavour to constantly satiate Kuala Lumpur’s appetite for new and exciting dining experiences, we are thrilled to have Emma Maxwell and Chef Francois Mermilliod to collaborate on this unique experience,” commented Frank Beck, Managing Director of Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel. “Kuala Lumpur is such a diverse gastronomic city, we aim to continuously present culinary innovation for our guests and creating unforgettable memories especially this holiday season,” he added.

Sparked from a simple question on “How do we make our dreams come true?”, designer Emma Maxwell in her signature layered, worldly and eclectic style came up with “Find your Lucky Star” pop-up restaurant concept based on the foundation of seeing things a little differently.

Creative mastermind, Emma describes the journey, “As guests walk through the threshold of the external austere and rigid structure, they are swept from the chaotic and bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur and submerged into a seductive and evocative “other” world. A scene that is the exact opposite of what they perceived from the rigidity of the exterior of the structure.”

Walking into the Pavilion, we were immediately greeted by a medium sized black box, which doesn’t tell us much exteriorly. Walking in, we were greeted by a beautifully decorated long table, pretty light fixture, and even starry night projected on the walls. It’s truly gorgeous and romantic.

 photo IMG_0465.jpg

When everyone’s settled in, we were quickly served our first drink and first starter. Our menu is curated by Chef Gaetano Di Stefano, who’s their resident Italian Chef. He has definitely exercised plenty of creative muslces to put this feast together.

 photo IMG_20171222_194407.jpgLobster Carpaccio with Young Mango Salad and Grape Fruits Foam
Wine pairing: SAN FELETTO Extra Dry Prosecco DOCG

Gorgeous dish, with very simple flavours from the ingredients, rather tropical and refreshing. Feeling extra fancy from the Grape Fruit Foam.

 photo IMG_0486.jpg

Roasted Beetroot Soup, Seared Scallop and Truffle Essence
Paired with 2016 MAZZEI Belgvardo Vermentino di Toscana

 photo IMG_20171222_200415.jpg

The soup pouring was the theatrical element, a sea of red supporting the lone scallop. In a way, this dish is combining the surf and turf element, the earthy beetroot surprisingly worked really well with the perfectly cooked scallop. With that lovely micro herbs and sprouts for extra herbaceous note. And of course, with the extra decadence from the truffle too. I think this was Kevin’s favourite dish of the night.

 photo IMG_20171222_202243.jpg
Braised Beef Cheek, Modica Saffron Risotto, Crisp Parmesan
2013 MAZZEI Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG

A whiff of Saffron hit the nose as this reached the table. On top of the orange hue risotto sat a good chunk of beef cheek and then top with beautifully crisp parmesan. I got one extra piece because Kevin doesn’t eat cheese, well lucky me! This dish was perfectly executed, with al dente rice grains, superbly tender beef and that crisp cheese for a great marriage of textures.

 photo IMG_20171222_204423.jpg
Baked Italian Turbot with Braised Mediterranean Vegetable, Sea Urchin Foam 
2013 MAZZEI Fonterutoli Chianti Classico DOCG4

Without the strong LED light, the dishes all look something like this:

 photo IMG_20171222_204331.jpg

Sparkle sparkle, pretty right?

Another very clean tasting dish, with the fish lovely and flaky, and the finely diced vegetables retaining a touch of crunch. I couldn’t really detect the sea urchin but the sauce is at least not overpowering. Delicious. But perhaps a little mismatch with the Chianti as this dish is lighter than the wine. Not a huge problem, though.

 photo IMG_0501.jpg

Austalian Lamb Loin, Crushed Pistachio, Sweet Potato Mash, Asparagus and Madeira Reduction
2011 MAZZEI Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Privata Riserva

I think the Lamb loin is the biggest surprise (pleasant one) for me. Super tender meat, full of flavours perfect pairing with the sweet potato. And I do appreciate a nice fatty asparagus. Winner dish for sure!

 photo IMG_20171222_213037.jpg

Ok, I normally abstains from all things chocolate and so does Kevin. Me for the protection of my throat, him… just doesn’t like the taste. But after he took one bite of that truffle, he insisted it was worth me breaking my rule for. And my my was he so right… I ate both the truffle and the chocolate star. Plain amazing, no words.

 photo IMG_20171222_214615.jpg
So much so I totally forgot wee had a dessert coming.

The Green Apple Tarte Tatin was served with vanilla gelato and berry coulis. The tarte was more biscuit-y than flaky, though the flavours still spot on. A good light dessert to end the feast. This has got to be the more memorable meal we had in 2017, thank you for hosting us.

The Pop-Up definitely had a successful run, with most of the dates fully booked til 29th December, in fact the night we dined, they had to add 2 extra seats in order to accommodate everyone. The “Find your Lucky Star” experience is available at RM 238 nett for a 4-course lunch with wine pairing or RM 188 nett with mocktail, and RM 438 nett for a 6-course dinner with wine pairing or RM 388 nett with mocktail. I heard that they might be extending this until Chinese New Year, so do check their website out for more updates!

For further inquiries or reservations, telephone +603-27179027, e-mail LuckyStar@sheraton.com or visit http://www.pavilionslounge.com/, http://www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com/

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.

 photo 25075228_1600211300025331_7706317134111146498_o.jpg

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.

 photo 25311276_1600210570025404_5855391833936500150_o.jpg

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.

 photo 25073326_1600210610025400_6694051597263523642_o.jpg

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!

 photo 25075191_1600210436692084_1717469137656606350_o_2.jpg
During our meal we also had some Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc for extra merry making!

 photo 25188705_1600209766692151_4591082390506165449_o.jpg

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!

 photo 25311256_1600209773358817_7038803986547021835_o.jpg

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!

 photo 25182308_1600211586691969_7358650120897499907_o.jpg

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!

 photo 25073102_1600210816692046_4917540242501632313_o.jpg

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.

 photo 25073485_1600211036692024_650054387771833217_o.jpg

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.

 photo 25075214_1600211866691941_3411099421528142139_o.jpg

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

MHB’s 6th Anniversary High-Tea at Element Kuala Lumpur Hotel

 

MHB (http://hottestbloggers.com) is a digital and influencer content marketing agency which believes that digital publicity should be engaging while being affordable and cost-effective. We believe in conveying our clients’ message through ethical, high-quality, and trustworthy content in a lifestyle and non-hard sell manner that will stand out from all the junk, tabloid clutter and fake news, capturing the attention of consumers as well as providing positive brand awareness.

MHB is trusted by many brands including Montblanc, Ball Watch, Panasonic, Sony, Leica, Fujifilm, Calvin Klein Watches & Jewelry (Swatch Group Malaysia), Nivea, Chevrolet, Olympus, Lenovo, Casio, Carlsberg, Johnnie Walker, GUESS, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss and Gucci fragrances, Givenchy, Ricoh, and many more to provide quality and ethical digital media publicity.

We also have strategic media partnerships with many top brands such as Calvin Klein fragrances (Luxasia), Kerastase, Nissan, Ice Watch, Storm London, and more! On a local level, we work with prominent brands like Celcom, Poh Kong, 1 Utama, Atria Shopping Centre, EcoWorld, Encorp, De Jouer, Beaute Library, Nomi Tomo, Shawn Cutler and numerous other brands in need of affordable yet cost-effective digital publicity.

We provide cost-effective advertising packages to suit various brands and budgets, from independent stores to SMEs, all the way to MNCs and global brands.

To celebrate our 6th anniversary, we partnered with Xiaomi, Poh Kong and Element Kuala Lumpur Hotel for a delectable ARTEASTRY high-tea at Trace, the hotel’s all day dining restaurant. The name ARTEASTRY stands for Art, Tea and Pastry, and high-tea is set against the modern, artistic features of Element Kuala Lumpur, providing an ideal combination for a weekend social gathering with family and friends. TRACE restaurant & bar is situated at level 40 of KL’s tallest eco-friendly hotel, and offers a first of its kind artistic high tea while you enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Our ARTEASTRY experience began with the arrival of a contemporary bento box, beautifully decorated with synthetic grass and black, shiny modern slates – very Instagrammable indeed! The bento box is filled with delicious morsels such as dainty savoury bites containing Waffle with Salmon and Crème Fraiche, Apple Duck in Savoury Cone, Chicken Sliders in Mini Croissant with Tomato Relish, Tomato and Basil Macaroon, Confit Portobello Mushroom and Swiss Cheese Bruschetta. A must-have during high-tea are scones, and the light and fluffy Earl Grey Tea infused Scones at TRACE are served with clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam.

 

98100103

 

The dessert is the highlight of the ARTEASTRY experience, and sets this high tea apart from the typical presentation of buffet spreads or three-tiered cake stands. “The Red Splash” dessert is literally splashed on your table. The chef places a white chocolate sphere and paints an edible artwork on the table with drops and strokes of Framboise a la Mascarpone, Raspberry Confit, Raspberries, Meringue Sticks, Vanilla Soil, Sponge Fingers and Mango Chutney on a piece of “newspaper-like” food grade paper.  To end the performance, we got to pick the white chocolate sphere and drop it in the middle of the art piece, creating a delectable mess on the table.

The ARTEASTRY is priced at RM128nett for 2 persons, and is available on weekends (Saturday & Sunday), from 1.00pm to 5.00pm at the TRACE Restaurant and Bar, in Element Kuala Lumpur.

 

The event was supported by Poh Kong who provided us with beautiful pearl necklaces

212325

 

The event was also supported by Xiaomi who provided us with their latest model – the Mi A1. The Mi A1 runs on stock Android to offer a high-quality software experience designed by Google, underscoring Xiaomi’s commitment to providing more choices for users. Priced at RM999 in Malaysia, the Mi A1 is a beautifully-designed device that combines hardware innovations, including an optical zoom dual camera setup, with great Google-designed software.

Mi A1 incorporates a dual camera configuration similar to that in Mi 6, Xiaomi’s latest flagship device, with wide-angle and telephoto lenses used to incredible effect. The two lenses allow Mi A1 to calculate what is in the foreground and what is in the background, creating a depth-of-field effect that typically requires a DSLR lens to achieve, allowing the user to create photos of unparalleled clarity and colour. In addition, an improved Beautify mode that makes selfies look more natural, now works with the both the front 5MP camera as well as the 12MP dual rear camera. Mi A1 supports 2x optical zoom, which makes photos of distant subjects remain clear, while 10x digital zoom is also supported.

While all that sounds pretty good on paper, how does it perform in real life? So we decided to snap some pics using the phone’s front and back cameras during the high-tea to see the results.

 

Here are the photos we shot with the Mi A1. Click on the individual photos to open a larger version.

 

Although it was a rather cloudy day, we were surprised to find that the indoor photos taken in the restaurant were sufficiently exposed, rendering bright and realistic colours as well as the option to be more artsy with the bokeh feature. The contrast and level of details were also pretty impressive for a mid-range smartphone, as seen in the photos of the pool.

The rear camera produced some very natural looking skin tones when shooting people, and even bokeh for portrait shoots. The girls were also impressed that the front camera allowed for decent selfies with an auto-beautify function – something every influencer loves.

Mi A1 is Xiaomi’s first Android One phone, with a software experience designed by Google, offering users a simple, pure Android phone that stays fresh over time with OS upgrades. As an Android One smartphone, Mi A1 comes with the most popular Google services built-in as default, such as free unlimited high quality storage from Google Photos.

Available in Black, Gold and Rose Gold, Mi A1 has an attractive full-metal body design that measures just 7.3mm in thickness, with discreet separation lines for a seamless look and rounded edges for great hand feel. It also comes with a rear fingerprint sensor.

Featuring a 5.5-inch 2.5D curved glass screen featuring Corning® Gorilla® Glass protection, Mi A1 also boasts a 10v power amplifier for deeper lows and higher volumes, ensuring it provides an immersive media experience. A dedicated amplifier also provides support for high-impedance headphones (up to 600 ohms).

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor based on the 14nm manufacturing process, as well as a 3080mAh battery, 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage making it a real value for money mid-range smartphone indeed!

 

Tech Specs & Features:

  • Premium full-metal body
  • Dual camera, optical zoom:
  • 12MP wide angle + 12MP telephoto
  • Exceptional portrait photography with background blur
  • Beautify, for natural selfie enhancements
  • 5MP front camera
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 with 14nm FinFET technology (Octa-core 2.0GHz)
  • 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage
  • Up to 128GB microSD expandable storage
  • 5.5-inch full-HD Corning® Gorilla® Glass display
  • 3080mAh battery, USB Type-C port
  • Rear fingerprint sensor
  • IR blaster, with Mi Remote App
  • Dual SIM (3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray)
  • Dimensions: 155.4 x 75.8 x 7.3mm
  • Weight: 165g
  • Available in Black, Gold and Rose Gold
  • Stock Android

 

For more info, head over to:

Element Kuala Lumpur – http://www.elementkualalumpur.com/ or telephone 603 2771 3351 or email element.kualalumpur@elementhotels.com

Xiaomi – http://www.mi.com/my/

MHB – https://hottestbloggers.com/

 

 

Photo credits: Andy Kho Photography, and author’s own

Mr Lens Online Contact Lenses Store

Shopping online is definitely a norm these days. Things that we can buy online nowadays range from clothes, furniture, home appliances and even groceries and ready-cooked food. But did you know that you could order contact lenses and glasses online too? I’ve only recently found out about MrLens, and have been kicking myself for not being in the know earlier. Turns out, not only it’s convenient to order contact lenses online, it’s also a lot cheaper!

 photo Screenshot_20171126-204224.png

MrLens.com.my is currently Malaysia’s largest online contact lenses store, offering a wide selection of major brands of contact lenses, prescription glasses, sunglasses, branded and designer frames for both men and women. The price is very reasonable, and you can be assured that the products come directly from manufacturers or distributors. The lack of a physical store means that they can sell the products a lot cheaper, which is great news for all of us!

 photo Screenshot_20171126-204224.png

Unless you wear some extremely obscure brand of contact lenses, you most probably can find what you normally wear on the website. Their products include daily, weekly and monthly lenses and colour contact lenses from trusted brands as Acuvue, Air Optix Aqua, Freshkon, Blincon, Biomedics, Magic, Igel, Focus Dailies, Freshlook, SofLens and Proclear for comfort and clearer vision.

 photo Screenshot_20171126-204250.png

The website is easy to use on both desktop and mobile; and being on the go most of the time I, of course, opted to order through my phone. Plus point for being so mobile friendly!

 photo Screenshot_20171126-204322.png

I’ve been recommended to switch over to daily lenses by a friend because my eyes generally get very dry wearing contact lenses, so I’ve ordered a bunch of Freshkon Color Fusion to try out(oh ya…. my degree is super high). Each box comes with 30 lenses and costs just RM90, what a steal!

 photo Screenshot_20171126-204344.png

Once my order was placed, I waited eagerly for the arrival of my parcel and they sure didn’t disappoint, as it took merely 3-4 days for them to deliver.

 photo IMG_20171127_114540.jpg

Tada! Let’s take a look at my lenses!

 photo IMG_20171127_114627.jpg

I’m a happy girl! There are a few more other types I bought too.

 photo IMG_20171127_114643.jpg

These are the daily lenses. From now on I can order refills anyday, anytime! Shall end this post with a picture of me wearing the lenses.

 photo IMG_20171125_170323.jpg

So…. Do head over to https://www.mrlens.com.my/ for your next contact lenses/glasses order!

Year End Promos at Just Heavenly, Bangsar Shopping Centre

Yeah, you didn’t read it wrong, it’s another post about Just Heavenly. The hospitality here is so fabulous I just keep going back! Well, this time, I was there to try out some of their new dishes and got to know the new promotions they have rolled out just before the festive season. So let’s get straight to it!

Cakes are the true MVP at Just Heavenly. But sometimes it can be a guilty pleasure to just buy a piece of cake. What if I tell you, that you could offset the guilt by adding a salad? That’s right, the Saint and Sinner promotion here does just that. You buy a slice of cake and get 50% off any salad! Here are the options:

 photo IMG_20171107_185115.jpg
Chicken Char Siew Salad. This one is popular.

 photo IMG_20171107_185144.jpg
Tuna and Pasta Salad. Slightly on the more substantial side due to the carb.

 photo IMG_20171107_185225.jpg
My favourite was the Quinoa and Pumpkin salad, with medley of greens topped with some feta cheese. The garlic oil just brings all the flavours together so well.

 photo IMG_20171107_185337.jpg
Some of the cakes we got to sample, including the new Black Velvet. Instead of the usual chocolate sponge, it’s made with Black sesame for that surprisingly savoury touch. Yum!

Just Heavenly serves just as delicious savoury dishes as their cakes, shame that not a lot of people know about this. Which is why they’ve decided to introduce the rice plates as their lunch special. Another great option for office lunch or just lunch meeting at Bangsar Shopping Centre. Because…. let’s face it, there aren’t exactly many cheap dining options there. With a price tag of RM17 (with Ice Lemon Tea or upgrade to coffee for another RM5), it’s pretty good value for money.

 photo IMG_20171107_190101.jpg

Butter Marsala Chicken. Their take on an old favourite. The curry looks fairly rich but surprisingly tasted quite light to me. Which is perfect because we don’t want it to be too cloying right? The curries are all made from scratch here you can even taste the freshness. One thing I would say though it’s a little on the healthy side as I think they use mostly chicken breast.

 photo IMG_20171107_190132.jpg

On the other end of the spectrum… if you love all things deep fried, try the Tempura plate. You get fish fingers, sizeable prawns and vegetables all coated and deep fried properly so it’s nice and crunchy, served on a bed of sweet and sour sauce, done with just enough of sweetness but plenty of piquancy to cut through the richness of the fried stuff. All the rice plates come with a refreshing side of pickled vegetables too which I enjoyed.

 photo IMG_20171107_190150_1.jpg

Last but not least, the Chicken Katsu Curry. It might be Japanese in origin, but the curry tasted more Malaysian, which is interesting. This was the crowd favourite with perfectly fried chicken and generous serving of vegetables. Extra satisfaction mixing the egg yolk into the rice before devouring it. 

 photo IMG_20171107_185826.jpg

The highlight of the night though was the sizzling Koji Rubbed Rib Eye. What’s Koji, you ask? Well, we Foochows should be familiar with this ingredient. It’s a type of yeast normally used to make the Foochow Red Wine. Turns out it can tenderise meat and add a touch of umaminess to the meat. Well, you learn something new every day! The beef is “marinated” for 3 days before a quick sear to perfect doneness (medium rare). The meat is quite tender indeed and very flavourful. I could definitely taste the Koji, which lends a unique depth to the beef. Complemented by a lovely mushroom sauce, it just can’t get better than that! RM80 for this, including coffee too.

 photo IMG_20171107_195750.jpg

And as if that wasn’t enough, I was given a choice to pick another cake as a prize for guessing the ingredient right for the mini sniffing test Nigel got us to do. Well, I do have a slight advantage as I actually have used Koji at home before. Anyway, the Lemon Meringue Pie here is fabulous! Light Meringue complementing the super tart lemon curd. If I were to nitpick, I would probably prefer a thinner and more buttery crust. Otherwise, it’s near perfect!

Thank you once again to Just Heavenly for having me there!