2012
11.05

An “All-You-Can-Eat” Saturday!

PART ONE: Weekend Dim Sum Buffet @ Chynna, Hilton KL

It was a random Saturday. I was at work when I got a message from Lil’ Chef, saying he would be guest modelling a sexy suit from the prestigious Lord’s Tailor, at Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s Fantabulous Bridal Fair.

“For almost four decades, Lord’s Tailor has been laying the finest threads on the creme de la creme of Malaysia – be it heads of government such as Tun Dr Mahathir, world famous singers such as Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, internationally famous designers such as Dato’ Jimmy Choo, actors like Mel Gibson, global personalities like Chef Wan, sportsmen such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei, and other uber socialites, Lord’s Tailor has measured, cut and fitted them all.” – www.lordstailor.com.my

They had also tailored Lil’ Chef’s wedding suit, and we also knew them on a personal level. Soon after, I received more messages asking me to join the lovely couple Kenny & Jenny, for lunch in Chynna (minus the hubby of course, as he was working) Hilton KL’s irresistible Chinese restaurant.

I watched the minutes tick my on the clock and as soon as my shift was over, drove like the wind and made it just as they were polishing off the last of the All-you-can-eat Dim Sum Buffet, available on weekends from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

Ordering on an empty stomach is not a good idea, as I overdid it with 9 items from Set One, RM55++ per person. You start off with Chynna’s Braised Eight Treasure Seafood Soup, choose from the wide selection of steamed and fried dim sum, and finish off with dessert.

I went dumpling crazy and ordered all kinds. Thai Style Fish Cakes, Siu Mai, Prawn Dumpling, BBQ chicken buns, Scallop Dumpling, Garlic Fish Balls…

Prawn Cheong Fun, Steamed Glutinous Rice…

And my all time favourite, Wok-fried Carrot Cake.

There was hardly space for dessert! Unfortunately for this promotion, they rightly discourage gluttony and therefore you’re not allowed to ‘tar pau’ any unfinished food.

If I’d known that before I ordered, I would probably have been a little more sensible!

So, with not much choice and not wanting to waste all those delicious dumplings, Jenny and I leisurely picked at the remainders and chatted the afternoon away while the boys went up to the Bridal Fair for hair and makeup. Ironic, isn’t it?

The Model and his Tailor…

The lazy lunching wives…

My advice: Everything was so tasty and delicious that it’s hard not to want to try it all, so to solve that problem, bring more people!

Next, up the escalators for FANTABULOUS! Weddings at Hilton Kuala Lumpur…

CONTACT

Chynna

(HALAL)

3, Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2264 2264
Fax: +603 2264 2266
e: kuala-lumpur@hilton.com
w: www.life.hiltonkl.com

Open Daily
Lunch : 12.00 pm to 2:30 pm
Dinner : 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm

 

2012
11.04

Assam Laksa and Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang is a must!

If we’re ever at Ikano Power Centre (IPC) in Kota Damansara, it can only mean one of two things:

  1. We are out of KNÄCKEBRÖD Flerkorn (Crispbread) and PEPPARKAKA (Ginger thins) and need a top up from Ikea.
  2. We are buying unneccasary toys, houses, treats or food from Pet Lovers Center for Puppytown.

Almost always, there is one of two things we’ll have as a (rather large) midday snack.

  1. Swedish Meatballs with fries and Swedish Apple Pie at the Ikea Cafe
  2. Assam Laksa and Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang at Uncle Lim’s

Now the latter has increasingly become a favourite because although it’s always busy, the occasional 5-10 min wait time certainly trumps the giant queues and masses of screaming children in Ikea.

It’s affordable, it’s fast, it’s consistently tasty and the portions are just right for the four o’clock late lunch attack after work on Sunday. Order from the counter, pay, sit down and wait for your food to be sent to you.

Uncle Lim’s Assam Laksa

Pretty to look at, even better to eat. I pity the poor soul in charge of mise-en-place (prep) for the julienned vegetables!

Fresh pineapple, cucumber, chilli, onions and mint leaves sit proudly atop a thick, sweet-sour gravy exploding with shredded mackerel.

Slurp up the thinner than usual translucent Assam Laksa rice noodles, kick yourself if you’re wearing white, and enjoy. Wash it down with a sinful, icy cold Cendol that’s packed full of green jelly, red beans, sweetcorn and Gula Melaka.

Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang

I introduced this dish to Lil’ Chef and since his first taste, it’s all he orders when we go there.

The rice is fragrant enough, not too ‘lemak’, and the deep red sambal concealing two flat pieces of dried squid. We both ignore the squid and head straight for the Rendang.

A whole thigh or drumstick slow-cooked in a lovely Nyonya version of the curry, infused with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. So aromatic the smell hits you as soon as the plate is set down in front of you. Together with large slices of cucumber, half a boiled egg and crunchy fried peanuts and ikan bilis (anchovies), it’s a no brainer why this is a best seller at Uncle Lim’s.

Wash it down with a refreshing (giant) bowl of ABC!

A lot of people say Uncle’s Lim’s homegrown local coffees are the main reason they go there. Some say it’s the old school charm and kopitiam feel that draws them back over and over again for dishes like Roti Bakar, Koay Teow Soup and the colonial favourite from 1950’s Malaysia, Chicken Chop.

Me, I go back over and over again for those two dishes. “Homegrown Taste” indeed!

 It’s raining outside and there’s nothing I’d love more that a piping hot bowl of Assam Laksa. Maybe after work today… I’m sure we need some Crispbread or doggy toys! I guess I don’t need an excuse anymore…

CONTACT

UNCLE LIM’S CAFE, Homegrown Taste

(HALAL)

LG 15 (P1)
IKANO Power Centre
No. 2 Jalan PJU 7/2
Mutiara Damansara
47800 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Tel: 603-7725 4381
Fax: 603-7725 542
5

W: www.unclelimscafe.com


Business Hours:
9.30 am – 10.00 pm (Weekdays)
9.30 am – 10.30 pm (Sat & Sun)

2012
11.01

More than just cakes… Just Heavenly Cafe @ BSC

From decadent cakes aptly named Death by Chocolate to fresh and zesty Key Lime Pies, the boys at Just Heavenly are branching out from sweet treats to light and fresh cafe cuisine.

The newly opened Just Heavenly Cafe on Level 2 of Bangsar Shopping Center offers salads, snacks and main courses that are surprisingly quite the opposite to their rich and waist-expanding cakes (only when eaten in excess, of course).

Another surprising fact is that they’ve kept the prices very reasonable while the portions are more than sufficient to leave you feeling full, but not overstuffed. Unfortunately for Nigel and Allan, the charming brains and brawn behind this ingenious brand, I was born without a sweet tooth so my previous patronage was limited to the occasional gift purchase for friends or family, or for special occasions like cake the gorgeous figurines they made for my wedding cake.

A quick visit for breakfast last Thursday allowed me to try some of the dishes I’d been drooling over on Facebook. They make their own sourdoughs, breads and yoghurts, so it’s really as homemade and healthy as you can get.

I loved the simple and tasteful deco, with elaborate touches as well as the eye-catching Halloween fondant icing display at the front of the store, which I’m sure will change with the seasons and celebrations all year round.

Monsieur Bullseye (RM16)

Beautifully toasted. The strong cheddar coating had bubbled and melted to a lovely golden brown, with a thick turkey slices sandwiched between the bread.

The ‘bullseye’egg perched on top was poached just right with its soft white cocooning a runny yellow. Would’ve loved it with some gherkins or mustard to give the sandwich some kick, but that’s just my personal preference.

Overall, tasty and satisfying.

Smoked Salmon with Wasabi Mayo (RM22)

A generous helping of thickly sliced smoked salmon lay rippled between a warm, slightly over toasted croissant. The wasabi mayo was mild and creamy, while the crunchy, peppery rocket and sprinkling of spring onions provided some much needed crunch.

With so many healthy salads to choose from like the Detox Salad with organic quinoa and roasted Mediterranean vegetables and homemade Greek youghurt, or my personal favourite Caesar Salad with optional add-on Smoked Salmon, I decided to break from the norm and try one with an Asian twist.

Prawn & Glass Noodle Salad (RM25)

If you like your salads sour, than this is the one for you! A very fresh and zesty mix of orange segments, succulent prawns and glass noodles in a tangy lime dressing.

Next on my list to try is the Coconut Chicken Salad, which sounds divine. “Tender chicken poached in coconut milk and served with an ulam and ginger flower salad enhanced with chilli jam.”

There’s a BLT Burger, a Lamb Burghini (haha! Clever little boys and their names!) and appealing pastas like the Crab Aglio Olio and the Spaghetti con Gamberi. If you want their Ridiculously Large Breakfast, head over anytime of the day on weekends and public holidays.

Don’t forget to finish off your meal with one of Just Heavenly’s sinful desserts. If I had any space left I would have wolfed down their famous Key Lime Pie. Next time, for sure.

CONTACT

Just Heavenly Cafe

(HALAL)

2nd Floor, West Wing (Opposite A Cut Above Hair Salon)
Bangsar Shopping Centre,
285 Jalan Maarof,
59000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603 2011 4866

W: www.justheavenly.biz

Opening hours: Daily 930am – 10pm

2012
10.29

 Cheap & Cheerful Japanese at Sushi-Zen

I always order the same things when I go to Rakuzen. I always order the same things when I go to Sushi Zanmai, it’s conveyor belt sister. And I always order the same things when I go to Sushi-Zen, the groups budget outlet.

It’s quite sad really when you think about it, but somehow I feel comforted that these three restaurants offer the same dishes that I like, which mean wherever I am and there is an outlet, I can get my fix. The only difference is quality (almost imperceptible difference in certain ingredients), size (the size of the makis are much bigger at Rakuzen) but it’s okay, because it’s all relative to the price you pay.

You’ll find Sushi-Zen in the Lower Ground Floor of Gardens Mall. It’s right by the Cold Storage, which means I can get my groceries at the same time. I never seek out to eat there, but everytime I have I’m pleasantly satisfied and ecstatic that I haven’t burnt a hole in my pocket.

Edamame (RM3.80)

Fat beans inside a lightly salted pea shell.

Great to snack because I know the Dragon Roll takes a while to cook.

 Dragon Roll (RM12.80)

This is a much more humble prawn than that at Rakuzen but still tastes just as good, at more than half the price. Crunchy, freshly fried battered prawn rolled in seaweed Japanese rice and topped with avocado, mayo and roe. Warm and filling.

Tobbiko (RM4.80)

You get two pieces here! Lovely popping pearls on top of tasty rice.

Tsukimi Soba (Small – RM7.80)

Instead of my usual miso soup, I was feeling piggish and ordered this tasty soup with Soba (buckwheat noodles) but you can have udon or ramen if you prefer. Topped off with a half cooked egg, seaweed and gorgeous little mushrooms. Slippery suckers that taste so good. It’s a hearty dashi soup, made even richer when you stir in the egg yolk and split up the white. Simple and satisfying.

I didn’t really touch my green tea which is always a must. Normally I have someone else to help me, this time, it was just me. Didn’t have lunch, and now I won’t need dinner. Happy tummy.

CONTACT

Sushi Zen

(PORK FREE)
LG-K02
Lower Ground Floor
The Gardens
Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur
Tel No: 03 – 2282 6160

www.supersushi.com.my

2012
10.25

ABSOLUT INSPIRES A NEW MOVEMENT OF CREATIVITY

WITH AN ABSOLUT BLANK

 Introducing The ABSOLUT BLANK Edition By Mario Wagner

- Inspired By Space

*Extracts from Press Release are highlighted in bold and italicized

How often is it that you gets a bottle of Vodka delivered to your door?

For me, not often enough! Actually this was a first, and it wasn’t just any ordinary bottle. It was a special edition bottle of Absolute Vodka – THE ABSOLUTE VODKA BLANK EDITION.

“20 artists were given a literal ABSOLUT blank bottle shaped canvas, and asked to fill it in with their creativity. Mario Wagner was one of the artists featured in this campaign. His work has been showcased in print, outdoor advertising and TV.”

“ABSOLUT has always challenged conventions through creative collaborations with artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, and more recently Ellen von Unwerth and Spike Jonze. ABSOLUT BLANK is a daring new chapter for ABSOLUT.”

I felt privileged to be one of the first people in the country to lay hands on this bottle, with it’s kitsch artwork and unique small details. Was that an astronaut with a speech bubble, and the alcohol content in it?

“The bottle design is very personal to me, as it expresses my fascination with space and time travel. I’ve had a lifelong desire to travel to the moon.”

Yup, definitely a talking astronaut. And UFO’s.

“Wagner’s bottle is inspired by the visual language of the 1960s, an era in which the space race and travelling to the moon captivated the world.”

“In ABSOLUT BLANK, ABSOLUT has boldly made its iconic bottle into a blank canvas to inspire artists throughout the world to collaborate and fill it with creativity. We brought together creative collaborators from a variety of disciplines and watched the journey from pure white canvas to exceptional pieces of art. The result depicts how artists and creativity are inspired through ABSOLUT,” says Terence Ong, Sales and Marketing Director for Pernod Ricard Malaysia.

“The 20 artists participating in ABSOLUT BLANK represent a variety of creative disciplines from across the globe; from drawing, painting and sculpting to film making and digital art. Among the artworks are UVA’s high intensity, bright and striking light installations, Mario Wagner’s attention-grabbing cut-out imagery, the colourful and playful graphic design of Aesthetic Apparatus, the bold illustrations of Kinsey and the detailed work of Good Wives and Warriors.”

“With ABSOLUT BLANK, we want to contribute to a global creative movement, ultimately, making the world even more vibrant and exceptional. “It All Starts With an ABSOLUT BLANK,”” Mark Hamilton continues.

Well, not on;y do they inspire artists to push the boundaries with design, they also inspire mere mortals like myself to quench my thirst. Feeling artistic, I whipped out the ol’ tomato juice, Lea & Perrins, Horseradish and rustled around for a lonely celery stick. Ok, I ended up going to the store and buying a whole tree practically, but luckily some obliging friends were nearby and helped me concoct my mean Bloody Mary. It was only mid-afternoon after all, not time for serious cocktails like Dirty Martini’s!

I must say, the 20 artists who participated in the ABSOLUT BLANK movement must have had a field day designing and creating. With such an attractive bottle as their blank canvas, and such an inspiring liquid inside, the possibilities are endless…

Now I’ve got an excuse to throw a cocktail party, show off my limited edition bottle and spread the word on this global creative movement. There’s nothing BLANK about that!

Thank you Pernod Ricard Malaysia for my lovely bottle.

Full list of participating artists in ABSOLUT BLANK:

  • Adhemas Batista
  • Aestethic Apparatus
  • Brett Amory
  • Kinsey
  • David Bray
  • Eduardo Recife
  • Fernando Chamarelli
  • Flora Sigismondi
  • Good Wives & Warriors
  • Hank Corwin
  • Jeremy Fish
  • Ludovica Gioscia
  • Marcus Jansen
  • Mario Wagner
  • Morning Breath
  • Robert Mars
  • Sam Flores
  • Thomas Doyle
  • UVA
  • Zac Freeman

For ABSOLUT BLANK TV commercial, please click HERE

For ABSOLUT BLANK Behind The Scenes, please click HERE

 For more information about ABSOLUT BLANK or the ABSOLUT VODKA BLANK EDITION by Mario Wagner, please click HERE

 

2012
10.20

When the craving hits…

Sometimes I wake up extra early on the weekend with an emptiness inside me. There’s a hole in my stomach and it’s low, almost indiscernible rumbles go unnoticed by the sleeping husband beside me.

“Wake up…” I hiss at him, softly at first, then progressively getting louder. “Wake up!” I shake him. “I want Peter Pork!’

Over the last 2 years since discovering Money’s Corner in Brickfields, this routine had become a familiar one. There are plenty of things to eat in this hidden little coffee shop, accessible from Jln Tun Sambathan only through a narrow alley next to the open air carpark. A must try are the noodles at Uncle Lim’s stall where the Mee Goreng and Char Koay Teow are wok fried to perfection. My sister Jane used to eat there so often the lady almost knows her by name.

There’s Chicken Rice, Pan Mee, Lam Mee, Rojak, a good spread of ‘Chap Fun’, even the famous Moorthy’s Banana Leaf Rice, which is delicious by the way. You must try the fried Tengirri.

Despite trying all those delicious things, I still come back for only two things. Peter Pork Noodle, and the Curry Laksa. Sometimes I’ll have only one large portion of either one, but on greedy days like today, I order two small portions of each. And add an egg into my Pork Noodles.

I love Koay Teow, and the combination of the silky smooth noodles with the half poached egg in the rich and meaty broth is one way of ensuring my weekend gets off to a good start. The later you go, the stronger the broth. There’s quite a wait during peak hours, especially during weekday lunchtimes when the office crowd descend, but its amazing how your order is never forgotten, and the piping hot bowl of noodles always arrives exactly how you want no. No notepads, no computers, no writing anything down whatsoever. It’s all in the head, and they always find you in the crowd!

Swapping over to the Curry Laksa, I especially like this one because the soup isn’t to heavy with coconut milk, and there’s a hint of fragrant spices that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s loaded with chicken, fishballs, tau pok, tau kwa, beans and more, and you can even have cockles (kerang) if you want.

It’s almost like the Penang Curry Mee met and fell in love with the Nyonya Laksa from Malacca, got married and gave birth to this delicious concoction. The aunty who sells it is really friendly and always apologized profusely in the days when I used to go around lunchtime and she was sold out. I know better now!

So, that was my sinful indulgence this morning. I call it energy food before going on-air! You should try it sometime…

See the empty bowls and satisfied faces?

(NON-HALAL)

Money’s Corner,

144A, Jalan Vivekananda,

Off Jalan Brickfields,

50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2012
10.08

Satay Station @ Mont’ Kiara

Ramadhan is over. The tantalizing sweet, smoky smell of meat being grilled over charcoal no longer lurks around every corner in a street market.

So what do you do when it’s that awkward hour between lunch and dinner, and you’ve had neither?

Whenever Lil’ Chef and I are in the Mont Kiara area, we stop by Satay Station. It’s a no frills ‘cafe’ after Wendy’s, as you turn the corner between Mont’ Kiara and the busy Solaris shopping area. Rather unpleasant to sit outside in the blazing 5 o’clock heat, but we pretend to be matsaleh (well, one of us really is, me! Muahahaha) and still do it.

I just look at the man standing there cooking the damn delicious things and think, “If he can cook it in this heat, I can eat it”.

What’s amazing is that there’s no one there, but he keeps cooking. And people keep randomly appearing to pick up large bags full of these juicy sticks of meat. They’re smart! Takeway for the residents in the area is clearly the popular and wiser choice. I can imagine these would make great starters for a dinner party or even an after school treat for your kids. Healthier than McDonalds at least, which incidentally is not so hard to achieve.

Beware the drinks that come in the form of Teh Tarik or Teh Ais – super sweet.

I actually got my first taste of Satay Station’s tender pieces of chicken & beef on a skewer while filming a travel & food show for Fried Chillies. They introduced me to it’s original branch in Kampung Pandan, which is a darling little Kampung style house with a truly homely feel. We don’t live in that are and to drive there just before rush hour on any day would be suicide, in terms of time.

So, Satay Station in Mont’ Kiara is the next best thing. Tender morsels of chicken thigh and skin dripping with their secret marinade and proudly sporting that very fashionable charred BBQ look. Delicious.

What makes it doubly irresistible is the thick and chunky peanut sauce that packs a punch. Add on Ketupat if you want it a bit more filling, but I’m happy just combining the succulent meat with crunchy fresh cucumber and onions.

I’m not gonna oversell it as I’m sure there are plenty of Satay enthusiasts out there. For me, give me a succulent piece of meat that you can gnaw at (or rip off!) a stick with no effort, soaked in a rich sauce with crunch, teamed with crunchy cool cucumber and sharp onions that WILL make your breath stink… well, that’s just what I like at 5 o’clock after a long day of work.

No frills, no fuss, just a fast, cheap and tasty snack to stop you from over-shopping on an empty stomach at the grocers.

CONTACT

G-2B Mont’ Kiara Meridin

19, Jalan Duta Kiara, Kuala Lumpur,

Kuala Lumpur 50480, Malaysia

W:www.sataystation.blogspot.com

2012
10.07

 Fierce Curry House, Bangsar

This place with its ballsee tagline “If you like our curry, tell everyone it’s FIERCE!” caught my eye.

It’s a simple restaurant, in a slightly odd dodgy, I wouldn’t want to wander around this place alone at night location. Turn left before the Shell station from Jalan Bangsar, then right, and you’ll see it a few doors up from Southern Rock Seafood. Blink and you’ll miss it.

We went on a Saturday night, and it was pretty quiet.

Apparently, weekday and weekend lunches are insane. Famous for its refreshing Lassi range, Lobster Biryani and dum method of cooking, Fierce Curry House seems to be steaming its way through the hearts of KL-ites from all walks of life. Even Scallops and King Prawns are on the menu, as well as a staggering choice of sweet or savoury roti and thosai.

Since the Lobster Biryani has to be pre-ordered at least a day in advance, we settled on the less extravagant but no less delicious Chicken and Mutton Biryani, and added on a few sides.

It was pretty interesting to watch the pastry being cracked open, and to be hit with the wonderful fragrance of rich spices that tickle your nose. Dripping with pure ghee I’m sure. I couldn’t see it but I could smell it, and it was the aroma of happiness soon to come.

It was a “one pot meal” that could actually feed two, and I felt a bit like I was stuck in the old fairytale “The Magic Porridge Pot”. Bottomless it seemed, and with our add on deepfried bittergourd, mutton masala and chicken curry, it was a challenge that we lost.

I love the moistness of the rice, the tenderness of the meat, and the bursts of flavours that erupt with every bite. The set comes with a mild curry, a refreshing cucumber raita and a tangy cucumber salad.

The combination was delicious. Make sure you get a bit of everything in every bite for maximum flavour. Simply sinful.

They even have a slogan for the body conscious – “Weight Loss Can Wait. Banana Leaf Weekends are FIERCE.” Brilliant! They’re pretty active on Facebook, and you can find out about their specials there.

It’s no wonder that despite their newness to the KL food scene, this humble yet crazily tasty restaurant is already a strong contender in the Time Out KL Food Awards.

Well, I liked it, and I’m telling you it’s FIERCE! You’ve got to try it.

CONTACT

Fierce Curry House

16 Jalan Kemuja

Bangsar Utama

59000 Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia

T: +6 03 2202 3456

W: www.fiercecurryhouse.com

FB: www.facebook.com/FierceCurryHouse

 

 

2012
10.03

Happy Birthday to Me!

Once in a blue moon, on in this case, ‘birthday-moon’, a restaurant jumps out of the woodwork and knocks you off your feet.

In no way has this restaurant been in hiding, and definitely not in the woodwork! In fact, quite the opposite, Mandarin Grill at Mandarin Oriental KL is a well known grandiose steakhouse that combines luxury & elegance with a friendly and comfortable ambiance. I just hadn’t been there before because I’m not a steak person. Or at least that’s what I thought…

I didn’t plan to write about it, hence my hazy memory of the names of dishes. Upon sitting down at our table by the floor to ceiling windows, the heavy tint offered protection from the midday heat but allowed for the gentle warmth of sunlight to brighten up the spacious dining room.

We were spoiled with a welcome glass of Champagne each, thanks to old friends who graciously remembered my birthday. Thank you ladies!

Amouse Bouche – Smoked Salmon & Red Pepper Coulis

Getting on in my youth, now progressing along my early thirties, I find that with age comes ever-changing taste buds. If I had gone there one, maybe two years ago, my stomach would have dictated I order every prawn or any shellfish dish on the menu, possibly some lamb.

This time, I found myself still yearning for one of my favourite dishes, good ol’ crabcakes, but feeling experimental, older and wiser, I boldly declared I was to have steak.

Lil’ Chef ordered from Mandarin Grill’s Set Lunch Menu, and had Duck Confit to start, with Cauliflower Puree and Cherry Jus.

I didn’t try it, but judging by the way there was not so much of a drop of the thick, dark sauce left on the plate, I can safely say it was delicious.

He chose another interesting starter, the Grilled Monkfish with Glazed Green Peas, Golden Raisin and Beef Chorizo Sauce.

What a wonderfully unusual combination of textures and flavours. I stole half of this dish, and loved the smoothness of the fish, the bite of the peas, the crunch of the fried strips of meat, and the unexpected richness and hint of smokiness from the Chorizo sauce. It was the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.

Lil’ Chef ordered a main course completely out of character for him, was rich the name escapes me but I know it was crumbed and fried Turkey Breast, served with a rich Parmesan Risotto.

I assumed it was something from the homeland of the Chef de Cuisine – Switzerland. The Swiss food I’ve tried before there always exuded a warming, cozy feeling, much like when you take that first sip of hot chocolate rubbing your hands together by a crackling fire, after a long day of skiing. Yes, with just one bite I was transported back to New Years 2005, in the snow covered slopes surrounding Riffelalp Resort in Zermatt, minus the skiing. It was like a big, cuddly bathrobe had just wrapped itself around me. Even Lil’ Chef had a big smile on his face.

Simple, hearty food with finesse. So filling that Lil’ Chef cancelled dessert, which I can say has never happened before!

The Alaskan King Crab Cake arrived with accompaniments of Sea Trout Tartar, Mango Chilli Salsa and Cucumber & Avocado.

Don’t be fooled by the size of each patty. Each one houses inside moist, sweet flesh from the Alaskan King Crab. I was hit with freshness with each bite, whether I paired it with the Trout Tartare, fruity Salsa, contrasted by the extremely crisp coating on the outside. Not to be shared!

Other reviews have highly recommended the White Roma Tomato Emulsion. I chose the Seafood Chowder with Scallop, Prawn & Melted Leek Tian.

The chowder was not chunky as I had imagined, and was a little lacklustre both in appearance and flavour. It was a soup blended smooth with a few bits of seafood and cooked leaks at the base. I commented that the kitchen must be really far away for a few of our sauces and even this soup had already developed that ‘skin’ from cooling down. A pleasant soup, albeit a little one dimensional in flavour.

Saved by the bread, which is just divine. Warm rolls in three different flavours that crack when you tear it apart, delicious even on its own.

Mandarin Grill offers some of the most exquisite & premium cuts of beef. I asked our waiter to recommend the smallest steak, and he suggested the Grass Fed Australian Black Angus Beef, Tenderloin, 160g, aged 60 days.

I like variety so I filled up the empty plate with what turned out to be three beautifully executed side dishes – Truffled Potato Puree, Sauteed Spinach in Garlic & Olive Oil (at my request, I thought the Creamy Spinach would be too heavy) and the Sauteed Woody Mushrooms.

Choosing a steak knife that would complement my outfit rather than blend into it, I sliced into the proud lady-sized hunk of meat and didn’t speak for the rest of the meal.

My funky coloured Laguiole steak knife…

Divine!

The steak was cooked so beautifully, and was so tender, the meat so tasty, I felt like I was really chewing on heaven. I toyed around with a bit of Bernaise Sauce but ultimately it was the Balinese Peppercorn Sauce that won my heart.

Teamed with the fluffy Truffled Mash with had just the right drop of truffle oil in it, not like some places that go overboard and end up with a pungent mess. The spinach was just wilted, seasoned perfectly with undertones of garlic that didn’t overpower. And the mushrooms! Cooked to retain some bite, exuding all the earthiness of wherever they came from. If I had more than two thumbs, they would have all been up.

The service was impeccable, the atmosphere first class, and the overall experience a rare find in KL, I’ll dare say good enough to rival that of Dinner by Heston in Mandarin Oriental London, that we went to around my birthday last year. I am pleased to announce that after this meal, I can safely say I am indeed a steak person. Thank you for changing my mind, Chef Reto Weber.

A truly unexpected exquisite meal, and a tasty start to my 32nd year.

CONTACT

Mandarin Grill

Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Kuala Lumpur

T: +60 (3) 2380 8888

W: www.mandarinoriental.com

2012
09.30

Panasonic ‘Cooking Magic’ Demo @ Kitchen Plus Malaysia

I’ve been away from writing for a few months now. Why? Well, I got married. So it’s only appropriate that my first post back on my Wonderland is about my darling, brand new husband!

All this weekend and next weekend you can catch him giving two Demo’s a day at Kitchen Plus Malaysia in Damansara Perdana. Click here for their Facebook Page.

Chef Michael aka Lil’ Chef uses an array of Panasonic appliances to show you how easy it is to make gourmet food at home.

Getting up close and personal for the Q&A…

It’s really quite amazing how versatile each Panasonic item is! I guess as the add highlights, you can do many things with just one appliance – “Steam Grill Roast, Steam Grill Roast… Steam!”

View the full Panasonic Ad here.

As well as getting your teeth sunk into some delicious dishes like the Sweetcorn & Basil Soup, Mushroom Risotto and Red Velvet Cake he cooked yesterday, you also get a chance to purchase his book “Cooking with Michael Elfwing” at a discounted price.

And get it personally autographed to you!

And, for the die hard fans of this handsome chef, I’m sorry to say he’s taken but I’m happy to loan him out for photos and hugs!

You can choose from the real Chef or the cutout one – I found it hard to tell the difference!

I almost took the wrong one home…

There’s loads to see in the huge Kitchen Plus Showroom, and great deals on Panasonic Products.

The next demo today (Sunday 30 September) is at 2.30pm and I heard there’s a tangy Four Bean Salad on the menu, along with a Seafood Marinara cooked in Panasonic’s Pressure Cooker, and a rich and decadent Chocolate Dessert.

What are you waiting for? If you can’t make it today, be sure to head on over next week for more delicious dishes!

CONTACT

Kitchen Plus Malaysia

No. 3, Jalan PJU 8/1,

Bandar Damansara Perdana,

47820 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

T: 03-7725 8899

F: www.facebook.com/KitchenPlusMalaysia