Indulge in HANA DINING’s WEEKEND BUFFET @ Sunway Pyramid!

I’m not a fan of buffets, unless they are of the Japanese cuisine type.  I’m sure many of you share the same sentiments – a Japanese buffet can be rather hard to resist!  Now there’s another reason to stuff our faces because Hana Dining lays out a sumptuous spread come Saturday and Sunday.

Yes, the weekend is just the perfect time to round up some Japanese food lovers in your circle and head out to Hana Dining in Sunway Pyramid.  The buffet is available for both lunch and dinner at:

Lunch:  11.30am-3.00pm @ RM69 per person
Dinner:  6.30pm -10.30pm @ RM79 per person

Senior citizens get a discount of 20% (age 60 and above, show ID)
Kids, based on their height:
Below 90cm         Free
91-130cm               Half Price
Above 130cm        Full Price

 

There are more than 80 items on the buffet menu and for the price paid, you even get a once-only serving of fresh Pacific Oysters (2 pieces per person) and one serving of their House Special Dish for the day.

 

Are drinks included?  Oh yes!  Take your pick from green tea, iced Lemon tea, Americano coffee, latte, cappuccino and hot/cold chocolate!

Now, just to give you an idea of what’s on the eat-all-you-can menu, check these out…

Sashimi – good selections of salmon, tuna, butterfish, amberjack (kampachi) & octopus

Sushi – Salmon Aburi

Maki – Cheese Maki

 

The “appetisers” selection is wide and varied.  Honestly, to me every dish seemed to be an appetiser – maybe because they are served in manageable dainty portions.  I tried to try almost every dish in the various categories but failed, simply because there was so many items to choose from!  So we just zoomed in to our favourites…

Makimono – Appetisers

Seafood Skewers with Shisho Sauce

Roasted Miso Cod Fish

Olic Tuna – so good that we had repeated servings!

Softshell Crab Tapas

Temaki – Handrolls

Flounder Fin (Engawa), California, Prawn Tempura (Ebiten)

 

Yakimono

Salmon Head

Chicken & Leek Skewer

Shishamo – perfectly grilled!

Mussels Mentai Mayo

 

Mushimono

Ikura Chawan Mushi

 

Teppanyaki

Prawns and Scallops

Tofu Omelette – don’t miss this!

 

Nabemono

Beef Sukiyaki

 

Agemono

Scallop Karaage

 

Noodles, Rice Bowls

Australian Beef Soba

Egg Mentaiko Rice Bowl

 

Desserts

Besides the usual Ice Cream with matcha and goma flavours and tofu cheesecake, my favourite is the Raindrop Jelly.  I must have eaten 4 pieces of this wobbly clear jelly showered with green bean powder,  It’s just so so good – coming from a jelly lover, of course!

Ice Cream – matcha? goma?

Raindrop Jelly

 

So, get on the phone and dial:  03-5624-0888 to make your reservation for the coming weekends!

 

HANA DINING SAKE BAR
OB2.G.U1 Oasis Boulevard
Ground Floor
Sunway Pyramid
3 Jalan PJS 11/15
Bandar Sunway
47500 Selangor

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MEATOLOGY unveils New Menu!

A recent disappointing experience at a restaurant had me come to the conclusion that a restaurant where the chefs are not the owners or share-holders quite often does not perform as well as one which is helmed by a chef-owner.  It’s even worse when the employed chef is not competent, dedicated or passionate. 

Yes, passion.  And therein lies the secret of Meatology.  Chef-owner Yenni Law is one helluva passionate chef.  Author of two cookbooks and having revamped Meatology (which used to be “Boathouse”) recently, Yenni doesn’t stop.  Just when I thought she has earned a well-deserved slowdown (don’t even talk about “resting”!), she told me she was revamping and creating new dishes for her menu!

And that was how I found myself at Meatology one evening previewing the exciting new line-up to Meatology’s menu.  The whole menu isn’t entirely new as Yenni has retained some of Meatology’s signatures and best-sellers.  Some seasonal favourites, like the Yee Sang 365 which only appeared during the Chinese New Year season is now a permanent fixture on the menu.  Yes, I can have Yee Sang here any time now!

Who would complain about such a fine Yee Sang anyway? There’s fresh tuna, sliced octopus, marinated clams and crispy pork rinds tossed in fresh greens and fruits with a tantalising dressing – I can polish off the entire serving all by myself and then some!

Yee Sang 365 (RM32.80)

What got many of us excited was the cockles.  Now, tell me – how many restaurants serve cockles this way?  The specially selected and meticulously cleaned cockles are cooked just right and tossed with a secret spicy sauce and served in a bottIe.  Cockles lovers – you will adore this!

Cockles in a Bottle (RM24.80) – spicy marinated cockles

Yenni does a lovely pate, a velvety smooth concoction of minced foie and duck meat.  Spread it on pieces of toast, that’s the best way to enjoy this!

Pate de Foie (RM29.80) 

We’ve always loved the roast pork in Meatology which is roasted in-house.  Poison Pork, which is a crowd favourite, is a decadent dish of roast pork stir-fried with garlic and chillies.  I’m told this is perfect with drinks – beer, wine etc!  To make this dish even more decadent, Yenni’s latest version of Poison Pork has strips of house-made bacon and crunchy pork crackling thrown in.

Poison Pork (RM28.80) 

Wild Boar Curry is not new in Meatology.  It has always been on the menu, served with toast.  This time round, Yenni has decided to have it as a topping on a pizza and hey, the curry rocks, with cheese!  It’s a match made in porky heaven.

Wild Boar Curry Pizza (RM29.80)

As befitting its name – Meatology – of course the meat dishes rule supreme.  Not only that, most of them are served on fire – flambe’ed at tableside.  So, check out these signature meats…

Hog-Mahawk on Fire (RM67.80) – 600g Paulaner beer-marinated Spanish tomahawk-cut (with meat and bone) served with truffle blue cheese sauce.  I tell you, that cheese sauce is da bomb – scrumptious!

Lamb Loin (RM58.80) – 350g marinated lamb loin (with bones and fat) served with mash, vegetables and two sauces: mint and mushrooms.  Both sauces were good – I couldn’t decide which was better, really!

Wagyu Skirt Marble 8 (RM87.80) – 220g skirt cut with garlic pepper pebbles, mash and vegetables.  Eat it plain or have it with the signature house brown sauce, it’s irresistible.

 

Spanish Neck on Fire (RM58.80)

This 300g Spanish neck muscle flamed before you with rosemary red wine sauce is not a new item.  It has been in the menu for some time but what Yenni has done to improve it is to come up with a new marinade which makes it way more tender than before.

Pasta with meatballs is a common dish but when those are baked beneath a blanket of cheese in a cast-iron pan, it’s a whole different thing altogether!  This brand new dish will have pasta lovers drooling over the piping hot strands coated with gooey cheese and those meatballs – you can’t stop at one!

Baked Spaghetti Meatballs (RM43.80) 

After all that meat, if you need something lighter, go for the vegetarian Champion – it’s really very good!

Champion (RM25.80) a delightful ensemble of champignon mushrooms, mash, creamy spinach, wine & century egg!

Desserts… how can we ever leave out the sweet things in life?  My all-time favourite at Meatology is their boozy Sinful Soufflé (and I never share this!) and Yenni has now added two new sweets to the repertoire.  The all-new Raspberry Dream Pie is really a dreamy dessert, trust me.  It’s a simple assembly of buttery digestive crust holding up some heavenly house-made raspberry swirl ice-cream and I suspect there’s some creamy cheese in there as well.  It’s very light and absolutely divine.

Raspberry Dream Pie (RM16.80)

The next new dessert is something for durian lovers – Durian Custard Affogato.  If you like the idea of black coffee, musang king, liquor and vanilla ice-cream creating a fearsome foursome, go knock yourself out on this.  Personally, I think they all make rather strange bedfellows – but that’s just me.

Durian Custard Affogato (RM16.80) 

Pineapple Mojito (RM26)

 

So go on over and check out Meatology’s latest offerings – there’s really a lot to love there!

 

MEATOLOGY
16 Lorong Rahim Kajai 14
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:  03-7727-4426

Opens from 3.00pm onwards

Closed on Sundays

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ROAST DUCKKING @ Lot 10 Hutong

What caught my attention at Duckking was the glistening red skin of the roast ducks hanging in the glass case. Jimmy Liew, the owner was quick to point out that the bright scarlet hues on his ducks were actually from marinating them with a mixture of red vinegar and rose wine (“mui gwai lo”).

“Oh don’t worry, we don’t use synthetic colouring on our ducks, ever!” “I learned this from my grandmother, who used to apprentice under several great chefs in Zhongshan, Guangdong”, explained Jimmy. Needless to say, as a young boy, Jimmy loved hanging out in his grandmother’s kitchen where he picked up her recipes and culinary skills as his love for food grew.

Pretty ducks in a row

For many years, Jimmy’s love of good food remained just that – an indulgence of the senses. He developed his construction and renovation business and expanded to Brunei. Feeling that he needed a little diversion, an opportunity to divest into the F&B field rose when he partnered up with some friends in this venture. With restaurants in Selayang and Brunei, Jimmy’s homage to his grandmother’s roast duck legacy took form when Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, upon the recommendation from Hong Kong’s celebrity food critic, Choi Lan, urged Jimmy to set up stall in Lot 10 Hutong. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Jimmy’s Duckking Roast Duck counter in Lot 10 Hutong is indeed eye-catching and it’s true, the visual feast is just the beginning. When our plate of half a roast duck was placed on our table, it didn’t take us long to dig in and savour the succulent and tender well-roasted meat. Oozing delicate herbal juiciness, we had to order plain rice to mop up every bit of the jus and flavoursome duck.

We tried the Char Siu and Siu Yook (roast pork) and those were excellent too. Beautifully layered with fats and lean meat, they did not disappoint. If I have to file a grouse, then it has to be the chilli sauce – which I felt was too watery and a bit bland.

Besides duck and pork, we also tried the poached chicken and Jimmy’s signature Braised Duck Wings. The poached chicken was just average but the ginger dip was good. The duck wings, braised Teochew-style were well-flavoured with spices and dark soya sauce – I enjoyed them and it’s something I would order again, besides the roast duck.

Poached Chicken

Jimmy Liew

 

 

ROAST DUCKKING
Lot 10 Hutong
Lower Ground Floor
Lot 10 Shopping Centre
Jalan Bukit Bintang
50250 Kuala Lumpur

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PUDU CHAN FATT WANTON MEE @ Damansara Utama

When Megan Wong left her job as a Financial Controller and said goodbye to the corporate world, she decided to revive her family’s heritage wanton noodles business. If you are older than me and has been a true-blue KLite, you’d probably know about Chan Fatt Wanton Mee in the Pudu wet market. Megan’s parents – the late Woon Poon and his wife, Lee Yit Yee started the business as a small stall in 1955 (imagine, that’s during the British era!). They sold only wanton noodles with char siu and sui gao – simple food which became a hit and Chan Fatt Wanton Mee became one of the biggest and most well-known eatery in Pudu Market.

Megan’s parents retired and closed the stall in 1996. The family recipe remained within the Wong family and knowing how her mother had always wished for the legacy to flourish, Megan decided to revive the family business. So, Pudu Chan Fatt Wanton Noodles was opened recently in the thriving Damansara Uptown area. It’s a simple and comfortable eatery furnished with wooden furniture for a seating capacity of about 50.

 

The menu features simple dishes which were made well-known by Chan Fatt, so don’t expect anything fancy. We tried their signature items – mainly the springy egg noodles paired with various ingredients, served in soup, dry-style (“kon lo”) and there’s even a curry laksa.

Sui Kow Noodles (RM8.50)

The signature “sui kow” (meat dumplings) were fairly large and plump with minced pork & prawns filling but the skin could be a bit thinner. For this reason, I preferred the wantons. The char siew was decent: caramelized roasted tender pork with nice layer of fat, evenly charred at the sides and not overly sweet.

Char Siew & Wanton Noodles (RM7.50)

The Lion Head Meatballs, so called because of the size of the minced pork balls, are another boon for pork lovers. Made in-house and not commercially produced, the deep-fried balls yielded sufficient porky sweetness to render them satisfying. However, I would have preferred them paired with some “kon lo” noodles instead of the soupy version. In fact, generally I’ll pass the soup versions as the noodles got soft pretty quickly and I’ve always preferred my noodles (and also pasta) to be al dente.


Lion Head Meatballs Noodles (RM8.50)


Curry Laksa with Chicken (RM7.50)

The Curry Laksa, while not mind-blowing, was decent with a tasty lemak curry broth and generous portions of chicken chunks, fried beancurd sheets (fuchook) and tofu puffs.

Char Siew with Dark Soy Sauce Rice (RM7.50)

Chicken with Light Soy Sauce Rice (RM8.00)

Noodles aside, Pudu Chan Fatt serves a few rice dishes – topped with slices of Chinese sausages, char siew or poached chicken. To enhance the tastes, lashings of either Dark Soy Sauce or Light Soy Sauce are drizzled on the rice. Dishes like these featured much in my childhood memories, during the times when my mother was working and didn’t have much time to cook for me before I went to school. I didn’t have the luxury of char siew or chicken during those times (unless it’s Chinese New Year) but Chinese sausages were affordable sometimes. Most of the other times, I’d get a raw egg broken into piping hot rice, seasoned with some soy sauce and pepper and quickly mixed well – my instant Egg Rice! I wished we had some liver sausage back then too.

Homemade Chinese Pork & Liver Sausage with Egg (RM10.90)

If you are at Pudu Chan Fatt in the morning and looking for some old-school traditional breakfast, have the Hainan Set which comprises two slices of Kaya Margerine Toast, two Half-boiled Eggs and hot coffee.

Hainan Set (RM6.90) – Kaya Margerine Toast, 2 Half-boiled Eggs & Hot Kopi/Kopi-O


Sweet Margerine Toasted Sandwich (RM2.80)

All in all, Pudu Chan Fatt serves basic traditional food at affordable prices. Food choices may not be very extensive but Megan and her team have pretty much stuck to her family’s recipes to serve up old favourites, reviving the feel and tastes of yonder years. Like I said, nothing fancy, just some good old traditional favourites.

 

 

PUDU CHAN FATT WANTON MEE
52 Jalan SS21/58
Damansara Utama
Petaling Jaya
Tel: 012-3838903

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SAPORE – authentic Italian & Spanish-Mediterranean Flavours in Ampang

What is “flavours” in Italian? SAPORE, of course and it’s an apt name for a restaurant that celebrates the authentic flavours of not only Italian food but also Spanish-Mediterranean favourites. Located in a quiet suburb in Ampang, Sapore Restaurant is the quintessential neighbourhood eatery that beckons with delicious comfort food and a relaxing place to just chill out with artisanal food and fine wines.

Chill and relax in this casual cosy space!

Owned by Chef Fabio Ruggiero, a talented chef who has turned Sapore into a popular venue serving a good selection of dishes prepared and cooked with passion. With his talent and vast experience garnered from various 5-star hotels in Italy and London and more recently, from Marini’s on 57, Chef Fabio’s creations are remarkable indeed.  Here there’s no fancy fine-dine stuff… diners come for the premium quality ingredients used unabashedly by Chef Fabio in his tasty dishes.

Freshly-baked focaccia studded with herbs and dried fruits

The regulars know exactly when to appear for their favourite specials, like the Paella Party every Sunday. I wondered if they had actually smelled the crazy good aromas from the bubbling rice and meats in the flat pan – they all came when the paella was just about ready to be served!

Watching Chef Fabio cook the Sunday paella, I could appreciate how hearty that big pan of deliciousness was. Chef Fabio’s version of this popular Spanish rice dish used Iberico pork neck to give it that robust intense flavour while the fresh prawns contributed a marine sweetness to the grains. True enough, once the paella was served, I couldn’t stop eating it, which is really crazy because I’m not a rice fan actually! The paella is usually ready by around noontime on Sundays.

You will be tempted for more of this!

If you come earlier on a weekend, then catch some of Sapore’s popular breakfast dishes. The Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon that we had was scrumptious – eggs done just right and so satisfying when eaten with the smoked salmon on baguette slices.

Breakfast/brunch on weekends!

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon (RM28)

When we spotted Guanciale Ham as one of the ingredients, we just had to order the Spaghetti Carbonara and it was an excellent choice especially when there’s also Pecorino in it!

Spaghetti Carbonara (RM28) with Guanciale Ham, eggs and Pecorino cheese

One of Sapore’s main attractions is their tapas, both hot and cold types. It’s quite the thing to do here…people love the tapas, cold cuts charcuterie, antipasti or just a selection of excellent cheese to go with their wines, beers or cocktails.

We checked out some of their tapas bestsellers…

Baby Octopus stewed with Tomato (RM22)

Spanish Green Olives (RM12)

Salad Beetroot & Queso de Cabra – goat cheese (RM16)

Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomatoes (RM18)

Anchovies marinated in Olive Oil (RM22)

Lardo (RM25) – Flavoured Tuscany Pork Lard

Jamon Iberico (RM45)

Salad Momotaro (RM15)

 

Do note that Sapore is open only from 2.00pm on Mondays to Fridays till late, 11.30pm. On weekends, it’s open from 10.00am till 11.30pm. So, if you find yourself feeling peckish and need some bites and drinks during this time, pop over to Sapore for some Italian, Spanish-Mediterranean love!

 

SAPORE
18 Persiaran Ampang
Desa Pahlawan
55000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 03 4266 6362

www.facebook.com/saporemy
Business hours:
Mon- Fri: 2.00pm – 11.30pm
Sat & Sun: 10.00am – 11.30pm 

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BOTTEGA MEDITERRANEA: Your One-Stop Fine Foods Store

Bottega Mediterranea has been making a name for itself as a great venue to have good coffee or wine and more-than-good gourmet sandwiches. More than that, as an importer of fine Southern European food (particularly from the Italian peninsula) the venue at Jalan Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur stocks a huge selection of delectables. They’ve been here since June 2011. The deli and shop here receives fresh produce and authentic ingredients regularly every 7-10 days so you know you are getting the real deal here.

For those of you who dreads going downtown to Kuala Lumpur, here’s the good news: Bottega Mediterranea does home delivery as well! You can order their range of items from their website here, at least 1 day in advance and your order will be delivered accordingly. Telephone and email orders are equally welcome.

Bottega Mediterranea stocks the highest quality of fresh and aged cheeses, fresh and cured meats, halal cold cuts, gourmet pastas and condiments, white and black truffles and many more. I found this out recently when they sent me a goody box filled with pasta, cold cuts, cheeses, pickles and sauces and a bottle of wine, all packed nicely in their customised box.

We were delighted with the selection of salami milano, lomo iberico, porchetta, smoked speck, prosciutto, bresaola and my favourite jamon serano – all vacuum-packed individually. Together with the cheeses – parmigiano reggiano, asiago, gorgonzola, taleggio and even burrata, these are good to go with that bottle of Zabu Grillo. I must make sure some of the cold cuts and cheeses go into making some sandwiches for me as the family can get overboard with these fine stuff.


Check out the pickles and sauces…

Everything you need to cook that perfect Italian meal at home!

So the next time you want to throw a party featuring fine foods like these, you don’t need to stress yourself with having to search for them in the supermarkets and shops – just get the good folks at Bottega Mediterranea to pack and send them to you!

 
BOTTEGA MEDITERRANEA
1A Jalan Ceylon 
50200 Kuala Lumpur

T +603 2070 4222
F +603 2070 4223
E home@bottega.my

Website: www.bottega.my

Opening hours:  Mon-Sat 9am-8pm
Sun Closed

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MACHA & CO – BANANA LEAF RICE & MORE!

I love Indian food and usually can’t say “no” to Banana Leaf Rice. But BLR, to me, must only be eaten for brunch or lunch, never for dinner – it’s just too heavy for a night meal! Heavy – because usually at a BLR joint, one tends to get overboard when presented with an array of mouth-watering dishes.

Macha & Co in Dataran Sunway

That’s exactly how I felt when looking at the menu at Macha & Co, a very comfortable eatery in Kota Damansara serving a variety of Indian/mamak favourites. It’s the kind of place where you “control” doesn’t even figure in the mind when it comes to food ordering.

Banana Leaf Rice – regular set

First on the list was of course the Banana Leaf Rice. At RM8.90 per set, you can choose either white or brown rice and the guys will come and pile 3 vegetables, acar, a fried salted dried chilli, 2 papadams and flood your rice with chicken/fish/dhall/crab curries until you tell them to stop! I had to ask them for a bigger piece of banana leaf because I tend to over-flood my rice with extra scoops of curries.

To go with my Banana Leaf Rice, my must-have’s are deep-fried bittergourd but unfortunately that was not available on that day so I had to settle for their Deep-fried Snake Gourd instead, which turned out to be very tasty too.

Deep-fried Snake Gourd (RM3.50)

We can never resist the deep-fried dishes Macha & Co did theirs very well. The tenggiri slice, chicken and calamari were all well-marinated and fried to a perfect golden crisp. What’s also well executed was their Tandoori Chicken, which was moist and tender.

Deep-fried Whole Chicken Thigh+ Drumstick (RM9.50)


Fried Tenggiri Slice (RM8.50)


Deep-fried Calamari (RM11)

Tandoori Whole Chicken Leg (RM14.50)

 

We also checked out their Varuval Fried Rice and Lamb Shank Biryani which we were told, were very popular. Both of these were in very substantial portions and I guess that contributed to their popularity. The Varuval Fried Rice was excellent – with generous amount of fried chicken and vegetables tossed in and topped with a fried egg. It’s a complete and tummy-filling meal on its own and at only RM11.90 for that, I think that’s a real steal.

Varuval Fried Rice (RM11.90)

The Lamb Shank Biryani was huge and could easily feed 2-3 people. The lamb shank was tender but I felt it needed a bit more marinade as the spices and flavours didn’t quite penetrate into the meat.


Lamb Shank Biryani (RM48)

I’m so glad we tried the Banana Fritters with Gula Melaka & Vanilla Ice Cream because it was such a big hit with everyone – including someone who doesn’t eat/like bananas! The sweet bananas were encased in a thin crunchy batter and deep-fried and then drizzled with fragrant Gula Melaka syrup with scoop of ice cream served on the side.


Banana Fritters with Gula Melaka & Vanilla Ice Cream (RM11.50)

Now what I really wanted to try was their signature Roti Durian Tissue with Gula Melaka but unfortunately they don’t do roti canai during lunch hours. Oh well, that’s reason enough for returning to Macha & Co another time.

Prices here are slightly above the average mamak eatery but it’s very clean and comfortable. Service can be a bit erratic, especially during peak hours but food was generally pretty good.

 

MACHA & CO
32 Jalan PJU 5/16
Dataran Sunway
Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-6144-6444

*Pork-free
Open daily from 8.00am-11.30pm

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