Fried Chicken & Champagne @ MONTE’S, Bangsar Shopping Centre

The next time you have a reason to celebrate and are not sure how to celebrate it – well, let’s keep it simple, shall we? How about just some scrumptious fried chicken and champagne? It’s really not as incongruous as you may think! Look, almost everyone loves fried chicken, right? That’s such a universal love, no? It’s comfort food and when done well, it’s da bomb!

A bucket of amazing love!

The folks at Monte’s in Bangsar Shopping Centre has got it just right. Using only the juiciest parts of the chicken – thighs and drumsticks only, their fried chicken here is served nicely propped up in a bucket. Coated in a light batter brimming with secret spices, the crispy golden skin is irresistible, trust me. Beneath that, juicy tender meat, just the way how good fried chicken should be!

Of course we had the Cheesy Wedges too!

And to accompany this delightful fried chicken meal – none other than some sparkling Moët champagne! I can’t even begin to tell you how good that chilled champagne tasted. It’s a perfect combo, fried chicken and champagne, I tell you.

Oh you can also choose to have either some salad or cheesy wedges to go with the chicken and champagne set.  There are 2 sets for you to choose from, depending on the size and appetite of your party:

VIP Chicks Package @ RM568+
1 bottle Moët et Chandon
1 bucket Monte’s Fried Chicken (12pcs)
Salad or Cheesy Wedges

or

VVIP Party Package @ RM888+
2 bottles Moët et Chandon
1 supersize bucket Monte’s Fried Chicken (18pcs)
Salad or Cheesy Wedges

You can also order just the fried chicken on its own, without opting for the champagne – I mean, if it’s a small celebration, hehe! 3 pieces Fried Chicken go for RM18.

Monte’s at BSC has been around for more than 10 years and is very popular in the neighbourhood. For such a long-serving establishment, there are quite a number of signature dishes that have been on the menu since day 1.

 

Fresh Oxtail Soup

The thick and savoury Fresh Oxtail Soup (RM23) is one of their top dishes and I can understand why. The soup is amazing, served piping hot and with well-balanced robust flavours. Eaten with some crusty bread, it makes an immensely satisfying meal on its own.

Escargots baked in garlic & chablis sauce

Then there’s Monte’s signature escargots baked in creamy chablis and garlic sauce to tantalise your taste buds. At RM28 for half dozen, this traditional French starter is sure to please.

Recently the culinary team at Monte’s has come up with some new dishes to add more variety to the dining experience here. Just take a look at these…

Corned Beef Scotch Egg

Corned Beef Scotch Egg (RM28+) with salad and gravy

Slow braised Beef Tendons with fettuccini and melted cheese! (RM38+)

Cheesebomb Fish Burger in tumeric cream and French fries (RM35)

Waffle Beef Burger with Cheese Wedges (RM38)

As for desserts, do check out their cakes of the day and if you see these two cakes available, grab some! At RM18 a slice, I totally loved the Salted Caramel Cake – my favourite!

Nutella Chocolate Cake 

Salted Caramel Cake

It’s always advisable to go with hungry stomachs as portions are hearty and because everything looks good, there’s a tendency to over-order too.  Now, here’s to the next celebration in Monte’s!

 

MONTE’S Bistro
Lot 112 Level 1 West Wing
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2094-1112
www.montesrestaurant.com.my

Celebrate Mid Autumn Festival with colourful Mooncakes from YONG SHENG CONFECTIONERY

They come in pretty boxes and in pretty colours, they do.

I’m talking about the mooncakes from Yong Sheng Confectionery this year.  Elements of cultural heritage, and in this case, the nyonya heritage form the theme in the designs of the metal tins.  Etched against rich startling backgrounds are various designs of the beautiful kebaya amidst hanging paper lanterns, depicting the Mid Autumn Festival.

 

Besides the regular traditional baked mooncakes with lotus paste and redden paste, I tried a few “modern” creations from Yong Sheng.  I just couldn’t resist the colourful crusts they came in!  Take a look…

Peach Blossom & Sunrise Horizon

Nyonya Delight (RM20.80/piece)- sambal paste, nyonya spices and lotus paste

Cherry Blossom (RM19.80/piece) – lotus paste + plum paste + red bean paste encrusted with melon seeds, almonds and crystal cranberries

Sunrise Horizon (RM22.80/piece) – chestnut lotus paste + black sesame paste with pine nuts & isomalt (sugar-free)

Peach Blossom (RM20.80/piece) – pandan paste + coconut paste & collagen

 

Then there’s the lovely set called “Nuna in Wonderland” consisting of 8 mini mooncakes in various shades and fillings.  Priced at RM78.80 per box, as a gift, it’s just perfect because the receiver of your gift will definitely love those dainty flower-like crystalline mooncakes.  With flavours like Black Gold Sesame, Strawberry Kisses, Meet with Yam, Acacia Red Bean, Amazing Chocolate, Uji Matcha, Enthusiasm Mango and even the Fragrance Durian, who is to complain?

Aren’t they the prettiest?

 

Yong Sheng mooncakes are available at all their outlets and as their base is in Johor, they have also set up kiosks in City Square Mall in Johor Bahru and Sutera Mall in Skudai during this Mid Autumn Festival.  Oh, in 1Utama, they not only have a Yong Sheng Confectionery outlet, they have also put up a kiosk at the Concourse in the New Wing during this mooncake Festival promotion.

For the list of their outlets, do check out their website here.

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SWEET STUFF FROM FAT SUNDAY

If you are looking to buy some decent cookies for Chinese New Year because you are not inclined or do not have the time to bake, do check out Fat Sunday.  Fat what? Yes, the name is kinda cute, don’t you think? (I wonder why “Sunday” though? Do people get fat only on Sundays?)

A recent food start-up, the folks at Fat Sunday, led by Kang Chin Chin are dedicated and focused on wholesome, hand-made and home-baked goodies.  Chin Chin’s passion of creating premium full-flavoured sweets and desserts can now be shared with all you sweets-lovers.  You can find their products in Jaya Grocer stores and also online at their site.


Some of my favourites from Fat Sunday are their buttery Pineapple Tarts, their healthy Black Sesame Cookies and Caramel Popcorn.

Pineapple Tarts (RM34/560g)

 

Black Sesame Cookies (RM36/550g) – full of healthy crunchiness from black sesame and superfood organic chia seeds!

 

Caramel Popcorn (RM18/280g) – light crispy popcorn coated with aromatic buttery caramel and they are not too sweet!

 

They also have buttercake, cheesecake and fudge brownies in their repertoire and I believe more will join the line-up.

Website: fatsunday.my

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MOONCAKES & MID AUTUMN TREATS 2016 from TOH YUEN @ HILTON PETALING JAYA

When I was a kid growing up in a village in Ipoh, the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar calendar was always an exciting day.  That’s when everyone in the village celebrated the “Mooncakes Festival” and “pai yuet kong” (“praying to the moon” in Cantonese) was the finale of the night.  But of course, the prayers thing was something done by the adults and we kids were just interested in the lantern activities for the day.  Yes, those traditional lanterns in all shapes and sizes of animals (mainly) or boats or aeroplanes (but my favourite was the starfruit-shaped one!) made from multi-coloured cellophane sheets glued to bamboo sticks.  Puny (because they broke all the time) real candles were lit inside those lanterns (none of the battery-operated ones during those days) and then everyone would move in a line for the “lantern parade” through the dusty narrow roads in the village.  There would always be some wailing when someone’s lantern caught fire and after that exhilarating parade, we’d head back to wolf down the mooncakes and other goodies on the moon-prayers table.

1mooncake

baked mooncake

 

Mooncakes – the must-have item for the Mid-Autumn Celebration (aka Mooncakes Festival).  These days, most people buy these as gifts for relatives & friends, more than for personal consumption really.  Every year, restaurants and bakeries try to outdo each other by coming up with new and unique flavours and fillings.  Personally, I tend to stick to the traditional ones with lotus paste, red bean paste or mixed nuts.

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The pastry chefs at Toh Yuen, Hilton Petaling Jaya seem to share my preference and that’s why the range of traditional baked mooncakes this year comprises mainly those with white lotus paste, red bean paste and pandan paste with or without salted egg yolks.  My favourite “Mixed Five Nuts” is also in the line-up.

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The Snow Skin range offers lotus paste with sunflower seeds, yam paste, green tea paste with red bean, black sesame paste and their “special” this year is the Chocolate Pistachio Indulgence.

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Snow Skin Black Sesame Paste

green tea

Snow Skin Green Tea

yam

Snow Skin Yam Paste

lotus paste

Snow Skin Lotus Paste

 

The Traditional Baked Mooncakes are priced at RM23-RM25 each while the Snow Skin ones are at RM18 each except for the Chocolate Pistachio Indulgence which is at RM22 per piece.

lotus yolk

Lotus Paste with Single Egg Yolk

pandan lotus

Green Tea with Pistachios

lotus plain

White Lotus Paste

red bean

Red Bean Paste with Almond Flakes

pandan lotus yolk

Pandan Paste with Single Yolk

mixed nuts

My favourite Mixed Five Nuts!

The mooncakes are on sale in the restaurant until 15 September 2016 – the actual date for this year’s Mid Autumn Festival.  If you are thinking of buying in bulk, then you can get the following discounts:

  • 10% discount for 50 boxes & above
  • 15% discount for 100 boxes & above

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Toh Yuen Restaurant is also offering 2 special Mid Autumn Reunion Sets at RM1,188 net per table for 10 pax.  After all, a festival is always a time of celebration and in our Malaysian context, that calls for a good feast with loved ones.

We sampled some dishes from the special meal sets, so you can expect dishes like these to grace your festive table at Toh Yuen…

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Special Four Season Deluxe Barbeque Combination

duck

prawns

 

soup

Double-boiled Fresh Ginseng with Black Chicken & Glutinous Rice

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Teochew-style Steamed Garoupa Fillets with Hong Kong beancurd skin

panfried chicken

Pan-fried Chicken topped with Salted Egg & Barbeque Sauce

stuffed sea cucumber

Stuffed Sea Cucumber with Shrimp Paste & Mushrooms

lotus roots

Lotus Roots & Fresh Lily Bulbs with Prawns

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chopsticks

Braised Misua with Shredded Chicken & Mushrooms

chilled almond

Chilled Almond with White Fungus & Lotus Seeds

 

For reservations, please call +603-7955-9122 ext.4073/74 or visit www.ZestPJ.com

 

TOH YUEN CHINESE RESTAURANT
Hilton Petaling Jaya
Jalan Barat
Petaling Jaya
Tel:  +603-7955-9122

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RICE DUMPLINGS from YONG SHENG CONFECTIONERY to celebrate DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

On the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese celebrate Duan Wu or Dragon Boat Festival. Legend has it that this date commemorates the death of patriotic poet Qu Yuan who drowned himself more than 2,000 years ago when his beloved Chu state fell to the State of Qin. According to the legend, the locals made rice dumplings (“zongzi”) and threw these into the river to lure the fishes away from eating his body. And that’s how the tradition of making rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves started.

This year, the Dragon Boat Festival or Duan Wu Festival falls on 9 June 2016. That’s just days away. If you are not making your own rice dumplings for this occasion, why not check out some of the rice dumplings from Yong Sheng Confectionery? Read my 1st post on Yong Sheng Confectionery here.

royal

The regular rice dumplings from Yong Sheng Confectionery are the Royal Dumplings with or without red beans. There’s also a Royal Vegetarian choice. The royal dumplings are priced at RM6.50 each but if you buy 4, it’s only RM22.80.

royal-1

Then there are the luxe King Dumplings and Xiang Fei. These are huge dumplings, wrapped into an elongated triangular shape. These big babies are filled with dried scallops and meat floss in addition to the usual pork, mushrooms, mung beans and dried shrimps. The King Dumplings have salted egg yolks for added flavour. Each of the King/Xiang Fei dumpling is RM14.80 and if you buy 4, it’s RM50.

king n xiang fie

king xiang fei

Yong Sheng has created some unique Crystal Dumplings. These are smaller dumplings with a crystal-like translucent skin and come with 3 kinds of filling: red bean paste, panda paste and yam paste. They are priced at RM3.80 each and RM10.60 for 3 pieces. The crystal skin has a nice bouncy texture and the fillings are not overly sweet.

crystal

crystal1

The dumplings from Yong Sheng are steamed and not boiled and are available till 9 June 2016.

crystal2

From Muar, Yong Sheng has now expanded to 13 branches under Yong Sheng Gift Shops which are  located in Subang Jaya, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat, Kluang, Skudai and Johor Bahru. So, in the Klang Valley, these dumplings are available in their Subang Jaya outlet. The good news is that they will be opening a new outlet in 1-Utama very soon.

 

The Yong Sheng Confectionery outlet in the Klang Valley is located at:

Subang Taipan
7 Jalan USJ 10/1E
UEP Subang Jaya
47620 Subang
Tel: 03-5635-3362

For the latest updates, just click onto their Facebook Page here.
Their Service Hotline is 06-986-3362.
Check-out the whole range of their confectionery on their website: www.yongsheng.com.my

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Garrett Popcorn: Enjoy the NEW Limited Time Flavor – MATCHA CaramelCrisp

Those of you who know me well will know that I blog in my free time, away from work. I am not a full-time blogger and although my blog is now more than 8 years old, whatever that’s been written in it was done as a “hobby” and passion. Look, after 8 years, it’s hard to sustain or continue blogging if there’s no love or passion in it, right?

I blog as a form of release: be it from stress or just the need to express myself and of course, to share with you an experience, whether it’s a meal somewhere or a staycation somewhere. To fuel my creativity (and sometimes to keep away the snoozes), very often I’d have some snacks nearby. Usually it’s a plate of fruits, last month it was the remnants of our Chinese New Year goodies and of late, guess what – I’ve discovered a new addiction.

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If you haven’t heard of it yet, well, let me tell you the secret – it’s the New Limited Time Flavor Matcha CaramelCrisp from Garrett Popcorn! “Matcha” is of course green tea but it isn’t just any green tea that’s used in Garrett Popcorn’s latest flavor. What is used is the harada matcha sourced from the Shizuoko prefecture, a well-known tea-growing area in Japan. Through careful processes, high quality “Aki Matcha” which is powdered green tea is used for its very refreshing matcha flavor.

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Upon chewing it, I like how the Matcha CaramelCrisp Popcorn exudes a fresh green tea aroma, with just the right flavor distinction without overpowering the original tastes of CaramelCrisp. The lovely greenish hue certainly gives those puffy crunchy popcorn a unique appearance. Indeed, the harada matcha used is the perfect choice and best match for CaramelCrisp.

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I’ve become so addicted to the Matcha CaramelCrisp from Chicago, USA that I now always have to have my 1Gallon Tin around wherever I am. It has now become an almost permanent companion for me – the tin sits next to me at my workstation at home (it’s really useful and delicious whenever I have to work late into the night!).

GP-work

My friends and I have also discovered that the Matcha CaramelCrisp is an excellent “focus booster” whenever we are playing some challenging game together! There must be something extremely “relaxing” in the harada matcha that helps steady our hands whenever we play Jengga!

jengga2

jengga1

Watch where the hand is going!

jengga

hands-c

At other times, whenever I’m chilling out at home, the tin of Matcha CaramelCrisp is never far from reach. It’s a favourite with my family whenever it’s “Home Movie Night” with the brood.

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Only limited batches of Matcha CaramelCrisp are made each day to maintain its freshness. It’s available in all their bag sizes, with prices ranging from RM17 for its Small Signature Bag as well as in their Tins starting at RM40 for the Quart Tin.

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The Matcha CaramelCrisp is available only from 16 March till 10 April 2016 in all the Garrett Popcorn Shops in Malaysia:

Mid Valley Megamall: Lot G001-B, Ground Floor (opposite Starbucks)
Suria KLCC: Lot C15I, Concourse Floor (near Maybank)
1 Utama Shopping Centre: Lot G139B, Ground Floor
KLIA2: L2-112, Level 2, gateway@klia2

 

For more information, do visit their website: www.garrettpopcorn.my
For more updates, please follow them on Facebook: fb.com/GarrettPopcornMY

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Festive Cookies from YONG SHENG CONFECTIONERY

Not many of us have the time or inclination to bake our own cookies for festive celebrations. Whenever a festive season comes round, we resort to ordering cookies from friends, relatives and of course from bakeries and confectionery shops. If you are thinking of the latter, then perhaps you have heard about Yong Sheng Confectionery.

cookies

Established since 1952 in a small town called Muar down south in Johor, Yong Sheng certainly has a good history in Chinese confectionery. They started off by making traditional confectionery like “wife cakes”, peanut brittles, mooncakes, wedding pastries, egg yolk tarts, pineapple pastries – in fact, all kinds of traditional Chinese pastries.

From Muar, Yong Sheng has now expanded to 13 branches under Yong Sheng Gift Shops which are  located in Klang, Subang Jaya, Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat, Kluang, Skudai and Johor Bahru.

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This Chinese New Year, Yong Sheng has come up with a good variety of cookies for the celebration. Their cookie tins are really lovely, in various colour themes and etched with beautiful graphics of kebaya-clad nyonyas in various poses. The nyonya theme reflects the traditional heritage of the cookies which are baked from nyonya recipes. These lovely tins of cookies are just perfect as gifts, don’t you think?

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It may be difficult to pick your cookies from their wide selection but to help you narrow down the choices, here are their top 8 best-sellers:

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Cashew Nut Cookies – my favourite

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Almond Cookies

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Almond Cookies (cane sugar-free) – love these, they are so addictive!

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Green Peas Cookies

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Carnival Pineapple Cookies – love the crumbly buttery pastry!

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Macadamia Nut Cookies (my favourite, too)

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Strawberries Almonds Cookies – another favourite!

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Cranberries Pineapples Cookies – can’t really taste the cranberries though, so to me they tasted just like the Carnival Pineapple Cookies!

I like how the cookies are packed in tight re-sealable plastic bags inside the tins to ensure they remain crisp and tasty. For the sugar-intolerant, they also have some cookies which are cane sugar-free. Generally I find their cookies very fresh – the nutty ones are very crunchy and the good thing is, they are not overloaded with sugar.

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Besides their 13 outlets, during this festive period, special Yong Sheng Kiosks have also been set up in major malls in the Klang Valley so you can easily get these lovely gifts for your loved ones. Currently they are running a promotion of selling 4 of these lovely tins of cookies for RM100.

For the latest updates, just click onto their Facebook Page here.
Their Service Hotline is 06-986-3362.

While most of their outlets are located in Johor and Melaka, there are 2 outlets in the Klang Valley, located at:

Subang Taipan
7 Jalan USJ 10/1E
UEP Subang Jaya
47620 Subang
Tel: 03-5635-3362

Klang Parade
Lot KF-02, 1st Floor
Klang Parade
No.2112, Km2 Jalan Meru
41050 Klang
Tel: 03-3343-3362

Check-out the whole range of their confectionery on their website: www.yongsheng.com.my

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