BEATS & BRUNCH @ LAFITE, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Weekends are meant for food and relaxation.  That’s why weekend brunches are a dime a dozen, almost every cafe/restaurant/hotel worth its salt has a brunch to offer in this city.  In the sea of masses, what do you choose?

You choose something that’s a bit different, a bit unique perhaps?  Then go no further than Lafite at the Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur.  There’s a new concept of brunch at Lafite now on every first Sunday of the month, known as Beats and Brunch!  Starting at 12noon till 3.00pm, indulge on an array of “all you can eat” contemporary French cuisine with delicious entrées, mains, desserts and a la minute delights prepared by Executive Chef Olivier Pistre.  Oh did I say there’s also free-flow of Veuve Clicquot champagne, wines and cocktails?

Free-flow of Veuve Clicquot champagne!

Executive Chef Olivier Pistre

Executive Chef Olivier Pistre with Executive Pastry Chef Paul Gardin

Try all the cocktails 🙂

A mountain of Cadoret oysters!

Things also get jived up with live DJ music as I busied myself at the oysters counter where fresh juicy Cadoret oysters are replenished diligently.  These babies were really good, dripping with marine sweetness at every bite.  I think I had at least a dozen all by myself!

Cherries and strawberries were in season – lucky me!  They went extremely well with the oysters and champagne, trust me.

Cheese selection

The pace picked up as the service crew flitted around the restaurant topping up champagne, wine and serving endless plates of the chef’s signature appetisers such as cold cherry tomato shooters, eggs with smoked salmon, gratinated lobster thermidor, among others.

Lobster for brunch


You can be assured that your mains are always served freshly cooked as orders have to be placed for them.  The mains are 6 gourmet specials of Smoked Cohiba Grilled Wagyu Beef, Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, Seared Hokkaido Scallops, Pan Seared Atlantic Cabillaud, Eggs Parfait and Grilled Octopus.

My personal favourite was the Seared Scallops – big fat Hokkaido ones seared perfectly and served with artichoke velour sauce.  Yes, you can have as many as you like and I think I had at least six of these!

Slow cooked Spanish Lamb Shoulder served with red onions, parmesan gnocchi, pomegranate gel and lamb jus

Grilled Octopus – Japanese octopus grilled and served with corn cream, Japanese black garlic puree and provencal sauce vierge (French sauce made from olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic)

Smoked Cohiba Grilled Wagyu Beef – beef grilled and smoked with Cohiba cigars and served with cauliflower puree, lemon gel and oyster & seaweed emulsion

Pan Seared Atlantic Cabillaud – cod fish from France cooked a la minute and served with white beans ragout, baby squid and veal jus


Desserts galore!

Save some space for the desserts because you definitely do not want to skip those.  Besides the selection of dainty French pastries and cakes at the dessert counter, you can also order their specials: French Rum Baba and Chocolate Surprise.

French Rum Baba – sponge cake soaked in rum syrup, topped with Chantilly cream and served with pistachio sponge, raspberries and raspberry gel.

Chocolate Surprise – traditional dessert made with Sable Breton crumble (French shortbread cookies).  Presented with vanilla ice cream, chocolate ball, chocolate syphon, fresh blackberries and old chocolate sauce, it’s something to die for!

Chef Paul Gardin, Executive Pastry Chef making delectable ice-cream candies to thrilled diners


As mentioned, the Beats and Brunch affair at Lafite takes place on every first Sunday of the month from 12 noon till 3.00pm.  It’s priced at RM499 nett per person.

For reservations or further information, please call 03-2074-3900 or email or visit


Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur
11 Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2032-2388


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FANTASTIC 50% OFF for Weekday Dim Sum Lunch @ DYNASTY RESTAURANT, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur

Half-priced Dim Sum for week-day lunch? Or a create-your-own 4-course meal for RM49.90 nett per person… both happening at the Dynasty Restaurant (pork-free) at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel.  Yes, that’s where you can get these fantastic feasts!  But it’s only until 29 August 2017 – note that down in your calendar.

I think the 50% Discount offer on Dim Sum for week-day lunch is a good deal.  It’s certainly worth considering if you are in the city within the hotel’s radius.  Who would say “No” to a light, quick tasty meal with a good variety of items to choose from?  Dim Sum at the Dynasty Restaurant has always been very decent, freshly made and served efficiently.

Their Golden Yam Puffs are some of the best I’ve had, really – not many can rival the perfectly puffy lacy yam pastry and the delicious chicken filling.  I think I had 2-3 of these babies all by myself.

Another favourite is the Crispy Mango Prawns – superfresh bouncy prawns topped with luscious pureed mango, how not to love?

Emerald Dumplings with Scallops

Green Dragon Chive Dumplings

Crispy Mango Prawns with Thousand Island Dressing

Osmanthus Pudding

The 5-Happiness Dim Sum Platter is a very thoughtful gesture – it’s perfect if there’s just one or two diners who want to try just one piece of dim sum from several varieties.  The platter consists of 5 pieces of different dim sum items, both steamed and deep-fried ones.

5 Happiness Dim Sum Platter

We tried a few dishes from the “Create Your Own 4-course” set menu.  There are 4 dishes in each of the 4 categories (Soup, Fish & Poultry, Noodles, Desserts) for diners to pick.

Wonton Pouches in Consomme

Stir-fried Duck with Sesame Oil & Oyster Sauce

Pan-fried HK Egg Noodles with Enoki & Chicken

In addition to the above 2 fantastic feasts promotion, you can also get to dine on some of Executive Sous Chef Kok Chee Kin’s signature dishes at specially-reduced prices.  For example, his Braised Oxtail with Garlic in Casserole is offered at only RM38.80 (normal price: RM88) and a Peking Duck at RM68.80 (normal price: RM168).

We tried Chef Kok’s Pan-seared Stuffed Scallops going for RM48 (normal price RM88).  Personally, I found this rather overwhelming – it wasn’t really necessary to stuff any minced prawns into the fresh scallops and the sauce was too heavy.  I prefer to enjoy the natural sweetness of fresh scallops without any redundant embellishment.

Pan-seared stuffed Scallops


Recently converted to pork-free status, Dynasty Restaurant now offers a slick variety of barbecued & roasted specialties, soups, seafood, poultry and vegetarian dishes.  Beef, venison and lamb dishes here would satisfy even the most discerning meat lovers.

For reservations, please call 03-2771-6692 or email


Level 1, East Wing
Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail
& Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2162-2233

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MARCO CREATIVE CUISINE – a culinary journey like no other!

Over the past couple of months, you may have noticed that social media was flooded with news about Marco Creative Cuisine. Marco Creative Cuisine opened its doors in 1-Utama in end March 2017, helmed by Chef Daren Leong who used to own and helm Miam Miam and Franco restaurants.

The 62-seater restaurant with attractive furnishing in soothing hues of green and natural wood is the perfect venue for Chef Daren’s distinctive culinary creations. His hand-crafted multi-course western-influenced menu uses fresh artisan produce moulded by his extensive experience and incredible talent.

When you dine at Marco, you will be treated to a myriad of flavours and textures that will engage all the senses,” enthused Chef Daren as he explained the workings and experiential journey behind his creative dishes. He elaborated that each dish he created represented a part of his own personal journey with food, just like the Duck Breast with Orange Pureè and Roasted Beetroot. Taking the Cantonese roast duck as an inspiration, Chef Daren sous vide his duck to retain its tenderness without compromising the moistness and served it with a sauce made from Navel oranges and 66% dark chocolate.

The Journey of Flavours multi-course menu is priced at RM78 (incl.6% GST) per person and offers diners choices from 3 soups, 3 entrees, 6 mains, 3 desserts and 3 drinks, ie choose one from each category.

We started off with a Velvety Macha-Lime Shooter to cleanse the palate.

Velvety Macha-lime foam covering chilled lime snow

This was followed by a dainty appetiser of Savoury Eclair made from Gruyere-flavoured pate à choux decorated with Aubergine Caviar, Green Chilli Pesto and Tomato Confit.

Savoury Eclair

For soups, we chose the unique Strawberry Gazpacho and Truffled Mushroom Soup. Chilled cold soup of strawberries, garnished with dehydrated strawberries and garnished with microgreens.

Strawberry Gazpacho

Truffled Mushroom Soup

Our entrèes were Chicken Liver Parfait and Chef Daren’s signature Savoury Ice Cream Salad. The creamy chicken liver was covered with a brûlèe served with toasted bread and apple chips. Brilliant.

Chicken Liver Parfait

Savoury Ice Cream Salad

Assorted baby leaves, heirloom tomatoes, seasonal microgreens and violet flowers with savoury ice cream made up that incredibly photogenic Ice Cream Salad.  It’s such a visual feast!

For mains, we tried the Salmon with Jetblack Hollandaise, Chicken Roulade with Brussels Sprouts and the signature Duck Breast with Orange Purèe & Roasted Beetroot.

Chicken Roulade with Brussels Sprouts 

The juicy chicken roulade won many points with us – in fact, it was the best mains among the three, I think. I liked how the brussels sprouts were still very crunchy and the flavourful chicken jus was perfect to mop everything up on the plate!

Atlantic Salmon with Jet-black Hollandaise

The Atlantic Salmon was also executed well. The jet-black Hollandaise was blended with squid-ink with colourful pickled beetroot and green chili pesto by the side.

Duck Breast with Orange Purèe & Roasted Beetroot

Chef Darren’s desserts are like artwork on plates…

Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie – lemon curd, passionfruit gel, Italian meringue and white chocolate sherbet

Raspberry Decadence – luscious raspberry cheesecake with raspberry gel, lemon meringue shards and passionfruit gel

My drink: Sparkling Iced Berry


This multi-course menu will be changed every few months so in the meantime, these creative dishes are drawing the crowds. I can appreciate the science and meticulous work behind every dish and the thoughtful presentation on the plate. Where else can you get a multi-course meal like this for under RM100? It’s great value for your money, I tell you!

Lot G146, Old Wing
1-Utama Shopping Centre
Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7731-8923

Open daily:
12.00pm-3.00pm: Lunch
3.00pm-6.00pm: Coffee & Desserts only
6.00pm-10.00pm: Dinner

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We all know about Sangkaya Ice Cream – that coconut madness that got everyone intoxicated on its smooth fragrant and refreshing ice desserts. Well, Sangkaya has now taken another step forward and recently unveiled its range of new ice cream flavours and several new desserts on the menu, based on Malaysians’ favourite traditional sweets.

As Hari Raya is round the corner, check out the new promotional flavour – Rose Bandung! Known as the Blissful Riang Raya promotion, the familiar pink is (always a hit with Malaysians) so appropriate during this festive period. Have it as pure unadulterated ice cream – it’s the Bandung Bliss – 4 scoops of Rose Bandung flavoured ice cream served in a coconut shell decorated with strips of coconut flesh.

Bandung Bliss (RM12.20)

To quench your thirst, why not have the Bandung Blitz – it’s Rose Bandung flavoured coconut shake with diced cincau (grass jelly) and a scoop of Bandung Ice Cream!

Bandung Blitz (RM9.90)

The Blissful Riang Raya promotion will run until 31 July 2017 only, so hurry over and lick your favourite pink Bandung ice cream!
Have you tried Sangkaya’s new release – Gula Melaka? It’s my favourite and I can’t get enough of it, seriously. The natural palm sugar sweetness mixed with the coconut base flavour has resulted in this absolutely rich-tasting aromatic ice cream that’s crazy good. If you have a weakness for gula melaka, then this will totally undo you!

Gula Melaka Ice Cream

Besides the Gula Melaka, Sangkaya has also released two more new flavours: Kaya and Mango.

Mango Ice Cream


Visit any Sangkaya outlet now and be bowled by their new range of desserts. When it used to be just coconut shells and cones, now there are waffles, coconut cookies, toasts and even their own version of ABC (ais batu campur). For something quick, light and easy, the Ice Cream Cookiez is just perfect. I mean, what else can be enjoyed in a jiffy but just two crunchy coconut cookies sandwiching a scoop of coconut ice cream, right?

Ice Cream Cookiez (RM4.90)

With more tim on your hand, just sit down and have some Freshly Baked Waffles topped by Sangkaya’s signature coconut ice cream (or any other flavours) with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Freshly Baked Waffles (RM12.90)

I remember when I was a kid, one of the highlights of my childhood was having ice cream with bread. Those were the days when pleasures and treats were just so simple. Eating Sangkaya’s Hainanese Roti Bakar sandwiched with scoops of Kaya Ice Cream and slices of frozen butter is like reliving my childhood 10-fold. It’s like the treat of treats: toasts with kaya ice cream!

Malaysian Toast (RM6.90)


The Ice Cream Campur is Sangkaya’s version of ABC, a very deluxe version too. Together with cincau, cendol, sweet corn, nata de coco, roasted peanuts and coconut flesh, there are 2 scoops of coconut ice cream and 1 scoop of gula melaka ice cream! Now if that isn’t decadent, I don’t know what is.

Ice Cream Campur (RM10.90)

Did you know that Sangkaya now also has a Chocolate Maniac series? Their new chocolate flavour – Chocolate Royale can be ordered and eaten in any form. But in order to fully appreciate the rich chocolate, check out the Chocolate Divinity which is a huge dark chocolate cone filled with 3 scoops of Chocolate Royale ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and studded with oreo crush bits, corn flakes and peanuts for that extra crunch.

Chocolate Divinity

There’s a milkshake/frappe version called Chocolate Blitz, an Ice Chocolate coconut milk shake. A scoop of Chocolate Royale Ice Cream is all that’s needed here.

Then there’s the Best Giler yin-yang concoction of a dark jumbo cone filled with chocolate sauce and a massive scoop of ice cream. This is paired with a waffle cone filled with gula melaka sauce topped with another massive scoop of ice cream!


For more information, please click this link: 

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Retro Tapas Bar Cafe is one of the latest additions to the long list of F&B outlets in TREC. Located at the Alcove section of TREC, this bar cafe occupies a quiet corner facing the main road. With its bright yellow and red furniture, you can’t miss it. I couldn’t help but be amused by the cute red swing hanging right in front of the cheerful-looking bar counter! I think that certainly comes in handy to give their guests some rigorous swings when things are slowing down.

With the kitchen helmed by the charming Chef Raziq, the menu lists a variety of bites, ranging from snacks, appetizers, Japanese-style yakitori (all kinds of stuff on skewers) to pasta, rice and desserts. With more than 7 years’ experience from hotels (including Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur), Chef Raziq does have quite a lot of delicious items up his sleeve.


First to land on our table was a plate of mountain-high Seaweed Nachos (RM18.80) – made up of mixed salsa, guacamole, bell pepper, mesclun, melted cheese, topped with a bunch of shredded crisp seaweed and sprinkled with brandy. This concoction was just perfect to munch with drinks and more drinks!

Seaweed Nachos


Then it was time to check-out the skewered delights. Minced chicken marinated with delicate spices wrapped round lemongrass sticks were irresistible, to say the least. But what I fancied more were the delicious succulence of grilled calamari and chicken gizzards on skewers, perfumed with all kinds of mouth-watering spices. They go really well with some ice-cold beer!

Lemongrass Chicken (RM13.80)

Thai Calamari Skewers (RM11.80)

Gizzard Skewers (RM6.80) – salt and black pepper

I tried some grilled Shishamo (RM15.80) but they were underwhelmed beneath nondescript tomato sauce and some salsa which did nothing to the little fishes.

Grilled Shishamo

On the other hand, the Cheesy Chicken Wings were very flavourful and I enjoyed every bite of the finger-licking meat, skin and bones. The Grilled Lamb cutlets were also spot-on: tender, juicy and tasty.

Cheesy Chicken Wings (RM9.80) – with cheese and herbs

Lamb Grill (RM14.80) with mushroom sauce


I love grilled fish and the two thick pieces of butterfish were done perfectly, glazed with a miso sauce and adorned with crispy ginger strips. Eaten hot, the tender flaky fish practically melted in the mouth.

Glazing Fish on Charcoal (RM17.80) butterfish with miso glaze and crispy ginger strips

If you need something substantial to fill the tummy, go for the Green Curry Linguine. Made from scratch according to Chef Raziq’s personal recipe, the green curry packed a lovely fiery punch and guaranteed to leave some heat on your tongue!

Green Curry Linguine (RM19.80) green curry spices with sliced chicken and tomatoes

Two fluffy mini charcoal brioches sandwiching thick slices of crispily-fried chicken thigh also made a substantial dish from the menu. Slices of sweet onions and a secret dressing completed the satisfying ensemble.

Crispy Chicken with Brioche (RM18.80)

Chef Raziq’s house-made brownies were given a flaming presentation with hot chocolate sauce, served with mixed fruit compote, walnut sand and ice cream. I love how the slightly-burnt chocolate sauce on the hotplate gave the brownies a delightful smokey and slightly bitter finish. Yes, I’d definitely go back for this.

Brownies (RM18.80) homemade brownies


The Green Tea Pancake (RM18.80) didn’t impress me as much. I felt there was a bit too much going on there – with choco sauce, fresh cream, strawberries compote, mixed berries, chocolate chips and ice cream.

Green Tea Pancake with all the trimmings

All in all, Retro Tapas Bar Cafe is a casual and cosy joint to chill out and indulge on some small bites and drinks. And if you’re really hungry, there’s also pasta and rice to fill bigger appetites.

A-02 & 03 Alcove, TREC
436-438 Jalan Tun Razak
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 019-2207111/019-2907835

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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.


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UOVO, Damansara Kim

Located along a quiet road in Damansara Kim, Uovo’s nondescript exterior is somewhat misleading. Once you step through the door, the dimmed ambience spells understated chic comfort. I like how the brocade drapes, dark wallpaper and intricate hanging lights combine to portray a dining space that can be both casually cosy or comfortably formal!




Uovo’s menu is focused on teppan grill and desserts. Open only for dinner, the restaurant’s a la carte menu lists only a handful of dishes for appetizers, soup, salads, freshly-made pasta, meats, seafood and desserts. Quality meats are their pride as the a la carte menu offers only Japanese wagyu, free-range chicken and French-cut rack of lamb. None of the meats are frozen as only fresh chilled meats are available. Prices are reasonable, with wagyu ribeye and sirloin priced at RM125/100g.



Here are some of the special dishes from their a la carte menu…


Zucchini Flowers baked with mashed potatoes & cheese


Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms 


What I found even more reasonably-priced was their Set Dinner menu. Besides the grilled meat, each set came with a soup (suimono), lightly cured salmon sashimi, steamed tamago tofu, pickled cucumber salad (sunomono), simmered vegetables (nimono), meshi rice and dessert. The silky smooth texture of the steamed tamago tofu (which looked like chawan mushi) was a result of a delicate balance of eggs and soya milk in the recipe.


Japanese-style side dishes to complement the teppanyaki meat set meals




Although there’s no wagyu on the list, the Black Angus Beef set (RM99) was very decent. Grilled to a perfect medium rare, the cubes were tender and bursting with juicy beefy flavours.



Only medium to medium rare done-ness would do justice to the excellent beef!

The Kurobuta T-bone Pork Chop set (RM59) was equally satisfying. The meat texture was succulent yet yielded easily to the bite and again, the natural flavours were incredibly tasty.


Be sure to clean out even the bone to fully savour the flavours!

What really impressed me was the Free-range Chicken set (RM59). Boneless thigh meat was used and it was grilled in such a way that the skin had puffed up to a golden crispy shield, much like what a good roast pork (siew yook) skin should be. I was told this skilful execution required the chicken skin to be laid out perfectly flat on the grill to obtain that even golden crisp. The meat beneath was firm with a good bite to it and yielded that exquisite flavour which only free-range chooks aged a minimum of 62 days possess. Uovo sources these from special poultry farms in Bidor.


Just look at that golden crispy skin!



The Grilled Salmon Set is another good bet


There were 2 pasta dishes listed and I tried their Japanese Pasta with Mushrooms (RM28) which turned out to be really good. The fresh pasta was beautifully al dente and coupled with the fragrant mushrooms, it’s one of life’s simple pleasures.


Nothing beats aromatic fresh mushrooms cooked with freshly-made al dente pasta!


Even though the set meals came with a dessert – a piece of soft cottony Japanese sponge cake, I checked out a couple of their regular desserts.


This simple spongecake was just scrumptious – I wouldn’t mind another piece!


The Molten Lava (RM24), served with blood orange sorbet and salted caramel passed the test – there was a good flow of sticky Varlhona chocolate lava to it.


Varlhona chocolate lava made my day!


For an interesting take, the Chocolate Affogato H2O (RM24) was a good choice. Hot liquid Varlhona dark chocolate was poured onto a thin piece of chocolate of chocolate covering a glass of vanilla ice cream and salted caramel. Once the chocolate has melted through, scooping up and savouring the delightful mess was immensely gratifying.




 Chocolate lovers will swoon at this!


Another visually arresting was the Meringue Platter (RM20) where an assortment of prettily-shaped meringue were presented in a ring-like plate.




Be careful not to overdose on these pretty meringues!

Uovo is open to serving omakase meals based on customers’ requests and each meal starts at RM180 per person.


UOVO Restaurant
8 Jalan SS20/10
Damansara Kim
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7731-8311

*Not Halal

Tues-Thurs 5.30pm-10.30pm
Fri-Sun: 5.30pm-11.00pm
Closed on Monday

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