2ND FLOOR Kitchen & Bar, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI)

The good folks of The Private Room Wine Bar and The Pawn Room Cocktail Bar have just extended the dining options in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) with the opening of 2ND FLOOR Kitchen & Bar. Located within the same shoplot but on a different floor, this new eatery serves a good variety of contemporary European offerings.

The deco of 2nd Floor is a bit of a quirky combo of bright tropical colors at the outer/al fresco dining space while the inner section is more sedate. A full wall mural featuring colorful flora and fauna greets diners amidst modern mix-and-match furniture.

 

Helmed by a young kitchen crew, headed by Chef Kelvin Wong, the team is not hesitant to work on dishes served with some creative twists and flair. Take their signature 2NDFLR Salad for example which works its charm from the delicately-charred Romaine leaves which leaves a delicious smoky trail on the tongue. Sprinkled generously with crispy bacon, crunchy croutons and a wobbly poached egg, this deceptively simple salad is a sure winner.

2NDFLR Salad (RM22)

The Crab Beignet is another appealing starter. Plump crab cakes encased in crunchy kataifi strands – what can be more irresistible? Especially when you get to dip them in some tangy citrus chilli jam!

Crab Beignet (RM28)

Being in the mood to indulge, the Goose Foie Gras certainly sets the pace. Thick cuts of foie, perfectly seared, are a joy to partake, particularly so when eaten with rosti and balsamic caramelised pineapple doused with some pineapple cream!

Goose Foie Gras (RM52)

Their star dish, something we have been looking forward to is the Grilled Iberico Pork. Perfectly grilled, with the centre still a juicy pink, every bite of the pork was tender and delicious. Don’t be misled by the size of the cut – it’s really a substantial dish with the caramelised Granny Smith apple, horseradish and potatoes.

The gorgeous Iberico!

Grilled Iberico Pork (200g)

Similarly, the Seared Duck Breast is good, paired with rosti, baby radish and nice lashings of jus spiked with cherry balsamic.

Seared Duck Breast (RM36)

For a spot of carbo, the Smoked Salmon & Erynggi Pasta (linguine) is more than satisfying. Cooked with white wine and made more delicious with lumpfish caviar and pangrattata, this is one pasta dish I’d return for!

Smoked Salmon & Eryngii Pasta (RM32)

Desserts – ahhh, so much can be said about the delightful sweets here. My favourite here is the Cherry Jubilee – a gorgeous ensemble of dark cherries soaked in gin, paired with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with granola! Yes, I’m a huge fan of liquer-embalmed cherries and these did me in.

Cherry Jubilee (RM18)

The platter of Chocolate & Coffee comes recommended as well – a dreamy concoction of almond jaconde, chocolate cremeux and coffee ganache.

Chocolate & Coffee (RM22)

What we ate were from the dinner menu. The restaurant also serves brunch and lunch daily from 10.00am till 3.00pm based on a separate menu. So head on over to 2ND Floor – it’s one of TTDI’s latest culinary stars.

 

2ND FLOOR Kitchen & Bar
46A Persiaran Zaaba
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 019-914-8832

*Porky/Non-halal!

TUJO – refreshed & rejuvenated, come “Eat, Drink & Play!”

“Eat, Drink & Play” – that’s the tagline of Tujo, a bar-sserie and grill restaurant located on the ground floor of Ascott Residences.  And now when you step into their rejuvenated premises, you would be more than enticed to practise just exactly what their tagline preaches. 

Looking very much like a tropical glasshouse with tropical foliage covering its nooks and corners, there’s a sense of green calm about the place.  Despite being surrounded by skyscrapers all around, Tujo feels like a playful oasis filled with the elements of food, drinks and just generally chilling out.

 

With its recent facelift, Tujo now showcases a new repertoire in its kitchen and bar.  I’m told that there’s a new selection of premium cuts from the grill – the Tomahawk, a glorious Sanchoku Wagyu from Australia weighing in at a resounding 1.3kg!  It’s incomparable especially when topped with Burnt Raclette, another new item on their menu.

Roasted 120-day Pure Black Angus Striploin

Raclette counter

Roast Beef & Raclette!

There are new dishes like the Lemon Pepper Halibut, Black Miso Haddock, Kuro Squid Ink Pasta, Teriyaki Chicken Pizza, Basil Walnut Chicken Pasta and the ever-popular Short Rib Nasi Lemak.

Kuro Squid Ink Pasta – tossed squid ink spaghetti with crab meat, sliced geoduck and salmon roe

Teriyaki Chicken Pizza – a thin-crust pizza topped with grilled chicken, white radish, bonito flakes with teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayo

Basil Walnut Chicken Pasta – another popular pasta dish using fettucine tossed in a creamy nutty sauce with grilled chicken

Short Rib Nasi Lemak – a deluxe take on nasi lemak, served with grilled spicy short ribs

Chicken Wings done spicy Korean-style

There’s also fresh succulent oysters from the Oyster Bar serving fine Irish, Dutch or French oysters.

 

The Bar at Tujo has crafted a range of new cocktails named “Hometown Hooch” showcasing 16 new “Malaysiana” drinks with alcoholic twists.  Don’t miss out their boozy interpretations of Malaysian favourites like the “Hang Li Mau” (rum, calamansi, lime juice and gula melaka) or “Mat Kool” – my favourite concoction of tequila, orange liqueur, elderflower syrup, lemon juice, sea coconut, longan and orange liqueur jelly!  Check out also their devilish ice lollies like the Mystic Manggis and the Naughty Nangka – it’s love at first lick!

Dragon Barley

 

TUJO
Ascott Kuala Lumpur
No.9 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2161-7789/012-210-3055
Open: Mondays-Sundays: 7am till closing

email: ask@tujo.my
website: 
www.tujo.my

MAKAN KITCHEN @ DoubleTree By Hilton Kuala Lumpur: Let “The Love of Seafood” surface!

If you love seafood, and feasting buffet-style in a hotel, then you have to head to Makan Kitchen in DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur.  The all-day dining restaurant is currently showcasing a market-style experience for diners to choose from 10 varieties of made-to-order seafood dishes.  This seafood showcase is served in addition to the lavish buffet spread served in Makan Kitchen.

Using only responsibly-sourced fresh seafood, Executive Chef Eric Siew and Makan Kitchen’s Chinese Chef Chong Wai Kin together with their brigade of chefs are kept busy in their open kitchen dishing out the orders.

To enjoy the cooked-to-order dishes, diners are given numbered clips to place their orders by putting their clips in the bowls bearing the names of the 10 dishes.

Out of the 10 seafood dishes, we picked 7 good ones and 1 truly exceptional dish.  The 7 which we liked – due to the freshness of the seafood and nicely balanced flavours were these…

Steamed Garoupa with Soy Sauce Hong Kong-style

Fried Red Snapper with Pineapples in Sweet & Sour Sauce

Fried Squids with Salted Eggyolks

Chilli Crab

Wok-fried Tiger Prawns with Buttermilk & Curry Leaves

Deep-fried Pomfret with Spiced Salt & Pepper

Steamed Mussels in Ginger Emulsion

The most exceptional dish we had was the Wok-fried Yabbies with Soy King Sauce.  These babies were super fresh and coated with a sweetish-savoury soy sauce which embellished the crustaceans in the best possible way. We had repeated servings of this – they were really very good – sweet bouncy meat and lots of creamy roe.

Wok-fried Yabbies with Soy King Sauce

 

We found the Steamed Scallops with Garlic & Glass Noodles and Fresh Clams in Superior Broth rather disappointing though.  In both dishes, the shellfish were overcooked, rendering them shrunken and kinda tough in texture.  The small morsels of scallops were practically buried beneath a bunch of glass noodles.  On a positive note, the superior broth used to cook the clams was richly flavoursome, thanks to the generous amount of Chinese herbs added in.

Steamed Scallops with Garlic & Glassnoodles

Fresh Clams in Superior Broth

 

Based on the All-You-Can-Eat concept, diners can order these dishes as many times as they wish!  And this is in addition to savouring all the other dishes laid out in the buffet counters in Makan Kitchen.

Besides the 10 special dishes, there are also several vegetables dishes available.  If you love your greens, then this definitely will delight you.

4 Heavenly Kings

Bittergourd in Salted Eggyolk

Some of our favourites from the buffet couonters

 

The price for this indulgence:

RM165nett per person
50% discount for kids 6-12 years of age
Kids below 5 years eat for free

This “For the Love of Seafood” buffet bonanza is available until 25 November 2017 and on:

Friday & Saturday
From 6.30pm till 10.30pm
The buffet comes with free-flow of sirap selasih, lemonade mint and lemongrass pandan juice.

Lemonade Mint

Place your dining reservations by calling +603-2172-7272.

 

MAKAN KITCHEN
DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur
The Intermark
348 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2172-7272

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 restaurantreservations.slkl@shangri-la.com or visit www.shangri-la-specials.com

 

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

 

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CHEF MUN AT GOBO UPSTAIRS, TRADERS HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR

The stage is set. Set for some scrumptious steaks and I’m talking about Gobo Upstairs in Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The new Chef there – Chef Mun has just recently taken over the stoves and pans at Gobo Upstairs to welcome and entice diners with his signature Grilled Tomahawk and other fine cuisines.

Chef Fun Keng Mun is the hotel’s Junior Sous Chef and he has lots of experience with a wide range of grilling methods as that’s his favourite kitchen play. Complemented by his passion for food and hospitality, the incredibly young-looking chef is sizzling with hot enthusiasm and talent in his culinary offerings.

At a recent media tasting, we got a preview of what this young chef is capable of. From the delicate piece of roasted beetroot in the amuse bouche to the carefully crafted morsels of appetizers, Chef Mun’s creations were honest, non-fussy and paired cleverly with some rather unusual ingredients. The durian mayo coating crispy prawns may seem rather incongruous at first but once having bitten into that bouncy sweet prawn, the unexpected burst of durian was startlingly pleasurable – but this applies only to durian lovers. If you are not a fan of the King of Fruits, well, I’d suggest you skip that appetizer then.

Amuse Bouche – Honey Roasted Beetroot with toasted walnuts & feta cheese

And using vodka to cure salmon? Well, that worked for me too – the idea behind it was commendable as that faint hint of alcohol did a good job to enhance the marine flavour of the velvety-smooth salmon.

Starters: GUP Cold Platter – Mackerel Tartare, Wedges Salad 6, Vodka Cured Salmon


GUP Hot Platter – Salmon Crab Cake, Crispy Prawn with Durian Mayo, Balsamic Tuna

Paired with Vina Maipo Vitral Chardonnay

Soup: Lobster Bisque – lobster ragout, tarragon cream, dash of brandy
Paired with Vina Maipo Vitral Merlot

The star dish of the meal was of course Chef Mun’s impressive Wagyu Tomahawk. It was grilled to a perfect “medium” bordering on “rare” which is the optimum done-ness for any wagyu. Being a premium cut, the wagyu tomahawk was tender, juicy and full of sublime fatty goodness.

Wagyu Tomahawk with pomme puree & buttered vegetables

Chef Mun’s Baked Cod with Miso Honey was executed well too. The chunk of tender flaky cod, baked to a perfect done-ness, was sweet in its freshness. Served with healthy sides of beancurd and lettuce, it’s just nice for the light eater.

Baked Cod with Miso Honey , wasabi, beancurd and wilted romaine
Paired with Vina Maipo Vitral Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay

We had a taste of the Grilled Lamb Loin as well and I must say it wasn’t exactly my favourite. The loin being a lean cut, was a tad overcooked and dry and therefore I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the cod or tomahawk.

Grilled Lamb Loin with arancini, broccolini & porcini sauce
Paired with Vina Maipo Vitral Cabernet Sauvignon Pampas Del Sur Estilo Malbec

Dessert: The delightful Cherry Bommm

 

There are still quite a number of promising dishes on Chef Mun’s menu which we’d like to go back for as this young chef is one to look out for. As the new head honcho at Gobo Upstairs, grilled meats are Chef Mun’s forte and he’s all geared up to retain Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill’s respected reputation in this.

 

GOBO UPSTAIRS
Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2332-9888
website: www.tradershotels.com

 

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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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