DINE WITH ME @ TATSU Japanese Cuisine, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

The InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur is one of few hotels in the city  which houses its own Japanese restaurant.  Located on Level 1, Tatsu Japanese Cuisine beckons diners into its cosy classy interior of darkwood furniture and fittings.  The contemporary lines of its interior design are interspersed with a subtle blend of Japanese aesthetics enhanced with touches of cobalt blue and white.

Within the intimate confines of a private dining room, we checked out Tatsu’s latest dining promotion – “Dine with Me”!  This calls for a small group of 4 diners to come together and dine with each other as this weekend dinner package is meant for sharing.  Priced at RM888 nett for 4 diners, this dinner package offers a variety of appetisers, main courses, meat platter and desserts.

We started off by sharing a platter of assorted sashimi carved from fresh seafood flown in from Kyushu, Japan twice a week.  We particularly enjoyed this with fresh wasabi grated at our table.  What stood out for us was the fresh arkshell – akagai – gorgeous texture and sweet to the bite.

Assorted sashimi of tuna, kanpachi, salmon, hotate and sweet succulent akagai

Fresh wasabi grated at the table

While there were 4 pieces each of the sliced sashimi served, unfortunately for the sushi, there were only 2 each of the avocado sushi, anago sushi, ikura and uni sushi so that had us breaking them up to share out.  The oyster mentai ikura sushi were sumptuous but make sure you eat them while they’re still hot.

Sushi: oyster mayonnaise ikura sushi, avocado, anago and uni

Hamaguri Miso Soup – giant Japanese clams, miso soup with tofu, wakame and spring onions

The platter of grilled seafood and assorted tempura was satisfying.  The grilled king crab was really good and so were the shrimp and vegetables tempura.

Seafood Platter of Unagi Shiro Sakamushi, Tarabayaki, Sake Shioyaki & Teriyaki

Unagi shiro sakamushi

Shirao with kakiage (crispily fried whitebait)

Tempura of prawns and various vegetables like broccoli, burdock and asparagus

Next came the 2nd main course platter of very substantial items.  It came complete with a stone grill for us to cook the slices of wagyu sumiyaki as well as to heat up all the rest of the other items.

Meat Platter of Wagyu Sumiyaki with Himalayan salt, Grilled Honey Chicken with Shitachi, Lamb Teppanyaki with Cheddar Cheese Aonori, Stewed Beef Cheeks with Red Wine, Stewed Aigamo Rosuni with julienned carrots, radish and kyuri, Beef Bacon with Fried Potato Roll and Mushroom Teppanyaki.

Finally desserts – and it was a lovely combo of …

Desserts: Grand Marnier Ice Souffle, Mochi, Haagen Dasz Green Tea Ice Cream

 

This “Dine with Me” promotion is priced at RM888 nett for 4 people and only for Saturday and Sunday dinner at Tao.  Citibank and CIMB card holders get 20% off.

Chef Tommy Kuan – the chef behind the special dishes of “Dine With Me”!

For reservation, please call +603 2782 6118.

 

TAO Japanese Cuisine
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur
165 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2782-6000

Website: kualalumpur.intercontinental.com

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BEI HAI RESTAURANT, Selayang

You know how in many residential neighbourhoods there are always hidden food gems that are known and patronised mainly by the residents only?  These are those “tai chow” eateries and restaurants that have been the go-to choices for family meals and the local residents keep them close to their hearts.

Bei Hai Restaurant is one of those.  Located in Taman Bidara, somewhere in Selayang, this restaurant caters mainly to the people living around there and I felt we were really the odd ones out when we visited Bei Hai recently.  However, we were quickly seated and attended to – we were there for an early dinner before the crowd came in.

Sweet Sour Pork is such a regular dish in any Chinese restaurant.  Bei Hai’s version was a little unique.  The chunks of deep-fried pork were buried under a trench of chopped ice to preserve the crunchiness.  A novelty, for sure but then it actually worked out nicely – tender flavourful meat beneath a super-crunchy layer.

Icy Sweet Sour Pork (RM38)

 

The next dish was a direct translation from Cantonese “Prawn Soldier Crab General”.  The chef has gone to great lengths to plate the dish.  It’s essentially a 2-item platter of prawn paste balls and spicy stuffed crabs. Both this dish and the next one, Double Dragon Prawns would make excellent dishes to be served in a celebratory multi-course meal here.  The presentation was lovely; the matching of colours and flavours spoke well of the chef and team’s efforts.  White and red dragonfruit served with lightly saute’ed prawns and some crunchy vegetables stacked with baby lettuce certainly made a pretty picture.  It’s also light and refreshing!

Prawn Soldier Crab General (RM80)

Double Dragon Prawns (RM160)

Slices of crispy-skinned roast duck sandwiched in flat fluffy “paus” together with crunchy fried beancurd skin made up “Foh Foong Ngap”, the next dish.  We enjoyed this dish as the contrasting textures (soft pillowy pau and crispy duck & fuchuk) were really good.

Foh Foong Ngap (RM98)

 

Another light and nutritious dish was the braised house-made charcoal tofu with beancurd puffs, mushrooms, gingko nuts and lotus seeds.  What’s more, those silky smooth tofu had fillings of chopped mushrooms and prawns in them!

Charcoal Tofu with Gingko & Lotus Seeds (RM80)

 

To round off our dinner, we tried Bei Hai’s signature Boiled Rice with Fresh River Prawns.  Fried puffed rice cooked in a premium broth with freshwater prawns with lots of roe which resulted in a bowl of heartwarming goodness.  It’s something to be savoured slowly and lingeringly.

Boiled Rice with River Prawns – minimum order of 2 prawns (RM46/prawn)

 

Bei Hai Restaurant is also well known for their simpler comforting food like curry fish head, steamed fish and dishes that go well with rice.  What we’ve tried here were more like banquet dishes and they are good if you are thinking of holding a celebration meal here.  For the special plating and food presentation seen here in these dishes, do call them in advance to order as they need notice to prepare.

 

Bei Hai Restaurant 北海饭店
No. 10, Jalan Bidara 2/4
Taman Bidara
68100 Selayang
Selangor
Tel:  03-6138-3688

Opens daily:
11:00am to 2:30pm
5:30pm to 10:30pm

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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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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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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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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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Mid-Autumn Mooncakes at DYNASTY RESTAURANT, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

The Mid-Autumn Festival is less than a month away and mooncakes are on sale everywhere now!  So where do you get your mooncakes?  I mean, there are just so many to choose from.  At the malls, there are so many kiosks set up to sell these delicacies – so which is your favourite?  Recently I tried some of the mooncakes at Dynasty Restaurant at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel and they do have a pretty good selection.

The pork-free Dynasty Restaurant has started selling its mooncakes since 29 August 2017 and will be available till 4 October 2017.  The good old traditional favourites made with lotus paste and salted egg yolks are listed, together with redbean paste and the popular assorted nuts.  For the lotus paste option, you can also have the low-sugar white lotus paste or the pandan-infused variety.  New flavours for the baked mooncakes are the Red Pitaya Lotus Paste with Mango (very light & refreshing!).

Red Pitaya Lotus Paste with Mango

Bamboo Charcoal Green Tea with Black Sesame

For the snowskins, this year’s new flavours include the Honey Lotus Paste with Chocolate, Yam Paste with single egg yolk, Alisan Tea Paste with green tea as well as the Chinese Chestnut Paste with egg yolk.

Snowskin Alisan Tea Paste with Green Tea

Snowskin Honey Lotus Paste with Chocolate

Snowskin Yam Paste with Single Egg Yolk

Snowskin Durian Paste

If you are thinking of getting some of these for your loved ones, the mooncakes are packaged in Dynasty’s signature boxes of any choice of pieces of traditional mooncakes, 6 pieces baked mini mooncakes or 6 pieces mini snowskin.  Prices start from RM18 per piece.

Dynasty’s mooncakes are on sale at the hotel as well as at Mid Valley Megamall until 4 October 2017.

Discounts & Specials:

  • Free delivery to one (1) location (within 5km radius of Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel) for purchase of 20 boxes and above.  Additional charges apply for locations outside 5km radius.
  • All pre-paid orders of minimum 10 boxes before 16 September 2017 for pick-up between 14 September to 4 October will receive a 25% discount.
  • Selected credit card discounts apply.

 

Besides checking out their mooncakes, we also couldn’t resist Executive Sous Chef Kok Chee Kin’s Signature Peking Duck which is currently priced at RM60.60 nett per bird.  This promotion ends by 30 September 2017 and it’s a fowl worth going for.  The golden crispy skin was glossy and tasty thanks to the meticulous roasting process which took almost an hour to slowly infuse the smoky aroma into the meat.

The Signature Peking Duck is carved at table side.  The sliced skin is served with house-made pancake together with scallions, cucumber, carrots  plum sauce.  The meat is then cooked according to the diner’s choice.  We had ours stir-fried with ginger and spring onions.

Meat from the Peking Duck, stir-fried with ginger and spring onions – really good!

Monggolian Lamb Chops – deep-fried tasty chops with a creamy tangy sauce bursting with bold flavours – a definite best-seller at the restaurant


Dynasty’s Special Fried Rice – fragrant eggy fried rice served on a pool of gravy with dried scallops and mixed vegetables… something different from the usual fried rice!

 

For reservation, please call 03-2771-6692 or email:

rhi.kulrn.fb@renaissancehotels.com

 

DYNASTY RESTAURANT (pork-free)
Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Corner of Japan Sultan Ismail
& Jalan Ampang
40450 Kuala Lumpur

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