Refreshed Menu at PREGO by Chef Marco De Cecco, The Westin Kuala Lumpur

Quite a lot has changed since the last time I stepped into Prego, the Italian restaurant at The Westin Kuala Lumpur. There’s a great sense of warm Italian welcome in the cavernous layout of Prego, reverberating from the delicious activities happening in the open kitchen right in the centre of the restaurant.

Chefs can be seen bustling around simmering pots and sizzling pans – a merry sight indeed for anyone hankering for a good Italian meal. Every now and then, insane aromas waft out from the woodfire oven when freshly-made pizzas are ready to be served.

Simple polished wooden furniture, rustic floor tiles and colourful hanging lamps amidst the earthern-theme deco immediately are the perfect backdrop for a pleasant meal crafted by Chef Marco De Cecco and his culinary team. This Chef de Cuisine of Prego hails from Italy and his love affair with food started in the kitchen of his grandparents’ restaurant, Trattoria De Cecco. Graduated a civil engineer, it’s incredible that his passion in the culinary field remains strong in the 12 years he spent in Italian kitchens. He then continued his culinary journey to Libya and his last posting before The Westin Kuala Lumpur was as Head Chef in Capri Singapore.

Chef Marco De Cecco

With Chef Marco now helming the kitchen of Prego, diners can look forward to an enhanced menu featuring many of the chef’s signature dishes. We had a chance to sample some of Chef Marco’s creations recently and could see his culinary skills at work, starting from the very fresh and simple Insalata Rucola.

Insalata Rucola (RM38) Rocket Salad with cherry tomatoes, balsamic reduction and shredded parmigiano reggiano

Saute Asparagus with Garlic

Whenever I see black mussels on a menu, chances are high that I’d order it. Chef Marco’s version comes in a mildly spicy light tomato sauce. Slices of italian bread are served together to mop up the sauce!

Impepata di Cozze – Black Mussels with Spicy Tomato Sauce (RM52)

Pasta and pizzas are mainstays in any Italian restaurant and in Prego, they are all made in-house. Freshly made pizzas are quickly cooked in woodfire ovens and served with gorgeous cheese toppings. We love the handmade tagliatelle in Prego. The smooth flat pasta is such a great comfort food and our tummies heaved with delicious satisfaction slurping down every single strand!

Pasta Divina – house-made tagliatelle with clams, mussels, scallop, prawn, squid in light tomato sauce with lemon zest (RM72)

Prego Pizza with barbeque glazed lobster, mozzarella, red onion jam and olives (RM88)

Chef Marco’s spicy lamb sausages are really good, as we found out. Served with polenta and caramelised onions, it’s pretty substantial serving.

Grilled Spicy Lamb Sausage with polenta, caramelised onions and cherry tomatoes (RM78)

The above dishes are all available in Prego’s a la carte menu and some of them are served in their Viva Italia Sunday Brunch from 11.30am till 2.30pm. This promises to be a very satisfying Italian eat-all-you-can dining experience. The sumptuous selections will have you indulging in a good selection of antipastos, salads, seafood including freshly-shucked oysters, cheeses, premium meats, handmade pastas, pizzas and memorable desserts.

Tiramisu

For dining reservations, please contact Westin Dining at +603-2773-8495, WhatsApp +6017-281-9231 or log on www.thewestinkualalumpur.com

 

PREGO
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-2731-8333

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New Menu at FIVE SEN5ES, The Westin Kuala Lumpur

Every time I step into Five Sen5es, the pork-free Chinese restaurant at The Westin Kuala Lumpur, I feel like I’m entering a palatial mansion. It starts from that classy passageway to the restaurant, right on to the plush seating on elevated wooden platforms at the front flanked by several huge oriental vases. Further up the right side of the restaurant, bigger tables are set up by the floor-to-ceiling windows, enabling the whole area to be bathed in glorious natural light. Soothing splashing sounds from water features and mini koi ponds enhances that sense of zen and that’s what the five senses are about: sound, sight, smell, feel and taste.

Love the open kitchen concept!

With new items added to their menu recently, I was all ready and happy to employ the five senses to check them out. First on the list is the chef’s new signature dish – Salmon Banana Rolls served with Green Tea Dressing. Crispy skin and soft sweet bananas somehow blended well with the salmon and this little surprise dispelled whatever skepticism I had earlier. So, be brave, order this and you may just be as pleasantly taken as I was.

Crispy Salmon Banana Roll with Green Tea Dressing (RM36/small for 1-3 pax)

I love soups, especially when it’s thick with seafood and crowned with a glorious fresh scallop! Pushing aside the sheet of seaweed, every spoonful dug up chunks of fresh succulent seafood from the creamy umami soup.

Braised Fresh Scallop with Seaweed & Seafood Thick Soup (RM36)

Chicken braised with chestnuts and mountain yam was such a comforting dish. Steaming hot in a claypot, the sauce caramelized at the bottom as we ate, and that added a delightful charred aroma to the dish. The softened chestnuts and mountain yam have absorbed the gravy and be warned: you may want to have some plain rice with this pot of braised goodness.

Braised Chicken with Chestnuts & Mountain Yam (RM52 small/RM98 large)

We can’t resist cod fish whenever it’s on a menu and when told that the chef has come out with a new signature dish, we just had to have it. It’s a thick chunk of tender and smooth cod fish bathed in an appetizing sauce of lemongrass, chillies and lime. If you haven’t ordered that bowl of plain rice yet, then it’s about time you do so for this dish!

Cod Fish with Lemongrass Sauce (RM160/180g)

There’s a lot going on in the pot of Minced Duck Fried Rice. In addition to minced duck, the chef has added in prawns, yam and pumpkin – all these of course made the serving more luxe but personally I feel “less is more” would be a better option. Minced duck meat should be the highlight for the fried rice with perhaps just one other suitable condiment. Nevertheless, do enjoy this ingredients-packed pot of fried rice.

Minced Duck Fried Rice with Prawns, Yam, Pumpkin in Claypot (RM45 small/RM88 large)

FiveSen5es serves the usual selection of Chinese desserts and what stood out is the Silken Mango Cream with Pearl Sago and tangy Crushed Thai Pomelo.

Silken Mango Cream with Pearl Sago & Crushed Thai Pomelo (RM20)

Cold Aloe Vera Jelly (RM20)


Peanut coated Rice Dumplings with Black Sesame Filling (RM20)

The above are just a few samples of the new dishes in Five Sen5es newly curated by the culinary team. Do drop by to check out the rest!

 

Five Sen5es
Level 1
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-2731-8333

Operating hours:
Lunch 12.00pm-2.30pm
Dinner 6.00pm-10.00pm

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YUK SOU HIN @ Weil Hotel, Ipoh

One of the most popular meals one can have in Ipoh is Dim Sum. It’s so well-loved that not only it is eaten at breakfast and lunch, some restaurants do serve it at night as well. Growing up in Ipoh, a dim sum supper was something of a big treat for me, because we were poor and could not afford this very often. Ipoh folks eat dim sum at the crack of dawn – it’s not unusual to see the popular dim sum restaurants being full and crowded by 7am!  As a kid, I was always excited, despite being bleary-eyed, when I had to get up very early to get to the dim sum shop in town.

So, dim sum culture is a thriving “yum cha” thing in Ipoh. I recently discovered Yuk Sou Hin in the Weil Hotel Ipoh and what a nice find this is! Helmed by a Hong Kong chef, Chef Allan Tse, the pork-free dim sum served here does not disappoint. There’s no boisterous crowd here within the elegant walls and service is efficient and pleasant.

Chic and comfortable interior

We picked our items from the a la carte dim sum menu and every dish is cooked fresh and served piping hot. Despite not using pork, the Hongkong-style dim sum turned out beautifully in taste and presentation. There’s no compromise on flavours and textures.

Crabmeat Dumplings (RM12/3pieces)

Codfish Dumplings (RM12/3 pieces)

Chicken Xiao Loong Bau (RM10/4 pieces)

We started off with baskets of steamed dim sum: Crabmeat Dumplings, Chicken Xiao Loong Bau and Codfish Dumplings. Instead of the traditionally steamed Siew Mai, Chef Allan’s version was baked and topped with BBQ sauce. It’s certainly something different but the skewered dumplings turned out to be uniquely delicious! We love the Baked Snowskin Buns with BBQ Chicken too – warm, crusty and crumbly skin with tasty chicken chunks inside.

Baked Siu Mai (RM11/4 skewers)

Baked Snowskin Buns with BBQ Chicken (RM12/3 pieces)

Deep-fried Chives & Prawns Dumplings did not look very appealing initially but they were so good and once we bit into them, there was no stopping! We like the Stir-fried Radish Cake, tossed with eggs and crunchy beansprouts and big whiffs of “wok hei”!

Deep-fried Chives & Prawns Dumplings (RM10/3 pieces)

Stir-fried Radish Cake (RM10)

Prices of Dim Sum we had that morning ranged from RM7-RM12 per portion.

Besides Dim Sum, we just had to try Yuk Sou Hin’s ever-popular house special, their Signature Roast Duck specially smoked over fragrant lychee wood. We totally understand why this duck is so sought-after… crispy skin and tasty tender meat bound with a delicate smoky aroma, we couldn’t get enough of it.

Signature Roast Duck (RM45 half duck)

Still feeling puckish, we heeded the restaurant manager’s recommendation of their signature noodles, Fried Mian Xian. The silky noodles tossed with chicken slivers, eggs and fat crunchy Ipoh beansprouts left a comforting nudge in our stomachs. Ahh…but for a satisfying round-up to our brunch, Yuk Sou Hin’s famed Avocado Puree and Glutinous Sesame Balls did the job well.

Fried Mian Xian (RM37)

Glutinous Sesame Balls (RM12)

Avocado Puree (RM12/bowl)

Yuk Sou Hin’s cosy and stylish ambience makes it the perfect spot for a leisurely yum-cha session, away from the madding crowds that quite often describes other popular dim sum places in Ipoh. Service is attentive and pleasant and the best thing is that the food is cooked upon order and served piping hot from the kitchen. For more privacy, there are 8 private rooms in the restaurant.

 

YUK SOU HIN
Weil Hotel Ipoh
292 Jalan Sultan Idris Shah
30000 Ipoh

Website: http://www.weilhotel.com

Open daily – breakfast & lunch:
Monday-Saturday 10.30am-2.30pm
Sunday & Public Holiday 8.00am-2.30pm

Dinner: 6.00pm – 10.30pm

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Staycation at WEIL HOTEL IPOH

Whenever I go back to Ipoh, I don’t stay in hotels.
Why should I, when my family is still there and I have some perfectly comfortable accommodation to stay? Someone asked me the other day “Well, if you have to book a hotel to stay, in Ipoh, where would you choose?”  That can be quite a difficult question to answer – there are so many hotels that have sprouted in Ipoh in the past few years – many of these are old buildings converted to “boutique hotels” in and around the city. I must say some of them are very tastefully designed too.

Weil Hotel Ipoh’s impressive lobby with high ceilings and clusters of chic contemporary chairs & sofas

OK, if there’s one hotel I would book to stay in Ipoh, it would be Weil Hotel and mainly for two very good reasons: excellent location and super-comfortable set-up. Perched on a quiet side of Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Weil Hotel has an adjoining shopping mall, Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre and its central location makes it easy to get to any part of Ipoh town quickly. Guests can just walk over to the mall next door – easy shopping without having to drive out! Shops and restaurants are also easily accessible nearby – right across the road and just a few minutes’ walk away. It’s perfect for business, leisure and pleasure. The hotel is fitted-out along contemporary lines, casting an ambience of modern chic-ness which allows one to just lounge back and enjoy its cozy comforts in style.

The name “Weil” is actually meant for “Liew” (spelled backwards)  – owned by the Liew family who founded the famous Ipoh Pagoda groundnuts.

Our room gives an immediate sense of relaxation, thanks to the soft earthy hues of the furnishings and relaxing spaciousness. The large bathroom comes with strong rain shower and a stand-alone bath tub for that luxurious touch. We love the bed – the bedding is really comfortable and we had some blissful sleep here. From our room, we enjoyed a pleasing vista of the sprawling city and the roll of picturesque limestone hills in the distance.

Spacious room with cosy sofa corner and a big bathroom complete with bath tub!

Note the Pagoda groundnuts!

Beyond the standard, deluxe and premier rooms, the hotel does offer several other premium-tiered rooms and suites with interesting concepts based on Ipoh’s unique heritage.

View from our room

Swimming pool and gym – work off the calories after all the good food in Ipoh!

Weil Hotel has four F&B outlets: The Deck, Yuk Sou Hin, Tiffin Restaurant and Tea Lounge.

The Deck is the hotel’s rooftop gastrobar – a cosy spot for chilling out and taking in a breath-taking sunset from up high on a good clear day. We had a simple western-style dinner here on a quiet romantic evening.

The Tea Lounge is a cool place to relax and catch-up with friends over tea and coffee. In the evenings, if you are feeling peckish before dinner time, I hear they serve a very decent Afternoon Tea spread.

Tiffin is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. The restaurant’s relaxed and casual ambience is perfect for leisurely dining. In the mornings, buffet breakfast is served and there’s also buffet dinner on a daily basis. Complete with live cooking stations, food selection at the buffets is wide and varied.

Entrance to Tiffin

Curry Mee here is really good!

Fine Chinese cuisine reigns in Yuk Sou Hin, helmed by a Hong Kong Masterchef. A separate post will be done for this restaurant – stay tuned!

Weil Hotel Ipoh has extensive function and ballroom space, making it one of the top choices in Ipoh for events hosting. With its strategic location and more than 2,500 sqm of function space spread over two levels as well as a stylish ballroom, there’s always something happening in Weil Hotel. During our stay, there were quite a few events happening in the hotel – from meetings, private parties and even a wedding!

So, the next time you are heading to Ipoh and need a place to stay, Weil Hotel is a good option due to its excellent location, comfortable rooms and facilities at reasonable rates and warm hospitality.

 

WEIL HOTEL
292 Jalan Sultan Idris Shah
30000 Ipoh
Tel: +605-2082228
http://www.weilhotel.com/

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A magical stay at ANANTARA HUA HIN RESORT, THAILAND

The Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa is the very first resort developed under the Anantara brand. We had a short stay in this resort recently and were charmed by the rich traditional design from its historic heritage surrounded by natural beauty all around. The name Anantara in Sanskrit means “without end” – an indication of the freedom of movement flowing in harmony throughout the resort, from design to nature.

The resort’s mascot!

Built in 2001, this resort gave birth to “The Anantara Experience” with the aim of bringing guests closer to the rich culture and history of Thailand. We get the distinct feeling of being in a traditional Thai village the moment we stepped into the main lobby of the resort. Checking-in was a breeze and we were then whisked off to our Deluxe Room with a balcony overlooking into the lush greenery of the resort.

Our comfortable Deluxe Room with Garden View

Walking through the resort, we could see that much of nature has been preserved. The lush grounds are shaded with the canopy of huge trees, walkways are carved out along natural lines and everywhere there’s the sound of water – in lotus ponds, fountains and natural streams. It’s totally relaxing being cocooned in this green haven.

The Anantara Hua Hin Resort caters to everyone, from honeymooners to families and bigger groups for events and functions. Children can totally immerse themselves in lots of fun activities at Baan Pla Noi Children’s Club like art & crafts, sports, cooking and Thai language classes. For the adults, there’s yoga, muay thai, tennis and a well equipped fitness centre for the gym bunnies. Oh did I mention there are 2 lovely pools in the resort?

The resort plants its own organic herbs 

Welcome to the Spa!

The beachfront is incredibly calming, with wide stretches of fine sand rolling into the sea. We totally enjoyed chilling out here, especially at sunset when the whole environment took on an ethereal feel. One of our most memorable meals was a dinner at Sai Thong, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant. There was a cool gentle breeze that evening as we indulged on grilled seafood and lusciously tender pork ribs.

Our delicious dinner at Sai Thong!

Rim Nam is another signature restaurant at the Anantara Hua Hin Resort. It’s listed on Trip Advisor as the No.1 Thai restaurant in Hua Hin. The quaint elegant Thai-style pavilion restaurant serves traditional family-type Thai food. We enjoyed Mieng Kam, various Thai salads, green chicken curry and a perfectly steamed seabass with chilli-lime sauce.

Authentic Thai cuisine at Rim Nam

Breakfast is a delightful affair at Issara Cafe. The open-air white-washed pavilion setting is the perfect venue for a leisurely meal to start off the day. We love the many live stations where chefs prepare orders a la minute. But what really made our breakfast complete was their huge selection of fresh tropical fruits. And the coffee was really excellent too!

Glorious breakfast at Issara Cafe!

There are several other dining outlets in the resort which we didn’t get to experience – Baan Thalia (Italian fine dining), Sala Siam (contemporary lounge), Loy Nam (poolside refreshments) and their Lagoon Bar. So, there’s really nice dining options for guests in the resort, should they choose to dine in.

We didn’t do too badly at the Thai Cooking Class, eh!

Throughout its landscaped sprawling grounds, immersed in its laid-back luxury, we can’t help but be enchanted by the Thai culture in this beautiful resort – from the gardens, the food, traditionally carved wooden structures and even attending a Thai cooking class!

With Air Asia now having direct flights from KLIA2 to Hua Hin, it’s so easy to get to this seaside resort town. With a flight duration of less than 2 hours, Hua Hin is a very attractive destination and the Anantara there is a topnotch option. We will be back!

 

ANANTARA HUA HIN RESORT & SPA
43/1 Phetkasem Beach Road
Hua Hin
Thailand
Tel: +66-32-520-250
Email: huahin@anantara.com

Visit the website for more & latest information!

 

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Kembara Tujuh Sajian at ONE WORLD HOTEL, Petaling jaya

Every year when the holy month of Ramadhan rolls in, the Cinnamon Coffee House in One World Hotel is a big burst of colours, aromas and tastes! On any ordinary day, the dinner buffet selection in Cinnamon is always huge and varied but when it’s Ramadhan, the selections become even more extensive and mind-boggling! (if that’s even possible!)

 

This year is no different – the theme is “Kembara Tujuh Sajian” where dishes from 7 states of Malaysia are presented. Guests get to indulge on kampong-styled traditional dishes and local street fares from Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Johor, Kedah, Melaka, Perak and Negeri Sembilan prepared by Executive Sous Chef Saiful Baharin and his culinary team. Imagine – 7 states and the whole Cinnamon is all decked out with additional stalls in the side terrace and walkways. I can’t imagine how it would be if all the states of Malaysia are featured!

The main aisle of Cinnamon has long buffet tables serving all kinds of appetizers (from cold boiled seafood to local kerabus), mains (curries, rendang & popular local dishes like Kari Ayam Kandar, Sambal Udang Petai, Kambing Semur Kerisik, Gulai Daging Tetel Kawah Tok, Asam Ikan Pedas, Perut Lembu Masak Cili Api and Sayur Pucuk Manis. Numerous live food stations are kept very busy, like the Indian station with naans and curries, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Sup Kambing, Goreng-goreng, Rojak Mamak, Mee Kari and BBQ Seafood. These time-tested dishes are showcased in 6 rotational menus with over 100 items daily.

Succulent & juicy Ayam Percik

Then there are the international line-up: the Japanese and Western counters are always crowded.

Save room for the desserts as the selection is really very extensive. Desserts range from Western-styled sweets such as Coconut Choux, Apple Cinnamon Frangipane, Baked Lime Cheese Cake, Mango Panna Cotta, Raspberry Éclair, Pavlova to colourful local ones like Assorted Kuih Muih, Agar Agar, Kek Kukus, Bubur Pengat Pisang, Ais Kacang and Pulut Serawa Durian.

Don’t miss out the Chocolate Fountain!

Available from 6.30pm to 10.30pm nightly, it is priced at RM148.00 nett per adult and RM78.00 nett per child (aged 6-12 years) from 24 April to 5 May 2019 and RM175.00 nett and RM90.00 nett respectively from 6 May to 4 June 2019.

Reservations are encouraged to avoid disappointment.

For reservations and further enquiries such as discount or promotions, please call +603-7681-1157 or email cinnamon@oneworldhotel.com.my

 

CINNAMON COFFEE HOUSE
One World Hotel
Bandar Utama City Centre
Bandar Utama
Petaling Jaya

For more information on One World Hotel, please click here.

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Juadah Iftar at THE WESTIN KUALA LUMPUR

With the holy fasting month of Ramadan starting soon, chefs at The Living Room at the Westin Kuala Lumpur is all ready to to serve their “Juadah Iftar” when the sun sets. Led by Executive Chef Halim Chef Lah, the culinary team will whisk you away on a trip of exquisite dining of authentic Malaysian cuisine. The spacious dining area of The Living Room comes alive with buffet counters laden with all kinds of deliciousness, huge woks propped up on stands filled with the most fragrant curries and live cooking stations ready to serve guests with food cooked-on-the-spot!

There are more than 50 mouth-watering dishes laid out on the buffet aisle – “Juadah Iftar” heralds a great start with fine dates from Tunisia and Iran. Once you have sweetened your palate, move on to traditional favourites like “Gear Box Soup”, Roasted Whole Lamb, Roti John Pelangi Ayam, Braised Beef Short Ribs and not leaving out Ketupat, Palas, Nasi Impit eaten with thick creamy Kuah Kacang.

The desserts spread over several counters and tables – it’s hard to pick the favourites from the trays of traditional Malay Kuih, colourful western cakes, pastries and cookies, fresh fruits and tins of old-world biscuits, so reminiscent of our childhood!

Durian lovers are in for a special treat – The Living Room will be serving the King of Fruits in a specially constructed canopy. Chefs will be popping open durian kampung this year, so be sure to head over if you are a durian fan.

*Durian photos courtesy of The Westin Kuala Lumpur

Price
RM158 nett per adult
RM79 nett per child (7-12 years old)
*Kids below 6 years dine for free

Available from 8 May to 4 July 2019.

Early Bird Promotion
Buy the Early Bird Voucher at RM108 nett per person by 5 May 2018

For dining reservations, please call +603-2773-8495.

 

THE LIVING ROOM
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Bukit Bindung
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Website: www.thewestinkualalumpur.com

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