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A couple weeks ago we had  yet another “you’ve got bonus so you have to belanja” session with my colleagues, and this time around our destination was Puti Bungsu Batam at the nearby Lorong Yap Kwan Seng, which technically is close enough you can walk to from KLCC, but obviously we drove there.

Puti Bungsu at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, jus alpukat
Puti Bungsu at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, jus alpukat

The restaurant is visible from Jalan Yap Kwan Seng itself, and located just a stone’s throw away from the Las Vacas. It is also clean, airy, and has a simple yet somewhat tasteful decoration.

Oh, the parking lot is good enough for perhaps half a dozen cars, get there early if you drive.

plenty of authentic Padang food to choose from
plenty of authentic Padang food to choose from

Puti Bungsu claimed to serve Authentic Padang food, and they have quite a big selection of dishes. There’s ikan bakar, a few types of ayam (including their famous ayam pop), kepala ikan, tunjang (beef tendon), and more.

Additionally, they also have a relatively big menu on drinks, and like any self respecting Indonesian restaurant, they have jus alpukat (avocado + chocolate), which is a must-order for me!

our lunch for 9 pax, with tunjang, ayam, ikan, and more
our lunch for 9 pax, with tunjang, ayam, ikan, and more

For the nine of us, we ordered up quite a feast. We had tunjang, fish head curry, daging salai (smoked beef), sambal cili (green chili sambal), ayam bob, terung (brinjal), and some vege. All these to go with steamed rice, since we’re after all, Asian.

The dishes were pretty good actually, apart from daging salai which I thought was slightly too tough to chew on. The tunjang almost as good as the version at Kampung Baru. We really liked it.

good food with great company
good food with great company

According to Syeka, the colleague who belanja all of us, the meal turned out to be almost RM 40 per pax, inclusive of some pretty fancy drinks we had. It’s definitely not cheap, but for the ambiance and location, not out of expectation.

Puti Bungsu is certainly a pretty decent place for a bit of a get-together, and one that happens to serve good, authentic Padang food. We enjoyed it.

map to Puti Bungsu Batam, Lorong Yap Kwan Seng

Address:
Puti Bungsu Batam
4 Lorong Yap Kwan Seng,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.162879, 101.713364
Tel03 217 11197

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For the past one year plus, I visit MyDentist pretty much every other week for my invisalign treatment, and every now and then, I do ask the good people in the clinic for lunch suggestions at and around Jalan Ipoh area.

A couple weeks ago, I was introduced to this nameless chicken rice stall that I think worth mentioning here.

Chicken Rice stall without a name Off Jalan Ipoh just behind HSBC
Chicken Rice stall without a name Off Jalan Ipoh just behind HSBC

The stall is located pretty much right behind HSBC, just opposite Aeon Big entrance and right beside the river. There’s no name and it is more like a make shift shelter than a proper shop, though there’s fans, lights, and plenty of tables.

I order fried chicken though they have char siu and roast pork too
I order fried chicken though they have char siu and roast pork too

I had the roast chicken with a side of pork balls here, but like most chicken rice stalls, they also have roast pork, charsiu, and steamed chicken.

The chicken really juicy and succulent, and those pork balls (wished I ordered more) really hit the spots. The rice too was rather fragrant and best of all, the chili was one of the best I’ve tried. Spicy, aromatic, and really brings out the flavor of the chicken and pork ball. I will go back here just for the chili alone.

the pork ball is yummy as well
the pork ball is yummy as well

With drinks, this was less than RM 10, and I was properly satisfied. I have a feeling I will be back here again pretty soon.

map to Dee Kee Winner's Chicken Rice Off Jalan Ipoh

Address:
Chicken Rice Stall
Jalan Selvadurai
Off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.178409, 101.683215

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Sometimes all you need is some simple comfort food, and for me, sometimes that comes in the form of a bowl of good bitter gourd noodle soup.

While running around trying to sort of stuff for our new home and somehow missed lunch in the process, I found myself at around Ara Damansara, and recalled that someone mentioned once about a stall at Restoran Do Re Mi 123 that offers bitter gourd soup, so I took the turn to investigate.

Do Re Mi 123 kopitiam at Ara Damansara
Do Re Mi 123 kopitiam at Ara Damansara

Restoran Do Re Mi 123 is a medium size kopitiam located at the “busiest” commercial centre in Ara Damansara on an island surrounded by major roads going in and out of the residential area. Parking is usually not too challenging, and the restaurant offers quite a selection of different hawker fair that any KL folks will be familiar with.

bitter gourd mee suah, with egg
bitter gourd mee suah, with egg

The noodle soup stall offers bitter gourd noodle, pork noodle, fish ball noodle soup, and “imperial” noodle.

For RM 5 you get a bowl of soup with your choice of noodle (I choose mee suah) laden with reasonable amount of pork slices, fish cake, bitter gourd, and even tomato. It was quite well balanced and not overly salty. Another RM 1 gets you an egg just to make it closer to a balanced meal.

A simple comfort food I don’t mind having a couple times a week.

map to restaurant doremi 123, Ara Damansara

Address:
Restaurant DoReMi 123
Jalan PJU 1a/20b
Ara Damansara
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.119897, 101.579194

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When it comes to Japanese restaurants, KL is spoiled for choices. Probably 80% of the hotels has an in house Japanese restaurant, there bound to be a place serving sushi at every shopping complex, and they are also represented in most newer commercial centers.

It is then very easy to get lost in the conversation, and higher end Japanese restaurants often have to offer something unique to set themselves apart. Be it ambiance, ingredients, or experience.

Zipangu at Shangri-La Hotel, KL
Zipangu at Shangri-La Hotel, KL

Personally, Zipangu at Shangri-La KL always have a special place in my heart as it was the restaurant where I first experienced foie gras back in 2007, as you would remember the first Kobe beef (at Elegantology), or the first ebiko (at Jusco Pyramid), first tempoyak (at Tenggol Island), etc.

So when I had the opportunity to be sample the Early Spring Lobster Kaiseki at Zipangu, I agreed to it immediately.

The six course menu is available from 15 to 31st March 2015, and priced at RM 280++ per person.

soy milk tofu with lobster & sweet sticky soya sauce
soy milk tofu with lobster & sweet sticky soya sauce

We started out with a dish that is visually very similar to chawanmushi, but what is usually made of steamed egg is instead chilled home-made soy milk tofu, with the topping of wasabi, sweet sticky sauce, and of course, lobster. The visual-almost-misrepresentation did not take away from the brilliance of the appetizer, it was simple yet elegant.

octopus with field mushroom and soba noodle
octopus with field mustard and soba noodle

The second course was octopus with field mustard and soba noodle. Another light dish showcasing not only seafood, but also the vegetables of the season in Japan. I particularly like the addition of bamboo shoots.

sashimi with salmon, lobster, and seabream
sashimi with salmon, lobster, and seabream

No Kaiseki is complete without some raw ingredients. For this we have sashimi with salmon, lobster, and seabream. If you haven’t had lobster sashimi before, I urge you to give it a try, it is one of my favorite raw seafood ever, in fact, I think it is the best way to enjoy lobster.

The soya sauce is mixed with lemon in this instance to give it an even fresher feel. I really enjoyed this.

hot dish - lobster and seasonal vegetables with Bonito fish gut sauce
hot dish – lobster and seasonal vegetables with Bonito fish gut sauce

The meal then turn up the heat just a bit with the next serving being a hot dish of lobster and seasonal vegetable with salted fish cream sauce. The star of this dish is the cream sauce, as explained by our server, it is actually made from Bonito fish gut.

It was subtle yet you can definitely feel its presence, sort of like how having Natalie Portman sitting at a quiet corner would make an impact to a room.

grilled Wagyu sukiyaki roll
grilled Wagyu sukiyaki roll

The next dish took a departure from seafood to honor another Japan’s famous ingredient – Wagyu beef. The good chefs at Zipangu simply called this Sliced Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki Roll.

It was stuffed with mushroom and other seasonal vegetables grilled with perfection. Dip the roll in raw egg infused sukiyaki inspired sauce, and you have an implosion of richness with savory overdose. It was really satisfying.

lobster fried rice with pickles
lobster fried rice with pickles

Like most course meals, the penultimate dish is usually something you can fill your stomach with, and for this we had lobster fried rice (you can also choose from garlic fried rice, seafood fried rice, claypot cooked rice or steamed rice.)

The fried rice tasted rather muted at first, but with the accompanying pickles, it suddenly became balanced and, well, good! The lack of salt/soya sauce in the rice was to make way for the pickles, this was the first time I had fried rice this way, though the concept isn’t totally unfamiliar to me since you have onigiri served in similar fashion as well.

KY & ahfa at Shangri-La KL, with our professional Japanese server
KY & ahfa at Shangri-La KL, with our professional Japanese server
(actually the Guest Service Manager – Yoshihiro Hattori)

Panna Cotta with Cherry Blossom Flavour ends the Early Spring Lobster Kaiseki dinner, an experience that is truly Japanese and executed perfectly at Zipangu. I really enjoyed this review and the walk from KLCC under hot sun to Shangri-La was definitely worth it.

The menu only lasts till end of this month, so if you’re a lobster lover, don’t miss out.

Map to Shangri-la Hotel, KL

Address:
Zipangu
Shangri-la Hotel
Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.152139, 101.709419
Tel: 03-2032 2388

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A couple weeks ago I participated in a pretty special gastronomical event – the Martell Tricentenaire Gala Dinner at Genting Highland. I think it is safe to say that having a product on the market for 300 years is an amazing feat.

Martell Tricentenaire Gala Dinner, Genting Highland
Martell Tricentenaire Gala Dinner, Genting Highland

When the house of Martell was founded in 1715, the Ottoman Empire still exists, United States as a country has yet to be formed for another 60 years, and KangXi emperor was ruling China (there’s a joke that goes “which Chinese emporer is blind?”). Who would have thought that the same product still exists after a dozen generations later?

Martell Cordon Bleu, Martell Cordon Bleu 1912, Martell XO
Martell Cordon Bleu, Martell Cordon Bleu 1912, Martell XO

To celebrate this occasion, Martell hosted a grand gala dinner at Genting International Convention Centre, and I was very lucky to be among the invitees. The gala dinner drew from the tradition of Jean Martell, the creator of this fine cognac 300 years ago, who loved to host his friends at Chateau de Chanteloup, purchased by the Martell family to receive prestigious personalities from around the world.

As a celebration of the art of gastronomy, Martell arranged for Elegantology to prepare food. I’ve sampled their food on a previous occasion before, so you could say that I have some high expectations.

Citrus Infused King Prawn & Salmon Tartare
Citrus Infused King Prawn & Salmon Tartare

We started the night with Citrus Infused King Prawn and Salmon Tartare. The dish came with poached king prawns on skewer with avocado, and marinated salmon tartare & a side of yee sang to keep honor the Malaysian Chinese New Year tradition of “Lou Sang” (which was done on stage as well). We paired the starter with Martell Cordon Bleu.

Black Chicken Ginseng Soup with Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Scallops, and Fish Maw
Black Chicken Ginseng Soup with Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Scallops, Fish Maw

The second dish was not on the menu, but turned out to be our favorite of the night. A luxurious black chicken ginseng soup that is laden with abalone, sea cucumber, scallops, fish maw, and mushroom.

It was one of the best double boiled soup I’ve ever had, I would place it even higher than the one from Elegant Inn, which I really liked. It was complex, sweet, and yet not overly thick or complicated. If I can have one soup for the rest of my life, it’ll be a toss up between this and the best of what bak kut teh can offer.

Peppercorn Marinated Smoked Duck & Foie Gras Terrine
Peppercorn Marinated Smoked Duck & Foie Gras Terrine
Sea Bass, Steamed on Rich and Spicy Broth Infused with Tumeric & Egg

Continuing with the European theme, we then had peppercorn marinated smoked duck & foie gras terrine served on onion confit and raspberry vinaigrette. Smoked duck did not disappoint, but I had wished that they would serve foie gras as is instead of in the form of terrine. Then again, if you have to prepare food for some 1000 people, I suppose getting perfectly seared foie gras and served while hot may be a tall order.

Next up was steamed sea bass on rich and spicy broth infused with turmeric and egg white on asparagus. We paired this seafood with Martell Cordon Bleu 1912, a special re-edition of the classic cognac Martell Cordon Bleu, originally created by Edouard Martell in 1912.

The spicy broth gave the dish a hint of South Asian style, which is just as well since a slice of pita bread is served along side with the fish. Quite a bold play, and I think it worked.

Mediterranean Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb
Mediterranean Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb

Mediterranean Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb was our main dish – oven baked lamb with a medley of braised rice cake, cep mushroom essence and truffle. The lamb went really well with Martell XO, as with any perfectly prepared red meat would.

The herbal crust gave the lamb a bit of texture and character, while the truffle infused sauce made it richer, thus perfect for XO as a companion.

Ashley, KY, Haze, Garick, Sam, Michael
Ashley, KY, Haze, Garick, Sam, Michael

We did not stay for dessert as we had something planned early in next morning. The gala dinner, like other Martell gastronomy events I had the privilege to attend, was grand and impressive. I want to thank Angie for the invitation, until next time!