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Earlier this week we were invited to Hanaya Japanese Dining to sample their 2016 Mother’s Day Menu, which the restaurant is offering only from 6th to 8th May 2016 (RM 180+ per pax). My¬†last visit to Hanaya was almost exactly a year ago, operated by Sushi Train (which also has Ten, Senya Solaris, Sushi Ichiro, Menya, and more under their umbrella), their quality of food has always impressed me, hence the repeated visit.

Hanaya Japanese Dining with 2016 Mother's Day Menu
Hanaya Japanese Dining with 2016 Mother’s Day Menu

The philosophy of the Mother’s Day Menu at Hanaya is one that put health in emphasis. The major ingredients chosen for the 6 course set each has properties that especially beneficial to the female body, which I find pretty interesting. These benefits are from a mixture of traditional believes and modern nutritional knowledge.

To me thought, I just know that they tastes good, which is my number one criteria ūüėÄ

Pumpkin Chawamushi
Pumpkin Chawamushi

Our Amuse was Pumpkin Chawamushi. Pumpkin having B Carotin supports beautiful skin and hair, while galvanized iron in egg enhanced the female hormone secretion. All I know is that it was complex and delicious.

sashimi on crushed ice
sashimi on crushed ice

Second of the six course was sashimi. Tuna with DHA to lower cholesterol, Travoli with EPA that helps in hardening of arteries, Astaxathin in salmon with anti aging care and recovery from exhaustion properties, plus golden cuttlefish that contains lysine, which helps in hair restoration.

The seafood was certainly fresh, while we had yellow tail in this tasting session instead of Travoli, I was still more than satisfied. The presentation for this sashimi dish was rather exquisite too.

grilled Canadian lobster and Hokkaido scallop
grilled Canadian lobster and Hokkaido scallop

Main course – grilled Canadian lobster and Hokkaido scallop garlic butter with dry tomato & herb sauce.
Lobster for cancer suppression, scallop with taurine that helps improvement of fatty liver, and dry tomato is rich in vitamin c. Two different seafood from each side of the Pacific ocean make up this wholesome dish that utilizes Western style preparation method, a perfect marriage.

hijiki seaweed rice and Asuka milk miso soup
hijiki seaweed rice and Asuka milk miso soup

4th and 5th course – shokuji, or hijiki seaweed rice, with dietary fiber for detox effect, & Asuka milk miso soup, with miso having isoflavon that helps suppress menopausal disorders.

The seaweed rice was subtle in taste, and I thought the Asuka milk miso soup tasted much richer but in a good way, especially for those who loves the milkier texture.

"dearest mother" dessert
“dearest mother” dessert

To end Hanaya Japanese Dining’s mother’s day 2016 menu – “dearest mother” dessert, with avocado ice cream (lowers blood pressure), rose hip (vitamin c & e – antioxidants), and misc cereals (minerals to fix menstrual irregularities).

I thought the six course menu was rather exquisite but not over the top, it is available only for 3 days (6-8/5/2016) so if you want to treat mom for a meal with thoughts behind the menu, this is certainly worth checking out.

map to Grand Millennium Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Hanaya
Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur
160, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148006, 101.712225
Tel: 03-2110 5499

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Da Tuan Yuan¬†at Bukit Raja is actually one of the first restaurants we visited when collecting keys to our¬†new home at Shah Alam, way before renovation and moving in more than half a year ago. Since then, we’ve been back again quite a number of times, and even manage to bring¬†mom & family there for dinner during their visit over CNY.

Mom approved of the food there, so should you!

Restaurant Da Tuan Yuan at Bukit Raja, Klang
Restaurant Da Tuan Yuan at Bukit Raja, Klang

The restaurant is located at the commercial area right across from Bukit Raja AEON shopping mall. For those who aren’t familiar with Klang, dinner time is usually about a full hour earlier than PJ/KL folks, so by 6:30 or 7 pm, the place is usually packed, especially if it’s a weekends.

Parking can be a bit of a pain but if you’re willing to walk more than 45 seconds, it’s usually not an issue. The inside is air conditioned, while there’s also a pretty big al fresco area for when it gets packed and weather permits.

roast pork, bbq pork, and seafood tofu
roast pork, bbq pork, and seafood tofu

Just like many restaurants in Klang, roast pork and bbq pork, or siu yok and charsiu, is done quite well here. I particularly love the roast pork here, they’re soft, succulent, and with the crunchy skin, is absolutely fantastic. Do order a plate for sharing if you’re here.

The signature tofu at Da Tuan Yuan is their seafood tofu, with bits of¬†seafood and some greens, they offer an adventure in texture but to be honest, I find it tastes a bit … out of the ordinary. Perhaps a dish that takes quite a bit of getting used to.

Japanese tofu, mantis shrimp, ŚõõŚ§ßŚ§©Áéč, kangkung belacan
Japanese tofu, mantis shrimp, ŚõõŚ§ßŚ§©Áéč, kangkung belacan

Japanese tofu has the consistency of egg drop soup, and makes for good comfort food, but if you want something with a kick, order the mantis shrimp with salted egg yolk. Slightly spicy, crunchy, and strong tasting, it should satisfy any seafood lover who loves their dishes deep fried.

Four kingdom” and kangkung belacan are some of the vegetable dishes that should provides greens that may resemble sort of a balanced meal, order them so your mom won’t complain.

steamed fish with ginger, lala, steamed fish teow chew, mantis prawn butter style
steamed fish with ginger, lala, steamed fish teow chew, mantis prawn butter style

The actual signature dish here though, has got to be their steamed fish with minced ginger. You can order fish head or tail end, go for tail as they provide more meat, but the real fish eating connoisseur will always insist of fish head. This dish is very spicy from the huge amount of ginger, and we love it.

Other notable dishes include kam heong lala, steamed fish teow chew style, and butter mantis prawn. To be honest, we haven’t really find any disappointing dish, and that is the reason we’ve been back to Da Tuan Yuan so many times.

If you’re looking for a sumptuous non-BKT meal in Klang, this is a place worthy of¬†visit.

map to Da Tuan Yuan, Klang Bukit Raja

Address:
Restaurant Da Tuan Yuan
22G, Jalan Tiara 2D/KU1,
Pusat Perniagaan BBK,
41150 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.063833, 101.467641
Tel: 03-3342 9309

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A couple weeks ago I was invited to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA to sample what they have to offer. Now first things first, Taman SEA is not SEAPARK. The former is right between Taman Megah and Damasara Jaya, while the latter is closer to Taman Paramount in PJ.

Slight difference, but getting from one side of LDP to the other can be quite an exercise in patience during rush hour, you don’t want that.

Getting to Mr. Wolf can be slightly tricky, as where you can see the restaurant isn’t where you can navigate to it. Follow the GPS and throw your logic aside, you will get there.

Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)
Mr Wolf at Taman SEA (not SEAPARK!)

To understand the type of cuisine served at Mr. Wolf is to understand the main man behind this restaurant – Chef Bryan Tan.

Chef Bryan served at¬†the kitchen of Cilantro, crafted the menu at The Point KL, and had quite an extensive experience cooking in Australia prior embarking on his own restaurant¬†at Mr. Wolf.¬†The background certainly shows up in his cuisine, a play of modern cooking without the constraint¬†of the taboo in using¬†ingredients as well as cooking methods from both East & West. The dirty word for this is “fusion”, but Chef Bryan calls it modern cuisine.

I think the word fusion has an unfair and unfortunate reputation, without those who push the boundary of what is acceptable, culinary art will always look at the past and not the future. I applaud the courage of those who brave the new frontier.

While those chefs may not get everything 100% right, when they do, you stand a chance to taste something like never before.

jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict
jamon serrano benedict, big breakfast, streaky bacon benedict

Mr. Wolf has a cozy bar upstairs and¬†a restaurant on the ground level, today we’re going to talk about the restaurant, which started serving brunch on Friday thru Sunday, so let’s start with a few brunch dishes.

There’s a few egg benedict dishes, and boy do they make it right. We tried two –¬†Jamon serrano benedict¬†(RM 28), came with cured Spanish ham (white pig), English muffins, poached eggs and mentaiko hollandaise, while the¬†streaky bacon benedict (RM 22) basically has the same ingredients but substituting ham with bacon. The poached eggs were done right, and the mentaiko hollandaise sauce definitely works,¬†either would make excellent breakfast with some coffee.

Mr. Wolf’s Pibig breakfast (RM 32) – with tonkatsu pull pork on toast, poached eggs, pork sausage, streaky bacon, roasted potatoes, grilled tomato and salad, hollandaise sauce is quite a meal and perfect for those with a bigger appetite. Here again, a touch of Japanese influence is found on the tonkatsu style pull pork, which gives it that bit of extra sophistication.

deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns
deep fried baby crabs & school prawns, tiger beer battered soft shell crab buns

Having a bar upstairs obviously means they have bar food that goes really well with cold beer.

The deep fried baby crabs, school prawns with chili lime dressing (RM 15) was something I wish comes in a bag like you’d get chips. The batter is light (ala tempura style), and the seafood crunchy and delicious. Sorta reminds me of those Thai baby crab snacks, but better.

Tiger Beer battered soft shell crab buns with kimchi mayo and caramelized onion (RM 12 per bun) was something of a surprise. The dish didn’t look particularly exciting, but it was like a mini burger that’s unlike any other. It’s basically just some¬†really soft buns with really crispy and perfectly seasoned soft shell crab, I can’t come up with fancy descriptions, everyone loved it.

crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops
crispy skin salmon somen with mentaiko sauce, pan fried Hokkaido scallops

For seafood dishes, we tried the crispy skin salmon, edamame, somen and mentaiko sauce, seaweed and salmon roe (RM 34). Another dish taken from the inspiration across the continents and one laden with one of my favorite ingredients – mentaiko. It is rather rich and would suit those who loves strong tasting dishes.

Pan fried Hokkaido scallops (RM 42) came with cauliflower pureer, avruga puree, aojiso truffle dressing, French bean and quinoa. A combination that would satisfy any scallop lovers, and the truffle dressing does give it an additional edge.

sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken
sous vide pork loin, slow roasted chicken

Going slightly more conservatively, there’s the slow roasted chicken¬†(RM 34), with tomato jam, black fungi and beanshoot salad, fried quinoa, grilled baby corn, curry leaf infused buttermilk sauce. The chicken (I suspect sous vide) was tender, and overall it felt like a really healthy dish. Other dish for your gym rat friends.

The sous vide pork loin (RM 32) with sautee mushroom, kimchi vegetable, soft boiled eggs, corriander jus, on the other hand, is almost but not entirely like a dry version of tau eu bak. I was looking for those fat layers, but I suppose it too is more fitting for those who likes to be a bit on the “healthier” side.

braised char siew pork belly, donuts
braised char siew pork belly, donuts

Our final main dish was the braised char siew pork belly (RM 34), with crispy pork hock, nahm prik, pickled papaya and cucumber salad. This was something that I found myself enjoying quite a bit, it tasted abit like a cross between dry bak kut teh & char siu, with a nice layer of glistering fat to boot. I found msyelf wanting to have some rice with these actually, it was good!

We concluded the night by having the nutella & salted caramel donut. I don’t see this in the menu but do ask about it from the good chef.

Over all Mr. Wolf easily beat my expectations on what they came up with. You don’t need to go to the likes of Bangsar, KL, or Mont Kiara for fancy modern food, Mr. Wolf has them right here in PJ, and for very reasonable prices as well.

map to Mr. Wolf at Taman SEA

Address:
Mr. Wolf
5, Jalan ss23/11, Taman Sea,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.116975, 101.614549
Tel: 03-7886 1098
Hours: Brunch on Fridays & Weekends, Dinner daily

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While fusion food has gotten a bit of a bad rep over the years from many restaurants that came up with dishes that were neither here nor there, I still always applaud those who dare to imagine and come up with something different from the ordinary. Sometimes it is done by mixing ingredients from different parts of the world, other times by turning traditional recipes upside down. Either way, it is one way to ensure that culinary art does not stay stagnant and only look backwards.

glorious miso grilled hake steak with spicy mussel soup
glorious miso grilled hake steak with spicy mussel soup

Several days ago I received some fresh ingredients courtesy of the Zealand Trade Enterprises, and as part of the challenge, we were supposed to use them and come up with dishes worthy of sharing. Since cooking is one of my many hobbies, here goes!

For dinner last Friday, I decided to make grilled hake (or any cod, really)  with miso marinate & vege, while the wife came up with spicy mussle soup as a companion dish. Both seafood ingredients were New Zealand products.

Hake steak from New Zealand, miso as main marinate ingredient
Hake steak from New Zealand, miso as main marinate ingredient

I will be sharing the hake steak recipe here:

Ingredients:

  • Hake steak (or any white fish, such as cod) 250-300 gram per pax
  • asparagus & mushroom (sliced)
  • a few gloves¬†garlic
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil

Ingredients for marinate:

  • 2 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cooking sake
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

asparagus and mushroom as sides
asparagus and mushroom as sides

Cooking instructions (fish):

  • mix marinate in a bowl and apply generously on fish, let marinate for at least 15-30 minutes
  • heat up the oven to 175 C
  • pan fry the fish for 2-3 minutes
  • bake fish in oven for 10 minutes

fish: pan fry before oven, vege: sauteed
fish: pan fry before oven, vege: sauteed

Cooking instructions (vegetable):

  • heat up frying pan with cooking oil
  • fry garlic till fragrant
  • add mushroom & asparagus and saute for 2 minutes
  • add leftover marinate to the vege and continue to saute for another 2 minutes

Time your cooking of vegetable to coincide with the fish so that they’re both served hot. Enjoy!

spicy New Zealand mussel soup made by Haze Long
spicy New Zealand mussel soup made by Haze Long

Since we lack tomato puree or white wine, the spicy¬†mussel soup involved the use of sake, ketchup, New Zealand mussels, and black magic. My wife made it, so I don’t think I’m qualified to know enough of the recipe to share it here.

Happy cooking! #

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I’m a bit of a fan of wantan mee, after all, it is one of the first “good” hawker dishes I tried when first moved to Klang Valley from Penang. Quality of wantan mee here in Central Peninsular Malaysia is like char kuih teow in Penang, you don’t often get disappointed.

That being said, there are those that stands out from the crowd, and if you find yourself in Klang, this particular nameless wantan mee stall is the one that definitely deserves some attention.

nameless wantan mee stall at Jalan Gelugor, Klang town
nameless wantan mee stall at Jalan Gelugor, Klang town

The wantan mee stall is located along Jalan Gelugor in the heart of Klang town, just a stone’s throw away from the relatively famous sei ngan chai bak kut teh “restaurant”. The whole place consists of poorly erected zinc roof and furnished with plastic chairs and tables with a dining temperature that’s at least 5 Celsius hotter than being directly under the sun.

Yet, it is always packed.

glorious wantan mee, I ordered extra wantan
glorious wantan mee, I ordered extra wantan

But if you have an appetite for good wantan mee, order a plate, and with some patience, you’ll get to see it in front of you in about 30-45 minutes, just as when you’ve lost a whole KG of sweat by sitting there.

I had mine with extra wantan that is served in a soup, and well, it was worth it!

the wantan is what make this place special
the wantan is what make this place special

The noodle is fine yet springy, soaking up those perfectly balanced sauce that carries a hint of lard. The wantan is something else, they’re rather small but packs a punch in flavor, most likely due to the marinade/seasoning in the meat and that they’re made fresh almost just before serving.

The charsiu isn’t the strong point here, but forgivable considering how good everything else tasted.

I think I’ll be willing to revisit despite the crowd and the heat.

Jalan Gelugor Klang wantan mee map

Address:
Wantan Mee Stall
Jalan Gelugor,
Meru, Klang
GPS: 3.050704, 101.450404