Monthly Archives / August 2008
August 31, 2008
While I was at work a couple Fridays ago, Mr. Kong, one of my readers who handles PR business for Dragon-i called up
“Sorry for the late notice, but would you be available for a food review tonight at Pavilion? There will be abalone.”
How could I say no to such invitation? After all, it’s not like I get to taste
abelone abalone on weekly basis. I grabbed my gears during the extended lunch hours and headed to Pavilion right after work.
Dragon-i’s flagship restaurant at Pavilion
I’ve actually reviewed Dragon-i at 1-Utama almost 3 years ago when it first came up, and been to quite a few of their restaurants over the years. However, this was my first trip to their flagship outlet at Pavilion. Together with me were a few other journalists and photographers from Sin Chew, the Star and China Press, as well as Mr. Kong, his wife, and the CEO of Dragon-i, Mr. Henry Yip.
cold dish: five appetizers
Instead of ordering from the menu, we were sampling the special set menu available from 1st to 14th of September to coincide with Mid Autumn Festival.
First to come were the appetizers comprising five dishes. I absolutely love the chilled chicken with rice wine that tasted a little like steamed chicken but with an extra kick from the rice wine. We ended up having to order another serving of this. The edamame with bamboo shoots, while more commonly associated with Japanese food, was very refreshing as well.
Fried bean curd with shredded scallops was both sweet and crunchy. The sesame oil marinated cuttlefish was very fresh and had a very nice texture to chew on. While the cold minced spinach, traditionally prepared with another type of vegetable only found in China, was pretty interesting and provided another dimension for the set. A very interesting way to start our dinner, varying tastes and ingredients.
goose web with abalone, xiao long bao
Next up was the famous xiao long bao (Shanghainese meat dumpling) from Dragon-i, served steaming hot with soup within the dumpling. Dipping it with some vinegar and accompanied with some ginger is the way to go, very satisfying.
Abelone and goose web followed the xiao long bao. While I had braised abelone before, this was the first time I tasted goose web. The texture is something like a cross between chicken feet and fish skin (or fish lips you find in big fish head), very soft and slightly chewy while the taste was very good! However, it does taste a little “jelak” and hence they have the asparagus to provide a balance. Very nice.
aromatic crispy duck, sichuan prawn
I guess a traditional Chinese cuisine isn’t complete without duck. The aromatic crispy duck was as good as the one I had at Kensington, Seremban. However, at Dragon-i they served it in pieces instead, I personally still prefer the shredded version. The duck was served peking duck style.
Prawn sauteed with Sichuan sauce came next. It was nice to have something slightly spicy after all the previous dishes. The giant prawns were very fresh and according to Mr. Yip, sourced locally from Pantai Remis in Perak. I like the fact that they’re all peeled too! Again, a very delicious dish.
pomelo mango dessert, crispy noodle with dried scallop and crab meat
The last dish in the main course was deep fried wantan noodle with dried scallops and fresh crab meat on top. I actually finished it despite having a stomach that was already pretty much filled. Crunchy and yet very sweet of the seafood taste from the seafood laden sauce.
Dessert was an over sized glass of mango puree mixed with sago and some fresh pomelo on top. Refreshing. A serving of fresh fruits followed, but I was already too stuffed to have any of it.
It was a very good dinner indeed, very very satisfying.
Well, this set meal for 10 is priced at RM 1388++, while half a table would be RM 688++. Not exactly light on the pocket, but then again it is fine dining. A box of moon cake comes free with the meal for 10 too.
More pictures of this review here.
Lot 1.13, Level 1,
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368
Tel: 03-3224 0888
August 28, 2008
Sometimes last week I received this mysterious little black box at my office. I opened it carefully, and look at what I found. A photo frame, a CD, a yo-yo (with lights and everything), a little old school contact book, a video cassette (when was the last time you use one?), a pretty solid looking compass that actually works, and an invitation card to a launch party on the 26/9/08 at KL Hilton.
mysterious black box and it’s content
Haaaaaaaaa! David thought his little ploy would trouble me, but thanks to the immense cerebral ability bestowed upon me, I’ve deciphered this to be the launching of the N96. The clues were: photos, music, gaming, contacts, video, and navigation.
the launch party at KL Hilton
I went to the party with cheesie. Together with suan, pinky, robb, tim, erna, james, joshua, will, and jason, we were the bunch who maintain our personal blogs, most of the other attendees were people from Nokia, dealers, and traditional media.
At the media event, Nokia actually launched three models, N79, N85, and N96. These are the latest N series phone, adding to the line of awesome phones that includes the N82 I am using now (and very happy with it). N79 is the sleekest N series phone that automatically changes themes when you switch the phone plates, N85 being the multimedia powerhouse with long playback time and 3D stereo sound, and the flagship N96 with 16 gigabyte of memory, 5mp camera, n-gage games, gps, and that huge 2.8″ display.
I won a digital photo frame!
The event was pretty interesting except the part where we had to wait a bit too long before dinner is served. Cheesie basically finished the bowl of chips all by herself while waiting for dinner, I think her secret of keeping fit might not be Kenko, but having to attend all these events that deprived her of actual meals.
There was also a gaming competition that night, and of course, I was one of the 5 lucky winners (who scored the top 5 fastest time in an ngage racing game) to walk away with an awesome digital photo frame that can play photos (duh), music, and even videos. The nifty little thing comes with a remote controller too. Awesome!
David, job well done again!
August 26, 2008
I’ve always had an interest in gadgets, GPS, PDA, phones, you know, those small little electronic wonders. When it comes to electronic watches, I had my eyes on Casio’s Protek series for quite some time (they come with compass, temperature/barometer, and altimeter.) However, since I am cursed with a small wrist, wearing a Protek is akin to a 10 year old riding on Harley, it just wouldn’t work.
The G-Shock series, on the other hand, were just nice in size as well as durability, but a little lacking in electronic wizardry. I had a G-Shock more than 10 years ago and loved it, but now I am looking for something that can do more.
Then came the Riseman G-9200, the G-Shock that incorporate twin sensors, with the ability for temperature/barometer as well as altimeter measurements. The little gadget also runs on solar power, protected with 200M water resistance, packed electro-luminescent backlight, world time, countdown timer, stop watch, shock resistance. However, it doesn’t cook dinner for you.
I knew I was going to buy it the moment I read about it on the forums. I waited patiently until the international version is released (Japan version is GW-9200 with waveceptor) and called my regular watch shop. Collected this gem a couple of weeks ago and now I have my 2nd G-Shock (I messed up the first one after trying to change the lume battery myself.)
I am still struggling to remember how to operate all the functions, loving the altimeter as it even allows me to record and track my ascent to my KLCC office. The temperature function is pretty neat, and I can even “predict” weather (somewhat dubious accuracy) with the barometer. One other nifty feature is the auto EL function where I can set the back light to lit up whenever it is dark and the watch is tilted to my head.
Visually, I also like the bat-mobile look alike styling, very tough and purposeful. The case back has a little dragon engraved, symbolizing it’s oriental origin.
Nice right? Now my trusted Orange Monster and Nighthawk will be getting a little less wrist time to make way for the Riseman
August 25, 2008
On a lazy weekend morning a few weeks ago, I was looking for a lunch buddy and happened to see Lorna coming online over MSN.
“Let me bring you to this Malay chicken rice place”
I said okay with a mixture of apprehension and curiosity, then proceed to get ready and wait for the lady to pick me up. (sexual equality, right? )
note: sadly this place is closed.
Lorna sipping her syrup ais
As it turned out, the nasi ayam bakar special (special roasted chicken rice) place is located pretty close to where I stay, at SS5 just next to the big Kelana Jaya Giant. The Malay food court area was not as busy in the afternoon as it is at night, there were only a few tables occupied.
drum stick, rice, soup, satisfying
We ordered two sets of nasi ayam bakar with drum sticks, and another extra drum stick for good measure. To properly Malaysianised the meal, we had iced syrup to drink.
The bbq chicken was rather unique, I could only describe it as a cross between roasted chicken and the chicken tandoori with the sauce that is somewhat similar to paprik style, slightly sweet and a little spicy. The rice was cooked together with other chicken parts (such as neck) and I presume, fats; thus carry a very fragrant smell that goes very well with the meat. It was very unique and certainly delicious. We finished devoured everything to the bones.
If I remember correctly, the chicken rice was less than RM 5 per portion and only available during lunch. The same place also have a big sign board that says “steamboat”, I wonder how Malay steamboat tastes like, maybe another time.
Kelana Jaya, PJ, Selangor
GPS: 3.101791, 101.598172
August 22, 2008
In the third day of our South Thailand trip last month, we went to the other side of South Thailand, some 3 hours drive to the east, from the coast of Andaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand. On the way, we stopped by the royal fish farm, visited a traditional soap factory and a fabric factory where mangonsteen is used for the smell in soap, and color in the dying process. We also went to Wat Phra Mahathat Woromaha Vihan for a bit and hung out at the silver street of Nakhon Si Thammarat town.
seafood restaurant on stilts
Anyway, you can read Kim here and here for a slightly more detailed report on the trip itself. As for me, I just want to tell you about one of the best seafood dinners I’ve had, thanks to SeeTho‘s good taste and willingness to travel far for the best dining experience.
We arrived at this seafood place that is tucked at the end of 4177, a fishing village more familiar with the locals instead of tourists. The name of the restaurant written only in Thai, I can’t tell you what it says, but we went to the middle of the three restaurants at the area.
cheap oysters and really fat clams
Leading to the restaurant is a little market specializing in all sorts of fresh and preserved seafood. There were some huge salted fish, live crabs, fresh prawns, and plenty of cheap live oysters for sale. I don’t know where could you find live oysters for as low as 5 baht each! The really huge ones were only around 20-25 baht ( RM 2.00 to RM 2.50), very tempting.
vegetable, grilled fish, crab, and grilled big prawns
Ordering was left to SeeTho since there’s this little problem of language incompatibilities between the servers and diners. We had seven dishes and some rice to wash everything down. Baked oysters, tomyam seafood, petai, mixed vegetable, grilled fish, Thai style crab, and of course, some huge grilled prawns.
tomyam seafood, petai balacan, and baked oyster
Baked oyster was chosen instead of having them raw for a very good reason, you don’t want to have an upset stomach during a trip where long journey in a van is involved. The oysters were really good though, lightly baked, very fresh and very juicy inside. They were eaten with a combination of sauce and herbs I can’t really name, it was the perfect way to start the meal.
I also really enjoy the petai and the huge prawns. The tomyam, crab, and mixed vegetable didn’t disappoint either. The grilled fish, however, looked really ordinary but turned out to be really smooth with a very soft texture and really sweet taste.
Needless to say, we ended up overfed again. Seafood with that unique Thai style preparation is a winner if you ask me. If you are going to Ko Samui, Surat Thani is actually pretty close by, try to get yourself to this place, you won’t be disappointed. Alternatively, of course, you can always go with SeeTho travels and request to have this seafood meal included.
If I remember correctly, the meal for 8 of us was slightly less than RM 200.
GPS: 9.31031, 99.47774