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Monthly Archives / January 2011

2011 kicks off pretty good, it was only mid January and I’ve already had my second yee sang session. Just like the previous session at Gu Yue Tien, this is yet another invited food tasting session from Meena in conjunction with Standard Chartered’s Extravagant 8 menu promotion (20th Jan till 17th Feb.)

For those who did not read about it on the previous post, this promotion basically allows Standard Chartered credit card holder to enjoy special menu priced at RM 888++ for 8 pax at 8 different locations by 8 award winning chefs. Li Yen at Ritz Carlton is the second place I sampled.

yee sang at Li Yen
and we started off with yee sang, what else?

It was during the work week. I went back from work, had a few rounds of slow run at Taman Aman, showered, and then got stuck at traffic for a good 30 minutes to get passed a 300 meter stretch of road in PJ State, drove faster, found parking at Starhill, and arrived at Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The above paragraph was totally unnecessary, but I had to illustrate what a man would do to have his yee sang.

The yee sang served at Li Yen is the traditional type, shredded carrot, marinated vegetable, crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, crackers, plum sauce, oil, and of course, fresh raw salmon. Always good.

double boiled assorted seafood soup with bamboo piths
double boiled assorted seafood soup with bamboo piths

Like pretty much all traditional Chinese course dinners, the second dish is a soup. The double boiled soup with assorted seafood and bamboo piths was subtle yet exquisite. I always love soup that doesn’t overpower and spoil the taste of subsequent dishes, nice.

I had actually first mistaken bamboo pith as some sort of fish maw, but apparently it is a type of fungus grown in bamboo forest. hey, learn something new everyday!

Oh, there’s no sharks fins with Standard Chartered promotional menu, thumbs up!

peking duck served with steamed sesame pancakes
peking duck served with steamed sesame pancakes

Next up was a dish that I’ve been waiting for – peking duck in steamed sesame pancakes. The Peking duck roasted to perfection, with it’s skin gleaming with a thin layer of fat calling for me.. ahh.

Our server was an expert who made light work of the duck. *slice slice slice* and within seconds we have the duck skin all tidily wrapped within the soft and warm sesame pancakes. It was as good as any peking duck I had, took extra servings too. 😀

steamed patin fish with superior soya sauce, braised dried scallops with dried oyster and sea moss
steamed patin fish with superior soya sauce,
braised dried scallops with dried oyster and sea moss

After the duck, we were served the steamed patin fish with superior soya sauce. This is a dish that isn’t uncommon but one that requires really good quality fish. The patin was certainly fresh, fat, and tender. Superior soya sauce isn’t your everyday Kikkomon either, it really adds to the flavor and isn’t overly salty even if you drink it on its own.

Another classic CNY dish, braised dried scallops with dried oyster and sea moss, followed. The sea moss actually looks almost like wet hair, but obviously taste very much different from the stuff that clogs your shower drain hole… (ok perhaps that’s not the best way to describe food). The dried shellfish gives the sauce a very sweet, savory taste, very nice.

stir-fried assorted mushroom and asparagus, hokkien fried rice
stir-fried assorted mushroom and asparagus, hokkien fried rice

We had stir-fried mushroom and asparagus to start winding down the dinner. A light dish that is simple yet delicious, I like the contrasting textures of mushroom and the crunchier asparagus.

The last main dish was Hokkien fried rice, which looks and tastes almost like “lam” rice (with similar type of sauce from loh mee). I thought it was a mislabel, but apparently despite being a Hokkien, I didn’t know any better. Hokkien fried rice is actually steamed rice topped with gravy cooked with chunks of mushroom, vegetable, prawns, and other goodies. It was very yummy actually, I had a small bowl since my stomach was already like 98% full at the time.

deep fried yam with lunar cake, salted pork bones for soup
deep fried yam with lunar cake, salted pork bones for soup

Deep fried yam with lunar cake (nian gau) served as the dessert that concludes the dinner. It was sweet, crunchy on the outside while sweet, soft, and comfortably warm on the inside.

See the picture of salted pork bones? That’s the not-so-secret ingredients in that seafood soup, imported from Hong Kong, as revealed by the good chef.

KY, Meena & Chef Leung, Haze
KY, Meena & Chef Leung,
Bangsarbabe, foodpoi, Lionel, Mei Yee, Chocoholic, Bald Eagle; Haze

Li Yen is manned by Chef Leung Kwai Hong from Hong Kong armed with 45 years of experience in kitchens at Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and now Malaysia.

The dishes we had at Li Yen were all positively traditional Chinese, perfect for someone looking for that old school experience, but with style and luxury, of course.

map to Ritz Carlton Hotel

Address:
Li Yen @ Ritz-Carlton Hotel
168 Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.146960, 101.715406
Tel: 03-2141 8000

It’s January, Christmas jingles made way to those Chinese New Year songs that seems to always resurrect the career of a few non-Chinese singers who sings in Mandarin but nobody ever care the rest of the year.

To many of us gluttons, this time of the year also means that we can have yee sang (鱼生) again! One of my favorite Malaysian invention (yah, they claim it’s from Singapore, or Hokkien province in China… I don’t care)

Gu Yue Tien at Chulan Square, classy place
Gu Yue Tien at Chulan Square, classy place

My very first lou sang session came with the courtesy of Meena’s invitation to the food review session at Gu Yue Tien in conjunction to the Standard Chartered’s Extravagant 8 Menu.

From 20th Jan to 17th February, Standard Chartered credit card holders enjoy great deals at 8 restaurants with special customized menu priced at RM 888++ per table for 8pax.

my very first yee sang for CNY 2011
my very first yee sang for CNY 2011

First dish was of course, the yee sang I’ve been waiting for since some 11 months ago. The version at Gu Yue Tien is a little different, fresh salad with addition of sengkuang, raisin, crushed nuts, crackers, oil, strawberry sauce, and of course, plenty of fresh raw salmon.

The taste is a bit sweeter and a bit fresher tasting, it was so good quite a few of us had second servings.

Gu Yue Tien soft boil egg with foie gras
Gu Yue Tien soft boil egg with foie gras

Next came the dish I had my eyes set on the moment the menu was sent to me via email – Gu Yue Tien’s soft boil egg with foie gras. According to Chef Frankie, he had the idea to create this dish from a visit to some charity cooking event in New York, East meet West.

It is basically a soft boiled egg, with most of the egg white taken out and replaced with foie gras sauce with chunks of foie gras in it. It was rich, savory, and pure heaven, I had two!

seafood soup with crab roe, salt bake Spanish Iberico pork ribs
seafood soup with crab roe, salt bake Spanish Iberico pork ribs

No real Chinese dinner is complete without soup, and I really give Standard Chartered a big thumbs up for NOT serving any sharks fin in all their Extravagant 8 menu.

So we had seafood soup with crab roe that comes with prawns, scallops, crab meat, and other goodies instead. Tastes better than any sharks fin soup that I had before (I’ve since stopped consuming sharks fin though, and I think you should too.)

Then there’s the salt baked Spanish Iberico pork ribs. I’ve had plenty of ribs before, but boy, this one really tops them all. Slightly salty, tender and juicy on the inside while crispy on the outside, the ribs is superbly flavorful and absolutely addictive. If you go to Gu Yue Tien, this is an absolute must-order dish.

steamed giant grouper, glutinous rice with fresh water prawns and wax meat
steamed giant grouper, glutinous rice with fresh water prawns and wax meat

Fish is another classic dish during CNY, we had steamed giant grouper with minced ginger and yellow bean paste. The fish meat is indeed tender, and I’ve always enjoy the thick but tender giant grouper skin as well. This dish is a good follow up from the ribs, with minced ginger countering the savory pork after taste.

Steamed glutinous rice with fresh water prawn & wax meat was the last main dish of the night. An unlikely combination of seafood with wax meat, but it is one that turned out very well. The wax meat imported from Hong Kong, and fresh water prawn sourced locally, the two ingredients tasted awesome themselves, but also give the glutinous rice a rich and very delicious taste.

pan fried nien gau, chilled mango cream with pamelo
pan fried nien gau, chilled mango cream with pamelo

We wind down the night with the CNY-compulsory nien gau (sticky cake), only this one is pan fried with sesame; and chilled mango cream with pamelo to cool off and try to clear off the super savory+yummy after taste in our mouth.

At this point, my stomach was protesting, and my brain shutting down due to food coma.

KY & Haze, Bald Eagle & Chef Frankie, Mei Yee & Lionel, KK & BabeKL, Meena & Alison
KY & Haze, Bald Eagle & Chef Frankie,
Mei Yee & Lionel, KK & BabeKL, Meena & Alison

For those of you who holds a Standard Chartered credit card (or know someone who does), don’t miss out on this great offer. I throughly enjoyed every dish at Gu Yue Tien, and if your taste bud is anywhere close to mine, I have no doubt you will too.

Chef Frankie is also one of the most friendly and inspiring person, he shared the story of stepping into the kitchen at the age of 13 to becoming an executive chef to owning Gu Yue Tien, amazing stuff.

Now chef, how about some of that ribs again? Gu Yue Tien is located just above Gaucho Grill at Chulan Square.

map to Gu Yue Tien at Chulan Square

Address:
Gu Yue Tien
Lot 5A, Chulan Square
Jalan Raja Chulan
50200 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.148518, 101.716114
Tel: 03-2148 0808

I’ve read about the new kid in town – Magnolia Sherbet for a little while now, and today I finally got my hands on some from the Petronas station at Damansara Jaya. It was just laying there beautifully, little containers with 85 ml of delicious goodness in them.

Magnolia Sherbet is finally here!
Magnolia Sherbet is finally here!

I picked up one of each flavors available from the lot – Delightful Orange, Marvellous Mangosteen, and Magnificent Melon. Unfortunately Luscious Lychee flavor is sold out at this location, bummer, but 3 out of 4 isn’t too bad I suppose.

Suggested retail price is RM 2.50 (RM 2.80 at East Malaysia), but I think I paid RM 2.70 at Mesra store, usually convenient stores at gas station impose a bit of a premium, oh well. I’m not complaining though.

Cendawan approves Magnolia Sherbet - Melon, Orange, and Mangosteen
Cendawan approves Magnolia Sherbet – Melon, Orange, and Mangosteen

The sherbet is kept in little plastic container of their own, and underneath the cap you’ll find a little plastic spoon. This is a pretty smart and messy-less packaging, I like.

The biggest difference between Magnolia Sherbet and just any ice cream is it’s texture. The sherbet comes with real fruit stuff in them – there’s real orange sacs in orange flavored sherbet, mangosteen puree in Mangosteen variety, and nata de coco in Magnificent Melon. Real lychee pieces can be found in the lychee variant too.

In a nutshell, you not only lick, you chew a little too. 😀

this thing actually tastes very good!
this thing actually tastes very good!

The orange flavor is tangy and gives the taste bud a kick, on the other hand, I like the melon varient’s nata de coco pieces too. The mangosteen flavor though, takes a little getting used to, but I guess it’s because that’s the first time I had any sherbet with mangosteen flavor. I have a feeling my mom will like it though.

(by the way mangosteen flavor seems to be Cendawan’s favorite, emmmm..

Since less dairy product is found in sherbet compared to ice cream, the sherbet is also a lot lighter, kinda in between ice and ice cream. Very refreshing, and we can all indulge in them pretty much guilt free. After all, it’s 2011, and I’ve started jogging/exercise a little bit more, so must also eat healthier lah.

That said, I’m contemplating finishing the last one in the fridge before Haze comes back, hehehe.

P/S: There’s a contest going on too, write a blog post that starts with “A Magnolia Sherbet A Day…” and win up to RM 1500 cash! Check here for more info!

Since I moved to the site office for work, I’ve been visiting Pavilion quite a bit due to the close proximity. So pretty soon I started exploring a bit more and a couple weeks ago, stumbled upon this curiously familiar looking restaurant on the 5th 6th floor by the name of Grandmama’s.

Grandmama’s to Madam Kwan’s is like BK to McD. The decoration is similar, and so is the menu (nasi bojari, char kueh teow, fish and chips etc). There are rumors saying they are owned by siblings or something…

grandmama's char kueh teow and beef hor fun
Grandmama’s char kueh teow and beef hor fun

Since the initial visit with my colleague, I’ve been to the place in three separate occasions. I can happily said that the  3 different dishes tried so far have been all pretty good, at least taste wise.

The Char Kueh Teow comes with a couple big prawns, slices of fish cake, squid, chicken, and the usual chives and bean sprouts. Despite the seemingly non traditional ingredients, it turned out to be a surprisingly decent dish. The flavor and the kick is as good as you’d find from any air conditioned restaurant.

Curry Laksa, or curry mee as known to Penangites, comes in an overly large bowl and contains taupok, prawns, squid, ladies finger, and brinjal which I love. It’d be better if there’s some bloody cockles though (or coagulated pork blood, but I think that would be way too much to ask for, hehe)

curry laksa, nasi bojari, and hakka fried rice
curry laksa, nasi bojari, and hakka fried rice

The other dish I had was the unassuming looking Hakka Fried Rice. A plate of fried rice with dark sauce that has prawns, chicken, and plenty of chopped long bean in it. This one was pretty good too especially with some cili padi to go with. I had this after Horng’s favorable comment.

Terence, Winnie, Michelle, Pauline at Grandmama's, Pavilion KL
Terence, Winnie, Mychelle, Pauline at Grandmama’s, Pavilion KL

Ngau Hor (beef kueh teow), Chicken Mushroom Rice and Nasi Bojari that others had too turned out to be plenty good, though my other colleague ordered Fish and Chips that tasted just average.

So while food is generally pretty good at Grandmama’s, the pricing is a bit on the higher side. Nasi bojari costs RM 22, and most other hawker style dishes are around RM 14.5 to just below RM 20. You do get free plain water though.

Still a place worth visit for it’s pretty decent quality of food and good ambiance while not always overly crowded like Madam Kwan’s.

map to Pavilion KL

Address:
Grandmama’s
Lot 6.01.01, 6.01.02
Level 6, Pavilion KL
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368
Tel: 03-2143 9333

It is no doubt that many of you have heard about Godiva, the premium Belgium chocolatier, but I supposed some of you would be like me, who didn’t know about Lady Godiva at all.

The legend goes like this – Lady Godiva is a really hot Anglo-Sexon woman who rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to change her husband’s mind of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants.

Hence the logo of Godiva Chocolates is an outline of the naked Lady Godiva on her horse, covered only with her lush long hair.

the very first Godiva cafe, at Pavilion KL
the very first Godiva cafe, at Pavilion KL

Incidentally, the term Peeping Tom also came about from the same story. Everyone in the streets of Conventry had closed their doors and not look at Lady Godiva out of respect, but this perverted Tom dude did not. Hence peeping Tom.

Learn something new everyday huh?

super yummy Godiva chocolate cake
super yummy Godiva chocolate cake – Sight, Smell, Taste

A couple weeks ago I had the luxury of a food tasting session at the world’s very first Godiva cafe at Pavilion KL thanks to Winnie.

To be honest, I haven’t had Godiva more than a few times, and my very first experience was actually from the xmas eve party 2009 exchange gift from Su Ann, a bottle of Godiva hazelnut chocolate spread.

Godiva chocolates, drinks, coffee, cakes
chocolate drinks, and chocolate cakes that goes well with hot black coffee

The cafe offers the usual stuff you’d find at any Godiva outlets – chocolate truffles, chocolate bars, the aforementioned chocolate hazelnut spread, and other Godiva chocolate products/gifts. However, the cafe also offers really awesome chocolate cakes (at RM 15 a slice, really good value if you ask me), coffee, brownies, mocha frappuccino, chocolate drinks and more.

Of course, there’s also the tastefully romantic dining area at one end of level 2 in Pavilion that doesn’t carry too much foot traffic.

Winnie and KY at Godiva cafe
Winnie the reluctant make-shift Godiva model, KY

Over the lunch session, I tried a slice of chocolate cake that’s topped with a chocolate truffle that turned out to be easily the best chocolate cake I’ve had. There’s also the chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream that went well black coffee, 6 pieces of those famous Godiva chocolate truffles, and also a few slices of 80% chocolate squares.

Oh, I also had the chocolate drinks warmed by a candle under the pot too, rich and flavorful.

chocolate goodies for you to take home, or as gifts
chocolate goodies for you to take home, or as gifts

To be honest, everything tasted wonderful on it’s own, but on a food tasting session, there’s only that much rich tasting chocolate one can take before feeling “muak”. Fortunately the black coffee somewhat refreshes the tongue a little bit.

Ultimately, I think Godiva Cafe is definitely a place worth visit, especially if you bring a date over tea time. The cake at RM 15 a slice offers great value too.

map to Pavilion KL

Address:
Godiva Chocolatier Cafe
Level 2, Pavilion
Jln Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368
Tel: 03-2142 5252