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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / March 2012

It’s been a while that this blog features any fancy dining experience, so the invitation from Tanzini Upper Deck came just at the right moment.

Situated at the 29th floor in G Tower, Tanzini Upper Deck features a double volume (ermm.. aka very high ceiling) dining room complete with custom made star-lights which. Coupled with the full view of the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers, the ambiance is about as good as one can wish for.

Tanzini Upper Deck at G Tower
Tanzini Upper Deck at G Tower

Tanzini Upper Deck only offers 4-6 course degustation menu and private functions, if you’re looking for ala carte dining, that would be Tanzini just a level below.

While waiting for everyone to arrive, we started off the night with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, a non-vintage champagne comprises 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. I’m not exactly a wine critic, but the fruity aroma and full texture of this drinks makes it one of the better champagne I remember having.

Lollipop Scallops, Halibut-Salmon "Mokume Gane"
Lollipop Scallops, Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane”

We tried three types of appetizers, starting with a daring display of creativity in the lollipop scallops. It was in essence, grilled scallop on a stick encased with caramelized sugar. Sweet and savory, a departure from the normal preparation which tends to go towards the salty side. Interesting nonetheless.

Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane” is inspired by Japanese mixed metal patterns. In this instance, using halibut and salmon that results in the orange/white pattern. Served with house pickled ginger, lemon grass-calamansi granita, candied hojiso (shiso leaf), and horse radish. The taste was quite distinctly Japanese for me, and in a very good way.

Black Truffle Custard
Black Truffle Custard

Another choice of appetizer is the black truffle custard that comes in three parts – truffled egg-mushi, a squid ink cone with sweet corn, and finally, prawn noodle with trout roe.

This was almost a 3-in-1 dish. I love the truffled egg (kinda reminds me of the foie gras egg in Gu Yue Tien, though they are different) and enjoyed the textures of prawn noodle with trout roe. The final third of the dish though, was overpowered by the sweetness of the corn that very little hint of squid ink was apparent.

"BLT" soup - bacon marmalade, lettuce m-sponge, tempura soft shell crab
“BLT” soup – bacon marmalade, lettuce m-sponge, tempura soft shell crab

Next up was a choice between the two soups we tried.

Chef Eugene’s interpretation of “BLT” was our first soup. Veloute de tomates, bacon marmalade, 30″ lettuce m-sponge, and tempura soft shell crab.

I’ve never tasted bacon, lettuce, and tomato quite this way before, and I gotta say it was very impressive and daring. The soup was like a very supped up (pardon the pun) version of tomato soup. It was quite delicious.

Smoked Oyster Tea
Smoked Oyster Tea

Should you choose the smoked oyster tea as the choice of soup instead, you won’t be disappointed. This dish was a demonstration of the perfect harmony in consomme of oyster, fenugreek (herb), smoked trout roe, ginkgo, and oyster kara-age (similar to tempura).

The soup is poured just before eating, and rightly so, because 2 minutes later the crispy skin of oyster kara-age would’ve become soggy.

Ox Tongue Yakitori - with asparagus kimchi, fried bernaise
Ox Tongue Yakitori and  House Muscovy Duck

After appetizer and soup, we moved onto starters.

Ox tongue yakitori and house-cured muscovy duck were the two dishes to be chosen from the menu.

On one hand, the fancier ox tongue dish comprises of miso-ginger infused ox tongue skewer, fennel in Yuzu dressing, asparagus kimchi, and fried béarnaise. The ox tongue was very good in its delicate taste and texture, fried bearnaise was interesting, but the asparagus kimchi though, was a surprise that wasn’t exactly in a good way. I felt that it was a little bit out of place.

the duck dish, on the other hand, was excellent! Plum sauce, pop rocks & melon galia, truffled potato stuffed bok choi, and litchi glass are the ingredients. Chef Eugene got this one perfectly executed, it just tasted very very good.

Redefined "Aussie Pie"
Redefined “Aussie Pie”

We had an intermezzo in the form of some sorbet which acted as a palette cleanser, after that was the main dishes.

Out of the 3 choices, I selected the Redefined “Aussie Pie” - glazed hilside farm lamb loin in house stock, kataifi, truffled mashed peas, vegemite orb, and sautéed vegetables. This dish was another display of art, and the good news was, it actually tasted rather good. The lamb loin was almost a little too dry for my liking, but that was just me nitpicking a little.

"Uncle Sam" Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Desconstructed English Man's Treat
“Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Desconstructed English Man’s Treat

Haze had the “Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks - slow braised wagyu in rye stock, grilled king trumpets, dark chocolate crouton, and seasonal vegetable. This turned out to be one of the weaker dish, and we felt that it was actually a little bit of a waste to braise a good piece of meat.  Truth be told, it was a disappointment.

The third main dish was the Deconstructed English Man’s Treat, basically chef’s interpretation of the classic fish and chips, with fillet of marbled goby fish & carbonized batter, violet potato, glazed savoy cabbage, texturized garlic oil, and 62 Celcius organic egg yolk. Eiling, who ordered this dish, had this to say:

“This is a very complicated dish but I like the contrasting textures and the egg yolk certainly is a unique addition.”

Flamed Popcorn Gelato
Sweet Ending: Flamed Popcorn Gelato

The dinner ended with flamed popcorn gelato – hazel streusel, bruleed banana, black elderberry glazed fuji apples, and salted caramel toast.

The presentation of the dessert really placed an exclamation mark to the chef’s creativity. It was served with the smoke from dry ice overflowing the table, and some Grand Marnier poured onto the glazed apple for the flame. The spirit did make the dessert a bit bitter, but I actually love it bitter so that suited me well (not so for the girls).

KY, Eiling, Haze at Tanzini Upper Deck
KY, Eiling, Haze at Tanzini Upper Deck

All throughout the dinner, chef Eugene came out and explained the meaning and intricacy of each dishes, which made a world of difference. Service too was excellent throughout (but this is an invited food review, so your mileage may vary).

Most importantly, you might ask, is the price:

RM 155++ 4 course dinner

  • Chef’s Special
  • Choose one out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
  • Intermezzo
  • Choice of Mains
  • Dessert
RM 185++ 5 course dinner
  • Chef’s Special
  • Choose 2 out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
  • Intermezzo
  • Choice of Mains
  • Dessert
RM 215++ 6 course dinner
  • Chef’s Special
  • Choice of Appetizers
  • Choice of Soups
  • Choice of Starters
  • Intermezzo
  • Choice of Mains
  • Dessert

map to G-Tower, KL

Address:
Tanzini Upper Deck
Level 29, GTower
199 Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.1590, 101.7200
Tel: 03-2168 1899

Tanzini Upper Deck Tanzini

Almost everyone in this badminton crazed country knows about Thomas Cup, Malaysian Open, and All England, but have you heard about Axiata Cup?

The Axiata Cup is a new regional badminton event created for the Axiata Group – one of Asia’s largest telecom companies, and most importantly, the biggest names in badminton in our country are in. That of course, includes world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei and also our top doubles pair in Kien Keat-Boon Heong.

The good news is, Malaysia is now through to the semi-finals and will duke it out against the Indonesian teams on 31st March to 1st April at Stadium Badminton Cheras.

  • 31st March, 2pm: INA Rajawali vs MAL Leopards
  • 1st April, 8pm: INA Garuda vs MAL Tigers

So go there and cheer for Team Malaysia!

gateminton

If you get there before 4pm, be sure to check out “Gateminton”  - where you can beat your opponent and get cash prizes. The more rounds you win, the more cash prizes you pick up.

This just reminds me of  times I spent playing badminton right outside my old house in Penang. Good times!

To get free tickets to watch the action this weekends:

  • Spend RM50 or more at selected Blue Cube outlets in Klang Valley. Check here
  • Sign up for CE50 for Celcom Exec 1+5 Plan at the participating Blue Cube outlets & receive 2 FREE tickets!
  • Sign up for any Celcom Broadband plan to get 2 FREE tickets!
  •  Sign up for any smartphone plan with Celcom & get 2 FREE tickets!

Other than that, there’s also the WHO WILL WIN contest where the winner drives home a brand new Nissan Livina X-Gear.  Follow the Axiata Cup action on The Cube by getting the hottest badminton downloads.

  • Put your badminton knowledge to the test in the WHO WILL WIN Trivia – send ON NICKNAME to 23355 to start
  • Spot the shuttlecock in the MMS Puzzle and stand to get rewarded! – send ON GAME to 22229
  • Check out http://www.thecube.my/mdp/promo_axiatacup.jsp for many other ways to join WHO WILL WIN on The Cube

After cooking regularly for a better part of a year now, I thought it’s about time we try dishes that is a little bit more challenging, and since Haze has a thing for braised pork belly with yam (芋头扣肉), we decided to give it a go.

The following recipe is perhaps the simplest formulation for a good braised pork belly with yam, but that being said, it still requires at least 3-4 hours of cooking time to complete. The result though, if done properly, is a serving of yummy succulent pork with buttery soft yam good enough for 4 person.

braised pork belly slices with yam
braised pork belly slices with yam

The ingredients:

  • pork belly – 600 gram
  • one small/medium size yam
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 6-8 shallots
  • half a bulb of garlic
  • 2 cubes of namyu (fermented bean curd)
  • cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice
  • pepper to taste

a big slab of pork and yam, enough to feed 4 pax
a big slab of pork and yam, enough to feed 4 pax

Cooking method can be divided into 4 major steps, pork preparation, yam preparation, frying, and steaming. Divide and conquer make things easier now isn’t it? :D

step 1 – yam preparation:

  • cut yam into thick slices (same thickness as pork)
  • heat up frying pan with 2 tablespoon of oil, then fry yam for 3-4 minutes

dark soya sauce is used in the second stage of pork preparation
dark soya sauce is used in the second stage of pork preparation

step 2 – pork preparation step:

  • boil the whole slab of pork for 10-15 minutes
  • remove pork from water, pat dry, then cover the whole slab with dark soya sauce
  • heat up frying pan, then fry pork till brown
  • remove pork from frying pan and cut in thick slices

shallots, garlic, and namyu to bring out the flavor
shallots, garlic, and namyu to bring out the flavor

step 3 – frying:

  • heat up a couple tablespoon of oil
  • fry chopped garlic and onion till fragrant
  • add pork, yam, and namyu
  • add oyster sauce, soya sauce, five spice powder, and sesame oil
  • stir fry till even (try not to break the yam, or meat)

finally, arrange pork/yam and steam for 3-4 hours
finally, arrange pork/yam and steam for 3-4 hours

step 4 – steaming:

  • arrange the pork and yam alternately in a bowl (or in this case, a metal plate)
  • steam for a minimum of 2-3 hours

And you are done! Do always keep an eye to ensure that your steamer don’t run out of water in the process. If a pressure cooker is used, the steaming process can be cut short considerably (20-30 minutes, I will try this method next time).

Do check out more recipes on this site, and happy cooking!

A couple weeks ago we were invited for a food review session at Armada hotel’s Shokudo Japanese restaurant. We were checking out their “Speedy Lunch” menu which promises lunch sets that are served within 15 minutes and priced only at RM 15++ per order.

This type of deal from a hotel restaurant? I was curious to say the least.

temaki, Haze & KY at Shokudo, Armada Hotel
temaki, Haze & KY at Shokudo, Armada Hotel

Shokudo at Armada turns out to be a pretty small Japanese restaurant. With maximum capacity of some 20 odd people, the restaurant on 1st floor has a very homey ambiance to it. A place that is well suited for a quiet dinner for two. (as such, if you are coming with a big group, do call ahead)

soft shell crab maki and chawanmushi
soft shell crab maki and chawanmushi

There are four dishes in the Speedy Lunch menu:

  • soft shell crab maki with chawan mushi
  • unagi rice set
  • chicken or beef katsudon
  • kakiage soba or udon

chicken/beef katsudon, unagi rice set, kakiage soba/udon
chicken/beef katsudon, unagi rice set, kakiage soba/udon

My favorite of the lot was the soft shell crab maki and chawan mushi set. RM 15 for the set is definitely a great value, and it tastes as good as anywhere, but if you have a big appetite, this might not fill your stomach all the way up.

Unagi set comes with about half an eel instead of the whole fish, understandable for this price point. Chicken and beef katsudon though, do come with very generous serving of meat.

For those who likes it light, the soba/udon dish would be a good option. The lightly battered tempura vegetable does go well with either udon or soba.

cod fish teriyaki, gyoza, california maki
cod fish teriyaki, gyoza, california maki

Other than the Speedy Lunch dishes, Shokudo does offer a pretty comprehensive menu. There are good choices for sashimi, sushi,  maki, temaki, teppanyaki, don buri (rish dishes), udon, and some side orders (like grilled salmon belly, shishamo etc).

The cod fish teriyaki and gyoza was fantastic, and california maki we tried did not disappoint too.

chicken kara-age, sashimi, tempura
chicken kara-age, sashimi, tempura

Oddly enough, the dish that I can’t get my hands off from was the chicken kara-age (chicken skin RM15). This an a pint of beer would be perfect. Sashimi and tempura too were of pretty good quality.

Overall, the experience at Armada’s Shoduko was a positive one. Although food did not blow us out of the water, they were consistent and did not disappoint at all considering the price point.

If your office is not far form the heart of PJ, the Speedy Lunch here would be something to check out.

map to Armada Hotel

Address:
Shokudo Japanese Restaurant
Hotel Armada Petaling Jaya
Lot 6, Lorong Utara C,
Section 52, 46200 PJ, Selangor
GPS: 3.104199, 101.640964
Tel: 03-7954 6888

Shokudo Hotel Armada Petaling Jaya

And we did it! The largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the whole Asia happened right here at Changkat Bukit Bintang with a total of over 10,000 people turning up for the event, painting the entire street and bars with a sea of green.

I was there, and I hope your St. Patrick’s Day was as eventful as the one we experienced.

St Patrick's Day at Changkat Bukit Bintang, getting started
St Patrick’s Day at Changkat Bukit Bintang, getting started

Amazingly, we is only the 6th installation of Guinness St. Patrick’s festival here in Malaysia, and we are already on top of Asia. Perhaps in a few more years we’ll have it as big as the big boys over at Europe and America.

Suan, FA, and myself arrived at the scene pretty early to beat the crowd (and to allow ourselves to have more Guinness, of course), and things are already starting to get busy by around 6+ in the evening. The street was blocked from traffic, and everywhere was decorated black and green.

plenty of friendly servers on stand by
plenty of friendly servers on stand by

I give credit to the event organizer for hiring plenty of help for the event. Friendly servers everywhere, and most importantly, Guinness stands being set up right along the street at practically every 10 meter or something. There were tables and chairs on the road as well.

It was everything you’d need to have a good time, and more.

looking the concentration Huai Bin has
looking the concentration Huai Bin has. Robb was there too

A bunch of us also dropped by Arthur’s Lounge (converted from Frangipani for the day) and got to try pretending to be a waiter and pour a perfect pint (in which we got to drink right after).

Check out the level of concentration on Huai Bin’s face in doing just that!

and that's how you pour a perfect pint
and that’s how you pour a perfect pint

We then proceed to go upstairs and hanged out a little while our personalized Guinness mug was being prepared, and best of all, there were food served as well. Little servings of salmon on bruschetta, meatball on toothpick, spaghetti in a soup spoon. You know, those tiny fine food, which went well with the beer, of course.

and the party is on, full blast
and the party is on, full blast

All these while, the party right outside was going on full blast. The parade with clowns, stilt walkers, Irish dancers, and lots of other entertainers.

As I was chilling with some of my colleagues from four other countries, the Guinness bikers strolled by with their Harleys, instantly triggered a flood of flashes as party goers were eager to take photos of them. (by the time I got out from the bar, they were gone, garhh.)

HB, Suan, FA, Michael, Marcky, and more!
Huai Bin, Suan, FA, Michael, Hitomi, Marcky, yes we obviously had fun.

At the other end of Changkat was a stage where you can near laughter from the crowd as you go nearer. That’s where the comedians were at work. Serena C and Prem were on the scene hosting the entire event, it was really a massive party.

And then the fireworks came on, and the crowd literally went wild with their cameras. Good times!

some fine folks from all around too
some fine folks from all around too

So that pretty much summed up my St. Patrick’s Day. Good beer, great time, and even better company. How was yours?

If you’ve missed the big one at Changkat, there are still a few upcoming Guinness St. Patrick’s celebration for this year yet!

  • Ipoh Garden East, Ipoh – 24th March 2012
  • Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuching – 24th March 2012
  • SOULed OUT, Sri Hartamas – 22nd & 29th March 2012
  • Backyard, Sri Hartamas - 29th March 2012
  • Jonker Street, Melaka - 31st March 2012
  • Pelita Commercial Center, Miri – 31st March 2012