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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / January 2013

Seems to be like Xmas was just a couple weeks ago, and all of a sudden we’re faced with Chinese New Year in only about a month’s time. The thing that I like about Chinese New Year (since angpow money is now in negative territory) – Yee Sang and Chinese New Year dinners!

Chinese restaurants around the country are busy preparing Chinese New Year menus just about now, and we’re lucky to be invited by Siobhan to sample a few dishes from Ritz Carlton’s Li Yen and JW Marriot’s Shanghai restaurants.

Li Yen at Ritz Carlton and Shanghai at JW Marriot hotel
Li Yen at Ritz Carlton and Shanghai at JW Marriot hotel

Li Yen serves traditional Cantonese cuisine, the variant of Chinese food that is more prevalent among the high end Chinese restaurants in Malaysia, while Shanghai restaurant, like the name suggests, entice customers with traditional Shanghainese dishes.

As per usual YTL standards, both restaurants are tastefully decorated and provide excellent ambiance. There are also private dining rooms in addition to the common dining hall.

Prosperity yee sang with abalone, with Siobhan & Haze
Prosperity yee sang with abalone, with Siobhan & Haze (at Li Yen)

We started the night with my very first Prosperity Yee Sang for 2013, and this one comes with a touch of luxury with abalone slices instead of of the more common raw salmon. The ingredients were fresh, and it sure tastes like CNY is just around the corner. Li Yen also provide you with those extra long chopsticks, real handy when it comes to Lou Sang time.

Huat ahhhhhh!

double boiled chicken soup, stir fry prawn with supreme soya sauce
double boiled chicken soup, stir fry prawn with supreme soya sauce (at Li Yen)

When it comes to traditional CNY Chinese course dinner, I always love to start with a bowl of good soup. Li Yen didn’t disappoint. The double boiled chicken soup with dried scallop and Chinese cabbage was one of the best I’ve had. Subtle, sweet, it gives you that homey warm, comfort feeling.

The stir-fried prawns with supreme soya sauce too was a top notch. Huge fresh prawns completely shelled (they should do this more often, I don’t want to deal with the shells), the seasoning isn’t over powering and you can eat it on it’s own. Sweetness of seafood complimented well with the hint of saltiness from supreme soya sauce.

braised Shanghainese pork, xiao long bao
braised Shanghainese pork,  xiao long bao (at Shanghai)

After the three dishes we moved to Shanghai restaurant just a short walk away.

Greeting us on the table were the beautiful braised Shanghainese pork, xiao long bao, and the traditional CNY dessert – glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds.

The braised Shanhaginese pork looks a bit like “tong por” pork, but in truth it’s a more sophisticated dish. The bottom half of the dish is a mixtures of prawn paste, pine nuts, and vegetable. It was soft, succulent, and delicious. Would be even better with a bit of rice I think.

Xiao long bao here is top notch as well, with plenty of soup and skin that’s just thick enough to hold everything in.

pan-fried glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds
pan-fried glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds (at Shanghai)

We ended the night with pan-fried glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds, they’re sweet and crunchy on the outside from the sesame. Perhaps not one of my favorite desserts, but it shouldn’t disappoint anyone who likes glutinous rice cake (I prefer mine deep fried between sweet potato, old school)

The set menus start from RM 1388++ per table of 10 persons, click on the link below to see the menus.

Ritz Carlton, KL

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

GPS3.146960, 101.715406
Tel03-2141 8000

Suki-Ya Shabu Shabu at Pavilion has been one of the more busy restaurants located at Pavilion’s Tokyo Street ever since it’s inception a couple years ago. I’ve meant to give it a try for the longest time, but it’s always been packed, and I’ve only recently lunched there thanks to arrangements (ie: advanced booking la) by my colleagues.

Suki-Ya at Pavilion, there's almost always a queue
Suki-Ya at Pavilion, there’s almost always a queue

Suki-Ya brands itself as a restaurant that offers modern healthy choices. The outlet at Pavilion isn’t exactly big, but I like the cozy ambiance and the very clean interior.

They have an ala-carte menu on top of shabu-shabu (or Japanese steamboat), but we stuck to the basic this time and only tried the default buffet, priced at RM 29.80 per adult for a maximum of 2 hour dining period. Dinner would cost an additional RM 10. Any extra time over the 2-hr block is priced at RM 3.50 per 15 mins.

Kinda sounds like paying for parking.

there are 4 types of soup to choose from
there are 4 types of soup to choose from

Like many steamboat places, Suki-Ya offers several choices of soup – the classic shabu-shabu that is light, sukiyaki that carries a hint of sweetened soya sauce taste, miso which is a little on the saltier side, and kimchi, one that carries a bit of a kick.

We chose shabu-shabu and kimchi since you’re allowed to split the pot.

Pro tip: Always start off with milder tasting soup so as to not overwhelm your palate too early.

beef, lamb, chicken, and the "healthy bar" full of veges and more
beef, lamb, chicken, and the “healthy bar” full of veges and more

There are three choices of meat you can choose, and the waitress will happily serve as many plates of them to your table as you request. Do note that any wasted food carries additional charges though.

The chicken, beef, and lamb were all thinly sliced and served frozen. The beef only requires a quick 10 second dip to the boiling soup, while I’d advice to leave beef and chicken in for a little bit longer. They tasted pretty good with some dipping sauce.

we had a great time, thank you for lunch, HL
we had a great time, thank you for lunch, HL

The “healthy bar” offers some 30 types of vegetables, tofu, mushroom, fish balls, and even clams. These are really mainly the healthier choices – food with less fatty contents. They are somewhat less luxurious, but for less than RM 30 I think it’s plenty good value for money, and you’d likely not over eat that much.

It’s not difficult to see the success of Suki-Ya and that long queue outside the restaurant on daily basis. If you are to visit them, I’ll advice to call and book ahead.

Other than Pavilion KL, Suki-Ya branches can be found at Paradigm and Mont Kiara Mall.

map to Pavilion KL

Address:
Suki-Ya @ Tokyo Street
6.24.04, Level 6, Pavilion
Jln Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.148872, 101.713368
Tel03-2141 4272
Website: www.suki-ya.com

Over the years, I must have had more than a dozen different cameras in my life. Most are digital, a couple of them aren’t. There were point and shoots, SLRs, prosumer models, mirror-less cameras, GoPros, camera phones, you name it.

None of them had the same response as when I showed off the Samsung GALAXY Camera – “Is that the Samsung GALAXY Camera? Can I see it?”

Samsung Galaxy Camera

And sometimes when I hand it over, I don’t see it again for a very long time.

It’s not difficult to understand why. This is the first truly connected camera from Samsung that runs on the Android Jelly Bean Operating System and comes with 3G data and WiFi capability.

Already packed with loads of features, you are able to further enhanced it by installing various preferred applications. This is really a camera that is virtually limitless.

This is My Moment

With the instant sharing capability of the Samsung GALAXY Camera comes This is My Moment, Live. A photo-sharing social website created for those who love taking photos.

The site features four bloggers, with yours truly among one of them that participates in contributing to the many photography themes being showcased on the site. There’s a different theme every day for 28 days. Check out the site at thisismymoment.com.my

Anyway, lets talk about the camera, I want to highlight some of the features that I really liked about it

Panorama shooting mode:

The panorama features is perhaps the most fun to use, and one that is super easy too. Switch to panning mode on the on-screen dial and then just start clicking and snapping. I liked the fact that you can pan all ways, and in both portrait and landscape modes.

panorama at Batu Caves
Batu Caves photography trip, Dec 2012

Arthur's Place at Anilao, the Philippines
Arthur’s Place at Anilao, the Philippines

Sunset shooting mode:

One of the tricky things about getting a good shot of sunset is the short amount of time you have to get everything right. With the sunset shooting mode, the camera set the proper exposure and color balance to get a perfect shot every time. Brilliant.

Sunset at Anilao
sunset at Anilao, the Philippines

21x zoom:

The other very handy feature of the camera is the 21 x optical zoom. Compare the photo below to the one above. One was captured at 23 mm equivalent, and the other at 172 mm (at 7.5 x zoom). This example showcases how flexible you can be when it comes to composition.

Galaxy Camera 21x zoom
taken at around 7.5x zoom

Samsung Galaxy Camera at 21x zoom
this taken while seated in the cafeteria upstairs, full 21 x zoom (483 mm equivalent)

Closed up shots:

While not 100% macro by any means, the GALAXY Camera does a good job in taking close up shots. Details and color reproductions are impressive, as with its resolutions. Look at the bottom photos of the coffee, and try to spot the tiny reflections on each individual bubbles.

pebble beach at Anilao
beach made of corals & pebbles, Anilao, the Philippines

closed up shot of a cup of coffee
breakfast coffee, Meal Station

Full Manual Control:

Other than the various automated modes, the Samsung GALAXY Camera also comes with the three most crucial modes in any camera – Aperture priority, Shutter Priority, and Full Manual modes. With these, you can be as creative as you want in the control of the camera.

The panning shot of the Porsche Cayenne below is an example of what the Shutter Priority mode can achieve.

panning shot of a car

Smart Modes:

To make shooting simpler, there are a total of 15 smart modes in the camera (a few of which described above). They are – Beauty face, Best photo, Continuous shot, Best face, Landscape, Macro, Action freeze, Rich tone, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks, Light trace.

This makes getting the right setting for the right photo capture easy and fast. I’ll let you find out what exactly is the “Best Face” mode, it’s one of the biggest innovation to me.

Galaxy Camera Smart Mode

Instagram on Camera!

Of course, one of the most important features of the Samsung GALAXY Camera is that it runs Android Operating System, which also means Instagram anywhere and everywhere with the WiFI & 3G connectivity.

KY instagram screenshot

If you have an account, follow me at @kyspeaks

Click on Samsung GALAXY Camera to check out the various other features and full specifications.

If you find yourself at the PETRONAS Twin Towers, in between the two towers you can find presence of PETRONAS Motorsports right at concourse with the two magnificent F1 cars displayed by the entrance.

Liquid and Metal interactive wall, at Petronas Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center
Liquid and Metal interactive wall, take the escalator from Concourse near Tower 1

Working your way to the entrance of Tower 1, then take the escalator down a level, this is where you’ll find the huge Interactive Wall by the Petronas Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center.

the display

the display at Petronas Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center

The wall is at least the size of my room, and the screen displays a mesmerizing flow of liquid and metal in a way that reminds me of WinAmp visualizations.

Kinect is the technology used to make the wall interactive
Kinect is the technology used to make the wall interactive

Walking pass the Interactive Wall, and you’ll notice something changes on the display.

It moves. And if you wave your hands a bit, and it moves accordingly. Neat.

Turns out, the secret is the usage of Kinect technology that senses movements of visitors standing in front of the screen (Hence the name interactive wall bah).

you push, I swing, lets make this happen!
you push, I swing, lets make this happen!

If you find yourself at or near KLCC, head to the Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center and gave the wall a try. The trick is to have two person standing at both sides pushing liquid and metal together, and if you get it just right, mercury swirls and one of 5 animations will appear – mechanic heart, diamond grille, piston, shark, or headlight.

It’s like playing with your shadow on the wall when you’re a little boy/girl.  Except this one actually reacts to your every movement. Have it a go with your friends 😀

Check out this sophisticated visual presentation of science and art at:

  • Venue: Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge Visitor’s Center
  • Date: Today – 18th Jan
  • Operation hours: 9:00am – 7:00pm (TBC)

When you are in the F&B event scene long enough, things can get a little bit predictable, and sometimes even boring, uninspiring. The Kronenbourg French Art of Culinary at Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie was entirely unlike those events.

Kronenbourg 1664 - The French Art of Culinary at Nathalie's
Kronenbourg 1664 – The French Art of Culinary at Nathalie’s

Carlsberg Malaysia sure knows how to a proper party. While waiting for everyone to arrive, we were handed ice cold Asahi Super Dry, and servers fed us tiny tid bits to get the appetite going.

I found the in-spoon crème brûlée particularly yummy, well, cos it had foie gras as one of the ingredients. There were also green apple espuma, popcorn truffle scramble egg, and marinated salmon tart in herbs mousse. This is how you keep guests happy even while waiting. We also took the opportunity to social around a bit with like minded people.

French Style King Fish Maki
French Style King Fish Maki

Onto the dinner, our first dish was an exquisite Western interpretation of the popular Japanese dish – maki. The French style King Fish Maki is served with preserved lemon mousse, mesclun salad, balsamic and lemon dressing.

The fish was imported, the maki was fresh, a bit zesty, and never once lost it’s French root even while visually looking more like it’s Oriental cousin. Imagine Bérénice Marlohe (of Skyfall) in a kimono.

Kronenbourg 1664 was the beer paired with this dish.

Hokkaido Scallops and Foie Gras Duo
Hokkaido Scallops and Foie Gras Duo

Sticking with seafood, the next dish was Hokkaido Scallops and Foie Gras Duo, Green Cabbage. The dish was cooked with Kronenbourg 1664 and served on cabbage broth emulsion.

Scallops and foie gras are two of my favorite ingredients, and the combination of them two? Excellent. I did feel that the cabbage was perhaps just slightly too hard, I’m nitpicking.

Floating Somersby Apple Cider Sorbet, Roasted Venison Tenderloin
Floating Somersby Apple Cider Sorbet, Roasted Venison Tenderloin

Floating Somersby Apple Cider Sorbet proved to be just the palate cleanser we need before switching from seafood to red meat. The sorbet was sweet and delightful, and I really love the super thin apple slice that comes with it. Exquisite.

The meat dish of the day was Roasted Venison Tenderloin, celeriac puree sauce with chocolate flavors, hazelnut tuile & thyme polenta. This was paired with Grimbergen Ambree. Another lovely dish, the bitter sweet tasting beer complimented the meat very well.

French Blue Cheese, Dry Fruits Chutney
French Blue Cheese, Dry Fruits Chutney

We started winding down French blue cheese and dry fruits chutney. The blue cheese pungent as any good blue cheese should, with fruits chutney giving it the opposing sweet taste. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love blue cheese.

Homemade Brioche "Pain Perdu"
Homemade Brioche “Pain Perdu”

Unfortunately, every dinner has to come to an end, and this session was concluded with Homemade Brioche “Pain Perdu” (toast), vanilla custard sauce, apple and pear tarte tatin, with a serving of Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc ice cream.

By then, my respect to chef Nathalie’s capability was well entranced, and I know that I will be visiting this place again in the future.

Kronenbourg Blanc, MPO musicians
Kronenbourg Blanc, MPO musicians

All throughout dinner, musicians from MPO plays a light tune at the background, with Soren, the Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia giving his short introduction to each dish and beer pairing in between. It was one of the best such events I’ve ever attended, thank you Ee for the invitation.

Asahi Super Dry, Somersby, Kronenbourg Blanc, Kronenbourg 1664, Grimbergen Ambree
Asahi Super Dry, Somersby, Kronenbourg Blanc, Kronenbourg 1664, Grimbergen Ambree

map to Menara Taipan, Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie
Menara Taipan, Jalan Puncak
50250 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.15232, 101.70633
Webnathaliegourmetstudio.com
Tel: 03-2072 4452