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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / March 2013

If you love milk, this is a traditional snacks from the Philippines you must try. I make a point to always buy back at least a box of Yema Tower whenever I travel to the Philippines (in addition to pork rind and garlic chips)

Yema Tower from Philippines
Yema Tower from Philippines

Towers of Yema is basically made from evaporated milk. In fact, you can supposedly make this at home by slowly boiling evaporated milk in low fire until most moisture is removed, then perhaps try to shape it ala playdoh style.

The thing is soft, sweet, and carries a strong milky taste to it. I often eat too many of these in a single seating, it’s like a dog/cat treat for human. I can’t imagine it’s terribly good for your teeth though.

this goes very well with coffee
this goes very well with coffee

I also find that this Yema tower thing is awesome with coffee, especially black unsweetened Americano. The sweetness of the treat really compliments coffee real well.

Damn it, I need to find me some Yema Towers.

Aprilia Shiver 750

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve traded in the old faithful RS 250 to a new Aprilia Shiver a couple months ago. I present to you, my Red Italian Lady, my daily driver to work.

If you wonder why some people choose to ride despite the inherently higher risks, ask yourself if you’ve seen a bike parked outside psychiatrist’s office?

Happy weekends!

Ten Fine Dining Restaurant is back, relocated from their previous location at Publika (where I got to meet Iron Chef Sakai in 2011). The new location at Marc Residence replaced the lot that Delicious used to operate. Right by KLCC, it has much better visibility than being in the maze that is Publika.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the few who was invited to a review session at Ten last week.

Ten Japanese Fine Dining at Marc's Residence
Ten Japanese Fine Dining at Marc’s Residence

The floor plan isn’t exactly conventional. There’s a long dining hall with smaller private rooms on the sides, with another big classy private dining hall that can house some 20 people at right side of the entrance. The interior decoration certainly has a flavor of modern Japanese styling but one that does not stray too far from the tradition, as evident with the stone garden at the other end of the restaurant.

unique Japanese Dango, cocktails
unique Japanese Dango, cocktails

Our review is on the four course degustation lunch  menu that starts with the unique Japanese Dango made with seasonal vegetables filled with French foie gras.

The three dango (or dumplings) were made from carrot, sweet potato, and yam. The taste was subtle yet exquisite, with the bits of foie gras enhancing the overall flavor. Katsuobushi (smoked skipjack tuna) and leek shavings giving the soup an extra touch of sophistication, a good way to start our lunch.

assorted ocean fresh sushi & sashimi
assorted ocean fresh sushi & sashimi

The second course had a simple description on the menu – assorted ocean fish sushi and sashimi. On the plate these beautifully crafted delights:

  • grilled baramundi and sushi rice with salmon roe
  • slow cooked scallop with chili and plum paste
  • poached alfonsino fish marinated with natto soy sauce
  • simmered white clam with sticky egg sauce and grilled sushi rice
  • Otoro (tuna belly) sashimi and tuna tartar with a hint of truffle flavor
  • geoduck with Italian leaf soy
  • anago (salt water eel) with black garlic vinegar
  • Tasmanian salmon sushi with mascarpone sauce
  • Tasmanian lobster sushi with deep fried leek soy sauce

It was hard to choose a favorite, and if I had to pick one I’d probably choose the otoro, with truffle flavor really adding to the already superb cut of tuna belly. While I personally dislike natto somehow worked, and I even helped my table-neighbor finished hers.

This was by far the most sophisticated plate of sushi/sashimi I’ve ever tasted. If you’re a fan of Japanese food, this is a must try.

teppanyaki styled Miyazaki A5 wagyu beef
teppanyaki styled Miyazaki A5 wagyu beef

Our third course was another masterpiece. Teppanyaki styled Miyazaki A5 Wagyu beef served with Tasmanian garlic chips and daikon.

I asked for mine to be prepared rare (chef recommended only rare or medium-rare), and it was truly glorious. A bit of freshly grated wasabi complemented the meat beautifully. Teppanyaki and ponzu sauce is available, but to truly enjoy a piece of red meat, none were really required. The garlic chips were great to have in between those chunks of pure heaven.

Ten's specialty desserts
Ten’s specialty desserts 

The sad thing is, every meal has to eventually come to a conclusion, and the fourth course was a dual of Ten’s specialty desserts. It was perhaps impossible to keep up to the excellence of the previous three courses, but dessert lovers would not be disappointed with the bitter sweet chocolates and the sweet & sour combination of plumb and jelly.

Nana, Michelle, KY, Chenelle, Tian Chad
Nana, Michelle, KY, Chenelle, Tian Chad

Ten Japanese Fine Dining will have some pretty stiff competition in a few other restaurants within the vicinity. Ozeki Tokyo Cuisine offers great lunch value and is just a stone’s throw away at Menara TA, Fukuya at Jalan Delima can never be discounted for fine Japanese foods, and Fukuhara too is a fine alternative if you’re looking for a good evening of Japanese delights.

Ultimately though, I think Ten does manage to set itself apart with it’s modern offerings and pretty unique menu. Teppanyaki course is at RM 200 and RM 300, Sushi course at RM 300, and Omakase (degustation) course is priced at RM 300 per person.

map to Marc Residence

Address:
Ten Japanese Fine Dining
A-G-1, Marc Residence, Ground Floor,
No.3 Jalan Pinang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.155396, 101.710203
Tel03-2161 5999
Hours: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 6 pm onward, closed on Mondays
Webtenrestaurant.com.my

Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Mexican cuisine isn’t one of the most popular foreign foods in Malaysia, but if you want Western style food with a dose of hotness, this is where you go. Las Carretas is probably one of the earlier establishments serving Mexican cuisine in the country, and with three branches in town, the brand is proved to be pretty popular among locals and expats as well.

Las Carretas at Ampang
Las Carretas at Ampang

This is the second post on Las Carretas on the blog, the first being a 2006 version when (I believe) they only had one branch at USJ. The chain has grown since and I thought it’ll be appropriate to pen another review since we went to the Ampang branch just a while back.

fresh oysters in different flavors
fresh oysters in different flavors

There are quite a selection of starters in the menu, but for oyster lovers, one must not miss their offerings. Have it fresh, with cheese and herbs, or salsa on top (RM 29.90 for half dozen). The shellfish were big, fresh, juicy, and absolutely mouth watering. Very decent value for what you get.

chips and salsa, squid rings, oxtail soup
chips and salsa, squid rings, oxtail soup

Chips and salsa is always served while you wait for food to arrived. While they’re very tasty, try not to over indulge in them to avoid stuffing your stomach too early before your main arrives.

Calamares a la Romana is the Mexican way of saying deep fried squid rings (RM 21.90), and they are served with garlic mayo dip and tartar sauce. Tastes pretty good but not exactly something you can’t get from just about anywhere.

I tried Sopa De Rabo (boneless oxtail soup, RM 11.90) and well, if there’s anything better than oxtail soup, it is making it boneless. Easy to consume, delicious and with zero hassle. I love it.

rib-eye steak with foie gras, boneless chicken chop, NZ lamb loin
rib-eye steak with foie gras, boneless chicken chop, NZ lamb loin

For my main dish I chose Bife Ancho, or rib-eye steak with an addition of seared foie gras (RM 92, or RM 68 without). The 45-day aged Australian grain fed beef were excellent, but the preparation of foie gras was lacking, I felt that they overcooked it a bit.

Other friends who had Pollo Loco (boneless chicken chop with black peppercorn sauce, RM 19.90) and Crusted N.Z. Lamb Rack (RM 64.90) were very happy with their choices. The lamb, served with freshly made rosemary sauce and cooked to perfection, was especially praised.

prawn spaghetti, grain fed t-bone steak, beef fajitas
prawn spaghetti, grain fed t-bone steak, beef fajitas

Prawn Spaghetti (RM 38.90) was served with pretty good size prawns and drenched in garlic, chili, and fajita sauce. Positively Mexican and yet something that’s easy to adapt to if you’re not used to the taste.

If you have a big appetite, Chuleton De Bistek (T-bone steak, RM 65.90) and all it’s 450 gram glory can be yours, complete with salad, ranch dressing, and steak fries. One of our team members’ go-to meal here.

Interestingly, we only really ordered one “classic” Mexican dish among the 10 of us. The beef Fajitas (RM 33.90) was served in a sizzling hot plate with plenty of warm tortilla to go around. I love their Guacamole sauce that comes with this dish.

awesome lunch with the team
awesome lunch with the team

It seems to me that after some 6-7 years between the last visit and this one, Las Carretas hasn’t missed a beat. Food is still generally very good (except for the foie gras), prices are reasonable for what you get, and service isn’t anything to complain about either. I should go there again, this time maybe sooner.

map to Las Carretas, Ampang

Address:
Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant
22 Persian Ampang
55000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159156, 101.746702
Tel: 03-4257 1668
Weblascarretas.com

Las Carretas

You can feel the presence of Formula 1 in KL around this time of the year ever since the inaugural F1 race at Sepang in 1999. The week leading to the race is often dotted with events that give racing fans chances to get closer to the cars and race drivers many of us admire.

The PETRONAS Mercedes AMG “Meet and Greet” session with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton was one of such premier events in KLCC.

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 showcase at KLCC
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 showcase at KLCC

While my office is just a short walk away and made getting to the event relatively easy, many fans traveled pretty far and braved the KL traffic to get a chance to be up close and personal to the drivers.

The 2013 Mercedes AMG Formula One car – F1 W04 were on display as well, looking gorgeous in silver and green. I think the much discussed “platypus” nose of the 2013 cars actually looked good on this one.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at KLCC concourse
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at KLCC concourse

At around 10 past 5, the drivers came out to greet the fans. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton genuinely looked very happy to be greeting the fans, and mentioned that Sepang is one of their favorite race tracks to be competing on.

Lewis Hamilton had a 3rd place finished at Sepang last year, I guess he’ll be hoping to improve on that record this time around.

meet and greet session, the drivers were signing autographs for racing fans
meet and greet session, the drivers were signing autographs for racing fans

After a brief Q&A session with the emcee, the drivers took their seats on the podium and signed their autographs on cards/t-shirts/caps and basically anything else fans requested. The line for the autograph session actually started forming more than 2 hours before the event and by 5 pm it was a huge queue snaking around the concourse area.

KY with Michelle, Tian Chad, Joyce, Gareth, and Ernest
me with Michelle, Tian Chad, Joyce, Gareth, and Ernest. Got the autographs too!

Lucky for me, I got to see Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and flesh and got myself their autographs too. Best of luck to these two gentlemen on race day at Sepang. Go PETRONAS Mercedes AMG!

OK, here’s what you have to do if you haven’t read the previous post about Axiata Up Your Game contest that I wrote a little while ago.

  • Make a video that’s related to badminton, showcase your passion for badminton!
  • Submit it at www.AxiataCup.tv
  • a chance to win up to RM 5,000 and an exclusive VIP experience to attend the semi-final and finals of Axiata Cup KL.

Here is my submission, what do you think about that? It’s a short video less than 30 seconds of me playing badminton with my favorite player of all time – myself!

Contest starts from 8 February with submission closing by the 25th of March 2013. It is certainly not too late to come up with a video of your own and participate in this. Mine took just slightly over an hour to complete, if I win the grand prize, I think I’ll be buying myself an upgraded racquet 😀

For Indonesian readers: the prize includes return flights from Jakarta, Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur for two (2) people and gifts from Axiata and sponsors of Axiata Cup 2013 too.

Again, the prizes are (each comes with the VIP treatment):

  • Gold with cash prize of RM 5,000
  • Silver with cash prize of RM 3,000
  • Bronze with cash prize of RM 1,500

Here’s the more detailed instruction on how to join:

Remember, don’t miss this chance, and lets go there to support our Malaysian players too!

Do visit Axiata Cup Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/AxiataCup and Twitter fan page @AxiataCup to check out more activities line up for the Axiata Cup 2013