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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / September 2013

I’ve always complained to Yuki that we hardly ever try new places for Sunday brunch, the usual suspects are always Jin Xuan dimsum, Nang Feng bak kut teh, Peng Heong paikuat rice, various ramen places, and a few selected kopitiam.

To shut me up, she brought us to Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong the other day, as first recommended by her boss (who is an avid gastronomic adventurer)

Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong (3rd branch)
Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong (3rd branch)

While the name might suggest that this place serves fish head curry (which it does), the speciality dish here is actually the steamed fish with superior soup and a variety of accompanying seafood.

While not exactly a high end restaurant with cute interior design, Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga does offer air conditioned dining area with pretty decent hygiene and responsive staffs.

the epic steamed tilapia, emperor vege, muay choi pork
the epic steamed tilapia, emperor vege, muay choi pork

Our main dish was a rather huge steamed tilapia fish with superior soup (RM 72), accompanied by quite a lot of prawns, squid, and lala. The seafood is garnished by generous amount of finely chopped garlic and spring onion as well.

As a result of all those seafood, the rather concentrated superior soup tasted fantastic, it was super sweet and absolutely savoury. The fish tasted good, and the squid super fresh as well. By the way, you can also top up the soup ala bak kut teh style, but we felt that the first serving tasted better than the top-ups.

free jelly dessert at the end too, Kerol approves
free jelly dessert at the end too, Kerol approves

Other than the main dish, we also ordered a Vitamin C quota fulfiller dish that is the Emperor vegetable (RM 12), and a non-seafood dish in Mui Choy pork (RM 16). The vegetable was lovely, and the pork held its own as well.

With drinks and rice, the five of us spent RM 19 per person for this meal. Not the cheapest lunch options for sure, but one that I think offered decent value for what you get. I would have no problem to revisit.

map to restaurant kari kepala ikan, Puchong

Address:
Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga
No 19, Jalan BPU 2,
Bandar Puchong Utama,
47100 Puchong, Selangor
GPS2.993324, 101.620637
Tel: 016-288 2829 / 019–647 7941

A couple weeks ago I was invited to a lunch review at the new Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. While I have been to the hotel previously for events, I had no idea how good looking the restaurant on the 38th floor was until this visit.

Grand Hyatt is located at KLCC, directly next to the KL Convention Center on Jalan Pinang. The lobby of the hotel is actually at the top floor (39th), and you get to marvel at the beautiful KL city view through those floor to ceiling glasses while waiting to check in. Marvellous concept, I was impressed.

Thirty8 at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, with 360 degree city view
Thirty8 at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, with 360 degree city view

Walking down a flight of stairs (or take the elevator if you would) from the lobby and there’s THIRTY8. THIRTY8 takes up the whole floor and consists of several open and interactive kitchens serving traditional Chinese cuisine, Western dishes, as well as Japanese fair and a bar.

With huge panel of glasses that span across two floors, THIRTY8 is flooded with natural sunlight. The ambiance was simply one of the bests I’ve ever dined in. If you want to impress someone, this should surely be in the short list.

the Chinese chef from Guangzhou
the Chinese chef from Guangzhou

Since there are actually several different open kitchens on the same floor, I like to think of THIRTY8 as several different restaurants without walls in between. The advantage is that you can order different cuisines and share the same table. It’s almost like a extremely high class food court if you will.

For our session, we sampled the Chinese set menu. There’s a minimum order of 2 pax. The sets are priced at RM 188, RM 208, and RM 238. We had the fortune of trying the RM 238 version.

radish in sweet soy sauce, pacific clam with kailan, jellyfish and fungus in vinegar
radish in sweet soy sauce, pacific clam with kailan, jellyfish and fungus in vinegar

The first there were cold dishes. Radish in sweet soy sauce is a little bit like pickle but a bit juicier and crunchy, a bit of an acquired taste but I like it.

Pacific clam with kailan was succulent and fresh tasting, I’ve had it prepared as sushi & wasabi, but it actually does go well with the kailan as well.

My favorite cold dish turned out to be jellyfish and fungus in vinegar. This dish carries a bit of a kick with bits of chilli in it, and I really liked the mixture of fungus and jellyfish prepared in a way that it is almost impossible to tell apart by their texture or taste, but half way between chewing you’ll notice the subtle differences and be rewarded by the intricacy of it.

crispy prawns with bread crumbs and garlic, double boiled chicken soup, fish maw, papaya & snow fungus
crispy prawns with bread crumbs and garlic,
double boiled chicken soup, fish maw, papaya & snow fungus

The last appetizer was crispy prawns with bread crumbs & garlic. It was fresh and I thought the chef balanced the breading and spiciness from dried chilli pretty well. The skin is almost like in between butter prawn & fish & chips. I liked it.

Soup was next, and it was a double boiled affair involving fish maw, papaya, and snow fungus. The soup was very very sweet but in a good way, I believe partly contributed by the addition of papaya. It was very good, and I really loved the whole chunk of fish maw in the bowl. It was boiled till very soft but yet retain it’s structural firmness, excellent.

braised whole abalone, mushroom, oyster sauce
braised whole abalone, mushroom, oyster sauce

Braised whole abalone was our first main dish. It was a simple pairing with broccoli and black mushroom in oyster sauce. The execution was very good, with abalone prepared to the perfect consistency that makes it very easy to manage. It was a good change of taste after the stronger tasting prawns.

braised boston lobster, scallops, vegetables
braised boston lobster, scallops, vegetables

Continuing our seafood affair was the braised Boston lobster with scallops and vegetable. These two are some of my favourite seafood ingredients and they did not disappoint. I was imagining the broth to be in the most luxurious wat tan hor ever, one that I’d be able to eat everyday.

steamed cod fish, black bean chili sauce; Chinese style salty glutinous dumplings
steamed cod fish, black bean chili sauce; Chinese style salty glutinous dumplings

Next up was steamed cod with black bean and chili sauce, and it was just perfect. Black cod is generally not easy to mess up, but also pretty difficult to prepare it that much different from every other kitchen. I like the version here with the condiments really enhancing the seafood very well.

Our last dish of the day was Chinese style salty glutinous dumpling, and well, to be honest, I think it was just weird. I’m used to dumpling being sweet with maybe black sesame fillings in ginger soup, but this one’s .. salty, and had chicken. As it turned out, this is the traditional dish in Guangdong Province to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, as explained by the chef.

I’m guessing it’s one of those things you do just because it’s a tradition and maybe not necessarily because it tastes good. That or it’s an acquired taste.

baked and snow skin mooncake, KY & Joyce
baked and snow skin mooncake, KY & Joyce

After the set meal, we also sampled some of the mooncakes offered by THIRTY8. The mooncakes here are made in house as well, and while not overly fancy, they were of good quality. This post is a bit too late to talk about mooncakes now so I’ll just leave it at that.

If you want good food with a great view to match, THIRTY8 would fit the bill. I’ve yet to try other cuisines there but as far as Chinese cuisine goes, you won’t go wrong.

grand hyatt kuala lumpur map

Address:
THIRTY8
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
12 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15381, 101.71234
Tel: 03-2182 1234 ext. 2340

A couple weeks ago I got an SMS from Ellfian asking if I was interested in appearing on the Malay Mail in a feature story, to which I of course answered with a yes.

Fast forward a week or so later, here’s the article that appeared over the weekends will be on The Malay Mail Oct 11, 2013. My partner in crime was Kelly Siew, who writes about food & cooks too.

Thanks to Datuk Wong for sending me the PDF file of which the screenshot above was taken.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio, with Temmi modelling by the side for size comparison
Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio, with Temmi modelling by the side for size comparison

In an unrelated story, I got my hands on another unit of Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio machine. This was because my previous unit has since been hijacked by Haze to her office, and there was no chance I’ll ever lay my hands on it again as everyone in the office loved it!

Latte Machiatto prepared in about a minute or so
Latte Machiatto prepared in about a minute or so

If you’re not familiar with this, it’s a little coffee machine that can power up and make quite a few different types of coffee/tea/and chocochino drinks in mere minutes, without getting our hands dirty, and hardly needs a rinse there after. One of the most convenience and economical ways to a cup of good espresso based coffee at home.

Read my previous post (with a video) on the machine if you want to find out more about it.

fancy a trip to Tokyo? you can win it!
fancy a trip to Tokyo? you can win it!

By the way, there’s a contest where you can design the Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine and finalists (2 from Malaysia) will win a trip to Tokyo, all expense paid, including a partner too.

You can find out more about the contest on Dolce Gusto Malaysia FB page. I’m going to convince Haze to participate!

Being a fella from Penang, the name Bali Hai Seafood Restaurant isn’t foreign to me. The bright red signboard with a huge green lobster is a sight quite familiar to, having seen it at Gurney Drive on numerous occasions. It is also a bit of a go-to seafood restaurant for some of my extended family members.

Well, the good news is, Bali Hai is now in Klang Valley, and we went to sample their set dinner menu.

Bali Hai, now in Kota Damansara too
Bali Hai, now in Kota Damansara too

Bali  Hai is located at Sun Suria Avenue at Kota Damansara, a stone’s throw away from Sunway Giza Mall. There is ample parking right in front of the restaurant, and we only had to pay RM 1 per entrance during our visit. It was well worth it.

Most of the tables are situated at the center area at the huge semi-alfresco dining area, but there are also some air conditioned rooms for private parties. We were seated in one such room for the session, the room comes complete with a TV & karaoke system too.

The restaurant has an impressive wall of tanks housing a huge variety of live seafood for your picking. Boster lobster from US, rainbow lobster from Indonesia, geoduck from Canada, Alaskan king crab, oyster, tiger prawns, “soon hock”, giant grouper, and even exotics such as empurau fish. You can pick your spoil, aided by clearly written prices of each spices on the side of the tank so there’d be no surprises.

I must say that Bali Hai really do live up to their tag line of “If it swims we have it”.

Canadian geoduck and lobster sashimi and steamboat
Canadian geoduck and lobster sashimi and steamboat

On this session, we were treated to their RM 1388 set menu which comes with 9 dishes (including dessert) for 10 pax.

Our first dish was the Steamboat Canadian Geoduck and Lobster, which were actually served raw on crushed ice with a clay pot of superior soup , tofu, string mushroom, and vegetable.

I’m a big fan of sashimi and was glad that a side of wasabi and soya sauce was provided. The fresh rainbow lobster we had was fantastic, if you haven’t had lobsters before, having them raw is a great way to really taste the sweetness of lobster, distinctly different from that of crab or prawns. I’ve had the same style of geoduck from Pantai Seafood in PJ before, and the version is equally good.

Bali Hai Siam mini lobster in claypot
Bali Hai Siam mini lobster in claypot

After the great introductory dish, we had the Bali Hai Siam mini lobster (crayfish) in claypot. This dish has a kick, spicy and full of flavor, a welcoming change to heighten your palate after the more subtle lobster & geoduck dish. It’d go great with some steamed rice too I think. The curry has a tone of sourness to it which I really enjoyed.

deep fried thai style mackarel
deep fried thai style mackerel

Next up was the deep fried Thai style mackerel. A fish that is pretty common. The execution was good, with really crispy skin but soft, and not overcooked meat that only a high temperature fryer could achieve. The Thai style sauce in this dish is spicy and sweet, another change from the previous sourish taste.

dried shrimp with cili padi clam, beancurd with minced chicken, emperor vege
dried shrimp with cili padi clam, beancurd with minced chicken, emperor vege

Dried shrimp with cili padi clam is as advertised, a lot of small pieces of cili padi and tiny fragrant dried shrimps in it. I felt that the clams were perhaps slightly overcooked. That or because I’m half way in my invisalign treatment resulting in uneven bite at the moment, chewing was a bit difficult.

We also had some of the softest and tastiest beancurd in the beancurd with minced chicken dish. While traditionally paired with minced pork, this pork free version actually impressed us.

Emperor vegetable with deep fried lotus root and mushroom was our green of the day, and it never disappoint, which is why emperor vegetable is among the more expensive vegetable you can get from the market.

steamed salted kampung chicken, Japanese style seafood fried rice
steamed salted kampung chicken, Japanese style seafood fried rice

The lone meat dish in the set was the steamed salted kampung chicken with herbs. I love the fragrant broth, and the chicken was well flavored too. Anyone who likes kampung chicken would love this dish. As for me, I’m not a fan of kampung chicken so it was pretty neutral for me.

Our stomach stuffer at the end was the pretty unique Japanese style seafood fried rice. The blackish color you see in the fried rice is actually tiny pieces of dried seaweed. Add in tiny chunks of seafood & egg resulting in a cacophony of taste that I’ve never experienced before, it was pretty good.

The last dish on the RM 1388 set was a plate of mixed fruits, which was your typical blend of papaya, watermelon and so forth.

KY & Haze, Josen & Mei, sweet and sour lobster (not part of the set)
KY & Haze, Josen & Mei, sweet and sour lobster noodle (not part of the set)

Since it was also during their lobster promotion period, we got to sample another sweet and sour lobster noodle dish, which came with rainbow lobster drenched in sauce on top of yummy yee mee. I wish I can have this for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner actually. Was yummy!

If you’re looking for a proper seafood restaurant with plenty to choose from, Bali Hai should definitely be in your short list. From 13th Sep – 3rd Oct 2013, they also run the “buy one free ten” promotion. Buy a Boston/rainbow/Australian lobster and you get 10 free crayfish (mini lobster) for free.

bali hai kota damansara map

Address:
Bali Hai Seafood Kota Damansara
Suria Avenue, Persiaran Mahogani,
PJU 5, Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.1544, 101.5904
Tel: 016-461 2333

 

When our office first moved to The Intermark, I was quite a bit bummed. Yah, the office was way modern and wonderful, with sophisticated elevator system that only comes with open, close, and emergency buttons (everything else is via tag and touch screen outside the elevator), but compared to Bukit Bintang where there are plenty of awesome food, where should I eat?

That’s where Jaya Grocer comes in, and I’m just glad that they opened up for business just a couple weeks after we moved in.

Jaya Grocer at Intermark, check out the price of the grapes
Jaya Grocer at Intermark, muscat at RM 163.75, kycho grapes at RM 149.90

Jaya Grocer is located at the basement of Intermark’s main building, directly under Double Tree by Hilton hotel. It is the first Jaya Grocer in KL city, and directly managed by the 3rd generation descendent of the original Jaya Grocer. In a way, that makes this outlet slightly different from the others in PJ, but in a good way.

The outlet carries a  lot of premium brands directly imported from overseas. If you want to spend over RM 150 on a small box of grapes (specifically Muscat of Alexandria or Kyoho grapes from Japan) or almost RM 200 on some Japanese green melon, you can.

There’s also a huge selection of organic produce, a whole section that sells various types of cheese, frozen smoked duck breasts, imported canned tuna/salmon, and many other “exotic” stuff you don’t normally see.

yeap, you can get the blue and green fairies here, and many other imported goods
yeap, you can get the blue and green fairies here, and many other imported goods

If you’re a fan of alcoholic drinks, you’ll find the selection of liquor, wine, and beer at Intermark’s Jaya Grocer as one of the more complete ones in the country. There’s a wine dispenser for tasting, many different types of imported beer, wine from several regions, and even “mythical” brands of hard liquor such as Absinthe – blue fairy with 53% alcohol and the green version with a whopping 68% alcohol. Probably good enough to use as antiseptic.

Other than that, there’s also a section that sells liquor in sort of an ala-carte basis. Various types of cognac, rum, and even single malt whisky sold in flasks of 200 ml or more. If you want premium liquor in small doses, such as the Scotch Highland Single Malt Whisky (29 years old, 43% Vol. Teaninich Distillery), it’ll be RM 186/200 ml. Other fancier liquers include those with tiramisu, latte macchiato, mango, and passion fruit flavors. You even get to have a taste test before purchase.

Anna enjoying the pork sandwich from hamky panky
Anna enjoying the pork sandwich from hamky panky

Like the outlet at Empire Mall, El Fresco is presence here as well. Purchase your beef/salmon and they’ll cook it for free provided you purchase a side dish (RM 7.90 or so). There’s Wagyu, Angus, and more.

However, other than Fresco, Jaya Grocer at Intermark also operates a non-halal food court right next to the supermarket. On this session we sampled a few dishes from each of the three operating stalls (with 1-2 more to open soon).

Hamky Panky has juicy, tasty sandwich (RM 13.80) in the menu. First you choose your bread, then the fillings (English ham, turkey, black forest, roast beef, roast lamb, roast pork, pork patty etc), then pick any add ons, and finally choose the sauce of your choice. We tried the roast pork and roast lamb sandwich, did not disappoint. I even packed the leftover lamb sandwich for breakfast the next day.

Lam's kitchen serves up your typical roast/bbq pork, roast chicken, roast duck too
Lam’s kitchen serves up your typical roast/bbq pork, roast chicken, roast duck too

Lam’s Kitchen serves roast pork, bbq pork, roast chicken, roast duck, and more. Their menu is pretty extensive but mostly involves rice or noodle with the previously mentioned meat. We tried their bbq pork, roast pork, and roast duck. I love the roast duck and roast pork, and think that their bbq pork (chasiu) is average. I do like their chilly sauce and oily rice though.

restaurant sun huat kee with their signature pork ball noodle
restaurant sun huat kee with their signature pork ball noodle, KY & Haze

The third and final stall we tried was the Sun Huat Kee pork ball noodle, originally from Lucky Garden at Bangsar. Since we’re having a lot of other dishes, we ended up only sampling the pork balls in soup, which tasted pretty good to me. I’ll have to try the dish one of these days, tho I believe I’ve had the Bangsar version a few years ago and liked it.

map to the intermark

Address:
Jaya Grocer
The Intermark
Lower Concourse,
348, Jalan Tun Razak
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.16154, 101.71996
Webjayagrocer.com/intermark