Several weeks ago I was invited to Kurata Japanese Restaurant to preview their Okayama Fruit Fair. Fine Japanese food is among the top of my list, so obviously I accepted the invitation without hesitation. Furthermore, the invitation was referred to by Ringo, a dear friend, which made it all the better.
Okayama fruit fair at Kurata Japanese restaurant, Parkroyal KL
Kurata is located at the lower lobby of PARKROYAL Hotel, which itself is situated right across from Sungai Wang. While being quite familiar with Bukit Bintang, I must say that this was the first time I stepped foot into this restaurant.
First timer to the restaurant may find it a little bit difficult to find, and this is because for some reason unknown to me, Kurata is located WITHIN another hotel restaurant, but trust the signs, and you shall get there.
Shine Muscat, White Peach and New Pione,
sesame short bread with fruit topping, macaroon
Okayama, a prefecture in Chugoku, Japan, is also regarded as the “Kingdom of Fruits”. The region is known as the birthplace of some of the finest fruits Japanese has to offer, including the white peach.
Since this post is about Okayama, lets start with the fruits & desserts (although we were served with them last).
The fruit platter comes with shine muscat, white peach, and new pione. The muscat is seedless and has very high sugar content with low acidity, while the new Pione (also called black pearl) is so rich in flavor it’s almost like biting into wine, I love it. White peach needs no introduction, each bite is so delicate and juicy it’s unlike any peach I’ve ever had. Fantastic.
You can also have the fruits served on sasame short bread, with the pastry providing a contrast to bring out the sweetness of fruits even more. Alternatively, for macaroon lovers, how about some beautifully crafted macaroon stuffed with fresh Okayama fruits?
white peach roll cake in vanilla sauce, Peach and Tofu Parfait, Ringo & Haze
For those who like something richer, the white peach roll cake in vanilla sauce will certainly fit the bill, though you do lose the taste of freshness from the peach that some of us love so much.
The peach and tofu parfait is yet another way to enjoy the white peach, this dessert is delicate and doesn’t come with strong artificial sweetness like most parfait do, so for those who doesn’t like their desserts too sweet, this is perfect.
The fair run till end of August, 2015. (yeah, this post is a little late).
appetizer for Sushi Course at Kurata
Prior to all the Okayama goodness, we were also treated with the Sushi Course at Kurata (RM 190).
The course comes with appetizer in the form of beans, tofu, and angler fish liver with jelly. I can’t exactly remember the details of each ingredients, but they made a pretty good combination to kickstart the meal.
sashimi on ice
Next up was air flown sashimi – and no expenses were spared. We had kanpachi, otoro, and sake (salmon). The fresh fish were accompanied with grated wasabi, and if you haven’t had otoro with high grade soya sauce and grated wasabi, you haven’t experience the finest of sashimi. It was as good as any.
grilled alfonsino, wagyu beef, miso soup
The course next switched to something more savory, in the form of grilled alfonsino fish with a side of pickled bamboo shoots.
To be honest, I think grilled alfonsino is perhaps a dish that requires a bit of an acquired taste. This is not the first time I had it, but I still think the rather firm texture and sweetish taste isn’t something that “blows my mind”, so to speak. It was nice, but it wasn’t great.
We were then served with miso soup.
assorted sushi, including my favorite – uni (sea urchin)
The main dish of assorted sashimi were then served, and it was among some of the best I’ve had. The presentation was basic and straight to the point, but the sweet shrimp, sea urchin, salmon, kanpachi, salmon roe, and even the sushi roll were really well crafted and more than meet expectations.
Food at Kurata is certainly worth exploring, and for those who like a quiet and romantic ambiance, this may fit the bill perfectly.
Address: Kurata Japanese Restaurant Lower Lobby, PARKROYAL HOTEL. Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.144423, 101.712351 Tel: 03-2110 0226 Hours: Wednesday and Thursday Lunch close, Sunday dinner close
Wherever there are office workers, there’ll be mixed rice stalls, and often time it is very difficult to tell them apart in terms of quality. This is especially challenging at places like Wisma Sentral with a number of different stalls catering to wage earners working at KLCC and surrounding area.
Nasi Campur at Wisma Sentral, KLCC
But after years of being here, I think I’ve found my favorite halal food stall in the building – the Kelantanese place at the far right corner on ground floor.
On the surface, this place doesn’t look very different from the other half a dozen different stalls, but on closer inspection, you’ll notice that there are subtle differences.
the selection of ulam is what brings me here
Firstly, the selection of ulam is excellent. There’s always at least about a dozen different raw vegetable to choose from that pairs well with some the few choices of sambal. This ranges from cucumber, tomato, long bean, lady’s finger, to petai, ulam raja, and more.
Furthermore, they also have a pretty big selection of ikan bakar freshly made just prior to lunch hours. With patin, kembung, keli, and a few other choices available.
However, my personal favorite from this stall has got to be their solok lada – this unique East Coast dish is basically a stuffed green chili with a mixture of fish & coconut insert. If you think yong tau foo is good, this one will blow your mind. I love it!
some of the typical “lauk” we usually go for
So if you’re around KLCC area (or happen to work here), do check out this stall, it may not be the cheapest option among the few, but it is definitely the one I enjoy most.
Address: Nasi Campur (Right far end corner) Ground Floor Wisma Central, Jalan Ampang Kuala Lumpur
GPS:3.158728, 101.714473 Hours: Weekday Lunch
After ten years of updating this site, I am going to finally be able to meet my number one most respected food personality in Malaysia – Chef Wan!
To me, there’s no other single person who has contributed more in bringing Malaysian food to the world, I still vividly remember one day many years ago at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City when I switched on the TV and saw a program of Chef Wan being broadcast in a foreign country. Totally awesome, and I would have never thought that one day I may be on the same panel as him in a contest.
I’m going to tell my grandchildren about this one day…
Anyway, this is about The Star R.AGE’s Food Fight, a competition to find the next food celebrity in Malaysia. Winner will get a column in The Star, a featured blog on R.AGE (rage.com.my), an online video series produced by R.AGE TV, culinary workshops by Le Cordon Bleu as well as cash and other prizes.
The competition is as such:
One video submission A cooking segment (max. 3 minutes) where participants prepare a recipe using palm oil, promoted as a “truly Malaysian ingredient”, and mention some of its benefits. Benefits of palm oil will be published on the contest microsite. Judging will focus more on their oncamera personality and presentation skills.
One blogpost An article complete with photos (and any other media, if desired), to be uploaded to a dedicated R.AGE Food Fight page.
5 Finalists will be shorst listed by the judges by 3rd Sept and will then undergo training at Le Cordon Bleu.
On the 26th of September, the finalists will have masterclasses conducted by Chef Wan, Chef Darren Chin, Chef Liang, and yours truly.
The finale will be on Oct 3rd, it’ll be exciting! Can’t wait.
For all the fast food chains out there, KFC remains one of my favorites through the test of time. In fact, I always remember one of my first KFC experiences back in one of their signature outlets near Penang Plaza on the island up north. The steaming hot chicken with crispy skin that I grew up with, and to this day, I still have to get my KFC fix every now and then.
KFC at Seksyen 7, Shah Alam
It is also safe to say that I have tried almost all the different dishes KFC Malaysia has come up with, and when I was approached to talk about the latest Masak Merah Rice Wrap, I see no reason not to.
Rice wrap is something that KFC introduced to the market not too long ago, it has steadily been gaining popularity due to being easy to consume, and positively wholesome.
KFC Masak Merah Rice Wrap
So I ordered myself the new KFC Masak Merah Rice Wrap to give it a try.
The wrap is certainly Jumbo in size, and comes with Zinger Chicken fillet strips, Colonel rice, vegetables including cucumber, onion, and tomato all packed in a toasted tortilla wrap. The chicken is boneless.
It was actually good, I can definitely still feel the crispiness of the chicken strips as I munched into the wrap. The masak merah sauce was actually quite spicy and provided a nice kick to the meal. It was as they advertised – wholesomely satisfying.
I can definitely see this as a great option especially when you’re on the move.
masak merah flavour and sauce gives it a spicy kick
The combo meal cost RM 8.90 and comes with a regular fries, and soft drinks. The wrap itself is priced at RM 6.90 ala carte.
Check out the video on the Masak Merah Rice Wrap above, pretty entertaining and I think fully captured the day-to-day life of many working folks – our busy life style but at the same time not forgetting the traditional taste that we grow up with.
I did mention that I am going to review as many Klang bak kut teh as I can just a little while ago, right? So here’s another one.
Ever since I first tried Ah Her bak kut teh at Pandamaran earlier this year, I’ve been a fan. However, it only operates at night, and Pandamaran is actually closer to port Klang than it is to actual civilization… so, I was more than happy to find out about the sister branch – Ah Her & Samy bak kut teh at Taman Berkeley.
Samy & Ah Her BKT at Taman Berkeley
The restaurant is located a couple blocks away from the main stretch of shops at Taman Berkeley and operates for breakfast and lunch. The set up is typical of Klang bak kut teh shops, with plastic tables & chairs under zinc roof equipped with electric fans. There’s also ample kettle filled with hot water to refill your Chinese tea pot.
“tua kut”, or big bone, is one of my favorite BKT cuts
Ah Her & Samy offers traditional bowl type bak kut teh, so you get your own bowl of preferred cut – be it tua kut (big bone), small bone, kah wan (leg joints), trotter, lean meat, intestine, ribs, or whatever fits your fancy.
noms noms noms, chewing down the bone
For this visit, I went for “tua kut” and was not disappointed at all. Just like its bigger sister branch, the meat was tender, and the limited amount of soup given was positively thick, filled with herbal and a strong sense of peppery taste. It was delightful, and I can see myself coming back again and again.
If you like your bak kut teh meat super tender, this is a place you should not miss. A bowl of BKT is priced at RM 10, with rice at RM 1 (regardless of size).