Monthly Archives / March 2017
Japanese cuisine started in Malaysia with sushi and sashimi, and thankfully over the years, we are introduced to more and more different Japanese dishes to the country. Now we have Japanese bakery, cafe, egg tarts, teppanyaki, tendon, izakaya, ramen, pasta, pizza, and of course, one of my favorites – tonkatsu restaurants.
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, now at Subang Main Place
For the uninitiated, tonkatsu is basically breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet that is usually served with shredded cabbage. For those who are in low carb or keto diet (not that I am), this would make a fine meal.
salt, sweet, or slightly spicy sauce?
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is one of the few Japanese restaurants serving tonkatsu in the country at the moment, and they’ve opened up a branch at Main Place in Subang, which is quite a fair bit closer to home for us than their 1-Utama or Publika branches.
Furthermore, I’ve recently being introduced to the ENTERTAINER Malaysia App which offers a buy 1 main and get 1 free offer for Tonkatsu, so why not?
Yep, we only paid for 1 main out of the two, more on this below
pork loin has that perfect amount of fat I love
If you’re not familiar with Tonkatsu, there are basically two cuts you should concentrate on – pork loin, or rosu katsu is the version with a layer of rich fat, and hire katsu, pork fillet, which will be less fatty. I almost always went for rosu katsu.
miso katsu anyone?
At this restaurant there are a few sauces available, and here’s how you use them – the sesame sauce is for the cabbage, raw sesame for rice, sweet, or spicy sauce for the meat, as with the salt as well. Additionally, they also provide mustard on the side (feel free to ask for more). I find myself enjoying the combination of mustard and salt with the meat the most.
Rice, shredded cabbage, and even the miso soup is bottomless here, so knock yourself out.
The Entertainer app, buy one tonkatsu, get another free
Now about the ENTERTAINER Malaysia app. Well, it is basically an Android and iOS application that is full with buy one get one free offers. You browse through the offer via current location or by searching, click on the offer and redeem it at the venue (other services and attractions too, not just food).
The application is priced at RM 145 for the Malaysia version. If you’ve used it at a decent restaurant a couple times (or even just once at a higher end place), you’d have gotten your return of investment already.
Furthermore, if you purchase it with Promo Code KYSPEAKS2017, you get RM 50 off, just cos you hear it for me. Yah, RM 95 for all those deals is really quite a steal.
Tonkatsu by Ma Maison
Lot 2F- 2nd Floor, Main Place,
19, Jalan USJ 21/10, Usj 21,
47630 Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.026153, 101.581200
Tel: 03-8081 9913
Several weeks ago I chanced upon an article on The Star newspaper on Teck Teh and how it is believed that this is where it all started, the origin of bak kut teh in Malaysia. Since I am a self confessed bak kut teh fan, I did myself a favor and promptly went there for a visit.
Teck Teh Bak Kut Teh, the origin
Teck Teh is located near the Klang train station, just right across the river in Klang town. The shop has been operating for some 50 years and it sure looked like they haven’t really renovated the place sans some newer kitchen equipment since then.
The old man running the shop is now the 3rd generation chef who still uses the same ingredients & spices as per his grandfather’s recipe. If you want the taste of the origin, this is the place to go.
bak kut teh for one, at Teck Teh, Klang
I ordered a portion of “tua kut”, or big bone, together with a tea which came in the form of loose leaf on a piece of newspaper.
The pork, as with most other Klang version that came after it, was really tender, juicy, and packed with herbal flavor. The soup itself was not the thickest but has a distinct taste of traditional spice which I found rather palatable. It was a more than decent meal of BKT to be honest, except for one little “problem”.
which cut would you choose?
Now, this place is so original they don’t serve garlic, chili padi, or even soya sauce. Yes that’s right, you’re supposed to only taste the sweetness of pork and the aroma of soup without any alteration.
I find myself suffering a little bit since I do really enjoy some chili padi with those fatty pork meat, but I guess it works for many regulars who seemed to keep coming back.
If you’re a fan of BKT though, you should probably give this place a try (maybe bring your own soya sauce)
Teck Teh bak kut teh
Jalan Stesen 1, Kawasan 1,
41000 Klang, Selangor
GPS: 3.042644, 101.448241
A couple days ago we were lucky enough to be one of the first batches of people to be fortunate enough to have a taste of authentic Sicilian cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton KL by the award winning Guest Chef Lino Sauro from Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare in Singapore.
This event happens from March 14-18, 2017 so you may still have a chance to participate in the last few sessions if you catch this article early enough; or of course, you can head to Singapore and visit the good chef at his home turf.
The Library at Ritz Carlton KL
The dinner happened at The Library, a dining space that has an ambiance not unlike an extensive classy private library, complete with collection of books with topics ranging from film to art and travel. We were there for fine Sicilian food this time, so I’m afraid the books will have to wait for next round.
a bit of tidbit & bread prior to dinner
We started the night with a glass of sparkling wine, some bread, and a pre-dinner amuse-bouche of salmon with caviar which I thought was perfect to get us ready for what’s coming next.
For this first session of Sicilian dinner, we were also lucky enough to be joined by His Excellency Mario Sammartino, the ambassador of Italy to Malaysia.
amuse-bouche – Ostrica
Then came the first course – Ostrica, or oyster with sherry vinegar jelly, wasabi chips, and Avruga caviar. This amuse-bouche was perfect in opening up the appetite with its refreshing taste and subtle sweetness from the oyster that is perfectly balanced with the slight salty flavor from caviar. Usage of wasabi showcase Chef Lino’s boldness in using contemporary technique and ingredients.
Sanfeletto conegliano valdobbiadene prosecco superior docg was the accompanying wine.
appetiser – Polipo
Appetizer was Polipo, or charred citrus glazed octopus, risone, capsicum, sun dried tomato aioli, chilli, and pistachio pesto.
At the first glance, I thought we were having risotto, but as it turned out it was risone, or a rice shaped pasta that was much smoother, having a more controlled taste and texture that complimented the stronger tasting octopus well.
Vigneti zabu grillo terre siciliane igt was served with this seafood dish.
entree – Capellini con Aracosta
Then came entree, in the form of Capellini con Aracosta, or angel hair pasta, lobster, seafood, and carrot.
This is a deceptively simple looking dish that is again packed with the sweetness of what the Mediterranean sea has to offer. Lobster tail & angel hair pasta are two ingredients I enjoyed, and this combination did not disappoint.
Cecchi orvieto classico toscana doc would be the accompanying Sicilian wine.
main course 1 – Manzo Australiano
There were two choices of main course.
Manzo Australiano would be the Australian wagyu with morel mushrooms and horseradish sauce. Perfectly executed with the meat in the overused “melt in your mouth” texture, but that’s the best description I could give. The sauce was thick, strong, and go surprisingly well with the red meat (this coming from someone who loves his beef with only salt & pepper).
Wine pairing – mazzei zisola sicilia doc
main course 2 – Zuppa di Pesce Gattopardo
Zuppa di Pesce Gattopardo, or the Signature Gattopardo Seafood Stew, would be the other equally worthy option. The stew is packed with several types of shellfish, prawn, as well as fish fillet. This stew is perfect in a cold rainy day, or any day actually.
Wine pairing – vigneti zabu grillo terre siciliane igt
dessert – Cassata
Dessert was a unique interpretation of Sicilian Ricotta Cheese Cake, or Cassata by Chef Lino. The deconstructed dessert was a sweet treat with some strong sourish berries that wakens up the senses a bit, which I thought was nice. We also had some chocolates to go with coffee to end the session.
Sicilian wine pairing option available
This specially curated Sicilian course dinner is priced at MYR 250 with an option of wine pairing at MYR 375 per person. Dinner is served from 7 pm but only available until 18th March 2017.
Chef Lino Sauro
The Library @ Ritz-Carlton Hotel
168 Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.146960, 101.715406
Tel: 03-2141 8000
Prawn mee is only called prawn mee if you’re in Klang Valley, which is a bit funny since it is a dish that is originated from Penang, and up North we always called it Hokkien mee. It is unfortunate that Hokkien Mee is referred to something that looks like a plate of greased up worm instead of this glorious bowl of some of the finest creations from the Hokkien clan.
Heng Lee kopitiam at Sungai Way
Anyway, today I want to introduce to you one of my latest hawker find, the prawn mee stall at Sungai Way, first made aware to me by one of my instagram followers. A hawker stall at Heng Lee kopitiam located right opposite Sungai Way morning market on the main road with the entrance from Federal Highway.
glorious bowl of Penang style prawn mee
For RM 6, you get a bowl of prawn mee with all the proper ingredients such as prawn, boiled egg (a whole egg in this case), pork slices, kangkung, bean sprout, your favorite noodle/meehun, and even a few slices of fish paste which I don’t really care much about. The chili paste here is pretty decent, but the stand out part of this dish would be the broth, which I thought was really on point.
One thing to note, this stall serves Penang Laksa instead of prawn mee on Wednesday, something which I thought is a bit of a funny dish for breakfast, but whatever rock your socks. Give it a try if you’re a fan of these dishes.
Heng Lee Kopitiam (opposite wet market)
611 Jalan SS 9a/1,
Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.086479, 101.620678
Of the five restaurants recently opened at Isetan The Japan Store’s 4F The Table, Sushi Azabu would be the one that has the most prestige. An offshoot from the Michelin star restaurant from New York, Sushi Azabu promises authentic and intimate dining experience in its 40 seat set up.
Chef Saito, Sushi Azabu at Isetan The Japan Store KL
We sampled a 5 pieces of sushi from Chef Saito Makoto Sam during the launch and came away impressed. So a week after the event, we decided that a proper meal at Sushi Azabu was required.
The course menu here consists of three choices – Koi at RM 120 will get you appetizer, 10 pieces of sushi and miso soup. The Azabu course at RM 220 that promises the following:
- 2 kinds of sashimi
- Palate freshener
- Nigiri 7 pieces
- Maki mono
- Miso soup
Or you could go all out with the Omakase menu for RM 420 and let the chef decides what you should have for dinner. Obviously, we went for broke.
nasu nibitshi – fried eggplant
So these are the dishes we had for dinner on the 1st of March 2017 off the Omakase menu at Sushi Azabu.
Nasa Nibitshi was our appetizer, a deceptively simple dish consists of fried eggplant in some very light broth/sauce and topped with finely shaved bonito flakes. Light with very subtle flavor, it does the job well to leave us wanting for more.
sashimi – kampachi, tai, aji
Next was sashimi in the form of kampachi, tai, and aji; or yellow tail, sea bream, and horse mackerel. The quality was top notch, and somewhat surprisingly our favorite was the horse mackerel. The freshly grated wasabi too was a treat in itself and we wasted none of it.
Chawanmushi was our next dish, the version here is simple, no fuss, but very well executed.
grilled Spanish mackerel
Grilled Spanish mackerel came next, we thought that chewing this together with the pickle yield the perfect combination of flavor that simply explodes in your mouth. This was a very well seasoned traditional dish.
stewed sword fish
Stewed sword fish came next, a dish that is new to me. The fish is topped with a piece of starchy cube that compliments this savory dish quite well, though I felt that perhaps the sophistication of this dish escapes me. Someone with more experience in Japanese cuisine will probably enjoy this more than me.
firefly squid with sweet miso
Then came the cutest dish of the night – firefly squid with sweet miso. A perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory taste that is further accentuated by the freshness of firefly squid, this was one of my favorite non-sushi dish of the entire course.
The main dish was of course, sushi, and we got ten pieces of these goodness in the form of chutoro, cattlefish, snapper, golden eye red snapper, striped jack, sea urchin, fat tuna roll, and raw prawn.
At Sushi Azabu, they take the guesswork out of eating sushi. Chef Saito expertly apply the perfect amount of soya sauce on each piece, as well as the appropriate amount of wasabi his experience hands deemed worthy of the sea bounty. So you simply just.. eat, no dipping into the saucer or fiddling with wasabi, grated or otherwise.
sushi – chutoro, cattlefish, snapper, golden eye red snapper,
striped jack, sea urchin, fat tuna roll, prawn
The result was an experience worthy of the asking price. Each piece was perfect, and each offers an expression in some of the bests Japan has to offer. We thoroughly enjoyed and if I say I don’t miss it as I am writing this, I’d be lying.
miso soup & yuzu shaved ice
A relatively simple bowl of miso soup with prawn head helped wound us down, and we concluded the dinner experience with a simple dessert of yuzu shaved ice.
menu at Sushi Azabu KL
If you’re a sushi lover, this is surely a place to check out. I think I’m going to be back to try their more affordable menu one of these days.
The Table, Level 4
ISETAN The Japan Store KL
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Jalan Bukit Bintang
GPS: 3.146462, 101.711758
Tel: 03-2119 2625