On the 15th of December, I was invited to a tea appreciation day hosted by Dilmah Tea at Sheraton PJ, and little did I know that the date coincide with International Tea Day, a day that has been celebrated since 2005 in tea producing countries.
Dilmah Tea Appreciation at Sheraton PJ
For the Tea Appreciation session, Dilmah brought in Sensory Evaluation consultant and Oenologist Edwin Soon to share with us the origin of tea and the science of flavors behind it.
Oenologist Edwin Soon explaining the history of tea
To be perfectly honest, I did not know that the different types of tea – Black, Green, Oolong, and White tea were all made from the same Camellia sinensis plant. The difference is in how the tea leaves are cured.
Basically they are as follow:
White: wilted and unoxidized;
Green: unwilted and unoxidized;
Oolong: wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized;
Black: wilted, sometimes crushed, and fully oxidized
Dilmah Tea and food pairing
Well, there are indeed other plants that we make tea from, but those will be in the category of herbal tea or flower tea, proper tea all from the same species of plant.
Additionally, tea plants at different elevation and climate will also produce leave that different flavors, with many high quality tea plants being cultivated up to 1,500 m above sea level.
who doesn’t love a proper Hi Tea?
For the afternoon tea pairing session, we started off with lamb curry puffs paired with Dilmah The Original Earl Grey, most quintessential British tea in contrast to the local, slightly spicy flavor.
Then it was salmon maki roll with Green Tea Jasmine Flower, a fitting companion many of us are familiar with. We then also had a Hi-tea set with Ratatouille turnovers, spinach and cheese quiche, and smoked salmon canapes.
Miss World Malaysia Thanuja Ananthan was sharing the same table
For sweets, we had pandan sweet pancakes with corn custard, together with Pure Chamomile Flowers, a tea that does not have any caffeine and perfect for late night. We then finished off with chocolate brownie paired with Moroccan Mint Green Tea.
Overall, it was a lovely afternoon well spent, and we (with Sharon & Wilson) got to share the same table as former Miss World Malaysia Thanuja Ananthan (did not find out who she was until more than half way through), lovely person with energetic personality!
This was also the second time I attended a Dilmah event, first being way back in 2013!
Like many of us, I was first introduced to the whole concept of coleslaw while having fried chicken at KFC. This must have been some 30 years ago, back in the days when KFC in Malaysia used to serve beer (now you know!). There wasn’t another place for coleslaw for me until after I went to the States for college.
Well, now there’s a brand new option for coleslaw fans – with Naylors.
Naylors Coleslaw launch with Her Excellency Vicky Treadell
I was invited to the launch of Naylors Coleslaw launch at Ben’s Independent Grocer at The LINC KL last week to check out what it is about.
Naylor Farms over 100 years of history in the UK and has their own farms growing cabbages in which their coleslaw uses. This is how the company ensures quality of the main ingredients used in their product.
There are total of 5 different products introduced to the Malaysian market, with four coleslaw and a potato salad, all properly sealed, chilled, and ready to eat.
The launch was officiated by none other than the British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell, with Naylors product manager Maria Chistol providing explanation to the different products offered by Naylors.
Naylors Coleslaw, my favorite was the cheese variant
For Naylors Coleslaw, there are four different flavors – original, cheese, reduced fat, and chipotle.
I tried them in turns. Every flavor comes with chunky cabbage that tasted rather fresh, there’s of course also carrots, onions, and a bit of chives.
Four types of Naylors Coleslaw – original, cheese, reduced fat, chipotle
Original version was creamy, crunchy, and with an underlying sweetness from the produce.
Reduced fat version comes with 30% less fat while still manage to taste like how a proper coleslaw should.
If you like it with a bit of Mexican kick, the Chipotle version comes with chili jam made from slowly cooking chopped tomato, garlic, ginger and chili.
My personal favorite though has got to be the Cheese flavor, with the addition of mature cheddar giving it a really rich, creamy taste that I really enjoyed.
Naylors Potato SaladNaylors Potato Salad
For fans of potato, Naylors also carry ready to eat Potato Salad that you can eat straight out of the fridge. Made with steamed Maris Piper potato that is then cooled and mixed with creamy dressing, this would go well with any poultry or meat dishes.
You can find these products from Naylors now at Jaya Aeon, B.I.G, Village Grocer, Cold Storage and Jason’s Food Hall and Mercatto. The retail sales price for Naylors products for Christmas is RM 8.99 at all outlets.
Found myself at JB a couple weeks ago looking for dinner options after a short day trip for work, and since I know very little about JB, I decided to be a bit adventurous and head to KSL area which I stayed last time to pick a restaurant to try out.
Matang Seafood View, Johor Bahru
As fate would have it, we stepped into Matang Seafood View, a relatively quiet looking place at 6 something in the evening. Little did we know that the same place would be packed just half an hour later, always a good sign for a restaurant.
Ordering affair is pretty simple, you can choose one of the pre-packaged seafood porridge deals or go by picking your favorite ingredients to be in the same claypot. Alternatively, there are quite a number of ala carte dishes to choose from as well.
seafood porridge with crab and garupa fish
We ended up ordering a claypot porridge with 2 crabs, minced pork, and fish fillet, a plate of vegetable, and two rather large oysters as starters.
Those oysters turned out to be better than I’d expected, they were huge, fresh,and packed with sweetness, a couple drops of lemon was all we needed to bring out the flavor.
As for the main dish, the crabs weren’t exactly huge in size, but they were rather flavorful. The garupa fish and minced pork further adds to the overall taste of the porridge as well. It was rather satisfying.
fresh oysters, cho sum vegetable
The dinner came to RM 90.30 with drinks included. Pretty decent value for what we get, and it is no wonder this place was packed. Would not hesitate to go back again should I find myself at JB.
When I was a kid, I used to dream that one day I’m going to have ice cream for an entire meal! Imagine, my favorite sweet indulgence for the whole seating, instead of a tiny scoop or a small cone after being forced to chew swallow down the last bit of rice and boiled carrots.
Well, that dream came true!
Häagen-Dazs Explore Mochi Together
I was invited to the launch of Häagen-Dazs‘ two new limited edition mochi flavours – the Tiramisu Mochi ice cream and Cream Cheese Mochi ice cream at Sunway Velocity Mall.
These ice cream are as you suspect – a combination of real authentic ice cream with delicately sized mochi pieces in them, resulting in a rather unique chewy texture that I thought was quite interesting, and one that worked better than imagined, you just have to try it.
The Tiramisu Mochi Ice Cream is inspired from homemade tiramisu using real mascarpone from Italy, while the Cream Cheese Mochi Ice Cream is made with real authentic cream cheese from Europe, carrying the quality you’d expect from Häagen-Dazs.
At the launch of the new Mochi flavors, we got to experience the limited edition menu (available at Häagen-Dazs stores till end of year) with Gondola Tiramisu & Bistro Paris.
Gondola Tiramisu (RM 44.20) is crafted with tempered chocolate made into a bowl with Tiramisu Mochi, Coffee, and Vanilla ice cream. The whole thing is surrounded by fresh cream, caramel, and nut brittles. The best of Italian sweetness on a plate.
As for Bistro Paris (RM 46.50), you can expect cheese, fresh fruits, with a cheesecake and the Cream Cheese Mochi Ice Cream paired with Macadamia Nut ice cream and Raspberry sorbet.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’d absolutely love these.
Häagen-Dazs Macha Latte (RM20.90)
You can get the two new flavors at the following sizes – minicup (100 ml) goes for RM 9.35 while pint size (473 ml) is priced at RM 30.40.
They are available at Häagen-Dazs outlets nationwide as well as major supermarkets including Aeon, Ben’s Independent Grocer, Family Mart, Jaya Grocer, 7-11, Village Grocer, and more.
I think it’s safe to say that Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisine when it comes to heading out to a proper restaurant. In fact, this is the 100th entry on Japanese cuisine on this space – and for this occasion we head to Bangsar and look at Hana Tei Japanese Restaurant.
Hana Tei, Lucky Garden Bangsar
If you’re from Kajang and Cheras area, you may have heard of Hana Tei before. This Bangsar branch is their latest venture into KL city.
Personally, I thought Lucky Garden (the same row with 3 famous kopitiam) is a pretty good location to be at. It is in Bangsar, and parking situation at the area is usually pretty good during dinner time, though lunch can be a bit challenging.
The menu for Hana Tei is actually quite extensive, covering the usual suspects such as sushi, sashimi, to teppanyaki, teriyaki, nabemoto, tempura, as well as rice and noodle dishes. Well, on our review session, we got to sample quite a few of these dishes.
shake sashimi (thick cut salmon)
We started the night with shake sashimi (RM 35), or thick cut salmon. You get 5 pieces of fresh raw salmon at I think at least 1 cm thick. It was glorious. I also do like the fact that they use proper grated wasabi to go with the salmon here. It was definitely a treat.
camembert cheese yaki, gindara foilyaki
Next up was something rather unique – Camembert Cheese Yaki (RM 15). Grilled Camembert cheese with baguette with a side of jam. I thought it was rather interesting and most likely will go very well with some sake.
Then there’s Gindara Foilyaki (RM 48), cod fish with mushroom wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked with a miso soup base. It’s not entirely unlike Chinese style steamed cod except with a Japanese touch & flavor. I thought it was executed quite well.
hana tei beef sushi
If you’re a sushi person, well, here’s some treats for you, starting with Hana Tei Beef Sushi (RM 25). Instead of raw fish like usual, you get Australian striploin with salmon roe and ebiko, all wrapping those sushi rice.
The combination works surprisingly well to be honest, I love the contrasting taste between the savory beef and the freshness and slightly salty nature of ikura.
foie gras sushi, hotate maki spicy sauce
Then there’s also the one of a kind Foie Gras sushi (RM 28). This is probably one of the cheaper ways to experience foie gras, and foie gras never disappoint. I can have 5 of these for breakfast if I get my way! I shouldn’t, but I want to!
If you’re a fan of scallop and spicy food, you can find that strange combination in Hotate Maki Spicy Sauce (RM 35). The roll comes with quite a big chunk of scallop in each of them and covered with this hot sauce that really gives the dish a kick. You definitely don’t need any wasabi for this.