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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

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In the last few years, coffee culture in Malaysia experience quite a significant growth.

As I recalled, even just five years ago when I had to go to Le Passione Cafe at Hartamas for a cup of decent (and non-starbucks, non-coffeebeans) coffee. But now, we have plenty, and it’s great!

Cosans Coffee at Subang Jaya SS15
Cosans Coffee at Subang Jaya SS15

One of the many home brewed cafe chains that sprung up in recent years is Cosans Coffee, and my brother’s friend happened to be one of the persons behind it, which is why you’re reading this today.

I met my brother and a few others at the branch of Cosans Coffee at Subang Jaya a few weeks ago. The cafe is situated at a corner lot with tasteful design that took cues from English architecture, and a chilly air conditioning fitting for hot drinks. I remember when I studied at this part of the world over 1.5 decades ago, the most glamorous shops weren’t a quarter as neat as this one.

love the latte, with my brother Win Sern
love the latte, with my brother Win Sern who’s a medical doctor

Cosans apparently take pride in their process of making coffee (you can find out more details in their website), but what I do know is that their latte tastes as good as anywhere I’ve tried. The milk silky smooth, and the coffee positively strong and aromatic. That’s all I ask for in a cup of coffee, and I like their version here.

In addition to latte, they serve a full range of espresso based drinks, including macchiato, espresso, flat white, cappuccino,  mocha, and so forth. Prices of these drinks RM 7 to RM 14. Oh, they have affogato too.

sandwiches at Cosans, they pack a punch
sandwiches at Cosans, they pack a punch

Additionally, what sets Cosans apart from many other cafes is the sandwiches and salad they serve. The sandwiches are priced at RM 18-20 but they are absolutely loaded. I tried the blackcurrant smoked duck and would not hesitate to order again, the New Zealand beef steak sandwich too is something to reckon with. Two sandwiches here is probably enough for 3 person with average appetite.

Salad starts from RM 10 to RM 15, and there’s a selection of cakes to go with your caffeine. I haven’t tried these so to be honest, I wouldn’t be able to comment.

So if you’re around Subang looking for a place to chill out and possibly have a meal with some good coffee, Cosans is worth stopping by.

Address:
Cosans Coffee
30, Jalan SS 15/4,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.075284, 101.5875
Web: http://cosans.com
Tel
03-5612 9600

-advert-

with Transitions lens on a cloudy day
with Transitions lens on a cloudy day, while walking back from LRT station after work

A note to those who may wonder why Transitions lenses, including this pair of Transitions® Signature™ lenses in this picture has a tint when it is cloudy, this is due to the fact that UV light penetrate clouds, and hence activating the lenses. This way I’m still protected against the harmful rays even on a cloudy day.

Sometimes the closest restaurants are the one that you never really bother to go, and such is the case with Hoi Peng Seafood at SS2 for us. After staying at SS3 for almost ten years, we only went to this place the other day when Horng suggested that maybe we should check it out since it’s a branch from the famous Old Klang Road eatery.

So we did, and luckily, were not disappointed.

Hoi Peng Seafood restaurant at SS2
Hoi Peng Seafood restaurant at SS2

Hoi Peng is located on the same row as the massive electrical appliance store that is ESH, and thankfully, this side of SS2 (which also houses Lobsterman, Nyonya Restaurant, Bibichik, Teo Chew Meng, etc) does not have the same parking problem as the main square.

There isn’t any decoration to speak of, but the restaurant is equipped with air conditioning, something that they were very proud of when it was first opened some 20+ years ago.

the glorious steamed crab, with huge claws to boot
the glorious steamed crab, with huge claws to boot

The menu is pretty simple here, you have crab, prawns, a few types of fish, vegetable, tofu, and chicken. There is no pork, and to me, this is forgivable for a seafood place.

For the four of us, we ordered 2 crabs. They were pretty big and most importantly, tasted very fresh, firm, and packed with that seafood sweetness. We got ours steamed and it was glorious. The Chinese wine, ginger, and small amount of egg white completes the dish. We really loved it.

kam heong mantis shrimp, seafood tofu, "tian chat" vege, fried tongfun
kam heong mantis shrimp, seafood tofu, “tin chat” vege, fried tongfun

The kam heong mantis shrimp had a great tasting coating to it and was rather delicious. However, we wished that the mantis prawns were bigger though, there were more crust than meat here.

Seafood tofu did not disappoint, I would describe it as something in between a very good crab stick and tofu, can’t go wrong with the accompanying chili sauce.

Our stomach stuffer was fried tongfun (glass noodle) with shrimps. Simple and delicious.

Finally, a plate of tin chat (田七 ) vegetable provided the necessary vitamin C quota, and if you have the chance, you should definitely try it. The leafy vegetable has a very distinct taste to it that I really enjoyed.

map to Hoi Penag seafood restaurant, SS2

At almost RM 60 per pax, dinner here is certainly not cheap, but with the quality of food and those excellent crabs, I would not hesitate to return.

Address:
Hoi Peng Seafood Restaurant
30, Jalan SS2/24
47300 Petaling Jaya
GPS3.113683, 101.62073
Tel: 03 7874 2199/ 03- 7875 4060
Hours: 4 pm – 11.30 pm

One of the small perks of running this food blog is that sometimes I get invitation to cool events that makes me realized that there are actually people who read this column.

Things got real a week or so ago when I got to meet one of the most recognizable faces on TV, especially for those who loves food. Yeap, we got to sample a four course dinner prepared by Chef George Calombaris, one of the judges of MasterChef Australia.

MasterChef Australia Judge George Calombaris in KL
MasterChef Australia Judge George Calombaris in KL

First, the important bit.

The latest season of MasterChef Australia is aired on Lifetime (Astro Channel 709) every weeknights at 7 pm and 11 pm. If you’re a fan of this show, be sure not to miss it.

George was brought in by A+E Networks who runs Lifetime for a promotional tour of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta, and a lucky few of us got the privilege to be invited to this event.

A once in a lifetime chance for us to judge the judge, I guess?

chicken parfait with bitter chocolate baklava
chicken parfait with bitter chocolate baklava

The first dish of the night was chicken parfait with bitter chocolate baklava, coffee, cumquat, pickled onion and pumpkin seeds.

Yeap, a pretty weird combination of ingredients, and you could mistaken it for a dessert since the parfait actually looks a bit like a scoop of ice cream in the photo. However, they do compliment each other to offer a pretty interesting experience that I find myself enjoying.

green Greek salad with stir fry abalone
green Greek salad with stir fry abalone

Second dish was green greek salad with stir fry abalone, George Calombaris has a Greek heritage, and Australia produces quite a bit of abalone, so put two and two together, you get this dish.

I love the contrasting texture of the puree, slices of asparagus, crispy kale, and of course, those abalone certainly contributed to add a dimension of richness.

poached chicken with miso hummuspoached chicken with miso hummus and green mango salad

The chef certainly does not shy off from experimenting with food. Our main dish was another creation that has elements of different cuisines all rolled into one.

The chicken meat is marinated before rolled into a cylinder and poached while secured in cling wrap, then there’s the miso hummus that has a hint of horse radish (or wasabi?) to it. Together with the green mango salad, you basically get to taste at least 3-4 different cuisines all in one.

This is a dish that I sorta struggled to enjoy, but I admire the bravery and adventurous nature of the chef, without the trailblazers like him, food would not progress.

chocolate cake
chocolate cake

My favorite dish turned out to be the dessert, what George Calomboris refer to simply as – chocolate cake. The richness of the chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, dark chocolate soil, chocolate ice cream, and some sweet foam all worked in a wonderful harmony that left us with a very sweet and fond memory, where can I order one of this?

babeinthecityKL and Kelly were among the audience to go up on stage with George Calombaris
babeinthecityKL and Kelly were among the audience to go up on stage with George Calombaris

The good chef also answered some questions from the audience, with my partner of the night and colleague Kelly asking George about his favorite dishes sampled in Malaysia (rojak). It was a wonderful night and yeap, this guy definitely is very well qualified to be judging anyone’s food.

I would like to thanks Rubini, Janet, Hui Jun, the good people of A+E Networks Asia for this opportunity.

One of my favorite types of comfort food is mixed pork porridge. A bowl of porridge with all the essential sinful ingredients and yet mild enough for a stomach that may not be in the best condition, it is really the quintessential comfort food.

Imbi market mixed pork porridge
Imbi market mixed pork porridge

Problem is, most of the stalls offering mixed pork porridge operates only in the afternoon or at night. In the afternoon, there’s seksyen 17 and SEApark, and at night, you can head to Jalan Sayur or Taman Cheras, but if you want it for breakfast, Imbi market is your answer.

Located right at the side that also houses the famous Ah Weng Koh Hainanese tea stall, this porridge stall also offers fish ball noodle and even curry noodle, hours are from around 7 in the morning till around noon everyday except on Mondays.

soft bits, crispy bits, delicious bits
soft bits, crispy bits, delicious bits

This version of mixed pork porridge has most of the essential ingredients on the list – crispy deep fried pork intestine, stomach, pork slices, pork tongue too (I believe). The only thing missing would be coagulated blood, but I shall forgive them for this since the overall taste is still rather good. The congee is smooth and more than delicious enough for breakfast.

if this is not a good start to a working day, I don't know what is
if this is not a good start to a working day, I don’t know what is

Oh, when you’re there, be sure to order a glass of Hainanese tea to go with your breakfast.

map to Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang)

Address:
Imbi Market (Pasar Baru Bukit Bintang)
Jalan Melati, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14340, 101.71664
Hours: breakfast and brunch, closed on Mondays

As someone who was born on an island, I just can’t say no to good seafood. This is the reason why I went back to InterContinental Hotel’s Serena Brasserie for their seafood buffet review this year as I remember how good was last year’s spread.

Fresh Seafood Promotion at InterContinental Hotel, KL
Fresh Seafood Promotion at InterContinental Hotel, KL

Before we get started on the food, lets look at the important bits of this buffet:

  • available every Friday and Saturday nights
  • RM 120++ for adults
  • upgrade to W.O.W (Wine of the Week) package for RM 180++ which includes a bottle of red or white wine

Additionally, Halloween ‘Scream for Seafood” promotion is priced the same on 31st Oct 2014 with best dressed male and female for the night taking away vouchers of award-winning restaurant, Tao Chinese cuisine and Tatsu Japanese cuisine.

tuna, crabs, octopus, oyster, mussel, slipper lobster, crayfish, and more
tuna, crabs, octopus, oyster, mussel, slipper lobster, crayfish, and more

The most important line of this buffet spread is the chilled seafood bar, it is the most impressive I’ve seen yet on any buffet.

On the bed of ice you can find premium cuts of tuna, butterfish, Pacific prawn, New Zealand green lip mussels, crayfish, slipper lobster, octopus, Fine de Claire oysters, Australian yabbies, spanner crab, mud crab, and Harvey Bar half shell scallops.

These are either raw or boiled, the minimal preparation method retains the original sweetness of the seafood to be enjoyed as is or with the variety of condiments available.

live Australian yabbies stir fried, grilled, or eaten sashimi style
live Australian yabbies stir fried, grilled, or eaten sashimi style

A unique selling point at this buffet spread is the availability of live Australian yabbies, a type of freshwater crayfish. These yabbies are fished out of the pond in the restaurant and prepared fresh in several ways of your choosing – stir fried, grilled, or even eaten raw sashimi style.

A word of caution – the raw yabby may twitch when you pour some tabasco sauce on it!

seafood and other dishes on the buffet spread, with cute Halloween deco
seafood and other dishes on the buffet spread, with cute Halloween deco

There’s also an outdoor portion of the restaurant that prepares freshly grilled seafood of your choosing, this includes crabs, slipper lobster, prawn, cuttlefish, yabbies, fish filet, and more. Additionally, they also serve beef and chicken satey.

a good selection of traditional dishes on the buffet spread too
a good selection of traditional dishes on the buffet spread too

Of course, in addition to fresh and grilled seafood, there’s plenty of traditional dishes to choose from on the buffet spread. Beef rendang, bok choy, briyani rice, crab curry, roast meat, and more are among the many ready-to-eat cooked dishes to choose from.

Halloween themed desserts fancy you?
Halloween themed desserts fancy you?

For the dessert lovers, a pretty decent selection of mostly Western style desserts is available for your picking. Cakes, bread and butter puddings, and many more are available. The chef also showcase his talent in some pretty interesting looking Halloween themed desserts too.

fresh and grilled seafood were my choice, Li Vian joined me at Serena Brasserie
fresh and grilled seafood were my choice, Li Vian joined me at Serena Brasserie

We thoroughly enjoyed the buffet spread at Serena Brasserie. Executive chef Sam Kung certainly know what he’s doing, upgrading the already very good spread from last year to the excellent selection this year. If you’re looking for a good seafood buffet, this is one that you shouldn’t miss.

map to Intercontinental Hotel, KL

Address:
Serena Brasserie
Intercontinental Hotel

165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.159767, 101.718045
Tel03-2161 1111
Webwww.intercontinental.com