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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Western

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.

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.

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

Over the weekends we went to Singapore for a super short trip as Haze & Angel wanted to visit an art exhibit and a Singaporean friend. We drove down on Friday night and naturally waking up hungry the next day looking for wholesome breakfast to start the day.

Our Singaporean guide traversed half the country and brought us to Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio, promising a place with pretty good egg benedict. We weren’t at a position to suggest anything else, so we rolled along.

Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio
Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio

Canopy Garden Dining is pretty much a restaurant within a garden, with plants surrounding the mostly alfresco dining area and even a rooftop that’s planted with greenery.

We reached at almost noon with the hot sun up above, so seated outside was a little warm though acceptable. I’m guessing the dining experience would have been greater in the morning.

Egg Royale, with poached eggs and smoked salmon
Egg Royale, with poached eggs and smoked salmon

We came here for the egg benedicts, so we ordered both the Egg Royale and Classic Egg Benedict ($15).

Unlike most places that takes forever to prepare a pair of proper poached eggs, our serving arrived in about 5 minutes. I was really impressed with the speed.

Both dishes came with a side of salad with vinaigrette and sautéed mushroom. The poached eggs were perfectly prepared and draped with hollandaise sauce on English muffins. The classic version came with ham, while “royale” with smoked salmon. We really liked them.

Classic Egg Benedict and Buttermilk Pancake
Classic Egg Benedict and Buttermilk Pancake

If you’re into pancakes, the buttermilk pancake ($8.5) here is worth trying as well, it comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple syrup.

Additionally, coffee served at Canopy Garden Dining is also of pretty decent quality.

In all, it’s a rather pleasant place for a lazy weekend breakfast in this otherwise overly fast paced country.

map to Canopy Garden Dining at Ang Mo Kio

Address:
Canopy Garden Dining
Bishan Park II,
1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
569931 Singapore
GPS: 1.362467, 103.847094
Tel+65 6556 1533

The last I went to Saujana Resort was some two years ago for their Wagyu beef promotion, I remember The Restaurant had a relatively new guy in charged, Chef Alexander Waschl from Austria. Fast forward to 2014 and we are here for the Main Lobster promotion, I was quite pleased to see that the good chef has decided to stay on and continue to contribute to the fine dining scene in the country.

The Club at Saujana Resort, classy and reserved
The Club at Saujana Resort, classy yet reserved

For those who aren’t familiar with Chef Alexander Waschl, he previously the Sous Chef at The Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Switzerland and was responsible for creation of the menus at the Kronenstubli Gourmet Restaurant which was awarded 16 Gault Millau points, the equivalent of a Michelin Star.

the wine here are specifically bottled for the Saujana
the wine here are specifically bottled for the Saujana

The Restaurant (yes, that’s the name of the .. restaurant) has largely stayed untouched from my previous visit. The interior is as classy, making it a perfect ambiance for fine dining occasions.

As with most hotels outside KL, parking is free and you don’t have have to walk more than a minute from the main entrance.

amuse bouche with salmon tartar, lobster tartar, lobster manner a la “Cesar”
amuse bouche with salmon tartar, lobster tartar, lobster manner a la “Cesar”

We started the night with a craftily prepared amuse bouche from Chef Alexandar that came in the form of salmon tartar, the only dish of the day that isn’t lobster. The raw fish was refreshing and made for a good start to the dinner.

Following the same theme, we tried lobster tartar that was served with a side of lobster sorbet that carries a hint of paprika, shallots, basil, and tabasco. The combination sounds weird on paper, but proved to be a combination that tickles the right sense.

For those who fancy something closer to normalcy, lobster mana a la “Cesar” is the interpretation of the popular Cesar salad with chunks of lobsters. Salad can’t get any better than this.

lobster carpaccio and lobster mousse
lobster carpaccio and lobster mousse 

My favorite appetizer of the night was undoubtedly the lobster carpaccio and lobster mousse. The flattened lobster carpaccio was so exquisitely done, it had a texture not entirely different from a thin film of jelly, but retains the sweetness of the crustacean which I love. Combining with the lobster mousse, this dish was nothing less than stellar.

lobster conchiglioni aglio olio, lobster tortellini, house wine
lobster conchiglioni aglio olio, lobster tortellini, house wine

Pasta lovers will enjoy lobster conchiglioni aglio olio, a dish that can stand on its own as a full meal for the smaller eaters. I particularly like the reaction of the foam with lobster.

lobster tortellini is the italian version of “wantan” but of course, with lobster as the main ingredient. The lobster infused soup has a hint of Penang Hokkien Prawn Mee character, but more sophisticated and minus the spiciness of course.

The tortellini can also be served with lobster cream, for those who likes it rich.

lobster bisque with lobster grissini, lobster tortellini with lobster cream
lobster bisque with lobster grissini, lobster tortellini with lobster cream

Lobster bisque is another choice of soup to go for. The creamy and rich broth is served with a crunchy breadstick of lobster. Seasoning was spot on and absolutely delightful.

olive poached lobster tail
olive oil poached lobster tail

There are four different mains to choose from – olive oil poached lobster tail, lobster al Americaine, smoked lobster tail, and The Club lobster burger.

We tried three of the four (except the burger) and was clearly not disappointed. The lobster tails were succulent and has a natural sweetness to it. Preparation methods were not overly complicated and certainly not overly seasoned.

lobster al’Amercaine, smoked lobster tail
lobster al’Amercaine, smoked lobster tail

The lobster promotion runs from 1st of July to 31st of July, 2014 at The Restaurant, Saujana Resort and available for lunch and dinner (as well as buka puasa time). Prices range from RM 42 to RM 160 nett depending on the dish you choose, everything is ala carte.

The wines start at around RM 21 per glass.

KY & Haze at The Restaurant, Saujana Resort
KY & Haze at The Restaurant, Saujana Resort

The Club at Saujana Resorts, Shah Alam

Address:
The Restaurant
The Club Saujana Resort,
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,

40150 Selangor
GPS3.10781, 101.57930
Tel03-7806 7000
emaildine@theclubsaujanaresort.com