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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / KL City

Some of you may know that I’m quite a fan when it comes to bak kut teh, with some 60 different places offering this uniquely Malaysian porky dish documented on this blog to date. So when I was invited to sample the bak kut teh xiao long bao at the new Paradise Dynasty outlet located at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara, I knew I just had to try it.

Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara
Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara

Well, is this bak kut teh xiao long bao legit?

The short answer is, yes. In fact, the BKT XLB is created from the collaboration with Samy & Min Bak Kut Teh from Klang, the same family that runs Ah Her, Samy & Tien, Samy & Ah Her and so forth, I’ve always been a fan of their BKT with its concentrated herbal soup that carries a hint of peppery taste.

Yeap, the BKT XLB definitely has that characteristic carried over, though perhaps in a slightly milder form. Quite interesting and definitely a welcoming new taste in the world of XLB.

Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao, Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao
Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao, Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao

The BKT XLB is currently only available at the 163 Retail Park Paradise Dynasty, and you can’t actually buy it with money – instead, it is free of charge for you by doing the following three things:

do these and you’ll get the BKT XLB for free!

Drunken Chicken, Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop
Drunken Chicken, Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop

Well, apart from the BKT XLB, we also sampled the famous Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao that comes with multiple flavors with the instruction to eat in the following order – Original (white), Ginseng (green), Garlic (grey), Black Truffle (black), Cheese (yellow), Crab Roe (Orange), Foie Gras (brown), and Szechuan (red).

Quite a fancy way to consume xiao long bao, but one that is also kinda fun and interesting especially for someone who’s never experienced it. Does fill your stomach pretty good though if you have them all by yourself.

After all the XLB, we moved on to Drunken Chicken, a cold dish of steamed chicken prepared with shaoxing wine that carries a hint of herbal taste from goji berry, I loved it.

The Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop turned out to be a dish with a bit of a history – apparently it was created by a chef to cater to the empress’ request to have a crab dish during “off season”, so the chef used egg as the main ingredient to somehow mimic the taste of crab. I guess you gotta give it to the ancient Chinese palace kitchen when it comes to food creativity.

Prawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette, Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes
Prawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette,
Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes

Next up we hadPrawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette, a pretty standard dumpling dish that also delivers a kick, perfect for those who likes their food spicy.

Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes is a dish that reminds me of peking duck with its way of eating (with Chinese crepe), but should suit those who does not like the more pungent taste of duck meat. I thought the black bean sauce gave it a rather distinctive taste profile as well.

La Mian with 'Dan Dan' Sauce, Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungus
La Mian with ‘Dan Dan’ Sauce,
Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungus

Japanese ramen and Italian pastas are both originated from China, so if you’re someone who loves thing to be original, then perhaps proper Chinese La Mian should be something to check out.

We sampled La Mian with ‘Dan Dan’ Sauce as well as Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungu, depending on your preference in having it soupy or fried, neither would disappoint. These dishes are quite strong tasting and full of flavor. I’ll probably recommend sharing due to the portion tho, and save some space for XLB and other dishes.

Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork, Dynasty Crispy Chicken, Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry
Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork,
Dynasty Crispy Chicken, Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry

Dynasty Crispy Chicken is a simple, straight forward Chinese style fried chicken dish that is usually popular with kids, and if you want some greens, the Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork would not be a bad option, I do quite enjoy a proper vege dish that has a bit of “wok hei”.

For dessert, we sampled Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry, which tasted a little bit like lotus paste pancake but less sweet, and perhaps a little bit healthier?

Our Spread at Paradise Dynasty, 163 Retail Park Mont Kiara
Our Spread at Paradise Dynasty, 163 Retail Park Mont Kiara

Overall it was a pretty enjoyable session, and I am happy to see the group doing well since the first time I had a food review at their then Paradise Inn outlet at Pyramid (with a different concept).

Also happy to report that these XLB were as good as when I first tasted it all the way back in in Jan 2014 as well, it does mean that they’ve kept the standard and level of service all these years, something not every restaurant group can claim.

163-retail-park-map

Address:
Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park
1F-19 163 Retail Park,
Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.166784, 101.652151
Tel: 03-6411 9811

When it comes to places to wind down and have a glass of alcoholic beverages or two, we are certainly spoiled for choices in Klang Valley. However, if you are looking for a comfortable spot with a good selection of wine and proper food, suddenly there aren’t many choices anymore. For those around Kuchai Lama area, however, there’s C Chateau Cafe and Wine Bar.

C Chateau wine bar at Kuchai Lama
C Chateau wine bar at Kuchai Lama

C Chateau Wine Bar is situated at the row of shops facing Dynasty Garden Condominium at Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, with usually a better parking situation compared to the rest of the commercial area.

selection of wine at C Chateau wine bar
selection of wine at C Chateau wine bar

Inside, the restaurant is tastefully decorated and carries a good selection of wine both from old and new worlds at a reasonable price point. Additionally, there is also an in-house bartender who shakes up your favorite cocktails for those who prefer your drink to be a little fancier. This is however, not a yumseng beer place.

On Saturdays, there will also be a live band singing at a small stage set up by the side of the restaurant, giving the place that extra soothing ambiance.

v
white, red wine, butterfly cocktail, gin & tonic

For our visit, we tried a glass of their red & white wine as well as a butterfly cocktail and a classic gin & tonic, both concocted up by the friendly bartender, a friend whom I’ve known since before the turn of the millennium via this little old computer program called IRC that some of you old farts might remember.

Interestingly though we only manage to meet up in real life earlier this year, and yes I can vouch for her cocktail making skills.

iberico short ribs, baked protobello mushroom
iberico short ribs, baked portobello mushroom

While drinks and mood are pretty good at C Chateau, what about food?

Well, for that they have a relatively small but sufficient menu created by a young chef who has a pretty creative touch in his dishes.

We sampled four different dishes for the two of us, starting with the Fantastic Iberian, slow Iberico short ribs with special spices rub, and burnt lime. The dish was well cooked with meat easily peeled off the bone, while just  a tad salty and strongly seasoned if you eat it as it, it was perfect to go with wine for sure.

New Zealand lamb rack, Vietnamese spring roll tempura
New Zealand lamb rack, Vietnamese spring roll tempura

Another meat dish we had was Rack and Ruin – or pan seared New Zealand lamb rack served with infused Chinese wine risotto. I thought the risotto was rather interesting, utilizing Chinese wine to add a different dimension to the rice that was prepared al-dente style. It was quite a unique taste that I find myself gravitates towards.

Our favorite though was the Vietnamese Spring Roll Tempura, a mix of sweet corn with spring roll ingredients and a prawn tempura wrapped in Vietnamese spring roll sheet resulted in an explosion of freshness and crunchy delight. You should absolutely try this.

our dinner with dessert of homemade cheese cake
wine, dinner, and dessert of homemade cheese cake

Last but not least, Bello Mello, or baked portobello with tomato salsa and pickled onion, should satisfy anyone who loves mushroom.

While they don’t exactly have a proper dessert menu, the homemade cheesecake we had at C Chateau was quite delightful.

Overall this is certainly a competent restaurant and a wine bar with pretty good ambiance worthy of checking out, especially for those who wants to have a relaxing evening enjoying some tasteful alcohol without hearing the constant “YUM SENG” from your neighboring tables.

map to C Chateau cafe and wine bar

Address:
C Chateau Wine Bar
No 14, Jalan Kuchai Maju 9,
Kuchai Lama, 
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.089199, 101.686731
Tel: 012-929 0108
Hours: 11am to 2am

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
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)
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.

tori camembert, gindara foilyaki
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
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
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.

wagyu teriyaki, hamaguri kimchi, seafood teppanyaki
wagyu teriyaki, hamaguri kimchi, seafood teppanyaki

Additionally, we also tried the Wagyu Teriyaki (RM 72), and while these are not the highest grade Wagyu beef, they do offer a pretty good value and tastes plenty good to me.

I would only recommend Hamaguri Kimchi (RM 22), or clam with kimchi sauce only if you need something spicy, I thought the kimchi base was OK but doesn’t really carry the aroma that I look for.

Seafood Teppanyaki (RM 38) though, is a dish that was well executed, give me a bowl of Japanese rice with this and I’m all good for dinner.

Overall I thought Hana Tei fills the gap at Bangsar area offering family friendly Japanese fair.

map to Hana Tei Japanese Restaurant, Bangsar

Address:
Hana Tei Japanese Restaurant
No.8, Lorong Ara Kiri 2,
Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.127546, 101.669614
Tel03-2202 1608
Web: hanatei.com.my

A few weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to try out one of the more recent addition to our rich selection of food choices in Malaysia – mala steamboat, also known as Sichuan steamboat.

For this, we headed to Chuan Chuan Xiang at Sunway Velocity, the occasion being Henry’s birthday & SY was buying dinner.

chuan chuan xiang mala hotpot
chuan chuan xiang mala hotpot

For some reasons, Sunway Velocity sorta transformed to a mini-China in a way, over here you do find quite a few Sichuan hotpot restaurants often packed with customers from China (you can tell by their accents).

And if it’s good enough for them, it should be “ori” enough for us.

To start with, you choose one or two different soup base. The obvious choice is to go for a spicy and a non-spicy option to maintain sanity.

After bringing the soup to boil, you then add in whatever you pick from the open fridge – consisting of skewers of vegetable, meat, various different types of offal, and seafood. There’s also ingredients that come in dishes, including fish ball, pork belly, prawns, and even pig’s brain and duck blood!

can you spot the duck blood and pig's brain?
can you spot the duck blood and pig’s brain?

There’s of course, a variety of condiments you can choose from, from different versions of sambal, to garlic, chili padi, fermented tofu, and more. There’s also a bottle of extra spicy chili oil on the table should you need to kick if up a notch.

The ingredients are fresh and of pretty good quality, with soup made of proper herbs and spicy, numbing mala pepper those Chinese guys really love. For me though, I thought it’s perhaps a little bit too spicy for me for the most part, so I ended up mostly using the non-spicy soup base more.

spicy mala soup + pork bone soup
spicy mala soup + pork bone soup, Henry & Choulyin

Soup base is RM 39, meat at RM 19, pig’s brain RM 9, and the skewers are priced by weight regardless what they have on them (hence those has more ingredients than others).

Overall it was a pretty interesting experience, and worthy of a place to visit especially for a late night wake-up supper. They operate from 10 a.m to 2 a.m.

location map - Sunway Velocity

Address:
Chuan Chuan Xiang
VO3-3A-6, Sunway Velocity,
Lingkaran SV, Maluri,
55100 Selangor
GPS3.127852, 101.725303
Tel018-771 6999

Isetan the Japan Store @ Lot 10 is turning 2.

How time has passed, it didn’t seem that long ago that the iconic departmental store reopened in the heart of Bukit Bintang with a focus on premium Japanese products.

To make this occasion more special, the exclusive Japan Local Speciality Fair is held in conjunction of the 2nd anniversary celebration from Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018 from 11 am-9 pm.

There’s also the Lucky Dip activity happening this period, with 1000 Fabulous Prizes to be won with minimum spend of RM 100 at Japan Local Speciality Fair.

Japan Local Speciality Fair - Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018
Japan Local Speciality Fair – Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018

Over this period, The Market, Lower Ground Floor, Isetan the Japan Store @ Lot 10 is transformed to a bustling market with 20 of the best Japanese food products and 7 sake brewers from 16 prefectures and a city directly from Japan to KL.

organic miso paste, dried pickled radish, hariharizuke (pickleed daikon)
organic miso paste, dried pickled radish, pickled daikon, konnyaku jelly

Head down to the lower ground floor and start with some eat-in menu and you’ll find the Aichi Speciality with Seafood Kishimen Noodle, served with shrimp, squid, and sugiyo (imitation crab meat made from cod fish), or try the Royal Caribbean with Crabmeat at RM 3 a piece. I did sample both as my “appetizer” for the night.

Aomori apple, with apple soup, apple jelly, ringo otome
Aomori apple, with apple soup, apple jelly, ringo otome

As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and what’s better than fulfilling that quote with some Aomori apple flown directly from the prefecture that is famous for this particular fruit?

You’ll find different types of Aomori apple such as Hirosaki Toki & Horisaki Fuji at RM 17 a piece, or try the rather unique apple soup or apple jelee. There’s also ringo otome, or thin-baked cookie made with apples mixed in with flour and eggs, sort of an exquisite “kuih kapit” type of product. I love it.

black garlic from Aomori, Shizuouka Hon Wasabi, ramen
black garlic from Aomori, Shizuouka Hon Wasabi, ramen

One of the other product that piqued my interest was the black garlic. Via the chemical reaction called “Maillard chemistry” between sugar and amino acid from the white garlic during the maturing process, the garlic became black and obtain its special unique taste. It is believed to have good antioxidant properties.

Jabara water, yuzu, ramen, grilled/smoked oyster
Jabara water, yuzu, ramen, grilled/smoked oyster

Then there’s also yuzu and jabara water for those who love the taste of these Japanese citrus, and if you like ready-to-eat oysters, they have these rather yummy grilled and smoked oysters in packets too, perfect with some sake or beer if you ask me.

green tea - matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha
green tea – matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha

No Japanese food fair is complete without proper green tea. Here the master serves up authentic version of matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha using quality tea powder at RM 14 per glass. You can also purchase the green tea powder that won the 2015 Nihon Cha Award.

organic mirin, and a big selection of sake
organic mirin, and a big selection of sake

Then of course, there’s sake.

There are a total of 7 sake brands represented at the Japan local Speciality Fair

  • Gassan Sake Brewery, Yamagata Prefecture
  • Shibata Brewery, Aichi Prefecture
  • Matunami Shuzo, Ishikawa Prefecture
  • Umetsu Shuzo, Tottori Prefecture
  • Nikki, Fukushima Prefecture
  • Chigonoiwa Sake Brewery, Gifu Prefecture
  • Sumiya Bunjiro Brewery, Aichii Prefecture

more selection of sake, cold or hot sake for you?
more selection of sake, cold or hot sake for you?

Whatever your preference, be it sparkling sake, sake that’s specifically brewed to be drank warm, or cold, or even mirin,  you’ll find one that suits your taste here. The representatives from the brands are here to explain to you what their sake is all about as well.

various food at 4F Tthe Table with Japan Local Speciality
various food at 4F The Table with Japan Local Speciality

Instead of buying the products to be enjoyed at home, you can also head up to 4th Floor The Table Restaurants to enjoy some of these products during this period.

We sampled the pork fillet with plum at Tonkatsu Anzu, avocado wasabi with Camembert cheese, sweet potato fries, grilled tai fish and octopus, and my favorite of the night – tai fish ochazuke. These are as fine quality as they come and priced pretty pretty reasonably as well. Of course, fittingly I washed it down with a glass of yuzu cocktail.

If you’re a fan of Japanese goodness, don’t miss out the Japan Local Speciality Fair at Isetan The Japan Store, KL

For more info head their FB page.

#isetanthejapanstore #japanlocalspecialityfair