Category / Hartamas/Mont Kiara
October 24, 2012
I guess I must be one of the last person to have ventured into the second most exciting food court in the country – Food Village at Publika, Dutamas – the newest non-halal food court apart from my favorite of all time, Lot 10′s Hutong.
A couple weekends ago I found myself at Publika and hungry, and after mentally crossing out most hipster restaurants in the building, we decided to check out the food court. A place that I’ve heard good things from quite a few friends and colleagues alike.
BM Yam Rice at Food Village, Publika – pretty good crowd there
There are the usual suspects – chicken rice, yong tao foo; and a few stalls operated by famous shops – kin kin pan mee, lorong seratus tahun, Woo Pin Fish Head noodle, Ah Yip Herbal Soup and so on.
But what caught my attention was this stall that goes by the name of BM Yam Rice. I actually have two ex-gfs from BM (both are married now, thanks for asking), but never did hear about this BM Yam Rice place (maybe that was the problem)…
two sets – yam rice with mixed pork soup and pork knuckle
Horng and I ordered two set lunches – mixed pork soup, and the pork knuckle set. Both are priced at RM 9.90 and comes with yam rice, a side of braised egg with tofu, and the main dish.
The mixed pork soup turned out to be a beauty, plenty of pork belly slices, pork tripe, intestine, couple of pork balls, and even my favorite – coagulated pork blood. The soup had a slight sourish taste which goes well with yam rice, and I love the fact that they loaded the soup with Chinese parsley too.
pork slices, innards, and even pork blood, yums!
The pork knuckle with soya sauce (a version of tau eu bak) was not too shabby either. Though you don’t get the variety as you would with mixed pork soup, the pork knuckle was tender and tasted rather good especially when you pair it with the chili paste that accompanies the dish. It’s not quite as awesome as proper sambal but I’m not complaining.
I think I’ll have to try their other dishes at BM Yam Rice stall the next time I find myself at Publika.
BM Yam Rice
UG1, Publika Shopping Gallery,
Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721
December 9, 2011
Shogun Japanese Buffet is a brand name that is no stranger to many buffet lovers, in fact, someone like me, who isn’t exactly a huge fan of buffet, have heard quite a lot about the few Shogun and it’s sister (or mother) restaurant – Saisaki. All of which is owned and operated by the Grand Saisaki Group.
Shogun Japanese Buffet at Solaris Mont Kiara
A couple weeks ago I was invited to the launch of Shogun’s 5th and largest outlet at Solaris Mont Kiara.
Shogun has basically taken over the premise where the ill fated Tenji used to be, and looking at the similarity of the interior layout & furnishing, I suspect that the Saisaki group probably just bought over everything lock stock & barrel, did some minor tweaking, and there you are – a brand new Shogun.
All of which is actually a very savvy business move that probably allows Shogun to price their buffet meal cheaper than competition. (prices can be found on http://www.saisaki.com.my/ maximum of RM 53.80++ for lunch and RM 63.80++ for dinner but there are always various discounts)
Haze & I behind the 100 kg tuna
The Shogun outlet at Solaris is huge. The premise can accommodate 500-600 guests at any one time. The group also plans to open at least another 5-7 outlets nationwide by 2014. So if you’re from Penang or JB, chances are there’s a Shogun or Saisaki coming to you within a couple years.
tuna cutting ceremony, after the speech by Dato’ Michael Chong
The evening got started with a speech by the energetic Dato’ Michael Chong, Managing Director of Grand Saisaki Group, then it was the cutting ceremony of the massive 100 KG maguro (tuna) led by Chef Zainurin bin Mohd Salleh, an expert in Japanese cuisine who is also the head chef at this Shogun outlet.
Then, it was my favorite time of the evening: the time to eat.
from the raw bar – sashimi, sushi, and more
The selection at Shogun is actually quite impressive. It is claimed that about 65% of the menu is Japanese in nature while the rest a combination of Chinese, Western, and Thai fusion dishes.
Rule of thumb for buffet: always start at the raw bar and slowly work your way through stronger tasting dishes. This ensures that your palate is not saturated by heavy flavors too early.
deep fried food, tempura, chawamushi, lamb, dimsum, soft shell crab
At the (mostly) raw bar here you find a huge selection of seafood, sashimi, sushi, oysters, mussel, prawns, crab, and much more. These are mostly Japanese in nature, with some of the usual suspects (ie. raw oyster) you would expect from any international buffet.
Then there’s a whole selection of stuff that are deep fried, with a good selection of tempura and even soft shell crab.
In the warming trays, you find lamb chops, fried rice, fried noodle, beef, chicken, and many dishes that are common to international buffets (ie: not always Japanese in nature).
steamed soon hock, various salad, tomyam soup, herbal soup
My favorite dish of the night was the steamed soon hock (marbled goby fish), a delicacy that has never been associated with buffet dining. The fish was gobbled up pretty quickly, but thankfully refilled quite swiftly too. I think they only serve this at Shogun Solaris and not other branches.
Among the selection of soup were herbal soup and tomyam soup, don’t mix them in a bowl.
ice cream, jelly, and other desserts
Selection of dessert is perhaps not one of Shogun’s strongest area. While there are jelly, ice cream, mochi, tiramisu and various cakes, there wasn’t anything that really stood out, nor were there presented very well. Then again, we can’t really expect hotel standard pastries at this price point.
The buffet spread at Shogun is impressive for what you pay to get in. The food are for the most part, pretty good, and while you can certainly have a healthy meal (their motto), there isn’t anything that can stop you from going all sinful with plenty of meat, oysters, deep fried food here too.
Shogun’s price list can be found here.
Shogun Japanese Buffet
Solaris Mont Kiara,
No.2, Jalan Solaris, KL
GPS: 3.174689, 101.659595
Tel: 03-6205 1111
November 1, 2011
A few weeks ago I was invited to Ten Japanese restaurant for a tasting session that I cannot resist, and the reason was not for the food. I didn’t know what was going to be served, or if they were going to be any good, but I knew I had to be there despite the inconvenience of it being held on a Friday afternoon.
That reason was the attendance of one of my favorite chefs of all time – Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai.
Ten Japanese Restaurant, Solaris Dutamas
Iron Chef was my most watched cooking show when I was in the States, back in 2001 or 2002 I had contemplated driving up to Philadelphia from Greater Washington DC to have a meal at Iron Chef Morimoto’s, but that plan somehow did not work out, so this chance of meeting the King of Iron Chef, Hiroyuki Sakai, was most treasured.
My life is now complete.
King of Iron Chef – Hiroyuki Sakai, and Yours Truly
Now back to the restaurant. Ten was first launched in Gold Cost, Australia, and had won two Gold Coast restaurant awards for best fine dining and supreme award in the first six month of its opening. So this is a place with some high expectations.
The restaurant was officially opened by Tun Dr. Mahathir himself on the 13th of Oct, 2011. This food tasting session was held just a day after that.
Ten serves a fusion of Japanese and French cuisine. As of late, fusion food has a bit of a tainted name to it, often regarded at something that is neither here nor there, so I was curious as to how Ten’s version would be like.
After all, Ten means “Heaven”.
deep fried prawn dumpling & shiitake mushroom stuffed with prawn
Our entree was deep fried prawn dumpling encased in burdock vegetable, with Japanese cherry tomato and egg yolk with balsamico, and Shiitake mushroom stuffed with prawn and a sprinkle of truffle salt.
It was definitely an exquisite dish, the deep friend prawn dumpling was made to resemble prawn’s head both in look and texture, while carrying a rich seafood taste to it. The shishito pepper and cherry tomato gives a refreshing counter taste to the prawns too.
chicken three ways
Entree was the very casually named Chicken Three Ways.
It was three dishes in one. Grilled chicken thigh marinated with miso served wrapped in iceberg lettuce and seaweed was almost like maki. A dish that exploits the freshness of iceberg lettuce to counter the savory chicken and saltiness of miso.
Dark miso chicken gratin with button mushroom and parmigiano cheese was a dish that is very rich and very flavorful without being pretentious, it was perhaps just slightly too rich for me, but shall go very well with a glass of wine I reckon.
Lastly, there was the foie gras and chicken terrine with Japanese leek and teriyaki sauce. A piece of mango hidden in the foie gras & chicken terrine worked wonder to bring out the full flavor in this dish. I loved it.
assortment of freshest sushi
We were served some of the freshest sushi after the main course. Both ends of the fish touches the plate, and this is how sushi is supposed to look like, the ratio between fish and rice at those supermarket sushi isn’t what sushi is supposed to be.
The chef explained that while some of the fish are sourced from Japan, there are several types of fish & prawns that was sourced locally to obtain maximum freshness too. I like the way they choose the seafood base on it’s own merit without being pretentious and blindly taking everything from Japan and call it the best.
This plate of sushi, while not particularly dashing in its presentation, was one of the best I’ve had for a long time. Definitely mouth watering.
Ten’s green tea cake
We ended the lunch session with Ten’s green tea cake and a couple cubes of watermelon & grapes. The cake creamy but not overly sweet, it was actually very good and the portion was small enough to have it all even when I was already 90+% full.
the owners, Chef Hiroshi Miura, Chef Atsushi Nishibuchi, and Iron Chef Sakai
Leading the restaurant are two Japanese chefs – Mr. Hiroshi Miura, with classical Cha-Kaiseki and Ryotei (traditional upmarket restaurant) training, and Mr. Atsushi Nishibuchi began his training in the “Edomae Sushi” (Tokyo-style sushi) and was a head chef at on eof Tokyo’s premier restaurants in Ginza district.
Prices for lunch starts at around RM 45 for Yakisaba Gozen, Inaniwa Udon Gozen, to RM 65 for Chirashi Gozen, Sashimi Gozen, and RM 80 for Wagyu Steak Gozen. Dinner would of course bit a little pricier, but I do believe that if you are willing to spend some money at Ten, you wouldn’t be disappointed.
Oh, many of the servers are Japanese too.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining
Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721
Tel: 03-6211 9910
July 22, 2011
Last Friday we braved the traffic and traveled to Solaris Mont Kiara for a lovely dinner at Shuraku thanks to the invitation from Mei.
The quaint Japanese restaurant is located just above Maybank on level 2, with the ambiance that is only made possible by the inclusion of Japanese diners in addition to Japanese magazines, old clocks, hanging ropes, and the sound and smell of a yakitori bar.
Shuraku at Solaris Mont Kiara
The dishes for the night were already chosen for us so the six of us just sat back and relax. We started the night with some Asahi beer and a couple glasses of Japanese cocktails that were served from this portable carbonated dispenser, we had a pear flavored cocktail, it was lovely.
salmon tamago, beef steak salad, unagi
Appetizer, if you would, were seared salmon on tamago (sweet egg omelet), the sweet and savory unagi on tofu, and some tasty beef steak salad.
pork belly, chicken wings, chicken gizzards, chicken thigh and leek yakitori
What we really came here for though, were the yakitori. While yakitori literally meant grilled fowl, at Shuraku, they also serve it with yummy pork belly too.
Of course, we also had chicken thigh with leek, chicken wings (I must say the way Japanese grill their chicken wings is a lot better than our Malaysian style, much easier to eat and much less messy), and my favorite – chicken gizzards.
soba salad, roast eggplants
Soba salad was refreshing but slightly awkward, I still prefer the good old cha soba, this is a bit too fusion for me.
The roast eggplants however, was super awesome. There’s a type of sweet (peanut/mayo?) sauce they add to it that made it so rich and really made my taste buds happy. Kim and I devoured the whole thing, including skin!
salmon and tuna maki
We shared a salmon and tuna maki too, so yah, they do have raw fish and do a very fine job preparing the maki. Great in both presentation and taste, I must say.
kimchi, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake/pizza), mushroom
Curiously, Shuraku also serve up a pretty good kimchi dish, and with pork belly in it of course.
Okonomiyaki was rich and quite filling with all the mayo and sweet sauce, I just realised last I had this was in 2005, documented in this post, at Lowyat plaza.
sake, teriyaki, ciki!
Ah, there’s also this meatball skewer that was served with half boiled egg. Interesting combination that somehow worked.
Haze, Kim, Ciki, Cumi, Gareth, KY
We ordered several more yakitori of various flavored and had an awesome night. Prices at Shuraku are reasonable and doesn’t vary much from other similar Japanese outfit. Do check the place out if you love authentic Japanese food that isn’t just confined to sushi and sashimi
13-2, Jalan Solaris Mont Kiara 1,
Solaris Mont Kiara, off Jalan Duta
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6203 0561
February 28, 2011
Whenever Brussels Beer Cafe is mentioned, most people immediately think of groups of people drinking a variety of mostly imported beer. The name “beer cafe” certainly contributes to that impression.
However, Brussels is more than just a place beer, as I found out on this invited food review session organized Michael, the dude who is known for his alcoholic beverages review column.
Brussels Beer Cafe, at Solaris Mont Kiara
While waiting for the others to come, I noticed this little gadget they have at the bar – instant glass chiller (or whatever you call that).
This thing spews out really cold water and instantly chills beer glass to almost freezing temperature. Very nifty, there is no need to have tonnes of beer mugs kept in fridge all the time.
Brussels summer fruit salad, moules Hoegaarden / mariniere
The first dish was Brussels Summer Fruit Salad, fresh tasting but otherwise not particularly special. It is a salad dish for those who really want a low calorie meal (sans the cheese, of course.)
Then came moules Hoegaarden / mariniere (mussels marinated with Hoegaarden). I thought it is a bit of an overkill to imported beer for marinate, but the mussels really does taste very good. The serving isn’t exactly big though, and the dish came across a bit pricey (close to RM 50 if I remember correctly, well, did I say imported beer?)
prawn bisque, potatoe skin, blind finches, chicken waterzooi
I thought prawn bisque is like the poor man’s lobster bisque, but it turned out to be pretty much a thicker, cream version of Penang prawn noodle soup. It’s pretty interesting to be honest, but I reckon not everyone’s taste.
Potato skin goes well as beer food, I thought blind finches (beef with ham all rolled up, Dutch dish) was pretty good too, if not just a little bit too strong a taste in the beer gravy.
The chicken waterzooi, a traditional Belgium dish, did not click with me. I thought it was just buttery breast meat without much kick in it. Your mileage might vary.
roast pork – one of my favorites!
The roast pork at Brussels has got to be my favorite dish. The style differs from traditional hawker version (ala Wong Kee), the skin is a lot less crispy but instead the overall texture much softer. Flavor is quite intense and I love it with mustard, very lovely actually!
pork knuckle – fit for a group!
The pork knuckle, ironically, tastes pretty close to traditional roast pork instead of what you’d expect from normal pork knuckle ala German style. It was pretty good! Though I think the gravy could be improved a bit, perhaps chicken rice style chili paste?
brussels style pork bacon cheese burger, grilled baby beef ribs, the big one
I didn’t try the pork bacon cheese burger, but those who did liked it. The grilled baby beef ribs was juicy and sumptuous, and the big one brought really did make a big impact on its size, but I think you’ll need about 4 hungry souls to finish one serving.
we were obviously having tonnes of fun at Brussels
As for beverages, Brussels of course never disappoint. We had Hoegaarden,
Blackthorn cider, and Paulaner Konig Ludwig and Franzkainer too.
It was overall a very enjoyable session, chef Pele (what a name, right?) and Mike Chang the manager were very friendly chaps whom I’d hope to meet again.
Brussels Beer Café, Solaris
Lot K-OG 13 & 14, SoHo KL,
No. 2, Jalan Solaris, Mon’t Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.174689, 101.659595
Tel: 03-6205 2999