Category / KLCC and vicinity
A few weeks ago we were invited to Kampachi at Troika to sample a few dishes from their upcoming Okayama Fair. Before we start, here’s when the Okayama fair is going to happen at various Kampachi outlets:
- Kampachi Troika – 26 August, 2014
- Kampachi Pavilion – 1 september, 2014
- Kampachi Plaza 33 – 5 September, 2014
- Kampachi Johor Premium outlet – 1 september, 2014
Seats will be limited, so do call and book ahead.
Okayama fair at Kampachi, we had our tasting at Kampachi Troika
Okayama prefecture is located in the Chugoku region of Japan, or roughly in between Hiroshima and Kyoto. The climate is mild compared to other parts of Japan and thus making agriculture one of the more important contributor to the region’s economy. On the northern part of the prefecture in the mountains, white peaches and grapes are cultivated as well.
Nama Gaki Ponzu
While our food review was mainly focused on fresh produce, the first dish of the day was Nama Gaki Ponzu (from set menu).
The oysters were soaked ponzu sauce and served on ice. They tasted superb, very fresh and juicy. I like the subtlety of the accompanying ponzu sauce, much better than butchering oysters with the likes of Tabasco sauce.
Okayama Yasai salad, salmon carpaccio
Okayama Yasai salad (RM 35++) was a deceptively simple dish with green asparagus, yellow Chinese chives, endives, and boiled prawns served in half a tomato on a bed of spaghetti squash (yes, squash cut to spaghetti shapes). It was quite refreshing and delightful, the bits of seafood gives the salad an extra dimension.
The Okayama style salmon carpaccio came with bits of fresh produce such as asparagus, spring onion, and avocado served with the raw salmon. I also like the slices of fried garlic in this dish which gives it an interesting texture and explosion of differing taste when combined with the wasabi dressing. This was one of my favorites.
Okayama winter melon with minced prawn, Okayama Pione grapes
Okayama winter melon with minced prawn with thick sauce (RM 32++) was the ultimate comfort food and reminds me of mom’s cooking more than anything else, very simple yet elegant, and I would say that it isn’t something difficult to replicate at home.
The biggest surprise of the night though, turned out to be the Okayama Pione grapes (RM 38++). Now I have tried Muscat grapes that was super juicy and sweet, but this Okayama Pione grape was something else, it tasted like wine. It felt as if you’re “eating wine” but without the alcohol, I absolutely love it.
This is something that you definitely must try.
the good chef, KY & Haze, Lex & Weizhi
Other than the ala carte menu, there’s also the Okayama course menu that goes for RM 250++ which includes the following dishes:
Mashed Tofu with Okayama Muscat Grapes
Itouri & Momotaro Tomato Tosazu Jure
Okayama Spaghetti Squash & Tomato served with Homemade Vinegar Jelly
Nama Gaki Ponzu (2 pieces)
Fresh Okayama Oyster with Homemade Japanese Citrus Vinaigrette
Thinly Sliced Raw Salmon rolled with Okayama Tomato, Asparagus & Yellow Chives served with Wasabi Dressing
Togan no Ebi Soboro Ankake
Okayama Winter Melon & Minced Prawn with Thick Sauce
Assorted Cube Cut Raw Fish served over Vinegared Rice
Air-flown Okayama White Peach
The Troika Jalan Binjai
GPS: 3.158052, 101.718122
Tel: 03-2181 2282
This is the 6th review on this buka puasa buffet 2014 series, and this time we check out the Balik Kampung Buffet at Grand Hyatt KL’s JP Teres restaurant right here in the heart of the city.
at JP Teres, Grand Hyatt KL with Rizal & Shabana
Grand Hyatt is located right between Mandarin Oriental and the KLCC Convention Centre right on Jalan Pinang. In fact, you can walk from KLCC to the hotel within a few minutes.
While the lobby and flagship restaurant is located on the top floors of the hotel, JP Teres, the restaurant that specialize in local cuisine is on the ground floor to the right as you walk into Grand Hyatt KL.
a variety of kurma, ulam, acar, and salad
Like the whole of Grand Hyatt, JP Teres is a pretty classy and beautifully decorated restaurant. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating areas, with several open concept show kitchens not unlike the arrangement at Thirty8.
The Balik Kampung buffet, priced at RM 148++ for adults and RM 74++ for children, is available from 30th June to 25th July 2014.
Malay kuih, ice cream roti, kek lapis Sarawak, and the all important tapai
While many hotels try to have a mix of Western and even Japanese cuisine in their buffet spread, JP Teres concentrate solely only local delights.
I personally love this idea and believe that this is the direction that will help keep our traditional food culture in Malaysia alive. If you have friends from outside Malaysia and wish to bring them for some local cuisine in a classy place, JP Teres should be pretty high on the list.
dhal tadka, nasi, lamb curry, chicken tikka masala,
paneer makhani, bhindi, do pyaza, sambal, chicken curry
For the Balik Kampung buffet, there are hundreds of dishes to choose from.
Starting from the cold selection you’ll find rojak buah, ulam-ulam, acar, kerabu daging, kerabu udang, kachumbar salad, tofu salad, and more.
To go with the ulam, there’s sambal balacan, cincacluk, air asam, cili kicap, budu, sambal kelapa, and chutney. The only thing missing is tempoyak.
ikan bakar, roast lamb, otak otak, and freshly made pohpiah
Like most every respectable buffet for this holiday season, there’s roast lamb. In addition to that, JP Teres also serve very delicious chicken rice (strongly recommend), freshly made pohpiah, ikan bakar, nasi briyani, satey ayam & daging, and even otak otak (which I don’t quite recommend).
daging masak cili padi, labu masak lemak, ikan tenggiri masak tau choo,
meehun goreng, kepah berlada, sambal telur itik, sup ekor, bubur lambok
The main dishes here are separated into three sections – with Malay, Indian, and Chinese hot sections.
Here you find dishes such as ayam goreng berempah, ikan merah greng berlada, kepah masak lada hitam, sayur lodeh kering, ayam masak ros in Malay hot section.
Lamb curry, fish amritsary, chicken tikka masala, vindi do pyaza, dhal tadka, paneer makhani (this is a must try!), and nasi briyani can be expected from Indian hot section.
At the Chinese hot section, there’s ayam mayonnaise with Thai sauce, ikan tenggiri masak tau choo, sotong masak oat, kailan ikan masin, meehun goreng, and so forth.
In addition, there’s also a Tandoori station serving roti india, ayam tandoori, udang tandoori, shish kebabs, and talapia merah.
more dishes from Malay, Indian, and Chinese cuisine
Apart from the hot stations, there are a number of stalls located at both indoor and outdoor dining area at JP Teres that offers anything from lemang, ketupat, makanan laut, gulai kawah, asam laksa Johor, curry laksa, prawn mee, roti canai, yong tau foo, and even murtabak.
In fact, they cover most everything you can expect from local cuisine, with most of the dishes being of very high quality. I enjoyed them.
there are also various cooking stations, including rojak buah at JP Teres
The dessert area is perhaps the only place where a few Western pastries and a few selection of Japanese mochee creep into this otherwise 100% local spread. There’s Malay kuih, ais krim roti, fruits, Malay biscuits. roti jala, cendol pulut, sago gula Melaka, and more to be expected.
If you’re looking for local delights in a classy place in town, this is definitely a place to check out.
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
12 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15381, 101.71234
Tel: 03-2182 1234 ext. 2333
For the forth article of the buka puasa buffet 2014 series, lets go to Jalan Yap Kwan Seng for a positively meaty Ramadan buffet at Las Vacas meat shop.
For those who aren’t familiar with Las Vacas, they have several branches in Klang Valley, including one at Kelana Jaya and another at Mont Kiara that even serves breakfast.
Las Vacas Meat Shop at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
The branch at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng is Las Vacas’ latest and biggest, so naturally it is most suited as a location to offer their buffet dinner for this fasting month. Parking is plenty and free, while the location is quite suitable for those who work in the city and decide to buka puasa before heading home.
The buffet is priced at RM100++ for adults and RM50++ for children aged 12 years and under, and served from 6.30pm – 10.00pm, 8th July 2014 to 27th July 2014.
canapes, salad, kuih, salad, and drinks
If you compared to the offerings from hotels, the buffet spread here isn’t particularly impressive in terms of size, tho there are certainly enough variety to provide a more than balanced meal. However, you don’t come to Las Vacas to have 300 different dishes, you come here because of the meat.
Anyway, starting with appetizers and desserts, there a selection of canapes and salads, including smoked beef with mustadard, tuna mayo egg, teriyaki, black olive tapenade, chicken with creamy pesto, smoked turkey salad with balsamic, salad with beef strips, girlled begetables and red cabbage slaws and so forth.
There are also some traditional kuih as well.
nasi hujan panas, ayam masak merah, spaghetti with mushroom,
tempura, sayur campur masak lemak putih
For main, you can find classics such as nasi hujan panas (the version here was very good!), nasi minyak, nasi tomato, beef rendang, ayam masak merah, ikan bakar, ayam pedas, and more.
Australian steaks, New Zealand lamb, burger patties, and sausages
Then, we get to the real reason why you would come to Las Vacas for buka puasa – the all-you-can-eat Australian steaks and New Zealand lamb! There’s also burger patties and sausages too if you prefer a little bit of variety.
be sure to ask for how well you want the meat to be done
For someone who likes my steak medium rare, I find the preparation served here slightly too cooked, perhaps it is to cater for the general public. Luckily, you can always tell the chefs to prepare the beef at your preferred “doneness” and they’ll be more than happy to comply.
Las Vacas also stock some pretty delicious French and whole grain mustard that goes very well with the meat.
Haze, Suan, Horng, & KY at Las Vacas Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
On Friday and Saturda, there will also be traditional Malay performances to compliment your meal. As with many other places, imported dates from Middle East is available to provide a “proper” way to break fast. The restaurant also have an in-house surau for your convenience.
All other ala-carte menu item will still be available for order as usual during this period.
Las Vacas Meat Shop
No. 33, Lot 5, Ground Floor,
Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.162898, 101.714842
Tel: 03-2181 5586
Korean food is usually associated with retractable chimneys on every table with meat grilling on the stove and a plethora of small dishes everywhere. Well, that sort of formula is glorious for weekend dinners, but not exactly practical or economical for lunch.
Then we have the lunch sets at Onsemiro Korean restaurant at the Intermark.
Onsemiro Korean Fine Dining restaurant at Intermark KL
Onsemiro is located at the end of the second floor at the Intermark Mall, right above the entrace to Double Tree Hilton. On the outside, the restaurant is much bigger than the exterior would have you believed, with classy decoration, semi-open kitchen, and a side of wall displaying wine and soju to choose from as well.
spicy tofu soup set, RM 25++
Unlike most Korean restaurants, Onsemiro is pork free (which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the individual), so dishes that comes with pork traditionally, such as kimchi jiggae, is substituted with chicken. The result turns rather decent though.
For lunch, there are quite a lot of sets to choose from, with pricing started at about RM 20 to RM 40 and up. If you’re flash an Intermark pass card, there’s a 10% discount too.
lunch sets starts at around RM 20 upwards, with plenty to choose from
One of my favorite lunch sets there is the spicy tofu soup that packs quite a bit of punch in intensity. There’s half a crab in the soup, silky smooth tofu, and of course, kimchi. The set also comes with six banchan (small dishes) and rice (you can ask for cold noodle too). Additionally, every set is followed by desserts.
Their beef short ribs set (RM 43++) is rather delicious as well, and my colleagues reported that the beef patties were more than satisfactory too.
If you work nearby, try this, but do call ahead for booking as it tends to get packed everyday.
Onsemiro Korean Fine Dining
Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.16154, 101.71996
Tel: 03-2161 2461
On normal days, the walkway in front of Lembaga Tabung Haji building on Jalan Tun Razak might see a few office workers walking about, but on every Friday afternoon, the place transforms into a unique food bazaar thanks to the crowd drawn by the Friday prayers conducted within the mosque of Tabung Haji building.
the stalls operate on Friday afternoon only
There are stalls selling burger, kebab, and of course, nasi kandar & nasi briyani. My first experience with the food here started after one of my swimming sessions at G-Tower’s Element Gym on the long Friday lunch break.
This stall is one that is stationed closest to the right side if you’re facing the building, and one that is usually the busiest as well.
great selection of dishes, including beef, chicken, lamb, veges, fish, etc
There are usually at least some two dozen dishes to choose from, with most of them spicy (just the way I like it!). There’s lamb, beef curry, rendang, brinjal, honey chicken, fried chicken, curry chicken, fried kembung fish, fried egg, hard boiled egg, various types of sambal, bitter gourd, and even bergedil.
The food is very delicious, and best of all, prices are rather reasonable as well.
egg, chicken drumstick, bitter gourd, and eggplant with nasi briyani
For example, this packet of nasi briyani with a hard boiled egg, fried chicken drum stick, bitter gourd, and a huge chunk of egg plant with sambal costs RM 9, with a papadem thrown in as well. I particularly love the egg plant, very juicy, spicy, and full of flavor.
long bean, fish eggs, beef tripe, with nasi briyani
I also suspect that if you get there really late, like say around 3pm, sometimes the owner will throw in really great deal as well. This example above includes some beef tripe, fried fish egg, and long beans with nasi briyani, and I was charged less than RM 5.
If your’e up for some delicious no frill nasi briyani on a Friday afternoon, this is definitely a place to check out. They offer “dine in” options as well, though there won’t be any chairs or tables by the stall. You’ll merely just be served with a plate instead of the container.
In front of Lembaga Tabung Haji
Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158465, 101.720338
Hours: every Friday afternoon