Category / KLCC and vicinity
Over the years, from business traveling, meeting with friends, and invited reviews, I’ve seen quite a few buffet spreads. Hence, for the most parts, buffet offerings don’t excite me very much.
Then again, the Bubblier Sparkalite 4Cs Sunday Brunch at Intercontinental KL’s Serena Brasserie isn’t just any buffet spread.
Serena Brasserie, at ground floor Intercontinental KL
Heading the kitchen is executive chef Darrell O’Neill, originally from Australia and has since left a trail of presence across the globe in countries such as New Zealand, UK, France, Hong Kong, Dubai, India, Maldives, and now, Malaysia. During his time at restaurant Al Mahara t the Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai, the restaurant was awarded Best Seafood Restaurant by Time Out Dubai.
this is what we came here for, the Alaskan King Crab
The concept of the Sunday buffet brunch at Intercontinental KL centeres around 4Cs – Crustaceans, Carvery, Chocolate, and Candy.
Crustaceans is what excites us the most, there were Alaskan King Crab, slippery lobster, tiger prawns, and cray fish. Under this “C” also includes catch of the days such as fresh white fish, marinated tuna steaks, oysters, mussels, scallops, salmon, and more.
yeap, bubbly too, and a host of seafood ready to eat
If you haven’t had a chance to sample king crab due to the price, this buffet offers one of the best values. The seafood were fresh, tasty, and most importantly, plentiful. I think I had close to 10 oysters, a departure from norm as I usually don’t get more than a couple, they tasted so good!
cold cuts and little appetizer in shot glasses
The next C stands for Carvery – which basically means cooked meat that are freshly sliced. Here you’ll find roasted whole ribs, prime ribs, roast chicken/duck, and more. Trimmings such as Yokshire pudding, roast vegetable, and baked potato accompany these dishes well.
roast chicken & duck, local delights, and prime ribs too
For those who wants to sample some local delights, they are available too. A good selection of traditional Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes are available for your picking.
BBQ meat & sausage, tandoori chicken, smoked salmon
They’ve also set up a BBQ area right outside the air-conditioned dine in section. Here you get freshly grilled lamb rack, chicken tandoori, sausage, baby chicken, satay, and even freshly smoked salmon and “DIY” burger stand with mini-Augus beef sliders and mini-chicken satay sliders.
fruits, a variety of cheese, desserts, and cakes
The third C stands for Chocolate, and of course, that includes a host of other desserts as well. There are Australian lamingtons, chocolate fudge brownies and rocky road, mini Pavlovas, mini fruit trifles, banana and caramel sticky puddings, and more.
I can’t get enough of the Alaskan King Crab and slipper lobsters
Finally, last but not least is Candy. This actually refers to the Sparkalite Kid’s Corner, a section within the restaurant set up to keep kids busy learning the sweet art of making lamingtons and be entertained by the clown. This is a particularly great feature for parents with kids who actually want to have some food in peace.
with Umei, Josen, Haze, Evelyn, Dennis, and Damian
The Sparkalite ’4Cs’ Sunday Brunch at Serena Brasserie is available every Sunday from noon to 3pm. Brunch is priced at RM 120++ per person, and if you want the free flow sparkling, white & red wine and beer, it’ll be RM 198++. Kids from 6-12 is charged RM 60++ per head.
For the spread that you get, I think the price is more than reasonable, now excuse me while I go get myself more King crabs.
165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159767, 101.718045
Tel: 03-2161 1111
Tucked right next to the Philippines embassy and just a stone’s throw away from Pavilion and the KLCC Convention is Maison Francaise, an elegant French restaurant situated in what was formerly a bungalow.
Dining area is separated in a few areas that used to be patio, living room, pool side, and so forth. Art works, white tablecloths, leather seats, fresh flowers; decoration is simple yet classy.
Maison Francaise at Changkat Kia Peng
Being at the less glamorous of KLCC area has its benefits, you can get here without having to go through any traffic bottle necks, and you never have to park your car more than a few steps away from the restaurant.
While dinner session is usually pretty busy, as the manager and chef mentioned, Maison Francaise is usually pretty quiet over lunch. So for this session, we sampled the lunch set priced at at RM59++ for 2-courses or RM75++ for 3-courses.
amuse-bouche came in the form of in-house smoked salmon
Even though it is a set lunch, we still started out with amuse-bouche, a bite size pre-appetizer selected and prepared by the chef. The in-house smoked salmon isn’t anything fancy, but carries a delicate smoky taste which we like.
duck pate, home-made mushroom soup
The lunch menu may change from time to time and usually carries a couple different options for each course.
Appetizer was between duck pate with truffle and walnut dressing and mushroom soup finishing with truffle oil and whipping cream.
The pate, with its inclusion of walnut dressing, is a little drier than your normal pan-fried duck liver, and should delight fans of this appetizer. Mushroom soup was beautiful, creamy, and those truffle oil really gave it an extra dimension which we love.
leather jacket with green olive & garlic, slow cooked beef angus
Main course was either fish or beef.
The fish option was leather jacket with green olives and garlic, braised fennel. The seasoning was perfect with accompanying vegetables positively enhanced the seafood.
The slow cooked Angus beef, an “oyster blade” cut, is meticulously prepared in seven hours cooking. The result is a piece of meat that’s so tender you can cut it with just using the fork. The flavour of the meat is not lost, and the supporting cast of root vegetables complimented the dish beautifully.
raspberry mousse temptation
To conclude the lunch set was the dessert in the form of raspberry mousse temptation, a cacophony of sour, sweet, and very rich creamy taste. I particularly like the tiny bulbs of raspberry “bubbles” that pops in your mouth.
Haze & KY at Maison Francaise
Maison Francaise is a pork free establishment that carries a good wine and champagne selection, the restaurant also serves liqueurs and espresso coffee.
I want to go back again.
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.151256, 101.715215
Tel: 03-2144 1474, 019-243 1200
A couple weeks ago I was invited to a lunch review at the new Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. While I have been to the hotel previously for events, I had no idea how good looking the restaurant on the 38th floor was until this visit.
Grand Hyatt is located at KLCC, directly next to the KL Convention Center on Jalan Pinang. The lobby of the hotel is actually at the top floor (39th), and you get to marvel at the beautiful KL city view through those floor to ceiling glasses while waiting to check in. Marvellous concept, I was impressed.
Thirty8 at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, with 360 degree city view
Walking down a flight of stairs (or take the elevator if you would) from the lobby and there’s THIRTY8. THIRTY8 takes up the whole floor and consists of several open and interactive kitchens serving traditional Chinese cuisine, Western dishes, as well as Japanese fair and a bar.
With huge panel of glasses that span across two floors, THIRTY8 is flooded with natural sunlight. The ambiance was simply one of the bests I’ve ever dined in. If you want to impress someone, this should surely be in the short list.
the Chinese chef from Guangzhou
Since there are actually several different open kitchens on the same floor, I like to think of THIRTY8 as several different restaurants without walls in between. The advantage is that you can order different cuisines and share the same table. It’s almost like a extremely high class food court if you will.
For our session, we sampled the Chinese set menu. There’s a minimum order of 2 pax. The sets are priced at RM 188, RM 208, and RM 238. We had the fortune of trying the RM 238 version.
radish in sweet soy sauce, pacific clam with kailan, jellyfish and fungus in vinegar
The first there were cold dishes. Radish in sweet soy sauce is a little bit like pickle but a bit juicier and crunchy, a bit of an acquired taste but I like it.
Pacific clam with kailan was succulent and fresh tasting, I’ve had it prepared as sushi & wasabi, but it actually does go well with the kailan as well.
My favorite cold dish turned out to be jellyfish and fungus in vinegar. This dish carries a bit of a kick with bits of chilli in it, and I really liked the mixture of fungus and jellyfish prepared in a way that it is almost impossible to tell apart by their texture or taste, but half way between chewing you’ll notice the subtle differences and be rewarded by the intricacy of it.
crispy prawns with bread crumbs and garlic,
double boiled chicken soup, fish maw, papaya & snow fungus
The last appetizer was crispy prawns with bread crumbs & garlic. It was fresh and I thought the chef balanced the breading and spiciness from dried chilli pretty well. The skin is almost like in between butter prawn & fish & chips. I liked it.
Soup was next, and it was a double boiled affair involving fish maw, papaya, and snow fungus. The soup was very very sweet but in a good way, I believe partly contributed by the addition of papaya. It was very good, and I really loved the whole chunk of fish maw in the bowl. It was boiled till very soft but yet retain it’s structural firmness, excellent.
braised whole abalone, mushroom, oyster sauce
Braised whole abalone was our first main dish. It was a simple pairing with broccoli and black mushroom in oyster sauce. The execution was very good, with abalone prepared to the perfect consistency that makes it very easy to manage. It was a good change of taste after the stronger tasting prawns.
braised boston lobster, scallops, vegetables
Continuing our seafood affair was the braised Boston lobster with scallops and vegetable. These two are some of my favourite seafood ingredients and they did not disappoint. I was imagining the broth to be in the most luxurious wat tan hor ever, one that I’d be able to eat everyday.
steamed cod fish, black bean chili sauce; Chinese style salty glutinous dumplings
Next up was steamed cod with black bean and chili sauce, and it was just perfect. Black cod is generally not easy to mess up, but also pretty difficult to prepare it that much different from every other kitchen. I like the version here with the condiments really enhancing the seafood very well.
Our last dish of the day was Chinese style salty glutinous dumpling, and well, to be honest, I think it was just weird. I’m used to dumpling being sweet with maybe black sesame fillings in ginger soup, but this one’s .. salty, and had chicken. As it turned out, this is the traditional dish in Guangdong Province to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, as explained by the chef.
I’m guessing it’s one of those things you do just because it’s a tradition and maybe not necessarily because it tastes good. That or it’s an acquired taste.
baked and snow skin mooncake, KY & Joyce
After the set meal, we also sampled some of the mooncakes offered by THIRTY8. The mooncakes here are made in house as well, and while not overly fancy, they were of good quality. This post is a bit too late to talk about mooncakes now so I’ll just leave it at that.
If you want good food with a great view to match, THIRTY8 would fit the bill. I’ve yet to try other cuisines there but as far as Chinese cuisine goes, you won’t go wrong.
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
12 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15381, 101.71234
Tel: 03-2182 1234 ext. 2340
When our office first moved to The Intermark, I was quite a bit bummed. Yah, the office was way modern and wonderful, with sophisticated elevator system that only comes with open, close, and emergency buttons (everything else is via tag and touch screen outside the elevator), but compared to Bukit Bintang where there are plenty of awesome food, where should I eat?
That’s where Jaya Grocer comes in, and I’m just glad that they opened up for business just a couple weeks after we moved in.
Jaya Grocer at Intermark, muscat at RM 163.75, kycho grapes at RM 149.90
Jaya Grocer is located at the basement of Intermark’s main building, directly under Double Tree by Hilton hotel. It is the first Jaya Grocer in KL city, and directly managed by the 3rd generation descendent of the original Jaya Grocer. In a way, that makes this outlet slightly different from the others in PJ, but in a good way.
The outlet carries a lot of premium brands directly imported from overseas. If you want to spend over RM 150 on a small box of grapes (specifically Muscat of Alexandria or Kyoho grapes from Japan) or almost RM 200 on some Japanese green melon, you can.
There’s also a huge selection of organic produce, a whole section that sells various types of cheese, frozen smoked duck breasts, imported canned tuna/salmon, and many other “exotic” stuff you don’t normally see.
yeap, you can get the blue and green fairies here, and many other imported goods
If you’re a fan of alcoholic drinks, you’ll find the selection of liquor, wine, and beer at Intermark’s Jaya Grocer as one of the more complete ones in the country. There’s a wine dispenser for tasting, many different types of imported beer, wine from several regions, and even “mythical” brands of hard liquor such as Absinthe – blue fairy with 53% alcohol and the green version with a whopping 68% alcohol. Probably good enough to use as antiseptic.
Other than that, there’s also a section that sells liquor in sort of an ala-carte basis. Various types of cognac, rum, and even single malt whisky sold in flasks of 200 ml or more. If you want premium liquor in small doses, such as the Scotch Highland Single Malt Whisky (29 years old, 43% Vol. Teaninich Distillery), it’ll be RM 186/200 ml. Other fancier liquers include those with tiramisu, latte macchiato, mango, and passion fruit flavors. You even get to have a taste test before purchase.
Anna enjoying the pork sandwich from hamky panky
Like the outlet at Empire Mall, El Fresco is presence here as well. Purchase your beef/salmon and they’ll cook it for free provided you purchase a side dish (RM 7.90 or so). There’s Wagyu, Angus, and more.
However, other than Fresco, Jaya Grocer at Intermark also operates a non-halal food court right next to the supermarket. On this session we sampled a few dishes from each of the three operating stalls (with 1-2 more to open soon).
Hamky Panky has juicy, tasty sandwich (RM 13.80) in the menu. First you choose your bread, then the fillings (English ham, turkey, black forest, roast beef, roast lamb, roast pork, pork patty etc), then pick any add ons, and finally choose the sauce of your choice. We tried the roast pork and roast lamb sandwich, did not disappoint. I even packed the leftover lamb sandwich for breakfast the next day.
Lam’s kitchen serves up your typical roast/bbq pork, roast chicken, roast duck too
Lam’s Kitchen serves roast pork, bbq pork, roast chicken, roast duck, and more. Their menu is pretty extensive but mostly involves rice or noodle with the previously mentioned meat. We tried their bbq pork, roast pork, and roast duck. I love the roast duck and roast pork, and think that their bbq pork (chasiu) is average. I do like their chilly sauce and oily rice though.
restaurant sun huat kee with their signature pork ball noodle, KY & Haze
The third and final stall we tried was the Sun Huat Kee pork ball noodle, originally from Lucky Garden at Bangsar. Since we’re having a lot of other dishes, we ended up only sampling the pork balls in soup, which tasted pretty good to me. I’ll have to try the dish one of these days, tho I believe I’ve had the Bangsar version a few years ago and liked it.
348, Jalan Tun Razak
GPS: 3.16154, 101.71996
Ten Fine Dining Restaurant is back, relocated from their previous location at Publika (where I got to meet Iron Chef Sakai in 2011). The new location at Marc Residence replaced the lot that Delicious used to operate. Right by KLCC, it has much better visibility than being in the maze that is Publika.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the few who was invited to a review session at Ten last week.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining at Marc’s Residence
The floor plan isn’t exactly conventional. There’s a long dining hall with smaller private rooms on the sides, with another big classy private dining hall that can house some 20 people at right side of the entrance. The interior decoration certainly has a flavor of modern Japanese styling but one that does not stray too far from the tradition, as evident with the stone garden at the other end of the restaurant.
unique Japanese Dango, cocktails
Our review is on the four course degustation lunch menu that starts with the unique Japanese Dango made with seasonal vegetables filled with French foie gras.
The three dango (or dumplings) were made from carrot, sweet potato, and yam. The taste was subtle yet exquisite, with the bits of foie gras enhancing the overall flavor. Katsuobushi (smoked skipjack tuna) and leek shavings giving the soup an extra touch of sophistication, a good way to start our lunch.
assorted ocean fresh sushi & sashimi
The second course had a simple description on the menu – assorted ocean fish sushi and sashimi. On the plate these beautifully crafted delights:
- grilled baramundi and sushi rice with salmon roe
- slow cooked scallop with chili and plum paste
- poached alfonsino fish marinated with natto soy sauce
- simmered white clam with sticky egg sauce and grilled sushi rice
- Otoro (tuna belly) sashimi and tuna tartar with a hint of truffle flavor
- geoduck with Italian leaf soy
- anago (salt water eel) with black garlic vinegar
- Tasmanian salmon sushi with mascarpone sauce
- Tasmanian lobster sushi with deep fried leek soy sauce
It was hard to choose a favorite, and if I had to pick one I’d probably choose the otoro, with truffle flavor really adding to the already superb cut of tuna belly. While I personally dislike natto somehow worked, and I even helped my table-neighbor finished hers.
This was by far the most sophisticated plate of sushi/sashimi I’ve ever tasted. If you’re a fan of Japanese food, this is a must try.
teppanyaki styled Miyazaki A5 wagyu beef
Our third course was another masterpiece. Teppanyaki styled Miyazaki A5 Wagyu beef served with Tasmanian garlic chips and daikon.
I asked for mine to be prepared rare (chef recommended only rare or medium-rare), and it was truly glorious. A bit of freshly grated wasabi complemented the meat beautifully. Teppanyaki and ponzu sauce is available, but to truly enjoy a piece of red meat, none were really required. The garlic chips were great to have in between those chunks of pure heaven.
Ten’s specialty desserts
The sad thing is, every meal has to eventually come to a conclusion, and the fourth course was a dual of Ten’s specialty desserts. It was perhaps impossible to keep up to the excellence of the previous three courses, but dessert lovers would not be disappointed with the bitter sweet chocolates and the sweet & sour combination of plumb and jelly.
Nana, Michelle, KY, Chenelle, Tian Chad
Ten Japanese Fine Dining will have some pretty stiff competition in a few other restaurants within the vicinity. Ozeki Tokyo Cuisine offers great lunch value and is just a stone’s throw away at Menara TA, Fukuya at Jalan Delima can never be discounted for fine Japanese foods, and Fukuhara too is a fine alternative if you’re looking for a good evening of Japanese delights.
Ultimately though, I think Ten does manage to set itself apart with it’s modern offerings and pretty unique menu. Teppanyaki course is at RM 200 and RM 300, Sushi course at RM 300, and Omakase (degustation) course is priced at RM 300 per person.
Ten Japanese Fine Dining
A-G-1, Marc Residence, Ground Floor,
No.3 Jalan Pinang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.155396, 101.710203
Tel: 03-2161 5999
Hours: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 6 pm onward, closed on Mondays