Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Subang & Sunway

A couple weeks ago I was invited to Di Wei Chinese Restaurant at Empire Hotel to sample their mooncakes for the upcoming Mid-Autumn festival as well as a few of their new fish dishes.

It was my second time visiting this rather classy non-halal Chinese restaurant, with the first time sampling some alcohol product that was never brought into the country commercially (Yuzu!), hence the lack of prior blog entry.

Di Wei Chinese cuisine restaurant at Empire Hotel, Subang Jaya
Di Wei Chinese cuisine restaurant at Empire Hotel, Subang Jaya

The restaurant is accessible from the hotel as well as directly from the top floor of the shopping mall. Like most Chinese restaurants, Di Wei carries a pretty decent selection of dishes, from bbq meat, traditional double boiled soup, dried seafood such as abalone and sea cucumber, live seafood, beef, pork, chicken, duck, beancurd, egg, vegetable dishes as well as fried rice and noodle.

On our review session, we sampled three new fish dishes as well as their mooncakes.

Braised Marble Goby Fish with Iced Beancurd and Pork Belly
Braised Marble Goby Fish with Iced Beancurd and Pork Belly

First dish was braised marble goby fish with iced beancurd and pork belly (RM 168++ per portion).

Marble goby is one of the most prized freshwater fish for its smooth texture and layering meat. The usual preparation method usually by steaming, but the chef at Di Wei decided to deep fry the fish and braise with special sauce with addition of pork belly and iced beancurd.

The beancurd, being frozen prior has many air pockets that soaks up the sauce, which makes for an interesting way to enjoy the dish. The fish did not lose it’s original taste with the deep frying process, but gained extra smoothness from pork belly. I love it.

Steamed Seabass in Assam Sauce
Steamed Seabass in Assam Sauce

Next up was steamed seabass in assam sauce (RM 122++ per 100 gram). It was basically a high class version of asam fish that is quite common in many Chinese restaurants, with seabass doing the major lifting in the quality department. This dish should be consumed quickly if served in the heated bowl, as the heat may otherwise overcook the fish over time.

Pan Fried Giant Grouper with Soy Sauce
Pan Fried Giant Grouper with Green Apple Sauce

Pan fried giant grouper with green apple sauce (RM 23++ per 100 gram) is a dish that may not get approval for giant grouper lovers who love to have this fish the traditional way – steamed with superior soya sauce.

I tend to agree, but pan frying the fish gives the skin a new and exciting texture to ponder about, with the addition of apple sauce making it pretty interesting. It is a bold attempt no doubt, but one that hasn’t surpass the traditional cooking method of this prized seafood yet, I’m afraid.

traditional baked mooncakes, RM 18-23 each
traditional baked mooncakes, RM 18-23 each

So then, lets move to mooncakes.

The traditional mooncakes from Di Wei we sampled are as follow:

  • pandan lotus single yolk
  • white lotus single yolk
  • black sesame single yolk
  • pure lotus single yolk
  • red bean
  • bamboo charcoal single yolk

My favorite being the bamboo charcoal and white lotus single yolk, and my complain is – why not double yolks? or even better, quadruple yolks?

snow skin mooncakes, RM 18-23 each
snow skin mooncakes, RM 18-23 each

As for snow skin mooncakes that are best chilled, we had the following:

  • snow skin white lotus single yolk
  • snow skin green tea single yolk
  • snow skin black sesame single yolk
  • snow skin bamboo charcoal single yolk

I like them all, but my favorites were black sesame and bamboo charcoal versions.

Di Wei's 3 meat platter
Di Wei’s 3 meat platter

Since mooncakes and three dishes of fish weren’t exactly fulfilling enough to our collective stomachs, we ordered Di Wei’s three meat platter as extra (small – RM40++, medium – RM60++, big – RM80++).

The BBQ pork (chasiu) was perhaps not the best I’ve had, but the roast duck very good, and roast pork turned out to be really excellent.

So if you’re into mooncakes, Di Wei offers some excellent choices, and for good quality fish in some non traditional cooking style, this is also a place you should check out.

Empire Mall map

Address:
Di Wei
L1, F20 & F21 

Empire Hotel, Jalan SS16/1,
Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS3.082109, 101.582716
Tel03-5565 1228

After I posted the review on the Kuih Teow Soup stall at New Apollos kopitiam at USJ 4, one reader, Ley, commented that I should give the curry chicken pao a try, and on the very next visit, I did just that.

the pao stall at New Apollos, USJ 4
the pao stall at New Apollos, USJ 4

According to Ley, the curry chicken pao is the famous version from Klang with handmade bun.

The stall in fact, offers more than just curry chicken pao, there are also mantau, lor mai kai, lin yong, custard corn, kaya, peanut, vegetable, charsiu, red bean, sang yok, mui choi, black pepper, yam & pork, and big pao. Quite a selection.

the curry chicken pao is actually huge, good for a full meal
the curry chicken pao is actually huge, good for a full meal

The curry chicken pao was huge, not any smaller than a typical big pao that I’m used to. Interestingly, to prevent the curry chicken from making the bun soggy, an aluminium bowl thingy is embedded within to contain the ingredients. So the way to eat this is not exactly you would with typical pao, instead, a pair of chopsticks is provided and it had the feel of having mantao with some awesome curry chicken, I find myself enjoying it!

So if you want a pao that’s out of the ordinary, this is a place to check out, thanks Ley!

map to New Apollos kopitiam, USJ 4

Address:
Restaurant New Apollos
2, Jln USJ4/6B
Subang Jaya
GPS3.051770, 101.576209
HoursLunch and Breakfast, Closed on Tuesdays

As someone who’s born and bred in Penang, we obviously love our hawker dishes, and hence it is always a mission for many of us Penangites to find the local taste right here in KL whenever we can.

New Apollos kopitiam at USJ 4
New Apollos kopitiam at USJ 4

Now when most think about hawker foods in Penang, curry mee, prawn mee, laksa, and char kuih teow is often high on the list, and if you mention kuih teow th’ng (or kuih teow soup), many don’t even realize how difficult it is to find a place that offers the dish here in KL. Hence when I accidentally ended up at Restaurant New Apollos in USJ 4 and saw this stall, I knew it was something I had to order.

proper Penang style kuih teow th'ng
proper Penang style kuih teow th’ng

The operator (not the one in the picture, she was just the helper) speaks Penang Hokkien, which passed the first litmus test whenever I order Penang food.

When the bowl of kuih teow soup arrived, I was already pretty happy. The dish looked the part, with three fishballs, shredded steamed chicken, a few slices of fish cakes, vegetable, fried garlic, and a few bits of lard.

I was well satisfied with the kuih teow soup
I was well satisfied with the kuih teow soup

As for the taste, this RM 5 bowl of goodness hits all the right spots. It might lack strips of duck blood, but the fish balls and fish cakes had the right texture and tasted rather good. Portion was not overly big like other KL hawker dishes, and the shredded chicken cooked just right as well.

In fact, I liked it so much I rode all the way from Damansara Perdana to USJ 4 just for this yesterday. This kuih teow soup is now on the top of my list so far as Klang Valley is concerned.

map to New Apollos kopitiam, USJ 4

Address:
Restaurant New Apollos
2, Jln USJ4/6B
Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.051770, 101.576209
Hours: Lunch and Breakfast, Closed on Tuesdays

Fifth review on this buka puasa buffet 2014 series is the Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet dinner at Empire Hotel’s Kitchen Art Brasserie.

Located at Subang Jaya right next to the iconic Subang Parade, the hotel can be access directly via Empire Mall with the two sharing the same parking arrangements. Not having to pay more just because you’re in a hotel instead of the mall is surely a minor bonus.

Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet at Empire Hotel
Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet at Empire Hotel

Kitchen Art Brasserie is located at hotel’s level 2, which somehow translate to just a floor above the top floor of Empire Mall.

I like the whole set up, with a glass walls by two sides overseeing the ever busy Federal Highway and tastefully done interior decoration.

ulam, cold seafood, fruits, salad, salted duck egg
ulam, cold seafood, fruits, salad, salted duck egg

The Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet dinner is priced at RM 108++ for adults, RM 88++ for children and senior citizens. The buffet is available from 28th June to 29th July, 2014.

Interestingly, diners will also standa a chance to win a Hermes watch worth about RM 12k by taking part in a contest during this ramadan period.

traditional main dishes from different states in Malaysia
traditional main dishes from different states in Malaysia

The buffet spread at Empire Hotel celebrates each of the 13 states in Malaysia and features more than 60 different main dishes in addition to starters such as ulam, prawns, mussels, salted duck egg, clams, salads, and even cendol and rojak.

There’s also a Ghazal band performing nightly, in line with the whole local theme.

cucur udang, ikan bakar, nangka, and of course - roast lamb
cucur udang, ikan bakar, nangka, and of course – roast lamb

To make things simple, here are the list of 13 traditional flavors from the different states:

  • sup gear box (beef shank broth with spices) – Utara Kedah
  • briyani ayam dengan kismis (braised chicken with golden raisin – Johor
  • daging masak lemak dengan nangka muda (beef cooked in turmeric gravey with young jackfruit) – Negeri Sembilan
  • terong goreng berlada dengan ikan bilis (fried eggplant with chilli and anchovies) – Selangor
  • ikan masak asam pedas bunga kantan (braised fish in tamarind gravy with ginger flower) – Melaka
  • gulai kawah Terengganu dengan kantang (beef curry with potato) – Terengganu
  • ikan patin masak lemak tempoyak (fish cooked with spicy durian gravy) – Pahang
  • ayam bakar berempah (roasted chicken with Malay spices) – Kelantan
  • briyani kambing (mutton cooked in local spices) – Pulau Pinang
  • hivana roe fish – Sabah
  • braised chicken in bamboo – Sarawak
  • bubur gandum – Perlis
  • rendang tok – Perak

Pinky and I absolutely loved the sup gearbox, check out how huge it is
Pinky and I absolutely loved the sup gearbox, check out how huge it is

Of the various offerings, I particularly enjoy the sup gear box the most. The serving was huge, with the bone neatly saw off at one end and a straw provided so that you can suck out the marrow, absolutely fantastic!

The roast lamb here, as with the other buffet spread I tried so far, did not disappoint. I also really enjoyed the fish gravey with bunga kantan and of course, ulam with intoxicating sambal.

selection of western desserts and traditional kuih, including tapai
selection of western desserts and traditional kuih, including tapai

As for desserts, there’s a rather wide selection of local kuih as well as a selection of Western desserts. I picked tapai ubi and was obviously not disappointed. For those who fancy the traditional sweet drinks popular during Ramadan, there’s more than half a dozen colorful cold drinks to choose from, as well as teh tarik, of course.

Empire Mall map

Address:
Kitchen Art Brasserie, Level 2,
Empire Hotel, Jalan SS16/1,
Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
Tel03-5565 1228

Previously under the Jacob’s Creek portfolio, St. Hugo Wine now stepped out from the shadow and stake its claim as a stand-alone brand, we were invited to the coming-out party held at Las Carretas, USJ.

During the event, we got to sample wines from St. Hugo as well as Jocob’s Creek and Wyndham Estate.

St. Hugo Wine at Las Carretas, USJ Taipan
St. Hugo Wine at Las Carretas, USJ Taipan

Incidentally, I last went to Las Carretas at USJ a little more than 8 years ago. It was the first proper Mexican restaurant I’ve visited in Klang Valley, and I believe I actually had my first taste of margarita there.

I am glad that the restaurant still thrives, and now even spots a branch at Ampang.

Steve Meckiff, Global Wine Ambassador at Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Steve Meckiff, Global Wine Ambassador at Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Our night started out with a variety of appetizer, including mille feuille of tuna spread, baked tartlet of Emmental cheese, and cream puffs. The bite size snacks were good, especially when you had Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir  to wash them down. I like the sparkly’s crisp finish and citrus flavour.

Steve Meckiff, the global wine ambassador at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, then told us about the story of St. Hugo wines, and how it rose to prominence for a brand that started in 1983, relatively young for this industry.

baked Norwegian salmon with George Wyndham Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012
baked Norwegian salmon with George Wyndham Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Our first course was baked Norwegian salmon presented on a robust lemon butter sauce. The fish is paired with George Wyndham Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – 2012.

I’ve always like semillon sauvignon blanc, with semillon giving it that extra fruity taste that goes very well with fish or poultry. The pairing is definitely spot on and  very easy to drink. The fish was expertly prepared and not overly baked either, almost as good as those prepared sous-vide.

crab meat chowder and a sorbet as palate cleanser
crab meat chowder and a sorbet as palate cleanser

Next we had crab meat chowder with Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2012. The chowder simmered in root vegetable and thickened with Idaho potatoes with a hint of aged cherry. I’m not so sure about the cherry part but the chowder was most excellent, something that I can have for breakfast at least twice a week.

The chardonnay has attractive aroma that pairs well with the chowder.

slow cooked grass-fed Australian lamb rack, St Hugo Barossa Shiraz
slow cooked grass-fed Australian lamb rack, St Hugo Barossa Shiraz

Our main course was the slow cooked grass-fed Australian lamb rack, presented with on a ginger and thyme infused sauce that was so irresistible. We tried the St. Hugo Barossa Shiraz 2010 as well as the St. Hugo Connawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 to go with the red meat.

I like the Shiraz with the slightly spicier note, while the Cabernet Sauvignon will suit those who enjoys elegant fruit characters, toasty oak and long, fine tannins. You can’t go wrong either way.

KY, Latha, Evelyn, Dennis, and Steve Meckiff
KY, Latha, Evelyn, Dennis, and Steve Meckiff

It was certainly a most enjoyable wine and dine session, thanks to the good people at Millennium Associates and Pernod Ricard for the invitation. You can find St. Hugo’s wine at major wine retailers.

map to Las Carretas at USJ Taipan

Address:
Las Carretas
No 29 USJ 10/1F
47620 Subang UEP
Selangor

GPS: 3.047943, 101.583163
Tel: 03-5637 3058