Tag / carpaccio
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
A few weeks ago we were invited to sample some drinks and food at The Roof & Stratosphere in One Avenue.
I must say that I’m perhaps one of the very few people who didn’t realise that there’s such a happening place at around One Utama area. My memory of “happening” and “One Utama” was still stuck in 1997 where there were clubs blasting “Lemon Tree”. When you’re drunk and can’t remember where you park your car in the maze that is One Utama car park, you would have quite a situation. Anyway, I digressed.
The Roof at One Avenue’s top floor
The Roof is located at the top floor of One Avenue, which is located next to One Utama. With an underground car park and a pretty high speed elevator system that gets you on top rather quickly, it is rather convenient.
There are a few hang-out places at The Roof, and the one we checked out was Signature by The Hill, a restaurant with a full bar and pretty interesting menu.
Hawaii 5-0, The Fish Bowl with Deep, and Milo Ais with Haze
The cocktail menu at Signature is contemporary and playful. I tried Hawaii 5-0 (RM 40) that’s laden with Smirnoff vodka, Frangelico, organic raspberry jam all housed within a hallowed out pineapple. It was very sweet, refreshing, and easy to drink. I really liked it.
Haze tried the Milo Ais (RM 28), our local favorite breakfast chocolate drink but infused with rum, baileys, and kahlua. Rich and silky.
The other cocktails we tried at Signature were really impressive as well, perfect compliment to the food we were ordering next.
Pan Seared Foie Gras, Black Angus Carpaccio, Caesar Salad, Chicken Fingers
The food menu isn’t particularly extensive, but covered all the bases.
With about 10 items to choose from, we picked pan seared foie gras (RM 48), black angus carpaccio (RM 32), caesar salad (RM 22), and chicken fingers as starters.
I liked that the foie gras was served with caramelised fig, and the carpaccio too was sliced to perfection. Chicken fingers made for perfect beer companion as well. Would love to their their salmon & maguro (tuna) tartar (RM 25) and escargot (RM 28) next time.
Wagyu ribeye, black cod, king prawns
For mains, I picked Wagyu Ribeye (RM 138) with a pretty simple presentation of baked sweet potato and sautéed seasoned vegetable. The beef has a marbling no. 7 rating. The only complain I have with this dish is that it came in a hot plate, and thin cuts don’t work particularly well with hot plates. I’d order this with normal plate instead.
Black cod (RM 50) turned out to be one of the best dishes we tried. Perfectly seared and served with braised leek & fennel topped with tomato jam, it was excellent. That perfectly prepped fish skin, I can have it all day!
King prawns (RM 55) came with creamy pasta, and I thought the presentation was particularly clever. The prawns served in a jar making it a less messy affair. Deep who had this was happy about the dish.
Other dishes to check out would be Black Angus tenderloin (RM 88), seared duck breast (RM 45), and perhaps the ultimate gourmet burger that’s priced at RM 200!
Stratosphere – where drinks are served on a helipad
After dinner, we adjourned to the Stratosphere, which is actually a helipad on top of the roof of… well, The Roof.
This was one of the bars with the best ambiance in town, with 360 degree uninterrupted view of Selangor and KL, you can see all the way to KLCC, the whole of Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara, and TTDI.
There were 10 different cocktails to choose from here, and all priced at RM 40 nett. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the couple drinks I tried to be honest, and this is perhaps due to the fact that I’ve had those excellent cocktails just a couple hours prior, but the view was able to make up for it.
I think the cocktail department is something that they will be able to correct, and I certainly hope so. Regardless, it is still most definitely worth checking out.
Thank you Kim for the invitation and a great night.
First Avenue, Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.146684, 101.617005
Tel: 012-6910628 (Stratosphere)
A dinner food review during this month of crazy traffic is certainly not something I particularly welcome, but when Mediteca asked for us to sample their new pork friendly menu, I couldn’t say no.
As it turned out, that was a wise decision. Also, traffic after 7:30 was so great we got to Mediteca at Fraser Place, Jalan Perak from PJ in only about 25 minutes.
Mediteca at Fraser Place, KL
Mediteca resides within Fraser Place Luxury Apartment, directly opposite Life Centre across Jalan Perak, just a stone’s throw away from Thai Club/Beach Club. Underground parking is available at reasonable rate.
The restaurant exudes a classy and warm ambiance, interior deco reminds me of movies settings in Europe. The restaurant is separated from the apartment’s common area with half see-thru partition, giving it a deceptively spacious interior. There’s also alfresco dining area for those who smokes, and a loft that I presume makes perfect venue for a private event.
bread with some shaved cheese to start the night
Explained by the passionate Chef owner Riccardo Ferrarotti, Mediteca set out of excite diners with a flair for true Southern European gastronomy. The menu includes tapas, starters, and mains using pork as ingredients. Music to my ears.
As with most European meals, we started out with some bread, accompanied by shaved cheese, which is always a good prelude to what is coming next.
stewed Spanish sausage with herbs;
fried & baked egg with spinach, pancetta and besciamelle sauce
We started out with Chorizo – Stewed Spanish Sausage with Herbs and Garlic (RM16), one of the many tapas with pork as the main ingredient on the new menu. The tomato based gravy thick and flavorful, and the chorizo definitely carry a strong porky taste that should please any pork lover.
Fried & Baked Egg with Spinach, Pancetta and Besciamelle Sauce (RM22) is something I haven’t ever tried before. A concoction that seems almost like a mixed between Chinese style spinach soup with a texture similar to steamed & fried egg. It was rather interesting though I find myself having to get used to it a little bit.
Jamon and Salami – serrano ham, salami, bread & cheese
Jamon and Salami (RM 88) was one of my favorite dishes. Prepared by the main man himself, Chef Riccardo slices the salami and smoked meat from the chiller, then hand picked cheese, fig marmalade, tomato chutney, balsamic baby onions and pickles to go with the meat. It was glorious combination and one that I miss most. I can have this everyday!
marinated veal carpaccio, stewed rice with pork, beef & lamb sauce
stewed rice with pork, beef, and lamb sauce
While less sophisticated than the salami dish, Veal Carpaccio (RM38) was another dish that I really liked as well. The thinly sliced veal isn’t too different from high grade tuna or beef in texture, but has a very notificable difference in taste due the type of meat itself and the marinate (chamomile and juniper). Coupled with grilled artichokes and cheese, it was a very enjoyable dish.
Stewed rice with Pork, Beef and Lamb Sauce (RM30) was not entirely different from risotto. This Croatian dish packs quite a punch thanks to the three different meat presence.
Potato and Mushroom Gateau with poached egg, onion jam and bacon
For those who loves bacon, the Potato and Mushroom Gateau with poached egg, onion jam and bacon (RM28) is a must order. The bacon was crispy, the egg poached perfectly, and the bed of potato and mushroom gateau perfect as a compliment to the two contrasting main ingredients. Bacon oil and flowing egg yolk is a match made in gastronomy heaven.
pork ribs with “salsa verde” & potatoes
For those who are tired of those overly strong tasting pork ribs, here’s a version that might fit your bill. The Iberico Pork Ribs with Salsa Verde & Potatoes (RM78) is quite a bit lighter and carries a hint of citrus influenced flavor. I find myself somewhat partial to this dish, but those who like it light would probably enjoy this more than me.
dinner is never complete with desserts
We tried two different desserts to end the meal, Creme Caramel that was tastefully served in a sardin can, and the Chocolate Gateau, a mixed of 70% chocolate with 30% cream. Choose the former if you want something refreshing, and the gateau if you like it rich and chocolatey. Both would not disappoint.
Lot 163, Fraser Place
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15427, 101.70891
Tel: 03-2181 2426
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays, 11.30am till late night, closed on Sundays
Japanese cuisine in Malaysia has come a long way, from simple conveyor belt sushi and high end traditional Japanese restaurants in hotels, we now have a wide variety of price point and different variations to choose from.
Senjyu is one of the newer Japanese outfit that tries to carve a niche in this rather mature market by trying to infuse a little bit of contemporary taste into traditional Japanese cuisine, while maintaining a pretty affordable pricing. At least that’s what is claimed.
I was invited to Senjyu at Bangsar Village 2 for a session of food review a couple weeks ago, and I gotta say their claims weren’t far off.
Senjyu Japanese restaurant, at Bangsar Village 2
Senjyu, which means “eternity of life”, is located at 3rd floor of Bangsar Village 2 and took over the former location of Sakei Sushi, which is the chain that is owned by the same operator. I wasn’t a huge fan of Sakei (or most conveyor belt sushi restaurants), so I had a bit of a doubt at first when receiving the invitation.
The restaurant is decently decorated though table arrangements could perhaps use a little bit of imagination. Having them all lined up in grids isn’t very exciting, even with beautifully placed paper cranes at the sushi bar.
carpaccio mori and iso moriwase sashimi
Anyway, lets get on with the food.
We started out with the Carpaccio Mori (RM 22) – thinly sliced raw tuna, salmon, and butter fish that is served with 5 types of sauces and a bit of sesame and thinly sliced vegetable. It is an inspiration from Italian cuisine perhaps, but with Japanese ingredients. The sauce has a slight spicy taste to it, pretty exciting and the end result was actually very good. I like it.
Iso Moriwase Sashimi (RM 68) is good for 3-4 person, and comes with yellow tail, salmon, octopus, sweet shrimp, butterfish, surf clam, and one raw oyster. Fresh grated wasabi is served with the sashimi, which makes a big difference if you love wasabi. The seafood too were very fresh. For the price, this is a great value.
toro (tuna belly)
One of the most sought after sashimi cuts – Toro, is available with a price. For RM 70 you get three pretty thick slices of these air flown fatty tuna belly meat. They are like the grade 12 wagyu of the tuna world, and absolutely yummy. If you are to splurge, this wouldn’t be a bad option.
salmon ikura hana, soft shell crab and unagi mentai maki
Salmon Ikura Hana (RM 16) is prepared by air flown raw salmon and topped with mayonnaise and salmon roe. A winning combination if not for the little problem of having a bit too much rice in them. Wasn’t very easy to have everything in your mouth at one go, and there isn’t any graceful way to not do that either. Tastes pretty good though.
Have you ever had the problem of wanting to order a maki (sushi roll) but did not want to commit into eating 6 or 8 pieces of sushi that has the same ingredients? Well that happened to me a lot, and it is refreshing to see that Senjyu offers maki that comes with two different ingredients in one order, in this case, the Soft Shell Crab and Unagi Mentai Maki (RM 28).
I love the soft shell crab maki, it was crunchy, rich, and has an explosion of taste that leaves you wanting more. The unagi mentai maki, on the other hand, sounds like a good promise, I like unagi and I love mentai, but the combination somehow came out to be a bit less than the sum of two, maybe it is the way they chop up the eel? But don’t get me wrong, it is not bad at all, just not as good as I’d anticipated.
chirashi-jyu, closer look at unagi mentai maki
They serve one of my go-to Japanese dish too – Chirashi-Jyu, and at RM 30 per pop, a great value for money. There’s salmon, butterfish, tuna, octopus, and of course, tamago (sweet egg omelete). I haven’t seen this much seafood in a bowl of chirashi sushi priced RM 30 and under.
trio oyster – mentai, fresh, and simmer in broth
According to the PR ladies, Senjyu has gained a reputation for its live Canadian oysters, and we sampled this via the Trio Oyster dish (RM 48) – mentai oyster (cod fish roe), fresh live oyster sashimi, and simmered oyster in broth.
I love all three versions, the freshness of live oyster clearly give it a superior taste. To be honest, I probably would like them best just fresh, the extra preparation though, is good for those who doesn’t really like this shell fish raw.
wagyu beef shioyaki – chef showing us how to get it done
Wagyu Beef Shioyaki (RM 68) is another premium item on Senjyu’s menu. If you’ve had wagyu, you know what to expect. Slightly salted wagyu beef served raw in a DIY cooking style. If you like wagyu, you will enjoy this.
giant ebi tempura (prawn), gindari nitsuke (codfish)
Next was tempura in the form of Giant Ebi Tempura (RM 38). Now these prawns are huge, and there were some half a dozen or so of them. Crunchy, succulent, and fresh, I wish I wasn’t so full by then.
Our last dish of the tasting session was Gindara Nitsuke (codfish, RM 40). A more subtle tasting dish, served with assorted mushroom and vegetables that could be better if the fish was slightly less cooked.
And yes, that was a lot of food for two person. Haze and I were over stuffed for the night, but we left with satisfaction. Not everything is 100% awesome, but they were quite a bit above average, and priced very competitively.
set meals, inaniwa noodle, foie gras and oyster mentai maki
Which is also why we went back. This time with Kerol, Horng, and Yuki too. We tried some of their set meals, inaniwa noodle and cha soba, and I took the opportunity to order the foie gras maki as well.
The girls enjoyed the set meals. Portions were pretty big, and our noodle were pretty decent as well.
The foie gras & oyster maki, well, lets just say the foie gras was a bit too thinly sliced to properly satisfy my craving for the goose liver. It was okay, but I think to really enjoy foie gras, you gotta have it pan seared.
KY, Haze, Kerol, Yuki, and some desserts at Senjyu
Senjyu does offer pretty interesting desserts too, there’s the frozen mango+orange sorbet, the macha pudding with ice cream (RM 10), and parfait too. There were pretty decent, and if you still have room to spare by the end of dinner, well, try one.
2F-27 & 28, 2nd Floor
Bangsar Village 2,
2, Jalan Telawi Satu,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.13071, 101.67146
Tel: 03-2287 1535
Ah… red meat. The “newest” type of meat for me.
When I was growing up as a boy in Penang, I can’t recall an instance when mom cooks beef. Actually, due to her staunch believe in Kwan Yin and everything fantastic in the most confusing religion that is Taoism, she doesn’t even eat beef.
My very first experience in beef was probably that one time when my late dad took me to a beef noodle place (there was probably less than a handful of such stalls in Penang then) when I was in my teens.
Little did I know that years later, I’d have tasted some of the best beef there is. It goes to show that past performance is not indicative of future results… or something.
The Restaurant at The Club, Saujana Resort
Anyway, lets get back on topic.
I was invited to the somewhat confusingly named restaurant – The Restaurant at the equally curiously named hotel – The Club Saujana Resorts with the promise of Wagyu beef.
Wagyu beef basically refers to several breeds of cattle that is famous for their intense marbling characteristics, in another word, layers of unsaturated fat in the meat that provides very rich flavor. Wagyu is often regarded as some of the finest beef in the world.
The famed Kobe beef is a type of Wagyu beef, but only available within Japan and Macau.
our menu and chef Alexander Waschl
As for the hotel, The Club Suajana Resort is a very classy boutique style hotel that oversees the golf course with its lush greenery. Despite the misleading name, it is open to public (no membership or anything like that is needed.)
The Restaurant too reflects the same classy standard, with tastefully done interior and an alfresco dining area by the pool that provides a really nice ambiance. I felt severely under dressed when I was there in my collared t-shirt and jeans.
Our dinner was the degustation menu prepared by Chef Alexander Waschl from Austria, who was previously the Sous Chef at The Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Switzerland and was responsible for creation of the menus at the Kronenstubli Gourmet Restaurant which was awarded 16 Gault Millau points, the equivalent of a Michelin Star.
spiced Wagyu beef tartar, Wagyu beef carpaccio
Our first introduction to Chef Alexander’s creation came in the form of spiced Wagyu beef tartar (RM 128, ala carte) with piece of crispy potato roesti and pan-roasted quail’s egg with sour cream. The raw beef was rich and flavorful that the use of raw egg is unnecessary, which is where the quail’s egg filled in perfectly. Crispy potato roesti provided a welcoming change of texture too.
The first dish from the degustation menu was Wagyu beef carpaccio, a generous strip with Parmesan cream, Parmesan shavings, extra virgin oil and aged balsamic. The aged balsamic was wonderful, as with the Parmesan shavings.
The beef however, was a slightly too thick and a little difficult to chew if too big a chunk is fed into your mouth at one go. Don’t get me wrong, it was very good beef and chef explained that they cut it raw instead of frozen, and the serving size was to provide a good value for diners. I thought perhaps two thinner slices of beef would improve this dish a bit.
Wagyu beef cheek consommé
Next to come was the Wagyu beef cheek consommé, or in laymen’s term, clear soup that’s made from stock with ground meat and mirepoix (mixture of onion, carrot, & celery), among other things.
The one that was served to us was actually a two in one – consommé with ravioli and vegetable balls, and a saparate ravioli with minced meat in creamy sauce. The former light and subtle, and latter thick, strong, and flavorful. The combination worked pretty well though the essence of Wagyu beef is perhaps less apparent in this dish.
braised Wagyu beef cheek
Braised Wagyu beef cheek came next. A fried wantan with beef cheek filling sitting atop a slab of braised Wagyu cheek and oven roast vegetables. While the wantan was an interesting invention, I particularly love the slab of braised beef, it was so soft and smooth you could cut it with a blunt butter knife. Melt in your mouth type of goodness, I am missing it.
This reminds me of the similar dish at Tanzini Upper Deck, but I think executed better here.
Wagyu beef striploin
The main course was Wagyu beef striploin with black pepper sauce, garlic beans, horseradish moussline. Contrasting the beef cheek, striploin has a firmer texture but also with a richer taste to it that is released in the process of chewing. The black pepper sauce wasn’t overpowering, and the meat certainly did not disappoint. It was as good as it looked in the photo.
chef Alexander, dessert, PinkStilettos & Coco Wen (Hotel Manager), Suanie & KY
We concluded the dinner with a serving of very rich chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries, and a scoop of raspberry sorbet freshly made with PacoJet (I want one!). The dessert was more than up to task as a conclusion to this dinner, as rich and as sinful as the dishes before it.
The 5 course Wagyu beef promotion at The Club Saujana Resort is available for the entire month of July 2012 and is priced at RM 350++ per person. Ala carte menu available too.
The Club Saujana Resort,
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
GPS: 3.10781, 101.57930
Tel: 03-7806 7000