Tag / ciki
For those who loves dimsum and enjoys buffet at the same time, I’m sure it must have crossed your mind that someone should really come up with buffet style dimsum.
Well, Dorsett Grand Subang (formerly Sheraton) does just that, on every Sunday and Public Holiday, you can get eat-all-you-can dimsum brunch at The Emperor Chinese Restaurant. We had the luxury of sampling the spread at this five star hotel recently.
Emperor Chinese Restaurant, Dorsett Grand Subang
Dorsett is located just behind Sime Darby Medical Centre, accessible via Federal Highway, and while traffic can get a bit ugly during rush hours, you shouldn’t expect any trouble during Sunday/Public Holiday brunch hours.
Interior decoration isn’t the most modern nor overly antiquated, tables and chairs are nice and comfortable, but I’m not too into those carpet on the floor.
Anyway, lets talk about the food instead.
our dimsum spread, of course to be shared
For RM 60++ per person (RM 30++ if you’re over 60, or between 5-12; 5 below eats free), the spread is certainly commendable. There are over a dozen different types of steamed dimsum for your choosing.
The usual suspects are all available, har kau, siu mai, fish ball, phoenix’s claws, ribs, char siu pau, shrimp chee cheong fun, pan fried vegetable pau, steamed chicken wings, and various other types of dumplings too.
This is a pork free establishment, but I must say that the chefs did a fine job in preserving the essence of dimsum taste despite not using pork. The major ingredients here are prawns, chicken, and in a few dishes, beef.
deep fried items, soup, desserts, and more
If deep fried items is what you crave, they have deep fried prawn rolls with cheese (yes they ooze out!), yam puff with BBQ chicken (instead of pork), sui kok, shrimp dumpling, egg tart (super soft), baked century egg with pickled ginger in pastry, and sesame balls. There is also a decent selection of desserts as well, these include peanut soup, cakes, mango pudding, herbal jelly (my favorite), and Chinese pan-cake.
the wu kok, or yam pastry, turned out to be pretty good despite having chicken and yam as the substitute to the traditionally pork and yam filling.
bean curd, oyster, brocolli, prawns, deep fried fish, noodle
Those who want a bit of a departure to dim sum can opt for main dishes as well. While the exact dishes may vary from week to week, there’ll usually be noodle, poultry, meat, bean curd, vegetables, and at least two seafood dishes. I only tried the broccoli and bean curd this session, and was not disappointed.
wantan soup, fried pau, yong tau foo, chicken charsiu pau
Last but not least, there’s also a “live action” barbecue stall stationed within the restaurant where you can get roast duck, roast chicken, and chicken chasiu, all served with traditional condiments. The roast duck wasn’t exactly the standard you’ll find at places such as Loong Foong or Sunrise, but they are more than decent.
KY, Haze, Umei, Josen, Derek, Chris, & Elaine at Dorsett Grand Subang
For those who have a healthy appetite and long for a slow and sumptuous dimsum dinner on a lazy Sunday morning, The Emporer at Dorsett Grand Subang certainly won’t be a disappointment. I think it is also a very good location if you have guests who prefer a pork free meal. RM 60++ is pretty fair for what you get.
Furthermore, for those with kids, there’s a sort of “day care” activities going on right outside the restaurant, with clown and such to keep your kids entertained while you attack the buffet line.
Dorsett Grand Subang
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.079211, 101.595999
Tel: 03-5031 6060 ext 1954
Hours: Sundays & Public Holidays 10 am – 2:30 pm
The name Kampachi is not foreign to fans of Japanese cuisine in Malaysia, especially to those who gravitates towards the higher end establishments. Starting as restaurants within Equatorial hotels, the Kampachi brand now spread outside from its confine and can be found at several other locations.
The latest branch being at Plaza 33 in Petaling Jaya, and we were lucky enough to to sample the food and drinks at this fine restaurant a couple weeks ago in a private food review session with a few other like minded bloggers.
Kampachi at Jaya 33, check out the sake ball
Right by the side of the restaurant main door hung a ball of something that can be easily assumed as a hive of geometrically evolved species of bee, but is in fact, a “sake ball”. A ball made of cedar twigs traditionally hung over the door of sake breweries to signify new arrival of (high quality) sake to customers.
Appropriate here as Kampachi prides itself in stocking one of the largest selections of Japanese sake, including some hard to find “cult” sakes from exceptional breweries that are made available in Malaysia exclusively by Kampachi.
open kitchen concept, with plenty of wine and sake
Kampachi has certainly spent a lot of effort in creating a very striking interior of the 198 person capacity restaurant. A lot of traditional Japanese materials, such Japanese paper, imported floor and wall tiles, and more are applied in a contemporary way to make up a sophisticated and modern look.
I especially like the bamboo seating pods that can seat maybe up to 5-6 person that can be rotated for added privacy.
In the interest of not bothering paying customers with camera flash & loud chatters, we had the session in one of the three private rooms. Interestingly, these rooms come with a private sushi kitchen of sort, concealed by a movable panel that kinda reminds me of those cabinets that conceal TVs in the 80s.
shima aji sashimi (raw striped jack)
Our review session was of the omakase meal (priced at RM 220), which means “I’ll leave it to you”, or degustation menu in Japanese. Typically you get the freshest seasonal ingredients and chef’s favourite dishes this way.
Our first dish was the Shima Aji Sashimi, or raw Striped Jack.
Chef Looi, who carved the fish right before our eyes behind that private kitchen, told us that the very fish beautifully presented to us was still in Japan the very same morning.
To describe the fish as merely “fresh” would be an understatement. I can’t criticise any aspect of the sashimi - taste, fat content, and visual appeal were all simply spot on.
the sashimi, shake kawa salad (green vege with crispy salmon skin & salmon roe)
Cold sake is dispense from a special holder that keeps ice separate as to not dilute the drinks. While the mechanism is visually similar to milking a cow, you don’t need to squeeze or suck, just a gentle tap will do.
Our second dish was Shake Kawa Salad, green vegetable with crispy salmon skin and salmon roe. I particularly like the very thinly sliced crispy salmon skin, made available from the 2-3 whole salmon consumed here each day.
wagyu teppanyaki (grilled Australian wagyu beef)
Before continuing with more seafood, we were served with Wagyu Teppanyaki, the beef sourced from Australia, grilled medium rare, and served with the unique Kampachi truffle sauce.
The sauce is a blend of Tosa Shoyu and mushroom broth with a hint of black truffle and olive oil. I usually don’t have my beef with any condiment, but this sauce managed to make it just that much better. My only complain is that they don’t sell the sauce in bottles.
unfiltered sake, ankimo beko an (pan-seared angler fish liver with simmered radish)
In French cuisine, foie gras often signifies luxury, and in Japanese food, the equivalent would be Angler fish liver, or Ankimo Beko An.
The liver makes up quite a large part of the fish, has a very rich texture. Simmered radish is used to expertly mask any fishy taste the liver might carry to balance this unique ingredient. This was the 3rd time I had ankimo, first was in Vietnam, and second at Hokkaido Ichiba restaurant.
Following the cold sake, we were served warm, unfiltered sake. The milky color is pretty unique for usually clear looking sake, and yet was definitely smooth and leave a feeling of warmth and comfort in the stomach.
aburi sushi (seared sushi) – anago (conger eel), shake harasu (salmon belly), hotate (scallop)
miso soup with striped jack bones
What’s a omakase dinner without sushi?
Three types of Aburi Sushi (seared sushi) were chosen for the night – Anago (conger eel), Shake Harasu (salmon belly), and Hotate (scallop). Each were seared just very lightly and still partially raw at the bottom, the first time I tried sushi prepared this way and I liked it.
Miso soup was made with the bones from our first dish, and the striped jack definitely contributed to the extra sophistication in the soup that would have been quite boring otherwise.
garlic fried rice, Japanese peach, and ciki enjoy the fruits
We specially asked for garlic fried rice just cause Ciki needed some carb for her half marathon preparation, and I was glad to go along with one as well. Most definitely the best garlic fried rice I’ve had, it’s hard to explain, there weren’t any magical ingredients, just plain old rice, garlic, eggs, and such. Execution was the key, great job by the chefs.
Instead of fancy desserts, we had a couple slices of Japanese peach.
These fruits were priced at RM 66 per peach, and “WHAT?!!!??” was my initial reaction. Then I took a bite, and it was a realization and instant understanding on why and how a fruit barely the size of my fist can cost more than 4 hours of solid domestic housework. You get what you paid for, it was excellent and now I’m staring at this piece of apple on my desk while writing this and dreading it.
Haze, KY, and our parting drinks – sake bomb
As for drinks, we started out with the pink colored cocktail - Blushing Maiko (trainee Geisha) to get us started prior to dinner.
After the cold and warm sake, it was a mixture of green tea with Hakushu Single Malt Whisky, interpretation of Baileys the Japanese way perhaps?
We concluded the night with Sake Bomb - shot glasses of sake lined up atop beer glasses and knocked down with Domino effects, it was quite a show and I suspect the bartender has done this a hundred times probably with water and tea before perfecting the skill. We were well impressed, and of course, had one for the road.
It was a great dinner, and I want to go back.
P/S: The famous Kampachi Sunday Buffet is back and now available exclusively at the Plaza 33 outlet, priced at RM 118++ for adults and RM 68++ for children below 10.
P1-02, First Floor
Plaza @Jaya 22
Jalan Kemajuan, Seksyen 13
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.10988, 101.63787
Tel : 03-7931 6938
Hours: 12-3pm for lunch, 6-11pm for dinner
Favola at Le Meridien KL is pretty synonymous with fine Italian dining, but what’s little known is the fact that they do serve dishes that are not pizza, pasta, or risotto. On the latest visit to one of our favourite Italian restaurants, we tried their beef and lobster instead.
We were told by our hosts to pick our main dishes and soup, while appetizers will be taken care of. I found out that I certainly wasn’t the only person who always over order.
bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese
As usual, we were served with some lovely breads to much on while pondering what to pick for dinner. I had to constantly remind myself not to have too much of these whenever I’m at Favola, they were yummy with just a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Soft creamy mozzarella, shaved truffle, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and beef bacon was the description for Burratina (RM 40) was refreshing, and the crispy beef bacon gave the dish an added dimension.
For cheese lovers, you’ll love Caprese (RM 35), how does marinated trio of tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic emulsion sounds like? It tasted as good as it sounds, I can use some buffalo mozzarella cheese right now, not overly cheesy, yet soft and creamy. A small pack can be had at Jaya Grocer for about RM 30.
deep fried breaded mozzarella, grilled jumbo asparagus w poached egg, mushroom soup
Fritti Mozzarella (RM 40) has a different take in mozzarella preparation, two generous slabs of buffalo mozzarellas breaded and deep-fried, then served with sautéed mushroom and avocado purée. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, the skill of the chef is exhibited here by not over cooking the cheese, while still giving the skin that crispy texture.
The most beautiful appetizer of the day was Asparagi alla Griglia (RM 45). Grilled giant asparagus, poached egg, crispy bresaola, brown butter and parmigiano. This was both beautiful and delicious.
cream of clams, sausage, vege in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth w spinach
For soup, I picked Brodo di Spinaci (RM 35), clear chicken broth with fresh spinach, with lobster dumpling and grated Parmesan. The soup was light, but I felt that the dumpling did not have enough lobster flavour to it. This was the least filling soup I think, a good thing in this case.
Haze had Zuppa di Vongola(RM 40). You could call it an Italian clam chowder, officially it’s cream of clams, Italian sausage, vegetable sofrito and green peas in golden pastries, and you gotta have a big stomach for this. The broth is creamy and quite filling, and tasted pretty good, the only minor qualm was that we wish they’d be more clams.
Zuppa di Fungi Calabrese(RM 35), or assorted mushrooms cooked in milk with garlic rustic bread and Swiss cheese, is always a favourite among diners at Favola. The mushroom soup is one of the best I’ve ever tried, rich but not overly creamy, and absolutely fantastic.
black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak
OK, now we finally get to the main dishes.
There were two beef dishes on the menu and we tried both of them. Haze and I ordered the grilled Angus T-bone steak (RM 150) with Caesar salad and smoky pimiento butter, while Josen asked for the black Angus ribeye Fiorentina (RM 135) with grilled lemon halves and balsamic vinegar.
The beef were very good, I had mine medium rare, and Haze asked for hers to be served “blue” – which was rarer than rare. While these weren’t quite the standard of Prime (nor the same type of beef), they held their own very well and did not disappoint at all. At this price point, the beef were quite a bit cheaper as well.
ciki and her full baked boston lobster
While we enjoyed our beef, ciki went the other direction and picked the baked Boston lobster (RM 230 full, RM 120 half) that came with spice tomatoes and lemon chermoula with buffalo mozzarella. She was kind enough to share the seafood with us and I’m happy to report that it was indeed excellent.
You can have Maine lobsters for a tad cheaper at Lobsterman, SS2, but of course there won’t be buffalo mozzarella, attentive servers, or ambiance anywhere near the standard of Favola.
risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley
For those who favours traditional Italian food, Risotto con Cappesante (RM 65) comes with pan-fried sea scallops on leeks, lemon zest, chili and basil; or you could perhaps choose pasta in the form of Gamberetti ai Pinoli (RM 45) with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and mushroom in extra virgin olive oil. In either case, I’m quite sure you won’t leave in disappointment.
The menu with price can be found at http://discoverlemeridien.com/menus/
Thank you Janice & Damian for the invitation.
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470
Tel: 03-2263 7753
The month of Ramadan is just a little more than a week away, and for many of us in the corporate world, it is also a time where companies will host buka puasa dinners, giving employees a chance to break fast together and mingle a little.
It is also a time where hotels and restaurants get busy with Ramadan buffet offerings, and lucky me, I already got to sample what JW Marriott at Bukit Bintang has to offer for this holy month in Muslim Calendar.
buka puasa dinner at JW Marriott
The buffet at JW Marriott will feature 108 of the best Malaysian delicacies from various states of the country, gearing towards “preserving heritage”. From the dishes we sampled, it definitely seems like they are doing what is claimed.
Case in point – sambal tempoyak (fermented durian) is available!
you’ll definitely love it if you like it spicy
Other traditional kampung dishes includes tongkeng ayam (bishop’s nose), goreng bercili, daging salai masak lemak dengan bachang and kupang masak rampai too are on offer.
Of course, ulam, satey, soup tulang, ikan bakar, roast lamb, keropok ikan, various kuih muih, fruits, and assortment of curry and vegetable dishes are to be expected as well. The preview only showcased a portion of what’s to be offered on the actual buffet, and we are already spoilt for choices.
two of my favorite things – sambal tempoyak and paku
As for the dining areas, the pool side at 6th floor and the Starhill conference centre on the 4th floor will be transformed to a Ramadan bazaar to replicate the kampung ambiance.
fruits, traditional kuih, and more
Oh, and in case you’re wondering how much this feast will cost?
- RM 60++ per person at Conference center
- RM 70++ per person at poolside area
Certainly a very competitive pricing considering the 5 star setting and the rather stellar offering in terms of dish choices. I sampled quite a few dishes from the spread, and most everything was top notch and “ori”, except perhaps for the ikan bakar pari which I thought was a bit too chewy (hopefully this gets fixed). The roast lamb, tempoyak, and prawn with petai were particularly outstanding.
For reservations, call 03-2719 8666 or e-mail bukapuasa@ytl hotels.com.my
cheng yi, shah, ciki, and I definitely had a great time
Now I gotta wonder how other hotels within the area will respond.
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14765, 101.71372
Tel: 03-2715 9000
A couple weeks ago a bunch of us were invited to Al-Amar Express at Fahrenheit 88 for the Happy Hour promotion and a bit of food. The event turned out to be a definition of excess, and a textbook reference of good times.
Al Amar Express at Fahrenheit 88
Like most people, I had the unfortunate generalization that Al-Amar Express is a middle eastern food joint (which was correct), and hence must not serve alcohol (which wasn’t).
cocktails at Al Amar Express
In fact, the Al Amar “lets meet up…” wines and cocktails menu has several selections of Lebanese wines, popular beers, whisky, spirits, and some 10 different types of cocktails.
From 4pm to 8pm, buy 2 cocktails and get 1 free. The same thing applies to beer as well.
Lebanese wine, strawberry margarita, Corona beer
Before food was being served, we already got the night started with some mojito, Corona beer, wine, and margarita. Perfect start to the evening if you ask me.
hummus, Lebanese chickpea and eggplant dip, pita bread, haloumi salad
After a bit of chit chat and making sure everyone had something to drink, the food arrived.
We started out with some warm pita bread. Dipping them into hummus (RM 12.90) or those very interesting chickpea and eggplant (moutabal RM 12.90) as you would with chips and salsa, except the experience is quite a bit richer, and definitely more refined (for something that is eaten with hand)
The haloumi salad (RM 20) is another exquisite dish that I’ve never tasted – with fried haloumi cheese, herb crust crouton, cherry tomato, and vinaigrette dressing on top of a bed of rocket. The fried cheese was a revelation, slightly crispy on the outside, and definitely cheesy within. It was very good!
tabbouleh, warak enab, grilled chicken salad
Tabbouleh is a uniquely Arabic salad with finely chopped tomato, Italian parsley, and mint. The taste was very… refreshing.
Another salad we tried was the grilled chicken salad (RM 20), and this came with a generous portion of grilled chicken breast topped with aioli dressing. The marinate definitely leave a Lebanese signature in this dish.
Warak enab is these spring roll look-alike with ground lamb, rice, and spices all chopped up and wrapped in grape leaves. I find it a little too sour and salty, perhaps it is an acquired taste, or just a case of Al Amar sticking to the traditional recipe too closely.
spinach fatayer, cheese roll, lamb sambousik,
Spinach fatayer, cheese roll, and lamb sambousik (RM 8.50 each) were definitely the type of finger food best with some beer or cocktail. I don’t think further explanation is needed. Deep fried food always go well with alcohol.
Lebanese pizzas, shawarma and flame grilled chicken
And as we thought our collective stomaches were starting to get a bit full, the main dishes came.
First to be served were spicy chicken cheese (RM 17.90) and kafta with cheese manakeesh (RM 17.90) were both very delicious. They looked exactly like pizzas, but the taste was definitely different, a tad of saltiness, a kick of spiciness, and that savory taste from the meat. If I could only get these delivered…
The other main dishes were grilled whole chicken (RM 38) that comes in spicy and non spicy versions. The portion was enough to be shared between 2-3 adults. They too, carry the distinctive Lebanese taste.
Finally, we also tried the chicken and beef shawarma (RM 24.90 each). They were a bit like the kebab meat, but served loosely on a plate with pita bread.
a bunch of guys and gals who are completely full and half drunk
The session at Al Amar was rather enjoyable, there were good food, drinks, and excellent company. Ultimately, I thought the food at Al Amar was a little bit too one dimensional if you will. Everything stays very close to a distinctive taste that is undoubtedly Lebanese.
For a food review session, it gets a little bit monotonous, but to have a change of pace from other cuisines, a dinner at Al Amar surely wouldn’t disappoint, just don’t order the warak enab.
Al Amar Express
Lot G44, Ground Floor,
Buking Bintang, KL
GPS: 3.14748, 101.71283
Tel: 03-2141 3814