Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / ciki

A couple weeks ago I was invited to the Patrón XO Café and and Patrón Silver launch at Ritz Carlton Penthouse. Now I’ve been to Ritz Carlton quite a few times, but the penthouse on the 27th floor is quite something else. The suite has three bedrooms, a magnificent hall, and even an open air swimming pool on the 3rd level, quite a charming place for sure.

Patrón XO Café and Silver at Ritz Carlton
Patrón XO Café and Silver at Ritz Carlton

My very first time tasting Patrón tequila was actually at Frontera, where the owner Larry swore that this was one of the best tequilas you can get. Made with 100% agave plant, this is the real thing, it is smooth, clear, and if you drink it neat, not watering it down with mixers. Adding salt or lemon with the shot would be seen as an insult to the liquor too.

If you think tequilas are nasty (which many do due to the usually poor quality of tequila we get here), give Patrón a try and I’m sure you might start to think otherwise.

tapas prepared by Chef Carmela de Ponte
tapas prepared by Chef Carmela de Ponte

The drinks were served with some fantastic finger foods prepared by Chef Carmela de Ponte, who is of course, from Mexico.

we were obviously having a good time
we were obviously having a good time – Ciki, BangsarBabe, Haze

While Patrón Silver was smooth as it gets, I actually prefer Patrón XO Cafe, simply the best coffee liquor I’ve tasted. It too was smooth, and has a distinct coffee taste that isn’t overpowered by its sweetness. The XO Cafe has 70 proof, a higher content than most coffee liqueur.

Patrón XO Café and and Patrón Silver
Patrón XO Café and and Patrón Silver

It was a great night throughout, good company, great drinks, but that is to be expected from a brand has its products sold in hand-blown, individually numbered bottles

First of all, Selamat Berpuasa to all my Muslim friends.

Remember the free dinner at Le Meriden contest I was running a while ago? Well, it’s over with and the winners all claimed their prizes already – a sumptuous Santapan Ramadan Buffet dinner at Le Meridien KL’s Latest Recipe.

Haze and Ciki at Le Meridien's Latest Recipe
Haze and Ciki at Le Meridien’s Latest Recipe

The four winners and their partners all showed up, and together with Ciki, Josen, Haze, and I, we had a plenty good time while sampling the Ramadan buffet spread.

oysters, shrimps, mussels, salmon, and more
oysters, shrimps, mussels, salmon, and more

The spread for Santapan Ramadan buffet is even bigger than the usual offerings at Latest Recipe.

There’s the standard dishes – salmon and various cold cuts, shrimps, mussle, crab, and of course, oysters too. These are the items I usually kick off my buffet dinner with, it is usually a good idea to keep the stronger tasting stuff later as to not over saturate your taste buds.

traditional Malay food too, I love the beef curry
traditional Malay food too, I love the beef curry

Quite a lot of traditional Malaysian dishes found their way on the line up too. Otak-otak (though I didn’t find their version to be very good), whole roast lamb, begedil, and different types of gulai & curry. The beef curry was very good!

Chef Antoine and his two helpers
Chef Antoine and his two side kicks at Latest Recipe

There are also made to order dishes you can get. Chef Antoine was there to man the pasta counter and we got him to prepare a mean plate of piping hot carbonara for us.

many more dishes, including cold cuts at Satapan buffet
many more dishes, including cold cuts and kuih at Satapan buffet

Traditional kuih muih were also available, and this is one of the few buffets where you can choose drinks other than just ice water too. Don’t you hate it when you are already paying decent sum for buffet and all they give you is plain water? I know I do.

Oh, the sugar cane juice is superb, reminds me of when McDonald’s used to serve it.

pasta was made by chef Antoine, and those Belgium waffles were awesome!
pasta was made by chef Antoine, and those Belgium waffles were awesome!

Above all, the dish I love most at Latest Recipe is their Belgium waffles. Yes, it is a bit odd to be indulging on mere waffles looking at the huge buffet spread, but do give it a try when you are there, it is simply the lightest, yummiest waffle I’ve ever had.

the contest winners with Ciki & myself flanking :D
the contest winners with Ciki & myself flanking 😀

Prices of the buffet:

  • Sun-Thurs: RM118 (adult) / RM59 (child)
  • Fri,Sat: RM128 (adult) / RM64 (child)
  • Time: 6:30pm to 10:30pm

Again, congratulations to Chen Mee Kuan, Jennifer Amelia Clement, Joel Tan Tyan Min, and Norazalia Musa. I hope all of you had a good time. Cheers!

map to Le Meridien

Address:
Latest Recipe
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7888

 

Last Friday we braved the traffic and traveled to Solaris Mont Kiara for a lovely dinner at Shuraku thanks to the invitation from Mei.

The quaint Japanese restaurant is located just above Maybank on level 2, with the ambiance that is only made possible by the inclusion of Japanese diners in addition to Japanese magazines, old clocks, hanging ropes, and the sound and smell of a yakitori bar.

Shuraku at Solaris Mont Kiara
Shuraku at Solaris Mont Kiara

The dishes for the night were already chosen for us so the six of us just sat back and relax. We started the night with some Asahi beer and a couple glasses of Japanese cocktails that were served from this portable carbonated dispenser, we had a pear flavored cocktail, it was lovely.

salmon tamago, beef steak salad, unagi
salmon tamago, beef steak salad, unagi

Appetizer, if you would, were seared salmon on tamago (sweet egg omelet), the sweet and savory unagi on tofu, and some tasty beef steak salad.

pork belly, chicken wings, chicken gizzards, chicken thigh and leek yakitori
pork belly, chicken wings, chicken gizzards, chicken thigh and leek yakitori

What we really came here for though, were the yakitori. While yakitori literally meant grilled fowl, at Shuraku, they also serve it with yummy pork belly too.

Of course, we also had  chicken thigh with leek, chicken wings (I must say the way Japanese grill their chicken wings is a lot better than our Malaysian style, much easier to eat and much less messy), and my favorite – chicken gizzards.

soba, roast eggplants
soba salad, roast eggplants

Soba salad was refreshing but slightly awkward, I still prefer the good old cha soba, this is a bit too fusion for me.

The roast eggplants however, was super awesome. There’s a type of sweet (peanut/mayo?) sauce they add to it that made it so rich and really made my taste buds happy. Kim and I devoured the whole thing, including skin!

salmon maki
salmon and tuna  maki

We shared a salmon and tuna maki too, so yah, they do have raw fish and do a very fine job preparing the maki. Great in both presentation and taste, I must say.

kimchi, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake/pizza), mushroom
kimchi, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake/pizza), mushroom

Curiously, Shuraku also serve up a pretty good kimchi dish, and with pork belly in it of course.

Okonomiyaki was rich and quite filling with all the mayo and sweet sauce, I just realised last I had this was in 2005, documented in this post, at Lowyat plaza.

sake, teriyaki, ciki!
sake, teriyaki, ciki!

Ah, there’s also this meatball skewer that was served with half boiled egg. Interesting combination that somehow worked.

the girls and the guys
Haze, Kim, Ciki, Cumi, Gareth, KY

We ordered several more yakitori of various flavored and had an awesome night. Prices at Shuraku are reasonable and doesn’t vary much from other similar Japanese outfit. Do check the place out if you love authentic Japanese food that isn’t just confined to sushi and sashimi

map to Solaris Mont Kiara

Address:
Shuraku
13-2, Jalan Solaris Mont Kiara 1,
Solaris Mont Kiara, off Jalan Duta
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.174049,101.660037
Tel: 03-6203 0561

Last month it was the Vietnamese cooking demo and Vietnamese promotion at Latest Recipe, Le Meridien. Now the very same hotel runs the Taste of Italy” culinary event featuring guest Chef Fabrizio from Westin Bejing Financial Street.

Together with a bunch of bloggers & members of media, we were treated to a cooking demonstration by the good chef, and here’s one of his recipe.

Now even I think I can properly cook a meal with lobster that will do the shell fish justice. Here’s the recipe.

glorious Maine lobster in frying pan with olive oil, herbs & cherry tomato
glorious Maine lobster in frying pan with olive oil, herbs & cherry tomato

Ingredients:

  • 320 g spaghetti
  • 100 g olive oil
  • 300 g cherry tomato (halved)
  • 30 g garlic (chopped)
  • 4 pcs maine lobster
  • 100 g butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the pesto

  • 25 g basil
  • 25 g marjoram
  • 25 g parsley
  • 75 g olive oil

here's the spaghetti with lobster
here’s the spaghetti with lobster

The preparation method is pretty straight forward, and let me just copy verbatim from Chef Fabrizio’s text.

Roast garlic in large pan with olive oil. Add lobster, cherry tomato and cook with some water, add seasoning. Boil pasta in a large pot with salted water until the favorite cooking. Blend herbs with the olive oil for pesto. Take“` lobster out of the sauce, clean the tongs and half the tail. Arrange halved tail in a plate. Strain spaghetti and add sauce with herb pesto and butter. Arrange spaghetti beside the lobster, add lobster meat. Decorate with some herb leaves and serve.

fresh spring herb pesto
fresh spring herb pesto, prepared with a blender

It’s pretty simple isn’t it?

Chef Fabrizio has a bit of flair and the lack of “seriousness” when it comes to preparation of his dishes. As he proudly said “I am not a pastry chef”, and cooking should involves a sense of flexibility and creativity. I like this style.

In fact, in a short span of 1 hour or so, the good chef prepared three dishes right in front of us, including the eggplant millefeuille recipe shared by Kim.

and we were served a very good buffet spread too
and we were served a very good buffet spread too, Chef Fabrizio & Chef Antoine

To get a taste of Chef Fabrizio’s creations, you can head to Favola at Le Meridien KL from June 4 to June 12, 2011. Ala carte goes for RM 25++ to RM 130++. Don’t miss out especially if you’re a fan of authentic Italian cuisine.

KY with Chef Fabrizio, Jon & Ciki, Cindy & Kim & Haze, Kim & Gareth
KY with Chef Fabrizio, Jon & Ciki, Cindy & Kim & Haze, Kim & Gareth

We were also fed an awesome spread of Italian dishes after the event (and after we sampled all three dishes prepared by Chef Fabrizio). There were cold cuts, clams, pizza, bruschetta, smoked salmon, salad, and more. It was a fantastic and certainly gastronomically satisfied session.

map to Le Meridien

Address:
Favola
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7888

 

Last Monday I took a day off to take advantage of the Tuesday holiday for a pro-longed weekends (man I can get used of that 3 day work week) and attended a cooking demo at Le Meridien KL.

It was part of the “Experience Vietnam” promotion at Latest Recipe that runs from 16-22 May, 2011. Three chefs from Sheraton Saigon  – Chef Tran Cong Tien, Chef Nguyen Thi Duy and Chef Bui Van Tien Dong flew all the way here to KL to infuse the restaurant with some true blue (or red?) Vietnamese cuisine, and of course, to share a few recipe with us.

vietnamese girls serving spring roll
yes, these are real Vietnamese ladies too.

I’ve always been a fan of Vietnamese food ever since the university days in the States, and having traveled to Saigon for 9 times over the last 7-8 years or so, this brand of South East Asian cuisine isn’t exactly very foreign for me.

Yet, this is the first time I learn how to make a real Vietnamese Sping roll. It turned out to be really simple, you can source all the ingredients locally and make yourself some authentic Vietnamese spring rolls too!

making a vietnamese spring roll
making a vietnamese spring roll

Here’s the ingredients to make 20 spring rolls:

  • 20 pieces of rice papers
  • 80 grams of lettuce
  • 25 grams of your favourite Vietnamese herbs (basil and chives usually)
  • 70 grams of carrot, sliced in strips
  • 200 grams of fresh rice vermicelli (they use the thick version, i think mee hun might work too?)
  • 20 pieces of blanched prawns, peeled & halved

Then the ingredients for dipping sauce

  • 50 grams of tamarind pulp
  • 50 ml of hot water
  • 40 grams of dried mung bean
  • 60 ml of tepid water
  • 200 grams of preserved soya bean
  • 50 ml of corn oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 10 grams of chopped garlic
  • 60 grams of sugar

we got our hands dirty, and our cooking skills upgraded :D
Kim and I got our hands dirty, and our cooking skills upgraded 😀

The steps in making the Vietnamese spring roll is surprisingly easy:

  • wet the rice paper on one side with hand, but careful not to drench it
  • apply a piece of lettuce, then 2 basil leaves, a few strips of carrot, then some noodle
  • next fold the rice paper from both sides, then roll up from bottom until you just cover the ingredients
  • at this point put 2 pieces of shrimp on top, a piece of chives, and continue to roll the spring roll till complete

The last step separated out for mainly aesthetic purposes, so you can clearly see the shrimps through the translucent rice paper. Brilliant, I always wonder how they made it that way. Now I know. 😀

chef Tran Cong Tien and team making Bo La Lot
chef Tran Cong Tien and team making Bo La Lot (beef in fragrant leaves)

While you can consume the spring roll as is, they are best served with the soya bean dipping sauce, and here’s how you make them:

  • Stir in tamarind pulp in 50 ml of hot water, then strain through a fine sieve and set aside.
  • Steam the mung beans with 60 ml of water for about 20 minutes then blend together with the steaming water to form smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Blend the soya bean into a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Next, heat up the oil in a pan, sautee the garlics till golden and throw in tamarind pulp paste, mung beans paste and soya bean paste. Stir till combined.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes till mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool down before storing in fridge. This dipping sauce can be kept for up to a week

Cheo Troai Noouc (the dessert), Haze, Chef Antoine, Ciki
Cheo Troai Noouc (the dessert), Haze, Chef Antoine, Ciki

The good chefs from Vietnam also taught us how to make one of the most iconic Vietnamese food – Bo La Lot (grilled beef in fragrant leaves), and the dessert by the name of Cheo Troai Noouc (sticky rice dumpling with green bean filling and ginger syrup). I didn’t get a chance to try how to make those, but perhaps one day!

map to Le Meridien at KL Sentral

Address:
Le Meridien
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7888