I almost never say no to food review at classy Japanese restaurants, so when the invitation from Hanaya came, I immediately made it a point find a way to get there even though the timing wasn’t exactly perfect.
And as it turned out, that was a wise choice. Walking from KLCC to Grand Millennium Hotel under the hot sun was definitely worth it.
Hanaya Japanese Restaurant at Grand Millennium Hotel, KL
While Ten is modern and veered towards the higher end fine dining experience, Hanaya aimed to be more approachable to the general public and offers traditional Japanese cuisine with more affordable pricing while maintaining very high quality, as apparent during this review session.
Our tasting menu for this pre-opening review was specially selected to showcase some of the different dishes and ingredients from Hanaya.
Shirako, or soft roe with ponzu sauce
We started the session with Shirako, or red snapper soft roe. For those who aren’t familiar with the difference between normal roe & soft roe, well, normal roe is fish eggs, while soft roe is the male counterpart.. or in the less glamorous term – fish sperm sac.
It was incredibly rich and creamy, but perfectly balanced with the acidity from ponzu sauce. I must say that I find myself really enjoying this delicacy despite knowing the ingredient intimately. I’d want to have this again for sure.
Oriental clam fritters with grated green bean sauce
Next up was Oriental clam fritters with grated green bean sauce and spring vegetable. A more muted taste that serves as a welcoming change from the strong first dish. It was an simple yet rather delightful.
entree – five types
The entree came with five different items, all of them carefully crafted and expertly prepared.
We had botargo (salted dried fish roe) which reminded me of the texture of dried mango minus the fiber; sticky tofu skin that was simple yet intricate; bamboo shoots in balsamic vinegar that provided the fresh, crunchy feeling; red snapper with Mozuku seaweed giving a new interpretation of the way to enjoy raw fish; and finally a play in colors with prawns in 3 ways – with nori, ohba leaves and arare (crispy Japanese cracker).
The entree was quite a revelation, and I did enjoy them all, though the prawns could perhaps bit a bit more crunchy, but I’m nitpicking.
assorted seasonal sashimi
What’s a proper Japanese meal without sashimi?
Our assorted seasonal sashimi platter comes with 5 types of fresh raw seafood, each beautifully crafted and carefully prepared.
Starting from ebi with cucumber and avocado sauce, seared salmon with bonito cream, saba with vinaigrette, aoyagi (Chinese mactra, a type of clam), and finally chutoro with sweet spicy gochujang sauce. All of which were rather excellent, and one of the very few times I had sashimi without the need of any soya sauce or wasabi since they were all very well balanced already.
Akita Wagyu steak
Next up was charcoal grilled Akita Wagyu steak, I believe this simple three slices of beef was actually prepared by God himself. It was, of a lack of a better word, heaven. It was very lightly grilled and served with a few pieces of fried garlic, a bit of daikon, carrot, and a touch of sea salt & pepper.
If you think sex is good, that’s because you haven’t had this beef.
steamed alfonsino fish
Steamed dish came in the form of alfonsino (a type of deep water fish with huge eyes) with Japanese yam and egg white. I thought the texture of the fish was perhaps slightly harder than I’m used to, but overall it was a good combination, and I really like the fluffy texture of the foamy egg & yam concoction.
seasonal sushi at Hanaya Japanese Restaurant
Penultimate dish that was simply labeled “rice dish” in the menu turned out to be sushi (all rice dish should be sushi isn’t it?)
My favorites were sea urchin, scallops, and of course, otoro! The melt in your mouth texture was just so irresistible! Every piece of the five on the plate was spot on, and again, we didn’t even need wasabi!
coconut bavorios with pineapple jelly in pino colada style
Unfortunately, every good meal had to come to an end, and to conclude this special menu, we had an unassuming looking dessert that came in a martini glass – coconut bavorios with pineapple jelly in pino colada style. The layered dessert lived up to the expectations set by the previous dishes, the combination of sweet, milky, and sour taste was perfect. I was already rather full at this point, but finished the dessert nonetheless.
KY, Ringo, & Caydence at Hanaya Japanese Restaurant
Omakase at Hanaya ranges from RM 200-250, and there is also quite a decent selection of ala carte item. I believe I’m going to go back there perhaps to try their lunch menu pretty soon!
Hanaya Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur 160, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.148006, 101.712225 Tel: 03-2110 5499
I’ve read about the new kid in town – Magnolia Sherbet for a little while now, and today I finally got my hands on some from the Petronas station at Damansara Jaya. It was just laying there beautifully, little containers with 85 ml of delicious goodness in them.
Magnolia Sherbet is finally here!
I picked up one of each flavors available from the lot – Delightful Orange, Marvellous Mangosteen, and Magnificent Melon. Unfortunately Luscious Lychee flavor is sold out at this location, bummer, but 3 out of 4 isn’t too bad I suppose.
Suggested retail price is RM 2.50 (RM 2.80 at East Malaysia), but I think I paid RM 2.70 at Mesra store, usually convenient stores at gas station impose a bit of a premium, oh well. I’m not complaining though.
Cendawan approves Magnolia Sherbet – Melon, Orange, and Mangosteen
The sherbet is kept in little plastic container of their own, and underneath the cap you’ll find a little plastic spoon. This is a pretty smart and messy-less packaging, I like.
The biggest difference between Magnolia Sherbet and just any ice cream is it’s texture. The sherbet comes with real fruit stuff in them – there’s real orange sacs in orange flavored sherbet, mangosteen puree in Mangosteen variety, and nata de coco in Magnificent Melon. Real lychee pieces can be found in the lychee variant too.
In a nutshell, you not only lick, you chew a little too. 😀
this thing actually tastes very good!
The orange flavor is tangy and gives the taste bud a kick, on the other hand, I like the melon varient’s nata de coco pieces too. The mangosteen flavor though, takes a little getting used to, but I guess it’s because that’s the first time I had any sherbet with mangosteen flavor. I have a feeling my mom will like it though.
(by the way mangosteen flavor seems to be Cendawan’s favorite, emmmm..
Since less dairy product is found in sherbet compared to ice cream, the sherbet is also a lot lighter, kinda in between ice and ice cream. Very refreshing, and we can all indulge in them pretty much guilt free. After all, it’s 2011, and I’ve started jogging/exercise a little bit more, so must also eat healthier lah.
That said, I’m contemplating finishing the last one in the fridge before Haze comes back, hehehe.
P/S: There’s a contest going on too, write a blog post that starts with “A Magnolia Sherbet A Day…” and win up to RM 1500 cash! Check here for more info!
It is no doubt that many of you have heard about Godiva, the premium Belgium chocolatier, but I supposed some of you would be like me, who didn’t know about Lady Godiva at all.
The legend goes like this – Lady Godiva is a really hot Anglo-Sexon woman who rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to change her husband’s mind of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants.
Hence the logo of Godiva Chocolates is an outline of the naked Lady Godiva on her horse, covered only with her lush long hair.
the very first Godiva cafe, at Pavilion KL
Incidentally, the term Peeping Tom also came about from the same story. Everyone in the streets of Conventry had closed their doors and not look at Lady Godiva out of respect, but this perverted Tom dude did not. Hence peeping Tom.
Learn something new everyday huh?
super yummy Godiva chocolate cake – Sight, Smell, Taste
A couple weeks ago I had the luxury of a food tasting session at the world’s very first Godiva cafe at Pavilion KL thanks to Winnie.
To be honest, I haven’t had Godiva more than a few times, and my very first experience was actually from the xmas eve party 2009 exchange gift from Su Ann, a bottle of Godiva hazelnut chocolate spread.
chocolate drinks, and chocolate cakes that goes well with hot black coffee
The cafe offers the usual stuff you’d find at any Godiva outlets – chocolate truffles, chocolate bars, the aforementioned chocolate hazelnut spread, and other Godiva chocolate products/gifts. However, the cafe also offers really awesome chocolate cakes (at RM 15 a slice, really good value if you ask me), coffee, brownies, mocha frappuccino, chocolate drinks and more.
Of course, there’s also the tastefully romantic dining area at one end of level 2 in Pavilion that doesn’t carry too much foot traffic.
Winnie the reluctant make-shift Godiva model, KY
Over the lunch session, I tried a slice of chocolate cake that’s topped with a chocolate truffle that turned out to be easily the best chocolate cake I’ve had. There’s also the chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream that went well black coffee, 6 pieces of those famous Godiva chocolate truffles, and also a few slices of 80% chocolate squares.
Oh, I also had the chocolate drinks warmed by a candle under the pot too, rich and flavorful.
chocolate goodies for you to take home, or as gifts
To be honest, everything tasted wonderful on it’s own, but on a food tasting session, there’s only that much rich tasting chocolate one can take before feeling “muak”. Fortunately the black coffee somewhat refreshes the tongue a little bit.
Ultimately, I think Godiva Cafe is definitely a place worth visit, especially if you bring a date over tea time. The cake at RM 15 a slice offers great value too.
Address: Godiva Chocolatier Cafe
Level 2, Pavilion
Jln Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368 Tel: 03-2142 5252
The SS2 square at Petaling Jaya has always been labeled as one of the premier eating places this side of Klang Valley, new dining establishments come and go, the good ones stay, and the substandard outlets usually go away within a couple years, or sometimes months. It is a very competitive place for restauranteurs, and quite a heaven for food lovers.
NOTE: This place has since closed down
甜品哥哥 has a really huge menu
One of the latest establishments at SS2 square is the aptly named Tin Pan Kor Kor (甜品哥哥), or Dessert Brother in Cantonese/Mandarin.
Tin Pan Kor Kor is operated by the same people behind Chef Loong (龙师傅) located just a stone’s throw away. While Chef Loong serves quite a fair bit of traditional Chinese snacks (including xiao long pao), Tin pan Kor Kor concentrates solely on desserts.
glutinous ball in ginger soup, walnut & peanut soup, sago with mango
The most impressive thing about this place is the sheer size of the menu. There are altogether 142 items divided into over half a dozen categories to choose from. Most importantly, every single item is photographed and presented in the menu with brief description in both English and Chinese, making ordering a slightly easier chore (if you consider going through 142 items easy)
pear stewed tendril, mango pancake, fresh milk with stewed hasma,
glutinous rice balls with peanut and black sesame
Just before CNY, the #porkgang went there after having dined at Hoho Steamboat. There were some 10 of us, but we managed to order 13 different items, in part thanks to Kim who doesn’t choose between item one, two, or three, she always take the “all of the above” option.
snow mountain and pomelo and sago in mango, apple pear juice, apple melon juice
Among the things we ordered (as you can see in the photos), the only disappointment was the mango pancaket. The cream were just a tad too hard and way too much in volume, we didn’t finish it. The fresh milk with stewed hasma was a tad weird and rather difficult to taste the hasma too.
The peanut/walnut soup was thick and flavorful, glutinous balls (both soup and the one covered with peanuts) were quite tasty, and the pear stewed tendril especially nice and chilling in a hot day. The girls were very happy with their variety of juices too.
some of the #porkgang members
Most items at Tin Pan Kor Kor is priced between RM 5 – RM 10, with the more exotic dishes like hasma costing slightly over RM 10. A pretty good stopover after dinner, if you can find a table that is, this place is getting pretty popular in a jiffy!
Tin Pan Kor Kor is located right in the middle of SS2 square
Address: Tin Pan Kor Kor (甜品哥哥)
No: 36, Ground Floor,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.11878,101.621996