Quite a few moons ago we went to do one of the more touristy things you can do in Selangor – firefly watching at Kuala Selangor.
To be honest, it was my first time doing that, and I had our Singaporean friends Angus & his girlfriend to thank for this experience. Funnily, the attractions closest to us are some that we often never bother to visit.
Firefly watching at Kuala Selangor
The tour is fairly simple, you arrive at around sunset, pay some RM 30 or so, put on your life jacket and hop on the boat. D’Tour is just one of the many operations that offers similar services.
The boat then take us along Selangor River to the area where the fireflies gather. It was quite a sight to see, the trees by the river were packed with fireflies that seems to blink in sync, like a single colored x’mas tree. Quite neat, and no, we didn’t get too many mosquito bites.
It was quite fun and anyone should at least try this once. The whole journey lasted around an hour or so.
This part of Kuala Selangor has quite a few seafood restaurants in operation, and many of them are seemingly packed on every weekends. We hop onto the one right next to D Tour – Kuang Wah Seafood Restaurant.
The set up is a carbon copy of many Malaysian seafood outfits – with plastic tables & chairs, and a wall of aquarium and fiber glass containers full with assortment of live seafood for your picking. The prices are also clearly stated.
deep fried mantis prawn, lala with superior soup, drunken live prawn
For the four of us, we started with deep fried mantis shrimp with chili and salt (RM 30). The meat was firm and rather flavorful, a good start.
Then it was lala in superior soup (RM 15). The soup was more spicy than superior, but does tick the checkbox somewhat.
Drunken prawn came in a clay pot (RM 30), and had some mushroom, green onion, and plenty of ginger strips in a soup base that I can’t stop drinking. It was quite awesome, and you can also definitely tell the freshness of the prawns by how sticky the skin is to the meat.
steamed 7-star garoupa, Sg. friends & Haze
Our main dish was the steamed seven-star garoupa fish. We chose the simplest of preparation method to enjoy the natural flavor of the seafood, and it proved to be good decision. The meat was smooth and sweet, with the superior soya sauce complimenting the fish meat perfectly.
Overall it was a pretty good dinner, our friends from Singapore certainly did not complain. I’d say that Kuang Wah offers very good value for money as well. The dinner came to be only RM 132 to feed four hungry adults, with each of us having a fresh coconut (RM 4.50 each) as well.
If I was at Kuala Selangor again, I’d certainly not minding coming back to this particular restaurant again.
A few weekends ago a few of us were invited to the recently refurbished Kim Ma Chinese Restaurant at Palace of Golden Horses for a food review session. The restaurant seats 120 pax with 5 private rooms.
Decoration oozes the concept of elegance and strength, with poise and beauty that is fitting of their symbol and name of the restaurant, Kim Ma translates to Golden Horse in Mandarin.
Kim Ma Chinese Restaurant, with Chef Roy Wong
The restaurant is led by Chef Roy Wong, the chef de cuisine who does not shun off from experimenting traditional Chinese cuisine with contemporary twist. Chef Roy started his career in 1991 at Frankfriut’s Dynasty China Restaurant at Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel, and has won multiple awards in the past 23 years or so.
amuse bouche, Chinese style, egg and baked oyster
We started the session with a couple “amuse-bouche” in the form of slow boiled egg and baked oyster. The egg was topped with a shimeji mushroom and a dash of truffle flavour, I love it.
The baked fresh oyster topped with mayonnaise and other ingredients, a rich and fresh treat.
signature dimsum, including steamed prawn dumplings with truffle
The two Signature dimsum were prawn meat and black mushroom topped with truffle, steamed chicken roll with morel mushrooms.
The prawn dimsum garnished with shrimp roe and spring onion, I really liked the extra character provided by the truffle. Classy and delicious. The combination of fried yam stick and beancurd with chicken also proved to be a good formula, it was good enough I didn’t miss the lack of pork in this particular dimsum.
The third dimsum we had was from their Healthy dimsum section – steamed angled luffa dumplings with superior broth. The texture of this dimsum was quite unique, and reminded me of fish maw to be honest, quite delicious.
deep fried abalone with grouper fish paste
Next up was a pretty fancy dish created by Chef Roy for the first time, deep fried abalone with grouper fish paste, caviar and served with homemade beancurd.
While visually I thought it looked like those fried ice cream, the taste couldn’t have been more different. The combination of grouper fish paste with braised abalone was superb, and I also really liked the home-made beancurd that was super soft. The caviar on top gave it that extra oomph as well.
However, the sauce used in this dish turned out to be too strong. It was fitting for the tofu, but overpowering the fish paste and abalone. Chef took our comments and promised that he will revise the dish.
more dimsum, village chicken broth with fish maw
No Chinese course meal is complete without soup, so for this purpose we were served the village chicken broth with fish maw. The broth is thick and has a slight creamy taste to it that can only achieve from steaming the whole chicken for hours.
The scallop and prawn dumpling in the soup was not bad either, but what I really love was that piece of high quality fish maw, with the consistency of foie gras, tofu, and beef tendon all mixed together. I can have this everyday.
congee with cod fish and century egg
Congee with cod fish and century egg is your usual dimsum style porridge, but this time with the higher quality cod fish instead of the usual unidentifiable “white fish fillet”.
Chinese style ravioli
Chef Wong then served us this perfectly East-meets-West dish – a Chinese style ravioli stuffed with minced chicken and topped with deep fried vege treated with charcoal powder. It was quite an interesting twist but ultimately I think a type of meat with more fat (ie: pork) would make this dish better.
double boiled whole coconut with almond and snow jelly
Our dessert was double boiled whole coconut with almond and snow jelly.
The chef combined three types of almond to create this dish – the “bei” (North) almond, “nan” (South) almond, and American almond. With the aroma of coconut and the sweetness of almond, this hot dessert proved to be a perfect ending to our meal.
A note for potential Muslim diners, this dessert comes with snow jelly, or hasma, which is a product from frog.
mentalist Zlwin Chew. performing every Thursday to Sunday
On every Thursday to Sunday, renowned mentalist Zlwin Chew performs at the Kim Ma and other restaurants at Palace of Golden Horses. I won’t spoil it for you, but the guy’s got quite an impressive array of tricks.
Address: Palace of Golden Horses
Jalan Kuda Emas, Mines Wellness City, 43300 Seri Kembangan Selangor GPS: 3.046927,101.709341 Tel: 03-8943 2666 Hours: weekdays 12-2:30pm, 6:30-10:30pm (reservation only). Weekends 10am-4pm
There’s a new diver in town! Haze just did her PADI Open Water certification at Pulau Sembilan, which is a cluster of small islands half an hour’s boat ride away from Lumut. The underwater condition, and thus diving, was subpar at best. Visibility was quite poor except for one of the dives, and there wasn’t exactly a lot of exotic creatures to spot either.
However, for whatever that is lack in diving, the couple dinners we had at the area more than made up for it.
Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant, Sitiawan
On the second night of our stay at Lumut, Haze and I joined our fatty dive master James, together with fellow dive buddy Alan to Hai Tien Di seafood restaurant at Sitiawan with the promise of awesome fresh oysters and yummy seafood.
It was about a 20 minutes drive away from where we stayed at Marina Island Pangkor, and we were not disappointed.
check out the size of fresh oyster there
We ordered 10 big oysters as appetizer (RM 5 a piece), and just check out their size! They fleshy part of the oysters were as big as my palm, easily the biggest oysters I had.
Coupled with the fact that these creatures were actually alive in the tank prior to being served, they were absolutely delicious. A dash of lime or some Tabasco sauce was all it takes, and try not to make the mistake of putting it in with one mouthful lest you wanna make a full of yourself having oysters spilling out at the corner of your mouth.
steamed prawns, they were alive moments ago
Our biggest main dish was the steamed live prawns. At Hai Tien Di, you get to choose between the “normal” frozen prawns, or the live prawns from the tank. We of course, went for broke and chose the later.
With live seafood, the simplest cooking method is usually the best. This is to preserve the essence of the taste, so for this dish, we have it steamed, as recommended by the operator.
The prawns sliced in halves, and steamed with a bit of ginger, fried garlic, spring onion, light soya sauce, and Chinese wine. It was delightful, packed with that seafood sweetness. At RM 65 this was definitely not cheap, but worth it nonetheless.
fresh oyster, fried vegetable, steamed grouper
A seafood meal is not complete without fish, so we ordered a live grouper, steamed teow chew style (RM 35). It was of course, absolutely fresh and went well with steamed rice.
We also had a plate of vegetable (RM8) to satisfy the vitamin c/fiber requirements. You must always have a serving of vegetable at every meal, no?
we sure did have our stomachs stuffed
The service at Hai Tien Di was pretty good, food came quite fast as well. I can’t say that this is a place that is economical (for a small town), but the quality of fresh/live seafood here was stunning, and those oysters were absolutely delicious.
If you find yourself at Lumut/Sitiawan, this would be a place worth visiting.
Address: Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant 522 Kampung Cina, 32000 Sitiawan, Perak GPS: 4.190067, 100.684217 Tel: 05-692 4679
My unwritten policy on food review is that I usually don’t review the same place twice, but when Elegant Inn came calling, there was no doubt that an exception had to be made.
The experience I had at Elegant Inn on the last review was so good I couldn’t possibly pass up another chance. Thank you Meena!
Elegant Inn’s chef Wesley Ng & Timothy Johnson of Standard Chartered
As with the previous two posts, this review is about the Extravagant 8 menu with Standard Chartered. Basically credit card member from the bank can enjoy this 8 course dinner for 8 person at the price of RM 888++ during the duration of the promotion that runs from 20th Jan till 17th Feb, 2011.
While Gu Yue Tien‘s version with its strawberry sauce is pretty new age and Li Yen’s prototypically traditional, Elegant Inn’s yee sang’s philosophy is something in the middle. Every ingredient is freshly prepared on the same day, there’s crushed nuts, plum sauce, oil, and also fresh raw salmon and jelly fish too.
The taste is a little more subtle, but you can feel the freshness. I like it.
double boiled village chicken soup w cordyceps flowers & US top shell
Then came the double boiled village chicken soup, A whole kampung chicken double boiled with cordyceps flower, US top shell, dried scallops, oysters, cutter fish, and a few other ingredients.
The owner Jeanette leave no secrets as to what goes into the soup for the effort of making one yourself would worth way more trouble (and cost in ingredients flown from HK & other places) than simply going to Elegant Inn and order a bowl (even if it costs RM 128 on the menu).
The soup of course, was superb. The server separates the ingredients and then presents us the soup as is. I of course, still picks up the chicken, scallops and such and send them to my mouth while enjoying the liquid. No wastage ok.
golden fried estuary grouper with chinese leeks
crystal prawns – signature salted egg yolk style
Next up was a big slice of “long dan”, or estuary grouper (giant grouper). The difference between deep fried and “golden fried” is that the fish is prepared by pouring hot oil over and over again until cooked. This method ensures that minimal amount of oil absorbed by the fish, thus the natural flavor is sealed in.
A deceptively simple looking dish that is really yummy. I’m still dreaming of the grouper’s skin.
Then it was the crystal prawns with signature salted egg yolk style. “Signature egg yolk” style because the chef painstakingly prepare and melt the egg yolks into the prawns instead of leaving them on the shells. This way you don’t have to lick the prawn’s shell for egg yolk and then eat the prawn meat pretty much separately afterwards.
The extra effort obviously paid off, it was delicious.
Haze, golden boneless stuffed chicken with chicken tomato salad
Then there’s this golden boneless stuffed chicken, a dish that is so unique I couldn’t have imagined it in a thousand years.
The chicken is basically stripped completely, leaving only the skin. A layer of prawn is then “stuffed” under the skin, and everything is roasted till it looks almost like the skin of suckling pig. The end result? It tasted as good as it is fancy. Crispy chicken skin with succulent prawns makes a very good combination, who would have thought?
The left over chicken meat is served on top of little slices of tomato at the side.
braised sea cucumber with dried oyster, fatt choy & mushroom, KY
We had braised sea cucumber with dried oyster next, a classic Chinese dish for CNY. The dried oyster’s imported from Hong Kong, fat and juicy. I’ve always enjoyed sea cucumber, and this one did not disappoint at all.
braised seafood rice w australian scallop, desserts
Instead of fried rice, we had braised seafood rice instead. The rice is wrapped with lotus leaf and cooked with Australian scallop, fresh crab meat, and abalone sauce. At Elegant Inn, abalone sauce really does mean that they made the sauce with real abalone.
I’m usually not a big fan with the rice at the end of an 8 course meal, but I couldn’t help it, I finished my portion this time despite being pretty much full to the brim already.
We wind things down with some desserts – pan fried traditional rice cake & hazelnut cookie and chilled Japanese pumpkin sago with green bean. The two desserts, just like everything we had at Elegant Inn, were pretty good too, but by then I was pretty much deep in food coma already.
Address: 2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
50250 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.153034,101.70752 Tel:03-2070 9399
It’s January, Christmas jingles made way to those Chinese New Year songs that seems to always resurrect the career of a few non-Chinese singers who sings in Mandarin but nobody ever care the rest of the year.
To many of us gluttons, this time of the year also means that we can have yee sang (鱼生) again! One of my favorite Malaysian invention (yah, they claim it’s from Singapore, or Hokkien province in China… I don’t care)
Gu Yue Tien at Chulan Square, classy place
My very first lou sang session came with the courtesy of Meena’s invitation to the food review session at Gu Yue Tien in conjunction to the Standard Chartered’s Extravagant 8 Menu.
From 20th Jan to 17th February, Standard Chartered credit card holders enjoy great deals at 8 restaurants with special customized menu priced at RM 888++ per table for 8pax.
my very first yee sang for CNY 2011
First dish was of course, the yee sang I’ve been waiting for since some 11 months ago. The version at Gu Yue Tien is a little different, fresh salad with addition of sengkuang, raisin, crushed nuts, crackers, oil, strawberry sauce, and of course, plenty of fresh raw salmon.
The taste is a bit sweeter and a bit fresher tasting, it was so good quite a few of us had second servings.
Gu Yue Tien soft boil egg with foie gras
Next came the dish I had my eyes set on the moment the menu was sent to me via email – Gu Yue Tien’s soft boil egg with foie gras. According to Chef Frankie, he had the idea to create this dish from a visit to some charity cooking event in New York, East meet West.
It is basically a soft boiled egg, with most of the egg white taken out and replaced with foie gras sauce with chunks of foie gras in it. It was rich, savory, and pure heaven, I had two!
seafood soup with crab roe, salt bake Spanish Iberico pork ribs
No real Chinese dinner is complete without soup, and I really give Standard Chartered a big thumbs up for NOT serving any sharks fin in all their Extravagant 8 menu.
So we had seafood soup with crab roe that comes with prawns, scallops, crab meat, and other goodies instead. Tastes better than any sharks fin soup that I had before (I’ve since stopped consuming sharks fin though, and I think you should too.)
Then there’s the salt baked Spanish Iberico pork ribs. I’ve had plenty of ribs before, but boy, this one really tops them all. Slightly salty, tender and juicy on the inside while crispy on the outside, the ribs is superbly flavorful and absolutely addictive. If you go to Gu Yue Tien, this is an absolute must-order dish.
steamed giant grouper, glutinous rice with fresh water prawns and wax meat
Fish is another classic dish during CNY, we had steamed giant grouper with minced ginger and yellow bean paste. The fish meat is indeed tender, and I’ve always enjoy the thick but tender giant grouper skin as well. This dish is a good follow up from the ribs, with minced ginger countering the savory pork after taste.
Steamed glutinous rice with fresh water prawn & wax meat was the last main dish of the night. An unlikely combination of seafood with wax meat, but it is one that turned out very well. The wax meat imported from Hong Kong, and fresh water prawn sourced locally, the two ingredients tasted awesome themselves, but also give the glutinous rice a rich and very delicious taste.
pan fried nien gau, chilled mango cream with pamelo
We wind down the night with the CNY-compulsory nien gau (sticky cake), only this one is pan fried with sesame; and chilled mango cream with pamelo to cool off and try to clear off the super savory+yummy after taste in our mouth.
At this point, my stomach was protesting, and my brain shutting down due to food coma.
For those of you who holds a Standard Chartered credit card (or know someone who does), don’t miss out on this great offer. I throughly enjoyed every dish at Gu Yue Tien, and if your taste bud is anywhere close to mine, I have no doubt you will too.
Chef Frankie is also one of the most friendly and inspiring person, he shared the story of stepping into the kitchen at the age of 13 to becoming an executive chef to owning Gu Yue Tien, amazing stuff.
Now chef, how about some of that ribs again? Gu Yue Tien is located just above Gaucho Grill at Chulan Square.
Address: Gu Yue Tien
Lot 5A, Chulan Square
Jalan Raja Chulan
50200 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.148518, 101.716114 Tel: 03-2148 0808