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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / kimberly

Back in the days when I was a little boy, or even when I was in high school, a trip to Pizza Hut was a quite a big deal. It was, at the time, our version of fine dining.

Fast forward some 20 odd years, I can now afford food that are priced a bit higher, but Pizza Hut still always give me that warm and fuzzy feeling whenever I pay a visit there. There are arguments that Italian restaurants in hotels serve better pizzas, but I think those arguments is invalid, Pizza Hut is still the place that offers value for money and pizzas in the taste that we grow up with.

Pizza Hut at Kota Damansara, Kim, KY & Haze + others
Pizza Hut at Kota Damansara, Kim, KY & Haze + beautifulnara & wife

Furthermore, it is also a place to meet up with a group of friends and family to share a dinner without worrying about budget, dress code, or if we are being too loud in a make pretend “Italian” place. It is down to earth and unpretentious, just the way we like it.

Earlier this week, I had a chance to become one of the first group of people to taste Pizza Hut’s latest product – the Chunky Loaded Pizza.

Pizza Hut Chunky Loaded Pizza - with 10 layers of ingredients
Pizza Hut Chunky Loaded Pizza – with 10 layers of ingredients

The chunky loaded pizza is really something, there are 10 layers of ingredients in all, from bottom up:

  • crunchy crust
  • napoli sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • roasted veggie mix
  • tortilla crust
  • roasted veggie mix
  • chicken or beef topping
  • diced tomatoes
  • tortilla strips
  • mozzarella cheese

Kim, KY, & Citygal enjoying pizza & chicken wings
Kim, KY, & Citygal enjoying pizza & chicken wings

The pizza takes a cue from it’s Italian cousin, the layering theme of lasagna. The result is one of the best pizzas from Pizza Hut that I’ve tried, true story!

Now many have complained that the pizzas here often has a crust that can be too thick, there’s no such issue at all for the chunky loaded, the crust is thin and crunchy instead. The combination of cheese, tortilla, vege, and all the other layers of goodness worked well together to give a hearty pizza that was delicious and left us asking for more. It was yummy!

chunky loaded pizza, pasta, chicken wings, and more!
chunky loaded pizza, pasta, chicken wings, and more!

The good people at Pizza Hut also brought out pastas, chicken wings, garlic bread, wedges, and other goodies for us to sample. I’m a big fan of the chicken wings (Kim and I asked for another order), and you have to try their crisscross wedges too. The wedges goes really well with mayo and serves as a perfect compliment to the pizzas.

and we had a great time at Pizza Hut as usual
and we had a great time at Pizza Hut as usual

We had a great time, and even took a group photo for.. ahem, memory.

So if you haven’t had your share of Pizza Hut for a while, head to one of the branches and give this new Chunky Loaded Pizza a try! Good stuff.

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

 

A week or so ago I was invited to the launch of Weissbrau’s new menu at Pavilion KL, the German restaurant that is partly owned by a friend whom we used to play badminton with in like, 2006.

Five years later he runs this German restaurant that serves a variety of beer and pork, while the rest of us.. well..

Weissbrau at Pavilion KL
Good food, awesome beer, and one lousy band

The launch of new menu was a pretty rowdy affair, there were the usual suspects – Reta, Elfie, Gareth and Kim, Michael, Cumi & Ciki, BangsarBabe, and more. Heck, there were even some Russian models.. who were probably just there for some free noms & booze,  but did contribute to the overall almost-European ambiance.

it's all about the beer!
it’s all about the beer – Carlsberg, Erdinger, Leffe

There were plenty of good beer to go around, there’s Erdinger, Leffe, Franziskaner, Hoegaarden, and more. For those who prefer local stuff perhaps due to budgetary constraints, there do have Carlsberg and Tuborg too.

plenty of good German food to go around
plenty of good German food to go around

And yes, food. We were served buffet style so the presentation here isn’t exactly the best. There were the usual suspects – classic Frankfurter, meatloaf, pork burger, and even pork neck. The salads were pretty awesome too.

The new menu can be found on their facebook page, including prices.

fun time is what we had!
fun time is what we had!

The kitchen is headed by a Swiss German chef, and has been pretty good on my previous few visits there.

As for this launch, we had a great time, and could have been better if the band was any good. They call themselves Mad Sally, a word play of sort since the members are all whites, or almost white, I think.

In any case, they play pretty good music, but both the vocalists can’t sing for nuts. It was only on the 3rd hour onwards that we started to enjoy the music, when there were enough alcohol in our system to render a much greater tolerance in acoustic quality.

But hey, it was still an awesome party!

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