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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

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There are quest a few coffee places in KLCC, you have your usual big chains such as Starbucks and San Francisco coffee, and then there’s of course the kopitiams and food court. Of all these choices, Gino Coffee is fast becoming one of my favorites.

Gino coffee on ground floor, Isetan KLCC
Gino coffee on ground floor, Isetan KLCC

Gino is actually located at two different premises within Isetan. At the lower ground by the grocery area’s counter where they mainly do take-away business, and another slightly bigger area tucked behind the cosmetic section on the ground floor with a small but comfortable seating area.

Like most things Japanese, Gino appears to take their craft quite a bit more seriously, and I’ve seen the owner (I think that’s who he is) a few times at the premise checking and making sure things are done the right way.

cappuccino, latte, or one of their black coffee with foam thingy
cappuccino, latte, or one of their black coffee with foam thingy

The quality of coffee is certainly good and prices are at the same level of their competitors.

I usually go for their milk based coffee such latte or cappuccino, but they do offer some of the more funky choices such as this black coffee with foam thingy (forgot the name, tastes strong and sweet).

If you’re looking for a quiet place to chill that happens to also serve good coffee at KLCC, Gino won’t be a bad choice.

map of KLCC

Address:
Isetan KLCC
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833

The fourth floor in Suria KLCC has been sort of a “restaurant” floor ever since the mall started its operation years ago. While different restaurants come and go, there are always a good mixture of different cuisines to choose from, and luck for people like me, there’s always at least a Japanese restaurant there.

One of the latest Japanese restaurants to venture into KLCC market is Yuzu, and I’m glad that it is quite an improvement from the previous Japanese restaurant on the floor from a few years ago.

Yuzu Japanese restaurant at Suria Level 4, KLCC
Yuzu Japanese restaurant at Suria Level 4, KLCC

The restaurant itself isn’t big, and like pretty much any restaurant in this mall, seating is a bit cramped. The interior decoration is fresh and unpretentious, but best of all, it has a pretty good lunch menu at least as far as value for money is concerned.

Most importantly, service is also pretty fast, catering pretty well for the KLCC office crowd.

Soba Gozen (RM 40) and Yuzu Gozen (RM 58)
Soba Gozen (RM 40) and Yuzu Gozen (RM 58)

I’ve been there a couple times since I was moved to KLCC again, and every time we opted for their lunch set.

For RM 40, Soba Gozen gets you sushi, a small bowl of soba, a slice of unagi (eel), a couple shrimp tempura, miso soup, and a chawamushi, not bad huh?

Yuzu Gozen (RM 58) is one of their higher priced lunch sets, and it comes with assorted sashimi, half a dozen sushi, grilled beef, tempura, salad, chawamushi, appetizer, and fruits. Not a bad value at all.

Sanma Mentaiki set (RM 37)
Sanma Mentaiki set (RM 37)

For those who likes grilled fish, Sanma Mentaiki (RM 37) gets you the girlled fish stuffed with mentaiki (one of my favorite ingredients), tempura, fruits, salad, chawanmushi, and miso soup.

Food quality is more than decent, and considering the location and convenience, Yuzu is definitely a place worth considering if you’re in KLCC.

If you are willing to bump up your budget just a bit, Ten Japanese Fine Dining right across the road is the place to check out.

map of KLCC

Address:
Yuzu Japanese Restaurant
Level 4,
Kuala Lumpur City Center

Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833
Tel03-2161 4176

I don’t go to a lot of invited dinners, usually preferring local fair and hawker delights over dine-in restaurants, but when the invitation from Svago via MyCloudTable promising a 5-course all-truffle arrived, I just couldn’t say no.

'Diamond of the Kitchen" Fine Dining Event at Svago, KLCC
‘Diamond of the Kitchen” Fine Dining Event at Svago, KLCC

Svago is located at KLCC, around the fountain and closest to Mandarin Oriental Hotel. A pretty classy set up overlooking the greenery that is the KLCC garden.

Our dinner was called “Diamond of the Kitchen”, which denotes to black truffles, one of the most prized ingredients in European cuisines. Svago’s Chef de Cuisine, Miguel Huelamo Estrada, was the man behind this creation of 5 course dinner. We also had 4 exquisite wines to be paired with for the evening’s dinner.

Fantastic, isn’t it?

Butternut Squash Crème with White Truffle Yogurt
Butternut Squash Crème with White Truffle Yogurt

To start with, we have Butternut Squash Crème with White Truffle Yogurt, with the pairing of Craggy Range Te Muna Road Riesling, New Zealand.

The creme did have a pretty strong white truffle aroma and the butternut squash was smooth and creamy, but the sourness of yogurt was perhaps a little too strong for me. The riesling though, was fantastic, with intense aromatics of orange blossom, lime peel, and jasmine (of course this is from the tasting note, but I really liked the reisling)

Tuna Tartar with Shaved Truffle, Avocado, Pickled Red Radish, Corn and Alfalfa Sprouts
Tuna Tartar w Shaved Truffle, Avocado,
Pickled Red Radish, Corn and Alfalfa Sprouts

The second dish of the night was Tuna Tartar w Shaved Truffle, Avocado, Pickled Red Radish, Corn and Alfalfa Sprouts to paired with Klein Constantia KC Rose, South Africa.

The tuna tartar was one of my favorite dishes of the night, and thankfully the portion was pretty big as well. Those shaved truffles gave the tuna an extra dimension that really complements each other well. Avocado, pickled red radish and alfafa sprouts adds to the complexity and gave it texture. Excellent dish.

The Rose had a hint of citrus and orange blossom aroma while being crisp and displaying balanced acidity, a wine that’s very easy to drink and I suspect would go well with any sort of dessert.

Shrimp, Chicken and Sherry Wine preserved Truffle Empanada (European baked dumpling)
Shrimp, Chicken and Sherry Wine preserved Truffle Empanada
(European baked dumpling)

We continued the night with Shrimp, Chicken and Sherry Wine preserved Truffle Empanada (or European baked dumpling). An interesting dish that was a little crispy and really not too different from your regular Chinese style fried dumpling, though the presence of truffle did add to the flavor just a little bit. I wasn’t particularly impressed with this version to be honest.

We had Val de Sil Godello D.O Valdeorras from Spain to go with this dish. With the aroma of white flower and ripe pear and almonds with lemonpeel palate, the white wine did not disappoint.

Black Angus Prime Roast Beef with Truffle Buttered Potato Mash*
Black Angus Prime Roast Beef with Truffle Buttered Potato Mash

Main dish came in the form of Black Angus Prime Roast Beef with Truffle Buttered Potato Mash. As far as roast beef goes, you can’t really get much better than this, it’s soft, tender, and succulent. Though I would prefer a thick steak any day, you still can’t fault this dish. The truffle buttered infused mash too is something no mash potato fan can shy away.

The red wine that was chosen to be paired with the red meat was Bodegas Sottano Reserva de Familia Malbec, Argentina. The red was balanced yet complex while carrying the aroma of cherry and blackberry. I like its fruitiness.

White Chocolate Mousse Apricot Truffle and Shortbread
White Chocolate Mousse Apricot Truffle and Shortbread, KY & Joyee

We ended the night with White Chocolate Mousse Apricot Truffle and Shortbread, a dessert that is pretty ordinary except for the apricot truffle. Those bits of apricot had a taste that is very unique, I’ve had truffle with meat, butter, and even bread, but never with fruit, and I could only describe it as excellent!

Overall it was a more than decent meal with certainly more hits than misses. We love the atmosphere and certainly welcomed the explanation of the wines by the Sommelier.

I also want to thank mycloudtable.com for organizing this session.

map of KLCC

Address:
Svago Cucina e Musica
Kuala Lumpur City Center
Lot G45B-136,
Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833
Tel: 03-2163 0188

A couple weeks ago I went down to Isetan looking for something to fill the stomach during the lunch hour. As it turned out, The Japan Winter Feast Fest was on going (28 nov – 8 dec, 2014). I walked around abit and saw this Japanese steamed rice stall that looked pretty enticing.

Isetan Japan Winter Feast Fair 2014
Isetan Japan Winter Feast Fair 2014

The stall offers two different dishes – Sansai Okowa & Chestnut Steam Rice. You can have them at RM 15 per portion, or alternatively, have them mixed with 1/2 portion each. To maximize my taste bud exposure, I chose the latter, of course.

They were both vegetarian dishes, with the Sansai Okowa, or wild vegetable sticky rice packed with quite a variety of mushroom and thus having a slightly savory taste to it which I like. The chestnut steamed rice, on the other hand, is packed with chestnut, sesame, and red bean which gave it a sweeter taste. I personally prefer the Sansai Okowa, but both were pretty good.

you can mix the two different steamed rice too
you can mix the two different steamed rice too

Isetan run these type of food fair pretty often, so be sure to check it out if you’re at KLCC. They also have a smallish eating area at the lower ground floor where you can noms away these takeaway food.

map of KLCC

Address:
Isetan KLCC
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.158126, 101.711833

– Advert –

Transitions lenses work with many types of frames

The good thing about Transitions® lenses is that they are available with almost as many types of frames that normal prescription glasses will fit in.

For my pair of glasses I chose a fairly light frame that works well for when I am indoor (in office, at home) and also in higher intensity workout while outdoor (when mountain biking, running etc)

Having had my new Transitions Signature lens glasses for a couple months now, I really began to appreciate the new technology more that went into these prescription glasses more and more, and I am happy that it works as well as they claimed to be. Considering that the previous version I used was already very good, the improvement is still very noticeable.

I want to take  you through the lenses and talk a little bit on how they work.

Transitions lens with great clarity indoor
Transitions lens with great clarity for working in front of computer

For those who aren’t familiar with Transitions, my previous article Smart Lenses Just got Smarter – Transition® Signature talked a little about how they work in a more general and some of the benefits brought by these glasses.

In this post, I want to dwell into them a little bit more with real life examples from my own.

Transitions with Chromea7 technology
Transitions with Chromea7 technology

The most important technology behind Transitions Signature lenses is Chromea7.

This is a patented formulation consisting unique dyes that are integrated to the surface of every Transitions Signature lens. The dyes are made up of trillions of molecules that smoothly re calibrate as the light condition changes. From dark to light and back at just the right tint so that the optimal amount of light reaches your eyes.

Yes, this is the twenty first century, we have stuff like these!

great clarity of the lenses indoor
great clarity of the lenses indoor

So, when you are indoor away from sunlight, such as the example above in KLCC Suria Mall, the glasses are completely clear and act like any non-tinted prescription glasses.

Conveniently, this also works when you’re in front of the computer even though technically there are lights shining at you, but because the activation of the tint is by UV lights, it does not get tinted when you’re working. This of course, applies only for working indoor.

more reactive to indirect light
more reactive to indirect light

Chromea7 technology was designed to be more reactive to indirect light. Which means that light that bounces off building, cars, and other surfaces is also sensed by the lenses and react accordingly.

This property is especially important if you find yourself in cityscape such as KL where you might not be in direct sunlight among the tall buildings, cars, buses and so forth, where reflections that results in indirect sunlight are prevalent.

indoor by the window with some indirect sunlight
indoor by the window with some indirect sunlight

In the example above by the window in a cloudy day, you can see that the lens has a slight tint. This is not very pronounced as some of the UV light is blocked off by the window, but at the same time it shows the re-activeness of Transitions lenses away from direct sunlight.

more responsive in hotter climate
more responsive in hotter climate

Photocrhomic lenses, as with most technology that relates to chemical or physical reactions, usually gets influenced by temperature.

While traditional photochromic lenses don’t get as dark in hotter climate because of the way heat interacts with the molecules, Chromea7 technology was formulated to be more independent of temperature and be able to get darker even in hotter climates.

the change of tint is almost instantaneous, outdoor at KLCC park
the change of tint is almost instantaneous, outdoor at KLCC park

This property bode very well with our Malaysian climate. As the example above shows. Being outdoor at KLCC park in a pretty warm late afternoon, the glasses changed almost instantaneously to a comfortable tint.

Looking up to this beautiful building doesn’t come with the associated squinting or having to cover part of your forehead with your palm as a makeshift “roof” anymore.

just the right shade, just the right color
just the right shade, just the right color

With the experience gathered by Transitions over the years, they were able to formulate the dye in such a way that the lens provide an even color at all levels of tint, giving the right shade and the right color every time.
under the shade, evening by the pond
under the shade, evening by the pond

This is a slightly harder property to show in pictures, but for the past couple months owning this pair of glasses. I must say that I’m very satisfied with the way it works. It gives great clarity and the tint, while not as dark as sunglasses, provides very sufficient protection against both direct and indirect sunlight and glare when I’m outdoor.

Moving the glasses to my little chef that’s by the same pond but at a brighter area, you can see that the colour of the lens switched to a slightly darker tint. This showcases the “right shade, right colour” property of the lens.

the different shades of my Transitions Signature glasses
the different shades of my Transitions Signature glasses – indoor in the office, indoor in mall,
by the windows in the building, and outdoor

Transitions Signature lens can be paired with a wide variety of frames, head to http://www.transitions.com/en-my/where-to-buy/ to find out where you can get them.