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Tag / le meridien

While coffee culture is slowly gaining grounds in Malaysia, tea seems to be a bit lagging behind. Many of us usually only drink tea (proper tea in which you don’t need to add sugar) while having bak kut teh and dimsum, I’m certainly guilty of this behavior.

A couple weeks ago we were invited to a Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien to learn a little more about the art of tea drinking.

Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL
Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL

As a tea company, Dilmah is relatively young, the Sri Lakan Ceylon tea company was founded in 1974 and has seen pretty rapid expansion lately to the local market, especially in premium outlets such as high end hotels and restaurants. One of which is Le Meridien KL, our host for the day.

I'd love to have me a fancy tea pot too
I’d love to have me a fancy tea pot too

The tea experts from Dilmah showed us how to brew a proper cup of tea. Never reboil the water, and only soaking the tea bags 2-3 minutes before tossing it off and start enjoying your tea. The habit of squeezing the tea bag with a spoon is also something you shouldn’t do. This is to ensure there isn’t any unwanted bitter taste to the beverage.

While temperature of 95-98 Celsius is good for most tea, green tea works best with water around 70 Celsius to allow the release of its delicate flavors. Needless to say, adding extra hot water to a tea bag that’s already used once is not something recommended here.

tea mixologist showing us how it's done
tea mixologist showing us how it’s done

For those who likes to be more funky with tea, the tea mixologist from Dilmah also showed us a few recipes in which tea is mixed with syrups to create stronger tasting (usually) cold beverages with tea flavor. To honest this would not ever be my way of enjoying premium tea, when I want syrup laden peach tea or something, I’ll have me a can of chilled St. Martin’s.

Using premium tea such as Dilmah for this purpose is a bit of a waste, it’s like wearing a tuxedo to fengtau disco outlets. I’m not saying the resulting drinks don’t taste good, I just think it is not appropriate.

tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination
tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination

We then moved on to have a few types of Dilmah tea paired with sweet delicious pastries and chocolates from Le Meridien. If you’re looking for a hi-tea session with fantastic cakes, macaroons, and a good cup of tea, this is a perfect place to be.

Different tea goes well with different foods though, the smoky Lapsang Souchong would go well with savory food such as bak kut teh, while lighter tea such as Earl Grey is fantastic with pastries. Just like wine/food pairing, this is an art in itself.

Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea
Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea

We tried a few types of tea over the session and I find myself really liking these tea. We have a couple tins of Dilmah tea at home from the event and I think we’d have to get some when they run out (probably in a few weeks time).

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

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7753

A few weeks ago we were invited to a photography session held by Le Meridien and the KLPA. After a short briefing session we spent about an hour or so taking photos mostly at the lobby of the newly renovated hotel.

The new lobby is beautiful, and I noticed that there were many different types of chairs used here, so I thought of emphasizing them in my photoset. These photos were taken with Olympus EPL-3 and the 45mm F/1.8 lens. \

Criticism and comments most welcomed. Thank you for viewing.

leather
relax, we have your neck

leather
leather

curves
the curves

Le Meridien KL
side by side

sophistication
sophistication

under the seats
through the tunnel

by the bar
seated up high

 

Favola at Le Meridien KL is pretty synonymous with fine Italian dining, but what’s little known is the fact that they do serve dishes that are not pizza, pasta, or risotto. On the latest visit to one of our favourite Italian restaurants, we tried their beef and lobster instead.

We were told by our hosts to pick our main dishes and soup, while appetizers will be taken care of. I found out that I certainly wasn’t the only person who always over order.

bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese
bread to start, creamy mozzarella w beef bacon, buffalo mozzarella cheese

As usual, we were served with some lovely breads to much on while pondering what to pick for dinner. I had to constantly remind myself not to have too much of these whenever I’m at Favola, they were yummy with just a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Soft creamy mozzarella, shaved truffle, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and beef bacon was the description for Burratina (RM 40) was refreshing, and the crispy beef bacon gave the dish an added dimension.

For cheese lovers, you’ll love Caprese (RM 35), how does marinated trio of tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and balsamic emulsion sounds like? It tasted as good as it sounds, I can use some buffalo mozzarella cheese right now, not overly cheesy, yet soft and creamy. A small pack can be had at Jaya Grocer for about RM 30.

deep fried breaded mozzarella cheese, grilled jumbo asparagus with poached egg, mushroom soup
deep fried breaded mozzarella, grilled jumbo asparagus w poached egg, mushroom soup

Fritti Mozzarella  (RM 40) has a different take in mozzarella preparation, two generous slabs of buffalo mozzarellas breaded and deep-fried, then served with sautéed mushroom and avocado purée. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, the skill of the chef is exhibited here by not over cooking the cheese, while still giving the skin that crispy texture.

The most beautiful appetizer of the day was Asparagi alla Griglia (RM 45). Grilled giant asparagus, poached egg, crispy bresaola, brown butter and parmigiano.  This was both beautiful and delicious.

cream of clams, sausage, vegetable in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth with spinach
cream of clams, sausage, vege in golden pastry; lobster dumpling in clear broth w spinach

For soup, I picked Brodo di Spinaci (RM 35), clear chicken broth with fresh spinach, with lobster dumpling and grated Parmesan. The soup was light, but I felt that the dumpling did not have enough lobster flavour to it. This was the least filling soup I think, a good thing in this case.

Haze had Zuppa di Vongola(RM 40). You could call it an Italian clam chowder, officially it’s cream of clams, Italian sausage, vegetable sofrito and green peas in golden pastries, and you gotta have a big stomach for this. The broth is creamy and quite filling, and tasted pretty good, the only minor qualm was that we wish  they’d be more clams.

Zuppa di Fungi Calabrese(RM 35), or assorted mushrooms cooked in milk with garlic rustic bread and Swiss cheese, is always a favourite among diners at Favola. The mushroom soup is one of the best I’ve ever tried, rich but not overly creamy, and absolutely fantastic.

black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak
black angus ribeye and grilled angus t-bone steak

OK, now we finally get to the main dishes.

There were two beef dishes on the menu and we tried both of them. Haze and I ordered the grilled Angus T-bone steak (RM 150) with Caesar salad and smoky pimiento butter, while Josen asked for the black Angus ribeye Fiorentina (RM 135) with grilled lemon halves and balsamic vinegar.

The beef were very good, I had mine medium rare, and Haze asked for hers to be served “blue” – which was rarer than rare. While these weren’t quite the standard of Prime (nor the same type of beef), they held their own very well and did not disappoint at all. At this price point, the beef were quite a bit cheaper as well.

ciki and her full baked boston lobster
ciki and her full baked boston lobster

While we enjoyed our beef, ciki went the other direction and picked the baked Boston lobster (RM 230 full, RM 120 half) that came with spice tomatoes and lemon chermoula with buffalo mozzarella. She was kind enough to share the seafood with us and I’m happy to report that it was indeed excellent.

You can have Maine lobsters for a tad cheaper at Lobsterman, SS2, but of course there won’t be buffalo mozzarella, attentive servers, or ambiance anywhere near the standard of Favola.

risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta
risotto with pan seared sea scallops, home made pasta with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley

For those who favours traditional Italian food, Risotto con Cappesante (RM 65) comes with pan-fried sea scallops on leeks, lemon zest, chili and basil; or you could perhaps choose pasta in the form of Gamberetti ai Pinoli (RM 45) with prawns, chili, garlic, parsley, pine nuts and mushroom in extra virgin olive oil. In either case, I’m quite sure you won’t leave in disappointment.

The menu with price can be found at http://discoverlemeridien.com/menus/

Thank you Janice & Damian for the invitation.

Address:
Favola
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7753

Favola

First, a little snippet from wiki about Napa Valley:

In 1965, Napa Valley icon Robert Mondavi broke away from his family’s Charles Krug estate to found his own. This was the first new large scale winery to be established in the valley since before prohibition. Following the establishment of the Mondavi estate, the number of wineries in the valley continued to grow, as did the region’s reputation.

Travis Brown, Regional Director for Asia for Robert Mondavi wines
Travis Brown, Regional Director for Asia for Robert Mondavi wines

In addition, Robert Mondavi Winery also perfected the dry oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc and labeled it as “Fumé Blanc” in 1966. This was an unpopular variety in California at the time, but the wine proved to be a success.

In time, Robert Mondavi successfully developed a number of premium wines that earned the respect of connoisseurs and vintners alike.

tomato, cheese, bread, calamari, simple yet utterly delicious
tomato, cheese, bread, calamari, simple yet utterly delicious

A few weeks ago, we were invited to the winemaker’s dinner at Favola, Le Meridien KL.

Classy Italian food prepared by one of my favorite chefs – Chef Antoine, and pairing them with some fine wines from Robert Mondavi, what is there not to like?

Fumé Blanc, Robert Mondavi's version of Sauvignon Blanc
Fumé Blanc, Robert Mondavi’s version of Sauvignon Blanc

We sampled Chardonnay sourced from the cool growing regions of the southern Napa Valley with its rich and complex taste; Pinot Noir, a bright and vivacious wine; the full body Merlot; the soft and silky Cabernet Sauvignon; and of course, the Fumé Blanc.

the good chefs at Le Meridien KL, and David Stephen
David Stephen and the good chefs at Le Meridien KL

As for food, there were the usual arrays of excellent pasta, tomato, cheese, pizza, bread, risotto, and of course, the best freshly made Belgium waffle ever.

Though my knowledge in wine is still amateur at best, I did learn a few things after this event, and would at least know which wine to choose from without being disappointed. :D

map to Le Meridien

Address:
Favola
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7888

Olympus E-PL3

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 :D

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