How time has passed, it didn’t seem that long ago that the iconic departmental store reopened in the heart of Bukit Bintang with a focus on premium Japanese products.
To make this occasion more special, the exclusive Japan Local Speciality Fair is held in conjunction of the 2nd anniversary celebration from Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018 from 11 am-9 pm.
There’s also the Lucky Dip activity happening this period, with 1000 Fabulous Prizes to be won with minimum spend of RM 100 at Japan Local Speciality Fair.
Japan Local Speciality Fair – Oct 26 to Nov 4, 2018
Over this period, The Market, Lower Ground Floor, Isetan the Japan Store @ Lot 10 is transformed to a bustling market with 20 of the best Japanese food products and 7 sake brewers from 16 prefectures and a city directly from Japan to KL.
Head down to the lower ground floor and start with some eat-in menu and you’ll find the Aichi Speciality with Seafood Kishimen Noodle, served with shrimp, squid, and sugiyo (imitation crab meat made from cod fish), or try the Royal Caribbean with Crabmeat at RM 3 a piece. I did sample both as my “appetizer” for the night.
Aomori apple, with apple soup, apple jelly, ringo otome
As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and what’s better than fulfilling that quote with some Aomori apple flown directly from the prefecture that is famous for this particular fruit?
You’ll find different types of Aomori apple such as Hirosaki Toki & Horisaki Fuji at RM 17 a piece, or try the rather unique apple soup or apple jelee. There’s also ringo otome, or thin-baked cookie made with apples mixed in with flour and eggs, sort of an exquisite “kuih kapit” type of product. I love it.
black garlic from Aomori, Shizuouka Hon Wasabi, ramen
One of the other product that piqued my interest was the black garlic. Via the chemical reaction called “Maillard chemistry” between sugar and amino acid from the white garlic during the maturing process, the garlic became black and obtain its special unique taste. It is believed to have good antioxidant properties.
Jabara water, yuzu, ramen, grilled/smoked oyster
Then there’s also yuzu and jabara water for those who love the taste of these Japanese citrus, and if you like ready-to-eat oysters, they have these rather yummy grilled and smoked oysters in packets too, perfect with some sake or beer if you ask me.
No Japanese food fair is complete without proper green tea. Here the master serves up authentic version of matcha latte, houjicha latte, matcha kyo mukashi, iced macha using quality tea powder at RM 14 per glass. You can also purchase the green tea powder that won the 2015 Nihon Cha Award.
organic mirin, and a big selection of sake
Then of course, there’s sake.
There are a total of 7 sake brands represented at the Japan local Speciality Fair
Gassan Sake Brewery, Yamagata Prefecture
Shibata Brewery, Aichi Prefecture
Matunami Shuzo, Ishikawa Prefecture
Umetsu Shuzo, Tottori Prefecture
Nikki, Fukushima Prefecture
Chigonoiwa Sake Brewery, Gifu Prefecture
Sumiya Bunjiro Brewery, Aichii Prefecture
more selection of sake, cold or hot sake for you?
Whatever your preference, be it sparkling sake, sake that’s specifically brewed to be drank warm, or cold, or even mirin, you’ll find one that suits your taste here. The representatives from the brands are here to explain to you what their sake is all about as well.
various food at 4F The Table with Japan Local Speciality
Instead of buying the products to be enjoyed at home, you can also head up to 4th Floor The Table Restaurants to enjoy some of these products during this period.
We sampled the pork fillet with plum at Tonkatsu Anzu, avocado wasabi with Camembert cheese, sweet potato fries, grilled tai fish and octopus, and my favorite of the night – tai fish ochazuke. These are as fine quality as they come and priced pretty pretty reasonably as well. Of course, fittingly I washed it down with a glass of yuzu cocktail.
If you’re a fan of Japanese goodness, don’t miss out the Japan Local Speciality Fair at Isetan The Japan Store, KL
Last August, GrabFood ran a campaign titled ‘The People’s Pick’ where it allows people just like you and me to vote for our favorite local restaurants to be part of the GrabFood delivery network. Now, the results are out!
More than 5,000 of you casted your votes for over 50 different restaurants within the current GrabFood service areas, and below you’ll find the 13 restaurants with highest ballot counts. From apam balik to our beloved nasi lemak, these local favorites are now on board on the GrabFood app and you can have it delivered to your door step!
Read on to find Promo Code at the end of this article.
And here are the results:
Ravi’s Banana Leaf
Nasi Lemak Goreng Chef Fauzey
TNR by Sean & Angie (My Toast & Roast)
Lorong Seratus Tahun
KL City Center
Apam Balik Nusantara
Restoran Dapur Sarawak
Satay Capitol 1951-Warisan
Soong Kee’s Beef Ball Noodle
For those who haven’t been keeping up with what’s trending in 2018, well, now you can order food to be delivered via the GrabFood app. I in fact do use this service quite often since having to deal with driving out/parking/walking under the hot sun can get to be a bit of a chore especially during a busy work day.
As mentioned, the availability of choices on GrabFood now includes many of our favorite local restaurants food that we would have to sometimes line up under the hot sun to get just a few years ago. Now with just a few clicks, we get to consume these awesome dishes right at home, or in the office pantry.
Personally, I was very happy that Soong Kee’s Beef Noodle was voted onto the list and is now available on GrabFood app. I can have one of my favorite beef noodles come to me instead of me having to walk all the way from KLCC to Jalan Tun HS Lee for a bowl of this wholesome goodness.
The properly cooked mixed beef parts are done just right, together with the minced meat in it’s special sauce, and the firm, delicious homemade beef balls, are just perfect for lunch, especially since I don’t need to leave the house on a gloomy cold afternoon.
Soong Kee’s beef noodle, yums!
The GrabFood platform will continue to grow, and I can’t wait for more of our local favorites to get on board. If you’re new to GrabFood and want to discover new local delights, use the promo code – KYSPICKS. You’ll get RM 15 off with a minimum spend of RM 20, eligible for one use only.
When it comes to proper Indian food in KL, you can’t go wrong by pointing to the district that bears the name “Little India” in the city – Brickfields.
Unfortunately for many of us who does use the car as mode of transportation, this area is also quite notorious when it comes to getting a parking spot. Not to mention about the traffic around the area during busy work week lunch hours.
Legend’s Nasi Briyani Kambing + extras
For this reason, even though I’ve heard about Legend’s clay pot nasi briyani for quite a long time, I’ve yet to visit the restaurant to give it a try…. until I find them on the listing on GrabFood!
Working in KL, food delivery services such as GrabFood is really a godsend, no longer do we have to get confined to eating nearby the office, or worse, having to bear with the traffic driving out and try to get back to work within one hour (or two hours on Fridays but the traffic is even worse!)
GrabFood delivery service at KL
It’s safe to say that many of us are familiar with ordering ride sharing services such as Grab, and thankfully using their app for food delivery is just as simple.
To start with, you can use the same credentials & payment methods on both apps.
Also, if you’re new to GrabFood, use KYSPEAKS15 promo code and free RM15 to your order, twice!
GrabFood – ordering is easy as 1-2-3
GrabFood app divide their offerings into different cuisines, and with each restaurant there’s also an estimated time from order-to-delivered timing, sometimes as low as 15-20 minutes.
Once you’ve made your order, a confirmation email will be sent out, and then there’s the fun part – you get to see the progress in real time – the order received at restaurant, food being prepared, rider picked up your meal, rider in transit, and finally arrival!
GrabFood – seeing your lunch coming towards you in real time!
One of the coolest thing to me must be the way we get to see the riders delivering the meals in real time, on a map view with a moving icon and estimated time of arrival. This is an extra convenience for people who work in office towers that disallow delivery services to get into the building, we don’t have to waste anyone’s time by waiting downstairs, or having the riders wait unnecessarily. For residences though, you usually get the food delivered directly to your door step instead, even better!
The GrabFood network is expanding quite rapidly with more restaurant offerings as well as coverage in delivery area, do check it out on Android Play Store or Apple App Store.
Again, if you’re use to GrabFood, use KYSPEAKS15 promo code to enjoy free 2xRM15 to your orders.
Good news to Texas Chicken fans, there’s now the new Crunchy Deals that we can all get behind – at RM 5.50 per combo, you get a drink (with unlimited refill no less), and a choice of four different dishes.
Texas Chicken RM 5.50 Crunchy Deals
It is simple, the deal is available all day long and consists of the four choices below:
1 Piece Chicken (original or spicy) with drink
Classic Chicken Burger with drink
Tender Wrap with drink
Porridge with Coffee/Tea
RM 5.50 deal not to be missed
If you’re a fan of Texas Chicken, you’ll find these deals rather enticing. I did, so I drove to Texas Chicken at Ultrapolis in Shah Alam to give these deals a try on my own.
In fact, I tried to order all 4 deals but managed to get 3 of them as the porridge was sold out on the day.
The fried chicken at Texas Chicken never disappoints. The Classic Burger too made a fine meal with the sizable chicken patty sandwiched between the soft buns. The Tender Wrap is a good option for those who are looking to have something lighter, perhaps for the late afternoons.
each deal makes for a good afternoon meal
So if you’re looking for an affordable meal, the Crunchy Deals are now available.
Dragon-i, perhaps the first Chinese restaurant brand that brought proper xiao long boa and Chinese cuisine from the region of Shanghai, Szechuan, Beijing and Lanzhou, has been operating since some 14 years ago, is now relaunching 3 of their outlets to “Dragon-i Peking Duck Restaurant“, and I was invited to sample this new dish that they now offer at their 1-Utama outlet.
This was quite interesting for me, as Dragon-i at 1-Utama was one of my earliest food blog entry all the way back in 2005.
Dragon-i Peking Duck Restaurant at 1-Utama
Well, compared to 13 years ago, the restaurant has seen quite a bit of an upgrade in its interior decoration. First and foremost, it has a new logo with a little duck by the side, the dining area looks a lot more up-class and comfortable, and most importantly, it also spot an open roasting room for Peking Duck, where you can observe the chef from Beijing expertly prepare the bird for your indulgence.
Peking duck roasting room with Chef from Beijing
As for the duck itself, I was informed that they’re imported from China to ensure consistent quality and standard demanded by the chef. The roasting process is done by employing traditional brick hung ovens and roast for about an hour on controlled fire over fruit-tree wood.
The idea is to employ strict traditional method to get that crispy skin with tender & succulent duck meat that is infused with smoky floral aroma, just like how it should be.
crispy tender peking duck skin, expertly carved
The Peking duck dish comes in two choices. You can choose a “Peking Duck Two-Course Meal” that comes with Peking duck & duck bone soup with soft beancurd. This is a half duck course that feeds two pax and priced at RM 105.
However, if you have 3-4 pax (or a very good appetite), I’d suggest to go for the “Peking Duck Three-Course Meal” that serves a whole duck, the above mentioned soup, and a choice of
deep-fried duck’s bone with salt & pepper
stir-fried duck’s bone in Hunan style
braised rice noodle with black truffle and shredded duck meat
stir-fried shredded duck meat with vegetarian shark’s fin
all at RM 158.
Peking duck 3-course meal
Which was precisely what was served to us, and I’m happy to say that the Peking duck was indeed as described – crispy skin & succulent meat at the same time.
We had it the proper way of wrapping the duck meat with thin pancake skin, sweet sauce, cucumber, leek, and winter melon. The resulting roll is an explosion of taste & texture that no other dish can offer. I love it, and you bet we finished the whole portion.
Signature appetizer platter – chilled chicken, stewed mushroom,
pickled radish, deep fried bean curd, caramelized eel
Other than the Peking Duck, we were also served with some of their other dishes in the menu.
Starting with the Signature Appetizer Platter that consists of five different dishes (RM 83) with the following:
chilled chicken with “hua diao” rice wine
deep-fried vegetarian beancurd skin roll
crispy caramelized eel
You can also order these dishes on its own, and if I had to pick one, it’ll have to be either the chilled chicken or the stewed mushroom. I especially love the rice wine undertone the chicken carries.
braised pork belly with steamed buns, sauteed mixed vegetable, Shanghainese steamed meat dumpling, steamed black pepper duck meat bun
For those who loves some good old fashion porky goodness, there’s the Braised Pork Belly with Steamed Buns (RM 88). The dish is beautifully prepared with the pork belly crafted in a pagoda-liked shape. The portion for this is quite big though, and I reckon should serve at least 4 pax, tender 3-layer meat in those soft steamed buns, the best oriental porky “burger” if you like.
Sauteed Mixed Vegetable (RM 25) provided a good change of pace in texture and freshness, and Steamed Black Pepper Shredded Duck Meat Bun (RM 12) provided yet another way for us to enjoy another different way the duck is served.
Of course, we also took the opportunity to sample the one dish that kick-started this franchise from all those years ago – the Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings, or Xiao Long Bao (RM 12). Tasted just as it was the first time I set foot in this restaurant.
Additionally, we also tried the Sauteed Diced Chicken with Dried Flower Chili in Szechuan Style (RM 38), or commonly known as “la ji zhi”, 辣子鸡. A dish with quick a bit of a kick that I absolutely adored, if you’re really adventurous, the imported fried chili can be chewed down for that numb and burning sensation (I didn’t try, but one guy over the session did).
And last but not least (actually was the first dish I had), for the soup lover, their Double-boiled Hydrangea Beancurd, Sea Cucumber and Matsutake (RM 38) soup is one not to be missed. The soup was sweet with seafood goodness, and that tofu that’s expertly cut into 2,800 strands is really something to behold.
Over all we definitely had a great time and awesome lunch at Dragon-i. I think it is time we start to look at Peking duck as a delicacy that is to be enjoyed not only during special occasions such as near & around CNY, but all year round too.
Dragon-i Peking Duck Restaurants are located at 1-Utama, Pavilion KL, and JBCC Komtar.
Address: Dragon-i Peking Duck Lot S313A, 2nd Floor Highstreet, 1 Utama Shopping Mall, No. 1 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. GPS: 3.150050, 101.615939 Tel : 03 7725 8822