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Tag / mont-kiara

Some of you may know that I’m quite a fan when it comes to bak kut teh, with some 60 different places offering this uniquely Malaysian porky dish documented on this blog to date. So when I was invited to sample the bak kut teh xiao long bao at the new Paradise Dynasty outlet located at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara, I knew I just had to try it.

Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara
Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park, Mont Kiara

Well, is this bak kut teh xiao long bao legit?

The short answer is, yes. In fact, the BKT XLB is created from the collaboration with Samy & Min Bak Kut Teh from Klang, the same family that runs Ah Her, Samy & Tien, Samy & Ah Her and so forth, I’ve always been a fan of their BKT with its concentrated herbal soup that carries a hint of peppery taste.

Yeap, the BKT XLB definitely has that characteristic carried over, though perhaps in a slightly milder form. Quite interesting and definitely a welcoming new taste in the world of XLB.

Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao, Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao
Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao, Bak Kut Teh Xiao Long Bao

The BKT XLB is currently only available at the 163 Retail Park Paradise Dynasty, and you can’t actually buy it with money – instead, it is free of charge for you by doing the following three things:

do these and you’ll get the BKT XLB for free!

Drunken Chicken, Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop
Drunken Chicken, Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop

Well, apart from the BKT XLB, we also sampled the famous Dynasty 8-Flavours Xiao Long Bao that comes with multiple flavors with the instruction to eat in the following order – Original (white), Ginseng (green), Garlic (grey), Black Truffle (black), Cheese (yellow), Crab Roe (Orange), Foie Gras (brown), and Szechuan (red).

Quite a fancy way to consume xiao long bao, but one that is also kinda fun and interesting especially for someone who’s never experienced it. Does fill your stomach pretty good though if you have them all by yourself.

After all the XLB, we moved on to Drunken Chicken, a cold dish of steamed chicken prepared with shaoxing wine that carries a hint of herbal taste from goji berry, I loved it.

The Scrambled Egg White with Fish & Dried Scallop turned out to be a dish with a bit of a history – apparently it was created by a chef to cater to the empress’ request to have a crab dish during “off season”, so the chef used egg as the main ingredient to somehow mimic the taste of crab. I guess you gotta give it to the ancient Chinese palace kitchen when it comes to food creativity.

Prawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette, Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes
Prawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette,
Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes

Next up we hadPrawn & Pork Dumpling with Hot Chilli Vinaigrette, a pretty standard dumpling dish that also delivers a kick, perfect for those who likes their food spicy.

Stir-fried Shredded Pork in Black Bean Sauce served with Chinese Crepes is a dish that reminds me of peking duck with its way of eating (with Chinese crepe), but should suit those who does not like the more pungent taste of duck meat. I thought the black bean sauce gave it a rather distinctive taste profile as well.

La Mian with 'Dan Dan' Sauce, Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungus
La Mian with ‘Dan Dan’ Sauce,
Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungus

Japanese ramen and Italian pastas are both originated from China, so if you’re someone who loves thing to be original, then perhaps proper Chinese La Mian should be something to check out.

We sampled La Mian with ‘Dan Dan’ Sauce as well as Stir-fried La Mian with Shredded Pork & Black Fungu, depending on your preference in having it soupy or fried, neither would disappoint. These dishes are quite strong tasting and full of flavor. I’ll probably recommend sharing due to the portion tho, and save some space for XLB and other dishes.

Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork, Dynasty Crispy Chicken, Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry
Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork,
Dynasty Crispy Chicken, Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry

Dynasty Crispy Chicken is a simple, straight forward Chinese style fried chicken dish that is usually popular with kids, and if you want some greens, the Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork would not be a bad option, I do quite enjoy a proper vege dish that has a bit of “wok hei”.

For dessert, we sampled Pan-fried Pumpkin Pastry, which tasted a little bit like lotus paste pancake but less sweet, and perhaps a little bit healthier?

Our Spread at Paradise Dynasty, 163 Retail Park Mont Kiara
Our Spread at Paradise Dynasty, 163 Retail Park Mont Kiara

Overall it was a pretty enjoyable session, and I am happy to see the group doing well since the first time I had a food review at their then Paradise Inn outlet at Pyramid (with a different concept).

Also happy to report that these XLB were as good as when I first tasted it all the way back in in Jan 2014 as well, it does mean that they’ve kept the standard and level of service all these years, something not every restaurant group can claim.

163-retail-park-map

Address:
Paradise Dynasty at 163 Retail Park
1F-19 163 Retail Park,
Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.166784, 101.652151
Tel: 03-6411 9811

I’ve always been a fan of beef and a fan of Las Vacas (we went to their Kelana Jaya branch quite a few times), but when I got the invitation to sample their new breakfast menu, I must say I was just a little bit skeptical about what a primarily meat serving place could come up with. Well, lets just say that I’m glad we went, it wasn’t a bad way to spend the Labour Day morning at all.

Las Vacas at Mont Kiara Shoplex now serves breakfast
Las Vacas at Mont Kiara Shoplex now serves breakfast

Las Vacas at Mont Kiara Shoplex has been in operation for the past four years, and until the first of May, 2014, they did not open for breakfast.

The location is pretty convenient as far as Mont Kiara goes. The Shoplex itself has paid parking, and it is also only a stone’s throw away from Plaza Mont Kiara and 1 Mont Kiara.

Dining area is alfresco but with a huge retractable canvas and lush greenery around the shop. I really like the ambiance.

Wagyu Beef Karubi & Eggs
Wagyu Karubi & Eggs

There are a dozen different choices for breakfast, starting from something as simple as muffins (RM 8), bread platter (RM 8.5), paleo stew (RM 21), to classic all day breakfast (RM 33).

We chose both their signature entrees – the Wagyu Karubi & Eggs (RM 28) and Ox Tongue Benny (RM 27). Both dishes are a variation of the classic Egg Benedict, with a couple poached eggs and panini bread sandwiching the meat, some rocket salad and hollandaise sauce (in the case of ox tongue) complete the list of ingredients.

Wagyu Karubi is basically the boneless short rib slices that are popular in Korean cuisine as Galbi, and it definitely played a fitting role in this dish. I would have perhaps liked it a little more salty, but flavour wise it was every bit as you would imagine. Haze was plenty satisfied with the Ox tongue as well.

Salmon Florentine, All Day Breakfast
Salmon Florentine, All Day Breakfast

Others had dishes including Salmon Florentine (spinach ricotta & Norwegian smoked salmon omelette on whole bread, RM 18) and All Day Breakfast (grilled steak, lamb, beef sausage, egg and salad, RM 33) were reported to be pretty good as well.

cafe latte and long black
cafe latte and long black

Oh, I’m also glad that the coffee served here are really good too. Other than cafe latte (RM 10), long black (RM 6), and the usual espresso based drinks, there’s also chai latte (RM 8), green tea latte (RM 9), and a selection of tea.

with some of the who's who including Nadia Heng, Liang, and Shawn Lee
with some of the who’s who including Nadia Heng, Liang, and Shawn Lee

It was certainly a great breakfast option to be reckon if you’re looking for some Western fair on a lazy morning. Our session was made better by the company we had, including Liang, Nadia Heng, Shawn Lee, and other friends.

I am quite sure I’ll be going there again.

direction to Mont Kiara Shoplex

Address:
Las Vacas Mont Kiara
Shop LG, New Wing, Floor LG
Mont Kiara Shoplex
Jalan Kiara, Taman Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.166326, 101.652664
Tel03-6205 2258

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

After hearing so much about Tenji from friends and other food blogs, Suan, Horng, and I decided to give it a try almost 2 months ago. One of the reasons it took us so long to finally go there was to actually avoid the madness during their half price promotion (which still runs once in a while, check their website).

note: this place is closed and now replaced by Shogun, a Japanese Buffet

Tenji Japanese Buffet
Tenji Japanese Buffet at Solaris

Tenji is often compared with Jogoya, the first premium Japanese buffet restaurant not in a hotel to hit KL in early 2006. Personally I think that the comparison is justified as both Tenji and Jogoya caters for slightly higher end market and offers dishes that are quite similar, and more importantly, they’re priced competitively with each other at full price.

At Tenji, lunch is priced at RM77++ while dinner and supper at RM88++. Jogoya’s buffet is RM78++ for lunch, RM68++ for late lunch, RM88++ for dinner, and RM78++ for late dinner. (Jogoya pricing, Tenji pricing)

fresh oyster at Tenji
ohh, the oysters!

Located at Soho Solaris, Tenji is a much friendlier place for those who drives. Parking is a breeze if you don’t mind paying a couple ringgit for the underground carpark, on the other hand, Jogoya is accessible via public transport since it is located at Bukit Bintang.

As for the restaurant itself, Tenji is huge, with both air conditioned indoor area as well as quite a bit of alfresco dining, especially for those who wish to punctuate an extended buffet session with some nicotine.

KY, Suan, and Horng at Tenji
KY, Suan, and Horng

I started off the late lunch with some oysters, steamed prawns, and sashimi.

The oysters here were pretty big and certainly fresh and juicy, the good thing is that the oyster bar is always being refilled anytime it is less than half filled. I am very very annoyed at places that takes forever to refill their most sought after ingredients/dishes (like Yuen steamboat‘s chicken wings, or Talipon‘s prawns).

sashimi, oysters, at Tenji Japanese Buffet
always start with raw or lightly cooked food

I like their surf clam, scallop (albeit a bit small) and their rather fatty salmon sashimi, the butter fish was pretty decent too but I would stay away from tuna and squid sashimi if you’re particular about quality. As with most buffet places, the tuna served are of pretty inferior quality. This is due to the insanely high price of tuna these days I suppose.

There are also plenty of pre-cooked items on the buffet spread, the Singapore chili crab was actually very delicious, and there’s always the added advantage of choosing only the pincers (who cares about other customers, right? hehe). Other dishes include grilled vegetable, squid with dark sauce, fish, lamb, beef, and dozens more I can’t recall.

buffet spread at Tenji
buffet spread, including drinks and dessert area

Like Jogoya, Tenji also employs the clips system whereby you drop a clip with your table number at the bowl indicating certain dishes, wait for a few minutes, and they will be served freshly cooked. The downside is that you might end up waiting for quite a bit if the restaurant is particularly busy, but since it wasn’t when we were there, we didn’t need to wait for more than a few minutes before our orders were served.

The steamed cod with soya sauce was good, but the serving was rather miserable so it’s best advised that you order 2-3 at one go. Another more memorable freshly prepared dish was the soft shell crab and this vegetable (a type of beans?) with black beans. We also ordered steak, some teriyaki dishes, mushroom, fish filet, and so on. In general they tasted pretty good and very few of them were disappointing (for eg. the soup with razor clam).

Singapore chili crab, soup, steamed cod
Singapore chili crab, soup, steamed cod

In the drinks department, you have fresh brewed coffee, cappuccino, latte, quite a selection of fruit juice, soft drinks, and my favorite – chilled fresh coconut. I think I had about 4 of those.

Haagan Dazs ice cream was what I had for dessert while the huge selection of pastry and other desserts lay sitting in front of me. We were simply full to the brim after spending about 2 hours having the late lunch. If I remember correctly, we skipped dinner.


Tenji is located at SOHO, Solaris Mont Kiara

Compared to my last 2 visits to Jogoya, I would personally prefer Tenji. Although the buffet spread is smaller, the food quality reminds me of the earlier days of Jogoya. Fresh, tasty, and with good service, they just somehow managed to aged in the last 4 years to a point that I stopped going there, hopefully Tenji never follow the same path.

Address:
Tenji Japanese Buffet
Lot L-01-01, Soho KL,
Solaris Mont Kiara,
No.2, Jalan Solaris, KL

GPS: 3.174689, 101.659595
Tel: 1700-80-1818

Remember at the post on Guinness Gastronomy Workshop with Chef in Black Emmanual Stroobant, I suggested that Western food places should look into adopting some Guinness inspired dishes? Well, about a month back I had some Guinness dishes, but instead of Western, it was something of an opposite: Japanese food at SOMO Mont Kiara.

Update 1/5/2014 : Somo has since closed

Somo Mont Kiara
SOMO mont kiara, dinner for two

I went to SOMO with the infamous Cindy, who happened to stay around the area.

The restaurant is basically fully alfresco with a smallish set up, a dozen or so tables under a retractable canvas. The ambiance is pretty comfortable and actually a bit unique as far as Japanese outlets go: outdoor, a bar, LCD tv player sports, and music.

Somo Mont Kiara
two Guinness inspired dishes

The Guinness inspired dishes were not actually on the menu, so I spoke with the friendly manager and requested for them. The grilled beef set and seafood set was suggested, and I also ordered sashimi for two, shisamo (grilled pregnant fish), and a pint of Guinness as good measures.

SOMO was not among the restaurants that ran the Guinness-infused Christmas main course promotion like these below. However, like many restaurants, you can sometimes get the chef to cook up something different, if only you ask nicely.

Somo Mont Kiara
the girl, the sashimi, the seafood, and the soup & chawanmushi

The chef did probably take slightly longer than usual to prepare the dishes. While it was tough to find the hint of Guinness from the grilled seafood Cindy ordered, the beef I had was excellent. The slight bitterness contributed by the black beer was clearly present in the meat and actually adds character to the otherwise sweetish dish. It was really good, I think SOMO should consider making this dish a permanent fixture on their menu.

Somo Mont Kiara
Cindy, Shisamo, and yours truly

The sashimi for two consists of squid, sweet shrimps, octopus, tuna, salmon, and a generous portion of salmon roe. They were fresh, served on ice, and made for very good appetizer. The grilled shisamo too was done properly even as first time eater of the fish, the girl said it was good. And of course, the Guinness drought was excellent.

Somo Mont Kiara
SOMO is a stone’s throw away from Plaza Mont Kiara

The sets also come with miso soup and chawanmushi, they are priced at RM 35 and RM 45,  sashimi was RM 60. Together with drinks and shisamo, the dinner came to just a little over RM 200. It was very satisfying though, good food, great atmosphere, and of course, a very good company.

Address:
Lot 2B, The Shoplex@Mont Kiara, Jln Kiara
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

GPS: 3.166571, 101.652696
Tel: 019-312 6528