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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / oxtail soup

AFC’s latest foray in their long line of food & restaurant themed series comes in the form of  “Reality Bites: Rise Above with Style”, featuring two celebrity chefs – Johnny Fua & Sherson Lian of Elegantology.

I was invited to the premier of the show followed by a dinner at Elegantology, and since I’ve yet to have a taste at this rather unique restaurant that I’ve heard so much about recently, it was an opportunity I had to take.

Reality Bites premiere at Publika
Reality Bites premiere at Publika

Reality Bites is a six part series starting 10th December, at 9pm every Tuesday on AFC. The show takes part in Elegantology Gallery & Restaurant, featuring not only the glitz and glamour of running the kitchen of a higher end restaurant, but also the day-to-day challenge and many issues faced by the two chefs and their crews.

Chef Johnny Fua, Chef Sherson Lian, & the director of Reality Bites
Chef Johnny Fua, Chef Sherson Lian, & the director of Reality Bites

During the event, we were shown the first episode of Reality Bites in its entirety, alongside with an on-stage session with Chef Johnny Fua & Sherson Lian, the director of the series, as well as the creative director of Elegantology, Beatrice Looi.

So if you want to see a restaurant themed reality series that is closer to home, tune on your TV Tuesday 9pm on AFC!

some homemade bread to start, love the truffle butter
some homemade bread to start, love the truffle butter

After that of course, is what I was even more interested in, the degustation menu at Elegantology.

We started out with Elegantology Baker’s choice, served with truffle butter florets, paprika chickpeas hummus, and EVOO (olive oil & balsamic vinegar?). I think we must have asked for extra truffle butter at least twice, it was very good.

Ceviche scallop, foie gras cube with braised shimeiji mushroom
Ceviche scallop, foie gras cube with braised shimeiji mushroom

Next up was ceviche scallop, paw paw kerabu, nam pla influenced Ponzu sesame drizzle. A dish that has some similarity in Sarawak’s umai, both using acid to lightly cook the seafood. Scallop was huge, juicy, and delicious, I can hae this often. The kerabu was an interesting experiment, tho one that I wouldn’t care too much for.

Foie gras cube, olive lemon soil, soy bean milk braised shimeiji mushroom is similar to chicken liver pate, but undoubtedly a lot more luxurious and sophisticated. The mushroom adds a welcoming change of texture which I do appreciate.

oxtail broth, brandied sea cucumber
oxtail broth, brandied sea cucumber

Continuing our course was a much needed soup dish in the form of oxtail broth with brandied sea cucumber. The oxtail is de-boned while sea cucumber provided the texture that’s similar to beef tendon, but with a dash of seafood sweetness. The soup itself carried a nice herbal aroma.

tomato sake granita, sour plum shaved. Josen, Mei, Cheng Yi & KY
tomato sake granita, sour plum shaved. Josen, Mei, Cheng Yi & KY

Tomato sake granita, sour plum shaved was chosen as a sort of intermission to the degustation dinner course. It was cold, sour, and a tad sweet, perfect as a palate cleanser before we continue with perhaps the most important dish.

kobe beef skewer, miso pineapple bearnaise
kobe beef skewer, miso pineapple bearnaise

Which was the kobe beef skewer with miso pineapple bearnaise. This was the first time I tasted kobe beef (well at least that’s what they claimed), and yes, it was every bit as awesome as the sterling reputation it carries. The meat was super tender with superb marbling, a melt-in-your-mouth feeling that somehow does not compromise on texture.

It was so good we jokingly asked for second servings from the waiter, who actually complied! Sometimes you can achieve a lot more in life by just asking. 😀

barramundi, smoked muscovy duck glutinous rice; replated black forest gateau
barramundi, smoked muscovy duck glutinous rice; replated black forest gateau

The penultimate dish was barramundi, smoked muscovy duck glutinous rice. While the fish was fresh, it was perhaps just a tad too cooked for my liking, the glutinous rice was perfect though, goes especially well with the sambal-like sauce. Also, after the beef, nothing feels the same anymore.

The rather funky looking dessert was the replated black forest gateau, a bit of sponge, chocolate, ice cream, cherries, and cream all carefully arranged in a careless appearance. It was acceptable but perhaps did not live up to the capability of the restaurant. 

I really appreciate the idea behind Elegantology and their bravery in always experimenting with different dishes and menu. The overall dinner experience was very good, and while a couple dishes did not wow, they were mostly excellent, and most importantly, provide diners a different and unique gastronomic experience.

It was a wonderful night overall and I’m grateful for this opportunity.

map to Solaris Dutamas

Address:
Elegantology
35 Level G2, Publika, 

Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.170961, 101.665721
Tel: 03-6206 5577

A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch of a brand new restaurant at Putrajaya Marriott Hotel – Zest.

The restaurant promises a “refreshing food scape of international and local favorites with the highest standards in culinary presentation” and is also a result of renovation work that lasted 6 months and some 10 million ringgit. For an all-day-dining restaurant, that’s a pretty hefty sum I’ll say.

the opening ceremony of Zest
the opening of Zest by Y.A.M. Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar

The opening ceremony was done with great fanfare, with Y.A.M. Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar doing the honor.

I was so happy looking at the balloons carrying Zest’s logo to flying up, for that signifies the wait is over and my stomach can finally have something other than beer and peanuts at the waiting lounge.

cold dishes include prawns, smoked salmon, cold cuts
cold dishes include prawns, smoked salmon, cold cuts

When the curtain dropped, we walked briskly (but still have to be behind the Tunku …) to our assigned table, I put down everything except the camera and went straight to work.

Snapping photos were my secondary task, the first was to fill up the plate, I was starving, and I wanted to eat everything!

lamb, baked oyster, scallops, and more
roast lamb, baked oyster, scallops, and more

Zest has 4 different islands/kitchens serving a host of different cuisines. These kitchens are situated within the dining room space so you can see that the food did not come out from some mystery back room.

There are foods you typically find in most all-day-dining restaurants such as cold cuts, prawns, salmon, raw oysters, mussels and so forth, but they also have quite a bit of those that are slightly less common.

giant grouper, various types of pasta, roast beef
giant grouper, various types of pasta, roast beef

For example, look at this giant grouper that was at least my weight. Cut into tiny pieces, steamed, and served in a little silver spoon, now that is not something you see everyday.

spicy ox tail soup, nasi beriyani, pulut kunyit
spicy ox tail soup, nasi beriyani, pulut kunyit

Zest is not pretentious, they describe their kitchen staff as a “team of talented Malaysian chefs” and this reflects on their dishes. You find plenty of local food prepared with high quality ingredients. One of my favorites of the night was the ox tail soup curry, and I hazard to say that it was the best ox tail soup I’ve had.

fruit basket, bread, seafood salad
fruit basket, bread, seafood salad

One thing you don’t find at Zest is Japanese food. There’s no sashimi, no sushi, no cute little chawamushi or teppanyaki. I don’t miss it though, I prefer my Japanese food from dedicated Japanese restaurants anyway, and there is already plenty of others to choose from here.

spoilt for choices when it comes to desserts
spoilt for choices when it comes to desserts

The desserts at Zest, if you would just one of each item available, there will be no room left for appetizer or main course. The variety is pretty intimidating and should make anyone with sweet tooth very happy.

Ultimately I think Zest is a pretty good no-nonsense all-day-dining restaurant with a price tag that is quite reasonable. As for the RM 10 million renovation, well.. it is nice but RM 10 million nice? That will depend on your taste.

Haze and KY, and some of the stuff we ate at Zest, Marriott Putrajaya
Haze and KY, and some of the stuff we ate at Zest, Marriott Putrajaya

Meals at Zest are served as follows:

  • buffet breakfast @ RM48++ (6:30am – 10:30am)
  • buffet lunch @ RM72++ (12pm – 2pm)
  • buffet dinner @ RM 82++ (6:30pm – 10:30pm)
  • weekend brunch @ RM 55++ (12pm – 4pm)

There’s also ala carte menu available all day.

map to marriott putrajaya

Address:
Zest at Marriott Putrajaya
IOI Resort, 62505 Putrajaya
GPS: 2.969784, 101.707993
Tel: 03-8949 8888

Earlier this month I was invited to the Wild Rice restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard hotel for a food review session courtesy of foodstreet. I looked through the list of my MSN and found a dinner partner in Ringo to go there with me. (you know, a fehmes blogger to increase my street cred.)

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
wild rice restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seatings

The wild rice restaurant is situated on the 9th floor with nice indoor seatings as well as the open terrace with a beautiful pool view.

We were greeted by the friendly communication manager Mr. Huang, and shortly after that the dishes started coming in. The good chef prepared eight dishes for just the three of us for the night. Other than their weekend buffet, Wild Rice restaurant serves Malaysian food as well as Western dishes.

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
clay pot chicken rice, char kueh teow, Penang seafood hor fun

Our first dish of the night was none other than Char Kueh Teow. I usually have my reservations when it comes to this dish, but the chef (who has a very strong Penang tie) actually pulled this off rather well. The good size prawns, chives, bean sprouts, and egg combined to deliver a dish that tasted pretty good.

Similarly, the Penang Hor Fun was very nice as well. I like the way the egg is done with the yolk still half cooked while the white spread over the flat noodle. The hor fun comes with prawns, squid, dory fish fillet, and vegetables.

The chef also prepared two versions of clay pot chicken rice for us, the more usual recipe with salted fish, and a version with century egg. Although I love century eggs, I think the combination is a little weird though, this little experiment from the chef didn’t turn out very great (the dish is not on the menu). Then again, I always applaud chefs who are willing to experiment.

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
Hainanese chicken chop, avocado burger, pan fried salmon, oxtail soup

Then there’s the very crispy and juicy Hainanese chicken chop that I wish I have a bigger stomach to eat more. The chicken chop consists of 1/4 quarter chicken with thigh and drumstick, fresh button mushroom in brown sauce with some mixed vegetables, and of course, fries. (I wonder if they have fries in Hainan, but lets not digress)

The pan fried salmon was good as well, but I think the most interesting dish for the day goes to the avocado burger. This vegetarian dish has beet root, cheese, butter, and a generous serving of sliced avocado. If you had California Roll, you know how avocado tastes like. The combination of avocado relish, and cheese in the bun was actually delicious.

Wild Rice Restaurant at Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
the good chef and Ringo

Ringo’s favorite dish, if my memory serves me correct, was the Malaysian oxtail soup. It wasn’t too spicy nor tasted too strongly. The soup was just nice with the meat tender and the carrots soft, serving it in a clay pot does help by keeping the temperature.

map to Mid Valley Boulevard Hotel
Boulevard Hotel is situated at the North Court of Mid Valley City

The best thing about Wild Rice restaurant is the fact that it is open 24 hrs a day. To me this spells the end of mamak after midnight show especially if I’m at Mid Valley.

As for price, I think they are pretty reasonable for a hotel. Soup is RM15; the burger and other local dishes are around RM 18 to RM 22. Expect to pay slightly more for western dishes, but the portions are pretty big. The good news is that the prices are nett, no extra 10% or 5%. I like that.

Address:
Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.119262, 101.677802
Tel: 03-2295 8000