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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / sauvignon blanc

Le Midi is a name that I’ve came across for quite sometime, and it was a privilege to finally be invited for a food tasting session in conjunction with the arrival of Chef Andrea Alimenti, who has some 30 years of culinary experience since graduating from Aurelio Saffi Florence Hotel School in 1983.

Chef Andrea Alimenti is a multiple Michelin star chef, with his first coming at the tender age of 20, then at age 30 he left Florence to open his own restaurant with some partners (the renowned Aquamatta in Capolona) for 15 years… which also received a Michelin star. It is not common that we have the opportunity to sample creations from a chef with such pedigree, we felt very honored.

Le Midi at Bangsar Shopping Center, with live nautilus
Le Midi at Bangsar Shopping Center, with live nautilus

The restaurant is located on 3rd floor in the East wing of Bangsar Shopping Centre, the interior oozes a sense of mystic and class, with a couple nautilus in a round aquarium at the centre of the dining hall. This was actually the first time I witness these pelagic marine mollusks outside Aquaria, way cool.

Anyway, we’re here for the food, and you can’t order the nautilus.

eggplant nest with truffle egg yolk and parmesan cheese
eggplant nest with truffle egg yolk and parmesan cheese

Out first dish was eggplant nest with truffle egg yolk and parmesan cheese. A dish with deceptively simple base ingredient – poached egg and eggplant, manage wow us with it’s wonderful combination of texture and taste. The eggplant fried to a texture not unlike bacon, the egg poached perfectly, and shaved parmesan with truffle gives it that touch of complexity. I was impressed.

mozzarella ravioli in tomato consommé
mozzarella ravioli in tomato consommé

Next up was mozzarella ravioli in tomato consommé, a classic Italian dish with a well balanced taste of acidity from tomato consommé countering the stronger mozzarella cheese within the ravioli.

A glass of Secret de Berticot Sauvignon Blanc proved to be a worthy companion for the above two dishes.

homemade Tagliolini in saffron butter whiskey salmon cream and crunchy almonds
homemade Tagliolini in saffron butter whiskey salmon cream and crunchy almonds

Next we had homemade Tagliolini in saffron butter whiskey salmon cream and crunchy almonds. A type of pasta popular in Emilia-Romagna, a region in Italy.

While we love the soft smooth texture of the pasta, I thought the salmon cream was a little too mild, but nothing a dash of sea salt won’t help. We also had Secret Berticot Rosé to go along with the pasta. Though the Rosé was a decent pairing with pasta, we felt that the Savignon Blanc was actually suited for this occasion.

seabass with fine herb crust on spinach bed
seabass with fine herb crust on spinach bed

Next up – seabass with fine herb crust on spinach bed. Seabass, or barramundi, is quite a popular fish in local cuisine, but I’ve never had it prepare this way before. The crust gives it a crispy herbal taste while leaving the texture of the fish still tender and moist. The spinach did a fine job as a side kick, and we had more white wine to go with this.

It was already a rather good night at this point.

tenderloin in old Madeira sauce with foie gras and fig
tenderloin in old Madeira sauce with foie gras and fig

Then came my favorite dish of the night, tenderloin in old Madeira sauce with foie gras and fig.

When it comes to beef, I’m usually one who likes to have it as is. Be it ribeye, NY strip, tenderloin, of Black Angus, Wagyu, you name it. I like to have it medium rare with nothing on it.

On this occasion though, I was proven wrong. The Madeira sauce and fig really enhanced the taste of the already excellent beef. The foie gras, of course, managed to kick it up a notch. Give me this any day and I’ll be the happiest man.

Red meat deserves some red wine to go with, so we had a glass of Château Pouroutou red to go with (I believe it was merlot). Perfect.

dessert galore!
dessert galore!

As usual, by the time we were well full, dessert is served. Not one, but five creations from the good chef. I took a bite from all of them and wished that I had a bigger stomach to properly devour them. They are:

  • Millefoglie with Chantilly cream and caramel
  • Vanilla panacotta and strawberry coulis
  • Chocolate fondente and mini chocolate cup
  • Chocolate tender heart with Amarena cherry parfait
  • Orange cheesecake and chocolate drawing

KY, Haze, Mei & Josen, Melissa, Kelly, Chengyi, Chef Andrea Alimenti
KY, Haze, Mei & Josen, Melissa, Kelly, Chengyi, Chef Andrea Alimenti

It was a great dinner with even better company, thank you Melissa for being a generous and wonderful host. We will be back to Le Midi.

map to Bangsar Shopping Center

Address:
Le Midi Restaurant
3rd Floor, East Wing,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,

285 Jalan Maarof,
Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.142808,101.667448
Tel:  03-2094 1318

Earlier this month I went on a bit of a food review streak. First was Iketeru at KL Hilton, then the Wine dinner at Opus Bistro, followed by Leonardo’s, and then Mandarin Grill, and I think there’s one more before the conclusion of this week.

I usually don’t go to as many review sessions, but the invitations from this month were all too tempting to refuse (though I did forgo a wine dinner in favor of futsal). Leonardo’s stand out in the list for that it is the only one that serves one of my favorite meats – pork.


Leonardo’s Dining Room, Concha Y Toro Sauvignan Blanc 2008

Tucked at a little row of shops by Jalan Bangkung at Bukit Bandaraya, Laonardo’s is run by the same people that brought you Opus, Cava, and Moxie (I haven’t been to the latter two).

While the name might have an Italian origin, the food is more fusion than anything: from pizza, pork knuckle, to bak kut teh and hokkien mee, the menu cuts across different cuisines but with a distinctly pork centric theme. A theme the invited guests in this session agreed whole heartedly.

crispy bacon lollipop, belgian black mussels, kentucky fried frogs
crispy bacon lollipop, Belgian black mussels, Kentucky fried frog

We had three appetizers to start the night, crispy bacon lollipop was this cute dish with breaded pork balls on satay sticks served in a glass of salt, a mayo based sauce accompany the dish just to make it even more sinful. The balls had cheese and pork in it, I didn’t pace myself and had more than a couple.

The Belgian black mussels (RM 55) were cooked in a savory white wine and cream broth, from fresh and not frozen seafood, with of parsley and onion to add to the flavor.

My favorite appetizer out of the three must be the Kentucky fried frog, and I’m sure Kim would kill for this. Deep fried in a very light batter, the freshness of the frog legs perfectly intact. I’m amazed how well it goes with the tartar sauce (if I get it right). Perfect beer snack.

italian cippino, spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza
Italian Cippino, Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza

The Italian Cippino (RM 46) is, I supposed, a dish Leonardo himself would be quite familiar with. Plenty of seafood in tomato broth, served with foccacia bread. There’re fish, mussels, prawns, and squid too.

The Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak (RM 55) is served medium well with picon blue risotto mustard sauce. The meat was as tender as any top grade steak but with a hint of pork texture and taste, no wonder it is also known as the wagyu of pork world. Delicious!

The rectangular mama mia pizza (RM 35) is a thin crust pizza cut in six pieces and precariously topped with jamon serrano (similar to parma ham), rocket, and mozzarella cheese

ciki, Leo's Pork Knuckle Platter, KY
ciki serving Leo’s pork knuckle platter, I licked the bone clean

My favorite main dish of the night has got to be their signature Leo’s pork knuckle platter (RM 75). The pork knuckle is perfect, with the meat super tender you could tear em clean from the bone (as I demonstrate) while the skin roasted till super crispy.

There were red sauerkraut & garlic herb roasted potatoes to balance the taste too, it couldn’t have been better. I absolutely love it.

pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns
pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns

Pork chorizo sausage (RM 38) is served with bacon, potato, and apple rosti with chunky tomato relish. A pretty hearty meal by itself, I’d have this with some Guinness.

Another unique dish at Leonardo’s is their grilled pork neck (RM 25) with spicy mango. I like the cilantro salsa that comes with it, but to be honest I personally didn’t like the pork neck much, the texture’s a bit too soft and oily for my liking.

Edward, the part owner, insisted that we try their fried hokkien mee. Served with some seriously huge prawns, I must say that it didn’t disappoint if only it’s a tad too sweet for me. Then again, perhaps my taste bud was tainted with the previous nine dishes I tried?

banana bread and butter pudding, grilled mango, baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction
banana bread n butter pudding, grilled mango w pink peppercorn & cardamom,
baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction

Then of course, the desserts have to come when I’m already absolutely full to the brim. However, I find that this is generally not a problem with girls, they seem to have a separate stomach reserved just for dessert. Call me sexist, but it is absolutely true!

The banana bread and butter pudding (RM 18) served with vanilla ice cream was my favorite among the desserts. Grilled mango with pink peppercorn and cardamom (RM 18) was a bit strange, the baked apple with fillo pastry (RM 18) sweet and savory, and the chocolate seduction (RM 22) was absolutely rich and flavorful I don’t know how anyone could actually finish it right after a big meal.

Then again, I don’t have that spare dessert stomach.

hanging out with the gang at Leonardo's, Jalan Bangkung
we had a whole lot of food and fun at Leonardo’s

It was a very satisfying review session. Cumi & Ciki, Fatboybakes, Eiling, A Lil Fat Monkey, Nigel & Allan from Just Heavenly, and Li Zhi were among the people that made up the great company.

Fadlin also got us some lovely wines sponsored by Magnum to go with all these food. We had Villa Girardi Soave 2007 (Italian) , Concha Y Toro Sauvignon Blanc (Chile), Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 2006 (U.S), and James Irvine Barossa Merlot 2006 (Australia).

map to Leonardo's Dining Room

Address:
Leonardo’s
61-1 and 61-2, Jalan Bangkung,
Bukit Bandaraya,
59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2096 2226

One little perk being a food blogger is that every once in a while, I get to sample the lifestyle of the slightly more privileged. Last Wednesday was one of such occasions, I was invited to a dinner at Opus Bistro hosted by Millennium Associates and Pernod Ricard Malaysia.

While having attended a few of their Friday wine lunch series, this was the first time I attended such event for dinner. Lunch with wine is always a bit of a compromise between how much one can eat, the weather, and the level of influence you are comfortable with while the sun is still out. No such restraints for dinner, which was what made this event even better.


Opus Bistro with Montana wine

Opus Bistro is located at Jalan Bangkung, a part of Bangsar (actually Bukit Bandaraya) that doesn’t challenge your sanity when it comes to looking for parking space. The restaurant is simple yet posh, an ambiance fit for the cuisine it serves.

While waiting for 7:30 pm dinner to start by our standard Malaysian lag time, we indulged ourselves with some asparagus smoked salmon roullade canape (a fancy way to say rolled up food) and Montana Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2007. I wans’t complaining, it was a good start to the evening, my taste buds agreed.


homemade ravioli porchini in wild mushroom sauce, sauvignon blanc & pinot noir
scampi lettuce green cappucino in tomato broth, raw tuna carpaccio with caviar

By the time our first dish, the lovely scampi in tomato broth is served, it was already 8:30pm. Malaysian timing does not spare anyone. While the scampi isn’t exactly lobster, it did not disappoint, I especially love the savory broth.

Next up was the marinated albacore raw tuna carpaccio that comes complete with caviar, soy chili, and aragula (rocket salad). I tasted a hint of truffle oil in the marinate, and the tuna was fresh, smooth, and tasted awesome. I was more than happy when Suan gave me most of her portion since she doesn’t exactly eat raw fish.

Those two dishes were paired with Montana Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008, white wine with seafood, never goes wrong.

The homemade ravioli porchini in wild mushroom sauce didn’t taste too wild, the walnut did not stand out either, but the truffle oil, ahh, that really gives this dish a very distinct class. I loved it. We had the Montana Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 with it.


marinated wagyu skewer, Montana terraces pinot noir 2007
fillet of carribbean red snapper with poached scallop , cheese platter and fruits

The forth dish was fillet of caribbean red snapper with caramelized port sauce accompanied by poached scallop. I thought the fish was alright but not particularly special, perhaps overshadowed by the previous dishes. The scallop was fresh and sweet though.

We switched to Montana Terraces Pinot Noir 2007 for the next dish, the marinated wagyu (marbling no. 7) skewer. Using wagyu beef of this quality on a skewer is perhaps a bit of a luxury, but none of us complained. I could have easily consume another portion if it was presented to me.

Finally, we had cheese platter with fresh fruits to conclude dinner. Aged cheddar, goat, gorgonzola, and my favorite – brie. We switched Montana Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2008, the sweeter green grapes compliments the cheese well, we were well satisfied.


Sue Lynn, Suanie, KY

This event cost RM 150 per person, with the excellent foods at Opus and free flow Montana wines, I’d say it is quite a good deal. I met Sue Lynn of bangsarbabe for the first time, and had the opportunity to catch up with familiar faces I haven’t seen since last Friday Wine Lunch. It was a lovely evening.

I need me some grapes now!

Address:
Opus Bistro
67, Jalan Bangkong
Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2092 4288

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Activate BB 250 everyday from Monday to Friday, and you get to enjoy free blackberry access all weekends. Now isn’t that a great deal? This offer lasts till the end of March, 2010. Don’t miss out!

Last Friday I was invited to my very first Friday Wine Lunch, a monthly event arranged by the Millennium Associates and Pernod Ricard Malaysia. The venue was Carat Club, a place at Pavilion I mistakenly thought in a bunny friendly way until very recently.

As it is a wine lunch, importance is placed not only on food and wine, but the combination as well. We were introduced to Montana, wines from vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand, to go with some very fine foods from C. Club.

note: carrat club is closed, replaced by Ben’s

Wine Lunch at Carat Club, Pavilion KL
Montana Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir

The event was very classy and it was almost out of place for me, but I was seated close to the brand manager of Pernod Ricard and the chief sub-editor of a major English daily who were both very friendly people. The host Mr Lionel Lau made the event a learning experience for me with his knowledge in wine and the ways he could explain which wine goes with what type of food, and the “why”. Very interesting, and I shall learn more.

Wine Lunch at Carat Club, Pavilion KL
grilled tiger prawn and chilled rocket vichyssoise

The first two dishes were Chilled Rocket Vichyssoise and Grilled Tiger Prawn to go with Montana Sauvignon Blanc. The vichyssoise, a type of creamy soup with almond and diced potato; while the grilled tiger prawn came with apple and cider sauerkraut, with some lemon butter beurre blanc.

The soup was an interesting experience as it was served cold, not bad, but just different. The tiger prawn though, was fantastic with the creamy lemon butter base and mixed well with the apple cider sauerkraut. But most importantly, the white wine goes very well with the two creamier food, cutting through the texture left on your tongue.

Wine Lunch at Carat Club, Pavilion KL
Citrus Tea Duck Breast, Salmon Rossini, and Chocolate Fortress

There were two choices for main dish, I chose the Citrus Tea Duck Breast and bypassed the Salmon Rossini. Little did I know the salmon was actually served with foie gras, one of my favorite sin foods, but then again, the duck did not disappoint, so all was was not lost.

The Citrus Tea Duck Breast is served with carrot and celeriac braised savoy cabbage, earl grey orange glace and topped with shiso. It carried a tangy taste to the tender duck breast. Instead of white wine, we had Pinot Noir served at about 16-17 C to go with the main dish. It was a good combination with the wine being not too sweet nor too acidic, just nice to neutralize the slightly fatty food.

Wine Lunch at Carat Club, Pavilion KL
Friday Wine Lunch at Carat Club

Dessert was C. Club’s Chocolate Fortress, a concoction of chocolate mousse on moist chocolate cake with raspberry. I always love the contrasting taste of the rich chocolates with the sourness of raspberry, and the wine made a good compliment to the entire package too.

map to Pavilion KL
map to pavilion KL

The lunch package is priced at RM 95 nett with free flow wine, very good deal I think. It only happens once every month though and space are getting limited as they are getting more popular. Check with Millennium Associates for the next one if you’re interested. I hope they invite me again. 😉

more pictures here

Address:
Carat Club
Lot 5.11 & 6.11,
Level 5 & 6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368
Tel: 03-2141 5302