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Tag / seafood

As someone who was born on an island, I just can’t say no to good seafood. This is the reason why I went back to InterContinental Hotel’s Serena Brasserie for their seafood buffet review this year as I remember how good was last year’s spread.

Fresh Seafood Promotion at InterContinental Hotel, KL
Fresh Seafood Promotion at InterContinental Hotel, KL

Before we get started on the food, lets look at the important bits of this buffet:

  • available every Friday and Saturday nights
  • RM 120++ for adults
  • upgrade to W.O.W (Wine of the Week) package for RM 180++ which includes a bottle of red or white wine

Additionally, Halloween ‘Scream for Seafood” promotion is priced the same on 31st Oct 2014 with best dressed male and female for the night taking away vouchers of award-winning restaurant, Tao Chinese cuisine and Tatsu Japanese cuisine.

tuna, crabs, octopus, oyster, mussel, slipper lobster, crayfish, and more
tuna, crabs, octopus, oyster, mussel, slipper lobster, crayfish, and more

The most important line of this buffet spread is the chilled seafood bar, it is the most impressive I’ve seen yet on any buffet.

On the bed of ice you can find premium cuts of tuna, butterfish, Pacific prawn, New Zealand green lip mussels, crayfish, slipper lobster, octopus, Fine de Claire oysters, Australian yabbies, spanner crab, mud crab, and Harvey Bar half shell scallops.

These are either raw or boiled, the minimal preparation method retains the original sweetness of the seafood to be enjoyed as is or with the variety of condiments available.

live Australian yabbies stir fried, grilled, or eaten sashimi style
live Australian yabbies stir fried, grilled, or eaten sashimi style

A unique selling point at this buffet spread is the availability of live Australian yabbies, a type of freshwater crayfish. These yabbies are fished out of the pond in the restaurant and prepared fresh in several ways of your choosing – stir fried, grilled, or even eaten raw sashimi style.

A word of caution – the raw yabby may twitch when you pour some tabasco sauce on it!

seafood and other dishes on the buffet spread, with cute Halloween deco
seafood and other dishes on the buffet spread, with cute Halloween deco

There’s also an outdoor portion of the restaurant that prepares freshly grilled seafood of your choosing, this includes crabs, slipper lobster, prawn, cuttlefish, yabbies, fish filet, and more. Additionally, they also serve beef and chicken satey.

a good selection of traditional dishes on the buffet spread too
a good selection of traditional dishes on the buffet spread too

Of course, in addition to fresh and grilled seafood, there’s plenty of traditional dishes to choose from on the buffet spread. Beef rendang, bok choy, briyani rice, crab curry, roast meat, and more are among the many ready-to-eat cooked dishes to choose from.

Halloween themed desserts fancy you?
Halloween themed desserts fancy you?

For the dessert lovers, a pretty decent selection of mostly Western style desserts is available for your picking. Cakes, bread and butter puddings, and many more are available. The chef also showcase his talent in some pretty interesting looking Halloween themed desserts too.

fresh and grilled seafood were my choice, Li Vian joined me at Serena Brasserie
fresh and grilled seafood were my choice, Li Vian joined me at Serena Brasserie

We thoroughly enjoyed the buffet spread at Serena Brasserie. Executive chef Sam Kung certainly know what he’s doing, upgrading the already very good spread from last year to the excellent selection this year. If you’re looking for a good seafood buffet, this is one that you shouldn’t miss.

map to Intercontinental Hotel, KL

Address:
Serena Brasserie
Intercontinental Hotel

165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.159767, 101.718045
Tel03-2161 1111
Webwww.intercontinental.com

Ramadan is just around the corner so lets continue with the second instalment of buka puasa buffet 2014 review, this at The Saujana KL hotel’s new Charcoal restaurant, remodelled, redecorate, and definitely an improved version of the old Suria Cafe.

Charcoal is a new open-grill concept restaurant that was opened on the 6th of June, 2014, but a review of what the restaurant has to offer will come later, this post is solely about the Ramadan buffet, and this one is served under the stars by the poolside.

Ramadan buffet 2014 at The Saujana KL's Charcoal restaurant
Ramadan buffet 2014 at The Saujana KL’s Charcoal restaurant

The Saujana is located near Subang airport, offering ample outdoor parking space free of charge. Situated directly next to the golf course and hotel swimming pool, the restaurant also enjoys a tranquil and beautiful view.

I was told that the spread we sampled represent only about a quarter to a third of what will be served during the fasting month.

The buffet is priced at RM 115++ per person.

Asian appetizer - kerabu hati ayam, kerabu mangga muda, kerabu kacang botol etc
Asian appetizer – kerabu hati ayam, kerabu mangga muda, kerabu kacang botol etc

Ramadan buffet at Saujana offers quite a variety of Asian appetizers that will surely please Malay food lovers. There’s kerabu hati ayam (chicken liver), kerabu mangga muda (young mango), kerabu kacang botol (long bean), kerabu nanas (pineapple), kerabu nangka, and even gado gado. These offer some intense sourish and spicy taste that opens up the appetite real well.

For those who wants to veer a bit towards the West, there’s a selection of Western dishes such as grilled asparagus with roast beef, chickpea with roasted pumpkin salad, and shredded salmon with zucchini julienne and wasabe mayo as well.

bazaar Malay and bakar stalls offering ayam percik, ikan bakar, and more
bazaar Malay and bakar stalls offering ayam percik, ikan bakar, and more

Like many ramadan buffets in town, the concept of food stalls is implemented here as well.

The bazaar Malay and bakar stalls offer nasi kerabu (the blue rice above), ikan bakar (grilled fish), sotong bakar (squid), ayam percik, as well as other classics such as otak otak.

grilled lamb, ulam ulam, soup, satey
grilled lamb, ulam ulam, soup, satey

Grilled lamb is also available here (basically at every Ramadan buffet I’ve been), and the version here did not disappoint either, the meat was tender and goes well with mint sauce.

If you like ulam like me, they have quite a selection with the accompanying sambal that includes my favorite – tempoyak, or fermented durian. :D

There’s also an Indian stall that serves putu mayam, tossai, masala vadai, coconut chutney, dal curry and more.

KY & Haze, with various main dishes including vegetable, meat, rice, curry, and seafood
KY & Haze, with various main dishes including vegetable, meat, rice, curry, and seafood

When it’s time to fill up your stomach, main dishes such as ayam redang, nasi minyak, udang masak tomato (prawn), terung hijau (eggplant, one of my favorites!), danging kicap berempah (beef with dark sauce), gulai masam tenggiri (mackeral curry), and more are available. I find the taste true generally stays true to classic Malay cuisine.

fruits, desserts, and drinks
fruits, desserts, traditional kuih, and drinks

Desserts is available in the form of various Malay kuih, bubur durian with pulut, pandan cream caramel, assorted French pastries, cheese cake, dodol, and fresh fruits.

Quality of food here is definitely top notch, and I think this would definitely be a place worth checking out for those who stays near this part of Klang Valley, and especailly those who love traditional Malay cuisine.

map to Saujana Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Charcoal
The Saujana KL,
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,

40150 Selangor
GPS3.108849, 101.578474
Tel03-7843 1234
emailinfo@thesaujana.com

Tucked right next to the Philippines embassy and just a stone’s throw away from Pavilion and the KLCC Convention is Maison Francaise, an elegant French restaurant situated in what was formerly a bungalow.

Dining area is separated in a few areas that used to be patio, living room, pool side, and so forth. Art works, white tablecloths, leather seats, fresh flowers; decoration is simple yet classy.

Maison Francaise at Changkat Kia Peng
Maison Francaise at Changkat Kia Peng

Being at the less glamorous of KLCC area has its benefits, you can get here without having to go through any traffic bottle necks, and you never have to park your car more than a few steps away from the restaurant.

While dinner session is usually pretty busy, as the manager and chef mentioned, Maison Francaise is usually pretty quiet over lunch. So for this session, we sampled the lunch set priced at at RM59++ for 2-courses or RM75++ for 3-courses.

amuse bouche came in the form of in-house smoked salmon
amuse-bouche came in the form of in-house smoked salmon

Even though it is a set lunch, we still started out with amuse-bouche, a bite size pre-appetizer selected and prepared by the chef. The in-house smoked salmon isn’t anything fancy, but carries a delicate smoky taste which we like.

duck pate, home-made mushroom soup
duck pate, home-made mushroom soup

The lunch menu may change from time to time and usually carries a couple different options for each course.

Appetizer was between duck pate with truffle and walnut dressing and mushroom soup finishing with truffle oil and whipping cream.

The pate, with its inclusion of walnut dressing, is a little drier than your normal pan-fried duck liver, and should delight fans of this appetizer. Mushroom soup was beautiful, creamy, and those truffle oil really gave it an extra dimension which we love.

leather jacket with green olive & garlic, slow cooked beef angus
leather jacket with green olive & garlic, slow cooked beef angus

Main course was either fish or beef.

The fish option was leather jacket with green olives and garlic, braised fennel. The seasoning was perfect with accompanying vegetables positively enhanced the seafood.

The slow cooked Angus beef, an “oyster blade” cut, is meticulously prepared in seven hours cooking. The result is a piece of meat that’s so tender you can cut it with just using the fork. The flavour of the meat is not lost, and the supporting cast of root vegetables complimented the dish beautifully.

raspberry mousse temptation
raspberry mousse temptation

To conclude the lunch set was the dessert in the form of raspberry mousse temptation, a cacophony of sour, sweet, and very rich creamy taste. I particularly like the tiny bulbs of raspberry “bubbles” that pops in your mouth.

Haze & KY at Maison Francaise
Haze & KY at Maison Francaise 

Maison Francaise is a pork free establishment that carries a good wine and champagne selection, the restaurant also serves liqueurs and espresso coffee.

I want to go back again.

map to Maison Franciaise at Changkat Kia Peng

Address:
Maison Francaise
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng 
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.151256, 101.715215
Tel: 03-2144 1474, 019-243 1200
Webmaisonfrancaise.com.my

It’s time for another recipe sharing session. This time it’s seafood – fried prawns with soya sauce, a simple to prepare and yet pretty luxurious dish (just because prawns are so expensive these days).

I had some prawns in hand thanks for mom who actually works in a market, and since I ran out of asam to make my favorite nyonya style sam prawn, I went online to look for something simple to prepare, and landed on this fried prawns with soya sauce recipe from Babe KL. I know Babe KL & Capt’n Hook personally and was sure that her recipe wouldn’t go wrong.

trim off all sharp edges, add pepper, salt, corn starch
trim off all sharp edges, add pepper, salt, corn starch

Anyway, here are the ingredients you need:

  • big prawns, I had XL prawns, bigger the better
  • 1 bulb garlic – chopped
  • 2 inches ginger – cut into stripes
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • a couple stalks of spring onion
  • cooking oil

cook the prawns and place it aside
cook the prawns and place it aside

Prawn preparation steps:

  • trim off the all appendages of the prawns with a scissor
  • clean and pad dry the prawns with paper towels
  • marinate prawn with salt, pepper, and cover with corn starch
  • heat up some cooking oil and fry prawns till reddish (2-3 minutes)
  • set prawns aside

ginger, then garlic, then prawns, and all the sauces, finally spring onion
ginger, then garlic, then prawns, and all the sauces, finally spring onion

Remaining steps:
  • heat up oil (or just use the remaining from frying prawns)
  • fry ginger for a minute, then add garlic (because it takes longer to cook ginger)
  • when garlic & ginger starts to turn golden, add in the prawns
  • add worchestershire sauce, soya sauce, and dark soya sauce
  • stir fry till fragrant
  • add green onion and stir a little more just prior to serving

there you go, classic fried prawns with soya sauce
there you go, classic fried prawns with soya sauce

So there, the dish really turned out pretty well, I actually wished that we had put in even more garlic & ginger cos they really brought out the taste of the prawns and went well with rice. For those who likes it a little sweeter, feel free to add a teaspoon of sugar too.

For more recipe from yours truly, click on my cooking category.

There’s a new diver in town! Haze just did her PADI Open Water certification at Pulau Sembilan, which is a cluster of small islands half an hour’s boat ride away from Lumut. The underwater condition, and thus diving, was subpar at best. Visibility was quite poor except for one of the dives, and there wasn’t exactly a lot of exotic creatures to spot either.

However, for whatever that is lack in diving, the couple dinners we had at the area more than made up for it.

Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant, Sitiawan
Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant, Sitiawan

On the second night of our stay at Lumut, Haze and I joined our fatty dive master James, together with fellow dive buddy Alan to Hai Tien Di seafood restaurant at Sitiawan with the promise of awesome fresh oysters and yummy seafood.

It was about a 20 minutes drive away from where we stayed at Marina Island Pangkor, and we were not disappointed.

check out the size of fresh oyster there
check out the size of fresh oyster there

We ordered 10 big oysters as appetizer (RM 5 a piece), and just check out their size! They fleshy part of the oysters were as big as my palm, easily the biggest oysters I had.

Coupled with the fact that these creatures were actually alive in the tank prior to being served, they were absolutely delicious. A dash of lime or some Tabasco sauce was all it takes, and try not to make the mistake of putting it in with one mouthful lest you wanna make a full of yourself having oysters spilling out at the corner of your mouth.

Positively tasty.

steamed prawns, they were alive moments ago
steamed prawns, they were alive moments ago

Our biggest main dish was the steamed live prawns. At Hai Tien Di, you get to choose between the “normal” frozen prawns, or the live prawns from the tank. We of course, went for broke and chose the later.

With live seafood, the simplest cooking method is usually the best. This is to preserve the essence of the taste, so for this dish, we have it steamed, as recommended by the operator.

The prawns sliced in halves, and steamed with a bit of ginger, fried garlic, spring onion, light soya sauce, and Chinese wine. It was delightful, packed with that seafood sweetness. At RM 65 this was definitely not cheap, but worth it nonetheless.

fresh oyster, fried vegetable, steamed grouper
fresh oyster, fried vegetable, steamed grouper

A seafood meal is not complete without fish, so we ordered a live grouper, steamed teow chew style (RM 35). It was of course, absolutely fresh and went well with steamed rice.

We also had a plate of vegetable (RM8) to satisfy the vitamin c/fiber requirements. You must always have a serving of vegetable at every meal, no?

we sure did have our stomachs stuffed
we sure did have our stomachs stuffed

The service at Hai Tien Di was pretty good, food came quite fast as well. I can’t say that this is a place that is economical (for a small town), but the quality of fresh/live seafood here was stunning, and those oysters were absolutely delicious.

If you find yourself at Lumut/Sitiawan, this would be a place worth visiting.

map to Hai Tien Di seafood restaurant at Sitiawan

Address:
Hai Tien Di Seafood Restaurant
522 Kampung Cina,
32000 Sitiawan, Perak
GPS: 4.190067, 100.684217
Tel: 05-692 4679 

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