Avenue K is greeting year 2018 CNY celebration with the campaign themed ‘Bloom of Grandeur’, which transform the mall into a garden of beautiful blossoms. The ground level is set up with 13 CNY booths offering a variety of festive treats and goodies.
We were invited to the launch for this month-long event that will lasts from 19th Jan to 25th Feb. Other than CNY booths, there’s a series of CNY themed workshops from crafting paper lanterns to designing CNY cards made from AngPows for kids aged 4-12.
Flower Power CNY At Avenue K
From 19/1 to 15/2/18, spend a minimum of RM 388 (max 2 receipts) and you get to join the AK Prosperity Draw with Asia Miles and be one of the five lucky winners to walk away with 60,000 Asia Miles points redeemable for a pair of return tickets to Hong Kong and RM 1000 Shoes Gallery by Parkson gift vouchers. There are also consolation prizes of RM 500 (x5) worth of cash vouchers to be won.
For those spending up to RM 288, there’s the AK Wheel of Prosperity in which you get to spin and win prizes. With RM 188 in a single receipt, you’ll get to redeem exclusive AK Ang Pow packets.
The highlight of the event will be on 23/2/18 where there will be a Lion Dance Money Showering session, yeap, literally having acrobatic lion dance throwing money to shoppers. There’ll also be fire crackers lighting ceremony followed by dotting of the lion’s eyes. Then, there’s ‘Rolling in the wealth’ segment in which there will be rolling of mandarin oranges from the main entrance of the mall, to ensure that prosperity will flow into the building. All in all there’ll be 8 pairs of lion performing on the day. It’ll be quite a sight.
Dolly Dimsum with special CNY menu including yee sang
Of course, since this is a food blog, what I am particularly interested in this period is what some of the restaurants are doing. For this, we were invited to Dolly Dimsum for their special CNY menu.
CNY special menu at Avenue K
For the CNY period, Dolly Dimsum, which is one of the few halal dimsum restaurants in the city, offers a special set of CNY menu priced at RM 62++ per pax (6 pax group dining). The good thing is, the limited time dishes in the menu is also available ala-carte basis, and we got to give them a try.
scallop dumpling, golden kamquat dumpling, lucky 88 noodle, szechuan tofu
The dishes include a yee sang (RM 65) with plum sauce & fresh salmon. Scallop dumpling (RM 17.8) which was one of my favorites, huge chunk of scallops with a base of prawns underneath too.
Then there’s the Lucky “88” Noodle (RM 36.8), fried yee mee with really generous amount of crab meat, prawns, and again those delicious scallops that I absolutely love. Then there’s also the Schezuan Tofu (RM 23.5) that comes with really soft tofu, chicken, and the sauce that has a bit of those szechuan kick, tho personally I probably want it a bit more spicy.
nian gao with fresh coconut, lunar blossom mocktail
For sweeter ending, there’s the Golden Kamquat Dumpling (RM 9.9), basically mung bean paste wrapped in mochi skin. Their version of nian gao, called Happiness Kuih (RM 11.8), is one of the rendition that I actually find not overly sweet while still carrying that unmistakable CNY spirit, I think having fresh coconut coating was the right way to go.
A couple weeks ago I was invited to a short weekend trip to Johor by some blogger friends. I gotta admit that I’m absolutely not familiar with the food scene in JB, having only been there a few times mainly for work where mobility for meals is pretty restricted.
October Japanese Restaurant, JB
Our first destination of the trip was October Japanese Restaurant, located near Mount Austin, a more upscale area in Johor Bahru. The restaurant is a converted residential unit with nice lush lawn and plenty of parking spots at the back.
While we may still be in December, October Japanese Restaurant already came up with their Chinese New Year dishes, and we were lucky enough to sample some of them.
Prosperity “Yee Sang” Assorted Sashimi with Wasabi Sauce
We started out with the Prosperity “Yee Sang” Assorted Sashimi with Wasabi Sauce (RM 68/RM 108 nett) that came with generous slices of – Norwegian Salmon, Maguro (Tuna) and Hamachi (Yellow Tail). They’ve also added fried Gyoza Skin and Roasted Almond Flakes to give the dish more crunchiness. A good alternative to consider for your “lou sang” session.
Auspicious Flaming Nabe
Then there’s the Auspicious Flaming Nabe (RM68.80 nett), with Norwegian Salmon and chicken breast mixing in with Shitake mushrooms, leeks and carrots to make a pretty sweet tasting miso based soup. Generous amount of “KaoLiang” Rice Wine and sake were used in this pot as well, which contributes to the whole flaming spectacle.
Fortune Sushi & Sashimi Platter, maki
For those who likes it raw, there’s the Fortune Sushi & Sashimi Platter (RM58.80 nett). The dish is beautifully presented on a wooden platter and came with rather generous amount of fresh seafood including Maguro, Hamachi, Unagi, and Salmon.
We also tried the Flaming Salmon Aburi Maki (RM29.90++), with salmon and special crab stick plus spicy sauce.
Grilled Edamame, October Special Bento, Kushiyaki Moriawase
Grilled Edamame (RM9.90++) is a good starter if you like your edamame with a kick, which I think will go really good with beer.
For those who likes bento, October Special Bento (RM59.90++) is a worthy option and comes with a little bit of everything, including salmon sashimi, unagi, and more.
And if you like it grilled, Kushiyaki Moriawase (RM44.90++) comes with scallops, Shitake Mushroom, Enoki Niku Yaki and other greeneries on skewers, and you’ll also find bacon in this platter as well, which makes this one of the few non-halal Japanese Restaurants in JB.
Address: October Japanese Restaurant No. 6a, 1, 8, Jln Jaya Putra 3/15, Bandar Jaya Putra, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor GPS: 1.574499, 103.776892 Tel: 011-1426 5993 Hours: 12pm – 11pm daily
It’s that time of the year again, CNY dinner previews is in vogue, so a few days ago I stopped by Ti Chen Chinese Restaurant at Saujana Golf & Country Club to sample what they have to offer for the year of Goat.
Ti Chen is actually under the same management as Saujana KL, situated just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. Parking is quite a hassle free experience, and the restaurant has a nice overview of the lush green lawn and gentle slopes of the golf course, which exudes a very nice ambiance that promotes tranquility out of the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Ti Chen Chinese Restaurant at Saujana Golf & Country Club
For 2015, Ti Chen offers three different set menus priced from RM 1168++, RM 1468++, and RM 1968++ to choose from. You can also add 200++ to each of those menu to add alcoholic beverages to the package (some pretty good House label wine selections).
For the purpose of this media review, we sampled 9 dishes hand picked from the 3 menus.
For more details on the promotion, head to shr.my/the-saujana-hotel/dining/ti-chen/
Sea Bird’s Nest Yee Sang with Cheery Sauce
We started the night with Sea Bird’s Nest Yee Sang with Cheery Sauce (and added some smoked salmon for good measure too).
The Yee Sang here is closer to the traditional type with crispy crackers and colorful ingredients, with the chef’s special cherry sauce separating it from other run-off-the-mill yee sang. It is a little more fruity and interesting, though I still find myself preferring the more modern type of yee sang with fresh fruits and vegetables that is fast gaining popularity.
double boiled free range chicken with ginseng soup
Like all decent Chinese set menu, the second dish is always some type of soup, and I’m again happy to see the departure from the shark’s fins.
The double boiled free range chicken with ginseng soup packs a punch. It was overloaded with sweetness from the chicken and dates with a great balance from herbal ingredients. I really enjoyed this.
homemade roasted sesame pei pa duck & steamed sabah sea garupa
Continuing with another poultry dish was the homemade roasted sesame pei pa duck that I thought went very well with some Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. The red wine compliments the duck rather well. Though I’ve had better pei pa duck, this version could hold its own.
Steamed Sabah sea garoupa with tong kwai soya sauce came next, and this was easily my favorite dish of the night. The fish was steamed just right, preserving the freshness and sweetness from the seafood with the light superior soya sauce and tong kwai subtly giving the dish a little bit of character. I also love the way the way our server expertly carved out 10 different pieces of the fish for everyone. It was delightful.
braised seasonal vegetable with dried oyster, wok fried prawns
Braised seasonal vegetable with dried oyster and duo mushrooms is another pretty common dish in Chinese set menu, and this version is certainly up to the standard. I particularly enjoyed those thick and juicy “abalone mushroom”.
For those who loves shellfish, there’s wok fried prawns with butter sauce. This version is the wetter and non crispy type that is a little messier to consume, but as a bonus it is also a little more flavorful with the butter sauce seeping into the seafood. I also find that the prawns were very fresh as well.
braised crispy noodle with seafood & crab roe, dessert
The stomach stuffer in our session was the braised crispy noodles with seafood and crab roe, a pretty luxurious dish that you could have as a whole meal in itself. The seafood, and especially those crab roe were super sinful and delicious, it was too bad that I was rather full by this time.
Like any other CNY set menu, a sweet ending was provided. For this purpose we were served with chilled dried lime and sea cococnut with aloe vera in longan soup (what a long name) and chilled mochi & Shanghai lotus pancake.
I thought the longan soup was perhaps a little bit too sweet, but the lotus pancake, being one of my all time favorite Chinese desserts, was quite awesome. The mochi was not something I remember though.
KY & Kerol at Ti Chen, Saujana Golf & Country Club
Overall I thought the experience at Ti Chen was pretty positive. Food was right up there with the other big boys and Saujana certainly provides a superior location in terms of ambiance and hassle free parking.
Details of the sets:
9 course auspicious good luck set (RM 1168++): salmon yee sang, braised crab meat seafood treasure soup, steamed river patin with hot & sour sauce, braised seasonal vegetables with dried oyster & duo mushrooms
9 course auspicious good fortune set (RM 1468++): double boiled cordyceps, flower with spring chicken soup, homemade roasted sesame pei pa duck, steamed sabah sea garoupa with tong kwai soya sauce, braised fish maw, sea cucumber & dried oysters with broccoli flower
9 course auspicious good health set (RM 1968++): double boiled free range chicken with ginseng soup, stewed chicken with chestnut, shiitake mushrooms and young bamboo shoots, steamed white pomfret with suprior soya sauce, wok fried prawns with butter sauce
The sets are priced for 10 pax, but you can also order them for minimum of 5 pax.
Ti Chen Saujana Golf & Country Club,
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS, 40150 Selangor GPS: 3.106865, 101.575285 Tel: 03-7846 1466 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How time flies, while many of us were still contemplating about 2015 new year resolution, the calendar indicates that it is already past mid of January, so I guess it’s time to forget about what you promised yourself one the last day of 2014 and start getting ready for Chinese New Year.
One of the things we worry about when it comes to CNY is the big “sau kong”/reunion/”hoi kong” dinner. Where to have the dinner? Is it going to be awesome? Expensive? Good? etc etc.
I’m quite happy to report that the first of such dinner I sampled this year turned out to be a gem.
Special 2015 CNY Guinness dinner menu at Grand Imperial BSC
I’ve been to Grand Imperial BSC before for a few wedding dinners and generally were quite impressed with their food. So when Guinness invited me to sample their “Guinness Chinese New Year Banquet Menu” that’s available at BSC, I was quite happy to oblige.
Haze performed a caligraphy piece for the opening of the event
Making the trip even more worthwhile is the fact that Haze was the performer of the night, showcasing her Chinese calligraphy skills on the stage. If you want to make your event/annual dinner/etc more interesting, consider hiring a speed painter/calligrapher like her, not only the performance is interesting, you also have a piece of artwork to bring back to the office.
You can contact Haze via artmisfits.com, other than speed painting, they also provide wall murals and other art related services.
yee sang with silverfish
Anyway, lets talk about food. Here’s the Guinness Chinese New Year Banquet Menu, available for table of 10 and come with 2 large bottle of Guinness for RM 1,888++
Yee Sang with Silver Fish
Braised Bird’s Nest with Fresh Crab Meat
Roasted Whole Suckling Pig
Steamed Pomfret “Traditional” Style
Fresh Water King Prawn in Casserole
Braised Sliced Abalone with Black Moss and Dried Oyster
Clay pot Rice with Chinese Sausage and Dried Meat “Hong Kong” Style
Chilled Fresh Mango Puree with Sago and Pomelo
Deep Fried Nian Gao and Deep Fried Sweet Potato Pastries
The menu is available from January 13th until March 5th, 2015.
braised birds nest with crab meat, roasted whole suckling pig
As every CNY dinner goes, we started off with yee sang (which is invented right here in Malaysia). I really liked the interpretation of yee sang here with the usage of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as deep fried silver fish to create a crunchy and fresh feeling starter. the minimal plum sauce used also ensured that the dish did not turned out to be overly sweet. It was a good starter.
The braised birds nest with crab meat, to me, was one of the highlights of the night. The soup was infused with bits of black truffle to give it that distinct aroma, birds nest gave it the character and texture of sharks fin without the environmental impact, and fresh crab meat provided extra sweetness. I loved it!
Suckling pig was roasted to perfection, and I think we finished it in less than the time you’d take to boil a bowl of instant noodle.
steamed pomphret, fresh water king prawns, braised abalone w/ black moss
The huge pomphret was abit of a concern to me as most restaurants tend to over steamed a fish this size, but fortunately the chefs at Grand Imperial seem to know exactly what they’re doing. It was prepared expertly with top grade soya sauce and we really enjoyed the seafood.
Fresh king prawn was a pretty good dish too if not a bit messy to consume. The head of the prawn had all the right juices that’ll clog your artery, but that’s the way we love it.
Braised abalone slices with black moss and dried oyster is another well prepared traditional dish that I always enjoy having, though sometimes I wish there’s a chef somewhere who’d be bold enough to replace those dried oysters with fresh ones, or even with scallops.
clay pot rice with dried meat, Chinese desserts
Stomach filler in this CNY menu was the clay pot rice with Chinese sausage and dried meat “Hong Kong” style. The rice was alright, but those dried meat were great! I especially love the darker “lap cheong” that’s made from duck liver. If you haven’t had those, try it! It’s literally like the foie gras of wax meat.
Desserts were chilled mango puree with sago & pomelo as well as fried nian gao and deep fried sweet potato balls. I love the mango puree as well as fried nian gao that was coated with a layer of dried coconut meat, the potato balls pastries though, would be great for afternoon tea time snack instead of dessert.
I think we were the noisiest table at Grand Imperial BSC that night
Overall, it was a pretty awesome dinner, we had plenty of Guinness to go along with those awesome food. There are also other CNY menu available at various Grand Imperial branches, so be sure to check them out.
Seems to be like Xmas was just a couple weeks ago, and all of a sudden we’re faced with Chinese New Year in only about a month’s time. The thing that I like about Chinese New Year (since angpow money is now in negative territory) – Yee Sang and Chinese New Year dinners!
Chinese restaurants around the country are busy preparing Chinese New Year menus just about now, and we’re lucky to be invited by Siobhan to sample a few dishes from Ritz Carlton’s Li Yen and JW Marriot’s Shanghai restaurants.
Li Yen at Ritz Carlton and Shanghai at JW Marriot hotel
Li Yen serves traditional Cantonese cuisine, the variant of Chinese food that is more prevalent among the high end Chinese restaurants in Malaysia, while Shanghai restaurant, like the name suggests, entice customers with traditional Shanghainese dishes.
As per usual YTL standards, both restaurants are tastefully decorated and provide excellent ambiance. There are also private dining rooms in addition to the common dining hall.
Prosperity yee sang with abalone, with Siobhan & Haze (at Li Yen)
We started the night with my very first Prosperity Yee Sang for 2013, and this one comes with a touch of luxury with abalone slices instead of of the more common raw salmon. The ingredients were fresh, and it sure tastes like CNY is just around the corner. Li Yen also provide you with those extra long chopsticks, real handy when it comes to Lou Sang time.
double boiled chicken soup, stir fry prawn with supreme soya sauce (at Li Yen)
When it comes to traditional CNY Chinese course dinner, I always love to start with a bowl of good soup. Li Yen didn’t disappoint. The double boiled chicken soup with dried scallop and Chinese cabbage was one of the best I’ve had. Subtle, sweet, it gives you that homey warm, comfort feeling.
The stir-fried prawns with supreme soya sauce too was a top notch. Huge fresh prawns completely shelled (they should do this more often, I don’t want to deal with the shells), the seasoning isn’t over powering and you can eat it on it’s own. Sweetness of seafood complimented well with the hint of saltiness from supreme soya sauce.
braised Shanghainese pork, xiao long bao (at Shanghai)
After the three dishes we moved to Shanghai restaurant just a short walk away.
Greeting us on the table were the beautiful braised Shanghainese pork, xiao long bao, and the traditional CNY dessert – glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds.
The braised Shanhaginese pork looks a bit like “tong por” pork, but in truth it’s a more sophisticated dish. The bottom half of the dish is a mixtures of prawn paste, pine nuts, and vegetable. It was soft, succulent, and delicious. Would be even better with a bit of rice I think.
Xiao long bao here is top notch as well, with plenty of soup and skin that’s just thick enough to hold everything in.
pan-fried glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds (at Shanghai)
We ended the night with pan-fried glutinous rice cake with sesame seeds, they’re sweet and crunchy on the outside from the sesame. Perhaps not one of my favorite desserts, but it shouldn’t disappoint anyone who likes glutinous rice cake (I prefer mine deep fried between sweet potato, old school)
The set menus start from RM 1388++ per table of 10 persons, click on the link below to see the menus.