Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / December 2008

Despite working at KLCC (a stone’s throw away from Ascott) and having heard good things about SevenAteNine, I have never been to the place until this. I invited Michelle to join me for dinner. Michelle is actually one of the first persons I got to know through this blog from more than three years ago, and it had been quite a while since we last play catch up over a meal.

Sevenatenine at Ascott KL
very posh interior, Guinness-infused menu

As with Cafe Chulo at Jaya One, Ronnie Q at Bangsar, and Gypsy WIne & Bar at Changkat Bukit Bintang I reviewed recently, SevenAteNine is running the Guinness-infused Christmas main course promotion until the end of the year. It works like this (just in case you missed the previous entries):

  • order a Guinness-infused Christmas main course
  • fill up a voucher with your details
  • tear it in half and give the side with your details to the restaurant to redeem a small pint of Guinness Draught
  • keep the other half of the voucher to get RM12 off 3 pint of Guinness Draught on next visit

Sevenatenine at Ascott KL
KY, Guinness, and Michelle

SevenAteNine is a rather posh restaurant with very tastefully decorated interior, there are proper dining tables as well as sofas (more for drinking) arranged in fully indoor or semi alfresco settings. We picked a quiet corner upstairs and started browsing the menu.

Curiously, a plate of papadem with chili sauce instead of chips and salsa as tidbits, a little closer to home I suppose.

Sevenatenine at Ascott KL
papedem and warm salad with foie gras

We ordered a serving of warm salad with foie gras as appetizer, lamb cutlet and Guinness-infused beef ribs as main, and a creme brulee as dessert to share.

I have been ordering foie gras whenever I have a chance since I first tasted the delicacy at Zipangu. The simplistic appetizer came with 2 slabs of fattened goose liver, salad, balsamic vinegar, and a few slices of strawberry. The foie gras was pretty good, though it could be served slightly less cooked, but still it did not disappoint and went well with the salad and balsamic vinegar. The bitter after taste of Guinness Draught complements the rich and creamy taste of foie gras perfectly.

Sevenatenine at Ascott KL
lamb cutlet and Guinness-infused beef ribs

The lamb cutlet is prepared with a choice of medium or well done and served with potato, bell pepper, long beans, and some herbs. The taste was certainly pretty good and at least on par with those I had at Gaucho Grill. Juicy and full of flavor.

The Guinness-infused beef ribs, however, is another animal altogether (I apologize for the pun). A rather generous slab of ribs served cooked with a good deal of influence from Guinness Draught served with beetroot, coriander, and balsamic vinegar. Certainly a signature of the Chef in Black with its more complex and sophisticated taste. I like it.

Sevenatenine at Ascott KL
the excellent creme brulee

The dessert picked by Michelle made a perfect conclusion to the excellent meal. A generous amount of some sweet liquid that smells of alcohol is poured onto the dish and set alight just prior to serving. The creme brulee came in three flavors, sweet, creamy, chocolaty, with a pretty strong taste of alcohol. It was very, very good, a must order if you are there.

map to Ascott Kuala Lumpur
SevenAteNine is located at Ascott KL

SevenAteNine is a proper fine dining restaurant, and thus with the good food and nice ambiance come the slightly upper class pricing. The two main dishes were priced RM 49.70 each, warm salad foie gras at 39.70 (pretty decent price for the ingredients), and creme brulee RM 19.70. With other drinks (Guinness comes free with the meal), service charges and taxes, the bill came to just under RM 230.

No. 9, Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
GPS: 3.154967, 101.710589
Tel: 03-2161 7789

Hello guys, say hello to my little chef!

Little chef!
say hello!

I was at the MySimplifieds bazaar attack event last Saturday as a beta-tester to their pretty nifty trading space online (do check it out). Each of us were given RM 200 to buy anything from Curve’s bazaar. Cheesie bought dresses and accessories, but dresses don’t look good on me and I’m not too much a fan of accessories. So look at what I got! A very cute little chef!

The very precise and compricated figurine costs me RM 200 after some hardcore bargaining. He is now standing at my garden, bringing me more food.

No, I don’t have a name for my little chef yet, I’m still wondering if he is really tanned Italian or a mamak in disguise.

You can read more about the event on Beetrice (who invited me), Prashan (who organized the whole thing), Erna (who benefited from my extra banana pie), or Connie (who is rather good looking)

Thanks to David Lian, I’ve got myself a review unit of the highly anticipated Nokia XpressMusic 5800 phone for a couple weeks to play with. The phone has been returned since and I am currently suffering withdrawal symptoms. I constantly try to touch icons on my N82 and try to move the screens around to scroll web pages.. ahh.

However, I shall not digress, here is my take on the XpressMusic 5800.

Nokia XpressMusic 5800
full screen qwerty keyboard & hand writing recognition

Size and Form Factor:
First off, I really like the fact that the phone is only as big as the N82 and weigh pretty much the same. Most other touch screen phones such as the various Windows Mobile devices are generally much larger and wider, and thus not terribly usable especially when you try to operate it with only one hand. The 5800 fits nicely in the pocket and snugs into my palm comfortably.

On the side of the phone you find 2 volume buttons, a slider for lock/unlock, and a dedicated camera button. A power button can be found on top of the device, and just underneath the screen exists the call button in green, menu button in white, and the hang up button in red. I find the semi-minimalistic approach pretty nifty when it comes to answering calls and adjusting volumes (especially when you are playing music and browsing web pages, not needing to flip applications back and forth is really useful)

Nokia XpressMusic 5800
mini qwerty, simulated keypad, XpressMusic player

As a Media Device:
XpressMusic phones, as the name suggests, is aim at music lovers. In this regard, the 5800 does not disappoint. The device is bundled with an 8gb microSD card, stereo headphones, and very impressive external speakers that can fill up a small room pretty good.

The 640×360 resolution screen (qHD – quarter HD) is a godsend for browsing webpages. If you compare that to the N82’s 240×320 display, it fits exactly 3 times as much information on the screen. Double tap on the screen when viewing a webpage will zoom it to “very large” size, double tap again to restore back to original resolution, very useful. You can also zoom the display of a webpage in and out by percentage.

The 3.2 megapixel camera though, is rather noisy at low light condition and the pictures are miles away from the capability of my trusted N82. Put in the 5MP camera and xenon flash and the phone would be unstoppable.

Input Methods:
As some of you might have already known, the 5800 employs resistive touchscreen technology (instead of capacitive such as the iPhone). The benefit of this technology is that a stylus (and indeed provided), finger, or even nails, can be used. Skin contact is not necessary.

There are actually four different ways to input text. There is the full screen qwerty keyboard, best operate with both thumbs; the mini qwerty that is usually tapped with stylus; the simulated keypad option with T9 support; and handwriting recognition that supports both English and Chinese input. No fancy two finger gestures to zoom in and out of a webpage, but your China-imported girlfriend with nail extension can compose an SMS to you.

Personally I find myself reverting back to the simulated keypad with T9 a lot. As you touch the screen, a very subtle vibration gives you an affirmation of your action. A nice touch.

I think Nokia has done it right with their first touch-enabled phone, the UI is rather polished for a review/prototype unit. There is almost no learning curve for Symbian S60 users, everything is pretty intuitive and straight forward, and it is an improvement in many aspects except for the lackluster camera performance.

There are several missing features on my wish list, such as a speed dial screen with more than just 4 numbers and tabbed browsing. I trust that some of these things will be corrected in future firmware releases.

Anyway, I captured a short video of the phone with my N82. Single take and unedited.

By the way, the XpressMusic 5800 is going to be launched on the evening of 9.01.09 at Pavilion. This is going to be a public event with live performances, games with prizes to win, and as David promised, lots of fun. I’m going to be there, are you?

I had been anticipating my second Friday Wine Lunch ever since the first installment at Carat Club last month, so when Lenny from Millennium Associates invited me to Chinoz a couple weeks ago, I was overjoyed.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Nigel Dolan, chief wine maker, Wyndham Estate

The Friday Wine Lunch at Chinoz was hosted by Wyndham Estate, and organized by Millennium Associates with Pernod Ricard Malaysia. We were lucky enough to have Nigel Dolan, the chief wine maker from WE to join us for the session.

Lionel Lau and Chris Low who blogs at the cork brothers played excellent hosts, while Eiling, Gareth, Kim, and I were joined a few dozen Friday Wine Lunch regulars in this session.

foie gras bon bon, wild mushroom consomme, Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
foie gras bon bon, wild mushroom consomme oxtail ravilioli

We started off with soup, the Wild Mushroom Consomme with Oxtail Ravioli paired with chilled Wyndham Estate Bin555 Sparkling Chiraz. I actually liked the soup quite a lot, it kinda carry stronger mushroom and a weak marmite taste to it. The texture of oxtail ravioli and it’s rather raw meaty taste gives the soup a very strong contrast. The sparkling wine washes the soup down just nice.

Next up was foie gras bon bon with caramelized apple. I love foie gras, and while this dish tasted pretty good, the portion left me with somewhat unsatisfied cravings. We had Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Cabernet Merlot to go with it. Cabernet Merlot is one of the earliest wines I’ve tasted back when I was in the states working in a restaurant, memory of yesteryear rushed back as I sipped the wine, not unlike the effect you get from listening to an old song on radio.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Confit of Salmon with poached oyster

We were given a choice of two main dishes and I went with the salmon. The color of the fillet captured my attention as soon as I set eyes on it, still bright orange and just very, very lightly cooked with minimal salt or any other spices to preserve its natural sweetness. It was so good I savored every single bite of it. The poached oyster adds character to the dish as well.

Fish is often paired with white wine, and it was not surprising that Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Chardonnay is chosen for this dish.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Oven roasted Beef Fillet and Green Tea and White Chocolate Mousse

Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Shiraz, the last of the 4 types of wine for the session, is paired with the other main dish – the oven roasted beef fillet, which was a little too tough and too cooked for my liking. However, I did enjoy the Show Reserve Shiraz and took liberty in having a couple glasses before the session is over.

The green tea and white chocolate moose concluded the meal in a sweet note. The two types of moose served in (surprisingly delicious) chocolate cups. I had another Shiraz with this.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Eiling and I, group photo with Nigel, Chris, and the gang

It was a very good lunch session and I would like to thank Lenny for the invitation. Friday wine lunch usually falls on the last Friday of the month, you can check with Millennium Associates for more information.

map of KLCC

G47 Suria KLCC
Petronas Twin Towers
50200 Kuala Lumpur City Centre

GPS: 3.157581, 101.712102
Tel: 03-2166 8277

The last time I went to Changkat Bukit Bintang for a meal was over half a year ago at Bermuda and Onions for a very satisfying lunch. I had actually never been to that part of town at night, so it was actually pretty surprising for me when I went to Gypsy Wine and Bar to discover that the street is filled with quite a number of restaurants and pubs bustling with foreigners and locals alike.

Gypsy Wine and Bar at Changkat Bukit Bintang
Gypsy Bar & Wine at Changkat Bukit Bintang

The reason I picked Gypsy Wine and Bar, of course, was mainly due to the Guinness-infused Christmas main course promotion they are running. If you didn’t catch my previous posts on Ronnie Q at Bangsar and Cafe Chulo at Jaya One , lets just recap on how this works:

  • order a Guinness-infused Christmas main course
  • fill up a voucher with your details
  • tear it in half and give the side with your details to the restaurant to redeem a small pint of Guinness Draught
  • keep the other half of the voucher to get RM12 off 3 pint of Guinness Draught on next visit

Gypsy Wine and Bar at Changkat Bukit Bintang
Guinness Draught, the season of smoothness!

Amanda and I ordered entrees from the promotional menu, Guinness-infused lamb skewer, and seafood spaghetti. We also asked for half a dozen oysters (as it was still during happy hour) and mussels as appetizer to get the evening started.

Gypsy Wine and Bar at Changkat Bukit Bintang
half dozen raw oysters, mussels “kam heong” style

The oysters (RM 17.99) were very fresh and delicious (they somehow gave us 7 instead of half dozen). I like to have mine with just a little bit of lemon while Amanda loves to add a tad of Tabasco sauce with hers. We of course, washed it down with the smoothness of Guinness Draughts.

Curiously, the mussels (RM12) served was prepared in “kam heong” style that is usually associated with roadside stalls preparing lala, such as the stall at SS4. They actually tasted pretty good though.

Gypsy Wine and Bar at Changkat Bukit Bintang
lamb skewer and seafood spaghetti

The lamb skewer ( RM 23) was a proper Guinness-infused dish. Four pretty big chunk of marinated lamb skewered to perfection and sits on a bed of sauteed pea, mushroom, and tomato; served with brown sauce. The lamb was very juicy and you can actually taste the distinct Guinness influenced in it, which complements the bold taste of the lamb very well. A bit of lamb, a spoonful of sauteed peas & mushroom, and a gulp of Guinness Draught, perfect.

The seafood spaghetti (RM 22) came with a generous portion of mussels, squid rings, and prawns in tomato-based sauce. I like the fact that plenty of garlic is used in this dish and the taste did not disappoint at all.

Gypsy Wine and Bar at Changkat Bukit Bintang
Amanda & a couple of 1/2 pint Guinness Draughts

The dinner came to just over RM 80 for two of us. Four dishes including fresh oysters, a couple 1/2 pint Guinness Daught, very good music (80s during dinner time, you know Gorge Michael, Boy George etc), and excellent ambiance. I think I shall visit that part of KL more often.

map to Changkat Bukit Bintang
Gypsy is located along Changkat Bukit Bintang

No. 33 Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.147749, 101.707209
Tel: 016-365 6113