Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / January 2011

This is a timely promotion XPAX, U.O.X and S.O.X users. It is holiday season, and we’re bound to be sending a lot of SMS greetings and making phone calls to love ones kan?

celcom reload buttonYou can now find this sign on the left at many locations – RELOAD*. Just in case you might have confused * as “terms and conditions”, well, it isn’t. The * here is a combination of + and x symbols.

The two symbols carry the message that the more you reload (+), and the more time you reload (x), the more rewards you’ll get!

celcom reload frequency

The promotion mechanic is pretty straight forward:

  • Reload a minimum of RM 10, 10 times between now until 28th February, 2011
  • Remember to do your 5th reload the same day as the 4th reload to get 100 mins free talk time to any number on the same network, valid for 2 days
  • Do the 7th reload the same day as 6th reload to get free calls & sms to your 15pax/8pax for one whole week
  • Be qualified for the cash prizes by reloading for the 10th time before the deadline

celcom reload prizes

I don’t k now about you, but I surely can use some of $$ especially during & post CNY season. The cash prizes are up to RM 8,888 (very ONG number!) if you’re on XPAX, RM 3000 and RM 2000 if you’re on U.O.X. and S.O.X.

haze with phone

It doesn’t matter what phone you’re using, be it the “panda” style iPhone, normal tai-kor-tai brick style phone, blackberry, or android smart phone, so long as you’re on XPAX/U.O.X/ S.O.X network, you’re qualified for this rewards + contest!

Good luck folks!

LeVain Boulangerie Patisserie, or simply LeVain (who the hell can remember boulaggararer pantiess whatever anyway?), is a quaint little restaurant tucked away at the less popular corner of Bukit Bintang/Imbi area.

From the outside the restaurant is a classy bungalow, much like those at the soon to be decommissioned Bangsar One. You can park your car on the street, or valet for only RM 2.

Levain Italian Restaurant at Imbi
Levain Italian Restaurant at Imbi

The decoration inside the restaurant is done tastefully, with pretty window curtains, cute little chairs, tables, and bits of beautiful brickworks too. The place really looks like something plucked straight out of Lygon street in Melbourne. The ambiance is really good.

seafood aglio olio
Seafood aglio olio

LeVain is a bit of a partially self-service restaurant. You order at the counter, get your drinks and a number for your food after payment. Some 10 minutes or so later, the friendly servers will have your food at the table. This also means that if you have a table more than a few orders, food can arrive seemingly at random intervals.

My suggestion is to order together, or don’t wait for everyone’s food to arrive before eating.

teriyaki beef sandwich, salad, tomato soup
teriyaki beef sandwich, potato salad, tomato soup

The best thing about LeVain tho, is the value you get. Most dishes are priced below RM 10, with only a few (such as seafood pasta at RM 12.50) slightly over the red colored bill. They serve free water too, so you’re not always obligated to order drinks either.

spaghetti, Mychelle, KY, Queen, Horng, Winnie, Terence
more spaghetti, Mychelle, KY, Queen, Horng, Winnie, Terence

As for the food, well, they aren’t top notch but they do hold up pretty well compared to restaurants that typically charges at least 50% more. I liked my seafood spaghetti and took a bite of the terriyaki beef sandwich which tasted pretty nice too.

Serving size at LeVain is smaller than almost everywhere else outside Penang, but hey, eating a smaller main dish leaves room for dessert and maybe a starter too right?

map to LeVain Italian Restaurant

LeVain is opened for lunch and dinner. My experience is strictly from one Friday lunch visit, so dinner might be completely different. Cheers!

Levain Boulangerie Patisserie
Jalan Delima,
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.14664, 101.72061
Tel: 03-2142 6611

My 4th CNY Yee Sang dinner for the year of Rabbit happened at Toh Yuen Chinese restaurant at PJ Hilton Hotel, this time thanks to the invitation from the good people at Create Studio. Yes, I thank my lucky star on privileges like these. 😀

Toh Yuen Chinese restaurant at PJ Hilton Hotel
Toh Yuen Chinese restaurant at PJ Hilton Hotel, Chef Lee

Toh Yuen is headed by Chef Lee, whose philosophy in cooking is plenty simple – traditional style with good (if not the best) ingredients, and without any addictives such as MSG. Tasty but healthy food is the emphasis around here.

To welcome the year or Rabbit, Toh Yuen is offerring 3 special set menus – Happiness (RM 888++), Fortune (RM 1188++), and Longevity (RM 1388++) for 10 pax. On this review, we sampled the Longevity menu.

another yee sang ritual, this time with abalone
another yee sang ritual, this time with abalone

As usual, yee sang was our the very first dish, and on the get go, it was already unmistakably luxurious – we had the “Fatt Choy” abalone yee sang (also sold seperately for RM 180/260/300).

Some might say this is a bit of a waste so far as the method of serving abalone goes, I must confess that it actually was rather good. Abalone surely beats Alaskan salmon in my book.

braised shark's fin soup with crab meat & roe
braised shark’s fin soup with crab meat & roe

Next on the set menu was the sharks fin soup. I’ve already made my stance and say no to sharks fin soup, so I gave it a pass. Unfortunately, I was the only one on the table to do so. Looks like more work needs to be done for the awareness in this front.

You can substitute the sharks fin soup with double boiled chicken soup, according to Chef Lee. Alternatively, the Happiness & Fortune set menu does not come with sharks fin soup either.

deep fried chicken with two tastes, stir fried sea king prawns with pineapple sauce
deep fried chicken with two tastes,
stir fried sea king prawns with pineapple sauce

So I really got started on the deep fried chicken with two tastes. A dish that is only as fancy as the name suggest, which isn’t much at all. There’s the roast chicken ala chicken rice style, and kung pao chicken in the middle. For the lack of fanciness, however, the chicken turns out to be very good where it matters – taste.  The meat was smooth, juicy, with the sauce done just right too.

We then had stir fried sea king prawns with pineapple sauce. The chef explained that this type of prawn, with its softer shell, is best eaten whole (perhaps except the head) instead of peeling the skin off. This way it allows different texture of meat and shell to be enjoyed with the pineapple sauce, pretty old way of having prawns, quite unique.

steamed pomphret with superior soya sauce
steamed pomphret with superior soya sauce

My favorite of the night has got to be the steamed pomphret with superior soya sauce. I’m positive that even my mom (who helps sell fish at wet market and usually leave the best pomphret for themselves) would approve of this beautiful specimen. Something like this can easily cost over RM 100 at wet market, especially during pre-CNY period.

Chef Lee explained that they source the fish locally instead of getting them from Thailand, which would be cheaper but of lesser quality. A lengthy lecture of the subtle differences in meat/shape/taste of pomphret from various parts of Malaysia and other places is given while we were busy enjoying this brilliant fish. It was so good, smooth, fatty, and absolutely tasty.

stewed sea cucumber & mushroom with broccoli, seafood fried rice with XO sauce
stewed sea cucumber & mushroom with broccoli, seafood fried rice with XO sauce

The stewed sea cucumber & mushroom with broccoli is another dish found in many Chinese New Year set menu. Over here at Toh Yuen the dish is prepared as good as anywhere else, and the sea cucumber was very good.

However, I would personally leave out the carrot slices as I don’t think I was the only one that sees that as a semi-failed attempt in giving the otherwise awesome dish some color (does not affect the taste).

The seafood fried rice with XO sauce is served with plenty of prawns, green onions, carrots, eggs, chicken, and other ingredients that were all somehow agreed to each other brilliantly. One of the better fried rice I had, the underlying taste of XO sauce really adds to the overall flavor too.

Michelle Ong, chilled honeydew with hasma, KY
Michelle Ong, chilled honeydew with hasma, KY

We concluded the  night with a classic Chinese dessert – chilled honeydew with hasma. For the uninformed, it’s just a wikipedia article away for you to find out that hasma is actually fallopian tubes of frogs. Nice isn’t it? I still eat them, they tastes good. *slurps*.

The set dinner (other than the fins) turns out to be pretty good, now does it worth the RM 1388++ for 10 pax price tag? The ingredients certainly suggests so, but I think a large part of it has to do with the sharks fin, something I try to get people not to consume. Draw your own conclusion.

map to Petaling Jaya Hilton Hotel

Toh Yuen Chinese Restaurant
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.10235, 101.64087
Tel: 03-7955 9122

Whenever we think about fast food, the image of pan fried burger patties oozing with oil come to mind. While they are often delicious, the more health conscious bunch might not embrace fast food with open arms….. unless it is grilled instead!

Burger King at KLCC
Burger King at KLCC

Burger King is one of the very few fast food joints that serves burgers you can eat without feeling too guilty. In fact, it is the only quick service restaurant that serves grilled burgers, and one of my lunch stops every once in a while ever since they opened up the branch at KLCC.

BK Grilled Chicken poster

A couple days ago I went over to take advantage of  the BK Grilled Chicken promo. The new kid in town is the BK Black Pepper grilled chicken, while the BBQ Beefacon & Mushroom grilled chicken are included in the promo too – when you go large, you get a free sundae.

BK Beefacon & Black Pepper grilled chicken, Sundae!
BK BBQ Beefacon & Black Pepper grilled chicken, Sundae!

My colleague Sam, who is originally an Iranian (with no BK there) but has since abandoned his country to become a Norwegian (with only one BK in the town of Stavanger, see the pic, it’s beautiful!) ordered the black pepper grilled chicken set, while I opted for the BBQ Beefacon version.

flame grilled chicken, yums
there’s no food makeup in these photos, this is what you get! yums

The burgers, while not exactly as beautiful as the posters, turned out to be pretty yummy. The crunchy beef bacon on mine goes well with the juicy grilled chicken patty, and Sam loves his black pepper grilled chicken burger too.

We made quick work of the burgers, fries, and then of course, the free sundae.

Sam & KY at Burger King
Sam & KY at Burger King

P/S: actually Sam didn’t want to go to a fast food restaurant (watching his weight apparently) until I told him that it is BK and we’re going to have the grilled chicken burger, then he went “oh, okay!”

My unwritten policy on food review is that I usually don’t review the same place twice, but when Elegant Inn came calling, there was no doubt that an exception had to be made.

The experience I had at Elegant Inn on the last review was so good I couldn’t possibly pass up another chance. Thank you Meena!

Elegant Inn's chef Wesley Ng & Timothy Johnson of Standard Chartered
Elegant Inn’s chef Wesley Ng & Timothy Johnson of Standard Chartered

As with the previous two posts, this review is  about the Extravagant 8 menu with  Standard Chartered. Basically credit card member from the bank can enjoy this 8 course dinner for 8 person at the price of RM 888++ during the duration of the promotion that runs from 20th Jan till 17th Feb, 2011.

fresh yee sang to welcome the year of Rabbit
fresh yee sang to welcome the year of Rabbit

We started off with yee sang.

While Gu Yue Tien‘s version with its strawberry sauce is pretty new age and Li Yen’s prototypically traditional, Elegant Inn’s yee sang’s philosophy is something in the middle. Every ingredient is freshly prepared on the same day, there’s crushed nuts, plum sauce, oil, and also fresh raw salmon and jelly fish too.

The taste is a little more subtle, but you can feel the freshness. I like it.

double boiled village chicken soup w cordyceps flowers & US top shell
double boiled village chicken soup w cordyceps flowers & US top shell

Then came the double boiled village chicken soup, A whole kampung chicken double boiled with cordyceps flower, US top shell, dried scallops, oysters, cutter fish, and a few other ingredients.

The owner Jeanette leave no secrets as to what goes into the soup for the effort of making one  yourself would worth way more trouble (and cost in ingredients flown from HK & other places) than simply going to Elegant Inn and order a bowl (even if it costs RM 128 on the menu).

The soup of course, was superb. The server separates the ingredients and then presents us the soup as is. I of course, still picks up the chicken, scallops and such and send them to my mouth while enjoying the liquid. No wastage ok.

golden fried estuary grouper with chinese leeks, crystal prawns - signature salted egg yolk style
golden fried estuary grouper with chinese leeks
crystal prawns – signature salted egg yolk style

Next up was a big slice of “long dan”, or estuary grouper (giant grouper). The difference between deep fried and “golden fried” is that the fish is prepared by pouring hot oil over and over again until cooked. This method ensures that minimal amount of oil absorbed by the fish, thus the natural flavor is sealed in.

A deceptively simple looking dish that is really yummy. I’m still dreaming of the grouper’s skin.

Then it was the crystal prawns with signature salted egg yolk style. “Signature egg yolk” style because the chef painstakingly prepare and melt the egg yolks into the prawns instead of leaving them on the shells. This way you don’t have to lick the prawn’s shell for egg yolk and then eat the prawn meat pretty much separately afterwards.

The extra effort obviously paid off, it was delicious.

Haze, golden boneless stuffed chicken with chicken tomato salad
Haze, golden boneless stuffed chicken with chicken tomato salad

Then there’s this golden boneless stuffed chicken, a dish that is so unique I couldn’t have imagined it in a thousand years.

The chicken is basically stripped completely, leaving only the skin. A layer of prawn is then “stuffed” under the skin, and everything is roasted till it looks almost like the skin of suckling pig. The end result? It tasted as good as it is fancy. Crispy chicken skin with succulent prawns makes a very good combination, who would have thought?

The left over chicken meat is served on top of little slices of tomato at the side.

braised sea cucumber with dried oyster, fatt choy & mushroom, KY
braised sea cucumber with dried oyster, fatt choy & mushroom, KY

We had braised sea cucumber with dried oyster next, a classic Chinese dish for CNY. The dried oyster’s imported from Hong Kong, fat and juicy. I’ve always enjoyed sea cucumber, and this one did not disappoint at all.

braised seafood rice w australian scallop, desserts
braised seafood rice w australian scallop, desserts

Instead of fried rice, we had braised seafood rice instead. The rice is wrapped with lotus leaf and cooked with Australian scallop, fresh crab meat, and abalone sauce. At Elegant Inn, abalone sauce really does mean that they made the sauce with real abalone.

I’m usually not a big fan with the rice at the end of an 8 course meal, but I couldn’t help it, I finished my portion this time despite being pretty much full to the brim already.

We wind things down with some desserts – pan fried traditional rice cake & hazelnut cookie and chilled Japanese pumpkin sago with green bean. The two desserts, just like everything we had at Elegant Inn, were pretty good too, but by then I was pretty much deep in food coma already.

map to Elegant Inn, KL
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.153034,101.70752
Tel: 03-2070 9399