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Tag / evelyn

Christmas comes early this year for many of us, with Kilkenny hosting a Christmas Comedy Night. An awesome time filled with laughters, good food, and plenty of Kilkenny  Irish Ale.

Kilkenny Xmas Comedy at 42 EAST
Kilkenny Xmas Comedy at 42 EAST

The event was held at the premier Kilkenny outlet – 42 EAST at TTDI (also a place where we celebrated FA’s birthday several months ago).

There was Christmas trees with Kilkenny ornaments, holiday themed candle holders, and plenty of Santarinas handing out Kilkenny draughts.

Jason Leong rocking the crowd
Jason Leong rocking the crowd

Jason Leong, the 2-face doctor/comedian, Phoon Chi Ho, and Kavin Jay are all no strangers to the local stand up comedy scenes. They were the stars of the night, spreading cheers and laughters. The crowds were throughly entertained for sure.

Kilkenny master class
Kilkenny masterclass

Kilkenny also has a small set up at the side of the bar for those who wants to get a masterclass experience, a smaller version of what we had over the Kilkenny Appreciation Night a few months ago.

Here we learn the Kilkenny heritage that dates back to 14th century, and how the distinctive and different taste of Kilkenny is released by having the ale served at around 4-6 Celsius instead of  0-4 Celsius.

had a great time with plenty of friends
had a great time with plenty of friends

Of course, when you have plenty of friends at the event like I did, it made everything that much better. There were also some good food being served as well, including roast pork, pigs in blanket, and one of the crowd favorites – Kilkenny jelly and cream that comes in a small Kilkenny glass and looked exactly like a glass of ale!

we had some pictures taken at the photo booth too
we had some pictures taken at the photo booth too

Overall it was a blast of a night, just a perfect way to start the holiday season.

Check out facebook.com/kilkenny.my for more on Kilkenny!

Malaysia is such an awesome country when it comes to celebrating festivals, Hari Raya Adilfitri is basically still on going, but we are already preparing for the next – the mooncake festival that falls on the 15th of the 8th month in the Chinese lunar calendar.

A little over a week ago, we went to InterContinental Hotel to check out their mooncake offerings and I even got my hands on trying out how to make them.

ingredients and method of making mooncake
ingredients and method of making mooncake

Here’s a recipe that’s shared by InterContinental Hotel’s Executive Chinese Chef Wong Lian You. The recipe isn’t exactly too complicated, but you might have a problem if you don’t have the cool wooden mould.

Here’s a recipe that makes 15 pieces of Mini Green Tea Paste with Single Egg Yolk mooncake.

Ingredients (for skin):

  • icing sugar – 600 gram
  • cooked glutinous rice flour – 300 gram
  • shortening- 100 gram
  • green tea powder – 10 gram
  • water – 450 ml

Fillings:

  • green tea paste with sunflower seed – 700 gram
  • salted egg yolk (cooked) – 8 nos

old school wooden mould is used to shape the mooncake
old school wooden mould is used to shape the mooncake

Method:

  • put all ingredients for the skin in the mixing bowl and mix well manually. Let rest for 10 minutes
  • divide green tea paste into 15 portions and roll into a ball, make a depression in the centre and wrap an egg yolk, set aside
  • spread some glutinous rice flour on a table
  • roll out into a strip and cut into 15 poritons, roll and wrap the fillings
  • spread some glutinous rice flour in mooncake mould, put the ingredients and press firmly
  • KNOCK HARD until mooncake falls out!

and I got my hands dirty to mould this mooncake, it was a success!
and I got my hands dirty to mould this mooncake, it was a success!

I’m not so sure if the instructions is any useful, but that’s exactly how they make mooncakes in this hotel, all by hand and all in house. After trying it out for myself making the XL sized mooncake, I now really appreciate the effort it takes into making proper mooncakes. If you don’t get it just right, the skin will be uneven, or worse still, the ingredients spill out.

looks like handbag, but does not smell like one
looks like handbag, but does not smell like one, yes they are mooncake boxes

The mooncakes at InterContinental are priced from about RM 17 to RM 25 each, with the mini almond milk cream with bird’s nest mooncake at RM 33. The best thing here is their super ridiculously cute mooncake box that resembles high fashion handbags, I was equally impressed and amused. Too awesome!

The 7 star premium collection is priced at RM 288, which includes 6 smaller and one giant mooncake.

The full list of flavors (traditional baked):

  • white lotus paste with single egg yolk
  • white lotus paste with double egg yolk (I love double egg yolk and actually want 4 egg yolks!)
  • pure white lotus paste with nuts
  • pandan paste with egg custard and walnuts
  • bamboo charcoal paste with pumpkin seeds
  • assorted nuts paste with chicken ham

Snow skin:

  • mini white chocolate snow skin with dark chocolate paste and rice crunch
  • mini duo roseberry snow skin with spirulina paste and gummy candy
  • mini peanut butter snow skin with dark chocolate paste and mixed nuts
  • mini tiramisu paste with dried mix fruits and raisins
  • mini green tea paste with single egg yolk
  • mini durian meat with oats
  • mini almon milk cream with bird’s nest

mooncake tray, and pick your own tea at Intercontinental KL
mooncake tray, and pick your own tea at Intercontinental KL

After messing about at the demonstration, we proceeded to OneSixFive to sample the exclusive afternoon tea showcasing their mooncakes.

The mooncake comes in a unique stand (RM128++ per stand for 2 persons) while you pick the tea (by TEALEAVES) from the box by first sampling them by smell. It’s quite a high life and there’s certainly more than enough mooncakes to go around for two person.

mooncakes from InterContinental KL
mooncakes from InterContinental KL

As for the mooncakes, I find myself still gravitate towards the traditional white lotus paste with double egg yolk. The durian mooncake here was positively potent and should satisfy any durian lovers. I was a bit impartial to the gummy bear version though some really liked it. Other flavors were all pretty much spot on.

Oh, as for the bird’s nest mooncake, while interesting and certainly luxurious, it was tough to actually taste the bird’s nest itself due to the stronger tasting paste/skin necessary for a mooncake. Credit must be given to Chef Wong & Chef Lo for pushing the envelop though.

we had fun at the event, thanks to Chef Wong and Chef Lo
we had fun at the event, thanks to Chef Wong and Chef Lo

Mooncake festival lasts through 19th September, 2013. If you’re looking for some gift ideas, I gotta say that so far the handbag packaging here is the most impressive of all

map to Intercontinental Hotel, KL

Address:
Intercontinental Hotel
165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159767, 101.718045
Tel: 03-2161 1111
Web: www.intercontinental.com

Fa Ying at Paradigm Mall is the new foray into modern Thai cuisine by the same people who run Rama V at Jalan U Thant.

If you aren’t exactly a Thai historian, the name Fa Ying (means Princess) might sound a bit bizarre for a Thai restaurant. According to the owner, Fa Ying was the name of the playful sister of Rama V, the revered Thai King who was credited to the modernization of Siam. Since this outlet serves a “playful” interpretation of Thai cuisine to the sister restaurant Rama V, hence the name Fa Ying.

Pretty neat, I thought, but maybe adding “Thai restaurant” at the back of that big sign board bight help a little. 😀

Fa Ying Thai Restaurant at Paradigm Mall
Fa Ying Thai Restaurant at Paradigm Mall

The restaurant is located at The Boulevard at Paradigm Mall, the semi-outdoor area under the office block with a set up that’s not entirely unlike the “covered alfresco” area at Pavilion. It’s pretty much open air while still sheltered from the harshest of elements.

Fa Ying also spot a full bar, serving liquor, cocktails, and beer
Fa Ying also spot a full bar, serving liquor, cocktails, and beer

For those likes some proper drinks to go with Thai food, Fa Ying is definitely a place to go. Spotting a full bar, the restaurant serves a variety of cocktails, beer, and other drinks.

Some of the drinks we tried were:

  • Mango Thai Pandan RM 21
  • Thai Tom Yam RM 21 (funny name..)
  • Mojito Selection RM 24
  • Lemongrass Basil and Mango Sparkler RM 13

They also serve a fishbowl drink called Marquessa (RM 100) that comes with dragon fruit, cucumber, Absolut blue, burnt orange peel, white wine, and soda. It’s like a potent Thai version of Sangria.

While not an expert in cocktails by any means, I did enjoy their drinks.

lamb, fish, and seafood sate
lamb, fish, and seafood sate

Lets move on to the food.

We sampled three types of Thai satay here. The lamb satay (RM 20) was flavorful but without the overly strong “lamb” taste that some people dislike.

Fish satay a tender and soft, while the seafood satay with prawns & mussels were refreshing and went very well with their sourish sauce.

minced beef in cucumber, watermelon salad, pomelo salad
minced beef in cucumber, watermelon salad, pomelo salad

Minced meat in cucumber (RM 12) looked a bit like sushi but carries the distinctive Thai taste. The cucumber provided nice contrast to the meat, without the requirement of steamed rice to complement the meat. I’ll wouldn’t mind this as beer food.

For those who loves to go green, watermelon salad (RM 12) and pomelo salad (RM 16) will do the job just fine.

grilled scallops served with spinach and manow sauce
grilled scallops served with spinach and manow sauce

Our favorite appetizer of the day goes to this beautifully presented grilled scallops with spinach and manow sauce (RM 19). The scallops were perfectly seared, and the sourish manow sauce provided just the kick to complete this seafood experience.

I also think that this dish offers excellent value.

spaghetti with river prawn, Thai green curry pesto
cod fish with manow, spaghetti with river prawn, Thai green curry pesto

Codfish with Manow (RM 42) provides a choice for those who loves this buttery fish, I find no fault in the execution of this dish, except that it’ll probably leave some room for dessert.

Spaghetti with Thai green curry pesto (RM 22) and spaghetti with river prawn (RM 32) are among the two pasta dishes offered here, both were a bit spicy and definitely not masking their Thai origin. I find the experience a little strange, but perhaps it’s something you get used to.

roast duck sandwich, grilled tenderloin with green curry
roast duck sandwich, grilled tenderloin with green curry

My favorite main dish goes to the roast duck sandwich (RM 20). It was simple yet brilliant, and I wonder why it took so long for anyone to come up with this. It was utterly delicious and I would go back to Fa Ying just to have this. (btw my colleague Sheng had this and gave his approval as well)

Lastly, we also sampled their grilled tenderloin with green curry mushroom (RM 42). Perhaps I’m spoiled by those high grade beef at Prime, but for less than RM 50, the meat was decent.

Thai desserts at Fa Ying
Thai desserts at Fa Ying

Like most Thai restaurants, Fa Ying serves a variety of traditional desserts. I liked the fried banana fritters with vanilla ice cream, and their mango with sticky rice was pretty good as well. Each of these dish comes with half a strawberry, leaving the trace of the “playful” nature of Fa Ying.

Pearl, Reiko, Evelyn, Suan, Haze, KY, Audrey, Owner
Pearl, Reiko, Evelyn, Suan, Haze, KY, Audrey, Owner

We had a pretty good session at Fa Ying, and it is definitely a place I’ll revisit (if not just for the roast duck sandwich!). Mention ‘PRINCESS’ as password and get 10% off food bill before 1st of February 2013.

If you are looking for Thai food with a bit of a twist at a place with nice ambiance to bring a date, this would be a sweet choice.

map to Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya

Address:
Fa Ying Thai Restaurant
The Boulevard, Paradigm Mall
Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
Selangor
GPS: 3.108806, 101.59564
Tel: 03-7451 2933

Japanese cuisine is perhaps the most mature foreign cuisine in the country, from PJ to KL, Penang to Johor, you’ll find them all over the place mostly serving sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, teppanyaki, soba, ramen, and more.

This is a good thing, it creates an environment with healthy competitive spirits among Japanese restaurants. Some strives to provide cheaper prices, some a great dining experience, and others come up with creative and delicious dishes not easily found anywhere else. Fukuharu at Terrace in Ampang got it right by managing to provide two out of the three points in this “measurement”.

Fukuharu at Terrace, Ampang
Fukuharu at Terrace, Ampang

Nestled in a classy bungalow just off Jalan Ampang, Fukuharu Japanese restaurant is unlike most .. well, restaurants. There’s lush green lawn and even a swimming pool by the side. Inside, the dining hall is tastefully decorated. On a sunny afternoon, the hall is mainly lit by natural sun light, giving it a bright yet cozy feeling that I really like.

Together with Evelyn and Veron, I was invited by Poesy to a review session at Fukuharu over lunch, hosted by the Japanese restaurant manager, Masamichi-san.

seafood korokke and tamago mentai sushi
seafood korokke and tamago mentai sushi

We started out with the specialty dish of the restaurant – Tamango Mentai Sushi (RM 15). Mentai is one of my favorite ingredients of all time, and the combination with one of the simplest ingredients in tamago (grilled egg) was surprisingly awesome. The soft texture gives way to the extreme savory taste from mentai, brilliant. This is a must order.

The Seafood Korokke (RM 22) wouldn’t be a dish unfamiliar to those who has had crab cakes, except this dish was a bit creamier and has more seafood ingredients in it. I like those tiny sprouts on top and thought it gives the dish more balance. You’ll find prawns, scallops, fish, and potato in this seafood “cake”.

chef's sashimi selection, salmon tataki salad
chef’s sashimi selection, salmon tataki salad

Chef’s Sashimi Selection (RM 38) isn’t a “big” dish for the price, but one with superior quality and a pretty interesting presentation. Instead of pure traditional style, this sashimi dish is served with truffle oil and wasabi dressing on top of some salad that’s more at home in Western restaurants. The interpretation does work very well and I love the combination of truffle oil with raw fish, wonder why it’s not done more often.

For those who wants to opt for a light healthy lunch, the Salmon Tataki Salad (RM 28) would be a good selection. Flash seared salmon with home made Caesar dressing, this salad is one that I wouldn’t mind having (in addition to other dishes tho, hehehe). I like the fact that they serve it with some ikura as well.

lamb moromisoyaki
lamb moromisoyaki – this is super delicious!

Lamb Moromisoyaki (RM 35) was probably the first Japanese lamb dish I’ve ever tasted, and incidentally it was also one of the best dishes on the afternoon. The lamb rack marinated with mori-miso and then carefully grilled to perfection. It was glorious, the slight saltiness of mori-miso together with the savory taste from lamb was perfect, I wish the serving was bigger.

Veron even ordered a portion to take away.

unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi
unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi

For those who likes clay pot rice, unagi kamameshi and hotate kamameshi (RM 35 each) will give you a taste of Japanese way of preparing these dishes. Both were served with generous amount of eel or scallops. If you love the slightly burnt taste of rice, don’t over stir it (I’m sure those with experience in clay pot chicken rice knows this trick already).

black sesame cheesecake, chawan mushi
black sesame cheesecake, chawan mushi

Fukuharu also serves their chawan mushi  (RM 12) slightly differently, a version that is a tad bigger in portion and quite a lot softer in texture. They’re also prepared fresh here, but to me, perhaps a dish that is priced a bit too high for what you get.

The black sesame cheesecake (RM 18) tho, is a combination of taste that’s new to me, and one that shouldn’t disappoint any dessert lover. I find myself enjoying this quite a bit more than I usually do with any desserts.

KY, Masamichi-san, Evelyn, Veron, Poesy
KY, Masamichi-san, Evelyn, Veron, Poesy

For ice cream lovers, you’d find black sasame, green tea, and a couple other types of ice cream around here as well. They tasted as these ice creams usually do, doesn’t disappoint, but not exactly special either.

Ultimately, Fukuharu is a Japanese restaurant that managed to carve a niche in this crowded market with the dishes they serve while being fairly competitive in pricing. I’d love to go there again.

Thanks for the invite and the ride, Poesy!

map to Fukuharu, off Jalan Ampang

Address:
Fukuharu Japanese Restaurant
Terrace Hock Choon
241-B, Lorong Nibong
Off Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159799, 101.728717
Tel: 017-209-8477

Several weeks ago we were invited to Private Kitchen at Damansara Uptown. From the outside, this looks to be a very modest little restaurant not unlike many other eateries at the area – air conditioned, clean, and with a contemporary furnishing that seems to focus on function than pure aesthetics.

Private Kitchen at PJ Uptown
Private Kitchen at PJ Uptown

This is, however, not just another local restaurant. The kitchen is led by Chef Lam Fai, an experienced Hong Kong chef who was trained both in Western and traditional Hong Kong cuisine, and it is this unique background of Chef Lam that results in some rather creative dishes we sampled during this food review session.

While waiting for food to be served, we snacked off long spring roll with shrimp paste (RM 10). The taste of shrimp paste is not unlike shrimp balls, and the deep fried spring roll skin gives it some crunchiness. A different interpretation of spring roll, easy to eat off your fingers, and I believe, would make excellent beer food.

beef with strawberry sauce, shredded chicken and cucumber, soup of the day
beef with strawberry sauce, shredded chicken and cucumber, soup of the day

Our first dish then, was shredded chicken with Private Kitchen “ma la” sauce (RM 12). The shredded chicken sits atop cucumber that’s seasoned with vinegar, a decent cold dish to prepare the stomach, but not one that I’m overly impressed with though.

Like any Chinese/HK restaurant, soup is a must in any meal. The soup of the day was carrot & radish with lean meat soup (RM 6). Very homey, flavorful, and certainly excellent value for money for this type of setting.

Then came one of my favorite dishes of the night – stir-fried prime beef fillet in strawberry & black pepper sauce (RM 28). According to the chef, the beef is prepared and tenderized using Western cuisine techniques, and he chose strawberry to add a different dimension to this black pepper beef dish after some experiments (Chef Lam jokingly said that banana wasn’t a good idea). The result was excellent, if you are “elite” and like to dismiss fusion food, this dish may very well change your stance.

HK style ginger chicken, panfried pork chop with lemongrass
HK style ginger chicken, panfried pork chop with lemongrass

Hong Kong style sand ginger chicken (RM 25 for half bird) went through some half a day’s work of preparation (boiling in broth, preparing the skin with a bit of turmeric for that color, etc) and was delicious and smooth. I especially enjoy the ginger + spring onion sauce that came with this dish.

The next dish looks almost like mantis prawns, but was actually strips of pan-fried pork chop with lemongrass (RM 25). The pork carries pretty strong lemongrass and ginger taste, and tasted pretty decent with chili sauce, but I thought is one of the weaker dishes in this session.

typhoon shelter tiger prawn, sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce
typhoon shelter tiger prawn, sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce

No HK cuisine is complete without typhoon shelter dishes, and at Private Kitchen, we were served typhoon shelter tiger prawn (RM 38). The preparation method was as I remembered the last time I had typhoon shelter crab at Causeway Bay Spicy Crab at Hartamas – plenty of garlic and chili, the aroma was superb, and the prawns did not disappoint. Now I wonder if this would be a good way to prepare squid, hmm.

Sauteed Chinese chives with pork belly in XO sauce (RM18) was our token vegetable dish, even though there’s pork belly in it. I thought it was slightly sinful, but pretty tasty though.

amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup, Portuguese style fried rice
amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup, Portuguese style fried rice

Another soupy vegetable dish that we had was amaranth with minced chicken in superior soup (RM 16). Most of us would recognize it by the common name Chinese spinach. This is another very homey type of dish, a comfort food.

The Portuguese style fried rice with braised pork belly & seafood (RM 16) wasn’t a dish that looked very good in its presentation, it was sorta brownish overall with little color contrast, but don’t let the apparence fools you. The fried rice was very flavorful, and with prawns, squid, and pork belly, they didn’t skimp on ingredients at all. I had a bowl even though I was already stuffed by then, highly recommended.

deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce, typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop
deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce, typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop

The deep-fried pork ribs with special salad sauce (RM32) is another unique fusion food by Chef Lam that works well. The ribs were tender and juicy, and the slightly sourish and fruity salad sauce, while a bit unorthodox, worked well in this instance. I really enjoyed it too.

Our last “extra” dish of the night was a bowl of typhoon shelter noodles with pork chop in chili & garlic soup (RM15). This is a dish fit for single person consumption and comes with a generous portion of pork chop and the noodle in a soup that has some kick. I tried a spoonful (was stuffed already), and from what I could tell it was pretty decent.

Cheesie, chef Lam Fai, Suanie, Joyce, Dennis & Evelyn, Haze
Cheesie, chef Lam Fai, Suanie, Joyce, KY, Dennis & Evelyn, Haze

Most of the dishes we had at Private Kitchen were pretty consistent and for the lack of a better description – tasty. The prices are reasonable as well. The only downside of the place is, well, the location and challenging parking situation at times. Saying that this place is sort of a poor-man’s Elegant Inn would not be incorrect. Worth visiting though, for sure.

map to Private Kitchen restaurant at PJ Uptown

Address:
Private Kitchen Hong Kong Cuisine
103 Jalan SS21/37
Damansara Utama (Uptown) 
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.13451, 101.62378
Tel: 03-7728 8399
Hours: 11:30 am – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm, closed on Mondays