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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / lamb

It’s been a while that this blog features any fancy dining experience, so the invitation from Tanzini Upper Deck came just at the right moment.

Situated at the 29th floor in G Tower, Tanzini Upper Deck features a double volume (ermm.. aka very high ceiling) dining room complete with custom made star-lights which. Coupled with the full view of the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers, the ambiance is about as good as one can wish for.

Tanzini Upper Deck at G Tower
Tanzini Upper Deck at G Tower

Tanzini Upper Deck only offers 4-6 course degustation menu and private functions, if you’re looking for ala carte dining, that would be Tanzini just a level below.

While waiting for everyone to arrive, we started off the night with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, a non-vintage champagne comprises 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. I’m not exactly a wine critic, but the fruity aroma and full texture of this drinks makes it one of the better champagne I remember having.

Lollipop Scallops, Halibut-Salmon "Mokume Gane"
Lollipop Scallops, Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane”

We tried three types of appetizers, starting with a daring display of creativity in the lollipop scallops. It was in essence, grilled scallop on a stick encased with caramelized sugar. Sweet and savory, a departure from the normal preparation which tends to go towards the salty side. Interesting nonetheless.

Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane” is inspired by Japanese mixed metal patterns. In this instance, using halibut and salmon that results in the orange/white pattern. Served with house pickled ginger, lemon grass-calamansi granita, candied hojiso (shiso leaf), and horse radish. The taste was quite distinctly Japanese for me, and in a very good way.

Black Truffle Custard
Black Truffle Custard

Another choice of appetizer is the black truffle custard that comes in three parts – truffled egg-mushi, a squid ink cone with sweet corn, and finally, prawn noodle with trout roe.

This was almost a 3-in-1 dish. I love the truffled egg (kinda reminds me of the foie gras egg in Gu Yue Tien, though they are different) and enjoyed the textures of prawn noodle with trout roe. The final third of the dish though, was overpowered by the sweetness of the corn that very little hint of squid ink was apparent.

"BLT" soup - bacon marmalade, lettuce m-sponge, tempura soft shell crab
“BLT” soup – bacon marmalade, lettuce m-sponge, tempura soft shell crab

Next up was a choice between the two soups we tried.

Chef Eugene’s interpretation of “BLT” was our first soup. Veloute de tomates, bacon marmalade, 30″ lettuce m-sponge, and tempura soft shell crab.

I’ve never tasted bacon, lettuce, and tomato quite this way before, and I gotta say it was very impressive and daring. The soup was like a very supped up (pardon the pun) version of tomato soup. It was quite delicious.

Smoked Oyster Tea
Smoked Oyster Tea

Should you choose the smoked oyster tea as the choice of soup instead, you won’t be disappointed. This dish was a demonstration of the perfect harmony in consomme of oyster, fenugreek (herb), smoked trout roe, ginkgo, and oyster kara-age (similar to tempura).

The soup is poured just before eating, and rightly so, because 2 minutes later the crispy skin of oyster kara-age would’ve become soggy.

Ox Tongue Yakitori - with asparagus kimchi, fried bernaise
Ox Tongue Yakitori and  House Muscovy Duck

After appetizer and soup, we moved onto starters.

Ox tongue yakitori and house-cured muscovy duck were the two dishes to be chosen from the menu.

On one hand, the fancier ox tongue dish comprises of miso-ginger infused ox tongue skewer, fennel in Yuzu dressing, asparagus kimchi, and fried béarnaise. The ox tongue was very good in its delicate taste and texture, fried bearnaise was interesting, but the asparagus kimchi though, was a surprise that wasn’t exactly in a good way. I felt that it was a little bit out of place.

the duck dish, on the other hand, was excellent! Plum sauce, pop rocks & melon galia, truffled potato stuffed bok choi, and litchi glass are the ingredients. Chef Eugene got this one perfectly executed, it just tasted very very good.

Redefined "Aussie Pie"
Redefined “Aussie Pie”

We had an intermezzo in the form of some sorbet which acted as a palette cleanser, after that was the main dishes.

Out of the 3 choices, I selected the Redefined “Aussie Pie” – glazed hilside farm lamb loin in house stock, kataifi, truffled mashed peas, vegemite orb, and sautéed vegetables. This dish was another display of art, and the good news was, it actually tasted rather good. The lamb loin was almost a little too dry for my liking, but that was just me nitpicking a little.

"Uncle Sam" Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Desconstructed English Man's Treat
“Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Desconstructed English Man’s Treat

Haze had the “Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks – slow braised wagyu in rye stock, grilled king trumpets, dark chocolate crouton, and seasonal vegetable. This turned out to be one of the weaker dish, and we felt that it was actually a little bit of a waste to braise a good piece of meat.  Truth be told, it was a disappointment.

The third main dish was the Deconstructed English Man’s Treat, basically chef’s interpretation of the classic fish and chips, with fillet of marbled goby fish & carbonized batter, violet potato, glazed savoy cabbage, texturized garlic oil, and 62 Celcius organic egg yolk. Eiling, who ordered this dish, had this to say:

“This is a very complicated dish but I like the contrasting textures and the egg yolk certainly is a unique addition.”

Flamed Popcorn Gelato
Sweet Ending: Flamed Popcorn Gelato

The dinner ended with flamed popcorn gelato – hazel streusel, bruleed banana, black elderberry glazed fuji apples, and salted caramel toast.

The presentation of the dessert really placed an exclamation mark to the chef’s creativity. It was served with the smoke from dry ice overflowing the table, and some Grand Marnier poured onto the glazed apple for the flame. The spirit did make the dessert a bit bitter, but I actually love it bitter so that suited me well (not so for the girls).

KY, Eiling, Haze at Tanzini Upper Deck
KY, Eiling, Haze at Tanzini Upper Deck

All throughout the dinner, chef Eugene came out and explained the meaning and intricacy of each dishes, which made a world of difference. Service too was excellent throughout (but this is an invited food review, so your mileage may vary).

Most importantly, you might ask, is the price:

RM 155++ 4 course dinner

  • Chef’s Special
  • Choose one out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
  • Intermezzo
  • Choice of Mains
  • Dessert
RM 185++ 5 course dinner
  • Chef’s Special
  • Choose 2 out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
  • Intermezzo
  • Choice of Mains
  • Dessert
RM 215++ 6 course dinner
  • Chef’s Special
  • Choice of Appetizers
  • Choice of Soups
  • Choice of Starters
  • Intermezzo
  • Choice of Mains
  • Dessert

map to G-Tower, KL

Address:
Tanzini Upper Deck
Level 29, GTower
199 Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.1590, 101.7200
Tel: 03-2168 1899

We bought some lamb chops from Jaya Grocer about a week back and really didn’t know what to do with it at first. A bit of research on the internet tells me that garlic, mustard, pepper and rosemary makes good marinate for lamb, so I decided to use them all for this recipe.

I added asparagus and tomato to serve as sides to compliment the savory taste of lamb with the freshness of asparagus and sweet/sour taste from tomato. As an added bonus, they make the dish looks better with added colors. 😀

While many are not as familiar with lamb, this is a surprisingly simple dish to prepare, and takes only half an hour to serve.

lamb chop with tomato and asparagus on the side
lamb chop with tomato and asparagus on the side

This is a three part dish, the lamb, asparagus, and tomato. Luckily all three of them are very simple, and the only juggling act is to time each dish properly so you get to serve them all on the same time.

Lets start with the lamb.

Ingredients:

  • lamb shoulder (I made 5 pieces), I got them frozen from Jaya Grocer
  • 1 bulb of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 table spoon French mustard
  • black pepper
  • rosemary
  • a teaspoon of butter, and a bit of cooking oil

marinate lamb chop with mustard, pepper, rosemary, and garlic
marinate lamb chop with mustard, pepper, rosemary, and garlic

Instructions:

  • marinate the lamb with all ingredients in a zip locked bag for at least an hour in the fridge, over night if possible
  • preheat oven to 200 celcius
  • pan fry each side of the lamb in medium heat for 1-2 minutes, use minimal cooking oil, or butter
  • put the lamb in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes (depending on how well cooked you want the lamb to be, I also add a bit of butter to the aluminum foil)
  • remove from oven and let the lamb chop rest for about 3-5 minutes before serving

Total time not including marinate takes not more than 20 minutes or so. If you don’t pan fry the lamb in advance, baking process should be between 30-40 minutes. Of course, you can also use a grill for this.

lamb chop and baked tomato
lamb chop and baked tomato

The lamb chop will not be complete without side dishes, so here’s how you do the tomato!

  • remove the core of tomato
  • add half a teaspoon of sugar (brown sugar if available), 1 clove, and a teaspoon of vinegar into the core
  • bake in oven at 200 Celsius for 30 minutes

Haze, Vinn, and KY
Haze, Vinn, and KY

Last but not least, the asparagus

  • remove wooden end of asparagus, and shave off the bottom with a vegetable peeler if the skin’s a bit tough
  • add a teaspoon of butter and salt to the water in you steamer
  • steam asparagus for 7-8 minutes
  • sprinkle some salt before serving

To get everything ready at the same time, the timeline for this should be something like this:

  • 0 min: bake tomato
  • 10 min: start pan frying lamb on both sides
  • 15 min: put lamb in oven
  • 22 min: start steaming asparagus
  • 25 min: remove lamb from oven
  • 30 min: serve everything!

Give it a try, this is really much easier than the dish suggests. For more cooking recipes on this blog, click here! Now what should I cook next.. ermmm.

For those who have had the privilege of joining one of these sessions, there’s a consensus:

You haven’t had BBQ until you had BBQ Addicts!

Today, you, my dear reader, gets to drool over these wonderful grilled food that we had at Michael and Lance’s place at Genting the very last day of 2010. You’ll also fint out how to get your hands on them, read on.

pork ribs, pigs in blanket, asparagus with bacon
pork ribs, pigs in blanket, asparagus with bacon

Firstly, lets look at the first few dishes we had: baby back ribs, marinated to perfection, grilled over charcoal fire, le yums! Asparagus wrapped with bacon, and pigs in blanket, all piping hot and awesomely delicious.

BBQ Addicts - Grill Sergeant Lance
BBQ Addicts – Grill Sergeant Lance

The super happy dude in windbreaker from early 90s, that is Grill Sergeant Lance, the uno supremo of BBQ-Addicts. Don’t let the windbreaker fools you, his BBQ outfit is complete with super short running pants and old school badminton jersey from the same era.

One thing for sure though, this dude is the best in the business when it comes to BBQ.

beef burger with bacon, rolling pin
beef burger with bacon, rolling pin

At BBQ-Addicts, don’t expect to find boring old chicken wings, fish balls, or sausages you find from supermarket. Everything is of premium quality, like the home made burger pattie, sandwiched between buns that’re also grilled, add a piece of bacon in it, and viola – you get instant carb + heart attack material, but it tastes good.

Then there’s rolling pin – marinated chicken wrapped with streaky bacon that is then grilled (well, almost everything is grilled anyway) so that the pork fat seeps into the chicken to make it that much more tender and flavorful…. ah..!

watermelon salad, grill lamb, clam chowder, french cut
watermelon salad, fren cut lamb, clam chowder, steak

There’s more, the french cut lamb is one of my favorites, and that big piece of steak over fire till medium rare, grilled mushroom with cheese and actually we did have some marinated chicken wings too.

Other than grilled food, these guys make some pretty fine watermelon salad (you gotta try it!), and seriously “life altering” clam chowder (that appears in xmas eve at Suanie’s post).

porkgang and more at BBQ Addict's New Year Eve party
porkgang and more at BBQ Addict’s New Year Eve party

We had an awesome time at the little party that had way too much awesome food, good drinks, and glow sticks. It was a New Year Eve with many satisfied stomaches.

frankenstine junior at new year eve party
frankenstine junior at new year eve party

To have your own BBQ-Addicts experience, head over to their facebook site to find out more. They can deliver the ingredients to your event or even be there to cook for you too, BBQ pit rental’s available too. If you want to have a kick ass BBQ party, you know who to contact!

Update: BBQ Addicts is now too busy to be doing BBQ stuff!

A few weeks ago my buddy Terence called up and then passed the phone to Colin, and I was invited to a food tasting session.

At first I thought it was for TDH (Tom Dick and Harry’s), the popular watering hole at TTDI, but when I reached there with a hungry stomach a couple weeks ago, it turned out to be the restaurant right upstairs of TDH – Hoofed.

interior of Hoofed is tastefully done
interior of Hoofed is tastefully done

To be honest, I hadn’t know there’s a restaurant above TDH despite the numerous visits there. I guess it doesn’t help that one rarely gets to leave TDH with very clear vision at the end of the night.

Hoofed is a tastefully decorated restaurant, with an ambiance that rivals many a five star hotels. I particularly love the old school subway style ceiling (Colin had to personally put them on one by one).

Hoofed at TTDI food review session
Hoofed at TTDI food review session

In order to maximize the number of dishes we get to try, Hoofed prepared the dishes in small doses. I thought this is a pretty good way of handling food review, much better than having a bunch of people splitting several dishes and everyone ended up having to fight for the good stuff.

The night started with a plate of pretty interesting duck salad that comes with duck breast, century egg, 7/8 boiled egg, and fresh  vegetable in vinegrete dressing. A refreshing taste that I haven’t had before, it was pretty good actually.

Hoofed prides itself in serving pork dishes, and they have suckling pig too! (whole piglet at RM 170). I was given a portion, and it was really as good as they come.

roast pork, tenderloin steak, pork ribs, pasta with roast pork
roast pork, tenderloin steak, pork ribs, pasta with roast pork

Other pork dishes I tried when I went there again for a little xmas gift exchange session last week were the really awesome roast pork, pork ribs, and pasta with fried roast pork.

I’m hesitant to say that it is the best roast pork I’ve had, but it is tough to rate it any lower than the one at Wong Kee, Pudu. They are essentially different, the version here is softer and goes well with mustard, while Wong Kee’s roast pork has a crunchier skin and fatty midsection but slightly tougher meat. They’re equally good in their own way.

Same can’t be said about the pork ribs I ordered though, while it was tender and juicy, I thought it was a tad too sweet for my liking, that kinda masked out the savory part of the meat a little.

Those who had the pasta with roast pork though, swore by it. I didn’t manage to steal some from Winnie, but boy it sure looked good.

lamb shank, grilled fish, tenderloin
lamb shank, grilled fish, tenderloin

Since I didn’t bring the bigger camera for the session, these two collages were actually hand-me-down photos from Hoofed.

The lamb shank is best enjoyed by two person as Horng ordered and couldn’t really finished it all by himself. Haze had the tenderloin steak that turned out to be slightly more cooked that she would have liked it.

I had the grilled fish during the review session and it was very good though.

dessert, fried rice, pasta with roast pork
dessert, fried rice, pasta with roast pork

To me, the most surprisingly dish at Hoofed has gotta be the fried rice. Though this place doesn’t really concentrate on a particular cuisine, fried rice seems to be an unlikely entry in their menu, and it is a damn fine plate of fried rice at that. This, and the pasta with roast pork, should be the must-try dish at Hoofed.

I’ve only tried the brownie with ice cream as far as dessert is concerned. It was good, but to be frank I’m not a big dessert person and would almost always stuff myself with more roast pork instead.

xmas gift exchange with TDH gang
xmas gift exchange with TDH gang

To be frank, not everything at Hoofed is spot on. I love all the pork dishes with the exception of ribs, the fried rice and fish were pretty awesome too. Some of the other dishes however, are still a work in progress, but I am sure with Colin’s attention to detail and constant communication with diners, they will improve in time.

Dishes at Hoofed is priced at a tad above average, but the ambiance and the right dishes do make up for it.

map to hoofed at ttdi

Address:
Hoofed
No 18A, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14,
TTDI 60000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.15455, 101.62289
Tel: 03-7728-8567

By the way, this is the one thousandth post on kyspeaks since the inception some five and a half year ago. Been an amazing journey, rest assure there’ll be more to come. A big thank you for all the visits, comments, well wishes, critics, and the occasional “hello” in Real Life ™.

Bobbi Chinn World Cafe, TLC
Bobby Chinn on World Cafe: Middle East (photos from TLC)

I’m generally quite content with what I do for a living, but there is a category of people that I’m quite jealous of when it comes to their profession, and Bobby Chinn is one of them.

While I’m sure there are lotsa hardwork and uncertainties, the job of a TV personalities on a food tasting/travel show couldn’t sound more awesome to me. The grass is greener on the other side, always.

Last week I got closest as I’ve been to that “dream” of mine, I got invited to meet Bobby Chinn for his new episods of World Cafe: Middle East.

Bobbi Chinn's World Cafe: Middle East
Bobby Chinn’s exploit in Middle East (photos from TLC)

The series cover Bobby Chinn’s exploit in Middle East. Starting from Istanbul, the capital city of the Ottoman Empire, then Damascus and Aleppo – the oldest city in the world, Jordan and the West Bank  with thriving Palestinian food tradition despite the instability, as well as Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt – where Bobby Chinn was born.

The man himself turned out to be quite an entertaining and friendly host despite the very visible effect of jet lag as he just arrived in the morning. Together with Haze, boo of masak-masak, Jovin & her aunt, and other guests, we had a good time while Bobby shared his experiences whilst making this series.

Catch the show on Monday 10pm, Astro Channel 707 TLC

salad, soup, and appetizer
donut thingy with sambosa, salad, some lamb soup

Now lets get on to the food at Al Halabi, shall we?

Al Halabi at Marriot Hotel is probably one of the more up market Lebanese restaurant in the country, with posh decoration of cushions, busy looking tables, a huge selection of shisha pipes, and chandeliers looking like gemstones. A very Arabic atmosphere, other than our group with Bobby Chinn being half Arab, most clients looked like they’re either Persians or Arabs.

The lamb soup was better than the lentil soup I ordered, which tasted like diluted dhal. Salad was refreshing if not a little too sour for some. I didn’t quite enjoy the donut thingy, but the fried pastry (Sambosa vegetable) was rather nice.

hummus, eggplant dip, fluffy bread
hummus & baba ghanoush, fluffy soft bread

This was only the third time I had hummus, but I gotta say the hummus was actually very good! It was a bit like a cross of peanut butter and tofu but with slightly oily texture, in a good way… if that make any sense.

Baba ghanoush, a classic eggplant dip, was a bit more sour and oily (olive oil), I kinda liked it, though not too much. These two goes pretty well with the excellent fluffy bread.

egg plant dish (musaka'a), fried spring chicken, grilled fish
egg plant dish (musaka’a), fried spring chicken, grilled fish

For my main dish, I chose to have the egg plant (musaka’a) with rice. It was quite similar to the Northern Indian’s Baingan Bartha, but slightly less flavorful. Despite the bright color, it wasn’t exactly spicy, just a bit oily and sourish, nothing to shout about.

The other main dishes to choose from were the fried spring chicken (which was reportedly to be decent), grilled fish that were too dry, and grilled lamb (said to be quite tasty).

sizzling grilled lamb, baklava
sizzling grilled lamb, baklava

Dessert came in the form of a very sweet pastry item called baklava – made of phyllo dough and filled with chopped nuts and honey, quite nice. I think I had at least 3-4 of those.

Bobby Chinn, KY, Haze
Bobby Chinn, KY, Haze

If this was the best Lebanese food could offer, I wasn’t particularly impressed, so I asked Bobby Chinn himself on his thoughts about the dinner. The man tried to be politically correct and said he enjoyed the hummus but didn’t want to elaborate more. I guess I’ll just have to watch the show too!

map to JW Marriot KL

Address:
Al Halabi at JW Marriot
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.14765, 101.71372
Tel: 03-2715 9000