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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / review

While I was at work a couple Fridays ago, Mr. Kong, one of my readers who handles PR business for Dragon-i called up

“Sorry for the late notice, but would you be available for a food review tonight at Pavilion? There will be abalone.”

How could I say no to such invitation? After all, it’s not like I get to taste abelone abalone on weekly basis. I grabbed my gears during the extended lunch hours and headed to Pavilion right after work.

Dragon-i at KL Pavilion
Dragon-i’s flagship restaurant at Pavilion

I’ve actually reviewed Dragon-i at 1-Utama almost 3 years ago when it first came up, and been to quite a few of their restaurants over the years. However, this was my first trip to their flagship outlet at Pavilion. Together with me were a few other journalists and photographers from Sin Chew, the Star and China Press, as well as Mr. Kong, his wife, and the CEO of Dragon-i, Mr. Henry Yip.

Cold Dishes, Dragon-i at KL Pavilion
cold dish: five appetizers

Instead of ordering from the menu, we were sampling the special set menu available from 1st to 14th of September to coincide with Mid Autumn Festival.

First to come were the appetizers comprising five dishes. I absolutely love the chilled chicken with rice wine that tasted a little like steamed chicken but with an extra kick from the rice wine. We ended up having to order another serving of this. The edamame with bamboo shoots, while more commonly associated with Japanese food, was very refreshing as well.

Fried bean curd with shredded scallops was both sweet and crunchy. The sesame oil marinated cuttlefish was very fresh and had a very nice texture to chew on. While the cold minced spinach, traditionally prepared with another type of vegetable only found in China, was pretty interesting and provided another dimension for the set. A very interesting way to start our dinner, varying tastes and ingredients.

abelone, xiao long bao, Dragon-i at KL Pavilion
goose web with abalone, xiao long bao

Next up was the famous xiao long bao (Shanghainese meat dumpling) from Dragon-i, served steaming hot with soup within the dumpling. Dipping it with some vinegar and accompanied with some ginger is the way to go, very satisfying.

Abelone and goose web followed the xiao long bao. While I had braised abelone before, this was the first time I tasted goose web. The texture is something like a cross between chicken feet and fish skin (or fish lips you find in big fish head), very soft and slightly chewy while the taste was very good! However, it does taste a little “jelak” and hence they have the asparagus to provide a balance. Very nice.

aromatic duck, sichuan prawn, Dragon-i at KL Pavilion
aromatic crispy duck, sichuan prawn

I guess a traditional Chinese cuisine isn’t complete without duck. The aromatic crispy duck was as good as the one I had at Kensington, Seremban. However, at Dragon-i they served it in pieces instead, I personally still prefer the shredded version. The duck was served peking duck style.

Prawn sauteed with Sichuan sauce came next. It was nice to have something slightly spicy after all the previous dishes. The giant prawns were very fresh and according to Mr. Yip, sourced locally from Pantai Remis in Perak. I like the fact that they’re all peeled too! Again, a very delicious dish.

pomelo mango dessert, cirspy noodle, Dragon-i at KL Pavilion
pomelo mango dessert, crispy noodle with dried scallop and crab meat

The last dish in the main course was deep fried wantan noodle with dried scallops and fresh crab meat on top. I actually finished it despite having a stomach that was already pretty much filled. Crunchy and yet very sweet of the seafood taste from the seafood laden sauce.

Dessert was an over sized glass of mango puree mixed with sago and some fresh pomelo on top. Refreshing. A serving of fresh fruits followed, but I was already too stuffed to have any of it.

KL Pavilion Map

It was a very good dinner indeed, very very satisfying.

Well, this set meal for 10 is priced at RM 1388++, while half a table would be RM 688++. Not exactly light on the pocket, but then again it is fine dining. A box of moon cake comes free with the meal for 10 too.

More pictures of this review here.

Address:
Lot 1.13, Level 1,
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.148872, 101.713368
Tel: 03-3224 0888

When it comes to steamboat in Malaysia, tomyam, clear soup, and porridge usually comes to mind. Most people aren’t aware that there is also the spicy Sichuan and Mongolian style steamboat in the valley. Last I had this type of steamboat was more than 1.5 years ago at Hong La Qiao and Inner Mongolian Restaurant at Pudu, so when the invitation to Jin Shan Cheng from foodstreet came in, I was rather delighted to revisit this version of steamboat.

Steamboat at Jin Shan Cheng
steamboat is always best enjoyed in a group

Jin Shan Cheng is located at Sunway Mentari, across NPE from Sunway Pyramid. The restaurant itself is on first floor, but there’s actually elevator for those who are extremely lazy. Interior decoration is rather simple and without much fan fair, but this isn’t exactly a fancy restaurant, we’re here only for the food anyway.

Steamboat at Jin Shan Cheng
the condiments and two types of soup

The steamboat comes with two types of soup, the traditional super spicy with lots of chili oil Sichuan style, and the other without. They are basically the same soup base though. Instead of your usual chicken rice style sambal or chili padi, there is a pretty special type of sauce accompanying the steamboat. I tasted a hint of cilantro, garlic, ginger, oil, and some type of pepper. Of course, there are also fuyu (fermented tofu), peanut sauce, and chili oil. Those usually go very well with meat items.

Steamboat at Jin Shan Cheng
spicy frog legs, spicy fish pot, pepper beef

While waiting for the soup to boil, we were served three traditional Sichuan dishes. The spicy frog legs cos Eiling mentioned to the owner that she likes frog legs, the spicy fish pot, and the sizzling pepper beef.

The frog legs were actually very good, spicy yet full of flavor. The boss explained that they use a type of pepper imported from China to bring out the original taste. The fish, while very oily (wouldn’t be the correct recipe if it wasn’t), tasted pretty good too, I think it’ll go well with some rice but unfortunately we didn’t order any. Though cooked with tilapia instead of cod, it still did justice to the dish.

Steamboat at Jin Shan Cheng
stop teasing with scallop already, Eiling!

For the steamboat, we had beef slice, scallop, vegetable, pork kidney, fish meat, and a few other items. My favorite had to be the kidney, closely followed by the beef. Both items tasted great with the strong flavoring from the soup and condiments. However, you need to make sure that they are not over cooked, a 5-10 second bath in the boiling soup is all you need.

map to Steamboat at Jin Shan Cheng
Jin Shan Cheng is located at Sunway Mentari

The price at Jin Shan Cheng is pretty reasonable, the cooked dishes start from RM 15 for small portion. For example, the spicy fish pot costs RM 20 to RM 35. Not bad for something authentic an different. This place is best for those who love spicy food, you’re advised to stick with clear soup pulau ketam steamboat otherwise.

more pictures at my flickr set

Address:
No. 42A-2, Jalan PJS 8/2
Dataran Mentari, Bandar Sunway,
56301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.075284, 101.613053
Tel: 03-5631 8220
Web: www.jscmsb.com

I had a food review at Bruno’s last week, and pinkpau Su Ann was the partner in crime. The appointment was on 8pm, and knowing how well this girl is with punctuality, I had told her to make it 7:30pm, but it didn’t deter her from arriving at my place only 5 minutes before 8 though…

Anyway, lets get back to the topic.

Bruno’s is one of the new Western restaurants that serves non-halal food, a trend that is slowly emerging in the market, following the good receptions of places like Jarrod & Rowlins and Bermuda &Onions. A trend that I particularly welcome! The restaurant actually shares the same owner as Food Foundry (one of the only places that sells Mille Crepe)

Bruno's at Jaya 33
classy deco, and Su Ann, the very hot and cute thief of time

The unique thing about Bruno’s is the Iberian pork they serve. The black Iberian pigs are allowed to roam in the oak forest and raised with a diet of grass, herbs, acorns, and roots. A few months before slaughtering, the animal is fed only acorns. As a result, higher level of oleic acid is found in the meat, which is supposed to be a good thing that lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the good HDL.

Now who said eating pork is necessarily a bad thing?

Bruno's at Jaya 33
Spanish ham, glorious pork ribs

Our host of the night was none other than the famous Daphne Lee (who hit off with Su Ann in a long and amusing gossip session) of the Drams Project. We started our dinner with a plate of Spanish Ham and Sausage Platter. The meat were slightly salty and tasted something between dried meat (bak kua) and ham, they go very well with some bruschetta in between. A good selection as appetizer, though a taste that needs a bit of acquiring.

Then it was our main dish, the BBQ pork ribs. I’ve had BBQ ribs with beef, but nothing came close to having it original, pork, as it was meant to be. The portion was huge and it came with potato, french beans, and salad. The side dishes were meant to give your taste bud a chance to refresh, alternating between the juicy and meaty ribs and the freshness of vegetable. We finished the entire rack without much trouble at all, it was good. I think next time I should have some beer to go with this.

Bruno's at Jaya 33
Zarzuela (soup), dessert, and linguine with prawns

Zarzuela, the name of the soup I probably won’t remember in the next 5 minutes, was very nice. There’s scallops, mussels, clams, squid, and prawns in the clam and tomato broth. Very sumptuous, very delicious, and probably nullified the effect of the whole oleic acid business.

We also ordered the linguine prawn with spicy white wine butter sauce, unfortunately it was a too spiced up and the prawns were a bit overcooked to my liking. Despite the very nice presentation of this dish, it was a disappointment for the night.

Bruno's at Jaya 33
the dessert, the girl, and the wine

Dessert was the very sinful Valrhona chocolate lava cake, with this little orange fruit that I absolutely love. The chocolate cake went very well with the white wine we had.

It was a very good dinner, and with the most gossips I’ve heard since forever. I’m sure I’ll see you again somewhere, Daphne!

map to Jaya 33
Jaya 33 is just a couple minutes off Federal Highway

While not cheap, prices at Bruno’s is still fairly reasonable. Entrees are from RM 30+ onwards and you can have gourmet sandwiches or salad for RM20+. Of course, that huge rack of pork ribs costs a bit more than that. They also serve steaks, seafood, paella, and a selection of tapas.

More pictures can be found on my flickr set

Address:
PG-01 A, Ground Floor, Jaya 33
Jalan Semangat Section 13
46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.110274, 101.637139
Tel: 03-7960 2663

Iron Man the movie

Thanks to Eyeris who managed to source a pair of extra tickets for Iron Man last night, I got to watch this show before the official release this weekend. Before you ask, the movie is awesome and totally kick ass, you have to watch it when it comes out this weekend. Now lets proceed to a bit of a “review” that might or might not contain spoilers, read at your own risk.

Iron Man the movie
Tony Stark’s first armour

For those who didn’t grow up with American comics (ie: me, I was reading Chinese version of Doraemon and Lau Fu Tze), Iron Man has his super power not via genetic mutation nor being born on some other planet. Instead, somewhat like Bruce Wayne in Batman, Tony Stark is an industrialist who archive superpower-hood via his engineering brilliance. If you haven’t figured it out, he built the freaking armour that allows him to fly, shoot people, carry heavy loads, etc etc.

Iron Man the movie
2nd version in the making

The story doesn’t stray very far from the typical superhero movies, with the introduction of the main character as an ordinary person to the transformation that makes him a superhero to the final fight with the super villain. The difference is, of course, Robert Downy Jr. fits the profile of Tony Stark perfectly, and Gwyneth Paltrow played a brilliant role in being Pepper Potts.

Iron Man the movie
awesome or not?

Then there’s the absolutely awesome CG that blends it perfectly while bringing the awe factor not any less than Transformers. You’ll love the movie, watch it!

Iron Monger in Iron Man
the enemy, iron monger

First of all, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. In greeting the very auspicious 2008, lets do a recap on what I have done in my life and in this blog through 2007.

  • 152 new posts in all category
  • 88 new posts under the “KY eats” category
  • 356,630 unique hits according to site meter, averaged just over 977 hits per day
  • 624,300 page views, translates to 1.75 page per visit

2007 is also a year of freebies, I had free passes to quite a number of parties. Including the Midzone NYE countdown, Speedzone Tour 2007, and most notably, the Dionne Warwick Live & Loud Concert (Thanks Suan!). There were also quite a few free movie tickets and a couple invitations to movie premiers as well. Of course, there was also the 3 crates of free Tuborg beer for the X’mas Party.


kyspeaks at Ah Foong bak kut teh
my post plastered on ah foong bak kut teh!

As the food entries kept piling up, I saw my blog post being printed and plastered on Ah Foong Bak Kut Teh at Sunway. I was also spotted by the boss of the famous Char Siew and Hakka Noodle place at Aman Suria got a some extra Char Siew and fish ball thrown in from the house. The other restaurants that spotted me were Kangsane Korean restaurant and Hokano Japanese Restaurant, they threw in some extra freebies when I went there. Thanks!

I joined the local blog advertisement network Nuffnang in the beginning of the year when it was launched. So other than freebies, I actually made quite a decent amount of lunch money from this space itself, more money for good food, nice. This blog advertising stuff really works, a win-win situation for blogger and advertisers alike.

2007 is also the year I left my previous company where I spent no less than 3.5 years of my career life. It was difficult to bid farewell to my ex-colleagues and clients whom treated me like good friends. This also signaled the end of the days of traveling to Vietnam, Myanmar, and various regions in Malaysia for work. I must especially thank the hosts of those places who treated me so well when I was a visitor.

On food, I had my first taste of foie gras at Zipangu and later Cilantro restaurant. It was every bit as good as advertised. The other more notable (or memorable) dining experience includes the Char Siew place I mentioned earlier, and the bee’s pupa I had in Vietnam.

Though no long distance vacation, I did have a very good day trip with the gang to the Chiling Falls, and I have something planned for 2008 as far as traveling is concerned.

Thankfully, all my family members and friends are in good health. 2007 turned out to be a pretty good year, and I sure hope 2008 would be more of the same, and maybe better! How was your year?