Friday, January 28, 2011

My Cookbook @ Sunway Giza, Kota Damansara

Asian food, with a fusion twist :) ....

Sunway Giza (and the general Kota Damansara area) has already become somewhat of a food hub, with My Cookbook being one of the more recent additions to the already wide array of eateries:
Outside My Cookbook....

I had spotted this "egg-cellent" looking restaurant from Sean's blog (EatDrinkKL) and just HAD to try it so I dragged a bunch of friends over to accompany me.

Anyway, we all found the ambience nice - comfortable, modern and with a quirky style (eg. the feature wall which had pots and pans as decorations):
Nice ambience inside....

It was a fairly big and ravenous group that night (meaning: We ate a LOT) so I'll try to keep the descriptions short & sweet - breaking it into what I found nice and what was ok.

APPETISERS:

Nice:
- Seafood Cake (RM 11.90+)
Delicious seafood patties....

I enjoyed the thick patties of chunky seafood - it was fragrant and had a nice balance of tender yet with some bounce/ bite. :)
(Was pleasantly surprised, as it looked kinda bland and uninteresting at first glance)

- Prawn Bisque (RM 8.90+)
Cholesterol soup? So yummy tho....

This was a real crowd pleaser that night - slightly heavy but smooth broth, bursting with a heartwarming prawn flavour and with pretty yummy wantons too.
(Note: This is pretty much the same soup base as the king prawn kuey teow so don't order both in one seating unless you really love it THAT much)

Ok:
- Soft Shell Crab (RM 11.90+)
Deep fried crabs....

Fairly crisp and without any "fishy" smell - not a bad choice if you feel like having something deep fried.

- Smoked Omega eggs with fish roe & shimeji mushrooms (RM 8.90+)
Eggs in a row....

*shrugs*
Nothing really bad about them (eggs were a good texture - not too hard, yet not too runny) but didn't find the taste very special.
(Just tasted like normal but fairly well executed hard boiled eggs)

(Sorry) Not so OK:
- Cheese balls (RM 8.90+)
Not very cheesy balls....

Slightly crispy on the outside but kinda starchy inside (potato filling),... and without the oozing cheese that was advertised in the menu photo.
(Boo)

- Deep Fried Smoked Salmon (RM 11.90+)
Deep fried fish pieces....

Wasn't crispy enough and the fish didn't have much fragrant salmon taste.

MAINS:
Nice:
- King Prawn Kuey Teow (RM 26.90+)
*LOVE*....

I'd say this is probably the restaurant's signature dish with it's silky strands of kuey teow, luxuriating in a steaming hot bowl of that lovely robust prawn soup and of course, topped with a half of a juicy big prawn.
(Another favourite amongst the group that night)

- King Prawn Porridge (RM 26.90+)
*ALSO LOVE*....

- Robust prawn flavour (but lighter than the prawn kuey teow soup base) balanced with a hint of ginger.
- Big, fresh, meaty prawn (2 out of 3 times - 1 person got a much smaller one).
- Perfect thick yet smooth consistency of the porridge.
LOVED this.
:) :)
(I'll admit, it's not cheap if you consider that "it's only porridge" but I think the big prawn justifies the price)

Ok:
- Char Siew Salmon (RM 26.90+)
Healthy choice....

The salmon was juicy enough, with an interesting slightly sweet "char siew" glaze that did not overpower.

- Pandan Rice with Curry Chicken (RM 15.90+)
Interestingly presented....

Pretty good - the rice was fluffy and matched well with the tender chicken.

- Fried Kuey Teow (RM 15.90+)
A Malaysian classic....

Tender noodle strands which still had a nice bite/bounce, a bit of wok hei, with 3 fairly big prawns perched at the side.
(It's actually very good for restaurant standards - just missing a little oomph to match/overtake the awesome CKT gurus at the coffeeshops/ roadside stalls)

DESSERTS:
- Black Sesame Soya Milk (RM 8.90+)
Delicate dessert....

A simple but unusual combination of a soya bean "soup", black sesame ice cream and a peanut jelly - the flavours were light and refreshing, making it a good end to a satisfying dinner.
(I think that some may find the flavours a bit too delicate though)

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal, as there were some really stand out items... Will definitely be heading back for the Sang Har porridge and kuey teow soon - perfect comfort food!
(Although I better keep an eye on my cholesterol levels if I do... )


So it's: Nice modern ambience, friendly service, decent range of Asian food with a twist at reasonable (but not exactly cheap) prices BUT nothing bad really - just that not everything on the menu is perfect yet there are the "winners" that'll definitely keep me coming back again :).....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


My Cookbook @ Sunway Giza, Kota Damansara
A-12, Sunway Giza, No.2, Jalan PJU 5/14, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Taste: 7
Ambience : 7
Service : 7
Price** : RM 55/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-6140 6113
Opening Hours: 12nooon to 12midnight

NO PORK SERVED



MAP:

View Larger Map

OTHER REVIEWS:
- Eat Drink KL
- Sun, Sea and Sand
- Heart's Memories


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

J the Millionaire Blogger?

Not! :P....

"Bloggers can earn RM 2,000 to RM 70,000 a month on average..."?
(Full article here at the Star Newspaper, which they sort of "borrowed" from Berita Harian actually...)

Wow.

When I saw that link tweeted by Boo_licious, I have to admit, I had a strange mix of emotions, including:
- HAPPINESS
("Oh cool. I guess that means people are taking bloggers more seriously now as a proper form of media?")

- SHOCK/ SURPRISE
("SEVENTY freaking THOUSAND a month? Sure or not? That's almost a million in a year leh!")

- SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
("Nah. I would never "sell out" like that. My blog will always just stay a hobby/passion...")

- REGRET/ GREED
("Eh. How come I didn't take it to the "next level" too? My blog is loss making - I use so much money to eat but only earn enough to cover 1 good meal (A YEAR btw)")

I am only human after all. :)
(Who wouldn't want to be one of the blessed few who can get rich from doing something that is essentially their hobby/ passion?)

Looking at the article though, I have 2 fears:
- being chased/audited by LHDN after this
(They would be sorely disappointed if they do though... Just that it would be a hassle to have them breathing down my neck), and
- that there will now be a huge influx of people who blog just to make money.

.... Not that there's anything wrong with making money - it does make the world go round after all....

It's just that it may cast a shadow of doubt on the rest of us who work hard at our day jobs and spend our free time (sometimes into the wee hours of the night) blogging without any payment, just because we want to share recounts of food we ate, delicious or otherwise, with the world.
(Yeah, some of us are just that crazy. LOL)


Anyway, just wondering - what are your thoughts on the article/ this "issue"?
:)


Contemplative,
J

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 Promotion

Slight recap, for your convenience :)....


Choices, choices...

With CNY just around the corner, there are so many offers/ promotions going on at the various eateries - here's an interesting one, brought to you by Standard Chartered Malaysia - The Extravagant 8 Promotion.

There are 8 participating restaurants, all with their own signature menu designed for 8 people and priced at RM 888++ (What a very prosperous menu, right?).
:)

What's even more interesting (to me anyway) is that Stan Chart specifically worked together with the restaurants to come up with delicious shark fin free choices)... Anyway, here are the restaurants (rough overview, contact info, etc) and some relevant review lined up in no particular order, for your reference:

------------------------------------------------------
1) Shanghai, JW Marriott KL
(Not Halal)
JW Marriott's premier restaurant is one of Kuala Lumpur's leading Chinese restaurants, specialising in exquisite Shanghainese cuisine.
Master Chef: Chef Wong Wing Yeuk
Tel: 03-2179 8288

Reviews:
- My Story~
- Motormouth from Ipoh
- KampungBoyCityGal
- Have Your Cake And Eat It Too
- A Whiff of Lemongrass
- Aly's Wonderland

----------------------
2) Li Yen, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
(Not Halal)
Li Yen, the hotel's award-winning signature restaurant, features Cantonese specialties with sumptuous dim sum for lunch and a la carte selections for dinner.
Master Chef: Chef Leung Kwai Hong
Tel: 03-2142 8000

Reviews:
- Memoirs of A Chocoholic (mine!)
- I am the Witch
- KY Eats
- Pillow Talk with Bangsar-bABe
- Food Point of Interest
- lionel ong's phlog
- A Whiff Of Lemongrass

----------------------
3) Chynna Restaurant, Hilton KL
Enjoy a mix of traditional Eastern cuisine such as butter prawns or try the delicious tea served with kung fu moves by the Tea Master at this Kuala Lumpur restaurant.
Master Chef: Chef Lam Hock Hin
Tel: 03-2264 2592

Reviews:
- PureGlutton
- a lil fat monkey
- A Whiff of Lemongrass
- Pillow Talk with Bangsar Babe
- Cumi dan Ciki

----------------------
4) Zing, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur
(Not Halal)
This contemporarily designed restaurant offers the finest, traditional Cantonese cuisine by Master Chef Leong Weng Heng and team.
Master Chef: Chef Leong Weng Heng
Tel: 03-2177 4180

Reviews:
- Ipoh Mali Talak Sombong
- My story~
- A Whiff of Lemongrass
- Brought Up to Share
- Feed Me Lah

----------------------
5) Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL
Inspired by the majesty of the classic Chinese heritage, Celestial Court is a grand restaurant adorned with artifacts and exclusive works of modern art that echo elegant traditions and royal dynasties, an ideal setting for celebratory banquets, corporate functions, fine appreciation of masterful cuisine or simply casual dining.
Master Chef: Chef Ho Boon
Tel: 03-2717 9900 extn. 6988

Reviews:
- I am The Witch
- My story~
- Food Point of Interest
- Brought Up To Share

----------------------
6) Gu Yue Tien, Chulan Square KL
(Not Halal)
Master-Chef, Frankie Woo will definitely entrance you as he translates the joy of eating by offering a unique selection of delicacies combining a variety of Asian and international flavours, ingredients and techniques. Expect to taste amongst others, the new-style ‘Mini Buddha Jump Over The Wall’.
Master Chef: Chef Frankie Woo Chee Way
Tel: 03-2148 0808

Reviews:
- I Am The Witch
- Aly's Wonderland
- KY Speaks
- Babe in the City - KL
- Lionel Ong's Phlog
- Haze Long
- A Whiff Of Lemongrass

----------------------
7) Elegant Inn (Menara Hap Seng or Taman Connaught)
(Not Halal)
Give in to your cravings for authentic Hong Kong Chinese cuisine in this regal fine dine establishment.
Master Chef: Chef Wesley Ng
Tel: 03-2070 9339 (Menara Hap Seng KL) , 03-9130 2626 (Taman Connaught)

Reviews:
- PureGlutton
- Motormouth From Ipoh
- Marcky.my
- KY Speaks
- Babe in the City - KL

----------------------
8) Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur
Authentic Cantonese Cruisine with a wide choice of fresh seafood dishes, including must-try Dim Sum.
Master Chef: Chef Ricky Thein
Tel: 03-2170 8888

Reviews:
- Memoirs Of A Chocoholic (mine!)
- Cumi Dan Ciki
- Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

------------------------------------------------------
(Some of the) Terms and Conditions:
1. Prior reservation required.
2. To qualify for the dining offers, all purchases must be charged to a Standard Chartered Credit Card.
3. Any complaints or dispute concerning the dining promotion shall be settled between the customer and the Merchant without recourse to Standard Chartered.
4. Promotion valid from 20 January to 17 February 2011.
(Note: There are different "black out" dates for some of the restaurants of which this promotion doesn't apply, mostly on CNY eve (2 Feb 2011) - do call to check)
(For enquiries, please call 1300 888 888)

For more info, do head over to the Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 Main Page.

(ps. Most of the restaurant descriptions were "borrowed" from the Stan Chart website)

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Hokkaido Ichiba/ Kita No Zen @ Midvalley Gardens, KL

A new Japanese food option in Midvalley....

My mum loves Japanese food. So, when I heard of this fairly new Japanese restaurant in Midvalley Gardens), I brought her to go try it out during our weekly quality time/ shopping excursion/ session of contribution towards the Malaysian economy:
Outside Kita No Zen....

Kita No Zen (the restaurant) and Hokkaido Ichiba (the adjoining ice cream/ dessert lounge) were opened by the people behind Rakuzen and Sushi/Pasta Zanmai, so you will see that the style of the decor interior is similar - modern yet with a Japanese twist and lots of natural elements:
Seated at one of the booths inside....

They have a really extensive menu (almost mind boggling) ranging from the affordable (Agedashi Tofu) to the expensive (Grilled Snow Crabs), from the normal (Teriyaki Chicken) to the slightly unusual (Grilled Lotus Roots with Spicy Cod Roe).

I wanted to try the more unusual items, but I was slightly ill that day and felt like something soupy - so, I ordered the Spicy Miso Ramen with Grilled Chicken (RM 14.80++):
My bowl of ramen....

Overall, ok lah...
The ramen noodles texture was ever so slightly overcooked but still with some "bounce", paired with the slightly thick and mildly spicy soup. I found the toppings entirely normal though, and didn't like the egg, which was essentially just hard boiled I think.
(*sigh* I have also been spoiled with the awesome eggs/ soup from places like Marutama, but I guess they are yummier because they specialise in ramen...)

My mum had Chicken Teriyaki Zen set (RM 22++), of which I stole the some bites from:
:)
The chicken....

I appreciated how the slices of chicken had been grilled well to achieve a smokey fragrance and slightly crisp skin and the sauce was nice balanced - not too sticky or sweet..

Unfortunately, I also found the meat to be overcooked**. Still, its a decent sized portion with the accompanying miso soup, chawan mushi and small side dishes (pickled vegetables, small salad and a beef salad) and is not a bad meal by shopping centre standards.
(** Note: My mum really enjoyed this, so maybe I'm just fussy?)

I was really looking forward to dessert and pored over the various flavors and combinations available. I wanted the more interesting flavours (like the Yuzu or Salt Caramel) but I was sharing with my mum (who is somewhat a traditionalist when it comes to ice cream) and settled for the Chocolate Vanilla Waffle (RM 9.80++):
Our cute little waffles....

While the ice cream was quite nice (light yet creamy in texture and flavour), the waffles were really disappointing - it was soft and kinda starchy.
(Note: If you like sinfully rich ice cream then you might not enjoy the ones here - they are generally on the lighter, delicate side...)

Overall, I'm not impressed with Kita No Zen so far, but I suspect I just ordered the wrong food items... :(
(I think I'll definitely head back though to try out some of the other ice creams and some of the ala carte items that caught my eye though)

So it's: Wide range of Japanese food (with some interesting/unusual items) and desserts, fairly reasonable prices, comfortable ambience BUT nothing bad really - it's ok for shopping centre standards and service can be a bit slow although friendly during peak hours.....


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Hokkaido Ichiba/ Kita No Zen @ Midvalley Gardens, KL
Lot T-201, Third Floor, The Gardens Mall, Midvalley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur

Taste: 5
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM 55/++ per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2283 1060
Opening Hours: 11 am to 10.30 pm

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Hou Hou Sek
- Eat Drink KL
- Eat Me Out!
- JordanTan.com
- Kelly C

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Extravagant 8 @ Tai Zi Heen, Prince Hotel KL

A traditional CNY dinner prepared by a multiple award winning chef....

Hello!.... :)
Just to give you a head's up, this is an invited review:
(Here are my usual disclaimers)
1) I have not been paid to write this, but neither have I paid a cent for my meal,
2) I will still be as objective as possible re. the food/ restaurant, and
3) If I go back to the restaurant incognito and find that the food/service is horribly different from this experience, I will amend my ratings here...

Walking into Tai Zi Heen, I found the restaurant area cosy yet sophisticated, as the furnishings look fairly lush (without being OTT) and the tables were well spaced:
Classy ambience....

I was there to attend another of the Standard Chartered Extravagant 8 food tastings, and was really looking forward, as I had never dined at Prince Hotel before**....
(** Also, I was going to be in the company of some very lovely fellow bloggers, so that's always fun...)

- Of course, we started off the night with Salmon Yee Sang:
(The other 2 options are Tuna or Vegetarian Snow Pear)
Toss for good luck :)....

Overall it was a good mix of fresh fish slices, vegetable slices and crunchy bits. The dressing was also quite interesting - blackcurrent and plum sauce.

- Eight Treasure Broth with Sun Dried Seafood:
Yummy....

What I particularly liked about this was that it was yummy, thick (without being starchy) and tasted like the savoury, heartwarming soup base which usually comes with sharks fin soup.... BUT without any sharks fin inside. :)
(Guilt free dining! - Environmentalists and nature lovers can rejoice....)

- Pan fried Tiger Prawns with Chinese Herb Infused Superior Soya Sauce:
Sticky sweet prawns....

Overall, the prawns were fresh, and well coated with the sweet sauce. If you didn't already know: Prawns are another "must have" dish during CNY - with the Chinese word for prawn (harr) said to symbolise laughter and happiness (as in, it sounds like "Haha").
:)

- Crispy Deep Fried Sea Bass with Spring Onions and Ginger Sauce:
Fish....

The fish was fresh, with a nice textural mix from the slightly crisp exterior and moist flesh, complemented by the uncomplicated sauce.
(If I were to be really fussy, I'd say that the fish was ever so slightly overcooked but it could be because I like eating the meaty parts near the tail which are less fatty than the parts near the tummy)

- Cantonese style Roasted Chicken with Fragrant Salt and Prawn Crackers:
Classic recipe....

The chicken was prepared in the classic manner, with the accompanying plum sauce really adding an extra dimension to this dish.

- Braised sea whelk with fatt choy, bai ling, dried shiitake and straw mushroom:
Healthy greens and mushrooms....

LOL. A bit off topic: There we were wondering why this dish was inspired by a Hollywood "star" (Curious?) but it turns out that the bai ling in this case is a kind of rare Chinese mushroom valued for its springy consistency and nutritious properties.

Anyway, this was one of my favourite dishes that night, as I enjoyed the crunch of the broccoli against the textures of the various mushrooms, accentuated by the slightly thick, savoury sauce.
:)

- Golden Fried Rice with Crab Meat and Shrimp:
My bowl of carbs....

Again, a classic and simple execution of fried rice with ample cubes of seafood.

- Sweetened Red Bean Cream with Glutinous Rice Dumplings:
Thick red bean soup with delicious dumplings....

The dumplings were filled with fragrant black sesame, which I LOVE... but I didn't like the sweet red bean cream - not their fault actually, as red bean (like sweet corn) is one of those things I don't really like.
(I'm sure red bean lovers will enjoy this though)

- Crispy Fried Chinese Brown Sugar Cake:
Crispy Nian Go slices....

The sweet slices of nian go had a thin but crispy layer of batter, making for an interesting textural mix of crispy but sticky.

The menu was put together/ executed by the fairly young but accomplished Master Chef Ricky Thein Yiew Ming**, with his recipes being towards more of the traditional preparations - this will definitely appeal to those who want a straightforward, un-fusion CNY celebration.
(** Recipient of Gold Medallist at the 5th World Golden Chef Competition for Chinese Cuisine 2005 and was also awarded the Silver and Gold Awards for the Excellent Service Award by SPRING Singapore in 2005 and 2006 respectively)


DETAILS OF THIS SPECIAL FESTIVE MENU:
- Only for Standard Chartered credit card holders
- Available from 20 January 2011 till 17 February 2011
- Reservation required
- Price: RM 888++ per table of (maximum) 8 people


Last but not least - SHOUT OUT:
- Thanks to lovely organisers at Prince Hotel for hosting us that night,
- Thanks to Mr. Tim of Standard Charted for inviting us,
- Thanks to Meena for extending the invite,
- and to my dear fellow bloggers there that night *HUGS*: Having you around makes a good night great! :)


Summary Sheet:

Tai Zi Heen @ Prince Hotel KL

Level 2, Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Telephone No.: 03-2170 3259
Opening Hours:
Lunch, 12noon - 2.30pm,
Dinner, 6.30pm - 10.30pm.
Parking: OK

NO PORK SERVED




OTHER REVIEWS:
- Cumi Dan Ciki


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Monday, January 17, 2011

Restoren Fu Kua @ Taman Megah, PJ

My parents are so proud - now, I like eating bitter gourd!....

At first, the gorgeous Ciki girl had a little trouble convincing me to join her, Marcky and Missy BlurKit for dinner at the famous Fukua (Bittergourd!) Restaurant as I have always hated the bitter taste of that evil** gourd....
(** Despite its reputed health benefits - glucose/sugar controlling side effects, etc)

... but OMG.
What a surprise! I actually ended up liking it so much I dragged my parents for dinner there a couple of days later.
(So this post is an amalgation of 2 visits)

Located in the Taman Megah/ Taman SEA area, just behind the Cash Converters/ Sime Darby Medical Centre (fka. Megah Medical Center), it is 2 shop lots wide, with the option of either air conditioned or non-airconditioned:
Outside the restaurant....

Either way, the restaurant is simple but comfortable, in fact more comfortable than most, by coffeeshop standards:
Inside the air conditioned section....

The dish that really turned the tides for me was the Salted Egg Fu Kua (RM 12):
Awesome awesomeness....

The thin slices of bittergourd had the perfect texture (crunchy), without the usual overpowering bitter flavour, and coated with just enough savoury goodness of the salted egg to make it delicious but not cloying.
(Give me this and a plate of rice and I'm satisfied!)

The Black Bean Fish (RM 36) was not bad:
Fried fish with black bean sauce....

Although I don't really like black bean sauce (my mum does though), the slightly sweet sauce went well the fried fish, and masked any bitterness from the slices of bittergourd they had added in.

Really!, in both cases, there was really no yucky bitter taste at all. Still, if you are INSIST on avoiding the gourd at all costs, there are always the bittergourd-less options like:

- Black Pepper Pork Leg (RM 35):
Poor piggy....

Tender (although a bit more tender would have been awesome) and flavourful meat complemented by the slightly sweet black pepper sauce.

- Salted Veg Soup (RM 12):
(This price is for a big bowl, which can be portioned for about 7 people? Pictured below is just 1 portion)
One bowl of the soup....

Overall, the heartwarming soup was pretty good (but not exemplery) - nice appetisingly sour/salty broth on a cold rainy day.... Was sad that we were a couple of (pork) meatballs short though! - didn't get to try it but Marcky and Missy BlurKit said it was nice.

Too boring? Well, then you can opt for the more exotic offerings like:
- Stir Fried Frogs (RM 45):
Ribbit, ribbit....

Stir fried in a simple ginger and spring onion sauce, the frog was tender and otherwise faultless (although just a teeny weeny bit overcooked, if I were gonna be fussy)....

- Curry wild boar (RM 18):
Oink oink....

The wild boar meat was really tender and without any strong gamey taste (that's good, right?)... and the curry sauce was thick, not too spicy and fragrant of garlic and curry leaves.
(Not bad, but somehow it lacked the depth of flavour from added spices/etc that would have made it great)

Overall, while there were a few dishes that tasted ok but fell short of "wow!", there were definitely some like the Salted Egg Fu Kua that will keep me craving and coming back again and again. :D
(I suspect the healthy aspect of the bittergourd is negated by the unhealthiness of the salted egg, but just can't resist it! It's so tasty...)

So it's: Simple Chinese restaurant with a wide range of dishes, specialises in bittergourd incorporated food and drinks, reasonable prices BUT on weekday afternoons it can be a little hard to find parking and the menu is a bit daunting - many many pages of the food dish names with no descriptions or photos...


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:


Restoren Fu Kua @ Taman Megah, PJ
No.21, Jalan SS 23/15, Petaling Jaya

Taste: 7
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM 25 per person
Parking: Difficult on weekends

** Approximation - Chinese style sharing meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 016-243 4233/ 016-219 1548
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 11pm

NOT HALAL



MAP:

View Larger Map


OTHER REVIEWS:
- Cumi Dan Ciki
- Marcky.my
- Food-4-Thot


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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Extravagant 8 Menu @ Li Yen, Ritz-Carlton Hotel KL

A CNY dinner filled with lucky numbers....

Hello!.... :)
Just to give you a head's up, this is an invited review:
(Here are my usual disclaimers)
1) I have not been paid to write this, but neither have I paid a cent for my meal,
2) I will still be as objective as possible re. the food/ restaurant, and
3) If I go back to the restaurant incognito and find that the food/service is horribly different from this experience, I will amend my ratings here...

I'd never been to the Ritz-Carlton KL Hotel & Residences before... so, I was thrilled to accept an invitation from Mr Timothy Johnson of Standard Charted, to sample their upcoming Extravagant 8 Menu at Li Yen (the Chinese restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Ritz.
Enter the dragon! (Classy touches everywhere)....

Walking into the hotel, just off the bustling Bukit Bintang area, I was charmed by its old world, classic European feel... and as for Li Yen, it had a sophisticated but strongly Asian ambience, which I found really nice:
Looking into Li Yen....

- Of course, we started off the night with the CNY essential, the Prosperity Yee Sang:
Toss for prosperity and happiness :)....

Overall it was nice, with the fresh slices of raw salmon mixing well with the crunchy, sweet, juicy and tart medley of vegetables and fruits.

- Next, we had the Double Boiled Assorted Seafood Soup with Bamboo Piths:
Great soul food on a cold day....

The heartwarming soup was clear but slightly "heavy" in texture from lovingly stewed seafood (like prawns and fish) melding together into a bowl of piping hot umami-ness.

- We also had Peking Duck with Steamed Sesame Pancakes, which I haven't had for a while:
Perfectly roasted duck....

Yummy....

The attentive staff quickly sliced up the fowl and prepared the little pancakes in the traditional way - filled with a generous strip of the skin (crispy and not too fat) with a swab of sweet dark sauce.
(The duck meat is saved for a later dish - I think they mentioned it can either be fried with noodles or rice)

- Also served that night was the Steamed Patin Fish with Superior Soya Sauce:
Good protein....

My serving of fish....

The patin fish flesh was fresh and fairly tender, accentuated with the soya sauce base.
(Would have loved to have doused it over some white rice)

- Next, we had the Braised Dried Scallops with Dried Oysters and Sea Moss:
My serving of the scallopes....

The scallops were fairly sizeable, fragrant and tender enough - tasted nice enveloped in the savoury thick sauce.

- Stir fried Assorted Mushrooms and Asparagus:
Vegetables are good for you!....

This was the simplest dish that night, a good balance against the other richer dishes - the asparagus stalks were tender and the mix of mushrooms were fresh, simply stirfried with garlic.

- Hokkien fried rice:
My bowl of rice....

This felt very wholesome in a homecooked manner - fragrant cubes of chicken, duck meat fried with rice and doused with a slightly thick and savoury sauce. :)

- Lastly, lucky dinner course number 8: We had the Deep fried Yam with Lunar Cakes:
Crispy golden brown parcels of yam....

They were perfectly crispy, not too sweet (nice natural flavours from the yam), not starchy (yay!) and with a slightly sticky bite from the nian gao.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal but found that the food there was more on the delicate flavour spectrum, as the very VERY experienced chef Leung Kwai Hong** says that he puts emphasis on preparing quality ingredients in a healthier manner (eg. less oil, less salt, etc).
(** Hailing from the food paradise Hong Kong, he is > 60 years old and said that he has been cooking / involved in F&B since he was 12!)


DETAILS OF THIS SPECIAL FESTIVE MENU:
- Only for Standard Charted credit card holders
- Available from 20 January 2011 till 17 February 2011
(Note: They have a "black out" date on 2 Feb, when this promotion doesn't apply)
- Reservation required
- Price: RM 888++ per table of 8 people


Last but not least - SHOUT OUT:
- Thanks to Oliver of Ritz-Carlton Hotel for hosting us that night,
- Thanks to Mr. Tim of Standard Charted for inviting us,
- Thanks to Meena for extending the invite,
- and to all the others there that night *HUGS*: Nice meeting you all - always fun to meet new friends who love food! :)


Summary Sheet:

Li Yen @ Ritz-Carlton Hotel, KL

2nd Floor, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 168 Jalan Imbi 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Telephone No.: 03-2141 8000
Opening Hours:
Mon to Sat, 12noon - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Sunday, 10.30am - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Parking: OK

NOT HALAL




OTHER REVIEWS:
- I am the Witch
- KY Eats
- Pillow Talk with Bangsar-bABe
- Food Point of Interest
- lionel ong's phlog


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