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Celebrate Ramadan 2018 with Kampung Warisan Buffet at Bijan Bar and Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Last week, we received an invitation from Bijan Bar & Restaurant to a sneak preview of their Kampung Warisan Buffet to celebrate this Ramadan 2018. We had a great deal of excitement and expectation as we were about to enjoy a sumptuous feast at one of the upscale Malay fine-dining restaurants in KL. In this holy month, the restaurant will serve a compelling assortment of fine cuisine in kampung style curated by Head Chef Shawai and his culinary team. Of course, my team and I would not pass up this chance.

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With its classy and stylish furnishings, Bijan welcomed us with soothing Malay music in an intimate ambiance.

We were stunned as in front of our eyes was an extravagant spread of delectable appetizers, mains and desserts laid out on the buffet aisle. It was really enjoyable to see live-cooking stalls with friendly chefs who tailor-made all of these old-school favorites. We were ready to get spoilt!

 

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A friendly chef at the live-cooking stall, cooking Rendang Tok.

 

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I went to the clay-pot section and found myself overwhelmed with various appealing delicacies.

 

Nasi Lemak Pandan.

I started with Nasi Lemak Pandan as it had an eye-catching green color and inviting sweet scent. It was tender and fluffy, aromatic and ambrosially rich in flavor exuded from the coconut and pandan leaves. The Nasi Lemak with its subtle creaminess and sweetness was downright great!

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I’ll tell you my little secret! Mix the rice with this Masak Lemak Ikan Salai Bacang and it would be a sublime combination.

The Masak Lemak Ikan Salai Bacang stood out with its yellowish gravy and a red flower-shaped chili lain on top of it. I love how tastily rich and soft the Ikan was yet it was not flaky at all. The Bacang was an excellent choice as it added a bit of sweet and sour flavor; hence, balanced the greasiness of the fish.

Next came Kerutup Itik and Opor Daging.

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Kerutup Irik

First up, Kerutup Itik. The Kerutup was gratifyingly tender with a tantalizing scent coming from various herbs and spices. A hint of piquancy lingered on the tip of my tongue, followed by a natural sweetness from the duck. What I love the most was the spot-on moistness of the meat as without a skillful hand, the meat can either be excessively juicy or overly dry.

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Opor Daging

Opor Daging – which is beef slowly cooked in coconut milk, allured me by its impressively flavorful smell. It was, of course, tangy and fat as a result of being braised in the coconut milk. At the same time, the beef was incredibly tender and within a few seconds inside the mouth, the Daging emanated a comfortably beefy taste which was absolutely outstanding.

If you are prawn aficionados then it’s time to whet your appetite because these two upcoming dishes will definitely capture your heart.

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Udang Sambal Berempah

Udang Sambal Berempah is a spicy dish that would also mingle perfectly with the Nasi Lemak Pandan. Though its spiciness tingled my whole tongue, the freshness of the prawn was still spot-on. A decent heap of spices and heat crept into my nose and enticed all the taste buds. Simply too good to pass up!

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The next dish, Udang Tempoyak, triggered my curiosity with its name.

What would it be to taste udang with tempoyak (fermented durian)? I was swept away after the first bite – the prawn was so rich and deep in flavor which I believe only tempoyak can bring such taste to it.  The udang oozed its own sweetness which was then complimented by an exquisite flavor and fatness from the tempoyak. This intense richness was so addictive that I could not help but picked one more piece. It was such a guilty pleasure.

I could wait no more to introduce my 3 favorite dishes of the day.

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Coming first is the Ketam Cili Bersantan – a flower crab unlike any others.

Don’t be deceived by the Ketam Cili Bersantan‘s unpretentious look as your mind will be blown after the first bite. I was gobsmacked! The crab was perfectly cooked until its meat became buttery, incredibly soft and truly melt-in-the-mouth.  There is no shortcoming in terms of taste. It totally won my heart for its tantalizing creaminess and perfect spiciness. And I know I might sound over-exaggerating but it was truly heaven in your mouth!

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The ingredients for Rendang Tok were arranged nicely at the live-cooking station.
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The mouth-watering Rendang Tok after being cooked.

The golden-hued ‘kerisik’ (toasted coconut) and its tempting smell silently triggered my salivation. The beef was wonderfully flavorful! The luscious sweetness from the beef mixed nicely with the kerisik which then enticed all the five senses. Every shred of the meat boasted a tangy and honey-like flavor on the tip of the tongue. What can I say? Extraordinarily scrumptious!

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Otak-otak

It took me a few seconds to realize these stunning morsels are Otak-otak. Innovatively wrapped in a unique way which showcased its attractive yellowish color, the Otak-otak totally captured my attention once they were brought out. Its incredible tenderness was spot-on. I still remember vividly the spiciness, fieriness and molten goodness blended well together in just one bite, leaving my eyes close in admiration. I was totally in awe!

I am an ardent advocate of Kerabu, to be honest. I love the burst of rich and fresh flavor when the Kerabu hits the tongue and the robust aftertaste that lingers once you savored every morsel. Of course you should not miss the 3 dishes of Kerabu here which are Kerabu Isi Ketam, Kerabu Ikan Pari and Kerabu Kerang Bersantan.

It’s time for some noodles!

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Laksa Kedah and Laksam

I grabbed a bowl and started to customize my own Laksa Kedah. A hint of “pedas-ness” hit my tongue within a second, followed by the combination of sourness and sweetness from the broth. If chili is not enough to titillate your taste buds, just take a dollop of sambal for a spicy kick!

It was the first time I had ever heard about Laksam – a laksa dish which is commonly found in the East Coast. The rice noodles were made nicely into multi-layer flat rolls. I was excited to shower these fine cuts with the rich and creamy kuah putih – a white gravy made from coconut and fish. The softness and freshness of the rice noodles made every bite a pleasant treat. The kuah putih was tangy and as elegant as it seemed, it added a hint of coconut flavor which was enjoyable and slightly sweet. I love it!

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Asam Pedas station.

Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Asam Pedas stand which tucked away in the corner. Here you can pick your favorite ingredients such as Ikan Pari, Ikan Kembung and Daging and get the fiery hot Asam Pedas brought to your table in the blink of an eye.

Finally, it was time to please my sweet tooth – dessert time! The bite-sized desserts fed our eyes with their attractively colorful looks and various shapes. Here comes a quick tour for it.

My two most favorites are Apam Balik and Pengat Pulut Durian.

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Apam Balik.

I firstly went to the Apam Balik section as it was freshly made on the spot and you can customize your own Apam Balik! Nevertheless, the chef would generously give as many sprinklings and fillings as you want! The Apam Balik here was truly a delicacy for the soul. It was crispy outside yet moist inside, oozed a luscious scent and of course, an additive sweetness that you cannot resist.

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Kuih-muih
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Finally, take a piece of date because who would not want this piece of blessing?

The Pengat Pulut Durian which is glutinous rice with durian sauce was a true indulgence for durian lovers! The durian sauce was creamy and fat as usual and it will definitely melt your heart. Don’t forget to try the Bubur Caca which was just as delectable and the all-time favorite Kuih Muih which made me totally enthralled by their moderate sweetness and fluffy softness.

After all this heavenly indulgence, I was overwhelmed to know that this is just a prelude to more dishes coming in 4 specially rotating tailored menus served in this holy month. These luscious delights really nurture my ever-growing love for Malay cuisine with its perfect renditions of old-school tastes as well as innovative flavors. Special thanks to Bijan for this opportunity.

Early bird promotion at RM100 nett per person. Early bird vouchers can be purchased at Bijan or online via TABLEAPP online reservation. (T&C apply)

>> Click here to book a table at Bijan’s Kampung Warisan Buffet.

 

KAMPUNG WARISAN buffet

RM110++ per person. Early bird at RM100 nett per person before May 21, 2018.

Time:    Available from May 21 to June 13, 2018.

  • Buffet from 7pm to 9.30pm.
  • A-la-carte menu from 9pm onwards.

 

Bijan

3, Jalan Ceylon,

50200 Kuala Lumpur.


 

 

Click here to view Enak's KL Daging Rusuk

Enak KL, Feast Village, Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As an expatriate living in Malaysia, there is nothing I would love to do more than indulging myself in local foods as a way to have a better understanding about the culture here. That’s why I was absolutely thrilled when my friend took me to Enak KL – a restaurant that uses traditional recipes dating well beyond one’s lifetime to deliver authentic fine-dining Malay cuisine to the tables. What’s more interesting than seeing skillful hands reinvigorating familiar flavours into exciting dishes?

We had a big advantage as well! We saved 30% on our food bill with a booking via TABLEAPP and used our ELITE Membership to redeem a free signature dish this time. Don’t worry! I’m willing to share and you can check this information at the end of this review.  

I cannot stop myself from admiring the hynotizing lights right outside of Enak KL.

The stylish design was a welcoming sight for us as its interior oozes sophistication and comfort. I’m ready to indulge myself in delectable foods here.

 

1/ Ikan Asam Pedas RM35

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A hint of spiciness and sourness from the Ikan Asam Pedas went through the air and whetted our appetite.

The first dish – Ikan Asam Pedas, totally blew me away with its smell. A hint of enticing spiciness and sourness slowly crept into my nose and quickly triggered my salivation without realization. Visually-appealing with its bold color and scarlet-hued gravy, the dish was so inviting that I could wait no more to savour it. I took the first scoop of the soup with some plain white rice. Extraordinary satisfying! Sour and fiery hot, it totally intrigued my palate and refreshed my mind. A punch of heat from a combination of dry and fresh red chili came to my tongue in a second, created a deep yet comfortable “pedas-ness”. It brought a piquant flavor to my taste buds yet not overpowering at all.  I especially love the unique sour taste which derived from the tamarind juice and fresh tomatoes. Delicate and subtle, it perfectly blended with the spicy flavor.

 

Click here to view Enak KL's Signature Dish - Ikan Asam Pedas
The sea bass was an excellent choice as the sweetness exuded from it totally blended well with the Pedas soup.

It’s time to taste the highlight of the dish – the sea bass (red snapper is also available upon demand). The flesh stripped off its bone easily yet was not flaky as you might find in some over-cooked dishes. Once I gave it a bite, the fish exuded its natural sweetness together with the savory, spiciness and sourness from the soup. This combination was utterly delicious! With all the spices absorbed from the soup, the fish’s flavor was robust in my mouth and made me feel rejuvenated. I have no doubt that this dish would be my perennial favorite for years to come.

 

2/ Daging Rusuk RM65

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The Daging Rusuk was presented simply yet nicely with a mesmerizing charred skin.

Prepare to be wowed from the minute you see the dish! While I was still holding on to the impeccable flavor of the Asam Pedas, I was then in love with the Daging Rusuk which was absolutely my favorite dish of the day. At the first glance, I was hypnotized by the beautiful charred skin which was grilled to perfection. As disclosed by the chef, the beef rib was grilled using an open coal fire which brought it a unique flavor and smell while normal ovens could not. A whole solid big chunk of meat presented nicely along with Acar, Air Asam Jawa Sauce and Sambal Kicap Sauce. The eye-pleasing greenery from the leaves totally elevated the beef rib. Though came in such a simple presentation, the meat was still spot-on.

 

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The incredibly tender and tasty Daging totally captured my heart.

My first cut was so pleasant and smooth that I knew right away something nice was about to come. Little did I know it was so impressive! The beef rib was surprisingly flavorful and lip-smackingly tender. It was rich in classic beef flavor and I was overwhelmed with its delectable juiciness. I could not hide my admiration for the chef as beef rib would turn chewy and dry easily if it is not meticulously taken care of. With such a big portion, it would take hours to marinate the beef to absorb all the spices.

 

Click here to view Enak KL's Daging Rusuk
The mouth-watering Air Asam Jawa and Sambal Kecap Sauces also impressed us by its taste.

Each shred of the meat disintegrated on my tongue with little effort. There are no shortcomings in terms of taste! I personally love the Air Asam Jawa Sauce which brought some citrus to my taste buds and balanced the beef flavor while my friend fell for the Sambal Kicap Sauce which brought a hint of sweetness to the beef.

If you are truly a beef connoisseur, you cannot miss this!

 

3/ Ayam Percik RM35

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The Ayam Percik at Enak KL is truly a dish for the soul that you should not miss.

Our last dish was the Ayam Percik which was a whole grilled spring chicken lacquered with calibrated blend of ingredients including turmeric, coconut milk, onion garlic and ginger. The chicken was so aromatic that it immediately whetted our appetite. I was fascinated to see such a big portion of chicken and did not hesitate at all to devour the first piece.

 

Click here to view Enak KL's Ayam Percik
Don’t forget to try the Acar which mingled perfectly with the Ayam Percik.

It was such a hearty dish – a soothing comfort food for the soul. The chicken was tender in texture and its exquisite taste intrigued my palate. Its savory flavor blended well with a tangy sweetness which then lingered in the mouth and touched all the senses. I would say the coconut milk was spot-on as it imparted an aromatic and velvety quality and gave the chicken a pleasantly sweet taste. I shall not forget the mouth-watering acar that came along. Its perfect balance of spicy, sour and sweet flavor mingled perfectly with the tasty chicken. Delicious!

 

If you want to experience a home away from home, Enak KL is the place where you can truly taste the authentic flavors of Malay cuisine. You can book a table here to receive a 30% off on food bill (The promotion is valid until 30th of April, 2018).

Of course, if you pay the restaurant a visit, you might consider using the ELITE Membership like we did to redeem free dishes. You can read more information about it here.

 

 

Enak KL

LG, 16, Feast Village Starhill Gallery,

JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur,

181, Jalan Bukit Bintang,

55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Daily: 12:00pm – 3:00pm; 5:30pm – 10:30pm.

 

 

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Neo Tamarind, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur

It was such a hectic week for my colleagues and I that we couldn’t even recognize ourselves in the mirror! “It’s time to refresh ourselves!”, we all agreed. It didn’t take us long to figure out the best restaurant for us this time – Neo Tamarind at Jalan Sultan Ismail.

Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur yet hidden by green foliage, the tranquil ambiance here helps chasing our stress away to a true peaceful state of mind. The restaurant’s menu is innovative with Asian flavors using European techniques. Its galactic bar, electro-chill music and hypnotic liquid walls brought us the ‘NEO-rotic’ vibe that we were longing for.

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Neo Tamarind, a ‘neo-rotic’ dining destination where you can chill and unwind at night.

Of course, we were so glad to have our ELITE Membership as we could use it to redeem one of the 3 free signature dishes here this time.

 

1/ Duck Confit – RM50+

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The Duck Confit was presented nicely with mustard sauce, bite-sized broccoli, charred lemon and grilled corn.

Our first choice was a scrumptious dish of Duck Confit as I’m an advocate of this traditional and hearty French dish. Duck Confit (pronounced as Kon – Fee) is simply a technique of using salt to cure the duck and gently cooked it in its own fat. As disclosed by the chef, the duck here was brined with Himalayan rock salt for 24 hours which was mind-blowing! Presented nicely, the dish fed our hungry eyes with its vibrant colors – the golden brown color of duck confit blended well with the fresh green broccoli in bite-sized pieces and the mesmerizingly burnt color from the grilled lemon and sweet corn. The charred lemon was a brilliant choice as it will robust the lemon’s acidity and enhance its sweetness.

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The duck’s skin was crispy while its meat was meltingly tender as our fork can go through every shred of it!

After squeezing a bit of the charred lemon of top of the duck, we carefully sliced through the duck and were delightful to hear a crack – its skin was incredibly crispy! In contrast with the skin, the duck’s meat was meltingly tender as our fork can go through every shred of it! I tasted the creamy mustard sauce which was set aside, its creaminess and mellow flavor were to dream for. I personally think it’s an excellent combination of the duck and the mustard sauce as your nostrils will gently flare while your taste buds are pampered with the melt-in-the-mouth piece of duck. The mustard’s slight saltiness went ideally well with the juicy duck meat and totally enhanced its flavor. On the other hand, a big hand to the chef for the creamy mashed potato too. You should also taste the crunchy broccoli and the sweet corn which were also cooked to perfection.

 

2/ Braised Lamb Shank – RM 50+

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A big chunk of lamb shank was put nicely alongside truffle-infused mushrooms and beautiful wedges of fried potatoes.

The Braised Lamb Shank was another dish that won my heart right at the first sight by its tangy smell and elegant look. A big chunk of lamb shank was put nicely alongside truffle-infused mushrooms and beautiful wedges of fried potatoes. Underneath the lamb shank was a bed of thick red wine and lamb jus, which was cooked for 3 days – this fact made my eyes open widely! To be honest, I am quite doubtful whenever it comes to lamb shank. As simple as it seems, a lamb shank can be a tough challenge and it requires skillful hands to bring the texture and taste to perfection.

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The braised lamb shank was spectacularly tender and its mild sweetness was pleasant.

So how was the lamb shank here? Of course Neo Tamarind did not let us down at all! It was a molten goodness – glistening, rich and full of flavor. The lamb was spectacularly tender and its mild sweetness was pleasant. After being slowly cooked, the lamb’s collagen turned into rich gelatin which made it amazingly nutritious! When mixing with the sauce, it became even more succulent. The sauce’s rich aroma with its non-overpowering taste was a perfect complement to the tender lamb shank. I personally love the fried potatoes as it was crisply good outside yet so soft and tasty inside while my friend loves the truffle-infused mushroom for its interesting earthy taste.    

 

3/ Lobster Ravioli – RM 61+

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The Lobster Ravioli came off with such a pleasant and alluring smell that we could wait no more to savour this artistic beauty.

Our last dish was a heart-warming lobster ravioli. The dish came off with such a pleasant and alluring smell that we could wait no more to savour this artistic beauty. Simply garnished with some herbs on top, the ravioli was set beautifully with pieces of lobsters in an eye-catching stock – a light and vibrant dish. We were all fascinated to find out the raviolis were handmade daily and the lobster was freshly imported from Thailand. What’s more? The lobster head was cooked with some Brandy to make the stock! It was not only impressive but also made the lobster ravioli a true delight as there was so much effort needed to make such a dish.  

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I was overwhelmed as the sweet stock burst out in my mouth when I took a bite into a piece of ravioli.

I grabbed the first piece of lobster as it was too tempting. To my expectation, the lobster was beautifully cooked! It still maintained the spongy texture but not too chewy or flaky. A briny taste accompanied with the natural sweetness from the lobster made it so satisfying. The stock was moderately seasoned and carried subtle sweetness. I was overwhelmed as the sweet stock burst out in my mouth when I took a bite into a piece of ravioli. It was an interesting moment and the dish was, in overall, irresistible!   

 

If you would love to view more dishes and enjoy a good time chilling at this ‘neo-rotic’ dining destination, feel free to click here to book a table.  

Of course, you can choose to save your money by using ELITE Membership when dining here as only ELITE members will get free dishes. For more information, find out here.

 

Neo Tamarind

19, Jalan Sultan Ismail,

50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Daily: 6:00pm – 11:00pm

 

 

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Kimi-Ya, Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“You are in for a treat!” – said my friend after she knew that she got promoted. Of course I was more than excited to accept this invitation and after discussing, we decided to go to Kimi-Ya to relax and enjoy the essence of authentic Japanese cuisine. Why Kimi-Ya? You may ask. The restaurant is a casual dining which serves premium high-quality foods yet at affordable price. The restaurant features a relaxed and posh dining space including private rooms for diners. We also need to take advantage of our ELITE Membership as we are entitled to redeem signature dishes for free at this restaurant. We could not wait to savour the best dishes here.

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Kimi-Ya boasts everything you could ask for from a typical Japanese restaurant with its classic and delicate interior.

I/ Ume Sashimi Moriawase (7 types) (RM 170++)

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The sashimi was presented simply yet sophisticatedly on a bed of ice as the meals here are demonstrations of why less is more.

We chose a seat at the sushi counter as it would be more exciting to see how the dish was prepared. Fresh pieces of sashimi lied up nicely right in front of our eyes. We were in awe to know the fish were air-flown all the way from Hokkaido, Japan to KIMI-YA. In the blink of an eye, the teppanyaki chef masterfully handled 7 types of seasonal sashimi skillfully and had such smooth cuts that I could literally feel how soft they were just by watching. The sashimi was presented simply yet sophisticatedly on a bed of ice as the meals here are demonstrations of why less is more. I quickly took the first bite as it was way too tempting.

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The amaebi prawns captured my heart with its buttery, creamy texture and the melt-in-the-mouth feeling.

One tip to eat sashimi is you should eat from lean to fatty ones as the taste will be stronger after each bite. My first bite was white Bluefin tuna which was sweet and cooling. I continued to savour the kampachi, its sweetness and smoothness are what you would dream for. The Otoro of course did not let us down with its satisfactory fatness. Next came octopus which was crunchy with a mix of briny and sweet taste. Finally were my three favorite sashimi of the day – Amaebi prawns, scallop and salmon! The amaebi prawns captured my heart with its buttery, creamy texture and the melt-in-the-mouth feeling. The scallop was so soft and smooth like velvet that I would eat it over and over again. And the salmon was titillating with its subtle sweet and refreshing taste which equaled to no other fish.  

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The salmon was titillating with its subtle sweet and refreshing taste which equaled to no other fish.

 

II/ Goushuu No Wagyu Steak 120 gm (RM 180++)

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We were hypnotized by the gorgeous marbling on the beef and its delicious pink flesh.

Right after we thought we had the best of all, we quickly fell in love with the next dish which was a sizzling hot dish of A5 Wagyu steak – which is the highest quality grade given only to the finest beef! This A5 Wagyu beef was imported from Yamagata – the Japanese renowned area for the best Wagyu. We looked at each other in mere excitement – these pieces of Wagyu beef looked too appetizing! We were hypnotized by the gorgeous marbling on the beef and its delicious pink flesh. Not to mention its smell was so aromatic and delectable that could trigger your involuntary salivation in just a few seconds.

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The Wagyu’s intense beefiness and richness were definitely for those who seek decadence and over-the-top presentation.

The sizzling sound also made my mouth water. The Wagyu beef had such an amazingly palatable fatness and sweetness which quickly dissolved in my mouth and filled my heart with love. Its intense beefiness and richness were definitely for those who seek decadence and over-the-top presentation. What I like as well were the crunchy vegetables served along to reduce the greasiness the dish might have. This dish is the real winner of taste and value-for-money department. Blended perfectly in a non-powering manner.

III/ Yaki Taraba Kani (300g) (RM190++)  

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The Alaskan King Crab is truly a gift from the ocean. Its mild taste was a refreshing and warm-hearting treat for us all.

The dish made its way to our table with an irresistible sweet and briny smell. Pieces of Alaskan King crab legs lied neatly atop some leaves and were garnished with nice petals. The crab will be cooked to perfection to maintain its high-quality protein as well as the sweet flavor which made it the king of all crabs. We were thrilled to savour this delicacy and were all filled with whimsical delights. The Alaskan King Crab is truly a gift from the ocean. Its mild taste was a refreshing and warm-hearting treat for us all. Its succulent meat was flavorful, soft and juicy. No wonder why it is the most highly sought-after crab in the world! A comforting concoction of flavors that you should try once in your life!

 

If you would love to enjoy the fresh ingredients from Hokkaido and premium high-quality Japanese dishes at Kimi-Ya, you can reserve a table here.

You probably wonder how I can savour such dishes for free. Of course I don’t mind to share to you my secret. You can sign up for ELITE Membership and enjoy free dishes at more than 100 participating restaurant. You can read more information about TABLEAPP ELITE Membership here.   

 

Kimi-Ya

G-2, Avantas Residences,
162, Jalan Klang Lama,
58000 Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours:
Mon – Thu: 2 PM – 3 PM; 6 PM – 10:30 PM
Fri – Sun: 11:30 AM – 3 PM; 6 PM – 11 PM

 

 

 

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Ishin Japanese Dining, Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

To be honest, I am in love with Japan’s wonderful cuisine and that goes without saying to most of my friends as well. Last weekend, I was enthusiastic to, again, indulge myself in a Japanese gastronomical delight. Ishin Japanese Dining, located along Old Klang Road, was my choice this time. The restaurant, for 2 years consecutive of 2016 and 2017, won the Travellers’ Choice of TripAdvisor for its authentic Japanese cuisine and superb service.

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The sushi counter at the first floor is where you can watch the performance artistry of the chefs.

Private rooms are available upstairs for group gatherings, one of which overlooks the KL traffic which left us impressed. The friendly staff directed us to a seat right at the sushi counter at the first floor to watch the performance artistry of the chefs who masterfully handles the finest cuts of the food. Who would not enjoy that?

I/ Chef Special Sashimi (RM 160)

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Chef’s Special Sashimi is a chef selection of 7 kinds of freshest and finest air-flown seasonal sashimi from Japan’s famous Tsukiji market.

Gorgeous pieces of seafood lined up beautifully at the counter immediately whetted our appetite. We embarked on calling our first dish – the Chef Special Sashimi. It is a chef selection of 7 kinds of freshest and finest air-flown seasonal sashimi from Japan’s famous Tsukiji market. The chef began to amaze us with the beautiful kinki or thornhead fish which is a rare fish that tastes best during winter – this time of the year in Japan (well, not in Malaysia of course) as it is akin to the fat part “chu-toro” of tuna. Every little bone was meticulously taken from the piece of fish and its bone was used as a part of the dish decoration.

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You would definitely never forget the rich and creaminess of the salmon belly and the melt-in-the-mouth taste of emaebi.

7 kinds of sashimi all came reclined seductively on a bed of ice with a stunning ice sphere. The decoration may pause you for a while to snap a few shots before you can continue to savour this delicacy. I started with the kikin as the chef’s introduction was way too impressive. It did not let me down at all as its slight sweet taste blended so well with the considered “the best wasabi in Japan” by the chef. Next came kampachi, shimaaji and scallop which were all so fresh and smooth that you might literally find yourself kissing the sea for a moment. I ended up with the palate-pleasing amaebi and salmon belly. If you are a true Japanese cuisine fan, you would definitely never forget the rich and creaminess of the salmon belly and the melt-in-the-mouth taste of emaebi. The dish is just splendid!

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The scallop was so fresh and smooth that you might literally find yourself kissing the sea for a moment.

 

2.  Sushi Deluxe (RM 93)
As posh and luxurious as it sounds, the dish came out with 8 chef-selected kinds of seasonal sushi. With his 23-year experience, head chef William, mastered his skills and made 8 beautiful pieces of sushi including kikin, tuna, butterfish, salmon roe, sea urchin, sweet prawns, salmon belly and egg sushi in just the blink of an eye.

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Within a few minutes, a visual-appealing dish appeared right in front of us that quickly triggered our salivation.

Some sushi were garnished with interesting toppings such as the kikin sushi paired with white radish sprouts which brought a slight hint of pleasant spiciness. The butterfish with its mesmerizing pink flesh was one decked with the luxurious black caviar and one with kinome leaf. Its mild pepper-mint-lime taste tingled my tongue and really enhanced the flavor of the soft and fresh butterfish.

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Some sushi were garnished with interesting toppings.

The salmon was no doubt one of my favorites as its flavor matched well with the tangy yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit) skin atop. How about the salmon roe and sea urchin? The roe will pop in your mouth with its briny yet sweet coastal taste. The sea urchin, as always, made me melted in heaven. Its mildly nutty taste and custard-like texture was too fascinating that I could not stop myself from admiring. Served with freshly grated wasabi, the dish will make you relish everything about it!

3.  Wagyu Stone Grill (RM 250)

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Stunning pieces of A5 Wagyu beef were ready to be grilled by the staff.

As we had pampered ourselves with some gifts of the ocean, we decided it was time to get our tummy warm. Of course, the best choice is to indulge ourselves in the Wagyu Stone Grill. 100 gram of stunning Wagyu beef was presented nicely next to a Stone grill set. The A5 Wagyu beef (the highest quality) pleased our eyes with its flawless and gorgeous marbling. The chef continued to wow us with another secret – all the vein was cut off to reserve the smoothest texture of the beef which means only 50% of the meat is used for the best quality.

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The rich, fat-friendly and savory Wagyu beef blew us away with its juiciness, softness and smoothness.

The beef, interestingly, will be cooked at the table directly with the help from the restaurant’s staff. As the marvelous Wagyu was put on the hot stone, its sizzling sounds were so satisfying that we could not keep ourselves from silently screaming in excitement. The premium quality beef of course did not let us down at any point. It offered the best of both worlds for its heavenly delicious taste. The rich, fat-friendly and savory Wagyu beef blew us away with its juiciness, softness and smoothness. It will entice you to take another bite! The dish totally blew us away!

You can book a table in advance using TABLEAPP if you do not want to waste your time queuing.

Did you know all of these signature dishes are free with the use of TABLEAPP ELITE Membership? Yes! I was not joking! If you want to dine in Ishin Japanese Dining, I would not want you to miss this privilege at all. There are more than 300 other dishes for you to consider as well and you can find more information about TABLEAPP ELITE here.

ISHIN JAPANESE DINING

No. 202, Persiaran Klang,
Off Jalan Klang Lama,
58000 Kuala Lumpur.

Daily:
Lunch: 12PM – 3PM
Dinner: 6PM – 11PM

 

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The Steakhouse, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Who would ever feel happy getting stuck in the rain? I would because I had such a great experience getting stuck in a heavy rain last week in the busy street Changkat Bukit Bintang. As the rain was lashing, it somehow brought my friends and me to The Steakhouse – a 40-seater steak joint located along this notable street and adjacent to The Whisky Bar. The staff were friendly and the restaurant’s warm and lush interior quickly caught my attention so we decided to have our dinner in this cozy and intimate ambiance. With our ELITE Membership, we can redeem free signature dishes here, so why not? Of course, we had a lot of expectation as well because The Steakhouse is known as the true heaven for beef lovers.

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The lush interior created a warm and cozy ambiance for the restaurant.

1/ Josper Charcoal Grilled Premium Grass Fed Rib Eye (RM 139)

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High-quality grass-fed rib eye was set nicely along with garlic mashed potato, onion rings and black pepper sauce.

Rib eye is the juiciest and most flavorful steak among all and it is definitely the choice of real steak aficionados. The rib eye here is 100% grass-fed imported from Australia which means it is high-quality meat with amazingly fat marbling. The dish looked uncomplicated yet enough to whet our appetite. On a bed of sautéed vegetable and next to creamy mashed potato was the steak with some golden crispy onion rings atop. The rib eye was smoky as it was grilled using the Josper Oven – which you will not easily see in many restaurants in KL. The charcoal heat from the oven will make the steak juicy and create impeccable char along with caramelized crust, striated texture.

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The striated texture of the premium rib eye steak was mesmerizing

Fat outside yet so tender inside, the steak’s flavor, tenderness and juiciness blended well together in a combination equaled by no other meat. I took a bite into the sautéed vegetables, they were quite crunchy and palatable. You can choose up to 4 different types of potato like wedges, fries, mashed potato or baked potato. And don’t be overwhelmed yet because there are a lot more! The dish will be served along with 5 types of salt including garden salt, chili salt, garlic salt, sea salt and onion salt and 3 types of mustard which are Dijon – salty, Horseradish – spicy and sour, and Medium-hot mustard – sour and bitter. I would recommend you to try the Horseradish mustard which has a comfortable hint of spiciness and it blends well with the steak.

2. BBQ Short Ribs (RM 129)

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Flavorful and tender, this BBQ Short Ribs fulfilled my gustatory dream!

Here comes my favorite dish of the day – the BBQ Short Ribs! Beef short ribs are often-overlooked cuts yet I am truly interested in it, simply because it has the best of both worlds – beautiful marbling of rib steaks and a deep beefy flavor of chuck roast. A real indulgent treat for anyone who loves beef. As disclosed by the staff, the ribs were cooked using sous-vide technique to create the perfect texture. The magic of sous-vide is that it transformed a tough, rugged texture of short ribs into fork-tender meat. I have to say that the short ribs at The Steakhouse will melt the heart of any beef lovers for its irresistible tenderness and meaty texture.

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The BBQ Short Ribs’ beautiful pink flesh was mesmerizing.

I could not take my eyes off this enthralling piece especially when I cut through it! Its pink flesh was so mesmerizing that I couldn’t stop admiring. Every shred of the beef will melt in your mouth and you would not be able to do it without closing your eyes in mere satisfaction. The beef was one of the most delicious morsels given to me. It is the fulfillment of my gustatory dream!

3. Beef Bourguignon (RM 108)

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The rich-flavored beef matched well with the smooth and fresh Fettuccine pasta.

We ended with a hearty French comfort food which is the Beef Bourguignon. Put nicely in a small pot, the beef was served with Fettuccine – a type of pasta popular in Roman and Tuscan cuisine. I was excited to know the scrumptious beef belly was marinated for one night with liquid seasoning. Red wine and gin were added to bring a deep and rich flavor taste for the beef. I could not wait any further but quickly savored this delicacy. The cubes of beef mingled with carrots, Cipollini onions, bread and button mushroom in a rich and savory stock. This flavorful sauce blended so well with the appetizing pasta which was cooked to perfection. I love how fresh and smooth the pasta was! Don’t hesitate to give the Cipollini onion a bite as its tangy, sweet and mild flavor will comfortably linger in your mouth for a while. This rustic peasant-style yet hearty French dish won my heart. It is a truly heart-warming dish for a rainy day.

If you would love to dine at The Steakhouse, please notice that the restaurants are often filled with crowds every day. You can reserve a table in advance here.

Of course, we would want you to get free signature dishes like how we did. You can check out information about the ELITE Membership here.

 

The Steakhouse
48, Changkat Bukit Bintang,
50200 Kuala Lumpur.

Daily: 6 PM – 12 AM

Food Review: Neroteca Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Known as the first authentic Italian restaurant to serve pork in KL, Neroteca Bukit Ceylon has been in operation for over 11 years, tucked away within the Seri Bukit Ceylon Serviced Residence. Its warm and cosy interior accompanied by friendly staffs sets the mood for a laid-back dining experience.

Notice that there are some interesting decorations of pots, garlic and preserved sausages hanging on top the restaurant.

The restaurant decoration featured many Italian products such as pasta, drinks and a vast selection of liquor which they serve. Another highlight are their impressive assortment of deli and cheese imported from Italy that's on display, which is also for sale. Once entered, we can immediately smell the aroma of hearty Italian food lingering in the air drifting from the open kitchen which we appreciate. Judging from our first impression we have already fallen in love with the ambience of the restaurant.

1. La Porchetta    (RM65++)

Beautifully plated La Porchetta drizzled with demi-glace sauce.

Now that we have settled down, we were served by the waiter and he recommended us to try Neroteca’s signature dishes. After a friendly chat with the waiter, we decided to proceed with three of their signature dishes. First up was Neroteca’s La Porchetta, slices of porchetta beautifully plated on a wooden board and drizzle with rich demi-glacé sauce.

On the side are perfectly sautéed baby potatoes and generous slices of house-made bread. The bread is namely, Roman Focaccia and Rustic Bread which are made fresh daily and taste amazing too. Now back to our main character which is the slices of La Porchetta, crispy on the outside and tender in the inside, leaving us speechless while savouring the delicious herbs infused meat. We must say that the first dish itself already leave us wanting more.

2. Homemade Tortellini Pasticciati    (RM48++)

Homemade Tortellini Pasticciati served atop a trail of delicious beef ragu.

Just as we finish up on the La Porchetta, our second dish arrived. Neroteca’s Homemade Tortellini Pasticciati which we were slightly confused by the simplistic plating having seen the nicely decorated La Porchetta beforehand. The Tortellini is served atop of a trail of beef ragu sauce which is a meat-based sauce, in this case, beef was used. The first bite caught us by surprise as we didn’t expect much. This is a good lesson on don’t judge a book by its cover, the tortellini although didn’t look imposing but the taste doesn’t disappoint.

The tortellini was very flavourful with a filling of grounded salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, grated parmesan, grated nutmeg and egg. To balance out the powerful taste of tortellini we recommend eating with the milder beef ragu sauce. Overall, the Tortellini Pasticciati is a well-thought-out dish combining the stronger flavour of tortellini with a milder beef ragu sauce. However, the presentation of the dish could have been a tad better.

3. Neroteca’s Classic Tiramisu    (RM29++)

Neroteca's refreshing Classic Tiramisu topped with fresh strawberry, blueberry, mint leaves and a slice of dried orange.

After a roller coaster taste adventure, what better way to finish off our meal than with dessert, Neroteca’s Classic Tiramisu. Upon serving we notice that the tiramisu is served in a small glass jar which is cute and is topped with fresh strawberry, blueberry and a slice of dried orange. The Classic Tiramisu is well-balanced of sweet and bitter, which is refreshing and the ideal way to end a meal.

To conclude, we are a strong believer that a good restaurant not only need to serve good food, but it should have a conducive dining environment, good music and of course great services. Having said that, Neroteca has fulfilled those requirements and we are happy to have dined here.

If you would love to experience dining at Neroteca, you can reserve a table here.

You can also redeem these signature dishes for free by joining TABLEAPP ELITE Membership! Sign up here.

Already an ELITE member? Here's how you could win a limited edition Mini Moët. From now till 31 March 2018, TOP 100 TABLEAPP ELITE members with the Most Dish Redemptions will stand a chance to win a personalised Mini Moët.

 

NEROTECA BUKIT CEYLON
Unit G-1, Seri Bukit Ceylon,
No 8, Lorong Ceylon,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.

 

Daily:
11:00am – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 11:00pm

 

 

 

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Cava, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What’s it like to taste the signature dishes of Cava along Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar? We were recommended to try out Cava and as a result, we came with expectation to try their well-known authentic Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. How did it turn out? We had more surprises than what we expected!

Located along Jalan Bangkung which is well-known for its lines of notable restaurants, Cava’s exterior setting of stone walls and barrels had immediately drifted us to a cozy Spanish ambiance. The restaurant has a lush interior – candlelit chandeliers illuminating dim yellow light which matches well with the navy-blue glasses and red curtains.  

1. Specialty Arroz Negro Paella    (RM54++)   

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Prawns lined in a circle with their tails centralized towards a good dose of mayonnaise at the center.

The first and also the most eye-catching signature dish for us was the “Specialty Arroz Negro Paella” (my heart actually danced for a second when the dish was brought out). We were all allured by its decoration – on top of the paella, prawns lined in a circle with their tails centralized towards a good dose of mayonnaise at the center – amazing! Not sure if we were too imaginative but it looked like a blossom (a rose, maybe?). A fair amount of squid ink was used to make the black paella which made a huge contrast with theprawns. The Spanish rice soaked up an oceanic flavor from the prawns. No one would want to miss the mild briny flavor of the sea which came from the fresh squid and prawns combined together in one dish. The paella is also made with garlic aioli which helps getting rid of the fishy flavor the dish might have.

The prawns are fresh-catch as your palate will instantly get a feeling of how tender and juicy it is right at the first bite. Give it a try by dipping the prawns into the spicy hot sauce that comes along. To be fair, it might be a bit too spicy but we really love its unique flavor and the heat that heightened our appetite.

2. Spaghetti Aglio Olio Pulpo a la Gallega    (RM38++)

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The tangy yet juicy Spanish octopus tentacles went extremely well with the springy and smooth spaghetti was really soul-satisfying.

Voila! This simple dish quickly became my favorite with merely one bit. The spaghetti appeared as elegant as you can find in many dishes here. To be honest, we did not have high expectation towards it at first due to its not-so-fancy-looking but we were so wrong. Why so? The tangy yet juicy Spanish octopus tentacles went extremely well with the springy and smooth spaghetti was really soul-satisfying. The aglio olio was sprinkled with paprika which gave a lingering mild spicy flavor. It would be a loss if the paprika was not presented. Imagine you are having a bit of spice mixing with the gummy and stretchy texture of the tentacles in the mouth. Hmm…  

Spaghetti Aglio Olio Pulpo a la Gallega is a true burst! I would not add any additional flavor to the dish as it is already extraordinary and unforgettable. The spaghetti went crazily fast into our mouths and not a speck of things left behind.

3. Baked Suckling Lamb   (RM168++)

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The lamb had a satisfying airy light crisp skin.

And finally, all lamb appreciators should keep yourselves calm as here comes the suckling lamb. Presented simply, the dish amazed us (we all wowed) as it was so enormous and it came along with such mouth-watering scent. What a sumptuous feast! The first cut into the lamb was delightful as we all agreed the lamb had a satisfying airy light crisp skin. A tip for anyone who wants to have an enjoyable first cut: start from the edges first as it would come with more meat! About the meat itself? I personally would love it more if the meat was a bit tenderer. Still, the lamb’s juiciness and richness made it scrumptious and irresistible!

What I would love more is a bit of bursting flavor, which would make it even more outstanding. We cannot but notice some creamy mashed potato that radiating an enchanting aroma. We believed the potato was coupled with the flavorful gravy from the lamb juice which made it more flavorsome. The sides did not let us down either. Overall, the dish itself could do all the talking! 

If you love to pay Cava a visit and try these significant dishes, please notice that you can always save your time waiting by make a reservation here.

And good news for all food lovers out here, all of the signature dishes listed above are now available to be redeemed on TABLEAPP ELITE. (and yay, who would not love free food?).

Cava

71 Jalan Bangkung,
Taman Bandaraya,
Kuala Lumpur.

Monday – Saturday: Noon: 12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 12 am
Sunday: 6 pm – 12 am

 

 

 

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Babe, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It had been a while since we hadn’t indulged ourselves in a fine dining. As a result, my friends and I treated ourselves to a touch of delicacies last week. We had learned that Babe had recently replaced its ELITE signature sets with new dishes, so we decided to give the new dishes a try.

Situated on the 11th floor of Work@Cleanwater, Damansara Heights, Babe combines a gastronomic ‘fun-dining’ experience with one of the best views in the city. We were all in awe with the charming view from the restaurant and were lucky enough to have a table which overlooks KL’s skyline and world-famous Petronas Twin Towers. We were all ready to expect the unexpected from the signature dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Jeff Ramsey who is famous for his refined repertoire in modern Japanese cuisine.

1. Ootoro Spring Roll (RM120)

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Two perfect-looking spring rolls were carefully placed on top of a layer of beautiful bamboo twigs.

Well, we all have heard a lot about “Tokyo”, “Kyoto” and a number of interesting Japanese words, haven’t we? So, what is Ootoro? Is it a city? To help you get out of any confusion it may cause, I shall first start with explaining about the name! Ootoro or otoro is actually considered one of the most worth-eating parts when it comes to tuna. Why is it so? Because it is the fattiest cut of a tuna’s underbelly! The gourmet food has made it way to become one of the top luxurious and must-try dishes in the world. Ootoro quickly becomes the favorite of many famous chefs around the world, and Chef Jeff at Babe also fell into its love bait.

The Ootoro Spring Roll is a symbol of finest simplicity. The dish impressed us with two pieces of perfect-looking spring rolls carefully placed on top of a layer of beautiful bamboo twigs (they are real and gorgeous!). This decoration quickly brought us back to the nature for a minute, picturing ourselves in a Japanese garden full of bamboos and blossoms. The chef had disclosed an interesting fact – he hand-picked the bamboo twigs from the building the restaurant located at! Personally, I love this idea as it shows how creative and detailed the chef is! Inside the crispy spring rolls were little cubes of fatty ootoro, fresh wasabi, soy sauce gelée and Myouga, a type of Japanese ginger.

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Inside the crispy spring rolls were cubes of fatty ootoro.

I was so thrilled and curious to have my first bite of the crispy spring roll shells filled with chopped fatty tuna sashimi. It was a pleasant surprise! It was satisfyingly crunchy at first; however, my attention was quickly shifted towards the fatty otoro. The premium tuna melted on my tongue and for a split second, I felt so heavenly. I immediately understood why it was considered the dream of gourmet gastronomes! If you have always thought that raw tuna is bland and boring, you might want to think twice. Fresh and fatty, it dissolved completely while filing the mouth with a perfect combination of flavors and great satisfaction. A true epitome of luxury for fine-dining (and of course, fun-dining) connoisseurs!

2. Charcoal Grilled Alaskan King Crab (RM180)

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The Alaskan king crab was stunning and irressitible.

The chef had done an incredible job in transforming the pristine seafood imported from Alaska into such a delectable dish – gigantic legs of Alaskan King Crabs were cooked on a hot stone with charcoal; setting aside were halves of juicy calamansi. Staffs will help the diners to grill the crabs so don’t worry if you don’t know how. We squeezed some calamansi over the king crab to elevate the flavours of the dish and all of us couldn’t help to get excited seeing the dish became smoky.

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A close-up shot of the charcoal.

As disclosed by the chef, there was an ingredient used to made the crab meat tastier – the Kombu umami butter! Kombu, which is the king of seaweed, is an edible kelp used as a versatile ingredient and provides dishes with umami flavour, nutrients and minerals. The word “umami” itself is also an interesting word. Umami is an unique category of taste in food besides sweet, sour, salt and bitter. It did an awesome job in bringing amazing flavour to the crab meat.

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Not only does the Charcoal Grilled Alaskan King Crab taste great, it also provides one-of-a-kind health benefits as it is rich in high-quality protein.

We quickly dived into our share of crab. Unlike other crabs’ meat, the texture of Alaskan king crab was so delicate that each bite is irresistible with the natural sweetness of the crab meat. I was not surprised when I was informed that Alaskan King Crab is the most sought-after crab species in the world. Not only does it taste great, it also provides one-of-a-kind health benefits as it is rich in high-quality protein.

This dish is voted as the favourite dish among the three new ELITE dishes among the few of us. Overall, the dish was sophisticated and immeasurably enjoyable. Oishi!

3. Truffle A4 Wagyu Sukiyaki (RM180)

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Beautifully marbled strips of A4 Wagyu were presented nicely along with Japanese vegetables and truffled egg.

The Sukiyaki dish honours Babe’s concept of using fresh produce and seasonal discoveries. Beautifully marbled strips of A4 Wagyu beef were presented neatly with Japanese vegetables and mushrooms. This sukiyaki also comes with a perfect truffle egg yolk. The Japanese vegetables were grown from the chef’s rooftop garden so it’s absolutely fresh.

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Dip the cooked Wagyu beef into the truffled egg to have the best dining experience of this dish.

I wondered for a moment: what made Wagyu beef one of the most expensive beefs in the world? Visually, the beef possessed a soulful goddess look – beautiful pink with gorgeous marbling. The beef also stands out from the rest for its health benefits. Pure Wagyu contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acid rich in Omega-3s. To have the best dining experience of this dish, first, pour a bit of sukiyaki sauce over the beef and vegetables before dipping the cooked meat and vegetables into the egg. It was lip-smacking! The wagyu beef which cooked to our preferred doneness, soaked up the sukiyaki sauce and the truffle flavour infused in the egg yolk. Simple perfection!

If you would love to experience dining at Babe, you can now reserve a table here.

You will also get all of these signature dishes for free using TABLEAPP ELITE Membership! Sign up here.

Babe,

11th Floor, Work@Cleanwater,
Jalan Changkat Semantan, 
Damansara Heights,
Kuala Lumpur.

Tuesday – Sunday: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm,
Closed on Mondays.