Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hwan By Chakri, Mid Valley Megamall

 A lovely little concept has mushroomed in the array of kiosks that line the passageways of the Lower Ground Floor in mid valley megamall.  Hwan, which means sweet in Thai, is a dessert on the go place, but also offers several options of savouries.

When first invited by proprietess, the very charming Caleen, of Chakri Palace, I assumed it was a restaurant outlet.  This is what happens when you don't do any preparation or research before hand.  I was intrigued when I discovered that Hwan by Chakri is a kiosk, and wondered where we would sit.

 The entire set up is too cute, the kiosk is in the shape of a tuk tuk dessert truck.  Caleen explained to us how this brainchild was conceived, and it happened when she was sampling the street food of Thailand with a local celebrity Chef McDang, in the non touristy parts, and was wowed by the wonderful desserts she had that were not readily available.

 Mee krob, a kind of vermicelli that is both sweet and savoury, which is very unique.  It is served with some salty peanuts, and is really an eye catcher as it seems to be the centrepiece of the entire kiosk.

Caleen explains to us about how the celebrity chef fella was very helpful, and she was so surprised he was so accommodating and receptive.

 The mango and sticky rice is a quintessential Thai dessert, and I love the different varieties of sticky rice.  Actually it's a very filling dessert, and certainly meant for sharing.

This Som Tam, or Green papaya salad, packs a nice punch, with the tang and the heat from chilli, and the crunch of the dried shrimp and peanuts, and tastes very healthy too.

 Mieng kheam has to be one of my favourite Thai starters, such a cornucopia of flavours packed within that humble kadok leaf.  It comes in a pack of leaves and filling, which you have to wrap yourself though.  So it could be a bit messy if you're eating it on the go.

 Thai Fish cakes, very reasonably priced... I think everything here is less than RM10.

 Durian sticky rice... A must for durian enthusiasts, but certainly not for the durian averse, as you can tasted the durian pulp very distinctly.

 The very unique take on Thab Tim Krub, the red ruby dessert, which is served atop a coconutty ice cream with some sticky rice.

 As a final encore, that thai green mango salad, which is yummy.  I just love the combination of flavours, which is more or less same as the som tham, but the green mango is a bit more crunchy than the green papaya,

The traditional Thub Theem Krab.  ..

Hwan is located in front of Macdonalds and the Chinese Medicine Hall, you absolutely cannot miss it if you are walking into Jusco Supermarket.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Seafood Buffet at Gobo Chit Chat, Traders Hotel, IMHO, THE BEST VALUE BUFFET in town.

It's been awhile since I've been to Gobo Chit Chat in Traders Hotel, and truth be told, I am not really big on buffets.  It's like buying a CD, you'll be lucky to get two songs that you actually like in the whole album.  But upon entering the familiar surrounds of Gobo CC, I was literally quite stunned by the vast array of creatures from Neptune's kingdom, and the variety of seafood was simply quite amazing.

The seafood buffet is on Fridays & Saturdays only, and is priced at a remarkably affordable rate of RM108++, whereby if you whacked two large legs of the Alaskan king crab would already make it worthwhile.

Platters and platters of cold cuts, deep fried tempura, really something for everyone.

As I was saying, these babies alone make it worthwhile.  And they seem to be very generous as well, for I noticed that this dish was always replenished.  The King Crab is done the way it should be, just boiled, and served like that with minimal disturbance to the sweet taste.

Clams in all shapes and sizes, but that's just the clam before the storm....

Steamed flower crab, for those who do not wish to partake in the amphibian mud crabs.

Fresh fresh seawater prawns, ..I actually like this steamed/boiled section the best, because good seafood should be eaten that way.

Generous helpings of poached scallops.

Slipper lobsters galore..

And the piece de resistance of the entire buffet, if you ask me, this mud crab station that churns out an amazing butter crab....

Butter crab, in claypot.  When I do revisit, I am so heading here first.

For those who prefer their foods more cooked and flavoured, there is no shortage of choice, from Butter Prawns, Paella,

Fried fish, pastas...

And lovely ladies.....
And dashing young men.....

The grill/bbq section also has an impressive variety of fresh seafood.
If you need your meat, there is certainly no shortage of that either.

I personally LOVED the asparagus, and had my fill of roughage.

But really, who can still eat dessert after such a spread!!!

Gobo Chit Chat features a wide selection of contemporary Western and Asian cuisine with a sushi bar, Thai appetiser buffet, front noodle kitchen and show bakery. The kitchens' unusual layout and arrangement ensure that orders are prepared a la minute and served to the table right away. Guests can catch a glimpse of the restaurants' team of sushi chefs as they roll colourful masterpieces of sushi to entice guests' palates.

Gobo Chit Chat is on level five of the hotel and can seat 215 guests. It opens daily from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm. It offers breakfast buffet from 6:30 am to 10:30 am, lunch buffet from noon to 2:30 pm and dinner buffet from 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Last orders are taken at 10:30 pm.

For reservations, call (60 3) 2332 9905 or email foodandbeverage.thkl@tradershotels.com.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cape Mentelle Wine Pairing Lunch At Tanzini's - An Workday Afternoon of Sheer Decadence

Announcement: From 6th October till 5th December 2014, Cape Mentelle in collaboration with Tanzini will feature a pairing promotion comprising of a 4-course degustation menu for RM400++ for two persons; where each course will be paired with a bottle of Cape Mentelle Chardonnay, comprehensively showcasing the range of wines that lead the portfolio.

The thought of having a wine pairing degustation lunch on a weekday afternoon can be rather scary, especially when you know the wines are great wines.  As is always the case when the invitation comes from the MHD (Moet Hennessy Diageo) people, and the PR Company, Geometry Global.  The last Cape Mentelle event we had was memorable, and I was sure this one would be too.

The good thing about a lunchtime event, at a well illuminated venue, is that everything seems so "bright".  Held at Tanzini's, a fine dining establishment on the top floor of G Tower, the media guests were accompanied by Cameron Murphy, the dashing Cape Mentelle Estate Director.

In collaboration with Chef Fua, a lovely lunch menu paired with Cape Mentelle wines had our anticipations rocket as high as the location of Tanzini...(although this particular lunch was hosted by Chef Eugene Lee, presumably Chef Fua's Sous Chef)

Cameron is very passionate in his presentation and talk on Cape Mentelle wines, and the audience were enraptured, some probably more coz of him film star looks.  He talks about the location of Cape Mentelle, on a peninsula surrounded by three oceans... did he say three?  I know the Indian and Southern ocean meet there, but who's the third??  And spoke of the Fremantle Doctor, a cooling wind that blows on the dot every day giving the region a very mediterranean type climate.

Those numbers on the poster are the points, not the price.

We start with the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, which is a lovely drop before a meal, light, crisp, and most importantly, served cold which suits our balmy weather to a tee.  I have always been a big fan of the Malborough Sauvignon Blancs but this combination of the two grapes are a perfect match as well.

Chef Eugene Lee explains to us the natural pairing of the Sauv Blanc Semillon with the pan Seared Hokkaido Scallop, the "aromatic purity" of the wine enhances the sweetness of the seafood.

What a wonderful sight, a plate of gorgeously plated food with a bottle of wine in the background.

Next was the Cabernet Merlot 2012, a blend that has a fine pedigree including being awarded the trophy for ‘Best Bordeaux style blend’ at the 2006 Decanter World Wine Awards paired with the Free Range Chicken Roulade and Cured Smoked Duck.

; the structure and length of the cabernet with the soft mid-palate of merlot further enhanced the dish.

This was my favourite dish, and favourite pairing.  The medium bodied red absolutely magnified and enhanced the flavours of the chicken roulade, which was also very delicious and just rolls off the palate.  Loved the gamey flavour of the duck, and the crunch of the free range chicken which you can only get WITH free range chicken.

A lovely palate cleanser, some sorbet that seemed to pop and crackle in the mouth...
My "tumpang glamour" moment.

For the mains, and I always seem to choose unwisely,  a choice of Altantic Black Cod, paired with the Chardonnay 2012....which looks superb, and had all accolades by those who chose wisely...

Chardonnay 2011 - Usually I am not a fan of Chardonnays, and according to statistics, neither are most Malaysians.  Apparently 70% of white wines sold here are Sauvignon Blancs (I gleaned that info from another event...) but as I also observed in the my previous Cape Mentelle event, their Chardonnay really is quite different, and certainly would be one of my preferred Chardonnays.

Or the Aged Striploin, paired with the Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.  Now the reason I say I chose unwisely, well, the striploin wasn't too bad, but I felt my pieces were a bit overdone, and bordered on tough, although I can see why the pairing with the Cabernet Sauvignon is a natural choice.

Sourced from Margaret Rivers first grape, their flagship Cab Sauv is an easy to drink, full bodied red wine that definitely pairs well with red meats.  Cameron also mentioned that this wine can age quite gracefully.

To end, a sublime Praline Chocolate Mousse with Crunchy Croquantine, Hazelnut Daquoise, Cherry Gel and Light Lemongrass Gelato paired with the  Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2012. I was grateful that it wasn't paired with some sickeningly sweet dessert wine, as I have still yet to acquire the taste for dessert wines.  Absolutely enjoyed the dessert, which had a cornucopia of flavours tantalising the taste buds.

"This exquisite pairing blends the tantalising flavour of the dessert with the chalky acidity flavours of lime, pear and grapefruit of the white wine", says Cameron.

And I repeat, from 6th October till 5th December 2014, Cape Mentelle in collaboration with Tanzini will feature a pairing promotion comprising of a 4-course degustation menu for RM400++ for two persons; where each course will be paired with a bottle of Cape Mentelle Chardonnay, comprehensively showcasing the range of wines that lead the portfolio.  Having tasted the meal, I'd say that is a STEAL!!!!

Cheers and Yam Sing!!!

Tanzini, located on the 28th floor of GTower, offser contemporary European cuisines with its base rooted firmly in the rich and hearty food of the Italian home kitchen. Echoing the fresh concept, its Upper Deck offers diners a unique fine dining experience right ‘under-the-stars’ with distinctive star-lights fixtures and spectacular views of Kuala Lumpur night cityscape. Set in a double volume rooftop pavilion, Upper Deck has spectacular views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Cuisine is presented degustation style and reservations are highly encouraged.