Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Way Modern Chinois, Chinese Cuisine, Clearwater, Damansara Heights

As I get older, I find my palate becoming more partial to Asian cuisine.  Very rarely do I hanker these days for that piece of braised lamb shank, wagyu cheek, or fancy foamy meals with deconstructed items.  I am a peasant and plebian, so I like simple comfort foods.  To me, the simplest of Chinese stir fries and steaming and braising, are enough to satisfy.

Hence I find it intriguing that there is still room to reinvent the wheel, as I discovered when invited by the Makan Fairy Godmother to have lunch at Way Modern Chinois, run by the same people who run Ploy, that fun, fresh Thai inspired fusion mixed place at Clearwater.

Well, if there is a great way to make a first impression, it's through your entrance.  The Way in, is actually through this Lift Door, which is situated right across from the real elevators.  Of course, it has to be a two edged sword, as I'm sure many an elevator seeking person would have inadvertently entered their establishment and think, "hmm, what kind of lift is this?".  Likewise, it must be a full time job for the security guard to point diners in the right direction when they ask that inevitable, "Where is WAY?" Sounds grammatically wrong.

The swanky interior, and privacy from prying eyes makes it a perfect venue for quiet rendezvous (what's the plural for that?), and tai tai lunches, as a group of them snapped at us when we took out our cameras, and barked at us not to take their picture.

Crispy Tofu Yu Xiang, RM 13.  Deep fried parcels of bean curd, in a spicy sauce, that would actually be a perfect snack with a glass of ice cold beer.  Speaking of alcohol, WAY also has a lovely cosy bar, (pic above, upper right frame), with an interesting range of cocktails.  In a very private setting.


Snow Bun - RM10 for 2, chicken char siu in a crispy snow bun.  Snow buns having a topping that has a similar texture to the ubiquitous roti boy buns.  That nice salty sweet crispy crunch encasing a soft bun.

Shredded Duck Cheong Fun.  Way is pork free, so they have to use any other kind of meat that would usually be used, in this case, the duck was a respectable replacement for the charsiu version of the cheong fun.  Silky smooth cheong fun, with moist duck pieces.  RM17

This was my favourite, the "waterless" chicken soup.  Basically, it's chicken essence of the purest kind.  Several kampung chickens (because city chickens just aren't the same), double boiled over a period which could have cooked a banquet, ... RM58 (recommended for 2) for this imperial essence.



Salted egg chicken strips, RM 18.  Again, the perfect complementary dish with alcohol.


I really thought THIS dish was extraordinary, and might be the main reason for a timely revisit to Way.  Crab roe fried rice, RM42.  A delicious combination of scallops, abalone, and crab roe with fluffy long grained basmati rice.  Superb.  The rich creaminess of the crab roe is like a symphony to the palate.


Hong Kong Choy Sum with Crispy Silverfish.  RM20. As I suspected, Hong Kong Choy Sum is but a name and is not really from Hong Kong.
Crispy lionfish..I love the way the menu puts it, not the endangered kind, but a garoupa in disguise.  Actually having said that, as a diver, I have to say the lethal lion fish are certainly more abundant than giant garoupas. The garoupa is sliced, deep fried and fashioned to resemble a lion, with two olives as eyes. Quite a cute concept, but basically it is deep fried garoupa. RM59 for this novelty.

Chef Liu Jin Xian helms Way Cuisine. As young chap, whose career began in 1998, he hails from Huizhou, Guangdong Province, and left home at 18 to the bright lights of Shanghai to pursue his culinary journey where he rose to Head Chef of a fine dining Chinese restaurant in Shangri-La Pudong.

In 2005, he reached our shores, but left again in 2007, before returning again in 2009.   He has spent the last 15 months developing Way's interesting and unique menu.

Durian Crepes.  Nothing unusual about this dish, but I do have to say that I personally do not like desserts with non dairy cream, so I can't lie, this was definitely not my favourite.

A refreshing osmanthus jelly dessert, that looked totally liquid but in actual fact, is a jelly.

The dessert highlight was this red bean pancake.  The snowy ping pei type texture skin plus that wonderfully smooth red bean paste is a good match.


LOCATION

Address : G-1, Work@Clearwater, Jalan Changkat Semantan, 50490 Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur

Phone No : 03-2095 1118
Opening Hours : 12:00 – 15:00hrs / 18:00 – 22:30hrs ( Monday – Saturday )
Website : http://way.com.my/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/waymodernchinois

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Santa Margherita Wine Pairing Dinner, Villa Danielli

The journey to Sheraton Imperial is always fraught with "danger" from where I come, because traffic is always so unpredictable, but I've become an expert at turning into the one way street behind the hotel, entering illegally from the other end, rather than waiting to enter Jln Sultan Ismail which is perpetually jammed.  But I always enjoy the dinners there, hence, I plough on, with the tenacity of an arctic explorer.

The sight of prosecco to greet us is much needed as a relaxant, after spending harrowing hours in the car.  Actually I probably exaggerate, the traffic that particular day wasn't too bad.  The event, a wine pairing dinner at Villa Danielli, (must be on of the oldest still surviving hotel Italian restaurants), with Santa Margherita Italian Wines. Actually, prior to that, there were cocktails, of campari sodas, now that's a blast from the past, ... Camparis are surprisingly refreshing. 



Free flow prosecco is always a good thing. 

Always nice bumping into old friend, Cindy Yoong...


In case the wine pairing menu food wasn't enough for the guests, we were also treated to a buffet line, with pastas, and roast lamb.

The emcee for the night, Reuben Arthur, is a full time Food and Beverage lecturer at Taylor’s University. He has worked 17 years at the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts and he specializes in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  An interesting fact we picked up was that Italy is the largest wine producer in the world, contrary to popular belief that it would be France.  As he rightfully pointed out, Italy, from where the Romans come, does have a long wine history.  Images of hedonistic Roman emperors guzzling wine from golden chalices surrounded by scantily toga clad ladies spring to mind. 



Smoked Duck Breast with caramelized apples, mint and berries coulisse. The sweet and tart combination with the slight smokiness of the duck paired with the Santa Margherita Brut Valdobiadene DOCG made for a lovely starter.

I loved the roast vegetables that came with the roast lamb, especially the roasted fennel.

A very interesting contraption that allows you to hang your glass of wine off the side of your plate, ...what a brilliant idea, and surprisingly stable.  Look at the eternal youthfulness of KgBoy (of KgBoyCityGal fame). 


Antipasto, Button mushroom crusted with mascarpone and goat cheese served with rocket salad and herbs oil served with Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio D.O.C .



Pasta,Squid ink agnaloti stuffed with cream cod in parmesan sauce and crispy shimeji served with Santa Margherita Chianti Classico D.O.C.G ~


Mains, Honey lamb ribs with gorgonzola mashed potato, roasted vegetable and natural jus served with Ca’del Bosco Carmenero
OR...

Crispy skinned salmon with spinach, chickpea, glazed Belgium endive and orange reduction






The Santa Margherita Wine Estate was founded in the 1930s by Gaetano Marzotto. Marzotto set out to make wines from a single varietal that spoke of the region as much as the grape. Today, Santa Margherita wines are known for their easy drinking and great accessibility along with their modern winemaking edge. They are available worldwide in over 70 countries.

Priced at RM180++ per person, this Italian dining experience of five-course set menu in the award-winning Villa Danieli can be yours from 8th April 2014 to 30th April 2014. For wine lovers, top it up with an additional of RM150++ and your dining experience will be enhanced with the pairing of Santa Margherita wines. Meanwhile, SPG members can enjoy 20% discount off total food bill. This promotion is valid till 30 June 2014. Terms and conditions apply. For any further inquiries on events or on table reservations at Villa Danieli, call 03-2717 9900 or email restaurants.imperial@sheraton.com or visit www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com/

Monday, April 07, 2014

Torii, A Toriific Yakitori Experience In the Easy To Park Part of TTDI

Years ago, in an apartment unit high above the ground, in the quiet tranquilness of Pantai Hillpark, a few strangers gathered together, almost under the shroud of secrecy, at "Raymond's" place.  That group of strangers subsequently became known as the "Everyone Loves Raymond" group, akin to new couples dating, the enthusiasm and the excitement of new love flamed the fires which fuelled regularly meet ups for eating etc.  Then as years go by, that flame wanes, as everyone gets caught up in their own lives, some give birth, others invent underwater casings for Iphones, some got married, some disappeared altogether, only to reappear again years later.

Intent on rectifying the lost love, Raymond planned a potluck at his abode, that very self same abode where we all first congregated.  Alas, as luck would have it, water rationing kicks in, and hosting a party at a house that is water rationed (especially on the 17th floor), is not exactly a wise idea.  But, coincidentally, one of the couples from the aforementioned ELR group had recently opened a YAKITORI & Whisky Bar, in TTDI, so naturally, that was the ideal replacement choice.  Nothing like supporting your friends' business ventures where possible, ....or so we thought, because at the end of the night, it ended up them supporting us, not vice versa, as the generous host and hostess did not accept our payment.

 Bonded Unagi & Foie Gras (RM28), with a slightly sweet, tangy, salty sauce sprinkled with sesame, that complemented the entire set up.  The unholy trinity also has omelette as the third component.

 Trifecta Mushi, which is their take on the traditional Cawan Mushi, only several notches higher.  Lovely gobules of ikura (Salmon roe), that pop in the mouth like magical candy in a Harry Potter movie, a prawn and sliver of pan seared foie gras, in silky smooth steamed egg custard.

 A mango salad, for the vegetable conscious, which would be a refreshing course amidst all that other decadent stuff.  Loved the tangy dressing.

 Yakitori okra, surprisingly flavourful, so simple, yet so good, but really, these grilled ginko nuts were a superb, as I've never had them presented this way before.  All we ever do with ginko is chuck it in barley, or lin chee kang.  I don't mind boosting my memory with sticks of these on a regular basis.




 Grilled Saba Mackerel, which is common enough, but the quality of this was evident in the imbued fattiness in the meat, which flakes and melts in the mouth.

Grilled Squid, so beautifully presented, it felt almost sacrilegious to cut this up.  One wondered what marine tales this creature had to tell.

 A glass of Laphroaig from the owner's own stash....complete with the ball of ice to ensure even cooling of the drink.

Torii Wagyu Burger, such lovely morsels of goodness to be elegantly popped into the mouth, accompanied by a peaty single malt.  Ah, this is the life.  If you had to pay for it, this costs RM26.

 I can't remember what this is exactly, a rice cake of sorts, but I didn't really like it, as I found it too densely packed.


 They do their cod exceedingly well.  The distinct flavour of cod is retained, but at the same time embellished by the subtle drizzling of sauce and the slight charring from the charcoal.


 Sweet potato with knobs of butter, to give it that ultimate decadence.

Where the boys are, music fills the air......



No yakitori meal is complete without some fatty chicken skin, and this was no exception.  The added oomph came in the form of a roasted garlic clove which is wrapped with the crispy chicken skin.  Oh, actually, the absolute MUST try is their yakitori chicken wings, and of all things, my picture of the wings was blur.

RM8 per serving of chicken wings (I think it's 3 skewers a portion), which is absolutely divine.   The other notable item is the wagyu skewer, which is melt in the mouth.

Their signature ice cream was out of stock that night, whisky raisin ice cream, (as opposed to rum and raisin), which I managed to try at my second visit.  Unfortunately, I was drinking whisky at the time, so the whiskified raisins were wasted on me, but I'm sure if you are not drinking, they pack quite a kick.

 Yuzu sorbet...a refreshing end to the exceedingly rich meal...

 Chocolate Sorbet...which is unbelievably creamy for a sorbet.




Interior of Torii, a rather swanky but unpretentious place.  They have a private room that can seat up to 12-15 people, depending of fatness, but requires a minimum spend of RM2k.  The place is fabulously located at that quiet row of shops along Lorong Dato Sulaiman, next to Tadika Diyanna, and parking at night is relatively easy.  It is advisable to call ahead for reservations, as the place tends to get VERY crowded for dinner.

Read the review in The Malaysian Insider HERE, written by Makan Fairy Godmother

Thanks Mr & Mrs Tan for a fabulous dinner.  We will be back repeatedly. (as has already been the case).

18 Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-7733 9309