Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Garrett Gourmet Popcorn

Smell sells.  No doubt about it.  The whiff of caramel and other unidentifiable embellishments assail the nostrils as I ascend into the Basement of KLCC from the parking lot.  If there is a Famous Amos nearby, you certainly couldn't tell.  The aroma of Garrett is enough to overpower any other smells, including the durian thingie kiosk nearby.

Yet, I've never really tried it, purely because I am a minimalist, and I like gasp, PLAIN salted popcorn, perhaps with a lot of butter.  However, as luck would have it, I got a call from Alice Yong, Editor of Jom Makan, AND, more recently, Managing Editor of a new Culinary magazine called Innocreative, saying that she was dropping off some Garrett for me to sample.

I decided to be kind, and open the very pretty tin with the kids, expecting gasps of awe and wonder from them.  Alas, kids these days are very jaded.  I was more awed than they were.

I love the packaging, that rustic tin, and that scoop.  I would love to shovel a scoopful into someone's mouth.  Any volunteers?

Anyway, the bucketful I got was a combination of caramel and a salty cheesy variety.  It is actually very filling, and one cannot consume the same quantity as the cinema variety.  A few kernels already renders the eater full.

I actually thought this combination of popcorn, sweet, salty, cheesy with creamy chocolate ice cream, was a match made in food heaven.

Okay, now to find off a way to burn off these calories.

Thank you muchly, Alice Yong Li Flee...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Midi 57, The Casual Sibling of Le Midi of BSC, on Jalan Bangkung

Midi 57 occupies the most strategic location along that row of Jln Bangkung culinary establishments, because it is a corner lot, and has the vantage views of the side as well as the front... hmm, that sounds like the description of a well endowed woman.

Owned by Melissa Groot of LeMidi, BSC, this outlet is the more casual than the fine dining establishment in BSC, and it's casual barlike atmosphere is accompanied with food that is also casual enough for you to use your fingers with out feeling the need to oblige with the silver cutlery.

It's always nice to see my favourite group of pioneer bloggers, who still look so young and fresh after all these years.

Chicken Fingers in Red Wine and Rosemary Batter.

Mussels and Prawns in Beer Batter - All easy beer snacks, but also pairs well with the Berticot Sauvignon Blanc which is more or less their signature house white wine, handpicked by the very particular Melissa.

Caprese Salad With Parma Ham @RM48. Organic tomato, buffalo mozzarella, balsamic reduction, pesto sauce. I love the generous portions of Parma.  Slivers of thinly sliced smoky goodness that makes me think I am on vacation, for some strange reason.

Crispy Foccacia (V) RM 15 Garlic, rosemary * olive oil.  Actually it reminded me of crispy naan.  Makes a great dipping bread.

Porchetta Pizza, a crispy thin base, the way pizzas are meant to be.  I actually like my pizzas overflowing with mozarella, which may be a culinary faux pax, but well, food is personal.  So I thought this version was a bit too healthy for my liking.

MIDI 57 BAR BURGER RM 28, Slow cook mince pork ,tomato, lettuce, red onion & Swiss cheese ,homemade toasted bun, served with French fries.  Can't really go wrong with Pork Patties, which I am guessing is where the term HAMburger came from, before it was all kosherized.

I must have totally missed out on the pasta and lasagna which my compadres raved I left the party for awhile to say hallo to a friend next door.  But you can read their reviews HERE.

Pot plates of lamb and chicken, kind of like a stew, which could go well with the crispy foccacia.  There is something very wholesome and homely about this dish, I imagine if I was in a cold country, the aroma from these pot plates would whiff through the household in warm welcome on a wintery evening.

Desserts by Chef Andrea Alimenti (read more about him at my Le Midi post HERE) are always a treat.  Choco bombs which looks so pretty, coated with gold dust.

Chocolate and Ginger Ganache.  Ginger and chocolate are a lovely combination, I wonder why not more people use this pairing.

The very pleasant Bar area.  The beer towers are reasonably priced, during happy hour.
In addition to a well stocked bar, Le Midi also has a comprehensive list of Cocktails,  but since I am not a cocktail connoisseur, I shall not venture an opinion, as I didn't really try any of them, save for the Bloody Mary, which had a nice kick from the tabasco.

Midi 57 Restaurant & Bar
57 Jalan Bangkung, Bukit Bandaraya
59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.138232, 101.668810
Tel: 03-2095 1381
Hours: 11am-12am daily

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cloudy Bay Wine Pairing Food Trail


Certain invitations make you want to do cartwheels, it's like an opera fan being invited to watch Pavarotti, (when he was alive), or a social activist being invited to lunch with philantropist like Ros....... I mean, Bill Gates.  Getting an invite from Geometry Global, for an MHD (Moet Hennessy Diaego) event, well, to me, is always a treat, that I would gladly cancel work related appointments for, especially when the line up of restaurants include Culinary Luminary Isadora Chai's Bistro A Table.

They really do know how to party in style, (they meaning GG and MHD), and we were chauffeured around in a luxurious Starex, with glass of Cloudy Bay in hand, for the Cloudy Bay Wine Pairing Food Trail.  Our first stop was Bistro A Table, that eclectic little restaurant that has enthralled many (but have also ruffled a few feathers), with their creative cuisine, which is just the thing to go with my all time favourite Sauvignon Blanc, the Cloudy Bay.

 Bistro is located in Section 17, right across from the Tiara Damansara apartments, where for years, only two rows of non descript shops existed, but has suddenly become the new Bangkung.
Isadora's wit and personality is inimitable.  Whilst she can come across as being rather intimidating, despite her petite-ness, clearly her genius is reflected in the artful preparation of her food.  Pity we only got to try ONE dish ...

Pan Seared Red Pearl Fish With Salted Cod Brandade, and Tobiko Beurre Blanc.  In English, basically it was a piece of fish, very nice, and very local, according to Isadora, who paid a passing compliment to the quality of the local fish, a lovely moussey like creamy thing in a biscuity tube like a cannoli, lightly swimming in a gorgeous buttery white sauce with delicate egg roe.  Needless to say, the pairing with a glass (or two) of Cloudy Bay Sauv Blanc (from now on referred to as CBSB) was a match made in paradise.

Check out their Executive Lunch Promo, only on Fridays.  Call at 03-79312831.  Priced at RM125++ or RM155++ with a glass of CBSB.

It was with a heavy heart, and a slightly light buzz, that we left bistro, after sampling but a morsel of what we know to be a treasure trove of delights.  In the meantime, I had discovered one of the people in our group was none other than Jacqueline Toyad, the Deputy Editor of the Edge, ...don't play play, but MORE importantly, DARN good drinking company.

We roll up to "THE POINT", a newly opened outlet on Jln Kapas, behind Victoria Station. (the restaurant, not the train station in London). It looked very minimalistically stylish and modern, though I am not sure that purple glow in the afternoon did anything for me.

A well stocked bar is always a welcome sight.

Seafood Trio, of Ginger cured Kingfish, prawn remoulade, citrus salmon with cous cous and salted kelp, and seared hokkaido scallops, cauliflower puree and chinese sausage crumbs.  RM71++ with a glass of CBSB.

 Newly opened, I thought this preparation by the Chef was admirable.  The hokkaido scallop, which is so easy to botch, was seared perfectly, retaining its flavour without being overdone, but complemented with the lovely crispy bits of chinese sausage, which was a nice twist.  The salmon was firm, and the kingfish was interesting, almost sashimi like.  Needless to say, this trifecta went perfectly well with the CBSB.

The Point is on 1& 2nd Floor, 122 Jalan Kasah, Tel : 03-20118008

The familiar interior of WIP....

Tofu octopus salad ...OR

Unagi Fried Rice paired with a glass of cloudy bay, at RM70 nett.  Or RM290 nett for one of the dishes and a bottle of CBSB.

I'm not sure at this point where this Penne Pesto appeared, maybe it was because we still looked hungry...

We progress (or regressed... afterall, by this time, we (specifically Jacqueline and I) had imbibed probably 7-8 glasses) to Signature at the Roof, at One Avenue in Bdr Utama.

Mussels Provencial (Moules Provence) sussel leeks and carrots cooked in white wine with tomato concasse with provencal herbs paird with a glass of CBSB...price to be confirmed.

Their seared cod was also rather well done although at this point of time, 10 glasses of Cloudy Bay later, I'd say my judgement might be cloudy too.

Alas, I had to leave the merriment and party at this point, as it was my daughter's birthday.  The last stop, Enfin, which I missed:

Do check out the other restaurants participating in the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Seafood Tasting Trail 2014.

Signature @ The Roof Mussels Provencial (Moules Provence) sussel leaks and carrots cooked in white wine with tomota concasse with provencial herbs, RM42++

Pan seared black cod fillet served with braised leek & fennel topped with tomato jam, RM55++

A glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc @ RM44++

A bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc @ RM215++

Signature @ The Roof
Sky level, 1 First Avenue, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
T. +6016 229 1505

Las Carretas Restaurant Pan Seared Norwegian Cod Californian Style Presented on a Bed of Home-Made Potato Mash Topped with Toasted Bonito Crumbs, RM68.00++

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc by the Glass @ RM39.90++

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc by the Bottle @ RM199.00++

Las Carretas Damansara
Las Carretas Mexican Restaurant 10 Jalan Semantan, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Damansara, Malaysia
T. +60 3-2093 0380

Black Market Black truffle cod fish paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM98+

Black Market
Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T. +60 17-321 8686

Caffeinees Grilled salmon steak c/w Half Dozen US Fresh Oyster paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 201, RM100 ++

16 Jalan Kampung Pandan, Desa Pandan, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T. +60 3-2144 8686
W.I.P Tofu & Octopus Salad or Unagi Fried Rice paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM70nett

Tofu & Octopus Salad or Unagi Fried Rice paired with a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM290nett

A glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc @ RM50nett

Lot G 111, Ground floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285 Jalan Maarof, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T. 03 2094 1789

Tujo Bar-sserie & Grill Platter of Pan Seared Scallop with Marinated Konbu, Medium Rare Crusted Tuna & Salmon Duo paired with a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM260++

Tujo Bar-sserie & Grill
Ascott Kuala Lumpur, 9, Jalan Pinang 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T. 012-210 3055

The Point Bar & Dining Room Seafood Trio1. Ginger cured kingfish, prawn remoulade2. Citrus Salmon with cous cous and salted salted kelp3. Seared Hokkaido scallops, cauliflower puree and chinese sausage crumbs
One glass with paired menu, RM71++

The Point Bar & Dining Room
First & Second Floor, No. 122, Jalan Kasah, Damansara Heights, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur
T. 03-2011-8008

Tanzini The Quartet Platter
1. Alaskan Snowcrab Homemade Otak Otak in Locally Infused dressing
2. Brittanny Blue Ceviche with Starfruit
3. Chargrilled King Prawn in Herbed Oil
4. Hokkaido Scallop en Croute with Catalan Pistachio
5. Fine Mix Greens & Assorted Tosaka Seaweed in Citrus

Paired with a Bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc @ RM250++

GTower, 199 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T. 60 3-2168 1899

Brasserie Enfin Pan seared mackerel with beurre noisette of walnut and almond served with crispy roots paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM50++

Brasserie Enfin
Lot R-07, First Floor, Central Piazza, No. 2, Jalan PJU 1A/ 7A, Oasis Square, Oasis Damansara 47301 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
T. 03-7832 2969

Shook! @ Starhill Gallery Seared Yellow Fin Tuna Salad Butter lettuce, Kalamata Olives, Sun-dried & Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Green Beans, Artichokes, Fresh Herbs, Shaved Shallots, Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM196++

Shook! @ Starhill Gallery
Feast Village, Starhill Gallery, 181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
T. 603 - 2719 8535

Fisherman's Cove Pan-fried Fillet of Coral Grouper, Pipi Clams and Blue Mussels with Citrus Butter Sauce paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM146++

Fisherman's Cove
Starhill Gallery 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Starhill Gallery, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T. +60 3-2782 3848

Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill Atlantic Cod Bouillabaisse paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM124++

Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill
Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill, Level 6, Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
T. 03- 2332 9888
Bistro A Table Seared Red Pearl with tobiko beurre blanc and salted cod paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM85++

Bistro A Table
6 Jalan 17/54, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
T. 03-7931 2831

North Malaysia

Ferringhi Garden Restaurant Crab Lump paired with a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Ferringhi Garden Restaurant
34 A,B&C Batu Ferringhi 11100 Penang, Malaysia
T. 04-881 1193

Ferringhi Grill Herbed Prawns paired with a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa
Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang.
T. 60 4-888 8888

The Dining @The Datai Langkawi Crab Dish paired with a glass or bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013

The Datai Langkawi
Jalan Datai, Teluk Datai, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.
T. 60 4-959 2500

South Malaysia

The Brazzo Restaurant & Lounge Set Menu

Appetizer -Braised King Prawn with White Wine

Main Course- Lobster Tail Pasta or Charbroiled Tuna Steak

Paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM269++

The Brazzo Restaurant & Lounge
10G, Jalan Ponderosa 2/1, Taman Ponderosa
81100 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
T. 017-778 8972

East Malaysia

The Junk Restaurant Prawn Asparagus OR Salmon Sashimi paired with a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RM 190++

Add on Prawn Asparagus @ RM34/ dish
Add on Salmon Sashimi @ RM30/dish

The Junk Restaurant
80, 82 & 84 Wayang Street, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak,
T. +60 82-259 450

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.


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 :
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