Monday, September 09, 2019

Mid Autumn Festival Menu at Elegant Inn..and While We're At It, the 9 Emperor Gods Menu Too

True to their reputation, Malaysian Chinese ...and I suspect it's not confined to to eat. The very festivals according to the lunar month almost always entails feasting of a certain kind, if it's not the excesses and yee sang of Chinese New Year, there's the dumpling festivals, the sweep the tomb festivals...hungry ghosts ...all of which see some form of communal feasting.

When Makan Fairy Godmother said that Jeanette of Elegant Inn has invited us to try the Mid Autumn Festival Set, I dropped all other plans, including an invite to tea with the Queen of England.  Okayla, maybe I didn't (drop all plans), but it is ALWAYS a pleasure to dine at Elegant Inn.  Previous posts would reveal that Jeanette is a REAALLLLY fussy eater, and by extension, restaurateur, and serves her customers only whatever passes her own stringent standards.  Suitcases of delicacies are lugged back from all over the world, to ensure a dining experience that is beyond complaint.

To start, Silky Egg White with Bird's Nest paired with Pan Seared Pork Tongue.  I had to think very hard if I have ever had pig's tongue... I think probably not.

Who knew egg white could be so tasty.  Now the tongue, from this angle perhaps looks like luncheon meat, but I have to say, I love the texture and flavour.  There's a certain bite to it, yet deliciously tender.

A luxurious double boiled soup, with deer tendon, dried conch, black chicken and Murrill Mushroom.   An amazingly sweet and delicate broth, the type that you know cannot have been made instantly, but only through hours of loving double boil.  There is an option to "upgrade" to fish maw replacing the deer tendon, at RM10.

Without a doubt, the piece de resistance for the night was the South African Ablone Treasure Bowl.
Who says that Poon Choi is only for Chinese New Year?  .....Well, no one's a communal dish that I reckon can be enjoyed all year long.  Of course, it's what goes into the pot that determines its treasure worthiness.

According to Jeanette, it's what's beneath the surface that is most important, and it's what imparts the flavour, not the stuff on the top.  And of course, the bottom of the barrel in this case is a superb stock made from Pork Cartilage, Chinese Cabbage, and Daikon.

Regardless of that lay beneath, the stuff on the top were well, top notch.  I loved every single item, from the coveted abalone to the pedestrian brocolli.  The roast duck was also totally delicious.  If I had ONE "complaint", it would be the prawns which I felt were a bit overcooked.

I really hate whoever coined the phrase, "the camera eats first", but sadly, it's true.

A cross section of the err...I can't remember how many lipped abalone.

Claypot rice with Garoupa Fillet, HK dried prawn, and Tung Choy.  This is the requisite carb dish I guess.  Flavour wise, of course was very tasty, but is really quite eclipsed by all the stuff from the poon choi.

Just look at the amazing stuff at the bottom of the treasure pot.  Indeed, what lies within is most important.

Now, as if we weren't already food comatosed, Jeanette insisted we try the 9 Emperor Gods Festival Vegetarian Cuisine.  This one is only available the first 9 days of the 9th Month of the Lunar Calendar, coinciding when the Nine Emperor Gods make their annual visit.

A happy start, a truffle radish puff with twin purple sweet potato. Everyone wanted to know if the purple sweet potato chips were for sale.

The fillings were almost like that of Pai Tee.

This was easily the most evocative dish, so very unique.  Tofu Blossom with Fresh Beet Root and Carrot, Double Boiled Soup.  It boggles the mind how a piece of tofu can be so intricately sliced by KNIFE.... It's of course purely for the visual, as to me it didn't really do much for the taste.

The main course of Trio Treasures Stuffed with Organic Beancurd and Quinoa. The quinoa gives it that body but of course being a  meatarian, (carnivore), I would prefer normal yong tau foo any day.  The gravy is noteworthy.

Off the menu, but their signature Fried Rice is SOOOOOOO good.  Crunchy bits of dried prawn, (not dried shrimp), with the most fluffy rice ever. And again, this is NOT in the vegetarian menu.

You think you've seen it all, but far from it.  This dish, groundnut sprouts wok fried with sweet pea and premium cordycep flower.  Say what?  Groundnut sprout?  It's like a bean sprout, but sprouted from groundnuts.  That sprout part is delicious, a cross between a chive and asparagus.

Premium wild porcini noodles.  The noodles are eggless, and are surprisingly springy.

A rather unique dessert , Teochew style "Tau Suan" with Crunchy Sea Cucumber, and black gold custard bun.  Now here's a chef willing to push the boundaries.  That sea cucumber is surprisingly crispy and delectable, and the slight saltiness neutralises the sweetness of the tau suan, and therefore should be eaten together.  However, one should daintily place a piece of sea cucumber with each spoonful, rather than tossing it as a crouton into a salad, into the bowl of tau suan. That ensures the crispiness of the sea cucumber.

The dessert from the Vegetarian Menu is double boiled snow pear with Chuanbei and citrus peel, "Yan xi" lotus bloom pastry.

The MidAutumn menu is available till end September, priced at
RM888 for 4
RM1288 for 6
RM2138 for 10 pax.

The Vegetarian menu, available only for the first 9 days of the 9th month, is RM138 per head for a minimum of two people.

Address: Menara Hap Seng, 19_07, Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, 50540 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

Phone: 03-2070 9399

Monday, July 29, 2019

Retro Nights at Tujo Kuala Lumpur

I really take my hat off to the people behind the Tujo, Souled Out, WIP, Hubba group, for they really have been pioneers of sorts, changing the night scene in KL.  I recall fondly the original Souled Out in that little Shoplex in Mt Kiara, a cosy chill hangout place.

Tujo, for the uninformed, is located in KLCC, at the ground level of the Ascott building, (where Seven Ate Nine used to be), and is a trendy bar, whose tagline is EAT DRINK PLAY.  Pool tables and dart boards juxtaposed against a long well stocked bar accentuates their tagline.

The event of the night was to launch the RETRO BLASTS, which introduces different retro themes for different days of the week.

EAT, DRINK, PLAY...Well, we actually drank first, played and ate last.

The spacious and bright cheery interior makes the place very welcoming, and not intimidating despite its location at the well heeled KLCC area.

As part of the Retro Blast Launch the decor was bits and bobs from yesteryear, and the gift pack comprised ..

the quintessential Haw Flakes, that pok pok candy that pops in your mouth, polo mints, rabbit candy, ...the only missing thing was that bubble thing you blow from the end of a tiny straw.  I used to love inhaling the stuff.

The Mojitos Bar...

The week begins with CHILL on Monday featuring special acoustic performances and drink promotions.

Tuesday's child is PLAY, and as the name suggests, its game night.  With a brand-new pool table and dart machines, patrons will have the opportunity to take on the Tujo House Champ in their game of choice. Anyone who defeats the House Champ in pool or darts will receive RM30 Tujo dining vouchers.  For the more sedate, and averse to physical activity, it's also BINGO night.  Best part is, there's a  Beer Buffet for an hour (RM70++) or two (RM110++) .

WINK Wednesdays is Ladies Night, featuring special cocktails and promotions specially for the ladies.  Resident DJ, Sanjay Paramount will be playing the best R&B tunes from the 90s and early 00s. AND THE CLINCHER, Ladies who post their best poses with the “house hot hunks” on WINK Wednesdays also stand to win a bottle of bubbly every week. GASP.  Talk about discrimination, why isn't there a Man's night where  Men get to pose with house hot chicks.

Thursday LIVE nights, Tujo turns it up to full retro blast with its resident LIVE band, “Albert, Vijay & Bada”.  One the liveliest cover bands who will belt out tunes from The Beatles to Queen, it would be great dance music.  Thursdays at Tujo will also feature performances by Malaysia's Queen of Soul Elvira Arul ...

....and supreme songstress Joy Victor  on alternate weeks. There is also a Wine Buffet on Thursday LIVE nights.

The DANCE party continues when Friday night rolls around with DJ Jinggo serving up the best party hits from our favourite eras.

Saturdays sound particularly interesting, as my friend celebrity chef Sapna Anand, queen of spice will be featuring the Goan cuisine with Thali sets starting from RM35.  I really need to check this out.

Here at Tujo, its always been about the overall experience. Our patrons are all lively, fun, and know how to have a great time. So, we simply wanted to be the venue that enables them to do so by offering different activities and entertainment each night of the week. There’s something for everyone at the Tujo ‘playground’, and we’re excited to be able to showcase that more vividly through our new concept,” explained Brian Choo, Executive Director of SOUL Society.

Some of the lively and fun patrons Brian Choo was referring to in his speech...

For more information on Tujo and its latest offerings, visit or the TujoKL Facebook page:

Ascott Kuala Lumpur, 9, Jalan Pinang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

t : 012-210 3055
e :
w :

Monday, July 22, 2019

Marimbar, Finally A Happening Rooftop Bar in PJ

There's no denying the PJ Landscape is literally changing by the day.  As a boy growing up in PJ, (okay, okay that was like *0 years ago I know), the tallest structure was probably the pillar in front of Cycle and Carriage, which is across from PJ Hilton (today is it a PJD building I believe), on top of which perched the latest model of the Mercedes Benz.

Today, even with waze, I could not find the Pinnacle Building, wherein lies MARIMBAR, the fanciest rooftop bar in PJ I daresay.  So many new buildings in that area, such a maze, but anyway, for the uninformed, it is conjoined with the Sheraton PJ, kinda like how KL Hilton and LeMeridien are joined at the hip kinda thing.

On the 35th floor, a different world awaits.  Hip and chirpy bar with a really chill atmosphere,  nature-themed watering hole that boasts a panoramic bird’s-eye view of PJ city and part of Kuala Lumpur.

The name MARIMBAR is a combination of the owner's name, RIMBA (the Malay word for ‘jungle’), and ‘bar’.

At MARIMBAR, guests can expect good music, fun cocktails and the delicious Italian food that The Marini’s Group is well-known for.

The  venue has welcoming splashes of green and décor that gives that closer-to-nature feel. MARIMBAR’s indoor area has walls dripping with foliage interspersed by screens of simulated waterfalls. The deejay booth stands out like a pseudo stone ruin, a simple temple of music.

Signature Cocktails include:
Pisco Disco, RM38 - Chrysanthemum infused Pisco, lychee liqueur, lime juice, lychee juice & pandan syrup.. a palate cleanser, paving the way for heavier stuff....

The Red Rimba, RM40 - Lemongrass infused Gin, raspberry puree, lemon juice, pandan syrup, ginger & egg white... Refreshing, for want of a better word

Blue Moon, RM45 - Gin, sweet & sour, pineapple juice & blue curaçao.  I always have a fascination with blue foods or drink, and I guess this would be the drink of my choice.  Also because it is the least sweet.

Light bites include
Beef Crostini With Jalapeno Pepper & Goat Cheese, RM48
Chicken Quesadillas, RM32
Deep Fried Camembert Cheese, RM25
Fried Vietnamese Spring Roll, RM18
Duck Salami & Cheese Platter, RM38

Marimbar Truffle, RM42 - Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, arugula, parmesan cheese, truffle oil
Capriciossa, RM38 - Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, turkey ham, artichoke, mushrooms

Buffet station hot dishes
Pasta - Penne Arrabbiata With Spicy Tomato Sauce, RM30
Main - Boneless Lamb Shank With Sautéed Vegetables & Mashed Potatoes, RM58

MARIMBAR is The Marini’s Group first bar in Petaling Jaya and we felt it would be a refreshing change to have a TMG F&B destination with a tropical vibe. We hope to bring a vibrant burst of colour and energy to the Petaling Jaya nightlife scene with MARIMBAR and look forward to serving guests from the PJ community,” said Marini.

Stunning vistas of PJ in the day time....

Trendy floralled mixologists whipping up exotic cocktails...

A modern tropical paradise in the sky ...gorgeous view at night...with KLCC and KL Tower in the yonder.

Situated at the 35th floor of Pinnacle PJ Tower A, MARIMBAR is Petaling Jaya’s highest rooftop bar to date and the spacious

Guests can sit comfortably on wide couches with palm and lobster claw plant motifs or perch themselves on animal print bar stools by the tiger print bar. Above the bar, fibre ball pendant lamps dangle from the ceiling, reminiscent of weaver bird nests in the wild.

MARIMBAR is located at Level 35, Pinnacle PJ Tower A in Petaling Jaya and is open daily from 5pm till late. The bar’s weekly events include their ‘Sassy Ladies’ ladies’ night on Thursdays.

For reservations, contact +603 2386 6030 (before 8pm), +60129352098 (after 8pm) or email For more information on MARIMBAR, visit (@marimbarpj on Instagram). For information on The Marini’s Group, visit

About The Marini’s Group
Founded by restaurateur and entrepreneur Cav. Modesto Marini in 2012, The Marini’s Group prides itself on its F&B and entertainment brands for the different audiences – Marini’s on 57, Marble 8, M Marini Grand Caffè & Terrazza, MariGin Gin Bar and Marimbar. Each F&B outlet offers a unique dining and sensory experience.

Multi-award winning Marini’s on 57 is Malaysia’s most iconic rooftop destination with a rooftop bar, Italian restaurant and whisky lounge. It sits 876ft (267m) above sea level in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City and offers a close-up view of the Petronas Twin Towers and panoramic views of the city. A luxury establishment with an unparalleled level of service and exceptional contemporary Italian cuisine, it has become the preferred venue for numerous events and celebrations and a beacon for international celebrities, tourists, and socialites since its opening in June 2012.

The three distinct spaces at Marini’s on 57 have each been designed to encapsulate and project different moods and energy to enthral all five senses. The establishment houses an extensive cigar and whisky collection and is the only luxury F&B venue in Malaysia to have released its own Sunset Hours compilation albums with music greats Jose Padilla, Chris Coco, Afterlife, and Simon Mills.

Marble 8 is the city’s premier steakhouse specialising in dry-aged beef where their signature cuts are treated in their own custom-built dry-aging cellar.

M Marini Grand Caffè & Terrazza is a champagne, caviar and coffee establishment that combines Italian elegance with casual comfort to give guests a taste of Italian Caffè culture.

MariGin Gin Bar is a traditional gin parlour with a twist, which offers concoctions that capture the cosmopolitan spirit of gin but with a local touch.

Marimbar is Petaling Jaya’s highest rooftop bar with a panoramic view of the city skyline and part of Kuala Lumpur. This latest opening with its lush green settings and modern tropical vibe takes the concept of a refreshing watering hole to a whole new level.