Monday, April 27, 2015

Ipuddo Revisited, New Menu

I remember distinctly the hype surrounding the opening of Ippudo back in the day, in Pavilion, where the queues to get in at lunch time were mile long.  Anyway, since then, I have eaten at the Pavilion and Bangsar Shopping Centre outlets several times, and I have no complaints ... apart from the fact that honestly, it is a bit pricey.  But then again, if you're dining in Pavilion or BSC, you'd hardly expect to be paying kopitiam prices.

Recently, well, about a month ago, (apologies to the organisers, I have been abroad, hence the delay), they launched their new 2015 Grand Menu (so it is still 2015 I guess).

These drinks were ordered by my table comrades, which looked far too thick and filling for me.  A matcha and azuki  smoothie thingie, and the one below,  a yakult jelly smoothie.  All of which would have rendered me too full to eat anything else, because... #iamsoslim #delusional

To start with, the Dashimaki Egg Roll, or nicknamed by me, Dashyat Maki... Basically well, it was a fat omelette, but since I love eggs, by extrapolation, I loved this.

According to Ipuddo's Regional Operations Consultant, Tomo Kudo, "Ippudo always aims to bring to the table tasty selections..brimming with robust classic flavours with a hint of modern finesse.  It is founder Shigemi Kawahara's philosophy to continuously innovate" a nutshell.  He said a lot more.
The spicy boiled gyoza was good.  It's dainty portions certainly made it elegant, and we wouldn't have minded more.

Seared Salmon Roll With Mentaiko, which unanimously seems to have been the favourite dish of the night.  I need to return to eat this again without the glare of the camera lights.

Pork Grill, which was rather pedestrian, but actually I don't mind it cos I don't like dishes drowned in sauce, so this minimalist dish of pork loin and vegetables actually appeals to me, and of course, who can go wrong with boiled sweetcorn.

And if minimalism is the order of the day, then this dish was the exact opposite, rich creamy sauce that would clog the arteries and waterways, for this Teppan Rice With Beef Dish.  I can imagine one of my kids slurping this dish up with relish.  It was reminiscent of my childhood favourite, Chicken A'la King.  Which no one makes anymore.

And, for the stars of the night, the new ramens.  Clockwise, from upper left, the Karaka men, the Shiromaru Motoaji, the Shoyu Ramen, The Akamaru Kakuni, Shiromaru Kakuni, Akamaru Shinaji.  Prices range from RM22.90 onwards.  Note the thick slabs of wonderful pork in most of the dishes, or the thinner slices which are equally good...which in my book, make these ramen (is ramen plural? is the singular raman?) winners.  Wholesome broth that has been boiled for many hours, 15 if I am not mistaken.

For dessert, the Daifuku, which was a mochi stuffed with ice cream, which I enjoyed.  Rather refreshing way to wash down all the lard.  Well, at least that's what we want to believe.

Looks like durian crepes hor... but its not. Cheese sticks actually, which is a light, typical Japanesey ethereal kind of cheesecake that really melts in the mouth.  Good stuff this.

Tomo Kudo, the Regional Operations Consultant.  Rather cheery affable chappie.

Ippudo Pavilion
Level 4, C4.07, Connection Precinct,
Pavilion KL
03-2110 6233

Ippudo Gardens Mall
T0-218 Third Floor
03-2201 6238

Ippudo BSC
Ground Floor
03-2011 6238

Monday, April 20, 2015

Macallan Mario Testino ... Whisky Dreams and Fantasies...

Macallan, ah, that name, sweet memories, for arguably, it was the Macallan Single Malt that really was the cusp of the popularity of single malts in Malaysia, though admittedly other brands were around.  And Mario Testino, just exactly, who is he?

Only one of the world's most influential photographers, who has photographed Prince Charles, Princess Diana (the late), The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Queen Rania of Jordan, just to name a few.  Hailing from Lima, Peru, he received his country's highest honor in 2010, the Grand Cross Order of Merit, from the President of Peru, and the OBE in 2013 in recognition of his contributions to the photography and philantropic world.

So combine the two, an established renowned single malt, and celebrity cult fashion photographer, a new whisky is spawned from this luminary alliance.  Mario is unveiled as Macallan's 5th Master of Photography, bringing to life the Six Pillars, which are the foundation stones of Macallan.  Six different casks to showcase an ultimate complexity, each with their own definitive character, flavour and aroma.  Brought together by Master Whisky Maker Bob Dalgarno from six casks from a selection of over 200,000 maturing at the Macallan distillery, this special limited edition boasts 1000 bottles globally.

Out of curiosity, I casually asked the price, and almost keeled over with a heart attack, at the RM17,000 price tag.  At that point, I realised that it was unlikely we were going to get a sample of this drop.  Sadly.  So to drown our sorrows, we just continously knocked back the 12 year that was free flowing.

Providence, venue of the launch, was decked up like an art gallery.  Bottles of the stuff were in glass displays, much like diamonds, which should have clued us in as to the price of the bottle, for unlike the other bottles of Macallan that were free standing at the bar, there were no "unprotected" bottles to be seen.


I am not sure but I am pretty sure that fella on the far right is a local celebrity of sorts. Very glitterati...

Darsha Logan, who apparently is the daughter of famed Alleycats, Logan....

Jeff Lee and me, thanks Jeff for the invitation.

From Right to left:  Malaysia's Hottest Blogger Tim Chew, his date, Mr Fireangel and me.

Well, sadly, at that price tag, I guess it will be awhile, or by fluke, that my palate should collide with this subliminity that I can only imagine.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A Magnum-minous Lunch At the Magnum Shop

I didn't know that there's a Magnum Shop.  It's the equivalent of Ice Cream's Fun Theme Park, where you can entertain yourself with all permutations of Magnum Ice Cream, just buy your basic stick, and coat it however you want with whatever you want..What a novel idea, I can't wait to bring the kids

 They recently hosted  an exclusive fine dining session at the MAGNUM Shop in Mid Valley Megamall (3rd floor, near the GSC Cinemas)to celebrate the best of Belgian Indulgence where guests were invited to caress their senses by experiencing exquisite chocolate inspired dishes created using the highest quality Belgian chocolate by Chef Steven Chin, Group Executive Chef of Magnum Kuala Lumpur.

A rather strange pairing in a way, because chocolate was actually used in the savoury foods.  Whilst I am all for sweet and salty pairings, I was quite intrigued to see what the end result of this adventure would taste like.
It was nice to see an old familiar face from days gone by, UGWUG, one of the pioneer food bloggers in days of yore.

As the frontier of chocolate expertise, this event is organized to showcase how MAGNUM will tickle your palate by creating signature dishes that were infused with Belgian chocolate. We want our consumers to always remember that remarkable pleasurable moments are now beyond every bite of MAGNUM ice cream”, shared Mr Shawn Tan, Category Head (Ice Cream), Unilever Malaysia Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Chef Steven Chin has been creating unique dishes for different type of cuisines and desserts for five stars international hotels and fine dining restaurants and the chocolate inspired signature dishes were the interpretations of his vast culinary experiences and passion for chocolate.

To start, a  spice butternut squash velouté which is a butternut pumpkin soup, scented with cinnamon and topped with shaved bitter dark chocolate.  Well, you can't really go wrong with butternut, as we were saying on the table.  A few people thought it was a cappucino at first.  I enjoyed the soup, the flavours of the chocolate were subtle and the soup itself rather hearty.

Next was a marinated capellini pasta with ulam-ulaman served with crispy unagi beignet, salted choc emulsion, soy reduction and crispy ginger.  Unfortunately the pasta was way overcooked, so there was no texture to speak of, but the combination is actually rather good.  The slight hint of bunga kantan, the pungency of the local ulam ulaman, the piece of dried ginger that was very nice, and reminded me of that shocking scarlet red preserved ginger we used to eat as kids, that leave a crimson stain upon the tongue.  The dark chocolate on the unagi was rather unique.

Pan seared butterfish fillet served with sautéed baby spinach and white beurre blanc sauce (from the French for "white butter"). The white beurre blanc sauce is a hot emulsified butter made with vinegar and shallots, this particular version, with MAGNUM white chocolate added.  I personally am not a fan of white chocolate, at all, regardless of brand, so I can't say I was a fan of this dish.  Though I did think the butterfish was well seared.

Death by Chocolate is the richest chocolate dessert that MAGNUM Pleasure Store has ever offered. Death by chocolate is a baked to order warm chocolate molten lava cake served with MAGNUM chocolate brownies ice-cream and chocolate crunch pearls.  It was our opinion that this absolutely HAS to go onto the ala carte menu, for this dish will certainly be a hit.

Good chum Ann Lee (such a pleasant surprise to bump into her) and Malaysia's Hottest Blogger Tim Chew...

And in case we were not full, some other existing desserts to sample, the red velvet cake and the trifle...which looks yummy, but really, after that feast, I really could not tuck in another calorie...

MAGNUM  will be launching a campaign in April 2015 called “Celebrating Chocolate Pleasures”. This will mark another MAGNUM milestone that will provide consumers the ultimate taste of premium chocolate and ice cream experience through concourse events, digital contests and in-store promotions. For more information about MAGNUM ice cream and it latest offering, please visit MAGNUM Malaysia official facebook page at