Sunday, December 04, 2016

TIME TO MEAT UP AT MEATOLOGY


Brandy added to Chef Yenni Law's secret BBQ sauce lifts her signature Meatology Ribs (RM45+) to divine gastronomic heights. Trust me, fans of swine would swoon and pick every bone clean after the first bite. This speciality and a parade of new dishes are now the top draw for Boathouse customers in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) after the resto's recent rebirth.
Chef Yenni Law who shot into the limelight with her maiden Meatology cookbook took some time to debate on changing her long established resto's name. Recently, she finally took the plunge after giving her beloved premises a fresh coat of paint and extra creative touches: framed up news clippings and stories of the chef and wine bottles upcycled into pendant lights. The upstairs space is transformed into Myth Bar, a casual drinking haven.  
The existing aqua-bar - a constant feature from Boathouse days - is still upfront; where  creative cocktails such as White Lady (RM26+) and Slippery Martini (RM26+) continue to be whipped up and served to order.
Whatever your 'poison' is, Meatology proffers an interesting array of nibbles to chew on while you nurse your drinks. We recommend the spiced fried Gizzard Frito (RM13+). Some may find the idea of chomping on fried chicken gizzard squeamish but once you get past that mental barrier, the crispy-chewy chunks are deliciously addictive.
At the risk of sounding like a Bizzare Food episode, would French Escargots (RM13+) have the snob appeal for you? These epicurean delights used to send peeps shuddering with distaste but I'd like to think most of the dining public are now digging them with gusto. Heh, at least our dining party did as the toothsomely soft snails were baked with Chef Yenni's secret cream sauce and spinach.
Another French mainstay is Foie Gras (RM49+) which left us smitten with its dense velveteen richness. Lavished with lashings of buttery, balsamic vinegar and brandy-infused sauce, the chunk of nearly caramelise-crusted liver was heartstoppingly good.
 
Wading back onto safer ground, try the house cured Duck Breast Confit (RM43+). Tender with faint whiffs of smoky gaminess, the scrumptious meat induced us to wallop everything once we dribbled the citrus trinity sauce (concocted from passionfruit, orange and mango with diced strawberry) onto the duck, fresh rocket and potato mash. Yummeh!
Okay, those who rather duck that offering may find greater appeal in reeling in some sashimi-grade Blue Fin Tuna (RM69+) instead. Prepared tartare-style with a lightly seared crust, the succulent, thickly sliced fish with its inherently meaty accent should float your boat when complemented by citrus ponzu sauce.
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Enjoy dining with some dramatic flair? Then treat yourself to a fiery performance when you order Steak on Fire (RM50+). Get your smartphones ready to roll when the waitstaff flambés a  200g Aussie tenderloin steak with VSOP brandy pepper sauce at your tableside.

We asked for a medium rare steak and presto, the hunk of meat was on point when cut - superbly juicy with hints of booze to amplify the droolworthy flavours.

For those who eschews beef, the delectable alternative is Swine Neck Steak Flambé (RM59+) featuring a 220g slab of pork neck meat cooked with equal finesse before your eyes. We relished every morsel of that too which had intermingling peppery, buttery and boozy nuances.
As mentioned earlier, the Meatology Ribs weren't shabby either. The meat texture wasn't fall apart soft but had retained some resistant texture when we bit into it; suffusing our palate with big, deep-seated sweet, savoury and briny flavours.

 
The heat came on in the house speciality of Fiery Ribs (RM45+) but we daresay locals would take to this like bees to honey. Smothered in a hot chunky chilli sauce similar to sambal, the meaty pork ribs covered in that reduction of red and dried chillies proved local inspired sauces would literally leave you in tears.
Lots of TLC went into the Smoked Lamb Muscle (RM43+). After deboning, the 200g lamb leg is smoked in-house to irresistible tenderness before it's served with a trio of special spicy sauce, mint sauce and horseradish & pommery mustard sauce. A notable option for true-blue carnivores.
Such scrumptious meat should ideally be savoured with wines. Meatology currently offers
Wine Flight (RM119+), proffering four glasses of white, rosé, red and ice wine to enhance your dining experience. From our sampling of the different tipples: Château de Cathalogne Bordeaux, Château de Fesles Anjou Rosé, La Closerie des Lys Rouge and Pilliteri Vidal Ice Wine, the quartet was laudable.
Marmite either garners aye or nay from food lovers so when it comes to Spaghetti Marvellous Mite (RM29+), I personally gave it the thumbs up as a fan of the yeasty, umami-rich condiment. Adorned with parma ham, the savoury spaghetti in al dente perfection went down a treat.
Patience is a virtue when you wish to sample Meatology's Reggae Pudding (RM17+). This treat has to made on order but the waiting time is worth it once you have a taste of the speciality. Made using fresh bread, banana, raisins, egg custard and rum then served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the pudding lured us with its hot-cold appeal and sublime soft-spongy-mushy textures.

Give in to the dark side when faced with the Sinful Soufflé (RM22+). We readily surrendered once the runny chocolate and dark cherries in booze hit our tastebuds. Airy and ethereal, the chocolatey dessert left us up on cloud nine.
A pool of brandy butterscotch sauce laid the foundation for Chef Yenni's decadent Date Pudding (RM18+). Never mind its plain Jane look. Once you dig in, the sticky date pudding would unleash its luscious texture and rich overtones to blow you away.
 
Before we could recover from that sumptuousness, the chef left us buckling at the knees with her Nasty Alaska (RM23+). We never got tired of seeing the dessert up in flames. The outer meringue crust - once lightly scorched - opened to reveal a cool composition of ice cream on peanut butter-laced cake, and studded with liquor-soaked dried fruits. A most befitting finale for our latest meat-ting!

For reservations at MEATOLOGY RESTAURANT, call tel: 03-7727 4426. The resto is located at 16, Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL.


Saturday, December 03, 2016

MINDFUL COLOURING JOURNEYS AT WESTIN


 

Three bespoke illustrations by Johanna Basford were unveiled exclusively for Westin Hotels & Resorts in Asia Pacific recently. For the KL leg of the mindful initiative, The Westin KL invited local artist and speed painter Haze Long to join General Manager, Mr Ko Van Den Hil at the mini launch event.

 

The three adult colouring sheets will be available at Westin Hotels & Resorts across Asia Pacific till end February 2017. Inspired by Basford whose adult-colouring books became a worldwide phenomenon, the design narrative centres on the theme of wellness and the holistic nature of Westin’s signature programmes. 

The first square rendering depicts digital gadgets, maps and travel essentials, conveying the Westin approach of staying fit on the road with riffs from Westin Gear Lending Programme, whilst paying homage to travel adventures in the air, on land and sea.

The second heart-shaped design denotes Westin Sleep Well menu, featuring sprigs of lavender, cups of tea, bowls of berries and yoghurt and pretty vine-wreathed flowers.
The third sheet has reminiscents of Basford's renowned Secret Garden tome, an intricate composition of butterflies, leafy foliage and blossoming flowers. Whole fruits and glasses of juices are included to reflect Westin's signature SuperFoodsRX programme. 
After the GM and Haze had coloured in a mounted rendering of Johanna Basford's, the speed painter briefly shared insights on her inner journey to becoming an artist, and how painting and colouring help her in many ways. 
Christmas certainly came early for us attendees when The Westin KL presented us with a gift set containing an acrylic frame, a piece of Johanna Basford's rendering and a set of colour pencils.
Guests and visitors to The Westin KL can dabble in their creative side at the colouring counter located at the Lower Lobby while waiting for their appointments, taking a break or seeking some inspiration.

For more information, visit www.westin.com/wellness

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

9 BRUNCH DISHES TO EAT AT THE DAILY GRIND

Fluffy Waffle & Fried Chicken (RM22++) for brunch? If the thought of hunky crispy fried chook paired with waffles leave you crowing with delight, then make haste to The Daily Grind for your share of this delectable dish every weekend from 9am to 2pm.
 
This long-standing casual eatery has a cheerful and laidback vibe about it so feel free to saunter in with your brood or besties in tow for a good chow-down.
Served with spicy tomato chutney and maple syrup, the boneless chicken fillet was flavoursome; the outer layer of skin coated with crumbly, crunchy batter. Several slices of briny beefy 'ham' drizzled with maple syrup complete the delish platter.
 
Top placing went to crumbly Smokin' Seaside Scones (RM28++) - a creative, savoury permutation of classic English scones which formed a solid flavoursome basis for a pair of poached eggs with hollandaise sauce alongside smoked tuna and swordfish, and fresh peppery rocket.
My personal fave of Goddess Bowl (RM22++) edged in at third place...it could have easily trumped the rest just on looks alone especially the generous pool of smooth house-made Vietnamese yoghurt in plain and blueberry flavours. A milieu of colourful edible flowers, fresh berries, mango dices, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, oats, coconut flakes and berries coulis surrounded the lush, tangy yoghurt.
Neck to neck in terms of subtly sweet appeal would be Pancake Soufflé (RM23++). The stack of pillow-soft pancakes resembling soufflé drenched in lemon cream was feather-light, with textural interest lent by scatterings of wild berries and assorted nuts, and shards of honeycomb. Ideal for the sweet-toothed without loading up on too much guilt.
  
Named after two historical heavyweights, the Napoleon & Churchill (RM25++) was anything but. A fallback for those who prefer their brunch along the perennial pairing of sausage and eggs, this plate of savoury cheddar cheese-filled crepes drew us in with seared chicken sausages and a salad of fresh rocket and green apple slices with romesco aioli.
The savoury crepes made a nice change from the usual bread or potato hash found in most brunch platters. A shoo-in for less adventurous eaters who like the tried-and-tested with just that slight twist. 
Tickle the funny bone of prankster friends or family members with a sense of fun and humour with The Mockery (RM18++). It looks like a classic English breakfast but doesn't taste anything like it at all! Suffice to say we had a good laugh digging into the inventive, mind-bending creations.
Since The Daily Grind's reputation is built on burgers, it's inconceivable something like Burger Me Breakfast (RM27) would appear in the brunch array. Burger fans can rejoice for this delectable dish comprises brioche bun bearing a juicy beef patty and crisp slices of beef bacon, livened up with tomato jam and hollandaise sauce. Satisfying fare to start lazy Sundays with.
Salty and sweet accents reigned in the Herb Brioche Pudding (RM29++). Laden with salted caramel, walnuts, sultanas, air-dried beef and rum, we were nonplussed by this unconventional speciality. Frankly, I wasn't gaga over the busy mixture of flavours but go ahead, give it a go and decide for yourself.
Rum & raisin ice cream is so hard to come by these days that I'd steer towards Captain Morgan's French Toast (RM23++) in all likelihood. Studded with plump rum-soaked raisins, the heady, faintly spicy sweetness was splendid once it started to melt onto the thick slices of French toast. Crushed pistachios and maple syrup provided the finishing touches.
 For brunch reservations at The Daily Grind, please call: 03-2287 6708. Address: LG8, Lower Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 1, Jalan Telawi, KL.