Thursday, October 31, 2013

MAKAN KITCHEN'S MONTHLY SPECIALS




Look out for fresh inspirations from Makan Kitchen's Chinese sous chef Cheong Boon Fei the next time you dine there.


In October, the youthful chef impressed us with his Cantonese showcase featuring an array of signature appetisers, BBQ specialities and a la carte dishes. We believe there will be more interesting specials that will take the spotlight for the coming months - not just from the Chinese kitchen but also other sections. After all, Makan Kitchen's unique concept covers Indian, Malay, Nyonya and even Sarawakian under its roof.
We were lucky to sample a premium selection of fine Cantonese delights such as whole steamed fish with scallions, ginger and sesame oil (the unmatched classic), scallops on half shell with glass noodles and garlic, and Buddha Jumps Over The Wall. 
When it comes to steamed fish, the Cantonese does it best. The sumptuous garoupa that we had was top notch even though we had to allow ardent shutterbugs let their cameras 'feast' on it first!

Dainty hand-made dumplings are always something to look forward to here. They may be stuffed with interesting filling of otak-otak paste, minced chicken, garlic and kaffir lime leaves or yield characteristically 'ching' (clear) flavours that are so beloved by the Cantonese.
My mouth still waters at the memory of the 'wor tip' or pot-stickers that we had - those delicious pan-fried, crimped dumplings filled with chopped chives and minced chicken.
Tiny baby abalone, bamboo pith and dried scallop were some of the treasured goodies in the sweet, velvety soup. Slightly unctuous on the tongue, it was warmly comforting and came served in a whole winter melon.

The steamed scallops with black beans atop clumps of glass noodles also struck a nice chord; their delicate sea-sweetness and rounded beany brininess absorbed by some glass noodles.

Chef Cheong also proves to be a dab hand at cooking loh shi fun - those fat, rat tail-shaped noodles that we Chinese are so fond of. Stir-fried with minced chicken, some piquant chilli paste and choi poh (preserved vegetable), the noodles soon had us returning for repeat helpings.
Keep your eyes peeled for similar special dishes on Makan Kitchen's rotational menu for dinner in addition to the regular parade of Malay, Indian, Nyonya, Iban and Melakan Portuguese specialities.

Price: RM98++ per adult (Thurs-Sat), RM92++ (Sun-Wed) for buffet dinner

For reservations, please call Makan Kitchen, tel: 03-2172 7272. Address: Level 11, DoubleTree by Hilton KL, Jalan Tun Razak, KL.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

DELICIOUS NEW TEMPTATIONS

Delicious at Bangsar Village 2

The restaurant business is all about survival. After 9 years in existence, Delicious has grown from a small tea room to 10 full-fledged caf├ęs - expanding beyond the Klang Valley to Penang, Johor Bahru and Singapore under the E&O Group.
Delicious at St Mary's Residences KL

Now under the stewardship of new CEO Steve Allen, Delicious is set to maintain the pace and last the distance with a revamped menu. According to Allen, the new line-up is more streamlined with 20 new dishes and 20 new drinks taking pride of place. Of course, crowd favourites remain and have been given slight makeovers to freshen their presentation.
Delicious at Straits Quay Penang
"There's still a good variety to please diners," said Allen. "From our internal discussions, the offerings now include more fresh and healthier ingredients such as vegetables and fruits. We also use organic Colombian coffee for our Deli'spresso (espresso based ice blended beverage) so the flavours really come through."
Spiced Apple Tea

The cafe chain also has Spiced Apple Tea (RM8.90++), The Delicious Iced Tea - a cool blend of strawberry, mint and English breakfast tea (RM8.90++) and Spiced Apple Chai Latte (RM9.90++) to please tea lovers. Fruitier concoctions to tickle healthy tastebuds include Passionfruit Yoghurt Crush (RM11.90++) and Frosty Lychee & Lime (RM10.90++).

Feeling peckish while deciding on what to eat? Order a plate of Lebanese Bread with Caramelised Onion Hummus (RM10.90++) to share. The warm triangular pieces will be gone in a twinkling believe us.
Snow Peas, Long Beans & Sundried Tomato Salad
I love the Long Beans, Snow Peas & Sundried Tomato Salad (RM23.90++) with Crushed Pistachios in Creamy Dressing. It's a crunchy ensemble that's not overly cloying but redolent with nuttiness and toasty hints of sundried tomato.
Crispy Soft Shell Crab Salad
The Crispy Soft Shell Crab Salad (RM27.90++) with Som Tam seems a tad heavy for my personal liking but the tangy yet crunchy shredded papaya salad is a nice touch. I foresee fans of soft shell crabs will find this Thai-inspired creation worth tucking into.
Chicken Avocado Wrap
Frankly, I'm not a fan of chicken breast or pesto so I'd gladly pass on the Chicken Avocado Wrap (RM24.90++) -  Lebanese bread wrapped and rolled with poached chicken breast, butterhead lettuce and basil pesto mayo. But I'm sure plenty of health-conscious folks out there will consider this heavenly manna.
The Delicious Club Sandwich
Stacked with grilled chicken, turkey bacon, egg and tomato slices on toasted brioche smeared with pesto, The Delicious Club Sandwich (RM26.90++) is more to my liking. I guess such a classic creation really can't go wrong, can it? A notable ensemble of meaty, hearty goodness that you'd never tire of.
Dry Tossed Sambal Linguine
Firing up local palates in the pasta section is Dry Tossed Sambal Linguine (RM29.90++) with Fishballs, Calamari and Tiger Prawns. Should this be too hot for you, the Seafood Marinara Spaghettini (RM25.90++) may prove a viable alternative. Scattered amidst the robustly flavoured garlic tomato sauce are squid, prawns and anchovies that lend the pasta extra textural interest.

Beef Short Ribs Herbal Soup
Malaysia's strong, piquant culinary accents and multi-cultural heritage are evident in the Beef Short Ribs Herbal Soup (RM27.90++) and Chicken Kapitan (RM24.90++). The former is inspired by a popular meat and herbal broth dish; the beefy soup admittedly has greater depth that is soaked up by the other components: chewy soba noodles, shiitake mushrooms and bok choy.
Chicken Kapitan
As for the latter, I personally find the semi-dry chicken curry lacks oomph but diners in general may find it acceptable if they can't stomach overly spicy food. Served with some very good Acar Rampai (crunchy, tangy carrot and papaya pickles), prawn crackers and steamed rice, it's bound to go down well with rice fiends.
Salted Caramel Choc Cake
New cakes on the block to savour range from Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake (a contest winner creation, RM12.90++) and Banana Caramel Cake (RM12.90++) to Gula Melaka Decadence (RM12.90++), Berrilicious Chocolate Pavlova (RM13.90++) and Lemon Meringue Pie (RM12.90++). Just the kind of sweet conclusion that die-hard sweet-tooth diners crave.

Banana Caramel Cake




Find the nearest Delicious outlets to you via http://www.delicious.com.my/

Monday, October 07, 2013

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Saturday, October 05, 2013

ITALIAN INSPIRATIONS



Limoncello...like the Italian tipple it's named after, the eatery aims to keeps foodies' spirits up
I have never set foot in Italy before but I've seen enough of its streets and piazzas on TV's travel shows. Whether one is in Rome, Venice or Milan, the key visitor hot spots are dotted with cafes that spill tables and chairs onto the sidewalks. These crowd-pulling eateries are well-patronised at all hours as people stop for coffee, delicious bistro food or copious glasses of wine.

Now tucked away in a lush, secluded corner of KLCC that look out to the fountain and park area is Limoncello - a casual Italian bistro that aims to evoke a similar feel just like its Italian counterparts. The outlet's specialities is designed to transport you there too ...think of it as a culinary journey of sorts on a plate or two or three.
Stimulating on the tastebuds...air-dried beef with cherry tomatoes & rocket salad
I have always found Italian antipasti or appetisers easy on the palate and aptly whet the appetite for more substantial fare to follow. Our curtain-raisers include gossamer-thin Carpaccio Di Bresaola (air-dried beef on rocket with cherry tomatoes and  parmesan flakes, RM32.80) and hearty Melanzane Alla Parmigiana (baked eggplant layered with tomato, mozzarella and parmesan RM24.80) are customary staples that help to warm hearts and loosen tongues amidst glasses of good wine.
Messy goodness to melt your heart
But I predict the Antipasti Misti (deep-fried morsels of calamari, meatballs and mozzarella enrobed in crisp breadcrumb crust, RM28.80) would be the surefire hit with locals.
Clever play of textures & flavours in one dish
For the harried time-poor white collar crowd, the Club Svago (RM32.80) is a reliable quick-fix lunch that shouldn't leave you dozing off after you eat it. Wholesome but superbly scrumptious, it's a hefty sandwich that has grilled chicken fillet piled with fresh vegetables, fried egg, tomato, lettuce and oregano.
Classic favourite that can do no wrong
Another speedy but delish option is Ravioli Di Mazo (RM28.80), deeply rustic albeit flavourful homemade beef ravioli in sundried tomato sauce.
Italian wontons to delight you
Limoncello is also a great place for oven-fresh pizzas. We tried two - Diavola Wood-Fired Pizza (RM28.80) that boasts beef salami, basil, parmesan, mozzarella, tomato, black olives and fresh chilli toppings and Portofino Wood-Fired Pizza (RM32.80) which features a satisfying combination of prawns, cherry tomatoes, rocket, basil, tomato and mozzarella.
Pizza perfect...salami, olives, cheese and other goodies on a crisp crust
Colour your pizza beautiful...absolute deliciousness
The unexpected show-stealer here though is Filetto Di Pesce All’arancio (RM34.80), pan-seared fish fillet in enticingly light orange sauce with rosemary potatoes and buttered vegetables. Tender, sweet yet ethereally light on the palate, we nearly licked the plate clean for this.
Get hooked on this fish dish
Whether you're a black sheep or a docile member of the flock, the indulgently rich Stinco Di Agnello Brasato (RM68.80) will be an irresistible heavyweight contender in your books. Slow-cooked to fork-tender perfection, the lamb shank on truffle mash potato will bring out the carnivore in you.
Simply shank-sational
Dolci (dessert) to square off your outing here includes Botta Di Banana (RM18.80)
pancake smothered in creamy nutty chocolate and topped with banana and cream, and Crostata Al Limone (RM16.80), a tantalising, citrusy lemon tart served with fior di latte gelato. In Italian, fior di latte means "flower of milk"; the creme de la creme of milk if you will - a distinct fresh, milky flavor that lets you discern if the gelato is up to mark or not.
Sweet tart of mine - yums
Go bananas over these crepes

Limoncello Bistro & Bar, G45B/136, Ground Level, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2163-3188