Saturday, July 29, 2017

OAKWOOD: AN OASIS IN THE CITY




Sometimes a brief breather is all one needs to recharge and rejuvenate from the daily drudgery of work and life. We found a low-key yet peaceful oasis right in the heart of KL recently – Oakwood Hotel & Residence – for a quiet weekend staycation.

Opened in October last year, Oakwood has 251 units onsite: 71 Deluxe Rooms, 155 One-bedroom Deluxe Apartments, 25 One-bedroom Premier Apartments and 1 Two-Bedroom Apartment.

Tucked slightly back from the main thoroughfare of Jalan Ampang, we like the calm, unhurried feel of its spacious and airy lobby. Its sparse furnishing didn’t bother us as the existing seats were there for practical purpose.

 
We took an instant liking to the bright and cheery ambience of our Deluxe Apartment. Accentuated with dark wood trimming and pops of colour from a pair of contemporary dining chairs and wall-mounted artworks, the clean lines and dominant neutral shades give the space organised structure. Soft furnishings of underfoot carpet in the living area and bedroom coupled with the fabric-upholstered settee lent the place an inviting homely finish.
 
The kitchenette is surprisingly well-equipped too with a microwave oven, a rice cooker, a toaster and electric kettle forming the coterie of facilities available. In addition, there’s a mini fridge as well as crockery and cutlery. Our gang jokingly remarked a mini feast could easily be whipped up with the stuff provided.

Another plus point is the proper executive desk and chair which makes work a breeze. Besides complimentary WiFi, we like the luxury of having a flatscreen telly in the living room and another in the bedroom. The bed itself was comfy enough to ensure we slept soundly.


Personally, I give Oakwood extra points for devoting ample space to the toilet, long bath and shower area. Instead of run-of-the-mill toiletries, Oakwood commissioned Australian designer and entrepreneur Peter Morrissey to curate the whole set of bath care products using organic plant extracts and essential oils.





For those who seek to hideaway from the outside world, Oakwood has all the basics covered. The freeform swimming pool is big enough for laps and next to it is a children’s wading pool. Huge beanbags at the spacious deck let guests lounge around in the shade whilst fitness buffs may make full use of the modest Fitness Centre.




TrEat Restaurant & Bar is the only F&B outlet at Oakwood but it’s adequate enough to cater to famished guests. Breakfast proved to be a bustling affair during high occupancy especially when hordes of guests descend on the morning spread simultaneously. 

 

We found the usual range of brekkie fare proffered decent enough as the selection covered everything from local noodles and cereals to eggs, sausages and toast. Throughout the day, an a la carte variety of comfort food is served. 
You won’t go hungry for sure as surrounding Oakwood is several F&B hot spots, offering everything from Irish pub grub to Middle Eastern fare. A short drive away is Ampang, famed for its yong tau foo or head to one of the major malls like Suria KLCC and The Intermark for more abundant choices.




Other facilities and services for guest convenience include a Laundry Room, 24-hour concierge and front desk services, business services and four meeting spaces to accommodate 24 – 100 persons.

Oakwood Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur is the 30th Oakwood-branded property across 20 cities in Asia-Pacific. Address: 222, Jalan Ampang, KL. For more information, check: facebook.com/OakwoodKualaLumpur

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

GO THE WHOLE HOG AT ORIENTAL PAVILION



The aromatic dry rub recipe used for the Oriental Group of Restaurants’ house speciality of Macau-style Roast Suckling Pig is such a closely guarded secret that only Group Executive Chef Justin Hor and the roast master chef know the actual ingredients. According to Emily Chiam who heads the marketing division, the prized concoction has industry competitors trying valiantly to replicate it but to no avail.
My guess is it’s a cohesive combination of Asian spices with Continental herbs but instead of dwelling on this trade secret, I rather focus on the deliciousness of the Roast Suckling Pig. With a week to go, do make haste to Oriental Pavilion in PJ and savour the delectable speciality before the piggy promotion ends on 31 July.
Available at the promo price of RM238++ each (regular price RM350++), the Roast Suckling Pig can be enjoyed in three distinct preparations: finest Macau style, BBQ with foie gras sauce or BBQ with glutinous rice.
When it comes to the fine art of roasting, Chinese chefs win hands down. It doesn’t take a genius to realise just how tricky it is to achieve that unbelievably even and lacquer-like sheen of a whole suckling pig. Comparable to an edible work of art, the crisp, crackling skin is such a joy to behold and an even greater gastronomic delight to ingest.
Tucked underneath the crispy skin is a beguiling layer of well-seasoned, juicy meat; each delicious piece can be enjoyed on its own or wrapped up in a fresh cos lettuce leaf and cherry tomato. Chilled glasses of fresh citrus juice are served to cleanse the palate afterwards.
The BBQ Suckling Pig with Glutinous Rice is more substantial as it comes with a layer of flavourful glutinous rice underneath. Taste-wise, this speciality is subtler on the palate but proffers more textural contrasts. Again the slices of crispy suckling pig can be eaten with the classic accompaniments of spring onion florets and sweet bean sauce or the newer combo of fresh lettuce and cherry tomato.
Also hogging the limelight this July is Charcoal Grilled Iberico Pork Ribs Spanish Style. Available at the promo price of RM138++ per rack (regular price RM198++), the hefty slab of Iberico ribs proves on-point and ticks all the right boxes in terms of flavour and texture.
Gnawing on the bone to tear off strips of that tender meat, our tastebuds grasped the full extent of the Spanish-influenced marinade – a splendid amalgamation of delicately sweet, warm spice and fresh, grassy herb nuances reminiscent of sunny Espana. You’d pick the bones clean off this signature dish for sure.

For reservations, call Oriental Pavilion restaurant, tel: 03-7956 9288. More information can be found at www.orientalrestaurants.com.my