Tuesday, June 18, 2019

TEA-LICIOUS & SIZZLING HOT PICKS AT ZUAN YUAN


Lots of tea-licious and sizzling hot specialities will ignite diners’ interest at Zuan Yuan, One World Hotel come July 2019.
Taking a leaf out of the trad Hakka dish of lui cha or thunder tea rice, One World Hotel’s Executive Chinese Chef Tommy Choong Chan Hoo was inspired to create his Stir Fried Rice with Green Tea & Assorted Seafood Hakka Style (RM38) — one of the several ‘tea-licious’ temptations available throughout July at Zuan Yuan.
The show-stopping speciality stands out for its fresh herbaceous accent, thanks to the chef’s ingenuity in imbuing the rice with his house-made pesto of basil, pine nuts and tea. Those who partial to Hakka lui cha will enjoy relishing this dish as the resultant nuances echo that of the traditional offering. The clear sweetness of scallops and prawns also boost its overall appeal.
Having cut his culinary teeth with the Regent Kuala Lumpur (now rebranded Grand Millennium KL), Chef Tommy’s two decade-long career path has taken him to some of the city’s international five-star  hotels.
In line with his philosophy of whipping up simple dishes with skilful subtlety and showcasing the ingredients’ natural flavours and textures, the chef proves his culinary mettle by using chrysanthemum — a ubiquitous ingredient to brew cooling Chinese herbal tea — in a savoury broth.
Hints of floral overtones are discernible in the Double Boiled Abalone & Fish Maw Soup with Chrysanthemum (RM48); giving an unexpectedly winsome dimension to the comforting broth.
Toasty oolong tea leaves left a rave-worthy impression on the crowd-pleasing serving of Smoked Village Chicken with Oolong (RM60 half chicken). The scrumptiously juicy, tender chicken tastes even better with the zingy house ginger-spring onion dip.
Light and Crispy Prawns Stuffed with Yam & Pumpkin served with Green Tea Dressing (RM65 per portion) also hit the spot well. Think of it as a refined version of local cucur udang or prawn fritters, each flaunting a sizeable crustacean within the battered nest of yam and pumpkin julienne enlivened by a creamy green tea infused sauce.
 
Imported lava stones from Turkey play a fundamental role in the array of sizzling specialities, also available in July. Recommendations include superbly delectable U.S. Angus Beef Steak (RM68/100g, minimum order of 200g) and Australian Premium Lamb Cutlets (RM48/100g, minimum order of 200g), cooked to order on the hot lava stones to your desired doneness. Accompaniments of assorted vegetables, mushroom and a choice of Black Pepper, Mongolian or Barbecue Sauce.
For reservation, please call Zuan Yuan restaurant, tel: 03-7681 1159 or email zuanyuan@oneworldhotel.com.my

Saturday, June 08, 2019

THAI-LICIOUS DINING EXPERIENCE AT TAVERN IN THE SKY

 
Cool, fresh air and a panoramic green vista are the icing on the top for diners patroning Tavern In The Sky, a rooftop Thai dining and BBQ bar up at Genting Highlands.
 
Tucked away at the Grand Ion Delemen Hotel and easily accesible to guests staying at the neighbouring premium apartment towers of Gloria Residences, this serene restaurant is worth a visit during lunch or dinner.
Best seats in the house are naturally outside by the spacious patio. It’s a memorable experience like no other when you sit down to a piping hot mookata (Thai barbecue cum hotpot) meal in the chilly highland weather.
The house speciality Mookata (RM120 per set) is ample enough to cater to 2-3 diners. Ingredients include 3 tiger prawns, 1 freshwater king prawn, chicken and fish slices, scallops, mussels, squid, beancurd, chicken sausage, crabstick, mixed vegetables and noodles.
Additional portions of sliced beef, seafood and other ingredients (we counted 27 in total) available a la carte (RM8-RM18 per serving). For those who rather not get their hands dirty, the helpful restaurant team will gladly step in to cook the food. Otherwise, it promises to be a fun DIY experience with family or friends.
Based on our first-hand experience, the various morsels are delicious when eaten hot off the grill and pot. The barbecue items, cooked with butter, are done just right while soup for the hot pot is clear and sweet.

Crowd-pleasing snacks and Thai fare to accompany beer, wine or your tipple of choice are also served at Tavern In The Sky. We recommend Ochagavia Espuela (RM100), a fresh, crisp Chilean white wine to complement crunchy Fried Chicken Skin (RM20) and Garlic Fried Popcorn Chicken (RM20). Both are understandably popular choices among the restaurant patrons thanks to the chockful of appetising flavours and crunchiness.


Need some soup to warm you up? The signature Red or White Tom Yum Soup with Seafood (RM35-regular, RM65-large) will do the trick nicely. Personally, I prefer the red version although the white, clear variant is no less punchy heat quotient-wise.
Hearty, one dish meals such as Pad Thai (RM20) — Thai fried flat rice noodles and Fried Rice are trusty options to fall back on for carb-loading. A serving of zingy Chicken Feet Salad (RM20) won’t be remiss as a supplementary speciality to add textural interest.
For reservations, call Tavern in the Sky, tel: 012-391 3223. Address: Grand Ion Delemen Hotel, Genting Highlands, Pahang.


Wednesday, June 05, 2019

HOT OFF THE GRILL FROM YAKITORI DINING FUKUDA


Like the restaurant name implies, yakitori — Japanese-style grilled skewers is the main focus at this small, cosy eatery. A veritable selection is devoted to chicken ‘spare parts’ in addition to the usual sticks of bite-size chicken, pork, seafood, veggies and other delectable morsels.
We learn something new on our visit to Yakitori Fukuda. The oyster-shaped piece of meat in the hollow of the chook’s pelvic bone, listed as Chicken Sot lý laisse (RM7.20 per serving) in the menu is toothsomely tender. Touched with a bit of salt, the meaty sweetness and sublime texture is unforgettable.
My go-to fave of Negima (grilled chicken with scallion, RM6.80) hits the spot well; lushly flavoured with a generous basting of tare, Japanese savoury-sweet yakitori sauce. Rich and melt-in-the-mouth tender, the skewers of Iberico Pork Belly (RM12.80) get the thumbs up all round too.
For the uninitiated, the grilled skewers of crispy Kawa (chicken skin, RM6.20) may serve as a palatable introduction to the joys of eating more exotic parts. Another less intimidating part would be the fatty succulence of Bonjiri (chicken tail, RM6.80).
Flinty on the palate with noticeably metallic aftertaste, the grilled Chicken Liver (RM5.80) and Chicken Hearts (RM5.80) may prove to be more of an acquired taste. 

You can always return to familiar territory with salt-spiked Tebasaki (chicken wings, RM9.80) or the hearty tare-coated Tsukune (chicken hamburg, RM9.80). There’s also smooth, rich skewers of Cream Cheese (RM9.80) to indulge in.
 
From the Sumiyaki Charcoal Grill, we reckon a sublime portion of Chargrilled Salmon Belly (RM36.80) is a delicious way of loading up on omega-3 goodness. The scrumptious, slightly smoky Japanese Saikoro Beef Cube Steak (RM48.80) should moo-ve you to gastronomic heaven as it did to us.
 
Need some greens to complement all that protein? A serving of the house Mizuna & Japanese Ginger Salad with Sesame Dressing (RM28.80) should fit the bill.

While waiting for your yakitori order to arrive, sample appetisers such as 4 Assorted Sashimi Platter (RM48.80), Fresh Shucked Oysters (3 pcs, RM59.80) or Fried Oysters with Tartar (RM18.80). The freshness and quality of taste prove on-point, adequately whetting the appetite for the slew of main specialities.

 
Much to our surprise, the menu isn’t restricted to mere yakitori offerings. Should you crave for a comforting bowl of ramen, Tori Tonkotsu with Soup Ramen (RM26.80) is a good choice. Immersed within sweet tasting white pork bone broth, the springy ramen has sliced belly pork, bamboo shoot and negi in it.
 
Inspired by the national sport of Japan, the Sumo Hot Pot (RM88.80) — a hefty pot  of Iberico pork slices, chicken meat, chicken meatballs, mushrooms, enoki, carrot strips, cabbage, spring onion, carrot and beancurd puffs is a surefire palate-pleaser. You’d be hard pressed to finish the substantial serving but both the ingredients and flavourful broth may prove far too irresistible.
  


After such a stupendous feast, it’s only befitting to wrap things up on a light yet sweet note with silky smooth Mochi Ice Cream (RM7.80).

For reservations, please call Yakitori Dining Fukuda, tel: 03-6206 3526. Address: No. 39-G, Jalan 23/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Business Hours: 5pm - 1am