Wednesday, September 22, 2021

WINSOME CULINARY GEMS AT BURI

Signature BURI Maki

A rolled sushi crowned with six different toppings: spicy salmon; scallop with avocado; sweet prawns with a cube of foie gras; marinated ikura (salmon roe); unagi with slivers of cucumber and crabstick dotted with caviar makes up the visually pleasing Buri Signature Maki (RM45).



It’s one of the many signature specialities by Chef Steve Chua and his partner Chef Edmund Chong for BURI by Two Chefs, a new Japanese outpost which opened on 9 September by the award-winning Two Chefs Lab team.

 

Named after the prized Japanese yellowtail, it’s a propitious indication of how well Chua and Chong have weathered the challenging times. A champion of the prestigious World Sushi Cup in Malaysia, and winner of the World Gourmet Award, the talented chefs now aim to win diners’ hearts, minds and palates with an even more tempting and creative selection – straddling crowd-pleasing sashimi and sushi, rice bowls and slightly fusion offerings like grilled lamb and torched black pork carpaccio at BURI.

As for the Buri Signature Maki, it’s a sublime serving worth savouring slowly. The freshness of each ingredients is unquestionable, and you’d have to take time to appreciate the myriad of textural contrasts and complementing flavours emerging from each of the morsels.


The creative handiwork is underscored in the whole platter so the resultant rolled sushi is not only visually pleasing, but it also teases sensuously. Suffice to say, the proof is truly in the eating.


When it comes to curtain-raisers, the beautifully presented Avocado Salad (RM22) is one of many notable choices. The profusion of fresh greens with mashed avocado decked with lotus root crisps, cherry tomatoes, beetroot spirals and a dollop of ebiko will spur salad-averse diners to load up without nary a complaint.


I give extra points for the Japanese sesame dressing being house made – it isn’t overly cloying, and used with restraint in the salad.


Prefer a tummy-warming appetiser? Then consider the Foie Gras Chawan Mushi (RM14.50). Silky smooth steamed egg custard topped with cubes of savoury rich foie gras...heavenly indulgence!


As Malaysian consumers become more sophisticated, some are beginning to realise it’s worth paying for good quality pork and beef. Hence the increased interest and demand for premium Waygu and Iberico. At BURI you’d have a chance to sample Kuro Buta Carpaccio (RM19).



Served with housemade chilli vinegar sauce, each piece of the juicy and tender sliced black pork is akin to a flavour bomb; an enticement for repeat helpings.


Diners with hearty appetite will enjoy BURI’s Gyu Don (RM42). Sliced Aussie beef complemented by an onsen Kenkori egg, two slices of takuan (Japanese yellow pickled radish) and chopped scallion graced the Japanese rice bowl.

While Aussie beef is already known in the local market for its eating quality, Kenkori eggs have yet to achieve that level of mass awareness. Produced using Japanese farming methods in Malaysia – the first of its kind – Kenkori eggs are enriched with Japanese Astaxanthin and Probiotic, are antibiotic and hormone-free, and are anti-salmonella and e.coli. These two ingredients already raise the quality standard of this particular rice bowl.


To further amplify and bring finesse to his culinary creation, the chef uses shio kombu and truffle oil as the finishing touches. According to Bon Appétit, “shio kombu are kelp boiled in soy sauce, mirin, and sugar, then dried and cut into small pieces. The flavor and aroma are intensely sweet with a hint of the ocean.”


With white rice serving as the canvas for all the different ingredients to meld and form a wondrous picture on the tastebuds, I daresay you’d find it hard not to succumb to such a heartwarming offering.


Japanese dessert is always simple and light and BURI follows the same philosophy. Try Warabi Mochi (RM12)– a summery Japanese jelly-like confection made from bracken or potato starch, served with kinako (toasted soybean powder) and a scoop of yuzu sherbet.


For more information and reservations, please call BURI By Two Chefs, tel: 03-97663438, hp: 010-5539910. Address: E-1-1, Pusat Perdagangan Bandar, Jalan Persiaran Jalil 1, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: Monday to Saturday from 1130 am to 8pm.

Monday, September 13, 2021

A ZINGY TWIST TO MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR


“Szechuan” Ma La Mung Bean mooncake anyone? Or perhaps a summer-inspired Mango with Lotus Seed Paste variant? These inventive conversation stoppers along with baked and snowskin creations form part and parcel of Yun House’s Mid-Autumn Festival cachet this year.

Trust Chef Jimmy Wong to imbue the traditional mooncake with a core of zingy-hot ‘ma la’ filling. When you bite into a wedge of his “Szechuan” Ma La Mung Bean (RM42), your tastebuds will tingle pleasantly when the sensation of burning heat blooms on your tongue before the confection's sweetness gradually creeps in.


Since gifting and sharing mooncakes is a beloved Malaysian tradition, Chef Jimmy has taken great pains to craft a variety of inventive and timeless selection for the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the Mid-Autumn Festival.

“This year, the ritual has taken on added importance, since many of us haven’t been able to meet loved ones and close colleagues for a long time”, said Chef Jimmy Wong. “Sending and gifting mooncakes expresses our good wishes, to remind people we care about them and a gesture to value their presence in our lives.”

His Baked Mooncakes with luxurious fillings include Pu Er Tea Paste with Tangerine Skin (RM42) and the summer-inspired Mango with Lotus Seed Paste (RM42). The former is subtly sweet with the citrus peel lending it a nice ‘bite’ while the latter yields a sublime candy-sweetness, remarkably similar to the fruit itself.


 According to the chef, mooncakes with egg yolk are symbolic of the harvest moon and good luck hence his Pandan Paste with Single Yolk (RM42), and Lotus Seed Paste with Single Yolk (RM42) offerings. For purists, there’s White Lotus Seed Paste (RM42).


 

Overall, the timeless selection are on-point and should please sticklers for tradition.


The mooncakes come packed in the Four Seasons gift box. Clad in theatrical red with a magnetic gilt clasp, the oblong box is embossed with the floral outlines of lotus leaves and butterflies, evoking feelings of joy and harmony with nature.

For more information, contact Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur: https://www.fourseasons.com/kualalumpur/dining/restaurants/yun-house/

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

TAKE A COFFEE BREAK WITH HÄAGEN-DAZS

Be Your Own Barista! The clarion call from Häagen-Dazs goes out to coffee and ice cream fans to Take A Coffee Break with the brand’s NEW, limited edition Barista Collection.


Available in September and October, Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Cappuccino and Brownie Macchiato ice cream are the perfect pick-me-ups for an afternoon break; delicious on their own or whipped into a delightful creamy shake.

 

Don’t Hold Back when it comes to creating the Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Coffee Shake. I put my own twist to the recipe, adding a banana to 2 scoops of Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Cappuccino Ice Cream, 200ml milk, and a shot of espresso to the mix.


Suffice to say, I #LoveTheMix! Lusciously creamy and chockful of flavour, it certainly boosted my working from home mood immensely. Hardly surprising since the Häagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Cappuccino ice cream itself is infused with the finest and perfectly roasted Brazilian coffee beans.

Swirled with a ribbon of decadent salted caramel and crunchy chocolate chips, the smooth and full-bodied ice cream is a decadent treat to indulge in anytime, anywhere.


Its deliciousness is rivaled only by Häagen-Dazs Brownie Macchiato. A mild yet full-bodied coffee ice cream highlighting the finest Robusta coffee beans from Brazil, it’s swirled with coffee sauce and chocolate brownie pieces.

The Häagen-Dazs ice-cream pints are priced at RM34.50 each, available from Aeon, Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer, Family Mart and Häagen-Dazs Cafes. In addition, you can find them in GrabMart, Jayagrocer.com and Aeon Online.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

CELESTIAL TREASURES FROM EQ KUALA LUMPUR

As far as I’m concerned, old is still gold when it comes to mooncakes. While the local Mid-Autumn Festival market is fixated on packaging, the sweet-toothed glutton in me reckon the traditional speciality should taste as good, if not better than an impressive-looking box.


Hence, I was pleased as punch when the Pure Lotus Double Yolk mooncake from EQ Kuala Lumpur ticked all the right boxes at first bite. Not only did the lotus paste boast a nice ‘oily’ sheen, but the slightly sweet floral scent of lotus seed paste was discernible. The sweetness was to my personal liking too, offset by the savouriness of salted egg yolks.


It’s one of the four traditional baked mooncakes under EQ’s Celestial Treasures collection priced at RM188 per box of 4 (180g each). Crafted by EQ’s mooncake master, Chef Lai Wee Hong, the Low Sugar White Lotus Single Yolk followed a similar palate-pleasing approach.

The Traditional Cantonese Mixed Nuts is a bound to make people who are partial to nuts go nutty. Amidst the tasty mouthfuls of walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds and melon seeds, I detected hints of kaffir lime leaf, five spice powder and candied citrus peel.


Sweet and savoury came into play again in the EQ Signature Pearl of Harmony mooncake. Cut in half, the baked mooncake with black sesame paste, mung bean paste and salted egg yolk resembled a full moon aglow against a night sky. The black sesame’s delicate nutty sweetness is balanced by the salted egg yolk’s rich savouriness.  


My set of Celestial Treasures came in a specially designed Autumn Box; drawing inspiration from the Mid-Autumn season itself. Boasting natural elements and shades of coral of the autumn season to represent the warmth of a family reunion, the Autumn Box can be repurposed into a keepsake or jewellery box.


Inspired by the Legend of the Jade Rabbit, the Longevity Box features a Jade Rabbit silhouette – a symbol of longevity – in vibrant blue, symbolising optimism, serenity, and health.

EQ also offers Snowskin Skin Mooncakes at RM228 for a set of 6 pcs (80g each).


For more information, please WhatsApp EQ Kuala Lumpur: +60 12 278 9239 or email: dineateqkl@kul.equatorial.com

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