Thursday, October 29, 2009


One of the biggest thrills of travelling have to be the joys of discovering new food. That was exactly what happened when hubby hopped over to the Lion City following a recent business trip down south. His interesting finds include these pillow-soft rolls and imported Japanese seaweed that looks remarkably like tiny strands of sparkling beads.

I love the colourful box with arty renderings on the Matcha Roll! The simpler one is for the Salt Caramel Roll.

The Matcha Roll which was redolent with the unmistakable and intense flavour of Japanese green tea had generous lashings of fresh whipped cream in it. Its subtle sweetness certainly help to temper and balance the cake's astringent tea accent.

The Salt Caramel Roll is such a big hit that our Singapore friends actually called to reserve it for us! What makes this treat so distinctive is its super-soft texture and light coating of briny caramel on the outside and mixed with its fresh cream filling. Its taste reminded me somewhat of peanut butter though its viscuosity is much lighter.

We also love the unusual seaweed that resembled delicate strands of tiny glass beads. Crunchy with a mildly salty flavour once you bite into the minute pearls, their texture is akin to that of salmon roe with a barest hint of the sea.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Warm and inviting...Dynasty Restaurant's a balm for jaded souls

Nothing beats a nice quiet dinner with good friends to help one de-stress from the rigours of work.

It's been some time since I had last dined at Dynasty Restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel KL. But on that particular evening, the outlet's serene ambience and mellow lighting were a balm for my work-worn soul. I must admit when my fellow foodie friend, Sidney (yes, he of the Big Boys Oven fame) cajoled me into going for a review of Dynasty's Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) special menu a day before, I was only partially enthusiastic. As it turned out, the dinner was such an inspiring one that my faith in the future of Chinese food is amply renewed :-)

Tasty trio to tease the palate

The trio of entrees turns out to be an enticing balance of modern and retrospective bites. I love the wok-seared scallop topped with tiny eggplant dices and walnut oil for its harmonious blend of delicate flavours and silky soft textures.

Memories of wedding banquets in the 1970s flooded back when I savoured the chilled terrine-like shredded farm chicken in gelatine as a similar version was the perennial favourite for the appetizer platter back then.

Looking cheerfully bright like a mini sun, the organic carrot ball in pumpkin puree was springy to the bite but I felt somehow its subtle flavour was slightly eclipsed by the earlier duo I had sampled.

Stupendous soup to wax lyrical over

Now I'm not big on soups but the double boiled shark's fin, chicken consomme and wood ear mushroom dumplings certainly hit the spot that night. I relished every drop of it and the warm comfort it brought.

Priceless prawn platter that's worth its weight in gold

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the Yin Yang Prawns comprising a silver prawn ball pierced with a stalk of asparagus and crab roe sauce and a sizeable fried prawn wrapped in crispy kataifi pastry and drizzled with hawthorne berry reduction elevated our culinary experience to greater heights. What a fantastic melange of different nuances and textural constrasts! This is definitely one of those rare dishes that made me want to rave about it to all and sundry.

This lamb's got a lotta bite in it!

A hot, hot, hot sauce that combined ground Szechwan and black peppercorns literally set our taste buds alight when we bit into the lamb cutlet. It was the chef's version of Mongolian sauce and a darn good one too.

Missing mama's cooking? These oodles of noodles will assuage any homesickness!

To temper the heat, a bowl of somen noodles laced with yellow sweet wine and five spice roast duck meat followed. It proved to be another retro-style delight that was truly soul-satisfying!

Dicing with dessert

Although I was not too hot with the confusion of sweet-bland-tangy nuances of the barley sherbet with herbal jelly and mini tong yuen (glutinous rice balls), the pillowy soft salted egg yolk layer cake succeeded in warming the cockles of my heart.

Chef Tan's sterling performance deserves a standing ovation

Chef Tan should be commended for his fresh approach towards some yesteryear's delights. It seems there is currently a revival of sorts in our local Chinese culinary scene as diners are beginning to rediscover dishes that evoke nostalgic memories and give younger ones a taste of their rich heritage. I for one will be all out for it!

Head on over to Dynasty Restaurant and savour this exquisite menu for the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (October 1 - 31). Priced at RM119++ (without wine). A 4-course Light Festival Menu is also available at RM88++ per person.

1st Floor East Wing
Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail & Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (03) 2162 2233

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