Saturday, August 17, 2019

GLORIOUS MALAYA OMAKASE & LUNAR FORTUNE AT NOBU KL


Gear up for a double celebration at Nobu Kuala Lumpur. Executive Chef Philip Leong and his Nobu KL team have put their creative culinary prowess to proffer a 7-course omakase set to commemorate Malaysia’s 62nd Merdeka Day with local ingredients and Japanese-Peruvian flavours.


Simultaneously, a selection of Lunar Fortune Mooncakes takes centrestage for the coming Mid-Autumn Festival celebration, from now until 13 September 2019.
Paying homage to Malaysia’s bounty of local ingredients, the Nobu KL team has incorporated palm sugar, tamarind, coconut and monk fruit into the Glorious Malaya Omakase (RM500++ per person). Available until 31 August 2019, the opening volley of Seared Toro with Caviar & Tamarind Sauce is an uplifting appetiser to savour.

Dollops of caviar and refreshing pineapple salsa alongside charred fern tips lend invigorating interest to fatty slices of raw tuna. The palm sugar and tamarind sauce tempers the fish’s inherent richness, making this dish a noteworthy curtain-raiser.
The gastronomic parade continues with Nobu Style Sushi — a sumptuous quartet of handcrafted sushi with choice toppings of tuna with chopped truffle, kinmedai (splendid alfonsino) with chopped yuzu & jalapeno, yellowtail with fresh jalapeno, and snow crab. This artful composition is an apt distillation of the Japanese-Peruvian influences Nobu is famous for.

Slices of fresh apple, cucumber and pear complemented by baby spinach and kataifi bits serve as a healthy, wholesome canvas to showcase the Scallop Salad with Peanut Den Miso Dressing. The flavourful clincher for this seemingly simple dish is den miso — a Japanese sweet-salty cooked paste created by founder Nobu Matsuhisa blended with peanuts.

Crushed local vegetable keropok (cracker) makes the main course of Artic Char Wasabi Palm Sugar the show-stopper of this celebratory menu. The crunchy crust atop the artic char fillet together with sweetish, tart and zingy wasabi zuke pickles and palm sugar sauce left us singing praises of the delicious dish.

Melt-in-the-mouth slices of Wagyu with Nori Cream continues the charm offensive.
Accompanied by creamy rich seaweed sauce and savoury mounds of chickpeas and lentils, the buttery beef is an indulgent treat no discerning gourmand will fault.



Then a glassful of silky Somen with Watercress Soup is entrusted to ensure a clean sweep of an amply flavour-satiated palate; an ingenious way to stave off any cloying aftertaste from the earlier meat course.
Bringing the epicurean menu to its final flourish is Monk Fruit Mousse with Coconut Ice Cream, Vanilla Sponge & Monk Fruit Jelly. Again, this dessert masterpiece ticks all the right boxes: visually pleasing, texturally exciting and tastefully balanced so you won’t walk away feeling guilt-ridden but exhilarated from such a wonderful dining experience.

LUNAR FORTUNE MOONCAKES


 
Drawing from its distinct culinary approach, Nobu KL has unveiled Miso (fermented soya bean paste) Yolk, Wasabi Yolk, Green Tea and Black Sesame fillings for its range of baked, Shanghai-style or snowskin mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival this year.



Presented in beautiful lacquer boxes with wood finish inspired by the interior décor of Nobu KL, each Lunar Fortune gift box comes adorned with a miniature gold or silver koi — a symbol of good luck, prosperity and fortune in the Japanese and Chinese culture.
Guests can enjoy 10% discount for purchases of 5 boxes above and 15% for 10 boxes above. The Lunar Fortune Mooncakes will be available until 13 September 2019 at Nobu KL and a special kiosk at Pavilion KL from 23 August to 12 September 2019.

For inquiries or reservations at Nobu Kuala Lumpur, please call tel: 03-2164 5084 or WhatsApp 019-389 5085.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

IMMERSIVE STAYCATION AT ALOR RIMBA ORCHARD VILLAS


Wake up to the sound of roosters crowing and listen to the morning call resonating throughout the village. Honestly, I had forgotten when was the last time I was roused from my slumber by such a lively greeting to start the day.
Gateway to a private paradise that's Alor Rimba
Keep your eye out for the Alor Rimba Orchard Villas signpost once you turn off from the highway
It is one of the many sensorial and immersive experiences we had throughout our brief but memorable staycation at Rimba Alor Orchard Villas. Just 45 minutes from the historic city of Melaka, this private homestead is located in Melaka Pindah, a quiet village sited off a small lane from the main Alor Gajah highway.
A nicely paved driveway leading to a large tract of well-trimmed lawn greeted us as we drove up to Rimba Alor. Glimpses of rustic dwellings surrounded by leafy trees and foliage hinted at what was in store for our weekend staycation.  
Tuan Haji Kaspur Mat, manager of Rimba Alor, welcomed us with a quick tour of the two holiday homesteads: Villa Rimba (RM900 per night) and Villa Alor (RM800 per night). Ensconced within a 1.7-acre orchard which has been in the owners’ family for generations, Tuan Haji Kaspur said “originally there was only a simple kampung house with a well fed by an underground spring here”.
Now, the owners have built two beautiful traditional Melaka-style wooden village houses onsite. They wanted to offer guests a taste of the slow-paced, relaxing village life without them feeling too isolated from everything else. Designed to accommodate 16-20 persons, each villa boasts 4 bedrooms, with 4 single rollaway beds (RM70 per bed per night) available on prior request.
 
To reflect their Melakan ancestry and cultural heritage, the owners have mindfully modelled both villas after the traditional raised wooden Melakan houses of yesteryear. Up front, a curved staircase adorned with colourful Nyonya tiles takes pride of place.
Ornate wooden carved window banisters, panels of decorative vintage tiles and old wooden doors repurposed into benches make the villas Instagram-worthy. Rimba Alor comes with a spacious wooden patio furnished with rattan chairs too; a vantage point to observe the many bird and animal life frolicking in the orchard.
 
Local watercolour artworks depicting bucolic scenes of fishing villages, reproduction prints of old Melaka and colourful stained glass panels bestow old-world charm to the rustic, cosily furnished living and dining areas. Modern conveniences: air-condition, fans, modern shower and water heater, television, oven toaster, refrigerator and washing machine ensure Rimba Alor guests enjoy their rural getaway without too much hardship.
 
In each bedroom, bed headboards of sarong and songket prints lend vibrant colour. The comfortable beds, fluffy pillows and pristine white linen are similar to those of international hotels. We certainly have no complaints when it comes to catching forty winks here.
 
 
 
Us city dwellers were thrilled to get our first-hand look at the various fruit trees in the orchard. We marvelled at the towering, over 90-year old durian tree, plucked mangosteens and rambutans to devour and sipped fresh coconut water from the harvest gleaned from the many coconut trees around.
 
 
The two kelulut (stingless bees) bee hives should pique the interest of nature-loving folks.Other f ruit trees such as jering (small native fruit encased in dark, hard clam-shape shells that can be eaten raw or cooked), cempedak, guava, soursop, jambu air (rose apple), lime and avocado also flourished in the orchard.
 
 
Nearby is a 8-ft deep fish pond stocked with tilapia, haruan and keli so if you fancy reeling in a catch of the day, fishing rods and bait are available on loan.
A gazebo nearby offers shade from the afternoon sun, an outpost to revel in the natural and soothing surroundings or merely to while time away. Fitted with roll-up/down wooden blinds, it can be turned into a private massage or foot reflexology haven.
Photo courtesy of pureglutton.com
We thoroughly enjoyed succumbing to the magic fingers of two local masseuses who kneaded away the stress of city living from our bodies. Again, guests can pre-booked the massage services for both men and women ahead of time before their actual visit.
 
 
 
When it comes to meals, Rimba Alor has two purpose-built barbecue pits and a dedicated al fresco dining area as well as two sets of sturdy umbrella-shaded wooden tables and chairs in the garden. The brick and mortar, vintage tile tabletops and wooden bench seats make for convenient dining. Should you prefer a more casual approach, picnic mats are available too.
 
 
You may opt to cook your own meals when staying at Rimba Alor but we found it more convenient to have food catered. Be it breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner, Rimba Alor has thoughtfully compiled a list of enterprising Melaka Pindah villagers who can cook up a plethora of typical kampung dishes on request.
 
Our delicious nasi lemak breakfast with the works was a great example. Dinner and lunch menus run the gamut from ikan bakar, asam pedas and rendang to fried chicken, kerabu and sambal with rice.
 
Alternatively, guests can also order food to be delivered or drive to nearby restaurants. Live musical entertainment — be it a solo flautist or a dondang sayang troupe — can be arranged with prior notice given to the manager.
As I sat mesmerised by the sight of a blood orange sunset against a dusky backdrop streaked with vermillion, yellow, purple and orchre, I wish I have the means to make Rimba Alor my writing retreat.
Once Rimba Alor casts its beguiling spell on you, you too will find it hard to return to the drudgery of everyday life. No matter how brief a sojourn at this holiday homestead, it is the closest to experiencing heaven on earth.
For more information on Rimba Alor Orchard Villas, please call Tuan Haji Kaspur Mat, hp no: 019-325 6582 or visit www.rimbaalororchardvillas.com