Friday, June 19, 2020


One menu integrating signature specialities from Still Waters (Japanese and Cantonese), Maya Brasserie (all-day dining) and Ramah Tamah (deli) makes it debut at Hotel Maya KL, to provide a seamless dining experience in the new normal.
Sharmini Morganasundram, General Manager of Hotel Maya KL said “a lot of thought has been put into this initiative, to ensure diners can enjoy their preferred cuisine at affordable prices whilst maintaining safe social distancing guidelines.”
The expansive selection lists Malaysian favourites, Western choices, Japanese and Chinese specialities, and even healthy vegan fare. 
Deftly prepared appetisers such as Wok-Fried Shelled Tiger Prawns with Butter, Golden Oats, Curry Leaves and Bird’s Eye Chillies (RM23), and Butter Squid with Salted Egg Yolk (RM28) hit the right note thanks to the delicacies’ airy-light batter and on-point crispiness.
We highly recommend the show-stealing Set Nasi Kerabu (RM18) – blue-tinged rice with butterfly pea flower jus accompanied by delectable fried marinated fried chicken, fish crackers, salted egg, grated coconut fish flakes and shredded raw vegetables. A marvellous ensemble of vividly robust accents and varied textural interests that will induce you to make short work of everything.
For a perennial dish that conjures up the feeling of festive revelry, nothing beats the stellar Set Nasi Tomato, Ayam Masak Merah, Jelatah, Sambal Belacan & Papadom (RM18). Again, the culinary team here pulls off the tomato rice with aplomb: the zesty-tomatoey chicken in chilli is sublime especially when augmented by the tart pickled vegetables, zingy shrimp paste sambal and crunchy papadom.
More sedate, non-spicy fare like Olive Vegetable Fried Rice with Shrimps, Fish and Golden Crispy Garlic (RM18) should go down well if you’re not partial to spices and chillies.
Tastes of the Orient take centrestage in three set menus: Ixora (RM60 nett for 2 persons), Hibiscus (RM80 nett for 2 persons) and Rafflesia (RM100 nett for 2 persons). Crowd-pleasing curtain-raisers such as Japanese Gyoza with Shrimp & Chicken and Unagi Tempura with Tobiko pave the way for heartwarming broths — my personal pick is the tantalising Braised Hot & Sour Szechuan Soup with Crabmeat, Fish Lip, Shrimps, Black Fungus, Mushroom, Szechuan Vegetable and Beancurd.

Creamy Chicken with Curry Leaves and Housemade Spicy Dried Shrimp Sauce, Deep-fried Spicy Seabass Fillet with Housemade Plum Sauce and Shredded Young Mango, and Stir-fried Sweet Beans with Celery, Carrot, Black Fungus, Lotus Root, Ginkgo Nuts and Crispy Almond Flakes are among some of the main dishes featured in the set menus. They pass muster with white or brown rice serving as the foil to partake them with.
Dessert to choose from range between Chilled Sea Coconut with Longan and Lemon Syrup and Double Boiled Dried Pear with Chrysanthemum, Sea Bird’s Nest, White Fungus and Dried Longan.

Dine-in at Hotel Maya KL on weekdays (except public holidays) from 11am to 8pm (last order 7pm). You can also bring Maya Meals Home via self pick-up or delivery: daily from 11am to 8pm. Free delivery for minimum spend of RM60 within 5km from the hotel and RM80 within 10km radius.
For more information, contact Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur F&B Hotline: 012-282 8187. Hotel Maya KL is located at 138 Jalan Ampang, KL.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


Mmm…do you miss dining on piping hot dim sum? Imagine sinking your teeth into freshly made and steaming hot siew mai, prawn dumplings and BBQ chicken bao buns.
Image may contain: people sitting and table
Pix courtesy of Dorsett Grand Subang
Now you can dine-in at The Emperor Chinese Restaurant, thanks to the resto’s Table for 2 and Table for 4 – Dorsett Grand Subang’s new norm dining experience.
If you prefer to #dinesafe and #eatwell in the comfort of home, opt for Dorsett Dining: Dim Sum Indulgence and Chill & Cook and range. We highly recommend The Emperor’s Muslim-friendly dim sum which is ready-to-eat after a quick steaming.
Hygienically packed in covered foil trays with simple reheating/cooking instructions, we find the Steamed Siew Mai Emperor Style (RM36 per 8 pcs/pack) utterly delicious when savoured piping hot off the steamer. Dotted with ebikko, the tasty minced chicken and prawn dumplings are second to none.
Whole springy prawns from the Steamed Prawn Dumplings with Coriander (RM36 per 8 pcs/pack) hit the spot with their natural sweetness. 

Bao fans will find the fluffy soft Steamed BBQ Chicken Buns (RM26 per 10 pcs/pack) irresistible. Trust me, it’d be hard to eat just one as the pillowy-soft buns are stuffed with flavourful, subtly sweet BBQ chicken filling.
After deep-frying the Deepfried Prawn Rolls with Cheese (RM42 per 1o pcs/pack), the crispy little parcels are simply scrumptious. For added substance, try the classic Yang Zhou Fried Rice with Shrimps and BBQ Chicken (RM 25 per serving for 1-2 persons) from the Wok Home @ The Emperor selection. Hearty and satisfying, you’d polished off every last grain.
The Emperor Chinese Restaurant is open from 12 noon to 10 pm daily for a-la-carte orders and for dim sum from 10 am to 6 pm daily from now until further notice.  For reservation, call 03-5031 6060 extn 1954.
Image may contain: people sitting and indoor
Pix courtesy of Dorsett Grand Subang
Residents in the Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas suburbs will be happy to know The Emperor’s Muslim-friendly dim sum will also be available at Dorsett Hartamas from 15th June for dine-in at Table Talk and in-room dining as well as for online order, delivery or self-collection.
More convenient Chill & Cook options from Terazza Brasserie featuring popular Malaysian faves such as Kambing Marsala (RM65 per 500g pack) and Chicken Rendang (RM50 per 500g pack) among others.
Again, the Chill & Cook food packs are prepared by the Dorsett culinary team then kept chilled in sealed packaging. They save you the hassle of slaving in the kitchen as all you need to do is open the packaging and reheat the food.
Our first-hand experience is proof of its convenience and most importantly, the taste is as good as home-cooking with the spices retaining their flavoursome accents.
Available daily from 9am to 6pm for orders by phone, tel:03 5031 6060 ext 1954 or WhatsApp 016 2011 248. To order online for delivery or self-collection (by 5 pm) from the Dorsett website, click 

Friday, June 12, 2020


Pineapple Prawn Curry. Salted Cod Fillet. Blackened Top Hats. Beef Wellington. Apom Bongkwa. East meets West with culinary aplomb at the new Java Tree restaurant, Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel Penang, making it a notable outpost to dine in.
Named after a historical java tree planted in the hotel’s garden promenade even before the E&O Hotel was established in 1885, Java Tree sets a stately stage for the showcasing of Nyonya specialities and classic European dishes.
The iconic tree – immortalised on an expansive feature wall – draws the eye when you step into Java Tree. Accentuated with dark wood trims and sparkling chandeliers, the resto’s understated ambience is further enlivened by wall sconces, the occasional gilded columns, starched white linen-sheathed tables and earth toned upholstered chairs.
Otak Otak also available a la carte at Java Tree
An appetising trio of Blackened Top Hats (pastry shells stuffed with shredded jicama, carrot, cuttlefish and egg with salmon roe), Lobak (stuffed roll of chicken, shrimp, yam, shredded egg and salmon roe) and Otak Otak (steamed spiced local mackerel mousse with coconut cream, turmeric and kaffir lime leaves) from my Nyonya Signature Set (RM135) makes an great impression from the get-go. 
The Otak Otak deserves special mention as I find the mousse's spice quotient distinct on the palate, with subtle bursts of heat to set the tastebuds tingling. Spoonfuls of the soulful Itik Tim (pickled mustard vegetable with duck soup) summon up childhood memories of meals partaken at my grandparents’ house, a fond reminder that old is indeed gold.
More titillating temptations: Oxtail Gulai (braised oxtail, mustard seeds, vinegar and spices), Pineapple Prawn Curry (deep-sea tiger prawns with pineapple curry) and Terung Tempra (eggplant with lime, soya sauce and chilli) call for plain white rice – the best canvas to capture the dishes’ plethora of bright, piquant flavours. IMHO, the collective servings are generous enough for two light eaters.
A pretty floral shaped Sago Gula Melaka (sago pearls served with coconut milk and palm sugar syrup) brings the sumptuous meal to its sweet conclusion.
On the European Classics front, no appetiser evokes more nostalgia than Prawn Cocktail (RM30). Presented in a cocktail glass with tender romaine lettuce lining the base, Java Tree’s version has three cooked prawns in cocktail sauce (concocted from mayo, ketchup and lemon juice) perched over the rim. Mango dices and mustard sauce give the ensemble a touch of zippy sweetness.
Sweet caramelised onions makes the French Onion Soup (RM30) a siren’s song for the soul. Two gratinated gruyère toasts add depth and richness to the savoury broth, leaving us smacking our lips with satisfaction.
Poached in milk and wholegrain mustard, the signature Salted Cod Fillet (RM125) with baby spinach, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce is an on-point palate-pleaser. Although the dish sounds indulgent, any scepticism proves unfounded once you sample the fish’s lush yet delicate creaminess.
Meat lovers should sink their teeth into the scrumptious Entrecôte 10 oz Steak Café de Paris (RM80) with Baby Vegetables – my partner’s request for medium rare doneness is acquitted with aplomb. We also give thumbs up to the Butter Grilled Asparagus (RM30) with poached egg and truffled mushroom.
Other scrumptious options include Beef Wellington (RM85), Lamb Rump (RM75) and Chicken Fricasse (RM75) among others.
Remember to save stomach space for Java Tree’s seductive sweets from the dessert cart. Succumb to decadent creations of mildly tangy Lemon Tart or a sumptuous Paris-Brest – a circular shape choux pastry with praline-hazelnut crème, or the classic Crème Brûlée. Also recommended is the Apple Streusel Tart (RM28), a yummy crumble-topped treat with custardy apple worth the extra calories.
Currently, Java Tree is open for dine-in from 6.30pm to 10pm. For reservations, please call 016-419 8923 or click:

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