Thursday, March 30, 2023


Homegrown talents of Four Seasons Hotel KL (FSHKL) take the limelight this Ramadan at Curate. Chefs Hanif Ahmadiah, Putri Farisya Amirza and Mohammad Alif Muazzam Saffarudin explore and honour Malaysia’s diversity, indigenous ingredients and familial heritage through their renditions of cherished dishes: Curry Laksa, Nasi Ulam and Apam Gula Hangus, to name a few.

Billed as Sajian Kayangan Kita, this year’s buka puasa charge at Curate is led by Sous Chef Hanif’s Curry Laksa. Luxe up with salmon and caviar, he recommends crispy egg noodles for greater textural interest. The santan-rich gravy exudes tantalising scent of ground chillies, lemongrass and local spices.
Using her Perlis-born mother’s Nasi Ulam recipe, Sous Chef Putri Farisya elevates the traditional herbed rice dish by topping it with shaved truffle and century egg; two ingredients rarely eaten by the Malay community.

“Truffle adds a touch of luxury to my version of nasi ulam,” said the young chef. “It lends a depth of flavour to the rice. As for century egg, I’m partial to it so I hope to persuade more guests to try it with nasi ulam. The selection of local herbs used will depend on whatever is fresh in the market: cashewnut leaves, tenggek burung (Melicope ptelefolia) and ulam raja among others.”
Chef De Partie Alif is a sweet rebel who dares to rock the crème br
ûlée boat. Reinterpreting the classic French dessert by adding cubes of yam and sweet potatoes and substituting regular sugar with gula melaka, his Coconut Cha Cha Brû
lée emerges as a winsome palate-pleaser.
The young chef also proffers caramelised spongy Apam Gula Hangus; best savoured with jackfruit strips, caramel sauce and coconut ice cream.
Do keep your eyes peeled for Egyptian specialities of Chef Abd El Rahman from Four Seasons Resort Sham El Sheikh. This is a good opportunity to sample distinct delicacies such as Muammar Rice, Vegetable Moussaka, Beef Kofta, Slow-cooked Lamb Shank and Seabass Sayadieh.
In addition, curtain-raisers to break your day-long fast range from Arabian Mezze and Local Kerabu Salads to Assorted Sashimi and Poached Premium Seafood.
To assuage the call of hearth and hometowns, make a beeline for Kambing Panggang Utara, Sup Daging Berempah, Lontong, Tuaran Seafood Noodles and Apam Balik, serve upon request from the festive stalls manned by FSHKL chefs.
The kampung-style plethora of Malay fare includes Rendang Daging Hitam; Beef, Lamb and Chicken Satay; Fish, Beef and Chicken Floss; Curry Puffs; Ketam Bakar Cili Api; Ikan Patin Tempoyak and Pajeri Nenas Timur amongst others.
Spicing up the dinner spread are popular Indian specialities: Mushroom Biryani Rice, Chicken Tikka, Goan Crab Curry, Fish Ghobi Manchurian, Tandoori Prawns Masala and Spiced Lamb Rack.
Continental dishes of Roast Prime Rib, Fish Fillets with Paprika Sauce, Swiss Meatballs with Wild Mushroom Cream, and Steak Au Poivre on Burnt Shallot Cream add international appeal. 
Local dessert broths: Pengat Kacang Hijau and Bubur Pulut Hitam beckon invitingly alongside Malay Kuih, Fresh Fruits, Macarons, Chocolate Dipped Dates, Assorted Baklava, Turkish Delight, dainty servings of Cendol Jelly, Cakes and French Entremets.
Priced at RM289 per adult and RM145 per child, Sajian Kayangan Kita buka puasa buffet at Curate is available until 21 April 2023.

For reservations, contact
Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, tel: 03-2382-8888

Monday, March 27, 2023


It still takes an old chef to teach the industry new tricks. Upping the ante on good Chinese food is none other than Chef Frankie Woo – one of the few Chinese chefs in Malaysia with an almost cult-like following. The industry veteran turned consultant chef now displays his mettle at Chinese Palace, a newish Chinese restaurant adjacent to the stately, whitewashed Chinese Assembly Hall building.

Having notched up decades of experience at several five-star hotels in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia: think Shangri-La KL, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, the Regent KL, and Concorde Hotel Singapore to name but a few, and the now-defunct Gu Yue Tin restaurant, Frankie’s stellar reputation is now drawing hordes of admiring fans to Chinese Palace.

Tastefully conceived, Chinese Palace’s interior combines classic Chinese and rustic Old Malaya elements, amidst a soothing green and burgundy-red colour scheme to splendid effect. A warren of seven private dining rooms accords privacy for those who wish to entertain in discreet comfort.

Together with Executive Chef Sam Loo, distinctive dishes such as Sliced Cold Pork Knuckle (RM38 per portion) reign supreme here. This Shanghainese ‘yuin thai’ (cold pork knuckle) starter boasts Frankie's inimitable twist; the slippery-smooth and slightly gelatinous pork faintly perfumed with aromatic star anise, cinnamon and cloves thanks to its being simmered in a braising broth of the said spices.

Another exemplary speciality is Shanghainese-style Smoked Fish Fillet (RM38 per portion). Boneless smoked toman fillets come slicked in a glossy sauce of caramelised rock sugar, mustard and Chinese vinegar.

The Insta-worthy Sichuan-style Shredded Kampung Chicken in Chilli Oil (RM28 per portion) is almost too pretty to eat. Succulent smooth shredded chicken is hidden beneath a pretty dome of daintily cut ladies’ fingers. It’s almost criminal, us destroying the nice presentation in order to mix the okra, chicken and peanuts together with the piquant chilli oil (coarsely ground chilli-infused oil with Sichuan peppercorn, black vinegar, and sesame seeds).

From now until 30 April, Chinese Palace is promoting Hot Pot with housemade premium ingredients. You can select Fish Maw Chicken, Beef Tendon, Hong Kong Style Beef Brisket, Giant Garoupa Head with Yam, Spicy Mala or Dang Gui Gou Qi Zi for your hot pot of single or dual soup base.


During our visit, we savoured *Braised Pork Tendons (RM88 per pot, *subject to availability). Braised with superior stock for over 1.5 hours, the tender, toothsome pork tendons were superbly delectable whilst chunks of radish lent subtle sweetness.

We had a field day loading up on the rich, gelatinous gravy and pork tendons before Frankie poured in more superior stock, elevating and transforming the dish into a hot pot.

The soup was further enriched when Lamb Slices and American Beef Slices (fei ngau or Hong Kong-style short rib slices) were cooked in it. For extra textural interest and substance, we enjoyed the inclusion of Handmade Prawn Dumplings, Handmade Prawn and Cuttlefish Balls, and Deepfried Beancurd Rolls. Mind you, these are not your run-of-the-mill prawn, cuttlefish or pork balls and beancurd rolls as everything is made in-house using fresh, premium produce. One bite and you'd detect the difference.


Maximising on the flavourful stock, we added Hong Kong Ee Foo Noodles alongside two types of mushroom, sliced beancurd, and fresh romaine lettuce to it, transforming the hot pot medley into a most soul-satisfying offering. By now, the pork tendons had turned melt-in-the-mouth tender and went like a dream with the noodles and accompanying ingredients.

Two housemade green and red chilli dips bestow some variation to your enjoyment of the various hot pot ingredients but TBH, with such premium ingredients, there is hardly any need for dips or sauces. After this incomparable hot pot experience, we agree Chinese Palace's version would be a hard act to follow.

For reservations, call Chinese Palace, tel: 03-2022 1339 or 016-833 6228. Address: 1, Jalan Maharajalela, Kampung Atap, Kuala Lumpur. Open daily: 11am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm

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