Monday, August 28, 2023


(left-right) Rose Yong with Chef Cash Fong and Melanie Harris

Have you ever tried making sushi with halal Aussie beef and lamb? Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) in collaboration with Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur hosted a sushi-making masterclass, to show how fresh and versatile Aussie beef can be used to make inari sushi, onigiri and sushi roll.

Rose Yong, Country Manager of Meat & Livestock Australia (above left) welcomed Melanie Harris, Australian Trade Commissioner for Malaysia and Brunei (above right) to the event. She also introduced Executive Chef Grzegorz Odolak (centre below) of the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur and Tung Lok group of restaurants’ Japanese Executive Chef Cash Fong (below right).

Chef Fong who spearheads Tung Lok’s Ushio Sumiyaki Restaurant, a modern Japanese charcoal grill bar and Douraku Sushi at Park Regis in Singapore was awarded Taste of Japan Bronze Medal in 2017 and Singapore Masterchef in 2019.
In her short speech, Harris said “Australia is recognised as a leading exporter of premium quality beef and lamb. Our commitment to sustainability, integrity, and quality has been unwavering. We take pride farming practices emphasise animal welfare, environmental responsibility, and responsible resource management. 

“Australia has consistently showed its dedication to delivering products of exceptional taste and nutritional value. Our lush pastures and stringent quality control processes ensure the meat we export is not only succulent and flavourful but also meets the highest safety standards.” 

Affirming Australia's beef and lamb have a special place in the hearts of Malaysians, she said “this gathering is a testament to the shared appreciation for culinary excellence. The harmony between Japanese and Australian flavours is a culinary symphony reflecting our commitment to quality and collaboration.”

As the guest chef responsible for the Japanese-Australian Epicurean Affair menu for the hotel’s #DinewithChef series (24 August to 3 September), Fong then proceeded to guide Harris on the sushi-making masterclass.
(left-right) Jennifer Khoo of Chasingfooddreams with friend Carole Tan (centre) and I at the MLA sushi masterclass

Local media members also had a first-hand sushi-making experience using Aussie beef before they sat down to try some of the #DinewithChef specialities. 

Starting with Aburi Maki (RM68), the rolled sushi topped with tender sliced beef (lightly seared) and stuffing of avocado, oba leaf, kyuri, and miso dressing 
most delicious.
The Double Boiled Soup with Beef Short Rib, Tomato, Carrot and Onion (RM48) was a palate-pleaser too. Toothsome to the bite, the cubes of beef lent textural interest to the clear and flavourful broth.

Another notable offering was Gyu Tataki (RM128) – slices of briefly seared beef which we mixed with quail egg then savoured along with cherry tomato, ice plant and ponzu sauce.
Although our portion of Grilled Lamb Neck (RM118) with root vegetable and miso sauce, the harmonious pairing with slender asparagus and miso sauce was on-point. 

Other dishes to sample during the #DinewithChef promotion include Wok-fried Lamb Rack (RM168) with cashew, sesame and cumin powder, Wasabi Steak (RM145) and Yakitori (RM78).

Banana Ice Cream topped with macaron and mango boba in a waffle cone brought the curtains down on our afternoon with Aussie beef and lamb.

For enquiries and reservations at THIRTY8, call tel:03 2203 9188 or email:


Sunday, August 20, 2023


Classic Malay cuisine by resident chef Sandra Samad takes pride of place at Chinta by Chinoz in Bangsar.

Heralding a fresh chapter for Chinoz on the Park after its move from Suria KLCC, owner Teng Wee Jeh explains Chinta is a totally different concept from the original Chinoz, saying “For the interim period until the other outlet is ready (in Lucky Gardens, Bangsar), some Chinoz signature specials will appear in the menu at Chinta. Once the other restaurant opens, Chinta will focused solely on Malay dishes.”

Chef Sandra Samad who has a wealth of F&B experience, started at front of house at Rasa Sayang Hotel Penang. Then she became the duty manager at BonTon KL. Prior to joining Chinoz, she was the manager at q*doz Bangsar. During her tenure at Chinoz on the Park, Sandra oversaw the pastry and central kitchen for all Chinoz outlets.

Verdant greenery outside the restaurant beckons diners in. The simple interior exudes old world charm; retro knick-knacks such as wooden biscuit moulds, Nyonya baskets, rustic side cupboards and marble-topped tables as well as framed vintage prints serve as visual interest and decorative touches. 

Teng says, “Chinta serves classic Malay cuisine. Nowadays a lot of Malay food is either too pedas (spicy-hot) or lacks subtlety. At Chinta, flavour is more important than chilli ‘power’. You won’t need a kevlar-coated palate to enjoy our food!”

Topping the must-try list is Chinta’s Northern-style Nasi Ulam Utara (RM33++). Lightly flavoured with fresh turmeric, Basmati rice is tossed with at least 11 types of ulam (fresh local herbs). We love the delicate aroma of the myriad of herbs in the rice; good enough to be enjoyed on its own with a dollop of sambal.

If you order the lunch platter of the herbed rice, it comes with Ayam Rose, telur masin (salted duck egg), keropok ikan (fried fish crackers) and acar (pickles) as a complete meal.

The Ayam Rose (RM27++) is Chef Sandra’s take on the celebratory Malay dish of ayam masak merah – chicken cooked in a vibrant red sauce of tomato, chillies and spices. We like the stimulating complexity of the thick sauce: a cohesive melange of tangy tomatoes, chillies, onion, lemongrass and various spices. 
Well-smoked beef slices make the house speciality of Daging Salai Gulai Lemak (RM39++) outstanding in our books. The  gravy, accentuated by ground pepper and lemongrass’ fresh lemony-grassiness, has just the right degree of lemak santan (coconut cream richness) to it.
It's a highly recommended dish – we can’t wait to return to try the smoked beef short ribs version or Gulai Lemak Rusuk Salai (RM48++).
For a serving of greens, you can’t go wrong with Bendi Sambal Goreng (RM15++) – tender whole okra topped with coarsely pounded and fried red chillies, and crispy anchovies. 
Although the various dishes are tame in the fiery-hot department, each one is redolent with appetising, vivid flavours of the ingredients used.

As an avid fan of mee rebus, I’m stoked to find an on-point Mee Rebus Johor (RM19++). The thick, sweet-savoury gravy together with some batter crisps, firm beancurd, hardboiled egg, chopped spring onion and coriander, sliced beef and yellow noodles is satisfyingly delicious.

Local kuih naturally takes centrestage for dessert. The floral-shape, pretty as a picture Kuih Lapis Sakura (2 pcs, RM9++) is a light, subtly sweet treat to conclude the meal. We can’t get enough of the local confection’s ‘boing boing’ texture.

Equally notable is Kuih Kaswi (4 pcs, RM9++)steamed cake made with tapioca and rice flour, palm sugar and pandan, and eaten with grated coconut.

Thirst-quenchers to try include Sarbat Pulau Pinang (RM12++) – a refreshing drink of spiced rose syrup with coconut juice and Kasturi Asam Boi (RM9++), fresh calamansi juice with salty preserved plums.

Teng informs us Chinta’s menu will change periodically. “The selection will remain relatively small as Sandra prefers to maintain the overall quality of the food.”

For reservations call Chinta by Chinoz, tel: 03-2201 375624. Address: Jalan Kemuja, Bukit Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur 

Thursday, August 03, 2023


Acclaimed contemporary ink artist C.N. Liew has added his fine art touch to this year’s limited-edition Four Seasons Mid-Autumn Festival (MAF) gift boxes.

Filled with handcrafted mooncakes by the talented Yun House team, the bespoke designs featured on the MAF gift box come from Liew’s Beyond the Border series, which was showcased at ART SG 2023 in Singapore. Liew is the first Malaysian artist whose works have been exhibited at Art Basel, Fine Art Asia and Art Miami.
The vibrant red MAF gift box incorporates a twilly scarf of Liew’s eye-catching artwork tied onto the handle, and a double-tier ‘drawers’ to fit eight mooncakes bearing the iconic Four Seasons logo.

“The custom of gifting and sharing mooncakes signifies harmony, happiness and good fortune,” says Jimmy Wong, Executive Chef of Yun House. “Our limited-edition mooncake gift boxes are the perfect way to share the festive spirit with family, close friends and valued business partners.”
Available in a variety of flavours, ranging from the traditional to the innovative, the classic Baked Mooncakes such as Red Bean Paste with Almond Flakes; Pandan with Single Egg Yolk; and Puer Tangerine with Lotus prove their timeless appeal never wanes. We sampled them at a lunch recently and each variant lived up to expectations.
Partial to Snow Skin Mooncakes? We highly recommend the delicate Bird’s Nest with Black Sesame and Almond - a winsome filling with a pleasant tinge of luxury. Equally stellar is Chocolate Lotus Paste with Himalayan Salt and Egg Yolk Custard - the fleeting chocolatey accent and mildly sweet egg yolk custard heightened by a touch of salt. The popular White Lotus Paste with Seaweed Black Sugar and Macadamia Nuts manages to hold its own. Of course, the sumptuous Musang King Durian Snow Skin Mooncake rules them all with its creamy indulgent taste and fragrant aroma.
Priced from RM42 to RM78 per piece, and from RM336 to RM624 per gift box containing 8 mooncakes, only one thousand of the exclusive MAF gift boxes are available for pre-order now, while stocks last.

To place orders for Four Seasons Hotel KL’s MAF gift boxes and mooncakes, call tel: 03-2382 8888 or email:



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