Showing posts with label Spanish delicacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spanish delicacy. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 26, 2024


Tapas, meaning snacks or appetisers in Spanish, has evolved into a culinary artform at bars and restaurants around the world. Derived from the Spanish verb tapar (to cover), tapas initially constituted a piece of bread or sliced meat set atop one’s drink to keep flies away. The tapas selection eventually expanded as bartenders proffer them to encourage patrons to drink more.
Today, one can enjoy a tempting array of tapas at the AC Lounge (AC stands for Antonio Catalan) starting from 2.30 pm daily. Thanks to the inimitable touch of culinary consultant Angie Hiew, AC Lounge’s tapas menu makes this cosy hotel lounge a compelling spot to indulge in hors d'oeuvres and drinks with a Spanish spin.
Simple yet flavourful Classic Tomato Bruschetta (RM15) heralded a vivacious start to our sess. We made quick work of the toasted baguette topped with juicy chitose tomatoes marinated in olive oil, garlic, and herbs.
Wading into the AC Grazing Platter (RM50), we had a field day nibbling on three types of cheese, smoked salmon, lamb prosciutto, dried fruits, grapes, strawberries, nuts and crackers. Perfect fuel to spur convivial conversation and the sharing of bon-mots among our dining party.
Not all meatballs are created equal and I daresay the Albondigas (RM45) were out of the park. Juicy with a noticeably meltingly-tender mouthfeel, the wagyu beef meatballs simmered in a chunky tomato sauce aptly captured the essence of Spanish cuisine.
Another winsome must-try dish is Braised Beef Cheek (RM45). Hiew's culinary métier shone through as every bite of the slow-cooked speciality rewarded us with richly tender, deeply flavourful meat. Hints of red wine melded with natural meaty jus were discernible the longer we chewed
The visually appealing Seafood Paella (RM50) also floated our boat. We enjoyed the fragrant saffron-infused rice; its delicate spice sweetness was amped up by assorted succulent seafood: clams, mussels, prawns and squid, in addition to some tender asparagus.

We had no complaints with the sumptuous Gambas Al Ajillo (RM30) either. The irresistibly springy garlic prawns in garlic-infused olive oil should make a dream pairing with a crisp, semi-dry white wine.

An instantly likeable Chicken with Aioli (RM25) comprising tender boneless chicken with delightfully crispy skin also met with all round approval. The delicious chicken paired well with the lush, creamy house-made aioli.
Our merry feast then wrapped up with Churros (RM20) served with Chocolate Sauce. The cinnamon sugar-dusted, deep-fried dough fritters were sublime when dipped into melted chocolate.
Available from 2.30 pm to 10 pm, the AC Lounge’s tapas menu is also served at other AC Hotels in Penang and Kuantan.
For more information and reservations, call AC Lounge, tel: 03-40428000. Address: AC Hotel by Marriott Kuala Lumpur, 8, Jalan Lumut, Off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Never in my wildest dream would I think the delicious spoils of of Italian and Spanish cuisine from SPASSO Restaurant & Bar would pop up in MyTOWN Shopping Centre. To think about two decades ago, a prominent FMCG marketer told me rather disparagingly Cheras was not her market. Well, how times have changed...Cheras, especially the vicinity around Taman Maluri and Jalan Peel, is obviosuly the market for modern lifestyle malls.
Opened in April this year, SPASSO is headed by Spanish Sous Chef Iker Fernández Caballero (Chef Iker), a San Sebastián native who is out to entice local diners to sample the resto's delectable variety of pork-laden Italian-Spanish temptations. 

The casual yet classy ambience of SPASSO spurs the popular culture of sharing and dining together. We were stoked to find lots of Tapas, those bite-sized Spanish delicacies in addition to crowd-pleasers that run the gamut from Spanish omelette and paella to traditional Italian pizza and pasta.
Chef Iker brings with him close to 20 years of culinary experience, having worked in renowned Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels in and around the Mediterranean. Eager to introduce the ‘pintxos’ (tapas) culture distinct to his hometown, Chef Iker is confident local diners will find SPASSO specialities up to their liking.

Unfamiliar with Spanish food? Start with the likeable Spanish Omelette (RM10) for brekkie. It’s a fluffy light yet hearty omelette with potato and onion confit that should appeal to both young and old.

Another agreeable dish to try is Iberico Ham (RM23), thinly sliced Spanish ham with subtle smoky brininess. The best way to enjoy them is placed the ham slices on toasty sourdough enhanced with dollops of housemade tomato sauce.

Health-conscious diners may find refreshing succour from Spanish Salad (RM15), a nest of mixed lettuce greens enlivened with eggplant ratatouille in chunky tomato sauce and a whole poached egg. We welcome the liberal pile of matchstick potato crisps which adds contrasting texture to the ensemble.

Open your hearts and palate to discover a litany of yummy Spanish tapas here. Best for sharing, we suggest starting with the notable Garlic Prawns (RM38) – decent sized prawns bathed in olive oil infused with garlic and chilli flakes. Now this may look like a simple dish but it’s a tricky one to get right. We are happy to vouch for SPASSO’s on-point rendition – the springy prawns sweet to the bite, slicked with garlicky oil and a touch of the chillies’ fiery, smoky hotness.  

Returning to more familiar ground is Mussel Marinara (RM16), lushly flavoured with spicy tomato sauce and white wine. Again this speciality hit the spot well; the deep-sea nuances of the fresh, succulent mussels melding with the bright tanginess of its irresistible sauce were akin to a zesty party in the mouth.

Personally, I'd return for the convivial options such as Iberico Pizza (RM39) and Seafood Paella (RM56) that encourage communal or familial sharing. The Iberico Pizza was a definitive winner in our book although the crisp, thin crust base only had sliced Spanish ham, fresh rocket leaves and a scattering of parmesan cheese as toppings.
Heartier with beloved homey flavours is one of Spain's most recognised dish - Seafood Paella (RM56), a house speciality of saffron-scented rice with assorted seafood. Served in a flat cast iron pan, we are sure locals will take to this like ducks to water.

Prefer breaking bread with family and friends? Then savour Pork Secreto Sandwich (RM28), a choice of toasted foccacia or ciabatta filled with cooked pork, blue cheese and roasted capsicum. The tasty combination of savoury-sweet should piqued the interest of die-hard sandwich fans.
Vegetarians will find the Vegetable Pesto Risotto (RM28), a meat-free serving of creamy-nutty risotto with tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower tossed in pesto up to expectations. The flavours are lush, vibrant and stimulating to whet the appetite.
Bring the curtains down on your meal with a serving or two of Crema Catalana (RM8), the Spanish version of crème brulee with a crackling scorched caramelised top. Dense and smooth, finish it accompanied by a cup of coffee.
SPASSO also serves a wide range of beverages such as draft and bottled beer, wines, Italian favourite Pascucci Coffee, infused teas and a healthy selection of cold-pressed juices.

Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, SPASSO Restaurant & Bar is located at G-038, Ground Floor, MyTOWN Shopping Centre, Jalan Cochrane, Seksyen 90, KL. For reservations, call tel: 03 9202 9299, email, Facebook @spasso.mytown OR Instagram @spasso_mytown

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