Showing posts with label appetisers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appetisers. Show all posts

Saturday, July 20, 2024


Bánh Khọt (RM14.90), scrumptious Vietnamese mini savoury coconut pancakes laden with minced pork, chopped shrimps, mung beans and sautéed spring onions transported us to Vietnam briefly.

The serving of moreish pancakes was one of the new items launched by An Viet recently. Slightly crisp on the outer edges segueing into spongier texture towards the centre, we savoured them wrapped in fresh lettuce and herbs. Nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) with pickled radish and carrot strips boosted the overall taste.
We also sampled several other new dishes at the latest outlet at Pavilion Bukit Jalil recently. The show-stealer was Crispy Rice Noodle Pillows with Sautéed Pork/Beef (a la carte: RM22.90 pork/RM23.90 beef; set RM27.90 pork/RM28.90 beef).
According to restaurateur Caren Poon, the dish is a tricky one to prepare. “The flat rice noodles needs to be of a certain thickness so that they can be layered, cut into squares then deep-fried to puff them up. If the noodles are too thick, the resultant ‘pillows’ will be hard. It cannot be too thin either as they may break during the frying process.”
Taste-wise, the noodle ‘pillows’ combined with the stir-fried greens and sliced beef/pork bore some similarities with Cantonese fried noodles. We like the cohesive textures and enticing smoky aroma emanating from the dish.
Besides the prawn version, An Viet now features Gỏi Cuốn (RM10.90), fresh spring rolls with grilled pork belly in addition to fillings of rice vermicelli, fresh lettuce, radish and carrot julienne and basil.
Dunked into sweet-savoury-tangy nuoc cham, the gamut of harmonious flavours and disparate yet complementary textures scored well with us.  

Evoking the comforting warmth of hearth and home, we couldn’t resist sampling the soulful Stewed Chestnut Pork Belly (RM24.90 with rice; RM29.90 set). Think tau ew bak (braised pork in soy sauce) Vietnamese-style, albeit shades lighter due to a mixture of coconut water, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar used to braise the pork.
Succulent black mushrooms and powdery-soft chestnuts dialled up the speciality’s appeal. We slurped up the rich, flavourful gravy to the last drop.
For our quota of greens, we opted for Gong Cai Crunchy “Sound Vegetable” Salad with Tiger Prawns (RM18.90). Black sesame seed-flecked crackers and toasted peanuts played key supporting roles, tastefully backing up a trio of sautéed sliced celtuce, carrot julienne and poached tiger prawns.
The entire delicious medley not only proved on-song but also rendered delightful ‘sound bites’ to the ears.
No visit to An Viet is complete without pho. The newly included Sautéed Beef Noodle Soup (a la carte RM24.90, set RM29.90) was the satisfying solution; a splendid pairing of silky smooth noodles with gently sautéed beef slices.

Chè Ba Màu (RM8.90), Vietnamese 3 Colour Dessert capped off our culinary sojourn. Similar to ice kacang, this refreshing shaved ice treat atop soft red and mung beans, pandan-green jelly strips, and lightly sweetened coconut milk was the perfect ending to our marvellous Vietnamese dining experience.
For more information and reservations at An Viet, visit:

Friday, July 12, 2024


You know the Chalet Pop Up has returned to EQ Kuala Lumpur when you detect the distinctly earthy-nutty cheesy smell of Raclette Valaisanne in the air. Also present will be original Chalet Restaurant Managers, Azlan Alias and Amerjit Singh Lakha Singh. Both stole the show with their nimble footwork as they demonstrated the vaunted sabayon routine along with younger team members at the recent media preview.
From 29 July to 17 August, get ready to savour classic Swiss-Continental specialities at the upcoming Chalet Pop-up. Once the go-to fine-dining outpost from 1973 until the original Equatorial Kuala Lumpur Hotel closed for redevelopment, Chalet will once again relive its halcyon days by serving its nostalgic culinary gems to loyalists and guests.

We experienced the restaurant’s theatrical table-side presentation with the chef on duty scraping off the melted Swiss raclette cheese on the spot. Served with new potatoes, pickled cornichons and pearl onions, we sighed with satisfaction upon tasting the nutty and creamy Raclette Valaisanne (RM118++). Its nice milky aftertaste and lush richness was balanced by the pickles and baby potatoes.

Cheese lovers mustn’t pass up on Fondue Au Fromage (RM288++ for 2 persons). Scented with truffle, the bubbling pot of savoury Swiss cheese also known as fondue promises an interactive dining experience. Dipping bread cubes into the melted cheese infused with wine makes for a novel, fun-filled experience for the uninitiated.

We also sampled the popular appetiser of Salade De L’Empire Romain (RM78++), romaine lettuce salad flecked with shaved Parmesan cheese, croutons and a sprinkling of diced air-dried beef. Light and refreshing.
Those tasting portions did the trick to whet our appetite, priming us for Crème De Champignons Sauvage (RM68++), Chalet’s signature creamy wild mushroom soup. Served in a crusty and warm bread roll, the salubrious broth brimming with rustic woodsy broth beguiled us to lap everything up.
We also relished every bite of the sumptuous Émincé de Veau à la Zurichoise (RM208++), Zurich-style sliced veal in creamy mushroom sauce. Paired with a generous portion of crusty rosti potatoes to absorb all those rich flavours, we were transported to seventh culinary heaven.
Personally for me, the day's show-stealer was the supremely tender Duck Breast à l’Orange (RM188++). I was completely smitten by the excellent, full-bodied sauce bigarade – a classic Provence (bitter)orange sauce – matched the meltingly tender slices of duck breast. The rich flavours made resisting the dauphine potatoes (baked sliced potatoes with cream and garlic) and pine seed-broccolini impossible.
Amerjit wrapped up the lunch sess with his blazing Crêpes Suzette (RM68++), artfully flambéed pancakes in orange juice and Grand Marnier liqueur. The tissue-thin pancakes drenched in the slightly bittersweet boozy-citrusy sauce and complemented by vanilla ice cream was a most befitting finale.
Reservations are now open for the special Chalet Pop-up restaurant at EQKL. For reservations and enquiries, WhatsApp +60 12 278 9239 or call tel: 03 2789 7722 or email:


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.


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