Showing posts with label bananas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bananas. Show all posts

Saturday, November 16, 2019


How about a Stinkini to shake up and stir the sedate KL cocktail and food pairing scene? The SPG by Bijan team has picked up the mixology gauntlet and boldly infused our pickled petai (stinkbeans) with martini and dry vermouth to wet the brave soul’s whistle. A tipple to knock your socks off and just the drink to introduce your foreign friends to, in time for Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
Inspired by the (in)famous Sarong Party Girl (SPG) – Malaysian and Singaporean lasses who prefer to date and nab an expat partner/husband – SPG by Bijan is a literal take on their soirées or sarong parties. Evocative of a playful love child, the bar cum restaurant exudes new-age creativity, marrying typical Malaysian elements and ingredients with regional Indonesian, Chinese and Indian influences.
Located in a bungalow adjacent to Bijan, SPG flaunts vibrant, alluring walls of peacock blue, fuchsia and green, accentuated with retro vent blocks, and Insta-worthy floral batik murals.
The shaded terrace lounge beckons invitingly with an eclectic mix of rattan and cane, modern and esoteric furniture in lush jewel tones. Complementing it is an ornate Peranakan tiled bar. A private room with similarly articulated décor and elegant setting for more exclusive dining and celebratory affairs is available.
Aside from the Stinkini, a plethora of inventive Asian-inspired signature cocktails such as Yellow Fever (gin, turmeric, honey and tonic water), Hit the Cocojito (white rum, lime, coconut water and mint) and Asam Pedas (tequila, triple sec and tamarind juice) is designed to match SPG’s creative cornucopia of bite-size snacks and hot-off-the-grill servings.

A fab example of the bodacious and tongue-in-cheek eats with flirty twists here is the Basic SPG set comprising Ah Ran Sini (Italian arancini transformed into deep-fried rice balls bearing our iconic nasi lemak flavours), Pais Barramundi (grilled barramundi parcel infused with turmeric, coconut, and Malaysian spices then wrapped in edible banana ‘leather’) and Grilled Calamari with Sambal Belacan.
Show-stoppers like Jackfruit Rendang Bao (young jackfruit cooked rendang-style, pulled and piled onto toasted mantou buns), Lidah & Sambal (succulent braised and seared ox tongue served with sambal hitam) and Roti Jala Tiffin (a triple tier tiffin of lacy pancakes with kaffir lime chicken curry, fish floss and anchovy sambal) roused effusive praises during the preview. We were simply bowled over by the sheer ingenuity of the different items; how such familiar and cherished eats can be dialled up to more sophisticated, cosmopolitan levels.
The mixology team hasn’t overlook the mocktail aspect either. Non-alcoholic drinkers can raise a glass to Bluepea Tonic – a concoction of honey and lemon topped with blue peaflower syrup and Kedondong Kampung – a salty, sour and tangy blend of umbra, calamansi and sour plum.

SPG’s house-curated sambals: Sambal Hitam (black), Sambal Hijau (green), and Sambal Merah (red) are pivotal in amping up the sizzling appeal of its from-the-grill fare. Whether it’s Angus Oyster Blade, Lamb Loin, or Satay (Chicken and Beef), we highly recommend them as they’re cooked to order and absolutely scrumptious.
Equally notable are the ginger-soy sauce marinated Chicken Kicap Skewers and Duck Skewers (marinated duck leg meat grilled then served with green sambal). Meaty and superbly suffused with aromatic spices, they taste somewhat different from satay but no less sublime.  
For a healthy spin, we suggest the exquisite Pan-seared Black Pomfret, served with a zingy coconut and galangal sauce. It’s a pairing made in gastronomic heaven with Sekinchan – tri-colour rice and quinoa with pulled chicken, Asian pesto, rice crackers, and crispy chicken skin.
The dessert department shines the spotlight on Pulut Mango Cake, a light confection of chilled mango mousse and coconut glutinous rice on a buttery biscuit base, topped with dices of fresh mangoes that promises satisfaction minus the calorie overload.
Chef Raziz's the man behind those raveworthy culinary inspirations 

Alternatively, go Bananas Over Bananas. A bonanza of banana components encompassing housemade banana ice cream and smoky caramelised bananas in a dehydrated banana cone to leave you ‘peeling’ good.
For reservations, please call SPG by Bijan, tel: 03 2022 3575. Address: No.3A Jalan Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: Open daily from 12 noon till 12 midnight. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019


Minced Duck Fried Rice with Prawns, Yam & Pumpkin in Claypot (RM45 small, RM88 large) IMHO best defines the culinary concept behind Five Sen5es – the Chinese restaurant at The Westin Kuala Lumpur.

Classic yet contemporary in its approach, the pot of fluffy fried rice is an ingenious tricked up version of a typical Chinese classic and popular favourite of Chinese food lovers everywhere.

Coupled with the appetising aroma and the dish’s myriad of vibrant colours, the subsequent parade of textures and flavours makes it nothing short of a faultless show-stopper; a literal visual feast for the eyes and a pleasure for the palate.

True to its name, Five Sen5es encompass an immersive dining experience that stimulates one’s aural-visual-gustatory senses. From the restaurant’s mellow lighting and the plush carpet underfoot to its egalitarian setting adorned with oversized Chinese ‘antique’ cauldrons, ceramic showpieces and culinary implements amidst gurgling water features and contemporary Oriental furnishings, Five Senses is markedly different from the city’s quintessential Chinese restaurants.

An open show kitchen takes pride of place, according an unobstructed view of live kitchen theatrics whilst several plushly furnished private rooms ensure greater privacy for those who prefer to be away from the resto’s hustle-bustle.

Tea connoisseurs will be delighted to know Five Sen5es offers a premium tea selection. Our choice of Bi Lo Chun (green snail spring tea) – a delicately nutty-fruity green tea with tightly curled leaves hence the name – goes like a dream with the assortment of dim sum and house specialities we savoured.

On Monday to Saturday, All You Can Eat Simply Dim Sum is available at RM88 nett per person but you can also opt to go a la carte. Come Sunday and public holidays, the Simply Dim Sum Buffet is served at RM125 nett per person from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

The team here strives to bestow subtle touches to the pork-free savoury and sweet morsels, stamping their own inimitable mark to set the delicate servings apart from the competition. Recommended specialities include Steamed Prawn with Truffle Har Gow (RM18 per serving of 3pcs) and Crispy Yam Puffs with Fresh Scallops (RM18 per serving of 3pcs).Sweet and springy to the bite, the prawn dumplings prove on-point although the taste of truffle is far too subtle. Perhaps a drizzle of truffle oil would help to amplify this aspect.

Happily, the latter scores better with an enticingly crisp outer skein enrobing the creamy yam mash stuffed with an umami-rich mushroom filling. A disc of sweet scallop and some tobikko up the appeal ante further.

Gossamer-light and wispy to the bite, the Deep-fried Net Spring Roll with Prawn & Mango (RM18) also ticks all the right boxes for us. Love the textural contrasts and the matchy crustacean and fruit sweetness. Try sampling it with the side dip of Thai sweet chilli sauce to give the roll a zingy uptake.

Another notable conversation-stopper here is Fried Turnip Cake with XO Sauce & Turkey Ham (RM14). Brimming with sublime smokiness, the cubes of slightly charred turnip cake with a delectable tumble of scrambled egg, beansprouts and chopped scallion hit the spot well.

New meets old in the a la carte menu too, effectively showcasing the culinary team’s inventive creations whilst retaining popular mainstays. One of the newer curtain-raisers include Crispy Salmon Banana Roll with Green Tea Dressing (RM36 small, RM68 big).

The play on textural differences are clearly defined and the savoury-sweet combo complementary. Personally, I’d prefer more of the salmon and less of the banana – I know it’s tricky to juggle this aspect as depending on the type of bananas used, the sweetness may vary. In this instance, the strong inherent salmon flavour seems overwhelmed by the banana. Even the accompanying green tea sauce lacks that edgy grassy freshness to enliven the roll.

Top marks go to the Braised Fresh Scallops with Seaweed & Seafood Thick Soup (RM36 per portion) though. Crowned with tender scallops and succulent prawns atop a sheet of seaweed, this delicate tasting broth is a clear winner. Put it down to the milieu of egg white, chopped beancurd, seaweed, prawn dices and crab meat in the not-too-viscous soup.

Fried fish that remains crispy amidst a pool of sticky, sweet-hot lemongrass-chilli sauce bears testament to the chef’s skilful prowess when we dig into the slab of Fried Cod with Signature Lemongrass Sauce (RM160/180g). Generously topped with slivers of young raw mango, cucumber and onion, the scrumptious cod fillet falls easily into the ‘must eat’ category when you visit Five Sen5es.
Reminiscent of homely braised fare whipped up by family matriarchs, one can hardly go wrong with Braised Chicken with Chestnuts & Mountain Yam (RM52 small, RM98 large) in claypot.

Scented with fragrant Chinese wine, this comforting speciality calls for plain white rice to fully capture its culinary virtues. According to the chef, the flavourful concoction of hoisin sauce with fu yue (fermented beancurd) and taucheo (preserved soya bean paste) is the key secret that turns the various ingredients into a cohesive, mouth-watering dish.

A colourful medley of lotus root, wood ear fungus, snow peas, baby corn, celery, ginkgo nuts, sugar snap peas, and carrot goes into the making of Fragrant Crispy Vegetables with Roasted Pine Nuts (RM38 small, RM73 large) here. Scattered with roasted pine nuts, this perennial mainstay is a joy to partake; just a mouthful is enough to reinforce its enduring appeal.

Should you have left over tummy space for dessert, recommended treats to sweeten your meal include Chilled Chinese Herbal Jelly with Aloe Vera Honey Juice (RM16), Silken Mango Cream with Pearl Sago & Crushed Thai Pomelo (RM20) and Crispy Avocado Kataifi (RM20).

Flavoured with chrysanthemum and osmanthus, the clear herbal jelly should make it agreeable to those averse to bitter herbs. Otherwise, the mango purée may be a good alternative. A portion of mildly sweet avocado in a crispy coating of kataifi pastry should wrap up your outing to Five Sen5es with a nice crunch.

For reservations, call Five Sen5es, tel: 03-2773 8338. Address: Level 1, The Westin Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

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