Showing posts with label crab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crab. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Five Bottega-inspired recipes by Italian guest chef Mauro Civiero took centrestage at EQ Kuala Lumpur recently. As part of the collaboration between EQ and Bottega, the 57-year-old Milanese was central in a series of special events including a curated wine pairing dinner and a wine Masterclass.

Chef Mauro embarked on his culinary journey in 1982 after attending catering school. Upon completing stints in several Michelin-starred restaurants, including one in Heidelberg, Germany, Chef Mauro returned to Italy.
He then proffered his mastery at the Michelin-starred Casanova Grill, located at the Palace Hotel. The stint opened doors for him to other prestigious hotels including Florence Grand Hotel and the Porto Cervo Pitrizza in the breath-taking Emerald Coast of Sardinia.

In recognition of his culinary expertise, Chef Mauro Civiero was appointed a representative of Italian cuisine at The Westin Hotel in Tokyo; to promote the culinary traditions of his homeland. His career has also taken him to the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

For the media session at Bottega Lounge, Chef Mauro deftly prepared five recipes on the spot, to complement the Bottega wines selected by Sandro Bottega, president of Bottega SpA.
According to the chef, the recipes were chosen for their affinity with the Bottega wines showcased. “I’ve tweaked and adapted the recipes from the Bottega 100 Prosecco Recipes Gold Book, using my own expertise and to suit the local context.”

The first recipe he demonstrated was Amberjack Tartare, to complement Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut.

Marinated with sun-dried tomatoes, capers and olives, then placed onto zucchini threads, the delicious Amberjack Tartare paired harmoniously with the bright citrusy notes of Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut. We liked how the straw-yellow wine with its light floral aroma and balanced acidity offset the fish’s natural richness.
Next came Chef Mauro’s creation of Buffalo Mozzarella Emulsion with wild oregano, tomato jelly and basil. The soft almost mash-creamy texture was sublime; its delicate accents went like a dream with the dry, smooth Bottega Pinot Grigio Venezia DOC. We also detected refreshingly fruity aromas of pear and peach, with a subtle hint of almond finishing.
The blush pink Bottega Rose Gold Pinot Nero Spumante Brut Rosé was the wine of choice for the Venetian Style Crabmeat Salad with eggplant and parsley oil. 

This dish’s clean, pristine flavours proved winsome when savoured with the rosé’s elegant, supple structure and fresh acidity, characterised by faint floral-mixed berries notes.

My favourite was Rosé Veal with Mascarpone Tuna Mousse. The tender meat left an indelible impression when accompanied by the full-bodied ruby-red Bottega Rosso di Montalcino DOC. Pleasant nuances of cherries and plums, and well-rounded tannins made it a memorable tipple.
Sbrisolona, a traditional cake from Lombardy, rounded off our indulgent afternoon. 

Served alongside Bottega Manzoni Moscato Rosé Spumante (exuding a refined rose aroma, its ripe citrusy notes had a tinge of sage) and the lemon-yellow Bottega Limoncino (brimming with the aroma and flavour of ripe lemons), the crumbly shortbread-like almond cake was a befitting finale to the Italian affair at EQ Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


Free-range, organically raised village chicken is prized for its toothsome, leaner meat texture. This month, Zuan Yuan’s Executive Chinese Chef Tommy Choong Chan Hoo focuses on five different preparations to showcase this chook at its best eating quality.
The notable show-stealing Organic Village Chicken with Chinese Herbs (RM120 per bird) needs to be pre-ordered 24 hours in advance. Thoroughly suffused by the enticing nuances of various Chinese herbs used in its preparation, the fall-off-the-bone chicken is satisfyingly good. Not a single drop of the flavourful herbal broth is wasted either.
According to Chef Tommy, diners may enjoy the village chicken smoked, steamed with cordycep flowers, poached with dried scallop sauce and garden greens or roast with black truffle paste. The various preparations will be available until end October.
Long recognised as Asia’s "Gourmet Paradise" and "World's Fair of Food", Hong Kong holds a special place in Chef Tommy’s heart as the place where his culinary career took off. This month, he pays tribute to this bastion of Cantonese food with a special range of Hong Kong-style specialities.
His Pan Fried Scallop stuffed with Prawn Paste served with Superior Sauce encapsulates the refined spirit of Cantonese cooking perfectly. Lightly dressed with a lush, caramelised sauce, the sea-fresh sweetness of the scallops and prawns easily make this the ‘must have’ dish of the day.
Dried mandarin peel, dried prawns and spring onion are de rigeur when it comes to making fish balls in Hong Kong but for his speciality of Curry Fish Balls and Fish Maw “Hong Kong” Style in Claypot, the chef says he has tweaked the recipe to suit local tastebuds.
Served in a fragrant Indian-inspired curry gravy, the fishballs’ QQ springiness is delicious. Coupled with spongy pieces of fish maw, one can easily be induced to eat more than their fair share of rice.
Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are mixed with chopped onion, butter, milk and superior stock to form a rich stuffing for the Baked Assorted Mushrooms and Crab Meat with Cheese in Crab Shell. It’s an old-school appetiser when cheese was a novelty during the colonial era and the well-heeled preferred to devour crabs without getting their hands dirty.
The Crispy Roasted Duck stuffed with Yam Paste served with Sweet Sauce is a misnomer. In reality, Chef Tommy stuffed the roast duck between a layer of yam paste before deep-frying his creation. Served with drizzle of sweet bean sauce, the outer crust is deliciously crisp with wispy tendrils whilst the inner layer is the meaty part.
Priced between RM36 and RM48, the Best of Hong Kong selection is available for lunch (12noon to 2.30pm) and dinner (6pm to 10.30pm) daily.
For enquiries or reservations at Zuan Yuan, please call tel: 03 - 7681 1157 or email: Address: One World Hotel, First Avenue, Bandar Utama City Centre, Selangor.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Mothers are always the finickiest of eaters. Especially if they love food. I was relieved when we had lunch at YU this Mother’s Day; my Mum had a gala time savouring the dim sum specialities. Despite the restaurant being full, the attentive service met and exceeded her expectations.
Image may contain: text and food
Next time, I shall bring Mum back to sample YU’s Dim Sum Hi Tea (RM98++ for 2 persons). Available on weekdays (excluding Public Holidays) from 2pm-4pm, the leisurely yum cha session includes two drinks: a choice of soft drink, juice, coffee or tea. For those with deep pockets, luxe it up with a chilled bottle of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne (RM350++).
Taking a leaf from the English afternoon tea concept, YU proffers a carefully curated range of dim sum comprising a basket of dainty steamed morsels, followed by a two-tier stand laden with baked, pan-fried and deep-fried savoury and sweet temptations.

The overall ensemble forms a marvellously satisfying and substantial meal; nice to look at and even more delicious on the palate. Painstakingly handcrafted, we find each of the delicate creations on-point; generously stuffed with chunky prawns and chicken to form Siew Mai with Abalone, Sakura Prawn Dumpling, Truffle Seafood Dumpling, Unagi Dumpling, a goldfish-like Prawn Dumpling and Beancurd Promegranate.
If possible, refrain from dunking the scrumptious dim sum in the sweet bean and chilli dips provided. Savour each morsel on its own first, to appreciate the pure, unadulterated flavours at first bite. Then subsequent mouthfuls may be enliven with YU’s housemade dips: yellow pepper, chilli oil, Chinese ginger sauce (a blend of basil, coriander and ginger), Mongolian sauce (chilli & garlic) and Thai chilli sauce.
Interestingly, the deep-fried/baked retinue piques our interest with inventive specialities such as Sweet Chilli Crab in Toasted Bao, Golden Foie Gras Puff and Crispy Taro Spring Roll. The culinary team deserves plaudits for their ingenuity in intepreting familiar fare like chilli crab and foie gras into new gastronomic delights.
Pickled radish of the pretty amuse bouche creations from YU
More sensuous offerings to tickle the tastebuds include feather-light and delectable Wagyu Puff, whimsical and flaky puffs of Crispy Swans with smoked duck filling, crispy Kataifi Mango Prawn Roll, Fried Prawn Dumpling and BBQ Chicken Bun.
Even simple yet clever touches can be game-chaging. YU’s signature White Lotus Salted Egg Yolk Hedgehog Bun is a fine example — the cute little ‘hedgehog’ shaped bun has become a ‘must have’ item and you won’t be surprised. Cuteness factor aside, the bun itself is a bona fide sumptuous treat; texturally and taste-wise. Ditton for the slightly chewy Playboy Lava Carrot with its yummy, molten peanut filling.
Personally, I’m partial to the bewitchingly dark Gula Melaka Honeycomb Cake and cottony-soft HK Thousand Layer Cake. Charcoal Custard Flowy Bun, Portuguese Egg Tart and Bird’s Nest Lemongrass Infusion with Basil Seeds & Mixed Fruits complete the Dim Sum Hi-Tea Set. We reckon the Dim Sum Hi-Tea Set is a fabulous introduction to YU’s extensive a la carte Dim Sum selection (priced from RM8 upwards per serving).
Delving into the restaurant’s main menu, Corporate Executive Chef James Ho from Ruyi (sister restaurant of YU) proves he has several culinary aces in store at this mdoern, pork-free Chinese resto.
Top of the eats list at YU is Steamin’ Crabilicious (RM108++ per portion). The impressive dish of steamed whole crab with roe perched on salted fish and chicken paté, and glutinous rice tastes as good as it looks. Take your time to sample this house speciality...let the faint, pleasing aroma of Chinese wine stimulate your senses before you dig in.
Every mouthful is divinely pleasurable, from the fresh, clear sweetness of crabmeat to the slick, fine texture of the chicken paté (it’s akin to a chicken patty subtly imbued with the savoury brininess of salted fish) and richly flavoured glutinous rice.
Another show-stopper here is Crackling Wagyu Hor Fun — deep-fried crispy noodles topped with sautéed wagyu beef, ginger and spring onion (RM68/portion). What sets this noodles dish apart is the full-bodied, lustrous and golden yellow sauce that complements it.
Blended from chicken stock, carrot and pumpkin juice, sesame oil & fried shallot oil, the chef reveals some Shao Xing wine is added last to give the sauce appetising aroma and deeper nuance.
Crispy conpoy and puffed rice crispies bestow the Imperial Lobak (RM28), pan fried radish cake, with layers of varying textures. Scrambled duck egg enriched the offering further, giving the smoky dish, an enticingly scrumptious finish.

For a luxuriously regal treat, you won’t go remiss with The Prince & The Pauper (RM48++, minimum order 2 pcs) — Seared Foie Gras with Caramelised Watermelon. A fabulous go-to house special when you’re out to impress or indulge.
Chef Ho is also bold enough to reintepret bak-kut-teh by deconstructing the traditional dish into Chick-U-Tei (RM38++ per person). The results are surprisingly agreeable even to a purist like moi; the resultant taste profile boasts subtler dimensions with multiple textural interplay. 
His imaginative albeit more upmarket presentation is highly laudable: the herbal broth with a whole chicken thigh and drumstick is served in a bowl while an elogated platter showcases a whole abalone with crispy mushroom, a pair of petite rice rolls with shiitake, a quail egg and garlic, and pieces of deep-fried cruller and beancurd puffs.
To fulfill your green quota, we’d recommend Empress Tien Chi (RM48 per portion). Known as tien chi in Mandarin or teen chut in Cantonese, the waxy, mildly bitter green leaves of panax notoginseng are poached with barley, fish maw, conpoy and wolfberries. A nice, comforting way of relishing this nutritious greens. In TCM, the leaves are prized for their efficacy in lowering blood sugar level, replenishing blood vessels and expediting wound-healing.
For reservations, call YU, tel: 03-2202 2602. Address: G-243, Riverview Entrance, Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, KL. Business hours: Daily 11am – 4pm for lunch and dim sum, 6pm - 1030pm dinner.

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