Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. 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:


Thursday, June 06, 2024



The Sabayon x Alex Dilling showcase started on a luxurious note with a tin of Aged Kaluga Caviar with Smoked Scottish Salmon Rillette, Crème Cru and Dill.

TBH, this is one of the times I felt truly blessed with the perks of being a food writer and blogger. After having our appetite whetted with warm, crusty bread, Bordier butter and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, we were gobsmacked when a whole tin of caviar prettily garnished with tiny edible flowers and gold leaves was placed on each of our plate.
According to Chef Alex Dilling, his interest in caviar developed during his two-year stint with Caviar Russe, a fine caviar house. “Since then, I’d acquired a deep appreciation for caviar and to me, caviar as a first course makes dining out special, bringing a sense of occasion to the meal.”
Who could quibble with such reasoning? Especially when we got to savour the little pearls layered with silky smooth crème cru (raw, naturally cultured sour cream) and subtly savoury salmon rillette (a preservation technique using fat and slow cooking method).

We were instructed to sample the appetiser on its own first before proceeding to enjoy the caviar and salmon rillette with the spongy-soft crumpets followed by thin slivers of pickled cucumber for textural contrast. Every mouthful was enough to induce gastro-orgasm…Dilling said he chose Kaluga caviar for its slight crunch and umami, nutty nuances. 

The London-born chef whose interest in food and cooking was attributed to his mother, gained his culinary pedigree under the legendary Alain Ducasse and another reputable chef Helene Darroze.


Risotto was the first dish Dilling learned to cook at 15 and his love for eating motivated him to become a chef. He soon garnered attention for his talent at turning classic European dishes on its head as exemplified by the stellar Wild Mushrooms Macaroni Gratin.

Simplicity rules in the presentation but oh, the umami ‘bomb’ we encountered upon tasting that first spoonful of tender pasta knocked our socks off. Our tastebuds were suffused with the complexity of rich, earthy flavours thanks to the attendant 36-month aged parmesan, black truffle and Vin jaune (a dry, yellow wine from eastern France) sauce.
More caviar crowned the speciality of Olive Oil Poached Black Cod. Complemented by smoked eel consommé and dices of marinated turnip, this was my favourite dish.

Personally, I reckon the delicately tender fish was sterling proof of the chef’s 2 Michelin starred stature – it’s neck-to-neck with an on-point Chinese-style steamed fish. The unexpected bursts of crisp acidity and sweetness from the diminutive turnip dices lent a nice counterpoint to the salty smoked eel consommé.
Dilling’s famed signature Hunter Chicken was indeed the show-stopper that draw epicureans to his eponymous London restaurant. Interpreted from the classic French poulet (chicken) chasseur, Dilling used a custom-made mold to shape the external layer of chicken mousse.
“We mixed some smoked duck into the mousse which we made using trimmings from the corn-fed chicken breast featured in the dish. Then we layered on the mushroom duxelles followed by a piece of chicken breast at the core.”

Glazed with enticing sauce Albuféra (a sauce of Spanish origin comprising an emulsion of chicken stock, Madeira, cream and butter), the delicious speciality were augmented by buttery, velvety pomme purée and fresh salad on the side.

We were ecstatic to finish lunch with a heavenly dessert of Tainori Chocolate with Sourdough Ice Cream, Salted Caramel and Pedro Ximénez sabayon. That judicious balance of sweet-salty accents coupled with the beguiling chocolatey bitterness and lusciousness of sabayon – a blended mixture of egg yolks, sugar and Pedro Ximenez (in place of Marsala) – made our sweet dreams came true.

The proof of the chef’s skills is in his food so hurry and make your reservations at Sabayon soonest possible. Alex Dilling will only be showcasing his curated menu until 15 June.


Reserve your table for the Sabayon X Alex Dilling dinner at EQ via this link:


Saturday, May 04, 2024



Cinnamon, cardamom, chillies and coconut are essential building blocks of Sri Lankan cuisine. Tamarind and curry powder are also favoured in the arsenal of spice mixes for Chef Sivarajah Suppiah of Aliyaa.
Hailing from Nuwara Eliya also known as Little England, the tea growing hills of Sri Lanka famed for its cool climate and colonial era bungalows, Chef Siva started cooking at 18 years old. As the eldest child, he was responsible for preparing family meals when his parents were at work.
Chef Siva was recruited to join Aliyaa in 2008 and worked hard to eventually spearhead the Aliyaa team in 2012. He was instrumental in promoting the diverse flavours of Sri Lanka to the restaurant’s local clientele. “From our famous crab sambal to soul-warming kothu, Aliyaa strives to showcase Sri Lanka’s vibrant food scape through the intricate use of spices and techniques passed down through generations.”

The homespun Kothu (RM30-RM45) is a compelling must try offering. An ingenious way of using leftover string hoppers, roti or puttu (steamed cylindrical-shape ground rice cakes layered with grated coconut), it’s cooked with chicken, mutton, seafood or vegetables in addition to egg, onions, and chillies. Stir-fried in a heated stone pot, the comforting kothu’s enticing charred smokiness and mouth-watering medley of flavours and textures are similar to that of char kway teow.

Earlier we had devoured some golf ball-sized Fish Cutlets (RM24), crisp yet tender orbs of flaked mackerel fish and aromatic spices dipped into luscious onion sauce. No prizes for guessing why this dish remains a favourite among Aliyaa customers.

Another classic hit is Crab Meat Curry (RM185) in which chunks of sweet crab meat comes served in slightly creamy, robustly flavoured curry. Such bliss to enjoy sumptuous bites of crab meat minus the hassle of cracking shells and extracting bits of crab meat. The curry’s stealthy heat also left us hot under the collar.

Named after Sri Lanka’s beach resort with its time-honoured seafood and ancient fishing traditions, the speciality of Tiger Prawns Negombo (RM38 per 100g) proudly stood up to scrutiny. Huge, succulent tiger prawns in thick, aromatic curry reeled us in; capturing our hearts and tummies with a symphony of winsome flavours and texture.

We then relished scraping out the soft pulp from long, slender Moringa pods in a notable Drumstick Curry (RM22). Dousing the turmeric-accented gravy over rice, we were gratified to know drumsticks are good for digestion, high in fibre and rich in calcium and iron.
A gastronomic journey to Sri Lanka can be sampled via the Aliyaa Experience set menu (RM128 per person, minimum 2 persons per table). Crab Samosa and Atukkal Rasam served as the opening salvo.

The isle’s vibrant food heritage will be revealed to you as you work your way through the small portions of Fish Sothi, Prawn Varuval, Devilled Chicken, Mutton Curry, Cashewnut Paal (brinjal) Curry, Brinjal Moju (pickle), Nethili (dried anchovies) Sambol, Vallarai (medicinal herb also known as daun pegaga) and Carrot Sambol, Papadam and Chilli, along with Nei Soru (ghee rice) and string hoppers.
Completing the sensorial tasting party are warm, fluffy soft Sweet Appam sprinkled with palm sugar.
To cap off our Sri Lankan culinary adventure, we indulged in Wattalappam (RM15), a classic steamed custard pudding of coconut milk, eggs and spices delicately sweetened with jaggery.

For reservations at Aliyaa, call tel: 017-883 3738. Address: 48 G&M, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.


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