Showing posts with label dining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dining. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 21, 2023


During its halcyon days from 1973 until the original Hotel was closed for redevelopment, Chalet at the old Equatorial Kuala Lumpur was the arbiter of fine-dining in Kuala Lumpur. A rustic haven with white linen-topped tables, gleaming silverware, and impeccable service, it was an outpost to see and be seen; a rendezvous for Malaysia’s royalty, movers and shakers, the glitterati and jet-setters.


I learned to enjoy classic Swiss-Continental specialities such as fondue and raclette among others here. The signature sabayon and crêpes suzette were delivered with such panache, few diners could resist the table-side theatrics.

Chalet loyalists and new customers will have a chance to relive those glorious days through the Chalet pop-up at Sabayon, Level 51 from 24 July to 12 August. Former Chalet Restaurant Manager Azlan Alias and Amerjit Singh Lakha Singh will be at hand to further evoke the nostalgic feel.
During the recent media preview, Raclette Valaisanne (RM118++) was the quintessential curtain-raiser. A Swiss tradition from the Valais canton, half a round of raclette is melted in a specially designed contraption. The melted cheese is then scraped off and served with new potatoes and cornichon pickles.

Strong with rich savouriness, the briny cheese came accompanied by boiled baby potatoes to offset its salty profile, whilst tart pickles tempered its rich creaminess.

Another beloved classic, Fondue Au Fromage (RM288++ for 2 persons) or Swiss cheese fondue with truffle also teased our tastebuds. When you order this speciality, be prepared for an interactive dining experience in which you use long skewers to dip bread cubes into a heated pot of melted cheese mixed with wine and cornstarch. Cheese enthusiasts will enjoy this.
We were also treated to popular appetisers of Salade De L’Empire Romain (RM68++), romaine lettuce salad flecked with shaved Parmesan cheese; Steak Tartare (RM108++), raw minced grain-fed beef steak with red wine vinegar, capers and mustard; and Saumon Fumé Norvégien (RM108++), smoked salmon loin with traditional condiments.
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 bread bowl, the generous portion of subtly woody-earthy broth enticed us to lap every drop up.
Deliciously lush, Émincé de Veau à la Zurichoise (RM208++) – sliced veal in mushroom cream sauce complemented by crusty rosti potatoes – was as delectable as I remember it.
Other much-anticipated specialities making a comeback will include Lobster Thermidor, Roasted Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb, and Canard à la Presse (pre-order required).
The preview concluded with a dramatic flair when Amerjit deftly prepared Crêpes Suzette (RM58++), pancakes artfully flambéed with Grand Marnier liqueur and orange juice. Served with vanilla ice cream, the tissue-thin pancakes enhanced with the slightly bittersweet boozy-citrusy sauce left us on a nice high.

Reservations are now open for the special pop-up event. For reservations and enquiries at the Chalet pop-up, email:, WhatsApp +60 12 278 9239 or call tel:03 2789 7722.




Tuesday, May 16, 2023


Tifa means three in Latin. It’s also the name of veteran restaurateur Angie Hiew’s latest venture at Trillion KL.

Insisting her European-inspired restaurant should not be classified as a fine-dining outpost, Angie explains Tifa incorporates three different concepts under one roof.

“Opened last March, Tifa serves reasonably priced good food in cosy, modest surroundings. Every dish, from the mayonnaise to the sauces, is prepared from scratch by me using market-fresh ingredients.”

The restaurant straddles a spacious and well-shaded patio area where quick and affordable meals are served; an al fresco seating area next to an outdoor fountain area meant for chilling out over drinks, and a nicely decorated ‘by reservation only, private kitchen’ dining space.
Angie cut her teeth in the restaurant business when she was just 18 years old, learning the ropes at Movenpick Singapore which belonged to her late husband. She came into her own with the opening of Flamenco Spanish restaurant in 1995, setting the imagination of local food lovers alight with her signature paella, tapas and Spanish wine selection.
After that stellar decade, Angie took a short break before she pivoted into the restaurant consulting business. To date, she was instrumental in the successful openings of Sentidos Tapas at Starhill, and EQ Kuala Lumpur’s Sky 51 and Blue.
The passionate cook relishes being back in the thick of the kitchen action at Tifa. “Seeing people enjoy my cooking gives me great satisfaction. I also love taking care of my guests, and at Tifa, it’s like having friends over except we're in a restaurant environment. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility to curate menus to suit my guests’ preferences; I can customise dishes based on their food intolerances, dietary requirements, and budget. All I need is advance notice so that I’d have enough time to buy the ingredients and prepare whatever’s necessary. I believe people can have a good meal without paying the earth for it.”

As proof, Angie serves good-value lunch deals on weekdays (12pm-3pm) priced from RM25++ upwards per person at Tifa. Her four-course menu degustation starts from RM148++ per person (by advance reservations only).

We are astounded by the pretty as a picture appetiser: the succulent salmon slices with avocado cream and pine nuts tastes as good as they look.
The subsequent forest mushroom soup is lightly creamy with the discernible aroma of truffle oil. Grilled sliced boletus mushroom, cherry tomatoes and edible flowers piled atop a long slice of toast lend colour and textural contrast.
Less is more seems to be Angie’s approach for main courses. She has mango-red capsicum salsa bestowing subtle fruity sweetness to the smoked chicken breast with pommery mustard cream whilst a full-bodied Rioja is used to braise beef cheeks, suffusing the tender chunks of meat with rich, deep flavours. Accompanied by silky mashed potato, the dish leaves us replete.

Her artisan dessert is whimsically delightful to bring the curtains down on your visit to Tifa. Depending on her inclination, it could be a new-fangled black forest cake in the shape of a luscious, oversized ‘cherry’ atop crumbly chocolate ‘soil’, walnuts and fresh strawberries or a pink, heart-shaped lychee-raspberry mascarpone with chocolate flakes and cookie crumble.
Angie says, “I can rustle up whatever my customers fancy as long as they give me enough time to prepare before their intended visit or any occasion they plan to celebrate. Let me work around your budget and expectations. Anything is possible at Tifa.”

TIFA KL, Ground Floor, KL Trillion, 338, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 017-358 1338. Business hours: Monday – Saturday 11am to 11pm (last order 9.30pm). Closed on Sunday.


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