Showing posts with label exclusive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exclusive. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2022


Le Sense is one of the few restaurants in the Klang Valley where dim sum is revered as an art form. Restaurateur Chris Chew is so discerning when it comes to the serving of these delicate morsels that patrons of Le Sense who wish to sample the restaurant’s lunch-tasting menu (starting from RM138++ per person) must make reservations at least two days in advance.

Before you scoff and think it's nonsensical, the request is more pragmatic in reality. The culinary team needs time to source and buy the necessary ingredients and to prepare the specialities for your lunch at Le Sense.

Understated and elegant, the interior of Le Sense is accentuated with inlaid wood panels, beautiful oversized Chinese paintings, modern pendant lights, and strategically placed side tables -- setting a befitting stage to further enhance your dining experience.

In line with Chew’s exacting standards, every dim sum item served bears testament to the resident chef’s skills and techniques, as well as his meticulous attention to detail. Market-fresh, premium ingredients such as amaebi (sweet shrimp) and kurobuta (pork from Japanese black pig from the Berkshire breed), coupled with artfully made ‘produce’ such as dumpling skins and house sauces result in some second-to-none creations.
A fine example of this is the curtain-raiser of Truffled Dumpling: a steamed charcoal-skin Xiaolongbao brushed with edible gold, placed atop a wafer-thin slice of yuba.

Bite into the dumpling’s delicate pleated folds and you'd get a delicate whiff of the musky scent of truffle. Take care as you attempt to slurp up the deliciously sweet broth encased within - you won't want to waste a single drop of that precious liquid. For the final flourish, savour the juicy kurobuta filling with the tender dumpling skin.

The bar of excellence rises further with Kagoshima Pork Dumpling & Fish Maw Bouillon. Stuffed with delectable Kagoshima pork, the divine dumpling is nestled amidst slippery smooth braised fish maw and the sweetest-tasting fish bouillon. An ensemble made in culinary heaven.

The pace rolls nicely along with Yuba Skin Roulade and Collagen Demi-Glace – a delightfully crispy fried Japanese beancurd skin roll stuffed with chopped amaebi and Kurobuta. 
Rich, glossy pork bone sauce and crunchy snow peas ensure this offering underscore deliciously distinct contrasts, taste and texture-wise from the earlier speciality.

Marinated in a sake-shoyu concoction then cooked to meltingly tender perfection, the Spanish Iberian Jowl with Seasonal Organic Vegetables cuts quite a swathe with us. 
The enticing umami accent blooms on our palate the longer we chew on the meat. Even the supporting cast of green mustard stems, lotus root, ginkgo, wood fungus and dried scallop threads, exudes ample appeal of their own.

Dried sakura ebi and fried onion atop the Daikon Radish cake (which has jamon and Kurobuta incorporated in it) lend beguiling depth of flavours to this familiar homey treat. Little pieces of pickled green mustard that’s mutedly spicy-sweet help to offset its richness. 

IMHO, the Crystal Prawn Wonton with Smoked Dover Sole and Egg Noodles is possibly the closest replication of a good Hong Kong-style wantan meen in Klang Valley.
Made with a mixture of sweet shrimp and sea prawn, and smoked Dover sole for the elusive combination of sweetness and desirable mouthfeel, the prawn wonton is scrumptious.

Made in-house and cooked to the right toothsome texture, the fine egg noodles in a nice clear broth and blanched greens are so soul-satisfying good you'd wish the serving is somewhat a tad bigger.

To finish, the savoury dessert of Yam Croquette is a show-stopper. Golden brown with a lacy-wispy exterior, the powdery-soft Japanese mountain yam mash is filled with savoury-sweet Iberico char siu.
A crisp, buttery and mildly sweet Egg Tart serves as the finale to the lunch-tasting menu. You can’t fault this on-point classic creation to wrap up your meal.

Diners are welcome to bring their own wine for their culinary sojourn at Le Sense as there won’t be any corkage charged. For bespoke dinner menus, prices will be slightly higher so kindly call the restaurant for more information.
For reservations, call Le Sense Restaurant, hp no: 018-268 2333. Address: 8, Jalan SS 20/10 Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.


Monday, October 03, 2022


For a renowned chef with a global restaurant and hotel empire, Nobu Matsuhisa is incredibly humble and down-to-earth. During his recent one-night-only appearance at Nobu Kuala Lumpur, the affable chef won the local media over with his thoughtful and often witty answers.

Accompanied by Ichibaku Kobayashi – General Manager of Nobu Tokyo & Regional Director of Asia Pacific, Chef Herve Courtot – Corporate Chef EU & Middle East, and Chef Philip Leong – Executive Chef of Nobu KL at the interview session, here are some surprising facts about the Co-Founder behind Nobu and Nobu Hotels:

1.    The most memorable meal he has ever cooked was for the late Princess Diana. It was a private lunch where he had a chance to meet the late Princess of Wales who left an indelible impression on Nobu-san when she told the chef she had read about him. When he learned of her passing, he felt incredibly sad and said the experience of having cooked for her was unforgettable. 

2.   The most memorable meal someone has ever cooked for him was by his wife-to-be before they were married. He recalled she prepared an egg dish for him. “Although the dish tasted a bit strange, I think it was wonderful because it was something she cooked from the heart.”

3.   The three food ingredients he cannot live without: rice, shoyu and miso soup. He attributed these ingredients as most essential to a Japanese diet especially steamed white rice. 

4.   The secrets to his success: While luck may play a role in Nobu-san’s success, the master chef believes his team is one of the fundamentals of his continued success.

“Passion and heart are also essential,” says Chef Nobu. “Without passion and heart, it’s not possible to do well.” 

5.   His favourite dishes from the Nobu menu are:

·      Black Cod Miso – When Nobu-san started his restaurant over two and half decades ago, he chose to buy cod as it only cost 25 cents per pound. Without credit he had to pay cash so he chose to work with cod as a more affordable option: slicing, defrosting then marinating the fish with mirin, sake, sugar and miso paste for 3 days instead of shoyu and miso. After broiling, the cod tasted like butter fish and his customers love it. Robert De Niro loved it and the media started to publicize it, making it famous worldwide. 

·      Soft Shell Crab Roll – Nobu-san enjoys eating soft shell crabs in French and Italian restaurants where they are pan- and deep-fried. When he served deep-fried soft shell crabs to one of his customers, the latter requested Chef Nobu to wrap the leftover soft shell crab pieces into a rice roll, and voila! the soft shell crab roll was created.

·      Squid ‘Pasta’ – this dish was created for a friend’s child who was a fussy eater. Since pasta was the kid's favourite dish, the quick-thinking Nobu-san cut and blanched squid; turning the resultant squid pieces into conchiglie (shell-shaped pasta), prompting the kid to eat everything up without realising it wasn’t pasta he ate but squid. You can attempt to replicate this dish at home:

·      New Style Sashimi – when a lady customer sent back a plate of sashimi, informing Chef Nobu she doesn’t eat raw fish, the chef pondered how to entice her to try it. He then heated up some olive oil until smoking hot, poured it over the thin slices of sashimi, causing the fish to cook slightly. After sampling the new dish, the customer ate everything up. 

“She managed overcome her fear of eating raw fish from that experience. Before that, she shied away from sashimi as she thought it’d taste fishy but we proved to her fresh fish tastes delicious” said Nobu-san.

6.   No bizarre food please. Chef Nobu is not a fan of weird or strange food. He has tried nasi goreng, laksa and seafood on his visit to Malaysia, and he admitted he's more comfortable with Asian food than French food.

Ever respectful of his customers’ cultural differences, the chef was even inspired to create his signature wasabi pepper sauce after noticing a customer enjoying a mixture of shoyu and wasabi as a bread dip at Nobu restaurant.

The Pandemic Years

Having to travel 10 months a year and feeling jetlagged, Nobu-san said he was happy to stay home in Los Angeles during the pandemic years.

“It was the first time in over 25 years I had stuck to a routine: being able to wake up and go to bed at the same time, every day. Yet it was also stressful but with FaceTime and modern technology, I can still communicate with my team.”

Some Nobu restaurants were closed during that time whilst others coped by doing take-out. According to Chef Philip Leung, Nobu KL was under renovations then but they also did take-out during the later MCO phases.

Now that things have returned to normal, Nobu restaurants are busier than ever with customers returning in droves.

New Nobu restaurants and Nobu Hotels are also opening in Marrakesh, Rome, San Sebastian, Madrid, Toronto, Atlantic City, Atlanta, Da Nang, Bangkok, and Dubai.

According to Nobu-san, he has no plans to set up a culinary academy or pursue anything too adventurous due to time constraints. He's happy to focus on the restaurant business and see his customers enjoying his cooking for now.

7.   His last meal on earth? As a true blue Japanese, sushi is his dish of choice.

For reservations at Nobu Kuala Lumpur, call tel: 03 2380 0028 or email:
ADDRESS: L4A-05, Level 4A Shoppes at Four Season Place, 145 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

Friday, August 19, 2022


The hotel of choice for KL-lites. Newly appointed General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur (FSHKL) Blaise Montandon aims to attract local city dwellers as well as international visitors to the FSHKL, making it the most happening place in town.

Having relocated from Hoi An, Vietnam over a month ago, Blaise Montandon is no stranger to Malaysia and Asia. He has been to Melaka and Sabah previously for brief holidays and worked for two decades in the Asian continent.

Enthusing over the vibrancy of Kuala Lumpur, Montandon is eager to get acquainted with our multi-cultural society, and explore the diverse food scene.

Hailing a small Swiss town, young Montandon became enamoured with hotels whilst holidaying with his parents around the country and in neighbouring regions. “I was fascinated by the energy, the glamour, and the opportunity to meet people from around the world. I knew this was what I wanted to do!”

After graduating from the Hospitality Business School in Lausanne, he studied management at the University of Lausanne before cutting his teeth at two reputed hotels in Geneva.

Since then, his hospitality career path has taken him to Singapore, Japan, China, Thailand and India, alongside stints in Europe and North Africa. His last outpost prior to KL was at Four Seasons Resort Hoi An (The Nam Hai).

His appointment as General Manager of FSHKL sees Montandon moving to an urban environment. “It’s completely different from Hoi An which is a resort, so I’d be drawing on my strengths and diverse experiences as a hotelier to see what I can bring to this Hotel.”

Montandon cherishes the time spent in Hoi An as it gives him great satisfaction to see how the various stakeholders collaborated and worked together to come up with distinctive products and services, the way his opening team members grew and developed, and how they managed to create different experiences for their guests.

He says: “There will always be different challenges for new and even existing properties. Otherwise, life will be boring. Sometimes challenges can arise from people, the product, or the location. You’d have to understand your clientele, the market, and the situation. For instance, when I was at the Four Seasons Hoi An, we have to open and close thrice during the pandemic.

“It was a difficult time but it was also most heartening to witness the solidarity amongst the people and the community. We had the involvement of key team members throughout those trying times to keep things going. Thanks to the support of the resort owners, every team member was retained during the two-year pandemic period. Our team members were deeply touched as their livelihoods affected not only them but also their dependents.”

On his plans to make FSHKL as the preferred hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Montandon affirms he will need to get a thorough feel of the Hotel then delve into understanding the team, the market, and the local community better.

“I want international visitors to fall in love with this dynamic, kaleidoscopic city. This Hotel should be an active place in town – I want to attract the city people to come here: for lunch, for tea, to stay, and to celebrate any and every occasion.”

Conversant in French, English, German, Italian, and Dutch, Montandon admits he hardly gets a chance to pick up Asian languages. “I often speak English with local team members as it’s to help them brush up their English-speaking skills at work.”

On the personal front, Montandon can’t wait to immerse in the city’s gastronomic scene, especially its legendary street food. Also on his agenda: exploring the local arts scene through museums, galleries and events. A lover of contemporary and modern art, opera and musicals, Montandon finds experiencing new cultures through their art forms “reveal so much about a place and its people”.

According to Blaise Montandon, the best thing about being a Four Seasons Hotel GM is the strong values they uphold. “Our philosophy is simple: treat people like how you would like to be treated. We believe in and apply that core value to every level of our team. We want to create an indelible impression on our guests and make a connection with them so that when they leave, they will have lasting memories of their time spent at the Four Seasons.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2022


Legendary designer Datuk Jimmy Choo has stepped up to this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival celebration, by collaborating with Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur to design an exclusive mooncake gift box.

Available from 1st July 2022, the stylish round totem box in vibrant pink and muted lavender hues, and peacock origami pattern expresses the traditional Chinese custom of a family admiring the full moon while enjoying delicious mooncakes together. Tucked inside each gift box are four smaller individual boxes boasting stylish high-heel designs by Jimmy Choo.

(Left-right) Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts regional marketing director Nelson Hilton with Datuk Jimmy Choo and Four Seasons Hotel KL Director of PR Dato' Rosemarie Wee 

Datuk Jimmy Choo elaborates, “In Chinese culture, the Mid-Autumn full moon represents completeness and good luck. On this joyful occasion, we are reunited with our beloved family and friends. My design for the Four Seasons Hotel mooncake gift box represents happiness, good fortune and abundance.”
According to Four Seasons Hotel's regional marketing director Nelson Hilton (left), only a thousand of the limited edition Mid-Autumn Festival gift boxes will be available effective 1st July 2022. He thanked the renowned designer for agreeing to step up in collaborating with the hotel on the project.

At the launch, we were also treated to baked and snow skin mooncakes handcrafted by Chef Jimmy Wong of Yun House. The most outstanding variant that left an indelible impression is White Lotus Paste with Seaweed and Macadamia Nuts Snow Skin Mooncake. We attribute it to the seaweed’s subtle savouriness and macadamia’s inherent richness lending a nice balance to the overall sweetness.
Another winsome salty-sweet creation is the Valrhona Chocolate with Himalayan Salt and Egg Yolk Snow Skin Mooncake. Some chocolate mooncake could be too cloying and heavy on the palate but in this instance, the dark chocolate bittersweetness spiked with Himalayan salt strikes just the right chord.
Cocktail connoisseurs may be intrigued by the Trigona Rum Ki Tiki, an edible signature mooncake crafted in collaboration with the award-wining Bar Trigona. While we reckon the snow skin mooncake could do with a little more of rum (the Rum Ki Tiki cocktail recipe is concocted with aged rum, whisky, lime, trigona honey, and milk), the peanuts in the lotus paste filling seem to eclipse everything else.

Die-hard durian fans will find love at first bite once they savour the luscious Musang King Durian Snow Skin Mooncake. This perennial favourite has always been a runaway best-seller with the fans of the King of Fruits so it needs no further introduction.
Also on the menu are Baked Mooncakes with four different fillings: Pu Er Tea Paste with Tangerine Skin, White Lotus Seed Paste, Pandan Paste with Single Yolk and Lotus Seed Paste with Single Yolk.
Lotus Paste with Single Yolk

Pandan Paste with Single Yolk

Pu Er Tea Paste with Tangerine Skin

The limited edition mooncake gift boxes are priced between RM488 and RM588.
Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur will start taking orders from July 1, 2022. To place orders, visit the Shopify page here.

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