Showing posts with label hot sauce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hot sauce. Show all posts

Sunday, February 25, 2024


Banking on the naturally smoky flavours of its Asian-inspired flame grilled chicken as the unique selling point, the maiden Chickita restaurant made its debut at Pavilion Damansara Heights just before Chinese New Year amidst some fanfare.
Conceived by former Park Hyatt Saigon executive chef and F&B entrepreneur Asif Mehrudeen (top pix above), Chickita first opened in Vietnam in 2019. The founder draws inspiration from his 20-year culinary journey through Southeast Asia to conceptualise Chickita, taking pride in nostalgic Asian flavours. Vibrant colours, eye-catching wall murals and trendy décor elements set a welcoming stage at Chickita, to pique the interest of diners.

According to director Charles Chan, Chickita brings to the table its flame-grilled chicken with recognisable Asian flavours appealing to local palates. “At Chickita, it’s a celebration of community and communal dining. We want to uphold the spirit of togetherness deeply ingrained in our Asian culture.”
Aside from chicken, Chickita also serves burgers, wraps, and wings – all flame-grilled to perfection. We took instant liking to the opener of Eda-Mole Dip (RM13.50), a hummus of edamame and avocado blend served with salsa and crispy tortilla.
Toasted pita triangles are the perfect companion to dunk into the mildly cheesy Signature Hot Crab Dip (RM14.50) whilst Chicken Nachos (RM14.50) with original and cheese sauces, salsa and toasted pita can be rather addictive so try to avoid overloading on them, to leave tummy room for mains.

I am all for Chickita’s concept of allowing diners to pick our preferred chicken parts. We found the different variants deliciously on-point, from the flame-grilled Quarter Chicken Leg with Rice & Salad and Quarter Chicken Breast with Yam Pop & Corn to Quarter Chicken Breast with Coleslaw & Crispy Fries and Quarter Chicken Breast with Wok Vegetable & Garlic Bread.

A quarter chicken leg or breast is RM17.50 whilst an additional two side dishes is priced at RM26.50. Chicken wings, chicken tenders, half and whole chicken are also available so peruse the menu to select your choice.

Catering to Asian tastebuds, Chickita incorporates familiar Asian ingredients for its range of signature sauces, to bring its flame-grilled chicken to piquantly flavoursome and culturally resonant level. Our first-hand experience had us settling on our own favourite sauces out of the six available.

On the mild scale, Chickita Original Sauce comprises a bright and tantalising lemongrass-infused blend whilst the Tropical sauce lends nice balance to the savoury chicken with its sweet, sour mango-citrus accents.

My palate found the moderately hot Sexy sauce with roasted red chillies on song with the grilled chicken but the Lucky 8 Asian BBQ variant also comes close as a winner, redolent with familiar spices such as star anise, cinnamon and garlic amidst the chilli taste profile.

Die-hard chilli fiends may prefer the Dynamite Spicy Hot Sauce – formulated with different chillies or Tamarita’s savoury-hot profile which is culled from a blend of tamarind, fish sauce, Asian spices and dried chillies.
Chickita also reimagines dessert by combining ice cream potong with innovative flavours like A Classic Twist (RM14), cendol popsicle with frozen coconut and pandan with green sticky rice; and Vanilla Dreams (RM14), shaved coconut and red bean popsicle with grass jelly.
For more information, call CHICKITA, tel: 03 2011 1243. Address: Lot 1.03.00, Level 1, Pavilion Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, February 29, 2020


Opened in 1st Dec last year, Ed’s Diner - Malaysia’s one and only American retro-concept eatery from London - is the first ever to operate outside the United Kingdom since its establishment in 1987. Channelling cool 1950s vibes like the movie Grease, this 158-seat restaurant at Resorts World Genting (RWG) flaunts glowing neon signs, a monochrome, checkered tile floor, glossy vinyl booth seating and chrome-accented soda fountain stools.

A working jukebox – an authentic analog machine loaded with chart-toppers from the 50s, 60s and 70s – takes pride of place. RWG Outlet Manager Mohd Fauzan, Sous Chef Hapizi bin Hussain and Outlet Chef Zulkifli Nayan underwent 2-month training with the master franchisor, to ensure the food and beverage selection comply with expected standards.
Both RWG chefs who have 27 years of industry experience each, not only exceeded the franchisor’s expectations but are also playing a key role in getting halal certification for Ed’s Diner. “Once we succeed, this will be the first halal-certified Ed’s Diner in the world” says Mohd Fauzan.
Food-wise, portions are huge at Ed’s Diner so it’s advisable to share especially if you’re a light eater. Remember to amp up the rock & roll feel by selecting your fave retro hits from the jukebox, absolutely free of charge.
Familiar curtain-raisers of Nachos To Share (RM39) and Chicken Caesar Salad (RM18) paved the way for lunch. The generous heap of tortilla chips came smothered with chicken chilli cheese sauce, tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Each hearty bite was addictive with hints of coriander and chilli seasoning. Mildly sweet yet tart green chilli pickles helped to alleviate the cloying richness.
Loading up on the salad of romaine lettuce, grilled chicken thigh, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, croutons and Caesar dressing made sense; especially when we had to chomp through the plethora of tempting eats.
My personal pick of the lot is Chicken N Waffle (RM24), one of best selling items Ed’s Diner is famous for. The savoury and sweet profile combo of deep-fried chicken with crisp vanilla waffles and honey hit the spot for me.
Smoky slices of streaky beef and Big Ed’s burger sauce lent additional appeal to the double 150g beef patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and gherkins which made up the trademark Big Ed’s Burger (RM35). It’s a hefty speciality for one person to handle but if you have a humongous appetite, go for it.
Fancy some heat with your burger? The Nashville Hot (RM19) comprising fried spicy chicken burger with hot sauce and chilli seasoning was piled high with cheese, lettuce, tomato, coriander, cheese sauce, mayonnaise and onion rings. Also available in Super Hot version with double lashings of hot sauce.
Family and child-friendly fare includes Classic Foot Long (beef RM23, chicken RM21) and Love Me Tenders (RM38). Sandwiched between soft, sesame seed-flecked buns, the sausage adorned with gherkins, ketchup, mustard and crispy onion passed muster.
I was more smitten with the delicious fried chicken tenders. A dash of chilli seasoning, a cup of macaroni & cheese, classic fries and onion rings enlivened the boneless chicken, alongside the house BBQ and cayenne ranch (sour cream, cilantro and mayo) sauce. Try the Falafel Burger (RM19) with a patty made from chickpeas and spices for those looking for a vegetarian option.
Specially created for Malaysia, the local team proffers Buko Coconut Pandan Cake (RM28) – a delightful pandan ice cream milkshake crowned with coconut pandan jelly, whipped cream, palm sugar syrup and love letter biscuits. Lightly creamy, its sweetness was agreeable.

Our other fave is the no-frills Peanut Butter Deluxe Shake (RM24) while the signature Strawberry Donut Shake (RM28) with its no-holds barred strawberry ice cream and fresh strawberries concoction could be a meal by itself. Colourful fruit loops, love letter biscuit roll, whipped cream, strawberry sauce and a mini strawberry doughnut complete the liquid dessert.
Ed’s Diner is open from  11am to 10pm Mon-Thurs. On Friday-Sunday and eve of public holidays, it’s open from 11am to 11pm.

For information, please call tel: +603 6101 1118 or visit

Thursday, March 22, 2018


The hallyu craze remains strong in Malaysia, evidenced by more Korean F&B franchises making their presence felt in the local food scene. Last November YG Foods –- a South Korean food and restaurant company headed by K-food and lifestyle celebrity Noh Hee Young as its CEO -- entered the fray with YG Republique.
The fully integrated K-style food and entertainment space chose TREC Kuala Lumpur as its base; enticing urbanites with great food, cool drinks and convivial nights out within its hipsterish, industrial vibe enclave. Warm overhead lighting lend shine to a raw backdrop of exposed brick and mortar whilst autograph scribblings and K-pop paraphernalia adorn gray feature walls.
K-PUB photo courtesy of YG Republique
Here, patrons get to experience the dynamism of Korean pop culture and entertainment as YG Republique accords the quintessential Seoul bar experience; a holistic all-in-one Korean food & dining experience with lively, entertaining vibes to boot.
The main space is devoted to Samgeori Butcher’s, a Korean BBQ/grill restaurant with an adjacent K-Pub, a Korean craft beer bar. We were told Samgeori Butcher’s has three outlets in South Korea, and a Bangkok outlet in addition to the KL outpost.
Channelling old-school Korean butchery, Samgeori Butcher’s exudes a laidback, retro-inspired interior: from its woody furnishings to vintage tableware and food presentation.
Premium pork and beef cuts are aged on premise such as the three different types of premium pork cuts cured in Cypress Pine, to imbue its delicate scent and allow the meat flavour to develop. Special sauces are developed and served to further accentuate the pork.
Pairing, sharing & gathering is the key maxim of K-Pub, YG’s answer to a Korean craft beer house. At sundown, music and entertainment draw post-work revellers through its doors in addition to the magnetic pull of mixologists’ magic and nifty bar food.
For a start, nibble on Assorted Dried Snacks imported from Korea which made great companions for beer and your fave drinks from the K-Pub, be it soju, makgeolli or maek (beer).

The runaway choice for most is inevitably chimaek, the renowned pairing of fried chicken and beer. We were instantly besotted with the delectable Garlic Sauce Fried Chicken (RM52, medium serving).
Peppered with bits of pickled bird’s eye chilli and red chilli, the chicken coated in sticky garlic sauce were scrumptious. A side dish of radish kimchi helped to cut any discernible greasiness (but there wasn’t any thankfully).

First-time patrons will do well to go with the Butcher’s Sampler (420g, RM170) comprising Spanish Iberico Pork Neck, Pork Belly & Jowl. Ample for for 2 persons to share, the meat cuts came nicely wrapped in newsprint butcher paper similar to the old days in Korea. 
The YG team acquitted the BBQ process deftly and efficiently minus any smoky residue bothering us. As we munched on assorted ban chan and two Korean salads, we had a nice time comparing notes on the cuts each of us preferred but frankly, the pork was sublime with the various sides of house dips, pickles, raw garlic and fresh lettuce.
Communal sharing is the way to go here with house specialities like the YG Special Budae Jjigae (RM60). Best shared between 2-3 persons, the robustly flavoured Korean army stew with pork, ham, sausage, kimchi, ramen and rice cakes left us feeling hot under the collar but utterly satisfied.
Chilli and spice fiends will find piquant succor from the fiery hot Spicy Squid and Pork Belly Bulgogi (RM35). Although the heat quotient caused our eyes to water and set tongues ablaze, we agreed its explosive taste was addictive enough to lure us back for repeat helpings.
YG Republique deserves a visit the next time you’re in the mood for some good K-pub nibbles and drinks, coupled with porky BBQ dining experience right in the heart of KL.
For reservations, call YG Republique, tel: 03-2110 4104. Address: HG-01 & HG-02 Hive, TREC, 438, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.

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