Showing posts with label hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hotel. Show all posts

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:


Sunday, May 26, 2024


Five Flavours Shanghai Dumplings (RM25 nett) was the headline offering to tease our tastebuds at the newly launched Impressively Shanghai promotion at The Emperor.

Served daily for lunch (12noon – 2.30pm), we feasted on six new Shanghainese dim sum created by Dim Sum Master Chef Chan Chee Loong.

Naturally coloured with beetroot (red), spinach (green), carrot (yellow) and butterfly pea flower (blue), the soup-filled chicken meat dumplings were delicious. Vinegar and shredded ginger dip is served on the side, to dial up the taste appeal.

We also enjoyed soul-satisfying Rice Rolls with Yam Bean and Dried Shrimps (RM13 nett). A fresh take on chee cheong fun albeit the flat rice rolls are broader and stuffed with scrumptious shredded yam bean (sengkuang) and dried shrimps. Simplicity at its best.

Drawn from an age-old recipe, Shanghai Traditional Glutinous Rice with Chicken Meat (RM15 nett) dumplings won us over with its clear, delicate nuances and pleasant 
grainy chewy texture.

Crispy with sweet oniony flavour, the Housemade Scallion Pancake (RM13 nett) proved on-point too. The wedges proved addictive as we found ourselves reaching for second and third helpings.

A nice departure from the usual steamed buns, we gave thumbs up to Pan-fried Shanghai Chicken Buns (RM16 nett) and Pan-fried Shanghai Dumplings (RM16 nett). The irresistible savoury filling and varied textures made fans out of us.

Always up for something spicy, the crowd-pleasing Prawn Dumplings with Chilli Oil (Rm18 nett) managed to hit the spot. Chilli fiends will enjoy the zingy heat contrasting against the scrumptious dumplings.

Noodle fans will find tangles of endearment from The Emperor’s hefty servings of Big Bowl Noodles. Available now until 31 August for lunch and dinner, the big bowls of thick or thin noodles come in three different permutations. Each big bowl can serve 2-3 persons.

Much to my surprise, I was besotted with the Deep-fried Giant Grouper with Special Vermicelli in Salted Vegetable Soup (RM128 nett per order). A riff on the currently popular suan chai yue – the regional Chinese dish of sour vegetable with fish, we eagerly slurped up every strand, morsel and drop in our bowls.

Surrounded by blanched bok choy, the tangy-sour broth stimulated our salivary glands into overdrive; teasing us with sweet slices of giant grouper, strands of salted vegetable amidst toothsome vermicelli noodles.

Turning up the luxe factor was Slipper Lobster and Seaweed with Shanghai Noodles in Superior Soup (RM148 nett per order). The umami-packed broth melded well with the sweetness of slipper lobster whilst straw mushrooms lent textural variation.

The viral ‘flying noodles’ also made an appearance here much to our delight. Both young and old alike should relish digging into the crispy noodles immersed in an eggy sauce. Pin-drop silence ensued when we were busy gobbling down the Flying Noodles with Deep-fried Fresh Water Prawns and Crab Meat in Egg White Sauce (RM188 nett per order). Proof it was an all-round winner in terms of presentation and taste.

For reservations and booking, contact The Emperor Restaurant, Dorsett Grand Subang, tel: 03-5031 6060 ext. 1954 or email:

Monday, April 01, 2024



Specialities from four corners of the world beckon from Merchants All-Day Dining restaurant at the new Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC).

Located on Level 13, this modern and inviting outpost serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and even brunch to both hotel guests and the public daily. Neutral tones reign within: pristine white tiled walls with contemporary light fixtures, rustic communal tables, open kitchens and eye-catching décor evocative of a bustling marketplace form an inviting backdrop for dining, entertaining and relaxing purposes.
Open 6.30am to 10.30 pm (operational time applicable for various meal sessions), Merchants also has a tastefully furnished private dining room, available for reservations.
Pix courtesy of Crowne Plaza KLCC

Currently, the Selera Kampungku Buffet Dinner (RM188+ per adult) is served for ‘buka puasa’ (6.30pm-10.30pm) until 7 April.
On our maiden visit recently, lunch can be had from Merchants’ a la carte menu offerings of local classics and international fusion options. We opted for Gambas Al Ajillo (RM50), Grilled Australian Angus Beef Burger (RM55) and River Shrimp Curry Noodles (RM60) as there was only two of us.
Lunch started on a positive note with toasted baguette slices as the perfect accompaniment for the delicious tiger prawns. Cooked in olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes, the crustaceans were yummy and tasted even better when paired with the crusty bread soaking up the robustly flavoured oil.
That appetiser paved the way for the scrumptious burger. Sandwiched between a sesame seed bun, the juicy mince Angus beef patty was enhanced by caramelised onion, melted Cheddar cheese, smoked beef slices, sliced tomato, lettuce and gherkins.
For different taste variations, we tried sampling the burger with mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and sweet chilli sauces in miniature bottles on the side. Chopped onion and jalapeno also provided sharp albeit welcome flavour accents. These condiments worked well with the burger. Our only complaint was the rather dry thick-cut fries.
If you choose to have the curry noodles, you can pick either wantan noodles, yellow noodles or rice vermicelli. We preferred rice vermicelli and it was a good choice to absorb the aromatic spiced broth.
The river shrimp imbued the soup with its rich, natural sweetness; its meaty texture adding textural appeal to the equation. Varied textural interest was drawn from the inclusion of chicken, beancurd puffs, long beans and beansprouts.
We completed our meal with Sago Gula Melaka (RM25), a pretty creation of moulded large sago pearls complemented by mildly creamy coconut milk with palm sugar syrup. As desserts go, it passed muster as we personally prefer the smaller sago pearls for nicer mouthfeel.
To work off our lunch a little, we went on a quick tour of the hotel, starting from the rainforest-inspired RhymBa Lobby Lounge & Bar where huddle spots and solo pods accord guests a nice respite or double up as functional work spaces.
The different room categories were pleasantly modern and versatile, designed to blend work/life travel needs for productivity and relaxation. Furnished in neutral tones to suit today’s business and leisure traveller expectations, each room come with spacious and well-appointed bathroom, comfy sofa couches, and tactile rainforest element décor.

Up of level 32 we were shown to Le Midi, a modern brasserie cum bar with expansive views of the city skyline and a speciality menu of French fusion fare.
Relaxation reaches new heights with the hotel’s rooftop infinity pool and cutting-edge gym. Also available is a spacious ballroom and five well-equipped function rooms with all the essential mod-cons.
For more information and reservations, call Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur City Centre, tel: 03-27828888. Address: No 22, Menara 8 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur.


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