Showing posts with label salted egg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salted egg. Show all posts

Thursday, June 15, 2023


Nasi Maqlubah, Nasi Mandy and Lontong Kering are the ‘must eat’ dishes at Spiced Pumpkin Café.

Derived from the word maqlu which means upside down in Arabic, café owner Mas Zuhairin Zubir explains the maqlubah rice recipe came from her ex-business partner’s husband of Palestinian descent. 


According to Mas, “Our Nasi Maqlubah has to be pre-ordered as it takes time to prepare. Firstly, onion and garlic are sautéed with 14 herbs and spices such as nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon stick among others to flavour the rice. Then we layer vegetables and protein (lamb or chicken) onto the rice. The whole pot is cooked over an open fire. Once ready, the pot is upended onto a plate – that’s why it’s known as ‘upside down’ rice.”


For the lamb version, the meat is roasted before it’s added to the rice whilst the chicken is spice-marinated. The original version uses cauliflower but to suit local tastebuds, eggplant, potatoes and carrots are used instead. Raisins, peanuts and almonds are included as well.  

Aside from mixed salad, Nasi Maqlubah also comes with house hot sauce (concocted with chilli, salt, sugar and pepper) and ‘daqqus’ (a mixture of lemon juice, Chinese celery stalks, mint and pepper) for those who like extra heat and piquancy. A mini pot of Maqlubah Lamb (enough for 3-4 persons) is priced at RM95 while a mini pot of Maqlubah Chicken costs RM65.

Formerly a trainer for the housekeeping department at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Mas first ventured into the food business by serving mostly healthy salads, soup and sandwiches out of a rented kitchen in an old bungalow, for patrons of a yoga studio in the same premise.


Then she ran a small café at SACC Mall’s indoor kids’ playground before partnering with another home-based caterer to open Spiced Pumpkin Café in 2016.


Now she is the sole proprietor after her business partner opted out due to unforeseen circumstances. “I’ve maintained her husband’s Middle Eastern recipes such as Nasi Maqlubah and Nasi Mandy but I’ve also added some Malay specialities into the menu.”


Mas says Spiced Pumpkin’s Nasi Arab Mandy Chicken (RM21) stands out from the competition as she infused the rice with charcoal smoke before serving. Tinged with the aroma and colour of saffron, the fluffy long grain rice has an enticing, subtly sweet smokiness to it. We enjoyed every mouthful accompanied by the tender, lightly spiced chicken.
The other show-stealer has to be Lontong Kering Rendang Daging (RM14.50). Mas explains it’s a Johorean way of serving lontong, with cubes of nasi impit stir-fried with her signature serunding kelapa (fried and spiced coconut floss), sambal tumis, peanut sauce, fried shallots and hardboiled egg halves.


Eaten together, the dish is akin to a flavoursome party in one’s mouth. Other variations of it include dendeng paru (dry curried beef lungs) and beef, chicken or fish serunding.

Signature light bites such as Pita Nachos Cheese (RM16.50) and Tres Quesos PJBB (RM17.90) are also available to tease the tastebuds of peckish diners. Here, pita bread is cut into triangular pieces then fried until crisp to resemble nachos.

The former comes laden with the house special sauce, melted cheese, hot sauce and chilli flakes. Cheese lovers can relish the latter as the nibbles are topped with three types of melted cheese, beef bacon bits and chopped jalapeño.

To please the younger set, Creamy Pumpkin with Pasta and Beef Bacon (RM17.00), and Spaghetti with Butter Salmon in Salted Egg Yolk Sauce (RM28.90) are among the crowd-pleasing selection featured here. All the sauces are made on-premise by Mas so her extra efforts help to dial up the appeal of her pasta offerings.

Having gone viral on social media, kunafa – a popular Middle Eastern treat made from finely spun phyllo threads drenched with syrup and crushed pistachios – proves to be a compelling dessert at this outpost.


Mas levels up her Kunafa with Tres Leches (RM16.50): mozzarella and cream, orange blossom syrup, dried rose petals and crushed pistachios. The whole ensemble is creamy, mildly sweet and nutty; with pleasing whiffs of orange blossom and rose.

She also bestows similar treatment to Kuih Lopes with Tres Leches and Ice Cream (RM9.50). Coated in coconut flakes, the wedge of pandan-infused glutinous rice pairs marvellously with gula Melaka, cream and vanilla ice cream. Ditto for the Sago Pudding with Tres Leche and Gula Melaka (RM7.50).


Somehow, we couldn’t wrap our head around the South American-inspired Tres Leches Cake (RM15). Dry sponge cake is traditionally soaked in cream, milk and fruits, but Mas improvises hers slightly by immersing the sponge cake into milk prior to serving. Topped with canned fruit, this dessert fails to hit the spot for us.

For reservations at Spiced Pumpkin Café, call hp no:019 2728317. Address: Lot 291, Kompleks KPPMS, 2, Jalan RU 3/9a, Shah Alam, Selangor. Business hours: Mon-Thurs 12 pm –7 pm, Sat 12 pm – 930 pm. Closed on Sun.



Saturday, September 12, 2020


Melon seeds embedded within the Snow Skin Mooncake with Red Bean Paste with Melon Seed (RM21.50 per piece) from One World Hotel are evocative of the traditional versions I ate as a child. It’s a nice touch as the seeds are noticeably missing in many of this Mid-Autumn Festival treat lately.

Another recommended snowskin variant is Durian Lotus Paste (RM23 per piece) – the durian aroma is discernible in the lotus paste; its subtle sweetness a perfect balance to complement the astringency of Chinese tea. Other snow skin, low sugar variants available include White Lotus Paste (RM23), Pandan Lotus Paste with Single Yolk (RM25) and White Lotus Paste with Single Yolk (RM25).

This year, One World Hotel Dim Sum Chef Jordan Chin Chee Hong has decided on 12 varieties of mooncakes to offer for the traditional celebration. Available now until 1st October, Chef Chin said “A good mooncake will not stick to the teeth”. Having travelled to many Asian countries to taste different mooncakes, Chin is adamant Malaysia’s is the best.


He also offers a classic Deep Fried Teo Chew Yam Paste with Single Yolk (RM26 per piece), a tricky to make but scrumptious creation for the occasion. The crisp, swirly pastry is airy-light and generously filled with a savoury-sweet yam paste and salted egg yolk.

The mooncakes come in an Oriental themed gift box with a magnetic flap. Maroon with floral and lantern motifs, it holds four boxes of your choice of baked or snow skin mooncakes snugly.


As for the baked versions, the mooncakes are low sugar to cater to health-conscious market demand. We can vouch for the White Lotus Paste with Double Yolks (RM26) which taste great despite the reduced sweetness. Other enticing flavours in the selection include White Lotus Paste, Red Bean Paste, Pandan Lotus Paste and Supreme Mixed Nuts.

For further enquiries or orders, please call Zuan Yuan at 603 7681 1159 or email:

Friday, June 19, 2020


One menu integrating signature specialities from Still Waters (Japanese and Cantonese), Maya Brasserie (all-day dining) and Ramah Tamah (deli) makes it debut at Hotel Maya KL, to provide a seamless dining experience in the new normal.
Sharmini Morganasundram, General Manager of Hotel Maya KL said “a lot of thought has been put into this initiative, to ensure diners can enjoy their preferred cuisine at affordable prices whilst maintaining safe social distancing guidelines.”
The expansive selection lists Malaysian favourites, Western choices, Japanese and Chinese specialities, and even healthy vegan fare. 
Deftly prepared appetisers such as Wok-Fried Shelled Tiger Prawns with Butter, Golden Oats, Curry Leaves and Bird’s Eye Chillies (RM23), and Butter Squid with Salted Egg Yolk (RM28) hit the right note thanks to the delicacies’ airy-light batter and on-point crispiness.
We highly recommend the show-stealing Set Nasi Kerabu (RM18) – blue-tinged rice with butterfly pea flower jus accompanied by delectable fried marinated fried chicken, fish crackers, salted egg, grated coconut fish flakes and shredded raw vegetables. A marvellous ensemble of vividly robust accents and varied textural interests that will induce you to make short work of everything.
For a perennial dish that conjures up the feeling of festive revelry, nothing beats the stellar Set Nasi Tomato, Ayam Masak Merah, Jelatah, Sambal Belacan & Papadom (RM18). Again, the culinary team here pulls off the tomato rice with aplomb: the zesty-tomatoey chicken in chilli is sublime especially when augmented by the tart pickled vegetables, zingy shrimp paste sambal and crunchy papadom.
More sedate, non-spicy fare like Olive Vegetable Fried Rice with Shrimps, Fish and Golden Crispy Garlic (RM18) should go down well if you’re not partial to spices and chillies.
Tastes of the Orient take centrestage in three set menus: Ixora (RM60 nett for 2 persons), Hibiscus (RM80 nett for 2 persons) and Rafflesia (RM100 nett for 2 persons). Crowd-pleasing curtain-raisers such as Japanese Gyoza with Shrimp & Chicken and Unagi Tempura with Tobiko pave the way for heartwarming broths — my personal pick is the tantalising Braised Hot & Sour Szechuan Soup with Crabmeat, Fish Lip, Shrimps, Black Fungus, Mushroom, Szechuan Vegetable and Beancurd.

Creamy Chicken with Curry Leaves and Housemade Spicy Dried Shrimp Sauce, Deep-fried Spicy Seabass Fillet with Housemade Plum Sauce and Shredded Young Mango, and Stir-fried Sweet Beans with Celery, Carrot, Black Fungus, Lotus Root, Ginkgo Nuts and Crispy Almond Flakes are among some of the main dishes featured in the set menus. They pass muster with white or brown rice serving as the foil to partake them with.
Dessert to choose from range between Chilled Sea Coconut with Longan and Lemon Syrup and Double Boiled Dried Pear with Chrysanthemum, Sea Bird’s Nest, White Fungus and Dried Longan.

Dine-in at Hotel Maya KL on weekdays (except public holidays) from 11am to 8pm (last order 7pm). You can also bring Maya Meals Home via self pick-up or delivery: daily from 11am to 8pm. Free delivery for minimum spend of RM60 within 5km from the hotel and RM80 within 10km radius.
For more information, contact Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur F&B Hotline: 012-282 8187. Hotel Maya KL is located at 138 Jalan Ampang, KL.

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