Showing posts with label sesame. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sesame. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2020


Trust Chinese cuisine supremo and Group Executive Chef of The Oriental Group of Restaurants Justin Hor to make a big splash for the arrival of the Rat Year...his Alaskan Spider Crab Vegetables Yee Sang (RM198++ medium, RM298++ large) is an unmatched festive dish to rule them all.
Available at all restaurants under the Oriental Group except Ruyi & Lyn, the fresh melange of shredded green apple, carrot, cucumber, purple cabbage, spring onion, coriander, raisins, crushed peanuts and dried mandarin peel is luxed up with freshly extracted and shredded Alaskan spider crab meat. Lightly dressed with the chef’s specially concocted plum sauce, the yee sang easily ranks as one of the best in town.
Chef Justin agrees the inclusion of Alaskan spider crab is a tad indulgent but he surmises such an extravagant culinary treat befits a major occasion like Chinese New Year when kith and kin gather around a good meal.
Diners welcoming the Rat Year at Oriental Pavilion, Noble Mansion and Noble House can look forward to a familiar favourite and the much sought-after speciality of Whole Pork Trotter with Hokkaido XL Dried Scallops, Japanese Mushrooms and Quail Eggs (RM488++ per portion).
Every ringgit spent is worth your while as Chef Justin and his team have devoted much time and effort into the dish’s painstaking preparation; to ensure the resultant pork trotter is sublimely fall-of-the-bone tender, every bite of the pork, skin and gelatinous bits thoroughly suffused with rich, savoury flavours augmented by black sea moss and XL dried scallops. Both the tau kan (compressed layers of beancurd skin) and plump mushrooms ooze with the unctuous braising sauce, amplifying their deliciousness.
Crazy about crabs? Then you’d love the speciality of Crabs Prepared Two Ways: Deep Fried Crab Claws with Red Vinegar and Crab Meat with Scrambled Egg in Lettuce Wraps (RM238++ per portion for 4 persons, available at The Ming Room and Noble House).
It’s a dream dish for diners and crab lovers who prefer not to get their hands dirty. The first comprises a sweet chunk of crab meat encased in deep-fried prawn paste wrapped atop a crab leg similar to a lollipop for easy eating. We find the whole morsel so delectably on-point when it’s dipped into some red vinegar for a subtle shot of acidity.
For smoother and creamier mouth feel, the latter consists of hand-extracted crab meat cooked gently with cream, egg white and a dash of vinegar, scooped into fresh iceberg lettuce; evocative of an old-school banquet dish of scrambled egg with shark’s fin.
Frolic in glorious abundance this CNY with Steamed Deep Sea Garoupa with Fresh Abalones and Prawn Medallions in Casserole Basket (RM388++ per portion for 8 persons), a house speciality of the Oriental Star restaurant. The fish is sweet with the right doneness, the prawns springy and succulent, and the abalones boast a nice garlicky punch.
Bottarga or salted dried mullet roe – a pricey delicacy favoured by Taiwanese gourmands – is the ingredient of choice to elevate the Crystal Prawns with Gold Caviar Sauce (RM128++ per portion).
Combined with lemon juice and red chilli oil, the mildly savoury sauce coating the prawns bestow a distinct richness similar to cheese. Break the giant beancurd bowl into shards to complement the prawns for a refined epicurean treat. This speciality is available at all Oriental Group restaurants except for Seafood World, Ruyi and Yu.
Tender French beans help to lighten up the ubiquitous Steamed Rice with Waxed Meat Hakka Style (RM78++ medium, RM128++ large). Available at all Oriental Group restaurants except for Seafood World, Ruyi and Yu, this festive favourite still has its die-hard fans who never tire of sampling the fragrant rice with slices of waxed liver and pork sausages in addition to waxed meat.
The last hurrah is as auspicious as the dessert name: Golden Pudding with Bird’s Nest in Whole Orange (RM23++ each). Served in hollowed-out orange ‘bowls’, we rave over the delightful orange jelly topped with bird’s nest.
Of course, every CNY meal calls for a serving of nin kou (sweet glutinous rice cake). At the Oriental group of restaurants except for Seafood World, Ruyi and Yu, it’s in the form of dainty Deep Fried Sesame Balls with Nin Kou (RM5++ per pc) to round up the celebratory feast.
For reservations and information, visit The Oriental Group of Restaurants website:

Monday, August 22, 2016


Egyptian guest chef Ayman Ibrahim pulled out the stops for the Middle Eastern Food promotion at Chatz Brasserie, rustling up a repertoire of 37 Egyptian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes throughout the period between now and 31 October 2016.
Coriander seeds combined with sesame seeds lent subtle crunch to the Falafel (RM20) - a popular snack and appetiser of chickpea croquettes with tahinah (sesame paste). I like these patties as the chef has ensured they weren't overcooked and dry.

Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Egyptian cuisines share some similarities and one of the most obvious we sampled at the preview was Warq Einab (RM22), brined grape leaves stuffed with rice. These dainty rolled parcels were surprisingly palatable - the grape leaves weren't as tart and salty as I had expected and the rice filling was agreeably tasty. The pleasant taste left a good impression as past encounters with this speciality hasn't been up to scratch.

Another common appetiser across the region is Hommous (RM16), the evergreen chickpea spread. Of course, recipes vary from chef to chef and restaurant to restaurant but I had yet to savour a dud so this delightfully smooth and dense spread was a joy to eat with warm, pouffy Arabic bread.
Bulgur wheat and tiny wedges of cherry tomatoes lent subtle 'bite' to the guest chef's Taboulah (parsley & mint salad, RM20). The tangy lemon juice and olive oil dressing was tantalising enough minus any sharp tartness so we rated this as a definite 'must have'.
Even the rustically creamy lentil soup or Shorbah Adas (RM26) won us over with its back to basics approach. Every spoonful was a testament to the chef's TLC, warming our hearts and tummies with its soulfulness.
Pasta, chickpeas, beans and lamb cubes bestowed heartier substance to the same lentil soup, transforming it into Shorbah Harirah (RM30). The resultant broth had greater complexity and depth but personally, I preferred the pared down, lighter version. 
We took an instant liking to carb and protein laden speciality like Lamb Kabsah (RM48)
with Roz Boukhary (long grain rice cooked with lamb marinated with assorted spices, RM25). The meat was subtly suffused with aromatic spices; its delectable accent amplified by the flavourful rice. We also tried Roz Saiadiah (RM18), irresistible fried onion rice which served as a foil for several other mains.
Chef Ayman proved to be a dab hand at grilled spring chicken or Dajaj Ala Elfaham (RM36). The juicy chook bore hints of warm, smoky spices which should leave you asking for more.
Another combination of spices was discernible in Kofta, barbecued lamb meatballs. These gamey spheres appeared a tad dry for my liking but we took so long photographing them, there could have been some moisture loss.
Vege such as okra stewed with tomato and beef formed the premise for Bamiah bil Lahm Ejal (RM50). At first glance, the dish could be mistaken for curry but the red hue stemmed from the tomato sauce base. A perennial Middle Eastern comfort food that should please homesick foreign visitors from the very same shores.
If you prefer not to deal with bone-in pieces of chicken then Shish Tawook (barbecued skewered chicken cubes, RM30) would suit you down to the ground. Marinated in yoghurt, lemon juice and spices (possibly cayenne, paprika and sumac), the lean cubes of grilled chicken were slightly dry to the bite.
Similarly, seafood and fish are often thrown cooked on the grill. The mixture of spices may differ but the key ingredients' inherent taste is maintained. Proof of the pudding was the sublime accents discernible in Jambary Mashwi (grilled prawns with saffron sauce, RM55) and Samak Mashwi (fried fish glazed with tahinah, RM46).
Broad beans with rice and herbs or better known as Fooll Akhdar (RM28) underscored the simple homespun fare enjoyed by the people residing in the Mediterranean and Middle East for centuries. A tried and tested offering that most of them would identify with.
Sweet toothed diners shouldn't miss the trio of dessert available. My fave has to be
Kashul (almond pudding, RM25). Perfumed with rosewater, the pudding looked stodgy but once I sampled it, the luscious treat reminded me a little of creme brulee although it was less dense.
Other options guaranteed to please Middle Eastern cuisine fans included Baklava (RM25) and Basbosah (RM18).
Four types of nuts were coarsely crushed and filled into petite florets of fillo pastry; a sticky mass of syrupy sweetness encased in buttery, flaky fillo layers. They could be terribly addictive unless you are allergic to nuts.
Semolina together with grated coconut and ground almonds formed the foundation for Basbosah, the classic Egyptian cake (similar versions found in most Middle Eastern countries). Drenched with rosewater syrup (again this differs from recipe to recipe), the crumbly cake was meant to be savoured with a strong cup of coffee.
For dining convenience, Chatz Brasserie is offering a Middle East Specialities Set Menu comprising an appetiser, a soup and a choice of Mandy (RM88 nett), Dajaj Kabsah (RM85 nett) or Samak Saiadiah (deep-fried fish in pungent sauce, RM85 nett) for the main followed by a dessert. The dishes reviewed here are also available a la carte from 12noon to 12midnight daily until end October 2016.

For reservations, please call CHATZ BRASSERIE, tel: 03-27828301. Address: Lower Lobby Level, PARKROYAL KUALA LUMPUR, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

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