Showing posts with label wines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wines. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 04, 2023


Italian cuisine lovers are in for a treat with the upcoming ‘four hands’ dinner featuring Chef Murli Pillay (left) of Tosca at DoubleTree by Hilton KL and Chef Daniel Yap (right) of Gooddam restaurant in Petaling Jaya.

Scheduled for 14 & 15 July, the Tosca x Gooddam event will proffer a 5-course menu (RM358 nett per person) prepared by both chefs. The food and wine pairing costs RM498 nett per person.
Us media members had an advance preview of the event one balmy evening at Tosca. The rustic wood-stone clad setting evoked a laidback, resort-style feel although some air-conditioning won’t be remiss IMHO in the current sweltering weather.

Chilled Sanfeletto Prosecco Superior heralded a quartet of amuse bouche: Black Angus Short Rib Arancino, Oyster Beignet, Liver Mousse, and Aged Hamachi Crudo.


The much-anticipated Black Angus Short Rib Arancino with Sundried Tomato Aioli and Summer Truffle was a tad underwhelming. Coated with breadcrumbs, the deep-fried Italian rice ball barely had any beef in it, whilst the tomato aioli eclipsed everything in its wake.


Topped with a bright green, savoury sauce, the crisp-fried Oyster Beignet with Green Onion Fondue restored our faith. The mollusc’s delicate taste remained discernible and melded well with the parmesan shavings and cheesy green onion ‘fondue’.

Airy-light and exquisitely delicate accents characterised the Liver Mousse, Strawberry Vinegar Caramel, Edible Weeds and Flowers sandwiched in between wafer-thin discs. Ditto for the Aged Hamachi Crudo, Pickled Pumpkin and Spiced Passionfruit.


Also top marks for the crusty slices of focaccia with pesto butter.

A zesty-fresh Fantini Pinot Grigio complemented Chef Murli’s Symphony of Heirloom Tomatoes with Aged Balsamic and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta. 

We loved how the soft pudding-like goat cheese creaminess harmonised with the assortment of fruity heirloom tomatoes. Tangy-sweet aged balsamic vinegar further enhanced the dish’s allure.

Chef Daniel proved his mettle with delicious Agnolotti of Wolf Herring Mousse, Red Coral and Nasturtium Flower Butter. A type of pasta originating from Piedmont, the chef folded flattened pasta dough over toothsomely springy fish paste. Served alongside a slab of sweet and flaky wolf herring, the spicy flower butter added lush flavour to the whole ensemble.


Teetotallers can expect interesting mocktails such as Cucumber Gimlet and Acai Kombucha to complement their meal.

While the Rack of Lamb with Pickled Purple Carrot, Celeriac Purée, Mâche & Thyme Jus looked promising, my portion was unfortunately tough and sinewy. The gloppy jus didn’t help. Fortunately, my dining partner’s serving was on-point. 


We had a medium body Cecchi Chianti DOCG brimming with nice berry nuances which went superbly well with the lamb.

Dinner concluded on a high note with an enticing Marsala Sabayon Ice Cream, Wood-fired Fig and Fig Leaf Meringue wrapping up the evening. It was a light, mildly sweet yet slightly indulgent dessert to savour.


For reservations at Tosca, call tel: 03-2172 7272 or email:


Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Five Bottega-inspired recipes by Italian guest chef Mauro Civiero took centrestage at EQ Kuala Lumpur recently. As part of the collaboration between EQ and Bottega, the 57-year-old Milanese was central in a series of special events including a curated wine pairing dinner and a wine Masterclass.

Chef Mauro embarked on his culinary journey in 1982 after attending catering school. Upon completing stints in several Michelin-starred restaurants, including one in Heidelberg, Germany, Chef Mauro returned to Italy.
He then proffered his mastery at the Michelin-starred Casanova Grill, located at the Palace Hotel. The stint opened doors for him to other prestigious hotels including Florence Grand Hotel and the Porto Cervo Pitrizza in the breath-taking Emerald Coast of Sardinia.

In recognition of his culinary expertise, Chef Mauro Civiero was appointed a representative of Italian cuisine at The Westin Hotel in Tokyo; to promote the culinary traditions of his homeland. His career has also taken him to the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

For the media session at Bottega Lounge, Chef Mauro deftly prepared five recipes on the spot, to complement the Bottega wines selected by Sandro Bottega, president of Bottega SpA.
According to the chef, the recipes were chosen for their affinity with the Bottega wines showcased. “I’ve tweaked and adapted the recipes from the Bottega 100 Prosecco Recipes Gold Book, using my own expertise and to suit the local context.”

The first recipe he demonstrated was Amberjack Tartare, to complement Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut.

Marinated with sun-dried tomatoes, capers and olives, then placed onto zucchini threads, the delicious Amberjack Tartare paired harmoniously with the bright citrusy notes of Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut. We liked how the straw-yellow wine with its light floral aroma and balanced acidity offset the fish’s natural richness.
Next came Chef Mauro’s creation of Buffalo Mozzarella Emulsion with wild oregano, tomato jelly and basil. The soft almost mash-creamy texture was sublime; its delicate accents went like a dream with the dry, smooth Bottega Pinot Grigio Venezia DOC. We also detected refreshingly fruity aromas of pear and peach, with a subtle hint of almond finishing.
The blush pink Bottega Rose Gold Pinot Nero Spumante Brut Rosé was the wine of choice for the Venetian Style Crabmeat Salad with eggplant and parsley oil. 

This dish’s clean, pristine flavours proved winsome when savoured with the rosé’s elegant, supple structure and fresh acidity, characterised by faint floral-mixed berries notes.

My favourite was Rosé Veal with Mascarpone Tuna Mousse. The tender meat left an indelible impression when accompanied by the full-bodied ruby-red Bottega Rosso di Montalcino DOC. Pleasant nuances of cherries and plums, and well-rounded tannins made it a memorable tipple.
Sbrisolona, a traditional cake from Lombardy, rounded off our indulgent afternoon. 

Served alongside Bottega Manzoni Moscato Rosé Spumante (exuding a refined rose aroma, its ripe citrusy notes had a tinge of sage) and the lemon-yellow Bottega Limoncino (brimming with the aroma and flavour of ripe lemons), the crumbly shortbread-like almond cake was a befitting finale to the Italian affair at EQ Kuala Lumpur.

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Lovers of Happy Hours and discerning bon vivant who yearn to slake their thirst can make a beeline for the much-loved Farquhar’s Bar. Remodelled as a vintage cocktail bar, Farquhar’s Bar at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang is relocated further down the marble and French doors walkway at the newly refreshed Heritage Wing.
Subdued, mellow lighting coupled with deep teal blue hues and white cornices evoke a rarefied atmosphere similar to a gentlemen’s club and private study. The oak and brass-finished long bar serves as a focal point near the entrance whilst the inner sanctum boasts studded leather Chesterfield sofas, retro arm and wing back chairs, antique fittings, and collections of monochrome prints. Scenic views of Penang’s waterfront beckon beyond its expansive picture windows.
Cocktail o’clock has never been more atas...the resident mixologists are adept at whisking up classic and contemporary tipples. To wet our whistle, we opted for Gin Setengah (RM45) – London Dry Gin with Grand Marnier, longan and a splash of pineapple juice (3rd pix below); Pink Lady (RM50) – London Dry Gin with Applejack, lemon juice, housemade grenadine and egg white (2nd pix below); and Moscow Mule (RM45) – Vodka, lime juice and spicy ginger beer (pix below).
Moscow Mule
Should you wish to chase your drinks of choice with light refreshments, the snack creations are worth the calorie intake. Simplistic in approach but lush and big on flavour is Potato & Caviar (RM28), airy-light potato crisps with sour cream and caviar dip.
Heartier but a definite palate-pleaser is the sumptuous and melty Gruyère Cheese Sandwich (RM28). Savoury rich with a smoky aftertaste, the brioche toast triangles were sublime and satisfying.
Delectable options to stave off hunger pangs include Peranakan Sliders (RM20) of braised duck breast sandwiched in crispy mantou with chilli dip, and
Beef Lollipop (RM28) – superbly tender and juicy marinated beef cubes with saffron and garlic aioli. 
Having sampled them, the snacks hit the spot well. We even ordered additional portion of the Beef Lollipop and Gruyère Cheese Sandwich.
Note: Farquhar’s Bar is open daily from 230pm to midnight during the pre-Covid19 days. To sample the Sundowners' Tapas mentioned above, head over to Palm Court from 4pm to 7pm daily (refer below pix).
For more information and reservations, please call Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang, tel: 016-419 8923 or visit:

Featured Post


Whimsical. Fun. Impactful. Imagine a flock of butterflies fluttering up once you open Cake Rush’s latest Explosion Gift Box. We were thrille...