Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Lavish Mid-Autumn Festival with Veuve Clicquot

Go lavish all the way this beautiful Mid-Autumn festival with a gift of opulence and sumptuousness of champagne and mooncakes!

Making a grand comeback this year, Veuve Clicquot in collaboration with Grand Imperial Group of Restaurants presents a harmonious union celebration with Veuve Clicquot Champagne and Grand Imperial’s delectable mooncakes.

Chong Wai Keng, Brand Ambassador for Moet Hennessy Brands reaffirms that the premium gift set reflects Madame Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin’s innovative spirit of its exquisite champagne with our celestial tradition.

With a history of 240 years in champagne making, Veuve Clicquot champagne is the world’s second most popular champagne and is considered by consumers to be the most exclusive and the most prestigious. With a motto of “Only One Quality, The Finest”, Veuve Clicquot champagne is indeed an extraordinary bubbly that is highly prized all over the world.

Chong Wai Keng, Brand Ambassador for Moet Hennessy Brands, Executive Dim Sum Chef Fanny Foo and Dan from the Grand Imperial Group

Who would have thought that Maison’s finest champagne – the Brut Yellow Label makes such a gorgeous pairing with our traditional mooncakes? The epitome of the house of Veuve Clicquot, the Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label is well-known for its fresh citrusy notes and subtle aromas of brioche and vanilla. Its bubbly factor together with its elegant bouquet compliments the mooncakes beautifully and heighten the delicate flavours of the mooncakes.

Available from 15th August to 27th September 2015, this limited edition Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and Mooncake Gift Set, priced at RM288 nett, features a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label (75 cl) with four delectable mooncakes including Assorted Fruits and Nuts with Chicken Bits, White Lotus Single Yolk, Almond with Sesame White Lotus Paste, and Pandan Lotus Paste Single Yolk.

This opulence gold box set of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label and Grand Imperial Mooncakes makes it the perfect giveaway this Mid-Autumn festival to family, friends and business associates. Limited to only 1000 orders, this exclusive gift set is available at all Grand Imperial Group of Restaurants at RM288 nett. 

For purchases, kindly contact the following six outlets listed below:

Grand Imperial Restaurant, Pinnacle Sunway (03-5888 7222/ 03-5888 7221)
Grand Imperial Restaurant, Bangsar Shopping Centre (03-2283 1118),
Grand Imperial Restaurant, Hartamas Shopping Centre (03-6201 3777),
Grand Imperial Restaurant, One Utama Shopping Centre (03-7729 7223),
Grand Imperial Restaurant, USJ19 City Mall (03-8024 8777)
Grand Imperial Restaurant, Casa Klang (03-3345 2118)

For further information, kindly visit, and

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fiercer by Fierce Curry House @ Publika

It’s a Party of Indian Tapas!

I have always link Indian cuisine with home cook and comfort food. Eating a cuisine that laden with a myriad of spices and slow simmering curries to be savor with roti or naan is simply soul food for me. When I crave for spicy curries or bread, I would want to enjoy a simple meal of carefully balanced spiced curry mopped up with flaky roti or crisp garlicky naan. That said, I would never had thought to party with Indian cuisine tapas style till I had savor this at Fiercer.

Fiercer by Fierce Curry House is famous for their Hyderabadi Dum Biryani. Located in Solaris Dutamas, Publika, Fiercer is the offspring of the famous Fierce Curry House in Bangsar that has been serving up hearty portions of banana leaf rice to their many fans for a while. Fiercer doesn’t serve banana leaf rice but rather their signature of Hyerabadi Dum Biryani and a host of northern Indian dishes set in a modern and contemporary ambience.

Owner Herukh Jethwani and his wife Aahana came up with the creation of Indian Tapas while they were honeymooning in Spain. Driven by their passion for food, both are taking Indian cuisine to a whole new level of creativity. We were invited for a sneak preview of Fiercer’s Indian Tapas which is available now and is the perfect morsel of sumptuous Indian flavours packed on a canapé.

We kicked off the tapas experience with Pani Puri (RM10), a popular street snack in India. Crispy pillows of hollow puri shells are filled with creamy potato cooked in spices and served with a spicy tangy mint chutney. Served in shot glasses, these were so adorable and packed quite a punch of flavours from spices and herbs.

Fiercer has a solid list of canapés topped with the restaurant’s signature dishes. Our treat of Chicken Makhanwala (RM25) or Butter Chicken as it is more commonly known, is a firework of flavours. Creamy luscious butter chicken oozing with spicy and tangy notes of garam masala, chili, more various spices, yoghurt and more hit all the right notes of soul food. Paired with crispy baguette, I certainly wouldn’t mind devouring quite a few of these at all. Bring it on…

Samosa Chaat (RM12) looked like a pile of mess but once you had a taste of this snack, you would definitely enjoy what the mess is made up off. Crispy potato and onion samosa are drenched in minty tamarind chutney and yoghurt and topped with some fresh herbs and crispy bits. This is super yum with spicy and creamy flavours. There are more variations of Chaat in the menu so pick your choice of Papri Chaat or Aloo Tikka Chaat and more.

They sure love their potatoes… not that I mind because I am also a huge potato fan. Jeera Aloo (RM17) is another potato dish cooked with lots of spices, chili, onions and herbs.

If you are a fan of mutton, then you have to try their Gosht Keema Masala (RM32). Minced mutton cooked with heavy doses of spices till tender on canapés are damn good on crispy toast with mint chutney. Bold spices, smoky aroma, lightly tangy and creamy, there is something really addictive about this dish that many fans will agree with me.

Seafood fans will definitely enjoy the Prawns Tikka Malai (RM32) and Fish Methi Masala (RM24). The Prawns Tikka Malai has a lovely smoky charred aroma as well as sweetness from fresh prawns while the Fish Methi Masala had a firm but tender fish in robust and herbaceous flavours. There are more seafood prepared in other various styles and served canapes too.

Besides Indian Tapas, Fiercer’s Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is a delicious force to be reckon with! Based on the owner’s aunt’s recipe from Hyderabad, Herukh has tweaked the recipe to his own perfection over the years. With more than 20 ingredients for a pot of Dum Biryani, it’s no wonder Fiercer’s version is superbly flavourful with fluffly long grain Basmati rice seasoned and layered with meat or seafood and steamed for hours. Fiercer does not only offer the classic Dum Biryani with mutton, chicken or fish but has taken theirs to a whole new height of lavish ingredients with lobster, scallop, crab, cod, squid, venison, lamb shank and more with prior reservations.

We had their Hyderabadi Dum Biryani Fish (RM20) which has a large piece of mackerel cooked with the biryani rice and spices. The biryani comes with some curry gravy, vegetable achar and raita. It was delicious…. fluffy rice grains well flavoured with lots of earthy aroma of spices. After digging into the layers of the rice, we unearthed a large piece of fish. The fish was tender and tasty too.

When savored with all the side condiments, the biryani was even tastier as the gravy added more level of flavours, the achar gave a tangy and refreshing note and the raita cool down the heat of the spices. I have had their chicken version prior to this visit and it was also very good.

Besides the biryani, we also had their Gosht Rogan Josh (RM28) and Chicken Orange Double Braised (RM30). The Gosht Rogan Josh packed quite a punch in flavours. Fiery, robust and complex, the thick mutton curry is cooked with lots of spices, onions, ginger, garlic and yoghurt. Famous for the punchy heat, savoring the Rogan Josh with rice or naan is simply divine. The boneless mutton is also very tender and has really soaked up all the goodness of the spices.

The Chicken Orange Double Braised is probably the only dish that is not spice laden or spicy in heat in the whole menu. Made famous from the owner’s family restaurant Bangles from yesteryears, the dish is braised boneless chicken simmered in sautéed onions, capsicum and a fresh cream based sauce flavoured with orange juice. Its lightly sweet, creamy with hints of tangy orange notes. The dish is good for adults and kids.

Other must-order treats from Fiercer are their vegetable dishes of Bhindi Masala (RM17), Eggplant Masala (RM17) and Tadka Dal (RM15). Both Bhindi Masala or Lady Fingers Masala and Eggplant Masala shared similar flavours but has their own unique note carefully balanced by the garam masala spices.

The Tadka Dal is one of my personal favorite dish at Fiercer. Unlike a lot of dal curries, this version has so much complex flavours. The creamy and tender yellow lentils are slow cooked with lots of onions, tomatoes, spices and chilies. The result is marvelous as I kept on ladling spoonfuls of the gorgeous dal onto my rice and naan.

There are many assorted Indian bread served here from naan, roti, to chapatti, poori and Roomali roti. We had their Mixed Naan Basket (RM14) of Plain, Coriander, Butter and Garlic Naans that was fluffy and tender and served piping hot.

No doubt its quite hard to save room for desserts but somehow we did. Fiercer’s classic Gulab Jamun (RM6) turned out to be another favorite of mine that evening. The milk balls soaked in heavy syrup is delicious. It has intense milky flavours and is very sweet of course but that’s what most Indian desserts’ characteristics are. This is one of the better Gulab Jamun I have tasted in the city.

Besides traditional desserts, Aahana has her own dessert business, Pretty Little Layers Desserts that offers diners a list of Western desserts such as Cakes, Mousse, Pannacotta, Cake Pops and other sweet treats. Check out their Facebook page here or call them at 019 985 1945 to order. Delivery is also available at certain Klang area for a small fee.

We had their Chocolate Mousse (RM18) and Mango Panna cotta (RM18). The Chocolate Mousse had a solid bittersweet note from the dark chocolate used while the Mango Panna cotta was perfectly set with a lovely sweet fruity mango flavour.

Don’t forget to enjoy your meal with Fiercer’s concoctions of Lassis! We enjoyed our Pineapple and Starfruit Lassi (RM10 each) very much…

D1-G3-5 Publika,
Jalan Solaris Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6211-2066

Business Hours: 11am to 11pm

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Olive Garden Italian Kitchen @ Mid Valley Mega Mall

Your Friendly Neighborhood Italian Restaurant!

Olive Garden Italian Kitchen has finally landed on the shores of Malaysia. The famous American Italian restaurant chain, with a staggering 800+ outlets worldwide, has been serving comfort Italian cuisine since 1982. Started in Orlando, Florida, the family friendly casual dining restaurant takes on modern Italy traditions by serving hearty Italian food that one can enjoy on daily basis.

Joining its other sister chains of Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse, the first Olive Garden Italian Kitchen opened in Mid Valley Mega Mall on May 2015. The restaurant is not as big as its other international chain but is designed with comfort in mind. Echoing its other international outlet theme, Olive Garden Italian Kitchen Malaysia has lots of natural wood and stones elements to exude warmness and comfort when dining. The dining area is sectioned and diners can choose from banquette seating to the regular table setting. One can even catch a glimpse of the kitchen actions in the dining room.

The menu at Olive Garden take diners into the homes of modern Italian where there are lots of hearty Antipasti, Piadina or Flatbread Pizza, Soup, Pasta, Meat, Seafood and Poulty Main Dishes as well as Dessert.

Kids below 12 years old Eat for Free all day and all week. T&C applies.

One highlight of every Olive Garden restaurant all over the world is their Unlimited servings of Soup or Our Famous House Salad together with their freshly baked Breadsticks with any order of entrée for the diner. Olive Garden’s Breadsticks is authentic Italian bread that is deliciously warming and simply a must at every Italian table. The Breadsticks have a medium dense texture and has a beautiful aroma.

The house signature Our Famous House Salad (RM15.50) offer diners a simple garden green salad paired with fresh tomatoes, red onion, black olives, croutons, Italian dressing and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Kudos to grating fresh parmesan cheese at the table as most restaurants do not offer such a treat these days…

I love soups and the Italians are famous for their soups. Nothing fancy but rather homestyle hearty and rustic soups that warms the tummy at every meal. One gets three choices of soups at Olive Garden. From Pasta e Fagioli (RM11.80) to Chicken & Gnocchi (RM11.80) and Minestrone (RM11.80), these soups are good for our heart and soul.

Pasta e Fagioli and Minestrone are tomato-based soups while the Chicken & Gnocchi is a cream based soup. While the Pasta e Fagioli has beans, ground beef and pasta in the soup, the Minestrone is a vegetarian classic of vegetables and pasta in tangy tomato broth. The Chicken & Gnocchi is a good choice for those who loves creamy soup and this one has bits of roasted chicken, spinach and soft traditional Italian pasta dumplings called gnocchi.

To kick off any meal at Olive Garden, one should start with some of their Antipasti dishes, especially when dining in large parties. Since we had quite a large group that evening, we shared their Sampler Italiano (RM59.90) which has Calamari, Lasagna Fritta and Shrimp Scampi Fritta served with two sauces.

Lasagna Fritta is actually pieces of lasagna crumbed, fried and served over Alfredo sauce with a finishing of marinara sauce and parmesan. One can opt for a spicy or non-spicy version of deep fried crispy Calamari or Shrimp Scampi Fritta. The Shrimp Scampi Fritta is lightly crumbed, fried and tossed with garlic and lemon butter or a spicy hot pepper sauce. Everything on this sampler appetizer platter is delicious when savored hot.

The Italians do love their cheese and so cheese dishes are plenty in the Italian cuisine. We had an order of Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta (RM29.90), a three-cheese fondue that is best enjoyed with bread. The oozing melted cheese had us enjoying bold cheesy flavours of mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. Salty, cheesy and umami flavours are my kind of food!

More cheese and this time, it’s on Italian flatbread pizza called Piadina. We had their Triple Cheese Carbonara Piadina (RM18.90), another three-cheese of mozzarella, parmesan and Grana Padana all melted on crisp thin flatbread with roasted cherry tomatoes and crisp beef bacon. Yum…

Chicken Parmigiana (RM26.90) is one of the more popular Italian dish that is much-beloved by many Italian households. Crispy crumbed parmesan chicken is fried and topped with homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese before being finished on the broiler to gratin it all together. The chicken is always served with a side of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Everything on this dish screamed simple but delicious comfort food that one can enjoy on a daily basis.

Olive Garden also has a large dish called Tour of Italy (RM59.90). It’s a dish one orders when one cannot decide what to eat. Three classic dishes of Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna and Fettuccine Alfredo is a dish meant to be shared unless one can really packed on the carbs. It’s a familiar platter of Italian favorite flavours all at one plate.

Here’s another lasagna dish of Lasagna Primavera with Grilled Chicken (RM38.90). Its layers of pasta and vegetables with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese lasagna baked till soft and melted and served with grilled chicken and creamy parmesan sauce. It’s a nice change to be enjoying the light vegetable lasagna instead of the richer meaty one. The grilled chicken also made the dish a bit healthier.

If you are up for a treat of the king of crustaceans, Olive Garden has a scrumptious Lobster Fettuccine (RM53.90) that seafood lovers will rejoice in happiness. The pasta dish has Maine lobster tail and shrimps cooked in a rich lobster seafood cream sauce served on fettuccine pasta. The sauce is moreish and full of seafood essence. Every slurp is creamy and delicious while our lobster tail was nicely cooked till tender.

Another seafood dish that is bound to be a favorite with many seafood lovers is Pasta Pescatore (RM41.90). Fettuccine pasta is tossed with creamy red pepper seafood sauce with chunks of shrimp, bay scallops and mussels. This dish is quite creamy and has a subtle red pepper sweetness. Best savored hot, we polished off this pasta whole-heartedly…

Being an ardent salmon lover, I am always up to ordering salmon dishes when I see one. The Salmon Risotto (RM45.90) certainly caught my attention. Pairing up with another favorite dish of mine, the risotto, one gets a nice piece of grilled salmon, shrimp, seafood risotto and a tomato and basil pesto. I like my salmon cooked with a medium center so make sure to let the staff know how you like your salmon cooked for extra pleasures.

Besides seafood, Olive Garden also has a few beef specialities. We had their Steak Toscana (RM79.90) and Center Cut Filet Mignon (RM79.90).

The Steak Toscana is a piece of nicely marbled ribeye cooked to your likings. Simple flavourings of butter and fresh herbs are added to the ribeye to enhance and keep the beefy flavours. Enjoyed this with creamy garlic mashed potatoes for a solid steak and potato dinner!

For those who prefer leaner cut but tender meat, go for the Center Cut Filet Mignon as the premium center cut filet is deliciously tasty and tender. Also prepared with minimal ingredients, I can really take the beefy goodness of the filet with a light hint of buttery richness. This one is served with grilled vegetables.

We ended our meal with Italian desserts of Piccoli Dolci (RM6.80 for 1 / RM18.00 for 3 / RM29.00 for 5). These are mini glasses of layer desserts inspired by Italian desserts. Choose from the five flavours of Almond Tiramisu, Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Mousse, Dark Chocolate Caramel Cream and Strawberry & White Chocolate. My favorite was the Dark Chocolate Caramel Cream and Lemon Mousse.

Then there is the Black Tie Mousse Cake (RM12.80), a chocolatey and cheesy cake that is lusciously rich and decadent. Dark chocolate cheesecake, creamy mascarpone custard and chocolate cake is a match made in heaven in the dessert world. Utterly rich with dark chocolate notes, the cake will have chocolate and cheese lovers sighing at pleasure.

Another famous Italian dessert that appears in almost every Italian restaurant I know is the Tiramisu (RM12.80). Olive Garden’s version is fairly light with a good note of espresso soaked ladyfingers sponge and a thick layer of mascarpone custard before being finished with a generous layer of cocoa powder. This one is a non-alcoholic version so kids can enjoy them too.

We enjoyed our dishes with lots of happy giggle juices of Frozen Strawberry Margarita (RM31.00), Frozen Tiramisu (RM29.50), Long Island Limoncello (RM32.50) and Strawberry Passion Fruit Limonata Mocktail (RM16.50). They make a mean and super refreshing margarita here so make sure to order one!

Olive Garden great for hearty Italian comfort food. It’s also a great place for casual dining with family and friends. With a plus point of Unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks with every order of entrée and kids below 12 eat for free, Olive Garden makes dining there a satisfying pleasure! 

Lot F051 Mega Mall
Mid Valley City
Lingkara Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2201-0221

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