Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Surisit, The Thai Kopitiam @ Paramount, Petaling Jaya


Your Neighborhood Thai Home-Style Kopitiam


Talk Thai to me anytime and I am happy camper! I love the cuisine that evokes all savory, sweet, spicy and sour flavours and harmonizes them on one plate. Most Thai restaurants here are pork free so when I heard of Surisit, The Thai Kopitiam who serves pork in their Thai cuisine, I was ecstatically jumping with joy. Surisit first outlet in TTDI was a smashing success and has gathered quite a following for their dishes. Owner Rivon Gill has recently opened the second Surisit in Paramount area, Petaling Jaya to bring Surisit’s home-style Thai cuisine to the neighborhood.


With our ravenous stomachs in tow, we paid a visit to the newest outlet for a taste of Surisit. The outlet is dressed with minimalist and focus more on the rustic home-style food through a kopitiam concept.  It is still bright, clean and neat so it’s a good sign that the owner chose to let their food shine in this simple no-frill kopitiam. The menu is quite extensive and many dishes are familiar while some looks to be really authentic plus there is quite a delicious list of pork dishes which I am dying to try.


We had quite a good choice of dishes for the seven of us that evening. Thai Otak Otak (Hohmuk Paphraw) is served in a coconut shell and looks pretty yum at sight. It’s got seafood steamed in a spice laden thick custard sauce. It’s got a good balance of spices and coconut cream, rendering lovely savory and moreish flavours with some heat. The seafood is nicely cooked too with pieces of tender coconut flesh as well.


Though it didn’t won our hearts, the Prawns Fried with Long Beans & Thai Shrimp Paste (Thaw Fahgam Phat Khapi Kung) was still sufficiently decent with its just cooked long beans and bits of onions with prawns in a piquant Thai shrimp paste sauce.


I love Thai salads, any for that matter of fact because I love the distinctive flavours and textures. One of my all-time-favorite Thai salad has to be the Catfish Mango Salad (Yam Pla Duk Foo Ma Mung). This one is very satisfying with lots of flavours and textures in tow. The mango salad is fresh, vibrant and filled with lots of sour and sweet notes while the crispy catfish and cashew nuts gave the salad lots of crunch factor.


Crispy Fried Pork with Shrimp Paste, Kaffir Leaves & Chilies (Moo Thod Kapi) is superb in my books. Well-seasoned pork with bits of fats is beautifully savory and moreish. I tasted the distinctive shrimp paste taste and thought this dish is pretty much lethal as the pork slices are very addictive. Pork is moist and tender too. The deep fried kaffir leaves added aroma to the pork. Super shiok!


The Fried Prawn Cakes (Thod Man Kung) is pretty good. Golden breaded prawn cakes have a good bouncy texture with sweetness from the prawns. It’s crispy and also tender. Dip these in the sweet Thai chili sauce and it makes great snacks.


Our Tomyan Spicy Lemongrass Flavoured Soup (Tom Yam Thalay) soup, clear version, looked deceivingly mild. The sour and spicy soup actually packed quite a punch in heat. Good dose of sourness and there is plenty of seafood to keep me happy. Surisit also offers the red version for a fiery option. I had two bowls of this very spicy and sour soup and loved it…


The next dish of Claypot Glass Noodle Prawns (Kung Op Woon Sen) came with fairly large prawns neatly arranged on glass noodles. Though it looked good, the glass noodles were a tad bland. The prawns were good though as they were firm and had a light sweetness. We still enjoyed this with rice.


Thai-Style Deep Fried Squids with Salted Egg (Plamuk Phad Khikhem) rocks! These luscious squid are lightly battered and coated in a sublime salted egg yolk sauce together with some aromatics of onions, kaffir leaves, chilies and coriander. The dish has savory and sweetness all nicely balanced while the squid is pretty tender too. May not be good for the heart but so good for the soul… must order!


I have always enjoyed this dish of Minced Pork with Thai Basil (Phat Krapao Moo Sap). It’s practically available in most Thai places and is comfort food. Minced pork is sautéed with lots Thai basil to create that distinctive aroma and flavour. The version here included onions, spring onion and chili in addition to the usual ingredients. It’s got lots of moreish flavours and is perfect with steamed rice and fried sunny side up egg. That’s what I usually order when I see it on a menu because it’s practically a meal all by itself.


I hope I got the name for the beef dish right for Stir-Fried Beef with Chilies & Thai Basil Leaves (Neua Phat Bai Grapao). I didn’t see basil but instead saw it was crowned with kaffir leaves. The beef is flavourful and has a good firm bite. It is another dish that one can snack on happily. Surisit manage to nail their meat dishes with good dose of marinades and also kept their meat juicy and delicious.


Our last savory dish was another classic Steamed Fish with Lime (Pla Nueng Prik Manau). The fish is smothered with loads of minced garlic, chili, coriander soaked in a pool of lime sauce. This one was less impressive than the other dishes as there seemed to be some kick missing in the usual sour and tasty soup.  Nevertheless, it’s still a passable dish which just needed some tweaking of flavours in soup and the fish was fresh.


Dinner ended with more classics of Red Rubies with Coconut Milk (Tap Tim Grop) and Mango Pulut with Coconut Milk (Khaw Niau Ma Muang). Both are just a perfect sweet ending to our Thai home-style meal that evening with their lovely and fruity sweetness. I can never say no to Thai desserts…


I like Surisit for its no-frill Thai home-style kopitiam vibe. The menu is filled with a long list of Thai favorites and many are hits despite very few misses. Serving a list of Thai porky dishes is also another plus point. I am pretty sure many will be sniffing out this outlet soon following it pursuit of its popular TTDI outlet.



SURISIT, THE THAI KOPITIAM
No.3 Jalan 20/14,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel:  03-7865 7507


Business Hours:
Mon to Fri: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 11am – 10.30pm

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Link, Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar CNY Feast


Celebrate A Year of Greatness & Goodness at Pullman


Joining more Chinese New Year cheer had me visiting Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar recently for a sneak peek at their festive dining at Link Restaurant. Link All Day Dining is set to serve fresh favorites for families and friends this festive season with a big spread of Chinese specialties as the hotel ushers in the year of the Goat with A Year of Greatness & Goodness!


In marking this festive season, Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar hosted some senior citizens to a treat of Chinese New Year Yee Sang and Link’s scrumptious buffet spread.


After speeches by Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Management, an auspicious Lion Dance kicked off the evening with much prosperity in tow.


Every Chinese New Year feast will not be complete without the tossing of Yee Sang. At Link, diners can set their creativity to endless possibilities to create their own auspicious Yee Sang with fresh Salmon and Jelly Fish together with lots of other Yee Sang ingredients. The Yee Sang is then to be tossed with Chef’s special wasabi plum sauce.


Here are some of the festive spread which includes a large selection of Chinese festive dishes together with other Asian and international dishes.


Check out the salad bar and enjoy the varieties of local and international salads and kerabus. There are also Smoked Duck, Roasted Chicken, Seafood Terrine and more.


Visit the Carving Station for Oriental BBQ-Roasted Duck, Roast Beef and more. I enjoyed the duck a lot!


There are also live stations for Dim Sum, Steamed Chicken Rice with Roasted Chicken, Roasted Duck and Steamed Chicken. Another favorite station would be the BBQ Grill Station featuring BBQ Chicken, Lamb Chop and Fish.


Chinese cuisine highlights include Seafood Crab Meat Soup, Five Sea Treasure Broth, Baked Chicken with Chinese Herbs and Rock Salt, Steamed Barramundi Fillet with Sweet Bean Sauce, Fook Cheow Style Braised Fish Maw, Steamed Fish with Soy Sauce, Wok Fried Yee Mee Noodles, Braised Vegetable with Egg Bean Curd & Mushroom and more.


International favorites include Braised Beef Rib with Root Vegetables, Zucchini Sea Bass with Green Pea Sauce, Seafood Stew and Roasted Chicken.


Do save some tummy space for desserts! Link offers a long bar of desserts from local to international favorites of Cakes, Tarts and Pastries, Ice Cream, Chocolate Fountain, local Kuih and more. For Chinese festive treats, enjoy Pin Pei Red Bean Roll, Plum Dumpling, Sweet Lotus Soup, Chinese Baked Egg Tarts and CNY Cookies.



The Pullman Prosperity Chinese New Year Buffet runs from 18 Feb to 22 Feb 2015. It is priced at RM120nett per person for lunch and dinner. To embraced the spirit of togetherness, any table with 10 persons and above will be served a dedicated Yee Sang dish at the same price on the Chinese New Year’s Eve on the 18 Feb 2015. The Get-Together Prosperity Reunion Dinner is priced at RM120nett per person.

Pullman Yee Sang is also available for takeaway from the main lobby’s Petit Café. From as low as RM73nett onwards with 3 flavours to choose from, prosperity and happiness can also be tossed all the way to your home!

Catch Shaolin GC Academy with their award-winning team as they present a Traditional Acrobatic Lion Dance at the Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar’s main lobby on the 3rd Day (21 Feb 2015) of the Chinese New Year.

For reservation and inquiries, please call +603 2298 1855 or email H7962-FB5@Accor.com



LINK RESTAURANT
Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar
No.1, Jalan Pantai Jaya, Tower 3,
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2298 1888
Email: info@pullmankualalumpur.com


Operating Hours: 12pm to 3pm (Lunch) and 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Dinner)


Monday, February 16, 2015

Pak Loh Chiu Chow, Feast Village @Starhill Gallery CNY Feast


An Elegant Chiu Chow CNY Feast!


It is quite difficult to find an authentic Teochew restaurant, especially one with such splendor. I had first had a taste of Pak Loh Chiu Chow last year their triple victory win with the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA) 2013 – 2015 Malaysia Series and was really pleased at this amazing Chao Zhou, Chiu Chow or Teochew restaurant. Executive Chef Alex Au’s award winning menu is a splendor of sumptuous true blue Teochew cuisines at its best. From their signatures of Slow Braised Goose to Chiu Chow Oyster Omelette to Cold Flower Crab and many more, it is such a majestic pairing of fine Chiu Chow cuisine and opulent ambience.


This festive season, Pak Loh Chiu Chow at Feast Village, Starhill Gallery is offering a traditional Teochew Chinese New Year feast menu available from 19 January until 5 March 2015. Chef Alex and his culinary team has gone all out in creating Teochew specialties from Chiu Chow Yee Sang with Grass Carp to other luxurious offerings of Yee Sang variations.


There are two CNY menus available – Four Season Fortune Set Menu and Golden Jade Prosperity Set Menu together with Chinese New Year A La Carte Menu. A recent visit had us tasting some of the dishes from each menu. The thoughts of experiencing a Teochew CNY feast are exciting and I was truly amazed at this experience.

Chiu Chow Yee Sang is not what I had expected. The set menu has a choice of guests opting for the classic yee sang or the Classic Chiu Chow Yee Sang with Grass Carp. According to Chef Alex, it is not a common dish in China and most are not even aware of yee sang. Inspired by the closes dish that resembles yee sang, Chef Alex has prepared his version of Classic Chiu Chow Yee Sang with Grass Carp.


Chiu Chow cuisine relies heavily on minimal and fresh ingredients to create its distinctive flavours. Chef Alex’s Classic Chiu Chow Yee Sang with Grass Carp consisted of freshly sliced grass carp, preserved radish or Choy Poh, leek, basil leaves, raw slice garlic, coriander stalk and leaves, radish, chili, pickled ginger, roasted peanut and a piquant galangal dressing. There really isn’t much resemblance to our classic yee sang ingredients except the raw fish with fresh and pickled vegetable concept. The sauce is also very different.


After our auspicious Lou Hei, my first taste of the yee sang was a surprising one. Unlike our classic sweet, tangy and fruit yee sang, this one mostly features savory and umami notes. The textures and flavours rely on all the ingredients rather than the sauce. The sauce is a concoction of blue ginger if I am not mistaken or galangal as a general name. The sauce is savory and spicy with an aromatic and oil based flavour of the galangal. When combined with all the ingredients, the yee sang evoked more of savory refined salad rather than the classic yee sang. I can taste almost each ingredient distinctively. What I enjoyed was the whole toasty peanuts with ginger and coriander combination as I am quite fond of these ingredients.


The grass carp is gorgeous. In fact, I really think our classic yee sang should use grass carp. The fish is lightly firm and has a serene sweetness with a good bite. Although the ingredients are quite strong in flavours and textures, the grass carp went very well as it has its own unique textures and flavours. It may be my first Chiu Chow yee sang but it sure won’t be my last!


Teochew cuisine does showcase lavish ingredients a lot in their cuisine. Our next course was soup and it was a luxurious one. Double-Boiled Shark Fin Soup with Marcella sounds unique. The soup is full of slow hours of seafood and meat essence. The deep rich golden hue alone tells how much goes into making this soup. Then it is further enhanced by luxurious ingredients like shark fin and Marchella, which is actually Morchella or Morel mushrooms. The morel mushrooms gave the soup a rich earthy taste.

Every spoonful of soup is soothing and delicious!


The Teochew are famous for their classic steamed fish with preserved vegetable or Ham Choy. Chef Alex had kept the fish course as per the Teochew legacy with Steamed Jade Fish with Preserved Vegetables, Tomatoes and Sour Plum.

Instead of a large fish, he used three Austrailan Jade Perch. The jade perch is soft and sweet. Crowning the fish are plenty of preserved vegetable, fresh cuts of tomatoes, straw mushroom, coriander, bean curd, pickled sour plums, carrot and sliced pork belly. The dish is addictive in flavours. There is a good balance of bold sourness together with savory and sweetness in the soup. One can taste every ingredient distinctively which is the trademark of the Teochew cuisine. This one is pure comfort food…


I always think one should leave certain dish to experts and Braised Pig’s Trotter with Black Moss and Vegetable is one of them. Though the dish is quite common, Chef Alex’s version has an air of refinement. Whole pork trotter is stewed or Hong Shao in superbly rich abalone sauce till tender and melts-in-the-mouth. Then mushrooms and black moss or Fatt Choy is added. The pork trotter has gelatinous skin and fat while the meat is tender and almost creamy. I can taste the luscious deep rich abalone essence in the thick brown sauce. It is a dish that beckons for rice or mantao to balance out the richness of the pork trotter and sauce. This is the only dish in Pak Loh Chiu Chow that is available for takeaway so if you enjoy pork trotter, make sure to order one!


Teochew cuisine also focuses a lot in presentation as well as its flavours. Classic Crab Meat Ball with Vegetable and Mushroom was the best looking dish that night. It’s literally an art as the crab meat ball is cleverly shaped into oblong balls and decorated with mushrooms, chili and ebiko. There are steamed and coated with a light and translucent sauce. Blanched greens completed the dish.


The crab meat ball is so delicious. It has a good firm texture and is elegantly sweet from the crab. The ebiko gave the crab meat ball a light popping of flavour and texture. Seriously, I wanted more than just one crab meat ball…


Braised Assorted Fungus with Vegetables has quite a list of ingredients. This vegetable course showed that the Teochew is clever at balancing all the ingredients in their cuisine. I spied bamboo pith, Yu Yee fungus, lily bulb, mushroom, dried oyster, water chestnut, Nai Bak, Bok Choy, carrot, broccoli and Fatt Choy in the dish. The ingredients are well sautéed till just right. Some ingredients are soft while the vegetables remain crisp and crunchy. The Yu Yee fungus is the unique ingredient in this dish and gave the dish a unique texture and flavour. This dish is such a lovely change from the usual Chinese set menu courses.


Did you spy a fish in this dish?


I simply loved the Fried Chinese Glutinous Rice Cake Chiu Chow Style. Rice cake always symbolizes New Year and this dish is perfect to be enjoyed during this season.


Chef Alex makes his own rice cake with a few types of flour and cooked them the Teochew style with baby oysters, shrimp, mushroom, egg, coriander and Tsa Cha sauce. The rice cakes are well seared on the outside and almost gooey on the inside. The Tsa Cha sauce is almost considered as Chinese barbeque sauce. It’s very moreish and piquant with a good smoky note. Enjoy this with Chef Alex’s special chili sauce for extra kick. I would be happy just enjoying this dish alone on daily basis.


We ended the feast with much warmness and soothing heat. Double-Boiled Sesame Dumpling with Ginger and Candy Sheet Broth packed quite a punch in flavours. The broth is laced with a strong dose of ginger essence that immediately warm up your senses. It is strong enough to also give the broth a spicy gingery note that lingered in the mouth for a while. There is also a strong sweetness in the broth. The sesame dumpling is smooth and delectable with an aromatic and nutty black sesame flavour. What a spicy ending to a feast!


Pak Loh Chiu Chow CNY Feast Set Menu

Four Season Fortune Set Menu
Rainbow Prosperity Yee Sang with Salmon Trout
Or
Classic Chiu Chow Yee Sang with Grass Carp
Chiu Chow Style Braised Shark’s Fin with Brown Stock
Steamed Jade Fish with Preserved Vegetables, Tomatoes and SourPlum
Braised Pig’s Trotter with Black Moss and Vegetable
Wok-Baked Tiger Prawn with Chiu Chow Plum Sauce
Braised Assorted Fungus with Vegetable
Fried Chinese Glutinous Rice Cake Chiu Chow Style
Double-Boiled Sesame Dumpling with Ginger and Candy Sheet Broth

4 persons at RM468++ (RM118++ additional per person)
6 persons at RM668++ (RM115++ additional per person)
10 persons at RM1088++ (RM108++ additional per person)


Golden Jade Prosperity Set Menu
Rainbow Prosperity Yee Sang with Salmon Trout
Or
Classic Chiu Chow Yee Sang with Grass Carp
Double-Boiled Shark Fin Soup with Marcella
Steamed Marble Goby with Preserved Vegetables, Tomatoes and Sour Plum
Braised Eel Maw and Pork Tendon with Abalone Sauce
Classic Crab Meat Ball with Vegetable and Mushroom
Braised Black Moss with Dried Oyster
Chinese Wax Rice Cooked in Clay Pot
Double-Boiled Sesame Dumpling with Yam

4 persons at RM788++ (RM197++ additional per person)
6 persons at RM1088++ (RM182++ additional per person)
10 persons at RM1788++ (RM179++ additional per person)

It was truly a unique feast of Teochew cuisine! Every dish stands out elegantly. Chef Alex’s passionate nature showed in his dishes as one can taste how skillful each dish is thought off and prepared. Flavours and textures are so refined, showing that Teochew cuisine is just as graceful as its culture. There are other Chinese New Year signatures like Braised Goose Webs with Prawn Balls, Pak Loh Braised Abalone with Assorted Sea Treasures, Authentic Grass Carp with Seasonal Vegetables and more. This festive CNY, go ahead and feast on a Chiu Chow CNY set menu at Pak Loh Chiu Chow for a different dining experience!

For more details and reservation at Pak Loh Chiu Chow, please call +603 2782 3856.



PAK LOH CHIU CHOW RESTAURANT
Feast Village, Feast Floor, Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2782 3856


Operating Hours: Daily 12 noon to 11pm

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