Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fu-Rin Japanese Restaurant, Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie: Boston Lobster Delight

The King of Crustacean Goes Japanese!

Seafood has been taking the town by storm lately. Surely this is no surprise since we all love our seafood! Well here’s one more seafood promotion that gourmands should check out…

Fu-Rin Japanese Restaurant, located at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie, has been serving up scrumptious Japanese cuisine for the longest years that I could remember. Faithful followers will attest that Fu-Rin, an award winning Japanese restaurant, is the restaurant to go to for Japanese cuisine with a modern twist from its freshest cut of sashimi to its main dishes and more. Starting November this month till end of December 2014, Fu-Rin is proud to showcase the king of crustacean, Boston Lobster prepared in several ways in their Boston Lobster Delight promotion.

Before we take on the lobsters, here’s what Fu-Rin also has available to tempt your senses. Just like its ambience and surrounding, Fu-Rin offers dishes that evoke a sense of Zen flavours. All of their dishes are beautifully created with the finest and freshest ingredients from land and sea. The Sashimi Bar alone is a plethora of fishes and seafood.

Wine is also available at Fu-Rin to be paired with Japanese cuisine.

And so it is without any doubt that we should start any Japanese meal with a platter of Sashimi Moriawase! Showcasing thick glorious cuts of Salmon, Yellowtail, Snapper, Scallop and Sweet Amaebi, the sashimi is served on ice to keep chilled. The sashimi is divine, tasting wonderfully sweet with hints of oceanic notes of the sea. Even the prawns, which I am not really a fan off, were firmly gelatinous with much sweetness in every bite won my heart.

Sashimi Carpaccio Aburi is a modern take on the classic carpaccio. Assorted fish is sliced ever so thinly before rolled up with a creamy filling of salad and masago and finished with a light torch to give the fish a smoky opaqueness. A drizzle of Tare sauce balanced up the creaminess of the sashimi. This was so good, we had another round of it…

Another roll that also peak our interest was the Fu-Rin Creamer Roll, an assorted seafood roll with mayonnaise. Looking like a hot mess, the rice roll had a filling of tempura battered seafood, lettuce and cucumber. It was then smothered in an eggy mayo sauce, topped with tempura flakes, torched, sprinkled with pink peppercorn and drizzled with sweet sauce. The combination of flavours and textures are pretty much awesome with loads of luscious and creamy notes, burst of spicy peppercorn and savory sweetness.

These golden Ebi Tango Furai balls sure looked adorable. Made with minced prawns, these were lightly breaded and fried to a lovely golden color and served with sliced cucumber and cherry tomato and a spicy tangy cream sauce. The prawn balls have a lovely firm and springy texture with lots of sweetness.

Wasabi Beef was a crowd pleaser that evening. The few of us just couldn’t get enough of the thinly seared and slice beef served on a bed of finely shredded radish, onions and doused with a wasabi tinged ponzu sauce. The tender beef has a melt-in-the-mouth texture while the savory tangy wasabi sauce is an explosion of flavours in the mouth. I personally love the addition of wasabi in this classic dish.

This chicken looked so good with its presentation! Pan Furai Wafu Teriyaki has a whole boneless chicken thigh marinated in Japanese flavours and pan fried to an amber golden brown. Juicy and tender, the chicken is served with pickled thinly sliced cucumber. Sufficiently decent and great for everyone of all ages…

Our highlight of the night was Ise Ebi Teriyaki, Lobster Teppanyaki. Looking at the crustaceans left us all in awe. The Boston Lobster was split open and cooked teppanyaki style with butter soy sauce. It was finished with an egg batter and drizzled with mayo and sweet sauce. One can definitely tell how good this already is. The lobster meat was tender and sweet. Chunks of the meat are well flavoured with the combination of the savory, sweet and creamy flavours. The egg on top is also pretty much addictive.

I should have taken a photo of the lobster meat but as soon as we all took a bite, this was just polished off in a jiffy. Proof is in the pudding, it’s just that delicious!

More lobster showed up in Ise Ebi Miso Shiru, Lobster Miso Soup. The favorite miso soup is coronate with the king of crustacean as well. I could taste the light sweetness of the lobster in the nutty miso broth and there were chunks of lobster meat in it too. Indeed a miso broth fit for royalty…

We ended the evening with a simple note of Yaki Soba. The buckwheat noodles are prepared with classic flavours and come with cabbage, fish cake, seaweed and bonito flakes.

Boston Lobster Promotion Set starts from 1 October – 31 December 2014
Set includes appetizer, soup, main course and dessert and is priced from RM 395.00++(4 person).

Contact Fu-Rin Japanese Restaurant at +603 7802 5245 or email to for reservation and more details on this promotion.

Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie
Ground Floor 1, Jalan Usahawan U1/8,
Seksyen U1,
40250 Shah Alam, Selangor
Tel: 603-7802 5288

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SWAG Bar & Gril, PJ Palms Sport Centre: Let's Have a Swagging Time!

Swagging Out After Work Hours!

After a long day at work, I am always literally bumped out. It’s about those after work hours that I crave to hunt down a place to chill out and enjoy some familiar classic comfort food. When I heard about SWAG Bar & Grill from a friend Karen, some of us met up there one evening after a horrendous traffic nightmare in PJ area. Located at the PJ Palms Sport Centre which is situated along the famous A&W fast food in State PJ, SWAG Bar & Grill is actually located in the sport centre itself.

Upon arrival at the sport centre, my younger college years suddenly came to mind. Hey, this is where I used to hang out when I was in art school and we use to visit this place and the famous fast food chain to kill time after school.  Though management has changed, the place is still pretty much familiar. A large swimming pool is the main attraction at that sport centre and to get to Swag, we had to past the pool. The scene that evening was pretty much soothing with the dark midnight blue sky looming over the pool area. There were quite few people lounging and also swimming and the sound of laughter, water and music calmed me down immediately. As I walked towards Swag, I felt at ease already despite the earlier traffic experience.

It was always a dream to own an eatery cum bar for the owner Sudip Thiagi. Despite his background in other industries, he confessed into the F&B dream and how he wait till the right opportunity and time came up. We met up with him since he knew our friend Karen for an evening of food and chilling out time. When asked why he named his place SWAG, he casually said it came up when they were thinking about names and somehow it got stuck as they were always referring to the place way before it was setup as SWAG. Well indeed, SWAG is an addictive urban word that got many hooked too as it was deemed a pretty cool word when it was created then.

I like SWAG. No frills, minimal décor, low warm lighting and yet utterly comfortable and cool, SWAG is a place one would love to unwind at the end of a long day. Though it doesn’t have the hip hop bling bling swag more connected with its original meaning, SWAG has an inviting appeal to those who are looking for comfort and cool place to dine, drink and chill. SWAG takes up space in a two level building. The level below is a casual dining room while the upper level has an open air rooftop bar that overlooks the city’s night view and sport centre. The dining room is set with cool grey walls while the wood and steel furniture, imported from Philippines, is spaciously set around with some modern art and décor pieces.

SWAG’s menu is pretty much listed on the chalkboard in the dining area. One can order to dine at SWAG dining room or at the bar. Serving up pub grub food with lots of giggle juices, the menu is beautifully comforting with sections of appetizer, burgers, sandwiches, mains, skewers, fish and nachos. Go Wednesdays and its ladies night with specials of all-you-can-drink cocktails promotion between 7pm to 10pm. Needless to say, we started the evening with our rounds of cocktails for some happy adrenaline!

Our giggle juices for the evening – Mojito, Pineapple Malibu and Cranberry with Vodka

To get our appetites going, we started with a Bruschetta Platter of Smoked Salmon, Mushroom and Tomato. The 6-piece platter goes for RM16 and showcase toasty baguette crowned the three classic favorite ingredients. These are easy to savor and go well with beer or cocktails. Sweet and juicy marinated tomatoes with herbs, earthy sautéed mushrooms and thick slices of salty smoked salmon is a great combination of flavours and textures. Each one compliments the other and makes a nice appetizer for those who want some small bites.

Our national dish also made an appearance on the menu, proving that Nasi Lemak is always in demand no matter what time of the day it is. SWAG Nasi Lemak is only available as a special on Sundays. For that plate, one gets fluffly coconut scented rice, fried spiced chicken, awesome sweet and spicy sambal and the regular sidekicks of egg, peanut, anchovy and cucumber. Pretty much predictable but that’s what makes its good dish with all the predictable yummy ingredients of our nation’s pride and joy. We love their fried spiced chicken so much that we told Sudip to put this on the menu as a snack dish.

One can’t be swag without having The Swag! Priced at RM22, the hefty burger has a thick and juicy beef patty with melted cheddar, beef bacon, caramelized onions, sesame seed bun and the usual condiments. It comes with a side of crispy potato chips, pickles, mustard, ketchup and tartare sauce. This American classic is beautifully executed and is pretty satisfying with its juicy and flavourful patty and all the works. Portion is very decent as it is big enough to satisfy big eaters like me.

While eyeing the chalkboard menu, I also spied other burgers like Super Moo Rio, Cheesy Chicken and Chiquita. From the Press, there is also Yolo (You Only Lamb Once) and Legen-Dairy freshly pressed sandwiches. If I were you, get an order of Chili Cheese Fries to go with all that burgers and sandwiches.

To be honest, I didn’t do justice on the photo of the Chicken Cordon Bleu. The dish is very delicious when savored hot. Chicken breast is stuffed with ham and cheese, breaded, fried and smothered in luscious cream sauce. When we took a piece of the chicken, we could see the melted oozy cheese that goes so well with the ham, chicken and cream sauce. This one is served with mashed potatoes and greens for RM24.

Carnivores would be thrilled with SWAG’s Angus Beef Sirloin Steak and Spicy Lamb Shoulder. Cooked to your liking, the Angus beef is chargrilled to a smoky and flavourful edge. It comes with the classic crinkle cut fries and sautéed vegetable medley. There are three sauces available of your choice from mushroom, black pepper and barbeque. The steak has a generous sprinkling of salt and black pepper making it tasty and succulent.

I personally like the Spicy Lamb Shoulder a lot. The lamb has a gorgeous tasty marinade and is nicely chargrilled with bits of caramelized edges. Still medium pink, the lamb pieces is tender with spicy notes. Lamb tends to have a strong aroma but this one didn’t and the spices have scented the meat well. Served with potato chips, side greens and an orange mustard sauce, the dish is hearty and satisfying. The pairing of orange mustard sauce is a bit unusual but it really goes well with the lamb and takes on a different flavour for the grilled lamb.

SWAG has an honest and inviting appeal. Ambience, food and drinks are pretty much decent and there is a sense of appeal that one will definitely return for a good bite or chill with friends. If you check out their Facebook, SWAG seems to be the ‘it’ place to host parties and private functions. Their rooftop bar and lounge even has a barbeque station should one decide to have a BBQ party!

1, Lorong Sultan, PJ Palms Sport Centre
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor D.E.
Tel: +603-79322307

Business Hour:
Tues – Thurs: 4.00pm to 1.00am
Fri & Sat: 4.00 to 2.00am
Sun: 4.00pm – 1.00am (Close on Monday)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fisherman’s Cove, Feast Village at Starhill Gallery: Seafood Dining on Fridays, Night Market Style

Let’s Wok with Fisherman’s Cove Night Market Talking Menu!

Ever since my first dining experience at Fisherman’s Cove at Feast Village in Starhill Gallery, I have nothing but raved review on the food at this fabulous seafood restaurant. The memorable dish was Pan Fried Fillet of Coral Grouper with Pipi Clams and Blue Mussel in Citrus Butter Sauce. A dish executed to perfection by Executive Chef Wai who heads YTL restaurants at Starhill, the splendid sensory dining experience and taste has left me craving for more at Fisherman’s Cove.

Fisherman’s Cove, an intimate fine dining seafood restaurant takes on an East meets West ambience and menu. The seafood restaurant takes pride in serving up sumptuous seafood dishes to impress gourmands. At Fisherman’s Cove, there is a nostalgic appeal in its ambience. The whole restaurant is modeled after traditional fishing villages in olden times. Lots of woodwork and bamboo finishes run everywhere from the walls to the furniture. The restaurant also has an open kitchen concept with lots of live tanks of seafood. Seating is available in two levels so head up to the level above for private dining or simply take the seating downstairs and enjoy some kitchen actions.

We were here for Fisherman’s Cove Night Market Style Seafood promotion available every Friday from 6pm onwards that just started this November. Boasting a talking menu with the freshest Poseidon’s catch of the day, the promotion is certainly an exquisite gastronomical experience for seafood lovers. Going all out, Fisherman’s Cove brings in an abundance of varieties of seafood showcased on ice and in live tanks.

That evening, the array of seafood was certainly a showstopper. Glorious Coral Grouper, Oil Grouper, Red Snapper, Golden Snapper, Rainbow Trout, Giant Clam and Venus Clam, Blue Mussels, Squid, Jumbo Tiger Prawns, Pacific Fresh Oyster and other live seafood like Canadian Lobster, Sri Lankan Mud Crab and Freshwater Prawn is certainly a kaleidoscope of colors and choices.

Unlike other dining experiences, guests can establish the quantity of seafood they would like to consume for the night. Pricing for each dish will be based on the quantity of food selected. A staff will be on hand to weigh the seafood immediately, allowing the guests to make quantity adjustments as seen necessary.

Once you have selected your seafood, the host of the restaurant will be at your service to make recommendations on the best way to cook your seafood. Executive Chef Wai has prepared countless ways from international to local cooking method and flavours to cater to everyone. That evening, we took on almost all the ways of preparing these luscious seafood from the standard grill, steamed, oven baked to pan fried. Traditional method like ikan bakar with banana leaves is also available upon request.

As soon as we had entered Fisherman’s Cove that evening, we were greeted with a beach-inspired welcome drink created especially by the beverage manager at Feast Village. The welcome drink is totally fruity and refreshing. From its minty flavours to perky tang together with slivers of coconut meat, it’s a great way to put a smile on anyone’s face!

Fresh baked Focaccia was served with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Fluffy with a lovely herb note, these were gone in a jiffy.

Besides seafood, salads are also available with meat or seafood. Our Organic Romaine Lettuce ‘Caesar Style’ with Smoked Duck Breast is made even better with a molten centered egg yolk. Slices of rich smoky duck paired well with crisp lettuce dressing in a nutty and creamy Caesar dressing together with croutons, anchovies and shavings of Parmesan. This is almost a main dish on its own and perfect for those who loves a good salad.

First seafood dish up was Deep Fried Calamari with Sweet Turnip and Mint. It’s back to basic for this squid but beautifully executed with precision. The golden crispy squid rings are light, tender and wonderfully seasoned. A side of cubed sweet and crunchy turnip in a creamy and mint dressing makes a great sidekick for the squid.

Sometimes when the seafood is so fresh, one should never do anything with it except served it on ice like the Pacific Rock Oysters with lemon wedges. These aphrodisiacs are gorgeously briny with salty notes. The squeeze of citrus brought an oceanic sweetness as well.

When we ordered the Venus clams, we were recommended the Clams in Fresh Momotaro Sauce. Steamed cooked, the clams were lovely and went well with the sweet tomato broth. The broth is not overpowering but lightly flavoured to compliment the clams. One can also have other seafood prepared with this broth as well.

There is also the Classic Moule Mariniere Normandy where blue mussels are lightly cooked in broth and completed with a light flavouring of chives. This has always been a French classic that many enjoy as the sweetness of the mussels really stands out well. I was wishing for some crispy baguette to go with this dish…

The dish that I had raved earlier in my first visit showed up with a different fish that evening. We had Red Snapper with Pipi Clams in Lemon Butter Sauce. Two big fillets of the whole red snapper are seared with a crispy skin and moist flesh. The fillets are then smothered in a sour and buttery sauce cooked with clams before being finished with minced chives. Citrus based sauce goes superbly well with seafood. Utterly beautiful again…

Since there were so many choices of fish, we also ordered the Threadfin, Silver Pomfret and Sea Garoupa.

Our Threadfin was Crispy Threadfin with Coriander Chili Lime Sauce. Two firm flesh Threadfin fillets pan seared and sat on a pool of robust coriander chili lime sauce. The sauce has complex flavours of sour and savory with a bold hint of spice. Fresh cherry tomatoes are added to balance out the richness. I enjoyed the pairing of the firm flesh fish with the bold sauce.

For the Silver Pomfret, we took the traditional classic method of Steamed Silver Pomfret with Superior Sauce. It’s a dish that shouts comfort food. The fish is steamed till just right in a superior soy sauce and dressed with some mushrooms and broccoli. The classic way allowed us to savor the fresh sweetness of the pomfret with a light savory boost from the sauce. I almost wanted to order some rice to go with this dish.

The kitchen team at Fisherman’s Cove obviously mastered the art of preparing fish well. Every fish we ordered has been cooked just right. Even our Spicy Nyonya Steamed Fillet of Sea Garoupa is steamed to perfection. The thick moist fillets of sea garoupa is dressed in a spicy piquant Nyonya sauce which tasted of lemongrass, chili, garlic and many more herbs and spices. The delicate fish is partnered with sautéed assorted vegetables for a lighter touch.

We ordered a large mud crab and our host recommended the Singapore Chili Crab. We loved it. The large and meaty crab is still surprisingly sweet in the pungent garlic and chili sauce. The balance of sweet, savory and spicy was lovely in the sauce and we almost wished that the restaurant would serve toast bread to mop up all that deliciousness. We spied another table having a steamed version which seemed to be equally good since the crab is so sweet.

Crustaceans are up next and a list of Jumbo Tiger Prawns, Tiger Prawns, Freshwater Prawns and the king of Canadian Lobster sets the list of the evening. There are endless ways to prepare these crustaceans but we settled for the host recommendation of mixing some classics with some modern preparation.

Sizzling Salt Water Jumbo Tiger Prawns with Garlic Butter had us all lusting after it as soon as it was placed in front of us. These large crustaceans are simply grilled with garlic butter and kept warm on the hotplate. The hotplate also managed to amp up the aroma of the heavenly garlic butter with great effects. The jumbo prawns are super sweet and thoroughly addictive with a juicy bouncy texture. Simply a Must-order!

Indulgence comes to mind when I saw the Canadian Lobster prepared two styles – classic Lobster Thermidor and Lobster Mornay

Lobster Thermidor oozed with a rich béchamel cream sauce studded with plump mushrooms and comes with a gratinated crust. Lobster Mornay also has a cream base sauce but has loads of cheese in the sauce. It was a hard decision to choose which one I like because both has its own deliciousness. The lobster meat is beautifully sweet and tender too. Freshness is obviously a key point because I can really taste the sweet succulent lobster despite all the heavy cream sauces. One really can’t go wrong with either sauce.

We also savored Grilled Tiger Prawns and Kam Heong Tiger Prawns.

Grilled Tiger Prawns proved that when the ingredient is fresh, one only needs to go basic in cooking the ingredient with minimal seasoning. Halved and cooked in shells, the prawn flavours and texture reign supreme here. The more robust flavours of the Kam Heong Tiger Prawns did mask the sweet prawns but I didn’t mind because the aromatic and moreish Kam Heong sauce is lovely and very good.

Fancy some pasta? Fisherman’s Cove does a Seafood Pasta that is also worthy of your order. It has all the essential markings of a great pasta dish with al dente texture pasta, well-seasoned and succulent seafood. Another classic pasta dish cooked well to show off the fresh seafood!

Though it may be a seafood restaurant, there are meat and poultry dishes available too. Our Five Spice Rack of Lamb and Wagyu Beef Cheeks have proven that they do whip up meat and poultry dishes as good as their seafood dishes. The Five Spice Rack of Lamb is nicely grilled till medium pink and comes with a black pepper sauce. Tender, moist and flavourful, the quality of the lamb is marvelous.

The Wagyu Beef Cheeks are braised for long and slow hours till fork-tender. It has a rich wine sauce with lots of great depths of flavours and a subtle smoky note. Gelatinous bits run through the beef cheeks and these provided the signature gelatinous texture blending well with the meat.

What a feast! The evening ended with five scrumptious desserts of Crème Brulee, Tiramisu, Banana Split, Chocolate Lava and Chocolate Mousse.

Classic Crème Brulee and Tiramisu proved its mark that classics rule! Luscious cooked cream with caramelized sugar top is made better with French macaron while Tiramisu in a glass has soft silky mascarpone cream with coffee soaked sponge, chocolate soil and topped with a French macaron too.

Banana Split makes a play for the old school dessert featuring three scoops of Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry Ice Creams with Caramelized Banana with wafer rolls and chocolate balls. We love the caramelized banana touch in this one.

Chocolate Lava has a nice crusty cake outside and oozy chocolate lava center served with ice cream and chocolate soil while Chocolate Mousse takes on white and dark chocolate mousse served with brownie squares, chocolate soil, chocolate balls and French macaron. Both are equally sinful and sexy desserts!

This is a promotion not to be missed! The Seafood Night Market menu allows lots of options and variations for gourmands to try and the best pairing possible by the chefs at Fisherman’s Cove. I even heard that there is Japanese style hot pot syabu-syabu with three different choices of soup - spicy tomyum, herbal and Japanese miso to go with all the fresh seafood available. Whether you are dining for two or dining or in a big party, the Seafood Night Market promotion is a sure winner with its composition of the freshest catch of the day made better with their talking menu concept!

Feast Village, Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 3-2782 384

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