Friday, April 24, 2015

Uncle Chilli’s Bar & Restaurant @ Hilton Petaling Jaya


Magnifq Pastamania with Chef Massimo Zampar


It’s been almost a decade since I last stepped into Uncle Chilli’s at Hilton Petaling Jaya. I used to hang out there after work in my earlier work and have always loved the food and ambience at Uncle Chilli’s. Glad to be able to return for a visit after so many years, I was pretty excited. Uncle Chilli’s famous for their great hearty food, fabulous cocktails and fun ambience.


Its pasta month at Uncle Chilli’s Magnifq Pastamania with Chef Massimo Zampar! Diners can enjoy the pasta promotion that is available from 15 April to 15 May, 2015 for dinner at Uncle Chilli’s Bar & Restaurant. Chef Massimo, an Italian native, is set to showcase his homemade pasta dish from his own Italian heritage with high quality seasonal ingredients all made from scratch. He was born in Palmanova, Italy in 1978 and has always been a passionate cook. With more than 16 years’ experience in the culinary scene and have worked across Europe and in Asia Pacific, his creativity and innovation with Italian cuisine is limitless.


Uncle Chilli’s ambience has changed a lot since I was last there. Its more groovy and funky at the bar area while the sectioned off dining area is more simple and stylish. There is also a lovely private room filled with lots of art décor on shelved wall. True to its name, the ambience is filled with lots of bold red and black to echo the bright and bold name of the restaurant.


There’s always nothing better than to kick off the evening with cocktails and mocktails. Ours of Pina Colada, Mojito, Bloody Mary… virgin or not… was just pretty much the ‘It’ drink to unwind while we wait for our food to arrive!


I like to say I am cheese girl in some ways. I love my cheese, even the strong ones as well as the mild ones. So I am pretty pleased with the Cheese Platter (RM58). It has a great selection of Italian cheese such as Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Pecorino, Montasio, Provolone and Asiago served with dried fruits, nuts, toasted bread and aged balsamic vinegar. My favorite of the lot has to be the Montasio and the Asiago. There were also quite a few cheese fans there that evening and we polished both platters happily to clean platters.


More cheese and this round, a top favorite of mine is paired with the most simplest ingredients from the garden.  Caprese Buffalo Mozzarella (RM32) is fresh mozzarella served with fresh tomatoes, rocket salad and extra virgin olive oil. Don’t undermine the power of simplicity. This one was gorgeously simple and very delicious in every bite. Quality ingredients really stand out. The buffalo mozzarella was utterly divine with its melt-in-the-mouth creaminess. The juicy ripe tomatoes, bitter rocket leaves and drizzle of balsamic vinegar worked wonders together with the buffalo mozzarella.


Cured Meat of Beef Bresaola & Beef Salami with Shaved Parmesan (RM48) is another ingredient that truly signifies how the Italians mastered their cured meats with great finesse. The salty cured meats with strong sharp parmesan are flavours and more flavours in a good way. The toast offsets the meat and cheese will and provided a nice crunch to it.


Italian Burrata with Rocket, Cherry Tomatoes & Beef Bresaola (RM42) was mine favorite of the appetizer lot. Burrata, a highly prized Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, is the ultimate cheese in my books. As I cut into the burrata, the solid mozzarella unveiled a luscious soft creamy center. It is very creamy and delicate in flavours so the cured salty beef pumped up and harmonized both ingredients beautifully. Gorgeous burrata!!


Tagliatelle with Asparagus, Porcini Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes & Provolone Cheese (RM47) was our first pasta and it was a clever one as this was the lightest flavour of the list. Chef Massimo showed off his skills in the dish by just balancing the right delicate flavours of the ingredients with the wide pasta. The porcini mushroom flavours stood out among the lot and rendered the pasta earthy and humble in flavours. Enjoying this pasta won’t leave you with a heavy note…


Spaghetti Vongole (RM42) with clams, garlic, chili, white wine and extra virgin olive oil (RM42) is where the few ingredients used are sufficient enough to give the dish its popular vote as a much beloved classic. Cooked al dente, the pasta had lovely notes of garlic, oceanic brininess, and light hits of heat. Simple and tasty is what summed up this dish!


We were told that the Ravioli Stuffed with Eggplant, Ricotta & Four Cheese Sauce (RM57) is made from scratch by Chef Massimo and is utterly rich and divine. True enough, the ravioli is another gorgeous pasta dish that I would order again. The pasta was thin and al dente, the filling was creamy and light and the four cheese sauce was the main thing that binded every element together. Using gorgonzola, montazio, parmesan and pecorino, the sauce is bold, sinful and oozed with much sexiness in flavours. It can be really rich and heavy but you won’t hear me complaining because I really loved this dish a lot.


Spaghetti Carbonara (RM42) with streaky bacon, parmesan cheese and egg yolk is a creamy and heavy pasta that should always be enjoyed hot. This one is very heavy on the cream and egg yolk. It is also pure comfort food with flavours like these. It’s got all the ticks to make the classic dish an all-time-favorite of many pasta lovers.


I always think if you don’t know what to order, always go back to basics and order the simplest pasta of Aglio Olio. The Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Tiger Prawn (RM48) here is a sure crowd pleaser with its tempting flavours of garlicky laced pasta with light sprinkling of chili and herbs supporting the crustacean’s sweetness in the dish.


Bucatini Amatriciana (RM42) is a bold plate of flavours. Bucatini, a hollow version of thicker spaghetti, is drenched in an unctuous tangy and tomatoey sauce made with beef bacon, balsamic, fresh tomatoes and completed with pecorino cheese. This one is another favorite of mine for its spicy, sour and savory flavours. Its rustic and hearty, a dish that really stands out with big bold flavours!


I purposely saved the Linguine Aragosta (RM22 per 100gm for Baby Lobster) for last. It is certainly the pièce de résistance of the pastamania. Go lux in your pasta with baby lobster cooked in a rich luscious and spicy tomato sauce served on linguine. The vibrant fruity tomato flavours are beautifully gorgeous with the king of crustacean. I also love the addition of the fresh cherry tomatoes for added freshness to the dish.


No Italian feast is complete without dessert! Tiramisu (RM22) is pretty much the most popular Italian desserts there is. Everyone has their own recipe and Chef Massimo has his too! Though its non-alcohol, it is still decadent with its fluffy and creamy mascarpone cheese and coffee soaked lady fingers.



The ‘Maqnifiq’ Pastamania with Chef Massimo Zampar promotion runs from 15 April – 15 May 2015 for Dinner at Uncle Chilli’s Bar & Restaurant.

For reservations, please call +60 3 7955 9122 extension 4063 or visit www.zestpj.com. For the latest F&B promotions and entertainment news at Hilton Petaling Jaya visit www.facebook.com/hiltonpetalingjaya


UNCLE CHILLI’S
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No. 2, Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 60 3 7955 9122 ext 4063


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chef Edward Kwon @ Tatsu, Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur


A Taste of Korean Culinary Maestro Chef Edward Kwon!


It’s a gastronomical experience not to be miss! Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur World Celebrity Chef Series 2015 is proud to present an exclusive Get Up-Close & Personal with South Korean Celebrity Chef Edward Kwon from 21 April to 24 April, 2015. It will be a four-day promotion of Restaurant Dinners, Master Cooking Class and Celebrity Gala Dinner at the hotel’s various dining venues. The culinary maestro, who’s on a mission to globalise Korean cuisine, is renowned for compositions of Korean dishes married with Western and European techniques and ingredients.


About Kuala Lumpur, Chef Edward Kwon said “I cannot wait to return to Kuala Lumpur, it has been two years since my last visit”.

This culinary star is a household name in Korea following several high-profile culinary ambassadorships, best-selling cook books and having appeared on numerous popular radio and TV shows including hosting several highly rated TV shows under his name. The celebrity chef is also known for his numerous senior culinary positions previously in luxury hotels located in South Korea, United States, China and United Arab Emirates, as the Head Chef at Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab.

Currently the owner of two restaurants in Seoul, the luxury Lab XXIV in Cheongdam-dong and The Mixed One, a buffet dining outlet in Hannam-dong, Chef Edward Kwon added that it is important for any chef to represent his or her own country cuisine but one must also absorb the culinary techniques of whichever country he/she is cooking in.


It was a privilege to be able to experience Chef Kwon’s gastronomical dishes at TATSU the evening before together with members of the media and bloggers. The Restaurant Dinner, a four-course Set Dinner, is available at TATSU from 21 to 23 April 2015 at RM298nett per person or RM398nett per person inclusive of wine selection.

For the appetizer course, diners are to choose from a choice of Hae Mul Nang Chae or Soft Bean Curd.


HAE MUL NANG CHAE

A pretty composition of chilled prawn, scallop, pear and greens in sesame dressing, the Hae Mul Nang Chae or Seafood Salad has clean and precise flavours of its ingredients. It showed off the freshness of the ingredients in its simplest form of taste. Before we even began to savor the dish, it had already won a piece of my heart through its presentation that evening.



SOFT BEAN CURD

It may be another humble Asian ingredient but Soft Bean Curd was a burst of piquant Asian notes. The silky smooth bean curd provided the platform for its bold accompaniments of Korean herbs, black sesame and soy dressing, crisp garlic bits and completed with a slice of fried lotus root. A harmonious dish that sets the palate begging for more to come…



The appetizer course is paired with Penfolds Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling


FOIE GRAS DOUEN JANG VELOUTE

The 2nd course was pure indulgence with goose liver taking center stage. A nuptial of French and Korean, the bisque was velvety smooth and luscious with savory as its main flavour. Every spoonful of the bisque was divine. Crowning the bisque was a small piece of seared foie gras sitting on a bed of delicate kimchi apple slaw. I was surprised at how refine Korean kimchi can be in this dish.



BUL GO GI STEAK

Our star of the evening was a surprise for me. Expecting thinly shredded beef from its name of Bulgogi, I was pretty stoked to see a sonata of gorgeous pink cuts of prime quality beef rib eye artfully arranged on mashed root vegetables and accompanied by the most classic and basic forms of carrot, broccolini, bok choy and Eryngii mushrooms in a pool of Bulgogi sauce. The beef was amazing in flavours and textures. The sauce epitomizes the classic Bulgogi in every sense. The tiny potent crispy garlic worked its magic over the beef and sauce like the final piece of the gastro orchestra. Kudos to Chef Kwon!



The main course is paired with either Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay or Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet


YUZU CURD

Yuzu, a much-sought after Asian citrus fruit, is the perfect way to wrapped up the dinner. Its signature vibrant and aromatic notes are cleverly paired with black sesame ice cream, green tea, bokbunja chiffon cake and basil fluid gel. Despite the complicated list of ingredients, the dessert still had the citrus fruit standing out in every spoonful.


Celebrity Chef Edward Kwon with Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur Executive Chef Sam Kung

A dining experience to remember, I simply look forward to future dining with Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur’s World Celebrity Chef Series 2015 and creations of Chef Edward Kwon





Get Up-Close & Personal with Chef Edward Kwon at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

A Celebrity Gala Dinner
Grand Ballroom, Level 2
24 April 2015, 7:00pm
RM490nett per person inclusive of selection of PENFOLDS wines

Master Cooking Class
22 April 2015, 11:00am to 1:00pm
RM220nett per person inclusive of set lunch

Restaurant Dinners
TATSU, Level 1
21 to 23 April 2015, 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Set Dinners
RM298nett per person
RM398nett per person inclusive of wine selection


Guests will stand a chance to Dine & Win holiday stays in Seoul!

A host of lucky draw prizes are up for grabs at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur’s World Celebrity Series 2015 featuring celebrity Chef Edward Kwon 

For reservations or more details, please call us at 03-2782 6000 or email foodandbeverage@intercontinental-kl.com.my. Visit us at www.intercontinental-kl.com.my, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @intercontinental.kualalumpur, Twitter @ interconkl.



INTERCONTINENTAL KUALA LUMPUR
165 Jalan Ampang.
50450, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2782 6188
Email: foodandbeverage@intercontinental-kl.com.my


Monday, April 20, 2015

Dé Thai Restaurant @ Oasis Damansara


A Feast of Simply Siam!

I doubt I can even resist Thai cuisine. It’s a cuisine that I am always lusting after for its signature orchestration of tart and sweet, salty and fiery composition. Since I am always on a look out for Thai restaurants, I was happy to discover another one recently named Dé Thai Restaurant located in Oasis Damansara at Ara Damansara.


Dé Thai is housed in one of the main shops overlooking the beautiful oasis pool. The whole architecture of the building is designed with the influence of Thai architecture brought up with a modern touch. It is really elegant and stood out among the rest with its solid dark exterior. The interior is designed with minimalist contemporary elegance. The whole ambience has a clean, neat and spacious feel with colors playing from the walls and flooring. Holding fort at the entrance upon entering is a few pieces of topsy- turvy art made with cups and saucers for a playful touch.


The restaurant has 3 floors of dining rooms, perfect for private functions and events. We headed up to the next floor and were greeted with a beautiful bar and wine cellar. I was told that Dé Thai carries a bold and long list of wines from all over the world. It very cozy, stylish and really suitable to unwind there with friends and family. There are sectioned off private rooms on both levels of dining to offer privacy.


Chef Chalocha Daolam or Chef Aew, who hails from Bangkok, is the mastermind behind Dé Thai’s authentic menu served in contemporary style. Chef Aew who is armed with over 30 years of experience lovingly orchestrated the menu which were mainly taken from her own family’s treasure chest, unfolding the yet to be told Thai food history. The menu is filled with many classic Thai dishes and also some fusion ones for the adventurous palates.


We unwind the evening with some of Dé Thai house red and white wines while we waited for our dishes to arrive.


Dinner commenced with an authentic Thai appetizer of Mieng Kum (RM26). The dish, that is said to be dated back over 200 years, is a favorite of many for those who loves the cuisine. The highlight of the appetizer is the sauce that holds every ingredient together in the betel leaves. A pinch of dried shrimp, raw cubed onion, roasted peanuts, diced lime, diced ginger, toasted coconut, chopped bird eye chili and possibly other ingredients are the platform of every Mieng Kum I know. Simply wrap the ingredients with a nice dollop of the sticky sweet and syrupy sauce and pop the whole thing into your mouth for a burst of flavours and textures.


There are two must-have salads in Thai cuisine and Som Tam or Thai Papaya Salad is one of them. Enjoy the raw crunch of pulverized shredded green papaya salad in its pungent spicy garlicky and tangy dressing together with bits of raw long beans, fresh tomatoes, dried shrimp and toasted peanuts. This version is decently yum and even has carrots for added color and texture.


I always rate how good a Thai restaurant is with their ever popular Tom Yum soup. The Tom Yam Kung (RM35) here is gorgeous and robust. I can taste the presence of all its ingredients of galangal, kaffir lime, lemongrass, chili, lime, coconut and more harmonizing beautifully. One gets the right balance of sour, spicy, savory with hints of underlying sweetness when enjoying this soup. What made the soup even more luxurious is the choice of having a large sea prawn for extra indulgence!


Geang Khiew Waan Kai (RM35) or Green Curry Chicken is another much sought after choice in any Thai meal. Ours was served piping hot in a claypot and filled with chockfull of boneless chicken pieces, round eggplant and Thai baby eggplant and chilies in a very creamy curry sauce. Perhaps it was a tad over creamy hence I didn’t get as much of the intense herb flavours I wanted in a green curry but nevertheless I was still enjoying this happily with rice.


Kung Raad Ma-kham (RM85) or Deep Fried Sea Prawn Topped with Tamarind Sauce is a signature of Dé Thai. Large sea prawns are seasoned, lightly battered and fried till golden before it is doused in the restaurant’s signature sweet, sour and sticky tamarind sauce. The sauce has a good balance of flavours with the fresh juicy prawns. It’s a hefty price tag for these crustaceans but if you love large firm sweet prawns then go ahead and indulge!


I thought that the dish of Grilled Rack of Lamb with Panang Sauce or Kae Sauce Panang (RM85) was pretty unique. It reminded me of an East meets West dish where in this case, it’s nicely grilled lamb served with the Thai panang sauce on the side. The lamb is tender and superbly juicy. The panang sauce was rich, creamy and mellow for a curry sauce but equally flavourful. The dish was enjoyable because the lamb racks were tasty and tender.


The Og Ped Ma-kham (RM40) or Grilled Duck Breast with Tamarind Sauce is also a favorite of mine that evening. Sliced of duck breast with a smoky note are doused in the restaurant’s signature tamarind sauce again and this pairing is gorgeous. The dish is further enhanced by fragrant fried basil leaves and fried shallots with some blanched greens beneath the duck. A must order!


Most of the time, I would always order this classic dish of Pla Krapong Nung Ma-Naaw (RM85) or Steamed Whole Sea Bass with Lime & Garlic Sauce whenever I savor Thai cuisine. It is simply a classic dish that represents Thai flavours in every sense. This one is sour, spicy, sweet and savor all rolled into one harmonized flavour. The piquant garlic and lime together with herbs will elevate your sense of taste into delicious mode.


We ended the evening with three desserts starting with my all-time favorite Khao niew Ma-Muang (RM18) or Mango & Warm Sticky Rice. Dé Thai’s version is excellent with its lovely balance of sweetness tinged with salty notes in the warm glutinous rice. The sweet ripen mango with a drizzled of the coconut sauce when savored with the rice is a blissful and sweet ending to any Thai meal.


Tub Tim Krob and Saku Cantaloupe faired decent, both coconut based desserts injected with bits and pieces of fruit, water chestnut and sago.



For more information, call Dè Thai Restaurant at +603-7832 1174 or visit their website at www.dethai.com.my.



DÉ THAI RESTAURANT
R-11, Oasis Piazza Central
No. 2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A
Oasis Damansara
47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 603-7734 1174


Business Hours:
Sun – Thur 11.30 am – 12.00 am
Fri – Sat 11.30 am – 1.00 am


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