August 26, 2013

Ee Chinese Cuisine, Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya: Mooncake Affair with Thursday Night Specials!

Over the Moon with Mooncakes & Thursday Night Specials!

While I was moonlighting recently, I had the honors of getting my first taste of mooncakes this year at Ee Chinese Cuisine, Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya. Mid-Autumn Festival is near and mooncakes are simple a must for lunar worship and a little moon watching! Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya is proud to present its mooncakes series this year from Ee Chinese Cuisine as they have always do each year. I am thrilled to find out what’s new this year as mooncakes have gone from classic to contemporary nowadays.

Besides mooncakes, there is a Thursday Night Specials promotion going on each Thursday at Ee Chinese Cuisine from July to September 2013. Guests are to make prior reservations for this promotion. The promotion menu features a luscious array of dishes from Pi Pa Roasted Duck, Stewed Pork Knuckles, Chilled Chicken with Chinese Wine and more. Chef Yong Kam Wah and his team are set to tease your taste buds with the finest Cantonese cuisine from his repertoire. In addition to the promotion, guests will be serenaded by J Musical Live Band who will be performing evergreen Chinese and English hits from the 70’s and 80’s.


First up, let’s peak into our Thursday Night Specials for the evening!

Deluxe Twin Hot Combination

The evening kicks off with a duo of appetizers of Prawn in Yam Puff Pastry and Japanese Kurobuta Pork Skewers. Sink your teeth in crispy pastry of yam with creamy insides enveloping a big sweet juicy prawn. It’s simple pairing of yam and prawns is a nice one but what takes the cake for me was the gorgeous sexy skewer of black pig wrapped around lemongrass and topped with the house signature green chili sauce. Grilled to perfection with nice charred edges, I was wishing for more of this juicy and savory pork with a spicy kick!

Double Boiled Fish Soup with Apples

Soups are simply a must at Ee Chinese Cuisine. Every bowl denotes a great dose of flavors. Intense meat and fish broth is sweetened with a touch of apples while pieces of golden fried fish fillet are finished in the broth for textures. Little nuggets of Chinese almonds add more depth to the soup and soft stewed apples tasted almost like soft squash. This bowl is utterly soothing and comforting in my books.

Braised Eight Treasure Duck

A traditional Chinese dish that is almost endangered in most restaurants, it is a dish that simply must be preserved. It is tedious work for a dish and requires a series of marinating, deep fried, stuffed with eight distinctive ingredients before it is steamed to perfection. The aftermath of this cooking effort is reveled in its falling-off-the-bone duck filled with delicious treasures.

We ogled at the beautifully lacquered duck, inhaling in delicious aroma, while the staff works on cutting up the duck and its treasures.

Isn’t this a sight? Our eight treasures are lotus seeds, water chestnut, 2 kinds of mushrooms, ham, roast pork, chestnut and more. The duck is really tender and flavorful while the stuffing provides various textures and taste to the dish. It’s a classic for a good reason!

Deep Fried Boneless Chicken

I was told that this is another dish that is also almost extinct due to its tedious effort in preparation. One has to have good skills in deboning a chicken down to its skin before layering it with fish paste, salted egg yolk, seaweed and almond flakes. Seaweed is not the norm but chef has put a twist in this dish. The skin was also previously hung to dry to ensure a crispy skin with a nice lacquer. The dish is set to please many as the flavors of fish, chicken, salted egg and seaweed is lovely and the golden almond flakes provided a nice crunchy texture. I lost count of how many pieces I had that night.

Stewed Tian Jin Cabbage with Dried Scallops

Its dishes like this that makes me swoon at how simplicity rock always! Tianjin cabbage is an elongated cabbage that hails from the region of Tianjin, China. It is exceptional sweet and here it is showcased being braised in superior broth and dried scallops. The dish has soft melt-in-the-mouth cabbage oozing with such sweetness and savory essence of the superior broth while glorified up with precious whole dried scallops and topped with crispy deep fried dried scallop shreds. I would have gladly hog this whole dish to myself and be utterly contented!

Mini Lotus Leaf Rice

Needless to say, a Chinese meal will always have a rice or noodle dish. We were treated to little parcels of mini glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf with lots of treasure bits. Steamed till soft, we have soft sticky grains of rice studded with salted egg yolk, Chinese sausages, mushroom, minced meat and a little more. Its savory and a little sweet, rendering the traditional taste found in most Chinese cuisine.

Double-Boiled Pear with Snow Fungus & American Figs

A sweet broth always signifies a traditional ending to most Chinese meals. We had ours in the form of a delicately sweet double-boiled Chinese yellow pear with crisp snow fungus, red dates and sweet figs. Its soothing and sweet, a lovely ending as usual…

Of course, prelude to our Thursday Special dinner’s dessert, we savored Ee Chinese Cuisine’s range of delectable mooncakes!

This year Eastin Hotel’s kitchen team has prepared an assortment of delectable baked and snow skin mini mooncakes from their kitchen. These mini treats come in variety of traditional pandan paste, lotus paste fillings as well as with exotic fillings like the Dragon Fruit paste, white coffee and corn, chocolate to suite the modern palates. Mini mooncakes have been gaining its own fan base and popularity in recent years in view of its exquisite, petite appearance and its easy consumption pattern.

The mooncakes are beautifully presented in a custom designed gift box and top-carrier bags. There are more than 15 flavours for guests to choose from. Set to take center stage is Mini Crystal Durian Paste mooncakes, this year’s hero which is their special edition to commemorate the Hotel’s 15th year anniversary celebration. Delight your loved ones, friends and business associates with their popular range of homemade mooncakes.

My personal favorite has always been the Snow skin series but this round; I was pretty pleased with Jasmine Cheesy Citrus. Its not too sweet and I can taste a lovely presence of the cheese.

Savour these delicate delights from only RM 10+ per piece and from RM 80+ per box which are available from 12 August -19 September 2013 for take-away and dine-in as well.. Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya also offers delivery service for a minimum order of 20 boxes within the Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur area. Delivery charges of RM 80 for Petaling Jaya and RM 140 for Kuala Lumpur apply. For those who need customization services, this service will be offered to you on a complimentary basis with a purchase of 15 boxes.

EE Chinese Cuisine Mid-Autumn Mooncake Promotion
Available from 12 August to 19 September 2013

Halal Superior Mooncakes (4 pieces in a box)

Red Bean Paste @ RM17+
Jasmine Cheesy Citrus @ RM1+
Precious Black @ RM18+
Low Sugar White Lotus @ RM18+
Supreme Mixed Nuts @ RM20+
Pure Lotus Paste Double Yolk @ RM20+

Pork Free Mini Mooncakes (8 pieces in a box)

Baked Skin
White Lotus Paste with Single Yolk @ RM10+
Pandan Paste with Single Yolk @ RM10+
"Kei Chi Tong Gui" Paste @ RM10+
Corn Paste with Single Yolk RM10+

Snow Skin
Crystal Red Bean Paste@ RM10+
Crystal Green Tea with Single Yolk @ RM10+
Crystal Dragon Fruit Paste @ RM10+
Crystal White Coffee Chocolate Paste @ RM10+

Special Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya's 15th Year Anniversary Mooncake (8 pieces in a box)

Mini Crystal Durian Paste @ RM105+

For more information, please call Ee Chinese Cuisine at +603 -7628 7338 or visit our website at


Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya
13, Jalan 16/11, Pusat Dagang Seksyen 16,
46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: +603 7665 1111
Fax: +603 7665 9999



August 20, 2013

Precious Old China, Central Market Kuala Lumpur: Old Charm with Great Peranakan Dishes!

The Best of Both Worlds of Antique and Nyonya!

My recent food excursion landed in Central Market, Kuala Lumpur. It was probably the last place I would visit for food since I usually try to avoid that traffic laden area. However, a little bird told me there is a lovely Nyonya restaurant that has been around for a while serving up delicious Nyonya favorites. Whipping up my partner and another foodie, we brave the traffic on Saturday for lunch and to my luck, it was smooth sailing all the way!

Now we found out a little more about Precious Old China since my friend knew the owner. This six year old restaurant is the 2nd branch of its original 16 year old Old China located nearby Petaling Street. Both restaurants are the brainchild of by an avid antique collector and a travel tour guide who combined their passion for antiques and Nyonya cuisine.

Walking into Precious Old China, it’s like travelling back in time. The atmosphere evokes an old era that has remain timeless. The décor is made up from lots of antiques, a collection that both owners have been collecting all their lives in their travels. Some of the pieces are really impressive, from its Chengal hardwood doors and bar, huge teak cabinets, various mixed of antique wooden furniture, old chandeliers, wooden lattice panels and so much more. Color glass windows, crystals from chandeliers, bold huge artworks and collections of pewter ware are just amazing and perfect for photos. One can see how much effort goes into maintaining all these antiques, it’s just a sight to behold for everyone!


Food is authentic Peranakan dishes with a combination from Northern and Southern. The menu features a great range of Nyonya dishes, snacks, single dishes, soups, and desserts.

Pie Tee (RM9.80)

Everything bit is made from scratch! Thin crispy top hat shells, jicama filling and spicy chili sauce are made in house. Simply fill up the golden shells with sweet crunchy jicama filling, add a bit of crumbed bean curd, a dollop of chili sauce and coriander leave. Pop these into your mouth at one bite if you can for the full sensation. Crispy, sweet, a little spicy, it’s a snack that never fails to please me when it is made just right!

Beef Rendang (RM22.80)

A house signature, small chunks of beef is rendered till fork tender in thick rich spiced up rendang gravy. Though the color looks lighter than our normal Malay version, rest assured that the flavors are equally delicious. It’s also not as dry as the norm and the gravy is lovingly lemak or creamy. I could taste a nice hint of kaffir lime leaves in the dish. I practically ate most of this dish alone because I love a good rendang…

Pucuk Paku Kerabu (RM12.80)

This one packs a nice punch. It’s spicy, nutty and tangy. Lightly blanched Pucuk Paku is smothered in a house chili belachan dressing and spruced up with thinly sliced shallots and lots of crushed peanuts. I like this a lot for its rich and bold flavors with a nice light crunch factor. Makes me want to eat lots of rice with this dish…

Sambal Petai Prawns (RM42.80)

Instead of using the smaller prawns, Precious Old China goes lavish and goes for the big ones with shells on. Flavors are certainly good with a nice balance of spicy, sweet and savory. My only tiny gripe is that there is hardly any spicy sambal gravy on this dish to coat the petai and of course to smother my rice.

Asam Fish Fillet (RM22.80)

Luckily for me, there is pool of gravy in this dish. It’s a burst of spices and the flavors are gorgeous. The tamarind curry gravy is superbly sour and spicy. I can taste loads of lemongrass, shallots, chili, ginger torch and the piquant tamarind all nicely balanced after a good simmer. Now the norm would be a glorious fish head in this one but there is a choice of fish fillet and fish head. We went for the fillet, feeling a little lazy. We got quite a few pieces of thick fillet, blanched lady’s finger and fried soft eggplant pieces. As usual, I flooded my rice with the gravy. Yummy!

Coconut Rice (RM1.90)

Though one can have white rice, we definitely love the coconut rice. Fluffy and rich from coconut milk, it is even tinted blue with the butterfly pea flower to get that authentic touch. The rice goes really well with the Beef Rendang and Asam Fish Fillet. Forget the white rice and go for this as an indulgence.

Santan Durian (RM13.90)

I can only take my other foodie’s ravings that this dessert is awesome since durian is my nemesis. Oh well, if there is one thing that is obvious, I can smell this dessert even after it was placed far away from me…goes to show how much creamy durian flesh is served with steamed soft glutinous rice and a good dollop of thick cream coconut milk.

Sago Gula Melaka (RM4.90)

Now this is my kind of dessert! All-time favorite wobbly sago floating in a creamy white coconut milk and lust up with syrupy thick Gula Melaka. Since the Gula Melaka is served separately, one can control the sweetness of this dessert. I am going to cut the chase and sum up this dessert in one word… Awesome!!

Our drinks for the lunch are Roselle (RM6.90), Sour Sop (RM6.90), Sour Plum (RM5.80) and Iced Local Coffee (RM6.90). We love the Roselle made in house and the local brewed thick and creamy iced coffee.

It’s the ambience that really had me hook that day. I spent quite some time admiring and capturing the décor behind my lens that day. Couple with a beautiful spread of authentic Peranakan dishes, I can see why my friend spoke highly of this restaurant. There is a little tweak in the dishes to serve tourist but the flavors are authentic and stayed true to its origin. Precious Old China also serves up a nice selection of individual dishes to cater to single diners and is pork free. If this isn’t enough, the restaurant is open 363 days a year… closing only 2 days on Chinese New Year… what dedication! Now there is simply no excuse not to head over here to get a taste…

*Psst… Old China, the original restaurant serves pork, wink!

Lot M2, Central Market
Jalan Hang Kasturi,
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2273 7372

Business Hours: 12 noon to 9.30pm


August 15, 2013

South Sea Seafood, Kampung Baru Subang: Wine & Dine at Sea Treasure Haven!

Wine Cellar Sets South Sea in High Spirits!

It was a night of wine and dine at South Sea Seafood located in Kampung Baru Subang a few weeks ago. With a heritage dating back to the late 80s, seafood dining icon South Sea has been always a favorite with many seafood gourmands. Many have sought out the restaurant that is said to serve up many splendors of the sea’s treasures in various cooking styles.

South Sea pays homage to gourmands with a room filled with tanks of live seafood. Rows and rows of sea treasures in state-of-the-art aquariums are home to over 80 types of seafood livestock from the king of crustaceans to giant Alaskan spider crabs, abalone and geoduck clams to the finest of fishes and more. It’s all about freshness at South Sea!.

Now there are much added eating pleasures as South Sea Seafood has just introduced its new wine and dine concept with its recent transformation to the seafood dining scene. South Sea’s latest piece de résistance, the Sea Cellar, is an impressive construction of stainless steel and glass to mirror its gleaming row of fish tanks. Yet, this glass tank houses culinary delicacies of a different kind. Row upon row of specialty wines float in airy suspension in the cool climate-controlled interiors of South Sea’s stylish wine cellar. The Sea Cellar houses 225 varieties of international wines with its oldest one aged for 33 years. As a rule, no retail or supermarket wine brands are used and only the very best is served with the restaurant’s signatures.

At the media event that night, South Sea General Manager Terence Wong announced South Sea’s rebrand into a premium seafood wine and dine haven – a notion inspired by the industry stereotype that wines are usually only synonymous with Western cuisine. ‘It’s true that wines usually accompany Western dishes, but seldom with Asian dishes, least of all seafood. Based on our observations and feedbacks from our customers, the Malaysian F&B landscape lacks an avenue to relish seafood paired with wine as a business philosophy. This is where South Sea’s new seafood wine and dine concept fills the void!’ quoted Mr. Wong.

Wine principal and expert from Miguel Torres in Chile, Gabriel Fernandez Borsch was also present to pair the delectable seafood repertoire with the most sophisticated wines in the menu that evening. Mr. Fernandez also provided an insight to all the wines served that evening at each course.

South Sea also underwent a refurbishment and the facelift boasts enhanced aesthetics integrated with practicality and functionality embodied in a stylish ambience. The interior is set in earthy hues and tones that allow guests to dine in comfort, harmony and stylish ambience. Ceiling lamps reminiscent of sea shells provides a warm lighting. Wood and rattan furniture evoked a sense of elegance while the spacious high ceiling interior allows guests to dine at ease. Private room is also available.

Our evening took off with some small bites and the very first pre-dinner wine, Miguel Torres Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé Reserve. The Rosé is exceptional in flavors, clean and fruity with a lovely aroma on the nose.

Entrée – Mediterranean Sampler of Gourmet Cheese, Oven Baked Grissini, Marinated Kalamata Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Sweet Pepper Stuffed with Greek Feta Cheese

Torres Viña Emeralda

I would describe this white as delicious! Beautifully chilled, it has a clean and crisp palate with a floral note. It paired well with the salty flavors of the tapas.

Carpaccio Delight

It was a king’s ransom all on a platter! Featuring the king of crustacean and king of clam, Carpaccio Delight consisted of fresh thinly sliced lobster and geoduck served on a bed of ice. Both prized catch are served as sashimi with wasabi or to be lightly dunked into a hot broth.

We were thoroughly impressed with this dish. Words cannot be described for its magnificence of freshness and flavors. The giant lobster meat is delectably sweet with a firm texture. Savoring it as sashimi with a little dabble of wasabi and soy sauce brings out the oceanic flavors of clean, crisp and sweet notes. I tried dunking the lobster into the hot broth for a few seconds. Lightly cooked, the lobster turns opaque and has a firmer texture but the sweetness is now balanced with a little savory note from the broth. Either way, the crustacean is still superb as the freshness reigns supreme.

The giant clam has always been extra special to me. Though it takes on an alienated form, this is one clam you do not want to miss. The huge siphon is highly prized in the Chinese community and is also often regarded to be some sort of an aphrodisiac due to its high content of zinc for testosterone production. Eaten all over Asia, there are many ways to prepare this clam. Though it is large in size, there is only a small part that is edible. I simply adored it being thinly sliced and served as it is. With a little dabble of wasabi and soy sauce, the geoduck is utterly delicious and almost intoxicatingly good! Sweet with a hint of briny savory sea flavors, the clam has a crunchy texture. The light hint of horseradish balance up the briny flavors beautifully. If you have never had it raw, do try it as one can really enjoy the maximum flavors of this clam in its purest form.

Torres Viña Sol White

It’s intense and fresh with a crisp palate, blending well with the rawness of the seafood. There is also a hint of citrus notes that matches with the seafood. This white is elegant and lingers on the palate. One of my favorite white of the night!

A Trilogy of Flavours

Lavishness on a plate, the Trilogy of Flavours has a whole abalone, a thick piece of sea cucumber, Shitake mushroom, asparagus and broccoli all braised in a supreme thick savory sweet sauce. There are lots of textures going on this plate with the tender and firm abalone, wobbly jellied sea cucumber and soft earthy mushrooms contrasting with crunchy greens. A dish that speaks of the chef’s skill in controlling the balance of flavors and textures!

Succulent Clams

I have never had a razor clam so big before. Imported from the sea of Scotland, the razor clam is broiled to just cook and crowned with loads of minced garlic and served a bed of glass noodles. The chef has dedicatedly explained that the skill of the dish lies in controlling the heaviness of the garlic by boiling it in milk to reduce the strong garlic pungency. I was really amazed at how subtle and sweet the garlic is in this dish. The clam is cut up into pieces and is soft and sweet too. The lightly soft and savory glass noodles are delicious when eaten with the clams and garlic. This dish was also paired with the same Cordillera Chardonnay.

Miguel Torres Cordillera Chardonnay

A white from Chile, the Cordillera Chardonnay tasted of apples and nuts. It has a delicate acidity and is quite fruity. The wine also has an intense depth of flavors with citrus notes to equalize the sweet and savory flavors of the abalone and clam entrées.

East Meets West

South Sea does not only excel in seafood but manages to show off that they can do a mean meat dish as well. Serving the best of lamb from the green grass of New Zealand, the dish has a lamb cutlet coated in an oriental inspired honey glazed sauce. Caramelized bits with sticky goodness make the lamb succulent and finger-licking good. A few pieces of crinkle cut fries accompanied the lamb but I personally didn’t think it was needed.

Torres Gran Sangre De Toro

It’s a blend of a few variety of grapes and the intensity of the red is quite sharp for my palate. Though it is laced with a spice and berry note, I find the red too intense for my palate. While this was not to my liking, my partner love it as he insisted that it matches the lamb really well as both has strong flavors.

Alaskan Duet

I was on cloud nine that evening! How not to be when the exquisite Alaskan spider crab made its debut in three ways? This behemoth of the crustacean family is much sought after for its sweet succulent meat.

We were all enthralled by this giant crab with its enticing presentation. First up, the Alaskan spider crab was flavored with Salt and Pepper. Lightly coated with a thin batter and then sautéed in an aromatic mixture of shallot, garlic, spring onion, chili and seasoned with salt and pepper, the crab claws was gorgeous. One can taste the sweet chunks of crab meat laced with a nice aroma of the salt and pepper. A classic method that never fails to please when executed perfectly!

The second crab was doused in chef’s Signature Cheese Emulsion. It’s a golden pale yellow pool of creaminess glazing the crabs. Cheesy goodness matching up well with the sweet crab meat, making the dish really sexy to the very last bit!

Our third was the shell of the crab being filled with egg custard and steamed. The custard was a wee bit firm and a slight tad salty for me but others seemed to be oblivious and polished off every bit of the custard. I love how the bright red shell looks after being cook. It was certainly a magnificent experience for seafood lovers!

Miguel Torres Cordillera Cariñena

Though the red has silky tannins with a nice berry notes, I find it a bit too powerful for the crab. It’s a great red with full body and a touch of smoky edge with a long aftertaste but for me, it just over powers the sweet crab. Would have love this red with a nice piece of meat!

A Surprise!

When this dish landed on the table, everyone couldn’t be any happier! Lobster Head Braised Yee Mee is just beautiful at sight. The soft eggy noodles have been bathing and soaking up the flavors of the king of crustacean and its flavors are just deep, luscious and rich. I ate one and half bowl of this awesomeness with some donated from my foodie buddy Choi Yen!

Sweet Endings

It was a simple ending and it ended with such finesse. We indulged in a scoop of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream with Aged Balsamic Syrup and accompanied by berries. The sweet tangy rich balsamic vinegar is thick and divine, heighten the Haagen Dazs ice cream even more. I am hooked. I will be having my ice cream with aged balsamic vinegar from now on…

Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro

We finished off with the sweetest of Spain, a dessert wine that is voluptuous in body and very aromatic.

The feast was unforgettable! South Sea Seafood takes seafood dining experience to another new level and now coupled with its Sea Cellar, pairing Chinese seafood with wine is set to impress gourmands from all over. Prices may be on a heavier end but bear in mind that its premium quality seafood brought in live from all over the world for the enjoyment of gourmands. Coupled with its brand new ambience, the wine and dine haven is certainly worth the journey for!

For more information on South Sea, please log on to

No229, Jalan Dua A Kampung Baru Subang,
40150 Selangor
Tel: 03 7846 5813 / 03 7846 1401

*More photos on my Facebook: Chasing Food Dreams