November 21, 2014

Siang Seafood Restaurant, SOGO KL: Old School Flavours with a Modern Touch

Halal Dim Sum and Chinese Cuisine In The Heart of The City

Located in one of the most populated area in our metropolitan city is Sogo KL, a mall where I often hangout so much during my college years. Though I haven’t been back in a while, the mall looks great today due to its well-maintained structure and interior. Stepping into Sogo brought back quite a few memories, happy ones of course.

Sogo KL is filled with floors of food and beverage but I was here to seek out Siang Seafood Restaurant, located on level 6 of the mall. Siang Seafood Restaurant is wholly owned by Sogo (KL) Department Store Sdn, Bhd. Siang is one of the few restaurants that offer prok free Chinese cuisine in the city. The restaurant offers a luscious spread of pork free dim sum and Chinese dishes in their menu set with affordable price to cater to the market in that area.

The restaurant is set with a modern and elegant interpretation of a Chinese ambience. Boldly dressed in lots of red, gold and cream, the whole restaurant is beautifully spacious and has a seating capacity of 250 with four private rooms. Bamboo leave motifs are strategically painted all over the restaurant to remind us of its Chinese heritage. Table settings are elegant, echoing the elegance of Chinese banquet ambience. Splashes of red hues from flowers gave the restaurant more vibrant notes and colors. The whole ambience is beautifully bright and yet invitingly elegant.

Our evening took off with a spread of Siang’s signature dim sum that is a sure crowd pleaser. Steamed dumplings are the quintessential must-have at every dim sum meal and they are usually the benchmark to how good a dim sum place is. We had several that evening which includes Beijing Dumpling, Crystal Dumpling, Siu Mai and Three Flavour Shanghai Dumpling.

The Siu Mai and Crystal Dumplings will always be the most ordered dim sum. Both dumplings here were plump, juicy, well-seasoned and has a good firm bouncy texture. The Dim Sum Chef has cleverly used chicken and seafood to make up the flavours and textures well that diners may not even realize that these are pork free. The Crystal Dumpling had a lovely thin translucent skin to show off it shadow of its filling. Both dumplings are topped off with bright fish roes for presentation and texture.

The Three Flavour Shanghai Dumpling is pretty unique, a special rendition of the famous Xiao Long Bao. This version has an Original Xiao Long Bao, a Angelica Flavour with Charcoal Skin and a Si Chuan Flavour with Pandan Skin all in an order. The dumplings all shared the soupy trademark with a soft and delicious filling. Though the classic is good, I must say that both the other flavours are also yummy. The gentle and really subtle angelica bitter note enhanced the flavours of the chicken filling while the lightly spicy Si Chuan peppery heat gives the dumpling another depth of flavours. I like all 3 dumplings as they all have their own unique flavours.

Beijing Dumpling showcase dumplings served with a spicy chili oil concoction that reminded me of Si Chuan cuisine. The sauce also has dried shrimp so it’s very moreish and tasty. This one is a great kicker as the spiciness whet the appetite.

We also tried a fried dim sum of Cheese Ball, crispy seafood paste coated with cubed bread and stuffed with cheese. It’s crispy and has a lovely sweetness of seafood. The addition of cheese is a brilliant idea to jazz this dim sum up.

After our dim sum, we moved on to the regular Chinese dishes. Siang has a great mix of classic dishes served with a modern touch. Our Siang Trio Platter came beautifully presented in a modern presentation of appetizer platter. It consisted of Scallop Watermelon , Crispy Squid Ball and Salted Egg Yolk with Prawn with Carrot Cake.

The Scallop Watermelon is a brilliant combination of cubed scallop lightly poached with bits of cubed fruits and served on a square cut of chilled watermelon. It’s a first for me and I have to admit, this combo worked deliciously. The sweetness of the scallops is further enhanced by the sweetness of the refreshing and juicy watermelon. One gets more bite with the crispy chopped apples and mangoes with the popping fish roes in a light creamy dressing.

The Crispy Squid Ball is served on an upside down shot glass that seemed to have a little pretty garden inside the glass. The garden is actually alfalfa sprouts and edible flowers and micro greens. The crispy squid ball is superbly executed. Crispy on the outside, bouncy squid paste on the inside… yum!

Salted Egg Yolk Prawn with Carrot Cake is another winner in my books. The shelled prawn is coated with a luscious thick salted egg yolk sauce. The prawn is aromatic and very good as the intensity of the rich salted egg yolk is super scrumptious. I like how it is served on a pan seared carrot cake disc and served with the crispy fried prawn head and a sprig of fried curry leaves.

The Baked Cod Fish with Teriyaki Sauce is another masterpiece. The silky smooth and rich cod is baked with a delectable sweet and sticky teriyaki sauce. The flesh of the cod has a sweet note and a creamy flavour too. Its buttery trademark made the fish enjoyable together with the sauce. Presentation is pretty as the fish is crowned with crispy fried greens and served with sliced strawberries.

Vegetarian Shark’s Fin is a perfect option for those who still wish to enjoy a bowl of the classic soup and be eco-friendly at the same time. The creamy starchy soup is full of flavours and ingredients. Lots of crab meat makes the soup really sweet. The vegetarian shark’s fin added texture to the soup nicely. Plus points goes to the serving of the soup which is kept warm through a mini burner so one can really savor the soup at its best.

A sizzling pot of Stewed Sea Treasure in Casserole filled the air with such wonderful aroma upon arrival. Filled to the brim, the pot had thick cuts of sea cucumber, fish maw, abalone, dried scallop, prawn, mushroom and broccoli all braised in a savory brown sauce. The seafood essence in the sauce makes this a perfect accompaniment for rice.

Taking on a Western dish and twisting it with an Asian marinade is the Baked Rack of Lamb. After hours of marinating, the lamb rack is nicely chargrilled. The smoky sweet lamb is also beautifully moist and tender. This is a dish not to be missed if you love a good lamb dish!

Another dish that exuded comfort notes is the Homemade Bean Curd with Shark Fin and Egg. I was particularly fond of the soft eggy bean curd that has a natural sweetness and soft texture. It went very well with the creamy egg sauce and some vegetables. The dish is made luxurious with shark's fin but one can opt this out. Without the shark's fin, it’s a dish I could eat everyday with rice because I happen to really enjoy the comfort flavours of the bean curd.

Crispy Chicken in Two Preparations showed off two ways to enjoy a chook. Savor it with a crispy roast skin and moist dark meat or savor it Thai style in a salad with lots of crunchy onions in Thai sweet and spicy sauce. I happen to enjoy both, especially the crispy skin of the chicken.

For vegetarians or those prefer meatless options, do try their Fragrant Crispy Fried Noodles. Its thin rice noodles stir fried with loads of vegetables and mushrooms. The rice noodles has a good note of wok breathe and I really like how crunchy the vegetables are in the dish, giving it a lot of textures and different flavours.

Our next dish of Fried Shimeiji Mushroom with Kailan in XO Sauce has us all enjoying our greens and mushroom in a luxurious XO sauce. The kalian is crunchy and contrasted with the soft earthy mushrooms before being topped with crispy fried dried scallops. Its vegetables going lux in this one!

Another vegetable dish of the evening was the Sauteed Bell Peppers with Asparagus. Simple execution done well, the bell peppers are sweet and crunchy, matching well with the asparagus.

One of my favorite dishes of the night is the Braised Ee Fu Noodles with Spicy Eggplant and Salted Fish. Despite being so full, I really love the flavours of the noodles. The soft noodles and cubes of eggplant soaked up all the salty and unctuous flavours of the salted fish flavour with some hints of heat from chili. There is something beautifully addictive about this dish that makes you want to go back for seconds… and I did.

We ended the evening with a Chinese sweet dessert broth of Doubled Boiled Chinese Ginseng with Red Dates and Peach with Siang Signature Sweet Potato Puff. It’s light and wonderfully soothing after all the dishes we had. The flaky sweet potato puff pastry is well-made, buttery and wonderfully sweet from the filling.

It was a very enjoyable evening at Siang Seafood Restaurant. There are plenty more dishes in their menu besides what we ate that evening. I do have to say that this is one of the better halal dim sum places I have been and the Chinese dishes are also equally good. Despite all the modern touches, Siang Seafood Restaurant has still managed to maintain classic old school flavours in their dishes very well, making it an enjoyable and delicious dining experience!

Check out their website here for specials and promotions.

Level 6, Kompleks Sogo,
190, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman,
50100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2618 1848 (Ext. 1130)

November 17, 2014

Las Vacas Mont Kiara & Yap Kwan Seng: Sunday BBQ Brunch

Unlimited Australian Steaks and New Zealand Lamb for Brunch!

For those who are always seeking for brunch, here’s another meaty one to add to your list! Las Vacas has been operating its specialty butchery shop since 2007. Today, Las Vacas has expanded to several outlets all over the city with its signature cuts of prime choice of meats. Not just a butchery alone, Las Vacas has also been serving up their meat cooked to order on the premises of the restaurant cum butchery. Carnivores are assured that they can get their hands on meats prepared with minimal ingredients and seasoning simply because their meat is good just on its own merit.

So back to our brunch, Las Vacas has just recently launched their Sunday BBQ Brunch for brunch hungry goers at their Mont Kiara and Yap Kwan Seng outlets. Every Sunday from 11am to 3pm, its an All-You-Can M-Eat Sunday BBQ Brunch where steak and egg rules the house.

Get ready to chow down unlimited servings of barbecued Australian steaks and New Zealand lamb cooked to order or hit their buffet spread of breakfast delights like eggs in several ways, hash browns, potatoes, sausages, pasta and more. Parents with children, there’s even a kid’s corner friendly area to keep your young ones occupied while you dine.

Premium meats for purchase

Let’s hit the brunch spread to kick off to a great Sunday!

Menu rotates each Sunday but when we were there, a lovely spread of salads and antipasti were available to pave the path to our brunch. From marinated and grilled vegetables to fresh salads, there were also sandwiches, mini pizza buns and mini burgers. There are also fresh baked bread with butter and jam.  If you must have your cereals, there are also some breakfast cereals with milk.

Hitting the hot warmers, one gets a treat of scrambled egg, omelette, poached eggs, hash browns, grilled sausages and chicken, pasta and lasagna. Though it may not be a Western dish but I was pretty happy with Chawan Mushi being available as it makes a nice comforting dish for brunch.

The highlights of the brunch are the unlimited servings of Australian steaks and New Zealand lamb with sausages. Simply let the chef knows how many pieces you would like and how do you want it cooked!

We had plates of succulent lamb and sirloin grilled and seasoned nicely…

Las Vacas Sunday BBQ Brunch is priced at RM69.90 ++ per adult and RM34.90++ per child (6 – 12 years old). Children under 6 years old eat for free. Drinks are not included. The Sunday BBQ Brunch is Not available at Kelana Jaya outlet.

For reservations, please call (Mont Kiara) 03-6205 2258 or (Yap Kwan Seng) 03-2181 5586.

The following we had here is NOT included in the Sunday BBQ Brunch. These are Ala Carte menu which is also served as usual during the Sunday hours.

There are plenty of bottled beverages to keep the young and the old happy. I was pretty happy to see my favorite Steward Soda available there at Las Vacas. I also had a very good Iced Latte.

Las Vacas does a mean burger and one can choose the amount of meat patty to their heart’s contentment. This one is a hefty 250gm patty Las Vacas Beef Burger (RM22) that is thick and meaty with slices of beef bacon hanging out of the bun. I could hardly put this into my mouth but it is definitely a delicious monster to bite into!

Las Vacas also has desserts to feed the sweet tooth cravings so check out their Tiramisu (RM13.80) and Panna Cotta (RM13.80) if you still have room for a sweet ending!

LG, Lot 1A
New Wing Mont Kiara Shoplex
Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6205-2258

No. 33 Lot 5 Ground Floor
Wisma Winbond
Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2181-5586