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

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)

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
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
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.

Feast Village, Feast Floor, Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2782 3856

Operating Hours: Daily 12 noon to 11pm

Xenri Fine Japanese Cuisine, D’River View: CNY Lou Sang

CNY Lou Sang with a Japanese Twist!

Everyone is getting into the coming Chinese New Year festive mood with auspicious Lou Hei! Joining the CNY festive trail is Xenri Fine Japanese Cuisine. The Japanese restaurant, which has two outlets – D’River View and D’Terrace, has whipped up their own Japanese version of Yee Sang this festive season. It’s a perfectly great excuse to enjoy the auspicious tossing of Yee Sang with Japanese seasonal ingredients.

Thanks to a dear friend, Merryn, I was invited recently to see what Xenri has in store for this festive New Year. We visited their Xenri D’River View outlet located at Wisma Elken in Old Klang Road on fine Saturday afternoon. The location is pretty good and easy to find and since it was a weekend, there were plenty of parking.

Xenri is no stranger to our F&B scenes. The Japanese restaurant is famous for their fine Japanese cuisine with Kaiseki-style fare, a la carte and of course Japanese buffet. This is not my virgin visit as I have had quite a few visits with my family over the years. We had always enjoyed our experience here and thought that Xenri dishes are value-for-money for such fine Japanese dishes.

Walking into this outlet, we were greeted by the serene and Zen-inspired interior and ambience. There is the main dining area that has a Sushi bar and lots of privately sectioned rooms on another end for more private dining. So this festive season, these rooms are just perfect for your own parties with friends and families.

Xenri is featuring three Chinese New Year Yee Sang this year to usher in prosperity, luck and wealth with Organic Apple Yee Sang, Jelly Fish & Salmon Yee Sang and Xenri Premium Yee Sang. Prices are RM68, RM98 and RM128 respectively.

First up, the Organic Apple Yee Sang is perfect for those who wish to go light minus the usual raw fish. There are plenty of ingredients such as crisp fresh green apples, three types of seaweed, tempura flakes, pomelo sacs, pickled ginger and the usual vegetables together with peanuts and sesame seed.

This yee sang has an organic apple dressing to add more fruitiness to the salad. It’s very refreshing and bright in flavours and there are lots of crunch and crisp textures.

The Jelly Fish & Salmon Yee Sang has similar ingredients minus the apples but with added fresh salmon slices and crunchy jelly fish. The dressing is a light and fruit plum sauce dressing.

If you are a big sashimi lover, then go all out for their third one of Xenri Premium Yee Sang which has 5 types of fish – salmon, butterfish, red tuna, amberjack and jelly fish. It’s certainly an auspicious salad with so many fish!

Besides Yee Sang, Xenri D’River has an extensive a la carte that showcase their fine Japanese menu. These are available during lunch and dinner. If you love to be surprised, then go for their Kaiseki-style meal where Xenri’s chef will feature specials of the day for your meal.

Edamame is almost an essential part of every Japanese meal.

Another authentic Japanese ingredient is Natto. Our plate was called Morokkyu, which has Natto and crunchy Japanese cucumber as a pairing.

If you are a die-hard oyster fan like me, their Kaki Nezuyaki or Grilled Half Shell Oysters with Cheese is pretty good and has a good dose of creamy cheese gratin.

Sashimi Moriawase is always a must in any Japanese restaurant and Xenri has quite a good selection of fishes flown in every Tuesday and Friday. They get their supply early in the morning so make sure to visit on those two days for the best cuts of sashimi. Our Sashimi Moriawase, aptly named Otsukuri Mori had Salmon, Tuna, Yellowtail, Amber Jack and Scallop in it. Yum…

Makis are my all-time-favorite to enjoy because they feature quite a few ingredients all beautifully dolled up in a roll. We had Xenri’s Dragon Maki, Hawaiian Maki and Spicy Salmon Maki which were really so pretty to look at as well as delicious. Dragon Maki has eel and avocado while Spicy Salmon has salmon, salmon roe, crab stick and a spicy sauce. Both are classic favorites. Hawaiian Maki is the pretties of the lot and features mango with tempura prawns and ebiko. These are pretty much winning combinations and very easy to enjoy.

We also had some classic grilled items such as Unagi Kabayaki and Saba Shioyaki. Both equally prepared to perfection.

I was told that Xenri offers a special beef called Meltique that equals the prime Wagyu but without its hefty price tag. So we ordered their Meltique Beef Teppanyaki and requested for cube cuts for the beef. And we were not disappointed as the Meltique beef was gorgeous. Apparently, Meltique beef also has a good ration of marbled fat, making the beef so tender and very divine in taste. It is so juicy and flavourful. Despite the minimal seasoning, the beef is scrumptious together with the sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, vegetables and garlic chip. A Must-order!

We finished our meal with Yuzu, Goma, Green Tea, Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream. My favorite has to be the Yuzu Ice Cream for its super refreshing citrus taste.

Did you know that one can now also enjoy a good cup of Joe at Xenri? Xenri has a little corner for their latest venture for specialty coffees called 3QuarterCupBeing clueless when it comes to coffee, I was pretty happy to learn quite a few new things about coffee that day at 3QuarterCup. Not to be taken lightly, it is such pleasure to see the different ways of brewing a cup of Joe and all the various beans from all over the world. I learned about V60, Syphon and AeroPress that day. The latest to hit the coffee scene these days are Cold Brew. I had one with milk and it is pretty good. For more information about 3QuarterCup, visit their FB www.facebook.com/threequartercup

No.9, Wisma Elken, Jalan 4/137C, Batu 5
Jalan Klang Lama, 58000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-7783 8118

Website: www.xenri.com