Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hoopla Lounge @ Desa Sri Hartamas


Wine & Dine on Porky Goodness!


Wine lovers will be pleased to know that there is a newbie in town for affordable wine and dine. Hoopla Lounge, located in the popular hangout area of Desa Sri Hartamas, is the sister restaurant of ChapterOne Bar + Bistro.

I can think of plenty of reasons why Hoopla is going to be a popular hotspot to come. Located in a strategic location, Hoopla offers all its diners free valet parking. Yes, just hand your keys to the valet and head on upstairs to the lounge. Parking in that area can be a tough feat but with free valet offered by Hoopla, hanging out at the lounge is now made easier.



The moment one walks into Hoopla, you know that you’re in for a good time. The décor is dim and yet posh. Dark décor are brought to life with bold and colorful art pieces on the wall. A beautiful bar, a wine cellar, high back lounge chairs and low tables, spaciousness that offers privacy, these are definite reasons to visit Hoopla too.


Hoopla prides on offering a solid list of wines and currently have over 100 wines on their list. More wines are already in plan to be added to the current list, added owner Ernest C. An ardent wine lover himself, he believes that wines should be affordable so everyone can enjoy them. That evening, we enjoyed St Martin Reserve Merlot and Chardonnay from France. Though I am normally a white lover, I really enjoyed the red Merlot. The medium-bodied red has a refreshing acidity with smooth tannins.


One cannot certainly survive on wine alone! Here’s another delicious reason and a porky one indeed. Hoopla shares the menu with ChapterOne and there’s plenty of tempting dishes from local favorites to international dishes to keep everyone pretty happy indeed.


There’s plenty of snacks to go with wine or beer and one must-have bar snack is Hoopla’s Chicken Wings (RM22). Glorious crispy wings and drumettes well-marinated in Asian inspired flavors are so good, we happily dig in with our fingers. Served alongside house made chili sauce, the chicken wings are deliciously addictive as the moreish and salty flavor hit all the right spot together with the spicy kick-ass chili sauce.


Another house specialty is a simple one but goes great with wines. Lady Fingers (RM6) are lightly parboiled and dressed in Mentsuyu, garlic oil and sesame oil. Clean and delicate flavors coupled with the unique lady fingers texture makes a light appetizer to go with wines.


The next few dishes comes from the Connor’s special menu. First up, a Cracklin’ Chicken Karaage (RM38). Homing in on classic Japanese crispy fried chicken, this version has chicken marinated in Connor’s stout, fried crispy and drizzled with a creamy sweet and spicy sauce. Another great and delicious bar food and this dish comes with a glass of Connor’s stout.


Mains are next and from the same Connor’s menu, the Conner’s BBQ Chicken Thigh (RM40) was a crowd pleaser. A whole chicken Maryland roasted and basted with an unctuous sweet and sticky Connor’s infused BBQ sauce has such comforting flavors that one can savor often. It has such a down-to-earth flavor that makes the chook a treat to enjoy. Served with roasted potato wedges and another spicy and tangy chili sauce, we hope this dish stays on the regular menu. This dish also comes with a glass of Connor’s stout.


Porky goodness is up next and the Connor’s Rib Slab (RM85) wowed our crowd. The pork ribs are given a 48-hours marinade of Connor’s stout porter. Then it’s slow roasted till tender with on-going basting to create a sublime sticky and sweet BBQ glaze. The glaze caramelized and gave the ribs a luscious sheen of deliciousness with crisp edges. The ribs are so tender and moist. We enjoyed how the ribs still has a good bite too. Guess what? The porky ribs comes with 2 glasses of Connor’s stout porter in case one thinks that it’s not Connor’s enough!


The evening got even better when the Crispy Pork Knuckle (RM77) was placed in front of us. This mega platter of a gargantuan pork knuckle served with sausages, potato, crunchy veggies and three sauces had everyone flashing their cameras in paying homage to the hog simply because it looked amazing.



Full blast crispy, crunchy, salty and porky goodness, the pork knuckle had everyone going back for seconds. What makes this pork knuckle even more memorable was the sauces. There was a tangy brown sauce, a super spicy and sour sauce with herbs and a regular brown gravy. The pork knuckle richness was well-balanced up with all the sauces, especially the spicy one and makes it easy on the palate with that adrenalin and addictive heat from the sauce. Love the robust flavor of the sausages and the crunchy sticks of veggies does make the dish less sinful. Great platter for sharing and went so well with our red St Martin Reserve…


Despite all the meaty goodness, there was this amazing Pan Fried Seabass (RM31) too. The seabass was cooked so well, crispy skin with firm and moist flesh. The skin had lots of flavors from spices and the lightly pickled onion salad really gave a zesty zing to the fish. A squeeze of lemon added more flavors too. Served with creamy potato salad, I really adored the fish and would certainly order this again.


Hoopla also has a list of local favorites such as Char Kway Teow, Tomyam Meehoon, Hokkien Mee, Mee Goreng and more. We opted for their Hokkien Mee (RM19), a plate of lardy infused braised dark fat noodles fried with cabbage and pork. The noodles are decent and has a good oomph of that rich and aromatic flavors associated with Hokkien noodles. I heard from another diner that the Mee Goreng was even better. Looks like I need to head back there for the Mee Goreng.


The evening was certainly fun and fill with lots of laughter and food. And since everyone was in full merriment, we ended up also enjoying the only dessert available on the menu, Chocolate Brownies (RM15). Now the portion seen here is actually 3 portions as there were quite a few of us sharing it. A decadent dark and rich way to end the evening.


And there you have it, all the reasons to head on over to Hoopla! Affordable wines, scrumptious menu filled with porky goodness, beautiful lounge made for hanging out and free valet parking, it’s a lethal and irresistible venue to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Olé for Hoopla!


HOOPLA LOUNGE
First Floor, 72-1 Jalan 27/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 036-2116484


Friday, August 26, 2016

Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur Mid-Autumn Jewellery Box Mooncakes


There’s always an exciting anticipation when it comes to the Mid-Autumn festive at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Renowned for their gorgeous and creative mooncakes packaging as well as their signature mooncakes, Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur is featuring another gem filled with the hotel’s signature mooncakes this year.


The Mid-Autumn Jewellery Box is a must-have this festive as it makes the most elegant and exquisite gift set filled with scrumptious mooncakes. Gorgeously lacquered in various Mid-Autumn colors and motifs, the large rectangle wooden box has beautiful craftsmanship as well as a solid built. The jewellery box makes an impressive gift this festive season and many are said to already be swooning over this box.


There are four striking designs of jewellery boxes ranging from beautiful peony blooms set on backdrops of shades of red to good fortune roosters set against a full moon available in red or black backdrops. A gold latch completed the box in sheer opulence. The elegant box is also encased in a rich burgundy velvet bag.


Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur’s mooncakes are halal and comes in two sets of 6 mooncakes each. Select your choice of set along with your choice of the jewellery box, each priced at RM108 nett.


Set A
Japanese Red Bean, Pure Lotus Single Yolk, Golden Pandan Pure Lotus,
White Pure Lotus, Assorted Fruit Nuts & Green Tea Pure Lotus Paste

Set B
Golden Pandan Pure Lotus Single Yolk, White Pure Lotus Paste Single Yolk,
Green Tea Pure Lotus Paste, Japanese Red Bean, Pure Lotus & Golden Pandan Pure Lotus


There are also other regular sized mooncakes available and the most sought after signature not to be missed is Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur’s award winning Snowskin Musang King. Packed with pure musang king durian, it’s a luscious treat for durian lovers this festive season. As the Snowskin Musang King is limited, do make sure to get them before it runs out.



Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur Mid-Autumn Jewellery Box is available at the hotel’s lobby kiosk from 11am to 8pm daily and Mid Valley Mall South Court from now till Sept 15, 2016. There is also a special 20% discount for Concorde Cash Card, Classic & Priority Plus members, & a 15% discount for Citibank, CIMB, Hong Leong, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, UOB and RHB cardholders. For Corporate bulk orders of 100 boxes and above, there will be complimentary gift cards and free delivery to a destination within the Klang Valley.

For more information, please call +603 2144 8750 or visit http://goo.gl/LCKnE8. T&C applies.


CONCORDE HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR
2 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2144 2200 
Fax: +603 2144 1628

Facebook: www.facebook.com/concordehotelkualalumpur


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Komugi Otsukimi Moon Cakes


A Mid-Autumn’s Celebration with Komugi Otsukimi Moon Cakes



Celebrate this year’s Mid-Autumn festive season with gifts of Komugi Otsukimi Moon Cakes for your family, friends and loved ones. The Japanese bakery launched their Otsukimi moon cake last year and is continuing their success this year with delicious flavors.

Sharing the same tradition with the Japanese festival of honoring the autumn moon, Otsukimi or Jugoya refers to moon-viewing on the 15th of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. Long associated with rabbits and mocha, Otsukimi shares a legend of a rabbit pounding mochi with an old-style wooden hammer that apparently lives on the surface of the moon.


In honors of Otsukimi, Komugi has created four delectable moon cakes set in a modern and contemporary dark blue box. The dark blue box is set with a golden full moon filled with playful dancing bunnies that really plays to the Otsukimi festivity. Inside are four individually wrapped white box with pretty pastel renditions of Japanese motifs that encased four of Komugi’s moon cakes.


Komugi’s four baked moon cakes are Low Sugar White Lotus, Green Tea Apricot, German Black Forest, and Azuki Milk. Go classic and savor creamy and nutty low sugar white lotus or take on a modern taste of dark and rich chocolatey sensation of German Black Forest. The luscious fudgy chocolate paste is studded with dried sweet cherries, perfect rendition of flavors of bittersweet notes of the famous cake that everyone loves.


Then there’s the Japanese classic flavor of green tea and azuki. Komugi’s Green Tea Apricot has a rich green tea note through the baked skin as well as the green tea paste. What makes it so delectable is the hidden gem of apricot fruity sweetness to lighten up the green tea. Premium creamy Japanese red bean paste with a center of milky nut paste encased in golden baked skin summed up Azuki Milk. Delicately sweet and creamy, the aroma is also wonderfully enticing.


From now till 2 September, the Early Rabbit Special offers a 10% every box of Komugi Mooncakes. Get your Komugi Otsukimi Moon Cakes at all Komugi outlets as well as Mid Valley booth.


While you’re at Komugi, don’t forget to savor their signature Baumkuchen series. Coils of even layers of aromatic cake that originates from Germany, the baum comes in various flavors of Original, Matcha, Strawberry, Choccolate, Pandan and Black Sesame. There are also plenty of other tempting bread, pastries and desserts that is simply irresistible!

Visit Komugi website: www.komugi.com.my or Facebook: www.facebook.com/KomugiMalaysia for more information


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Emperor @ Dorsett Grand Subang: Mooncakes & Dim Sum



Treasure of Mid-Autumn with Halal Certified Mooncakes



Mooncake season is back and it’s time to enjoy a traditional treat of mooncakes with family, friends and loved ones. From 1 August to 15 September 2016, Dorsett Grand Subang is featuring new flavors and classic flavors of their Treasure of Mid-Autumn Halal Certified Mooncakes available at the hotel lobby and The Emperor restaurant.


Dim Sum Chef Chan Chee Loon has created 3 new signature mooncakes this year and diners can expect the very best of flavors from these mooncakes. There are 11 variations in total of baked and crystal skin mooncake flavors available this year with returning favorites as well as the 3 new flavor. The price of the mooncakes start from RM25 nett to RM30 each.


The 3 signature new mooncakes to savor this year are Crystal Skin Peppermint Chocolate Paste Mooncake, Baked Ginseng Qi Zi Paste with Single Yolk Mooncake and Baked Low Sugar White Coffee Durian Paste Mooncake.


If you enjoy the tingling sensation of minty peppermint with chocolate, the Crystal Skin Peppermint Chocolate Paste Mooncake is perfect for you. The balance of the peppermint against the chocolate was spot on. The dark rich chocolate with nutty bits is just velvety and rich while the peppermint leaves a light and soothing minty after note.


My favorite mooncake of the 3 new flavor is the Baked Ginseng Qi Zi Paste with Single Yolk. Ginseng flavor is pretty noticeable in the mooncake and works very well the goji berry paste. The hint of bitter note is definitely unique and tasted very pleasant and familiar on the palate. Coupled with the salty and luscious egg yolk, this mooncake packs a delightful and unique flavor profile that many elders will enjoy.


The Baked Low Sugar White Coffee Durian Paste Mooncake is also rather unique and features a good hint of the king of fruits. Since durian and coffee are both strong in flavors, the duo proves to be a solid match for each one, lending a rich and robust flavor mooncake.



We were treated to a Mooncake Demonstration by Chef Chan. Every step-by-step looked amazingly simple but we all know that it takes a lot of skill and the right ingredients to make these mooncakes. Let’s leave the making of the mooncakes to the expert!



Head on over to Dorsett Grand Subang for the 11 mooncake flavors available from 1 August to 15 September, 2016. Patrons who purchase four pieces of mooncakes and above will get a complimentary specially designed mooncake gift box.


For bulk purchase, 15% discount is given for 10-29 boxes purchased and 30% discount for 30 boxes and above purchased. Dorsett Prestige Club members will receive 20% discount on all mooncake purchases. The rates and 10% service charge are inclusive of 6% GST rate.

For orders and enquiries, please call 603 5031 6060 for more details.




Pork Free Dim Sum at The Emperor



While one is at Dorsett Grand Subang, do head on over to Chinese restaurant, The Emperor for scrumptious bites of dim sum. Famous for their pork free dim sum, The Emperor serves a solid selection of steamed, baked and fried dim sums. Chef Chan’s skillful touch are definitely well-received by many foodies who enjoy pork free dim sum.


The Emperor serves Cantonese cuisine set in a traditional ambiance. Spacious main dining room as well as private dining rooms are well decorated with Chinese motifs and classic Chinese table settings.


From the steamed dim sum selection, diners will be pleased at their popular choices of Steamed Siew Mai Emperor Style, Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Coriander, Steamed Bamboo Pith Roll, Fish Paste Dumpling with Garlic, Crispy Cheong Fun with Prawns and more.


The Siew Mai and Prawn Dumplings are beautiful in flavor and texture. A solid bouncy texture in the Siew Mai is a testament to how skillful Chef Chan is in his repertoire. Sweet firm prawns encased in lightly chewy crystal skin is very enjoyable.


There’s the bouncy Steamed Fish Paste Dumpling with Garlic that had a rich fish flavor that anyone of all ages will enjoy.


Simply a must-order, the Crispy Cheong Fun with Prawns had a harmonious texture of soft, crispy, bouncy and firm all rolled in one. Love the savory and sweet flavor of the dish!



Salted egg yolk foodies will definitely be hooked on the Steamed Squid Ink Bun with Salted Egg. Unctuously moreish and rich, the oozing filling is simply finger-licking food while the fluffy bao makes the right partner to soak up the richness.


There’s also the Pan-Fried Shanghai Dumpling with its lightly crisp skin encasing juicy meaty filling. Add on a bit of chili oil or enjoy it with the vinegar and ginger sauce for extra flavor.


One cannot go wrong with the Deep Fried Vegetarian Spring Roll, simple classic dim sum made well and enjoyable.


There’s crispy Deep-Fried Yam Dumpling with its sweet chicken char siu filling that was a crowd pleaser that day. Fluffy and creamy yam with a crispy exterior and moreish filling is always a favorite of mine anytime.


Another classic must-have at any dim sum meal is Baked Mini Egg Tart. The ones here have a buttery flaky crust filled with wobbly eggy custard.


There are plenty more dim sum choices on the menu so gather your parties to try them all. The pork free dim sum at The Emperor is definitely one of the better dim sums I have had in the city.

For reservations at The Emperor, kindly contact: +603 5031 6060 ext 1954



THE EMPEROR
Dorsett Grand Subang
Jalan SS12/1,
47500 Subang Jaya
Tel: 603 5031 6060

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DorsettGrandSubang

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