Thursday, June 15, 2017

Awakening Café by Iggo @ Klang

Modern Scandinavian-Style Café Serving Fusion Food

After its initial success with Iggo Café in Setia Alam, the owners are jazzing up Bukit Tinggi in Klang with their second F&B outlet, Awakening Café. Located in a bustling business area, Awakening Café tells the story of a modern Scandinavian-style café serving fusion dishes to cater to the adventurous.

We paid a visit one fine weekend for a cup of Joe and was pleasantly delighted at its offering. Opened since November 2016,he café is designed with minimalist, offering a bright and contemporary space for coffee lovers. Choose from the main air-conditioned dining space or the small alfresco area set cool with ceiling fans.

A long bar is placed on one side of the space where all the beverage action takes place. While some may think Awakening Café is a tad too bright, we admitted that we rather enjoyed the clean and neat as well as brightly lit space, echoing an air of freshness and vibrant ambiance. Set in shades of white and light beech wood with industrial flooring, the whole café is great for hangouts as well as space for some workings.

The menu is generously filled with lots of choices of food and beverages. Food here can be describe as classic Western injected with our very own local flavours. Coffee lovers are treated to a long list of creative coffee, tea, beers and other beverages.

One of Awakening Café’s signature touch is coffee of your choice served in chocolate cone. We opted for their Signature Chocolate Cone with Café Latte (RM10 + RM3). It even comes with coffee art! Since the latte is hot and lightly melted the chocolate, it has a very subtle chocolate note with the latte, making it quite delish. The best part? You get to eat your ‘cup’ too…

My Down Under Iced Coffee (RM16) was superb! Thick, creamy and luscious coffee that is made even better with generous scoops of vanilla ice creams, this one is definitely a must-order if you love your cold coffee strong and creamy.

The Half n Half Iced Shaken Coffee (RM12) was also good with a creamy smoothness and strong hit of coffee versus cream. It was just exceptionally velvety and cold, perfect like a Freddo.

If you’re not into coffee, the Iced Chocolate Cubes (RM15) is also very good. Iced chocolate cubes poured over chilled milk in a chocolate stained glass not only makes a lovely presentation but taste deliciously chocolatey and milky.

The hot version of Organic Hot Chocolate (RM13) also came with some art. We’re beginning to realize how these young owners take their beverage seriously!

Sparkling Yuzu (RM12), something fresh, citrusy and sparkling.

Tuck into a bowl of earthy and creamy Mushroom Soup (RM8) is certainly a great way to start the meal. Drizzled with truffle oil, the mushroom soup was thick and full of mushroom goodness. The crispy golden toast on the side goes so well with the soup that I wish they could give me another one.

I am always trying to eat salad and I would gladly do this more often is every salad is like the Scotch Egg Salad (RM13). Served with crisp greens, carrot, sprouts, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and sesame wasabi dressing, the ultimate highlight was the golden ball of Scotch egg. Cut into half to expose molten egg yolk center with a crust of minced meat with crispy crumbs, the Scotch egg alone is worthy of an order, sans salad or not. We also enjoyed the subtle tingling wasabi note in the aromatic sesame dressing.

Surprisingly, we also enjoyed the Roasted Pumpkin Salad (RM14). There’s not egg but the replacement of sweet and smoky wedges of soft pumpkin is rather pleasant and enjoyable.

From the snacks’ list, we tried the Mushroom Bruschetta (RM10) and Chicken Ham Bruschetta (RM12). Nothing extraordinary but pretty decent and tasty. I like the mushroom more as it was smoky and tasty. Makes great snacks to go with a drink in the middle of an afternoon if you’re feeling peckish…

We ordered the Spaghetti with Basil in Tomato Sauce (RM16) for the kids and they seemed to enjoy it. This one leaned towards a lighter and fresh tomato sauce and pasta was cooked well.

The adults or rather us, swooned over the Salted Egg Yolk Pasta (RM19) instead. The salted egg sauce that glazed the strands of pasta was sweet and savory with much moreish notes of light heat, making every strands of pasta slurping good. There’s plenty of prawns and squid, cooked well, to jazz up the pasta.

The Basil Pesto Pasta with Fried Calamari (RM18) fared well with our palates too. The pesto flavours showed heavier notes of herbs rather than garlic and cheese. I didn’t mind as I rather enjoyed the pungency of the basil and other herbs. The crispy squid rings is a great match with the pesto pasta so the dish turned out rather yummy for me.

We were told that risotto is their signature at Awakening Café and we opted for the Pork Stew Risotto (RM20). It’s a hearty dish that exudes beautiful comfort soothing flavours. The pork is cooked till soft and shredded into the risotto. It’s just saucy enough but the rice is not as al dente as I would normally like my risotto to be. I can relate to why this is as most locals here would deemed the rice to be uncooked if its serve al dente. So other than the rice not to my preference, the flavours are really delicious with copious amount of pork to fill every spoonful with yummy satisfaction.

I hardly see beef stew on the menu and I was happy to see the Classic Red Wine Beef Stew (RM20) served with creamy mashed potatoes and toast. They sure know now to make a mean beef stew. The flavours of the stew is exceptionally rich and luscious with deep notes of the right balance of ingredients stewed over long hours. The beef were not as tender as I would like it to be but rather has a bite. Other than that minor detail, I loved the stew sauce with the creamy mashed that I polished that off happily.

Chicken Parmigiana (RM20) is also worthy of its adversary in flavours. The dish already looked spot on delicious when it was served. Nicely crumbed and fried, the chicken was amazingly tender and moist before being topped with tomato sauce, ham and cheese to be grantinated. Served with fries and salad, the chicken makes a hearty meal that is easy to enjoy. Normally the dish is drenched in lots of tomato sauce but they kept this less saucy.

We were full but desserts sounded too good to be missed. Panna Cotta (RM10) won raved reviews from me. Set just right, the panna cotta was wobbly and beautifully creamy. Served with a generous layer of tangy and fruity berry coulis with fresh strawberries, I practically polished this whole dessert to myself.

The Affogato (RM9) turned out awesome too. It’s got all the check marks of strong coffee espresso over generous scoops of vanilla ice cream. Solid hit of coffee to end any meal…

Never a banana fan, maybe that’s why I wouldn’t pick the Signature Banana Crumble with Chocolate Ice Cream (RM13) as my favorite dessert of the lot. Nevertheless, the dessert is faultless with thick banana cooked till soft and layered with crunchy crumble and served with a large scoop of chocolate ice cream finished with caramel sauce.

I was more impressed with the French Toast with Bacon, Banana & Berries Compote (RM16). The eggy French toast is super yummy with a hidden filling of peanut butter and a good hit of cinnamon. These went so well with salty unctuous bacon, sweet and soft banana and maple syrup. There didn’t seemed to be much berries compote as the name but the dessert was good enough to warrant another order.

We love the overall experience of Awakening Café. Food was delicious with more highs than lows with desserts being solid. I also enjoyed their coffees a lot. The ambiance is comfortable enough for me to hangout. If only Awakening Café was nearer to my home, I would love to visit this place more often…

No.36-0, Lorong Batu Nilam 21A,
Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2,
41200 Klang
Tel: +60 3-3319 9039

Business Hours:
Tues – Fri    12noon to 12midnight
Sat & Sun    10am to 12 midnight
Closed on Mondays

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Garoupa Promotion @ The Oriental Group of Restaurants

Exquisite Garoupa Dishes

The Oriental Group of Restaurants is renowned for fine Chinese cuisines served in their various restaurants in our metropolitan city. Award winning Executive Chef Justin Hor and his culinary team exemplify some of the finest and talented Chinese chefs in the culinary scene. Showcasing authentic Chinese cuisines elevated to new heights with touches of modern inspirations, dining at The Oriental Group of Restaurants has always been an unforgettable culinary experience.

One of the latest promotion from The Oriental Group of Restaurants for June 2017 features the highly-prized sea garoupa in the Garoupa Promotion. We had the honors of sampling various dishes prepared with the fish at the opulent Noble Mansion at Plaza 33 in Petaling Jaya recently.

Noble Mansion is renowed for fine Shunde-style cuisine and is a favorite restaurant among food connoisseurs for fine Chinese cuisine set in grand ambiance. The restaurant is designed with contemporary design and is cleverly sectioned into Bamboo Courtyard, the Lantern, the Terracotta Rooms and the Grand Hall to offer privacy in mind.

For the whole month of June, diners can dine on the premium deep sea garoupa and ocean garoupa prepared in various flavours with special highlights on the prices. Deep Sea Garoupa or ‘Loong Tan’ or Estuary Grouper is a giant garoupa that can grow up to 9 feet long with a maximum weight of 400kg. Harvested for its firm meaty flesh and chewy thick and gelatinous skin, the deep sea garoupa is usually steamed to highlight its sweet oceanic flavours. The Ocean Garoupa, served whole, is a smaller fish of the species but nevertheless prized for fine flesh with delectable sweetness.

First up, a sizzling clay pot of Deep Sea Garoupa Braised Traditional Style. The lush aroma of smoky richness tantalizes our sense of smell with much anticipation of deliciousness. Large and thick pieces of garoupa, lightly coated with a crispy thin batter, is braised in umami flavoured soy sauce based sauce with lots of garlic and Shitake mushrooms. The fish is moist, soft and very tasty.

The Deep Sea Garoupa Aberdeen Sizzling Shunde Style, also served in clay pot, tasted slightly different from the first dish but nevertheless, superb in flavours. The sizzling sound was music to my ears and the aroma was even better than the first dish. The usage of aromatics like baby shallots, pips of whole garlic cloves, coriander stems, ginger and bell pepper really elevated the deep sea garoupa fillets well. This version is dry and tasted of caramelized sweetness and smoky notes. Hand me more steamed rice please…

Next up, a large wok of Ocean Garoupa Boiled with Fish Maw, Yam and Chinese Cabbage in Superior Fish Stock is set on a portable stove on our table. Filled with a whole ocean garoupa soaking in a pool of opaque and creamy looking broth, we also spied long batons of yam, pieces of fish maw, Chinese cabbage and ginger slices with a generous sprinkling of coriander. The fish broth is gorgeously comforting with beautiful seafood essence and a touch of creaminess. The fish is fresh, tender and sublime while the creamy yam and springy fish maw goes really well together. It’s a pot of drooling goodness that embodies comfort and soothing flavours that one can enjoy at ease.

For extra indulgence, go for the Ocean Garoupa Steamed with King Prawns, Glass Noodles & Garlic. Both garoupa and prawns are beautifully arranged on glass noodles and angled luffa and finished with lots of minced garlic, superior soy sauce and fresh aromatics. The pieces of fish is sublime while the prawns are sweet and bouncy. The lightly chewy glass noodles and luffa gourd pieces have soaked up all the wonderful flavours of the sauce and taste just as good as the fish and prawns. The dish is great with rice or on its own.

For options of noodles, there is also the Deep Sea Garoupa with Rice Noodles in Superior Stock. The creamy and cloudy broth has thick big pieces of the fish that is cooked just right. This style allows one to enjoy the firm flesh for its natural sweetness and the chewy thick skin that many favors with this premium fish. The thin rice noodles is classic with the broth that has pickled vegetables and tomatoes to add a plush and piquant tang to the savory flavour.

Garoupa Promotion
Available till 30 June, 2017
Deep Sea Garoupa @ RM98++ per portion (usual price RM138++)
Ocean Garoupa @ RM198++ (usual price RM330++)

P1-01 Level 1 Podium
Plaza 33
No.1 Jalan Kemajuan
Section 13
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7932-3288

Monday, June 5, 2017

Buka Puasa Buffet @ Latest Recipe, Le Meridien Putrajaya

Destinasi Rasa Kampung

In honor of the fasting holy month, head over to Latest Recipe at Le Meridien Putrajaya to savour a sumptuous buka puasa buffet themed Destinasi Rasa. The hotel’s first ever ‘buka puasa’ spread promises to unlock an explosion of kampung flavours from the states in Malaysia, while inviting guests to a glimpse of Le Meridien flavours from around the globe.

Available from 27 May until 24 June, the chefs at Latest Recipe has combined their expertise to create a spread that is mouth-watering with specially curated signature dishes from their own family recipes. Latest Recipe, an all-day dining restaurant, features five distinct open kitchens: Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Western preparing fresh food all day long.

The modern and spacious restaurant is design with contemporary easement and liven up the ambiance with bold bright colors. Expect various open kitchens where chefs prepare ala minute cooking to diners. For this month, there are lots of various stations set all over the restaurant featuring classic favorites from various cuisines.

Kambing Panggang, whole roasted lamb spiced up and slow roast till tender and juicy, served with rich dark brown sauce, black pepper and mint sauce. Savor this with fluffy spiced up kebuli rice.

Chicken Sharwarma, slow roasted chicken spiced up with moreish flavours, sliced and stuffed into pita bread and served with assorted vegetables and sauce.

Gulai Kawah is a crowd pleaser during this holy month. Tuck into huge kawahs filled with various gulai kawah specialties from beef, lamb, chicken and duck.

Ayam Belachan Berempah, piping hot pieces of freshly fried chicken that will make you go back for more…

Hit the Kerabu station for lots of flavours and colours of Malay salads as well as Pegedil, Ulam-Ulaman and Sambals. Don’t forget Lemang, Serunding, Ketupat, Beef Rendang and more…

After a long day, Bubur Lambuk is the perfect dish to warm up the tummy and whet the appetite for more goodies to come…

Hot claypot filled with mouth-watering Malay dishes such as Cencaru Pais Kelapa, Ayam Kalio Pekat Ekor Asam Pedas Melaka, Ikan Berlada, Daging Dendeng, Udang Goreng Cili Api, Sotong Sambal Cili Padi, Ayam Masak tempoyak, Cencaru sumbat Belakang and more are on rotation daily. Each evening spread promises over 100 delectable dishes for diners to savour.

The highlight of the spread is a traditional family favorite, rarely found in restaurants around the city, the Ayam Ungkep by Chef Khairulnizam bin Mohd Rostam. This dish has its roots in Javanese cooking and is prepared with traditional spices, dressed with local herbs and will be featured on the menu every evening. The Daging Dendeng Ibunda is also not to be missed as the well.

In addition to the special ‘buka puasa’ menu, a host of daily specials will also be prepared at each of the five ‘live’ kitchens. From Dim Sum, Yong Tau Foo, Fried Radish Cake to Pizza, Pasta, Roast Beef and Lamb to Seafood on Ice, Sushi, Sashimi and Tempura, Roast Chicken and Roast Duck, there’s plenty to please even the most discerning palate.

The Indian station features Tandoori, Roti John, Roti Canai, Dhal, Fish Curry, Mutton Kurma and more…

Desserts are simply a must! Enjoy Chocolate Fountain, Fresh Fruits, local Kuih Muih, Cakes, Puddings, Jellies, Fried Banana Cheese Balls, Pengat Durian, Ais Kacang and more for a sweet ending.

Don’t miss the Turkish Ice Cream station!

The ‘Destinasi Rasa’ buffet is priced at RM110nett (adult) and RM55nett (child) for bookings made before 21 st May and is open daily from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, from 27 th May to 24 th June 2017. The normal price is RM158nett (adult) and RM79nett (children aged 5-12). Guests may enjoy preferred discounts available to holders of CIMB, Maybank, Citibank, HSBC and UOB debit or credit cards (terms & conditions apply).

For guests preferring to host their private ‘buka puasa’ gathering, private dining areas can be made available for groups of 200 diners and above. For more information or to make a reservation, please call +603 8689 6888 or email

Le Méridien Putrajaya
Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City
62502 Putrajaya, Sepang
Tel: +603 8689 6888
Fax: +603 8689 6899

GPS: N 02 58 W 101 43

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