Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sakura Promotion @ Genji Japanese, Hilton Petaling Jaya


Sakura Spring Blossom Food Fest & New Signature Dishes



Back at Genji Japanese Restaurant at Hilton Petaling Jaya for a taste of their Sakura Spring Blossom Food Festival! Available until 31 March, 2017, diners should not miss Chef Richard Teoh’s gastronomic dishes inspired by the prettiest season in Japan. Hoping to paint our culinary town with lots of spring dishes in celebration of the pretty pink and white flowers in bloom, diners are treated to some of the freshest and tastiest Japanese dishes this season.


In celebration of Hanami, Chef Teoh’s inspiration are beauty as well as scrumptious dishes prepared with as little cooking method as possible to showcase the fresh and bountiful ingredients of the spring season. Genji Japanese Restaurant has always been a long-time favorite when it comes to Japanese cuisine in the city. Serving a la carte to buffets on the weekends, Genji has been serving sumptuous Japanese cuisine to diners since two decades ago.


The award winning restaurant has even air flown in fresh Sakura flowers and its season’s freshest ingredients in tribute to this promotion. Expect the spring season’s bountiful ingredients in the menu such as sea bream, shellfish and a variety of sansei (mountain vegetables).


Spring season denote lightness and floral prettiness. Celebrating the season’s attributes is Maguro Nano Hana Nutta Ae (RM39). Glorious cuts of the finest tuna paired with blanched stem of rape blossoms and miso sauce. The subtle wasabi hint in the miso sauce is really clever, teasing our palate together with the rich creamy and nutty miso. The delicate bitterness in the rape blossom added another dimension of flavour to the tuna and sauce. So well controlled with finesse in flavours…


Thinly sliced sea bream served with ponzu sauce is beautifully presented in Tai Usuzukuri (RM130). The soft sweet nuances of the fresh sea bream is a joy to savor. What was unexpected was the bold heat in Chef Teoh’s ponzu sauce that gave the dish a kick of flavours. It’s like watching fireworks in spring season for the dish.


Sashimi Moriawase Tokuijo (RM380) is Genji’s premium set of chef’s choices of sashimi. Only the best premium cuts get on this huge platter and we were definitely pleased with the Toro, Yellowtail, Salmon, Aji and Scallop. The sashimi were thickly cut, adding sublime touches to the already sumptuous raw fish.



The Toro melts-in-the-mouth while the creamy and divine Yellowtail was sensational. Ajj or Spanish mackerel is one of the most underrated fish, simply because it has such wondrous rich flavours from its oil and is healthy as well. The usual Salmon and Scallop, needless to say, are of the finest quality.


A bold creative piece of dragon is cleverly presented in Unagi Avocado Ura Maki (RM72). The reversed roll of avocado is draped with thick slices of caramelized smoky eel and seaweed. Each piece is creamy, smoky, sweet and savory on the palate.


More eel to satisfy those who loves unagi and it’s definitely a match made in heaven in Unagi Chawan Mushi (RM28). Generous cut of thick smoky, sweet and savory unagi goes so well with the wobbly soft steamed egg custard. There were also gingko nut and crab in the custard. Comforting in every spoonful…


For mains, the Wagyu Beef Nano Hana Maki (RM120) turned out to be a fine choice, especially if you are a fan of the luscious wagyu beef. The tender wagyu beef is rolled with the blanched spring rape blossoms and cooked on the teppanyaki with the moreish butter garlic soy sauce. Served with more vegetables and crispy garlic chips, the dish is deliciously delectable.


For non-beef eaters, one can opt of the Kue To Enoki Teppanyaki (RM85) or grilled grouper with enoki mushroom in yakiniku sauce. The firm grouper meat goes well with the robust sweet and savory yakiniku sauce. There were plenty of enoki mushrooms as well as other vegetables to balance up the fish.


Rape blossoms are delicious when prepared well. Despite its subtle bitterness, the vegetable has a crisp texture and is a delicacy to savor. Making another appearance in Nano Hana Tempura (RM45), I never knew rape blossoms can taste so good in golden crispy light tempura batter. A squeeze of lemon enhances the freshness of the rape blossoms while the tempura sauce added savory notes. It’s addictively and polishing off this basket of vegetables has never been easier.


While other cuisine may opt to start their course with soup, the Japanese tend to enjoy soup at the end for a comforting ending. The clear clam soup hit all the right notes of soothing and warming flavours on the palate. Such earthy flavours with beautiful bonito essence, the soup with the tender large clams in Hamaguri Jiru (RM28) was divine to the last drop.


Chef Teoh surprises us with an unusual pairing of Sakura Cheese Pudding with Black Sesame Ice Cream in celebration of the hanami. The Sakura cheese pudding is so pretty in pastel pink and tasted delicate and delicious. The nutty and aromatic black sesame seed ice cream is always a pleasant dessert and this one even comes with a pretty fresh Sakura stem on it. Presentation was indeed top-notch!


The Sakura Spring Blossoms Food Fest promotion is happening this whole month of March and the a la carte menu is available from RM23 nett for lunch and dinner. For reservations, call +60(3) 7955 9122 ext. 4071/ 4072.



GENJI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel
No. 2, Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya
Malaysia
Tel:  603 7955 9122
Fax: 603 7955 3909


Business Hours:
Lunch          Mon – Sat:  12noon to 2.30pm
                   Sunday Buffet: 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner         Mon – Sat: 6.30pm to 10.30pm
                   Saturday Buffet: 6.30pm – 10.30pm


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Gallo Wine Bar @ Taman Danau Desa


Soiree of Great Wine & Tapas



Wine bars are few in our culinary shores but they are beginning to mushrooms lately in various spots in our city. Newest kid on the block in Taman Danau Desa is Gallo Wine Bar. The heavily packed business area now has a gorgeous place for wine lovers to enjoy their wines.



Under the same group that operates Fuzio Italian Bar & Restaurant and The Monkey Bar, Gallo Wine Bar is the latest offspring serving a solid selections of imported wines as well as tapas. From wine enthusiast to cigar connoisseurs, Gallo Wine Bar is the place to ultimately end your day with great wines, cigars and tapas. With a current wine list of over 100 labels, Gallo targets to increase more labels by April.




Located on the first level above The Monkey Bar, Gallo Wine Bar is gorgeous at sight. Expect classy and elegant ambiance. The whole level is set with warm low lights, setting a cosy and inviting ambiance to unwind with delectable wines and good food. Jazz music plays softly in the background.




Lots of leather sofas, low tables, a wine rack room, lots of art pieces, dark textured wall panels and mirrored ceiling summed up the décor at Gallo. We love how the room are well sectioned to offer more privacy. There is private rooms that can easily be sectioned off for private functions. There are 2 smoking areas and 1 non-smoking area. While we were there, we could barely catch much whiff of smoke as it is well ventilated.


Gallo Wine Bar is currently offering Wine of the Month promotion with Litoral Leyda Valley Pinot Noir 2012. It’s Chile meet Burgundy for this beautiful red. We were given a wine appreciation class briefly on how to best enjoy wines with various wine glasses being used on the same wine. From that short lesson, we learnt that the same wine tasted different in the boudoir glass compared to the burgundy glass.


Our pinot noir in the boudoir glass had smoother and softer tasting notes while the burgundy glass showed off the pinot noir’s tannin better. The characteristics are well-defined with better tannins, fruity berries with very slight finish of salty note. This red goes well with white meat dishes and is also lovely with Chinese cuisine as we are told.


From now till end of March, wine lovers can enjoy this Chilean pinot noir for RM230++ a bottle compared to its regular price of RM310++. Order two bottles for only RM400++.

As it is a wine bar, the food menu focuses on tapas or small bites to be paired with the wines. Even with small bites, it is quite filling and satisfying as every tapas is made to order from the open kitchen at the end of the room. The food menu is not huge but sufficiently satisfying and may change every few months to introduce new dishes.


We started off with Cheese Cracker (RM18), pretty serving of gravity-defying cheese wafers stacked high against the pieces. Golden parmesan cheese crackers served with fresh crisp apple slices, strawberries and a honey sauce. The salty moreish flavours of the cheese goes so well with our wine. Its also beautifully aromatic and added much delightful flavours to our evening of wines.


Crustacean lovers will be pleased with Sea Prawn Yakitori with Pickle Papaya & Lime Zest (RM20). Large deshelled skewered prawns are grilled with an umami yakitori sauce and served with a spicy pickled papaya that packed quite a heat punch!


Somethings are better in threes, The Mushroom Threesome (RM18) is one of them. Menu reads Portobello mushroom, button mushroom, Eringi mushroom, duck bacon and onion rings. Lots of flavours and textures on this platter. Chargrilled smoky Portobello and Eringi with crispy deep fried button mushrooms makes such delightful bites with wine. That duck bacon is divine too!


Can’t go wrong with meatballs, especially when it’s moist and tasty. The Lambor-Guinness (RM18) is sure crowd-pleaser. Succulent lamb meatballs wrapped with duck bacon and cooked in sticky sweet and savory Guinness laced sauce with sweet soft onions are made even better with crusty garlic bread. Super yum…


Mantau Slider in Selection of Beef Brisket Asian Slaw (RM25) and Mantau Slider in Selection of Smoked Salmon Cream (RM12) are more filling tapas to ponder.


Slow cooked beef brisket with mango salad sandwiched with deep fried Mantau buns are quite the sinful treat. A tad oily from the buns but the overall sliders are tasty and delectable. I would love to have a bit of a heat to kick up this slider to another few notches…


There’s also the salmon version of Mantau Slider in Selection of Smoked Salmon Cream if you’re not a beef eater.


The Grown Up Mac n Cheese (RM35) proves that us grown up have it better when it comes to food. Luscious mac and cheese made better with rich tomatoey duck Bolognese, jack cheese and mozzarella. Crowned with yummy grilled duck sausage and rocket leaves, this is one mac and cheese you don’t want to miss. What a treat! We couldn’t stop digging into this ooey-gooey cheesy pasta with gusto.


Thin crust pizza is also served here. We can’t decide which one we like better – the Mushroom Pizza (RM15) or Anchovies Pizza (RM15). Both are equally satisfying in flavours. The Mushroom Pizza has aromatic truffle oil with lots of mushrooms and cheese while the Anchovies Pizza proves that salty moreish anchovies are great on pizza with capers, cheese and rocket leaves.




Desserts are not the norm at Gallo Wine Bar. If you enjoy cheese with wine, then the Brie Cheese (RM16) can be a showstopper. Brie cheese baked till soft, served on hot cast iron pan with fresh berries, walnuts, toasted bread and cranberry sauce. Watch the whole dish sizzle when the sauce is poured on the cheese. Scoop up the brie on toast with bits of all the berries and nut and you’ll be awarded with a savory and sweet dessert unlike any other sweet endings.



Reasons to visit? Wine appreciation and great tapas set in a stylish ambiance to unwind for the evening. There should be more of Gallo Wine Bar around our city… here’s to working hard and enjoying life with great wines and good food!


GALLO WINE BAR
5-1-1, Jalan 3/109F,
Taman Danau Desa,
58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 7971 9005


Business Hours:
Mon to Sun  4pm to 2am


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Nyonya Flavours @ Melting Pot Café, Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur



Celebrating Nyonya Flavours with Adriana Tan



This month at Melting Pot Café, it’s a celebration of sumptuous Nyonya cuisine at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Nyonya cuisine has always been renowned for exceptional balance of robust flavours from its amalgamation of Chinese and Malay heritage. The used of spices coupled with the tedious preparations that goes into the cuisine highlight the complexity and effort that goes into the cuisine.


From March 6 to March 26, 2017, savor a tantalizing spread of Nyonya dishes by Adriana Tan and her husband as well as Asian and international delights at Melting Pot Café. Guest Chef Adriana was born and raised in Bukit Baru, Melaka. Passionate about cooking, she began cooking from her teens and has a small catering business ‘Adriana Nyonya Delights’ that she and her husband, Ng Joon Tai, runs from their current home in Ayer Keroh, Melaka. They have been catering to special occasions from small parties to bigger functions including corporate events. We’ve been told she and her husband both once catered to over 500 people in a corporate function on their own.


Chef Adriana’s homecooked meals are a big hit among her regular family, friends and customers in Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Her list of Melaka Nyonya cuisine includes Nyonya Laksa, Mee Siam, Ayam Pong Teh and a kaleidoscope of colorful and delicious classic Nyonya kuih.


Don’t miss the gorgeous spread of colorful Nyonya cuisine at Melting Pot Café this month. Diners should start off with Chef Adriana’s signature Nyonya Laksa that she makes daily from spices and seafood. She generously shares her secret to her Nyonya Laksa by adding kerisik to boost up the flavours of the spices as well as to thicken the curry. Served with yellow noodles, the luscious creamy curry also has squid, prawn, fish ball and beancurd cooked into the laksa gravy to add seafood flavours to it. Savor this bowl with the chef’s thick chili sambal and a squeeze of calamansi lime.

Needless to say, the Nyonya Laksa is indeed sublime. Beautiful robust flavours of spices with hints of seafood essence and lots of deep rich coconut notes summarized the laksa.


Besides the laksa, there’s also Mee Siam. Chef Adriana makes everything from scratch. She pounds her spices for the Mee Siam gravy and cooks it till its well balance with savory and sweet. Her rice noodles are served quite simple with bean sprout and egg omelette strips as she prefers to let the flavours of the sauce shines.


Pai Tee, little crispy tophats of pastry shells filled with cooked yambeans and other vegetables with a smudge of chili, is simply a must-try from this buffet. There’s also Sambal Timun and Sambal Mangga to whet the appetite for more Nyonya dishes to try.



Nyonya cuisine comprises of steamed rice served with a list of main dishes that includes curries, stews, soups, grilled or sautéed dishes. Every dish is unique with bold flavours that somehow works well together. In this buffet, diners are treated to signatures of Chicken Pong Teh, Asam Pedas Tenggiri with Peria, Sambal Udang Petai, Ayam Tempra, Kari Ayam Kapitan, Ikan Bakar Gerang Asam, Ketam Bercili, Chap Chye, Telur Cincaluk Kukus and more.


The Ayam Pong Teh is delicious! A chicken stew cooked with tauchu or fermented soy beans with gula Melaka, the version here is beautifully balance and not overly sweet. The chicken was tender while the potatoes are soft and creamy, all beautifully soaked up with the flavours of the sauce.


Ayam Tempra, another dish that utilizes lots of onions for sweetness, soy sauce for savory, calamansi lime for sourness and hints of heat from chili, is easy to enjoy.


For those who love sourish and piquant flavours, there’s Asam Pedas Tenggiri with Peria. Thick cuts of mackerel cooked in tangy piquant curry gravy are quite addictive and makes one want to pile on more steamed rice. Chef Adriana adds bittergourd to her recipe for the subtle hints of the bittersweet vegetable.


The Ketam Bercili was a big hit with many that evening including myself. Flower crabs cooked in spiced up dry curry was a firework of flavours in the mouth. The balance of spices and heat was just right, allowing the natural sweetness of the crab to come through. A must-try!



There’s also Ayam Kapitan curry as well as a tasty Sambal Udang Petai to pile on to your rice.




Ikan Bakar Gerang Asam, Chap Chye, Telur Cincaluk Kukus and more are also expected to be in the buffet on rotation daily. Besides Nyonya dishes, there are also lots of other international dishes such as Seafood on Ice, Grilled Seafood Stations, local and Western dishes as well as soups and salad.


While it may be quite a task to not fill up on all those scrumptious main dishes with rice, one simply must try to save room for Chef Adriana’s desserts of Nyonya Kuih.



The list is quite mind-boggling with Abok Abok Sago, Kuih Abu Sago, Apam Balik Durian, Pulut Tekan & Kaya, Onde Onde, Rempah Udang, Kuih Bongkong, Kuih Seri Muka, Kuih Kosui Pandan and Kuih Kosui Gula Melaka, Ang Koo Hitam, Ang Koo Merah, Putugal and more.



These Assorted Nyonya Kuih are all made fresh daily by Chef Adriana. Not only does her kuih taste yummy, her kuihs have gorgeous colors, most made using natural flowers and leaves for color extraction. Her Kuih Abu Sago, Rempah Udang and Pulut Tekan uses the bunga telang for its vibrant blue hues. Her Ang Koo Hitam uses dried daun ramai for its dark green while the Kuih Seri Muka, Kuih Kosui Pandan and Onde Onde uses pandan leaves.


Nyonya kuihs are tedious treats of sweetness. The balance of flavours and textures are very important and more of them requires layers of different batters and ingredients to be amalgamated in harmonious way. Don’t miss out on the kaleidoscope of Chef Adriana’s Nyonya kuihs in this buffet!



Melting Pot Café Nyonya Flavours with Adriana Tan
*Available from March 6 to March 26, 2017

Buffet Lunch 12.00pm to 2.30pm       RM80 nett per person
Buffet Dinner 6.30pm to 10.00pm      RM110 nett per person

Menu rotates on a daily basis. Currently Melting Pot Café is offering 25% Discount for buffet and a la carte. For reservations or enquiries, please call +603 2717 2233 or email to fbkl@concorde.net



MELTING POT CAFE
Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur
2 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia
Tel: +603 2717 2233  
Fax: +603 2149 2659
Email: fbkl@concorde.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/concordehotelkualalumpur


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