Friday, May 25, 2018

Taiwan Travels – Le Palais @ Palais de Chine Hotel


Fine Cantonese Cuisine



Taiwan has recently been graced by the world-renowned food bible, The Michelin Guide. Out of the 126 restaurants in the Michelin Guide, only one made it to the highest star accolade. A 3-star rating was awarded to Le Palais at Palais de Chine Hotel in Taipei and we were honored to be able to make a visit to Le Palais recently on our Taiwan trip.


The moment one steps into Palais de Chine Hotel, it’s a revelation of Chinese and Western cultures cleverly married into harmony of elegance. The tradition of yesteryears has been given new life and updated to today’s modern style. At the foyer, one will meet Lady, the horse sculpture that signifies the earliest mode of transportation for travelers.




Located on 17 floors, Le Palais epitomizesd the same chic and elegance the hotel reflects. Gorgeous ambiance of mysterious opulence, the dining room is designed to impress. A main dining area of glorious brass and gold, dark steel, mirror ceiling, elegant furniture, Chinese oriental ceramic pieces, Chinese paintings and beautiful table setting will set an air of fine dining to follow.




Le Palais also has lots of private rooms flourished with much grace as its main dining area. Lavish light pieces, huge round tables in dark ambiance, the restaurant clearly is out to impress its diners.


Helming the kitchen are culinary duo of Executive Chef Matt Chen (陳泰榮) and Head Chef Ken Chan (陳偉強). Cantonese cuisine is their forte and Le Palais menu is filled with signature Cantonese cuisine that includes dim sum to Hong Kong roast and other classic dishes.




Our epicurean journey began with dainty morsels of plump dumplings. Dim sums are always irresistible, especially when they are made to perfection. Whether they be steamed dumplings or fried dim sum, it takes a skillful dim sum chef to churn out consistent baskets of dim sum with quality and fresh ingredients.


Tuck into pretty pleated Palais de Chine Steamed King Prawn Dumplings and one will be awarded with juicy sweet prawns encased in thin crystal skin. Crustacean sweetness, the dumplings are a joy to eat!


The Chicken and Lard Dumplings topped with Abalones are equally as delicious as the earlier dumplings. Delicious flavours and bouncy filling finished with lavish baby abalones, these siew mai had all the check marks of the perfect classic dim sum.


Hong Kong style Barbecue Pork uses a lean cut of meat. Le Palais version was scrumptious! Tender and succulent, the pork has a solid balance of savory and sweet notes. We certainly could not fault this lovely piece of roast…



Another roast appeared in Crispy Roast Baby Duck and boy did this one rocks! Duck, specifically selected from Vietnam, has been truly honored with meticulous preparation that resulted in a luscious aroma wafting through the air as soon as it was presented. Lacquered to rich hues of red amber, the duck is cut in front of us and served with a side of salt pepper mixture and lime wedges.


The duck is amazing in flavours. The crispy skin, the moist and tender duck flesh and the salty sublime notes was perfection on a plate. The chefs added that they selected this 28-day old duck because of its perfectness for roasting and we fully understand this once we savored the duck.


If indulgence is the motive for this dining experience, then one simply must order the Braised Middle East Abalone & Goose Web in Oyster Sauce. Premium ingredients like abalone and goose web requires a skilled chef to cook them well. This land and sea duo was excellent. The abalone was toothsome to bite and delicious with a delicate brown sauce. The goose web, highly prized for its soft and gelatinous goodness, was also cooked very well and beautifully glazed in the same sauce. Plump mushroom was well-braised and crisp tender asparagus shoot completed this dish.


The Stir-fried Shredded Tofu, Chicken and Ham is a dish that really showcase knife skill to new heights. Tofu cut finely and cooked gently with finely cut chicken and ham in a delicate broth. It’s a classic Cantonese dish that has rather simple and comfort flavours. This one would go well with steamed rice.


Our final dish of Stir-Fried Tiger Grouper Filet with Asparagus fared decent. It was a dish cooked well. The fillet fish was cooked just right and so was the asparagus. It was a faultless pleasure.


Le Palais showed a combination of exquisite fine Cantonese cuisine with quality ingredients set in an amazing ambiance. We heard that their reservations are full for the next few weeks so make sure to call in for reservation way ahead on your trip for a taste of this 3-star Michelin restaurant in Taipei.

Please contact Le Palais at +8862-2181-9985/86 Fax +8862-2181-9971



LE PALAIS
17F, Palais de Chine Hotel
No. 3, Section 1, Chengde Road,
Datong District,
Taipei City,
Taiwan 103
Tel: +886 2 2181 9999


Business Hours:
Monday to Sunday
Lunch          11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner         5:30om to 9:30pm


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Donkey & Crow Irish Pub @ Bangsar Shopping Centre


Classic Favorites Pub Grub



Scotch Eggs, Dublin Coddle, Grilled Pork Ribs, Crispy Pork Belly and Irish Stew… pub grub fans would agree on how tempting those dishes sounded. The folks at Donkey & Crow Irish Pub knows how to let their diners enjoy classic comfort food with a good beer or stout!


Located at Bangsar Shopping Centre, this is the second outlet for Donkey & Crow. With their first outlet’s success at TREC KL, diners can now also enjoy the same pub experience at the BSC outlet. It’s all about having a good time at Donkey & Crow. Besides being a family-friendly restaurant serving classic Irish and British favorites, one can enjoy their long list of jolly pints of beer while catching up with some live sport actions.


The pub offers alfresco seating as well as indoor seating. Expect lots of woodwork, a long bar, a mosaic mural, brickworks and Irish green fairy lights plus lots of friendly smiles from the service team at Donkey & Crow.


Pool table for some fun!


It’s almost obligatory to order some giggle juice if you’re not into beer. Ours are Beejito (RM38), Mad Dog (RM38) and Apple Tini’s (RM38). Mad Dog and Beejito was so fabulous, we had a second round of these…


With our cocktails, we had to order a classic British pub favorite, Scotch Egg (RM23). Minced meat stuffed with egg and fried to a golden ball, ours was a generous one too. Packed with seasoned sausage meat, the scotch egg is quite a filler on its own.


The pale but flavour-packed Blue Cheese Mushroom (RM23) is delicious. The unctuous flavour of the blue cheese is an explosion of flavours, so much so, one cannot stop dipping the toast into that luscious thick sauce studded with chunky mushrooms.


An Irish classic, the Dublin Coddle (RM33) epitomized homecooked comfort food. Said to be straight from the heart of Dublin city, the Irish stew is a hodgepodge of bacon, sausages and root vegetables that is a sure crowd pleaser. Beautiful stew that has a robust hearty note of its ingredients, this is a dish that one can enjoy often. A must-order, especially if one is craving for simple comfort pleasures…


The Snacks Platter (RM68) offers a little of everything to go with drinks. A sharing platter obviously, there’s golden Onion Rings, Pigs in the Blanket, Smoked Duck Breast, Nacho Bacon and Chips with side salad and sauces. Snacks like these are sure crowd pleasers, especially that yummy bacon wrapped sausage and delectable smoked duck breast slices.



A platter that is perfect for snacking with beer or cocktails!


Another signature dish at Donkey & Crow is the Grilled Pork Ribs with Whiskey Sauce (RM49). Half rack of pork ribs marinated with spices ad slow baked till tender. Not falling-off-the-bone kind of rib but this one has a solid meaty bite of the meat. Pour on the whiskey sauce for added flavours though we personally thought the whiskey sauce could do with more oomph of the whiskey… nevertheless, the pork ribs are well-seasoned and meaty.



The pub only offers Brownies with Ice Cream as their dessert. Its passable but I prefer my brownies to be the fudgy kind. Generous in portion, this dessert is definitely a sharing one…



DONKEY & CROW IRISH PUB
Lot G130, Ground Floor,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,
285, Jalan Ma'arof,
Bangsar
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2011 1868


Monday, May 21, 2018

The Living Room Buka Puasa Buffet @ The Westin Kuala Lumpur



Juadah Iftar Kampung



The holy month of fasting brings forth a reason to gather and spend time with family and friends and break fast together. This year, The Westin Kuala Lumpur is presenting a Juadah Iftar Kampung buffet at The Living Room filled with a myriad spread of kampung favorites as well as international ones.


Available from 19 May to 12 June, the Juadah Iftar Kampung buffet comes with an additional option of an All-You-Can-Eat Durian feast. Diners, who prefer to savor only the All-You-Can-Eat Durian feast without the Juadah Iftar Kampung Buffet, can also opt for this option on its own.


The Living Room is setup with a journey of flavours as diners can explore their way through a big spread of freshly prepared dishes as well as visit live action stations serving made-to-order dishes. There is also a room filled with lots of desserts so make sure to save some tummy room for this.


With every Iftar buffet, the highlight of the spread is the Roasted Whole Lamb. Marinated with various spices, savor the tender lamb slices with fluffy briyani rice with egg.


There is also a beautiful Roasted Beef Ribs with BBQ sauce and roasted vegetables that is a must-try!


On the carving station, there is Roasted Chicken and Baked Fish Fillet as well.




A kaleidoscope of Ulams and Sambals are set along with various Kerabu salads as well as Telur Masin, Ikan Masin and Burung Puyuh Berlado to whet the appetite with robust and spicy flavours.




Assorted Kerabu on daily rotation such as Kerabu Sotong Berserai, Kerabu Perut Dan Soo Hoon, Kerabu Limau Bali, Ikan Bilis Petai and Kerabu Daging Salai.





Other main highlight of the buffet is the row of huge kawahs filled with classic kampung dishes like Kupang Berlada, Gulai Keting Kambing Keluak, Ayam Sambal Hijau, Kari Daging Tetel, Labu Pucuk Manis Lemak Putih, Kacang Panjang Goreng Kunyit, Uddang Sambal Petai and Ketam Masak Lemak Nenas.





There is a whole live action station dedicated to Claypot Asam Pedas that one should not miss. Select your choices of meat and seafood to be cook with your choices of Asam Pedas Nyonya, Asam Pedas Johor and Asam Pedas Tempoyak gravy!






Street food is another must savor delight at Juadah Iftar Kampung buffet. From freshly made Roti Canai, Murtabak, Roti Boom, Roti Telur, Burger, Roti John to Yong Tau Fu, Kerang Rebus Chili Sauce, Chicken Rice and Char Kway Teow, choosing there to try is quite difficult one as they all looked deliciously tempting at sight.




Kerang Rebus Chili Sauce is superb as these large kerangs are plump, fresh and juicy!



Char Kway Teow was a hit as these were scooped up by many as soon as the chef is done cooking it…



There is also Nasi Air Berlauk,, Curry Laksa and Mee Celup at the noodle station where one can pick your own ingredients.


Hot warmers filled with steamy hot Lemang, Ketupat, Pulut Hitam Lemang, Roti Jala and Nasi Impit are to be savored with Ayam Rendang, Kari Kepala Ikan, Beef Kandar, Ayam Madu, Sayur Lodeh, Satay and Bubur Lambuk.





Time for desserts… and the spread is substantially sweet and colorful. Fresh local fruits to Chocolate Fountain, Frozen Yoghurt Soft Serve Ice Cream, Ice Cream, Ais Krim Potong, Tau Fu Fah, Bread & Butter Pudding, Honey Sea Coconut with Longan, Pengat Durian and Bubur Pulut Hitam are among the list of desserts to savor.



There is also local Kuih Muih, Cookies, Jellies, Buah Kurma, Kek Lapis and a whole lot of other international cakes, pastries and desserts available.




pictures courtesy of www.choiyen.com

Last but not least, durian lovers have the option to add-on for the Juadah Iftar Kampung buffet with the All-You-Can-Eat Durian Feast! Tuck into smooth and creamy unctuous durian from local kampungs around Malaysia…




Juadah Iftar Kampung Buffet
Price: RM158nett per person
Period: 19 May to 12 June 2018

All-You-Can-Eat Durian Feast
Gather with your friends and family and savor the unique and aromatic flavors of this King of Fruit. Eat to your heart’s contents in a specially constructed canopy as our chefs wield their knives and pop open the thorny fruit in all its glory, one durian at a time.

Ramadan buffet diner: Add RM18 nett per person
Non-Ramadan buffet diner: RM48 nett per person

Discounts
·       SPG, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members are entitled to special discounts on the above restaurant promotions for food only for up to 8 persons
·       Beyond Dining and Club Marriott members are entitled to 20% discount on the above restaurant promotions for food only for up to 10 persons
·       Major bank cardholders are entitled to 20% discount on the above restaurant promotions for food only
·       Discounts are not applicable for All-You-Can-Eat Durian Feast
·       Children 4 years and below dine for free
·       Children aged 5 to 12 years receive 50% off

For dining reservations, please contact Westin Dining at 603.2773.8338 or log on to www.thewestinkualalumpur.com for more information.


THE LIVING ROOM
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2731 8333




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