Friday, July 31, 2009

Delucca and the Rum Baba..

I left my heart at Delucca..!

(And my chocolate martini.. sigh..)

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The new Chef, the new smile.. most importantly... the menu now tastes great!

He has only been here 4 days, but I am glad that Chef Nicola Carradori who hails from Tuscany, is now heading the kitchen. Prior to this, he was based in China.

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Where is this place Delucca?
It's where the old meets the new.. on Changkat Bukit Bintang.
I love the modern and old architecture of buildings you can find along the same row.

I also love a good apple martini.
The ones at Delucca are divine.

The Whisky Sour. Potent yet zesty. A real pick me up on a hot sunny afternoon.

The Zuppa Giorno which turned out to be a delicious soup of the day. Clams and cream of Carrot/ginger! A fantastic blend.

The Seared Tuna Salad. Light and refreshing but I would have preferred a more raw center to the tuna.

Insalata Funghi. Crispy and wholesome, the pine nuts added a nice touch.

This was the Soufflé Gamberoni - a prawn soufflé with a carrot cream sauce to boot. Far out. The soufflé was light and fluffy without ending up overbaked and rubbery (as you find in so many places.. ) This was my favourite of the day.

No, no.. wait a minute.. THAT was not my favourite of the day.
THIS tortelloni, which was not on the menu, but which Chef Nicola himself whipped up for us, was my favourite of the day.

OMG! I just died and went to pasta paradise.
The tortelloni was stuffed with pumpkin in saffron and mascarpone sauce. Just take a bite and wait for the springy tortelloni shell to give way, to a sweet-savoury pumpkin centre infused with saffron and other magnificent herbs..

What? How come no one ever cooked this for me before:P

Mousse, on the house but not, in your hair.

And my favourite, cutesy dessert.. the Rum Baba! Even the name is so cute.. kinda makes you wanna do a jiggle to it..

A rum baba or baba au rhum is a small yeast cake saturated in liquor, usually rum, and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. The batter for baba is even richer than that for brioche, and includes eggs, milk, and butter. No wonder it taste so sinfully good!

Richer is always better!

Ground Flr, Office Tower,
One Residency,
Jalan Nagasari,
Tel: 603-2144 6545

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pacifica @ Mandarin Oriental Hotel KL

This must be underwater love
The way I feel it slipping all over me
This must be underwater love
The way I feel it

O que que é esse amor, dágua
Deve sentir muito parecido a esse amor
This is it
Underwater love
It is so deep
So beautifully liquid

Esse amor com paixão, ai
Esse amor com paixão, ai que coisa

After the rain comes sun
After the sun comes rain again
After the rain comes sun
After the sun comes rain again

(Underwater love, by Smoke City)

The Pacifica.
I feel like I am swimming underwater.
Only difference being that I can breathe and talk at the same time.

The venue permeates exclusivity with sheer curtained alcoves overlooking the beautiful Sultan Lounge, making it ideal for romantic dinners.

The cool blue ambiance, heightens the feeling of being suspended in the great oceanic underwater.. around you will see sphere-like fish bowls and floor-to-ceiling glass windows.. all adding to that mysterious, romantic depth of the deep blue.

First things first.. to please the mouth, the amuse-bouche.
Delicately seasoned and finely garnished, the prawn was a delight.

What is that you say? A stone? Pebble? A lump of some weird, spiky object.. ?

No, no. What you see is the black truffle.
We had decided that we were going to try the black truffle set menu for the night, and this cute little black lump you see , is the black truffle.

Anyway, just a quick word on the truffles. The French black truffle is the fruiting body of the fungus Tuber melanosporum. This fungus forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of oak and hazel trees. The edible portion, or truffle, is harvested in winter once it has matured.

The French black truffle is considered the finest of the edible fungi and has a place in gastronomy alongside saffron, caviar, foie gras and the finest of wines. Widely considered as the jewel of French cooking prized for its unique flavour and intoxicating aroma. The ancient Greeks and Romans attributed therapeutic and aphrodisiac powers to them. Sauarin referred to them as "the jewel of cookery" saying they aroused "erotic and gastronomic memories among the skirted sex, and memories gastronomic and erotic among the bearded sex ". Alexandra Dumas described them as "the gastronomes holy of hollies".

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Well, well, all I can say is that the "do not disturb" sign should be hung squarely on the door, if you decide to take on this gastronomes holy of hollies;) Anyway, what you see in this collage is the friendly waiter weighing out the exact portion of black truffle to be shaved over each starter and main course. Throughout the dining experience, we will see him carting out the weighing scales, as that piece of truffle gets smaller and smaller, being used as part of the cooking as well as the garnishing of our food.

First up the liver pâté garnished with the truffle. Seeing as they were so generous with the truffle, you could taste and smell that characteristic odour with great intensity.

So what does it taste/smell like? Hmmm, let me tell you a story.

The truffles are found from just below the soil surface to a depth of 20 cm. Specially trained dogs and pigs are used to search for the truffles. German research has found that the truffles contain a steroid similar to that, which is produced by male pigs during pre-mating behaviour. This steroid acts as a pheromone hence the attraction of female pigs.

So, therefore the answer to that question - it smells like the pre-mating scent of the pigs.

(Just kidding.. Don't let this story put you off though. It may smell like a certain animal mating steroid/hormone but it sure taste and smells brilliant to me!)

Still on the starters, the gnocchi. These thick, soft, dumplings were cooked al dente and perfect to taste. It was covered in a foam like sauce but my memory fails me now, what sauce it was exactly. I was actually, really rather more obsessed, with the truffle. Will it end? Will it run out? Will there be NO MORE?! No complaints about the gnocchi lumps.

My rare lamb cutlets. Bloody, runny, superb.

More truffle please. Yes.. more, more, more!

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The Rare Kobe Beef. Runny, bloody, superb.

Kobe beef topped with chunky slices of truffle. Does life get much better than this? I think not.

The sorbet to cleanse the palate. I though of pushing it away because who, in their right mind, would want to cleanse their palate of kobe beef, lamb and black truffle?

The waiter glares at me. So I cleanse my palate with the sorbet.

Some sweets on the house.

The Truffle Mousse! Even dessert is infused with the truffle.

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And the truffle dumplings (on the far bottom right of collage). These taste like mochi. High class, black truffle mochi, I might add.

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We go down to the sultan lounge and look for our friend Donovan who is already behind the decks at sultan lounge.

All in all, a great night out!

Ground Floor,
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur 50088
+60 3 2380 8888

Friday, July 24, 2009

theQguides and ZestPJ

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ZestPJ dot com and theQguides dot com just recently organized a bloggers food review at Pj Hilton.
Incase your wondering, ZestPJ is the hotel's blog for its restaurants and bars, and theQguides is a beverage and food website portal.

How it Works.
1. Book online with this NEW! COOL! LATEST! QuickBook system. It’s fast, it’s free and they have got loads of great eateries joining our lineup of bookable
2. Receive a confirmation via email and SMS within four hours, by 11am the next day, or 30 minutes before your dining time, whichever is applicable
3. You earn free points towards your next free meal.

This is what you will see on the homepage of theQguides. Just Type in the name of the restaurant.. and you are on your way.

Anyway, the restaurants reviewed that night were,
1. Genji
2. Toh Yuen
3. Paya Serai

The people involved were: babe in the city kl, bangsar babe, places and foods, The Nomad Gourmand and cumi & ciki (us!)

As we drew lots for our dinner venue, Cumi & Ciki and Places and foods, got Toh Yuen.

So, off we went with 'Places and foods' to Toh Yuen.
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Fred, the Sous Chef with his magnificent smile. He tells us that the latest promotion/novelty for that month is the 'claypot'. Claypot what you say? Basically claypot everything.. any meat you can think of , was up for the eating, in claypot style. Being typical red meat eaters, we could not resist the claypot beef.

Wobbly, cartiligous and meaty, like an ample Botero model before liposuction, the beef was divine. I ate this is silent reverence, just happy to be shoving each succulent piece into my grateful, gaping, maw.

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The signature Toufu. Fantastic texture and taste. Slightly crispy deep-fried outer, with soft toufu center tempered with some crunchy bits, of well.. crunchy bits of tiny things you put in toufu. (They cannot tell you what's in the signature toufu. They COULD tell you.. but then, they'd have to kill you).

The soups. Not a fan of the sharks fin, we had the scallop alternative instead. All good and I especially liked the fact that the soups were not too salty or laden with MSG.

The night was progressing really rather well. Amidst stories from the lovely couple of 'Places and Foods' of skydiving and hot air balloons, we felt a warm glow of pleasure, blanket us, insidiously.. not unlike how dusk gives way to complete nightfall. Maybe it was the wine, but the company was excellent too.

Century egg with slices of abalone. My two most favourite food items teamed into one spectacular dish. Fred, the sous chef, is a genius. The only other coupled food that could top this would be sea urchin + foie gras.. TRULY!

One last look at this beauty before this goes into my, erm.. yea you guessed it.. gaping maw.

Halfway through the night we take a break to play with Frat (Frat Mustard), and chitchat with our hosts.

The rest of the dishes eventually became a blur. All I can say is that each subsequent dish, topped the one that preceded it.
The Broccoli, abalone, Sea-cucumber. Healthy yet tasty.

The cold water Cod fish makes its appearance. Also a hit at our table.

Snow peas from snowy twin peaks.. no? Well, I am assuming so, otherwise why call them snow peas right? But seriously they name them snow pea, because of their tendency to grow at the end of winter, just before the last spring freeze. These voluptuous, crunchy, little beauties can be covered with snow during the time, but still keep right on growing. (hence the name.. got it?)

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for since sitting down at the table.
Double boiled YIN WOR! Bird's nest! .. Fantastic.

If I had gone home and died that night, I would have died a happy person.

Other delicious desserts (Tong Yuen), but paled in comparison with the Bird's saliva .. for sure.


After dinner, the chill out session and post mortem begins at Uncle Chilies.

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Superwilson, working the floor. A real lady's man la, this one... :P

Also the lovely babes from PJ hilton and our host from theQguides.
Click here, ZestPJ dot com and theQguides dot com , for more information.

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The Nomad Gourmand and Bangsar Babe, all bring out their dancing shoes.

"Dance, little lady dance.. "



At the end of the night, we go home.. back to the places we came from. What a great night out.

The next day, as if to tell you that they take their job seriously, I found that theQguides had sent out an email thanking me for my participation the night before, and asking me for my feedback on the restaurant I had visited. This counts for the free points I can earn towards my next free meal.

Life is good!

Toh Yuen Chinese Restaurant,
No 2, Jalan Barat,
Petaling Jaya,
Malaysia 46200
Tel: 60-3-7955-9122
Fax: 60-3-7955-3909

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chez Rose

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I have driven past Klimt so many times, that I nearly did a double take when I saw 'Chez Rose', in its place. I dare say that most are familiar with Klimt’s and its Austrian cuizine, and so it follows, that dining at Chez Rose would be a similar experience in terms of cuisine, but set in more swanky, modern surroundings. Apparently Chez Rose is run by one of the partners of the old Klimt. I actually met her this time round, and she really is a nice lady.

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I love the bread here. Piping hot crusty outer layer with a soft warm center and some sort of brown cheesy butter to go with it- this means a good start to the meal.

Bismarck Herring Fillet - RM30.00

Feeling brave we decided to try the pickled herring. Enter the Bismarck Herring Fillet.

There are many variations of cured herring. Bismarck herring are unskinned fillets that have been cured in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt and onions.
These are normally bought ready-to-eat, in jars or tubs. The marinade additionally contains water, white vinegar, salt, a bit of sugar or other sweetening agent, onion rings, peppercorns and mustard seeds. They can be eaten cold, or on bread.

Cured Herring are common in Dutch, Scottish, German, Latvian, Scandinavian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Brazilian and South African cuisine, among others.

I have to say, that I generally am rather proud of the fact, that I have a strong stomach.

However, a bit of Mr Bismarck over here had me gagging for my water. A note of warning though - do NOT attempt to wash it down with wine. It only brings out the fishy taste of the herring with an intensity that will make you wish you had never laid eyes on that slivery, silver, squishy fish. Slathering on loads of strong tasting sauces help, but not much. Let's just say it's an acquired taste:)

Oh well, never try, never know right?

Kaiser Schnitzel Veal/Escalope - RM65.00

Schnitzel (in German means a cutlet without bones) is a traditional Austrian dish and is a popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine, consisting of a thin slice of veal coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

For those who need their carbo fix, this comes with a generous side of Spaetzle.
The veal was faultless but the sauce was a tad salty. Nae bother, just push it to the side and enjoy your schnitzel as it is!

The Venison Pot Roast - RM53.00
Any prime cut cooked low, for 10- 12 hours is sure to taste exquisite and this dish was no exception. This hearty dish is 100% tender meat slow cooked in wonderful seasonings that has earned it the accurate reputation/accolade of 'comfort food'.

Salmon Arrabiata -RM39.00
Fresh, juicy salmon slathered generously with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Delicious. No complaints here.

Grilled white cod- RM65.00
This 'white fish' was cooked just shy of well-done.. i.e. perfect. The flesh was decidedly taut with just the right amount of fish fat that enhanced the light style of cooking of the fish and brought out the oceanic flavours of the flesh. Unlike oily fish, white fish contain oils only in their liver, rather than in the gut. They are a much healthier alternative too and are a rich source of omega 3 (good fats). Not only is it one of the cleanest sources of protein,but it is also an easily absorbable protein source with little or no carbohydrates. Eat cod, stay slim!

Pickled Ox Tongue- RM42.00

This dish tasted better than it looked. The tongue looked tough, but it was really rather succulent. I enjoy a good tongue as much as any other person.. oo-er.

The unusual zesty sauerkraut apple paste/slurry, complemented the gamy tongue to perfection.

Baked Salmon Strudel - RM39.00
Talk about complete, unique cooking styles for bringing out the unique flavours of the salmon. I was particularly impressed with this strudel 'log' with its flaky, browned phyllo-ed outer layer. The log retained all the juices and sweet aroma of the salmon and the creamy rich sauce went perfectly with the ensemble.

All in all, a good eating experience.
We will be back.

Chez Rose,
6-5 Jalan Batai,
Damansara Heights ,
next to Hock Lee’ s Mini Market

Tel: 603- 2092 1978