Saturday, October 31, 2009

Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine, Menara Hap Seng, KL. Hairy Berry Crabs.

(non halal)

Hairy Crabs.
A Chinese delicacy that is seasonal and is highly prized for it's roe. That makes the Female species highly prized and the Male erm.... sort of unprized. I guess that makes sense because it would be more difficult to find a hirsute Female than a Male. It is considered a pest in Europe as it is invading their ponds and streams and just shows that one man's meat is another man's poison. After all, flip through Elle and Vouge and see that all their female models are clean shaven and Brazilian waxed. It's probably a case of fearing the crabs being a bad influence on European ladies, I think.

It's Autumn again and all those unshaven, never used veet/nair before female crabs are being offered at Elegant Inn again. A prized Shanghai delicacy, it is served steamed here with vinegar and ginger dip.


I have to admit, the crabs did look like a mean MF, with hair sticking out all over the place. With 4 pairs of legs, one can hardly blame the crab for not being clean shaven.


The waitress proceeded to dismember the crab and placed all the body parts neatly on my plate. There were some wierd looking utensils which I reckoned were to dissect the crab surgically. Just like in an episode of Gray's Anatomy. Pass me the scalpel, suction, etc... Eat the roe first, the waitress said. The roe, the roe...


What can I say about the roe? Artery clogging stuff. But hey, all the delicious food kills you one way or another. The roe was as promised. Every morsel a delight of creamy, rich, sweet, sinful, intoxicating indulgence. Better than ayam kampung yolks. The meat was succulent and sweet. The vinegar they serve at Elegant Inn is top grade, slightly sweet dark vinegar that was very very balanced. I took about half an hour to finish the crab. And as I was eating, I got some tweets from the luminaries of Malaysian Food Bloggers, and they were actually having Hairy Crabs elsewhere too. Well, I'll just have to live my life at the bottom of the food blogger chain and get used to it, I suppose. The crabs tasted better with the salty and lonely crocodile android tears anyway. A pot of sweetened ginger tea was served at the end of the crab meal to neutralize the cooling effect of the crab.


Next was the Deep Fried King Pork Ribs. I am sure no king reared this pork, which probably had some sexy love handles before being slaughtered and sacrificed to appease this android. Crunchy and fragrant and perfectly fried. No complaints.


The famous RM 22 Elegant Inn special fried rice was ok. Be forewarned that Elegant Inn's menu is not very Single Diner friendly. The portions are probably meant for 3 to 4 people. And I was completely stuffed at the end of the eye opening meal. It was after all, my first attempt at dissecting the Hair Crab surgically, and I do have to declare that the operation was a success. All of the meat went down in my tummy and is well on it's way to cool my body, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Alert, Alert! Update!

Was told by FBB that I was mistaken. Actually Male Crabs has better roe, and the roe consists of sperm! I was too polite to ask the waitress if she served me a male or a female crab and risk being regarded as a Male Sexist Pig. Neither do I have the zoological knowledge to locate the sexual organs of the Hairy Crab, not that I would know how a crab's penis would look like anyway. Now, I can only hope and pray that I did not just eat, savour and swallow some crab cum for lunch today! Aiayaiyayai!


Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
2.01 2ndFloor Podium Block,
Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P. Ramlee,
Kuala Lumpur

Telephone: +6.03.20.70.93.99

Happy Halloween! Return of the Living Dead. Daikanyama, Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL.

Happy Halloween! Funny how there is a day to celebrate the Macabre and scary things that go bump in the night. As the Old Chinese Aunties will say, so choi! Nonetheless, we ventured out on this ghost infested night, begging for tricks and treats at good old Changkat Bukit Bintang, which resembles RCA Bangkok in it's indulgent hedonistic heydays. Rows of pubs and eateries lined up together in a narrow street with music blasting out of every joint creating a cacophony of sound that delights the certified crazy Android.


Ciki organized a Halloween do at Daikanyama, and the theme was supposed to be Harajuku Punk Girls. Guys exempted for not being able to apply Goth make ups. And oversized androids too, because of the size 28 cut off point for most Harajuku outfits.


After imbibing in some serious amounts of sucky, sucky, oh so smooth Sake that would have sent Bacchus back to the vineyards in shame, Daikanyama was invaded by foul smelling ghouls and zombies! Nigel stabbed one of the zombies with a frozen "Death By Chocolate" cake. As the zombie lay trembling waiting for it's end ( I can't say die, because technically speaking, Zombies are already dead. Would love to see how the NRD deals with a Zombie... ), we cheered them on by having more Sake!

*Actually we have to thank Will Quah and gang for turning up as part of their Halloween Pub Lurch


As the evening drew to an end (at least for me), the girls got frisky and accosted the DJ and owner of the joint. It was truly a 1Malaysia event, because my officially assigned driver joined in as well. The poor chap from the kampung wanted to see Halloween first hand but got frightened when the ghoulies turned up and he cabuted. He declined to be photographed for obvious reasons. OK. Am eating Hairy Crabs when I am posting this, and my hands smell bad. Gotta wash them off!

Thanks Guys for a Happy Harrowing Harroween, Japanese style.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Max@iHaus. Recession Proof Lunch.

RM 22. What can you get fro RM 22? On a lousy day, you can't even park at Pavilion for that paltry amount. I did a post on Max and his frugal RM 22 lunches previously, and I just had to drop by to see if anything has changed. Apparently not. Starter and Mains plus a drink for RM 22. When I was there, there were 3 Mat Salleh tables and one Japanese Tai Tai table. Locals only 2 tables? Well, foreigners seem to know where to get good value for money nowadays.


Starter was a wonderfully fragrant Mushroom soup, with lots of mushrooms at the bottom, and some truffle oil on top.


Grilled Duck served lovingly with Potatoes and White Wine Sauce on a Bed of Salad.


Add another RM 8, this beautiful Warm Chocolate Brownie, served with Rum macerated Fruits and a scoop of beautiful Passion Fruit Ice Cream to lull you for your afternoon siesta.

Plus a large glass of Iced Lemon tea.

Sorry for the brief post, but I have been horribly occupied lately, to the point of being derided by Cikay in her latest post! Have a nice weekend, and if you are in the vicinity of Max's, drop by for lunch. This is RM 22 that you will never regret spending on food.

Max@iHaus
Lot No. 32, Jalan Jati
Off Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 - 2142 9720

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Firmware Update for Panasonic DMC LX-3.

lFor Users of Panasonic DMC LX3 out there: The new firmware update is up for this gorgeous little compact. You can get it here. I was just thinking of upgrading to a DSLR when this upgrade came and put my plans on hold for a while. DSLRs are so big and bulky and it must be intimidating for Restaurants to have the photos of their dishes taken. The LX3 is still compact and unobtrusive.

Just took it for a spin after upgrading, and now, I can take pictures in 1:1 format! Yay!


Braised Duck and Foie Gras with Mushroom Ragout.


Panache of Seafood.
Maybe I should have a contest and see if you guys can identify the tempura like thingy at the background? But no marks for guessing where this came from.



Apple tart.

My only gripe about the LX3? Shooting in low lights and funny lights. The White Balance is really off sometimes and working with the packaged RAW editor is no bundle of joy either. Usually after I correct 1 photo, I'll be too lazy to go any fiurther! But the firmware offers White Balance Bracketing as well.... Interesting. For less than RM 1,500, I still think the LX3 is a marvellous buy. Oh! Forgot to mention that the pixes have been cropped to 4:3 here. If you use the 1:1, the photos will turn up at at 1:1 square format too...


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bunga Emas. Royal Chulan Hotel, KL. Beautiful Malay Fusion Food.

(halal)

Malay Food.
Often overlooked and dismissed in the annals of fine dining. The Grand Doyen of Malay fine dining is actually Ibunda, which so far serves the best and priciest fusion Malay-Western food, albeit for dinner only. Bijan, over at Ceylon Hill will probably best termed as Malay Food toned perfunctorily to Western taste buds served in obligatory tropical inspired beautiful surroundings. Enak is posh and fine, but has not been able to pique my interest after two outings. Seeing that it is MIGF season, I was a bit surprised to find the lack of Malay food featured in the Menus. After failing to secure a reservation at Ibunda last night and cancelled plans to check Teeq out, I was surprised to find another restaurant offering Malay Food in the MIGF. The icing on the cake was that they could accommodate the menu for lunch. And behold, what a pleasant surprise awaited me.


The interior is tastefully opulent, evoking some nostalgia even. I can imagine Sean Ghazi crooning in the centre. There are private function rooms and even two tatami rooms, with floor sitting. I was in luck because the restaurant was fairly empty in the afternoon and I could choose anywhere to sit. The waiter was very very friendly and helpful and obliging.

Appetizer:

Udang Kara Kerdil Limau Bali
Baby Rock Lobster Salad, Citrus Fruits, Pandan Froth, Aren'kha Caviar, Pomegranate Compote

The Baby Lobster Salad was marvellous. Light and crisp pomegranate compote and seeds lingered on the palate with a touch loving coyness. Arenkha Caviar is poor man's caviar, made from Smoked Herring which was not as lush as Sturgeron Caviar. Which was fine as it complimented the dish adequately. An ingenious and whimsical concoction, which can really be termed an amuse bouche or a palate cleanser.

Starter:

Darat dan Lautan (Land and Sea)
Grilled Salmon, Mashed Potato, Roulade of Quail, Chiku Chutney


A very witty play of name. The Sea was represented by the Salmon, which was grilled and served with some mashed potatoes and dressed with local tangerines. Inventive play of different temperatures and textures. The Quail was not a roulade. because it did not come rolled in Proscuitto nor could I detect any forcemeat. Nonetheless, it was tender and the Chiku Chutney surprisingly paired magically with quail.

Soup

Sup Ketam Labu Kundur
Flower Crab Broth With Wintermelon


The broth was sublimely flavoured with crab, but I found it a little bit too salty. The crab meat was rolled into a cavity carved in the wintermelon. Probably a slight Chinese influence to this dish.

Intermezzo

Dadih Mempelam
Silky Smooth Mango Custard


A beautiful Custard with a taste redolent of Mango and Caramel. Served with Roselle and fresh Mango cubes. And as described, silky smooth and beautiful texture and consistency. But why it was served at this point in the meal astounds me. It was too rich and a Sorbet would have been more appropriate as a palate cleanser.

Mains

Kerapu merah Pais Kelapa (Baked Garoupa fish rolled around Chilli Coconut Paste)
Sendi Kambing Beriyani (Lamb Shank with Briyani Paste),
Acar Limau (Lime Chutney)
Nasi Pandan Gajus (Screwpine Leaf Rice with Cashew Nuts)


The mains was slightly more disappointing. The lamb was beautifully tender, but the Briyani Sauce was a tad too overpowering, spicy and oily. The Chutney was not lime, but some preserved fruit which was overwhelmingly sweet, making it a let down. The fish was delightfully fresh and the rice was slightly scented with Pandanus leaves.

Dessert

Manisan Bunga Emas
Warm Chocolate Hazlenut Pudding, Anise Flavoured Tea Cream and Young Coconut Ice Cream


The desserts were a lovely way to end the meal. Although the pudding was slightly too dry, the cream made up for it and the ice cream came with tender, fresh coconut meat.

Overall dining experience was wonderful. The cost of the meal was RM 159++ without wine. It's high time that Malay Cuisine come of age and be given it's due recognition. The current new generation of chefs are probably working in that right direction. It would be interesting to see if the Chef here could work with Foie and other exotic ingredients as Chef Zabidi does at Ibunda.

Bunga Emas
The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur
6 Jalan Conlay
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : +6.03.26.88.96.88

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ri Yakitori. Gardens MidValley, KL. No parts spared.

Yaki-Tori. Japanese satay? Somehow or another, whenever i hear that word, it always reminds me of Margaret Thatcher, ex PM of England from the Conservative Party (UK's equivalent to the Republicans), aka Tory Party. Till today, most of the Tories are still pretty Yucky. Located at the 7th floor of the Gardens Hotel, it felt a bit intimidating to tip toe past the reception to access the elevators to the 7th Floor. When I arrived there at 10.30 pm, Ri was almost deserted save for a group of Japanese having their post dinner Sake. I can almost imagine them belting out "My Way" when given a mike.

The interior is rather Spartan, but comfortable with a beautiful view of the KL skyline. The Menu was also fuss free as well. There is a dinner set, and some yaki tori. The most amazing thing about the menu is that it focuses on chicken. All the parts except the feather. Breast, wings, thighs (shaven), knuckles, intestines, spleen, liver, cartilage, skin, etc... Other than chicken, they have Wagyu beef, beef tongue (french kissing a cow?) and king prawns, scallops, vegetables and mushrooms.

Clockwise from top left: 1. Scallop and Chicken Thighs 2. Wagyu beef 3. Shitake mushroom 4. Asparagus 5. B cup Chicken Breasts

Upon being seated I was served with complimentary salad, and some appetizers which was chicken skin, which i absolutely abhor. I tried it, but the cold, slimey, gritty and oily texture just puts me off. It has nothing to do with the quality of the food though. It's just a manufacturing defect of the Paranoid Android. The Salad came with Tangy Sashimi sauce.

The Yaki Tories were served with some chili salt and the Chef's version of Tare Sauce, which is flavoured with some Yuzu. Of all the sticks of yaki tori I had, the best was the Wagyu beef, that was extra succulent, the heavenly, aromatic shitake mushroom and the miniscule chicken breast each served with a small dollop of wasabi resembling small green nipples.

Clockwise, from top left. 1. The Beautiful Motif on the plate 2. Sake, sake... sucky me 3. Half cooked egg, rice and chicken stew 4. Soup 5. Duck Breast with Mustard

And being the gluttonous Android that I am, I could not let the evening pass by without sampling the a la carte menu. I had the Duck Breast (oh no! breast again? some abnormal fixation going on here) which was definitely more voluptious than the chicken's who were still in training bras. The breast came with some Wasabi and Mustard, just to help me clear up my stuffed sinuses. The breast tasted smokey and good, not unlike the one I had in Sun Tong. Heck it could be the duck I had at Sun Tong which was definitely cheaper. I'll bring a tube of Wasabi and some mustard next time I hit that Dai Chow joint.

The half cooked egg with stewed chicken (and skin) served on top of rice was as descibed in the menu. Since carbo is the new "F" word for health freaks this dish would be termed as sinful pleasure. However, I picked out the chicken skin and savoured the rest with relish. As for dessert, I was really spoiled for choice. The dessert menu only had 1 item, fresh fruits. Ha ha ha!. Heck, this is a Yaki Tori joint. Who comes here for Creme Brulle anyway. Just tuck in the satays and drown your sorrow with Sake. This place closes at 1am, but the kitchen closes at 11.30pm. Service was attentive and fast.

Ri Yakitori
7th Floor
Gardens Hotel and Residences


I have been called among other things, a hateful intellectual snob. But who cares? I will now disclose the reason for my absence during this period. Besides work, these 4 wonderful books.


Clockwise from top left:

1. What Great Paintings Say (2 volumes inside) which is a ravishing grand tour of the important landmarks in the History of Art. Written by Rose Marie and Rainer Hagen, Published by the German Publishing Giant Taschen. Ravishingly beautiful and informative. Worth every single cent of the Price Tag of RM 123.90. From MPH, Mid Valley.

2. Selected Works of Goethe. The towering German author and philosopher. Faust, Werther and Italian journey in a single volume. The translators include illuminiaries like WH Auden. Hard Cover, from Kinokuniya. RM 120.66

3. The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol. Explore the beautiful lyricism of Nikolai Gogol which has been beautifully translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky in this hardcover edition available from Kinokuniya. RM 85.90

4. Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou. Graphic novel. Beautifully drawn and illustrated. If there is a comic you will read this year, this has to be it. Searching for the ultimate truth in Mathematics and Logic, it explores the life and thought of Bertrand Russel as he argues in his mind with Frege, Goedel and Hilbert and wrestles with himself and circumstances. Kinokuniya. RM 92.50.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Neo. Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. 3 Monkeys and an Android Hitting a New Joint.

Neo. No, this restaurant was not opened by Keanu Reeves who played Neo in the "brain in a vat" thought experiment, transfromed by the Wachowski brothers into Matrix, the Movie. Nor does it refer to Neo Rauch, the German Social Surrealist Painter. Nor does it refer to Near Earth Objects (though you may feel like a NEO after a couple of hits of cocktails) or New European Order. In this case, the owners were probably using it to mean New, or Revival of something old. The premises used to house among other things, an Italian Restaurant and a club. I hope the new owners will revive it, because this joint is beautiful.

Clockwise from top left: 1. Scallop Asparagus thingy 2. Ciki hiding her disappointment upon discovering the MIGF was not available 3. A li'l fat monkey trying very hard to smile after discovering that there were no Banana inspired Tapas 4. Fussili Portobello served Dai Chow noodles style 5. The Übercool interior and exterior of the restaurant.

It was one of those miserable days. I nuked my Blackberry while trying to install the Neo v5.0 software, and in and spent 45 minutes trying to resuscitate it to discover that I jammed up the track ball as well. Had to meet with some fussy, Neolithic Neanderthal clients who had difficulty understanding any words with more than 2 syllables, when my phone buzzed with a message asking if I was free for dinner tonight at Neo. "Anything to escape this dreary cycle!", I thought to myself and proceeded to Neo after a mad dash to Low Yat to get a Neo BB.

"Huff, huff! I'm late for a very important date!", the Android Mad Hatter Hare declared and scampered up the stairs together with the Monkey Couple, Cumi and Ciki to find A Li'l Fat Monkey drowning his sorrow with a big bottle of Mineral Water. Apparently he is allergic to C2H5OH. I immediately struck him off my will.

Housed in a bungalow perched upon a hillside, Neo brands itself as serving Global Tapas. The whole place is like a Sistine Chapel of Hedonism. Beautiful water inspired themes culminating in a waterfall adorning the wall of the main dining area which is lighted up in a severe and stark black chandelier , the interior is breath taking. We were disappointed to discover that the MIGF menu was not available that evening, and we settled to order from the a la carte menu.

Bearing in mind that this place was new as in gestating in a womb, the service was a bit haphazard and the serving staff seemed to be overwhelmed, and probably with a bit of time, they might mature to be like their sister restaurant Tamarind Hills, where the service is polished. In fact, that night, a few of the staff from Tamarind Hills were helping out at Neo.

Clockwise, from top. 1. The hilarious, rib tickling amuse bouche (tuna) 2. Lamb Shank with Couscous 3. Duck with Risotto and Tangerine Sauce

It is a new place, they may not gotten their act together yet in the kitchen. It was the first time in my life that an amuse bouche did what it was supposed to do. We were literally laughing out loud when it arrived. It was some tune, and the size was slightly bigger than a 2 carat diamond. Much much too small for the cutlery. Try to spear it with a fork, you'll probably squish it. Ciki even put her bling on the plate to compare.

The Portobello Fussili was lovely, but came out so haphazard that it resembled a plate of noodles from the Dai Chow stall. Cumi brilliantly suggested that they be put on small serving plates. The pasta was al dente and the portobello mushrooms tasted beautiful in the creamy pasta sauce. The Scallop and Asparagus was too bland. The Duck and risotto was lightly dressed with a slightly tangy tangerine sauce. The texture of the risotto was right. And the best Tapas would have to be Lamb Shank with couscous, with beautifully marinated, tender lamb lying on top of some fluffy semolina wheat couscous.

The Dessert menu was not convincing enough for us to partake in anymore sinful pursuits, but the groove at the bar beckoned us over for some after dinner drinks. A beautiful evening where the food was overshadowed by the company. Ciki who embodies intelligence and beauty, Jon (Fat Monkey) with his infectious ebullient sense of humour and Cumi whose stoic calmness camouflages an admirable zest for life. Thanks for transforming a dreary day, guys!

Neo
19, Jalan Sultan Ismail
Just before Wisma KFC
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +6.03.21.48.37.00


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canton-i, Gardens MidValley. The week that was.

OK, I admit. I am running low on steam and am finding it hard to get new ideas on what to blog about. Feeling a bit tired too, and am having backaches and headaches. Probably due the change in Medication recently. Moreover, the list of unread books have grown to more than 10. Now, that gets to my nerve more than anything else! Hence, just a brief run down on the week that was.

Firstly, lunch at Gardens. Wanted a change from my usual haunt at Sage, and henceforth twittered for some ideas. Joe (lotsofcravings) suggested Ri Yaki-Tori, but they are only open from 5pm onwards. The Android Craved for some dim sum and landed at Canton-i.

Clockwise from top: 1. Duck Floss in fried spring rolls 2. Steamed Fish Maw with fishpaste and 3. Conch with American Ginseng Soup.

The restaurant claims to offer authentic Cantonese cuisine as they have employed two chefs from Hong Kong and that piqued my interest as I am a big fan of Dim Sum. The Duck Spring Rolls were perfectly fried, with just a light trace of oil, but the savoury filling was a tad too salty and very dry. Steamed fish maw with minced pork and fish paste was an interesting twist to the normal dim sum offeerd elsewhere. Not spectacular, but adequate.

Clockwise from top left 1. Seven Belle Tea (The Jasmine Pops up!), 2. Double Boiled Milk 3. Pea Sprout and Scallop Dim Sum 4. Har Gao

The har gao or prawn dumplings were RM 10 per plate, which is a bit on the pricier side. The skin was perfect, not too sticky and soft nor was it tough. The most interesting of the lot was probably the pea sprout, spinach and sliced scallop dim sum which was filled with crunchy pea sprouts that offered a textural contrast to the otherwise uninspiring array of Dim Sum offered.

The Conch and American Soup was salty, but palatable. The double boiled fresh milk dessert with gnger sauce was beautiful and the most memorable of the dishes. I would have to mention that a lot of the items in the menu ar not available. No roast goose,I had to change my dessert 3 times before they found something that was available, and of the 6 varieties of soup offered, only one was available. Kind of disappointing. Do ask first before ordering to avoid disappointment.

Canton-i
Mid Valley City LG 202, 203 A
Lower Ground Floor
Lingkaran Syed Putra
Kuala Lumpur
+6.03.22.84.68.88


The rest of the week was unremarkable except for a few boring dinners with my Boss. Lunch this week at Sage was excellent.


The Cold Cappelini pasta with Salmon Confit and Baby Herbs brought tears of joy to my eyes. The stark simplicity of the taste and the freshness of the Salmon was astounding. The Aiguilette of Duck and Green Pepper Sauce with Foie Gras has probably been done to death elsewhere, but at Sage, the Duck breast (Aiguilette means sliced lean pieces) was done to perfection and topped with beautiful foie. Dessert was Baked Chestnut which retained a slight bitter edge from the skin, tempered down with almond flakes and vanilla ice cream.

Since Lots of Cravings Joe has been moaning about Pad Thai, I am posting the picture below, taken from Somtam Seafood at Jalan Alor. The best Pad Thai in KL.


Notice the chopped peanuts and Raw Bean Sprouts in the background? Squeeze the lime, give the al dente, full of wok hei noodles a toss. Close your eyes and munch. You are now in Bangkok. As good as the stall below my apartment in Sukhumvit. :D

That was my week, and hope you guys have a great one ahead too!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Soon Tong Restaurant. Southern Park, Klang. The Perfect Oyster Omelette.

Chinese "Dai Chows" are an ubiquitous and inseparable part of the Chinese Dining in Malaysia. Often located in housing estates, it serves as an economical alternative to dining at home and is usually busy at peak hours and offer fuss free dining, with no reservations required, in a casual and simple environment. Most of them serve perennial favourites like Sweet and Sour Pork, Steamed Fish (various styles) and stir-fried vegetables. Most of their menu hardly raises any eyebrows nor send an adrenaline rush of excitement that drives me to stratospheric frenzy, but Soon Tong's menu seem to be a different genre altogether.

Nestled in Southern Park, one of the small housing estates in Klang, it offers a refreshing difference to the usual Dai Chow menu. I have to admit I was a bit sceptical when I was invited to dine there. Their Sizzling Or-Chien or Chinese Oyster Omelette was supposed to be good. "So? It's just Or-Chien. I can get that anywhere", I thought to myself cynically. That is until I saw this.


A sizzling plate of still runny eggs and flour, topped with lots of luscious oysters which was in turn, topped with scallions, fried shallots, fresh chilli and onions. It smelled heavenly, and I greedily went for a piece of the action. The taste and consistency was perfect! A dash of chinese wine did wonders to get rid of the over briney smell of the oysters and the play of texture of the runny eggs and sticky flour based batter was transcendental. The peppery topping played beautifully and danced along with the prima donna. Those who complain about the lack of oysters in their Or-Chien should come here and stuff yourselves silly by ordering the "Tid-Pan-How Cheen" or Sizzling Oyster Omelette. The owners are Cantonese.


The Double Boiled Herbal Chicken Soup would have tasted better if they used free range chicken, but the soup itself was full of natural sweetness and enhanced with some Chinese herbs and wolfberries. There was a generous amount of fish maw and Godzilla sized mushrooms in this delicious soup which would not have felt out of place in any fancy Chinese restaurant in KL.


The Smoked Tea Duck was wonderful. The duck was cured and smoked with some imported wood and the result is a moist, tender, flavourful and aromatic duck that tasted slightly like ham, but with a more intense smokey flavour. The meat is almost devoid of fat and the dish literally screamed for a muscular, full bodied Pinot to accompany it. The Smoked Duck was so good, I packed some unchopped duck to keep in my freezer, ready to be thawed and enjoyed in a jiffy. I already have some ideas on how to dish out the duck at home. Blanch some cherry tomatoes, remove the skin and mash it up, add some chopped onions, argula leaves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, serve it on a toasted baguette and top it with the duck. If it tastes good, I'll let you guys know.


The Seafood Pot is a delectable pot of fish maw, abalone, dried oysters and some bak choy, simmered in chicken superior stock with whole garlic bulbs. It tasted lovely and rich and the collagen in fish maw may have given me an artificial face lift and lifted my saggy bum! Although this dish was good, conspicuously absent was the obligatory dried sea cucumber and large dried scallops which would have made made the dish spectacular which can be overlooked as well, bearing in mind that this is a dai chow and not some expensive fine dining Chinese. This would have probably driven the price up. Although lacking in expensive ingredients, the seafood pot did not falter because of the superb chicken stock.

The price for 3 diners, plus some stir fried vegetables and drinks (non-alcoholic) was only a miserly RM 110. This place was very clean but slightly shabby but fortunately the food made up for it. With some inventive twists and turns to make it stand out among the crowd, I'll be back for more. How often do I wax lyrical over dai chow food?

This place is a bit hard to find, for those who are not familiar with Klang. If you are exiting through Kesas, drive along Jalan Banting until you pass Aeon Jusco, Bukit Tinggi entrance and the General Hospital. Once you see a Shell Petrol Station on your right, be prepared to turn left at the next traffice light which is located opposite an Esso Station. Once you take the turn, you will notice a 7-11 store. Turn left again at the next junction and drive along the road till the end. Soon Tong is located n your right hand, opposite a bungalow.

Restoran Soon Tong
No. 1, Jalan Rengas
Taman Selatan
Klang
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Tel: +6.03.33.73.27.80

GPS: 3°01'34.37"N, 101°26'28.46"E


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Still Waters. Hotel Maya, Jalan Ampang, KL. Still Water Runs deep.

(no pork served)

Located right in the heart of KL, Hotel Maya is very beautifully designed with a lot of water based themes and caters to a lot of business guests due to it's location near the KLCC. Their Chinese restaurant, Still Waters, offers menu that runs on a fusion theme and they offer bento sets as well.


Still Waters is located one level below the lobby area and is an open restaurant. The Waterfall is a real beauty. As the water flows down, there is a pattern of clouds etched into the water as it flows down. It was rather hypnotic for me, and I could have spent hours watching it flow. The restaurant area is dimly lit and with the central water wall, it offers a calm respite from the Buzz of the city. My lunch that day was courtesy of somebody who was trying to pitch something to me. Please forgive the lack of photos as I do not want to seem to preoccupied with the meal during the pitch.


Fusion Chinese Cuisine is not new in KL. Chef Alex combines mainly Japanese influences in his Cantonese Cuisine. The food comes in individual portions like western dining and not a big common plate. Lunch Prices are pretty reasonable, at RM 50++, 55++ and 60++. Be forewarned that the dishes are served pretty slowly, therefore, allow at least 90 minutes to complete lunch. We had the RM 60++ lunch which includes an Amuse Bouche, 5 set dishes (no choices) and a dessert from the dessert menu.


The amuse bouche which was spring roll like with some seaweed. The next dish was Lobster fruit salad which came smothered in some mayonaisse which was not too impressive except that the lobster was of the right consistnecy. Not over cooked. The double boiled shark's fin soup was nothing extraordinary and perfunctory. Veges were stir fried asparagus which was one of the best I have tasted in a hotel, crunchy and not overcooked and coated with a light layer of oil.


The best dish has to be the Home Style Steamed Chilean Sea Bass. Not terribly fond of fish, this Sea Bass had me screaming for more. Tender and fragrant, the sauce and the fungus shrooms enhanced the taste if the fresh Seabass exquisitely. This dish was so good, I actually stopped my dining companion and excused myself to take a shot of the fish.


The Miso with rib eye was also a beautiful noodle based filler. And the dessert was good. Coconut Ice Cream with Avvocado Cream that was rich and flavourful and served with some fresh coconut meat.

The food here is generally good, but not to the point of epiphanic. All of the dishes were well prepared with fresh ingredients. Service was faultless and the ambiance a bit stark, but I liked it. But parking is horrendous at the Hotel, which makes me wonder, why are most hotel car parks in KL so horrid? My dining companion was successful with his pitch.

Still Waters
Hotel Maya
138, Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

+6.03.27.11.88.66

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Unless stated otherwise, all the posts and food here is paid for by the Paranoid Android. He dose not receive any financial compensation for posting in this blog. The views expressed here are an opinion and as usual, taste is subjective and varies among people, time and mood as well! Please feel free to contact me at humanist dot philo at gmail dot com. Unless otherwise stated, the photos here belong to the owner of this blog. You are free to use it for any non commercial purpose. As courtesy, just drop me an email and credit the photo to the blog. Thanks for dropping by!

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