Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hibikii Japanese Cafe, Kota Kemuning

For fans of soulful Japanese fare, Hibikii is a restaurant worth seeking out; tucked on a calm street in Kota Kemuning, this friendly venue is scarcely six months old but has secured a loyal neighbourhood following, particularly for its hearty, spirit-warming bowls of maze udon, ramen and more, part of an extensive selection crafted by an impassioned Malaysian chef with nearly three decades of professional experience in the Japanese culinary arts.

The ideal introduction to Hibikii is the Maze Udon, Hibikii's take on the Nagoya classic of mazesoba. Relying on firm udon that yields a beautiful bite, this makes for a satisfying meal for noodle enthusiasts; Hibikii serves five varieties of maze udon, so we sampled the most elemental version, blanketed with minced pork, seaweed and vegetables (RM22).

Maze udon is consumed by mixing everything up and relishing the savoury flavours and slick textures all together; after the first few luscious mouthfuls, you can add chilli-infused vinegar oil into the bowl to enjoy a different dynamic to this dish. A small portion of steamed rice is served alongside this, to be eaten with the minced meat and sauce remaining at the bottom of the bowl after all the noodles are finished. 

It's not easy to find a genuinely satisfying mazesoba or maze udon in the Klang Valley, so this alone makes Hibikii a destination to bookmark. The kitchen is meticulous about upholding quality for its recipes; many key components are either sourced from Japan, such as the noodles, or prepared in-house, including the meats and sauces.


We also admired Hibikii's ramen, presented in a tonkotsu pork bone broth base that's simmered for up to 10 hours and freshly served everyday to ensure its rich, natural flavours shine through in every spoonful. Even the marinated braised pork belly paired with the ramen is noteworthy, grilled lightly on both sides for a lovely smokiness to complement the meat's succulence.

Customers can order the basic tonkotsu ramen or other renditions such as the Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen, with a dash of dashi and some shoyu (RM21), or the Black Garlic Ramen, full-bodied and robustly balanced (RM23); other options include everything from a Miso Tonkotsu Ramen to a 'Fire Mince Meat' spicy ramen, as well as tsukumen dipping ramen.

What we appreciate about the ramen here are the home-cooked nuances, lovingly crafted with heart and honesty. The broth is flavoursome without being heavy-handed, resulting in a meal that tastes traditional and time-honoured.


If you prefer rice to noodles, the Wasabi Char Siu Don is a winner, crowned with juicy morsels of chashu-style pork belly and a wobbly egg yolk, their sheer decadence counterpoised by the unmistakable uplift of wasabi (RM17.50). Other potentially addictive rice bowls and platters here come with choices of tendon (assorted tempura), roasted eel and omelette, deep-fried pork cutlet with scrambled eggs, or deep-fried pork cutlet with Japanese curry,

This is merely the tip of the iceberg for Hibikii's menu, which comprehensively covers sashimi, sushi, okonomiyaki, teppanyaki and much more.


Festive feasting is fully recommended here too: Hibikii is also offering Yee Sang, with its own twists, relying purely on natural ingredients. Red cabbage and carrots are lightly fried and shredded to supply a wholesome crunch, bolstered by crackers produced with popiah skin - it's a vibrantly colourful yee sang that tastes much healthier than many commercial interpretations, rounded out with Norwegian salmon, adorned with pomelo, pomegranates and various vegetables, completed with the chef's own zesty plum sauce. It's a painstakingly constructed yee sang that's pretty special in its own way, priced at RM68 for 4-6 persons (pictured in our portion here) and RM88 for 7-10 persons, with a vegetarian option at RM48. Available to order now, preferably with a day's advance notice.

Hibikii also has an exclusive space beside the restaurant that can accommodate six to 35 persons for private events and special functions.

Many thanks to Hibikii for having us here.


Hibikii Japanese Cafe
33G, Jalan Anggerik Aranda, Kota Kemuning, 40460 Shah Alam.
Open weekdays, 1130am-2.45pm, 530pm-9.30pm; weekends, 1130am-930pm. Tel: 03-5131-6071


Check out the new Eat Drink KL official Facebook & Instagram pages. Follow us for the freshest updates, fun contests & more, at:


Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits. Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/d/5106C196432BB23

Friday, January 18, 2019

Get Yee Sang Delivered To You By GrabFood

Prosperity is poised to come knocking at your door, courtesy of GrabFood's newly launched Yee Sang deliveries. For the most fuss-free way to savour Yee Sang this Lunar New Year, it's not a toss-up: GrabFood promises Yee Sang from 49 outlets across the Klang Valley, with everything from seafood-filled platters to vegetarian-friendly versions available.

Your Yee Sang will be delivered fresh to you, typically within 40 minutes or less, so you could be having this auspicious meal with your colleagues in the office this afternoon, or with family and friends at home later this evening, without needing to ever make advance bookings or set foot into a restaurant.






Ordering Yee Sang online is as intuitively convenient as any GrabFood order, as the app showcases a dedicated Yee Sang section with a list of the restaurants that deliver Yee Sang to your area. It'll take less than a minute to choose your Yee Sang, pay via the app, and you'll immediately see the expected delivery time, with the delivery status fully tracked on the app.






Seeking culinary inspiration on a recent weekday morning, we ordered Yee Sang from La Juiceria Superfoods straight into our office. By lunchtime, GrabFood's delivery reached us on the 40th floor without any hassle, without us having to even leave our entrance. Now that calls for a celebration!


Our large serving of La Juiceria's Yee Sang (RM68) was sufficient to satisfy six to 10 persons; we appreciated how it was packaged both attractively and pragmatically, enabling us to easily start our festive fun within seconds of receiving this colourfully vibrant Yee Sang.

Nuts, crackers and sauce come in tiny disposable containers, keeping them wholesomely fresh until you're ready to open them. Fresh is certainly the keyword for this Yee Sang, with the smoked salmon being impeccably luscious and the plum sauce supplying a zesty uplift to complement the crisp vegetables and fruits, spanning shredded beetroot and kale to mandarin oranges, grapes and pomelo.


La Juiceria's smaller portion for two to five persons can be ordered for RM48.



Different varieties of Yee Sang are now available on GrabFood from the following eight merchants, with a total of 49 outlets offering deliveries:
La Juiceria Superfoods
Sakae Sushi
Simply Green Salad Gallery
Salad Atelier
Sushi King
Mohammad Chow
Esquire Kitchen
Delicious

Prices range from RM20 to over RM100, depending on size, ingredients and merchant.


GrabFood is currently available in selected areas within Klang Valley and will be expanding to more areas soon!

Get your Yee Sang delivered in:
Ampang, Bangsar, Brickfields, Bukit Damansara, Cheras, Chow Kit, Damansara, Kampung Baru, KL City Centre, Mid Valley, Mont Kiara, Puchong, Pudu, Segambut, Setapak, Setiawangsa, Sri Hartamas, Sri Petaling, Subang Jaya, Sunway, Taman Desa, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Wangsa Maju.
 
Find out more: https://grb.to/GrabFoodYeeSang


GrabFood is available on Android and iOS.



This post is brought to you by GrabFood.


Check out the new Eat Drink KL official Facebook & Instagram pages. Follow us for the freshest updates, fun contests & more, at:






Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits. Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/d/5106C196432BB23

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Zoe, Bangsar

Asian by day, European by night; northern Thai curried noodles for lunch, Italian lamb ragu pappardelle when the sun sets: Zoe zigzags across continents for comfort cooking that crackles with zeal and zest.

Chef-founder Zoe Rai’s new venue currently serves one savoury temptation in the afternoon, a take on the Chiang Mai crowd-rouser of khao soi - this version features tender flat egg noodles instead of the crispy version we’ve seen elsewhere in KL, but it’s no less satisfying, complemented by an indulgently fleshy chicken thigh in a mellow coconut milk base that’s creamy but not cloying, with pickles and shallots for snappy dynamics. Available as a set lunch with refillable chilled lemongrass tea for RM25; a mushroom variant of the khao soi is offered for vegetarians.

There's only one dessert for each session, but both merit mention - for lunch, the rarely sighted som chun, combating our local climate with its icy ensemble of lychee, young mango, ginger and fried shallots in a fragrant syrup (RM10); for dinner (though offered earlier by request), the more debauched hazelnut tiramisu, moist and rich with the nuances of nocciola (RM18).

While we wish the tagliatelle could be ordered for midday meals (with octopus with crab sauce for seafood pursuers, asparagus for meat-free partisans), this is nonetheless a noteworthy venue for folks who relish food prepared with a personal touch, befitting an eponymous restaurant.

Day drinking isn't verboten here, with basic gin-and-tonics and wines by both bottle and glass. Service is warm, welcoming and efficient from entry to exit.

Zoe
42A, First Floor, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur.
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 1130am-230pm, 6pm-1030pm. Tel: 012-255-3356


Check out the new Eat Drink KL official Facebook & Instagram pages. Follow us for the freshest updates, fun contests & more, at:






Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits. Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/d/5106C196432BB23

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Seafood Menu: Spring Garden, Suria KLCC

By Aiman Azri

Rebirth and renewal: Spring is in the air at the Tai Thong Group, bringing the sweet scent of seafood to the newly revamped Spring Garden in Suria KLCC. Reawakening after a month-long refurbishment, the restaurant has been thrillingly revamped for 2019 and beyond into a seafood specialist, illustrated by tanks holding everything from live Australian lobsters to Alaskan king crabs, star coral groupers to geoduck clams. Based on the lunch crowds thronging Spring Garden this month, loyal customers seem to be enthusiastically welcoming this long-popular restaurant back and embracing its latest emphasis.

Spring Garden's refreshed menu was personally spearheaded by Tai Thong's head chef Simon Lee, bringing the full force of his 32 years of experience; Lee began professionally cooking in his teens, shoring up his skills in various ports throughout the region, from Shanghai and Taipei to Australia, before returning to Malaysia.

Celebrating its relaunch, Spring Garden has introduced several limited-time temptations, such the South African abalone, more tender than its typical ilk, prepared in a choice of cooking style (RM38++ per piece) - we loved it steamed with minced garlic (which added pleasurably sharp heat) and glass noodles (lending a silkiness to complement the abalone), but patrons can also have it sauteed with 'golden greens' or pan-fried with black truffles.

The Grand Reopening Promotional Menu runs through 31 January; other highlights include Estuary Tiger Grouper (steamed with Hunan diced hot peppers, steamed Nyonya style, or steamed with superior soy sauce), Freshwater Prawns (baked with soy sauce and minced garlic, steamed with sauna sauce, or steamed with minced garlic and bean sauce), and Indonesian Mud Crabs (braised with chillies, fried with fragrant spices, or baked with butter sauce).

For the complete 2019 a la carte menu, seafood lovers are spoiled for choice, with page after page of oceanic indulgences, from fish maw soup to braised sea cucumber to sauteed scallops. Start perhaps with the Soft Shell Crabs, stuffed into steamed buns with a fluffiness that contrasts nicely with the crab's warm crunch, served with a creamy salted egg yolk sauce to boost the savoury satisfaction (RM58++ per portion). The Poached Fried Rice in Superior Broth conveys soulful comfort in a nourishing bowl, succulent with plump prawns, mixed up to reveal the playful pop of rice crisps in each spoonful (RM30++ per portion).

We sampled the fish and crustacean treats next (seasonal prices). Nyonya-style Steamed Cod might convince customers that chef Lee hails from Malacca (even though he's not), a surprising sleeper smash with classic assam sauce nuances, confidently balancing a sense of tang with sensibilities of spice to enhance the buttery, flaky fish. Other varieties of fish offered range from marble goby 'soon hock' to giant river patin to jade perch and more, in no fewer than six Asian-inflected preparations that include steamed Thai-style or with black bean chilli sauce.

The Baby Lobster with Cheese will be another sure-fire hit with the entire table; the Sabah-sourced lobster conceals more than its fair share of flesh in its shell, ensuring a hearty, juicy chew. Australian lobsters are also available, baked lusciously with cheese too or sashimi-style with superior soup.

Seafood surfaces in Spring Garden's dim sum section too, with a tidal wave of shrimp sensations in the Steamed Siew Mai (RM10.80++) and the Tai Thong Superior Har Kao (RM12.80++), plumply and perfectly executed for a pork-free establishment, showcasing the most delightful characteristics of hand-crafted traditional dim sum.

For folks seeking intriguing creations, the Hong Kong-Style Crispy Shredded Duck Cheong Fun heralds contemporary fun for all generations (RM13.80++); it's worth noting that Spring Garden still serves plenty of meat and vegetable specialities beyond seafood, of course, particularly poultry possibilities like Peking duck, salt baked chicken with tang kwei, and roast pigeon, as well as claypot lamb loin, hot pot beef tenderloin, Australian venison with ginger, and much, much more; something for every palate and preference, certainly.

Chilled Lemongrass Jelly with Lime Sorbet brought our lunch to a vibrantly cool conclusion, reinvigorating us with its herbaceous zest to brave the afternoon heat outside the mall (RM12.80++). Dessert devotees might also want to check out the Pan-Fried Sesame Paste Bun, Double Boiled Aloe Vera, and Chilled Mango Sago with Pomelo to placate their sweet tooth further.

Many thanks to Spring Garden for having us here.

Spring Garden
Lot 413 & 414, 4th Floor, Suria KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.
Daily, 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-2166-9881


Check out the new Eat Drink KL official Facebook & Instagram pages. Follow us for the freshest updates, fun contests & more, at:






Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits. Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/d/5106C196432BB23