Monday, August 31, 2009

Hakka Republic @ Menara Hap Seng

Click here for previous review of Hakka Republic (April 7).

Excellent amuse-bouche: salmon with smoked cheese and roast quail.

The marinated tuna tartar with cold green tea soba and citrus dressing was a refreshing prelude to the main courses. Light and natural-tasting.

Steamed Grade 9 Wagyu beef with ponzu sauce. The undisputed highlight of dinner. The beef was divinely tender; not quite melt-in-your-mouth, but close.

Slow-braised Angus beef cheeks with mashed potatoes. Not quite as flavourful as the best beef cheek dishes, but still satisfyingly meaty.

Wagyu and Angus beef burger. A blend of two different beefs in one patty, this was the only true letdown of the evening. The patty was thin and tasted nearly like a fast-food version.

Rum-infused vanilla ice cream in orange shell. Couldn't really taste the rum, but the ice cream was still delicious and the presentation was gorgeous.

Vietnamese Hot Coffee Chocolate Cake with kahlua foam and coffee ice cream. Would have helped if the cake had been warmer and more moist.

Special Fruitcake with brandy sauce. Totally loved this. The perfect fruitcake!

Conti Neri Prosecco and Tenimenti Grillo IGT Vinco Bianco.

Tenimenti Nero d'avola and Finca Sophenia Reserve Malbec.

Dessert wines: Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Campbells Muscat.

Hakka Republic,
Menara Hap Seng.
Tel: 2078-8908

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yogitree @ Mid Valley Gardens

Still going strong after all these months, Yogitree has shown it's no flash in pan.

Organic Australian baby spinach salad with crispy beef bacon, kampung egg and avocado. Tasted pretty nutritious. We should order salads more often.

Spaghetti with duck rillette, thyme, garlic confit and chilli flakes. Not as oily as it looks, but not as good as the pastas at true-blue Italian outlets elsewhere.

Ayam Percik Nasi Ulam (organic jasmine brown rice with fresh ulam, ikan turmeric and baked organic chicken topped with perchik sauce). Generously packed with ingredients.

Tagine of roast monkfish and seafood cooked Moroccan-style with saffron and tomato sauce. Probably our favourite for the evening. Fresh and flavourful.

Tagliatelle Carbonara with bacon, mushrooms and egg. The lack of cream made it healthier but not necessarily tastier.

Strawberry tart. Plump strawberries saved an otherwise mediocre dessert.

Tiramisu with kirsch. Decent, but we couldn't sense much alcohol.

Warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream. One of the healthiest-tasting apple pies I've ever had. Or maybe I've just had too many McD's apple pies in my lifetime.

Anakena Cabernet Sauvignon (Rapel Valley, Chile).


Yogitree,
The Gardens.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Olive Tree @ Menara Hap Seng

My low tolerance for extreme spiciness is often an obstacle to enjoying Indian food, but thankfully, our meal here was painfree for my tastebuds.

Amritsari machli, battered fish fillets deep-fried in mustard oil. Not a healthy choice, but OK for snacking. Fish wasn't super-fresh or moist enough though.

Lahori seekh, a lamb dish tinged with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Kinda on the dry side, with not much hint of complex flavours.

Garlic naan and Goan prawn curry with coconut, garlic and ginger. A very mild curry that suited us perfectly fine!

Pulao steamed rice with peas and Daal Gharwali (combo of five daals).

Murg Mahkani, a Punjab speciality of Amaretto-marinated and tandoor-grilled chicken tikka, simmered in tomato gravy. Decent but forgettable.

Flaming Sambuca Vaccari and Camino Tequila.

The Olive Tree,
Menara Hap Seng.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yoko's @ Changkat Bukit Bintang

Creativity is the name of the game at Yoko's, where dozens of dishes are presented with intriguing twists. The results are often hit-or-miss.

Salmon 4 Floors Sushi. Hearty heaps of salmon and roe stacked on rice.

Mix of tuna sashimi, yam and avocado in Korean yukke-style. Pretty refreshing.

Cake-style chirashi sushi. A unique presentation, but tasted like typical sushi.

Oven-baked prawns and veggies in an avocado case, topped with cream sauce and cheese. Comfort food at its most guilt-inducing.

"French-style" sushi. Some interesting experiments here, especially the sushi with mango sauce, but the marriage of flavours didn't always work.

Tempura soba. Pour the hot dipping sauce into the platter, and voila! One of the most successful dishes; we enjoyed it though we aren't big fans of soba.

Duck egg. Pretty much the regular ones that you'll find at Chinese restaurants.

Yoko's Special Roll, stuffed with three different kinds of sashimi, rayu mayonnaise, caviar, diced avocado and cucumber. A letdown; tasted mediocre and unmemorable.

"Pizza sushi." Coated with cheese and mayo, which drowned out everything.

Forgettable mixed grill comprising chicken, liver, quail eggs and mushrooms.

Rising Sun (sake, cointreau, grapefruit juice & grenadine) and Devil May Cry (vodka, gin, rum, cointreau & amaretto).

Kabuki (vodka, sake, lime cordial) & Yoko's Dream (gin, sake & lychee liqueur).


Yoko's,
Changkat Bukit Bintang.
Tel: 2144-3378

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mooncakes @ Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

The dark chocolate mooncake with durian ganache is a masterwork, with flavours that are subtle yet distinctive, not overwhelming but not bland. Best of all, once you've proven that marrying chocolate with durian works wonders, the potential for other unions is limitless.

Mini snow-skin mooncake with durian paste. It might seem strange that I'm ga-ga over Mandarin Oriental's durian mooncakes, since I hardly even eat durians. But these are tame desserts for people who dislike how wildly overpowering the fruit can taste.

White chocolate mooncake with calamansi ganache. A fresh addition this year; pleasantly citrusy but not too sour.

Milk chocolate mooncake with peanut butter crunch and raspberry centre. The best choice for kids; reminiscent of a crisp candy bar.

White chocolate mooncake with pineapple jelly ganache. Another new entry, but let's see if it makes a repeat appearance next year. Quirky in a creamy-chocolate-meets-tropical-fruit way, but basically unmemorable.

Mini snow-skin mooncake with pistachio custard. The healthiest-tasting option, since it's the one that's the least sweet. And pistachios are recommended for helping in weight loss, right?

Lai Po Heen,
Mandarin Oriental.