Eat Drink KL: July 2018

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Olimp @ Budva, Montenegro

Lunch at Olimp means eating alfresco on the sandy beach of Budva, a charming 2,500-year-old Montenegrin town on the Adriatic coast. Start with local cheese from the village of Njegusi, then dig into a platter of calamari, octopus, fish, mussels and shrimp.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dim Sum & Mooncakes @ Oriental Chinese Cuisine, Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar

By Aiman Azri

Dim sum devotees have a fresh destination to bookmark: Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar's Oriental Chinese Cuisine is showcasing a delectably vibrant update to its dim sum menu, courtesy of its new chef Ng Meng Loong, who brings 25 years of experience to the table.

With more than 50 handcrafted dim sum delights to choose from, customers can savour a lunch of epic proportions that stretches imaginatively beyond the conventional char siu bao and siu mai.

Plus, the restaurant is now ready with its 2018 Mid-Autumn Festival selection of mooncakes, the perfect conclusion to a complete feast for families and friends.

Note: Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar is staging a Foodie Travel to Hong Kong competition for Oriental Chinese Cuisine's guests, rewarding a lucky diner with a three-day trip to Hong Kong, the world's paradise for dim sum. Contest runs until 30 September 2018; for more details, click here.

Marinated Chicken Meat Dim Sum with Crushed Salted Egg Yolk 

Australian Scallop and Shrimp Dumplings

Cuttlefish Dumpling with Black Truffle

Chicken and Prawn Dumplings with Cordyceps Flower and Black Garlic (top)
Australian Scallop and Shrimp Dumplings (left)
Chicken and Prawn Dumplings with Scallop and Flying Fish Roe (right)

Every dumpling here is densely packed, making for hefty indulgences that remain terrifically tender and textured to the bite. The meat and seafood prove fresh, the crucial quality for delicious dim sum. We also appreciate the accompaniments, thoughtfully chosen, with choices like black truffles and flying fish roe to convey a welcome boost of fragrance and flavour. Ultimately, everything tastes as satisfying as it looks, seductively beckoning us to dig in immediately.

Blue Flower Glutinous Rice with Chicken, Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Scallop

There are several uniquely intriguing items, such as chef Ng's contemporary, colour-splashed take on lo mai gai - the rice is dyed naturally using butterfly pea flowers (similar to nasi kerabu), lending an eye-catching hue to a tasty preparation that's on the right side of sticky and chewy, with juicy chicken for the punch of protein.

Eggplant-Shaped Glutinous Rice Balls with Purple Sweet Potato

This is another should-order, a surprising conversation piece even for customers who might be jaded with dim sum - the glutinous rice flour is deep-fried and encrusted with purple sweet potatoes, forming the shape of eggplants. You'll find this to be memorably fragrant, flaky and fulfilling.

Crispy Duck Skin Rice Rolls

This is sauced and sliced at the table, so fresh that steam visibly surfaces from the rolls. And while chee cheong fan is a familiar sight in KL, this crispy duck skin-stuffed version is a distinctively different effort that deserves attention, offering a savoury crunch that's pretty pleasurable.

Japanese Unagi Cheese Roll 

Matcha Buns with Pumpkin Paste (left)
Yam Croquettes filled with Minced Chicken and Sun-Dried Scallops (right)

Rice Balls with Lotus Paste and Red Bean Paste (left) with Coconut Milk Buns (right)

That's not the end of chef Ng's creativity - how about unagi cheese rolls, matcha buns with pumpkin paste, coconut milk buns, and much more? With a varied repertoire that encompasses all the essential preparation techniques - from steamed to baked and deep-fried dim sum, as well as desserts such as egg tartlets, charcoal buns stuffed with salted egg yolk custard, and Musang King durian pancakes - there truly is something for everyone here, potentially warranting return visits.

The dim sum can be ordered a la carte, priced from RM17 to RM28 each. Premium Bird’s Nest desserts are available at RM88 each. The dim sum menu is available daily during lunch, from noon through 2:30pm.

With the Mid-Autumn Festival looming on the horizon, chef Ng has also promptly prepared a tempting series of mooncakes.

What makes the snow-skin mooncakes especially exclusive is that the two signature varieties, the Musang King Durian and the White Lotus Bird’s Nest, are personally handcrafted by chef Ng himself.

Musang King enthusiasts might be excited to learn that the durian supply comes straight from a specially selected orchard in Raub, so you're enjoying a fine harvest from Malaysian farmland.

These two snow-skin mooncakes come in sets of six pieces each. Pick your preferred flavour, or get three of each one, at RM198 nett.

Baked mooncake options are offered too, presented as quartets in stylish gift boxes, namely the Pullman Signature Series (RM138 nett) and the Elegance Gold Series (RM128 nett). Choose from two possible mooncake combination sets:

A. Lotus Single Yolk, Green Tea Apricot, Hana Kisses (apricot, baked taro, mung bean), Red Bean or Pandan
B. Pandan Delight, Black Sesame Gold, Scarlet Snow (honey, lotus pomegranate), Violet Harmony (taro, sweet potato, mung bean)

All mooncakes are available for sale at Oriental Chinese Cuisine and at the Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar hotel lobby until 24 September 2018.

Many thanks to Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar for this peek at your lovable latest offerings.

Oriental Chinese Cuisine
Level 1, Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar, No. 1, Jalan Pantai Jaya, Tower 3, Kuala Lumpur

Daily, 12pm-10pm. Tel: 03 - 2298-1888 (ext 5100)

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Mean Mince @ Mutiara Damansara

Chuck Berry's 1964 hit 'No Particular Place To Go' rings through Mutiara Damansara's new burger parlour as we enter on a Friday afternoon. On one wall, we spy a cluster of Texan and Utahan licence plates; on another, snapshots of the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridges. 

There's no mistaking the Americana-themed ambitions of this space, even before you sight the portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr. that line a corridor. Mean Mince's chef-founder Nik Syazmin (Min) had a dream that he'd someday helm a U.S. diner-inspired eatery, bringing it to fruition this month with this friendly, family-owned restaurant that revels in back-to-basics burgers.

True to their name, Min and the Mean Mince team make their own minced beef and chicken patties in various serving sizes.

The MM Sliders showcase three 40-gram beef patties in baby buns, each topped with pickled red onions, caramelised onions or mustard mayo with melted American cheese (RM20; the price currently includes a side and one canned beverage), while the MM Burger comprises a 125-gram beef patty with sunny-side-up egg, cheddar and mustard mayo in a brioche bun (RM18 with the side dish and drink). 

The Monster Buffalo Chicken Burger is somewhat more of a sandwich, with a 150-gram chicken patty slathered with buffalo sauce and blue cheese aioli (RM20 with a choice of side - our favourite might be the sweet, crunchy-battered onion rings, but the mozzarella sticks and the cheesy fries will also have their fans - and a Coke, Sprite, Minute Maid or something similar). 

The burgers should please patrons who relish moist, juicy patties with a fair bit of flavour, but what we're really looking forward to are the upcoming temptations etched in chalk beside the counter: Deep-fried burgers, grilled cheese burgers, and deep-fried Twinkies, expected to be unleashed around mid-August.

Complimentary popcorn welcomes customers to the table; to complete the diner experience, order a peanut butter shake (RM12) or ice cream soda float (RM8). Min's road to running Mean Mince might have taken several twists and turns (one of his past longest stints was in the kitchen of a Mayfair members' club in London), but he's finally firmly on Route 66.

Mean Mince
31-1, Jalan PJU 7/16A, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Open Thursday-Tuesday, 12pm-10pm. Tel: 03-7733-2512

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