Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hit & Mrs @ Lorong Kurau, Bangsar

Don't you just love a catchy name when it comes to a dining place? This Hits & Mrs is located in a secluded area of Lorong Kurau in Bangsar, which is about 5 minutes drive from Bangsar Village. When I first heard about this place, I thought their food is a hit and miss and thus the name. So after being intrigued by the name, I decided to check out this place for brunch and at the same time to celebrate Hong Luan's birthday there.

Another experimental restaurant by The BIG group. I've always been impressed with their interior deco concept such as Plan B and Ben's and now this Hit & Mrs takes my breath away even before I had a taste of the food. But of course ambiance is just part of the dining experience and it shouldn't be the ultimate reason why I should pay top dollar for crappy food in a beautiful environment.

Don't you just love the courtyard in the restaurant?

Carrot & Watermelon Juices (RM12) served in dented glass tumblers to quench our thirst.

Salad of Herby Lentils,Green Beans, Avocado, Toasted Pecans, Baby Gem & White Port Vinaigrette (RM30). At first I was quite skeptical about this salad as it looks way too healthy for me. It turned out to be a really nice salad with a crunch and refreshing enough for a hot afternoon.

 Scramble Egg, Home Cured Salmon & Squid Ink Focaccia (RM35)
I love this dish. Didn't know that the scramble eggs paired so well with the cured salmon. To me this dish can easily pass off as a breakfast too.

 Panna French Toast, Pisang Emas & Chantilly (RM25)
 You can either take this as a breakfast or simply a dessert after meal. The toast was very delicious when tasted together with the drizzled caramel and chunks of bananas. Good choice!

The bar upstairs is worth checking out too! If you love that feeling of having a drink and a chill out time back in time, maybe in the 50's then this is the place. I think my dad will like it here and I will definitely bring him here the next time he comes back from overseas.

We had fun and thanks to Hoong for all the nice pressies!

Prices might be a little expensive but their experimental menu looks interesting enough to come back for more. They have just started serving brunch in the weekends because previously they are only open for dinner. Their last order for brunch on weekends is only at 1pm. It's a HIT and no misses yet!

Hit & Mrs
15, Lorong Kurau, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-2282-3571

Saturday, January 19, 2013

18yo SMW Horizontal Tasting

I'm not speaking in abbreviations but the title simply means that we had a line up of 18-year-old Single Malt Whisky tasting at a friend's house. One fine day we were just talking about whisky (actually we talk about whisky all the time even in our whatsapp chatroom) and we decided to do a Horizontal 18 yo SMW.

The rule of entry is simple : a cover charge of 1 bottle of 18-year-old SMW. We had this at Lance's place and it was so kind of him to prepare dinner.

 Pre-dinner Drink - Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary

I saw this in the duty free but never actually bought it. However, I was fortunate enough that I get to taste this yesterday night. I must say that I have always been very skeptical when it comes to whisky without age expressions because I felt that sometimes these commercial bottlings from distilleries are for marketing purposes and it's for those who worships labels rather than what is in the whisky.

Bottled at 43% abv, this is for those who prefers a lick of smoke because it has a very distinctive smokey taste on the palate and then followed by initial hints medicinal notes. It still has some of its Speyside character such as the toffee and dried fig notes coupled with a fresh acidity and a spicy finish. Would I buy this bottle? Nope. I rather buy the Glenfiddich 19yo Age of Discovery release.

 Watercress cream soup, Grain Fed Angus steak cooked with Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary and Macallan 15yo Fine Oak and a plate of garlic potato wedges and a big bowl of salad!
Lance is really a pro when it comes to grilling and the steaks are so awesome... beats some of the restaurants in town anytime. It's juicy and is done medium which is so good on its own or even with a salsa sauce that compliments the steaks very well too. In my opinion, the Macallan 15yo fine oak is good for cooking because it's a disappointing bottle. I might get some stares with this comment I guess but that's just my opinion. Their sherry oak bottlings are so much better.
 The 18yo SMW line up for the night.
Glenlivet 18yo, Glenfiddich 18yo, Laphroaig 18yo, Tomatin 18yo, Macallan 18yo and a Hakushu 18yo.

I've actually tasted all the above except two - Laphroaig 18 brought by Gareth and a Tomatin 18 which I recently bought from the duty free shop in Langkawi. Although I'm not a big fan of Laphroaig, I do drink the Laphroaig Quarter Cask once in a while and it was really an opportunity to give the 18yo a go. I'm quite impressed with the palate as the peat did not overwhelm the other notes of sweetness, seaweed and vanilla. It's very well-balanced and has a smooth and velvety texture. I like it!

The Tomatin (pronounced as To-ma-ten) is quite an interesting whisky. It's the least well-known northen highland single malt whisky compared to the others because it was mainly produced for blends such as the Antiquary and The Talisman. Did you also know that when the Tomatin Distillery Company went into liquidation in 1985, and then one year later two Japanese companies (Takara Shunzo Co. and Okara & Co. came to the rescue and bought the distillery and thus became the first Japanese to own a Scotch whisky distillery.

Surprisingly, I managed to find 1 of the last 3 bottles of Tomatin 18yo in Langkawi and I have to buy it for this tasting. It's indeed one of the most interesting whisky of the night not only because it's something new to our palate but it also has a character that differs from the other commercial labels. This bottle is initially filled in American oak casks and then in Olorosso Sherry butts prior to bottling. This is a very elegant whisky with consistency and well-behaved without giving you a jolt in the palate. It has sherry and toffee, honeyed notes and a very interesting marine finish with hints of cocoa. I only pay about RM300 for this bottle which is quite a reasonable price.

 A photobomb. Whisky that we drank that night.
That's not a Fanta 18yo btw...

What was supposed to be a 18yo tasting ended up a an additional few other bottles such as the Glenfiddich 30yo which the host was so kind to offer and I could see his reluctant expression on his face when he took out the bottle... hahaha.... and a surprising Strathisla 12yo that was so easy drinking!

Next up... a cask strength SMW tasting to be arranged.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A secret dining place @ Secret of Louisiana, Kelana Jaya

I recently discover a secret dining place hidden by the lakeside at Kelana Jaya. I can't believe that evethough I have used the road passing by Plaza Kelana Jaya so many hundred times over the past few years, I've never really visited this dining place. It maybe difficult to spot this restaurant in broad daylight but when night falls, you can see this place brightly lit from the otherside of the lake. That's where the Secret of Louisiana is located.

Along with Huai Bin, Suanie, Shahzeeq and I, we had a night full of Chef's recommended cuisine from Louisiana.

 Seafood Gumbo RM22.90
 This is an assorted seafood with thick creamy sauce, seasoned with herbs and cheese, and then served with garlic toasts.I find this very nice as it is different from the usual liver pate spread that we would have as appetisers in most restaurants.
Seafood Jambalaya RM33.90
According to the restaurant, this is an authentic Cajun dish which is something like a Spanish Paella. It has rice cooked with a fresh assortment of seafood, sausages, tomatoes, corn, celery, mushrooms and fresh herbs. The rice is moist and resembles a risotto and the taste is very flavourful. However, I secretly hope that they would have put in more seafood.

 Treasure of The Sea RM38.90
This is a red snapper fish fillet marinated with a Cajun spice mix and then seared on a hot cask iron with butter. It's served with Cajun vegetables. I like the sauce wjere you can taste the butter and the fish was fresh and seared until crispy on the outside. I can still remember Shah's reaction when he saw this. He went like, "whoah..." Hahahah

 Louisiana Famous Shrimp Scampi RM30.90
This is one of the most popular pasta dish under their pasta section. It's spaghetti cooked in garlic and butter together with 5 pieces of grilled large prawns, tomatoes and lemon. I like the lemons which give this dish a lift in taste and tangy hints which goes well with the butter sauce. There's still room for improvement on this dish as I felt that the spaghetti was a little overcooked and lacked the al-dente texture.

 This is how we take beautiful food pictures even in dim lighting. Kudos to the smartphone flashlight!
Nut and Seed Layered Chicken RM32.90
The chicken breast fillet is grilled with Cajun spice, layered with organic nuts and seeds and perched on top of a lightly mashed potato and carrot base. The dish is then drizzled in a fig chutney sauce giving it the sweetness which matches the chicken very well together with the roasted nuts. I like this dish due to the contrasting textures on the palate but I think it would have been better if the chicken is more tender.

 Chef Elvin Goh and his wife runs this restaurant here. And he's a friendly chap who would come out and talk to his customers. The wine list is also specially selected by him to match the dishes that he serves at this restaurant.

We all had so much fun taking pictures, sharing our food and then stories and catching up. I'll be there again on Monday 14th Jan for their wine dinner which is jointly held together with the US Embassy to appreciate the essence of Cajun cuisine. Can't wait!!! More info on their website here.

Secret of Louisiana            
Block D-01-01
Jalan SS7/13A,
Plaza Kelana Jaya @ The Lake 
47301, Petaling Jaya

Tel: +603 - 7875 5230

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Francaises 2000

The highlight of the dinner on Monday night is also the subject for my post today because I couldn't find a more suitable title for this.

It was a dinner of my girlfriend's birthday and she invited some 14 of us for a dinner at Grand Palace in Pavilion KL. The champagnes chilling in the stainless steel buckets are awaiting to be uncorked and what a welcoming sight when you have a peep at those labels.

1st champagne for the night is undoubtly the star itself - a bottle of Bollinger Vielles Vignes Francaises 2000 which is also my first time tasting it. "One of the rarest and most expensive Champagnes and only created during exceptional vintages".

What makes this Bollinger VVF so special is that this is Bollinger's prestige cuvee (made entirely in 100% pinot noir) and is produced from ungrafted vines in two walled vineyards which the vines used to produce this champagne is from very small yields. The Bollinger VVF undoubtly creates an unbelievable experience for those lucky enough to sip them because when the yields are so small, it enables the grapes to reach a high maturity which is almost like a fine wine. The annual production of the VVF is only 3000-5000 bottles and each is numbered. The 2000 has a pale gold colour and a very attractive nose of pinot noir, honeyed and intense. It's a very fine bubbly with flowery notes, butterscotch and some hints of citrus. The finish was silky and vibrant but it could have been better if we were to chill it to another 2-3 degrees less. Such finesse!

I really have to thank my gf for this rare opportunity to taste such a rare champagne!After that it was followed by a DP 2003 and then a Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose 2002, all which she has carefully selected from her collection.

 We had a huge platter of fresh salmon sashimi and oysters. All the men were served more oysters than the ladies for obvious reasons...

Another appetiser platter followed with soft-centered century eggs with pickled ginger served on spoons, local cherry tomatoes on skewers to compliment the caramelised pork livers a.k.a chinese version of porky foie gras. Ok, I still prefer the goose/duck foie gras...

The other dishes that we had includes the lobster bisque (chinese style), chinese sausage with kailan, prawns on skewers served with fried yam slices and capsicum and then the other dish which I could not remember which part of the cow it's from. heheh...

The red wines that were served on the same night. 

It was also my 1st time sipping on a Penfolds 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 magnum.  Seriously there was so much hype about this 707's and I thought it's something that I need to try once in a lifetime and voila! I got to try it that night. But I must say that generally an Australian wine especially a cabernet sauvignon has a superb nose. The nose was intense, oaky, full of dark berries but the palate was rather disappointing. The tannins are balanced, there's hints of peppery notes, ripe fruits and oak but it doesn't match the intensity of the nose, it was lacking in depth and finish.

Ooh.. but I so love the Cos D'Estournel 2003 from the Saint Estephe appellation is the second growths of the Bordeaux Classification 1855. It is a very superb wine is a good vintage. The nose was outstanding with earthy notes, prune, black berries and minerals. The mouthfeel was very good, fine tannins and balanced with a full-bodied palate. There's plums, blackberries, licorice, sweet spice notes and hints of smoke. What a wonderful wine!

The red wines went so well with this roasted Spanish Iberian Pig ribs. The ribs was marinated with herbs and it's almost 12 inches long! This is so flavourful and the meat is just so tender!

And when I thought we were done, the Hainanese Chicken was served together with 3 different sauces - chilli, black soya sauce and ginger sauce.

That was not the last dish I assure you because every birthday boy and girl will have to have a bowl of the longevity noodles in the chinese culture and thus we all had a bowl of that. And forgetting to mention the Old & Rare Bunnahabhain 33 years old as night cap. *filled to the brim.... A toast to my girlfriend's birthday and thanks for this wonderful dinner of great company, food and wines.

Grand Palace
Level Six, 
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 
No. 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 
55100, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-21431128

Monday, January 07, 2013

Yeast. A French Bistronomy @ Bangsar KL

Those looking for a new place to try in town should really visit YEAST. If you think that this place serves everything flour, yeast and bread and you'll be wrong. Yes, they do have their own bakery section with an interesting array of fresh bakeries daily but they do serve a very good French menu.

I really like the interior of this bistronomy (a combination of the word "bistro" and "gastronomy") as I felt that I was transported to Paris when I was sitted at the dining table overlooking the open kitchen with copper pots and pans hanging from the ceiling and the black and white tiles matches the parisian ambience perfectly.

I love the bread basket with a nice assortment of breads. The multigrain loaf was really nice. And that night, we ordered a bottle of wine from my favourite region - Margaux. A La Sirene de Giscours 2007 at RM340.

Gateaux de Crabe RM28
We had a special request to have the appetisers to be shared by two and thus we both have a crab cake each and nicely presented on separate plates. It's a crispy crab cake with diced green apples, cranberries, toasted walnut, roquette and garlic aioli sauce. The crab cakes pass my test and I enjoyed every single bit of it which is one of the better ones I've tried in town.

Foie Gras de Canard RM45
The duck foie gras terrine was pan-seared and then served with port, balsamic and fruit reduction complimented with a brioche toast. The fruit reduction is like a chutney and it tasted so good with the toast. Thumbs up for this dish too!

Boeuf Bourguignon RM48
This is actually a typical French cuisine where the beef short ribs are braised with wine. This is so tender that it melts in your mouth. Served with root vegetable puree and crispy fried onions. Although the portions aren't big, the satisfaction you get from the taste will fill you up.

Confit de Canard RM42
Another classic example of French cuisine is the duck confit which I love very much. I must applaud that the chef here did it so well with the duck so crispy on the outside and its meat so tender and flavourful and sprinkled with some herb-bread crumb cassoulet. A must-try!

This is our dessert for the night which I forgot its name but it's a pear frangi (RM16) and served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

The founder of Yeast, Christophe Chatron-Michaud was very nice and friendly. And credit goes to the restaurant manager who makes us feel so comfortable and the service was very good too!

And so I went there again for tea time on the same week with my girlfriends.

Limonata Soda (RM9), Virgin Mojito (RM12), White Button Mushroom Pastries (RM11), Orange Soda (RM9), Green Apple Iced Tea (RM8) and a smoked duck (RM10).

It was a very hot afternoon but siting outside didn't really bother us and we love the ambience. I truly recommend this place for its simple and classic French menu. A great place for lunch, tea and dinner. You should really try it!

Yeast Bistronomy
24G, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2282-0118

Friday, January 04, 2013

1st taste of alcohol on 1st Jan 2013

Starting a new year is always exciting especially when you start the year with a bang! And this bang in my own term means a good meal with more awesome drinks! I had a feeling that after writing so many posts, some of you might think I'm a living alcoholic. Actually I'm not but I don't resist a good glass of alcohol in regardless of how often it is.

 Clockwise from Top Left : Dom Perignon 2003, Armand de Brignac Gold, Krug 2000, Bahans Haut Brion 2003 and Chateau Montrose 2003

Since it was the year of 2013, my friend decides that we should drink some 2003 wines to usher in the new year and I couldn't believe that my 1st taste of alcohol for the year was a bottle of DP 2003. As always, the DP is a yeasty champagne and the 03 has a good bouquet of fruits and on the palate you can taste its minerality, peaches and pears with honey. It's a dense champagne.

The Chateau Montrose 2003 was the one that I have been anticipating. Dubbed as the totally perfect Chateau Montrose 2003 by Robert Parker who gave this a 100 pointer in his tasting notes in May 2008, I was very curious to revisit the wine which I drank in July 2009 together with the Chateau Ausone 1993 and Chateau Haut-Brion 1993. This bottle today would have cost over a thousand ringgit but the question is whether you can still buy this from the market? I love the Ch Montrose 2003 for its gorgeous bouquet of blackberries, earth, cassis and cedar wood which hooks you to the tip of the glass. It's a full-bodied wine with silky tanins and with a decade of cellaring and a good aeration, it definitely opens up this wine. The palate is layered, complex and the finish was just superb. A winner for the night!

The clear favourites of the champagnes for me is the bottle of Krug 2000 and followed by the Armand de Brignac Brut Gold. The Armand de Brignac which is popularly known as the best champagne in the world does live up to its expectations. Besides falling in love with the Aces of Spade Gold opaque metallic gold bottle, this Brut cuvee only uses Premier Cru and Grand cru-rated grapes. Costing at almost RM1200 a bottle, this champagne better be awesome and it's indeed awesome! It has a a floral bouquet with honeyed sweet fruits and creamy palate.

However, drinking them side by side, I am absolutely fond of the Krug 2000 which I had such a rare opportunity to taste it twice in two occasions. It was certainly a very prized bottle because the House of Krug decided to create a vintage for the last millenium. It was known as the one of the most intense, dramatic and romantic Krug Vintages ever made which is also meant for cellaring. The Krug 2000 is not only vibrant but it has very expressive aromas of honey, pears, caramel and nougat. On the palate, you get the zesty notes of grapefruit, dried apricots, hazelnuts and coffee aromas. It's creamy, superb finish with layers of floral and fruity notes. A very long lasting impression on my palate. This was also the bottle that I had a bet with my godfather that he should open the last bottle of his when I ever get married. Haha...

We had some really comfort food at the chinese restaurant at Grand Palace in Pavilion KL. It's like my friend's favourite restaurant because we will never get sick of chinese food coupled with the good service and also some of the well-trained staff to pour the wines. To start off with, we brought our own smoked oysters and the Tartufata (truffle condiment) on crackers for appetisers. hehe.... Then we had some fried prawns on skewers, a stir-fried bean-sprout with egg dish served with fresh lettuce, sharks fin soup and braise pig livers.

While everyone was pretty much filled up, we were served with more food - honey bbq pork ribs and abalone with fish maw and mushrooms. All the food was done very nicely which compliments the wines and even the chef, Jason came and join us for some drinks.

A nightcap - Old & Rare Bunnahabhain 33 years old in Sherry Butt.
Flavours of cigar, cedar wood and spicy!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2013 NYE Party @ My Crib

Finally I am hosting my first party at my crib aka party pad. You see, I don't really live at my new house although I have done it up so nicely simply because I am staying in my parents' house which is just 2 doors away. Then one day, my colleagues asked me to host the new year's eve party at my crib and I thought it was a great idea too since I haven't really invited anyone to my new house. And I'm also glad that Emily was able to join the party as she came back for a few weeks before returning to Sydney.

I set a theme for the party. One would have to come in any green or yellow attire with a head piece. It can be anything from headbands to bunny ears. Failing to do so is a penalty of 1 bottle of single malt. And true enough, everyone turned up following the theme and because everyone wears green, it looked like we are having a "perhimpunan hijau" right at my home! Lucky no one was caught for obvious reasons.

And the night before the party, I prepared some marinated chicken wings to be barbequed. I marinated the chicken wings in 2 type of sauces - Honey & Soy Sauce chicken wings and the other a Buffalo Wings version. Then, I made my own Teriyaki sauce following the Wagamama cookbook and it turned out to be very nice and thus I used it to marinate the pork.

This is the wonderful present that my colleagues and friends bought for my party. Err.. are you guys expecting me to host more BBQ parties now?!! I don't mind hosting the party but the cleaning up takes away the fun everytime...

Most of these dishes are cooked and prepared by me with the help of Hue Gee and Lauren before the party. After having tasted a Watermelon salad at Kim's Xmas party, I searched for the recipe in Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Fresh" cookbook and I found the Watermelon with feta cheese, olives, mint & parsley recipe. It's my 1st attempt preparing this salad and it turned out to be really good! It's really an interesting salad and I also make another salad using lots of greens with a Japanese mayo and mashed egg sauce with lemon juice, truffle balsamic and olive oil. 

The "Hasselback Potatoes" was awesome and I followed the recipe found in the same Nigella Lawson cookbook. The secret lies in cutting the potatoes and I shall share the tip the next time when I write about my cooking experiments. It was so nice that the potatoes were all snapped up within minutes. I roasted the buffalo wings instead because I expect many guests to be hungry by the time the BBQ pit has been set up and true enough the wings were all finished even before the fire starts. I think I did a good job there with the food! heheh....

 A party isn't complete without drinks and by drinks I meant alcoholic drinks. Ziling made a pot of grapefruit, lemon, cucumber, mint leaves and lemonade punch which is non-alcoholic and I made a coconut vodka after trying some made by Michael during the last Xmas party at Kim's place. I love the coconut vodka as it was refreshing and it tasted just like normal coconut juice to my unassuming guests. Later did they know...

Since I was so busy, I only managed to prepare the "welcome" drink for all my guests in the middle of the party. In one glass I filled it with green tea and in the other glass, I had it filled with 1 shot of limoncello. Nobody knows what is in the glass and they had to pick a card from the 3 cards I have. There will be 2 aces and 1 joker. The joker gets the green tea and the aces will have to drink the limoncello. Of course the motive was to get everyone to take the limoncello. To my surprise, no one could guess that it was a limoncello and nobody likes it either! Haha... looking at their expressions after drinking the limoncello was just fun!

After that, it was time for the gifts exchange time. I like the concept of gift exchange that we played every year at KY's Xmas Eve party and thus I made all my guests play it. The rules are simple:
  • every participant contribute a gift worth RM 20, and then draw a number 
  • smallest number start by picking and unwrapping a gift
  • next number can snatch the opened gift, whereby the person who lost it gets to open another gift, or snatch another's opened gift
  • only 3 snatchings per round

This was so funny. Marcus brought a big air-con box which was so darn heavy and made everyone so curious what was in that box. Calvin has the smallest number and he starts by choosing a present which he chose to open Marcus' gift. OMG it was a box filled with 20 coconuts! After that, we all had a coconut juice party!

The most sought after present was 3 boxes of Sweet Delice cookie with chocolate and Hue Gee was the luckiest as she had the last number which she snatched Janelle's prized Korean instant noodles gift from Lih Yeng. The gift that I bought was a packet of Lays, Ruffles, Wise Cottage Fries and a can of Pringles!

I was also lucky to have a big number which I managed to snatch the RM20 worth of bacon from Kee Chin who opened Yiling's gift. Then Lauren had 2 packets of Tong Garden nuts and some other presents include candies, chocolates and Famous Amos cookies.

After the funny gift exchange, we proceeded to some drinking games and then more drinks and more food until wee hours in the morning. The aftermath is lots and lots of cleaning! I was so tired that I only woke up at 1pm the next day...

I'm happy that everyone had fun!

3iLinG © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.