Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mooncakes + Mid-Autumn Reunion Dinner @ Toh Yuen, Hilton Petaling Jaya

Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, and during this day, families and friends come together to enjoy mooncakes together and have a reunion dinner . This year, Toh Yuen will be offering a Mid Autumn Reunion Dinner menu, specially crafted by Executive Chinese Chef Ben Lim.

The inspiration for Chef Ben’s Mid-Autumn Reunion Feast comes from traditional Cantonese dishes enjoyed during Mid-Autumn Festival which also alludes to the full moon fused with modern cooking techniques. The Mid Autumn Reunion Feast is available at RM 1800nett for a table of 10 persons and is available from 1 September – 27 September 2015. 

We started off our dinner with the boiled beef ribs with lemongrass scented spicy garlic sauce. The sauce was really good and fragrant, and complemented the tender beef so well. One of my favorite dishes of the evening.

The double boiled cucumber soup with scallop and green peas was slightly thicker and richer than other double boiled soups that we've had, but we liked it. Smooth and comforting.

The pan fried chicken topped with salted eggs and BBQ sauce showcases the wonderful fusion between the Asian and Western cooking. The tender chicken is topped with a layer of salted egg and then coated with the appetizing BBQ sauce.

The baked cod fish with wasabi mayonnaise was nicely cooked; the fish was beautifully flaky and tender.

I thought it was unusual of the chef to stir fry the huge scallops with dragon fruit, but it turned out to be a pretty nice combination. I usually prefer the red dragon fruit, but this white variety tasted good as an addition to the savoury dish. Lotus root and capsicums is added for colour and texture.

Stir fried scallops with dragon fruit and lotus root

This is another interesting pairing, lamb chops which have been pan fried and then served with a coffee sauce. The coffee sauce is thick with a slight bitterness to it, kind of like using chocolate with meat to give it depth of flavour.

Pan fried lamb chops with coffee sauce

I love it when a Chinese meal includes a noodle dish, especially when it's super tasty like this crispy noodle topped with tiger prawn. It is served with a flavorful, thick sauce, which acts to soften the crispy noodles. The tiger prawn was also big and juicy.

How cute!

For desserts, we were served deep fried Chinese pancake with vanilla ice cream. Cornflakes were added for extra texture.

Overall, I find the menu very interesting, unique and different (in a very good way!) from the usual Chinese-style meals. I would love to eat all these dishes all over again, if I could ;)

After the sumptuous meal, we were also served Toh Yuen's mooncakes, which are made with less sugar. Available from 1 August until 27 September, you can choose from 5 traditional baked flavours (RM23-26) as well as 6 snow skin varieties (RM17 + RM34 for premium musang king durian paste). There is 20% early bird discount for purchases made before 15 August for 10 boxes and above. CIMB card holders also enjoy 20% discount when they present their card when purchasing these mooncakes. The gift box is a pretty pastel Celadon hue.

For traditional baked, the flavours available are pandan paste, pure lotus paste with single yolk, mixed five nuts, white lotus paste with double yolk and red bean paste. My favorites are the pandan paste and lotus ones with yolk.

For snow skin, you can find lotus paste with sunflower seeds, yam paste, green tea paste with red bean, black sesame paste, dragonfruit paste and Musang King durian paste. Our favorite was the dragonfruit paste, as the filling is very smooth and slightly tangy.

* The Mid Autumn Reunion Feast is available at RM 1800 nett for a table of 10 persons from 1 September – 27 September 2015. The menu items are also available on ala-carte from RM 30 nett per dish.


Location: Toh Yuen Chinese Restaurant, Level 1, Hilton Petaling Jaya, 2 Jalan Barat, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tel: 03-7955 9122 ext. 4073/4.

Website: http://www.zestpj.com/

GPS Coordinates: 3.102164, 101.640573

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Dolly Dim Sum + Fresca Mexican Restaurant, Avenue K, KL

Last weekend, we were at Petrosains to attend the preview screening of Miles from Tomorrowland, a new kids series on Disney Junior channel. After the preview, we headed back to Avenue K for a late lunch with the kids. Our original plan was to have dim sum at Dolly Dim Sum, however since the restaurant allows cross-ordering from its sister Mexican restaurant, Fresca, we decided to order from both. An East meets West lunch. :)

You can sit at either one of the restaurant, and still enjoy the other's menu. Our order from Fresca Mexican Restaurant arrived first - the Ensenada-style Fish Tacos (RM22) and Enchiladas Verdes (RM17). We enjoyed the former, a dish originating from Ensenada, Baja California - soft flour tortillas layered with crispy beer battered fish and homemade coleslaw. The Enchiladas Verde was not too bad either, corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken in a salsa verde and gratin-cheese finish. On Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, they also do a Mexican brunch from 11am to 4pm. There is also a Fresca restaurant in The Gardens Mall.

Fish tacos

Enchiladas Verde

Bar area in Fresca

Although pork-free, Dolly Dim Sum certainly impresses with its dim sum, made with finesse. The "Siew Mai" dumpling (RM9.50) is made using tender chicken, fresh prawns and mushrooms, and topped with ebikko. The Roasted BBQ Bun (RM8.50) is filled with Dolly's signature honey BBQ meat filling. One of my favorites was the crystal prawn dumpling (RM9.20); the dumpling skin was so thin, translucent and delicate, truly masterful. Filled with prawn and chives.

Siew mai

Fluffy BBQ buns

One of my favs, the crystal prawn dumpling

From the fried dim sum, we tried the salad prawn dumpling (RM9.50), and the first bite further affirms that Dolly's excellence in dim sum making. Crispy exterior and plump, juicy prawns. And for dessert, we had the egg custard bun (RM7.50), with oozy, flowing salted egg yolk caramel - one not to be missed. We also had the baked mini egg tart (RM8), which features nice and flaky pastry.

Egg custard bun

Baked mini egg tart

Dolly Dim Sum dining area

Earlier that morning at Petrosains - you can catch this cartoon series from August 17 at 9am on Disney Junior

Famfie :)


Opening times: 11am to 10pm daily.

Price: Total bill RM100.30.

Location: Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Dolly Dim Sum, Lot G9, Ground Floor, Avenue K, 156 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2201 2893

GPS Coordinates: 3.159767, 101.713682

Parking rate at Avenue K on weekends: RM5 per entry.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Brunch @ Serena Brasserie, InterContinental KL

Sundays are reserved for quality family time and Serena Brasserie is the place to be for a memorable Sunday Brunch experience for the whole family.

The Sunday Brunch is available every Sunday from 12.00pm to 3.00pm and families can indulge in a wonderful spread of food while the kids enjoy themselves at the special kids corner.The buffet is priced at RM150 nett per adult with free flow soft drinks and chilled juices and RM76nett per child (6 – 12 years old). If you opt for the drink package with free flowing red and white wines, standard pour liquor and draught beers, the price is RM270nett per adult.

The Sunday brunch offers seafood on ice, pasta, Peking duck (highly recommended), ikan bakar, noodles, grill, Indian tandoor, satay, salads as well as the outdoor grill station. Fresh seafood on ice includes Fine de Claire oysters, Canadian king crab legs, tiger prawns, East Coast tropical lobster, scallops on shell, New Zealand green lip mussel, and Coho salmon with sour cream and micro herbs. There are also a few types of sashimi, maki and sushi.

We frequented the outdoor grill station a lot, as it offers top quality sirloin, lamb chops, sausages, tiger prawns, tuna steak, tropical slipper lobster and Japanese squid. Grilled to perfection :)

At the grill station


There is also beef prime rib with roast potatoes and vegetables. 

The best thing about this brunch is definitely the dedicated children's corner. You can find a spread of children’s menu featuring super salad, egg sandwich, cheese sandwich, fish fingers, chocolate brownies, cookies and candies here and the children will also be entertained with fun activities such as coloring activities, cartoons, clown, balloon art and cupcake decorating.

While the kids play... mummy and daddy enjoyed the wonderful spread of food...

Mummy's fav... salmon sashimi


Opening times: Lunch 12.00 noon to 2.30pm (Mondays to Fridays), Dinner 7.00pm to 10.30pm (Daily)


Location: Serena Brasserie, Lobby Level, InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 165 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2782 6228

Website: http://www.intercontinental-kl.com.my/dining/serena_brasserie.asp

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Grab, Menara UOA, Bangsar, KL

Grab was brought to market as a purveyor of coffee and has evolved in its seven months of operation to fulfill requests from its customers, offering breakfast and lunch options. They also operate a brew bar from 3-6pm.

We were recently invited here to check out their offerings. Hubby started off with a cold brew (RM12 per bottle), which is made from Ethiopia Konga Beans (tasting notes: black tea, fruity, vanilla, peaberry). The cold press process takes about 4-5 hours.


Since I am not a coffee drinker, I went for the iced chocolate (RM9). They also serve Smooshies here, as well as gourmet tea from Harney & Sons.

Their menu consists of breakfast items, sandwiches, wraps, croissants, pizzas and salads, as well as some daily specials such as pasta and roasted chicken. We tried some of their bestselling items such as the chunky chicken and mushroom pizza (RM12.90), which was served on a crispy paratha base, Grab club sandwich (RM13.90) with turkey ham, fried egg, cheese, lettuce and tomato as well as the egg and cheese croissant (RM9.90).

What really impressed us were the macarons, some of the best we've tried in KL in terms of texture. They come in several flavours such as salted caramel, Pink lady, matcha and adzuki, pistachio and summer love (mixed berry). Reasonably priced at RM3.80 per piece.

Ma-ma-ma Macarons

Hubby also tried the hand brew coffee (RM15) made with Tanzania beans (tasting notes: black tea, herbs) as well as the affogato (RM12.50) - he really enjoyed the affogato and commented that it was a nice size as well. :)

Opening times: Monday to Fridays only 8am to 8pm. Closed on weekends.

Parking rate: RM4 for first hour, RM3 subsequent hour.

Location: GRAB., Unit 1-5, Ground Floor, Menara UOA, 5 Jalan Bangsar Utama 1, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Bangsar LRT station)

Tel: 03-2201 1740

GPS Coordinates: 3.127613, 101.678424

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