Saturday, April 30, 2016

Set Lunch @ Italiannies, The Gardens Mall, KL

We won another RM50 voucher to dine at Italiannies, this time we went there for lunch. They do a 3-course set lunch for RM29.90 nett, which is pretty good value for money.



The set lunch includes soup of the day, a starter, and main course. You can also opt to have dessert with the set lunch for an extra RM5.80. The soup of the day during our visit was minestrone soup, which was served soon after we placed our order. For starters, Hubby chose the trio risotto balls - the deep fried breaded risotto balls was served with pomodoro sauce and fresh salad. For mains, he had the lemon oregano marinated lamb chop served with new potatoes and vegetables. The server asked us what doneness we wanted when we were ordering, so we opted for medium doneness, however the lamb that came was cooked well done and was pretty tough and chewy. Quite disappointing.






We enjoyed the mussels during our last visit, so having it again this time. This is from the a la carte menu - New Zealand whole shell mussels cooked in white wine and fresh herbs (RM33.70).



Kids eat for free with every main course ordered (surprisingly the set lunch's main course is eligible), so we ordered the 8" thin crust margherita pizza. Nice thin crust, kids enjoyed this.





All things Hello Kitty .. so cute!


For the full menu, click here. The set lunch is available on weekdays only from 11am to 3pm.

Opening times: 11am to 10pm daily.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM97.60.

Location: Italiannies, Lot F-215, First Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2283 3675

Website: http://www.italiannies.com.my/index.html

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Featured on Better Homes and Gardens

This week, my photo of the asparagus and scallop risotto with poached egg and bacon bits (with a link to my recipe) was featured in Better Homes and Gardens website, BHG.com. Better Homes and Gardens is one of America's most trusted magazines and its online magazine/website has over 13.5million page views per month, so it's an honour to be featured.

Thank you :)






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Friday, April 29, 2016

Iketeru, Hilton KL - Authentic Japanese Cuisine

During our staycation at Hilton KL, we couldn't leave before sampling the Japanese cuisine on offer at Iketeru. Our family are big fans of the cuisine, and furthermore, we have heard lots of good things about the restaurant.

Iketeru serves both modern and traditional Japanese cuisine in a serene setting. Service was top notch; the staff are attentive and always ready to give recommendations and explain the dishes to us. There are several private tatami rooms, a sushi counter and teppanyaki grill area in the restaurant. Currently, they are showcasing the Spring produce from Japan .

To start, we had the sashimi platter consisting of chef's selection of 7 kind of deluxe sashimi - Asatsuyu (RM445). We loved the simple yet elegant presentation, complete with sakura flowers made from radish to match the Spring season in Japan. The sashimi was very fresh, featuring ohtoro, hamachi, kampachi, sea bream, trevally, swordfish and ocean trout. I especially loved the ohtoro, the best and fattiest part of the tuna belly, with its gorgeous melt-in-the-mouth texture.






The Iketeru Omakase Course was recommended to us, as it will highlight their Spring menu offerings. We went for the Suzu set (RM350), a 8-course authentic Japanese meal with dishes specially selected by the chef. Otherwise, you can also order from their Spring Menu as a la carte items.

To start, we were served an appetizer of nanohana blossom, a spring vegetable with bright yellow green flower . It is apparently one of the oldest vegetables cultivated in Asia and is closely related to rapeseed plant in Europe.The nanohana was boiled, mixed with mustard sauce and topped with dried uni. Alongside is a small plate of homemade tofu made from peanut and sesame, which reminded of smooth peanut butter.



Food blogger in the making :)


Next course from the omakase was this sashimi platter, which includes chutoro (medium fatty tuna), amaebi (sweet shrimp), tai (sea bream) and hamachi (Japanese amberjack). Again, very fresh and a delight to savour.




Next, we were presented with this platter which includes salmon shioyaki as the centrepiece, as well as steamed prawn, tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette), kyuri (Japanese cucumber), soramame (broad bean, our waiter called it edamame's big brother) and firefly squid mixed with vinegar miso paste. Then, we were served a dish of simmered spring vegetables, which includes fresh bamboo shoots.






Our last three courses before dessert, a clam soup, sakuradai kamadaki gohan (rice cooked with sakura seabream), and sakura ebi kakiage (deep fried sakura shrimp with spring vegetables served with green tea powder and Maldon salt).



This kakiage was light and crisp


Every Saturday and Sunday (for lunch), a Weekend Bento Menu is available. Diners can choose from 3 types of bento, namely Shokado Bento, Sushi Bento and Teppanyaki Bento, which are all priced at RM115 nett each (including green tea). We went for the latter, which was excellent value for money. It comes with fresh salad with wasabi ponzu dressing, two kinds of sashimi, chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), prawn and vegetable tempura, salmon and scallop with miso butter sauce, beef sirloin or chicken &lamb with garlic sauce, steamed rice, miso soup, ice cream as well as coffee or tea.

Our kids thoroughly enjoyed this bento box, as it contains all their favorite components of a Japanese meal. The sashimi (salmon and tuna) were thickly cut and fresh. We opted for beef sirloin teppanyaki which was nicely cooked to medium doneness, and was tender. Our boy loved the scallop teppanyaki as well as the prawn tempura as well.


Teppanyaki Bento


Every component of the bento box was immaculately prepared




For desserts, we shared the matcha kintoki ice (green tea ice cream with sweet red bean),  kinako mochi (rice cake powdered with sweetened soybean flour) and the Japanese trio (chocolate, cheese and mochi ice cream).




For the Omakase set, we were served a sakura mochi (rice cake with red bean centre, wrapped in a sakura leaf).


One of the private rooms


BabySumoKids give Iketeru a BIG thumbs up!


Opening times: Lunch: 12noon to 2.30pm; Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.

Location: Iketeru, Level 8, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, 3, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: +603 2264 2596

Website: www.life.hiltonkl.com

GPS Coordinates: 3.135685, 101.686524


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Recipe: Fusilletti with Pesto, Parma Ham and Cherry Tomatoes

One of our families favorite pasta sauce is pesto. Particularly the homemade version. Our boy especially enjoys the whole pesto-making process, be it with the pestle and mortar or the food processor (lately we've been using the latter as it's more convenient). It begins with plucking the sweet basil leaves from our garden, washing them, spinning them dry, measuring all the ingredients and then popping them into the food processor.

Instead of spaghetti, we are using fusilletti which we got from here - they're thinner, smaller versions of fusilli.  They go really well with pesto sauce. We topped the pasta with some Parma ham, crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes as well as Parmesan cheese. Very tasty!

Fusilletti with Pesto, Parma Ham and Cherry Tomatoes




The pesto-making process (watch in full screen here)





Fusilletti with Pesto, Parma Ham and Cherry Tomatoes
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5-8 minutes
Cooking time:  5 minutes
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
150g fusilletti pasta
1/2 quantity Pesto (recipe here)
2 slices Parma ham
3 slices streaky bacon, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook for 9 minutes, or according to pack instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.


LA FABRICA DELLA PASTA I FUSILETTI (you can get fusilletti from here)


2. In a frying pan over medium high heat, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the bacon and fry for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

3. Toss the pasta in pesto until well coated. Tear the Parma ham into smaller pieces and top on the pasta. Garnish with bacon and cherry tomatoes, grate generous amounts of Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.







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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dim Sum @ Five Sen5es, The Westin KL

Five Sen5es in The Westin KL serves authentic Cantonese cuisine, and have recently revamped their menus. We visited last week to sample their new pork-free dim sum items and we sure enjoyed it. :)

Diners can opt for either a la carte or All You Can Eat dim sum to enjoy unlimited servings of dim sum. The All You Can Eat Simply Dim Sum is available on weekdays (RM78 nett per person) and on weekends (RM115 nett per person). On weekdays, freshly made dim sum will be delivered to your table, whereas on weekends, there will be an extensive spread of dim sum as well as all-time Cantonese favorites such as pan fried noodles, silky smooth congee and Chinese pastries on display at the buffet counters.


The Simply Dim Sum menu is categorised into Steamed, Baked/Wok Fried, Deep Fried/Fried, Rice Roll/Congee and Dessert. We started off with some siew mai (RM14), our default order during any dim sum brunch. At Five Sen5es,chicken, shrimp and mushroom are mixed together and steamed and then topped with tobiko. The prawns were really bouncy and the tobiko crowning the siew mai adds a nice crunch to it. 




We tried two of the signature steamed dim sum items here - the steamed crystal dumpling with mini abalone (RM18) as well as the poached prawn dumplings in crab roe bisque (RM28). The dumpling was juicy to the bite, and we loved the cute mini abalone topping. So adorable!




The poached prawn dumpling was one of my favorite dim sum items of the afternoon. Firstly, I love the elegant presentation and the dumpling also had a great texture to it. The crab roe bisque was velvety and rich in flavour. There is also a piece of scallop in the bisque. Yum!




We found the xiao long bao aka steamed Shanghainese dumpling (RM16) here to be pretty unique. The delicate dumplings are filled with the herbal "chick kut teh" soup, a chicken version of the ever popular Malaysian bak kut teh.


Har kau (RM18) gets a Western twist, with the addition of black truffle to the prawns. The prawn dumplings are then steamed and a few drops of truffle oil is added before serving to diners, for the wonderful truffle aroma.



We moved on to some deep fried items for some crispy, crunchy textures. Hubby's favorite is the deep fried crispy prawn dumplings in mayo dressing (RM14). I am not usually a fan of yam puffs but the deep fried crispy yam puff (RM18) here was really good - it was light and crispy, and furthermore, it comes with fresh scallop filling. Anything with scallops is a sure winner for me :)




Deep fried crispy yam puff filled with fresh scallop


The Thai-style deep fried Phoenix prawns with mango (RM18) came highly recommended as this is one of chef's signature items. The savoury prawn and cuttlefish mix was complemented nicely by the sweet mango chunks in the centre. It comes with a spicy dipping sauce.




For cheese lovers, try the deep fried beancurd rolls with seafood and cheese (RM14) - guaranteed to please with the oozy, melting cheese in the centre.


You can get the usual rice rolls here, with BBQ chicken, shrimp or fresh scallop filling or you could try this unique deep fried crispy rice rolls (RM16). It is advisable to eat this as soon as it arrives at your table to enjoy the contrasting textures of the smooth rice rolls, crispy Vietnamese spring roll skin and popping sensation of the tobiko. This comes with a sour-spicy sauce for dipping. 



For desserts, we tried the steamed soft cake "ma lai gao" (RM10) which comes in the shape of mini muffins and served with a pandan kaya.



What made the meal memorable for Hubby were these traditional baked mini egg tarts (RM12). The pastry was crumbly and crisp, and you can easily pop them in your mouth, thanks to their perfect bite-size.



We love both the chilled mango pudding (RM11) and chilled mango puree with pomelo and sago, topped with ice cream (RM12). No sharing please - you definitely NEED a whole plate to yourself. So good!







The All You Can Eat Dim Sum is available from 12.00pm to 2.30pm daily (except Monday). For the dim sum menu, please click here.


Pork-Free.

Location: Five Sen5es, Level 1, The Westin Kuala Lumpur, 199 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03- 2731 8333

GPS Coordinates: 3.14779, 101.714569

Website: www.westindining.com.my


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