Showing posts with label Mediterranean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mediterranean. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

La Cucina @ Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar

La Cucina is the urban dining specialty restaurant in Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar serving Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

During our staycation here, we dined in this restaurant twice - once for their steak promotion and another time trying out their a la carte menu for dinner. They have a wide range of salads, pasta, pizza and main courses available here.

King prawn salad

Freshly baked bread

The kitchen is located smack in the centre of the restaurant - yup, an open kitchen for the viewing pleasure of the diners. There is also a Mediterranean salad bar whereby you can make your salad selections and watch the salads being prepared before your eyes. Select your desired toppings; one salad for RM24 or selection of two for RM34. We went for the king prawn salad - it was fresh and the king prawns were huge and meaty. 

Over at La Cucina, the pizzas are baked in a clay oven and you can customise your own pizzas - ie you can choose the base and toppings. For the base, we chose mixed herbs and garlic confit as well as Maldon salt and olive oil, and for the toppings, it was misto verde, a vegetarian selection of grilled courgette, portobello mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and baby spinach and on the other side, it was wild mushrooms with spanish anchovies and dried figs. Great thin pizzas and delicious toppings. 


Our customized pizza


It's no secret that we all love scallops, so my kids squealed in delight when the risotto with sea scallops arrived at our table.  Delicious creamy risotto served with plump scallops.... it was indeed a delight to savour. Please note that this dish is usually served with 3 scallops only.



The Linguine All’Anatra Affumicata was rather good; the linguine was tossed golden-roasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil and chilli flakes, giving it a lovely spicy kick and then topped with yummy smoked duck breast. We like this a lot.


We also shared two mains - the red mullet fillet as well as braised Australian grain-fed beef cheek. The fish is lightly seared and served in a saffron infused seafood bisque. The beef on the other hand is slow cooked for 7 hours til tender, and is served with Parmesan polenta and olive tapenade.





For desserts, we had a selection of cakes and macarons as well as a chocolate ball. The creme brulee was pretty yummy.



Open kitchen concept



Verdict: Overall, we enjoyed both our meals here at La Cucina - nice restaurant serving good food. 


Pork-free.

Opening times: 12:00- 2:30pm ; 6:00 - 11:00pm daily.

Service: Good.

Location: La Cucina, Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar, No 1 Jalan Pantai Jaya, Tower 3, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2298 1888

GPS Coordinates: 3.115850, 101.6632

Website: http://www.pullmanhotels.com/gb/hotel-7962-pullman-kuala-lumpur-bangsar-/index.shtml


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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kebab @ Lara's Imbiss, Regensburg, Germany

Due to the huge Turkish population in Germany, the döner kebab has become one of the staples of the German fast food scene. Döner kebab (literally rotating kebab in Turkish) is meat roasted on a vertical spit. The German version of the kebab is different from the original döner kebab, also known as the Iskender kebap. The meat is sliced off the vertical spit and served in a pita bread with a salad and a choice of sauce, usually a yoghurt based sauce, or a hot sauce. The result is a great snack which is loved by the young and old.



Our choice of döner kebab came from this small shop called Lara's Imbiss. The shop here sells kebab of the turkey meat variant.


Located within close proximity to the Steinerne Brücke (Old Stone Bridge), this can be a good alternative to the renowned Wurstkuchl, and at the same time a bit lighter on the wallet.

Take away one of these babies for €4 a pop...

Carbs check, protein check, greens check

Pretty balanced considering this is fast food!




Be it lunch, an in-between meal or a late night snack, there's always a time and place for the döner kebap


Seagulls by the bridge

Price: €4 each.

Location: Lara's Imbiss, Silberne-Kranz-Gasse 1, 93047 Regensburg, Germany.

Phone: +49 (0)941 5861754

*This is a guest post by The Unc.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recipe: Homemade Hummus + Vegetarian Wrap

During Christmas lunch last year, I was more adventurous and served several tapas / light bites since I had extra help in the kitchen (Hubby and The Unc). Hubby is very fond of hummus, so instead of buying it from the supermarket I decided to try making it myself. I used a recipe out of a cookbook that I got from the Big Bad Wolf Sale.

Homemade Hummus with Pita bread

Our Christmas 2012 Lunch Menu

The Christmas Tapas Spread


Hummus is a Middle Eastern food dip or spread made from cooked chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. The chickpeas are a good source of protein and dietary fiber and the tahini consists mostly of sesame seeds, are an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, complementing the proteins in the chickpeas. Two to three tablespoons equate to one portion of the daily recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables. Eating too much chickpeas however, can give you wind so eat in moderation! ;P

Boiled chickpeas


Hummus is the new "kaya"..

When making hummus, I choose to use organic chickpeas, it only costs about RM1 more for every 400g. Making hummus is relatively easy as you only need to soak the chickpeas overnight, boil them, and then place it in the blender with the other ingredients. At Christmas time, we served the hummus with homemade pita bread (recipe soon), but on other days, we eat it with toast... Hubby calls it the new "kaya"! I've made hummus using this recipe a few times now, and each batch will usually last for 10 days. We like its smooth, creamy texture with a hint of garlic. Other than breakfast toast, we also like to use it as a spread on wraps (bonus recipe below hummus recipe).



Even Baby D likes having hummus for breakfast

Vegetable Wrap with Hummus (see recipe below)



Homemade Hummus (ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna)
Recipe adapted from How to Eat In - Adam Byatt
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Makes about 500g

Ingredients
200g dried organic chickpeas
A pinch of table salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 2 lemons
75ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
150ml tahini paste
150-200ml cold water
Sea salt and cayenne pepper

To serve
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Parsley, to garnish

1. Put the chickpeas into a tupperware/bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak in the fridge overnight.

2. The next day, drain the chickpeas and tip into a large saucepan. Pour in plenty of cold water to cover the chickpeas well and add a pinch of salt. Bring up to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Simmer gently over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, until the chickpeas are soft. Drain and keep in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use.

3. Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and tahini paste into a food processor and blend on full speed until the mix becomes smooth and creamy. Add the water little by little until you reach the texture you want; I used about 160ml. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper (a pinch should be sufficient).

4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Drizzle with some EVOO and season with pepper before serving. Serve with pita bread, or with toast (cut into strips) or as a spread on wraps.



Vegetarian Wrap with Hummus
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Makes 2

Note: You can use any type of salad vegetables, the following is a general guideline. 

Ingredients
3 butterhead lettuce leaves, cut into 2 inch pieces
4-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped finely
6-8 grapes, quartered
3-4 sugar snap peas, cut into 3 parts
1/4 carrot, finely grated
2 tbsp homemade hummus (see recipe above)
2 pieces tortilla wrap

1. Spread 1 tbsp of hummus on each piece of tortilla wrap. Place all other ingredients on the wrap (in the centre), leaving some space on the side for folding.


2. Roll the wrap until a long cone is formed, then fold the ends to secure. Cut into half and serve immediately.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Romanza Le Restaurant, Terrace at Hock Choon, Kuala Lumpur

Romance your loved one with a gorgeous meal..

I admit that when I first read about Romanza on Sean's blog, I was already mesmerised by the creativity in the plating of the dishes... call me a sucker for nice presentation! When I finally got the chance to dine here, I was indeed blown away by both the tastes and presentation of the dishes. Truly a maginificent dining experience for me.

Chocolate landscape

Romanza is named after one of the owner's favorite albums from the famous Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli.It also translates to romance in Italian, and the owner hopes that the restaurant will be able to create romance between the diners and the food as well as the ambiance of the restaurant. The restaurant opened its doors to public on 14th February (Valentine's - the day of love) so it's love all around at Romanza.

Bold wallpaper, grey wall slates and chandeliers give the restaurant a modern yet classy outlook. Natural light pours into the restaurant during the day and by night, the restaurant is transformed into a romantic venue. There is also an outdoor terrace where you can literally dine under the stars at night.




Outdoor terrace

Love is all around..

One thing for sure is that the food here is prepared with attention to detail. Even from the moment the amuse bouche was served to us, we were thoroughly impressed. The amuse bouche for the day was Norwegian salmon ceviche rolled in cucumber and topped with alfafa sprouts and caviar on a citrus gastrique.



We found out during our visit that the kitchen staff, including the head chef, sous chef and pastry chef are all from Capetown, South Africa. The head chef, Steven Kruger has numerous culinary awards under his belt and has previously worked in some of the top restaurants in Cape Town. The menu is wholly created by him featuring French Mediterranean cuisine with a hint of South African flair.

Kruger’s creative flair is evident in the food that we ate that afternoon, beautifully presented and often made up of a symphony of components that blend together to elevate the flavours of the dish. Lots of oohing and aahing going on at our table as each dish was presented to us.

We started off with the Sweet and Sour Tiger Prawns (RM45). One of the things you will find is that the dishes have very elaborate description beneath the name of the dish, and you will also find that one of the waiting staff (Conrad) is extremely knowledgable - hence if there is something you want to know about the dish, just ask away and he always has answers! Kruger tells us that his favorite ingredient in the kitchen is prawns.

The seared king prawns are placed on a bed of watercress, accompanied by mildly spiced peach salsa, spicy tomato sofrito and homemade coconut sorbet to take the edge off the spiciness. The prawns were huge and fresh and I love the vibrant colours of this dish. The chef uses lots of white plates and black tiles as a canvas for his dishes.


Work of art



The seared and sliced lamb (RM28) was another appetizer that we tried. The tender lamb was sliced thinly and served with smoked aubergine puree, eggplant chips and caviar and topped with alfafa sprouts and pretty edible flowers.



I love risotto and the wild mushroom risotto (RM24) here is perfectly executed. The risotto is toothsome, and possibly one of the prettiest risottos we've come across, thanks to the accompaniment of goat’s cheese croquettes, pan fried shimeji mushrooms and a crisp mushroom-truffle oil tortellini.  On the side is a lemon infused Hollandaise sauce which blends well with the risotto. 

Usually a palate cleanser need no description, but I think I ought to give this a mention here. When the palate cleanser of watermelon sorbet with kiwi was served, I remarked to Hubby that he could have mine as well since there was kiwi. 2 minutes later, Conrad returned with another palate cleanser for me, watermelon sorbet with watermelon cubes which he said "doesn't look as nice as the other one but at least you can eat this." I have to say I was really impressed with this small gesture, attentive service indeed!

 Palate cleanser

The sesame crusted yellowfin tuna loin (RM60) has been lightly seared and is served with avocado puree, Indo-flavoured sushi rice and a nori layered omelette roll topped with caviar. I'm not a huge fan of seared tuna, as I usually like mine raw (sashimi!) but this was pleasantly nice and Hubby enjoyed this thoroughly. 



Ostrich fillet is definitely not something we come across everyday. Kruger sources the ostrich meat from a local farm in Seremban. He tells us that it is an ingredient commonly used in South Africa, and the rarer it is the better! (the more you cook the meat, the tougher it will get)

The ostrich fillet (RM75) is first pan seared and then oven roasted to medium rare perfection. It is served with a spiced pumpkin puree flavoured with onions and a hint of chilli, pommes croquettes with dried apricots on a bed of red cabbage and mange tout and Japanese curry infused jus. Hubby remarked that he wouldn't mind ordering ostrich if he ever saw it on the menu again.



And the desserts here are to die for. First of all, kudos to the pastry chef for creating such a beautiful dessert. I have to say this is the first time I have eaten such an elaborate one in KL (last time I had something like this was in a Michelin restaurant in UK) and it was sooooooo delicious as well. 

The chocolate landscape (RM42) is a work of art and pure delight to savour with five different chocolate components including the peppermint crisp semi freddo mille feuille, light white chocolate mousse, dark and white chocolate ganache with crisp hazelnut meringue and a chocolate cylinder filled with hazelnut anglaise. I think if you saw this on the menu, you may think it's expensive for a dessert but once it is served the price is kind of justified since a lot of work has gone into making this dessert. This is definitely one of the best desserts I've eaten in KL. 




For a more wallet-friendly dessert but equally delicious, try the vanilla parfait (RM24) served with a raspberry coulis and white chocolate honeycomb. This is a refreshing dessert after a heavy meal, allow this dessert to "melt" a little as we felt this was the best way to enjoy it.




Verdict: After this meal, Romanza has rightfully earned a place as one of our recommended fine dining restaurants in KL.  

Pork-free (no alcohol used in cooking).

Opening times: Lunch 12.00-3.00pm; Dinner 6.00pm-11.00pm. Closed on Mondays.

Service: Excellent service, very knowledgeable staff.

Location: Romanza Le Restaurant, Terrace at Hock Choon, 241 Lorong Nibong, off Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur (behind Hock Choon Supermarket).

Tel: 03-4252 6059

Website: www.romanza.com.my/

GPS Coordinates: 3.159981, 101.728742

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