Monday, April 30, 2012

Set Lunch @ Ishin Japanese Dining Restaurant, Old Klang Road, KL

I have been told that Ishin serves very affordable set lunches. We finally made our way there last month with Mei Yee and Kenny for lunch. As soon as we were shown to our table, we were each given an iPad menu... yup, they've embraced technology and gone paperless here. Most of the items on the iPad menu has an accompanying photo too.. the problem with this was that most of it looked so enticing and made us want to order those dishes!  

The interior

iPad menu!

It took us quite a while to flick through the menu, but since we were after an "affordable meal", we ended up ordering the set lunch which had the most attractive photo LOL! I forgot to take down the prices for the set lunch that we had, but I believe it was something like RM22++ per set. On top of the set, Hubby and I were feeling greedy and ordered some side dishes (add-ons). I had the chuka idako which was nice but a bit small in portion, but then again for RM4, one can't really complain. Hubby likes having chawanmushi with his Japanese food, so he ordered one of those.

Chuka idako (marinated baby octopus) (RM4)

Chawanmushi (RM4)

Each set came with an appetizer, on our visit we were served a cold potato salad. The set lunch also comes with miso soup (unless you order one of the cold noodle dishes), pickles, rice and fresh fruits.

Mei Yee had the shake (salmon) teriyaki set, and Hubby had the unagi set. We thought that Hubby's unagi was a little small (very different from the illustration on the iPad for sure!!). Kenny and I both went for the cold noodles set, which came with tempura. He had the Ten Zaru Soba while I had the Ten Cha Soba (flavoured with green tea powder).

Salmon teriyaki set (RM22)

Unagi set (RM28)

Ten Zaru Soba set (RM22)

Ten Cha Soba Set (RM22)

I really enjoyed the cold noodles, dipped into the cold tsuyu mixed with scallions and wasabi. It was so refreshing to eat this! The next time I visit another Japanese restaurant, I'm gonna order cold soba again.

A new favorite


Since I can't eat kiwi, they kindly replaced it with dragon fruit. 

Mei Yee, Baby Sumo and Kenny - a great afternoon catching up!

Verdict: Set lunches here are reasonably priced. May come back to try their a la carte offerings another time.

Full set of photos available to view here.

Opening times: Lunch (12.00-3.00pm), Dinner (6.00 - 10.30pm)

Service: Good.

Price: We paid about RM30 per person.

Location: Ishin Japanese Dining Restaurant, No. 202, Persiaran Klang, Batu 3 3/4, Off Jalan Kelang Lama, 58000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel : +60 3 7980 8228

GPS Coordinates: 3.103021, 101.677952

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dinner @ The Pomelo Restaurant, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Ipoh, Malaysia

At The Banjaran, dining options are limited unless you drive out to Ipoh city for some food. The only restaurant in the resort is The Pomelo Restaurant, to cater for your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs. Other than The Pomelo, there is only a juice bar and Jeff's Cellar (one of the most unique wine cellars in the world.... why? Cos it's located in a 280-million year old cave!). 

So it was dinner time, and we were too lazy to leave the resort and hunt for food after lazing in our gorgeous villa all afternoon. We ended up in The Pomelo again for dinner. In the evenings, the restaurant is dimly lit (no good for photographs but romantic lah!). 

For starters, Hubby had the green gazpacho soup (RM33) from Madam Aboucaya's dinner menu. The soup was made from avocado, granny smith apples, cucumber and mixed herbs topped with some raw dehydrated crackers. The vibrant colour of the soup was lovely and it tasted very refreshing as well. This was definitely the best thing we ate for dinner here.

Love the pretty presentation, mimicking a garden 

I chose a starter from their regular a la carte menu, the poached prawns citrus (RM38). There wasn't really much to choose from, 2 starters, a soup, two mains and two desserts from their regular menu compared to their lunch menu. I found the salad to be ok, the prawns could have been fresher (meat was a little soft). The salad was made up of citrus segments, avocado, and rocket salad with lemon vinaigrette.

I think I mentioned the mocktails in the last post, this time I had the Lift-Me-up (RM20), an energy booster drink made from banana, strawberry and soya milk. It was good!

For mains, it was either the salmon or grilled grain fed beef fillet (RM78). Since I do not like cooked salmon (I only eat them smoked or raw), I went for the beef and so did Hubby. We both ordered our beef medium rare, but one came out medium and the other well done. I was lucky to have gotten the medium one as the meat was quite tender and succulent, whereas the well done piece was well.. a little dry (but saved slightly by pouring on the natural jus). I did swap some of my meat with Hubby.

I do like the pairing with pumpkin puree (pumpkin and beef seems to go well together), and Portobello mushroom. This was supposed to come with French beans but there wasn't any in sight.. maybe they ran out.

For desserts, we wanted to try some of Madam Aboucaya's creations but unfortunately the waiting staff forgot to tell us that last orders for the other menu was at 9.30pm. We just ordered off the regular menu, trying both desserts on offer - the flourless chocolate cake (RM26) and chilled soy panna cotta with beetroot compote (RM26). Sad to say, I didn't like either - the cake was too dry and the panna cotta was not silky smooth. Maybe someone who likes healthy dessert may enjoy this more... it's just me.

Flourless chocolate cake

Chilled soy panna cotta with beetroot compote

And after our meal, we lounged around in our beautiful water villa once again! Ah... bliss. 

See previous reviews here: Madam Lawrence Aboucaya organic event, Lunch at Pomelo Restaurant, Hotel Review: The Villas. 

Next up, will be the facilities / things to do around The Banjaran.

Full set of photos available to view here. 

Opening times: Breakfast (7.00am-11.00am), Lunch (12.00pm-2.00pm), Dinner (6.00pm-10.00pm). 

Location: The Pomelo Restaurant, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, 1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, 31150 Ipoh, Perak.

Tel: 05-210 7777


GPS Coordinates: 4.63082, 101.15617

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recipe: Italian Milk Risotto with Cherry Sorbet

During the cooking demo with Chef Stefano Merlo at Favola, Le Meridien KL, he showed us how to make 3 dishes.

As promised, here is the recipe for the delicious dessert that he prepared for us - milk risotto with cherry sorbet. You can find more photos of the cooking demo by clicking here.

Ingredients (makes 4)
For the milk risotto:
100g carnaroli rice
500ml milk
100g milk powder
50ml cream
45g sugar
1/2 vanilla bean

For the cherry sorbet:
175g seedless cherry
200ml water
80g sugar
12 pcs cherry pedicles

1. Soak the rice in water for 2 hours and then drain.

2. Bring the milk, cream, milk powder, sugar and vanilla bean to the boil. Once boiled, pour in the rice and cook at low heat. Stir continuously til rice softens (around 20 minutes).

3. Once cooked, the liquid will be absorbed into the rice. If it's too thick, add some more milk. Cool the mixture down and refridgerate the rice - the rice tastes better after being refridgerated for at least 24 hours.

4. For the cherry sorbet, boil the water and sugar until it becomes a syruppy consistency. Place the seedless cherries in a pacojet container and cover with syrup. Place the container in the freezer and freeze at -19C. Run the pacojet to obtain the sorbet and rest it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

5. Pour 3 spoonful of cold rice in a cold serving plate (the consistency must be similar to a creamy risotto). Take 3 scoops of cherry sorbet with a small ice scoop and place it on the top of the rice. Place cherry pedicle on each cherry sorbet and serve immediately.

Note: A Pacojet costs approx. USD$4,000 hence an alternative if you do not have this machine is to use your ice cream maker or buy from store. Vanilla ice cream will go very well with the milk risotto.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dim Sum @ Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL

Dim sum... breakfast fit for kings...and princesses

My kids have grown accustomed to the ritual of having dim sum on a Sunday morning. Whenever the word "dim sum" is mentioned, their faces glow with joy. 

Last weekend, we decided to try the dim sum at Celestial Court in Sheraton Imperial KL. Baby C got to tag along with us (it was close to Baby D's naptime so he had to stay home, but I bet he would have loved it too). We didn't have very high expectations since we had a poor experience at the afternoon tea buffet at Pavilions Lounge just recently, but I have to say the dim sum here really surpassed our expectations.. in fact I'll go as far as saying that it was one of the best dim sum experiences we've had in a while.

Although dim sum here is on the pricey side, each and every dim sum dish that we tried was prepared well using good quality ingredients. Plus service is also good here. 

The word "scallops" immediately attracted me into ordering the scallop dumplings with prawn, asparagus and shimeji mushroom (RM15). The translucent skin was perfectly steamed and just the right thickness. The scallop and prawn was fresh and a reasonable size, plus the tobiko added a nice texture as well as color to this dish. Loved it!

Baby C gave this her approval! 

Our obligatory orders during dim sum sessions are usually the har kao and siew mai, both given an interesting twist here. The har kao (prawn dumplings) is an unsual orange colour, as carrot puree is used. The prawn was big and juicy, and again nicely steamed (no overcooking here for sure!).

Har kao in crystal carrot puree with dried scallop and coriander (RM13)

I found the siew mai to be most interesting and one of the most visually appealing ones I've come across. It is topped with mini abalone, bonito flakes, crisps kailan leaf and ikura roe. At first, Baby C was taken aback with all these extras on the siew mai, but she ended up eating 2 mini abalones, and almost all the ikura roe on the siew mai. I'm really impressed that a halal dim sum can taste so good (yes, NO pork!).

Siew mai with mini abalone (RM13)

Pretty siew mai

The crispy dragon beard with cod fish and avocado (RM18) was nice - the cod was firm and the avocado gave it a creamy contrast.  Surprisingly, Baby C enjoyed eating the shredded pastry. "Mummy... this one so crunchy and nice!"

During dim sum, Baby C always requests for her char siew pau. However, I spotted the charcoal soft bun with salted egg yolk custard (RM12). Salted egg yolk AND custard... I'm sold! Despite it's unappealing colour, the bun was soft and the filling was super delicious. I ended up having 2 of this LOL! You can also order this as part of your desserts since the filling is sweet-salty.

Glorious salted egg yolk custard filling

We're on a roll... and it seems that the good food keeps coming. The Shanghainese lion's head consisted of chicken meatballs (again no pork, but it doesn't matter as they seem to do well without!) topped with foie gras sauce. The foie sauce was slightly sweetish, but it went well with the juicy meatball.

Shanghainese lion head with foie gras sauce (RM15)

The pan seared mini soft bun with kimchi and minced meat (RM15) was also tasty, albeit being a little oily. The bun is slightly sweet, but I thought it went well with the spicy filling.

Feel the heat

Lastly, we had the pan seared dumpling with chive served with ginger and spring onion (RM13). The dumpling was juicy and again, they got the thin, translucent skin just right. I quite like the green ginger sauce that came with the dumplings.

Wait, there's more food? I meant lastly as in the last of dim sum delights. We also tried the signature roasted crispy duck Hong Kong style (RM55 for half duck) served with a plum sauce which was pretty delicious. The skin could have been a little more crispy, but the duck meat was definitely juicy and flavoursome so we had no problems finishing the whole plate. This was definitely Baby C's favorite dish of the day, and she had quite a few helpings. (And mummy's always happy when the kids enjoy their food!)

Since Baby C had a slight cold, we couldn't order most of the desserts since they were chilled/cold except for the pandan paste sesame ball served with Teochew yam paste (RM11). I liked the way it was presented, very pretty. The sesame ball was good and had ample pandan paste filling. The shot glass was filled with mango and yam paste with some raisins, which Baby C liked very much. She kept persuading us to give her ours too... ;P

"Mummy, wanna swap? I give you my sesame ball if you give me your shot glass.."

The restaurant is quite big, and relaxed. I like how it's very brightly lit in the daytime. The view from the restaurant is not too bad either (especially when it's a bright sunny day!).

Admiring the restaurant

"Mummy, can we come back here another time?"

Celestial Court

Verdict: We really enjoyed our dim sum session here at Celestial Court. With the Starwood card, I feel that the prices are acceptable. There are still many items that I wish to try, so we will definitely be back (maybe with Baby D in tow next time!)

Full set of photos available to view here.


Opening times: Monday - Saturday, 12.00 pm - 2.30 pm; Sunday and Public Holidays, 10.00 am - 2.30 pm, Dinner (daily)  6.30 pm - 10.30 pm.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill came to RM232. Tea was RM10 per person.

Location: Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03 -2717 9988

GPS Coordinates: 3.158813, 101.700203
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...