Monday, November 30, 2015

The Press Room Bistro, Pavilion KL

The Press Room Bistro is a modern interpretation of a European Bistro. The menu highlights simple French-European food using the finest ingredients, served in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Grills from the charcoal-fired Josper oven dominate the main courses and are complimented by light salads, delicious soups, fresh pasta dishes and sumptuous desserts.

In November, The Press Room Bistro introduced a selection of new dishes prepared by Chef Kelly Delaney, their new executive Chef at The Press Room Bistro. We visited the restaurant last week to sample some of their new offerings.

A wide choice of wine by the glass is offered here, as well as a good selection of beers on tap

To start, we had the Saffron Seafood Soup (RM28). The soup was rich, creamy and smooth, similar to a bisque,  and came with generous amounts of seafood such as mussels, clams, squid and 2 large prawns. I'm impressed. ;)

Chef Kelly tells us that she tries to source for local ingredients whenever possible, such as the seafood, poultry and vegetables that she uses in the restaurant.

The beef cheek (RM46) is already proving to be one of the more popular items with diners here at The Pressroom Bistro.The beef cheek, which has been braised in red wine, is tender and gelatinous, and is served with smooth potato puree, roasted vine ripened tomatoes, tarragon and horseradish cream.

A classic French favorite, the confit of duck leg (RM36) here is served with Du Puy lentils, beetroot confit, and pickled cocktail onions. The duck confit was juicy, flavorful and had a lovely crispy exterior.

For dessert, we had the deconstructed lemon meringue tart (RM16) - powdered gelatin is added to the tangy lemon curd to help it set, and is served with creamy Italian meringue, and a polenta and thyme crumb.

Cappucino... the restaurant uses coffee from illy.

If you're in the area, do check out the Asia's Tallest Swarovski Christmas Tree in Pavilion KL... 

Opening times: 8am to 2am daily.

Location: The Press Room Bistro, Lot 3.10.02, Level 3 Connection, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2148 3889

GPS Coordinates: 3.148351, 101.713746

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas Crafts: How to Make Rudolph / Reindeers from Toilet Roll

Christmas is less than a month away, and the kids are also on school holidays... so get crafty and involve them in some fun Christmas crafts. Today, I will share with you a simple and fun Christmas craft -  how to make Rudolph (or any of his reindeer friends) using toilet rolls.

A herd of reindeers... so adorable!

What you'll need: Toilet roll, Black marker pen, Scissors, Pom poms (Red for Rudolph, or any other colour for other reindeers), Craft glue.

Time required: 5 minutes.


Step-by-step instructions (VIDEO)

1. Take a toilet roll and flatten it with your hands. 

2. Using the marker pen, draw according to the diagram below.

Bottom: Draw vertical lines at side 15mm from base and 2mm from left and right side. In centre, draw a square about 15mm x 15mm. 
Top: Draw a horizontal line about 10mm from top, about 35mm in length, then draw another line 35mm at an angle. 

This is how it should look like

3. Using scissors, cut following the lines (make sure you cut on both sides). 

4. Remember to snip off the right hand top side (1cm from the top) to create two antlers. 

5. Using your fingers, pull the head forward. Puff up the toilet roll again by pushing the sides. Push down the two flaps behind the head towards the centre.

6. Fold in antlers at an angle.

7. Stick on red nose. Hello Rudolph!(Note: If you cannot get red pom poms, you can also draw on a nose using red marker pen)

Do also check out these other cute Christmas crafts: SnowmanSantaElf and Penguin.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Hip hip hooray... Christmas, our favorite time of the year is here again! Last weekend, we took our Christmas tree out of storage and #babysumokids had fun putting up the tree and decorating it.

After two years of doing it, the kids are so pro at it now. They will take out the tree, fluff up the branches - slight break while mummy and daddy put up the lights and tinsel - then finished by tree decorating. Children are really great helpers, and they can also get creative and have fun. What a great family bonding activity!

How are your Christmas preparations going?

Beautiful sunrise earlier that morning

Here are some other cool Christmas crafts which you do with your kids: snowman, and edible Santa Claus & Gang

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Xperience Restaurant, Sofitel So Singapore

During our stay at Sofitel So Singapore, we had the pleasure of having dinner at Xperience Restaurant, the hotel's signature restaurant and bar. With a relaxed yet stylish gastro-bar dining concept, Xperience takes guests on a one-of-a-kind interactive culinary journey of the senses.

Helming the kitchen is Sofitel So Singapore's Resident Culinary Designer, Trevor Paulo. Earlier this month, a brand new menu created by Chef Trevor was unveiled at the restaurant.

The new menu stays true to the restaurant's concept of a sophisticated combination of modern European tastes with Asian touches. At Xperience, diners are able to design their own customised menus, based on different culinary experiences - crunchy, juicy, smoky, creamy, silky, spicy and zesty – to name a few.

In the restaurant, you will find a custom-built matt-black and rose-gold 20-ft Molteni oven

We went for the Signature Menu (S$75), which entitles you to a 3-course meal of Chef Trevor's signature creations. There are 2 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts to choose from, so to make it easy, we we went for one of each.

For entree, we had the Foie Gras and Truffle Siew Mai (S$31) as well as Chili Crab Taco. They were both good, however if I had to choose one between the two, I would go for the siew mai. It may look like an ordinary siew mai, but hidden within is a piece of foie gras. The siew mai itself is made of duck meat, sits in a Japanese dashi broth, complemented perfectly by the foie gras. We would have liked it if the truffle taste was more distinct, but nevertheless a really enjoyable dish - juicy and plump, oh-So-delicious!

The Chilli Crab Taco (S$24) features one of Singapore's most famous dishes, the Singapore chilli crab. Crab meat is removed and topped onto a soft taco with fresh cabbage, red onions, coriander and homemade kaffir lime oil. However, we felt that this was a bit pricey considering you only get 1 piece.

We were impressed with the generous portions of the mains as well as the beautiful plating of the dishes. I had the Laksa Risotto (S$40), which clearly showcases European technique with Asian flavours. The risotto was rich and creamy and is cooked in a curried base, giving it a lovely spicy kick, redolent of laksa, one of Singapore's famous dishes. Crab meat, charred squid and king prawn, all perfectly cooked, adorns the risotto.

Hubby had the Kampong Chicken (S$27) served with potato mousseline, egg confit, bok choy and black bean vinaigrette, and it was fantastic! One of the best chicken dishes we've had in a while, we were told that the tender, flavorful chicken was cooked sous vide, and then roasted. The potato mousseline was silky smooth and the egg confit completes this beautiful dish.

For dessert, we shared the Lemon Marshmallow (S$18) as well as Araguani Cremeux (S$18). Out of the two, I preferred the tangy Lemon Marshmallow, which was served with almond crumble, lemon curd, ginger jelly, meringue and popping candy. It was a lovely finish to the fantastic meal. The Araguani Cremeux was slightly too bitter for my liking, though Hubby had no problems in polishing the plate off.

*Prices indicated next to each dish is the price if you ordered from the a la carte menu.

To celebrate the launch of the new menu, diners can get 25% off total a la carte food bill, valid til 29 December 2015. Available for weekday dinners and all day on weekends.

Opening times: 6.30am to 10.30pm daily.

Location: Xperience Restaurant, Lobby Level, 35 Robinson Road, 068876 Singapore.

Tel: +65 6701 6800

Nearest MRT: Raffles Place.

GPS Coordinates: 1.279826, 103.849763

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Award-winning Cantonese Cuisine @ Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental KL

From 26 to 29 November 2015, diners have the opportunity to catch award-winning Chinese Executive Chef Wong Wing Keung and his team from Yee Tung Heen restaurant of The Excelsior, Hong Kong at Lai Po Heen in Mandarin Oriental KL. They have put together special menus for lunch and dinner, which includes many of their award-winning Cantonese dishes.

We had a special preview of the 7-course dinner menu, which was well-executed and left us hankering for more. The menu overall is light, refined and the dishes came beautifully presented.

The meal started off with the Chiu Chow Dumplings, in three styles. These dumplings have been awarded the Gold Award by the Hong Kong Tourism Board in 2015, and features three dumplings paired with three different sauces. The traditional dumpling with yam is served with Chiu Chow chilli oil, vegetarian dumpling with mushroom and carrot is served with Chiu Chow tangerine oil and carrot and crab meat dumpling is served with preserved bean paste. The skin on each dumpling is delicate with a slightly chewy texture., complemented well by crunchy textures of the fillings.

Next is another award-winning dish, the Twin Mushroom Platter, which has won the Gold with Distinction Award from The Hong Kong Tourism Board 2015. One of them is the mushroom bun with assorted mushrooms. The bun has been steamed and then pan fried to give it a crispy outer layer, and then coated with chocolate to resemble a mushroom.  On the platter are also shitake mushrooms stuffed with Matsutake and shrimp paste as well as deep fried cordycep flowers. I really love the presentation of this dish.

According to Chef Wong, the double boiled honey locust fruit soup with Matsutake and assorted fungus is a popular soup with his customers at The Excelsior Hong Kong. This clear vegetarian soup was very smooth and light on the palate. It is made with a stock of apples, carrots, beansprouts and Chinese cabbage and double boiled for about 3 hours in total.

The steamed live grouper fillet is served with a sauce of egg white, tomato, broccoli and crab meat and finished off with a topping of crispy ginger.

Papaya is commonly used as an ingredient in sweet desserts, however Chef Wong felt that papaya would also work well in savoury dishes, hence this creation of simmered papaya with brown fungus in chicken broth.

One of the dishes which I really enjoyed during this meal was the braised rice with crab meat and spring onion. The green parts of the spring onion has been ground into a paste and added to the fried rice to give it a beautiful vivid green colour as well as a lovely earthy taste. Before serving, braised crab meat and scallops is poured around the rice. A really delicious dish, it's no wonder that this has garnered the Gold Award from The Hong Kong Tourism Board 2015.

The trio of desserts, comprising of the chilled ginger milk custard, black and white sesame rolls and deep fried mini sesame balls with egg custard were outstanding. The chilled ginger milk custard had a beautiful smooth texture and strong gingery fragrance and taste, topped with a jelly made of ginger and brown sugar. My favorite of them all is the deep fried mini sesame balls - I love the combination of soft interior and crispy exterior with the delicious egg custard filling. A sweet ending indeed!

The 7-course set dinner menu is available from 26 to 29 November 2015 for RM388 nett per person, or RM588 nett with wine pairing.

There will also be two menus for lunch, priced at RM68 per person. You can choose either the Assorted Chiu Chow Dumplings in Three Styles or the Assorted Hong Kong dim sum platter, which comes with the mushroom bun, steamed gold fish dumpling and deep fried lobster flower roll.

Steamed gold fish dumpling with prawn filling - so adorable. 


Opening times: 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch (Mon-Fri), 10.30am-2.30pm (Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays), 7pm to 10.30 for dinner (Mon-Sun).

Location: Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2179 8885


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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2015 Christmas @ Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Christmas is less than a month away now... how exciting!  In conjunction with the holiday season, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur will be offering a range of different festive promotions throughout the month of December.

Earlier this month, we were invited to a media preview at Sky Bar, Gobo Chit Chat, followed by Gobo Upstairs. What a fun, delicious evening it was!

We started off our evening at Sky Bar, sampling two of their festive drinks - Vanilla Ville (Hennessy VSOP, Galliano, fresh milk, vanilla ice cream)  and Peach Perfect (Belvedere, Cava, Peach Liqueor). 

Fantastic view from Sky Bar ;) This would be a great place to do your New Year countdown -- there will be a series of spectacular fireworks display against the Petronas Twin Towers on NYE.

Gobo Chit Chat, the hotel's all day dining restaurant will be offering a Christmas Eve Dinner, featuring International and local selection buffet with Christmas goodies. Priced at RM149 nett per person (RM199 nett with free flow bubbly and wine), you can expect to find whole lamb leg, beef wellington, roasted turkey and a fantastic array of Christmas desserts such as yule log. There will also be a Christmas Day Brunch buffet with the season's specialties (12.00pm to 3.30pm) priced at RM110 nett per person (RM145 nett per person with free flow bubbly and wine).

The beef Wellington was well-executed - loved the buttery pastry and tender beef ;)

If you prefer a sit-down course-by-course meal, check out Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill. The restaurant will be offering a Festive Set Dinner from 1-31 December 2015 (6.00-10.30pm), whereby diners can choose to have a 3-course meal from RM242 nett per person. There will also be a special menu for Christmas Eve Dinner - there will be 2 sessions, the first one at 6.00pm to 8.00pm for a 3-course menu (RM289 nett per person) or the second session from 8.30pm onwards, for a 6-course menu (RM329 nett per person). On Christmas Day, there will be an all-you-can-eat lunch with free flow bubbly and wine for RM168 nett per person.

Deconstructed seafood tartare  with scallops, green lip mussels, tiger prawn and black caviar

Blue Swimmer Crab Meat with ahi tuna, black caviar, compressed honeydew

Chestnut apple soup

Turkey Breast Mascarpone with giblet gravy, apple stuffing and orange cranberry sauce 

Grilled 150 days Black Angus Tenderloin with pomme puree, Madeira sauce and truffle essence

D'Indulge - chocolate indulgence with gold flakes and mini vanilla cone ice cream

Blueberries Almond Cream Tart with rum and raisin ice cream, raspberry volcano sauce and sea salt

For more details on their festive promotions, check out the website here.

Location: Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: 03- 2332 9888

GPS Coordinates: 3.154271, 101.715417


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