Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sarawak Noodles @ Hou Wong Kopitiam, KL

We love Sarawak laksa, so a couple of weeks ago, we visited Hou Wong Kopitiam in Jalan Ipoh to to satisfy our cravings.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we only spotted a pan mee stall. But they still had the banner outside the shop showing "Sarawak Noodles". We panicked, thinking "oh no, is the stall shut today?" Turns out their stall / kitchen is at the back and someone will come take your order at the table.

The menu, stuck on the wall inside the restaurant.

We decided to order 1 Sarawak laksa (RM6.50 for small) and 1 Kolo Mee  (RM5.50 for small) to share. Other Sarawak delicacies you can find here include kuey teow goreng, mee goreng, zhou cai fen gan, tom yum big head prawn, mee Dawai and kueh chap (available on weekend only). 

First impressions when the food arrived was that the Sarawak laksa looked authentic. And it certainly did not disappoint in the taste department either. The soup was really tasty (we drank it all!), and the bowl consisted of thick beehoon, sliced omelette, beansprouts, and two prawns. 

For the Sarawak kolo mee, we were asked if we wanted the "red" or "white" version. We went for the red version. Again, this was a delicious bowl of noodles - thin egg noodles topped with minced pork, char siew and pork lard. This was served with some pickled red chillies and a bowl of clear soup.

Since we came all the way here for breakfast (and we had some tummy space left), we thought, why not order another bowl of Sarawak laksa to share. Do remember to squeeze in the lime as it really enhances the taste of the soup.

We will be back!

Opening times: 7.30am to 2pm daily. Check their Facebook page for off days.

Price: Total bill RM22.60 (including drinks).

Location: Sarawak Noodles, Hou Wong Kopitiam, No. K-5, Batu 4 1/4, Jalan Ipoh, 51200 Kuala Lumpur. (Waze: Hou Wong Kopitiam). Street parking available.

Tel: 012-558 8817

GPS Coordinates: 3.197979, 101.678983

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Organic Wellness Lunch @ Mandarin Oriental KL

Healthy eating leads to healthy living. From now until 28 October 2016, diners can enjoy an Organic Wellness Lunch, specially crafted by the chefs at Lounge on the Park, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

"We wanted to have a special menu to accommodate our health-conscious guests, as well as to encourage others to embark on healthy eating. It becomes almost necessary for us to offer a menu with quality organic produce filled with great nutrition. Most of us have lifestyles that makes it difficult for us to eat the right food that our body needs and we hope that this initiative will get people excited about eating right and healthy," said Matthias Kindl, Director of Food & Beverage.

Upon arrival, we were ushered to the Wellness Island, located at the centre of the lobby lounge. The chef on site will prepare and explain each dish as they are presented to you. For this Organic Wellness Lunch promotion, diners can choose to have the 8-course Wellness Menu (RM148 nett) or Wellness Bento (RM90 nett - a bento box created for those who want to have a quick lunch).

Hubby and I enjoy our juicing every morning, so we were excited to try out the Organic Wellness Menu. We left feeling deeply impressed with the creativity and uniqueness of the whole experience.

To start, "The Detox Juice", a concoction of apple,celery, baby spinach and cucumber is served along with root vegetable crisps.This is followed by Compressed watermelon 'sashimi', with marinated cucumber, fennel and celery. This dish gets its name due to its resemblance to tuna sashimi. Compression intensifies the flavours and colours of the fruit.

Next, the chef makes khubz right in front of our eyes. Khubz is the Arabic word for bread, and usually refers to flatbread or pita.

To make the khubz, he firstly pipes pre-prepared mousse into a hot stone bowl. He tells us that the hot stone has been preheated in a 300°C oven. Then he covers up the bowl and leaves it to "bake" for 3-4 minutes. And voila - the buckwheat khuz is ready! Not only was it fascinating to watch, the bread was soft, fluffy and delicious too, served with almond butter.

Buckwheat khubz baked in hot stone, served with almond butter

Video here for those interested

I was pleased to learn that for this promotion, the chefs are using locally sourced vegetables from Cameron and Genting Highlands ;) This is the Tian of raw butternut squash and spinach, with Genting Highland tomatoes served with cashew nut romesco sauce. The tomatoes have been soaked in vanilla bean syrup, giving it a fragrant and sweet aroma.

Another fun dish to eat here was the fresh harvested lettuce. Diners will be presented with a head of lettuce each and are encouraged to harvest their own lettuce tableside. The lettuce sits in a bowl filled with edible soil made of pumpernickel. Cut up the lettuce into small pieces using the scissors provided and toss it with the forest farm vegetables, edible flowers, herb vinaigrette and sourdough crostini. So interactive and fun!

Watch this video of us having fun harvesting our own salad

Next is the yellow peppers and turmeric soup. The chef will pour the soup from a teapot into a bowl filled with soy flan base and top it with fresh herbs and herb oil. The soup was rich and creamy, with strands of saffron in it.

The Josper grilled leeks and asparagus was my favorite dish from the menu. A beautiful, soft and creamy poached egg with crispy shallots sitting atop garlic fumet is served alongside the grilled vegetables.

Hubby liked the next dish best - baby peppers stuffed with cous cous and tomato stuffed with ratatouille, tofu croquettes, and a mushroom jus with peas and shimeji. Loved the umami-ness of the mushroom jus.

The memorable meal ends with a creamy avocado ice cream, with fresh mango, coconut espuma, kalamansi gel, and gula melaka and a cup of freshly brewed organic tea.

Only eight seating available from Mondays to Fridays (12pm to 2.30pm) for the Organic Wellness Lunch, so do make your reservations in advance by calling +603-2380 8888 or email

Price: RM148 nett for the 8-course Wellness Menu.

Location: Lounge on the Park, Lobby Level, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2179 8883

GPS Coordinates: 3.15568, 101.7120


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Monday, September 26, 2016

Porcini Promotion @ Villa Danieli, Sheraton Imperial KL

Hailed as the king of mushrooms, porcini mushrooms are a type of edible wild mushrooms and are usually harvested in the fall. From now until 31 October 2016, diners can enjoy this prized ingredient at Villa Danieli as part of their Porcini Promotion. In this promotion, Head Chef Gaetano di Stefano will be featuring fresh porcini with a range of premium ingredients. The menu can be viewed here.

We always use dried porcini when making risotto, so it was a real treat to finally getting to try it in its fresh form. Fresh porcini has a deep, nutty flavour and a lovely, meaty texture. To start, I had the Vongole Saltate Con Funghi Porcini (RM68), sautéed clams in white wine served with porcini and cherry tomatoes. I was expecting normal sized clams, so imagine my surprise when I saw these giant clams instead. For this dish, the chefs have used tuatua giant clams from New Zealand. The clams are best savoured together with the sliced porcini, cherry tomatoes and sauce.

Hubby had the Zuppa Ai Porcini (RM62), porcini soup served with truffle oil and crispy beef bacon. Rich, creamy and comforting, the soup showcased the porcini's lovely nutty flavour.

For mains, Hubby had the Gnocchi Porcini E Burrata (RM68), potato gnocchi served with porcini and burrata. According to the chef, three types of cheeses are used - Parmesan and goat's cheese are added to the gnocchi when cooking, then topped with burrata as a garnish, making this a rich dish.

Our dining companions had the Filetto Di Salmone Con Funghi Porcini (RM115), pan fried salmon fillet served with porcini, green asparagus and saffron lemon sauce and the Stinco d’Agnello (RM125), slow cooked lamb shank served with porcini and rosemary lamb jus.

Meanwhile, I had the Filetto Di Manzo Alla Rossini (RM165), Black Angus beef tenderloin served with pan fried foie gras, grilled porcini, celeriac puree and beef jus. The beef was expertly cooked to medium rare doneness, much to my delight. In this dish, the porcini is cut into chunky pieces, to allow maximum enjoyment of this meaty delicacy.

Chef Gaetano has also cleverly created two desserts using porcini mushrooms - Budino Di Pane Ai Porcini(RM45 - Porcini Bread Pudding served with Vanilla Ice-Cream) and Mousse di Porcini e frutti di bosco (RM48 - Porcini Mousse served with Mix Berries and Vanilla Sauce). The mousse did not quite do it for me, as it tasted too savoury to be classed as a dessert.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the porcini bread pudding; in this dessert, the porcini has been blended into a paste and then added to the bread pudding and baked. You can also enjoy the scent of truffle oil which has been added into the dessert; overall the savoury and sweet flavours worked really well together. We enjoyed this unique dessert very much! Pretty ingenious. :)

The Porcini Promotion is available from now until 31 October 2016. For more information or reservations, please call Villa Danieli at 03-2717 9922 or e-mail


Location: Villa Danieli, Level 5, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03 -2717 9900


GPS Coordinates: 3.158813, 101.700203

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Premium Japanese Steak @ Torii Batai, KL

Matsusaka and Kobe beef are often regarded as the best beef in Japan. Steak lovers in KL can rejoice, as Torii is bringing premium Japanaese steaks to you at their Batai outlet. Diners can indulge in several different breeds and cuts, including Matsusaka, Kobe Zabuton, and Kobe Sirloin of differing meat grades (ranging from A5 to F1), along with a variety of delicious sides specially crafted by Executive Chef Nizam and his kitchen team.

Matsusaka, a black-haired Wagyu cattle, originates from the Mie region in Japan. It is Japan's best, highest grade beef, with a high fat-to-meat ratio, meaning they have more fat marbling and the best flavour. At Torii, all the steaks are seasoned simply with salt and pepper and cooked on a lava stone grill pan to medium rare doneness. For the ultimate steak experience, I would recommend that you go for 100g of different cuts, like we did.

The Matsusaka (RM310 per 100g) here was amazing! Perfectly cooked, the meat cut like a dream and was tender, buttery and full of flavour. You can feel the pockets of fats bursting as you bite down through the succulent meat. It is a must-order for Wagyu steak lovers! The steaks are usually served with a side salad, however you can opt for sides to complement them. Chef Nizam paired all the steaks with pan seared foie gras (RM29) and grilled Japanese scallop (RM19) - all my favorite ingredients on a plate, I'm in heaven!

Kobe beef is a delicacy from the Tajima strain of Wagyu cattle and is also renowned for its flavour, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. Torii's selection of Kobe consist of 4 gradings, A5 being the highest, followed by A4, A3 and F1 being the lowest. We sampled both the Kobe Zabuton A5 (RM250 per 100g) and Kobe Sirloin F1 (RM120 per 100g). Whichever you order, you will not be disappointed as the meat is simply extraordinary.

Zabuton refers to the cut of meat you obtain from the cow's shoulder. The steak is cut from what is know as the chuck flap thus giving it that flat square shape. Again, the Kobe Zabuton A5 had a beautiful sear, gorgeous flavour and melt-in-the-mouth texture! So good.

Though the Kobe Sirloin F1 is the lowest grade of steak offered here at Torii for this promotion, we were genuinely amazed at how delicious it was. Plus with its friendlier price tag, more diners can enjoy this! The meat is slightly leaner compared to the former two steaks, however it is still very well-marbled, and juicy in comparison to your everyday steaks. We loved this!

To pair with the steaks, we had the green beans with black sesame sauce (RM18), cream of spinach with poached egg (RM18) and egg yolk croquettes (RM19).

Please note that the Premium Japanese Steaks are available for dinner only at Torii Batai. For the full menu, please view here. Thank you to Torii for hosting us and for the amazing meal!

Opening times: Lunch 11.30 am till 2.30 pm (Weekdays only), Dinner 5.00 pm till late (Daily).

Service: Good.

Location: Torii Batai, Lot 8-6, Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur. (Behind Ben’s Independent Grocer - parking available RM2/hour)

Tel: +603 2011 3798 / +6019 203 7093

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Recipe: Grilled lamb cutlets with fries and baby spinach & tomato salad

So, recently, BabySumoKids celebrated their birthdays. Every year for their birthday, they get to choose what they would like to eat for their "birthday meal". Baby D's birthday came first, and he chose risotto with seared scallops (recipe here), and for Baby C's birthday, she requested for lamb chops. I think this is the third year in a row she has asked for lamb :)

I usually cook lamb loin chops for her, however it was surprisingly hard to find this cut in the supermarket this time. After searching in several supermarkets, we finally found French lamb cutlets at Ben's Independent Grocer. You can either pan fry them, or cook them in the oven or grill.

For ease of cooking (and cleaning), I put them under a hot grill and cooked them for 3 minutes on each side for medium rare doneness. We served the lamb cutlets with fries and a baby spinach & tomato salad.  The lamb cutlets were tender and extremely juicy. What an enjoyable dinner.. simple, quick and good!

Grilled lamb cutlets with fries and baby spinach & tomato salad
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 2-3 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes
Serves 6

12 lamb cutlets
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Dried rosemary

For the salad
100-150g baby spinach, washed
1/2 pack cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced

For the dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
French fries or mashed potato

1. Line a baking tray with foil. Brush some oil on the tray and then arrange the lamb cutlets in a single layer. Brush the top of the lamb with more oil, season with black pepper and sprinkle over some dried rosemary.

2. Place the tray under a hot grill and cook for 3 minutes each side. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Season with salt.

3. For the salad, mix the dressing ingredients and then pour over the baby spinach and toss. Top with cherry tomatoes.

Beautiful cherry tomatoes :)

4.Serve lamb cutlets with salad and fries (or mashed potato). You may also serve your lamb cutlets with some gravy.

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