Saturday, November 30, 2019

Kin Gyu 金牛 KL: Sukiyaki & Shabu-Shabu ft. Halal Japanese Wagyu

Kin Gyu 金牛 is a Japanese restaurant located in Desa Sri Hartamas, specializing in Wagyu cuisine and washoku, also known as traditional Japanese cuisine. This hidden gem, run by a Japanese owner, is the sister restaurant of two other popular Japanese restaurants in the same area, Shin Nihon and Toridoki.

Somewhat resembling a speakeasy, the restaurant does not have any signage boards - locate the "Golden Bull", take the stairs up to the first floor, slide open the large wooden door and you have arrived.  Once inside, you will be led into one of 23 cosy private rooms available.

The menu features salad, niku dishes, niku sashimi, stewed dishes, grilled dishes, fried dishes, hot pot, cube sushi, Wagyu sushi, noodles, claypot rice, soup, and dessert. The Wagyu served in this restaurant is sourced from the Kyushu Prefecture in Japan and is certified Halal.

To start, we had the delightful Soymilk and cream cheese tofu (RM15), also known as mocchiri tofu. Served cold, the tofu was rich and smooth, and was a delicious combination of slightly sweet and savoury flavours. Freshly grated wasabi gives it a hint of spiciness.. so yummy!

Next up... chawanmushi! A sure winner with the kids. The Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) here at Kin Gyu was incredibly smooth and delicate. Choose from Wagyu steamed egg custard (RM16) or Scallop and urchin chawanmushi (RM18). The former is seasoned with soy sauce and topped with minced beef, white mushroom and you will also find an unusual surprise within - chunks of Camembert cheese.  The Scallop and urchin chawanmushi, with gingko nuts and white mushroom in uni sauce was delish.

Sesame Wagyu, Watercress and Arugula salad (RM35) - a great, simple salad of sliced, boiled Wagyu beef with watercress, arugula and tomato in a sesame (goma) dressing.

For a taste of raw Wagyu, sample the Wagyu carpaccio (RM50), sliced thinly and drizzled with soy sauce flavoured olive oil and topped with yuzu, aonori (dried green seaweed) and kelp.

If you're a fan of karaage, you will definitely enjoy the Deep fried beef tongue (RM25). The beef tongue is first braised in garlic soy sauce, then deep fried to crispy perfection.

Shredded French Fries (RM15), served with dried green seaweed and salt - a fantastic snack, so addictive... you can't stop once you start!

One of the must-try dishes at Kin Gyu is the Sukiyaki hot pot (RM250). Sit back and watch as one of the staff cooks the sukiyaki tableside. For 2 - 3 person set, you will get two different cuts of Wagyu - the rib eye and chuck. The staff starts off by gently grilling the leeks and then adding some of the warishita sauce and then cooking the rib eye beef. You can choose from three different dipping sauces - whipped egg sauce, raw egg and dashi sauce - to which the beef will be added for you to enjoy. Then, the staff will meticulously arrange the other ingredients into the sukiyaki pot, such as vegetables, mushrooms, wheat gluten and kudzu starch noodles. There is also a pot of dashi stock, which you can add to the sukiyaki if you find it too sweet. For us, the taste was just right. Truly enjoyable.

Check out the marbling on the Wagyu rib eye.

Check out this short video of the sukiyaki hotpot at Kin Gyu:

Another highly recommended dish is the Gyu kabayaki hitsumabushi (RM100), wagyu beef soup rice - which is our kids favourite dish here. Thinly sliced wagyu beef is cooked over charcoal grill, giving this dish a delicious smoky flavour. The beef is topped on Japanese rice and cooked in a claypot. To enjoy this dish, you can eat half as it is and for the second half, you can pour over Japanese soup stock made with dried bonito flakes, dried sardine and mackarel flakes onto the rice before enjoying. We all loved it with the stock, so yummy and such a comforting dish!

You can also add various condiments to your soup rice, such as sansho, sesame seed, spring onion, wasabi, and seaweed.

End your meal on a sweet note with desserts such as the Rice cake mochi ball with red bean paste (RM18) or matcha ice cream (RM13).

Directions: To get here, locate the "Golden Bull" (above Guardian) and climb to the stairs to the first floor where you will find a large wooden sliding door that will lead you into the restaurant.

Click here for the full menu.

Opening hours: 5.30pm to 12am.

Location: Kin Gyu, No. 8-1, Jalan 24/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. (Complimentary valet parking available)

Tel: 03-6206 3515

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

CHIBO MyTOWN: Famous Okonomiyaki from Osaka, Japan!

CHIBO, the famous okonomiyaki brand from Osaka, Japan has landed in Malaysia! Founded in 1973, the brand currently has over 70 outlets in Japan as well as 11 outlets worldwide in locations such as Bangkok, Hawaii, Taiwan and Jakarta.

The Malaysian outlet is located in the bustling MyTOWN Shopping Centre in KL. At this outlet, most of the food items are prepared on the teppanyaki grill, right before your eyes. Hence, diners can choose to sit at the counter (to watch the kitchen action) or table seating at the main dining area.

The menu here comprises of okonomiyaki, yakisoba, teppanyaki dishes, salad, omelette, rice bowls and dessert. Unlike the outlet in Osaka, the KL outlet has opted to stay pork-free and does not serve alcohol on its menu.

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake, made with flour, eggs and a variety of toppings. It is sometimes also referred to as "Japanese pizza" or "Osaka soul food". Here at CHIBO KL, they offer five types of okonomiyaki, namely the Chibo, seafood, chicken, cheese or Hiroshima yaki. We went for the signature Chibo okonomiyaki (RM32), which comes with chicken, beef, prawn, squid and scallop, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and bonito flakes. It was fun to watch the chef make it and it tasted delicious.

From the teppanyaki section, diners can choose from chicken, squid legs, salmon, seafood or beef. We had the Teppan Sirloin Steak (RM36 for 120g) served with vegetables.

Another must-try item at CHIBO is their Teppan gyoza (RM13), which is rather different from the usual gyozas that we have. The gyoza are wrapped with paper thin wrappers and filled with prawn, chicken and chives, and then cooked on the teppanyaki counter until crispy.

The rice bowls are pretty popular with diners; we had the Gyudon (RM22), beef rice bowl with beef strips cooked on the teppanyaki grill served on top of a bowl of rice, along with some greens. The beef was tender and nicely seasoned. The BBQ ju sets also come with miso soup and a potato salad.

Click here to view the menu.


Opening hours: 10am to 10pm daily.

Location: CHIBO, L3-037 Level 3 MyTown Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Parking in mall, RM2 for first 3 hours)

Tel: 03-9202 6288

Nearest MRT: Cochrane.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Hugo's KL: New Menu ft. Gourmet Burgers and Gin & Tonic

If you're a burger lover, chances are you'll love Hugo's KL new menu launched earlier this month. Located on the ground floor of Ramada Suites by Wyndham KLCC, the restaurant's new menu features a mix of Western classics and Malaysian favourites.

Gourmet burgers, made in-house with freshly ground premium Australian beef, take the spotlight on the new menu. As part of a burger challenge, The Hugo’s KL kitchen team submitted original burger ideas that would satisfy serious burger lovers.

“The burger competition showcased the team’s creativity in the kitchen, and the Ultimate Beef Burger and the SwisShroom Burger are highlights of the new menu. During the challenge both burgers scored extremely well on presentation, ingredients, and most importantly, taste,” said Rajesh Daswani, Hugo’s KL’s General Manager.

We have to agree - both the Ultimate Beef Burger (RM28) and SwisShroom Burger (RM28) were impressive in terms of taste and size. The beef patty was thick and juicy (cooked medium), sandwiched between lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar and more. The Ultimate Beef Burger also comes with beef bolognese sauce, spicy garlic mayo and crispy onion rings. Meanwhile, the SwisShroom Burger comes with sauteed mushrooms, which added an extra earthy flavour to the burger. All burgers are served with fries.

Also new is the Kid's Menu to cater for the young ones. On the Kid's Menu, you will find chicken or beef sliders, chicken nuggets, penne pasta, fish and chips, margherita pizza and cheese & tomato sandwich. All kids meal are priced at RM20 each and come with fries and fruit juice.

Beef sliders, perfect size for the little ones!

Some of the old favourites remain on the menu, such as the Malaysian specialties, nasi lemak and char koay teow, chicken rendang pizza, grilled Norwegian salmon and more.

Spaghetti aglio olio with prawns (RM30)

Fried calamari (RM20) and Roku Suntory Japanese Gin (RM40)

The drinks list has also been updated with new French, Italian, and Australian wines, and a focus on the classic Gin & Tonic. Perfect for Kuala Lumpur’s tropical climate, Hugo’s KL features six gins including Bombay Sapphire, Roku Japanese Gin, and Botanist Islay Dry Gin. “To complement each, a selection of signature garnishes is presented to guests separately which can be added to their G&T as they see fit,” said Daswani.

For dessert, indulge in the rich American-style cheesecake (RM24) or chocolate fudge cake (RM24).

The restaurant’s set lunch menu and Indian cuisine set menu will remain as special items, while Hugo’s KL’s Happy Hour, Blues & BBQ Sunday, and Sunday Beers promotions continue to run as normal.

Check out our previous review of Hugo's KL here.

Click here for the full menu.

Opening hours: 10.30am to 10pm.

Location: Hugo’s KL, Ground floor, Ramada Suites by Wyndham KLCC,  1 Lorong Ceylon, Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur.

Nearest MRT: Bukit Bintang (500m).

Tel: 03-2386 9288

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Skillet at 163: New Look, New Autumn / Winter 2019 Menu

Skillet at 163 is back with a BANG - after undergoing a six week refurbishment, the modern European restaurant and bar is now sporting a gorgeous new look, just in time to roll out their delightful Autumn/Winter 2019 menu.

Skillet at 163 Autumn/Winter 2019 Menu

One of the main new features of the restaurant is the stunning glasshouse. The ingenious team at Skillet have cleverly repurposed the now-defunct al fresco smoking area into an intimate dining area suitable for leisurely lunch, cosy events or private dining.

Christmas is in the air, with the restaurant decked in festive splendor. Alex Cheah, one of the owners of Skillet at 163, explains that with every changing season, the restaurant would be decorated accordingly to give diners the ultimate seasonal dining experience.

Skillet at 163 2019 restaurant

Dining at Skillet has always been a joy for me; with every new menu, Chef Raymond Tham introduces new flavours, often injecting them with his unique interpretations. In the Autumn/Winter 2019 menu, there is a clear focus on seasonal ingredients such as cep mushrooms, apples, pomegranates, pumpkin, celery, cranberries, beetroot and more. Regional specialties from Europe will also be highlighted. For lunch, there will be a 2 or 3-course set lunch (priced at RM55 and RM70 respectively) while for dinner, guests can choose either the 3-course menu (RM128) or the 7-course degustation menu (RM400).

To start, we were served a duo of light bites - the Potato Salad with ikura and Bidor duck prosciutto tart. For the potato salad, Russet potato is salt-baked and dressed with creme fraiche and chives for a light finish. The ikura (salmon roe) topping gives it an umami burst. The Bidor duck prosciutto is something quite special - local duck sourced from Bidor, Perak is cured for 150 days in-house, thinly sliced and served with chargrilled endives, walnut croquant, orange marmalade and pomegranate in a light, crisp tart case. To complete this, a couple of drops of the delightfully fruity, rich 25-year old aged balsamic from renowned Giuseppe Giusti is added to the prosciutto.

Mocktail: orange with roselle tea

Next is the Lobster, an absolutely flawless dish, both in terms of presentation and flavours. Extremely pleasing to the eye, the butter poached lobster is embellished with celery, apple, edible flowers and rutabaga (swede) with mascarpone. To go with the lobster, a sauce made from fermented apples with fish broth is poured tableside, finished with a few drops of kombu oil. Beautiful, delicate flavours.. loved it!

Pierogi are dumplings of Central and Eastern European origin, with either a sweet or savoury filling. Chef Raymond's version is interestingly filled with vegan meat, which despite being mock meat, manages to make the dumpling taste very "meaty" and tasty. The dumpling is served with baked pumpkin, pumpkin puree, pickled kombu and cheese foam, which complements it beautifully.

The Mushroom features cep mushrooms in three different forms; sauteed mushrooms at the base, followed by cep foam and cep powder. A mushroom delight!

Our Venison main course arrived at the table in style, on a shiny brass food trolley. Plating takes place tableside, with the server first cutting into the pithivier, revealing the juicy venison within. A pithivier is a traditional French pie, also known as Galettes des Rois, or King Cake. The venison is layered with mushroom duxelle as well as daun kaduk (betel leaves) and encased within buttery, flaky puff pastry. Along with the accompaniments of chargrilled brussel sprouts, fermented cranberries and jus, we were definitely feeling the Christmas vibes with this dish.

The Cod Fish is perfect for those who want a lighter main course. Pan fried cod is served with homemade spaetzle, a type of German noodles and a clear umami broth, made using the cold drip method.

Two seasonal ingredients, prunes (dried plums) and beetroot are the star of the first dessert we sampled at Skillet. The tartness from the prune granite, with the earthy sweetness of the beetroot and  savory cream cheese espuma is a marriage in heaven.

Beetroot & Prune

And of course, a visit to Skillet is never complete without tasting and experiencing the Signature Texture of Chocolate dessert. For the Christmas 2019 edition, Chef Raymond uses single origin Venezuela 72% chocolate, blonde chocolate, cocoa soil, spiced, fermented butternut squash and liquid nitrogen to create the magic.

Petit fours

The dining area upstairs has also been refreshed, bringing the restaurant capacity up to 90 pax.

Opening times: Mon - Sun (12.00pm - 3.00pm & 6.00pm - 11.00pm).

Location: Skillet at 163, Fraser Place, 10 Jalan Perak, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Parking Mon-Fri RM4 for 1st hour, RM3 for subsequent hour; Sat-Sun RM3 for 1st hour, RM2 for subsequent hour).

Tel: 03-2181 2426


GPS Coordinates: 3.154174, 101.708805

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