Hai Di Lao 海底捞 Pavilion KL - Best to go during a non peak hour - YouTube
HAI DI LAO – WORLD’S MOST POPULAR HOT POT CHAIN FROM CHINA
Hao Di Lao or Haidilao (海底捞), an international hot pot chain from China that needs no introduction. It is so popular that all those who love eating hot pot are willing to wait in line for hours just to try it out and keep coming back for more. As a matter of fact, I also jumped on the bandwagon recently to find out what all the fuss was about. Note to those who haven’t tried, I would suggest to allocate at least 2 – 3 hours of your time with no rush to fully enjoy the experience.
SKIP THE LINE AT HAI DI LAO BY AVOIDING PEAK HOURS
I really don’t like waiting in line for hours, not unless I desperately wanted something. That is why we came during non peak hours. That means Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are out of the question. So we got here on a Monday and arrived by 10.30AM to get a ticket number. At that time, there were 8 other groups ahead of us already and the restaurant was just about to start serving its guests. Our total waiting time was only about 15 mins. If your waiting time is much longer, feel free to do some shopping first in the mall as you will receive an automated call once it’s your turn.
COMPLIMENTARY FROM HAI DI LAO
With all the free perks, it’s no wonder everyone is crazy over this place.
Free-flow of water/ sour plum drink and snacks while in queue.
Fold x20 origami crane to get a free side dish.
Kids get to play inside the children’s playroom.
Hair tie to keep your long hair away from the food.
Ziplocs to protect your cell phones.
No corkage fee. Bring your own beverages!
Unlimited soup refills.
HAI DI LAO MENU PRICES
Get the quadruple pot just so you can choose up to 4 soup bases. My choices were Spicy Sichuan, Three Delicacy, Laksa, and Pig’s Stomach with Pepper Soup (RM27). Best of 2 were the Pig’s Stomach Soup and Three Delicacy. I am very picky with laksa, so it wasn’t anything special to me and I most likely wouldn’t order again next time.
MEAT & VEGETABLES
Except for the pork belly, we ordered everything else in half portion since there’s only 2 of us. All the ingredients were pretty fresh and I’d say the portions were fairly substantial.
HAI DI LAO SELF SERVICE CONDIMENTS If you love your dipping sauce and prefer to mix your own, then go ahead with the free-flow self service at RM8 per pax. Otherwise, another option is to ask your server to prepare a special “Haidilao Sauce” for you.
MANICURE SERVICE BY HAI DI LAO
It was the best part of the entire meal. I think almost every lady would agree with me on this. Kinda made me feel I was getting more than what I was paying for. That is why it’s best to beat the queue and be there very early to avoid any disappointments or only redeem the service at your next visit. Many has walked away because they couldn’t wait. For me, it was only a 10 mins wait after meal until it was my turn to get my nails all pretty!
What was good about Hai Di Lao @ Pavilion Elite:
Fantastic service – Staff are friendly, quick and efficient. Order will be at your table in no time, and constant refill of soup.
Pleasant and comfortable environment.
Price is fairly reasonable with all the free perks you’ll be receiving, such as manicure services and zero corkage fee.
Opens from 10AM ’til 3AM.
What was bad about Hai Di Lao @ Pavilion Elite:
It might be a struggle if you don’t speak any Mandarin.
Long queue – Not for the impatient diners.
I didn’t like the Laksa soup base.
Paying RM8 for self-service condiments is quite unnecessary.
MISSGETABOUT SCORE: 7.5/10
Hai Di Lao @ Pavilion Elite Details:
Facebook: Hai Di Lao Malaysia
Tel: +603 2110 0520 Address: Lot 10.104.00, 10.105.00 & P10.101.00, Level 10 Pavilion Elite, No.168 Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
There’s nothing quite like weekend gatherings with family or friends. It’s the perfect opportunity to bond over good food and drinks. So this weekend I got the fam bam together at Bonfire Restaurant, which is located right next to the north entrance of The Starling Mall. Reasons why we chose Bonfire was for the wood fired barbecue meat and the food portion that is perfect for sharing. It also offers a pleasant, spacious environment both indoor and outdoor by the garden.
BONFIRE RESTAURANT BEVERAGES
To begin, we were served some complimentary Fresh Pandan Coolers while waiting for our orders. This refreshing fizzy beverage has got a really wonderful fragrant. It’s a mixture of soda, syrup, pandan, fresh lemongrass and cucumber juice. This beverage usually comes with their Mon-Sat set lunches.
Fresh Pandan Cooler
As for alcoholic beverages, it was a personalised cocktail experience as pretty much everything we tried was a surprise and not yet in the menu (all priced at RM30++). Cucumber Infused Whiskey with fresh lime, lemon and a foamy egg white was first on the table. It has a simple, citrusy and refreshing taste that makes a great cocktail on a hot day.
Cucumber Infused Whiskey
Looks a bit like Blue Lagoon but it’s not. It’s the Butterfly Vitagen, came aqua-hued and garnished with butterfly marshmallow. This mesmerizing drink is made up of Vitagen, gin and Giffard blue curacao liqueur. The lovely colours and flavours reminded me so much of the ocean (except it wasn’t salty).
500 Days of Summer is a concoction of gin, fresh lemon juice, Japanese yuzu, topped with caramelized sugar on a lemon slice. I am lovin’ the combination of this one. It’s tangy, just slightly sweet with bitter notes. Great flavours!
500 Days of Summer
A cocktail for dessert is the No Name Cocktail. With vodka as base, it is mixed with coffee, cheese, egg yolk, and garnished with savoiardi (espresso-dipped “ladyfingers”). Since it has no name, I’m calling it Tiramisu because it tasted so much like the popular Italian dessert.
No Name Cocktail
BONFIRE RESTAURANT FOOD
As we were sipping those cocktails, we also had a Starter Platter to nibble along. Consists of 5 items – deep fried homemade chinese sausage, smoked bacon, deep fried spicy pork belly, deep fried dory fillet, and pork papadum. Just the kind of food best eaten with a few glasses of beer to wash down with. This platter is only available weekly from Friday to Sunday and public holidays.
Starter Platter (4 Pax – RM68++, 6 Pax – RM78++)
The Woodfire BBQ Pork Ribs marinated with Chef’s signature sauce is an instant crowd pleaser. Fork tender, deliciously charred and satisfyingly flavourful. Trust me, you’ll pick them up with your fingers to gnaw instead.
Woodfire BBQ Pork Ribs (M – RM38++, L – RM48++)
Woodfire Salmon Tandoori is an Indian-spiced fish served with chopped tomato and cucumber mint chutney. It’s a little bit spicy but the mint chutney gave a refreshing touch that complements the smokiness and heat, giving it a balance of flavours.
Woodfire Salmon Tandoori (RM38++)
Woodfire BBQ 1/2 Chicken is the dish that really won me over. Everything was perfect – from the marinate, its smoky wood flavour, juices and moist texture that was truly finger lickin’ good.
Woodfire BBQ 1/2 Chicken (RM38++)
Gourmet Steak Pizza wasn’t too bad at all, though it’s not the super melty cheesy kind if that’s what you’re after. The crust was crispy and fluffy, topped with sliced beef short ribs meat, onion, capsicum and barbecue sauce.
If you’re a dark chocolate lover, don’t leave without trying Bonfire, a concentrated dark Belgium chocolate sphere. Once poured over with flamed brandy, it will reveal the salted caramel ice cream with dried fruit, and toasted nuts underneath that looked somewhat like a blooming flower.
What was good about Bonfire Restaurant & Bar:
Good price for the generous food portion that is perfect for sharing.
Cocktails are worth trying especially 500 Days of Summer (Mixologist starts from 5pm ’til late). Also check out their happy hour beer promo.
Woodfire BBQ Pork Ribs & Woodfire BBQ 1/2 Chicken are must try items.
I like the smoky, slight bitter flavours of flamed brandy and dark chocolate of the Bonfire dessert.
What was bad about Bonfire Restaurant & Bar:
Open concept kitchen that causes the restaurant to smell like smoked meat.
Presentation of No Name Cocktail can be better (don’t get me wrong though, it was tasty like a Tiramisu!).
Deep fried spicy pork belly from the Starter Platter was a bit too much for me (this is just coming from someone who seldom eats deep fried food).
Let’s face it, whether you’re into it or not, the bubble tea hype is growing bigger than ever and it isn’t going away anytime soon! The day you thought you’ve found a favourite, a new brand launches a week later, and all the avid drinkers flock over. I still never understood why people are willing to brave the hours-long queue just to get a piece of it. Speaking of which, Hola Tea, a homegrown brand and relatively new player originated from Johor recently expanded in Klang Valley, joining the rest of the competition, using owl as its brand mascot.
Freshly Brewed Hola Tea
Hola Tea isn’t just another grab and go bubble tea shop. It’s a vibrant café inspired by London Underground’s iconic sign of blue, red and white. Although a homegrown brand, majority component of the ingredients used are imported from Taiwan. All tea beverages are freshly brewed, featuring 4 different tea bases of Sun Moon Lake Black Tea, Jasmine Green Tea, Four Season Green Tea, or Osmanthus Oolong Tea. Of course, there are non tea beverages on the menu too, such as fruit smoothies and coffee. Lucky for me, I was able to sample a few on their soft opening day.
Signature Milk Tea (M – RM9) is a classic boba beverage. I could taste the beautiful fragrant of its freshly brewed tea with milk, and a nice “Q” texture of the brown sugar sweetened tapioca pearls. This is because a fresh batch is made every 3 hours, replacing the existing one to ensure the highest quality of these pearls.
Moving on to a thicker and creamier flavour is the Double Cheese Milk Foam (M – RM13). Some brands may (hazardously) blowtorch and caramelize a brown sugar topcoat, Hola Tea on the other hand, lightly sprinkles ground black sesame and peanut instead to create a nutty flavour. The result was super yummy, even though the moussy richness may not suit everyone’s palate. Very filling if you ask me!
That is why the Seaweed Honey Lemon Tea (L – RM13) is a great alternative for those who aren’t avid drinkers of boba milk tea. It’s light, citrusy and aids digestion. There’s even seaweed jelly to chew on as you slurp the drink away. If you’re counting calories, this should be your go-to beverage at Hola Tea.
Other options worth trying are Plum Green Tea (L – RM13), Yakult Green Tea (L – RM11) and Sun Moon Lake Latte (M – RM9.50). None of these have toppings, but you may request for an add-on of grass jelly, golden/ brown sugar pearls or konjac jelly between RM1 – RM2.
On top of tea beverages, the selection of cakes here are great complement to the drinks. I can’t fault a soft and creamy piece of Burnt Cheesecake (RM14) with a cup of freshly brewed tea. The Triple Lemon Cake (RM14) is also a good choice if you like zesty flavours. It’s got a really nice combination of citrus and buttery tenderness. Until the kitchen is ready, they will also be serving hot food like toasts, waffles and pancakes. Lookout!
What was good about Hola Tea:
Wide range of tea and non-tea beverages.
Sweetness of beverages can be adjusted.
Tapioca pearls are made fresh – There’s a new batch every 3 hours.
Small selection of delicious cakes offered to complement the drinks.
Hot food will be part of offering once the kitchen is ready.
Vibrant and colourful setting with comfortable seating areas.
What was bad about Hola Tea:
Double Cheese Milk Foam is delicious but could be too heavy for some.
It could get a little confusing when there’s too many options to choose from.
From humble beginnings of selling baked goods from her tiny apartment in London to a rustic café, and now Dew, a French pâtisserie by Jaslyn Ransong, side-by-side to her famous bakery in Bangsar, Jaslyn Cakes. At the front face, Dew is a florist so it could be easily missed if you don’t look close enough. Look out for a small black hanging sign at the front entrance, just to make sure you’re at the right place. But for those who have been patronizing her earlier bakery, I guess we all know where to find it.
It’s a half shop and part florist, thus we know this place is going to be narrow, and packed, especially weekends. We were quickly drawn to the counter of gorgeous and fine looking pastries. So even if there’s a short waiting time to secure seats on shared countertops, we were willing! We know for sure these irresistibly beautiful cakes would eventually put us in a good mood.
I obviously would love to try all the variety, but I might have to workout 3 times harder that week. So we got 4 different ones to share between the few of us since each is quite petite. Lemon Meringue Tart (RM19) usually isn’t my first choice, but this one took me by surprise. Everything was perfect, from the crisp pastry, to the well balanced sweet/tangy lemon curd, and a buoyant meringue swirl.
Absolutely love their Basil-Lime Tart (RM19). Encased in a shortcrust pastry, the sweetness and slight herbaceous notes of basil beautifully contrasts the tartness of lime. What a delicious and refreshing combination!
Blueberry compote centre covered in velvety smooth Camembert mousse that sits on a crumbly cornflake cracker base is the Blueberry & Camembert Cheesecake (RM19). Although contain Camembert, it’s not overly cheesy.
The super decadent 100% Chocolate Cake (RM17) is a flourless cake made of Single Origin Madagascar 67.4% chocolate mousse and layered with Valrhona Caraibe chocolate ganache. The luscious texture and intense flavour of this chocolate confection is an easy addiction!
We got 2 jugs of refreshing Cold Brew Fruit Teas (RM16/ jug) to complement the above cakes. Between the Kiwi, Jasmine Green Tea and Lemongrass Syrup or Mango, Green Tea and Sage, I much prefer the first. Otherwise, there’s other options like hot teas, fresh juices and coffees too.
What was good about Dew Bangsar:
Simple and chic minimalist fittings.
Irresistibly beautiful cakes garnished with edible flowers.
Delicate and super delicious cakes – My favourites are Basil-Lime Tart and 100% Chocolate Cake.
Whole cakes and canapés for events are available for pre-orders.
What was bad about Dew Bangsar:
Limited seats – Half a shop space is too narrow. Staff should effectively manage the seating arrangements due to table sharing concept.
Shared table means no privacy, so you can overhear your neighbours’ conversations and so can they.
Super Boring Club (SBC)?? As if! There’s absolutely nothing boring about this casual-cool joint. SBC is a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant that brings a laid-back yet spirited vibe. Located on the happening street of Jalan Mesui in Bukit Bintang, here is where you take yourself out from the boring boredom to a colourful outdoor izakaya of pastel walls and all things random like hanging potted plants to classic video game characters.
While indoor is a funky-fun gogi-gui, dimly lit in retro chic aesthetics. The room is in mix colours from pastel pink, to forest green tiles, and earthy tone furnitures. The most eye catching thing is the snappy neon pink wordings against an exposed brick backdrop. If barbecue is what you’re after, choose to sit inside ’cause it’s where all the tabletop grills are installed.
SUPER BORING CLUB SPECIAL COCKTAILS What better way to start the evening but sipping on lovely cocktails. SBC’s sake-based cocktails are refreshing and really easy to drink. Shaken with a milk-based beverage is Sake Calpis (RM26). With slight tangy note, it’s a light beverage that gave a smooth sensation to the throat.
Surprisingly, their Sake Yuzu (RM26) was more towards sweet than citrusy. Though I can still taste the distinct fragrant of yuzu, but I would have preferred if it was more tart.
A locally-infused cocktail is the Sake Asamboi (RM26) where the concoction is both sweet and sour, exactly how an asamboi would taste. If you’re not sure what asamboi is, just chew on the sour plum fruit garnish, then lick the salt and sugar off the rim.
SUPER BORING CLUB SUPER HUGE SOURS
Sour is a beverage commonly found in izakaya-style restaurants. It’s basically shochu mixed with soda and sometimes fruit. SBC uses only Suntory crisp sodas in their sours, that come in super huge highball glasses with 3 different flavours – original, yuzu and chrysanthemum (RM38 each).
SUPER BORING CLUB FOOD
With a range of sharing bites, do expect contemporary takes of traditional izakaya fare in SBC. A monthly special item is the Super Sashimi (RM38). Lightly seared bite-sized tuna stacked with lotus root, cod roe mayo and green chilli. Dressed in truffle oil soy sauce and the result was a full umami flavour.
Yummy Spicy Baby Octopus (RM16.80) is not just super yummy but super pretty too. The fiery spicy lime sauce definitely gave a nice punch to the tender sweet baby octopus, while the coolness of watermelon was a nice balance to the heat.
Presented in an eggplant “shell”, the Miso Grilled Eggplant (RM16.80) with shimeji mushroom is a sweet and savoury dish with a dreamy-creamy texture. The cubed flesh was juicy, while the “shell” was soft but firm enough to hold up the filling.
Pan-fried prawn Gyoza Mania (RM22.80) is a little crispy brown with cheesy melts at the bottom. Garnished generously with refreshing herbs like mint leaves, coriander and onion, they pair beautifully with its curry mayo dip served on the side.
SUPER BORING CLUB BBQ
If you already know exactly what you want, then it’s safe to just order the individual items. Otherwise, you could choose a combo platter of several types of meat and seafood. What I had was Combo 03 (RM98) that includes lamb char siew, smoked duck, spicy baby octopus, chicken and wagyu 7/8+. My favourite was the succulent wagyu of course, followed by smoked duck that was served with spicy ginger paste. The BBQ order came with dips, lettuce wrap and 3 variety of banchan that I, unfortunately didn’t really enjoy.
SUPER BORING CLUB RICE
Korean Spicy Rice Bowl (RM22.80), or popularly known as fist rice, is good to feed 2 – 3 pax. Put on the disposable glove provided and use one hand to mix all the ingredients up evenly. Then bring some rice to your palm and squeeze lightly into a ball shape before serving. I’ve always enjoyed this dish because not only it’s fun to make, but I really like the stickiness of it.
SUPER BORING CLUB ICE CREAM
I’ve tried many versions of kimchi – as a side dish, in stews, and even fried rice. But Kimchi Ice Cream (RM12), that’s a first. It’s sweet in the beginning, and a slight heat towards the end that lingers on for a few seconds in the mouth. Miso-nori Ice Cream (RM12) is a unique Japanese flavour. It was creamy and tasted somewhat like vanilla ice cream with notes of savoury. Between the two, I prefer the first.
What was good about Super Boring Club:
Funky retro chic aesthetics and a super laid-back vibe.
Staff seems cheery and friendly.
Delicious contemporary izakaya fare – Yummy Spicy Baby Octopus and Miso Grilled Eggplant are musts!
Alcoholic beverages at reasonable prices – Do check out their weekend sake brunch combo.
BBQ Meat – Wagyu 7/8+ was super juicy and tender. Smoked duck was pretty good too.
Korean Spicy Rice Bowl is a fun and yummy dish.
What was bad about Super Boring Club:
Lamb Char Siew was a bit too sweet for me.
I didn’t really enjoy the banchan.
The ice creams were very unique, but I’m not sure if I can acquire a taste for it.
MISSGETABOUT SCORE: 7.5/10
Super Boring Club’s Details: Facebook: Super Boring Club
Address: No. 15 Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 2110 4919 / +6010 665 56277
For those who often go to Mid Valley City, I’m pretty sure you would notice a new urban city development called KL Eco City, sitting right across it. I know many has started moving to this new commercial hub, be it residential or offices due to its strategic location. Out of curiosity, I decided to do my shopping here just to check this place out since there’s a big grocery in the retail podium. After getting dropped off, I went straight in to Tovista for a quick lunch as it’s conveniently located right at the mall’s entrance. Fortunately, I got there just before the lunch crowd started flocking in as I was starving hard!
Décor here is rather cozy and inviting. Featuring blue exposed bricks with contrasting concrete wall and warm lighting. Some throw pillows were also lined on the banquette seatings for an extra bluey effect.
FOOD Tovista is a casual eatery serving simple Western meals mainly, plus a few Asian delicacies. One of the more popular item on the menu that I’d recommend is the Salted Egg Prawn Pasta (RM18.90). The pasta was well coated with just enough salted egg, so the flavour was just right- not too rich nor creamy.
Tovista Lamb Percik (RM18.90) was quite flavourful. Though in my opinion, the coconut gravy could work better if it was thicker and less sweet. Not a red meat eater? Alternatively, there’s also a chicken version of this dish.
This juicy deep fried chicken fillet dressed in cajun sauce, and then sandwiched between a hotdog bun is the Cajun Chicken Burger (RM17.90). Like any burger meal, it wouldn’t be complete without some crispy fries on the side.
Prawn Cheese Baked Rice (RM10.90) was a little bland for me. I like that it’s served on a piping hot pan, but I think it could use with extra layers of cheese or cream to get that gooey texture.
Ask me what’s best in Tovista and I’ll tell you it’s the coffee! I got a cup of velvety smooth Cappuccino (RM11) that was pretty strong. Other than the regular Americano and milk coffees, they also do flavoured coffees like vanilla or raspberry lattes.
There’s plenty of options for non-coffee drinkers too like a freshly squeezed Glowing Orange (RM10) or the single origin cocoa Chocolate Chip Milkshake (RM15), and a variety of hot and cold teas.
Cakes are also offered for those with a sweet tooth like this Pandan Gula Melaka (RM13.90) that really complements the coffee.
What was good about Tovista Café:
Good value for simple meals – Special lunch deals between 12-6PM.
Great coffee – Cappuccino was velvety smooth and strong.
Salted Egg Prawn Pasta and Cajun Chicken Burger are dishes I’d recommend.
Offers catering for events.
Ideal spot for quick coffee meetings.
What was bad about Tovista Café:
Prawn Cheese Baked Rice was a little bland.
Lamb Percik gravy needs to be thicker and less sweet.
MISSGETABOUT SCORE: 7/10
Tovista Café’s Details: Website: Tovista Café
Facebook: Tovista Café
Tel: +603 2201 2023
Email: email@example.com Address: Lot UG 21&22, Level Upper Ground, KL Eco City Mall, Jalan Bangsar, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
A city rich in Peranakan culture, Melaka is home to some of the best Nyonya eateries in Malaysia. Nyonya dishes are unique combinations of Chinese ingredients with Malay spices. In Melaka, they are also influence of the Dutch and Portugese colonial era. Whereas in Penang, it differs slightly where Peranakan dishes has notable Southern Thai influences. Either way, they are great! I grew up eating plenty of Nyonya food since both my parents are from Penang and we absolutely love it. So this trip to Melaka, I wouldn’t miss the chance to savour some of my favourite Nyonya dishes. A new and authentic non-halal Peranakan restaurant that’s highly recommended is Nyonya 63.
NYONYA 63 LOCATION
Nyonya 63 is housed in a heritage building along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock. Don’t be surprised if your navigator leads you to a kebaya boutique as this is one of 2 entrances. You may already know that most of the heritage buildings have a distinct design – long and narrow. Just continue walking and you will find the restaurant behind a door after passing the courtyard. Otherwise, the second/ main entrance to the restaurant is accessible via Lorong Kota Laksamana.
NYONYA 63 BEVERAGE
Butterfly Pea Juice (RM2.50) – A popular beverage in Melaka that is sometimes used as natural colouring in food. It not only has an attractive colour, but is also rich in antioxidants. Plus, it’s a nice refreshment after that short walk from the hotel.
NYONYA 63 FOOD
Pickled vegetables with ground peanuts and sesame, or better known as Acar (RM1) was offered while our orders were being prepared. It’s a very appetizing Nyonya salad that is mildly spice with a hint of sweet and sourish flavour.
I really wanted Pie Tee for starters, but it ran out as the restaurant had been busy the past few days. Instead, Chef Keong (Head Chef) suggested Pong Tauhu (RM14), which was basically deep fried tofu puffs of minced shrimp and chicken.
The Okra (RM12) was briefly steamed so it still had a crunchy texture. Simple but beautiful flavours came from tossing them with dried chilli paste and crispy fried shallots dressing. A squeeze of lime also gave it a nice zing.
Steamed Assam Fish (RM50) is a tangy and spicy dish that whets the appetite. In fact, this is one of my favourite Nyonya dishes. The fish was also fresh and most importantly, the gravy wasn’t oily.
Unfortunately, Beef Rendang was also not available that evening. We got the Nyonya Mutton Curry (RM28) as an alternative, even though it wasn’t my preferred dish. Nevertheless, the meat was quite tender and the curry had a herby aroma.
NYONYA 63 DESSERT
There is only 1 dessert on the list and it’s none other than Cendol (RM5). It was my third cendol in 2 days, and also the best I had in Melaka due to its fragrance even though it had lesser gula melaka than the others. This is just my personal preference and I know you may have a different opinion (just so you know, my ultimate favourite cendol is still in Penang).
What was good about Nyonya 63:
Dishes overall were quite tasty especially the Steamed Assam Fish.
Chef Keong personally takes your order and provides suggestions.
Housed in a beautiful heritage building with easy parking if accessing via Lorong Kota Laksamana/ main entrance.
What was bad about Nyonya 63:
Disappointed when 2 dishes we really wanted wasn’t available that day.
Need to add 2 or more dessert options to the list.
It was that Friday feeling where most people start shifting to a relax gear, getting into the weekend mood. Being one of them, I also wanted to take it easy and unwind the day. That’s when I decided to spoil ourselves to a beautiful lunch at Cilantro. Cilantro is an award-winning French-Japanese restaurant helmed by Chef Takashi Kimura for 2 decades that has continue to stand the test of time and prove to be one of KL’s top.
Being high-end and one of the best, it obviously comes with a big price tag. Good news is, Cilantro offers a special 4-course Executive Friday Lunch set between 12-2PM (every Friday of course), with a weekly changing menu at RM200 nett per pax and a glass of sparkling wine. The best part though, is the free corkage for bottles of wine and champagne between those hours! With such a great lunch deal, I’m not surprised majority of the tables and private rooms were occupied that day.
Bread and butter were offered after the server confirmed our choices of main course and dessert. I really love the truffle butter here and was really looking forward to it. Instead, it was replaced with seaweed butter. I did like it though I must admit I felt a little less fulfilled.
First to the table was White Asparagus Soup with Crustacean Consommé and Scallop. A chilled soup with subtle but beautiful flavours, and scallop pieces that’s so tender.
Don’t be alarmed by the visual appearance of this Beignet of Anago. This is because the eel was squid ink-battered. It’s actually quite tasty, especially after dipping with some sansho pepper. Served on the side were a couple of Hotaruika (firefly squid), a seasonal delicacy that was soft with delicate sweetness.
Two choices, either the Mi-Cuit of Tai Fish with French Petit Pois Ragoût À la Minute if you prefer something light, or Char Broiled Free-Range Lamb Loin with Ail des Ours and Jus for the red meat lovers. I of course, prefer the latter but I must say both were really good, just depending on your meat preference.
A sweet ending to the meal was Raspberry and Pistachio Frangipane Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream. I like the sharpness of raspberry combined with the sweetness of tart and ice cream. Alternatively, there’s an option of Farm Cheese Platters (Camembert & Tomme Fermier) for those without sugar cravings. Also, coffee or tea is served along with dessert.
We would definitely love to hang out at their cozy wine lounge if there was anymore champagne left. Until next time…!
What was good about Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar:
Pleasant service and not overwhelmed by unnecessary attention.
Soothing and intimate ambience – Private rooms offered for those in groups.
Fantastic Friday lunch deals with free corkage.
Executive Friday Lunch set overall was delicious. If you’re not here for the set, then I highly recommend the Braised Unagi with Foie Gras and Cold Capellini with Sea Urchin & Botanebi.
What was bad about Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar:
Very disappointed that the truffle butter was replaced with seaweed butter for Executive Friday Lunch.
Presentation of the second course is not appealing.
Melaka (Malacca), a UNESCO World Heritage City is one of the most popular weekend getaway destination especially among those living in Kuala Lumpur. With a rich historical and cultural background, it is in fact one of the top destinations to travel in Malaysia, attracting tourists from not only within the country, but all over the world. As a fellow Malaysian though, after having visited this city numerous times, the only reason for returning is the food. Last weekend however, was exceptional. Instead of just food, I was here to experience Melaka’s latest luxury boutique hotel, Liu Men.
BACKGROUND & LOCATION
Liu Men is under the Préférence group of luxury hotels. The name literally translates to “six doors” in Mandarin. Six is considered an auspicious number in the Chinese community for travelers, and it’s one of the reasons behind the name. If you look carefully, the logo is actually traditional Chinese characters of the words, “六門” six doors. Strategically located (literally) just a stone throw away from the famous Jonker Walk, it is walking distance to many other famous tourist spots as well. In fact, it sits right across Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest functioning traditional Chinese temple in Malaysia.
The theme is of course, Peranakan but with a modern luxurious touch. Inside the hotel features an indoor high glass-ceiling courtyard, a unique architecture of a Peranakan home. The area takes in natural sunlight during the day, and lit up by gorgeous hanging chandelier lanterns at night. Adorned with elegant oriental furnishing, I especially love the geometric tiles and traditional steel spiral staircase at the start of the courtyard.
A total of 30 guest rooms ranging from 21 m² up to 54 m² large, each named after historical figures such as Hang Tuah, Cheng Ho and Parameswara Suite. After checking in to the room, I was delighted to find a beautifully handwritten welcome note by the General Manager along with a fruit platter. Other than its full in-room amenities offered, the ultra comfortable bed could be its biggest selling point. Plus a great air-conditioning system, it was the deepest 2-nights sleep I had all week.
Breakfast happens at the courtyard with options of Western and local favourites. They also welcome guests throughout the day until night, but with a limited choice on the menu. Otherwise, Vintry is another dining outlet that opens for lunch and dinner, offering more than 500 wine labels from all around the world and seriously non-halal sharing tapas like the signature roast pork.
What was good about Liu Men Hotel:
Strategic location – Stone throw from Jonker Street and walking distance to many local attractions.
Great service – Staff were very helpful and friendly.
Gorgeous elegant modern Peranakan themed décor – The courtyard especially, is a great spot for afternoon tea (and photos).
Full in-room amenities – WiFi, cable TV, toiletries, clothes rack, bathrobe, safety deposit box, and mini bar (some snacks are complimentary).
Ultra comfortable beds and great air-conditioning system.
What was bad about Liu Men Hotel:
No facilities like gym or pool.
Parking entrance/ signage should be a lot more visible.