July will be a very “happening” month for Zuan Yuan, the Chinese restaurant in One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya. With their Executive Chinese Chef Tommy Choong now firmly settled in, it’s time to showcase some of his culinary prowess. Together with his team, Chef Tommy will be serving up some new dishes featuring tea as a showcase ingredient in Zuan Yuan. If that’s not enough to tantalise diners, sizzling hotplates will also be making appearances in the restaurant – more of that later.
Let’s have a look at the various tea-infused new dishes first.
Double-boiled Abalone & Fish Maw Soup with Chrysanthemum
Crispy Prawns stuffed with Yam & Pumpkin, served with Green Tea Dressing
Thinking out of the teacup, the repertoire of tea-based dishes available for the whole month of July are Double Boiled Abalone and Fish Maw Soup with Chrysanthemum, Crispy Prawns stuffed with Yam and Pumpkin served with Green Tea Dressing, Smoked Village Chicken with Oolong, Braised Minced Chicken with Homemade Bean Curd and Tiguanyin, Stir Fried Shrimps with Longjing and Stir Fried Rice with Green Tea and Assorted Seafood “Hakka” Style.
Smoked Village Chicken with Oolong Tea
Chef Tommy loves to use tea for his cooking, believing the humble tea leaves give food a subtle yet remarkably enticing flavour to the dishes. Tea has useful antioxidant properties too and is easily available so the inspiration to use tea is pretty much justified by these two reasons alone.
Fried Rice with Green Tea & Assorted Seafood, Hakka-style
Of course diners get to complement the exquisite tea-infused dishes with a veritable selection of premium tea available in Zuan Yuan. The Tea-licious promotion runs for a limited period only. Available for lunch from 12.00pm to 2.30pm and for dinner from 6.00pm to 10.30pm, it is priced from RM38.00 nett per portion.
Chef Tommy Choong
If tea is a bit tame for you, do check out the Sizzling Hot Plates of Australian Grass Fed Beef (MB4) Steak, U.S Angus Beef Steak, Australian Premium Lamb Cutlets and King Tiger Prawns. All these are cooked on lava stones imported from Turkey, accompanied by vegetables and mushrooms on the side. The meats are well-marinated and I feel they don’t really need any sauce as personally I prefer to savour their natural flavours. Nevertheless, black pepper, monggolian and barbeque sauces are provided.
Australian Grass-fed Beef Steak
Sizzling Australian Premium Lamb Cutlets
This specially crafted Sizzling Hot promotion runs for the whole month of July 2019 only. Available for lunch from 12.00pm to 2.30pm and for dinner from 6.00pm to 10.30pm, the specialties are priced from RM42.00 nett per 100 gram portion with a minimum order of 200 gram each.
For more information, dining reservations or further enquiries such as discounts or promotions, please call +603-7681-1159 or email email@example.com
ZUAN YUAN Chinese Restaurant One World Hotel Bandar Utama City Centre Bandar Utama 47800 Petaling Jaya Tel: +603-7681-1111
Whenever we visit Japan, we never fail to eat and drink at izakayas there, simply because we are quite big fans of the casual food served there. Grilled skewers of chicken and other meats, done the Japanese way have a way of growing your appetite. I mean, we can sit forever in these izakayas and order countless sticks of those goodies and won’t even notice the time passing by! The relaxed (and sometimes boisterous) vibes in an izakaya – chatter, laughter mixed with clinking of drinking glasses in a smokey cheerful bar are all part of the experience.
At Fukuda Yakitori in Desa Sri Hartamas, we kinda get that atmosphere as there is a good turnout of Japanese clientele in the premise. And that’s a pretty positive sign that food must be authentic, which is proved so when we see that the chef is also Japanese. He and his assistants are kept very busy tackling the skewers just behind the bar and food is served immediately from the charcoal grill to the tables.
We enjoy every stick of those skewers, from chicken to every part of the fowl, succulent pork belly and even sticks of cream cheese! As sinful as it seems, the crunchy fragrant Kawa (Chicken Skin) and Bonjiri (Chicken Tail aka Bishop’s Nose) turn out to be our favourites. Trust me, they are damn addictive!
Yakitori (prices indicated are for per stick):
Negima (Chicken Thigh with Leek) RM6.80
Bonjiri (Chicken Tail) RM6.80
Tebasaki (Chicken Wings) RM9.80
Tsukune (Chicken Hamburg) RM9.80
Chicken Liver (RM5.80)
Chicken Hearts (RM5.80)
Kawa (Chicken Skin) (RM6.20)
Iberico Pork Belly (RM12.80)
Cream Cheese (RM9.80)
Continuing with the grilling theme, besides the skewers, the Chargrilled Lamb Chops and Japanese Saikoro Beef Cube Steak are great choices. The lamb and beef are skilfully grilled over charcoal heat, rendering them perfectly tender and juicy to the bite.
Chargrilled Lamb Chops (RM39.80)
Japanese Saikoro Beef Cube Steak (RM48.80)
To balance out the grilled food, salads, sashimi and oysters are also on the menu. Crisp fresh greens mixed with sashimi and a tangy dressing makes up the Kaizen Sashimi Salad and we can’t resist some freshly-shucked plump oysters as well. Unable to resist more oysters, the Fried Oysters with Tartar Sauce are good too.
Kaizen Sashimi Salad (RM32.80)
4 Assorted Sashimi Platter (RM48.80)
Fresh Shelled Oysters 3 pcs (RM59.80)
Fried Oysters with Tartar Sauce (RM18.80)
Seeing rice and even a hotpot on the menu, and as DL’s feeling still peckish, we have a bowl of Bara Chirashi and the Sumo Hotpot. I feel the Bara Chirashi can do with a bit more flavour though to better bind the cubes of salmon, yellowtail, scallop, prawn and fish roe in the rice. I love hotpots and as it’s a rather wet and chilly evening, the simmering soup is indeed a welcome addition. The pot is filled with a comforting broth made even more tasty with generous portions of Iberico pork, chicken fillet, chicken meatballs, mushrooms, enoki and vegetables added in.
Bara Chirashi (RM49.80)
Sumo Hotpot (RM88.80)
Too full to eat anymore but there’s always a teeny bit of tummy space for desserts so Macha Ice Cream is the perfect way to end the meal.
Macha Ice Cream (RM7.80)
Yakitori Fukuda is a great cosy spot to wind down after a day’s work or just to chill out with friends. We’ll be back for those addictive skewers and if it’s a rainy chilly evening, the hotpot as well!
YAKITORI DINING FUKUDA No. 39-G JALAN 23/70A Desa Sri Hartamas 50480 Desa Sri Hartamas 50480 Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-6206 3526
As a kid growing up in Ipoh, we didn’t have much money, so having a dim sum meal was like Chinese New Year. Heck, if I got to eat just two char siu pow only, I’d be jubilant and won’t stop smiling that entire week. Back then, there wasn’t that many fancy dim sum restaurants around and I remember the best dim sum joint was this crowded kopitiam next to the wet market in town. So, munching on my favorite har kow and lor mai kai and putting up with the interesting smells of the nearby market, my world was always right whenever I had dim sum on the table.
Nowadays we are luckier – I don’t have to wait till CNY before I can have a dim sum meal. And of course, being in the Klang Valley, dim sum in many restaurants have now evolved beyond the rudimentary har kow and siu mai. Dining trends and competition in the F&B industry have pushed the bar many notches higher… chefs are now innovating more creative items on their menus!
The Oriental Group of Restaurants needs no introduction – their network of restaurants in the Klang Valley is popular and familiar to many. Noble Mansion in Petaling Jaya is well-known for its Cantonese and Shunde dishes. Fashioned after a traditional Chinese mansion, the elegant interior provides a pleasing backdrop for an unhurried meal here. Recognising that dim sum is always welcome and popular among diners, Noble Mansion recently unveiled its dim sum menu.
Creamy Carrots Swan Puffs (RM12.80)
What would probably grab your attention would be their visually-appealing Creamy Carrot Swan Puffs, Longevity Piglets Buns, Peanut Lava Carrots and Pan-fried Dumplings with Superior Stock. Apart from the cute piglet buns, I love the puffs and the dumplings. The swan puffs are filled with warm savoury radish; the “carrot” puffs have wondrous gooey peanut filling spilling out the moment you bite into them and the pan-fried dumplings dunked in superior broth are really good. The piglet buns are appealing visually but it’s just the regular lotus buns given a cute facelift.
Peanut Lava Carrots (RM15)
Pan-fried Dumplings with Superior Stock (RM11.80)
Longevity Piglets Buns (RM16)
At Noble Mansion, regular dim sum are given various twists for differentiation from the masses. The har kau has extra crunch, thanks to addition of Australian asparagus and the siew mai are scented with black truffles. Although the char siew pau comes with Iberico pork filling, I really can’t tell any difference from regular pork as I don’t think the uniqueness of Iberico can be discerned in the sweetish diced pork filling. Nevertheless, I enjoy the well-executed char siew pau.
Har Kau with Australian Asparagus (RM11.80)
Siew Mai with Black Truffle (RM10.80)
Iberico Char Siew Pau (RM12)
Another item which I really like are the Prawns & Baby Fungus Dumplings in Cordycep Flowers Soup – the ingredients alone will tell you that this is a premium dim sum dish. Cordyceps, a prized herb, is valued for its immunity-boosting and lungs strengthening properties – I made sure that not a drop of the soup was left.
Prawns & Baby Fungus Dumplings in Cordycep Flowers Soup (RM14)
Cheong Fun with Duck Meat (RM11.80)
Pork Ribs with Black Beans (RM9.80)
Besides dim sum, there are appetizers, congee, noodles and desserts to fill the stomach. My favourite appetizers here are…
Icy Japanese Vegetables (RM28)
Chilled Abalones with Sakura Shrimps & Chilli (RM38)
Stuffed Century Eggs with XO Sauce (RM18)
Prawn Toast topped with Bonito Flakes & Shredded Cabbage (RM18)
And if you still have tummy space, go for these…
Porridge with Iberico Pork & Wolfberries (RM18)
Roast Pork (RM20)
Japanese Buckwheat Noodles with Iberico Pork & Black Truffle (RM48)
I must mention the splendid Crab Noodles from the main menu. Even if you are there for dim sum, do indulge on this plate of divine slippery smooth noodles wrapping a huge succulent crab claw – you won’t regret it!
We totally love the desserts in Noble Mansion and wanted to order every one of them! However, good sense set in and we could only manage these top favourites…
Thousand Layer Cake (RM9)
Golden Pudding with Bird’s Nest in Whole Orange (RM23)
Fuji Apple with Snow Jelly, Gingko, Red Dates & Fresh Lily Bulbs (RM16)
Summer Breeze Coconut Jelly (RM14)
Prices of dim sum at Noble Mansion are understandably above average, given the more premium ingredients used. Iberico pork, black truffles, cordyceps – these are clearly for more discerned palates and the classy and quieter ambience is another plus point for a more relaxed and enjoyable dining experience.
The Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa is the very first resort developed under the Anantara brand. We had a short stay in this resort recently and were charmed by the rich traditional design from its historic heritage surrounded by natural beauty all around. The name Anantara in Sanskrit means “without end” – an indication of the freedom of movement flowing in harmony throughout the resort, from design to nature.
The resort’s mascot!
Built in 2001, this resort gave birth to “The Anantara Experience” with the aim of bringing guests closer to the rich culture and history of Thailand. We get the distinct feeling of being in a traditional Thai village the moment we stepped into the main lobby of the resort. Checking-in was a breeze and we were then whisked off to our Deluxe Room with a balcony overlooking into the lush greenery of the resort.
Our comfortable Deluxe Room with Garden View
Walking through the resort, we could see that much of nature has been preserved. The lush grounds are shaded with the canopy of huge trees, walkways are carved out along natural lines and everywhere there’s the sound of water – in lotus ponds, fountains and natural streams. It’s totally relaxing being cocooned in this green haven.
The Anantara Hua Hin Resort caters to everyone, from honeymooners to families and bigger groups for events and functions. Children can totally immerse themselves in lots of fun activities at Baan Pla Noi Children’s Club like art & crafts, sports, cooking and Thai language classes. For the adults, there’s yoga, muay thai, tennis and a well equipped fitness centre for the gym bunnies. Oh did I mention there are 2 lovely pools in the resort?
The resort plants its own organic herbs
Welcome to the Spa!
The beachfront is incredibly calming, with wide stretches of fine sand rolling into the sea. We totally enjoyed chilling out here, especially at sunset when the whole environment took on an ethereal feel. One of our most memorable meals was a dinner at Sai Thong, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant. There was a cool gentle breeze that evening as we indulged on grilled seafood and lusciously tender pork ribs.
Our delicious dinner at Sai Thong!
Rim Nam is another signature restaurant at the Anantara Hua Hin Resort. It’s listed on Trip Advisor as the No.1 Thai restaurant in Hua Hin. The quaint elegant Thai-style pavilion restaurant serves traditional family-type Thai food. We enjoyed Mieng Kam, various Thai salads, green chicken curry and a perfectly steamed seabass with chilli-lime sauce.
Authentic Thai cuisine at Rim Nam
Breakfast is a delightful affair at Issara Cafe. The open-air white-washed pavilion setting is the perfect venue for a leisurely meal to start off the day. We love the many live stations where chefs prepare orders a la minute. But what really made our breakfast complete was their huge selection of fresh tropical fruits. And the coffee was really excellent too!
Glorious breakfast at Issara Cafe!
There are several other dining outlets in the resort which we didn’t get to experience – Baan Thalia (Italian fine dining), Sala Siam (contemporary lounge), Loy Nam (poolside refreshments) and their Lagoon Bar. So, there’s really nice dining options for guests in the resort, should they choose to dine in.
We didn’t do too badly at the Thai Cooking Class, eh!
Throughout its landscaped sprawling grounds, immersed in its laid-back luxury, we can’t help but be enchanted by the Thai culture in this beautiful resort – from the gardens, the food, traditionally carved wooden structures and even attending a Thai cooking class!
With Air Asia now having direct flights from KLIA2 to Hua Hin, it’s so easy to get to this seaside resort town. With a flight duration of less than 2 hours, Hua Hin is a very attractive destination and the Anantara there is a topnotch option. We will be back!
ANANTARA HUA HIN RESORT & SPA 43/1 Phetkasem Beach Road Hua Hin Thailand Tel: +66-32-520-250 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan is the latest dining space that’s heating up Kuala Lumpur’s dining scene. It is not just a restaurant – the 13,000 sq ft space is also a state-of-the-art event venue where patrons are promised a modern Malaysian culinary adventure, led by Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, more popularly known as Chef Wan. This Celebrity Chef needs no introduction. I believe almost everyone knows or have heard of our culinary ambassador who has done so much to promote our Malaysian food culture all over the world. Host of countless tv shows, culinary competitions, recipient of many culinary awards and author of numerous cookbooks, Chef Wan is almost a household name in the country.
Stepping into De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan, the “wow” factor smacks me right away. The colourful modern artsy decor speaks much about its namesake as Chef Wan’s gregarious bubbly personality is well known. Brightly-hued peacocks and tropical foliage designs on the walls exude a bright cheerfulness which resonate well with our Malaysian celebrity chef’s persona. The extensive dining space is cleverly planned with much flexibility to accommodate dining groups of any size. With 13,000 sq ft to play, this place is perfect for any kind of occasion or celebration – from a corporate meeting, product launch, art exhibition to a birthday party and a wedding!
From concept to kitchen fit-out, the project to bring to life De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan has been a dedicated and determined journey for Andre Shum, one of the founding partners, together with Chef Wan. “We planned this 2 years ago and along the way there were many challenges but thank goodness we managed to garner some amazing support from so many people to get this venture off the ground,” explains Andre as we settle ourselves to munch on some super-delicious Cucur Udang. While Andre handles the operational management of the place, Chef Wan rules the kitchen to ensure that every dish served meets his exacting standards of quality.
Opened just only a few weeks ago, the restaurant has been swarmed with diners every day. For some, it has been impossible to get a table as the bookings were just too full. The menu is kept simple and selections are focused, which I like. Chef Wan wants to maintain quality in the food served – better to focus on selected signature items rather than offer many options where quality may be diluted. The menu will be changed every 3-4 months to keep the excitement going.
So what’s the real deal with the food?
We tasted dishes from the various categories – Appetizer, Salad, Soup, Mains, Bakar-bakar and Desserts.Besides the Mains with a selection of 10 dishes, all the other categories have just 2-4 dishes, which like I’ve said before, is a good thing. Much focus and attention are given to these dishes, from the use of fresh ingredients to the execution and presentation. Besides some minor snags (eg splashed sauces on plates, squid a tad undercooked), I really enjoyed the food. I could see that Chef Wan’s exacting standards have rubbed on to the crew. The tastes and flavours were well-balanced, as much effort has gone into the cooking and the dishes were spot-on. Be prepared to “tambah nasi” here – not an issue as they serve 3 types of basmathi rice to guests on a free-flow basis! All in all, the food here is “sedap giler”!
Traditional golden fritters of fresh bouncy tiger prawns, dried shrimps, bean sprouts and chives, deep-fried to crispy perfection. We ate these dipped with Chef Wan’s signature chilli sauce and special peanut sauce for a perfect start to our meal. Definitely a crowd-pleaser and a big hit with DL.
Chunks of tender Australian oxtail simmered in a robust aromatic broth bursting with flavours of local spices. So heart-warming.
Kerabu Pucuk Paku with Kerang
Sweet pucuk paku (fiddlehead fern), fragrant bunga kantan (torch ginger bud) and freshly-shelled plump cockles tossed with Chef Wan’s special kerabu sauce. A touch of lime, aromatic kerisik make this salad so sublime. Hands-down my favourite of the meal! This should be made a permanent item on the menu!
Daging Opor Hijau
Australian beef fillet braised in creamy coconut milk and spices – tender meat dish with pea eggplants, capsicum and basil leaves. You need to “tambah nasi” with this one!
Succulent NZ lamb braised till fork-tender with Chef Wan’s special Kuzi (thick curry) spice paste and a variety of premium herbs. This is so good, I tell you.
Gulai Lemak Udang Nenas Nyonya-style
Fresh tiger prawns slow-cooked in creamy coconut milk with a golden turmeric-based spice paste with pineapple cubes giving it that zesty touch. The huge prawns were very fresh and sweet – I hope they keep this on the menu permanently.
Rendang Udang Galah Minangkabau
Succulent river prawns simmered in a special Minangkabau rempah paste, coconut milk and spiked with fragrant lime leaves. Originally from Minangkabau in Negeri Sembilan, this unique dish is a must-try! The sauce/rempah paste is just so addictive.
We had a whole jumbo squid and a seabass, grilled and the freshness of the seafood is so tasty and sweet that you may not even need any of the dipping sauces. All grilled items come with 3 choices of Chef Wan’s signature sauces/sambals. You may find it difficult to choose from Sambal Kicap Pedas, Sos Air Asam, Sambal Hijau, Sambal Merah, Sambal Hee Bee, Sambal Limau Kasturi, Sambal Belacan, Cincaluk or Tempoyak Chilli!
Free-flow servings of basmathi rice…
Bubur Pulut Hitam
Thai black glutinous rice boiled with corn kernel and fresh coconut milk and eaten with a dollop of premium ice-cream. Quite a unique way of serving this as it’s not really in a “bubur” form.
Bubur Som Som
Soft silky rice flour pudding topped with generous helping of creamy coconut milk and cinnamon-infused palm sugar syrup, this classic Indonesian dessert is hands-down my favourite. It’s similar to Lompat Tikam, the Kelantanese dessert. Honestly, I can polish off a whole serving of this all by myself, and then some!
Booking is recommended and is to be done online via TableApp which is linked to their website here.
DE.WAN 1958 by Chef Wan Lot 2-2 Level 2, The Linc KL 360 Jalan Tun Razak 50900 Kuala Lumpur
For more information, please check out their website
Every year when the holy month of Ramadhan rolls in, the Cinnamon Coffee House in One World Hotel is a big burst of colours, aromas and tastes! On any ordinary day, the dinner buffet selection in Cinnamon is always huge and varied but when it’s Ramadhan, the selections become even more extensive and mind-boggling! (if that’s even possible!)
This year is no different – the theme is “Kembara Tujuh Sajian” where dishes from 7 states of Malaysia are presented. Guests get to indulge on kampong-styled traditional dishes and local street fares from Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Johor, Kedah, Melaka, Perak and Negeri Sembilan prepared by Executive Sous Chef Saiful Baharin and his culinary team. Imagine – 7 states and the whole Cinnamon is all decked out with additional stalls in the side terrace and walkways. I can’t imagine how it would be if all the states of Malaysia are featured!
The main aisle of Cinnamon has long buffet tables serving all kinds of appetizers (from cold boiled seafood to local kerabus), mains (curries, rendang & popular local dishes like Kari Ayam Kandar, Sambal Udang Petai, Kambing Semur Kerisik, Gulai Daging Tetel Kawah Tok, Asam Ikan Pedas, Perut Lembu Masak Cili Api and Sayur Pucuk Manis. Numerous live food stations are kept very busy, like the Indian station with naans and curries, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Sup Kambing, Goreng-goreng, Rojak Mamak, Mee Kari and BBQ Seafood. These time-tested dishes are showcased in 6 rotational menus with over 100 items daily.
Succulent & juicy Ayam Percik
Then there are the international line-up: the Japanese and Western counters are always crowded.
Save room for the desserts as the selection is really very extensive. Desserts range from Western-styled sweets such as Coconut Choux, Apple Cinnamon Frangipane, Baked Lime Cheese Cake, Mango Panna Cotta, Raspberry Éclair, Pavlova to colourful local ones like Assorted Kuih Muih, Agar Agar, Kek Kukus, Bubur Pengat Pisang, Ais Kacang and Pulut Serawa Durian.
Don’t miss out the Chocolate Fountain!
Available from 6.30pm to 10.30pm nightly, it is priced at RM148.00 nett per adult and RM78.00 nett per child (aged 6-12 years) from 24 April to 5 May 2019 and RM175.00 nett and RM90.00 nett respectively from 6 May to 4 June 2019.
Reservations are encouraged to avoid disappointment.
For reservations and further enquiries such as discount or promotions, please call +603-7681-1157 or email email@example.com
CINNAMON COFFEE HOUSE One World Hotel Bandar Utama City Centre Bandar Utama Petaling Jaya
For more information on One World Hotel, please click here.
With the holy fasting month of Ramadan starting soon, chefs at The Living Room at the Westin Kuala Lumpur is all ready to to serve their “Juadah Iftar” when the sun sets. Led by Executive Chef Halim Chef Lah, the culinary team will whisk you away on a trip of exquisite dining of authentic Malaysian cuisine. The spacious dining area of The Living Room comes alive with buffet counters laden with all kinds of deliciousness, huge woks propped up on stands filled with the most fragrant curries and live cooking stations ready to serve guests with food cooked-on-the-spot!
There are more than 50 mouth-watering dishes laid out on the buffet aisle – “Juadah Iftar” heralds a great start with fine dates from Tunisia and Iran. Once you have sweetened your palate, move on to traditional favourites like “Gear Box Soup”, Roasted Whole Lamb, Roti John Pelangi Ayam, Braised Beef Short Ribs and not leaving out Ketupat, Palas, Nasi Impit eaten with thick creamy Kuah Kacang.
The desserts spread over several counters and tables – it’s hard to pick the favourites from the trays of traditional Malay Kuih, colourful western cakes, pastries and cookies, fresh fruits and tins of old-world biscuits, so reminiscent of our childhood!
Durian lovers are in for a special treat – The Living Room will be serving the King of Fruits in a specially constructed canopy. Chefs will be popping open durian kampung this year, so be sure to head over if you are a durian fan.
*Durian photos courtesy of The Westin Kuala Lumpur
RM158 nett per adult
RM79 nett per child (7-12 years old)
*Kids below 6 years dine for free
Available from 8 May to 4 July 2019.
Early Bird Promotion
Buy the Early Bird Voucher at RM108 nett per person by 5 May 2018
For dining reservations, please call +603-2773-8495.
THE LIVING ROOM The Westin Kuala Lumpur Jalan Bukit Bindung 55100 Kuala Lumpur
If you are looking to break fast with Thai cuisine this Ramadhan, do check out Chakri Palace. This time round, from 13 May 2019 onwards Chakri Palace will be serving buffets of Thai cuisine alongside local favourite dishes at their restaurants:
We had a chance to try out some of scrumptious dishes at a preview recently at Chakri Palace Sky View in Dorsett Hotel Hartamas. Their dedicated team of Thai chefs have certainly gone all out to tantalise diners with their spread of more than 50 modern and authentic Thai and local favourites. We were spoiled for choice, truly and couldn’t decide where to start!
From local ulam-ulam and kerabus to the traditional Mieng Kam, Thai Mango Salad, Som Tam to crispy Thai Spring Rolls and Crispy Fried Noodles, we took our time sampling a bit of everything. For main courses, we couldn’t have enough of their Thai Green Curry, Salted Egg Buttersauce Prawns, Tomyum Seafood, Spicy Squids, Black Pepper Beef and Chilli Fish. There were also local favourites like Rendang Dating Tok, Masak Lemak Gulai Daging, Ayam Kapitan and Nasi Beriani.
We walked around the spacious restaurant to sample delicacies prepared at the live action stalls. Our plates and bowls were filled with nicely-grilled Chicken & Beef Satay, Ikan Bakar and tongue-tingling Tom Yum Noodles.
Do remember to save some stomach room for Thai desserts like Mango Sticky Rice, Red Ruby Water Chestnuts and Pumpkin Tart. Additionally, go for the local Malay kuih, Bubur Jagung & Pisang and other sweets.
This “Tantalizing Tastes of Thailand” Buffet Dinner will be available from 9 May 2019 from 7pm onwards.
When Air Asia started direct flights to Hua Hin in mid 2018, I knew I had to make a trip there. I enjoy Thailand and Hua Hin was definitely in my radar. However, my travel schedules were crazy last year and before I knew it, the year was out. Once 2019 dawned, I made my Hua Hin plans and finally got to this stylish coastal town last month. It’s a short flight from KLIA2, just under 2 hours and after a quick shut-eye onboard, it was time to land.
Clearing Immigration at Hua Hin Airport was a breeze and before long, I was whisked away heading to Avani+ Hua Hin Resort. It’s just a short drive – the resort is about 6km from the airport. In a matter of minutes, I arrived at the open lobby/reception of the resort and checking-in was done very quickly.
My stay was in a Lagoon Pool Villa which is located towards the beach end of the property. It’s a sprawling property, mind you but worry not, there are buggies to transport you to anywhere in the resort! Avani+ Hua Hin has 196 rooms, suites and villas.
My Lagoon Pool Villa is gorgeous – king bed overlooking the lagoon pool! A split level from the bed is a lounging space with a long cushioned seat, coffee-maker and dining table. Just open the sliding door, there’s a cool patio for sun-lazing and for a cool dip, just jump straight into the lagoon pool. Ahhh…that’s the life! Perfect for honeymooners or just about anyone who wants a cosy stay in a luxurious villa. I checked out the other rooms and they all have the same contemporary decor of elegant light woods and classy fit-outs (just different sizing of space!)
I wanted to just stay in my Lagoon Pool Villa all day! But then, need to eat, right? Guests at the villas have access to the Avani Club, just a few steps away from my villa. There’s buffet breakfast and sundown cocktails served here. I like the special breakfast dishes for order – their Prawn Omelette was so good that I had that every morning!
A whole leg of jamon ham for breakfast!
Sunset canapes at Avani Club
Guests can also opt to have breakfast at Staa’s, the resort’s all-day dining restaurant serving Thai and international fares. Personally, I prefer breakfast at the Avani Club as it’s more relaxed, exclusive and service was really attentive. But the breakfast spread at Staa’s was pretty phenomenal – in addition to the usual bacon, sausages, eggs, breads and pastries, there’s also a huge selection of Thai street-food like noodles, pork skewers, fried mini crullers and Thai desserts.
Breakfast at Staa’s
I got a taste of diversified dining at Avani+ Hua Hin. On the first night, I tried Indian cuisine at Staa’s. Thali Sets (both vegetarian and meat sets) are hugely popular – biryani rice with a good selection of Indian favourites. I must say the curries were really very appetizing and I ate more biryani rice than I should have.
Thali Sets for dinner at Staa’s
On another night, I had barbequed seafood and Thai dishes at Brezza, their beachfront restaurant. I chose to sit outside as the weather was fine – it was al fresco dining at its best with a cool sea breeze blowing in and the soft lull of ocean waves breaking on the shore.
BBQ Seafood at Brezza, ocean-front dining is the best!
With 2 swimming pools, a lagoon pool, a well-equipped gym (AvaniFit), kids’ centre (Avani Kids) and yoga classes, there’s no lack of activities at the resort. For me, my favourite is their Avani Spa of course, with its spa therapies and authentic hammam experience. Oh did I mention that there’s a jazz bar in the resort too? Blue Biscuit is the perfect spot to chillout in the evenings as the ocean view from the bar is really something!
Avanifit: well-equipped gym
AvaniKids – kids will definitely love it here!
AvaniSpa: my favourite corner!
Blue Biscuit – jazz bar
With its vast grounds and beautifully landscaped rolling gardens facing the ocean, Avani+ Hua Hin is great for hosting events as well. While I was there, the beachfront was beautifully set up for a corporate event – guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves dining under twinkling stars in elegantly laid out tables.
Lovely sea-facing grounds set-up for events
Besides the physical activities, guests at the resort can also sign-up for cooking classes to learn to cook some traditional Thai dishes.
Results of our cooking class – impressive?
Hua Hin is definitely a destination to head to, now with short direct flights there and Avani+ Hua Hin is suitable for all kinds of getaway – romantic stay for couples, fun vacation for the whole family or group event of any sort. Beach weddings and honeymoons … totally fit the bill here!
AVANI+ HUA HIN RESORT 1499 Petchkasem Road Cha-am, Hua Hin Phetchaburi 76120 Thailand Tel: +66-32-898-989 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
With a name like “Prawn Dynasty”, it’s clear what the speciality of this restaurant is. Serving plump fresh udang galah or freshwater prawns, otherwise known as “tai thau hah” in Cantonese, the restaurant sees a steady stream of prawn lovers strolling in. Although open for just a few months, word has already gotten out about the sweet crustaceans served in Prawn Dynasty in this quiet corner of Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Cheras.
At RM39.90 a plate, the freshwater prawns are cooked in more than 20 variety of sauces. You may have a hard time deciding, like we did. In the end, we decided to go with the popular choices of “Kam Heong Lai Yau” (buttermilk sauce), Salted Eggyolk and Black Pepper Prawns. All 3 dishes proved to be worthy winners and if I have to choose a favourite, it has to be the Kam Heong Lai Yau Prawns for its most enticing spicy flavours!
Kam Heong Lai Yau Prawns
Salted Eggyolk Prawns
Black Pepper Prawns
Besides the prawns, the menu also has an extensive listing of other seafood, chicken, pork, tofu and vegetable dishes. If you love steamed fish, please order the divine Orange Roughy Steamed in Ginger & Soya Sauce. Imported from New Zealand, it’s a rather fearsome-looking fish with the smoothest silkiest texture ever and hands-down the best tasting fish I’ve had so far this year!
Orange Roughy in Ginger Soya Sauce (from NZ) RM8.80/100g
I’m a fan of clams and la-la so when I saw “Excited Clams” on the menu, I just had to try it. The clams are cooked in a delightfully fragrant broth, tinged yellow with the addition of butter in it and slices of pork belly give it that extra meaty porky robustness. We slurped up every last drop of that addictive broth.
Excited Clams (RM25/RM40)
Do order some plain rice ready to go with their Claypot Pork Belly with Salted Fish, the Taiwanese-style 3-Cup Chicken, Crabmeat Tofu and the mis-translated “Saliva Chicken”! No gross saliva in the chicken – it’s just a direct translation from its Cantonese name which means the golden-skinned chicken is salivatingly delicious!
Ham Yue Fa Lam Po (RM25/RM38) – Claypot Pork Belly with Salted Fish
3-Cup Chicken (RM20/RM38)
Hau Sui Chicken (RM40/RM78) – “Saliva Chicken”
Kam Si Hai Pha Tofu (RM18/RM35) – Crabmeat Tofu
French Beans with Seaweed (RM18/RM30)
What a feast!
PRAWN DYNASTY RESTAURANT 26 Jalan 6/91 Taman Shamelin Perkasa Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-2856-0765 *Non-halal
Daily: 10.30am to 2.30pm;
5.30pm to 10.30pm