The Loaf @Pavilion Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit: February 5, 2013

This three-storey bakery, eatery and restaurant is Dr Mahatir’s baby. Dr.Mahatir is THE MAN who is responsible for building the Petronas Twin Towers. I read an article on this bakery-cum-restaurant in Malaysia Airlines in-flight magazine when it first opened a few years ago. Dr.Mahatir ‘fell in love’ with Japanese bread when visiting Japan and decided to bring in a Japanese-style bakery to Malaysia. (Yup, I had celebrity spotted him dining alfresco!).

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The interior of the third floor restaurant

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Very simply decorated. Looking like a developer’s advertising mural for a show flat,

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Menu with pictures. Very Japanese. At least I know what I am going to get!

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The most enticing and descriptive item on the menu: “The Loaf Cube -60C: A must try The Loaf signature drink comprises of a glass of Espresso ice cubes frozen deep into -60C DAIREI SUPER FREEZER. Enjoy the coffee’s richness as it slowly melt in the warm fresh milk. BE WARNED! IT’S ADDICTIVE! (RM12)“. Good salesmanship! I am taken!!

The drink arrives…deep frozen espresso cubes…

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Some entertainment – watching the waitress pour warm milk into the glass…

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This is a serious iced coffee with very good strength! And will I order this again? Most definitely!

To the food:

Lamb kofta: This was my order and it came with 6 deep-fried lamb meatballs in rich tomato gravy sandwiched in a baguette. There is a separate Moroccan inspired mayo in another saucer – very good kick and I enjoyed it.

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Seafood cake: The seafood cake is sandwiched in a sweet bun. Looks cute and apparently fresh and very tasty.

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Beef burger: Lots of mushrooms and avo. Man-O-man!!

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So, what is Dr.Mahatir’s favourite breakfast??

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Mandarin Grill @ Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit: February 6 2013

Mandarin Oriental Hotel is a 5-star hotel right next to Petronas Twin Towers. It achieves a high occupancy rate due to the patronage from the oil &gas companies and also government bodies. The in-house restaurants are very dependable and rates high in the finer dining establishments in KL. There’s a Chinese restaurant (famous for quality moon cakes during the Chinese mid-autumn festival), a casual Cafe for all-day dining and buffet meals, a Lounge overlooking the KLCC park for high tea and drinks and a fine dining restaurant – the Mandarin Grill.

Today’s lunch is at Mandarin Grill. It has been recently renovated and I am loving the decor – with the wire and paper stag heads?

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Kitschy to say the least, but if you can’t find the real deal; interpretive replicas works fine too.

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What the interior decor looks like… The lights are made from silvery paper and glass beads.

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Booth seatings

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Table-setting
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The open kitchen concept is very popular, but I don’t like it particularly if the ventilation is not done well. Who wants to smell of food the whole day long? Here, I think the design solution is perfect, red feature wall with windows for a glimpse of what’s going on the kitchen – and also a fake fireplace to jazz the ambience (the warm glows would work well the evening)

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Glass-enclosed wine cellar. Bar in on the other side

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Decided in the business set lunch

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Bread arrives for our table

Straight out of the oven, warm and baked in-house. Yums!

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What’s fantastic about dining out with companions is that I can take snapshots of the samples of food ordered for my blog!

APPETISER

Beef Carpaccio
Looks good and the comments were ‘very good…excellent!’
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Leek Velouté (my order)
This is basically a leek soup with smoked salmon and a generous dash of manchego cheese. The black pepper was my doings as I like black pepper (lots) with my soups. I ordered the soup because of my fond memories of the cheese from my month-long hike on the Camino de Santiago last year. Manchego cheese is basically an aged whole sheep’s milk cheese. I enjoyed my smooth creamy soup very much.

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MAIN COURSE

Duck Leg Confit
The small duck confit looks dry and a bit overcooked, but my source said that it was good.

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Atlantic Cod Brandade (my order)
Much like eating baby food. I dunk my roll in it since I like to chew. I only realised now while writing up this post that the ‘mash’ were ‘sweet corn purée’. Well, broccoli is not a real winter veg, or is it?

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DESSERT

Bourbon Vanilla Fruit Salad (my order)
Not sure whether any alcohol in it, but it looks more an amuse bouche than a proper dessert course. Not sure about the old-fashioned ‘shrimp cocktail’ glass either. Check out the shovel-spoon!
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Earl Grey Milk Dome
As usual, my dessert screams POSH! My chocolate dome cake came dusted with gold flecks and gold leaves!

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The 3-layer chocolate cake. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Petit Fours
Lastly, the petit fours arrived signalling the end of lunch…
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Mandarin Grill also cooks some mean steaks, thus the namesake ‘Mandarin Grill’. I had tried it and it was very nicely cooked except the cut was not as thick as steaks in Sydney.

Sample of steak section of the menu
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PS: The photos in this post were taken by my new Samsung Galaxy Note. I’m still learning how to operate this new device – the photo editing functions running in the ads were awesome, but I can’t do them just yet. It’s also annoying that I kept getting missed calls because I am not familiar with my ring tone just yet!

Thirty8 @Grand Hyatt Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit: February 4, 2013

Grand Hyatt Hotel Kuala Lumpur only opened late last year. The original site was supposed to be in another part of the city, but the developer went out of money during the construction phase, so Grand Hyatt has to relocate to a new site, atop a new office building. Thus the Lobby on Level 39! Hear, hear…

To get to the hotel cafe, you can either walk down the perspex glass stairs or catch another special purpose lift from the Lobby.

We were seated in front of the open kitchen. Ventilation was good, no food smell – but perhaps because we were seated in the pastry section of the kitchen and the kitchen is not running at full-capacity?

Views of Kuala Lumpur with the KLCC park

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The menu was a mish-mash of Western and Japanese food, none appealing. I was thinking of ordering a light dinner, perhaps a salad but remembering how disappointing salads can be in Asia, it took me quite a while to settle on my dinner choice. I noted that there was only 1 pasta dish (linguine with chicken); lots of steak choices with different assortment of dressings; choices of fish (snapper, salmon or trout) cooked either steamed, grilled or fried, but no fish and chips, however, I am sure I can always request if I really wanted to. Chicken kiev and steamed scallops with black beans seemed to be popular among the other diners.

First to arrive, pita bread fresh from the oven and chicken liver pâté.

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The liver was really fresh but a bit too salty. Still… Yums!

In the end I opted for Assorted Sashimi with Shellfish (RM$180). It came in the huge ceramic bowl – almost like a flower pot. Some weight lifting for the waitress!

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Fresh sashimi. Freshly grated wasabi horseradish scored top marks from me!

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Sirloin Steak from Oz (RM$100)

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Ordered a side of chips too. Did not take a picture, but it was good (ie double-fried)

The open-kitchen concept does not go well with everybody especially for a fine-dining establishment that has a dress-code. The high expectation turned to shock with the casual cafe style layout (comment from an acquaintance)!

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Dessert was a HIT.

Banana, pineapple, coconut crumble (RM$18)

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It came with a soft-serve ice-cream and midget bananas. This dessert went down well.

Mille feille (RM$25)

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This is a new dessert specially recommended by the very chirpy personable waitress. No disappointment here!

Grand Hyatt’s Signature Dessert – Thirty8 Signature Cake
The cake arrived on a covered glass cake stand with much pomp. Inside was fumed with smoke (from dry ice) and I only got to see the cake when the glass cover was removed. The waiter then proceeded to pour hot caramel onto the cake.

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The cake seemingly melted leaving a ‘hole’ (hang on, I’ve seen this theatrics with the 8 layer chocolate cake at the Quay in Sydney recently!)

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How was it? Excellent! A rich chocolate dessert verging on the lighter style. Chocolate mousse, cake and praline with banana ice-cream and nuts crumbles works well.

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On my way out, on the other side, I saw amazing night time views of the Petronas Twin Towers. There was also a band playing, possibly because it was a Monday night, there wasn’t much patrons around. I am sure the Lounge Bar will be fantastic spot for romantic rendezvous with candle lights and booth seatings (if privacy is required *wink*)