Hanaya Japanese Restaurant @ Grand Millennium Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit:  August 31, 2015

Getting good sushi outside of Japan is hard.  So I was very happy to find out that Hanaya at the Grand Millennium in KL serves an excellent Sushi Set Lunch.



Thoughts have been put into the privacy concerns of the clients, that the tables are set further apart, and with privacy screens.  The one major drawback was the irritating background music.😞


Glass privacy screens

Assorted Sushi , TAKE (RM60): Types of sushi as listed on the menu are – Tuna, Salmon, Trevaly, Boiled Prawns (I think I had a Alfonsino as substitute), Boiled Octopus, Scallop, Mackerel, Salmon roe, Squid, Kappa Roll: Cucumber Small Roll, Tekka Roll: Tuna Small Roll

Pictures of my Sushi Platter!  Fishes flown in from Japan and prepared by Japanese chef!  Absolutely delectable sushi!


Beautifully crafted



Kappa Roll: Cucumber Small Roll, Tekka Roll: Tuna Small Roll


The other set worth mentioning is the Special Kaisen Don (RM88): Assorted sashimi served on a bed of sushi rice.


Kaiseki Don

Same side dishes for all the Set Meals:  Comprising miso soup, salad and grilled vegetables


Miso Soup


Grilled Vegs

Complimentary dessert for the ladies: Black sesame gelato with chopped mixed fruits


And Coffee or Tea to finish up!  Fab food, service and great value!  I shall be back! 😍

My 2nd Revisit That Shall Last For A While …@RyuGin Hong Kong

Date of Visit:  December 26 2014

So I am back at RyuGin Hong Kong again…this time with my Bro to celebrate his birthday.  My last visit with mom was enjoyable (here), so I thought I should splurge again for my Bro’s special occasion!  The 3 of us had been to Ryugin Tokyo earlier in the year too (here)


Place setting

We didn’t order the signature RyuGin Sake this time, but instead opted for a more ‘competitively’ priced hot sake. 😆


Hot sake


Monkfish liver from Hokkaido and ‘aka’ clam with spring onion in mustard miso sauce 





Simmered abalone with winter vegetables served with grated radish sauce


Love the presentation!



Shiitake mushroom egg custard topped with Matsubagani crab


Whilst I had the substitute without crustaceans, due to my allergy

Shiitake mushroom egg custard topped with simmered scallop




Poached oyster and mashed turnip soup in winter style



Assortment of Sashimi 

Fishes flown in directly from Japan!  Try as I want to, I can never recognise the fishes – except tuna (pink)  and salmon (stripey orange)! 😁


Loved how the chef plated the course: Using salt to draw a mountain scenery



I really like this, I think it might be razor clam (?)



Charcoal grilled Alfonsino served with crispy scales.  

Yes, the citrus is from a province in Japan!


The crispy scales were the highlight


The lump in the middle is the salty preserved yuzu peel


Wagyu ribeye sukiyaki with onset tamago

The egg is from Japan as well…😆



Thinly sliced beef hidden under the simmered carrots, leeks and onions


Brilliant gooey orange colour – double yums 😋


Sea-urchin rice with pickled vegetables and miso soup

This is the traditional set denoting the end of the savoury course in a Japanese degustation meal.





Being spoilt with the theatrics of desserts, needless to say, I am quite disappointed with the rather under-whelming presentation…no theatrics of dry-ice…




Powdered sorbet pear


Cooked pear added after I cracking open the miniature pear


Deep-fried sticky rice spring-roll with ice-cream


Quite a traditional dessert

Matcha, personally prepared by the maitre-d to finish off our meal.



Overall, the meal was good – utilising the freshest ingredients ALL air-flown from different regions in Japan – as expected of a 3-starred Michelin Restaurant 😗, but unfortunately a rather straight-forward text-book execution with not much of a ‘wow’ factor after a couple of visits.

But what is a birthday without a cake? So off we went to Robuchon for our 3rd dessert…😗




Communal Dunkin’ @ Hotpot Express, Hillwood Road, TST, Hong Kong

I’m feeling for a nice hot bubbling hotpot dinner!  Weather in the Kong has been crazy! We had temperature dipping below 10C for the past few days – and with the dampness (and rain) it felt even colder.  Brrr…. even I who ‘never get sick’ caught the virus, did a couple of miserable projectiles and still coughing my poor lungs out!  And no, excuse me, I don’t have the H7N9 Avian Flu!

So, what’s a ‘hot pot‘?

Well, it’s basically that a bunch of diners gather around a bubbling communal cauldron of hot broth, while dunking raw pieces of food into it. Once these morsels are cooked, they are immediately slathered in various sauces and gobbled up.

Hot pot is the “Chinese socio-gastro activity of choice. It is a very low-maintenance meal that feeds a lot of people”.  👍

Here’s my review of my fav hotpot place in the Kong!

Date of Visit: December 30 2013

The place is called Hotpot Express at Hillwood Road, Tsimshatsui, but unfortunately the web address that I jotted down is no longer valid!  So, bummer, I can’t give you the address unless I ask my aunt for it.  Never mind, there is lots of eateries in Hillwood Road, if you decide to venture there.

The restaurant is very compact and simply done up, except for the magnums of cognacs on display there.

We were presented with a tray of assorted seasonings to make up our own sauces.


Jars of assorted condiments


My simple condiments of fresh chilies, garlic and soy sauce


A peek at my dining companion’s murky sesame base sauce


Essential Utensils: Chopsticks, strainer and of course a bowl with spoon and plate!

One can order various customised stock base according to one’s fancy. Here, we opted for a simple vegetable stock base.


Bubbling cauldron of veg stock base

Since one has to cook each piece of food individually before one can eat it, the hot pot is the most tedious, and the the slowest of all slow food meals!   While waiting for the morsel of food to cook, one either watches the TV (just kidding – but yes, there are 2 at the corners of the dining room!), one chats and ‘bonds’.

Moreover, the steaming cooking pot doubles as a room heater in the chilling weather!

Let’s check out what we dunked into the hot pots!  Our ingredients:






Fish jowl


My fish jowl artistically presented (credit: Me!)


Another shot!


Wagyu Beef – thinly sliced


Assorted ‘balls’: Squid, fish, prawns, pork


Assorted mushrooms

Do you know that Cantonese call rockets, ‘Emperor’s vegetables’?  And I love rockets!


‘Emperor’s Vegetables’ aka Arugula aka Rockets


Razor mussels




Some deep-fried bean-curd. I don’t like like, and will not recommend it!

Ahh!  Heaven!  But back down to earth –  I guess I better switch on my heater now and get my microwave working for my dinner!

Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood @The ONE, TST, Hong Kong

Date of Visit: December 29 2013

I figured that my legs should be very sore from my training yesterday – my trainer was the first person I texted to confirm appointment when I arrived Hong Kong the night before, since zero exercise and too much good food in Tokyo had made me a tad guilty… (I’m up to 115lbs for the leg press at the moment -pretty decent for a female – but my arms are very weak, I can only curl 5 reps of 15lbs before failure, losing form and get ‘stuck’). In order to ‘catch up’ on my ‘lost exercise time’ while in Tokyo, I thought it prudent that I also ran around the park for a good 45 minutes after the weights session before my DOMS sets in. Well, let’s see what my trainer says when I meet him next and whether this was a wise move because I am yet to feel any DOMS, perhaps tomorrow?

So with today being a rest day, I persuaded my Mom and Bro to watch ‘Firestorm‘, a Cantonese action movie starring Hong Kong heart-throb Andy Lau at The ONE and we also had our lunch at the mall too.


Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood is a Hong Kong Japanese-styled tonkatsu restaurant serving deep-fried crumbed pork and seafood. The restaurant has a fantastic view looking into Kowloon Park. This is a former British army barracks converted into a park with a total area of 13.3 hectares, offering a full range of active and passive recreational facilities to the public. It is an oasis in the city away from the busy Nathan Road (the longest and straightest road in Hong Kong) where one can go for a relaxing stroll, have a picnic on the grass (a privilege in HK!), feed the pigeons and more interestingly to see the pink flamingos in the Bird Park. On any given Sundays, there will be performances (e.g. kung fu, traditional dances) by amateur groups in the park as well.


Views beyond Kowloon Park to ICC (tallest building in Kowloon) and premier residential towers of ‘Sorrento’ and ‘The Arch’


Kowloon Mosque


Nathan Road, Parklane Shopping Strip and Kowloon Park (above)


A lush Kowloon Park

On the table are 3 types of sweet and sour sauces and toothpicks.


Unctuous sweet and sour sauces and toothpicks

I was the only one given a bowl of sesame seeds. Me thinks this is a bit misery since in Kuala Lumpur, the tonkatsu place that we frequented (here) has pestle bowls and a pot of sesame seeds on the tables, free-for-all! Hmm…I smell some accountants running the show here?

Anyway, the soy vinegar sauce was unctuously thick, sweet and sour – so the sesame paste that I got was thick and gummy – not my cuppa tea, chums.


Sesame Seeds


Sesame Paste

My tonkatsu set was HUGE – a big piece of deep-fried breaded pork with shredded cabbage, a bowl of rice, miso soup, pickles and dessert. The breadcrumbs were crunchy, but too thick for my liking. I had to scrap the breadcrumbs off. The mustard was only a tiny scrap on the plate – so I went without any sauces which is even better for me to shave some calories.

I also found the pork too firm and a tad dry, even though my order was the Premium Royal Pork Tonkatsu which the menu had pointed out as “one of the top quality pork meats in the world because of (sic) you can enjoy its juicy, tender and natural flavour“. I shall not ponder the texture of the ‘normal/ ordinary’ tonkatsu at HK$20 cheaper.


Tonkatsu Premium Royal Pork Loin (HK$198)


Tonkatsu Premium Royal Pork Loin (HK$198)

Both my Mom and Bro ordered the Katsu-Don Sets. My mom had the Katsu-Don Loin whereas my Bro had the Katsu-Don Fillet, both priced at HK$182 a bowl. Presentation-wise, they both looked the same so the picture below was my Bro’s Katsu-Don Fillet – steamed rice topped with pork loin/ pork fillet in scrambled egg and onion sauce and dressed with dried seaweed strips. The set also comes with pickles, shredded cabbages, miso soup and a dessert.


Katsu-Don Fillet


Side salad of shredded cabbage

Diners are allowed to have free refills of shredded cabbages, but the over-eager waitress swooped in on us to clear our table even though my mom was still eating…

We had a change of hot tea and some watermelons for dessert. At this point, my Bro asked why people throw watermelons into the sea to retrieve corpses and why do this ‘trick’ works? A mythical ‘answer’ here.


Watermelon for Dessert

A family restaurant like this gets rather noisy when it fills up – especially with screaming children on the weekends crying over the piped-in Japanese Pop. Will I be back? Hmm… I am sitting on the fence, but maybe, since this is a branch of one of the best tonkatsu places in Hong Kong!


Interior of restaurant

It was off to the movie after lunch – but Mom had to get the sweet caramelised pop-corns first!


Broadway Circuit Cinema at The ONE

There are a lot of toy stores in The ONE and the one stall that caught my attention was B.Duck. I am not sure whether it is affiliated with Florentijn Hofman’s Giant Rubber Duck installations which I’ve seen earlier this year in both Sydney and Hong Kong (and which I had blogged about here and here), but nevertheless B.Duck has an interesting animated biography, so do check out their official webpage here!


B.Duck figurines


B.Duck figurines dressed in Xmas best


B.Duck Amplifiers

A Gym-Junkies’ Lunch @ Nha Trang Vietnamese Restaurant, Ocean Terminal, TST, Hong Kong

Date of Visit: December 13 2013

I am in Hong Kong for a week now and in between the shopping and organising furniture deliveries for my new abode, I had also sorted out my gym schedule with my trainer  (yeah!) so it’s high time to meet with my buddies before they leave Hong Kong for their respective home-countries for Christmas.

Because my buds are all gym-junkies – 😄 – we decided on a  late lunch after their exercise sessions.  After checking out a couple of restaurants nearing the end of  lunch service, buffets were out of question.  In the end, we rocked into  Nha Trang, a Vietnamese restaurant on the ground floor of Ocean Terminal at around 2:30pm.

FYI: Nha Trang is a chain of Vietnamese restaurant first established in Sheung Wan, many years ago… and they have just opened a 6th branch in Causeway Bay.

To drink:  Gym-junkies are health fanatics, so we each had a round of fresh coconut.  Mr D, in fact told us that he is eating 3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for his psoriasis problem.  He is also using almond cream on his body as well as TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for all round health…see, no harm in having metrosexual guys as friends who always have some healthy/beauty tips up their sleeves!


Fresh Coconut (HK$38)

Mr D’s Choice:  Cold Vermicelli Bowl with Grilled Pork.  Vietnamese people often serve  rice vermicelli or bun as cold dishes in room temperature with grilled meats, chopped lettuce, herbs, mints, coriander, a lot of bean sprouts and grated carrots and cucumber  all tossed with nuoc nam (fish sauce).  Mr D, a commendable foodie himself, found his choice underwhelming, but promised to take us to Mongkok for more authentic Vietnamese…


Bun Thit Nuong: Cold Vermicelli Bowl with Grilled Pork (HK$52)

Ms C’s Choice:  Ms C’s middle name is ‘Spin’, she goes to spin classes at least 4 times a week.  In order not to sabotage her well earned figure, she ordered the super-healthy seafood salad – 2 skewers of jumbo chargrilled prawns on a bed of pomelo and sprinkled with toasted cashew nuts, fried shallots and garlic flakes.  Her verdict: Nom nom with a wide grin.


Goi Buoi: Pomelo and Grilled Prawn Salad (HK$80)

Both Ms Italian and I had the hot spicy rice beef noodle soup.  A huge bowl of spicy fragant stock, filled with rice noodles, sliced beef, sliced pork shanks topped with bean sprout and coriander.  We also received condiments of fresh lime wedge each and freshly chopped red and green chillies to kick the spiciness up a notch.  Ms Italian loved soup, so no surprise that she drank up the entire bowl of soup!  I am a bit picky however finding the rice noodles too hard and the soup too bland – so I asked for more chilli!  Personally, it was an ‘OK’ dish, extremely filling  BUT I wished I had ordered a salad instead.  😩


Bun Bo Hue: Spicy Hue Beef Noodle Soup (HK$58)


Bun Bo Hue all messed up!

To Share:

Our protein came in the form of a super fat oven roasted chicken.  Mr D wondered about the authenticity of the chicken – Vietnamese chickens should be skinny right?  We were also given a bowl of garlic and basil oil to dip our chicken into.  All-in-all – meh – a bland chicken, no chicken taste.


Ga Ro-Ti: Oven Roasted Chicken (HK$120)

The grilled pork meatball rolls was described in the menu as a ‘popular southern dish of chunks of warm seasoned pork meatball and Vietnamese salad in thin rice-flour sheets’.  I did not find any pork meatballs in my portion at all- I only found crispy deep-fried crullers.  The rice noodles and rice-flour sheets were hard and had to be softened by the  nuoc nam on stand-by at the table.  It was made ‘nice’ by the  nuoc nam, but nothing to shout home.


Nem Nuong Cuon: Grilled Meatball Rolls (HK$50)

The restaurant was very crowded even when we finished our meal at 3:30pm.  We were lucky to get a table by the window which looks into the ferry terminal.  Yes, the sky was hazy (polluted, as usual),  the weather bureau reports that the temperature is going to drop to 10 degrees Celsius this coming Monday.  I am looking forward to wearing my new parka!


View out to TST Ferry Terminal, Big Ben and Cultural Center

It’s December,  so do expect me to sign off with a pic of Christmas decorations from one of the malls in Hong Kong!  This one is taken by Ms C at Hang Hau Shopping Mall.


Monchichi Exhibition at Hang Hau Shopping Mall