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.

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Hanaya

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.😞

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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!

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Beautifully crafted

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

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

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Kaiseki Don

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

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Miso Soup

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Grilled Vegs

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

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

Burrr….gers @Fat Boys, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur

Date of Visit: June 6 2014

Everybody loves a burger, right?  Greasy, greasy…totally bad for your heart, but yet so satisfying!

There’s been write-ups in mags of the many new restaurants in Avenue K, so off I went to suss out the place since I was nearby in KLCC.  The last time I was at Avenue K, the place was jacked-up in total shambles, so I was expecting to see a new-look mall.  *Horrors!* 😱  What lies beneath million-$$ apartments are ‘flea-markets’!

Word.  Many restaurants alright, but I am suspicious of East-Meets-West type of innovative cuisines… there’s a couple of South American types of eateries, Japanese fusion, Taiwanese fusion…etc.  Finally settled on an American diner with cartoons on the walls advertising burgers and milkshake, clear and simple.

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Pretty crowded joint

I was surprised to find that pork is served – got my thumb-up here – because everybody knows lard and cholesterol go hand-in-hand!

The menu is very comprehensive about the burgers, milkshakes and specials.

Fat Basterd:  Double-patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, fried egg on sesame bun

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Fat Basterd RM29

Bushtucker:  Beef patty, bacon melted cheese, wild arugula on whole wheat bun

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Bushtucker RM20

Perhaps I should have ordered a burger as well.  My pork and beef meatballs were very tough.  I don’t like food drenched in gravy… but the mashed potatoes and coleslaw were pleasing.

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Mighty, Mighty Meatballs RM20

What I liked about the place was the free-flow soda drinks – and that includes Diet Pepsi!

So, aptly named – ‘Fat Boys’, but I don’t want to be part of the family!  Perhaps, FaceBook Warriors?

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💪 💪 💪

 

A Local KL Breakfast @ Restoran Win Heng Seng, KLCC

Date of Visit:  Numerous – my local KL breakfast place

This post is for my friend who will be visiting KL next month with her family. She asked me about good local eats in KL, so I am recommending Restoran Win Heng Seng at the junction of Jalan Barat and Jalan Imbi, near Bukit Bintang in KLCC.  It is close to the majors hotels e.g. Westin, JW Marriott, Ritz Carlton as well as Pavilion where I stay. This is also where I go for my local breakfast when I am in KL – total spend of under RM5 for a bowl of wonton noodles and a drink!  Cheap!

How do one get there from Pavilion Mall…

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Liuligongfang crystal bowl fountain

Cross Jalan Bukit Bintang and walk into the street between the Sephora and Uniglo.

I am perplexed as how this funky deconstructive building received its development approval seeing that one of the sharp corners of the building pokes out into the pedestrian pavement.  A wee bit dangerous, one would think, nevertheless,  I am unperturbed since I like Sephora because they stock  some niche make-up brands including Stella, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Kit, etc…

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A Daniel Libeskind copy

Keep walking until you reach the end of the street.

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Star Hill Mall on the right – where Debenhams department store is located

You will have arrived at Jalan Imbi when you see a green coloured corner lot in front of you. This is the restaurant. Take care to cross the busy road (the pedestrian lights do not work)

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Restoran Win Heng Seng in green

This cafe is as local as it can get – one can mingle with the taxi drivers, office workers, families alike.

There are many stalls selling a myriad of hawker foodstuffs from fried noodles, soup noodles, tofu, rice (including nasi lemak – Malay rice delicacy) and pastries.  The local tea and coffees are very nice.  I always order Kopi-C Kosong Ais – Iced coffee with evaporated milk, no sugar.  Take care if you order Teh-tarikMalay pulled milk tea which is extremely sweet!

I recommend sitting alfresco if you are early, before the sun gets too hot (around 7:30am – 8:30am) because it can get a bit stuffy and smoky from the woks inside the restaurant. You will be hassled by beggars, hawkers selling lottery tickets and charitable organisations seeking for donation – please check the charity workers’ ID tags since it is compulsory that they carry it!

I always have fish-skin wonton noodles soup. The wonton skins are made from fish paste and filled with minced pork. The soup base has ikan billis (anchovies), parsleys and bean sprouts – and a LOT of MSG!  Very delicious, but still,  don’t drink the broth! 

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Fish-skin wonton noodles soup

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Accompaniment to the noodles: Light soy with green chilies for extra kick!

There is also a  stall selling mini pastries baked fresh on the premises – egg tarts (or princeling tarts), siew bao (pastry ball stuffed with BBQ meat), pineapple tarts, apple tarts, tuna pies, etc. This stall is apparently very popular among the locals.  (Psst…they misused 1 Chinese character, since when is a tart=tower?)

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Mini Egg Tarts fresh from the oven (about $0.70 each?)

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Princeling tarts, apple tarts and pineapple tarts

After breakfast, it’s back to Pavilion Mall for window-shopping. The mall only opens at 10am though.

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Entrance to Pavilion Mall: The LINE android app mascot saying ‘Hi’!

I reckon the Christmas decoration in Pavilion Mall is the best in KL! There are lots of activities, meaning it is very noisy which drives me KRAZY!

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Christmas Bazaar in the atrium inside Pavilion Mall

More furry friends on the top floor.  Let’s be naughty – let’s give ’em a good rub to turn them black!  OK, because we are adults, we say it’s for Good Luck then!  😝

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Larger-than-life furry friends

High-end Pizza Joint @Spasso Milano, Pavilion Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Dates of Visits: Multiple times since 2012

Hey, hey, hey!!   I dropped by KL recently  and did my customary call at one of my regular dining joints there.  I have very simple criteria when it comes to choosing a restaurant to dine.  No food smell, an easy menu to navigate, comfortable seats and a bit of peace and quiet so I can chat and relax with my dining companions. After trying out most of the eateries in Pavilion Mall, KLCC, my hang-out joint is most definitely Spasso Milano, an Italian restaurant on the top floor of Pavilion Mall. I have been there so many times, I practically know the menu by memory now!

Spasso’s open restaurant concept is perfect for people watching too!  I must say I saw a few interesting characters walking pass.

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Interior

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REVIEW: Sultans of Science: Islamic Science Rediscovered @Petrosains, The Discovery Centre

Date of Visit: March 25 2013 (runs until June 15 2013)
Entry Fee: RM$20
Time taken: 1 hour

“You’ll be amazed at how many notable discoveries and inventions currently attributed to Western scientists were, in fact first made by Muslim scholars.”

Petrosains Discovery Center is a small discovery museum on the 4th floor of Suria Mall KLCC, this mall is under the famous Petronas Twin Towers. Currently on show is the ‘The Sultans of Science: Islamic Science Rediscovered’ exhibition, a global touring exhibition celebrating the contributions of Muslim scholars in science, mathematics and technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World (700-1700 CE).

There are more than sixty exhibits providing visitors of all ages with a hands-on, interactive and state-of-the-art family-friendly experience with different zones dedicated to Engineering, Medicine, Astronomy, Mathematics, Geography and Agriculture.  The aim is to highlight the many ways in which Muslim Civilisation helped lay the foundations for the European Renaissance and has had a profound impact on the modern world.

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Petrosains Discovery Centre on Level 4 of Suria Shopping Mall KLCC

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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!