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Review: Chinese New Year Special at Si Chuan Dou Hua

>> Thursday, January 22, 2015

Venue: PARKROYAL Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Overall comment: Unique yee sang & I love their dishes featured in this year's CNY menu!
Halal: Pork-free

"A Reunion to Relish & Remember at PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur"

Si Chuan Dou Hua ushers the Year of the Goat with an extensive variety of delicious dishes. From 5th February - 5th March 2015, for both lunch & dinner, all Malaysians will get to enjoy 10 different sets of Chinese dishes, specially planned by the team of chefs at the restaurant.

The 10 set menus are as follows:
Sweet Prosperity RM158.00 nett per table of 2 persons
Golden Happiness RM188.00 nett per table of 2 persons
Auspicious Blessing RM488.00 nett per table of 4 persons
Blissful Happiness RM688.00 nett per table of 6 persons
Happy & Prosperous RM1288.00 nett per table of 10 persons
Smiles of Fortune RM1388.00 nett per table of 10 persons
Golden Prosperity RM1688.00 nett per table of 10 persons
Bountiful Wealth RM1988.00 nett per table of 10 persons
Prosperous Blessing RM2188.00 nett per table of 10 persons
Vegetarian Abundance RM1188.00 nett per table of 10 persons
* Each set comes with 1 serving of yee sang (different set, different types of yee sang), 4-6 dishes + 2 desserts

Here are some of the dishes that we tasted:

Barbeque Lamb Yee Sang 密汁羊肉(RM98.00 nett/half portion or RM148.00 nett/full portion)
This is my 1st time having bbq lamb yee sang! What an interesting idea. It'll shock the traditionalists, but for those who are adventurous to try something different in this year of the goat, Si Chuan Dou Hua offers bbq lamb yee sang! Of course there are still other options of yee sang like salmon, jellyfish, abalone, soft shell crab, shark's fins, tropical fruits, & even vegetarian goose (RM58.00 nett - RM128.00 nett/half portion or RM98.00 nett - RM238.00 nett/full portion)

I felt that the pieces of bbq lamb were slightly too petite that it got drowned by the rest of the ingredients. Due to the cut, the meat felt slightly dry as well. Hopefully with the feedback given to the kitchen team, they will improve the cut of their bbq lamb so that people can actually enjoy slices of bbq lamb amidst the abundance of vegetables in the yee sang.

To greater health, happiness & prosperity!

Double-Boiled Shark's Fin Soup with Sea Treasures & Fresh Scallop 黄焖汤烩海中宝翅
This was my favorite dish for the night. It tastes different from the usual "gooey" shark's fins soup as this one is rich, slightly creamy (not "gooey" + "eggy"), & the shellfish + shark's fins were firm yet tender. So smooth! Well executed!
Note: It's not that I support shark's fins soup, but when it's already served, I will still consume it anyhow. If not, I won't order it nor want it to be served at my meals.

Steamed Village Chicken with Dried Seafood & Chinese Herbs 海味当归盐蒸菜园鸡
This was another well executed dish. The combination of herbs with the chicken were well balanced, causing the dish to be very pleasant to the palate. Even for those who do not fancy herbal dishes, this could be a surprising favorite! The chicken was well-salted, has a springy texture & the herbs were not over-powering.

Stir-Fried Large Prawns with Egg White served with Fresh Iceberg Lettuce
This was one of the majority's favorite dish. The prawns were fresh, well-cooked, & the fried egg white gave a smooth, fresh feeling to this simple dish. Accompanied by fresh iceberg lettuce as the wrap, this is indeed a light, healthy & delicious dish!

Braised Seasonal Vegetables, Beancurd & Dried Oysters with Pumpkin Puree 蚝士发菜鲍鱼蔬
From a glance, most people thought that this was either a dessert dish or the yellow slices were mangoes. It does give that impression, eh? But this is a healthy & rich vegetarian-like dish where you'll get thin slices of pumpkins & beancurd that have gone through a nice vegetable broth bath. The stir-fried dried oysters, "fatt choy", water chestnuts, carrots, & sweet peas gave the 'soft' dish a lovely balance of textures: crunchy, chewy, & soft, all in 1 dish.

Fried Rice with Black Mushrooms, Lotus Seeds & Smoked Duck 香菇莲子烟鸭扣饭
Most of the time, the 8 course dinners will come with a serving of fried rice or glutinous rice. But here at Si Chuan Dou Hua, you have the option of fried rice with black mushrooms, lotus seeds & smoked duck! It's actually quite yummy. I love the smokiness & savory-taste of the duck + the sweet, soft-boiled lotus seeds; it actually goes well with the rice :)

We ended our tasting session with 2 rather unique desserts (Chinese-influenced desserts).

Chilled Mango & Pomelo Sago 杨枝金露
I'm not a dessert lover, so this didn't really appeal to me. This is a creamy & chilled blended mangoes with vanilla ice-cream + pieces of mangoes + pomelo. It's too sweet for my liking (I don't fancy sweet food, so it may actually be just nice for you), & it needed a more sourish pomelo to compliment this sweet dessert. The pomelo in this dish was quite sweet as well, making the dessert rather cloying.

Steamed Nin Gao with Crispy Oats 麦香白年糕
This is "mochi" with Nestum! If you like mochi, you'll like this. Compared to the chilled mango dessert, this dessert is WAY less sweet & may actually require more sugar for a more flavorful experience :P

With Si Chuan Dou Hua's commendable spread this Chinese New Year, I'm sure you'll be spoilt for choice! Enjoy the dining experience here as you welcome the Year of the Goat with family & friends!


Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant
PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia.
Tel: (+603) 2147 0088
Fax: (+603) 2782 8455
Email: douhua.prkul@parkroyalhotels.com
URL: www.sichuandouhua.com
Business hours: Daily from 12:00p.m. - 2:30p.m. (lunch) & 6:30p.m. - 10:30p.m. (dinner)


Ratings:
Presentation: * * * *
Price: * * 1/2
Environment: * * * 1/2
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * * 1/2


Overall:





Salivating as I recall the taste of the dishes,

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Review: Pretz N' Beanz Cafe, IPC Mutiara Damansara

>> Saturday, January 17, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Oh my goodness...in a blink of an eye it's been almost a month since my last post! I've been extremely busy with youth planning retreat, office projects & house renovations that I didn't have time to even sit down & blog :'(

It felt as if a significant part of me went missing when I was on 'break' from blogging. Ah, how I miss blogging & meeting foodies at food review sessions! *screams...* I'M BACK!!! :D

To kick start the blog for this year, I've to thank Xavier & aunty Lilly for the opportunity to review the delicious pizza pretzel at Pretz n' Beanz, IPC :D

**********
Overall comment: Fluffy pretzel base that goes well with pizza topping!
Halal: Pork-free

Have you had Pretzel Pizza before? If you haven't, drop by IPC at Mutiara Damansara (right next to Ikea) or Mont Kiara to get your fix of pretzels + coffee!


I love the story behind Pretz n' Beanz :) Being the first cafe in Malaysia to offer pretzel pizzas, I was just intrigued by how they came up with the combination of pretzel + coffee & oh, there's also a story behind their logo! If you look carefully at their logo, you'll notice 3 main elements:
i. pretzel
ii. coffee bean
iii. the Chinese character for people ("ren")

Anna, the co-founder of Pretz n' Beanz, shared with us that the cafe's main focus is their customers & thus, serving good cups of coffee & delicious pretzels for their customers' satisfaction are their priority.


It's rare to find a good cafe for both pretzels & coffee; in fact it's a challenge to find a cafe that serves delicious pretzels! I love pizza & I love pretzels - you can imagine how I was totally delighted to try out the pretzel pizza here :D


Waiting for my pretzels with a cuppa Caffe Green Mint Mocha (RM13.90/cup)
Just right for me!

We taste-tested 2 of their top selling pretzel pizzas:

Beef Pepperoni Pretzel Pizza (RM21.90/10" pizza or RM15.90/7" pizza)
The pizza base was fragrant, flavorful & soft/fluffy. Sufficient toppings helps a great deal as well :D It's pretty different from the usual pizza base like Domino's. Texture is slightly chewy like a pretzel & not as 'compact' like the usual pizza dough (in Cantonese, they call it more "soong").

Hot Pepper Chilli Chicken (RM20.90/10" pizza or RM14.90/7" pizza)
Enjoyed the chunky pieces of chicken & the slightly spicy "zing" on the pizza.

Apple Cinnamon Filled Pretzel (RM10.90/piece)
Just one filled pretzel is more than enough for a meal - SO filling! Love the balanced taste of slightly tart green apples, cinnamon & sufficient amount of sugar; it's not overly sweet :)

Cheesy Chilli Chicken Filled Pretzel (RM12.90/piece)
This reminded me of the cheesy-crust pizza at Pizza Hut, but with a MUCH better crust!

The yummy apple cinnamon filled pretzel

Sweet Potato Filled Pretzel (RM10.90/piece)
One of the best sellers at the Mont Kiara outlet is the sweet potato filled pretzel (piece on the right). You may think that it'll be mushy, but it's I can testify that it's actually delicious! Soft, firm, & smooth; no where near mushy!

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel (RM5.90/piece)
The simple pretzels are good enough. Pair it with a cup of aromatic coffee & you have your day starting on a happier note :P

Basil Cheese Pretzel (RM6.90/piece)

Apart from pretzels, Pretz n' Beanz serve a substantial variety of freshly cooked pastas & burgers too! Yes, not those microwaved dishes! *hurray!*


Aglio Olio Spaghetti (with prawns RM26.90, with mushrooms RM16.90, with smoked salmon RM24.90/serving)
I'm not a great fan of this aglio olio. It was a tad too heavy on the chicken broth used to coat the spaghetti.

Sambal Seafood Spaghetti (RM26.90/serving)
This is one interesting dish if you like your food spicy. It reminded me of nasi lemak as there was sambal used in the pasta sauce, but with spaghetti! Those who fancy fusion dishes will find this interesting, but I found it too spicy for my liking...hehe.

Tower Chicken Burger (RM21.90/serving)
Thumb up! I love this chicken burger. Love the runny-yolk fried egg & especially love the chicken patty! It reminded me of nuggets, but it's a whole piece of chicken thigh...the batter is commendable :D


Caramel Butter Thick Toast (RM13.90/piece)
I think I had too much bread during the review...haha. This wasn't highly fascinating to me although I have to say that the bread was crispy/well toasted on the outside & fluffy on the inside. The load of whipped cream was just scary to me since I don't enjoy whipped cream! Hahaha...

I've been talking so much about the pretzels & food that you must be wondering, "how about their coffee?".

Here at Pretz n' Beanz, all their beans consist of only Arabica coffee beans from Africa, South America & Indonesia. Their roaster is based in Singapore & one of the reasons why Anna selected this roaster is because the roasted beans have a slightly more chocolatey taste. The coffee beans are shipped in smaller amounts to maintain the freshness i.e. 15kgs each shipment.

Anna also highlighted that the latte steamed milk is set to the precise 60C, so that it'll not be too hot 'til the richness of the milk gets affected & more importantly, the temperature will not burn the coffee. For those who love coffee with a chocolatey note, you could give Pretz n' Beanz a try.

Do try their pretzel pizza too!! Now there are certainly more options of food when we shop at IPC or even Ikea :D


Pretz n' Beanz Cafe
G23, Ground Floor, IPC Shopping Center
No. 2, Jalan PJU 7/2
Mutiara Damansara
47800 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Malaysia.
URL: http://pretznbeanz.blogspot.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/pretznbeanz

22, Jln Solaris 4, Mont Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+603) 6204 9733
GPS: 3.175942, 101.659857



Ratings:
Presentation: * * * *
Price: * * *
Environment: * * * 1/2
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * * 1/2


Overall:






Pretzel pizza - what an innovative idea!


Read more...

Review: Delifrance Malaysia Christmas Menu

>> Tuesday, December 23, 2014

As I sit in the bedroom, overlooking the gloomy weather outside the window in the wet & rainy Kuantan town, my stomach rumbles & longs for a warm, comforting meal. Too bad there isn't a Delifrance outlet here at Kuantan. Imagine biting into warm, crispy pie crust with oozing, creamy meat & mushrooms, on a rainy weather - bliss!


Delifrance Mid Valley


This Christmas, Delifrance Malaysia proudly introduces a variety of warm meals & pretty cakes. To kick-start our tasting session, we were treated to some of their all-time best-sellers as below. What better way to begin with pastries as appetizers! :P I love pastries...







The Christmas set menu was also introduced, where each dish comes with a glass of F&N Seasons' iced lemon tea.

Chicken/Beef Lasagne (RM17.90/serving)
Lasagne layers filled with minced chicken/beef in a light tangy sauce topped with melted cheese. Comfort food indeed!

Poached Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce (RM34.90/serving)
As much as I love salmon, I felt that this dish lacks "umph" compared to the other dishes available on the Christmas set menu. Nevertheless, the salmon is nicely cooked & the creamy dill sauce complimented the salmon quite well.

Provencal Lamb Stew (RM34.90/serving)
Although this dish didn't look the most appetizing (it's all brown!), but trust me, it's one of the best dishes on the Christmas set menu. The pieces of lamb were so tender & melts in your mouth. The gravy was also very flavorful, with the right balance of herbs & spices. I'll certainly recommend trying this dish if you're here for their Christmas set menu! Oh, it comes with mashed potatoes at the bottom as well! *drools*

Cheesy Turkey Pasta (RM15.90/serving)
I'm certainly no big fan of turkey ham pasta & this was no exception. The pasta was cheesy enough, but it could get slightly cloying since the sauce is cheesy + creamy.

To complete our tasting session, desserts are certainly a must!

Mini Fruit Tartlets

Rocky Land Gift Cake (RM35.00/cake)
Blegian chocolate cake topped with ganache. I didn't try this as I was quite stuffed, but it certainly looks like a perfect Christmas indulgence :)

Santa Play Land Gift Cake (RM48.90/cake)
Who doesn't fancy red velvet cakes with sour cream cheese topping? The cake was quite moist (could be more moist though) & it wasn't too sweet. Not too bad & no doubt it looks pretty enough to be a great Christmas gift for family & friends ;)

Classic French Macarons (approx RM3.00 per macaron)
Oh-so-sweet-but-oh-so-yummy! Not the best I've had, but it's still good :D At least the shell was crusty on the outside & soft on the inside, with evident taste of its flavor (strawberry, chocolate, coffee, coconut & more).

This Christmas, for a simple yet satisfying meal, come by Delifrance & be pampered with their delicious puffs, warm Christmas set meals or even their cakes.


Delifrance Mid Valley
LT-052, Mid Valley Megamall
LR397, Mukim Kuala Lumpur
Batu 2 1/2, Jalan Klang Lama
58000 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia.
Business hours: 9:00a.m. - 10:00p.m. daily
Tel: (+603) 2284 5658 (Mid Valley outlet)/(+603) 7842 5718 (catering hotline) / (+6012) 223 9806 (catering hotline)
Email: catering@delifrance.com.my (for catering services)
URL: http://www.delifrance.com.my/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/DelifranceMalaysia
Note: There are 15 outlets of Delifrance nationwide, so check out for the nearest outlet to you on their website. 


Love the pastries & lamb stew,

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Review: Sparkle in the Joy of Christmas with Armada Hotel PJ

>> Saturday, December 20, 2014


Halal: Yes


Christmas is nearer than I thought! Time just flies so fast with the load of office-work flooding into my mailbox that I've somewhat lost track of my days & dates. This Christmas, Utara Coffee House @ Armada Hotel Petaling Jaya, brings you more goodies than you could imagine.

Featuring an extensive variety of what I would call as Christmas "comfort food" like the Crustaceans with Mushrooms, Roast Duck with Apple Sauce, Roasted Pumpkin Pie, Roast Chicken with stuffing, just to name a few, Utara Coffee House continues to bring you on a gastronomical journey this Christmas all the way through the New Year, keeping you & your loved ones satisfied.

Here are some of the items in the buffet spread:

Christmas Sushi Sashimi Platter

Fresh Prawns with Lemon Wedges


Crustacean with Mushroom
Rich, creamy & smooth - seafood + mushroom lovers would love this dish! 

Boston Oyster Bisque
 Fresh oyster in a creamy bisque...oolala...

Roast Duck with Apple Sauce
Smokey, sweet & fragrant. How about some tender, juicy quack-quack? :D

Smoked Salmon with Rosette

Roasted Pumpkin Pie
 This was actually my favorite during the review as I love pies & the smooth & rich pumpkin taste was just lovely with the fragrant, crispy pie crust.

Christmas Roast Chicken with Walnut Stuffing accompanied with Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Sauce, Mousseline Potato, Glazed Honey Carrot and Brussels Sprouts as well as the Louisiana Pumpkin Pie and Gratinated Oyster with Spinach
*overwhelmed* So many items in ONE dish!!

Beef Medallion with Mushroom Crest
Done just the way I like it - medium :D

Christmas Fried Rice

Classic Yule Log Cake

Assorted Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cake

Minced Pies & Assorted Desserts

Chef Chew with the Christmas spread :) great job, chef!

Don't miss out the opportunity next week! Enjoy your Christmas & New Year with some good food at Utara Coffee House with your family & friends :)

Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve Buffet Dinner
RM80.00++ per adult
RM70.00++ per senior citizen
RM45.00++ per child
* Party packs and live band (JUKEBOX) performance on 24 & 31 December 2014
* 1st set – 7:30p.m. till 8:15p.m.; 2nd set – 8:45p.m. till 9:30p.m.

Christmas & New Year’s Day Hi-tea Buffet (12:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.)
RM70.00++ per adult
RM65.00++ per senior citizen
RM41.00++ per child
* Party packs and live band (JUKEBOX) performance on 25 December 2014
* 1st set – 12:30p.m. till 1:15p.m.; 2nd set – 1:45p.m. till 2:30p.m.

Utara Coffee House Armada Hotel
Lot 6, Lorong Utara C, Section 52
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
For reservations, please call (+603) 7954 6888 ext. 4557
URL: www.armada.com.my
FB: Hotel Armada
Twitter: Hotel Armada


Looking forward to Christmas,

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