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Review: California Pizza Kitchen, KLCC

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Date: 21 January 2010, Thursday
Venue: California Pizza Kitchen, KLCC
Occasion: Food tasting
Overall comment: There is quite an extensive variety found at CPK. You'll get from salads to pizza, pasta, & desserts, in different styles & preferences. Without doubt, I find the price slightly steeper compared to other franchises, but even with the higher-than-average price, the restaurant is often full house, especially during lunch hour! Better be there early or make your reservation prior to your meal time :)
Halal: Yes

>"PCK, is it? Phua Chu Kang ma....where got CPK...??"

>"Why don't you believe me?! KLCC there lah..." *gives the narrow eyes stare =.="*

Singaporeans & Malaysians will think PCK, but have you come across CPK? *wink* If you have not, then it's time to consider adding this abbreviation into your 'vocabulary' & dictionary!

Biodata of CPK

Name: California Pizza Kitchen

Birth Place: Beverly Hills, California, The United States of America
Birth Date: 27 March, 1985 (I was only crawling then..... =.=")
Parents' Names: Larry Flax & Rick Rosenfield (yes, both are men - it's an adoption program!)
Total Children: 238 full-service restaurants + 25 CPK ASAP* (all in America)
Total Grandchildren: 8 (1st grandchild in Singapore, 2nd in Kuala Lumpur, 3rd & 4th in Jakarta, 5th - 8th in Hong Kong)

Attributes: Full-service, fun, casual, unique, experimental-spirit of California
Specialty: Innovative Hearth-Baked Premium Pizza
Talents: Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, Chicken-Tequila Fettucine, Tortilla Spring Rolls, Key Lime Pie, BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad, Kung Pao Spaghetti
Favorite quote: Putting the entire world on a pizza, pasta or salad!

* CPK ASAP is the Premium Fast Version of CPK, offering a limited selection of the famous high quality hearth-baked pizzas, salad, soups, & sandwiches, with a "grab & go" concept.

Overlooking the beautiful KLCC fountain & green KLCC park, spacious area of 5000 square feet, & strategically located right beside the escalator on the 1st floor of KLCC, CPK is easily found & is a favourite among many locals & foreigners, be it for lunch or dinner. This place is suitable for small private functions as they have a private room, as well as for larger groups or casual meal times at the spacious open plan seating.

Food Tasting - 'Double Happiness Celebration' Promotion!
If you're around town during the Chinese New Year & Valentine's Day week, you may consider CPK's newly launched 'Double Happiness Celebration' promotional menu/sets.

A few of us bloggers were invited for a food tasting session to try out CPK's Asian Delight Lunar New Year Menu. I am very thrilled to meet yet another bunch of bloggers whom I've never met before: Sue, Yen Yen, Coco, & Simon. It was great meeting all of you!

L->R: Simon, Yen Yen, Coco, & myself (Sue left by the time we took this photo)

I invited my Aunty Anne to join me for the event :)

Here's what I personally think about both of CPK's promotional menu.

Special Dinner Menu for Two @ RM88 ++ includes:
- A choice of selected half size salad (enough for 2-3 persons!)
- A choice of selected 1 pizza
- A choice of selected 1 pasta
- A choice of 2 glasses of mocktails or sparkling wine

Asian Delight Lunar New Year Menu
What's special: Diners are offered a chance to participate in the "Sure Win" Hong Bao Lucky Draw where the winner(s) could walk away with dining vouchers worth up to RM388.00.

Note: To enjoy the Asian Delight Lunar New Year dishes to its fullest, come without expecting a "fully Chinese" taste & style as the dishes are ideas from the West :) Expect something fusion/ east-meets-west...


Lettuce Wraps (from RM23.00 - RM26.00 depending on meat selection)
Minced chicken &/shrimp, wok-seared with Shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, & scallops in soy ginger sauce, served on a bed of crispy rice noodles & a side of spicy chilli-ginger sauce.
[Ruth] This is quite a refreshing dish. It's a very simple dish that tastes & feels very 'home-cooked'. I thought the lettuce wrap was quite unique as Chinese households rarely use this type of lettuce for wraps (it does feel quite Western...which made this dish a marriage of east & west). I enjoyed this more than the rest of the dishes.


Note: Full size salads feeds 4-5 persons, while the half size salad is suitable for 2-3 persons. All photos below depict full size salads.

Miso Salad (Half size @ RM19.00, Full size @ RM22.00 - with chilled grilled chicken / Add grilled shrimp RM14.00)
Shredded Napa cabbage with fresh avocado, julienne cucumbers, daikon edamame, carrots, red cabbage, green onions, cilantro, crispy rice noodles & crispy wontons tossed in a Miso dressing.
[Ruth] I didn't quite enjoy this. I thought it was like eating a mass of chopped up vegetables like the Indian rojak or like coleslaw. Probably too much of lettuce to my liking.

Thai Crunch Salad (Full size @ RM29.00, Half size @ RM26.00, Additional fresh avocado @ RM6.00)
Shredded Napa cabbage, chilled grilled chicken breast, julienne cucumbers, edamame, crispy wontons, peanuts, cilantro, julienne carrots, red cabbage, & scallions, tossed with a lime-cilantro dressing & topped with crispy rice sticks with Thai peanut dressing.
[Ruth] At first bite, I wondered if there was any Thai element to the salad; it tasted more like Indonesian than Thai :P The avocados are optional, but it was added to our dish. This dish reminded me of the Indonesian's Gado-Gado... this salad needs more sauce though! Erm... it tasted too similar to the Miso Salad, except for the variant of dressing... if only CPK added chilli padi, lemongrass, line juice &/or even shredded "daun limau purut" to this salad - it would be SO much more Thai!

Chinese Chicken Salad (Half size @ RM20.00, Full size @ RM23.00)
Shredded lettuce & crispy wontons tossed with julienne carrots, scallions, basil, toasted sesame seeds & fresh cilantro in a spicy, sweet & sour sesame dressing + topped with chilled grilled chicken breast.
[Ruth] Too many salads in a meal (though of different variant) makes the PerutBesi feel "jelak". Just make sure that you order just ONE salad & you'll be able to enjoy it to its fullest! :) This salad is also another lettuce-based & wonton/wantan-skin based salad! Probably these are the main ingredients for the Asian-style salads at CPK. The hoisin-taste sauce was quite over-powering for a salad.

The salads here can be enjoyed like the yee-sang. Just toss it & mix all the ingredients of the salad together!


Kung Pao Spaghetti (With chicken @ RM29.00, with shrimp @ RM36.00, with chicken & shrimp @ RM39.00)
A classic Kung Pao sauce with garlic, green onions, peanuts, & hot red chillies, cooked with spaghetti.
[Ruth] My imaginations of Kung Pao dishes comes in really dark sauce-color, but this one was a surprise to me...hahaha.... CPK substituted the usual cashew nuts in Kung Pao dishes with peanuts, & I reckon they used some hoisin sauce for the base instead of just thick dark soy sauce. This dish is a favourite among the patrons of CPK, but I felt that it was a tad too salty & sweet. I think this dish needs more dried chilli & red onions just like the 'dai chow' places in Chinese restaurants :D having Kung Pao style spaghetti does feel strange, but it is unique :)
* dish contains alcohol

Garlic Noodles (With chicken @ RM29.00, with shrimp @ RM36.00, with chicken & shrimp @ RM39.00)
Wok-stirred Chinese yellow noodles in garlic-ginger sauce with snow peas, Shitake mushrooms, mild onions, red & yellow peppers, broccoli, & scallions.
[Ruth] I personally prefer the Kung Pao pasta to this as I find this dish a tad too sweet for my liking. It tastes like there was bean-paste ("min see") in the sauce, which gave the dish a very aromatic & distinct taste. If you're a fan of garlic, ginger, & onions, you will enjoy this, but if you're not, you better not order this dish! :D (special caution to my friend, Rao, & my sister, Rach)


Peking Duck Pizza (RM33.00/pizza)
Pan roasted duck breast, low-fat Mozzarella cheese, soy-glazed Shitake mushrooms, crispy wontons, slivered leek & ginger + Hoisin sauce
[Ruth] Interesting, but it's SO Asian!! Who would put Hoisin sauce, leek & duck meat on a pizza? "CPK boleh!" This pizza is a best-seller at CPK@KLCC. The cheese used is a low-fat version, thus there isn't any "pulling" effect for the cheese (which I thought was the 'fun' part of eating a pizza!). I find the wonton 'disturbing' once again - thought that it's not necessary on a pizza... the pizza is a 'lil dry & we were told that the crust is flown/shipped in from California, which meant that the dough is frozen for at least 3-4 months before it is used here in Malaysia!! *faints*

Cholula Hot Sauce
CPK does not offer the usual Tabasco unlike other pizza outlets. Instead, they have this seemingly hot sauce from Mexico (you can't get it in Malaysia - it's another imported item from the USA). I tried it & it tasted like our local "Kampung Koh chilli sauce + vinegar! *lol* Not spicy enough... quite sour though :P

Coffee Latte
Looks good, eh? I'm not sure how this tastes as my aunt had it.

Flavored Ice Tea (Peach, Mango, Strawberry, or Lemon)
I like such tea. The flavor comes in the sugar at the bottom. It's very fragrant, but once again, too sweet for my liking...hahaha...yes, I'm NOT a sweet-tooth :P


Tiramisu (RM22.00/slice)
Sweet Italian cream cheese & marsale custard between layers of espresso and rum-laced lady fingers. Topped with shaved bitter-sweet chocolate.
[Ruth] Oh yes, it's VERY expensive! But it was good :) *drools* I LOVE the rum-full taste.... the manager commented that they soak the cake into rum so that the cake absorbs the lovely rum taste...yums! Erm...also quite sweet... hahaha...

Red Velvet Cake (RM22.00/slice or additional RM6.50 ala mode)
Three layers of moist red velvet cake frosted with vanilla bean cream cheese & white chocolate curls. Served on vanilla bean sauce.
[Ruth] Indeed it was a moist cake - said to be moist chocolate cake with added beetroot to give it the striking-red color. It's quite unique & delicious, especially if you love sweet cakes!

Chocolate Souffle Cake (RM20.00/slice or additional RM6.50 ala mode)
A Belgian chocolate souffle cake served warm with CPK's triple-thick hot fudge on vanilla bean sauce.
[Ruth] This one's a killer.... I love the warm fudge-like souffle with the cool, creamy, vanilla ice cream.... omg.... *drools*

Map to CPK @ KLCC

View PerutBesi in a larger map

A big thank you to California Pizza Kitchen @ KLCC for extending their warm hospitality & presenting us with their latest dishes!

Another big thank you to Integrated Public Relations for inviting me (and the rest of the bloggers) on behalf of CPK @ KLCC, for this delightful food tasting session!

Note: Ratings are given based on the dining experience (and the combination of food served). It's my personal ratings, so you may beg to differ :) Many friends told me that CPK's food is quite ok, though rather costly. Try it for yourselves & let me know what you think about it!

California Pizza Kitchen

Lot #140, Level 1, Suria KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur
* Mall is located at the Petronas Twin Tower
Tel: (+603) 2382 0512
Fax: (+603) 2382 0516
Business Hours: 11:30a.m. - 11:00p.m. daily (last order @ 10:30p.m.)
Website: www.cpk.com


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


- Ruth


Henry Lee January 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM  

CPK... did anyone misunderstood it as PCK>? ur pictures is getting nicer and nicer so i suggest u to make it bigger?>??


PerutBesi January 27, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

->HenRy: :D Thanks very much for the encouragement! It took me such a long time to get this post out since I wasn't feeling very well lately - headache & aching back. What do u mean by "make it bigger"? Photos to be bigger or this blog's 'business' to be bigger? :P Thanks loads in advance for your reply!!

Ciki January 27, 2010 at 11:21 AM  

i always like the pizza here;)

Simon Seow January 29, 2010 at 10:44 PM  

Hello there Ruth. I still miss their Tiramisu.

PerutBesi January 31, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

->C & C: I haven't had the opportunity to try their pizzas (properly). We were only introduced to the Peking Duck pizza...which felt a 'lil weird to me!

->Simon Seow: I miss their tiramisu too!!! Oh gawd...the syiok smell & taste of rum-soaked 'sponge'! *drools* But it's expensive wei... :S

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