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Review: You Mi Qi Restaurant, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

>> Friday, January 30, 2015

Overall comment: Galore of seafood, fit for the king
Halal: No

You Mi Qi Restaurant (有米氣) at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng in Kuala Lumpur opened 4 months ago i.e. last October 2014. They have the same menu as its other branch/1st outlet in Old Klang Road, with some additional dishes just available at this KL branch.

Most, if not all of their specialty dishes are inspired from the District of Shunde (顺德区) in China, a popular district in the city of Foshan, Guangdong. All the dishes are brain-work of the restaurant's creative director, Mr Tai Gu.

This tasting session was quite an eye-opening experience for me as I felt the dishes can be quite an acquired taste. Perhaps I am not very familiar with Shunde dishes, thus, my tastebuds aren't accustomed to the difference in taste & texture.

I hereby introduce to you some of Shunde's dishes!

Prosperous Lou Sang (salmon) 风生水起齐捞生 (RM68.00/serving)
The yee sang looks very common from the 1st glance, but what makes it different is the sauce. You Mi Qi didn't use the sweet plum sauce; instead, they use some sort of savory soya sauce + other 'secret sauces' for the yee sang. A word of caution: do not pour both bowls of sauces into the yee sang. It actually tastes nicer if you toss the yee sang, then dip the fresh ingredients into the sauce. We made a mistake by pouring the sauce into the yee sang, which made the yee sang really salty!

To a better year 2015! :D

Fried Noodle Fish with Salt & Pepper 椒盐白饭鱼 (RM48.00/serving)
 What an interesting snack. It's like the crispy fried shrimps that you get at Japanese restaurants, but this noodle fish has more 'flesh', thus it's not as thin & crispy, yet when cooked with killer-spicy chili padi, this is one snack that could get your appetite going.

Crispy Fried Oyster 酥炸生蚝 (RM48.00/serving)
 When the fried oysters arrived, I thought they were quite 'cute' yet mysterious. I would prefer if the crust is more crispy :) This one that we tasted was not as crispy as I hope, but the oysters were thankfully fresh. I couldn't imagine if they weren't...

Braised Yellow Sea Cucumber 酿黄肉参 (RM180.00/serving)
 This dish didn't look very appetizing & let me tell you that the texture of the sea cucumber is probably one that you won't expect as well. I didn't know that 'small' sea cucumbers like this breed are more chewy/'crunchy' (in Cantonese, it's "chui hao"/"song"). I was totally expecting a soft & smooth piece of sea cucumber with the fish paste.

Poon Choy 盘菜 (RM428.00/serving)
 This is one different poon choy! It's not your usual gooey-gravy poon choy, but a simple yet very tasty vegetable broth poon choy to balance the richness of the overall meat+veggie dish.

The poon choy is served in a large aluminum 'bowl', where there's actually another aluminum plate at the bottom of the bowl to ensure that the meat doesn't get burnt while the bowl gets onto the stove. Yums. This poon choy isn't layered the usual way e.g. 1 layer of chicken, 1 layer of duck, 1 layer of prawns..etc, but the bottom layer is all vegetables like the Chinese cabbage & carrots + broth & the meat are all above the vegetables. Once the broth starts to boil, the final result is a rich, aromatic & sweet vegetable broth/soup that goes well with the meat.Yums!

Seafood Stew Wok 海鲜焖锅 (RM150.00/serving)
 I must say that this was one of the most interesting dishes that evening. You can choose the type of seafood to put into the stew, but on that particular evening, we weren't given the choice, so we had the "Lump Fish", a rather high-collagen fish that I found difficult to accept. Hahaha.

You can select other types of fish like the Long Dan, Garoupas, & even any river fish. The Lump Fish has a thicker skin, higher percentage of 'collagen' & somehow tastes more "fishy" due to the fact that it's quite an 'oily fish'. Not my cuppa tea.

See the skin??! *gulp*
 Lap Mei Claypot Rice 腊味煲仔饭 (RM38.00/serving)
This was the best dish that evening in my humble opinion. I love the fragrance & slightly chewy texture of the rice, coupled with the humble Chinese waxed sausage ("lap cheong") + leeks. Brings back loads of nostalgia of a typical Chinese New Year day 2 feast.

Cheese Baked Yam Tart 芝士焗紫心薯(RM29.00/serving)
 Unique 'dessert'. I love yam, but the combination of cheese with yam feels strange somehow.
Shrimp sashimi 虎虾拼盘 (RM98.00/serving)
The long awaited dish - fresh shrimp sashimi. I didn't dare to try as I had a bad allergy attack the last time I had shrimp sashimi at a Japanese restaurant in Singapore. The sashimi was SO good, but I ended up with a swollen throat, swollen eyes & I was totally knocked out after taking some medication :P I'm sure the shrimp sashimi here is good - it looks good!

This Chinese New Year, if you would like to try something different together with your family & friends, you can be sure that You Mi Qi will tantalize your tastebuds with their fresh & unique selection of dishes :)

You Mi Qi Restaurant 有米氣 YKS
64 & 65, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+603) 2181 3909
Business hours: 11:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.; 6:00p.m. - 11:00p.m.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/youmiqicuisine

You Mi Qi Restaurant 有米氣 OKR
57, Jalan Klang Lama, Batu 3
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+603) 7980 0855

Interesting experience,


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
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)

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


Salivating as I recall the taste of the dishes,


Review: Pretz N' Beanz Cafe, IPC Mutiara Damansara

>> Saturday, January 17, 2015


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
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

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


Pretzel pizza - what an innovative idea!

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