Friday, March 25, 2011

SPOONFULS OF INDULGENCE

Sevenatenine...a rendezvous for city folks at dusk

Chef Nicolas Isnard

Head chef of Burgundy's one-Michelin star restaurant, L'Auberge de la Charme Nicolas Isnard was the curtain-raiser for 7atenine's launch of Indulgence Series recently; marking the debut of its Seven Spoons dining room on the mezzanine floor.

Adjourn to Seven Spoons when hunger pangs hit for a cosy dinner

Sevenatenine's resident mixologist (left) Frankie P Anthony with Chef Isnard

Chef Isnard shows how his signature appetiser is prepared

Besides media and guest bloggers, lady boss Michele Kwok also hosted local celeb, Xandria Ooi and hubby, Yuri Wong to join the soiree.


Chef Isnard chatting with the media. Next to him is Sevenatenine's lady boss Michele Kwok

A selection of Irish oysters to tempt patrons every Thursday

While Isnard whipped up five courses, the outlet's resident mixologist Frankie P Anthony shook up and stirred three cocktails for the dinner.


Mixing 'em up...cocktails galore at Sevenatenine

An amuse bouche of Oyster Vichyssoise started the ball rolling. Everyone adored the dainty but oh-so-fresh Irish oyster bathed in a creamy reduction of potatoes, leeks and lemon vinegar, crowned with a dollop of cream and chopped chives.


Exquisite Oyster Vichyssoise to amuse us at the start of dinner

Then came the chef's signature starter of Scallop Carpaccio with Quinoa & Citrus Fruits. We found the textural contrasts between the thinly sliced scallops and nutty quinoa interesting while the Monkey Gland cocktail stimulated our tastebuds with its predominantly herbaceous, aniseed accent.

Visual feast and edible delight...Isnard's signature appetiser of Scallop Carpaccio

Presentation was the name of the game when it came to the Soupe A L'Ognion (French onion soup); Isnard opted to 'deconstruct' the soup by serving the base ingredients and cream-based broth separately.

Onion soup with a difference...served 'deconstructed' with dramatic flair

We had more than we bargained for when the host decided to treat us to not one but two mains: Seabass with Hommous and Ginger-Lemon Broth as well as Loin of Lamb with Eggplant Cannelloni and Garlic Confit.


Lamb loin given the indulgent touch with eggplant & garlic

The fish course was paired with Chambord Cosmopolitan cocktail while the lamb formed a winning combination with a refreshing Apple Martini.


Fishing for compliments?

Somehow we managed to find tummy space for the dessert of Raspberry Soup with Gingerbread Espuma and Orange Olive Oil; no doubt helped by an after dinner digestif of Grappa Limoncino.

Unusual pairing of raspberry soup with gingerbread espuma

Kudos to the Seven Spoons team who impressed us with their personable service and efficiency and ensured we were not left wanting in any way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

BURBERRY BEAUTY

Few ladies could resist a free makeover and yours truly is no exception. So when Burberry invited us to a makeover session at KLCC followed by afternoon tea to herald its launch in Kuala Lumpur, we jumped at the chance without hesitation.

A cornucopia of lovely shades under the newly launched Burberry cosmetics line

Somehow we felt this great sense of satisfaction and a certain degree of smugness when Product Manager Ashley Tan revealed that Kuala Lumpur is ahead of Singapore for the launch! Yay!!!

The new Burberry beauty counter at Isetan KLCC incorporates its fragrance showcase
You'd be spoilt for choice for Burberry's sumptuous lip colours
Take your pick of fresh Spring/Summer looks in nuetral and subtly dramatic hues

As we awaited our turn for the makeover, we took snapshots of each other and took a closer look at the wide array of products available under the new luxurious beauty line.

Su Ting undergoing her makeover at the Burberry counter

As Jen Ying worked her magic on moi, I was surprised to discover how smooth and light the Burberry Skin (she used Trench no.7) Sheer Foundationto even out my patchy skin followed by Porcelain no.2 Compact Powder to give it a natural, smooth finish.


To give my cheeks an instant glow, she deftly bestowed Burberry Glow Tangerine Blush no.6.


My eyes were 'enlarged' with extra shine thanks to Burberry Eyes Chestnut no.5 (lid base), Taupe Brown no. 7 ((higlight) and Porcelain no.3 (top lip) and lined with Burberry K26 eyeliner and mascara.

To complete my transformation, Jen Ying sealed her artistry on my lips using Burberry Lips no. 24 and Lip Gloss no.9. Needless to say, I feel like the proverbial ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan!


Us ladies also got to flaunt our new looks in a quick photo session, garbed in a Burberry trench no less! Then we were all ushered to Chinoz on the Park for tea.

And what could be more English than afternoon tea? It's all very prim and proper but we had a field day admiring each other's fabulous looks over oven-fresh scones, finger sandwiches, eclairs and assorted sweet treats.


The generous folks at Burberry ensured each of us didn't leave home empty handed...so we were pleased as punch with our goody bag. There were free makeover vouchers and a token gift. Mine was in the form of an eyeshadow and a lipstick!

A very big thank you to Goh Un Lu (Division GM, Cosmetics & Fragrance), Pink Fong (Senior Product Manager), Ashley and team for such a memorable afternoon!


Thursday, March 03, 2011

BLACK MAGIC

Guinness goes green for its St Patrick's celebration this March

The retro ad on the glass (right) says it all...

Guinness is set to unleash its black magic this March in conjunction with its nationwide St Patrick's Celebration.

The world's favourite black brew aims to spread good cheer, ensuring that Merry Goes Round in March via a host of high spirited street parties, fun activities, exciting promotions and delectable Guinness-infused menus at 36 hot spots across the Peninsular and East Malaysia.

The media launch was a riot with the thunderous roar of 3 Harleys leading a procession of colourfully clad dancers, jugglers, mime artist and pretty ambassadors. Of course, no party's complete without a spread of good food so here's a sneak peek of the buffet (well, part of it anyway!).

We loved the deliciously moist chicken burger, fried prawns on skewers and a plethora of yummy bites!

The following night, we tagged along with Big Boys Oven to Deutsches Gasthaus in Bandar Sri Menjalara for a taste of the Porky Bierhaus' Guinness inspired specialities.

Inside the cosy German-style tavern

Appetiser of scrambled egg with chopped mushroom & bacon on cos lettuce

Stuffed tomatoes with squid, prawns & thousand island dressing

After an effusive welcome from manager Katherine Lee, we were treated to two appetisers specially created by the in-house kitchen team. The first was Deutsches Gasthaus Omelette with Bacon and the second, Thousand Island Tomatoes with Mixed Seafood Filling.

Still both passed the taste test - I especially like the first item though it was a little messy to eat. The second's a great way to enjoy tomatoes...just think of all the lycopene (an anti-oxidant) that's so good for you!

Now if there's one dish you absolutely must have is the Beef Goulash Stew with Dumplings! Hearty and rich, we mopped up every last drop of the yummy gravy with the accompanying dumplings and wolfed down the melt-in-the-mouth tender beef with great gusto.

Coming in a close second is the Braised Pork Ribs with GUINNESS® Sauce . Juicy and ultra-tender, the ribs were chockful of caramelised malty flavour that left us craving for more.

Another offering that left us clucking with approval is the GUINNESS® Chicken with BBQ Sauce. Served with a tri-colour Capsicum & Mushroom Salad, the boneless chicken was superbly moist on the palate.

'Loin' on me...thick slices of Pork Loin with Guinness Black Pepper Sauce

Lean, mean but irresistibly tender Pork Fillet Slices with Guinness Black Pepper Sauce

We were left in a quandary when we were asked which was better - the thick, round slabs of Roasted Pork Loin with GUINNESS® Sauce or the delicately sliced Pork Fillet with GUINNESS® Sauce and Bacon Cabbage. Both had a lot going for them so in the end, we suggest you can have your 'cake' and eat it too just this once!

Of course no visit to a German pub/eatery is complete without the piece de resistance - the Crispy Pork Knuckle! Just remember that this house speciality is NOT part of the Guinness St Patrick's promotion menu so don't get confused ok.

Served with sauerkraut, brown sauce, gravy, mustard and roast sliced baby potatoes, the humongous chunk of meat covered with crispy crackling is every carnivore's dream. Personally, my only complaint was that the pickled cabbage appeared a tad dry and somewhat lacking in tanginess.

We were told that there are customers who would eat the pork crackling and leave the meat untouched! Which is quite a waste considering how sublime the subtly briny flesh is.

The Homemade Pasta Nero with Prawns turned out to be a real gem, setting our tastebuds ablaze with its light garlicky cream sauce that's studded with chopped bird's eye chilli.

Like fairy tales and happy endings, no meal is ever complete without a sweet conclusion. Our group quickly made short work of the delightful Strawberry Ice Cream Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream Pancake (not in photo).

As for the Homemade Tiramisu, the general consensus was that the sponge fingers were so heavily infused with liquor that the alcoholic accent eclipsed the delicate mascarpone and cream layer. But don't let our judgement cloud yours if you're a fan of this Italian 'pick me up'...

The special menu will be available at Deutsches Gasthaus 5, G03 K Gallery, 10 Jalan Menjalara Idaman (1/62A), Bandar Menjalara, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-6274 8300) in line with its GUINNESS® St. Patrick’s Party happening on 9th March, Wednesday, 9pm-12 midnight.

Now would you Merry me? :) Find out how now via:
http://www.facebook.com/guinnessmalaysia