Monday, November 19, 2012

SPOONFED!

These cool ice-blended Watermelon juice spiked with Mint (RM8.90) from Fat Spoon was the perfect antidote to freshen us up after our arduous battle with Klang Valley's horrendous traffic.
 Owned and operated by the Pong sisters, this modern Nyonya outlet is packed with quirky retro charm and a top draw with the young, trendy crowd from the middle to upper class residential areas nearby. Who can blame them once you have a taste of the restaurant's scrumptious Nyonya and contemporary fare?
 
I'm appalled to admit that it was my maiden visit but stepping into the cosy confines, I love the blasts from the past that greeted me at every nook and cranny: from the old-fashioned pots and kitchen utensils suspended overhead and blackboard display listing the house specials to the slightly tattered menus printed on rough brown paper and time-worn yellowed newspaper-plastered wall above the bar counter.
For that night's bloggers' tasting dinner, Fat Spoon chose to unveil its latest dishes. The selection was printed in a specially designed menu for easy reference.
Our famished tummies were soon silenced by the tasty appetiser of crispy pumpkin fritters. Served with Thai chilli sauce, this speciality is a side dish to complement the Fat Salmon Sandwich (RM16.90).
 
Light, crispy and subtly sweet, the pumpkin nests were so incredibly addictive, we quickly made short work of them.
Crunchy slices of apple and herbed mayo bestowed sexy twists to the Fat Salmon Sandwich which comprised slivers of smoked salmon and lettuce in between a sesame seed topped burger.
The Moo Moo Rice Bowl (RM15.90) had a distinctly Thai slant to it, thanks to the inclusion of fresh basil and the moreish basil-accentuated beef tenderloin chunks on a heap of fluffy rice. A sunny side up egg scattered with fried shallots enriched the whole ensemble further.
Caramelised tamarind prawns coupled with finely sliced gingerflower and coriander imparted their deep-seated flavours and enticing aromas to the Tamarind Prawn Angel Hair Pasta (RM16.90). We adore the dish's well-balanced nuances; an artful blend of slightly sourish-sweet and briny dimensions that leave you hankering for more.
Just when we thought nothing could possibly rival or outdo all the delectable fare that we had savoured, along came the mother of all dessert...Sago Pudding with The Last Polka's Salted Gula Melaka Ice Cream (RM9.90). Now I'm a huge fan of this classic Nyonya pudding and I was completely smitten by how well the cold, creamy treat matched the tiny pearly globules.
If you're keen to check Fat Spoon out for yourself, here's the essential details. Reservations recommended for dinner especially during the weekends.

Friday, November 16, 2012

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS



As the year draws to a close, the season of parties will be in full swing. While champagnes and wines are the choice drinks for most revellers, what are teetotalers to do?
This is where the 1688 Grand Rose from France and Inah from South Africa premium non-alcoholic beverages aim to fill the gap and make their flowing presence felt. Made from pure fruit juices, the twist in these imported drinks by Ambrosia Trading Sdn Bhd lie in the luxurious product packaging - at first glance the labels, foil coverings and wire cages holding the corks in place are dead-ringers for the real wines that are prevalent during revelries.
 
Unveiled with some fanfare at Dato' Chef Ismail Ahmad's Rebung restaurant in Bangsar, Mr Remi Rossano, Principal of 1688 Grand Rose believed that both products will be the toast of our multi-racial country. Because the beverages contain absolutely NO alcohol at all, people from all walks of life regardless of their age and race can raise their glasses of these drinks without fear of being intoxicated.
 
Besides drinking it straight from the bottle, the beverages can also be used to create interesting dishes such as Mediterranean Roast Chicken, Seafood Skewers, Stewed Lamb, Prawns Nyonya Style, Assam Pedas Fish and Steamed Caramel Apam as demonstrated by Dato' Chef Ismail.


With its salmon pink hues and fine bubbles, the 1688 Grand Rose is perfect as a pre-dinner aperitif that's not unlike a sparkling rose (minus the alcoholic bitter aftertaste). Concocted from 100% red and white grape blends, it boasts a bouquet of floral and fruity notes, and a muted Muscat flavour. Served it chilled at 6-8 degrees Celsius to complement sweet and sour seafood or white meat dishes.

I opened two bottles recently for a dinner party where seasoned wine lovers and teens attended. Needless to say, the drinks were an absolute hit to counter the sweltering heat and prime the palate.

Amazingly, the premium beverages even mimic the real wines. The Inah Merlot has distinctly strawberry and blackcurrant notes; its nectar sweetness best enjoyed well-chilled at 16 degrees Celsius. Goes superbly well with curries and spicy food.
 
Ripe plums and blackberry accents reign in the Inah Cabernet Sauvignon with a subtle oaky finish. Pair this with steaks or rich stews or even a hearty roast chicken.
I like the Shiraz for its berry accent with hints of spice - imagine matching it with some nice cheese.

You can buy the 1688 Grand Rose (RM56.90) and Inah series (RM43.90 each) at major supermarts like BIG, Cold Storage, Mercato, Village Grocer and AEON.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

JOIN THE LOUNGE CLUB




Grand Millennium KL relaunched its newly refurbished Club Lounge and Rooms recently with a sneak preview for media and bloggers.

The 3-storey cosy haven boasts contemporary elegance clad in steely greys, muted blues and glowing pendant lights.

With a choice of indoor and outdoor seating, the plush confines offer guests complimentary High Speed WiFi access and choice bites with a wide array of cocktails for privileged Club Room guests. 

Accommodating 60 persons at one time, the Club Lounge is spacious enough to ensure privacy for guests with its integrated office and meeting spaces as well as relaxing lounge seating.

The “Al Fresco" alternative at the patio is surrounded by a rock pool filled with koi and decked with lush plants and shrubs, a serene oasis amidst towering office blocks with the Petronas Twin Towers visible in the distance.


A wide range of daily complimentary food and beverage items is proffered from 5.30pm to 8.30pm daily.
 General Manager Peter Gibbons the new Club Lounge befits the upcoming Club Rooms that will also flaunt freshly updated features in keeping with the dynamism of modern corporate and leisure travellers.
Guests will be well-taken care of by a team of dedicated Club Ambassadors who are tasked to look after their every need. 
Another privilege that Club Lounge guests will enjoy is the plethora of tempting morsels rustled up by Executive Chef Steven Seow come breakfast and cocktail time.
From this impressive towering display of cream puffs drenched with honey and studded with fresh berries to assorted bite-size appetisers such as chilled avocado with smoked chicken, tuna tartar with wasabi mayo potato, rye bread smoked salmon sandwiches, lemon citron tart and chocolate mousse with pear, guests will literally find it hard-pressed to decide on what to eat.
Don't let these little buns fool you...they're more substantial than you presume them to be; stuffed to the brim with mixed lettuce, pickled gherkin slices and rosettes of smoked salmon.
Expect a clever interplay of textures, flavours and colours at the display counters which are designed to serve hot and cold dishes in addition to savoury and sweet offerings.
 
The chef has no qualms drawing inspirations from around the world. His creation of croissant stuffed with Arabic grilled chicken is a delicious example of how West meets Middle East in a single bite.
 Crisp shrimp toasties, lamb keema pizza, chicken teriyaki balls and a rich quiche are enough to warm the tummy and keep you going until dinner time.
 
Of course there is always the inevitable dessert selection - again in dainty servings to lessen the guilt. Fruit tartlets, chocolate mousse with pear and choc shavings in shot glasses, more luscious tartlets of strawberries peeking out from slivers of chocolate, tea scones and miniature tiramisu are just mere samplings that hit the sweet spot.

If you fancy a stay-cation now that the year-end school hols are in full swing, just call the Grand Millennium KL.