Aly's Food Review

Aly takes you on a culinary journey through some of KL’s best restaurants.

Genji @ Hilton PJ – New Year’s Eve Japanese Buffet

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Genji @ Hilton PJ – New Year’s Eve Japanese Buffet

A restaurant famed for its Japanese cuisine and country style ambience. This New Year, tuck into a lavish feast at Genji, Hilton Petaling Jaya.

The freshest sashimi, mountains of crispy tempura, sizzling teppanyaki, wholesome hot dishes and a wide variety of sushi and Japanese sweets.

For New Year’s Eve, in addition to the buffet spread that tempts you on weekends, Chef Richard will be whipping up some special items to further tantalize your tastebuds.

Already waiting on the table as we arrived were sumptuous cold starters.

Crunchy Freshwater Shrimp, savoury Edamame, and moist Marinated Jellyfish with Sea Urchin, nestled in a carved Japanese cucumber.

My favourite… the prawn, of course! And you can eat ALL of it!

Part of buffet dinner is a tall, cool glass of bubbly that was deliciously refreshing to wash down our starters. Next, we tried the Kinoko Salada (mixed mushroom salad).

Three different kinds of mushrooms served chilled, with a creamy avocado dressing.

You can always expect extremely fresh sashimi at Genji, and that day the Sashimi Moriawase certainly lived up to my expectations.

Beautiful pink salmon, deep red tuna, a light and buttery Kampachi (Yellowtail) and creamy butterfish.

Other starters in the buffet include a variety of sushi, handrolls, Japanese salads and soups. The Asari Jiru is a steaming hot bowl of miso soup, with sensational chewy clams in shell.

For mains, try hot dishes like Grilled Salmon Head, Unagi Kabayaki and Hotate Furia (scallop). We were treated to the Gindara Shoyu, a grilled Cod fish with steamed greens and pickle spring onion.

The fish was prepared with a simple miso based marinade, which heightened it’s natural flavour. Fresh and tasty.

One of my favourite dishes for the evening was the Kaki Furai, a deep fried breaded oyster.

I just loved the textures of the crispy batter, contrasting with the pop of the juicy, succulent warm oyster cuddled within. A must try.

Up next, some Maki and Nigiri Sushi.

The Ise Ebi Maki was an extravagant lobster tail roll.

Moist, meaty lobster, wrapped in Japanese rice, a layer of seaweed, and deep fired in a light and crispy tempura batter.

The Wagyu Nigiri Sushi was lad upon a bed of Japanese rice, with the meat tender and melt in your mouth.

Get a fresh, hot batch of Tempura Mori whipped up, made to order.

A mixed tempura of deep fried prawn, sweet potato, green beans and mushrooms, served with Japanese vinegar.

An assortment of cakes and Japanese desserts are on offer, but I personally like to finish off the meal with a sweet-savoury treat like Genji’s homemade Kura Goma (black sesame) ice cream.

So for your New Year’s resolution, I’d like to suggest that you resolve to eat only outstanding food.

You can start off on the right foot at Genji, Hilton PJ. Enjoy!

*Thanks to Elaine, Chef Richard and the team for an outstanding meal!

*Special thanks to Alvin ( for the beautiful photos.

All this week, tune in from Eleven2Three to win RM100 vouchers to Genji @ Hilton PJ. Also receive free entry for the New Year’s Eve Countdown Beach Party at Uncle Chilli’s worth RM90! (includes free drink)

The Big Red Food Review, only on Red FM, Today’s Best Music!


Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Tel : +60 3 7955 9122


Written by alyredfm

December 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Reviews

Makan Kitchen @ Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur

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Makan Kitchen @ Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur

“A true showcase of Malaysian Dining”

Doubletree by Hilton is the first of its kind to open in South East Asia. You’ll find it housed lovingly in the unmissable Intermark building, on the corner of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Ampang.

Located on the 11th floor is Makan Kitchen, the hotel’s 350-seat signature restaurant.

Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisines dominate in the 3 interactive kitchens, while lesser known specialties from Ibanese, Nyonya and Kristang Kitchens add another dimension to the meaning of the word’s ‘local food’.

As Terry (Red FM Drive), Lexie (Presenter), Alvin  (Photographer) and toured the kitchens with our gracious host Cindy Wong, we noticed that although the restaurant could fit so many people in one go, it didn’t feel big and overwhelming.

The area surrounding each kitchen was decorated according to its theme, divided and separated by screens for more privacy.

Subtle changes in lighting ranged from bright, lively spotlights in the main area, to warm, cozy lighthing in the more private areas.

Very atmospheric, and a true showcase of our each cultures unique heritage.

With over 150 local delights on offer across the three kitchens, we couldn’t wait to get started!

Cindy suggested we begin our journey (the full Makan Kitchen Experience) at the Indian Kitchen, headed up by Chef Prem Kumar Jeyaranam.

Along with his team of experts, they ensure that the Indian Kitchen boasts a wide selection of Northern and Southern Indian specialities.

The Kadai Panner was a mild mix of cottage cheese, spices, onions, chilli sauce and green peppers, while the Spinach Kuttu was a creamy, textured dhall stew made from lentils.

I loved the crunchy Bendi Masala, which was stir fried okra (ladies fingers) in a spicy masala gravy. The Sambar was Toor Dhall with mix vegetables. These four accompaniments go perfectly with the main dishes and Biryani Rice on offer.

We were treated to a special serving of Fish Head Curry, which was just scrumptious.

Mouth watering rich and tasty curries like Shahi Kumar, a Northern Indian lamb kurman in onion masala and cashewnut paste. Another spicy masterpiece is the Chilli Chicken, a recreation of the South Indian Spicy chicken masala.

Indulge in oven baked Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori Prawn, Fish Tikka, Lamb Kofta and deliciously fragrant Garlic Naan.

Don’t forget to grab a crispy Poppadum or two from the mountain stack on display.

Also available at the Indian Kitchen are Kristang Dishes like the famous mustard seed, piquant Debil Curry, and the fiery Sambal Prawn.

Cindy insisted we try one of her favourites, Chef Prem’s secret recipe Murg Malai Chicken (cheese chicken) baked in the tandoor.

I managed to wangle out some of the ingredients from him, and learnt that he makes a marinade from cream cheese, cream and yoghurt, mixed with blended chilli padi, and secret Indian herbs and spices, then sits the chicken in it overnight. A must try!

Don’t miss the well-known Iban dish from Sarawak, Pansuh Manuk.

This is an amalgamation chicken, herbs and spices cooked in a long bamboo.

Bursting with a hearty flavour that exudes goodness. Don’t forget the drink up the luscious chicken broth, that really, is a soup on its own!

The Malay Kitchen dominates the main dining area, with tempting traditional fare. you see as you. Start off with fresh Ulam (raw vegetables) that include long beans, petai, four angled bean, with a choice of Cincalok, Belachan, and Tempoyak.

Savour the sweet sour combination of various Malay salads, with ingredients like onions, chilli, mango, pineapple, pomelo, beef and prawns.

Order a handmade Popiah Basah filled to the brim with sliced vegetables, juicy chicken, fried onion, sesame seeds and a sweet spicy chili sauce.

Snack on tender Chicken & Beef Satay cooked at a live cooking station.

Served with a special peanut sauce, cucumber, onions and ketupat (malay rice cake).

Fill up on Ikan Pari Panggang, Sup Kambing, Ayam Kuzi Merah with dominating flavours of coriander and chilli, Daging Masak Kayu Manis (beef cooked with cardamom, cinnamon and coconut milk) and the irresistible Sotong Masak Serai (fried squid with lemongrass and chilli). Udang  Tumis and Keropok complete the ensemble.

It was so good Terry and I went back for seconds and thirds!

You can also make your own noodle soup, by choosing from the various ingredients neatly laid out on display. Choose your own noodles (yellow noodle or bee hoon) and add fishcake, fishball, tofu, beansprouts, vegetables and more.

Dip briefly in boiling hot water, empty the contents into a bowl and douse with one of the soups on offer. That evening, we tried the fragrant Sarawak Laksa, meaty Beef Soup, and flavoursome Chicken Broth.

Slurp up your soup piping hot to enjoy maximum pleasure.

Desserts on offer from the Malay kitchen include local flavoured ice-cream (pick and mix your own flavours and toppings), traditional Malays, Chinese and Nyonya Kuih.

Lastly, we tried the Chinese Kitchen. An overwhelming choice of assorted Dim sum that includes Har Gau, Siu Mai, Spinach dumpling and Glutinous rice wrapped in Lotus leaf.

Indulge in expertly cooked Fresh Marinated Roast Chicken & Duck, BBQ Roast ‘Char Siew’, with plum sauce, chilli sauce, and minced pickled ginger.

An all time classic in Chinese Cuisine is the Double Boiled Black Chicken Soup with Chinese Herb.

Here is also where you’ll find time-honoured Nyonya Cuisine, with dishes like Pan-Fried Stuffed Chilli with Tau Chew Sauce, Wok Fried Bamboo Clams with local basil leaf, and Nyonya style vegetable. Finish off with an assortment of Chinese desserts.

Just for this festive Christmas season, you can also tuck into Roast Turkey with all the trimmings.

As we sat there nursing out bursting bellies, Terry, Lexie, Alvin and I discussed what we’d tried. It was obvious to all of us that the one thing that stands out about the food at Makan Kitchen is its homestyle cooking. With so much on offer, my advice is to try a little bit of everything for starters, but focus on only one kitchen for your main course. That way you can fully appreciate your chosen cuisine for all it’s worth. And you won’t overeat or waste either!

One of the best local buffets in town by far. Makan Kitchen – A true showcase of Malaysian Dining.

Thanks to Cindy and the team at Makan Kitchen for filling us up with so much good food!

Special thanks to Alvin ( for the beautiful photos.

All this week, tune in from Eleven2Three to win a buffet for 2 worth RM 150! vouchers to Makan Kitchen @ Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur. The Big Red Food Review with me Aly. Only on Red FM, Today’s Best Music!

104.9 in the Klang Valley.

The Full Makan Kitchen Experience

Lunch – RM59++ (adults) RM 29.50++ (per child below 12 yrs)

Dinner – RM79++ (adults) RM39.50 (per child below 12 yrs)


Makan Kitchen @ Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur

The Intermark, 182 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur

T: +603 21727272


Written by alyredfm

December 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Reviews

The Daily Grind @ Bangsar Village

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The Daily Grind @ Bangsar Village

Your all time favourite gourmet burger joint is back! After a month long relocation and renovation,  Award Winning The Daily Grind (TDG)is back in a brand new location, with a new look, and new items on the menu!

It’s not just American cuisine anymore. Now TDG offers everything Western, from hot dogs to delicious soups, pastas and irresistible desserts. Same fresh ingredients, same great taste, with a focus on gourmet burgers.

The new layout means the restaurant is divided into 3 sections.

A more private area that you enter through the mall entrance, and a brighter space with large windows facing the street.

Terry (Red FM Drive), Hazim (Red Weekends), Yin (Red Breakfast Producer) and I sat down at a high top table in the third area where the bar is, for a more laid back feel.

TDG’s Nibbles Platter

This platter has had a makeover and now consists of beef meatballs, spicy dynamite chicken wings, stuffed jalapeno peppers and calamari rings in a light, golden batter.

All TDG’s burgers are cooked to order, so have a little patience as perfection takes time. All sauces, from ketchup to chilli to mustard and mayo are made in-house with no additives or preservatives.

TDG’s Foie Gras Burger (RM55) – ALL TIME FAVOURITE!

Extremely decadent. I mean, this burger is like king of burgers, and is what pan seared foie gras with balsamic palm sugar glaze, laid over a juicy beef patty, slices of grilled Portobello & a dollop of onion cranberry jam. 100% meat, as are all TDG’s burgers. Terry claimed this burger as soon as it arrived.

So juicy…

A good burger doesn’t have to be made from beef. You can have chicken, or fish, even softshell crab, and my favourite alternative, lamb.

My Big Fat Greek Burger (RM29)

A new addition to the menu, this burger is inspired totally by Greek cuisine. A tender, spiced lamb patty, served in warm pita bread with grilled eggplant, cucumber, tzatziki (greek yogurt with herbs) accompanied by feta cheese salad and fries.

Triple Stacked (RM35)

Got a big appetite? This is the burger for you! It’s triple stacked! Three juicy 100g patties, layered in cheddar, pickles, turkey bacon, homemade ketchup and mustard, and a side of fat, crunchy fries.

Chermoula Super Dog (RM24)

Like the Foie Gras Burger is the King of burgers, I have christened this the King of Hot Dogs. Two, count em, two giant sausages with Chermoula seasoning (Moroccan herb spice marinade), spicy jalapeno salsa, and smothered with a layer of smooth, creamy avocado. Open wide, ‘cos this baby is a force to be reckoned with!

Seafood Spaghetti (RM27)

As an alternative to burgers, TGD also has numerous pastas for you to choose from. The Seafood Spaghetti is their twist on the classic Italian Marinara. Fresh seafood simmered in a tomato based white wine and garlic broth. Fragrant, tasty, and easy to slurp up!

Peanut Butter & Roasted Banana Pie (RM16)

Oh yes, sweet and savoury! My favourite kinda dessert. Rich, thick and gooey, a lovely dessert for sharing or for throwing that diet out the window!

Salty Caramel Chocolate Cake (PREVIEW)

Another sweet savoury combo that we all adored. Salty caramel and rich chocolate go together like birds of a feather. Yin’s fork never spent more than a second away from the cake, as it made the journey from mouth to plate and back again. Highly recommended!

Luscious Lemon Drizzle Cake – (PREVIEW)

Sweet and sour, another fabulous combination! Light and fluffy sponge cake with a tart icing. They definitely named it right! Luscious…

I love The Daily Grind. Terry loves The Daily Grind. Hazim loooooooooves The Daily Grind (he confessed he eats there almost every week) and Yin absolutely loves them too, especially the desserts!

So many of us lovin’ TDG, you should get in on some of the action too!

Thanks Selena and the team at The Daily Grind for the amazing, filling meal!

All this week, tune in from Eleven2Three to win RM100 vouchers to the Daily Grind at Bangsar Village!

The Big Red Food Review! Only on Red FM, Today’s Best Music. 104.9 in the Klang Valley.



Bangsar Village 1 Jalan Telawi 1
Bangsar, 59100 Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

Written by alyredfm

December 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Reviews

il Lido Italian Dining & Lounge Bar @ Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

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il Lido Italian Dining & Lounge Bar @ Jalan Yap Kwan Seng


“Singapore’s iconic Italian restaurant and lounge bar, il Lido, is the next destination for the sartorially-sussed and savvy epicureans in Malaysia, offering an extraordinary selection of traditional Italian food, international wines, premium beers and cocktails.”

“il Lido has won accolades from critics and food aficionados alike. The name of il Lido was inspired by Lido Island, a leisure and entertainment destination in Venice.”

Ah, even its name is romantic… not to mention the beautiful, minimalist yet warm setting.

Ultra-luxe, modern and luxurious, the space is a luxurious colour palette of chrome, gold, black and grey, features only the very best interior and product designers from Europe. You’ll spot famed designer Philippe Starck’s whimsical range of chairs, bag stools and vases and Marcel Wanders’ glamourous and regal chandeliers.

Il Lido’s al fresco bar, where we enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail, spacious and breezy, serving up gourmet bar snacks from pizzas to skewers, as well as a variety of world-class wines and spirits.

The roof top is tastefully landscaped, with minimal use of lights and greenery, and spacious plush sitting corners that ensure an intimate, undisturbed evening.

Did I mention the view?

I’ve dined at il Lido before, and my first experience was impressive. The service, the food, the ambience… This was my third time, and I must say, it just keeps getting better and better. This time, we didn’t dine in the main room which seats 50, but instead in one of two of the restaurant’s the more cozy private dining private rooms, to avoid unnecessary interruptions.

“Championed by Beppe de Vito, the established restaurateur who has created some of the finest dining experiences in Singapore and Hong Kong over the past 15 years, il Lido promises an all-inclusive, stylish environment that is complemented by its impeccable cuisine and a touch of warm, personable service.”

Terry (Red FM Drive), Yin (Red Breakfast Producer), Alvin (Photographer) and I, had the pleasure of meeting the man himself, as he took time out of his busy schedule to pop in and say hello. It can’t be easy juggling between restaurants in different countries, but his energy and warmth radiates and infects you within seconds, as does it from our beautiful host, Lyla Lin.

“Native Italian Chef Samuele Alvisi helms the kitchen as Executive Chef at il Lido, bringing with him more than twelve years of skills and knowledge from various acclaimed restaurants and deluxe hotels across Italy, United Kingdom, Dubai, Beijing and Singapore.”

Amuse Bouche

Pan Seared Tuna with Caviar

We nibbled on freshly baked warm Foccacia served with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.


“Chef Samuel’s passion and dedication in preparing Italian food and his strong culinary expertise founded from F&B and hospitality industries will, without a doubt, convey il Lido’s signature style of serving authentic Italian cuisine at its finest.”

Pan Roasted Scallops with Roast Garlic Cream and Crispy Prosciutto (RM49)

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have awarded Terry the title of ‘The King of Scallops’. That is simply because I have actually seen him eat 26 scallops in one sitting, and have since then offered my own juicy rounds up to him for fear he might eat me instead! It’s ok, he always returns the favour by giving me his prawn heads.

Getting back to the dish at hand, the scallops were plump and juicy, and perfectly seared. I actually tried to create a roast garlic cream for a dinner party recently, with little success. Next time, I’ll know just to go to il Lido. Smooth and creamy. Not too runny, not too thick, but just right, with an exquisite smoky, garlicky flavour that lingers in your mouth. The salty taste and the crispiness of the prosciutto just brought it all together.

Pan Fried Goose Liver with Saba Wine Must and Sweet Potato Galette (RM59)

Quite possibly the biggest piece of goose liver I have ever had for a starter. Thank goodness there were five of us to share it, I would have finished it all on my lonesome (without complaint!). It was creamy, it was airy, but it was cooked so beautifully that it still had a bounce from the lovely caramelized crust. Complementing the magnificent liver was shredded sweet potato (similar to ‘rosti’), and the raisin/prune like flavour of the Saba Wine Must.

Baked Eggplant & Mozzarella Cheese Cake with Tomato and Basil (RM36)

Surprisingly homely… this dish transported me back to my days in London, when I felt gloomy and needed a pick me up. It transported me back to my days in Italy, when all I wanted to do was eat more good food. Comforting, and very pleasant on the tastebuds. Simple presentation that does justice to a very friendly dish.

Pastas & Risottos

“Homemade pastas at il Lido are freshly made daily and you can really take your time in savouring every morsel of the delicate textures complemented by gourmet delicacies.”

Squid Ink Tonnarelli with Spicy Crab and Tarragon Foam (RM55)

Terry’s favourite dish of the evening. Luscious chunks of crab meat, mostly from the fleshy claws interspersed with playful strands of Tonarelli, and topped with a bubbly, infused tarragon foam. I loved the ‘kick’ from the chilli in the crab. Traditional, yet adapting to local tastes.

Pumpkin Tortelli with Sage, Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Amaretti Crumbs (RM49)

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… The pumpkin filling was smooth and silky, and a wonderful salty balance came from the shaved parmesan and fried sage leaves.

I loved that the Tortelli was ‘plumped’ up – more filling, more taste, and definitely an all around agreeable silky caress down the gullet.

Champagne Risotto with Truffle (RM55)

Mmm… two of the world’s most decadent ingredients served up on one plate. The problem with risotto though, is that it never looks appetising. But champagne and truffles together is a winning combination. The delicate shavings of truffle that were strewn over the moist and tender rice was spectacular! Not too creamy, enough bite, with breathtaking flavour and a slight taste of champagne.

I exclaimed that this was my personal favourite dish of the evening, and there were nod’s of agreement around the table from Terry, Yin and Alvin.

Main Courses

“Using only the most premium ingredients sourced directly from Italy, il Lido offers an indulgent and irresistible repertoire of fresh homemade pastas, gourmet meat and seafood dishes, and home cured cheeses. Chef Samuele celebrates the heritage of Italian cuisine with a refreshing culinary point of view.”

Pan Roasted Atlantic Cod with Savoy Cabbage and Pumpkin Sauce (RM79)

Another favourite for the table. I mean, I think we loved everything! The cod was particularly popular with Terry and Yin. I could appreciate the freshness of the fish (not a fish lover myself), that was perfectly cooked and set off by the slightly crunchy Savoy cabbage. Teamed with the sweet and velvety pureed pumpkin, it would get any fish lover’s heart racing.

Port Wine Braised Wild Boar (RM 88)

What a visually pleasing dish this was! Balckberries, blueberries and gooseberries were strewn casually across the plate, setting off beautifully sliced wild boar slow cooked in port wine.

Sweet and savoury… simply divine.

Wagyu Beef Cheek with Celeriac Pure’ and Fava Beans (RM80)

Another decadent dish. Wagyu beef cheek is extremely tender, and here it was no exception. Melt in your mouth meatiness, doused in an aromatic gravy, with buttery celeriac puree, set off by crisp, juicy fava beans.


Traditional Tiramisu (RM29)

Traditional in every sense of the word. A classic favourite that is so well executed at il Lido.

Vanilla Pannacotta with Fresh Berries Basket (RM29)

A delicate custard like texture that’s firm yet creamy, caressing your tongue with a gentle sweetness. The fresh, sweet-sour berries and fragrant vanilla tastes completed this dessert.

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream (RM32)

The name says it all. A heavy yet soft cake, dense on the outside yet warm and liquid on the inside. Sinful!

Il lido is the new name in town that you will remember. Outstanding Italian cuisine, gorgeous ambience, impeccable service and just an all around amazing place to spend an evening.

If you haven’t dined there yet, it’s about time you did! It’s Malaysia’s next iconic Italian dining destination…

Thanks Lyla and the team at il Lido for an amazing evening!

*Special thanks to Alvin ( for the beautiful pictures.





183 Jalan Mayang (Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng)

50450 Kuala Lumpur

T: 03-21612291

F: 03-21612295



Restaurant & Bar Hours


– Lunch: Sun to Mon, 12 noon – 2.30pm

– Dinner: Mon to Sun, 6.30pm – 10.30pm

Bar: Monday to Sunday, 5pm-1am


Written by alyredfm

November 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Posted in Reviews