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.”
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.
“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 (www.damienphotography.com) for the beautiful pictures.
ALL THIS WEEK, TUNE IN FROM ELEVEN2THREE TO WIN RM100 VOUCHERS TO IL LIDO ITALIAN DINING. THE BIG RED FOOD REVIEW WITH ME ALY. ONLY ON RED FM, TODAY’S BEST MUSIC!
www.red.fm 104.9 in the KLANG VALLEY.
IL LIDO ITALIAN DINING + LOUNGE BAR
183 Jalan Mayang (Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng)
50450 Kuala Lumpur
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
Signature Fuyu Course Menu @ Nagomi Japanese Restaurant, Menara Hap Seng
Don’t know what to have for dinner? Head over to Nagomi Japanese Restaurant in Menara Hap Seng for their Signature Fuyu Course menu! 5 delicious courses… Terry (Red FM Drive), Alvin (Photographer) and I did.
It’s homestyle, traditional Japanese cuisine with modern touches, in a contemporary cozy setting.
Perfect for any occasion, be it a business meeting, a family gathering, a night to hang out with friends, or even to impress a date!
The menu looked just scrumptious, and we couldn’t wait to get started! You can opt for authentic Japanese beer to accompany your meal… It certainly kept Terry company while he drooled over the menu!
Or for larger groups, supersized bottles of Sake will ensure you leave with a big grin on your face!
Signature Fuyu Course Menu – 5 courses
Sashimi, Sushi & Maki
Import fresh Norwegian Salmon, Sake Sushi, Sake Maki
A wonderful way to start your meal, with three different styles of salmon.
Fresh salmon sashimi, sushi with salmon and cress, and a tasty roll of salmon, cress and Japanese mayonnaise wrapped in seaweed.
Kaki Ninniku Mayo Yaki
Grilled oysters with Miso Paste with Garlic on half shell
If you like oysters, you’ll love this. Baked with a rich, creamy miso paste and sprinkled with toasted garlic for that added crunch.
Asari Miso Soup
Japanese clam in Miso Bean Paste soup (8 pcs Asari)
I love Miso soup, and I love clams, so I particularly enjoyed this dish. It’s a sizeable portion of steaming hot aromatic miso broth, with seaweed, diced spring onions and succulent clams. Terry and I both licked the bowl clean.
Gindara Saikyo Yaki
Cod fish marinated with Japanese Miso Paste
We both really appreciated the unusual presentation style of the cod, wrapped in a leaf and baked. The fleshy fish fillet was well marinated and extremely flavoursome, with a lovely caramelized layer on top.
Signature Dessert of the Day
Home made Almond Tofu by our chef.
Again, beautifully presented, and just delicious. Terry and I both don’t care much for almond desserts, but this was deliciously velvety and mild, with just a hint of sweet scented almond in the tofu.
We decided to try some items from Nagomi’s a la carte menu as well, as they’re too good to resist. You’ll find Salads, Sushi, Sashimi, Nabemono, Kushiyaki, Yakimono, Teppanyaki, Agemono, Nimono & Zousui, Oshikuji.
First, a selection from the Kushiyaki (Barbecue) section.
You get 2 skewers for every item ordered.
We had prawns…
We had squid…
We had salmon…
And juicy, succulent mushrooms and ginko nuts.
All lightly grilled and salted to enhance the natural flavour of the produce. Terry and I first tried Beef Tongue at Nagomi Jaya 33, (read about it here) and when we spotted a sizzling version here, we jumped at the chance to try it.
I don’t know what it is about beef tongue, but I just love it.
The chewy texture, the meaty taste, and even better, the gorgeous smell that radiates as it sizzles before your very eyes.
A quick flip and it’s done, all within a matter of seconds.
Just as quickly as it’s cooked, it disappears down own throats and into our bellies.
We wolfed down the plump grains of fragrant Garlic Fried Rice. Carbs and garlic, well the combination never fails to satisfy!
I thoroughly enjoyed savouring every bite of the Soft Shell Crab Maki.
Beautiful pearls of roe and crunchy soft shell crab make this familiar favourite a winner.
Lastly, sizzling Seafood Teppanyaki.
Prawns, fish, squid and clams seared before your very eyes in a thick but mild garlic chilli sauce.
I certainly recommend giving the Nagomi Fuyu Course meal a try. Perfect for any occasion!
Thank you Eddie and the team for your hospitality!
ALL THIS WEEK, TUNE IN FROM ELEVEN2THREE TO WIN RM100 VOUCHERS TO NAGOMI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AT MENARA HAP SENG! THE BIG RED FOOD REVIEW WITH ME ALY.
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Nagomi @ Menara Hap Seng
Suite 1-19, 1st Floor, The Podium
Menara Hap Seng (Formerly Mui Plaza)
Jalan P. Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T/ +603 2141 6332
NAGOMI Japanase Restaurant @ Hartamas Shopping Centre
“All You Can Eat”
It’s a cute little spot, tucked away on the ground floor of Hartamas Shopping Centre (next to Penang Village).
With its bold signage and welcoming smiles from friendly staff, you’re almost drawn to Nagomi Japanese Restaurant like a moth is to a flame.
The name Nagomi is synonymous in KL for authentic Japanese cuisine at affordable prices, with astounding quality. The brainchild of Master Chef Tanabe San, who reigns supreme in the Yosh! Group of restaurants, Nagomi certainly delivers what it promises. With outlets in Menara Hap Seng in the heart of KL, Jaya 33 in the homely PJ area, and its flagship store here in residential Hartamas, its convenient locations ensure you will never go hungry no matter where you are. Hey, if you happen to be in China, stop in the newly opened 10000 sq ft Nagomi Beijing!
Each outlet is decorated in its own individual style, yet consistently boasts an evident contemporary Japanese style that’s modern, yet classic.
The Hartamas outlet boasts floor to ceiling bamboo trunks, cozy booths, a semi private dining room and, of course, a well stocked bar.
A brand new promotion is on offer at Nagomi Hartamas, in addition to its staple a la carte menu. This time, you are offered an “All You Can Eat” buffet, with a choice of three different menus priced at RM38++, RM 48++, or RM 68++.
The Higaniku is priced lowest at RM 38++ (bargain!), and is only available at lunchtime between 12.00 noon and 3.00 pm. It gives you a selection of hot and cold beverages, snacks like edamame, chicken teriyaki, temaki handrolls , sushi rolls, garlic fried rice, and a main dish of Shabu-shabu (Hot Pot), and a dessert of fresh fruits, to name a few.
The Himawari is a mid range menu, available for dinner at 5.30pm to 10.00pm. Apparently, this is the most popular of the three for its affordable price and value for money aspect.
For RM 48++, here’s what you get:
Beverages – Hot/cold Ocha, Coke or 7up
Snack – Edamame, Ika Geso, Ika Ring, Chawan Mushi, Agedashi Tofu
Ika Geso (Deep fried squid)
Mini Salada – Nagomi House Salada with crab sticks, salmon sashimi, crunchy croutons.
The dressing was excellent, a secret recipe passed down by Master Chef Tanabe which had a wasabi base, thousand island ingredients and a generous helping of Tobikko (Flying-fish roe). It will soon be available at Nagomi outlets, packaged in bottles and ready for you to take home. I can’t wait for that!
Teriyaki – Chicken Teriyaki
Deep Fried – Chicken Karaage, Koebi Karaage (small shrimps deep fried and very crunchy), Chicken Kushiage, Chicken Gyoza, Pumpkin Croquette
Temaki Handroll Sushi – California, Salmon Skin, Kanimayo, Vegetables, Tamago
The California roll was fat and juicy, and with wasabi and Japanese mayo spread all the way through the cone, ensuring maximum taste throughout.
My favourite was the Kani mayo.
A creamy mix of prawns and roe, with a good kick from the wasabi and ginger.
Hosomaki – Mini Cut Roll – Cucumber, Tamago, Crabstick, California, Salmon
Special Sushi Roll – California, Kanimayo, Vegetables
Single Sushi – Butterfish, Ebi, Kisu, Tako, Tamago
Rice – Garlic Fried Rice. The rice was fragrant and beautifully fried, slightly crunchy and oh-so tasty.
Shabu-shabu – Hot Pot (Main Dish) – Assorted Vegetable Platter with 1 x portion Thin Sliced Meat (Chicken, Duck, Australian Striploin, 100g each and limited to 1 round of serving for main dish)
I love Shbu-shabu, having tried it for the first time at Nagomi Jaya 33. Here, we had a choice of 3 soups; Nagomi House Special, Spicy Miso and Kimchi. All three were exceptional, and bursting with flavour, and poured into your individual pot in a theatrical fashion.
The Nagomi Soup was mild, created from a rich stock of vegetables and meat. The Spicy Miso is made from boiling miso paste (fermented soybeans), vegetable stock and a dash of chilli. The Kimchi Soup has an exquisite sourish flavour, a result of boiling fermented cabbage, chilli and vegetable stock. This was probably the spiciest of the three, and my favourite.
Another thing to note is the care that goes into ensuring the vegetables that reach your plate are of the utmost freshness.
Nagomi practices soaking all their vegetables in icy cold water for 20 minutes, to rid them of all bacteria and pesticides. The platter is overflowing with fresh cabbage, mushrooms, tofu and more. Tip all these into the soup and boil for several minutes to unleash their flavours, then add meat and cook to your liking.
Slurp. Addictive. I finished every drop of my soup, and I guarantee you will too.
Dessert – Macha (Green tea) ice-cream, Vanilla ice cream, and fresh fruits
All that for RM48++!
We actually tried the most expensive menu (which is still very reasonably priced!) at RM 68++, also available at dinner from 5.30pm to 10.00pm.
Additional dishes in this Sakura menu:
Teriyaki – Chicken Teriyaki, Salmon Teriyaki
Single Sushi – Butterfish, Ebi, Kisu, Tako, Tamago, Salmon, Magura Akami
Gunkan – Salmon, Spicy Salmon, Tuna Mayo, Kanimayo. Gunkan is actually a roundish (more oval shaped) sushi which is wrapped with seaweed, and topped with ingredients as mentioned above.
And the bonus, what Japanese food is all about… truly good, fresh, quality sashimi…
Sashimi – Salmon, Magura Akami (Blue fin Tuna), Butterfish, Tako (octopus), Ika (squid)
The sashimi, as always at Nagomi, was fresh, tasty and beautifully presented. My favourite was the Hokkei, a Japanese Surf Clam that’s seasonal.
Chewy in texture with a light crunch on the outside, it certainly has a delightful clam flavour complemented perfectly by the Shoyu, wasabi and ginger.
The Shabu-Shabu offers the same choice of meat as the Himawari menu, with the addition of Sake Kama (Salmon Fish Head).
I love the food at Nagomi. It’s always fresh, it’s always satisfying, and most importantly, no matter what your budget, you will always find something to satisfy.
Thank you Eddie, Andy and the team at Nagomi Hartamas for a deliciously satisfying meal!
Special thanks to Alvin for the beautiful photos – www.damienphotography.com
ALL THIS WEEK, TUNE IN FROM ELEVEN2THREE TO WIN RM100 VOUCHERS TO NAGOMI HARTAMAS! THE BIG RED FOOD REVIEW WITH ME ALY.
ONLY ON RED FM, TODAY’S BEST MUSIC! 104.9 IN THE KLANG VALLEY.
Nagomi @ Hartamas Shopping Centre
Lot G11A & 11B, Ground Floor
Hartamas Shopping Centre
Jalan Sri Hartamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T/ +603 6201 7130
Social Kl @ G Tower – The place where friends meet
“A group of friends who loved to explore new cultures and cuisines shared among themselves their food escapades from around the globe. They realized that all the elements they loved most from their travels could not be found anywhere in Malaysia. It was then they decided on a new dining concept that blends a Restaurant, Bar and Winepost and hence the idea of was born.”
– www.socialkl.com –
The restaurant itself has no relation whatsoever to The Social in Bangsar/Changkat Bukit Bintang, as I originally thought. It is a completely separate entity, occupying 8000 square feet at Malaysia’s first fully Green building, G Tower.
It’s casual, it’s laid-back, with light wooden fittings and spacious ceilings and a signature 6-feet long fruit juice bar.
Half a level down, its signature winepost with an impressive collection spanning across 100 countries, over 20 regions.
Head down further and you’ll find the open air bar area, with a wide variety of beers on tap, cocktails galore.
Terry (Red FM Drive), Alvin (Photographer) and I we warmly greeted by Jerry Goh (Director of Operations) and Cherine Yap (Director of Marketing and Events), who made us feel so at home.
They enlightened us the on concept, the design, and most importantly, the food.
The kitchen is headed up by Executive Chef Cheong Yew Wai.
“Chef Wai comes from a reputable hotel in Singapore,” she tells us. “He really takes pride in his ingredients, and great care in cooking them. His presentation is impeccable.”
Terry and I liked the attention to detail, which was apparent right from the glasses our drinks were served in to the garnish on each dish.
Social Ice Tea
This is a very refreshing, giant glass of tea, served with a dollop of homemade sorbet. There are seven different flavours, so technically, if you ate there every day, you could have a different flavour every day! First, we tried the Kalamansi, which we adored for its sour, invigorating taste.
Next, the sweeter Mango flavour. Other flavours include Peach, Lime, Lemon, Lychee and Orange.
Mango & Lime Lassi
I liked the consistency of this Lassi. It was blended so smooth it just shot up my straw when I slurped. Cooling and thirst-quenching, the lime breaks up the sweetness of the mango and makes it extremely refreshing.
Cherine tells us that this is a popular drink for its healthy detox benefits. A high fibre mixture of raspberries, blackberries, sweet strawberries and grapes, blended to a rich, royal plum colour. Appealing to the eyes and definitely a champion in taste.
Illusion – 42 Below Vodka, Malibu Rum, Midori Melon, pineapple juice and cream
Apple Mojito – Bacardi Apple Rum, green apples, lime chunks, mint leaves, brown sugar with a splash of soda
Fresca – 42 Below Vodka, lychee fruits, lime chunks, mint leaves with a splash of soda
Wafer Martini – Frangelico, Campari, banana liquer & pineapple juice
Wild Mushroom Soup
“What’s that?” asked Terry, pointing at a cappuccino cup on the table. “Is it coffee?”
“That’s your mushroom soup,” replied Cherine. “It’s served cappuccino style.”
Oh, how fun! It even fooled me! We scooped through the creamy layer of froth at the top and found underneath a truffle scented blended mushroom soup, with mushroom bits. The consistency was perfect, not too thick, not too watery, and the chunks of mushroom added a lovely texture.
I recommend putting your spoon down and using the fragrant toasted garlic baguette instead to scoop up every bite.
Peppered ahi tuna
This is a great cold starter. Fresh tuna coated with black pepper & quick seared at in a very high temperature hot plate.
The tune is cooked medium, removed from the heat and chilled. Laid beside a bed of fresh green beans,creamy quail eggs, black olives, salty white anchovies and drizzled with a sharp balsamic vinaigrette.
Slow cooked 16 hours wagyu beef cheek
Our favourite dish of the evening. Very tender, melt in your mouth Australian wagyu beef cheek, marinated with fresh herbs and soaked in red wine overnight.
The cheek is cooked at a very low temperature for at least 16 hours. The meat was rich and buttery, and really soaked up the flavour of the marinade while the gravy was rich, dark and meaty.
Perfect with the accompaniment of creamy mash potato infused with truffle oil, asparagus, baby carrots and shallots.
Tiger King Prawn Noodles
Initially, I assumed this would be a dish similar to ‘Sang Har Mein’ (Freshwater Prawn Noodles). Instead, it was a steaming hot bowl of fragrant prawn stock, with springy yellow noodles, chicken, fishcake, beansprouts,eggs, and of course, two giant tiger king prawns.
Terry pointed out that it was a more refined version of ‘Har Mein’ (Prawn mee) that we often see sold by the streetside. The broth was scrumptious, made from boiling prawn head and shell for several hours.
What we had in front of us was a laborious process of boiling, blending, and sieving, to produce and golden, almost clear prawn flavoured stock.
Slurp. Two thumbs up from all around the table.
Tagliatelle pasta “seafood jambalaya”
This was an example of Chef Wai’s creative ways fusing cuisines. The inspiration for the sauce hails from the Louisiana Creole dish, Jambalaya, which is heavily influenced by Spanish and French cuisine. The version here, contains no tomatoes, and so is more of a Cajun Jambalaya, as opposed to the Creole style.
The colour in the sauce here is achieved from browned seafood that sticks to the bottom of the pan. Instead of rice, Chef Wei uses Italian Tagliatelle, a long flat egg pasta. I quite enjoyed the combination, although Terry and I both agreed that the sauce could have had a little more “oomph”. A pleasant dish with fresh tastes.
Pizza Chicken Satay
Now this, was real fusion. Definitely one of Chef Wai’s more adventurous attempts at merging cuisines from different countries.
Both Terry and I were a little unsure about the combination of Satay and cheese (we eat with eat other often enough that all it takes is a glance across the table!). We were pleasantly surprised!
The flavours of each ingredient were mild yet tasty, so they complemented rather than overpowered each other. The chicken was tender and juicy, the satay sauce nutty with a gentle spiciness.
The melted mozzarella brought it all together, and I loved the crunch from the fresh diced cucumber that was sprinkled on top.
Smoked salmon and avocado sandwich
When the sandwich arrived, a whole discussion ensued about how it was a ladies dish. “Men eat burgers,” chirped Terry, and I was leaning towards agreeing with him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single male friend of mine indulge in a ‘healthy’ sandwich like this. “It won’t fill them up, that’s why,” added Jerry. “Women, they can order this, and a salad and share. That’ll be enough for lunch,” he added.
I nodded, as I could definitely see myself doing that. So ladies, listen up! This is the sandwich for you! It’s healthy, it’s low in fat, yet it’s super tasty.
Omega 3 fatty acids from the fresh Norwegian smoked salmon, good fat from the creamy Australian avocado, the vitamins and minerals from the crunchy salad and alfafa sprouts, and the wholemeal goodness from the homemade focaccia bread.
Dessert was a classic Italian Tiramisu, with soaked biscuit dipped in coffee and soaked in liqueur at the bottom, followed by layers of lightly whipped mascarpone and cream, and finally a dusting of chocolate powder. Delicious!
Red Bean Galore
A surprise Asian dessert that Cherine recommended. Cool and mildly sweet, with ginko nuts and black sesame ice cream. I particularly enjoyed the ice cream which was rich and nutty.
I love everything we tried. I loved the freshness of the ingredients, the array of different tastes that you can get under one roof. It truly was a satisfying meal, in a relaxed ambience.
Social KL … The place to be. Where friends meet.
A big thank you to Jerry, Cherine, Chef Wai and the team at Social KL for a marvelous evening!
Special thanks to Alvin (www.damienphotography.com) for the beautiful photographs.
Thanks to ShopwithFLO.com for my beautiful dress.
ALL THIS WEEK, TUNE IN FROM ELEVEN2THREE TO WIN RM100 VOUCHERS TO SOCIAL KL @ G TOWER. THE BIG RED FOOD REVIEW WITH ME ALY.
ONLY ON RED FM, TODAY’S BEST MUSIC!
104.9 in the Klang Valley
G02 & LG02-04, GTower,
199, Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur.
Desire at Manor, Asian Heritage Row
“The Manor – man·or. Defined as the main house on the estate by virtue of its privilege position.”
A brand new hot-spot for the urban chic is in town. Desire at Manor on Asian Heritage row opened its doors in July 2010 to swarms of the hip, the happening, and the cool. It’s fast becoming THE place for stylish events, chic parties or even just an after work drinks hangout.
With 350 cocktails on the menu and their own concoction of Black Lychee Vodka, not partying til the wee hours of the morning will be difficult!
Oh, did I mention? They also serve food to complement the drinks, right up until 1am. Manor has now 3 rooms; Desire, O Walk and The Terrace. Soon to be added is the brand new upstairs lounge that will also be open 6 nights a week, serving the best happy hours from 5pm – 9pm.
Donovan (Photographer) and I sat down on the Terrace with owners Alex Martin and Lawrence Tee .
They enlightened us more on the concept of the place. Alex himself has been very involved and hands-on with the design and remodelling of the Manor. Apparently, the old interior was gutted and replaced with sleek, red and black contemporary fittings.
The facade also boasts minimalist arches and an eye-catching sign that ignites the interest of innocent passersby.
“It’s designed with both comfort and style in mind,” says Alex. “We aim to be an International Lifestyle Destination for Food, Service and Experience.”
Snacks, main courses and desserts are served throughout the club. The menu is currently being revamped and expanded, so it was our bad luck that a lot of the ‘fresh’ and healthy dishes like salads, soups, and pizzas were unavailable. I loved the ‘bling’ menu cover that fit so well with the theme of the restaurant!
Alex recommended we try some of their more popular dishes and signature items.
Cajun Chicken Wings
Mammoth sized wings coated in a crispy, golden batter made with a bold mix of spices. Best eaten with your hands!
Open faced omelette with beef bacon, turkey ham & veggies. Savoury and fluffy, the fritata was our favourite for the evening.
Sizzling Chicken Tikka
A signature dish, the hot plate is presented to you and a spicy sweet chilli sauce dramatically poured over the chicken to release a cloud of smoke.
Served with toasted garlic baguette and potato wedges.
Spicy Chicken Chermoula Pasta
Spaghetti with a Morrocon style sauce made from tomatoes, herbs, lemon juice, garlic and cumin. Tangy and slightly spicy, and garnished with a toasted garlic baguette.
Rice with bite, cooked in a creamy stock, with assorted seafood of squid, prawns, fish and mussels, and toasted garlic baguette.
The pastry chef at Desire at Manor comes from a background of sugar art in reputable hotels around KL, so it was no surprise that desserts are flamboyantly decorated with interesting pieces of sugar sculptures.
The chocolate brownie was rich and nutty, served with a thick dark chocolate sauce.
A variation of the former, this brownie is served on a hot plate.
Watch the heavy chocolate sauce bubble and pop, and inhale the fragrant smell of hot chocolate. Of course, I couldn’t resist fooling around with the attractive pieces of sugar… Good enough to eat!
“I crown you SIR Donavan of the Manor!”
Then out came the Black Lychee Vodka, produced and packaged in a swanky bottle in Singapore, exclusively for Desire at Manor.
It turns blue after mixing with ice, and has a pleasant, sweetish flavour to it. Alex tells us it’s very popular with the ladies…
Also available, Shisha, with imported blends of tobacco ranging from apple to strawberry to chocolate.
If you don’t know which one to choose, Desire’s experienced Shisha Master is ready to lend you a helping hand.We took a quick tour of the entire place and said our goodbyes. For Alex and Lawrence, the night was just beginning!
Desirable food, people and music. You want all that? Then head on down to Desire at Manor on Asian Heritage Row.
Thanks to Alex, Lawrence and the staff at Desire at Manor for a lovely evening.
Special thanks to Donovan (www.donovanchin.com) for the beautiful photos.
ALL THIS WEEK, TUNE IN FROM ELEVEN2THREE TO WIN RM100 VOUCHERS TO DESIRE AT MANOR! THE BIG RED FOOD REVIEW WITH ME ALY, ONLY ON RED FM, TODAY’S BEST MUSIC!
104.9 IN THE KLANG VALLEY.
Desire at the Manor
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kechara Oasis @ Jaya One
The New Age Vegetarian Cuisine Restaurant
There was a brief period in my life when I became a Vegetarian. I gave up all meat, fish and poultry, and survived on greens. Needless to say, that lasted about a week, and I was soon back eating meat.
I really respect people who can actually change their eating habits and be a complete vegetarian. Be it for health, religion or taste, vegetarianism is a healthier way of life.
“Kechara Oasis is inspired by H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche who wishes to encourage vegetarianism and making vegetarian diet delicious, appealing and readily available to people.”
The restaurant itself is located in Jaya One, on level B1, accessed is via the carpark. It boasts a relaxing ambience with Tibetan touches, and the main dining room can accommodate up to 210 guests for dinner and lunch banquets.
“Kechara Oasis’ brand of vegetarianism is based on a holistic health of body, mind and spirit, and protection of the environment and achieving a balance on earth.”
All profits go to support KECHARA organization and its many activities, such as the Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK), a community action group that distributes halal food to the homeless and urban poor in the heart of KL.
Kechara Oasis is the only fine dining restaurant of its kind in Malaysia, and the menu features over 100 dishes influenced by cuisines from Vietnam, Thailand, Tibet, Taiwan and Nepal.
Using only the finest seasonal produce and the freshest ingredients, its signature dishes are inspired by Chinese, Tibetan, Nepali, Vietnamese and Western cuisines. No garlic, onions or eggs are used in any of the cooking.
Fatboybakes (guest blogger) and I sat down to dinner with Jeffrey Gan and Anne Raj, members of the team behind the restaurants success.
We were to sample Kechara Oasis’ signature dishes and drinks. To start, refreshing glasses of Passionfruit, Avocado, and Mango Lassi.
Deliciously cooling and refreshing.
Our favourite was the Passionfruit flavour that had a tinge of sourness to it.
A must try. A crunchy salad of shredded vegetables, pine nuts, cashews. The bonus is that it also contains coral seaweed, known for its nutritious gelatine properties that keeps skin and bones healthy. This is a salad I could eat everyday!
Kung Po Chicken
I asked Jeffrey what was the point of eating fake chicken when you could eat the real thing. He explained to me that the dishes were not much cooked to mimic meat, but rather named to explain the method of cooking. In this dish, chicken is replaced with Hedgehog Mushroom, with a meaty, firm and chewy texture.
“Tastes like chicken!” I said. “I agree,” replied fatboybakes. The sauce was dark, thick, sweet and spicy, laden with red and green peppers and cashewnuts. I liked it.
This is a very popular dish amongst both patrons and the chef’s themselves! Malaysian head Chef, Chef Au, has trained in Tibet to bring back authentic methods of cooking vegetarian food, has slave over a hot stove to perfect this recipe. The Oyster mushroom is first deep fried with a light batter, then coated in a secret-recipe creamy butter sauce. “Tastes like soft-shell crab!” I exclaimed. “I agree!” replied Fatboybakes. This not-eating-meat thing was really not bad at all!
“What are Momo’s?” I asked. Jeffrey explained that they are a traditional steamed dumpling popular in Tibet. The dough is fashioned into a pouch around the filling, first steamed then pan-fried. It reminded me a little of Japanese Gyoza.
There are many variations of fillings for Momo’s, and here at Kechara Oasis, Chef Au uses diced potato, cheese and herbs. It’s not just the name that’s exotic about this dish! Eat with the homemade secret recipe chilli oil for added kick.
Ting Mo, sibling to Momo, is a variation of the latter. It is a light, fluffy steamed bun that reminded me of ‘Man Tau’. Served with a Masala sauce, a fragrant mix of herbs and Indian Spices. I actually used the bun to mop up the sauce from the Kung Po chicken, and Jeffrey laughed. Apparently, a lot of guests order Ting Mo and eat it with one of Kechara’s many curries.
We moved on to dessert specially prepared for us by Chef Nick, who specialised in Western cuisine.
The chocolate mousse at Kechara Oasis is thick and rich, garnished with crushed pistachios. No eggs or gelatine is used, just a good dash of whipped cream and a generous helping of dark chocolate.
And with that, my first fully vegetarian meal in 10 years was complete. We didn’t eat very much but were quite full by the end, which Anne explained is typical for vegetarian food. “You get full very fast, but also hungry very fast after!”
I must say, both Fatboybakes and I were impressed at the tastiness of each dish.
Perhaps the next time we visit Kechara Oasis we’ll indulge in less ‘meaty’ dishes and venture into more ‘Vegetarian’ dishes. I spied a Minced Petai Tofu on the menu , as well as Yu Xiang Eggplant, and the famous ‘Buddha jumps over the Wall’, which needs pre-ordering for a minimum of 10 people. Yes, there were plenty more vegetarian delights to try, and now, I know where to go…
Unit 19-LG1, Level B1 Block D Jaya One,
No. 72A Jalan University,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Open for business daily, Monday to Sunday
Lunch: 11:30am – 3.00pm
Dinner: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Reservations and Enquiries
Irene Lim 012 234 9859
Jeffrey Gan 012 387 5689
Hearty Italian Dining @ La Risata, Ampang
‘La Risata’, which means ‘laughter in Italian, is a charming trattoria tucked away in the suburb of Ampang.
La Risata is patronized by locals and expatriates alike for the last 14 years. I remember my first time trying La Risata Ampang last year. It’s authentic Italian food won me over, in the small and cozy, homely setting. This year, I returned to find the restaurant had moved a few doors down in the same row of shophouses.
It’s bigger now, spread over two floors, the double storey skylight courtyard is decked with rustic, exposed brick and an antique chandelier centerpiece which was really quite stunning.
Upstairs, a new loft-style lounge awaits you.
La Risata is perfect for those intimate dinners, but can also accommodate large parties of diners. The gorgeous wooden tables are on wheels, so no party is ever too big!
Lissa Yeoh, one of two partners, personally oversaw the renovation, handpicked the furniture and even oversees the menu.
We were really lucky to have her guide us through the evening, as she does know La Risata inside out. Brainy, bubbly and beautiful, she walked us through every ingredient in every dish. Terry (Red FM Drive), Donovan (Photographer) and I marveled at the gorgeous fittings and daily specials on the blackboard, and listened intently before we dug in.
Insalata Dea (Goddess Salad) RM 22
Apparently, eating this salad every day will turn you into a goddess. Sold! It could really sell itself though, even without the name. Fresh green leaves topped with with grilled chicken, olives, roasted red peppers and celery with crunchy croutons, tossed in a creamy herb dressing. The fragrant blended parsley, dill, tarragon and basil really made this dressing very fresh, and very special.
Another salad that looked quite tempting was the Insalata di Rucola e Zucca, a rocket salad with wood fired oven roasted pumpkin, pinenuts & ricotta cheese with a balsamic vinegar dressing. Only the freshest ingredients make it to the menu, and it shows in the taste.
I love snacking on bite sized treats, and La Risata’s Antipasti selection lets you choose from classics like Bruschetta con Pomodoro, toasted bread with tomato & garlic topping, and Pate di Fegatani con Crostini, a garlic crostini with chicken liver pâté.
Gnocchi ai Gamberi (RM22)
This was an amazing starter. I don’t normally enjoy gnocchi, because I find they can be a little stodgy. Here at La Risata, these little potato dumplings are made fresh, without egg, so they’re lighter in texture. A nice crispy skin if formed on the outside as they’re sautéed with prawns in herb butter.
Mozarella in Carrozza (RM15)
Incredibly moreish! You eat one, you want more! Tasty mozzarella cheese and anchovy sandwiched between bread, battered, and deep fried to a gleaming golden brown.
With 19 Pizzas on the menu, you are certainly spoilt for choice. These woodfired oven baked circles of delight will have you screaming for more. In case you can’t decide which one to have, you can do what we did and order one half & half. Two toppings, one pizza! Double the pleasure…
Pizza Bresaola e Rucola (RM35)
A light, crispy base made from freshly rolled dough, smothered in La Risata’s homemade tomato sauce, and sprinkled with air-dried beef, rocket salad, tomato, mozzarella & parmesan shavings.
Pizza d’Anatra (RM35)
This is a cream base pizza, topped with smoked duck, anchovy, caramelized onion & mozzarella. I was in savoury heaven. The anchovies really add a good kick.
Vegetarians should try the classic Pizza Margherita with tomato, mozzarella & oregano, or the Pizza Vegetali, with grilled eggplant, roasted cherry tomato, pinenut, pesto, ricotta cheese, tomato & mozzarella. I daresay that La Risata makes some of the best pizza’s in town!
Fettucine all’Abese (RM30)
So simple, yet so effective. I would travel all the way back to Ampang everyday just to have this. Lovely homemade fresh egg taglitelli tossed with a creamy parmesan cheese sauce infused with fragrant white truffle oil. My favourite dish that evening, and a must try!
Gnocchi ai Peperonchini Grillia e Chorizo (RM 27)
A filling dish of homemade potato dumplings with lamb chorizo sausage & ricotta cheese in a red pepper sauce. The chorizo was spicy and scrumptious, and the red pepper sauce a lovely balance of sweet and salty, and rich and creamy.
One of the House Specialty dishes I spied on the menu got me salivating. The Spaghetti alla Risata. We decided to save the mixed seafood in a hearty tomato sauce baked in foil for the next time. Instead, we tried the Chef’s Special for that day.
Chef’s Special – Ravioli di Frutti di Mare
Terry and I adored this dish. Homemade, fluffy squid ink ravioli filled to the brim with prawn, squid and fish in a butter sage sauce. It was soft and velvety, yet bouncy in the middle, and had a lovely light crunch from the fried sage leaves.
La Risata is of course a family place, so you don’t have to worry about the kids being well fed. Order the Macaroni e Formagi, a classic macaroni with cheese that’s perfect for the bambinos.
SECONDI DI PIATTI DI MARE (Seafood Mains)
Filetto do Merluzzo con Vongole e Fagioli (RM48)
Lisa jokes that this is a perfect dish for those on a diet – no carbs! A succulent, fresh fillet of cod, pan fried, served on a bed of cannellini beans and clams in a tomato & white wine broth.
Salmon lovers should try the Salmone alla Griglia con Pesto. Pan-grilled salmon fillet with a pesto sauce served with a vegetable caponata. Alternatively, if you want the whole she-bang from the sea, go for the House Specialty Zuppa di Pesce, with huge servings of prawn, squid, mussel, clam & fish in a rich tomato sauce with garlic, chili & parsley. I looked at Terry. Next time, next time! We’ll be back for that…
Terry’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when he saw the next dish.
SECONDI PIATTI DI CARNE (Meat Mains)
Grilled US Angus grain fed tenderloin 100days (250g) with roasted vegetables & green beans with choice of sauce (RM78)
What a treat this was. The meat was of such tenderness and quality that not much seasoning was needed. You could, technically eat it on its own, but if you want a little gravy, drizzle Creamy mushroom, Gorgonzolla cheese or a classic Brown sauce over it. We tried the first option, which was thick and creamy, with chunks of mushroom for added bite. The sauce complemented the steak without overpowering the natural taste of the meat.
And yes, there wasn’t anything left on the plate once Terry was done with it!
If you’re looking for something other than beef, well go for the Stufato di Vitello e Verdure, a hearty stew of veal, vegetable & rosemary, or try the Stinco d’Agnello, a wood fired oven braised lamb shank in rosemary sauce.
It was time for dessert! With tempting sweets like Torta di Cioccolato, a flourless dark chocolate cake with a melting chocolate centre served with vanilla ice cream and homemade Tiramisu with layers of Savoiardi biscuits soaked in espresso & filled with Italian mascarpone cream cheese, Terry and I almost wished we hadn’t eaten so much. Lisa ordered us a dessert to share, meant for two people, but when it arrived it looked like it could feed six!
Sicilian Bombe – good for two (RM38)
A very sweet, melt in your mouth Meringue covered liquored sponge filled with lemon cream. It’s quite a feast for the eyes as the meringue is flambéed with brandy at your table.
The smell of caramelized sugar reminded me of candy floss at a fair.
Cold on the inside and hot on the outside, a definite must for the sweet-toothed!
We walked off our meal by having a tour of the upstairs, and by breaking into song…
Hearty Italian food, quality ingredients, delicious wine, and exceptional company. The recipe for a fantastic evening! La Risata provides the perfect backdrop for any occasion.
*Special thanks to Selena for organizing, and Lissa for a brilliant evening!
*Special thanks to Donovan of www.donovanchin.com for the beautiful photos.
AMPANG : 16 Pesiaran Ampang 55000 Kuala Lumpur
t. 03-42526269 f.03-42579503
DAMANSARA : 128 Jalan Kasah Medan Damansara 50490 Kuala Lumpur
t.03-20959572 f.03 20959589
MARKETING : 7B Jalan Bukit Ceylon 50200 Kuala Lumpur
t.03 20316568 f.03 20316572