Monday, 25 June 2012

Tenjin @ Grand Millennium Hotel, KL

If it weren't for the Groupon voucher deal, we would never have dreamed of eating Japanese food at a hotel. Now that we've seen the price and the portion and quality of the food, we are definitely returning to Tenjin =D We tried 4 out of the 5 available Zen sets which were originally priced at RM 58 with free flow green tea.
Restaurant front
Welcome arrangement
The furnishings and ceramicware here are all in solid black which lends a rather sombre mood to the restaurant but is elegant in its own way.
Bara Chirashi Zen
I only bought the vouchers because I saw this set favourite Chirashi Zen =D Except that this is the Bara type which means cubed sashimi and cucumbers instead of the usual rectangular ones. The set comes with side salad, chawanmushi, miso soup, an appetizer and tsukemono which consists of pickled radish, pickled cucumber and pickled baby onion.
  • The Bara Chirashi Don was a huge portion with a generous quantity of cubed salmon, tuna, shrimp and crab sashimi, cubed cucumbers and cubed tamagoyaki along with a sprinkling of ebikko sitting on a rather large serving of rice. Pickled ginger and soya sauce was available to enhance the taste of the sashimi. The sashimi to rice ratio was really good and the sashimi were really fresh and juicy. I really really enjoyed this dish. However as this dish is all cubed, it was rather difficult to eat with chopsticks =.= Wish they had given me a spoon instead =P
  • The side salad was dressed in a Ginger Carrot sauce and topped with ebikko. I would term it a rather heavy dressing as it packs a lot of flavour on the salad leaves. I prefer sesame sauce dressing but this is good in its own way.
  • The chawanmushi came piping hot and was absolutely smooth and eggy with lots of goodies within - the usual gingko, mushroom, chicken and a huge prawn =)
  • The miso soup was well done - piping hot the way I like it. There was a lot of miso content but it wasn't salty, the taste was just right. There were lots of tofu cubes and wakame in the soup too.
  • The appetizer of pickled radish mustard, sliced carrots and chicken was ordinary...maybe because I'm used to eating pickled radish mustard at home.
  • I love tsukemono aka Japanese pickles so no complaints there =P
Bara Chirashi Don
Side salad
Curry Seafood Katsu Rice Zen
This set came with Curry Seafood Don in a huge plate, katsu, side salad, chawanmushi, miso soup and appetizer.
  • As I said earlier, the Curry Seafood Don was served on a huge plate but the portion was actually normal-sized. The curry contained calamari, prawn, scallop and potatoes and was served together with rice, pickled ginger, pickled radish, pickled cucumber and pickled baby onion. JS said the curry was only average.
  • The chicken katsu was deep-fried to perfection - golden panko coating a still-juicy chicken cutlet. 
  • The appetizer is similar to the one which came as part of the Bara Chirashi Zen.
Curry Seafood Rice
Katsu and side salad
Sashimi & Yaki Niku Zen
The Sashimi & Yaki Niku Zen came with a bowl of rice, chawanmushi, miso soup, side salad, appetizer and tsukemono.
  • The Yaki Niku was really really good - tender slices of beef and softened flavourful onions, chives and carrots coated in an addictive sweetish sauce. I wish I had more rice to finish off the yummy gravy. They were very generous with the amount of beef too.
  • Two slices each of salmon belly, maguro and hamachi sashimi in thick juicy cuts were served. They were superb according to JS. He couldn't stop raving about the salmon belly sashimi =P
  • The appetizer served this round was different and consisted of stewed hijiki and chicken with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. They were good and well flavoured in dashi.
  • The tsukemono, side salad, chawanmushi and miso soup were good as usual.
Salmon Belly, Maguro and Hamachi Sashimi
Yaki Niku
Sushi & Yaki Sakana Zen
The Sushi & Yaki Sakana Zen came with a side salad, chawanmushi, miso soup, appetizer and tsukemono.
  • Wow this is the first time both of us tasted such delicious Yaki Sakana! The fish was grilled to a crisp on the outside but the flesh within was still so juicy and firm and full of fatty fish oils. Add a drizzle of lemon juice and pair it with oroshi aka grated radish and the fish was heavenly! A must-order if you go to Tenjin =)
  • The sushi platter came with three mini maguro maki, a tamagoyaki slice, and one each of ebi sushi, salmon sushi, hamachi sushi and maguro sushi. The usual condiments of pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce were available. The assorted sushi and makis were really fresh with a good sashimi to rice ratio.
  • The appetizer given is similar to the one that came with the Sashimi & Yaki Niku Zen.
Assorted Sushi
Yaki Sakana
Green tea ice-cream
Each Zen set came with a scoop of green tea ice-cream which was served in an ice-cold bowl. The taste of green tea was sufficiently strong although not as strong as some others we've tasted and the texture was really smooth and creamy. What a perfect way to end a delightful meal =)
We would definitely return to Tenjin but of course, at a hotel price tag, we'll have to save it for special occasions only =)
PawPoints: 5 Paws
Pawket: Cheese
Grand Millennium Hotel
160 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2143 9399
Daily: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10.30pm

Monday, 18 June 2012

Vogue Cafe @ Renaissance Hotel, KL

I had a training course at Renaissance Hotel and I took the opportunity to take pictures of the buffet at Vogue Cafe. Of course I had to put on a really thick face mask to go around snapping pictures like a madwoman while my colleagues were quietly enjoying their meal =.= It also didn't help that the lunch hour was only for 45 minutes so I only managed to take a few pictures of some of the main courses. As such, I will only comment on the dishes I've tried and let you do the judging of the other dishes in the photos.
Nice sign on the wall
Cold Cuts
Salad Bar
There are loads more salads in addition to the ones photographed above such as Lebanese salads and a DIY Caesar Salad.
Fresh oysters
Did not try this so not sure how fresh the oysters are...didn't want to risk a tummy upset in the middle of the workshop >.<
Blanched seafood
The prawns, though fresh, were actually quite small in size once you separate the head from the body =.= I felt it was too much effort to de-shell the prawns in return for a small blob of flesh.
Condiments, Maki Sushi and Sashimi
They've also got fresh sashimi, maki sushis which I was sorely tempted to take but was reminded of JS's stern warning of "Eating rice at buffets will fill you up quickly" =.=, lots of pickled items and dressings.
Penne in Cream Sauce
Stir-Fried Spaghetti
I took this during an earlier visit and it was quite yummy with lots of calamari and peppers but on this visit, the Stir-Fried Spaghetti was quite a disappointment. The pasta was sort of soggy and there was not much calamari, let alone flavour in the pasta. Maybe this is just a one-off thing.
L-R: Cooked Salmon in White Sauce, Chicken Curry
Assorted Curries
L-R: Lamb Provencal, Roast Beef
The Lamb Provencal was tender and rich with the flavour of stewed tomato and vegetable gravy.
L-R: Steamed Seabass in Ginger and Soy Sauce, Stir-Fried Chicken in Chilli and Peppers
The Steamed Seabass in Ginger and Soy Sauce is typical Chinese fare. Also, there is a Noodle Soup Station where you can choose the ingredients that you want with your noodles and the standby chef will prepare it on the spot to ensure you get a piping hot broth.
Carving Station
Chocolate Fountain
Local kuih
Cakes and tarts
The cakes are all yummy =)
My favourites =)
And here is a recap of my favourites: shiromaguro, salmon and tuna sashimi, pickled yellow radish, pickled seaweed and potato salad =D The sashimi were thickly sliced and so fresh and juicy. If you ever visit Vogue Cafe, just go for their sashimi alone and it will be well worth the trip! The pickled radish was crunchy and appetizing with just the right tanginess whereas the pickled seaweed was well marinated. The potato salad was creamy and full of potato cubes. Too bad I couldn't get some cracked black pepper over it.
One most recommended dish which was not available that day but which I sampled on an earlier visit is Baked Salmon in Sea Salt. The presentation is amazing...a whole rack of salmon covered with sea salt on a wooden serving board and all you have to do is scrape at the flesh. The salmon was juicy with hints of lemony taste. You can top it off with salsa - absolutely yummy.
In conclusion, Vogue Cafe is quite worth it if you're looking for quite an affordable buffet with Western, Japanese and local dishes and a whole lot of desserts.
PawPoints: 3 Paws
Pawket: Salami
Vogue Cafe @ Renaissance Hotel
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2162 2233
Daily: 6am - 11am, 12pm - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Shimbashi Soba @ Paragon, Singapore

A restaurant specialising in soba? Another must-try since we don't have it here in KL =P We squeezed in a bit of time in our busy schedule and off we went to Paragon Shopping Centre for some unique soba dishes.
Soba So Good Indeed
"About Us"
Part of the menu
Sneak peek of the chilled soba available...
Hiyashi Kamo Soba (SGD 20.80)
This is a cold soba with roasted imported French duck and poached egg. Didn't get to try this unfortunately but it certainly looked good!
Salmon Gomadare Salad Soba (SGD 18.20)
This is a cold soba salad with salmon sashimi and sesame dressing. It was very refreshing and immediately drained away the heat and fatigue I was experiencing. The soba was silky smooth with a nice bite to it and the salmon sashimi were very fresh. The sesame dressing helped pull everything together nicely.
Close-up of the Salmon Gomadare Salad Soba
Too bad we were quite full and couldn't try more soba dishes =( There was a lot of variety in the menu unlike the limited options we have in KL which are either hot soba in shoyu broth or cold soba with shoyu dipping sauce =.= Prices are a bit steep and the soba actually tasted rather ordinary but it's a good idea to visit this restaurant and try out the different offerings available.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Shimbashi Soba
Somerset MRT
#B1-41, Paragon
290 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6735 9882
Daily: 11.30am - 10pm

Friday, 8 June 2012

Pizza Uno @ Centrepoint, PJ

Pizza Uno is a reasonably priced Italian joint serving good quality pastas and pizzas well worth the price tag. I went there a while ago with my brother but unfortunately, I only have pictures of what he ordered.
Gigantic curry puff (RM 24)
Deflated =(
He had a Calzone which came looking like a giant curry puff. The moment we cut into it, a huge puff of steam escaped (so be sure never to put your face over it as you cut the Calzone) and the expanded pizza quickly deflated to look like the above picture which is rather a disappointing size.
It is a very cheesy half pizza with turkey ham, mushrooms and tomato based sauce. The dough is unlike the usual pizza dough, rather it tastes more like tortilla bread / naan sort of dough. The filling is extremely cheesy and rather salty but still yummy.
PawPoints: 3 Paws
Pawket: Tomato

Pizza Uno
Lot G6 & G7, Ground Floor
Bandar Utama
Tel: 03 7710 1325

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Imbi Road Famous Pork Noodle @ HuTong, Lot 10

On our 2nd trip to HuTong, I had the Kim Lian Kee Hokkien Mee again whereas JS decided to try the Imbi Road Famous Pork Noodle.
Dry Pork Noodle with Pork Balls (RM 8.35)
A close-up shot of the Pork Noodles
JS ordered the dry kuey teow version of the famous dish. According to him, the noodles were very springy and the combination of the dark soya sauce and minced pork was very good. He enjoyed the noodles so much that he felt the portion was not sufficient =P But the portion does look kind of small huh?

The pork balls were very springy and delightful to bite whereas the soup is slightly sweet and quite  flavorful. JS enjoyed this dish more than the Pomander pork noodles and he would definitely recommend this dish to all pork noodle lovers =)

PawPoints: 4 Paws 
Pawket: Dough
Lower Ground Floor
Lot 10 Shopping Mall
Tel: 03 2141 0500
Daily: 12pm -  3pm, 6pm - 11pm