This year, 2020, has been a bit of a downer as you can’t do all the things we took for grated – travel, hang out with friends, cafe-hopping – not in the way we used to anyway. Here’s what Apple Fox has done to make …
I don’t know why I never ate at Habanna Charbroil Steakhouse before. It’s so nearby, the food is super reasonable and best of all, it celebrates all things porky! Well, better late than never, right? We tried 3 different dishes and were too stuffed to …
Setting: Sabayon at Sky51 where the stunning city skyline greets the eager diner, slowly melting into the night sky revealing a sea of blinking bright lights. Once the popular Equatorial Kuala Lumpur, the hotel has been rebranded as the trendy, chic EQ to reflect the times, and in the place of iconic Chalet is Sabayon on the 51st floor. Even if you don’t want to have dinner here, a drink on the open terrace makes for a memorable experience against the backdrop of the Petronas Twin Towers.
Drink: Italian premium wines with back story provided by well-known somnalier Thomas Ling, a specialist on wine from Entwine.
Dinner: A premium 5-course menu based on “An Italian Summer”, crafted by Sabayon’s chef, marking EQ’s reopening after closing for a few months during MCO/RMCO.
Unlike true Italian dinners which start really late, we began relatively early on a merry note sipping the refreshing Zonin Prosecco, Veneto. Said to be the No. 1 sparkling wine in the world overtaking champagne since 2014, apparently half a billion bottles are sold every year.
Did I just eat someone’s eyeball? A unique take on foie gras and sweet scallop with a delicate dash of watermelon on a radish slice, the amuse bouche was art at play, boasting subtle and mild flavours, washed down perfectly with the dry, sparkling wine that had hints of citrus and apple.
I’ve been to Tuscany and would go back in a heartbeat. Now I hear Piedmont up north slays Tuscany in terms of food and wine. It’s all relative, of course, but judging by the Marchesi di Barolo, Arneis from Piedmont, I’m sold. A lovely, fragrant fruity white, with citrus and marmalade notes and a strong scent of acacia and chamomile flowers in its bouquet, the 2015 vintage is derived from the Arneis grapes which are harvest by hand.
This was paired with fresh, succulent Mild Smoked Spiny Lobster antipasto, poured over with a yuzu and starfruit jus that gave a citrus lift to the tantalising ensemble.
Comforting, heartening, pasta is the Italians’ stronghold and the primary main course, Pulled Venison and Chanterelles, had papardelle coated in flavourful stock that was food for the soul. The translucent ruby red Marchesi di Barolo Coste Rose Nebbiolo, Piedmont 2012 was deliciously smooth and medium-bodied, the epitome of Italian summer red wines.
Thomas, who revealed that he worked in a Barolo vineyard before, said the wine was made in a classic style and was only 8 years old, though it can go on for 10 to 12 years. Top fruity notes of cheery and raspberry, he said that there was a hint of crushed mint as well though I didn’t taste this.
If the earlier Coste Rose Nebbiolo was a happy dance on the palate, the 2014 San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Sangiovese came on strong, complex and heady, with lingering notes of tobacco and rich tannin to go with the second main dish, the Prime Rib. Made from the finest Sangionese grapes, Chianti is from Tuscany and oft times described as the blood of Jupiter. My slab of ribs was a little pink, but I kinda liked it this way as it was tender, juicy, yet wasn’t overwhelmed by the gravy.
The Sweet Finale was an offering of White Coffee Choux, Ricotta Cannoli, Pistachio Bon Bon Lolly, Lemon Tart and Citrus Milk Olive Panna watch with an aromatic Marchesi di Barolo Zagara Moscato d’Asti, served at the SKY51 lobby where we could drink in the night sky.
Thank you, Sabayon, for an enchanted Italian evening.
Sabayon also offers a 5-course degustation menu at RM538, 3 courses (RM338), and 4 courses (RM438). An a la carte menu is also available.
In their quest for that perfect shot of single malt, Glenmorangie’s 23 year-old Grand Vintage Malt 1996 showcases the oldest whisky matured in their bespoke casks. Distilled in Scotland’s tallest stills, it is uniquely delicate and ripe for experimentation. Believing that wood could unlock new …
Penfolds has announced a new wine blended from four vintages of Grange, aptly named Penfolds g4. The blend entwines Grange DNA from the exceptional 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2016 vintages to create a unique Penfolds expression. The first style of this inimitable wine, Penfolds g3, …
I am continuously amazed at what my hood has to offer. Just the other day, I told a friend about a hip coffee joint here and he was gobsmacked that this ‘middle-of-nowhere’ residential area had an inviting coffee joint out in the boondocks.
Well, it’s not exactly the boondocks, just a very old neighbourhood that’s slowly being gentrified.
The Punjabis are a very close-knit community and whenever I’ve had the privilege to eat at any of my Punjabi friends’ homes, the food has been amazing. But I’ve hardly ever come across a Punjabi restaurant.
Which is why when I stumbled across Sangat Punjabi Cuisine Restaurant, my heart gave a little leap of joy. Employing a simple basic decor, bright and clean, the restaurant just opened in July post MCO.
Sangat here is not Malay for “very” but a Sikh term with Sanskrit origins to mean “company or fellowship”, Set up by a Punjabi family (father, 2 sons and another relative), the food here offers homestyle cooking with authentic flavours, and real friendly service.
I asked the server what was recommended and she so kindly told me about the popular dishes, and even accommodated out-of-menu requests – No. 1 wanted cheese added to his chilli padi garlic naan, and since his stomach was a bit out of sorts, we asked for a hot ginger lime drink. I love how she said, “We will try,” to everything we asked for!
We ordering a cross section of foodstuff – mutton keema naan (RM13) and chilli padi garlic naan (RM5), chicken biryani, aloo gobi, baigan bartha and karahi chicken – for four of us.
The fresh and fragrant naan breads were not that large, but enough per person if you’re a small eater. The meat-filled version turned out especially filling, and they have a chicken naan (RM7) as well, and a plain naan is just RM2.
I’ve had Aloo Gobi (RM10) – cauliflower and potatoes cooked with spices – many times before, and this was definitely one of the tastier versions. The Baigan Bartha – grilled eggplant – was quite different as I expected something mushy and savoury. Instead, this came in cut small pieces, with a firm texture, subtle herbs and spices, and slightly sour tinge, thanks to a squeeze of lime. Later I found out this was a typical Punjabi vegetable dish found on most family dining tables.
Really long-grained basmati rice came in colourful bits of red, yellow and white, mildly spiced. I would have preferred a heartier dose of spices for this biryani (RM14) but for those unfamiliar with Indian flavours, this would be a good gentle introduction. It came with a generous piece of chicken buried inside, and the first layer of flavour to hit the palate was again a sour taste. I never knew the Punjabis liked lime so much. The portion is generous enough for 2 persons, and frankly, hours after lunch, despite sharing everything, we still felt stuffed!
The highlight was the Karahi Chicken (RM18) served in a mini wok – mildly spicy and savoury, the thick gravy had us smacking our lips and reaching for more. Couldn’t quite put my finger on the recipe – thought there was yogurt – but the server said no. Creamy, rich and buttery, yet elegant and fragrant, a bit salty eaten by itself, but perfect with rice. The server offered to pack the rest if we couldn’t finish, but we slurped every last drop, down to the last spoonful of calorie-laden goodness.
Typical Punjabi desserts such as kheer rice-and-milk pudding (RM8) and grated carrot halwa with nuts (RM8) are also available, but we couldn’t put away anotehr bite.
Generally, flavours were muted, subtle, more like “shall we dance” inside your mouth rather then “We’re conquering this place!”.
What’s even more wonderful is the budget-friendly prices. It’s entirely possible to feed a whole family for less than RM100, and you can walk out feeling you’re eaten like a king. I most definitely want to come back to try more of this cuisine!
Add: 59A, Jalan 20/7, Taman Paramount, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 011-6997-1735. Closed on the first and third Monday of the month.
Just 2 days after we dropped by at Say Cheese Cafe in Bukit Jalil, BAM! MCO (Movement Control Order) was declared and there would not be any dining in for a while.
It seemed rude to post a food review when we were supposed to stay home and all you get is delivery which takes away from the actual dining experience. Most restaurants were not operating with their usual menus anyway.
Since there were 5 of us, the servers helped us push some tables together, and there was one particularly helpful, jovial guy. Turns out that was chef David Wong himself, making sure we were all comfortably seated. Talk about being hands-on!
The irony was that we went all the way there because we were attracted to the idea of food slathered with cheese, but in the end, the stuff we ordered hardly had that much cheese.
As things slowly get back to a sense of normalcy, perhaps it’s time to go cafe exploring again.
Here’s a quick look at what we ordered:
Redhat Chicken Burger (RM25) – This was unexpectedly good as the homemade chicken patty was nice, thick and juicy. I wish the combo came with proper fries though, rather than just crisps. In fact, most of the mains all came with crisps. The French Fries (RM10) on the side was very good; wish they could have just thrown in some with the main dishes.
Baked Chicken Chop (RM28) – had lovely layers of flavour, sweetish with a tinge of sour in the honey lemon sauce, came with a side of salad and crisps.
Pesto Yogurt Cheese Pasta (RM19) – quite unusual, with salmon bits and the yogurt cheese sauce in a separate bowl to be poured over the spaghetti. Creamy without being too thick on the tongue, we rather enjoyed this variation.
Cheese Stuffed Pork Burger (RM28) – not exactly something you want to tackle in one bite at a go, as the cheesy centre oozes out. The pork patty was a wee bit dry, but this was compensated by the cheese.
We didn’t try signature the BBQ Premium Pork Chop (RM45), that came with the option with cheese lava add-on for an extra RM7 as we were too full by then. Maybe next time.
There are also rice options for those who can’t do without their usual carbo intake.
Prices can be on the high side for some items, but then again, this isn’t some fast food joint as you have a bona fide chef churning out the dishes personally.
Now that we’re in RMCO (Recovery MCO) mode, it’s time to get cheesy and pay the cafe another visit.