Month: November 2023

Sharing East Asian sensibilities at Shhhbuuuleee

Sharing East Asian sensibilities at Shhhbuuuleee

East Asian restobar Shhhbuuuhleee on the top floor of REXKL, is all about small sharing plates, done by the same guys who started Chocha in Petaling Street, KL. After hearing so much about Chef Mui Kai Quan’s prowess in the kitchen, I finally managed to 

Irish Duck Company is in Malaysia

Irish Duck Company is in Malaysia

The Irish Duck Company (IDC) has entered the Malaysian Market, supplying premium Irish Hampshire Pork to restaurants and consumers. To celebrate the company’s launch in Malaysia, a luncheon was hosted at Grand Imperial Restaurant Pavilion, showcasing the high-quality Irish products through a series of carefully 

Elevated Italian affair at d’ Alti Gusti

Elevated Italian affair at d’ Alti Gusti

Forging new friendships, celebrating October birthdays and an excuse to enjoy Chef Simon Philips wonderful food!

(From left) Jonathan and Simon

The Chef’s Table featured at d ‘Alti Gusti (which means elevated taste in Italian) showcased a menu par excellence, a culinary journey exploring the Italian palate. Dishes weren’t just pretty platters but a party of flavours and textures in the mouth. 

  • Aperitivo: Carpaccio of charred polpo dressed with Tuscan olive oil, limoncello, roasted garlic emulsion, smoked paprika and herbs – amazing textures, sublime, with layers of flavours lingering on the tongue – I’m spoilt for life as I’ll never enjoy octopus the same way again as nothing else comes close.  
  • Antipasto Freddo: AG Agustus Caesar – salad but not salad, with Panna Cotta of Parmigiano reggiano, anchovy emulsion, crostino, crisped pecorino and salami, romaine lettuce. The one time you’ll be begging Please sir, may I have some more salad?
  • Antipasto Caldo: Sorrento herbed crabcake of blue swimmer crab, lightly fried in butter, and served with caviar and limoncello aioli. Such a luxurious crabcake – I’ve never had one that had so much crab meat in each bite – boasting a myriad of flavours with every mouthful.
  • Primo: Grilled fillet of Newfoundland turbot between handcut sheets of lasagne on a spinach vellutata, with a pour of gorgonzola-taleggio besciamella and a dusting of grated nutmeg – Silky thin pasta you wouldn’t imagine possible paired with the freshest turbot, exuding natural sweetness. This has to be one of my favourite.
  • Secondo: Caccio – cacao seared tenderloin of Berkshire pork, foie gras pomegranate crema. This was marriage in heaven, foie gras and pork, beautifully executed. 
  • Dolci: Chef Simon’s tiramisu – Zabaglione of marsala wine and Tia Maria folded into mascarpone cheese, layered with espresso- dipped savioiardi, but of course, any true blue Italian meal must have this – sweet, luscious, rich and alcoholic! 
  • Il Diavolo: Sweet ending of Chambord Raspberry sorbet on chill chocolate soil, shards of dark chocolate and a pour of hot milk chocolate. A lovely fitting sweet note to a truly impeccable dinner. 
Before the hot choc pour

We also enjoyed a Kulfi cake from @fatboybakes created specially for the occasion (now on his order menu).

This is about the closest you’ll get to fine dining without busting your budget to enjoy a cosy, intimate affair, boojie Italian cuisine and nobody asks you to leave by 10pm! 

The Dante Degustation menu is available at RM390/pax for Nov. Make early reservations (011-10200380) for a Christmas to remember. Thank you chef Simon for an incomparable evening!

Casual fine dining at Joon Dining

Casual fine dining at Joon Dining

Casual approach to fine dining is quite accessible at Joon Dining which offers Set Lunch at RM48/pax for 3 courses or RM60/pax for 4 courses. (Bread is counted as the first course – which is weird, coz nobody counts bread, but there you go.) Dessert 

Telling Fifty Tales on you

Telling Fifty Tales on you

Fifty Tales. 3 friends. 1 goal. Great noodles, but it is NOT RAMEN, they insist. Noodle bar Fifty Tales now has its new home in Sea Park and gathering a PJ fan base after making waves in Bandar Sri Damansara and REXKL. Having started at 

Cooking a traditional Peranakan dish – Ayam Pongteh

Cooking a traditional Peranakan dish – Ayam Pongteh

My mum cooked black soy sauce chicken for us all the time when I was growing up. It was one of my favourite dishes as it went so well with rice. Even now, my boys are always happy when they know there’s ayam pongteh on the menu. 

I don’t even remember if it was my mother who taught me this dish, or if I picked up the recipe from my Nyonya friends. It was only much later I discovered that the Nyonya version (specifically from Melaka) was slightly different. The key ingredient is the bean paste which gives it a deeper flavour and more umami. And by using palm sugar instead of normal white sugar (which you can), you get a different facet to the sweetness, one that’s more mellow and gentle.

One of the mainstays of Peranakan dishes, this is more common down south rather than Penang (where my ancestors hail from). Towards the end when the dish is cooked over slow fire, this is when the meat and potatoes absorb the flavours of the gravy, giving it a delicious outcome. 

One trick is to boil the potatoes first until it is half cooked so that when you add it in towards the later half, it will have softened nicely. Otherwise, some potatoes take longer to cook and you might end up with uneven hard bits of potato. 

You can eat this dish immediately after cooking. But it tastes even better if you let the flavours settle for a couple of hours and only serve it later. 


Half chicken (or 300g pork shoulder)

4 to 5 shallots

5 cloves garlic

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

3 potatoes (cut into wedges)

300ml water

1 tbsp gula melaka (palm sugar)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3 tbs dark soy Sauce (thick/caramelised)

2 tbs Taucu (Bean Paste)

2 tsp salt


1. Blend onion and garlic together until u get a rough paste.

2. ‎Fry this mixture in 1 tablespoon oil until fragrant, add in the cinnamon and star of anis and give it a couple more stirs.

3. ‎Add in the taucu and mix well.

4. ‎Add in the meat and mix to ensure every piece is well-coated.

5. ‎Add the two different black soy sauces and water. Add in the palm sugar and stir well, then add in the potato.

7. ‎Once it comes to a boil, lower the fire and let it simmer for another 20 to 30 mins or so to thicken the sauce, longer if you’re cooking with pork as you want it well-cooked and softened. Add more water if it’s too dry. There should be enough liquid to just about cover the meat pieces. 

8. Important: do the taste test! Everyone has different preferences and this is a very personal dish – feel free to add more sugar or salt, or less if that’s what you’re used to.

9. After you’re done, turn off the fire and let it rest for a couple of hours. Heat it up when you want to eat it and serve with rice.