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Exotic Combination For Ramadhan Celebration 2012

It’s fasting month! What a way to enjoy your food after a day of reflection! Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie is offering patrons an array of delectable international cuisines ranging from Mughal to Chinese-Muslim, from Arabian to authentic Malaysian. For the entire month of Ramadhan commencing 18th July to 18 August 2012, over 150 local and international dishes featured at the hotel’s Kites Restaurant will whet your appetite for the breaking of fast.

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A group of guest chefs from across the globe has been flown in for their wealth of experience in their specialty. Chef Ebrahim Mohd brings 25 years of experience in Arabic delicacies all the way from Damascus, Syria. He will whip up Middle Eastern foo, which is a complex and spice driven cuisine, using black pepper, garlic, cinnamon, clove, cumin and coriander to create a delightful mix of meat based dishes, with lamb and mutton being the most popular. He’s preparing a selection of his specialty grilled meats, kebabs, and koftas throughout the celebration along with another Middle Eastern favourite, Hummus, a dip or spread eaten with pita bread made from cooked and mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic which origins date back to ancient Egypt.

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Chef Ebrahim

Our Indian guest chef is Santosh Chaniyal who hails from Nainitaal, India and specialises in Mughlai cooking, a cuisine with a rich history dating back to the 16th century kitchens of the Mughal Emperors who occupied Northern India. Influenced by a mixture of Indian, Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine, Mughlai cuisine uses ingredients like exotic aromatic spices, nuts, raisins, cream, yoghurt and milk to create rich and spicy dishes with a unique aroma. With a considerable influence from Muslim cooking, this cuisine is absolutely not to be missed. It’s almost like bringing India to Malaysia & is my personal favourite.

Chef Santosh will be bringing a collection of his favourite recipes to town for our special guests to enjoy; for a special and unique taste, try the Kashmiri Rogan Josh made with goat or lamb meat cooked with intensely fragrant spices that deliver a mild and rewarding curry. Another dish that should not be missed is the Chicken Biryani. This dish is particularly known for its many layers of flavours and is cooked over a longer period of time to allow the flavours to blend together. The spices used in making the dish are typically not used in everyday cooking, making it a very special dish for guests of Kites Restaurant to sample. Another must try item will be the Jhinga Til Tinka; King prawns marinated with fresh aromatic spices, dipped in a butter made from eggs, green chillies, ginger, garlic & cardamom and cooked with breadcrumbs and sesame seeds. Dum Ka Murgh is another special and popular dish, generally eaten with roti or paratha that uses yoghurt and exotic spices to create a rich and complex meal.

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Chef Santosh

Vegetarians will love to try Quasar-E-Pukhtan, otherwise known as Shahi Paneer. With the name embodying royalty, this dish is fit for kings and is made with the richest of ingredients available. One should not miss out on other vegetarian dishes such as Tarkari Tawa Masala, Dal Bukhar, Dal Dhabe Wali. Other items on the Mughlai menu are Biryani (Gosht ,Murgh , Jhinga), Qurma-E-Firdaus (Hyderabadi Muttom qurma), Khade Masale Ka Gosht, Mahi Sarsom Wali, Tawa-E-Jalpari, and Avadhi Gulnar pari.

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One of the other delights that one can expect at the Ramadhan feast is brought to you by Chef Charles Huang from Zhengzhou, China. His special talent, to prepare hand pulled noodle is a complex craft that produces a wonderful spectacle, and just as importantly, incredible noodles. Made from plain dough that requires incredible dexterity to transform them into beautiful noodles, they are fascinating to watch being created by our food artist Chef Charles Huang as he works feverishly to twist the dough then stretches them delicately by waving the arms and body. Next, the dough is untwisted, looped to double the strands, and then repeated. When stretching, these highly skilled chefs coordinate waving their torso and arms to increase the potential length of the noodle beyond that of the puller’s arm span.

Chef Huang is bringing other Chinese Muslim cuisine delicacies such as mutton noodles, mushroom and chicken noodles, homemade mutton soup, steamed buns and pan-fried egg dumplings during the Puasa month.

Apart from the specialties on offer from our three special guest chefs, Kites restaurant will be maintaining the many popular dishes that were so well received last year. Some of the popular dishes making a comeback this year will be Gearbox Soup – braised beef knee together with a traditional mix of spices, served with condiments such as fried shallots and fresh lime. When mentioning the hot and popular dishes from last year we must mention the Kambing Mamak, a spicy and fragrant lamb curry. This special (and secret!) recipe is one that you won’t get any other day as Executive Chef, Francis Lau has kept this dish only for the Ramadhan celebration.
If you have any room left, why not try our resident Malay Cuisine expert Chef Haniff’s signature dish ”“ Udang Galah Masak Kalio, king prawns cooked in coconut milk with chili padi (chili), lemon grass and turmeric leaves.

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Chef Haniff

Other Specialty Dishes:

Gulai Ikan Sembilang Tempoyak
Catfish braised with fermented durian paste which is then cooked using turmeric leaves and other spices. The specialty of the states of Pahang and Perak.

Tulang Rawan Masak Lemak Cili Api
Short rib braised with turmeric leaves chili and coconut milk

Other items include Mutton Varuve, Udang Galah Masak Kalio, Pucuk Paku Masak Lemak, Kum Heong Fried Squid, Daging Rendang, Kambing Kurma, Ayam Percik Sri Menanti, Minced Chicken Patties with Scallops Sambal, along with authentic Malay desserts to complete your dining experience.

This year our remarkable buffet will be extended to the poolside and Gazebo, adjacent to Kites Restaurant which will be decorated into a setting of a conventional Ramadhan feast combined with a contemporary backdrop. At Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie you can break your fast under the evening sky, decorated with black canopies and a myriad of food stalls. There will be areas designated for the Mughlai, the Arabic and the Chinese-Muslim cuisines alongside the lavish Malay buffet inside the Kites Restaurant.

The buffet dinner at Kites is priced at RM 94++ for adults while for children and senior citizens it is priced at RM 55++. There is a special price from 18th ”“ 24th July where the buffet dinner is priced at RM 84++ for adults and RM 45++ for children and senior citizens.

The hotel also accepts group or company bookings for ”˜Buka Puasa’. Surau facilities with an ”˜Imam’ for ”˜Sembahyang’ are available at the hotel.

Book early before 10 July for substantial discounts – terms and conditions apply.
For booking and reservations please call +603- 7802 524 (9am ”“ 5pm) and +603- 7802 5200 (after 5 pm) or email them at ramadhan@holidayinnkl.com.my

Ming Kee Bak Kut Teh In The Heart of Old Town, PJ

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Collage of Bak Kut Teh dishes!

Tender pork ribs that simmer in a bowl of herbal soup make the best meal on a cool, breezy night in Old Town, Petaling Jaya. Popularly known in its Hokkien term called ”˜Bak Kut Teh’ which translates to ”˜meat bone tea’ in reference to the pork ribs used, the generous sprinkles of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, tong kwai, fennel seeds and garlic are just some of the spices & herbs used to make this tasty soup that forms the ”˜tea’ in this dish.

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Panorama photo of the place from outside.

Light and dark soy sauce are also added to the soup depending on whether you are patronising a Teochew or a Hokkien-inspired style of preparation. Arriving at Ming Kee Bak Kut Teh with my cousin Damien & his associate, Ruben, we ordered the usual fare of ribs & meat, mushroom & tofu puffs side dishes, choy sum (vegetables) to go with rice. There are tables on the inside of the coffeeshop & outside in the open, enabling us to have dinner under the stars on that cool night. For Klang Vlley residents, this place is easily accessible without the hassle of going to far for a delicious meal of soupy goodness! The soup has been cooked to the right consistency with the infused herbs, complementing the ribs & side dishes. You will come away with a very good feeling in your tummy.

Located at the junction of Jalan Othman & Jalan 1/21, this corner lot Chinese coffeeshop is where Ming Kee Bak Kut Teh sits.
GPS Coordinates is at N03.086544, E101.64614

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Tofu/beancurd puff!

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Choy sum!

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Aunty preparing the dishes.

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The interior.

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Our dinner!

This is another entry for Selangorlicious contest! Please vote for me & leave a comment here! :- http://bit.ly/OtbcOc

Footnote:- Selangorlicious has a personalised purpose for me.

Superb Mee Goreng Rojak by Aunty Zainab & Hamid – Selangorlicious

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Mee Goreng is a local favourite fried noodle dish, usually garnished with sprigs of beansprouts, strips of carrots, leafy vegetables & diced chicken with soy sauce seasoning but at Hamid Mee Rebus Penang, the authentic Penang-styled Mee Goreng is the standard thoroughfare seasoned with pasembur (rojak) sauce, tauhu (beancurd) & kelapa rojak (coconut condiment)!

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When Dian brought me to Taman Melawati, we were hunting for bookbinding supplies & she recommended me to have this awesome Mee Goreng for tea break. A business operated by mother & son, the Mee Goreng had potatoes, tauhu (beancurd), kelapa rojak (coconut condiment), beansprouts, shaved shallots, half a lime & lots of goodies! As I watched Aunty Zainab in action, she put in what she had from the pots of sauces that she had prepared. Watch how she tosses the noodles in the whole frying process in the video included!

The exterior is lined with a row of other food vendors, and being slightly elevated from the street, you would miss it if you hadn’t known what goodness laid within. The last stall by the roadside, Hamid Mee Rebus Penang serves both Mee Rebus (Noodles in Hot Sauce) & Mee Goreng plus drinks to quench your thirst. A panorama picture is included for your reference & a map to help you find it in Taman Melawati. You should look for it under Google Maps or Foursquare to conveniently navigate yourself over for a tasty, sizzling hot plate of Mee Goreng Rojak at Hamid & Zainab’s stall!

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Footnote:- Selangorlicious has a personalised purpose for me.

Selangorlicious is a contest & I’m in the running! Please vote for this entry on this page -> http://bit.ly/N71G0O

Venturing Selangorlicious-ly

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Salivate, if you must but if you are not tantalised by the subject that I’d be bringing you over the next 2 weeks, you are missing out on life. Not your usual go-to-be-seen food joints, the stalls & eateries are run by folks with legacies. Evident in their coarse hands & years of toil on their faces, these vendors you have patronised over the years have given their daughters dance lessons, tuition for the boys & the little pleasures in life to substitute for the time spent earning a living. These are the vendors who go to the market in the wee hours of the morning to get the freshest supply of ingredients to whip up a good bowl of something for you. These are your neighbourhood familiars who recognise your eating preferences & know your favourite drink. Join me as I search for gastronomical joints that have closely-guarded recipés kept for generations. As they stir up their best, let’s give them mores reasons to stay in business for two generations more!

My quest in the Selangorlicious entries would be to show you fuss-free eateries, unpretentious settings that serve street food & to appreciate them like a true Malaysian, you need to discard all uppity to come in your most comfy attire to savour whats served. I appreciate your Armani’s or Versacé’s when you’re out with me but I’d rather you not mess up your fine threads & slurp as loudly as you like when you are at it.

Sumptuous Offer at The Mix, Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie – My Selangor Story 2011

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Zynchro, the resident band.

Now we see why we need a holiday to recuperate from one & thankfully as we headed down to Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort,, there were no other physical challenges ahead apart from chilling out. The closing dinner was held at The Mix, our official restaurant for My Selangor Story 2011 & the chefs whipped up a storm! I particularly enjoyed the Mesclun Salad & the Apple Potatoes Salad with Toasted Nuts topped with a generous helping of balsamic & garlic sauce. I had 5 helpings before going for the main dishes which were superbly done. The presentation of the food in circular bowls served on covered heated pans ensures the food stays warm no matter how many times you go back for second helpings.

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Mesclun Salad & the Apple Potatoes Salad with Toasted Nuts

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The offering at the dinner!

The Mix has a bar downstairs & a restaurant upstairs. As you enter the premise, the kitchen is in full view of the patrons, watching the chefs cook will whet your appetite as you look through the menu for what to eat. Ladies Nite is on every Wednesday AND Saturday where we ladies are entitled to selected cocktails & spirits all night long. There is a private dining room for patrons wishing to have a space away from others & a rack of fine wine for the connoisseur.

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Chef at the grill!

The dinner marked the closing of the 5 day tour & a celebration of the coming together of so many brilliant young minds for the chance of contesting in such challenging circumstances. Sagina Manandhar, Marketing Communications Manager of Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie Resort, gave the closing speech as a welcome to having us stay with them & to congratulate everyone for surviving the challenges! En. Fazly Razally, the Event & Marketing Manager of Tourism Selangor, arrived later to join us for the after dinner celebrations with the house band!

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Zynchro, the resident band that performs nightly at The Mix, entertained us with a great rendition of current hits & hot favourites. Before long, the crowd was dancing to their upbeat numbers. Dian organised a surprise birthday cake for Amelia, the organiser, as she celebrates her birthday that evening with us. She obliged to sing again at the popular request by all of us & was she good!

We said our goodbyes to the Indonesian bloggers who would be on the first flight out the next morning. It was rather sad to let them go & it would have been so good to be perpetually on holiday but with modern technology of the internet, we will never be far from each other.

Watch for my next post on the 5th day of my tour! And please vote for me HERE! <—- Every blogpost is an entry so please vote on every link that you find at the end of my entries! Thank you!

Day 3 – Seafood & Gluttons in The Mountains at Awana Genting Highlands, My Selangor Story 2011

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Dinner was lavish. Seafood was brought in & the spread was more than what we could stomach for a week. The restaurant is called Pasar Ikan Bakar, translated to mean Grilled Fish Market. Decorated with low tables & Thai triangular-backed cushioned mattresses on colourful hand-woven straw mats, it was one big, cosy dining area. When we were told of a night walk, we thought we’d better stuff ourselves. It was difficult to hold back given the choicest foods in the spread! We became gluttons at sight of the seafood!

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Calamari/squid, fresh prawns & flower crabs on a bed of shaved ice!!!

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Cosy settings at Pasar Ikan Bakar

We even had the in-house band entertain us with songs throughout dinner which I thought was utterly fabulous! The singer had a wonderful voice & it filled the place with an ambience that’s indescribably good! Maybe my protruding tummy at the end of the meal & the triangular backs of these mattresses caused me to be at ease at all times. It felt so good to have someone serenading you over your meal, just like in a hotel except that I was in the middle of the jungle in Genting Highlands. Bliss! With bloggers like Andi Kus & Shaleh, I couldn’t stop laughing the whole night. Goofing around was never this fun until I met them! I don’t think there is another jungle lodge that’s as elaborately comfy & vibrant as this place!

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Andi Kus & Shaleh with muka-muka masing-masing!

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Posting the yummy seafood for you to see again!

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Salad bar!

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We even have pickled nutmeg & such!

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A fruit rojak bar!

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A sambal counter!!!

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The in-house band entertaining us!

This wasn’t all, Amelia Tan, the organiser gave a rendition of the same song in the most soulful manner, enough to melt any man’s heart. The video is on my Day 5’s posting.

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I had two helpings of this portion!

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We were served supper too!

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Spoilt silly for choices.

This is definitely the place for companies to bring their employees for team building. Where else can you get such great food to bring out the devotion in your staff? After being fed supper, we all turned in. In the stillness of the night, the symphony of frogs croaking sent me rolling onto my mattress & planning yet another escape route for the obstacle course the next day…….

Pasar Ikan Bakar is at Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort and is open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday. For bookings, call +60361013015 Ext: 53020 or 7605 between 9am – 5pm.

Note: Thank you for reading this far! This is a contest entry so please vote for me HERE! <—- Just click on the hearts! The more hearts, the better!

The next day, the gruelling challenge begins…..

Day 2 – Wining & Dining at Golden Palm Tree, My Selangor Story 2011

As every discerning traveller needs to refuel, the Pummkin needs to be fed well to perform the activities to follow. Breakfast started with getting to know one another through food. The Malaysian way has always been about thinking & talking about the next meal while you are having your present meal. At the heart of Golden Palm Tree, lies the buffet spread that spills over from Bila Bila to Buloh Bar. I had my fill of fresh salad & cherry tomatoes topped off with 2 tubs of yoghurt with berries before having my bacon, bangers & eggs. The spread & variety were good but somehow, something was lacking but I couldn’t place a finger on it.

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Part of my diet consists of yoghurt, fruits, salad & bread……before my indulgence in bacon, bangers & egg!

Our assigned dining area for lunch & dinner was at the alfresco rotunda, Sepoi Sepoi cafe at the beachfront, serving a delectable array of Malaysian snacks, noodles & local delights. I managed to savour 3 kinds of dishes, mainly the Hainanese Steamed Chicken Rice, the Mee Goreng Mamak Style & the all-time favourite Nasi Lemak. The portion was huge & chefs were at hand to whip-up the dishes as you order them. A great stopover for anyone returning from Smiley Beach to get into the lobby, which is at the base of the ‘trunk of the palm tree.’

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Mee Goreng Mamak, Nasi Lemak & Hainanese Steamed Chicken Rice!

Celebration Dinner.

The most pleasant surprise came in the form of an invitation from Golden Palm Tree’s management to join the Malaysian Night dinner that evening, which was to be held at the grand ballroom with a capacity of 1,400 pax. A cultural performance of tribal dance entertained the diners with their Bornean Bamboo Trap & was skilfully executed by natives from Sabah & Sarawak. The dancers went on to invite guests onto the stage to teach them how to dance to the beat of the drums, averting the bamboo stick knocks. Foreign guests were so thrilled with this participation & soon the crowd was cheering them on.

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The terrace of the ballroom was decked with a row of hawker stalls. The buffet spread that lined these stalls were filled with trays of Malaysian cuisine ranging from Beef Rendang to barbecued seafood. There were a bevy of chefs standing by a wok of stir-fried shellfish that made my mouth water just by looking at the varied kinds of clams in there, a wok filled with curry chicken & a wok filled with fried chicken. There were about 20 different kinds of dishes synonymous with Malaysian cooking & there was a bar counter serving alcoholic beverages in the form of beer, red & white whine. I had one glass of white wine to go with the seafood that was generously dished out by the chef. What pleased me further was the dessert island counter decorated with trays of sugary bakes, chocolate mouse, puddings, jellies, tarts & puffs! I had to convince myself that dieting starts (again) the week after MSS 2011! Heaven! And separate counters for ice-cream & other delightful servings of sweets. I like this version of Malaysian Night but I don’t know how my waistline (or the absence of it) would be able to take it after a week.

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Terrace outside the ballroom.

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The wok of mussels.

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My plate of clams, prawns & mussels!

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The selection of goodies for after-dinner!

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Trays of jellies, puffs, mousse & tarts!

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Goblets of sago

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More tarts!

Though there were 24 bloggers in total plus another dozen from the official support crew & organiser, the ballroom was one big party of happy guests celebrating a triumphant year with the most lavish dinner buffet ever. For a luxury resort, anything less would not live up to its name. We were entertained by the spontaneity of those who were called to the stage to happily jive away. If this Malaysian Night is not a regular feature yet, then it would go very well becoming one. The management could even suggest a batik themed night to go with it & have professional photographers take pictures of them to be printed on the spot & presented to them as a souvenir. The resort could very well start selling some exquisite batik dresses & shirts to complement the gala night. After all, people who go on holiday are prepared to spend & what better way to spend on than to buy wearables? You might even want to hire make-up artists for the night to make them look like a princess for the evening! You may even spark their spouse’s interest to give their relationship a boost & have them come back for this specific event annually. If they are having the time of their lives, wouldn’t you feel good to have been a part of it? It would be a night to remember for the chefs who will delight in seeing empty trays, waiters who will get tipped & managers who will receive the compliments first. It would be a night of wine & dine for the whole resort to celebrate in, only at Golden Palm Tree……

Note: If you think my post deserves a mention, please vote for me HERE. Your hearts given will ensure that I stay in practice to pitch my skills & test my endurance in bringing you the adventure! If you want to read about what I did that warranted for so much food, the day’s activities are detailed here.

Our next destination was a challenge. See what we went up to the mountains for on the 3rd day….

Reminisce Cafe – Timeless Delights by Hotel Chefs

The spacious café decorated in yesteryear’s objects, serves a delectable array of dishes that rivals any hotel in town. A check with its owner & founder, Ernest Soon & his partners (former chef of Hilton Hotel & Concorde KL) Chef Law & Chef Lau, they decided to make their specialties available to all, rather than just the elite few who visited the restaurants in the hotel they used to work in. The concept of Reminisce is one that brought the three partners together, showcasing a venue of what they grew up being accustomed to such as rollerskates, old typewriter, old biscuit tins, comic book, Chinese checkers, toy cars, transistor radios, collection of saga seeds & virtually objects that they loved.

Nestled towards the corner lot of the boulevard outlets in Mid Valley, Reminisce Café caught my attention with its simplistic, no fuss interior while the white tables & a mix of black chairs gave an instant pick-up to the khaki-coloured walls. Accented by uniquely framed items, the highlights of the menu leaves patrons desiring for more.

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Braised Pork Belly Reminisce-Style with Toasted/Steamed Buns (RM19.90)

Serving non-halal dishes, Reminisce Café prides itself in whipping up local street food into great-tasting dishes to be had any time of the day. I became a faithful customer the moment I sunk my teeth into their Chee Cheong Fun (Penang style). There’s nothing like a bowl of cold Lemongrass Jelly with Aloe Vera to go with this timeless pecking.

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Authentic Penang-style Chee Cheong Fun (RM3.90)

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Lemongrass Jelly with Aloe Vera (RM5.50)

I kept going back for more as the variety on the menu could keep me sated for the entire year. For a quick lunch, I opted for the Honey Glazed Pork Belly served with Steamed Rice set, where my meal comes with a drink & dessert of the day.

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Honey Glazed Pork Belly served with Steamed Rice only (RM12.50)

Not quite done, I was pleasantly surprised by the Steamed Lor Mai Kai which sealed in all of the marinated goodness of this dimsum dish. Mashed into a bowl, the glutinous rice had to contain the chicken & mushroom flavours as it was being cooked. Don’t leave Reminisce Café without sampling this dish. The chefs really know how to bring about the goodness in this simple dish.

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Steamed Lor Mai Kai (RM5.50)

What is tea time without Yam Cake??? Served with accompanying sweet sauce & sambal, the chefs prepared it light enough to have two helpings.

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Traditional Yam Cake (RM5.50)

The Dry ”˜Pan Mee’ with Minced Pork, Fried Anchovies & Pork Balls was as fragrant as the accompanying vinegared-chilli dip. I have always loved noodles that were hand-prepared as the consistency of the flour is what makes it special.
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Dry ”˜Pan Mee’ with Minced Pork, Fried Anchovies & Pork Balls (RM8.90)

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The exterior of the venue for smokers.

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Interior of Reminisce Café.

Whatever your occasion may be, drop in for a drink & snack on some timeless street delights. You will be treated to street culinary specials that you thought could never taste this good….

If you work in the vicinity or are in Mid Valley Megamall, the cafe is located at Lot G(E)-019, next to Brotzeit Bar a few doors away from Maybank at the Boulevard. Contact +603 2201 8168 to book a table or to cater to your function or write to reminisceplace@gmail.com. They can be found on Facebook too:- http://www.facebook.com/Reminiscecafe