joel robuchon tv dinner

The statement above is perfectly correct and true! smirk

joel robuchon

I present to you, a line of ready-to-eat meals by Joel Robuchon! This is his Le fameux Parmentier de Canard or “The famous Duck Parmentier”. There are several different meals, partnered with Fleury Michon. It’s sold in supermarkets and convenience stores like Monop’ (of the Monoprix chain – they have everything from stores to all sorts of food from cookies to milk!). There was a Monop’ just around the corner from our apartment and we were so tired the first evening we arrived in Paris that we just wanted to cook something easy.

monop

I was quite surprised to see Joel Robuchon lending his name to what seems like TV dinners but such an American term would be out of place in France for this is one quality meal for 5.13 Euros!

parmentier de canard

The serving bowl it comes in is not made of disposable and flimsy plastic but solid ceramic!

ceramic bowl

Duck Parmentier is a classic French dish that looks like a cottage pie. We saw some Cuisses du Poulet Roties (Roasted Chicken Thighs) on sale for 5.19 Euro (original price 13.95 Euros). These are the miniature chicken breeds (also called bantam chicken) which you can *fit in the palm of your hand*! They’re really quite cute (and tasty)!

french miniature chicken

I used that to plate up the dish so it looks like the serving suggestion (just 3 minutes 30 seconds in the microwave) and we ate it with some pasta for our first night in France. It was quite delicious, despite being a ready-to-eat dinner. They pride themselves for ingredients being 100% sourced from France too, as the labels clearly states.

joel robuchon dinner

We actually got to eat through all his collection – it is wide and varied indeed, and although it costs more than other ready-to-eat meals, I convinced my dear that we should get them. It’s not everyday you can have a 28 Michelin star chef “cook” for you at your apartment after all…even in France! ;)

relais louis xiii paris

I’ve always wanted to bring my better half to a Michelin star restaurant coz she’s never eaten at one before and decided it would make a great birthday present for her! I booked a table for two and set aside one day in our Paris vacation for this.

relais louis xiii

Le Relais LOUIS XIII fits the bill perfectly coz:

  • Chef Manuel Martinez got 2 Michelin stars in 2014
  • The restaurant serves classic authentic French cuisine
  • This is the very spot Louis XIII was proclaimed King of France in 1610 (thus the name)

michelin star

Oh, and did I mention that Picasso used to live across the street? smirk Relais Louis XIII is a very historical restaurant and they’re proud of it – the interior has the original old stones, wooden beams and valuable portraits of Louis XIII and Marie de Medicis as well as stained glass windows and antique Louis 13 chairs.

relais louis xiii menu

I had booked a spot at 12:15 pm when the restaurant opened and the waitress patiently explained and translated each of the menu items from French to English for us! There is no English menu, but the staff can speak English so there’s no worries there.

cream puff

We were served warm cheese puffs upon arriving and the table is perfectly set with butter, salt and pepper as well as a bread tray. The wait staff to table ratio is at least 1:1 – which meant we had our very own waitress and at least one other staff to help…and help they did!

relais louis 13

It was a little disconcerting, the level of service that was given – move your glass a little and they’ll come over with a smile to refill it and move it to just the right spot where it was before, facing the correct way.

amuse-bouche

More about Michelin star level service in another post, I want to talk about the food!

Appetizers

Ravioli de homard Breton, foie gras et creme de cepes

ravioli de homard breton

This is their signature appetizer which got them the Michelin stars. It’s what my dear ordered and it’s absolutely fabulous! I can eat this every day and not get sick! The beautiful ravioli is half lobster and half foie gras.

ravioli foie gras

It’s topped with a porcini mushroom foam that’s so intense I’ve never had anything like it before. A beautiful start to the meal.

Toast de tete de veau / sauce gribiche / encornets

calf brains

I ordered this solely on the waitress’s recommendation. She said it’s a classic French dish – the kind the restaurant does best. This restaurant serves classic French haute cuisine with minimal modernist touches and I thought this would go well.

tete de veau

It’s toast topped with the brain of a calf and comes with nicely seared pieces of squid that makes an interesting texture combination, especially with the toast it’s served on. However, their flagship ravioli dish is slightly better I have to admit I secretly coveted my better half’s appetizer. Haha!

Entrées

Lieu jaune de ligne / fricassee de legumes / tomato confite / emulsion aux herbes

john dory

This is what my dear had! It’s a John Dory fish with tomato confit and a herb emulsion.

We’ve always wondered what John Dory tastes like and when the waitress explained what this was, she ordered it immediately. It tasted great – the fish was cooked perfectly (moist and tender) but it’s the kind of white fish that is popular in the West – bland by itself but absorbs flavors well, which is where the herb emulsion comes in, as a bit of a modernist touch.

Quasi de veau de lait “Hugo Desnoyer”

hugo desnoyer

My order is sweetbread! I’ve always wanted to eat sweetbread cooked by a classic French chef and here was my chance. I wasn’t disappointed!

sweetbread

There’s an option to add macaroni with morilles (morel mushrooms) for an additional 14 Euros but I opted out as I wanted to taste it by itself and we ordered a lot of desserts. Sweetbread is the thymus gland of the veal and it’s a very rich and creamy dish. There’s also a bed of perfectly caramelized asparagus at the bottom which cuts down on the heaviness of the dish. I loved it!

Cheese

Assortiment de nos fromages

fromage

There’s nothing more French than a cheese course before the desserts and we both opted for it. This is one dish divided into two, instead of sharing from our own plates, French restaurants can actually portion one dish into two upon request!

The selection of their cheeses also came with a delicious apricot chutney on the side!

Desserts

MilleFeuille, crème legere a la vanille Bourbon

millefeuille

This is their famous millefeuille with Bourbon vanilla light cream! It’s probably their most famous dish and dessert and we opted for a shared dish (one dessert portioned into two plates).

mille feuille

The awesome thing about Relais Louis XIII’s mille-feuille is that it’s deep fried! Words cannot do it justice, the crunchy texture of the dessert and the vanilla bean speckled custard made me nearly lick the plate to finish everything up!

There’s a reason why it’s the restaurant’s most popular dish, you can’t get a better mille-feuille elsewhere!

Gelee au Gin et sorbet Citron basilic

molecular gastronomy apple

This is my adorable dessert, which is one of their rare molecular gastronomy forays. It’s a piece of art – there’s a cream filling inside the small “green apple” (complete with a fake chocolate branch and candied basil leaf).

relais louis apple

I was pleasantly surprised by the intense basil flavor of the crunchy “apple leaf” made of sugar infused with basil and the chocolate stick goes into the faux green apple (which consists of just a very thin layer of real apple tasting jelly) which in turn bursts with the filling. It’s a very intelligent dish that plays with your mind and mouth.

There’s a sorbet on the side to cleanse your palate too!

(along with crunchy bits of juniper tasting sweets)

Tarte minute au chocolat “Grand cru”

grand cru tart

This is my dear’s dessert! It’s a chocolate tart that oozes with rich and creamy molten chocolate. It’s their daily special and the wonderful spin they put on the dish is with the two ice cream you see – there’s a vanilla scoop and a chocolate scoop.

The interesting bit is that the “chocolate ice cream” is *hot* and the vanilla bean ice cream is *cold*! The former is actually a ganache, plated like ice cream. It really plays wonders with your palate – it’s genius, how they pull off these things!

crumbing table

We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 Michelin star lunch at Relais Louis XIII. The restaurant has a few mixed reviews on the net about bad service but we received excellent service throughout, it’s the exact opposite of the snobbish French waiter stereotype.

relais louis us

Our waitress was warm, patient and translated each menu item for us, and one of the younger waiters took this photo of us. It’s an excellent place to go for classic French cuisine in Paris! Relais Louis XIII has consistently been one of the best value 2 Michelin star restaurants in Paris, France – delivering fresh, classic French cuisine you won’t be able to sample anywhere else! :)

masterchef australia dinner

A MasterChef dinner? I was puzzled when my dear gave me this as a very special and memorable Christmas present. I was curious about how you can have a MasterChef dinner in Malaysia and we arrived at the apartment @ the Curve after making reservations.

masterchef dinner malaysia

It turns out that there is a special, limited edition degustation menu from the judges and contestants of MasterChef Australia Season 5. This is totally legit, the recipes were licensed to the apartment and my better half had won RM 200 worth of vouchers so she treated me to this delicious dinner.

masterchef degustation menu

There are three (3) main courses to choose from – Stuffed Turkey with Pumpkin Puree (RM 128++) based on Samira El Khaffir’s Stuffed Chicken with Pumpkin Puree recipe, Seared Steak with Hollandaise Sauce, Roasted Pumpkin, Cauliflower & Pine Nut (RM 148++) by Michael Todd and Confit Salmon (RM 98++) by Samira – the contestant we both dislike immensely. Haha!

Amuse-bouche

amuse-bouche

This was a duo of grilled cherry tomatoes with herbs on nachos. There’s only two on the plate (which is the standard plate the apartment uses for appetizers and thus a bit worn looking) which was a little bit weird, plating wise, coz you always put three (3) servings or another odd number. I only realized this when my better half told me about it. It’s a wonderful start though – this is a delicious complimentary starter from the chef.

Appetizer
Braised Lamb Shoulder Tostada (Andy Allen)

lamb shoulder tostada

We both loved this as well. My dear said the lamb didn’t have too much of a gamey taste so it suits her. I thought it was executed well and the lamb shoulder gave a nice texture to put on the tostada. It’s just a little too similar, texture-wise, to the amuse-bouche. I loved the juicy pomegranate seeds strewn throughout though – it was nice!

Soup
Carrot Liquid with a Hint of Blood Orange

carrot soup blood orange

The plating is well thought out – the blood orange comes in a shot glass so you can pour as much (or as little) as you want into the carrot soup. The soup has a very spicy end note though so my dear didn’t manage to finish hers. I loved mine though, I thought the acidity of the blood orange balances out the creaminess of the carrot soup.

Sorbet
Summer Peach Granita

summer peach granita

A wonderful interlude before the main course! The sorbet is in nicely large granulated form so it’s great as a palate cleanser before our mains arrived. There’s no attribution to this and the soup but I think I saw it in one of the MasterClass episodes from one of the judges – think it was Gary.

Main Course
Confit Salmon (Samira El Khaffir)

salmon confit

This is what my better half ordered. It’s the only one that she could have gone for considering she doesn’t like beef. I don’t like cooked salmon in general coz restaurants tend to overcook it but this one was done very nicely. It was cooked to perfection!

confit salmon

The entire salmon was nicely seasoned and pink and there’s none of the dryness that comes from overcooking this piece. I tend to prefer raw salmon sashimi but this changed my mind – it was juicy and tender, with all the natural taste of the salmon brought out.

Main Course
Stuffed Turkey with Pumpkin Puree (Samira El Khaffir)

samira turkey

I was torn between Michael Todd’s Seared Steak with Hollandaise Sauce, Roasted Pumpkin, Cauliflower & Pine Nut and this one and decided to go for the turkey since it’s Christmas. This recipe is based off of Samira’s Stuffed Chicken with Pumpkin Puree. It was quite an interesting dish as the Middle Eastern influence was *really* apparent in the dish.

rice stuffed turkey

The turkey is stuffed with a basmati rice and spice mix! That’s the most fusion stuffing I’ve ever come across and it kinda, sorta works. I can’t say I’ll give this 10/10, more like 7/10 – I enjoyed it but it wasn’t mind-blowing. There’s something to be said about eating a Middle Eastern inspired turkey and not all of it is good. smirk

Notes on service: The waiter took away her plate while I was still eating. She had finished her confit salmon but I was still halfway through my turkey. I thought that was quite rude – you never start clearing plates until everyone is done in the service industry. It’s a major service no-no.

feedback form

Also, he didn’t always serve the woman first, which is another service faux pas. However, the waiter was always polite and kept refilling our cold water so I mentioned this to the supervisor, Julito, who apologized profusely and gave me a feedback form to file my grievances.

masterchef vouchers

It seemed that they didn’t know this basic rule of etiquette about clearing dishes but the supervisor was professional throughout and the waiter was just plain ignorant so no harm done. The bill came up to RM 280++ so it was about RM 90 after the RM 200 vouchers was used.

Dessert
Modern Baklava (Samira El Khaffir)

modern baklava

This is an absolutely wonderful end to the dinner! The baklava was *cloyingly sweet* but I mean that in the most complimentary way. There’s two sauces that comes with the dish – one is sweetened condensed milk based and the other something akin to caramelized sugar. It was decadent and delicious! We both polished our plates! Haha!

masterchef dinner us

Thanks for the thoughtful gift dear! We both enjoyed our MasterChef Australia Season 5 dinner with recipes from the judges and contestants and would go again, except that was the last week of the promotion. It’s a wonderful Christmas present coz we both went to Australia at the beginning of the year as our first trip overseas and we both watched MasterChef Australia Season 5 together. <3

fine dining

I have written about some of the experiences I’ve had in Maxims Genting. Here’s the rest of it – the second and final post on the luxurious gastronomical and other adventures I had during my 2D/1N stay there. :)

maxims suite me

Totally chilling in the Maxims Royal Suite.

karaoke

There’s everything you could wish for in a suite – and probably some that you didn’t even know you want. ;)

bath

I’m loving the jacuzzi!

table

The Maxims Royal Suite has guest rooms equipped with computers at the working table in addition to a huge dining table that seats 14 people! :)

patio

It also has a balcony that’s even larger than my studio apartment at home. The “balcony” (patio) is actually located…

genting sign

…right beneath the old Genting Hotel sign. How cool is that? :)

floor

The newly refurbished Maxims looks nothing like the one I used to stay in as a kid. This is the floor area you’ll see in the Maxims Premier Room, Maxims Suite, and Signature Suite.

bed

The suites are amazing and equipped with the latest in technology, like that huge 42-inch plasma TV there. This is standard in Maxims Suite and Signature Suite but the photo above shows the décor in the latter. There are two options to choose from – Modern or Arabian.

The other rooms at Maxims starts from RM 550++ for Maxims Premier – it’s their most basic room but it’s surprisingly luxurious. Here’s a video tour where you can see the amenities and services provided.

moet chandon

There’s even a bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne in the mini bar. How many hotels do you see stocking that? :)

concierge

Maxims is the place to stay in if you want the best experience in Genting. There’s accommodation for every budget – all the suites comes with a private butler (!!!) and starts from RM 1,320++ for Maxims Suite to RM 4,125++ for the Signature Suite. You can find the full list of features in each room/suite at rwgenting.com.

the olive genting

Anyway, after the grand tour of the Maxims Genting we headed to The Olive for a Continental fine dining experience.

the olive private

The Olive is another award winning restaurant in Maxims Genting and there are private rooms where you can eat in relative…er, privacy.

bread basket

Squid Ink Bread
The bread basket served up when you’re seated is filled with a selection of different varieties of bread. One in particular stood up – the squid ink bread.

squid ink bread

It’s the irregularly shaped black bread that’s made with squid ink. It’s delicious when dipped in the vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

black truffle

Portobello Carpaccio
This is The Olive’s signature dish for starters and it’s a wonderful plating of Tartufo nero (black truffle), shaved pecorino (cheese made from sheep), grissini (breadsticks), aged balsamic, and truffle oil soft herb salad. The black truffle is the highlight of this dish and the flavor goes very well with the mushrooms. I had quite a few helpings of this. It’s delicious and it comes highly recommended from me.

pizza

Bruschetta Pizzetta
This mini pizza is made with semi-dried Roma tomato, sauteed mushrooms, Bocconcini cheese, basil pesto, olive oil and aged balsamic. It’s delectable but a bit heavy so small eaters would want to share this with someone.

lamb rack

Lamb Rack
This 3 pin lamb rack comes served with a white bean cassoulet, braised artichoke, carrot puree and rosemary juice. You’ll love this if you like mutton, I was half tempted to order this for my mains before deciding on beef.

chilean sea bass

Chilean Sea Bass
This is the signature dish of The Olive. The fresh Chilean Sea Bass is served with mushroom ragout, buttered asparagus, ponzu sauce and wasabi, providing a bit of fusion there. You can’t go wrong with this one.

sirloin wagyu

Wagyu Sirloin Steak
I went with the chef’s recommendation of a Wagyu sirloin steak with a Grade 8 on the marbling scale. The beef was so fresh that I immediately regretted having it done medium rare. It’s a great cut of Wagyu beef and it should be treated with the respect it deserves.

waygu marbling

I’ll recommend you go for extra-rare (also known as a blue steak) – the quality and freshness of the meat really shines through. I had a taste of the extra-rare Wagyu tenderloin and it practically melts in your mouth. The chef mentions that it takes just as long to properly cook a blue steak compared to one that’s medium or well done – it has to be allowed to “rest” before being served.

steak sauce

The Olive has different cuts of steak and marbling grades but if Wagyu is not your thing, they also serve Black Angus beef, which has been grass fed for at least 150 days in the Australian countryside. There are a lot of sauces you can choose to go with your steak, from Creamy Garlic to Truffled Morel.

creme brulee

Crème Brulee
This wonderful dessert comes in a trio – starting from left, there’s the petite apple (which actually is a very tiny apple), clove ice cream, and crème brulee with rhubarb and blackcurrant compote.

petite apple

A petite apple with a slice of regular apple. Gotta love the presentation.

clove ice cream

I loved the creamy crème brulee with an almond biscotti on the side and I couldn’t stop eating the clove ice cream too.

Hot Chocolate Ravioli

Hot Chocolate Ravioli
Good things comes in threes and this dessert is no different.

pashmak

There’s the black cherry gelee topped with orange blossom pashmak (a type of Persian candy floss).

pistachio ice cream

Pistachio ice cream which has the consistency of pudding, a wonderful texture from the ingredients and a delightful taste that tantalizes the taste buds…

chocolate ravioli

…and as the star of the show – the chocolate ravioli. It’s rich and sweet and the oozing hot chocolate from the ravioli would have you clamoring for more.

the durian

The Durian
This is the signature dish for the desserts menu of The Olive. It’s easy to see why. The aptly named dessert has The King of Fruits served as ice cream in a caramelized meringue with fresh strawberries.

durian inside

Durian is a fruit you either love or hate. I’m a huge fan of durian and this beautifully made dessert (spiked to look like a durian) had me at first bite!

Chef Daniel Sheen

Chef Daniel Sheen took time off to chat with us and the question on how he created the chocolate ravioli popped out. This is actually the second version he’s come up with. He was in the kitchen attempting to fuse pasta and chocolate – essentially creating pasta made out of chocolate and out come the chocolate ravioli.

It’s always interesting to hear the chef talk about how his creations came about. :)

The Olive is also featured in Must Eat – it’s in Mandarin but a really interesting watch even if you don’t understand the language. The video tour and awesome food shown transcends linguistic processes. :D

the olive lounge

We adjourned to The Olive Lounge after the heavy dinner. There’s a live band playing in the background and the drinks menu features quite an extensive single malt Scotch whisky and wine list.

band

The sommelier recommended two bottles of wine…

decanter

…while Eiling chose the third bottle, being a bit of a wine expert herself.

cigar

I smoked one of her cigars while the entire group talked over wine and cigars. The Olive Lounge is a great place to relax and chat with soft music playing in the background. It was the perfect ending to one of the best dinners I’ve had in a while. Pure decadence. :)

coffee terrace

Breakfast at Coffee Terrace the next day never tasted so good. ;)

breakfast

Coffee Terrace has six different cuisines ranging from Chinese to Western and we all had a huge breakfast before heading back to KL.

farewell

Thanks for the experience Chloe, Irene, Dee Lin, and everyone at rwgenting.com! I totally enjoyed my stay at Maxims Genting and all that fine dining. :)

arrive genting

I’ve been to Genting quite a few times and when I was told we’re going to be staying at Maxims for an overnight experience I immediately set my alarm clock to 5 am so I could arrive early the next day for the trip up. Heh.

transport

The luxury treatment started when we met up at Wisma Genting in KL. There was a Toyota Alphard complete with a driver waiting for us. The vehicle was equipped with water, candy, and everything you’ll need for the 45 minute drive up.

lobby

…so this is what being a high roller feels like. :)

imperial rama

We were whisked away to lunch at Imperial Rama the moment we arrived in Genting. We had a private room with a dining table, couch, and karaoke system. Imperial Rama is a fine dining restaurant specializing in authentic Thai-Chinese cuisine.

regal room

Imperial Rama is one of the most awarded restaurants – it’s one of the prestigious winners of the 2011 Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF). They also use organic food where they can – they own vegetable farms and source their chickens from Ipoh. I hear the free range chickens sells for RM 30 per drumstick…and that’s in stalls in Ipoh!

lily bulb salad

Lily Bulb with Emperor Sprout Orange Salad
This is the appetizer and I like the usage of lily bulbs in this dish. It’s an unusual twist and the tangy citrus flavors from the orange works very well with the emperor sprouts. It even had flowers inside it, and I ate some of them. Delicious!

shaggy mushrooms

Shaggy Mushroom with Truffle Oil Salad
The second appetizer to come out of the kitchen, I was mesmerized by the intensity of flavors absorbed by the mushroom. It’s practically bursting with truffle oil. Very nicely done.

thai fish crackers

Thai Fish Crackers
The third appetizer was an interesting interplay of textures with fresh fish crackers and a peanut based dipping sauce.

chicken broth

Stewed Chicken Essence Soup
I’m not a huge fan of soup but this had me scraping the bottom of the bowl. The chicken is made into a mousse like consistency. It’s one of their signature dishes and I highly recommend it just so you can taste the chicken mousse.

steamed goby fish

Steamed Marble Goby Fish with Crispy Ginger and Garlic
I’m sold. The steamed fish is my favorite dish in Chinese buffets and I love the freshness of the marble goby fish.

goby fish

The topping of crispy ginger and garlic adds a different texture to the dish and it’s good to see that they keep the traditional spring onions on top – it goes very well with the soy sauce base.

curry abalone

Australian Abalone Braised in Curry Sauce
This is one of the Thai-Chinese dishes that Imperial Rama is so famous for. The curry is rich and full-bodied and almost overwhelms the palate…

abalone

…until you eat it with the bread stick and side dish. This is one of their flagship dishes as well and I can see why – it’s challenging and different.

twin flavor prawns

Twin Flavored King Prawns
This is king prawns done two ways – one of them is deep fried with a salted egg batter that tastes awesome but the one that steals the limelight is the cheese king prawn. It’s dipped in a melting cheese batter that enhances the natural sweetness of the prawn and seals all the crustaceans juices inside. Totally recommended.

pork ribs blackcurrent

Pork Ribs topped with Black Current Sauce
Now this is something that I can really appreciate. Pork ribs with a twist on the sauce. The black current sauce adds a wholesome sweetness to the pork ribs and the lightly fried rice served on a crab goes well with the pork ribs.

crab fried rice

I was very full at this point but I couldn’t help finishing all the rice. It’s really good – not too heavy, with judicious use of premium ingredients.

lemongrass jelly

Durian Tempura with Lemongrass Jelly
Now this is a dish that you’ll either love or hate – it all depends on whether you like durian. I love durian and the durian tempura is a relatively new creation using D24 durian. The batter coating the durian cracks open and piping hot durian oozes out. I could eat it all day long!

I ate Lee Ming’s portion as well. It’s just that good. Check out this video, the host agrees! :)

durian tempura

The lemongrass jelly is sipped from a straw and the consistency and palate cleansing properties makes it an ideal finish after the decadent durian experience. Do not miss this if you love durian! Best. Dessert. Ever.

lunch

Anyway, after that huge lunch, we went down to Goh Tong Jaya to walk off all those calories. We used the Genting Skyway cable car.

chloe

Chloe got us into the RWGenting WorldCard line. You can skip the queue if you have a Silver WorldCard and above.

cable car

I have a lot of fond memories of the cable car ride from when I was a little kid and my parents brought me up to Genting.

genting skyways

I felt like a little kid again, being on that cable car. :)

strawberry truck

There was a red vehicle waiting for us – it’s the Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm transport! The shuttle bus departs every 20 minutes and you can catch it at the Genting Skyway exit.

genting strawberry farm

Genting has a Strawberry Farm in Goh Tong Jaya.

strawberry rows

There are rows and rows of strawberries covering the wide expanse.

strawberry park

You can go in with a basket for a small fee to pick your own strawberries.

strawberry

It tastes really good too.

eating strawberry

I had a couple and they are practically bursting with juices when you bite into it.

lee ming

This is Lee Ming at the area where they were planting flowers. Yes, it’s the very same flowers that was in our salad at Imperial Rama for lunch. Now that’s low food miles for you – they grow it themselves!

strawberry cafe

There’s also a place where you can sit down and browse the strawberry related merchandize or eat and drink strawberry flavored food (strawberry coffee anyone?) right before the exit.

strawberries

Mmm…strawberries…

genting strawberry park

We basically spent the better part of the hour at Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm before heading back up the cable car to check into Maxims Genting. I couldn’t wait!

room

Maxims Genting is the newly revamped Genting Hotel. It’s the first hotel ever built and houses the main casino. Maxims commands a rate of at least RM 550++ for a Maxims Premier Room. There’s even a dedicated floor for high rollers which is by invitation only. It is the most exclusive hotel in Genting.

This is where all the celebrities stay when they perform in Resorts World Genting. More about that and the wonderful award winning fine dining restaurant The Olive in the next post! :)

jacobs creek martin yan wine pairing dinner

I went to Chef Martin Yan‘s wine pairing banquet dinner at Mandarin Oriental a couple of weeks ago. It is actually quite intriguing for two reasons – I was a huge fan of his popular Yan Can Cook TV show as a kid and getting to meet the man and taste his cuisine in real life really appealed to me.

chef martin yan

He’s now doing a show called True Passion with Martin Yan on AFC where he pairs wine with Chinese food so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when the invite came along.

martin yan dinner mandarin oriental

The dinner started with a cocktail reception where Jacob’s Creek served wine with various hors d’oeuvre before the six-course banquet dinner:

Chilled Scallop with Jellyfish and Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

Chilled Scallop with Jellyfish and Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

This is the first dish that came out. It’s paired with Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling and resembles the traditional cold appetizers in Chinese banquet dinners. There are four delicious items in this starter which includes a surprisingly tasty salad arranged on a soup spoon but the one I loved the most is the namesake.

scallops martin yan

The scallop is huge and pan-seared to perfection. It’s topped with scallions (spring onions), shallots (red onion) and carrot shavings but it is the pomelo citrus bits at the bed of the oyster shell it’s served in that makes this an orgasmic combination.

Oven Baked Sea Treasure Broth Served in Coconut with Puff Pastry

Oven Baked Sea Treasure Broth Served in Coconut with Puff Pastry

This Cantonese style double boiled soup is paired with Jacob’s Creek Reeves Point Chardonnay has treasures galore – there’s dried scallop, fish maw, shitake mushrooms, crab meat and even even abalone.

abalone martin yan

It tastes sweet due to the coconut flesh that’s infused into the broth. It goes very well with the buttery puff pastry crust that tops the young coconut shell that it comes served in. I’m not usually a huge fan of soups but this one is deliciously decadent – I even ended up scooping the succulent coconut flesh to eat.

Cantonese Style Steamed Cod Fish with Superior Soya Sauce and Baby Cabbage

Cantonese Style Steamed Cod Fish with Superior Soya Sauce and Baby Cabbage

This is the obligatory fish dish and it’s no secret that I have a weakness for steamed fish. I love the subtle flavors and fresh and tender cod. The fish almost falls apart when you spear it, and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Mmm…my favorite dish of the night.

jacobs creek

All the dishes are paired with a Jacob’s Creek wine and I’ve written about the wine pairings in Lifestyle Asia – Celebrity Chef Martin Yan Heats Up KL – and included two recipes from the night by Chef Martin Yan from AFC kindly provided by Joey.

Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns

Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns

I totally loved this dish. The prawns are really fresh and the sweet and sour sauce is delicious. Chef Yan gets this one done to perfection – there is a thin crunchy crust from the batter which seals in the tender and juicy prawn flesh. It’s paired with Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling 2007.

Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 Chilli Sauce with Jasmine Fried Rice

Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 Chilli Sauce with Jasmine Fried Rice

This is the main dish for the night, paired with a robust Shiraz. The lamb is amazingly rich and almost falls of the bone and the gravy goes well with the small portion of fried rice on the side. It’s one of the two dishes Chef Martin Yan cooked on stage and the lamb cutlets has a really great sauce made with ketchup, balsamic vinegar, chilli sauce and sugar. I preferred the sweet and sour prawns though.

Sweet Temptations of Chocolate and Mango and Lychee Jelly and Raspberry Coulis

Sweet Temptations of Chocolate and Mango and Lychee Jelly and Raspberry Coulis

This is the dessert after a wonderful and satisfying meal. The rich chocolate and mango cake/mousse is topped with an edible slice of chocolate with Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur printed on it. The lychee jelly and raspberry coulis at the side goes very well with it as it cleanses your palate after each bite of the rich dessert.

martin yan dinner group photo

This is our table at the dinner – got this photo from Wilson. Wei Zhi, Evelyn and Suanie was there too. I didn’t get the name of the other but the one in the Mandarin Oriental outfit is Bel.

martin yan

I also got to meet Chef Martin Yan, one of my childhood heroes. I can still remember the refrain “Yan can cook, so can you!” that he does and he hasn’t lost as bit of his stage presence. The guy has a great sense of humor and is very friendly in real life too. You’ve got to see him in action, the thing he does on stage is exactly like his cooking show.

mandarin oriental chocolates

There was also a selection of chocolates and candy from Mandarin Oriental to end the night. I was totally stuffed when I got home. It’s one of the best dinners I’ve had recently.

rhu

Rhu is the flagship fine dining eating establishment in Tanjung Rhu resort. There’s a dress code and I can’t pronounce most of the items on the menu. It is one of three restaurants in the resort and offers a great view of the sunset in Langkawi.

rhu sunset

The ambiance is unbeatable…imagine dining al fresco, sipping wine as the sea breeze whets your appetite while you listen to the haunting refrains of a great string quartet playing in the background.

I was amazed by their talent – they had me at cello. ;) I was walking around the first day when the wind carried the violinist’s soulful rendition of Phantom of the Opera over. I could not help but be mesmerized.

dinner at rhu

Okay, back to the food at Rhu, they have a set gourmet menu priced at RM 195. I had the pleasure of dining with the manager of Tanjung Rhu – Melvin, and his daughter Isabell. I was there with Douglas and Alice (their daughter Louise was with the babysitter coz the Rhu does not allow children).

banana flambe

I opted for the a la carte menu instead of the gourmet meal. I wanted to eat seafood since that’s what you do in Langkawi! Hell, I had seafood for every single meal while I was staying at Tanjung Rhu.

Crab Kerabu Ketam

This is the Crab Kerabu Ketam. It’s served on a bed of fresh mango and avocado salad with ketta caviar and sweet spicy dressing. This cold appetizer weighs in at RM 58 and it’s well worth the price tag. The shredded crab meat goes very well with the mango, a contrast that dances across your taste buds.

Fresh Canadian Lobster Cream soup

I also had the chef’s specialty – Fresh Canadian Lobster Cream Soup (RM 49). It’s flavored with fennel and served with baked sesame seed puff pastry. I love the thick and creamy texture of the soup – it’s heartwarming, a broth for the soul as well as the stomach.

Grilled Lemongrass Lobster Tail

For the mains, I went for the Grilled Lemongrass Lobster Tail (RM 147) which is served on a seafood dumpling and a side of sauteed kai lan and mild curry sauce. I like the cuisine fusion but found the curry sauce to be a bit overwhelming for the lobster tail. I prefer the natural taste of the grilled crustacean – slightly charred on the outside, but juicy when you bite into it.

Chocolate Mille-Feuille

The dessert rounded up the meal nicely – this is the Chocolate Mille-Feuille, a concoction served with mini apple, nougat ice cream and raspberry coulis (RM 39). I would highly recommend the banana flambe, which is prepared with gusto right beside your table. True to all gourmet restaurant, the portions are small at Rhu and you won’t be hard pressed to find space for after dinner drinks.

isabell

It was a night of good food and great conversations, ranging from psychology to literature, a delicious end to the trip to Langkawi.

dionex1.jpg

Happy birthday Karen! It was Karen’s birthday today so we got her a
cake and decided to go for some Greek food. We actually planned to go
to Antipodes but Dion
[dionrestaurant.com.au] was just two doors down and we haven’t eaten
there before. The Dion PR guy standing outside saw us standing in
between and contemplating which one to go to and immediately approached
us and invited us inside. He said Dion is an award winning restaurant
and we won’t be disappointed. Heh. Alright, dude.

dionex2.jpg

Going off on a different tangent it seems that a lot of restaurants
here have PR people (promoters?) standing outside trying to pull
customers in but I don’t see that a lot back home in Malaysia.
Interesting. Oh, I bumped into one of my old college friend while in
the city today. It was good to see him again, haven’t seen him around
for a while.

dionint.jpg

Anyway Dion has a really nice ambience, the lighting was great and
it’s a very popular place to eat. It was empty when we went there early
but it soon filled up to capacity. There were only two waiters and two
waitresses and but the service was still good.

karenuh.jpg
Karen (the birthday girl) with Ung Hing her bf

Oh, guess what I had today? Ouzo! [greekproducts.com] :)

I had wanted to try that ever since I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
They were drinking shooters of it during one scene and it looked so
tempting. I didn’t actually know what it was called, so I asked our
waitress whether she has watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Haha! Well,
she smiled and said yes so I asked her what that shooter they were
drinking is called.

ouzo.jpg
God’s gift to mankind

It wasn’t on the menu, but they had it (it was a Greek restaurant
and even the waiters and waitresses are Greek). Anyway, I ordered two
of those and downed them. It’s really, really amazingly tasty! There is
a strong smell and taste of liquorish and it’s very sweet and has a
very satisfying aftertaste. Very, very nice, if you ever see it around,
do yourself a favor and have one of these things. It’s so tasty it
ought to be illegal! :)

meuozo.jpg

I could drink these things all day, but they cost A$6 each, which
wouldn’t be expensive normally, but I’m running short this month due to
having to replace most of my computer about a week ago. Delicious,
delicious stuff. Devine! I reckon you can get it at Greek bottle shops
too, there’s one in Clayton so I’ll pop in and check someday.

annabrd.jpg
Thien Na showing us how to properly butter a bread. Apparently, just slathering it on top is not considered appropriate

Anyway, I’m digressing so much. Just don’t miss out on having this
if you get the chance. It’s absolutely amazing stuff. Well, four of us
had the dinner banquet and the others had the main meals. The dinner
banquet was really too much for four people, but it sure was
interesting.

dionmenu.jpg

If you can’t read the menu from the picture, I’ve cut and pasted it from the Dion website. The banquet we had was:

MIXED DIPS – Various Dips
DOLMADES – Vine leaves filled with rice and herbs
SAGANAKI – Pan fried graviera cheese, lemon and oregano dressing
LOUKANIKA – Char-grilled Greek sausages
KEFTEDES – Char-grilled Greek style meat rissoles
MIXED SOUVLAKI – Char-grilled lamb and chicken on skewers
OCTAPOTH1 XITHATO – Marinated octopus
FILLETS OF FISH – Fillets of fresh fish
PATATES – Oven baked potatoes
ELLENIKI SALATA – Greek Salad
DESSERTS – Exclusively from Medallion Cakes

dip.jpg

The dips were the most interesting thing. There was a purple dip, a
pink deep, a bizarre green dip, an orange one and a yellow one. At one
point, I was just eating the dip with a fork just for fun. They look so
interesting.

kareneat.jpg
Karen eating…

I’ve had heaps of dolmas before so I’m familiar with it. I used to
get it in cans, my lecturer in college is such a big promoter of dolmas
and got us into eating it. It’s good stuff, but the Dion ones beats the
ones of out the cans anyday.

main.jpg

Saganaki was too cheesy, I didn’t really enjoy it, and I think no
one else did too. Loukanika is pretty spicy and that’s good but I was
so full at that time I only ate half. Keftedes wasn’t really anything
special…tasted like meat patties filled with herbs. The grilled lamb
and chicken was my favorite!

myside.jpg
One side of the table: (from left) Chuck Fong, Thien Na, Huai Bin (me), Christopher

oppside.jpg
The other side of the table: (from left) Chuck Fong, Adrian, Chuck Yong, Karen

This is so bizarre. Ung Hing is missing and I don’t remember the seating was this way before.

The marinated octopus was great as well, but I didn’t eat much of
the fish and potatos. I’m more of a meat eater although I like fish,
just not in fillets. The Greek Salad was good as well, but the goat
cheese was a bit too hard. Eh, so I’m a food reviewer now, it seems. :)

dessert.jpg

Okay, now the best thing is the desserts. It comes from Medallion
Cakes, a place three doors down, which serves the best cakes and
desserts in Melbourne. In my opinion anyway! They’re elaborate works of
art that looks almost too good to eat!

annakeb.jpg

Well, Thien Na had to leave after the main course to fetch her bf to
go to Moomba and we got her to carry a lamb kebab with her. We left
soon after to go to Moomba as well, and that’ll be the next post. I
feel sleepy now but I’ll write it if I feel more awake later. It’s
probably going to be tomorrow though. Yeah, it’ll definately have to be
tomorrow. *yawn* Anyway, Dion is a great place, I’ll go again, if only
just for the Ouzo. Heh. It’s at Lonsdale St, I’m sure everyone in
Melbourne knows where it is, since it’s on such a prominent street. Oh,
funny thing was, we forgot to bring the cake out! We left it at Karen’s
house while waiting for her to change. Heh. Happy 22nd Karen!

everyone.jpg

Did you know? That everyone is this picture was from Methodist High School, Sibu in 1998 :) They’re all my high school friends.

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