Kai’s Plato, Kota Damansara

Kai Plato

My better half’s parents wanted to have dinner together last night so I thought of Kai’s Plato. Kai’s Plato is a restaurant specializing in seafood that subscribes to a no utensils and plates policy. The lobster, prawns, crabs etc comes in a platter and you use the table and your fingers to eat everything. It’s a pretty cool experience.

Kais Plato

I had wanted to come when it first opened but the queues were prohibitive. It’s still quite packed but you’ll be able to get in with a reservation. I booked a table for 4 pax at Kai’s Plato for 6:30 pm.

Kais

There is only 1 menu item here. The meal is standardized and goes according to the number of people. 2 diners will be served with a 3-tier platter while 4 pax has a 4-tier platter.

Writing Shell

You get shells to draw with from the server. These will be mounted on the walls with your customized message – the walls of Kai’s Plato is filled with these.

Watermelon Lychee

I ordered a Virgin Mojito (RM 8.90) while my dear had the Watermelon Lychee (RM 8.90). These two drinks are the house specials. I liked the Watermelon Lychee, it’s very refreshing. The mojito was decent too, they don’t skip on the mint leaves here. It takes up a full half of the glass!

Scallop Oyster

Our 4-layer platter came and was mounted on the jelly flame source. This is the first tier in the platter. There are 11 types of seafood in total here. I particularly liked the sea snails. It’s musky and sandy. Yum! The scallops are served with chopped ginger and spring onions. The oysters are topped with cheese and it’s pretty awesome.

Prawn Octopus

The second tier is filled with prawns, clams, mussels, bamboo clams and octopus. There is another type of clam called arc shell so there’s actually 3 types of clams in this layer. The bottom is lined with cabbage and the vegetables are edible. I preferred the broccoli from the first layer though.

Crab Lobster

The third tier is the best one! It contains the most premium ingredients – slipper lobsters, crabs, huge big head prawns, and grouper fish slices. I love the monster big head prawns. The brains are bigger than the size of my thumb when extracted! The mud crabs are super delicious too. I enjoyed eating the grouper and the small serving of vermicelli is infused with the flavors of the shellfish and seafood. It’s so bomb!

Seafood Soup

The fourth tier contains the seafood soup. You’ll notice that each layer has holes at the bottom to allow stray juices to drip downwards though each tier. This means the scallops, snails, oysters from the first layer drips down to the clams, octupus, mussels in the second layer which in turn goes into the huge prawns, crabs and lobster in the third layer and everything finally drains into this sweet, sweet broth.

Pasta

Kai’s Plato will give you a serving of pasta to eat with the soup. This is meant to fill you up but we were all very full from the seafood already. The soup was really nice though.

Seafood Pasta

I kept a little bit of the crab meat to put into my pasta and seafood soup. The soup is soooo delicious from the 11 types of seafood juices dripping down. It’s such a treat to finish the meal with piping hot soup. I like how the flame is kept going so the soup is boiling. The soup also serves as as steam source to keep the rest of the platter warm.

Kais Us

Kai’s Plato works out to around RM 86 per pax. I ordered the Captain’s Platter for RM 270++, which is what they call the set for 4 people. It’s RM 138++ for 2 pax or RM 390++ for a group of 6. We all enjoyed eating with our hands and using the table as a plate. I also learned that my dear’s dad is a collector of snail shells last night. The meal came up to RM 343.60 for the 4 of us which is reasonable for a meal with lobster, crabs, prawns and grouper. I’ll be back again but not for a long while since you can get sick of eating so much seafood. Haha!

Lobster ravioli with whole American lobster

Lobster ravioli with whole American lobster

This is what we cooked up for last night’s dinner. It looks real good eh? That’s a whole boiled Maine lobster (which is technically called an American lobster) served with lobster ravioli in brown butter sauce.

Boston Lobster

I wish I could say that I cooked the lobster and it originally came like this.

It did not.

Atlantis Lobster

The lobster came like this. smirk

Haha! It’s a whole cooked American lobster packaged by the huge Atlantis-IMF conglomerate. It came from the US and it’s frozen. The entire lobster cost RM 49.50. I hear that lobsters are getting cheaper nowadays coz the sea temperatures are rising, which makes the crustaceans hatch earlier and grow faster. Also, the overfishing of cod in the Atlantic means there are fewer natural predators to eat baby lobsters.

American Lobster

That means you can get lobsters at a pretty decent price nowadays, which explains why large F&B chains can offer it at RM 50 or so for a whole lobster, dine-in. That’s where the first lobster photo came from.

Three Bridges Lobster Ravioli

The ravioli is also store-bought. It’s made by Three Bridges and comes in a 9 oz (255 gram) pack. It’s just RM 34, made in California and described as 100% natural with “wild caught, North Atlantic lobster with creamy ricotta and vine-ripened tomatoes”.

You just need to boil it for 5 minutes.

Brown Butter Sauce

The only thing I made is the brown butter sauce, with lots of French origin butter and Himalayan pink salt.

Lobster Ravioli

There’s something to be said about just cooking something easy during a weekend. This seems to be a popular brand of lobster ravioli too, there was a lone Caucasian woman who took a few packs, presumably to eat something familiar at home. It tasted yummy though, both of us enjoyed the meal tremendously.

Red Lobster @ quill

Red Lobster Malaysia

I didn’t really pay attention to the launch of Red Lobster Malaysia so I was quite surprised to see the Red Lobster marquee while at Quill City Mall. I was there with a friend and wanted to see if it was the same Red Lobster as the US casual dining restaurant so we popped in to check it out.

Lobster Tank

They have a very misleading lunch promotional menu which says “Value Lunch RM 28.90 with 6 delicious options”. The Fine Print (TM) of “starting from” really pushes the definition of the term but who in their right mind would think lobster would come at less than RM 30? I had browsed the menu and spotted the same item I wanted to order at RM 84 but I feel that this has created a lot of ill-will among the public.

Red Lobster Value Lunch

It seems that Red Lobster Malaysia has some teething problems which resulted in a lot of angry customers but most of that seem to be price or service related. It’s been proven that good service actually increases the enjoyment of a meal and we had great service from the wait staff. Granted, we were the only ones there and the staff to customer ratio was 4:1.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

We were seated inside and provided with complimentary Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. I love the warm and cheesy biscuits, but the presentation could do with a bit of work – it was served on a tray with serviettes (!!!). I would have expected something a little better from a place like this, at least spring for a nice piece of linen to keep the biscuits warm. The complimentary soup wasn’t interesting at all but that wasn’t why I came here.

Red Lobster Lobster and Steak Burger

I ordered the Lobster & Steak Burger (RM 81.50). It’s a dish of “tender juicy beef burger patty paired with grilled Maine lobster tail and French fries”. I loved my burger! I had ordered it medium and it came out exactly medium. It was succulent and juicy and positively dripping with bovine goodness. The grilled Maine lobster tail was awesome too, especially with the butter sauce. The hot sauce was addictive as hell too!

Red Lobster Bar Harbor Lobster Bake

My friend went for the Bar Harbor Lobster Bake (RM 127.90). This is supposed to be a sharing dish but we were still quite surprised at the portion. It’s a “roasted, split lobster tail, tender shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and linguine in a savory broth”. I can’t say I enjoyed the pasta much, it was slightly gloopy but the lobster was good. The sea scallops and mussels were on the small side (especially the former) and didn’t add much to the dish. It was still better than the appalling Lobster Thermidor I had in Harrod’s KLCC.

Red Lobster

I thought Red Lobster Malaysia does what it does very well – lobster! The other dishes aren’t that great. I went for the burger coz there was a LongHorn Steakhouse directly beside this outlet sharing the same kitchen and it was super! I feel that if you go, knowing that it’s a casual dining restaurant that doesn’t accept reservations (like Chili’s), stick to what they know best (lobsters) and don’t mind the high prices (use a corporate expense account) you’ll love the food. I sure did.

Waterfront Restaurant @ The Rocks

seafood platter

Waterfront is impossible to miss – it’s built with a distinctive replica of a square-rigged colonial sailing ship mast at the external dining area. This is a full scale replica so it looks like a ship actually ran aground. I thought it was built around a real ship but one of the waitresses told me it’s a replica – another one of which is inside the main dining area.

waterfront ship

The location is on prime Sydney real estate – look outside and you’ll see breathtaking views of Sydney Habour – right from the Opera House to Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Opera House is all lit up since I went during Vivid Sydney – will write about the complete experience soon.

vivid sydney opera house

This restaurant is owned by Dockside Group and there’s actually five (5) interconnected restaurants, cafes and bars inside. I walked around the nautical themed interior of Waterfront, got a little lost, and actually exited from another bar and had to double back to my seating area.

I mentioned that I had the second best seafood platter in Sydney at Vues on the Bay in Port Stephens – this is the best one.

Hot & cold seafood platter for two (AUD 195)
A succulent selection of crayfish, blue swimmer crab, tiger prawns, Balmain bugs, oysters, mussels, baby calamari, market fresh fish & smoked salmon served with fries, mixed leaf salad & tartare sauce

hot seafood platter

The crayfish has been poached and then shocked in ice water. It’s served cold, just the way I like it. BTW, I use the terms interchangeably coz crayfish in Australia actually refers to spiny lobsters in a lot of places – like this one! It’s one of the larger specimens I’ve seen and each person has ½ lobster. I managed to eat 2 lobsters coz some of the people in our group has shellfish allergies and others didn’t really like crayfish that much (heresy!).

It’s really the best crayfish I’ve ever had and that’s coz the lobster was so fresh it tasted sweet and succulent! I just couldn’t have enough.

On the other hand, the Balmain bug (it’s a type of slipper lobster, which is different from a Moreton Bay Bug) tasted positively stale. It seems like it has been caught for a long time, defrosted, then cooked in the same way. I was *not* impressed.

crayfish

However, the seafood platter has way more hits than misses – the blue crab was delicious, the oysters and mussels divine, and I really liked the baby calamari. The “market fresh fish” (they use Murray Cod, Golden Perch and Australian Bass – the Barramundi is cooked as a separate a la carte item) was absolutely delicious! It was Murray Cod that day and it’s made into long, thin cigar shaped pieces which were breaded and fried to perfection. It’s definitely my favorite out of the hot platter.

flourless chocolate cake

Dessert was a bit of a letdown though. I didn’t quite like the Flourless Chocolate Cake – and judging from the rest of the group, I wasn’t the only one. The cake itself was dry and hard and the best thing about the plate is the quenelle of vanilla bean ice cream.

waterfront sydney

I had a few glasses of local Pinot Noir to go with dinner and it complemented everything nicely. I dove in so fast that I didn’t even think about getting the best pictures. All I wanted to do was to get at the sweet poached and ice shocked lobster meat! I would say that the delectable crayfish and deep fried battered Murray Cod was so good that it made the little misses seem like nitpicking.

waterfront the rocks

Waterfront restaurant serves up good seafood and although it may look like a tourist trap on the outside, there are actually a lot of locals who eat here due to the ambience. I would recommend it if you like romantic dinners by the harbour. We were seated outside, but since it was a chilly autumn night, the place was buttoned up with see-through canvas for heating but I bet it’ll be perfect in summer.

replica ship

It can be a little bit pricey though (and there’s also a AUD 5 surcharge on weekends), but I guess that’s due to the location – you’re paying for the wonderful view of Sydney Harbour during dinner too, which isn’t a bad thing.

waterfront restaurant

Waterfront @ The Rocks
17-27, Circular Quay West
Sydney, New South Wales

A selection of Hors d’oeuvre

chocolate cubes

This is one of the most awesome chocolates I’ve ever had – it’s made of over 80% cocoa, very dark and bittersweet, with a dusting to finish it.

chocolate cocoa

I think a whole bunch of us in Singapore had way too much of these. I know I certainly did, totally ruined my appetite for dinner.

hors d oeuvre

This is pretty good too – it’s a layered chocolate cake and almost impossible to dissect but let me attempt to describe it – it contains layer after layer of moist and fluffy pastry covered with chocolate. I was impressed, it was so light it felt like I was eating mostly air.

lobster shots

Lobster shooters. I liked this one too – awesomely concocted pieces of lobsters with the accompanying sauces and garnishes in one ready-to-drink (eat?) shot.

liquor chocolates

This were the chocolates that had liquor in it – it’s infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream. I preferred the original high cocoa content chocolate cubes instead but a lot of others liked these. :)

Lobster and clam pasta with mango and bacon wrapped French beans

lobster and clam pasta with mango

This was originally planned as a yee sang cooking session which somehow mutated into a lobster fest. We were at Cold Storage searching for fish when I saw this awesome looking lobster for RM 59.88. It’s bright, colorful and knobby in all the right places. I stood there marveling at the crustacean instead of looking for fish. I was still staring longingly at it when Eiling came out of the pork section.

lobster

Thus, we decided to forgo the fish and went for lobster instead. I was concerned this wouldn’t fit into my pot and contemplated going for Cambodian lobsters instead. Cambodian lobsters are much smaller than regular lobsters, and doesn’t look like it has a lot of meat in it. There’s a live lobster in the fresh seafood area too, for RM 78 but that monster is definitely too big for my pot.

lobster going into pot

Besides, it’s regular red instead of this wonderfully hued lobster. =D

ingredients

Anyway, when there’s Eiling, there’s always wine – she brought along a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut and a bottle of Cadet d’Oc by Baron Philippe de Rothchild. This is what we used to cook the CNY (?) meal:

Lobster
Clams (la la)
Streaky bacon
French beans
John West anchovy fillets
San Remo spaghetti
Garlic and parsley infused olive oil
McCormick Season All Salt
Ripe mango

spaghetti

We started off by cooking the spaghetti until it was al dente with lots of McCormick’s Season All Salt. This is drained and left aside while the other dishes were prepared.

french beans

The bacon wrapped French beans is a concoction of Eiling – she shows how it’s done here. The beans are sliced into hors d’oeuvres sized pieces before being dipped in boiling water. Don’t overcook the veggies or it’ll lose the crunchiness!

rolling bacon

It is then rolled in a raw bacon slice.

bacon rolled

This is how we roll in KL. ;)

bacon rolls

The bacon rolls are then fried with olive oil on low heat until it cooks. It is important not to overcook it, you don’t want crispy bacon, but something nice and chewy that drips with mouth watering lard.

cooking bacon

Next up: Lobster!

lobster pot

Okay, this motherfucker is a bit of a challenge to put into my pot so I cooked it tail first with the head sticking out. The water is seasoned with LOTS of salt so it would impart some into the lobster (or so my rationale goes).

lobster cooking

The lobster needs to be boiled for about 30 minutes or so – we turned it over to let the head cook and found out that after cooking, it is possible to stuff the entire lobster into the pot!

mango

Take a break and dice the mango at this point. Choose one that is firm, yet sweet and juicy.

clams

The clams go in last since they’re quite easy to cook. Make sure your lovely crustacean is cooked before you chuck in the clams. I have no idea how long you should cook it, we just guesstimated and it worked out very well!

You should reheat the pasta at this point – we used the broth from the lobster and the clams to reheat it, and it really imparts some flavor into the spaghetti!

aglio olio

Now it’s time to make the aglio olio sauce for the spaghetti. Remember the frying pan you used to cook the bacon wrapped beans in? That’s perfect as a base due to the flavors imparted by the streaky bacon. Just add in the infused olive oil and pour in a bit of the anchovy fillet grease and you’re set!

fried lala

Dump the clams into the aglio olio sauce, fry it for a bit and pour the mixture onto your pasta!

serve

Don’t forget your anchovies to add a bit of zing (salt) into your spaghetti!

anchovies

Eiling was a bit doubtful about the addition of mangos into the dish but I managed to convince her that it’ll taste great. It did!

lobster and clam pasta with mango final

I really loved the lobster – it came out just nice, and the flesh is sweet and juicy. Digging into the lobster’s head and eating the stuff inside is pure heaven.

french beans rolled in bacon

The bacon rolled French beans were great – the beans are crunchy and fresh while the bacon was done just right. The mango cubes worked very well too, providing a sweet and juicy burst of nectar which goes very well with the lobster and clam pasta.

lobster tail

There’s a saying that all the meat in lobster is in the tail and I agree…but all the taste is in the head of the lobster!

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