Ebbelwoi (apple wine) in Frankfurt

applewine murals

There’s one thing that Frankfurt is *really* famous for. No, it’s not the wurst (sausages) that derives from its name, it’s apple wine! Called Apfelwein (or Ebbelwoi) in German, the brewing of apple wine has been a source of pride for many Frankfurters.

schweizer strasse

It’s the (un?)official drink of the city!

sachsenhausen nord

There’s even an entire street in Sachsenhausen-Nord near the city of Frankfurt am Main that dedicates itself to apple wine! It’s informally called the Applewine Quarter and the street name is Schweizer Strasse. There are several establishments serving apple wine in Frankfurt (you can get it in most restaurants) but for the authentic experience, I highly recommend you go to a specialty shop!

zum gemalten haus

I was recommended two such apple wine houses by a knowledgeable local (our concierge haha) – both are located at Sachsenhausen-Nord. The first is called Zum Gemalten Haus and unfortunately, it’s closed on Mondays. The second is called Adolf Wagner (also known as Apfelwein Wagner) and I remember hearing about this place before – that’s how famous the apple wine bar is!

adolf wagner

Adolf Wagner has been around since 1931 – that means they’ve been brewing Frankfurt’s most famous drink for several centuries. There are actual long tables and chairs located both in front and inside the establishment. I recommend doing inside coz there’s a huge apple wine jug where they pour your drink from at the bar.

applewine quarter

The apple wine is brewed on the premises of Adolf Wagner itself! You can see it if you’re seated inside. There are also colorful murals depicting the good ol’ days of apple wine imbibing and scenes of general cheer.

apfelwein

You’ll expect a place like this to be expensive but it’s surprisingly affordable and all the locals come here. One glass of apple wine costs 1.90 Euro. That’s less than RM 10! It’s cheap even *when* you convert the currency. I had a 300 ml glass of their famous apple wine while my better half ordered the non-alcoholic apple wine.

apfelwein wagner prices

Surprisingly, the non-alcoholic apple wine costs slightly more than the regular apple wine. I’m not sure if that’s coz like decaf coffee, it goes through an extra step, but I very much doubt it. The non-alcoholic apple wine that my dear ordered (2 Euro for 300 ml glass) is clear and tastes like apple juice, albeit slightly rotten apple juice.

nonalcoholic ebbelwoi
A 300 ml glass of non-alcoholic apple wine

My apple wine is slightly cloudy from the unfiltered sediments and tastes like nothing I’ve ever come across. Apple wine doesn’t taste like apple cider – it doesn’t have that acidic bite to it. It’s smooth and delicious – but be careful, the alcohol content of these things can hit the two digit mark.

ebbelwoi
A 300 ml glass of regular apple wine

I’ve seen it quoted as 10.4% alcohol although every batch differs. Adolf Wagner also sells 1 litre bottles of their apple wine to go for just 2 Euros while the 5 litre souvenir jugs are just 13 Euros. Or you can just get their matchbooks (free) if you’re a cheapskate. ;)

matchbook

Protip: If you want to get apple wine from Frankfurt to bring home, avoid buying them at the touristy Romel square where every other shop (including the official tourist information center) offers nicely bottled and packaged apple wine for sale at a price premium. It’s not as authentic as grabbing a bottle (or jug) from Adolf Wagner, where the locals drink, so get it from a reputable apple wine bar instead of a souvenir shop!

wagner applewine

I highly recommend walking to Apfelwein Wagner and sitting down for a glass of apple wine when you’re in Frankfurt. It’s one of the few things which is unique to the city itself and even if you don’t consume alcohol, there’s a non-alcoholic apple wine to conform to your dietary/religious beliefs. It’s way better than grabbing a Frankfurter (and you can do the latter after some nice local apple wine in your tummy).

applewine prices

Apple wine is called the official drink of Frankfurt for a reason! :D

apfelwein wagner

Posted: 9:39 am Frankfurt time (GMT +2) – we just took the overnight Paris-Frankfurt am Main bus! :D

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Dragon cod poached in red wine and eggplant steaks

cod poached red wine

I found a nice piece of what’s called dragon cod at the huge fish supply market. It’s a 1/5 of the price of regular cod and the only English references I could find in Google is allegedly from a fast food place in China substituting it in their fish burgers. It’s called 龙鳕鱼 in Chinese.

cod dragon

Dragon cod is supposed to have fat that the human body cannot digest but I ate a piece of the sample (the tiny bit that comes in the package – you know, for like tuna) raw and it tasted fine to me.

cod okra

I ate it like that coz it’s from one of those huge fishing clearing house that can have much fresher produce than your local fishmonger.

dragon cod fish

It tasted really good and paying RM 12 instead of RM 58 for the same size sounds like it’s worth a try! :)

dragon cod

I pan-fried the dragon cod after patting it dry with serviettes. The good thing about dragon cod is that it has no bones (except for the obvious one) – much like a regular cod.

pan seared cod

However, it has a very high moisture content. I wanted to dry it sufficiently so it’ll have a nice sear on the fish steak.

red wine poaching

I used a lot of butter for frying the dragon cod. I initially wanted it to be served like that – with a reduced butter sauce before I saw a really old bottle of red wine in my fridge.

red wine cod

I poured the entire remainder of the Crimson Cabernet bottle into it – about 1/4. It’s a very sweet red wine. Think of the sweetest red one you’ve ever had and multiply it by a factor of 10 and you’ve got an idea of how this wine tastes like, which is why I couldn’t finish it.

red wine sauce

I let the dragon cod poach in the red wine for a while and then took it out and reduced the sauce before thickening it with some corn starch for some bubbling goodness that I spooned over the fish.

sliced okra

My other half was responsible for the eggplant steaks. She just sliced them down the middle…

fried okra

…seared them, and before

okra sauce

….made an awesome sauce of chopped garlic, shallots and chilli fried in oil to bring out the flavor.

okra steaks

It’s poured right on top for a delicious meal we ate together with rice! :)

cod red wine reduction

I’m quite proud of the dragon cod poached in red wine. It tasted really good, the taste of the sweet Cabernet still shines though in the sauce and the cod was flaky and moist!

Secret of Louisiana Wine & Dine crawfish dinner

louisiana wine dinner

I just gotta say this:

connie hb blog

Look ma! My blog is on display! smirk

live crawfish

I was at the Secret of Louisiana Wine & Dine event on Monday. It’s a four-course dinner paired with wine and there are various exhibits of Americana (or should I say Louisiana) on display during cocktails. There’s a tank of live crawfish for one. I’m not sure if I ate one of them later but at this point they’re all alive. ;)

bayou

I like how the canopy is set along the lake so all dining is al fresco. There are videos and cooking demonstrations (had some pretty good Cajun shrimp made with just 4 spices) and I love how they printed the menu on re-labelled wine glasses together with the table number.

New Orleans Chowder
A wonderful rich soup, loaded with clams, shrimp & calamari, slow simmered with diced potato, onion and celery in a creamy thick soup.

dessert wine

This was paired with a Kim Crawford Pinot Savignon Blanc that I thought was very appropriate – it’s very refreshing, bubbly and easy-to-drink, a perfect starter wine. The chowder each had a whole crawfish inside too!

new orleans chowder

I loved the creamy soup – I had two in fact. There’s loads of seafood treasures inside and you can crack the crawfish and eat it if you want, although it’s meagre pickings. Crawfish like this doesn’t have a lot of meat inside but the soup more than makes up for it! Lovely!

Louisiana Bayous
Best ingredients from the bayou. Creole crawfish, creamy seafood gumbo & crabmeat mashed potato on corn fritter.

This is a dish of three different small appetizers. I like the crab meat mashed potato on corn fritter but I felt that this dish came out too late – it was already slightly cold (room temperature). The timing was a bit off for this one, some things are no doubt meant to be served cold and vice versa, but not at ambient temperature.

louisiana bayous

I can understand that cooking for so many people presents a unique challenge, but this was the only dish that was served slightly late. All the other dishes were nice and warm (even the dessert!). However, I can see the awesome potential – I loved the crab meat on corn fritter! :)

Trinity Jambalaya
Famous blackened red fish and jerk chicken with a rice dish consisting of onion, pepper and celery which makes up the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking.

trinity jambalaya

I absolutely adore this dish! It’s full of seafood – huge shrimps, mussels, scallops! The red fish was wonderfully spiced – I love the hearty dose of pepper coating the fish. It’s a very heavy dish, broken up with several asparagus stalks.

wine hb

This is paired with a Wente Bayer Ranch Zinfandel, a nice red that goes against the guidelines of white meat with white wine and red meat with red wine, yet pulls it off with panache (it’s just a general rule of thumb many wine dinners I’ve been to has espoused). Absolutely the best dish of the night – perfect representation of Cajun style cooking and everything was still smoking hot!

(except the wine, as far as I know mulled wine does not originate from Louisiana)

Mud Pie & Praline
A rich New Orleans treat – roasted pecan on buttery praline and rich warm chocolate cake.

mud pie praline

A wonderful end to the dinner. It’s paired with a McGuigan Black Label Moscato, a sweet dessert wine. I liked the mud pie but what really got me was the buttery praline!

It’s awesomeness distilled into a messy chunk on your plate. I loved it so much I ate the entire caramel-like praline that left me wanting for more!

eiling hb

A great finish to a wonderful dinner! Eiling and Ziling was there too – good to see you again!

blog post signing

Oh, and here’s one of me signing the printed out Secret of Louisiana review of the first dinner. Heh.

kings and queens

Thanks again to Connie for a wonderful dinner! I learned a great deal about how to properly pronounce the etymology of the word “jambalaya” from the US Embassy representative.

us embassy

It’s sham-pal-ha-ya. :)

Secret of Louisiana, Plaza Kelana Jaya

secret of louisiana food

Secret of Louisiana is a Cajun-style seafood and steak restaurant opened up by a chef who used to live there. Word is, he wanted some authentic Louisiana food in KL (or rather Petaling Jaya) and a star is born. Or so it goes.

secret of louisiana

I’ve never been to this place before – it’s really nice, situated beside a lake (didn’t even know there was a lake in Plaza Kelana Jaya and I lived there a couple of years back) with covered al-fresco dining by the pier. I was invited by Connie and Ayu to come sample a couple of their signature dishes.

Seafood Gumbo (RM 22.90)
Sauteed assorted with thick creamy sauce, rich in herbs and cheese, served with garlic toast. Gumbo has been called the greatest contribution of Louisiana kitchens to Americans cuisine!

seafood gumbo

This is the appetizer and I must say, a great start to the dinner! I love the rich, gummy seafood gumbo. It’s a hearty combination of seafood and you can taste the chunks of deep sea lovin’ right inside. You’re supposed to eat it on top of garlic bread but I found myself just spooning the seafood gumbo by itself. Highly recommended.

Louisiana Famous Shrimp Scampi (RM 30.90)
Buttery and lush with fresh garlic, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and lemons, topped with 5 pieces grilled large prawns, the most popular pasta dish among all our pasta dishes.

louisiana famous shrimp scampi

I was entranced with the pasta dish too. The prawns are HUGE and fresh and everything tastes garlicky, which is something I dearly love. I would come back for this and the seafood gumbo again.

Seafood Jambalaya (RM 33.90)
An authentic Cajun dish, it’s perhaps the most versatile main dish that Louisiana has to offer, our version is rice cooked with fresh assorted seafood, sausages, tomatoes, corn, celery, mushrooms and fresh herbs.

seafood jambalaya

This came off as sorta like a wet paella. I love seafood and I like the chunks of fish, shrimp and squid. It’s mixed nicely with rice too, which reminds you of the soupy rice that you get fed as kid when you’re sick. Heartwarming food for the soul.

Red Fish (Red Snapper) (RM 38.90)
Dredged Snapper fillet on Cajun spice mix and seared on hot cask iron with butter. Blackened style with Cajun vegetables.

red fish red snapper

I found a lot of people who enjoyed this dish but for some reason it didn’t quite agree with me. I found the style of cooking to be too dry, maybe it’s just a personal thing.

Nut & Seed Layered Chicken (RM 32.90)
Grilled chicken breast with Cajun spice, sliced with and layered with organic nut & seed, served on lightly mashed potato and carrot. Drizzled with Fig chutney sauce.

nut seed layered chicken

I also found this selection from the Poultry menu to be a tad too dry for my tastes but it’s named the favorite dish of Suanie’s friend (who’s unfortunately allergic to crayfish). I really love the sweet fig chutney that goes with it though – it’s absolutely mouthwatering.

…and the various nuts scattered around! Lovin’ it.

Louisiana’s Mud Pie (RM 16.90)
We begin with a large slice of our rich Hot Chocolate Cake and top it with our hot fudge and big scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is covered with whipped cream and topped with sprinkle of crusted walnut and cherry.

louisiana mud pie

This is really good mud pie. I’ve had some great mud pies and this ranks up there with them. Hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, it’s hard to argue with that. I ended up eating most of this. Heh.

louisiana group photo
L-R (from back): Suanie, Eiling, Shah, Huai Bin (me)

I’ll love to go back to Secret of Louisiana again. It’s relatively close to where I live and I didn’t know such a chill place existed. It’ll be nice to just lounge by the pier and eat some of the seafood dishes. I loved the first two and dessert.

secret of louisiana restaurant

There will be a wine pairing dinner on the 14th of January which features a Cajun culinary feast, a tour of the State of Louisiana (not literally – there’s going to be features and videos on that day), a folk dance performance, a special cooking demonstration plus a speech from the US Embassy to Malaysia.

louisiana sauces

The event kicks off at 6:30 pm and there will also be wine appreciation tips and mystery gift giveaways. If you’re interested, the tickets are RM 250 per pax, you can get them by calling Sharine Chua (019 983 0230) or Ayu (012 234 7066). You can also surf over to their website.

ayu connie chef

I’ll be going to check it out. Last I heard, 1/3 of the tickets are already sold and that was a week ago so give them a buzz if you wanna join us in this wine pairing dinner. The food will not be the same as the one that we ate, it’ll be a specially prepared menu for the occasion, just passing along the info. :)

3 survival meals made with leftovers and bread

I call this slightly tongue-in-cheek post the Vagabond Edition of my continuing bread story. smirk

Anyway, if you’re in strict budget mode these are some meals with bread that you can go with and it’s still quite tasty…in it’s own way. ;)

1. Bread with ketchup / chilli sauce

bread ketchup

I read Roald Dahl’s first biography – Boy as a kid and there’s an anecdote about his growing years inside. He and his mates ate sandwiches with just a dash of ketchup to give it a bit of flavor while one greedy individual had his full of pork and wouldn’t share. I distinctly remember the meat being bigger than the sandwich.

I did this with those small leftover single serve packages of chilli sauce I found at home. You can eat it with the same packets of ketchup too. It tastes rather good actually, especially if you have an egg to nibble on.

I had sandwiches with a fried egg and chilli sauce when I was in primary school and those were my absolute favorite! This reminds me a bit of that. ;)

2. Bread heaped with Milo / Ovaltine / any powdered malt drink

This is again another one from my childhood…and it tastes fabulous, but rather messy.

bread milo

It’s for those times when you’re sick of dunking it in a hot malt drink and wants a different texture. The trick we used to make the powdered drink “stick” to the sandwich is sweetened condensed milk as a kid.

However, I found that kaya works too and the grainy texture of the powdered malt drink is delicious on bread! :)

3. Bread with wine

People have been eating this for well over at least two thousand years…B.C. time. Jesus himself gave the last supper with bread and wine (albeit his was unleavened bread to conform with Jewish traditions at that time).

bread wine

Just generously anoint the bread with wine and savor it.

It’s surprisingly delicious! The wine is one I haven’t even tasted myself, it was opened ages ago and I was half afraid it had turned into vinegar! It hasn’t. It works best with red wine, chilled. The dates are correct, Anno Domini means Year of our Lord but He was born long after 1 A.D. – there’s a dating mistake somewhere along the line during the switch from Before Christ to AD, it’s 6-7 years off.

I reckon it’s a fitting one for Sunday too with the Eucharist and all that. :D

My Maxims Genting Premium Experience (Part II)

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. :)

Chef Martin Yan Chinese food wine pairing banquet @ Mandarin Oriental

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.

Bistro 42, Bangsar Village II

bistro42 bangsar village

Bistro42 is a quaint little dining place in BVII that has a weird seating arrangement consisting of regular tables and chairs with a plush sofa (complete with comfortable pillows) flanking the side. It also has a quasi al fresco area outside the main restaurant:

bistro42 bvii

You get what I mean when I say “al fresco” right – it’s smack dab in the middle of a shopping mall so it’s not a real open air dining area. That means no smoking, no cooling nighttime breeze (unless you count the central air conditioning) or any other activities you’ll associate with the phrase al fresco.

bistro42 bangsar

However, Bistro 42 does have pretty good food. I’ve been there a couple of times and if the place looks slightly familiar to you, it’s because it used to be T Forty Two. It now comes with a revamped menu and I went there last night with Kim to check it out.

bistro42 kim

Anyway, the story behind dinner with Kim is quite interesting in itself. I met her in 2008 while on a vacation in Miri. There is a funny story somewhere in there but that’s a bit of an #insidejoke. Heh. That was over 3 years ago and she came over to KL sometime last year. I didn’t know that and while hunting for photos from when I got out of rehab, I stumbled upon one of us and put it up. Kim had just started reading blogs again, saw it, and we got in touch and made plans for dinner.

bistro42 bread

…and that, my friends is the totally irrelevant background as to how I had dinner with Kim in Bistro42 last night. smirk

bistro42 waygu beef cheek

Slow Roasted Wagyu Beef Cheek (RM 45.90)
I knew I was going to order this when I saw it on the menu, It’s served with carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes and mashed potatoes. It sounds pedestrian from the description but when the dish came out, it looked (and tasted) wonderful.

wagyu beef cheek slice

The wagyu beef cheek is superb! It’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. The beef cheek literally falls apart when you slice into it – you can even eat it with a spoon! The sauce it’s swimming in complements the juicy slab of beef cheek perfectly. Kim tasted this and says it totally kicked her dishes’ ass.

tiger prawn linguine

Grilled Tiger Prawn Linguine (RM 49.90)
This is in a reduction of lobster bisque and finished with a touch of cream. The size of the tiger prawn is pretty generous and I was amazed to see that Kim can actually peel the shell off the tiger prawn using nothing but a fork and knife:

shelling tiger prawn

peeling tiger prawn

No shit. I’ve never managed to master that.

bistro42 wine

Anyway, I found this pasta dish quite good actually. I like the lobster bisque reduction – it goes well with the seafood based linguine. It’s the perfect pasta sauce. My only complaint is that it only has one tiger prawn. Granted, it is rather large but still…

bistro42 food

Bistro42 has a small but satisfactory wine list. The bottles starts from RM 100 so expect your meal to be in the RM 250 – RM 300 range if you have wine with your dinner. Bistro42 also has a very interesting cocktail called Lemon Meringue Martini. It’s made with vodka, Limoncello, lemon juice, sugar and fresh milk. It’s like a dessert cocktail – check it out if you’re there.

Mulled wine

british mulled wine

I’ve never tried British mulled wine before and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. It seems rather hard to find, despite it being winter when I was there but I finally managed to track it down.

mulled wine

Mulled wine is red wine with spices like cinnamon added and served warm. It comes out of a pot – the glass of wine is filled by ladling the hot mulled wine into it.

mullet wine

The taste is quite extraordinary – the warm drink makes it perfect for sipping and the sugar and cinnamon tones makes it very palatable indeed…even for non-drinkers. It’s awesomeness in a glass during the cold days of winter! :)

Give me Libertas, or give me Death!

liberty or death

Libertas is a South African Cabernet Sauvignon bottled at the West
Cape. I have been taking advantage of the new 5-day work week
implemented by our company to chill out on a Saturday afternoon after
sleeping in late.

libertas kfc

Melody brought some KFC over to my house and we ate the
X-Meals (is is just me, or has KFC burgers shrunk over the past
decade?) while I opened up the bottle of wine. I have now acquired the
discipline of keeping liquor around the house without the temptation of
consuming it immediately, which my addiction counselor would term as Progress (TM). ;)

libertas

Libertas is Latin for liberty, and the title of the post is made popular by Patrick Henry. Anyway, a 5-day work week may be the norm in KL and other parts of the country, but over here in Sarawak, it’s cause for celebration! =D

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