Graze @ Hilton Kuala Lumpur – 45-Minute 3-Course Express Lunch

Looking to entertain business clients, or just want a quick (but five-star!) lunch on the go?

Hilton Kuala Lumpur‘s modern European brasserie, Graze, is currently offering a 45-minute, 3-course express set with the busy work crowd in mind. Drawing emphasis on fresh and seasonal produce, the six concise menus comprises a variety of appetisers, mains and desserts to finish. Indulge in classics like Caesar Salad, Creamy Mushroom Soup, Graze Steak Sandwich, Napolitan Beef Ragout, Traditional Crème Brule, Caramel Banana Brownie and more. Available from 1 July – 31 August 2020 and for lunch only, the set meal is priced at RM95 nett per person inclusive of soft drink, juice or coffee and tea.

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Take a seat by the window and enjoy panoramic views of the lush greenery surrounding the KL city centre. Bright and flooded with natural light, the restaurant is nevertheless cosy and warm, immediately setting you at ease as you take a break from the day’s hectic schedule.

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To kick things off while waiting for our appetisers to arrive: complimentary bread with olive oil.

There were two sets to choose from for the day; G went for Set A, comprising a gazpacho soup starter, a steak sandwich as the main course, finishing off with a dessert of wild berries tart. I opted for Set B, which included a Salmon Gravlax salad, Napolitan Beef Ragout, and Warm Brioche bread and butter pudding.

SET A 

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Beautifully plated Gazpacho with Pulled Flower Crab, Avocado Mousse, Cucumber and Tomato, Virgin Olive Oil 

This popular cold soup with Andalusian origins is made of raw blended vegetables. The gazpacho on its own has a mild, refreshing taste, but is elevated when you combine all of the ingredients together – the creaminess of the avocado, the crunch of cucumber, the natural sweetness of the snow crab and tomatoes make for a wonderful combination.

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Graze Steak Sandwich with Caramelised Onions, Tomato Relish, Rocket Salad

This one’s for the meat lovers. Served in generous portions and a side of thin-cut fries, the meat is thick, juicy and well-seasoned, slathered in a sweet relish of tomato and caramelised onions and complemented by the peppery, nutty flavour of rocket salad. Bringing everything together are two buns, which are soft to the bite but slightly crispy on the outside.

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Wild Berries Tart and Mascarpone Chantilly is beautifully presented; the slight tartness of the berries balancing well with the sweet mascarpone chantilly for a refreshing end to the meal.

SET B 

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The Salmon Gravlax Garden Green Salad, Dill Creme Fraiche, Volkorn Bread is a wonderful blend of textures and flavours, featuring salmon rosettes on a bed of fresh greens. The Volkorn bread – A German recipe – contains healthy grains, and also gives the dish an added crunch, while the creamy dill creme fraiche binds all the different ingredients together in harmony.

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My personal favourite is the Napolitan Beef Ragoutthe price for the express lunch is worth it just for this! Generous portions aside, everything is cooked to perfection, from the firm but supple texture of the pasta to the mouthwatering flavours of the beef ragout, which is savoury with a delicious natural sweetness. It is obvious the meat has undergone a long and laborious cooking process, as the meat is so tender it literally melts in your mouth. Top it off with shredded cheese, and you’ll be guaranteed to leave the restaurant with a satisfied smile.

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The pasta’s hollow shape makes it ideal for soaking up the sauces.

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There’s always space for dessert, and the Warm Brioche Bread & Butter Pudding with Vanilla Ice Creamrounds off the meal on a high note. The pudding is actually quite light, and the mild sweetness of the vanilla lets you end the meal on a satisfying note.

GRAZE 

Graze Modern European Brasserie, Level 4,The Hilton Kuala Lumpur, 3 Jalan Stesen Sentral 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Open for lunch daily from 12.30PM – 2.30PM

*Reservation is required. A standard discount is available for Hilton Dining APAC members and selected credit card holders. For further enquiries or reservations, call +603 2264 2264 or visit www.eatdrinkhilton.com.

5 Must-Try Traditional Dishes In Selangor, Malaysia

Malaysia has 13 states and 2 Federal Territories, each with its own unique cuisine. Some are better known than others:  Penang for its assam laksa and char kuey teow, Negeri Sembilan for its Minang cuisine, Sarawak for its mee kolok, and Kuala Lumpur for its Kari Laksa. But despite being one of the country’s economic hubs and the gateway to Malaysia, Selangor food is often overlooked – which is a shame, as the state is home to a slew of gastronomical delights, drawn from the multicultural background of its inhabitants. The recipes for some of these dishes have been handed down through the centuries and perfected in modern times.

Whether you’re a native Selangor-ian or just visiting, here are five authentic Selangor dishes to indulge in for your next gastronomic adventure!

Pecal from www.maggi.com. my.v1

Pecal

Pecal is a common appetiser that can be found just about anywhere in Selangor. A traditional Javanese salad of sorts, it consists of vegetables topped with a mouth-watering peanut sauce that can also be served with Ketupat or Lontong (rice cubes). Pecal is easy to make, so you can try your hand at making it at home! Key ingredients include peanuts / groundnuts for the kuah (gravy), tofu, bean sprouts, long beans and cucumber.  

Nasi Ambeng

Nasi Ambeng by nona manis kitchen cyberjaya.v1.v1

Nasi Ambeng is made for sharing, as it is usually served on a platter for four to five people. It comes with side dishes such as chicken, fried noodles, long beans and sambal tempe accompanied by white rice. The dish is a common sight at festivals or large gatherings (kenduri).  

Sambal Taun

Sambal Tahun by salamisimon1 on blogspot.v1.v1

Another Selangor dish with Javanese roots is Sambal Taun or Sambal Tahun, which was brought over by early Javanese settlers. A copious amount of chilli is used to make sambal taun. Cow skin is often used as the main protein, but clams, cow lungs and anchovies can also be used, according to one’s preference. Other ingredients needed to complete the dish are red onions, garlic, shrimp paste, coconut milk, oil, tamarind paste and a pinch of salt and sugar.  

Wadai Kipeng

Wadai Kipeng by www. friedchillies.c om.v1

In the tongue of the Banjar people (who are originally from South Kalimantan in Indonesia), ‘Wadai’ means ‘Kuih’, while ‘Kipeng’ means pieces. Back in the day, the Banjar community traditionally served Wadai Kipeng as part of their Thanksgiving ceremony. This porridge-like dessert is made from glutinous rice flour, coconut, palm sugar, granulated sugar and pandan leaves – the perfect sweet ending to any meal.

Bahulu Kemboja by manis2012 on blogspot.v1.v1

Bahulu Kemboja

An all-time favourite snack, Bahulu Kemboja can be served for breakfast or tea. To maintain the moisture of the kuih, original pandan essence straight from the leaves has to be used, along with wheat flour, rice flour, coconut milk, eggs, sugar and salt, as well as a dash of sesame seeds as toppings.

For more interesting tidbits and tales about Selangor, visit www.selangor.travel. 

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Content courtesy of Tourism Selangor. Photos provided by Tourism Selangor, via friedchillies.com, salamisimon1, maggi.com.my, Nona Manis Kitchen Cyberjaya and Manis2012 on blogspot.

 

Thai Food with A Twist @ Kompassion II TTDI

With Thai food, it’s all about the ‘package’. From its complex blend of flavours and textures to its colourful presentation, everything is done to be visually appealing, while pandering to our sense of smell and tastebuds. (Probably one of the reasons why Thai cuisine is consistently ranked as one of the most popular in the world!)

Most of us would be familiar with traditional favourites like the pad thai, tom yum goong or fish cakes. With Thai fusion, which blends Thai ingredients/spices and flavours with those from other cultures – the result is something phenomenal: as I discovered at KomPassion Restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL.

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KomPassion II is the second outlet helmed by Chef Nikom Uatthong, the first being KomPassion at Damansara Kim, which already has a stellar reputation for its awesome food. V.II has a similar cozy ambiance, with warm yellow lighting and tall windows for lots of natural sunshine. The menu is written on a chalkboard, while the wall is plastered over with calendar dates.

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Walls are intentionally left exposed with a ‘peeled’ look. All part of the aesthetics. Tables are polished wood paired with colourful steel chairs.

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We start off with Pucuk Paku Salad with Young Coconut. Western salads may use lettuce or romaine, but the version here is a marriage of Thai ingredients and the classic Malay ulam – a mix of crunchy ferns, shredded crab meat sticks and young coconut, topped with a dollop of fish roe and a side of coconut shavings. You get a bit of everything: salty and mushy from the roe, sweet from the coconut flesh, crunchy from the almonds – truly a beautiful marriage of textures and flavours.

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Another light appetizer before we move on to the mains: Beef Salad. Hiding beneath all that green are beautifully seared pieces of tender beef, mixed with creamy avocado, carrots, onions, tomato cubes and chilli. One bite and it’s a party in the mouth. 🙂

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The house special is Hang Lay Chicken Curry, a specialty from Northern Thailand that has been tweaked to suit local tastes. Inspired by Indian curries and spices, the version here is not too hot but still gives a nice kick. It is also sweet rather than savoury, with strong hints of masala powder, cumin and coriander. The original version doesn’t have coconut cream, but since Malaysians love strong flavours, the one here uses it for a smoother, creamier taste. Easy to polish off bowls of rice with these.

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For those who want to try a bit of everything, there is the Nasi Campur Special, which comes in a generous serving of two different curries (green Thai curry + the earlier Hang Lay chicken Curry), white rice/brown rice topped with fried egg, fried chicken and fish, and a side of tangy mango salad. To cap it off, a bowl of spicy tom yam soup. What can I say? Hearty comfort food at its best that will have you polishing the plate and licking it clean.

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Used to tom yum soup being orange or red, so when the Fish Special Tom Yum was served, we were a bit surprised to find that the broth was clear. Filled to the brim with plump mushrooms, fish fillets, lemongrass and tomato, it was hot without being overpowering. Despite the sweat rolling down our foreheads, we kept dipping our spoons in for more.

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To tone down on all that spiciness, dessert was in order. Go for the creamy and rich Coconut Gelato with Red Ruby and Jack Fruit. The ice cream is milky with vanilla overtones, and its soft melting texture is great with the chewy red ruby and crunchy jackfruit. 20151201_143628-tile

The cheesecake, served in a huge block, was robust and creamy, balanced out by sweet/sour chunks of mango.

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KOMPASSION II 

No.15, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-77317016

Opening hours: Tues – Sun (11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm)

Closed on Mondays

Pork-free 

Thai Thai, Sunway Pyramid

Not a fan of Thai food. I don’t hate it; I just haven’t gotten around to eating it much.

Marble suggested we have Thai Thai at Sunway Pyramid for dinner. The menu looked enticing and I was hungry, so in we went.

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Already packed for dinner. Bathed in yellow lights, the place has a cosy yet modern design, with nothing particularly Thai about the decorations. Many tables were reserved and we had to wait for awhile. Service was quick and attentive though.

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After a short wait, we were ushered to our seats. Ordered the Thai Iced Tea (RM11.90) to quench my thirst. It wasn’t the orange thai milk tea I loved so much, but good enough. Sweet and milky, the different colours are made up of thick, syrupy palm sugar, condensed milk and tea. Mix together for best results!

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Selfies with Marble and Jo before our food arrived.

Can you believe that the three of us have already known each other for eight years already? It seems like just yesterday that we were fresh-faced high school grads, ready to take on the world (or at least, college). 2008 wasn’t that long ago, but sometimes it feels that way.

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Our first dish: Chicken Curry (There was a Thai name for the dish but I stupidly forgot to take a picture of it). What can I say, it’s as good as curry gets. Heavy handed with coconut cream, as Thai curries go, but that’s just how I like mine 🙂 Chicken meat was solid with a bite, not too tender, and the sauce was great with rice. Nearly licked this clean lol.

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Sizzling sweet and sour tofu, which came with slices of mushroom, carrots, peas and corn. Tastewise it was decent, nothing to shout about but again, the sauce was good to go with rice.

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I liked the fried omelette with shrimp, even though you can probably tell it was oily. Puffy, crispy and filled with bits of springy shrimp, we dipped it in Thai chilli sauce for that extra kick.

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Meal came up to about RM100, plus rice and my drink. Portions were enough for the three of us, but big eaters might have to order more. Each dish averages Rm20+ and above, plus 10% service charge and 6% GST.

Thai-Thai Restarant
LOT G1-135.Oasis Boulevard,
Sunway Pyramid, No.3, Jalan PJS 11/15,
Bandar Sunway,46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-74919428

Business hours: 10am – 10pm (daily).