Monday, 31 December 2012

Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, The Yum List Food Awards 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As this calendar draws to a close, we, at The Yum List, would like to reflect on the delicious experiences we were fortunate to encounter this year, 2012. We give thanks to all of our wonderful hosts who invited us in to sample their offerings and also to those who were unknowingly (at the time, though probably suspicious) being reviewed.


The Yum List Food Awards 2012
Kuala Lumpur
The Best of Malaysian Dining


Most Magnificent Use of TrufflesGaribaldi, Bangsar
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Garibaldi


Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Fierce Curry House


Crustiest Crostini - Delucca, Changkat Bukit Bintang
*** Sadly Delucca has recently closed. :-(
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Delucca


Most Awesome Cultural Food Extravaganza - Peruvian Buffet, Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Ritz Carlton


Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Mandarin Oriental


Vertigo Inducing ViewsMarini's on 57, KLCC
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Marini's on 57

Unbeatable Buffet BreakfastThirty8, Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Grand Hyatt


Slurpalicious Slushies (Made from Champagne of Course!) Bubbalicious, Westin, Kuala Lumpur



Best Value Mall Food Bulgogi Brothers, Pavilion
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Bulgogi Brothers


Best Dining in the CloudsThe Olive, Genting Highlands Resort
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
The Olive


Andale! Andale! Mouth Watering MexicanLa Mexicana, Ampang
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Le Mexicana


Curve Careful CateringCulinary Capers
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Culinary Capers


Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Pressroom Bistro


Swankiest Private Dining RoomGrill 582, Best Western Premier, Dua Sentral
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Grill 582


Deadliest Diet Demolishing Dish  - French Toast, S.Wine, Publika
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
S.Wine


Chinese Recipes Like Great Grandma Used to Make -
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Woo Ng Kee


Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Grand Millennium


Dips and Grilled Meats Rivaling Aladdin for a Star Role in Arabian Nights'Sahara Oasis, Ampang
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Sahara Oasis


Sensationally Snazzy Lobby Lounge Renovation:  One Six Five, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
InterContinental

Cocktails with a Kick - Tree Monkey, Penang
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Tree Monkey


Best Place to Recover from a "Big Night Before" -
Whether it's a little hair-of-the-dog or a strong cup of joe you need, Kristin Cosgrove says Acme has the cure for what ails you.  With a hip and comfortable atmosphere and terrific breakfast offerings, you're sure to feel better in no time.
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Acme Bar and Coffee


Best Chocolate Milkshake - Fat Boy's Burgers
According to Kristin, "This thick and rich shake is the real thing.  Unfortunately I only ordered one to share with my kids, who took one sip and then guarded their little cups like they were the last barbie on earth.  My attempt at sneaking extra sips were thwarted.  Next time I'm not sharing!"
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Fat Boy's


Bargain Bubbly - Amadeus Sunday Bubbly Brunch
Always a fan of a good deal, Sam Gibbs, says he is quite happy foregoing food for a good couple of hours sipping on the free flow prosecco at Amadeus Bistro. And... at only RM85++ for full flowing effervescence it's unlikely he'll be alone at the bar. 
Amadeus Bistro, European, KL, Sunday Brunch, affordable
Amadeus Bistro

Most Down-to-Earth Chef - Chef Emmanuel Stroobant 
Polly Szantor says that when she thinks of the highlights of 2012, "... what really springs to mind was meeting Chef Emmanuel Stroobant (and eating his perfectly cooked foi gras).  He was so charmingly down-to-earth.  Chatting with him was like chatting with my next-door neighbour, someone I'd known for 20 years.  I told him about my friend's yoga studio on Langkawi, and when I emailed details to him he replied with thanks, asking me to keep in touch.  Nothing snooty about him at all.
Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Best places to eat in Malaysia, food awards 2012
Chef Emmanuel Stroobant


Cleverly Creative Cuisine - Millesime
Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Millesime


Most Theatrical Sunday Bubbly Brunch - Sunday Masquerades @ Shook!
Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Shook! Starhill


Lip Smacking Local - Ah Hock, Section 17
Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ah Hock


Cutest Cafe - Amelie's Cafe, Penang
Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Amelie's Cafe


Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Weissbrau, German Bar and Bistro


Lagoon Side Libation - Nam Restaurant, Bon Ton, Langkawi
Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nam, Bon Ton

Sustainable Sensation - Shangri La, Penang
Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Penang, Best food
Shangri La, Penang


Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Most Memorable Review - That Little Wine Bar, Penang
Best Restaurants 2012, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Penang, best food
That Little Wine Bar

What are your favourites? What do you recommend we check out for 2013?

*** Waiver - As I'm writing this, more and more 'favourites' pop into mind. For fear of never ending this post I stop now and vow to write a six monthly update of our Top Picks in 2013, rather than wait a whole year to wade through 365 days of memories. 

Happy New Year! May 2013 bring you peace, happiness, health and fun food adventures.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Daahlings,

Sundays with Chef Peter is celebrating today!




May I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2013!

May it be filled with Peace, Joy, Love and Understanding……

And of course....... Many wonderful reviews, recipes, interviews in the Yum List for all of us to enjoy!

HAPPY NEW YEAR DARLINGS!
 
LOL,

Peter
 

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Executive Chef Tommy, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The Yum List recently chatted with Executive Chef Tommy, of the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur about his history in the culinary scene and his and the Hyatt's philosophy on food. 

Executive Chef Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Chef Tommy - Executive Chef Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
How did you get into the industry?
I was born in Sweden, in a small town called Orebro, population about 150 000. My parents' family are from northern Finland, where I spent most of my school holidays as a kid. As a kid, we spent a lot of time fishing, going to the forests picking berries, mushrooms and tending to the small organic garden that my grandfather kept, not that he was specifically trying to make it organic, but he never used pesticides and the only fertiliser he used was compost and cow dung from the neighbour.

Experiencing milking cows at the next door farm and picking up freshly slaughtered animals at the abattoir, an hour away, that was prepared by my grandmother using every part, even the blood was used for sausages and pancakes among other things, myself and all my cousins all stood by to help. We were taught at an early age that if you caught, picked and harvested it, you should also know how to scale, clean, peel it etc. You learned to appreciate the hard work that goes into preparing a meal from a very young age, and for sure you didn’t pick more berries that you were prepared to clean, thus eliminating any waste as well.

Later when I was in my early teens, 14, in Sweden, we got to choose our “career path” at school together with a career advisor. My first choice wasn’t culinary collage, but graphic design, unfortunately (or fortunately) my grades were not good enough to pursue that goal at the time and I didn’t want to do an apprenticeship for a year before applying again. I had put culinary studies in as my second choice as I enjoyed the Home-ed classes which in those days included a lot cooking and I always did well there, thanks to the teachings of my grandparents, especially my grandmothers, who still today are much a part of my inspiration for what I do on a daily basis.

When I was 15, I went to culinary school for 2 years, during those 2 years I also worked in various kitchens during my school breaks, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and schools, my real passion for cooking started then. After I graduated, I got my first job in a small family owned hotel in a small town about an hour’s drive from my hometown. From there I moved back to my home town shortly and worked in various places for some years, my longest stay was in a restaurant where we were 3-5 chefs in the kitchen, depending on the day, preparing 1000 meals per day, all in-house produced from scratch, stocks, sauces, braised dishes etc. simple but homely food, it taught me a lot about organization and planning.

When I was in my early 20’s I applied for studies at the local University and got in as a first crop of chefs for a new course. It was a course in enhanced restaurant and hospitality knowledge, spanning over three years, involving all aspects of running a restaurant business. After my first year, I took a sabbatical and went to work at the Swedish embassy in Russia for the minister (2nd in charge after the Ambassador), looking after his entertainment, smaller business lunches, dinners and cocktails in his residence. I also looked after other embassy personnel’s events, such as the military attachés. The Ambassador had his own chef. After the year in Moscow, I returned to Sweden to finish my university studies.

After graduating I went to work again in a small family owned restaurant as the second in charge, the owner was also the chef. After 6 months I started traveling, first to the US for 3 months, then to London, where I got a job in London’s oldest hotel, Brown’s Hotel and the restaurant, 1837. I worked in a few more restaurants after that, such as Quaglino’s and Daphne’s, before starting to travel again. My career so far, after the UK, has taken me to work and live in the Caribbean, Australia, Thailand, Brazil and now Malaysia.

What is your speciality cuisine?
My specialty or background is European cuisine, but being fortunate to have travelled in my career, I have learned a lot about many different cuisines, such as Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian, Argentinian, Middle Eastern and now Malaysian. Another fortunate thing about food... you can never learn enough.

What do you think of the local food in Malaysia?
I love it! The hawker food here is some of the best I have had. Roti canai, ayam goreng berempah, ayam laksa, nasi ayam are just a few of my favourites.

You've been with the Hyatt for some 12 years now. What has kept you attracted to the chain for so long?
The people that I have been fortunate to work with and the philosophy we have as a company when it comes to F&B. We have a great focus on what we do and we always try to improve and do better.

What's one food choice we could all make that would  (in your opinion) have the most positive impact on the environment?
Collectively being aware about the food that we purchase, find out where it comes from and try to buy sustainable food whenever possible.

Introducing new cuisine and cultures of eating can be a slow process. What is one thing you would like everyone in Malaysia to know about the type of cuisine you serve or about the industry in general?
In regards to our restaurants, what I would like to share is that we want to be very honest with what we place on the plates. We believe in serving authentic food, if it is Malaysian, Indian, Chinese or Japanese food, it should be the real thing using local produce. Our Malaysian food is cooked by local chefs and we have done tasting comparison with hawker food to ensure the food is authentic and the tasting panel has been the local team, not only the foreign chefs with the foreign palates. We continue on the same path when we introduce new dishes and new menus. For example, a murgh makhani should taste the same as it does in India. We brought our chefs from India to cook our Indian food. Our Chinese chefs have had the pleasure to work with some of our renowned Hyatt chefs from Hong Kong and China when we were working on our Chinese menus, prior to the opening of the hotel.
Our presentations are quite simple and straight forward, we want to ensure it is properly cooked, using the best available products and let the food speak for itself, sounds like a cliché, but none the less true.

In regards to the industry, changing the way we eat and our mind set when it comes to eating more sustainable and being aware of where the food comes from is something not easily done.
But we should all start somewhere, such as avoiding eating shark’s fin, using more organic or locally grown produce etc. It could be as simple as buying organic onions to start with and then building from there. It’s all up to us what we want to do and I believe it’s constantly improving as more people are getting more and more interested in what they are eating and where it comes from. Some of the younger generation of guests are ensuring themselves of choosing restaurants based on what they serve and where it comes from in many cases these days.

Thank you Chef Tommy for sharing your history and food philosophy with The Yum List.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Time Out Food Awards 2012, Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Thanks to Time Out KL, here are their readers' picks of the Best Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur for 2012. Restaurants were shortlisted and voted by KLites themselves, so you could say these are the 'people's choice' awards. Some are on The Yum List (links included), some are not and, some look like they might be new adventures for 2013. Here you go...

Best Chinese Restaurant -  CELESTIAL COURT
Best Malaysian Restaurant -  BIJAN
Best Indian Restaurant  -  BOMBAY PALACE
Best Healthy Eats  -  MARMALADE
Best Cheap Eats  - NASI KANDAR PELITA
Blogger's Choice  - YUZU, THE GARDENS
Best for Meat  -  RIL'S STEAKHOUSE
Best for Coffee  -   ARTISAN ROAST
Best for Pub Grub  -  SID'S PUB
Best Italian   -  GARIBALDI
Best New Restaurant   -  ACME BAR & COFFEE (ABC)
Best Fine Dining  -   PRIME
Best European  -  EL CERDO
Best for Seafood  -   FATTY CRAB
Best Banana Leaf -   KANNA CURRY HOUSE
Best Thai   -  MY ELEPHANT
Best Middle Eastern  -   AL-AMAR
Best Japanese   -  KAMPACHI
Outstanding Chef   -  CHEF GARTH WELSH, THE WESTIN KL
Restauranteur of the Year  -   BENJAMIN YONG, THE BIG GROUP


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Best Seaside Resorts in Malaysia 2012

Surrounded by water, Malaysia surely does have some fine beach resorts to satisfy your oceanic desires. These resorts are my favorites on the mainland and islands off the West Coast (more to come from Borneo and islands off the East Coast in 2013). It's sad to note however, that while the resorts themselves are gorgeous, the sea surrounding many of them is not ideal for swimming. Still, these lovely oasis' make the most of their maritime vistas and more than compensate for restricted access to the waves through stunning pools, gorgeous spas and exceptional service. So here is The Yum List's summary of:

Best Beach Resorts of 2012

Best resorts in Malaysia, best seaside accommodation, best hotels in Malaysia
Emerald Bay, Pangkor Laut Resort
Best resorts in Malaysia, best seaside accommodation, best hotels in Malaysia
Tanjong Jara Resort
Best resorts in Malaysia, best seaside accommodation, best hotels in Malaysia
Rasa Sayang by Shangri La, Penang
Best resorts in Malaysia, best seaside accommodation, best hotels in Malaysia
Hard Rock Hotel, Penang
Best resorts in Malaysia, best seaside accommodation, best hotels in Malaysia
The Westin Langkawi Resort
Best resorts in Malaysia, best seaside accommodation, best hotels in Malaysia
Casa del Mar, Langkawi

Where/ what are your favourite beachside stays in Malaysia and around the world?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Best Hotels in Kuala Lumpur 2012, Malaysia

This is by no means an exhaustive list and will require much more research in 2013, but so far here are my favourite Kuala Lumpur hotel stays of 2012 with a link to my review.

Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, City Centre - spectacular views from every room, exceptional service, super central location
Best Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, accommodation, where to stay
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

InterContinental Kuala Lumpur, City Centre Newly renovated rooms, SUPER king sized beds, excellent location, an entire lounge dedicated to the concierge to serve you better
Best Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, accommodation, where to stay
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

Best Western Premier, Dua Sentral location, location, location - KL Sentral, cultural and food havens of Little India and Chinatown minutes away, infinity pool, spacious rooms, good dining options, value for money
Best Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, accommodation, where to stay
Best Western Premier, Dua Sentral
What are your most adored hotels in Kuala Lumpur? What do you recommend The Yum List investigate for 2013?

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Best Bubbly Brunches, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It's no secret that The Yum List likes a good drop of wine or two. Funned up with the addition of bubbles, or an exotic twist in the form of sake, brunch in Kuala Lumpur is a diverting way to pass a Sunday. Here are The Yum List's pick of the Best Brunches in Kuala Lumpur for 2012. (in no particular order)

Most Theatrical Brunch

Best champagne brunches in KL, Shook! Sunday Brunch
Sunday Masquerades at Shook!
Sunday Masquerades, Shook! Starhill - Shook! wins hands down for the most theatrical brunch in the city. Staff are uniformed top to toe with colourful outfits, you can play dress up with masks and,  entertainment comes not only in the form of numerous live cooking stations representing cuisine from around the world but also street performers wandering the crowd. On top of an endless smorgasbord of beautifully presented food, table service and free flow champers, what more could brighten your Sunday?


Aussie Themed Brunch, Best Children's Play Area


Best Bubbly Brunches in KL, Best Sunday brunch, best champagne brunch
Sparkalite, InterContinental
Sparkalite, Serena Brasserie, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur - An Aussie themed buffet of booze and barbecue. Excellent children's play area and bright garden setting (viewed cooly through the floor to ceiling windows in sweet air conditioned comfort). Some special Aussie treats too such as lamingtons, not found elsewhere in the city.


'Funnest' Brunch

Best Bubbly Brunches in KL, Best Sunday brunch, best champagne brunch
Bubbalicious, Prego, Westin
Bubbalicious, Prego, Westin - For the true party creature, Prego has a lively ambience, endless supply of food, drinking songs, champagne slushies and, possibly the most comprehensive list of booze offered in a Sunday brunch in KL.

*** Please note: Westin is no longer offering their Bubbalicious Brunch. They have changed to a Branzo Brunch. Details here.

Authentic Italian, Homemade Everything

Best Bubbly Brunches in KL, Best Sunday brunch, best champagne brunch
Vineria IT, Bangsar Shopping Centre
Vineria IT, Bangsar Shopping Centre - A small selection of Italian goodies, prosecco, red and white wines enjoyed in the cool indoor chic ambience of the restaurant or on the outdoor terrace. With chef Max, food is guaranteed natural, no artificial colours or flavouring, definitely no MSG and everything is handmade in house. 


Unique Tapas Style Brunch

Best Bubbly Brunches in KL, Best Sunday brunch, best champagne brunch
DISH, Dua Annexe
Weekend Tapas Brunch, DISH, Dua Annexe - Chef Steve Allen whips up some non-traditional tapas (think eggs benedict, mini Black Angus beef burgers) that come out in an endless supply accompanied by beer, wine and sparkling.


Do It Yourself Brunch

Best Bubbly Brunches in KL, Best Sunday brunch, best champagne brunch
S.Wine, BIG, Publika
S.Wine, BIG, Publika - Make your own affordable bubbly brunch by purchasing imbibement of choice at Booze It (liquor store inside Ben's Independent Grocer's) and pay no corkage fee. Picture: thick slices of French toast with a creamy dollop of peanut butter, caramelized banana and apple smoked bacon drizzled with maple syrup with your favourite Sunday drop.



Most Affordable Sunday Bubbly Brunch

Amadeus Bistro, European, KL, Sunday Brunch, affordable
Free Flow Prosecco
Amadeus Bistro, KL Life Centre - The cheapest brunch we have found in town. A four course meal costs only RM35++ and two hours of free flow sparkling, red and white wine can be had for RM85++. Live music and, at times, even livelier guests make Amadeus a very relaxed and casual place to spend Sunday afternoon.


Japanese Sake Brunch

Best Bubbly Brunches in KL, Best Sunday brunch, best champagne brunch
Hanare, the Intermark
Hanare, Intermark - For a Japanese themed brunch, lubricated with chilled sake and beer, head to Hanare in the city centre. Seafood, handpicked and flown in daily from the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, means a fresh selection of sashimi and sushi await hungry diners.

The Yum List will be looking for more Sunday fun throughout 2013. Do let us know of your favourite places for brunch.
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