Friday, 31 May 2013

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall
Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Salmon and White Asparagus

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Kuala Lumpur

Words by Kristin Cosgrove
Pictures by Monica Tindall


Literally translated, Brotzeit means “bread time” (snack time) in German.  So it’s ironic that it has taken Brotzeit German Bier Bar and Restaurant several years to add a Bar Bites Menu offering lighter fare for afternoon snacking. “We are testing it here in Malaysia,” says Operations Manager Saravanan Sakadivan. “We know how Malaysians love to eat at any time of day, so instead of only offering our hearty Bavarian entrees, we wanted to offer lighter fare as snacks for our Malaysian clientele.”  

We stopped by the Mid Valley Mega Mall outlet last week to sample the new Bar Bites menu, as well as the new dessert offerings and limited-time-only Spargel (white asparagus) menu, all conjured up by Chef Helmut.  

We were greeted by a relaxed and cozy atmosphere created with long German-style wooden tables and bench seating, perfect for after work socializing or a respite after a long day of shopping.

Prost!  
First thing’s first at Brotzeit, and that means beer! Wanting to sample all four beers on tap but still make it home, we opted for the Paulaner Bier Sampler (RM 29). Don’t expect to find Tiger or Carlsberg here  “We want our customers to experience real German beer when they come to Brotzeit,” explains Sakadivan, “That is why we exclusively serve Paulaner.”

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Paulaner Bier Sampler

I’ll admit I’m not a huge beer drinker, but all four drafts had the distinction of going down smoothly and I’d order any and all again. 

In addition to beer, Brotzeit offers a small but respectable array of white and red wines, as well as two sparkling wines. We tried the Louis Guntrum Reisling which I was particularly taken with. Not too sweet, this was the perfect compliment to our asparagus entrees we would sample later in the evening.

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Louis Guntrum Reisling

Essen
The new Bar Bites menu at Brotzeit is available between 3pm and 6pm and offers a variety of Bavarian snacks, including the Sausage Duet, Pork Belly Roll and Smoked Salmon Roll, among others.

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Non-halal

We dove right in and went for the Mini Brotzeit Platter (RM 29), which was a misnomer. We feasted on German breads, leg of ham, Emmental cheese and more. The cheese and jalepeño spread had a spicy kick that kept me coming back while the apple and bacon spread was fresh and salty goodness. Three of us shared both the platter and the beer sampler and found ourselves aptly satisfied after. But there was so much more to come!

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Mini Brotzeit Platter

Nachtische 
Brotzeit’s lastest dessert offerings are simply wunderbar and worth the stop alone. Chef Helmut’s genius Sweet and Savory Duo (RM 25) combines two things I’m crazy for, bacon and chocolate. Yup, you read that right. Two strips of crispy bacon dipped in Swiss chocolate sit atop a decadent white chocolate mousse. In the middle sits a sweet pile of strawberry slices, drizzled with tangy apricot sauce and then sprinkled with lemon pepper. Sounds weird, tastes terrific!

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Sweet and Savory Duo - Chocolate Covered Bacon

The Bavarian Orange Trifle (RM 16) was another winner with its combination of sweetness and tang in just the right proportions.  The Profiterole Duet (RM 20) was also quite tasty.
  
Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Bavarian Orange Trifle
Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Profiterole Duet

Spargel
For a very limited time, fans of the prized white asparagus can indulge their cravings at Brotzeit with a special menu celebrating the arrival of the “queen of vegetables”. I was impressed with the mild flavor, but less so with the stringy texture. It’s very difficult to keep a fragile vegetable like the asparagus fresh, especially when you have to fly it across the globe for consumption.

Brotzeit, Mid Valley Mega Mall, Bangsar, Malaysia
Spargel - white asparagus

The real standout from the Spargel menu was the Nurnberger and Scrambled Eggs (RM 69). Though the asparagus covered in a liberal helping of hollandaise was at center stage, the Nurnberger bratwurst stole the show. It’s the same secret Brotzeit recipe used franchise-wide, but the sausage for Malaysia’s outlets is made right here in Malaysia and I was impressed with the juicy but not greasy texture. 

Brotzeit
Nurnberger and Scrambled Eggs

Familie
It’s worth mentioning for those with younger kids that Brotzeit offers a kids menu with items like Bavarian Mac and Cheese. Better still, with every adult meal ordered, your child (8 years and younger) can choose a child’s meal for free!

Reason to Go: A nice after work or post-shopping hangout, offering authentic German beers and Bavarian cuisine with great desserts in a relaxed atmosphere.  

Brotzeit
Our Location
G(E)-018, Ground External Floor
Mid Valley Megamall

Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 032287 5516

Hours
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs: 11:00 - 00:00
Fri, Sat: 11:00 - 01:00
Sun: 11:00 - 00:00

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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Dining Room

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion


Macalister Mansion is the talk of the town, not only for its trendsetting Rooms, Cellar and Den, but also for its nourishment options. From casual light food in a cheery bright cafe, to bar snacks in funky wine and whiskey bars, to chic cocktails by the pool, a variety of moods match their menus. The Dining Room brings elegant supping with an innovative bill of fare to the collection.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Dining Room

The Dining Room at Macalister Mansion is a wash of crisp white, with splashes of pale and cerulean blues adding charisma of a winter wonderland. Pastel animal statues of deer and antelope, seemingly grazing and frolicking the room, surround the centrepiece - a snowy tree reaching up towards the tent like ceiling. White clothed tables hold verdant leafy arrangements adding some spring nature to the frosty ambience. An excellent sound system flutes lively jazz tunes into each area. Both a larger dining area and smaller private rooms provide just the right amount of intimacy.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Private Room

It often seems the best way to sample a restaurant’s offerings is through a set menu. We tried the Table D’Hote - six courses, with a choice of mains (chicken, yellowtail, beef, lamb or cod), plus amuse bouche, palate cleanser and petite fours. Wine pairing was requested of course! And… with a newly vamped wine cellar brandishing one of the largest compendiums of labels on the island, one can be assured a solid choice of both old and new world wines is at the bidding.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Private Dining Area

The Amuse Bouche arrived on a long thin platter. A set of three miniature bites, a mixture of pastry and cheese, were soon demolished. One dripped with truffle honey, another with goat’s cheese crowned with black caviar and, the last a savoury mouthful, performed their job well, leaving our appetites unlocked and our taste buds entertained.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Amuse Bouche
Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Ginjo Jumai Sake

Ginjo Jumai Sake partnered the first plate and came chilled and refreshing. Home Cured and Smoked Salmon Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Jelly and Balsamic Reduction was its mate. A roll of pink buttery salmon sat at the forefront of the plate atop a perfect round of raspberry vinaigrette jelly, a deep maroon in colour. Eight drops of red liquid dotted the fore. Rising, as if a tropical peak in the background, a cylinder of thin crisp sweet and buttery pastry held a spiky bunch of salad leaves blooming with edible flowers and black sprinklings of caviar.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Home Cured and Smoked Salmon Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Jelly and Balsamic Reduction

Seared Hokkaido Scallops and Sauteed Corn with Truffle Mousse and Cauliflower Puree still spurs my mouth to water even just at the thought. Two succulent, lightly pan-fried scallops of gentle taupe hue stole the show. A crunchy olive bread stick sprouted micro greens and was used to stir the velvety mousse. A crisp Prosecco pairing cut through the cream and complemented the shellfish.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Seared Hokkaido Scallops and Sauteed Corn with Truffle Mousse and Cauliflower Puree
Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Prosecco

Hickory Smoked Soft Boiled Quail Eggs, Salsa Verde, Edible Hay and Poppy Seeds were up next. As the glass cover sheltering the nest was lifted, a smell of the countryside wafted to our noses. Thoughts of farms and spring, horses and chickens, in an idyllic hobby farm surfaced. Three eggs sat as if ready to hatch on a bed of edible hay. The eggs were sprinkled with black sesame and coated with a green sauce providing a contrast to the earthy taste and texture of the edible hay. An unusual Italian grape, Due Tigli Trebbiano NV, with its faint grassy aromas heightened the experience.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
The Cover is Lifted
Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Hickory Smoked Soft Boiled Quail Eggs, Salsa Verde, Edible Hay and Poppy Seeds
Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Due Tigli Trebbiano NV

Continuing with the same white, the Trebbiano served to intensify the flavour of the following broth, White Bisque with Ricotta and Crab Cannelloni. Chewy croutons gave something to bite into and the soup a change in texture before the meatier mains.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
White Bisque with Ricotta and Crab Cannelloni

A passion fruit and capsicum sorbet arrived just in time to cleanse the palate. The coral hued ball was served in an icy ceramic bowl. The capsicum first hit the top of the mouth and then the passion fruit eased the strength with some sweet and tart around the sides of the tongue.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Sorbet

Daring but comfortable, innovative, yet familiar, the menu pushed the boundaries just enough to provide appeal while maintaining interest from start to finish. Even though we were filling quickly, we eagerly awaited and guessed about the presentation and flavours of the next dish.

Hubby, (no surprise) went for the red meat choice for the main. Reconstructed Lamb Stew - Braised Rump of Baby Lamb, Lamb Jus, Spring Vegetables, Confit Potato and Truffle Cream resembled a garden in spring in the countryside. A black slate base supported a white ceramic bowl holding the garden of goodness. The accompanying well-balanced Orenllaia Le Volte red wine coupled agreeably with the lamb.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Braised Rump of Baby Lamb, Lamb Jus, Spring Vegetables, Confit Potato and Truffle Cream
Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Orenllaia Le Volte

I ordered a lighter option, the Pan Seared Miso Cod with Braised Shimeji, Olive Soil, Caviar and Watercress Coulis. Artistic ovals of black dressing interweaved the bottom of the plate. Like a Picasso painting, a green olive loam filled in the figures produced by the intersection of the lines. A tangle of mushrooms supported a hefty wall of flaky white fish. A generous coronet of black caviar finished this ocean dish. Whiffs of vanilla and toast in the light fruity chardonnay complemented this fish hoisting it to a noble level.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Pan Seared Miso Cod with Braised Shimeji, Olive Soil, Caviar and Watercress Coulis
Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Canepa Chardonnay 2010

Dessert, a Chocolate Bowl Filled with Peanut Butter Mousse, Hazelnut Crumble, Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Ice Cream served as a deconstructed Cloud 9 chocolate bar. Up until this moment I was full of vocabulary to describe each course, with the teaming though of a Florio 1833 Vecchioflorio Marsala Superiore, my words were reduced to guttural mmmms, of satisfaction.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Chocolate Bowl Filled with Peanut Butter Mousse, Hazelnut Crumble, Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

A pretty line-up of Petite Fours followed, but we skipped these to reserve tummy room for a nightcap in The Den. Highly recommended, but more of that in another post.

Dining Room, Macalister Mansion, Design Hotel, Georgetown, Penang
Petite Fours
This menu, six courses, plus amuse bouche, sherbet and petit fours was priced at RM168 per person. A well thought out wine pairing can be savoured with the meal for an additional RM77++.

Reason to visit: innovative cuisine in a contemporary setting, excellent wine selection and pairing, cod, lamb, scallops, dessert

Dining Room
Macalister Mansion
228 Macalister Road
10400 George Town
Penang, Malaysia
+6 04 2283 888
Open daily 7pm – 11pm.

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Bentley's Pub, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur


Bentley's Pub, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List



Bentley’s is a traditional British Pub tucked away at the top of the escalator in the Intercontinental Hotel. It has a masculine feel with its darky shiny wood, central circular bar, myriad sports screens and ambient rock music. Beer dominates the drinks menu with a vast array of bottled beer and several tap varieties including a smooth Guinness. But wine is not forgotten, with an impressive range of wine by the glass for those of us who prefer our drinks without foam and fizz.

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Good choice of bottled and on tap beers

Monica and I try two of the white wine options. The chardonnay from Margaret River has a clean taste that reaches beyond the oakiness of many of its cousins. It’s a honeyed liquor to sip in the afternoon. The Marlborough Sauvignon is drier, with limey passionfruit notes and suits well for drinking with food. Chardonnay Capel Vale Debut - Glass RM56 ++  Bottle RM255 ++. Mud House Sauvignon Blanc - Glass RM68 ++ Bottle RM295

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Excellent selection of wine available by the glass

It’s raining outside which gives a note of British authenticity to the experience. A note that continues through a specials menu promising, ‘the best of British cooking.’ Butter Fish Pie (RM 55 ++) does not disappoint. Glistening pastry packed with, tender chunks of fish lies in a bowl of cheesy mash. The cheese is double Gloucester, the pastry is light and buttery, and the dish is deliciously warming, everyone’s favourite taste of the day.

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Fish Pie

A close second though, are the solid herby flavours of the Chicken and Mushroom Puff Pie (RM46 ++). Again the pastry is perfection and the boiled green pees and parsley potato are truly traditional. Caning’s smile is very broad as he digs in again and again.
 
Bentley's Pub, bar, hotel, InterContinental, best pubs in Kuala Lumpur
Chicken Pie

Lancashire Hotpot is a traditional northern dish featuring lamb pickled red cabbage beef bangers and crispy potatoes. There are further British specials available to order.

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Lancashire Hotpot

The regular menu is more fusion style. Thai Crab Cakes (RM22++) are firm and crisp, nicely spiced, with a coriander flavour seeping through. They are paired with a mango salsa that is a sweet and oniony fresh combination.

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Thai Crab Cakes

A huge swathe of beef on the bone in a great stickiness of sauce proves to be BBQ Hoi Sin Beef Ribs (RM27++). The sauce has a piquant ginger tang.

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Drippingly Sticky Ribs

Jack Daniels Buffalo Chicken Wings (RM25++) glisten in coppery tones. Shiny, sticky and slightly spicy, this is a bar snack winner to accompany your beer. Finger licking required!

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Jack Daniel's Chicken Wings

We goggle at the Satay Chicken Burger (RM35++). It seems to me that bars around town are competing over burger size. Stacked up two patties high with plentiful sides, and accompanied by crispy fries, this will satiate any appetite. The peanut sauce is an original touch for a burger.

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Chicken Satay Burger

Bentley’s Pub offers a range of happy hours appealing to an after work crowd through the week. From 12 noon until 8pm (!) this is one of the longest happy hours in the city.

Bentley's Pub, InterContinental, Kuala Lumpur, bar, pub grub, best pub KL
Fosters Beer
Daily: House wine RM16 ++, House pour RM22++, Glass of beer from RM15++

Monday:  Six imported bottles of beer 100 RM++

Tuesday: Six Heineken 100 RM++

Wednesday: Buy one free one wine by glass

Thursday: Double up on house spirits. 

Friday: Tiger six bottles 100 RM++

Reason to visit: good selection of house wines and bottled peers; don't miss pies; the longest happy hours in Kuala Lumpur (8 hours!!!)

Bentley's Pub
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur
165 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
+6 03 2161 1111
www.intercontinental-kl.com.my


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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Finn's Beach Club, Ungasan, Bali, Indonesia

Words by Kristin Cosgrove
Photos by Kristy Godbout and Kristin Cosgrove


Finn's Beach Club, Semara Luxury Villa Resort
On the southernmost point of Bali’s beautiful Bukit Peninsula lies the Semara Luxury Villa Resort boasting stunning views, hill-top villas and unique, inclinator-access to a pristine, private beach far below.  But between you and me, hotel guests aren’t the only ones who can enjoy what is likely to be one of the best and most serene beaches on the island.  Patrons of the hotel’s restaurant, Finn’s Beach Club, are also welcome to enjoy the beach and its many amenities. 

Whether you go for a daylong excursion or just a sunset dinner, time at Finn’s Beach Club will surely be etched in your memory as a holiday highlight. 

It takes a bit of a commitment to get to Finn’s, but it will be worth it.  After a drive through the Bukit to Ungasan and then down winding, village roads, you’ll find yourself at the breathtaking resort.

When you arrive, you’ll check in at reception and let them know you’re going to Finn’s.  Day visitors will be charged Rp 250,000 per adult, but this will be deducted from your final food and beverage bill (it’s an easy amount to spend). Kids under 12 are free when accompanied by a paying adult. After 5pm, entry is free for all.

Inclinator, Finn's Beach Club, Semara Luxury Villa Resort
A staff member will show you the way to the cobbled-stone stairway, where you’ll descend a couple of flights, admiring the breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean before reaching the inclinator.  Once on, go ahead and turn off your cell phone (there’s no reception on the beach anyway) and let the soft breeze carry your troubles away.  Don’t worry about getting a good picture of the inclinator; the friendly operator will offer to alight once at the bottom, sending you a few feet back up the hill in order to take the perfect picture of you and your family. 

Step off the inclinator and into the bar area of the restaurant.  The stone floor and rock walls are a lovely complement to the bamboo structural beams and thatched roof.  Large Balinese chicken baskets find clever new life hanging as light shades from the ceiling. The pizza oven on the far end of the restaurant is cleverly built directly into the limestone cliffs and covered with stones; the kids are mesmerized as they watch the chef work his magic.
Pizza Oven, Finn's Beach Club, Ungasan, BaliFinn's Beach Club, Semara Luxury Villa Resort, Ungasan, Bali

Find a table and order a nice drink to unwind – how about a Raspberry Truffle Martini or a Ginger Twist (both Rp14,500)?  The kids love the array of milkshakes (Rp 6,500) including the Monkey Business made with chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, banana and milk. 
Finn's Beach Club, Semara Luxury Villa Resort, Ungasan, Bali

Finn's Beach Club Food and Beverages
The food is pleasing too.  A variety of pizzas and pastas are available, as are steaks and seafood, should one want to indulge. Try the Bacon and Brie Panini with Cranberry Sauce (Rp 12,000) or one of the fresh salads.  Everyone in your party finds something to satisfy.  Admittedly, the prices are a bit high, but for a beach this good and a family enjoying themselves this much, it’s worth it!

After a hearty lunch, you’ll want to spend some time in the sun.  Beach Club amenities include daybeds and bales (though Villa guests have priority) and if the mood strikes, you can take advantage of snorkeling gear, kayaks, beach volleyball and more.  Low tide here presents the opportunity for the kids to explore the shallow pools while high tide brings jolly, rolling waves.   
Semara Luxury Villa Resort, Finn's Beach Club, Bali

Sunset at Finn's Beach Club
After a long day of beach fun, the sunset silhouettes fisherman casting their nets offshore, a scene indelibly imprinted in your holiday memories. 

Reason To Go:  Unique setting, beautiful views, pristine and exclusive beach, fantastic beach amenities.

Finn’s Beach Club
Semara Luxury Villas
Jalan Pantai Selatan Gau
Banjar Wijaya Kusuma
Ungasan 80362 Bali, Indonesia
+ 62 (361) 848 2111

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