Monday, 31 March 2014

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Midi 57 Chefs


Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining

Words by Kristin Cosgrove
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

Two-time Michelin starred chef Andrea Alimenti has only been in KL a little more than a month, and already he’s burning up the blogosphere with hot reviews for his new menu items at Le Midi, fine Italian and French Restaurant in Bangsar Shopping Complex. Having had a wonderful experience there ourselves, we were led by curiosity to also check out Le Midi’s more casual sister down the street, Midi 57, whose kitchen is also run by Alimenti.

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Midi 57, Taman Bandaraya
Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Midi 57
Midi 57 has a welcoming, casual vibe, and takes advantage of its position on the end of the shop lot with al fresco seating out front and on the side. White table clothes flap gently in the breeze while the fans overhead help circulate the air. A wood fired oven is tucked toward the back, and tables surround the brick bar. Yellow and red accent walls lend a bright, friendly air.

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Wood Fired Oven
“I like working at restaurants and trying to take them to the next level,” remarks Alimenti. He has clearly wasted no time in making his mark at Midi 57. He believes in sourcing local ingredients when possible and makes the pasta, breads, and even the yeast in-house. New menu items have been added and old ones reworked, and Alimenti has even more goals. “Soon I hope to be able to cure my own meats and will definitely be serving our house-made gelato.”

We begin with an exceedingly refreshing tropical fruit punch as well as a Strawberry Daiquiri with Bacardi white rum, Cointreau, lime, and agave syrup (RM19). The slushiness is just the thing for a warm afternoon. 

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Strawberry Daiquiri, Tropical Fruit Punch
Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Iced Coffee
Alimenti serves up a plate of tapas, the clear favorite being the chopped honey melon with prosciutto.  The combination of salty meat and sweet melon is divine.  

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Appetizers
As we delve into the bar food I’m surprised to find there are differing batters for the fried food. One often finds fried food to all have the same “fry” taste, but not here! Red wine and rosemary batter is used for the Chicken Fingers (RM 18). The chicken is ridiculously tender – these aren’t your kids’ chicken strips – and the batter is light and not at all greasy. The house-made dipping sauce is tangy and punches the taste buds in all the right spots.

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Chicken Fingers 
Mussels and Prawns in Beer Batter (RM18) have the yeasty kick of beer and the Deep Fried Calamari (RM18) is floured with a humble mixture of cornstarch, flour and water. I find the best part about this dish to be the fried bok choy. The bitterness of the green and the grit of the batter is the perfect match for an ice-cold beer.

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Deep Fried Calamari 
Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Mussels and Prawns in Beer Batter
Hear this, friends: if you order nothing else at Midi 57, let it be the Carbonara. Real bacon, so rare in most KL Italian establishments, is the key to this unbelievably rich and creamy dish, says Alimenti. The sauce is amazing because the base is a mixture of bacon fat, wine, egg yolks and a dash of cream.  Crowning the dish is a crumble of crispy bacon pieces. 

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Carbonara
Making excellent use of the wood fired grill, Chef Alimenti has added several “Pot Plate” dishes to the menu. We try them all! Well, nearly. The vegetarian option, Eggplant Parmesan (RM20) has Monica’s full attention. Being the rosemary fiend that I am, I love the Chicken with Black Olives, Mushroom and Rosemary Sauce (RM 25). Dining companion Caning declares the meaty Lasagna (RM28) as “unreal” and we all seem to agree that the Lamb Leg (RM25) braised in Guinness beer sauce is something we’d order again. Pork Belly with Apple was also an intriguing choice and I vow to try it on my next visit. Each pot plate has an aromatic and smoky touch from the brick oven that I adore. It’s so earthy and hearty, truly comfort food.

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Eggplant Parmesan
Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Lamb Leg
Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Chicken with Black Olives, Mushroom and Rosemary Sauce
Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Lasagne
Not to be ignored, a healthy sized Double Decker Pizza sits on the edge of the table, taunting us with its colorful greens and hooey-gooey cheese. I’m stuffed, but can’t resist. The homemade crust is the perfect ratio of chewy and crisp, hunks of garlic hide between thick layers of cheese along with artichoke, ham, mozzarella, and mushrooms. Pick five toppings for RM39, a great value. 

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Double Decker Pizza
A bar wouldn’t be a bar without a good burger, and Midi 57 doesn’t disappoint. The slow cooked pork burger is firm with a good flavor, sandwiched by a homemade bun, also cooked in the wood fired oven. 

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Pork Burger
One thing you should know about Chef Alimenti – he loves chocolate! And he is equally adept at creating mouth-watering desserts as he is fine main dishes. There is usually only one dessert on the menu on any given day besides ice cream, but you can bet that whatever it is, you’ll love it.  

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Italian Dessert
We try the ginger and chocolate ganache which I soon dub as “the best thing I’ve ever eaten. No, seriously.” Alimenti divulges his secrets: spicy apple syrup, ginger, chocolate and cream. This, friends, is a chocolate lover’s paradise. It is so rich and creamy and thick it resembles fudge – only better! - and the flavor of the ginger with the chocolate is so good we simply can’t stop eating. 

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Ginger and Chocolate Ganache
The white chocolate and sponge cake with mango inside is also interesting, as it includes a cola sauce with blueberries. The cola flavor really lends a depth of taste and adds interest to this tantalizing dessert.

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
White Chocolate Sponge
For those who like liquid dessert, I would suggest a B-57, a tasty twist on the traditional B-52. This is a gorgeous layering of Absinth, Coffee Liquor and Baileys as delicious as it is pretty.  

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
B-57 - Coffee Liqueur, Baileys, Absinthe
We also try a digestive, Liquore Strega Giusseppe Elaberti Benevento, a completely natural product distilled from 70 herbs and spices from around the globe. When sipped, the flavor hits our mouth in every corner, and then disappears without a trace. If you’ve never tried it, definitely give it a go.

Midi 57, Casual Italian Dining, Taman Bandaraya
Love Potion - Liquore Strega Giusseppe Elaberti Benevento
Reason to Visit: Michelin starred chef; casual dining al fresco; chocolate and ginger ganache; fried foods with a difference; good value pizza; locally sourced ingredients and homemade breads and pastas.

Midi 57
57 Jalan Bangkung, (Off Jalan Maarof) 
Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 03 2095 1381
Open daily: 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Non-halal


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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Recipe for Gariguettes Strawberries in a Crunchy Pastry with Light Vanilla Cream, Chef Tony Hoyle

Starhill Gallery, YTL
Gariguettes Strawberries in a Crunchy Pastry with Light Vanilla Cream

Chef Tony Hoyle, Group Pastry Chef for YTL shares with The Yum List his recipe for Gariguettes Strawberries in a Crunchy Pastry with Light Vanilla Cream. Yum!


Gariguettes Strawberries in a Crunchy Pastry with Light Vanilla Cream

Servings: 6

Ingredients:                                          

500gm    Gariguettes strawberries
50ml      Whippped cream
1 1/2      Vanilla pods
150g      Icing sugar
6pcs       Thin slices pastry
20g        Butter melted
6pcs       Mint leaves for garnish

For the Coulis:
100g    Gariguattes strawberries
100g    Caster sugar
4tbsp   Water
1/2       Vanilla pod

Method:

Clean and slice all the strawberries. Set 100g aside for the coulis.

Pour the melted butter onto the slices of pastry, and pile the six slices on top of each other. Then cut into six portions and bake in an oven set at a temperature of 180 ºC for 8 minutes until crispy and golden brown in colour. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

To make the coulis: 
Mix 100g of sliced strawberries with the sugar and water and half a vanilla pod, then warm water on a low heat for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and zap until all is liquid and frothy. Put in the fridge for a minimum of one hour.

Whip the cream and 1 ½ vanilla pods together, adding the icing sugar at the end. Do not stop whipping until a soft, creamy whipped consistency is achieved (ie a Chantilly cream).

Put a slice of pastry on the plate, then a layer of strawberries, then the Chantilly cream. Repeat, so there are three layers in total. Repeat for the other five, then place on separate plates and serve with the coulis on the side and a mint leaf on the top for garnish.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Huggaz - Keepin' Kool in KL

Huggaz!

By Lisa Mangelsdorf

On a hot, humid Saturday afternoon in Malaysia, nothing goes down nicer than a chilled glass of wine or an ice-cold beer! But keeping those refreshments at the right temperature as you lounge by the pool or in relax in your garden can be a challenge! 

Before you plan your next picnic or pool day, consider picking up a few of these stylish and efficient Huggaz koozies!  As they are made of neoprene so they keep your drinks really cool, and your hands dry! My kids love to use them to keep their 100 Plus cool as they jump in and out of pool!

Peace Out!
They come in many fun designs!  I personally love the Towa for wine and Peace Out for beers. My kids like that they can each have their own unique koozie and not fight over whose is whose!

Smiley! My teenager loves this one! 

In my family, it seems we are always packing up drinks to go to friends BBQ, to a pool party or on a road trip. We love how lightweight and foldable they are to fit in the pack back or bag. Most importantly though, they really keep your cold drinks the temperature they were meant to be! 

If you want to really drink in style, consider having your own design or label made.  Maybe you are commemorating a special occasion, or just want them with your name so they always come back to you! 

A "Towa" of wine!

And let’s not forget the environment!  Use a Huggaz wine holder the next time you are gifting someone a nice bottle of wine.  Not only do you not waste a paper bag, but you are giving a reusable gift!

For more details on designs and special orders you can visit huggaz.com. Shipping is free if you order more than 50 RM.  Prices range from 10RM - 35RM.

Huggaz are available in KL at:

Village Grocer - Bangsar Village
Ales& Lagers - Solaris Dutamas
B.I.G. -  Publika
TheFood Company -  TTDI
Shiraz -  Petaling Jaya

Huggaz is reachable via:

email - info@huggaz.com
facebook - www.facebook.com/huggaz
twitter - @coolhuggaz

Interview with Mauro Bellodi, Executive Chef of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

bali, chefs in nusa dua
Mauro Bellodi, Executive Chef of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua

Mauro Bellodi, Executive Chef of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, shares his story with The Yum List.


What do you do and how did you get into the industry? 
I'm the Executive Chef of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua. My family is responsible for my love of food. First my Grandma, then my Father, and now me - it's in my blood!

Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes. 
Every day there is something interesting. I could write an encyclopedia. You should come and spend a day with me.

What's the best/ worst part of your job? 
The best part is to work with others. Sometimes this is also the worst. ;-)

What's your personal favourite cuisine? 
I like to eat traditional food, especially Italian. Food that has a history behind it such as food that my grandma use to give to her children, then they gave to me - that's what I enjoy. Poor but rich in flavors, simple but sophisticated to execute.

Tell us a story about one of the dishes you prepare.
I like preparing homemade pasta. You put your fingers in the ingredients and suddenly comes the dough with a unique smell, exceptional texture and sensational taste.

The perfect day off would be... sunny day on the beach with my wife and friends followed by an amazing dinner under the stars.


A life in the day of this chef is... relaxed, fun and and full of love.

What do you do for fun?
I hang out with friends and party!

What's something you'd like guests to know about the cuisine prepared at Westin Resort Nusa Dua?
Everything we serve is prepared with genuine care.


How do you select your ingredients and why?
I use seasonal ingredients. They must look appealing and taste superb. These are the key elements when we buy.

What's your view on the Bali restaurant scene?
It is extremely various and great. I like places that are Warung style, with authentic food. I also enjoy high-end restaurants with very skilled chefs from around the world. Bali has a fabulous variety of rich of talents.


What can guests look forward to in the upcoming months?
Easter it is the main event of the month, so come with your friends or family to enjoy our special offers during Easter 2014!