THE POMELO Banjaran Hotspring Retreat MIGF 2010

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Water Pond at The Banjaran Hotspring Retreat

Ipoh is famous for limestone hills and natural caves. Even the beauties here are often associated with the purity water that they drink in Ipoh. One place in Ipoh had intrigged me on my recent visit. It was the Banjaran Hotspring Retreat located at Tambun, Ipoh.
It was an escape to a haven f relaxation and juvenation, Malaysia’s first integrated luxury wellness and spa nestled admist at a natural landscape of magnificient limestone hills, natural caves, pristine waterfalls, tropical jungle and natural geochemical hot springs that will capture your heart immediately.

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The Hotspring

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The Water Villa

There were about 25 luxurious villas that were camouflaged against a beautiful canvas of the tropical jungle and lake. It was breath taking scenery. I was excited when I was brief about the various type of wellness experience available at the Banjaran.

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A Private Pool within The Water Villa

As I checked into one of the villas, it was truly exclusively beautiful. The word pampering just kept buzzing in my mind. The sea blue tiled private villa swimming pool was so gorgeous, dipping into it is a must. There was also a private jacuzzi hidden behind the bathroom. The bedroom was truly spacious and comfy.

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The Pomelo

Next The Pomelo, the restaurant and a name acquired from a fruit that Tambun, Ipoh is famous for. It is like a large grapefruit but it is refreshing light, sweet and juicy. At the Pomelo you will defitely be pampered with spa cuisine which can be light and healthy comprising the flavours of organic fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood and premium poultry.

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MED.@Marche-Live MIGF 2010

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One of my favourite restaurant in Kuala Lumpur would definitely be MED.@Marche-Live overseen by a rising and dashing good looking chef, Chef Paul Lewis. This talent of this Aussie chef can easily be spotted through his MIGF menu, it was a well crafted seven course feast with individual taste and unique experience. Together with it’s a modern chic spacious interior, my whole dining experience that night was amazing beautiful. It was truly impressive.

Chef Paul Lewis

Chef’s creations had amazed me all the time till even now. My last dining experience was four months back when this dashing good looking hunk chef arrived in Kuala Lumpur, that night was a superb dinner and for this current MIGF, he had his creation spot on. It was flavourful, simple and most, it was superbly tasty. One of his dish was the Brodetto that had kept me wanting more. It was truly exotically addictive and so pleasureable.

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Rufino Aziano Chianti Classico DOCG was paired with Chef’s creation.

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Which Takers Am I?

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A seasoned team of bank robbers, successfully complete their latest heist and lead a life of luxury while planning their next job. When a former member of their team, is released from prison he convinces the group to strike an armored car carrying $20 million. As the “takers” carefully plot out their strategy and draw nearer to exacting the grand heist, a reckless police officer (Matt Dillon) inches closer to apprehending the criminals.

It is so exciting that I am definitely be John Rahway (Paul Walker) aka The Bagman in the movie. He is themember of the group with the biggest concious. He is slick and full of confidence. Paul Walker himself played it well and I can do it even better. I certainly would take my chances on winning a pair of movie premier with Sirens Media and Sony Pictures for this competition. Are we on for the premier?

ZING Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur MIGF 2010

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It maybe look like a normal lunch date but I was in for a surprised. It was a simple story, a close friend of mine who is a food writer wanted to try out some authentic Chinese cuisine and requested me to arrange something as she was away abroad at that time. She also promised to bring along a special guest. One of the restaurant that I would like to try was Zing as I had meet one of their Dim Sum chef recently at the Epicure. I make the arrangement and we meet up.

It was my first time at Zing. Fabulously decorated with cozy modern back drop. I just felt so at home. I love the furniture especially the chairs but the one that caught my attention was the open concept Dim Sum Kitchen. So equip and so exciting to see, having chefs in action can truly alluring.

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I felt excited upon knowing that Chef Leong Weng Heng will be cooking our lunch. Yet another well know chef in town especially known for his skills in Chinese cuisine, best known for his fish dishes. He also believes in presenting his food with less salt, less sugar and less oil.

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Weekend Cocktails with pairing Canapes

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Midori Martini

Having a relax weekend is something I would love to indulge into. Jumping into one at anytime, anywhere and whenever I can would be just the thing to do. One way is to have a strings of delicious cocktail with a few awesome friends and some great light food. In Kuala Lumpur there are plenty of such great places and I was recommended to one. When I landed at the venue that day, I have six great delicious cocktails and you should see how merry I was but definitely it will not get me into a marriage as yet.

Not only the cocktails were at their best, I found their canapes were terrific too. I would say it was an awesome marriage, it was the perfect pairing, the cocktails and the canepes just came haunting me over and over again. I was left with full of lust and it just mesmerizing.

Next, I make sure I get to meet up with the creators, Joe Michael and Chef Shan. Joe Michael a great mixologist himself knows his every cocktails by heart and never fails to tempt me for another round. Just delicious! While having eight years of experience, I am sure nothing can stop him from not creating lovely drinks. As for Chef Shan, a young fabulous chef and keep churning delicious food. He is just only 38years old. I just love fingering into his charming delicious and creative food. Not to mention the presentation. He crafts great Mediterranean and Italian dishes just to my liking. Tasty and exciting.

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DYNASTY Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel MIGF 2010

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DYNASTY Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Dynasty Restaurant is one of the well refined Chinese restaurant that I frequent when I am think of having Cantonese cuisine and dim sum. Yet another thing about Dynasty that captured my attention is their interior and also their beautiful imported Japanese diningware. So elegant, so beautiful. Just love how food is being served with. This time I was back at Dynasty to enjoy the creation of Master Chef Tan Kim Weng who is well known for his seafood creations. What I love most is Master Chef Tan’s combination of Oriental and Western in crafting his Chinese dishes. It is always exquisite and fabulous. Having to bite into any of his creation will definitely get you hook for more and it did happen to me again this time. My journey of indulging his seven course meal was truly excellent. Got to mention, the wine was fantastic, definitely to my taste.

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The wines: Morton Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc & Hunter’s Marlborough Pinot Noir

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Wai Sik Mui Indulged New Zealand Ma Cherie Macarons

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Ma Cherie Macaron by Chef Guillaume Nicoli

Ever since my trip to Paris this year, I have been addicted to macarons. These lovely goodies are not only cute and pleasing to the eye, they are little bites of happiness in the mouth too. Since my return to Auckland I had been searching around for some authentic macarons and months later, I’ve found them!

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Not only that, I was lucky enough to meet Pastry Chef and owner of Ma Cherie, Guillaume Nicoli who happily agreed to show me how macarons are made. Double joy!

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Guillaume is a French patissier with over 15 years of experience, having worked for top-ranking French maestro Thierry Mulhaupt in Strasbourg and at the famous Fauchon in Paris. When he moved to New Zealand, he brought along his expertise in macaron-making. Ma Cherie was born out of Guillaume’s passion and expertise in fine French pastry making. Ma Cherie supplies fine French pastries to a number of cafes in Auckland. Macaron Trees and Croquembouche can be made to order by Ma Cherie for weddings and events.

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AL-AMAR Pavilion MIGF 2010

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Invited Foodies

It was a great weekend to start off, I set myself indulging delicious middle eastern cuisine at Al-Amar with a group of foodies. It was the Al-Amar’s Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) Menu that caught our attention and it was something truly different than the usual. A scrumptious evening of Lebanese fine dining.

The Cold Mezze Palette

The menu festival at Al-Amar first introduce their cold mezze palette consist of Pink Hommos, Moustabbal with Avocado and Rocket Beetroot Salad. The Pink Hommos was truly interesting and too beautiful to look at. I like the colour and the taste was refreshing too, having it over my hand peeled pieces of warm pita bread was absolutely amazing delicious. It was perfectly done with mashed chick peas, sesame seed paste and the flavour was accelerated with a touch of special spices, lemon juice and olive oil. To be truthful, I don’t mind having another serving of this awesome snack. It was truly addictive! :)

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The Pink Hommos

Mountabbal with Avacado
Mountabbal with Avacado

I found yet another interesting snack that I had before but with an interesting twist. I love moutabbal but finding mine with added mashed avocado was intriguing. Here this dish was prepared with mashed grilled eggplant with added sesame sees paste and flavoured with lime juice, fresh smashed avocado, garlic and olive oil. Yet it went very well with warm serving of pita bread.

Rocket Beetroot Salad
Rocket Beetroot Salad

The Rocket Beetroot served complimented both of the dips marvellously as it was really refreshing with mild sweetness and just simple light to have. The whole plate was so well incoperated and the cross tasting of the dishes on the plate was absolutely well calculated. I like it.

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Pita Bread

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IKETERU KL Hilton MIGF 2010

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IKETERU at KL HILTON

IKETERU is part of the 30 finest restaurants around Kuala Lumpur participating in this year Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2010. Definitely this sophisticated and modern Japanese setting of IKETERU instantly caught my attention and comfort was felt right away. Equip with finest chefs, moden teppanyaki station and modern sushi bar, IKETERU was truly irresistable especially on my latest dining experience. A spacious dining area with private tatami rooms can be truly comfort to enjoy a Japanese cuisine, just like what I did.

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A Huge Range of Sake

I am a new sake follower and having a few bottles at home is a must. As having to have a glimpse of sake available was mind blowing, it was beautiful to see. Just like a sea of sake. Marvellous especially for a drinker like myself. Another sight caught me with excitement, having to see huge jars of plum sake being brewed and being showcased in the glass cabinets caught me totally speechless. I was informed there are not readily yet for drinking as they are still very young.

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The Dining Room

Another reason of coming to IKETERU is to lay back and enjoy the dishes crafted by the well know Chef Ricky Kamiishi. His beautiful creations are most sort after by many Japanese cuisine fans in town, he is known for his bold approaches in his creation and style. He just love playing around with flavours and freshness. I am one of his huge dedicated fan.

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My Seat

I am also excited that during this festival, Hilton KL will also be flying a 2 Michelin Star Chef, Chef Christopher Coutanceau from La Rochelle Restaurant in France from 14th to 16th October 2010. Being born a Coutanceau means being born to cook (his father, The Grand Chef Richard Coutanceau), Christopher absorbed the culinary rigour of his father and learning from gastronomical greats like Gauzeres, Bardet, Guerard, Oudill and Ferran Aida. Throughout his three days visit in Kuala Lumpur, he will be mesmerizing us with his delectable original and modern presentation with his signature festival menu featuribng Brittany Lobster Stew with baby Vegetables 7 mushroom Ravioli, Grilled Foie Gras with Candide Mandarin & Mandarin Sorbet, Squab Pigeon with Cabbage leaves & Foie Gras, Seasonal Vegetable Casserole with truffle juice. (visit www.kl-studio.com)

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Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2010 Gala Launch at the Sunway Convention Centre

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More than two thousand of the country’s “who’s who” gathered in the Grand Ballroom. Pyramid One, of the Sunway Convention centre for one of Malaysia’s most spectecular, world class events – the Gala Launch of the Malaysia Intermational Gourmet Festival (MIGF).

An annual event, now into its 10th year, the Gala Launch showcaes fabulous food from the 30 top fine dining restaurants taking part in the month long MIGF that runs throughout October. The Festival theme for 2010 is “Magical Chefs” and for the glittering Gala Launch occasion showcasing selected dishes from their Festival Menus for the two thousand VIP guests to sample

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Officiating the GalaLAunch occasion was Deputy Minister of Tourism, YB Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit who joined Organising Chairman, YBhg Dato’ Steve Day, in cutting open a giant Chef’s Hat marking the entrance to the ballroom. As the excited guests made their way inm they were greeted by an ‘orchestra’ of Festival Master Chefs “playing’ pots and pans in unison with a Latin band. The ballroom was filled from wall to wall with colourful restaurant stations offering exotic Festival fare – all succulent items from the special Festival Menus that will be served at special Festival price by Festival Restaurants throughout the month of October.

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She is my Youngest Talented Macaron Baker

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Yasmyn the Young Talented Baker

I meet up with Yasmyn at my studio this afternoon to embark for some macaron baking. In fact Yasmyn flew in from Melbourne with her mum Nancy for a short holiday. Before hand Nancy got in touch with me through facebook. Yes facebook, it truly connects people around the globe, just awesome isn’t it.

Yasmyn is only nine years old and she is my youngest student and yet the most charming one, she can really bakes. She handles her baking steadily, she weighs the ingredients, whisks, mix, pipe, bakes and assembles them. She can also take photos using her DSLR Nikon camera.

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Signature Durian Pancake by Master Chef Thye Yoon Kong

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Durian Pancake

When I was told there was a durian pancake class, I went straight to book myself a seat. I just love them, every single bite is luscious. Soft, smooth, creamy and full of durian aroma. It is truly classic and beatiful to have. Once again Chef Thye Yoon Kong of Zing, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur to the control of the kitchen. With his two assistances, he lead the way.

Pancake batter was make from basic ingredients like flour, butter and milk. I was truly simple and the most important part was the pan frying od the pancake using the non-stick pan. Every pancake make was total without floss, just perfect. All it neede was whipped cream and intensified durian paste filled onto the pancake and wrapped over.

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