Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Food: d'Cuisine @ Plaza 33, Petaling Jaya


D'Italiane Kitchen at Jaya 33 is one of our favourite places to go for a nice, disappointment-free dinner. On weeknights when we're craving some hearty pasta or soup, we make a beeline for D'Italiane to fulfill that craving. We've come to expect nothing but good food from them, and so when we heard that they had branched out into local & fusion fare in the form of D'Cuisine in neighbouring Plaza 33, we were pretty excited. 




Slotted spoons hanging over the bar

D'Cuisine is quite hidden beneath an escalator, and you won't spot it from the main road, unlike the more-famous Coliseum. In fact, we've dined here on two occasions and both times we spotted people being put off by the queue at Coliseum and instead end up coming over to D'Cuisine.



I really like D'Cuisine's vibe and its earthy grey, brown & black theme. It's comfy and peaceful (for now because I guess it's still fairly new?) yet slightly quirky in its decor - think low hanging lampshades, bicycle wheels on the walls, dangling ladles and slotted spoons over the bar and asymmetrical shelves. In the daytime, you get a nice mix of natural sunlight and romantic yellow bulb light.

Multiple plug points available along the booth seats



The food at D'Cuisine is billed as a fusion experience, and the menu does describe some types of food that we'd never imagine being put together in the same sentence! For example, instead of just normal fried calamari, D'Cuisine offers a Caramelized Orange Calamari (RM 18) which are deep fried squid bits coated with orange-infused caramel. I give them 10 points for presentation; the partially sliced open orange contrasts nicely with the brown fried squid. Taste-wise, the flavor of orange was quite mild, but if eaten with a bit of the orange rind layered on top the orange flavor obviously becomes much more apparent. It's also got a nice spicy kick to it too! The portion size is nothing great, probably just enough for 2 or 3.



Since we were here for lunch, I skipped past the heavier meats and settled for the Kaffir Lime Fish & Chips (RM 27) (told you nothing is simple here =P). The fish itself, a garoupa fillet, was just OK in my books. I only gathered the taste of kaffir lime from the batter, and it wasn't too strong or overpowering. One little peeve though - they don't serve tartar sauce! This fish and chips is served with their own tangy side dip that's on the watery side and very citrusy. I would have loved to have some plain old tartar sauce at least, but other than that found this to be an interesting creation. 



The disappointment for the day came in the form of this Thai Stir Fried Chicken Noodles (RM 18). It was supposed to be fried in fish sauce with chicken and mushroom, but there was definitely more mushroom than chicken in there! While the Western food at D'Cuisine is adventurous and pushes boundaries, we felt this attempt at Thai noodles was very boring, with a flavor that bordered on bland. Give this a miss and try other things instead. 



With our tastebuds having already been tested with all these new fusion flavours at D'Cuisine, we thought we might as well put it to the test one last time, with one of the most interesting desserts on the menu - Molten Salted Egg Pudding with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (RM 19)! 



Just think, instead of the normal chocolate molten / volcano cake with a runny centre, put runny salted egg instead! Queer you might think, but not in the slightest when eaten on a plate! An absolute sin for weight-watchers; we don't want to think about the calories in this. But taste-wise it was very nice , pairing well with their homemade vanilla ice-cream, albeit in a totally different way compared to chocolate. The boring traditional boy in me would still prefer a normal chocolate fondant with ice cream.




On our second visit, we went at night (so you'll see darker pictures LOL) but we found that the staff seemed bit disoriented somehow. They didn't have a lot of the dishes we wanted especially in the appetizers so we finally settled on this Salted Eggs Soft Shell Crab Legs & White Bait (RM 22).



In a way, it was a blessing in disguise, because this turned out supremely yummy! The bits were deep fried to perfection and liberally coated with lots of salted egg yolk; just the right amounts of savoury, sweet & spicy. It's a good snack for those feeling peckish, but oh-so-sinful. Make sure you eat it while hot because we tried to ration some for later and they didn't taste the same anymore.



The Mustard & Herb Crusted Baked Chicken (RM 25) was quite good albeit being a bit oily. It wasn't a big piece of meat, but it was a deboned thigh portion, which meant it was nicely juicy. The mustard & herb crust had a nice umami flavour to it, but got a bit overpowering halfway through. I didn't quite like that the mash potatoes weren't finely mashed, but that's a very personal preference. 



Wendy had a simple Nyonya Chicken Curry Platter (RM 18). Nothing much to shout about this one except that it felt very home-cooked. Though the menu mentioned this as being served with prawn floss, there was none and the staff didn't seem sure when we asked either.



As always, we are overcome by temptation for dessert at D'Cuisine. Sadly, the one Wendy had been lusting for (some coconut ice cream with sticky rice) was not available that night either, so we settled for Caramelized Banana with Screwpine Infusion (RM 15) - pan fried bananas caramelized with brown sugar, cinnamon pandan juice. Yes, a real mouthful to say out loud, but a real sweet treat when eaten! 


Everything about this is sweet, from the banana to the slight crunch of the brown sugar from the caramelization, to the cinnamon. There is a lovely fragrant, local hint with the screwpine too. Unless you have no issues with overly sweet food, don't attempt this because its pretty sweet towards the end.



After 2 visits here, we're think D'Cuisine has the potential to catch on in the near future. Though mains can be a bit hit & miss, but desserts are great and we love the ambiance. Outside D'Cuisine is an outdoor lounge area called Ketch-up, which will soon be open as well. So before business goes through the roof, take the chance to try out this lesser-known gem before word gets out and the crowds swarm in!



*For our full set of d'Cuisine pictures, do visit our Facebook album here.

D'Cuisine
Ground Floor, Plaza 33
Jalan Semangat, Section 13
Petaling Jaya
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11am-3pm & 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sun, 11am-11pm


***For more bite-sized food updates, do like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @dropsofcontentment! :)




Friday, September 20, 2013

Food: Nutmeg @ Bangsar Village II, Bangsar


Sunday brunch food has become somewhat of a ritual for us. Every Sunday at around 1 pm, we'll begin our hunt for some comforting brunch (although yes, I know 1 pm already constitutes lunch time :p) and our latest find is none other than Nutmeg in Bangsar Village II



Last Sunday, traffic and parking in Bangsar was absolutely horrifying. By the time we secured a parking spot, we were starving and it was after 2, but Nutmeg was still full. We had to wait for about 10 minutes for our table, during which we got a full introduction to their cakes from their friendly dessert connoisseur, William, who's very passionate about these cakes! He mentioned that the OMG Chocolate Cake was their bestseller, so we filed away that bit of information for dessert later. :D


Fascinated by the cute little salt & pepper shakers.
The menu at Nutmeg has a fair amount of options, including an All Day Breakfast menu. The dishes all sound equally intriguing and we took awhile to narrow down our choices. Initially I had wanted to try some of their homemade gravlax, but we decided to save space for that OMG Chocolate Cake instead. 



The interior has its charm to it, a quirky cozy place where you can catch up with friends over a cuppa or cake.



An obvious choice was the Nutmeg Big Breakfast (RM 28), with some rare additions - fried macaroni & cheese and some salted beef - alongside the usual suspects of toasted brioche, sausage, confit mushrooms, roasted grilled tomatoes and two eggs, either scrambled, sunny-side up or over easy. 



We particularly enjoyed the sausage that came in the big breakfast, a spiced lamb one that was oozing with flavour and had good bite to it, none of that overly processed stuff. The mushrooms and tomatoes were extremely juicy and perfectly done as well.



While the mac & cheese chunks were an interesting addition and particularly yummy with the sweet chilli topping, make sure you eat it hot and soon after it arrives, because it hardens quite quickly.


Pure joy, these yolks!


The second choice was the Southern Fried Breakfast (RM 26), a well assembled medley of southern fried chicken, two eggs done in the style of your choice, hashed potatoes and gravy. We chose scrambled eggs this time since we had the sunny-side up earlier. Adam actually took the first bite of the eggs and went quiet while I worriedly watched his face for any expression... after a long pause, he reported that they were excellent! I agree, it was just the right amount of doneness and milk, and the consistency was good as well. So good.



I really didn't expect to get such a big piece of chicken, after all, it was a fried breakfast! (Not that we're complaining though, heh) The southern fried chicken was really good; the batter was nicely seasoned while the chicken thigh (boneless!) had flavour and retained its juiciness well. I thought it was just as good on its own or with the accompanying brown gravy but Adam found it just a tad salty without the gravy. The only bum note in this medley was unfortunately the biscuit, rather dry and uninspiring.



What happened next was a bit weird. Remember how I mentioned we got a complete introduction to the cakes by Chef William earlier in the post? He mentioned how the OMG Chocolate Cake (apparently named by their patrons, so it must be really that omg-ly good) was their topseller, and how it comes just lightly warmed so it gets all warm and oozy. Bam, we were immediately sold. :D (Well, Adam was. I took awhile longer to decide because I really wanted to try their famous papaya cake... but oh well, I hadn't had a good chocolate cake in a while.)

To our surprise, it came completely... chiller temperature. The layers weren't moist while the cake was cold and dry. It even took awhile to return because the wait staff couldn't understand what we wanted and couldn't quite get the attention of his supervisor. Loooong story short, we clarified that it was indeed supposed to be heated up prior to serving, and we got a slice of warm chocolate cake... which was amazing! The layers had become moist and decadent, while the chocolate had gotten all melty and rich. Rightfully named. :D Remember to ask for it to be served hot, if it doesn't come that way.




Food here tastes like its prepared with a lot of heart and passion. That, and the breakfast menu is reason enough for us both to return. Again, it's an all-day menu too, so you can feel like having scrambled eggs at whatever time of the day you desire. Service is still spotty after 5+ weeks of operation, but there's also lots more to try (gravlax, entrees, pancakes soon, sandwiches), along with a whole host of cakes/desserts that are enough to please everyone. It doesn't seem like many have caught on yet because the queues don't seem quite as crazy as other brunch places in KL... yet. Be warned!


Nutmeg | Site
Lot F-28A, Level UG
Bangsar Village II,
Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 03 2201 3663
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:30am-10pm





Monday, September 16, 2013

Food: Foodtique by Four Seasons @ Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar


Not too long ago, we spotted a shoplot boarded up for renovation in Bangsar. The boards had the name Four Seasons Bayswater written all over it, so imagine our excitement! =D Renovation seemed to take awhile though, but finally when we went two Sundays ago, we saw it was open! But then the signboard outside said Foodtique, which totally threw us off guard for awhile...haha.



If not for spotting a teeny picture of a duck outside the place, we might have really just skipped past this place altogether! Foodtique actually serves food from Four Seasons amongst other things, and it's run by the same people that run the Four Seasons over in Empire Shopping Gallery, only that this outlet is pork-free. Now that they've finally opened closer to my home, we can get our dose of duck without traveling across town! *high fives*



The interior is more quirky than the family-esque branch in Empire and dimmer as well. It does look a bit cluttered and cramped, but they don't have much space to work with. We love the giant clock on the wall! I need one of those at work so I can count the seconds till it's time to go home. =D



So what is so special about Foodtique? Roast Goose! While goose is more commonly found in Hong Kong and China, it's rare in KL simply because it's so hard to import it. Apparently we do rear goose locally, but the quality isn't the same according to the owner here. At Foodtique, geese are flown over from China for our consumption. So since we're eating imported goods, don't expect it to come cheap! We think it's worth a try though, because it's done quite well here. The skin is crispy and rich, meat is tenderly dripping with juice and the sauce is just right for the meat. Of course, prices are more steep than other poultry where it ranges from RM 65.50 for an upper part to RM 250.50 for a whole goose. 



If goose is not your thing (or you're facing slight monetary constraints), go for duck! While we admit to forever being fans of Village Roast Duck, there is something to be said for the Four Seasons Roasted Duck at Foodtique purely because of their dipping sauce. While we think the duck from Village Roast Duck is better, I'll admit the duck sauce at Foodtique is more authentic and better suited for roast duck. Prices vary from RM 19.50 for an upper part to RM 72.50 for a whole duck.



And here's a tip: when having roast meat, try not to always have rice. Instead, try ordering some Plain Noodles (RM 5.50)! The duck may not be a clear winner, but in terms of noodles, Foodtique does much better than VRD. We love the springiness of the noodles here, slurping it down not even realizing we're finishing one portion of noodles. The black sauce also takes the cake, for not being too salty or flat, but just flavourful enough to complement the meat. =D



Ah yes, what meal of roast meat and wan tan noodles would be complete without some wan tan soup? At Foodtique the wan tans are stuffed with a mixture of meat and prawn. Though we would prefer fully prawn wan tans, we enjoy the soup. Unlike most places that just serve plain soup, at Foodtique it's a murkier broth complete with Chinese wolfberries. Worth giving a go.. =D



For the best of both worlds, you can always opt to have a Four Seasons Prawn Wan Tan Soup, with the same delicious springy noodles in the same broth for RM 11.50.



Looking for individual portions instead of sharing? How about Four Seasons Goose Liver & Smoked Duck Fried Rice (RM 19.50)? This dish was the last to arrive when we visited, which was surprising since fried rice is usually fastest. The excuse was the kitchen-hands were still new at frying rice, which we could believe since it was only their 3rd day of operations. We thought the rice was just okay. The smoked duck, foie gras and smattering of tobiko was quite an interesting combination with the simple fried rice... Well, not a complete blast to our senses, but good enough for a meal. 



Plenty of vegetable choices on the menu too. My latest craze is the Two Style Kailan (RM 19.50), so we have that every time if I see it on the menu =D While I'll always be partial to the one at Chef Low, this version here isn't too bad, but just a little on the oily side. 



Hot & Sour Soup (RM 11.50), Szechuan style is available for starters, but this was probably the only thing we weren't so impressed with that night. Mum felt it wasn't spicy enough, and just lacked a general 'kick' overall.



Foodtique sources some mightily special cakes that we thought were scrumptious. These were on the house so I don't know the actual names or prices, but we would definitely order them again. The first was this Jackfruit Cake with a biscuit base. This had a light consistency with a lovely nangka fragrance and was loaded with little nangka bits in the body, giving it a very nice texture.



The Strawberry Tart was sweeter than the Jackfruit one above, but just right in our opinion. The custard was pleasantly creamy, while the berries lent a necessary tart sweetness to it all. We couldn't really decide which cake we liked better!

Overall, we're quite sure Foodtique is going to be around for awhile. In fact, Foodtique also features a Western menu complete with burgers and other western delights, so perhaps next time we'll be back again to sample those! There's also a plan to close the kitchen and serve coffee with light snacks at night. Even then, the lure of roast goose and the Four Seasons fame should be more than enough to keep Foodtique running on its own. :)



Foodtique by Four Seasons
Telawi Square,
Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: Daily, till 11pm
Pork-free

*

You can also check out some other places that serve roasted meat here:
1. Four Seasons London @ Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya | Review
2. Village Roast Duck, Bangsar Village, Bangsar | Review



Friday, September 13, 2013

Snickers - You're Not You When You're Hungry

Hunger is a powerful motivator. The power and the call of an empty stomach can make us do things we never would have thought possible otherwise! For example, an empty stomach will fool us into thinking we can eat more than we should......

Overbuying burgers from myBurgerLab
Or perhaps, if we’re really desperate enough, we might even start seeing food where there is no food.......

Settling for hairy arms instead of milk...

So it’s no wonder that when we’re hungry, we’re just not quite ourselves! If you’re not dying of hunger right now, check out the video below to watch this emergency vid – a short video by Snickers that shows the terrible effects of a hungry stomach, 'cause You’re Not You When You’re Hungry!



If you’ve watched the video and you thought it seems strangely local, that’s because it is! It stars a few local names like Reuben Kang & Joseph Germani whom most of you may recognize from JinnyboyTV's videos, as well as our Asia's Next Top Model contestant from Malaysia, Melissa Th'ng. Aren’t we proud of our local talents? =D




At the same time, you can also head and down to the Snickers Malaysia Facebook fanpage to take part in their ongoing Grab & Win contest, where you could win some cool prizes! Just follow 4 simple steps:

1. Buy SNICKERS® with unique code.
2. Submit the unique code at https://www.facebook.com/SnickersMalaysia/app_345389282230698 (link only available via PC)
3. Play the game
4. Top scorer of the week wins Samsung Galaxy Camera and 2nd & 3rd highest scorers win a Fujifilm Instax Mini 7s each!

So... Can I have a Snickers bar please?

Even though a pack of Snickers is perfectly worth spending a couple of RM on, the added bonus of possibly winning weekly prizes makes the offer irresistible! Even little Jaimie will be asking… Hey, can I have a Snickers bar too?! =D



*This post was a advertorial brought to you by Snickers Malaysia.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Food: Signature Items from Komugi Bakery @ Mid Valley Megamall, KL


Try walking into Komugi or Lavender further down the aisle in Mid Valley and you'll be greeted with hordes of overzealous women trying to secure insane amounts of bread and pastry. Open for awhile now at the Lower Ground floor of Mid Valley Megamall, Komugi boasts of a wide selection of freshly baked high-quality bread and alluring-looking pastries. The smell of baked goods wafting out of the shop gets to me every time!



Extremely curious one day, I decided to buy the two Komugi signature items - the Signature Hanjuku Cheese and the Namachoco Sand. The items from their cake display can be purchased over the cake counter itself, letting you avoid queueing up at the main counter where most of the crowd is.



Made from the premium cream cheese, the Signature Hanjuku Cheese (RM 3.50is a tiny little thing, maybe nearly three inches in length? I actually witnessed people buying these up by the boxes so they had me pretty intrigued.



It tasted lovely, a thin layer of light sponge at the bottom covered with a layer of fluffy yet creamy and indulgent cream cheese. I felt like it was almost savoury, treading a fine line between savoury and sweet. 



The Namachoco Sand (RM 4) is larger and comes in Green Tea or Chocolate. Seeing that Komugi was heavily Japanese-influenced, the Green Tea it was!



This was also very nice, a pillowy soft sponge sandwich with light, fragrant green tea cream down the middle. Nothing too sweet, with the airy texture just perfect. 



I'm always attracted by colourful things so the perfect looking macarons at Komugi lured me in, making me buy four different flavours at RM 4 each.

(Adam went, tsk tsk at me when I came back with more than I was supposed to. My rationale? Haven't had macarons in awhile okay. /defensive mechanism)



Well, I guess the morale of the story is that greed never pays off because these weren't fantastic. Nowhere near Les Deux Garcons or even Babycakes Sweet Shoppe's. The Black Praline was probably the best of the lot, a rather nutty pleasant one with a melty filling. 



The purple Taro one was creamy with a hint of yam while the Mango had a very sticky and chewy texture to its filling and just tasted artificial as a whole. I had high hopes for the Pistachio but Komugi's version has some almond essence into the filling which was a big no-no for me. :(




Since this visit, I've also had some buns from Komugi and was quite pleased. Prices are a just a tad steep, but the quality of the bread/loaves make up for it. Try the two specialty cakes above but maybe avoid the macarons here.

*All photos taken with iPhone5

Komugi | Facebook
(opposite Speedy Video)
Lot LG 078, Lower Ground Floor,
Mid Valley Megamall.
Tel: +6 03 2282 1994
Fax: +6 03 2282 1995
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am-10pm


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