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HOT FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE Dig in to our luscious round up of slices of heaven


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LIFE IS BETTER WITH CHOC LIKE fashion, the plain chocolate cake from grandma’s time is no longer in vogue. Instead, bakeries prefer to roll out lighter mousse cakes, a nod towards French and Japanese influences. However, there’s a sweet change in the air, as more places are slowly

unveiling cakes, which use high quality chocolate from brands such as Michel Cluizel and Valrhona. Unlike the sweeter chocolate cakes the general public prefer, these dense and high on chocolate content cakes are highly coveted by chocolate connoisseurs.

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE, DELECTABLE TREATS

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE, BEN’S GENERAL FOOD STORE

Don’t make apologies for its rustic appearance, as this is one cake that packs reams of chocolate pleasure. As you dig through with a fork, you discover a crackly top light layer that gives way to a

fudgy denseness. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and we reckon its chocolate heaven all the way. It is RM10.90++ per slice, and available at their Bangsar Village and Publika outlets.

Think of this rich decadent layered creation as the love child between Japan’s Royce chocolate, and the Italian Ferrero Rocher chocolate. The top layer is a dense Belgian chocolate ganache sprinkled with cocoa powder, followed by the praline layer made with ground

almonds. The cake is sold in three sizes. You can pick it up for a slice for RM8.90, 11cm square for RM59 or 25cm square for RM229. Find it at LG-07, Lower Ground Floor, Citta Mall, 1, Jln PJU1A/48, PJU 1A, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Tel:03-78317592.

FABULOUSLY SOFT CHOCOLATE CAKE, PETER HOE BEYOND Hidden within this treasure trove of trinkets and knickknacks, is this expatriate patronised café that serves up delicious food including this humble unassuming chocolate cake. The silky soft

▲ LE TRIANON CAKE

Pretty as a picture, this 9cm diameter cake is perfect for the small birthday occasion. Discover layers of lusciousness with moist chocolate cake sandwiched together by silky milk chocolate ganache. It is topped with a dark chocolate mousse layer, which balances out its sweet taste. The cake is sold whole for RM55, and available at all Delectable Treats outlets located at LG K 25B (in front of Cold Storage), The Gardens, Mid Valley Megamall, Tel:012-5081855; Level 6 (next to Times bookstore), P6.03.00, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Tel:03-21103211; LG-72 (next to Tesco), Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Tel:03-78875157.

cake resembles a steamed pudding with its light taste, and is available for RM8 per slice. Discover the cake at Second Floor, 145, Jalan Tun HS Lee, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:03-20269788.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE, PATISSERIE RUI Crack gently past its Ferrero Rocher-like layer to discover lightness in the form of whipped chocolate mousse and sponge cake layers. The Japanese influenced patisserie uses a mixture of Valrhona and Michel

Cluizel for a tempered taste in the cake. The 6cm square cake for RM45 is only available by order. Find it at G1B, Mont Kiara Meridin, 19, Jalan Duta Kiara, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:03-62079282.


FRIDAY 3 MAY 2013

▲ LE VOLTAIRE, LES DEUX GARCONS (COVER) other chocolate cakes such as the Le Marquis, a delectable combination of hazelnut dacquoise, crispy feulletine, and chocolate mousse. Look for the patisserie at 36, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:03-22847833.

POP…goes the corks of Chandon Brut, to signify the start of the media event. As Domaine Chandon’s winemaker, Glenn Thompson explains the sparkling wine signifies a lot of joy and fun. Moet Chandon, one of the largest champagne houses in France, established Domaine Chandon in 1986. The winery is located in the Yarra Valley, an hour away from Melbourne. Moet sought outside opportunities to expand their champagne making beyond the limited Champagne area in France, by developing new markets and wines. Their fist venture went as far back as 1959, when they expanded to Argentina. “It was very revolutionary for a company to set up a winery in Argentina since it was still a developing country but they wanted to be there from the beginning and start something new,” says Thompson. This led to them venturing into California’s Napa Valley in the 1970s, and Australia in the 1980s. “They like to build things from the ground up,” explains Thompson. The enterprising brand is set to embark on new frontiers with emerging markets like China and India, where they are now setting up vineyards in Maharashtra and Inner Mongolia. With the vineyards in different regions, Moet’s philosophy is to allow the individual sites to have individual expressions. “They respect the wines represent where they grow,” says

CHANDON ROSE Grape Variety: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Taste: Creamy taste with stone fruits, strawberry and vanilla ice cream, with a dry crisp finish. DOMAINE CHANDON CHARDONNAY 2010 Grape Variety: Chardonnay Taste: Elegant wine with vibrant fruits like white nectarine and hints of roasted spice. Good with a creamy

VALRHONA CHOCOLATE CAKE, SWICH CAFÉ café also whips up healthy versions of this cake, like a sugar free or even eggless version upon request. Find the cake at Level G3, Publika Shopping Gallery, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:018-5995152.

Thompson. Each of the estates also has their own local winemakers, but they lean on the expertise from France. “ They don’t impose, a type or a style, but all the wines are of highest possible quality befitting the name of Chandon,” says Thompson. The Chandon Brut sparkling wine, one of their bestsellers, is produced using the French technique of methode traditionnelle, where the pressed grape juice undergoes two separate fermentation processes, including a process that takes place in individual bottles. The

grapes are sourced from the cool climate regions, which gives it complexity to the sparkling wines. Australia and Asia’s thirst for the sparkling wine has seen the demand grow tremendously. ”It’s a different choice with a sense of fun, style that is delicious to drink and share,” says Thompson. Similarly, the blush pink Chandon Rose is perfect as a fresh aperitif, with a diversity that suits any occasion. The Domaine Chandon range avail-

able in Malaysia, also includes still wines such as Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. These wines have been well accepted in Australia, with the 2010 Domaine Chandon Chardonnay picking up a gold medal in the International Cool Climate Wine Show 2011. Chandon is distributed by Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia, 8th Floor, Menara Boustead, 69, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, Tel: 03-20538688

TASTING NOTES CHANDON BRUT Grape Variety: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Taste: Fresh fruit flavours of pear and stone fruit aromas with a vibrant acidity and a crisp finish.

Swich Café has been bewitching us with its vast cake repertoire, including this classic Valrhona chocolate cake. Savour each bite of the moist and light cake topped with a shiny Valrhona dark chocolate ganache. The

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DISCOVERING CHANDON

COLATE

For an ooh-la-la experience, reach out for this French layered creation of chocolate mousse, sponge, ganache with a bit of bite from the crispy feuillantine. This seasonal item is available only upon order. The patisserie also offers

THE MALAY MAIL

risotto. DOMAINE CHANDON PINOT NOIR 2011 Grape Variety: Pinot Noir Taste: Delicate garnet in colour, with red cherry and raspberry fruity tastes, with complex nutmeg and cinnamon spices. Pairs well with duck. DOMAINE CHANDON SHIRAZ 2010 Grape Variety: Shiraz Taste: Fruity notes such as berries, damson plum and dark berry with mixed spices like sandalwood, cinnamon and cardamom. An elegant finish with a spicy aftertaste. Good with red meats such as roast beef or lamb dishes.

EDITORIAL NOTE by Lee Khang Yi

|

Crave Editor

It’s been one sweet affair looking for chocolate cakes around the Klang Valley. There’s something magical about chocolate, and when you’re eating that perfect chocolate cake, all your problems seem to dissolve away. We hope you’ll enjoy our cake selection, as much as we did. In addition, we also encounter truly superb sushi at the newly minted Sushi Hinata. Japanese food lovers must make a beeline for it. There’s also an interesting Chinese restaurant find in Cheras, with a menu of Hakka comfort dishes, and some unusual fare. Last but not least, look out for Chandon wines, including their superb Chandon Rose, perfect for all occasions. If you have any queries, email me at khangyi@mmail. com.my

ADVERTISING SALES

Rajan Gopal Senior Manager, Direct & Classifieds Direct line: 03 74951282 rajan@mmail.com.my


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FRIDAY 3 MAY 2013

SUBLIME SUSHI

Fresh sashimi

Tempura moriawase

Chawan mushi

OUR expectations were high when we first stepped into Sushi Hinata at St Mary’s Residences. Since it opened this March, it had gained a reputation around town for serving one of the best Japanese sushi in town. As we sampled their lunch, and each superb creation came past our lips, it started our tongues wagging and heads nodding that this place definitely qualified for its stellar reputation. What sets their offerings apart from the rest? The big difference is this place upholds true Japanese traditions. Its ethos is fresh fish from Japan, flown in twice weekly, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Experience also plays an important part here, with Nagoyan native Chef Oritsuki Hideaki, a sushi chef for about 30 years heading the restaurant. Chef Ori, as he is better known, cuts his sashimi into elegant thin slices. Most Japanese restaurants often make the mistake of cutting their fish in thick wieldy slices, as a gesture to their customers of the value of the fish they have ordered. Sadly, that leaves you chewing versus savouring the delicate fresh fish’s silky texture. The rice in the sushi is also superb — each grain retains its shape with a fluffy texture. The skill of the chef is evident, with the perfect ratio of fish to rice. As you pop in whole in your mouth, you get a wonderful blend of fish and rice, with a burst of the fiery wasabi. Sushi Hinata’s menu empha-

Assorted fish sushi

sises sushi and sashimi based on seasonal specialties from Japan. First timers can also choose to dine during lunch as an easy introduction to the place for their palates and wallets. Lunch menus start from RM50 to RM150, while dinner menus start from RM138 to RM280. Reservations are advised, especially for the coveted sushi counter where you can observe Chef Ori’s exceptional sushi skills. For those unfamiliar with the seasonal offerings, you can opt for the omakase, where the chef determines what is fresh and serves you. It is offered for lunch (RM200) and dinner (RM350). My omakase experience kicked off with the unusual but delicate seabream eggs, followed by an artfully arranged sashimi — tuna, salmon and a super fresh botan ebi with its sweet flesh. Even the humble chawan mushi or steamed egg was silky smooth and topped with glistening orange ikura or salmon roe, for a savoury taste. I also enjoyed its grilled saba fish marinated with

miso paste. One of its special side dishes was the decadent pairing of sweet sea prawns topped with creamy uni and lightened by yuzu zest. The tempura was also commendable for its light and non-oily coating covering the prawns and vegetables. For my omakase, I was served an assorted sushi platter including my favourite, the decadent creamy uni gunkan sushi. Remember to eat the delicious pickled ginger, an in-house specialty. Last but not least, it is their Akadashi miso soup, a robust broth made

I HAD been hearing about how good the food is at Restaurant 9888 for weeks from my friends, and we finally made it there on a Friday afternoon. You could call it foolhardy or brave to wade into the traffic in the Cheras heartStirfried Ching Loong Choy

Inside 9888

land, but we made it there by 12.30pm, and even found parking. It’s worth several visits, my friend Kerry tells me, and she has been there three times with her family. However, ordering can be a little harrowing for a person who can’t read the Chinese menus pasted on the wall, but we managed with the help of the restaurant manager. The Deepfried soft shell crabs with salted egg (RM35) might not look attractive, but it was a scrumptious dish, with the crabs coated with the powdery salted egg yolk and tossed with fragrant curry leaves. If you hate mucking about with your hands eating crabs, these are perfect for you. Rather than pair the dishes with rice, we opted for noodles in the

form of XO yin yeong mei (RM20). The rather unusual dish comprises of soft beehoon mixed with the bouncier tung hoon or glass noodles, all fried together with a fragrant XO sauce made from chillies and dried shrimps. It was a noodle dish with lots of oomph, with prawns, squid, French beans, beansprouts, black fungus, cuttlefish, fish slices, fish paste in it. We asked for a portion for two, but it was enough to feed four people. For our dose of greens, we ordered the seasonal Ching loong choy or dragon vegetables (RM20). The vegetable resembles flat chives, that is delicious stir fried with garlic. I had requested for the Braised belly pork with yam (RM20) and was happy it turned out well too. The dark sauce was robust, with hints of nam yue or fermented red beancurd, and smothered the tender belly pork slices, alternating with the flaky yam. There were plump soft peanuts too and these tasted so good. Last but not least, it was the Butter fried tilapia (RM45). The deep fried boneless fish slices came heaped with fine threads of egg yolk fried in butter together with curry leaves and chopped bird-eye chillies or cili padi. The fish was large enough

Mochi with red beans and kinako powder

using dark miso paired with shimeji mushrooms. Dessert was also an utterly delicious combination of tiny mochi ball, soft adzuki beans and topped with toasted kinako soy powder, that leaves you wanting more, just like its other offerings. Sushi Hinata, A-0-1, Ground Floor, St Mary’s Residences, Jalan Tengah, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-20221349. Open: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm. Closed on Sundays. Sushi counter

Braised belly pork with yam

A GOOD FIND IN CHERAS By Eu Hooi Khaw

THE MALAY MAIL

XO yin yeong mei

to feed 10 people. On its own, the fish lacked flavour, and it tasted better paired with the fairly hot cili padi, and the fragrant curry leaves. The food portions here are rather large too and what we had for four could easily satisfy six people. For my next trip here, I would go for the Braised pig tendon and

Crave pays for all its meals and all its reviews are conducted anonymously.

Butter fried tilapia

fish maw, my perennial favourite of Chicken in rice wine, Mussels with pig’s stomach soup, Hakka char yoke and abacus seeds, and definitely Steamed fish with choy poh or preserved radish. The old-fashioned Eight treasure duck is available on an advance order, and at the weekend, there is Fried pumpkin rice

Salted egg softshell crabs

and Beehoon fried with lala. Restaurant 9888 (Fatt Kee), Nos. 111G. 113G, 115G, 117G, Jalan Cerapu Satu, off Jalan Cheras Batu 3 ¼, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-92837889. Open daily: 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 10.30pm. Closed on first and second day of Chinese New Year.


Crave 3 mAY 2013