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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our 4th Anniversary @ Millesime & arrival of Leo jr

I'm very happy today as I write this post! Why? Because I have become dad for the second time (^_^) Leo jr. arrived at 7.30am this morning and I'm proud to say that both mom & baby are doing just fine. The new addition makes it 4 members in the Leo family! To some family, this will be a perfect one as one daughter and one son complete the family. To us Chinese, it means more as the combination of girl "女" and boy " 子" form the word GOOD "好". Here is my first photo of my son & I in blogspot!

Since Jenn has to go through the confinement period, that means we couldn't celebrate our 4th anniversary which falls on 27th January next year. Even after the confinement, we still have to take care of our son who will only be like a month old at that time. And I certainly believe that Sher Ryn will not make our lives easier but being more demanding. You know - sibling rivalries. Being a small child, she will try every little thing to vie for our attention & jealousy will ensue. Significant amount of time is required to educate her as well as to raise up the son at the same time.

Therefore, a week before she delivers I planned a surprise dinner for the two of us at Millesime. In fact, I called to make reservation a few days earlier. It was raining on that evening and since it was my first time going there, I had no idea on the exact location and ended up merry-go-round with Jenn. Tucked at the corner of Menara Kencana Petroleum, it wasn't easy to spot.

Since they don't serve a-la-carte menu, we had to go for the degustation menu priced at RM150++ per person which consists of 3 starters, 1 main and 1 dessert. ThE white truffle promotion was still ongoing but looking at the RM120++ per dish, we skipped that.

Complimentary breads were given with French butter - love the wholemeal bread with grains + butter!! What a perfect way to kickstart the evening.

Amuse Bousche for the night was Smoked Salmon Tartare served in a shot glass. Love the intense flavour of the smoked salmon but one gulp was all I took to down the stuff! Wish I had more!

Carpaccio of Baby Octopus with Arabian Sea Prawn Orange, Shaved Fennel Salad & Black Olive Dressing - first of all I didn't know that octopus could be done this way and secondly, the black olive dressing gave a tinge to my tastebud and went very well with the octopus as well as the prawn.

Ragout of snail with celery & parsley creamed mushroom soup - simply love the earthy flavour of the mushroom soup which somehow managed to cover up the gamey smell of the snail but not all as I still could taste the gamey smell.

Sea scallop with Peruvian White Asparagus & Black Truffle Vinaigrette - the presence of black truffle provided an earthy taste to the otherwise bland scallop & the asparagus was simply superb - crunchy and sweet! My favourite dish of the night!

Provencale Herbs - Parmesan Crusted Cod Fish, Lemon Oil & Rosemary Juice - the fish was cooked to perfection. The herbs crusted fish was aromatic while maintaining its moist and flaky texture. The presence of lemon oil further enhanced its flavour to another level. Wish that I ordered this as my choice of main was a disappointment!

Anjou Pigeon Breast Pan Roasted with Zucchini, Leek Flan & Goose Liver Cream - this dish would have been superb if it was well-cooked. After a few mouth of the pigeon meat, I realised that the meat was RAW (not slightly raw but RAW!!). I complained to our attending waiter & he immediately took it to replace, but my appetite was already ruined. I just asked them to proceed with the dessert. They were apologetic though...

Baked Fresh Fig & Seasonal Berries en Sabayon with Egg Biscotti & Amanera Ice Cream - the egg based biscotti was good! not overly sweet and complimented the fig & berries very well. But the Amanera Ice Cream definitely stole the thunder with its fruity flavour.

We ended the dinner with our choice of Chamomile & Earl Grey tea. It was then that I instructed that my surprise gift to be brought out on a dessert plate! Jenn thought nothing of it until she saw this lovely little box placed in front of her :) my plan worked as she looked very surprised! The present was my gift for our 4th anniversary & Valentine's Day which were quite close to each other.

The look on her face was priceless as she opened the box and saw what was inside! I knew that she lack of diamond earring in her jewellery collection and that was why I bought it & it was a design that I knew she'd love. Knowing her almost half of my life helped a lot :) she almost cried when she read the wooden card that I made for her personally - thanking her for giving me such a wonderful family and being such a wonderful wife. A simple kiss to the lips was all she did, but it was a kiss full of love!

Leo's verdict - apart from the surprise gift that went very well, it would be perfect if my main dish was perfect as well. Chef Max Chin was there at night & I'm pretty sure that it was his staff that made the error. Considering that I was paying RM150++, it shouldn't have become this way. For this dinner (and the gift) I have blown my monthly budget over the roof.. LOL! Oh well, at least my wife's happy and that's what matters the most!

G1-01-3, Menara Kencana Petroleum
Solaris Dutamas, KL
Tel: 03-62110648

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Monday, December 20, 2010

King Crab @ Kelana Jaya PJ

My annual pilgrimage to feast on the delectable Shanghai Hairy Crab for the year 2010 has been completed!!

To be honest, I almost forgot that I have not laid my hands on these crustaceans until my cousin came all the way from Singapore and asked me "Wanna go for mou hai (no pun intended) together?" Since Sher Ryn didn't follow us to KL on that weekend, Jenn & I quickly nodded our heads. The image of creamy and orange-ish roe was too much for us to resist.

Making our way to King Crab, the rainy and stormy evening failed to dampen our spirit. The sight of hairy crabs lining up in the cooler was well worth it :) we order 3 crabs.. and less than 10 minutes, they were lined up in front of us!

The waiter would then dissect the crab for us!

The taste of crab roe was as sweet as I remembered! We requested for male crab as the roe (or was it sperm?) was it was creamier and sweeter.

A cup of ginger tea to counter the "cold" effect of eating crabmeat afterwards! It was so good that we asked for a few more cups! LOL

Apart from the hairy crabs, we had other dishes too - starting with the "yin Choi" in superior broth.

Their salted egg squid was burst with flavour and crunchy... sinful but we enjoyed it. One of the better version that I've ever tried in Klang Valley!

Not content with just hairy crabs, we had 1kg of normal crab done is sour & spicy style - this is similar to the famous Singapore Chilly Crab but since both countries tried to stake claims to the right, I guess the best option is to change the name instead of arguing!

The gravy was superb and we requested 2 portion of fried bun to dip into it! We managed to wipe the whole plate clean. The task was definitely easier when Sher Ryn is not around.

Leo's verdict - of course there are other restaurants that offer Shanghai hairy crab such as Dragon-i, Elegant Inn and Pantai Seafood but I still prefer King Crab - maybe because it's nearer to where I live :P So have you had fair share of MOU HAI this year??

King Crab
103-107, Jalan SS25/2,
Taman Mewah Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.113488,101.603462
Tel: 03-7805 3282

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Monday, December 13, 2010

East Coast Trip Day 4 - Awana Kijal & Tong Juan @ Kemaman

After 3 days filled with relaxing yet exciting activities (for the family ok?), it was time to bid goodbye to the East Coast. Since all of us slept early, we felt refreshed and well-rested. Our package included free breakfast for all and so we headed down to the Kampung Restaurant for their buffet-styled brekkie. Choices were not as extensive as the 5-star hotels out there & do not expect the food to be good. There were hits & misses, and the only thing that I remember good was the tuna spread. Can't complain much since it was FOC.

After the brekkie, we brought Sher Ryn to the children playground where she played with the slide and the swing. For a 20-months old baby, she seemed to enjoy the adrenaline sliding down the rather high slide and loved it even more as we pushed the swing harder.. to our surprises. Oh well! As long as you are happy Sher Ryn :)

Awana Kijal also provides free usage of their childcare centre to the guests and we utilised it. Some light moments with the dad and playing around with the toys satisfied her.

It was noon by the time we checked out of the hotel and headed to Kemaman (again) for lunch - this time to the famous Tong Juan for the stuffed crab. Of course, there are other restaurants in the area that offer stuffed crab but when my aunt (who's from Kemaman by the way) said that Tong Juan is the best, then Tong Juan it is!!

This ever popular eatery was packed by the time we arrived and lucky for us, someone was about to leave so we managed to secure a table right next to the counter. Business was so good as all the tables would be taken as soon as patrons left. Our Muslim friends were the majority diners (with most tables taken by them) as we had our lunch here.

It was so hot outside and we seriously need something to cool down

Of course, the stuffed crabs were the first to arrive at our table - one for each person. This dish was good even though a bit oily (due to deep fried method). Not a problem for me though because the delicious crab meat made up for it.

Each and every stuffed crab is filled with meat.

The stir fried chicken meat with dark soy sauce was normal - the size of the meat could be a little smaller though.

Fresh kangkung done in belacan style!

Another highlight would be the grilled tiger prawns with garlic. Fresh, succulent and bursting with the aroma of garlic, we could have ordered the second helping of this dish.

Braised taufu with vegetables was another normal dish.

Homemade fish ball soup provided comfort to our already full stomach. The fish balls were juicy and bouncy while the soup was slightly peppery.

Now we were prepped up for our long journey home... BURP!

P.S: This post marks the end of my 4D3N trip to the East Coast! It took us another 5 hours drive to reach Kuala Lipis via East Coast Highway and also the trunk roads from Temerloh-Jerantut-Kuala Lipis. It was tiring but I am glad that everyone had a great time on this trip. Although the words were washed away by the waves, the memories would be forever etched in my brain :)

Tong Juan restaurant
K-117 Jalan Sulaiman,
24000 Kemaman, Terengganu
GPS: 4.231314, 103.428383
Tel: 09-859 1346‎

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.
3) Halal (^_^)

Monday, December 6, 2010

East Coast Trip Day 3 - Hai Peng Kopitiam @ Kemaman & Awana Kijal Resort

I realised that I had taken a lot of pictures during my East Coast trip and the blog might get too long if I insert one by one. A quick chat with my one of my best friends (Andrew Lo) whom I regard as my own brother & he told me to download Photoscape in order to combine several pictures in one, thus saving space... btw, it's FOC :) Thanks a lot bro! I knew that I could count on you like I always do!

We started our journey up north towards Terengganu after having light breakfast. Why light? Because Kedai Kopi Hai Peng was on our list to stop by on the way to Awana Kijal. Since it was only less than an hour away from Kuantan, we figured that we had a good cup of coffee would kick start otherwise an ordinary day! Since it was my first time going to Kemaman, I was worried that I could not find this place. However, this white building was visible from the main road leading towards Awana Kijal (if you see Public Bank, it's just opposite the bank).

True to its name, Hai Peng was packed with patrons most of the time. This place still maintain its old school way with some touch of modernity. LCD TV (behind the cashier) is used to introduce their food and beverages; some old (is it antique?) plates were seen hanging on the wall; pictures of the kopitiam in its early days as well as the founder were proudly hung on the wall; and variety of kuih-muih were placed on the wooden table in the middle of the shop for patrons to choose. It took us 5 minutes to secure a table for ourselves.

The kopi panas that Jenn's parents had was aromatic when it was served. One sip and I could see their eyes brighten up. "Wow! We have not tasted such good coffee for a long time" came their reply. My choice of kopi ais was not bad either! I wanted something cold rather on such a hot weather. It was rich and robust with each sip.

It took us another 20 minutes to reach Awana Kijal. Even before we came here, I had done some research on this resort. If you are looking for plenty of activities, then this is not the place for you. Our objective was to relax and therefore, it suited us. I didn't take many pictures of the hotel as I was busy taking pictures of Sher Ryn. to those who have not been here before, do not.. I repeat, DO NOT have high expectation on Awana Kijal. The rooms although clean, the interior seriously need refurbishment as the carpet, bed sheet and the wall look like from the 80s.

As soon as we checked into our respective room, Sher Ryn started exploring & venturing to prohibited areas.. starting with the cupboard. But then, I loved to see her mischevious look so I just let her continued with her ways.

Since it was hot outside, we decided to have lunch in the hotel instead. The resort is quite big and some places can be hard to find. Our lunch at Waterfall Cafe exceeded our expectation. Quite frankly, I never expect their food to be good especially after reading mixed reviews on their food through tripadvisor. My choice of nasi goreng with grilled seafood (squid, chicken and prawn) burst with flavour. The fiery belacan got my attention too! I had a mouth of the nasi ayam berempah (herbal spiced chicken) and thought that it was good too. The chicken was aromatic and tender. The curry however, tasted just like regular curry out there.

After the lunch, I sent Jenn's parents for Balinese massage before heading to the swimming pool. Did I ever mention that Sher Ryn loves swimming pool? Ever since I brought her to the pool for the first time, she couldn't get enough of playing with water. As it was still scorching hot outside, we planned to go to the beach later in the evening. Jenn just watched by the pool side as Sher Ryn and I had fun. Well, a pregnant woman should not move too much. The father and daughter had great time together... we just kept ourselves at the shallow areas. The swimming pool too looked it need refurbishment.

Alright! Time's up... it was time for Sher Ryn's afternoon nap and therefore I wrapped her with the newly bought robe & went back to our room.

After recharging the battery, the little princess was ready to hit the beach for the very first time. Initially, we thought that she would love the sand and the sea. Instead she stayed close to Jenn when she tried to put her down. Once Jenn left her by herself so that I could take pictures of her, she got nervous and started to cry. Her expression? Priceless (just look at the combination of pictures)

It didn't take her very long to get used to the surrounding. She started to play with the toys that we bought from Toy'R'Us. I built many sand castles which she destroyed shortly after.. sigh! Little children are very good in destructing stuff :) happy daughter and mom!

Look! An extra pair of feet (^_^) and soon, another one will join us!

Our dinner was at Grandview Restaurant late in the evening. The restaurant is located right outside Awana Kijal. There are only two rows of shophouses in front of the resort so you should be able to find it in no time. My friend reckoned that I had dinner at Grandview as the food is better (according to him). It was still early when we arrived but it was packed in less than 30 min. Tiger beer to cool down!

Most of the dishes that we had that night were good! Especially the sweet, sour & spicy soft shell crab. The gravy was great to be paired with white rice. A recommendation by the waiter, it didn't disappoint.

Butter prawn was another hit with us! The aroma of butter enveloped all the prawns and curry leaves added extra zing to it. The fresh and succulent prawns were finished in no time.

Oyster omelette - puny oysters but the omelette was fragrant. I just imagined that I was having telur dadar instead :P

Black pepper venison - tender meat and great sauce without over-powering the dish.

No complains on the green!!

Tomyam chicken - forget this! Sour is the only word I could use to describe this soup.

Leo's verdict - not many option to dine if you are looking for Chinese food as there are only two outside the resort. Otherwise we will have to dine inside the resort and pay exorbitant price for hotel food; or KFC which is also outside the resort. We visited Mesra Mall (about 10min drive from Awana Kijal) and also Kerteh Oil Rigs after the dinner.

Hai Peng Kopitiam
3753 Jalan Sulaiman
24000 Kemaman
(6.45am – 6pm)
09 - 859 7810

Grandview Restaurant
No.12, Back Row, Jalan Persiaran Bunga Araya
Kijal Beach Resort
24100 Kemaman, Terengganu
Tel: 09-8642486

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.