Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Gostilna Sestica @ Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana's oldest restaurant (since 1776) may seem mainly like a magnet for tourists, but it's worth exploring for its friendly service & traditional Slovenian menu - order the wild boar with buckwheat pockets & juniper sauce, followed by a dessert of potica, a classic nut roll cake.

Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur: CNY Prosperity Set Menus

Throughout every Chinese New Year season, thousands of merrymakers throng Xin Cuisine at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur, raising their chopsticks at this stalwart of the city's Chinese dining scene for reliable celebratory meals.

By now, Xin Cuisine is probably nearly fully booked for key dates like Chinese New Year Eve, though it's worth noting that for late bookings, the hotel has opened up a second banquet hall to accommodate revellers.

With the theme of Tossing Up Good Fortune, we sampled a few temptations from their multiple set menus, starting off with yee sang of course, available in variations that span the essentials like Norwegian Salmon, Soft-shell Crab, Jellyfish, Baby Octopus and Snow Pear. This year, customers can even mix and match these components, so your yee sang could include, say, both the salmon and the soft-shell crab.

There's certainly something for everyone here, with various set menus that offer different dishes for customers seeking more options and possibilities; the sets are priced at RM1,388, RM1,688 and RM2,188 nett - ideal for groups of families and friends making plans for get-togethers and sau gong sessions.

Helmed by skilled and experienced chefs, the kitchen whips up can't-fail favourites from doubled-boiled chicken soup with dried scallops and herbs to braised dried oysters with fatt choy, mushrooms and fish maw, to stewed Chinese sausages with two varieties of rice instead of merely one.

Chilled peach resin with white fungus and red dates makes for a refreshing conclusion, but it's well worth also saving space for lusciously executed nian gao specials like fresh shredded coconut nian gao, sesame rice balls with nian gao and peanut nian gao.

This is, naturally, only the tip of the iceberg, with everything from crispy suckling pig with glutinous rice to steamed freshwater prawns with shredded ginger, crispy roasted duck with herbs to steamed loong fu garoupa with fresh black fungus and beancurd sheets also on the menus.

Thanks to Xin Cuisine for having us.

Xin Cuisine
Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. 
Tel: 03-2144-8750 (direct line for Xin Cuisine)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hadjidraganovite Izbi @ Sofia, Bulgaria

Is that lamb shashlik or are you happy to see us? The sound of traditional Bulgarian music rings through the halls of Hadjidraganovite Izbi, where customers feast on Bulgarian specialities of bahur (a sausage of pork lungs & heart) with einkorn wheat bread, buffalo yogurt & wormwood wine.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Kong Restobar @ SS15 Subang Jaya

When it comes to comfort food at fair prices, Kong strives to be King in Subang, serving up a slew of crowd-pleasers in a casual, fuss-free setting. Have a hearty meal, then play a game of darts to kill some time.

Burgers and pastas, all-day brunch and bar snacks: The kitchen, helmed by chef Kong Kel Vin, tackles the familiar favourites with ease, with a few thoughtful touches. 

The Red Hot Chicken Burger is a deserved bestseller, boasting a juicy thigh, oozing with cheese, enhanced with lemon-spiked chilli sauce and accompanied by herb fries for a filling meal - a solid burger, for sure (RM19).

The pesto pasta is worthwhile too, with crunchy battered prawn heads that provide a tasty textural boost to the recipe, adding antenna-to-tail eating to the crustacean family (RM18).

Whether you’re here at eleven a.m. or eight p.m., fans of Big Breakfasts will be encouraged to know they can dig into a substantial plate of eggs (scrambled, sunny-side-up or an omelette), two thick and tender sausages, beef bacon, hash browns and broccoli for balanced sustenance (RM22).

If you're only grazing, the buffalo wings are saucy and succulent (RM13), while the broccoli bowl is a deep-fried delight, an addictive take on a lok-lok speciality (RM6).

Beverage choices range from banana nutella milkshakes (RM12) to blackberry cider (RM19) and various chilled fruit juices (RM7).

Thanks to the Kong team for having us.

Kong Restobar
27 Jalan SS15/4B, Subang Jaya, Selangor. 
Open Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday, 12pm-12am; Friday-Saturday, 12pm-130am. Tel: 03-5611-5085

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Caru' cu Bere @ Bucharest, Romania

The most atmospheric restaurant in Bucharest's old town is nearly 140 years old, located in a building that's been classified as a historical monument. As expected, it heaves with customers every evening, serving up tasty Romanian specialities such as goose-stuffed vine leaves and 'mici' skinless sausages.