Sunday, November 19, 2017

Butcher's Block @ Medan Damansara

Damansara Heights' new cavern for carnivores is a treasure trove of Charolais rib eye steaks, Wagyu briskets, French duck breasts and Dorper lamb loin chops. 

Choose a cut and bring it back home or have it cooked for you here - the grain-fed tenderloin, for example, costs RM36.80 per 100 grams for takeaway purchases, or RM38.80 for dine-in purposes within the cosy space of this 'gourmet meat market.'

An a la carte menu is additionally available: Our three best bets to represent this venue are the Tasmanian grass-fed striploin (RM72, with two complimentary sides), the charcoal-grilled free-range peri-peri chicken (RM30 for a quarter, also with two perfectly portioned sides) and Spanish octopus leg (RM75 for the smallest serving).

The proteins are capably prepared, furnishing the necessary flavour and tenderness that underscore a commitment to solid produce and honest cooking. The chicken is reputedly raised on corn, passion fruit leaves and organic feed, supplied by a farm in Kuala Kubu Baru.

Each of the sides is pretty tasty too - our hands-down favourite is the cauliflower mash with truffle oil, uncomplicated but irresistibly addictive.

The grilled capsicum and zucchini with hazelnuts and lemon dressing, roasted beetroot and feta cheese with Italian herb dressing, and asparagus with tomatoes and avocados in lemon mustard dressing all master their roles as well in making this a satisfactory meal.

Wine is offered by both the bottle and glass. Service is thoroughly warm and efficient. 

Trivia: Butcher's Block is spearheaded by the man who was formerly one-half of Jarrod & Rawlins.

Butcher's Block Gourmet Meat Market
124, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-2011-7373



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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Terasa Doamnei @ Bucharest, Romania

Guts & gore in Bucharest: Dracula's Fillet (pork with hot sauce); brains fried in omelette; grilled spleen; sour tripe soup - traditional Romanian restaurant Terasa Doamnei might not be for the faint of heart, but the menu is a thrill for the taste buds. Finish on a safe, sweet note with papanasi - a delectable, doughnut-like dessert overflowing with cherry preserve & cream.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Athanor, Sunway University: Arabian Nights

By Aiman Azri


Calling Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad: This month, an enterprising band of first-year students at Sunway University staged their own interpretation of Arabian Nights in Athanor, the campus' excellent restaurant. The students, scarcely into their second semester, brainstormed the theme and brought on a full-fledged extravaganza of belly dancing, live magic performances and what seemed like 1,001 courses of Middle Eastern fusion cuisine.


The food was fun, filled with a riot of colours that beautifully complemented the event, showcasing the skills of Malaysia's budding chefs. Any restaurant would be proud to serve temptations like Lahmacun and Tenderloin Kebapi; a Warm Eggplant Salad; and a bowl of Chilled Yogurt Soup with Garlic Foam, each beautifully plated. 

The team can also take tremendous pride in the Chicken 63° C with Tahini Sauce and Compressed Lemon Confit, cooked sous vide and coupled with couscous. Last but not least was the lemony-sweet Apricot Éclair with Soil and Berries - again, elaborate and nuanced, executed with flair.

Based on these efforts, we'll be eager to see where these students head to after completing their education.


A couple of mocktails completed the motif of the evening: Insanity Light in the Arabic Night blended the juices of lemon and passion fruit with mint, while the Golden Arabic Sunset was a nightcap of orange juice, grenadine syrup and cloves.


Arabian Nights was the work of more than 30 second-semester students under Sunway University’s BSc (Hons) International Hospitality Management. It was held in Athanor, Sunway University’s own restaurant. Many thanks to the students for having us.

Athanor is open to the public for lunch every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 12pm to 3pm. 

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Shia Wong Hip Snake Restaurant @ Hong Kong

Slither over to Shia Wong Hip, which has been serving up snake specialities in Hong Kong since 1965 - the signature snake soup comprises five types of snakes in a thick, warming broth traditionally believed to bolster the body, especially for winter. 

Other headliners include the hearty snake belly claypot rice and a 'power soup' made of lizards, silkworms, cow penis, deer embryo and seahorses. Wash down with snake bladder juice wine. 

If you'd like to also see/touch a live snake, the establishment will enthusiastically oblige .

Shia Wong Hip
Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong.