Friday, January 19, 2018

CNY 2018: Shanghai Restaurant, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur

Usher in the Year of the Dog with classic Shanghainese cuisine at the newly refreshed Shanghai Restaurant in JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur. The culinary symphony that is performed at the renowned restaurant is led by Executive Chinese Chef Wong Wing Yuek, who is dedicated to serving only the best and most authentic dishes from his native city.

Shanghai is the only hotel Chinese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur that specialises in exquisite Shanghainese cuisine. Guests can enjoy more than 100 authentic dishes originated from the Northern and Southern regions of Shanghai. Now sporting a more modern, sleek interior, the restaurant serves a sumptuous selection of Shanghainese Dim Sum and dishes for lunch and dinner.

For the Lunar New Year, Chef Wong and his team have specially curated set three set menus and a la carte menus that are available for lunch and dinner from 1 February until 2 March 2018, starting from RM288.80 per person. Please scroll down to the bottom for the full menus, with prices.

Toss to good fortune and wealth this year with Shanghai restaurant’s interesting variety of Yee Sang. The Yee Sang can be topped with delicacies such as abalone, jellyfish, salmon, lobster, geoduck, vegetarian ham or even fresh fruits, for a refreshing twist on this iconic Chinese New Year dish.

We had the Prosperity Yee Sang with salmon and fresh fruits, which looked incredible and absolutely exquisite. In Shanghai cooking, attractive presentation is important with ingredients being carefully cut and presented in a harmony of colours. The chef sure has mad skills, getting the fresh fruits so thinly sliced and arranged so artistically and intricate.  The Yee Sang is served with a luscious homemade sauce which is Shanghai’s well-kept secret recipe.

Appetizers make up an important part of Shanghainese cuisine. We were served a Combination of eight Shanghainese cold and hot dishes, namely Sliced pig's ears with sesame oil, Flat glass noodles with peanut sauce, Duck served with Chef's special sauce, Chilled drunken chicken with Chinese rice wine, Eggplant with bean sauce and chilli paste, Japanese cucumber with minced garlic and soy sauce, Celery with dried bean curd and shredded mushrooms and Deep fried bean curd skin filled with shredded black mushroom.

Without a doubt, our favorite was the deceptively simple Japanese cucumber with minced garlic - so crunchy and refreshingly good. We would recommend that you have some of these after some of the heavier dishes. The Chilled drunken chicken was also excellent - deliciously smooth and tender. We also loved the crunchy texture of the pig's ear.

Eggplant with bean sauce and chilli paste and Deep fried bean curd skin filled with shredded black mushroom. 

We were then treated to two pork dishes - the Braised Spanish pork with pine nuts and vegetables and Braised pig's trotter with sea moss. My vote goes to the Braised pork's trotter with sea moss, which had the just right amount of fat to meat ratio and a beautiful gelatinous skin. I could happily eat a few portions of this. Yum. 

Perhaps the most famous Shanghainese dish of all, the Steamed Shanghainese meat dumplings aka xiao long bao  at Shanghai Restaurant is always made with finesse, with its thin translucent skin and flavorful, juicy filling. A must-have!

We also had a trio of dim sum items - the Baked Royal Bridge biscuits, Steamed siew mai with  mini abalone and Deep fried bean curd stuffed with French goose liver and truffle paste. 

Baked Royal Bridge Biscuits - Crisp and flaky, filled with leeks, mushrooms and ham.

Lunar New Year Menu at Shanghai Restaurant

For reservations and enquiries, please call +60 3 2719 8288 or email

Opening times: Mon-Sat 12pm-2.30pm (lunch); 6.30pm - 10.30pm (dinner). Sun and PH 10.30am - 2.30pm.

Location: Shanghai Restaurant, First Floor, JW Marriott KL, 183 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2719 8288

GPS Coordinates: 3.147950, 101.713831

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mai Bar-Becue @ Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

Our recent trip to Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral coincided with a cold spell across Malaysia. Usually our Saturday afternoon during staycations would be spent poolside, however rain and 22 degree temperatures kept us out of the pool. Nevertheless we still managed to have fun poolside courtesy of Mai Bar which serves kids-friendly Bar-BQ food and we even managed to sneak in a few games of Jenga.

Mai Bar is located on the rooftop of the hotel, so you can get pretty good views of the KL skyline here. The Tiki-themed bar features an open layout with a long bar with Polynesian art on the walls. During the day, the atmosphere is calm and great for families and come night time, the place comes alive with music as well as live entertainment (on certain Fridays, you can catch Live @ Aloft here).

Totem poles

Enjoying a game of Jenga before our food arrived

Mai Bar-Becue is available every Thursday and Friday, from 6pm to 10pm and every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 11pm. On a nice sunny day, guests can opt to enjoy their food by the poolside. On the menu, you will find jumbo sausage, chicken, beef, lamb, prawns and other seafood, with prices starting from RM12.

We had the Grilled percik chicken wings (RM12), Tandoori lamb chops (RM14), Grill top sambal sotong (RM18) and Five spice beef skewer with palm sugar BBQ sauce (RM18) and Grilled Cajun spiced tiger prawn (RM20), all served with either jacket potato, corn on the cob and smokey grilled veggie medley or sauteed veggie with grilled pineapple.

Grilled chicken wings - the wings were pretty sizeable and juicy, with a lovely mild flavour. Contemplated ordering another portion as BabySumoKids enjoyed this but ordered the mini burgers instead (see below).

Tandoori lamb chops - I thought they were very reasonably priced (2 pieces for RM14). Meat was tender and there was quite a lot of eating. Kids enjoyed this too!

Five spice beef skewer with palm sugar BBQ sauce - to be honest, I have no idea how this tastes like cos the kids finished it by the time I finished taking photos of the other dishes. Haha it must be good!

Grill top sambal sotong - what you get is delicious squid rings in a pretty spicy sauce. In hindsight, it would have been better to order the grilled squid with spicy tamarind dip (the sauce is served separately) so the kids can enjoy squid too.

Grilled cajun spiced tiger prawn - nicely grilled, good flavours.

Other than the BBQ menu, Mai Bar also offers pizza,pasta, sausage platter, satay, Korean chicken wings and various other bar snacks.

We tried the nachos (RM20) topped with chicken, chilli, guacamole, sour cream, tomato salsa, jalapenos and lots of oozy, melted cheese. Delicious!

Wagyu mini burger trio (RM34) was the best thing we ate that afternoon. Juicy Wagyu beef mini patty are topped with gherkins and a soft bun - plus their dainty sizes are great for kids too, so easy to pop into the mouth! These also come with a side of tortilla chips.

Do not leave Mai Bar without trying their cocktails. Speak to the friendly bartender who will be able to recommend some drinks to you. Mai Bar's signature cocktail, Malaysian Princess Mai Tai (RM38), consisting of silver rum pressed with blueberries and kaffir lime, topped with golden rum, pineapple and orange juice and served in a tall Tiki-themed mug, is definitely my kind of drink. Very easy to drink, with a lovely fruity flavour.

We also tried the Moana Puru (RM35) - a mixologist special concoction, featuring vodka, passion fruit puree, blue curacao, lime juice, lemonade. This one had quite a kick to it, very potent! Check out this video to see how it's made ;)

Opening times: Monday - Wednesday: 12.00pm - 12.00am; Thursday - Friday : 12.00pm - 1.00am; Saturday : 11.00am - 1.00am; Sunday: 11.00am - 12.00am.

Location: Mai Bar, Level R (Rooftop), Aloft KL Sentral, No 5 Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03- 27231188


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