Dinner @ Spasso Milano

The last time I visited Spasso Milano, was to try their buffet lunch. My cousin, an avid lover of food, was down - and I had suggested we try Spasso Milano for dinner. And so we headed over to the restaurant, located on the first floor of the Nihonkan Club, on Jalan Ampang.

The service was fantastic, and the waiters were prompt, and always there to attend to our need. As we sat in our plush chairs, we were served complimentary pieces of Bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. The bread was fantastic on it's own and did not even need the balsamic and oil! I just wish they gave us more of it though, instead of only a plate of it.

The Ragu' di Pollo with Squid Ink Pasta, was good. The pasta was cooked perfectly al-dente. In hindsight, however, I wish I had ordered something different and more exiting as the sauce was too one-dimensional for me, and had no other edge to it.

Other things on the table included a Cannelloni al Frutti di Mare Gratinati. The cannelloni pasta was filled with an abundance of sliced seafood like prawns and crab, and baked to perfection in a tangy, yet smooth lobster cream sauce. The baked cheese at the top added to the decadence.

My cousin had herself an Aragosta e Gamberoni con Olio al Pomodoro. The tomato oil added a depth of flavor to the king prawn and lobster, though the meats of the two pieces of seafood were unfortunately tough. The seafood was accompanied by some polenta and grilled vegetables.

Finally, we were served a Calzone Pizza. The pizza was very good as well - with the pizza having come piping hot from the oven. The ingredients used - such as artichokes, ham and mushrooms - seemed fresh, though I seriously wish they had given us more of it.

In conclusion, Spasso Milano was gave us a pleasant experience as a whole, and despite a few let-downs when it came to the food, we were nonetheless satisfied. Parking is an abundance at Nihonkan, so don't hesitate on coming down for a bite to eat, though do stay away from the boring items on their menu...and don't bother ordering their lobster.

Presentation: 6.5/10

Ambiance: 7/10

Service: 8/10

Overall Taste: 6.5/10

General Impression: 6/10





MIGF 2011 @ L'Heritage

It has been sometime since my last review, and with exams and stuff now finally out of the way, I am finally back. In this post, I just thought I'd share with you Chef Anna Suzanna's 10 course feast at L'Heritage for this year's MIGF.

 L'Heritage is an elegant restaurant, whose design takes after the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. It is located on the 1st Floor of the Royale Chulan, on Jalan Conlay, off Jalan Bukit Bintang. Our experience was priced at around RM 200.

As we waited for our food, we was served complimentary Cinnamon-Flavored Bread, accompanied with a Cream Cheese Butter. Truly mouthwatering - I had to be careful not to fill myself up before the other courses arrived.

 Amouse Bouche

Asparagus Carpaccio with Fine de Calir Oysters and an Escabache Salsa

The oysters were truly one of the most juiciest oysters I've ever had - impossible to eat it in a bite. Accompanied by the salsa and shaved asparagus, the oyster liquor left at the bottom of the shell was a perfect end to the course. 

Foie de Canard

Pan Seared Duck Foie Gras on Baby Pear Marmalade, Morel Mushroom and Redcurrant Reduction

The epitome of decadence. The foie gras was incredibly rich, silky and smooth interior was covered by a crisp exterior. The sweet marmalade and a poached pear were a great accompaniments, however at times, the sweetness of it all overpowered the foie gras.

Fruits de Mer

Grilled Rock Lobster with Apple Salad Beurre and Buttered Escargot

This dish was alright. The apple salad was a good accompaniment to the lobster, though the lobster meat itself was a bit tough. The escargot was slightly dry too - though the dish as a whole had a good balance of flavors and textures to it.


Slow Poached Salmon Trout in Shellfish Oil, Quail Egg Confit with Chanterelle Bordelaise Sauce

The salmon had a wonderful feel to it, however there was still a hint of fishiness at the back of my mouth unfortunately. The quail egg confit had an interesting texture as well - it had an unusually crisp exterior and a soft interior. Those chanterelle mushrooms had quite a funky texture too!


Smoked and Roasted Garlic Soup

As this soup was a consomme, I did not enjoy it as much. It was a simple soup with a clear cut flavour and had smokey undertones to it - a contrast with the other, 'richer' dishes. Ultimately, this soup really did not appeal to me - I'm not much a fan of clear soup.


Peach Sorbet with Cinnamon

A simple, slightly sourish sorbet, with a warm undertone to it, as a result of the cinnamon. A lovely palate cleanser. Plus, the presentation was wonderful too!


Lamb loin with Spinache Crepes, Braised Roselle and Verde Salsa

The lamb was incredibly succulent and flavorful thanks to the think layer of fat around it. The braised roselle, I thought, served as a great accompaniment to the dish. The crepes, however, were slightly tough to eat, and had a bit of a floury texture to it...


Grilled Wagyu served with Blue Cheese Roesti and Vin de Bourgogne Glaze

The wagyu was served with shaved truffles with added even more flavor to it. The meat in itself, however, was not as tender as I imagined - though still satisfying nonetheless. The blue cheese roesti had the robust aroma that you'd expect, though eating it with the beef, overpowered the beef.

Fin Douche

Guananja Valrhona Chocolate Brulée

My dessert was incredibly rich and bittersweet. The crisp top of the brulee gave way to a silky, smooth centre of pure chocolate. Beyond yum.


Assorted Cheese with Homemade Crackers Wild Berries and Dried Fruit Compote

And just when you think its over, its not! The cheeses served as a delightful end to the experience. The fruit, simple dried pieces of apricot, accompanied the cheese and biscuits well. The homemade chocolates, too, made a great accompaniment with coffee.

My MIGF experience this year, completely different from my last, and despite the minute let-downs in certain courses, I was left completely satisfied. The annual MIGF is something I think everyone should join and experience, as each of the experiences I have had since 2007, I have not forgotten.

Presentation: 9/10

Ambiance: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Overall Taste: 8/10

General Impression: 8.5/10





India - Day 10


Breakfast was served at our hotel, Quality Inn, Sabari. Read about the buffet, HERE.


Our lunch was a vegetarian one, held at the very famous Saravana Bhavan. Read about our interesting lunch HERE.



Lunch @ Saravana Bhavan, Chennai

For lunch, we visited the main branch of the world renowned Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain. After having waited a good 20 minutes, we were finally allowed into the noisy, bustling restaurant filled with the clanging of metal plates and chit-chatter of patrons. An experience in itself.

As you can see, we were fortunate to get a table to ourselves - which usually isn't the case due to the fact that the restaurant is packed. It was interesting to see how the waiters took our orders on their fancy little palm-tops. 

My grandparents had themselves a Rice Medley (not actual name). An interesting carbo-filled lunch consisting of a variety of different rices such as sambhar rice, tamarind rice, lemon rice, yogurt rice, banana chips and a bowl of ghee. Tasting spoonfuls of rice from each compartment took me on a journey of flavours, from the sour to the salty, to the sweet. Behold, an experience in itself.

My Set Meal was huge enough to be eaten by two people. This set consisting of two types of yogurt, banana chips, various curries, sauteed okra, a cup of lemon rice, various chutneys, a helping of ghee, and some Indian sweets to end it off was just too much for my senses. Eating the meal seemed like a daunting task, both for my appetite and mentally. Delicious, though eat at your own risk.

Saravana Bhavan is definitely worth a visit, as the experience was phenomenal, and the food was rather good - though I did feel my set meal was far too elaborate for my tastes. Though do bear in mind that you will have to wait quite sometime to get a place, which most likely - will probably be with some random person you have never met before.

Presentation: 5/10

Ambiance: 4/10

Service: 5/10

Overall Taste: 7/10

General Impression: 6.6/10





Breakfast Buffet @ Quality Inn, Madras

When visiting Madras, Chennai, it is important to bear in mind that hotel rooms here are pricey (probably even more pricey than a few in our own Kuala Lumpur). Though we managed to come across Quality Inn Sabari, a hotel located on Thirumalai Pillai Road in T. Nagar, Chennai.

Quality Inn Sabari is not a 5-Star luxury hotel, though it does offer you spacious rooms which are of considerable luxury, comfort and great service - all for a reasonable price, and central location. The above picture was my room -  a deluxe room, slightly more spacious than their normal ones. 

Two of those rooms came up to a total of Rs10000 (around RM640), including luxury tax. Each night at a room entitles you to a complimentary Buffet Breakfast. As you can see from the picture above, it was rather decent.

Being in India, local delicacies such as Idli, Thosai, Appam and various Chutneys and Curries were served. Everything was fresh and hot, and I absolutely loved it. It's not much in terms of splendour, but it was good and authentic food.

There was an Omelet Bar. The toppings were decent, though there were no meaty toppings, such as ham, available. I had about 3 of these because the omelet servings were unbelievably small. Though being a buffet, I had no complaints about going back again to get more.

Along with the omelet, there was some decent western fare available. These items such as Chicken Sausages, Baked Beans and Mashed Potatoes weren't that good, but were relatively decent (apart from the mashed potatoes, whose presence on the spread took me by surprise).

The one things I absolutely love about this buffet is their free flow of coffee, made to order. I indulged in two Cappuccinos that day, which went down very well with some of the Pastries on offer.

Other things on the spread include Fresh Fruit, an Assortment of Cheeses, and a variety of Juices. On the whole, my experience at Quality Inn Sabari was wonderful, with a spacious room, great service, a satisfying breakfast - all at a reasonable price. Definitely worth having a look at - if you plan on staying in Madras.

My buffet:

Presentation: 5/10

Ambiance: 5/10

Service: 7/10

Overall Taste: 6/10

General Impression: 6.5/10




Indian Fare @ Crimson Chakra, Chennai

We visited a South Indian grill upon visiting Madras. This restaurant, unknown to tourists, was a restaurant I found online. Crimson Chakra is lot no. 13 on First Crescent Road, Ghandi Nagar in Adyar, Chennai.

The quaint restaurant was scented with incense, and the ambience was heightened by classical Indian music. The contemporary furniture with an Indian touch gave it a special feel, and the dim lighting set the mood perfectly (though it made it really hard for me to take my pictures).

We ordered ourselves the Paneer Pattani Masala worth Rs220 (RM14). The curry was a homemade nada masala, which contained pieces of paneer and green peas. An absolutely lovely dish, with just the right balance of flavor and spice. 

We also had ourselves the Milagu Kaalan Masala worth Rs210 (RM13). This smooth dish had was served with a rather thick, but flavorful curry - not too powerful curry so as to kill the delicate, natural flavor of the mushrooms.

The next dish we had was Naadar's Kozhi Curry worth Rs250 (RM16). This coriander-based curry was unlike anything I have ever tasted. The subtle flavor of coriander was the base flavor of the curry, which had subtle overtones of cardamom and cumin. And the chicken was cooked to perfection.

To accompany the dishes, we had Naan and White Rice. The naan was absolutely heavenly - crisp on the outside, but fluffy inside - truly, one of the most amazing naaan's I have ever tasted! The white rice was cooked perfectly too - not too hard, and not porridge-like either. 

The service was impeccable, with the waiter waiting on our hand and foot, attending to our every need - especially that of my grandparents. The food was heavenly, and truly unlike any Indian food I've had. And the price, absolutely reasonable. My conclusion would be that this is one of the best Indian restaurants I've ever been too - and absolutely worth a visit.

Presentation: 6/10

Ambiance: 7/10

Service: 8/10

Overall Taste: 9/10

General Impression: 8.5/10



India - Day 8


Lunchtime was served at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu. This seaside town is famous for its historical temples dating back to 600AD. The above was a picture of me, at the Five Rathas. Being a seaside town, Mahabalipuram is equally known for their seafood, which I had there at a restaurant on Othavadai Street.

My Masala King Prawns worth Rs230 (RM14). The pricing was incredibly reasonable, an with the amount I paid, I got 2 reasonably-sized prawns. The masala was a bit to strong, however, and overpowered the subtle sweetness of the prawns. The prawns themselves were slightly overcooked.


Dinner was held at a restaurant named Crimson Chakra. Read all about this amazing restaurant HERE.



India - Day 7


Lunch was held at home, in my grand aunt's house. She had been working on the food since morning, and once again, it was a feast for our stomachs, and for the senses. I ate quite a bit, as I skipped breakfast.

We had Mutton Biryani as our primary dish. There was an abundance of tender meat, which flavoured the rice - which also contained traces of cardamom and clove. Another side dish was the Onion Raita, which balanced all the spices. We also had Diced Celery with Mayonnaise - though not exactly Indian in nature, it added a dimension of sweetness to our meal.

This plate was accompanied with Mutton Chops - tender pieces of mutton, coated and deep-fried with a spicy batter. We also had Sautéed Capsicum with Onions. Once again, not exactly an 'Indian' dish, though the softness of the capsicums contrasted the crispness of the chops.


We visited a cafe on Rue de la Bussy, called Bakers Street. Read about it HERE.


Snacks were at Risque, at the famous Promenade Hotel, Pondicherry. Read about it HERE.



Risque@The Promenade, Pondicherry

My local relative and I headed over to Risque, at The Promenade  for some pre-dinner drinks and snacks. The Promenade is a relatively famous hotel, having been in Pondicherry for a few years now. It is located strategically on Goubert Avenue, opposite the Ghandi Statue on the beach.

I had myself a Mango Juice infused with Black Tea. The mango juice was certainly refreshing, and the black tea added an edge to it. But was it was slightly pricy, for the amount we paid for.

My relative had himself some Pineapple Juice worth around the same price. Seeing as any other fruit apart from mango is a rarity in India, the price was…justifiable - though still, quite steep for a measly glass of juice.

To munch on, we were served complimentary Peanuts roasted with Black Pepper, and puffy, crispy biscuit-things. Both of them were incredibly addictive, though there was too much pepper and salt on the peanuts - for me, at least.

We also ordered Calamari with an Aioli Dip. This was an absolute rip off, as the calamari was tough and tiny, and the dip was absolutely tasteless. This dish was an absolute rip off, and it was unbelievable how much we paid for shit on a plate.

In conclusion, maybe avoid Risque as there are plenty of more charming and cheaper alternatives which offer much higher quality food. Plus, I didn't get to absorb any of the atmosphere of the beach, due to their unbelievably high walls surrounding the hotel. Maybe try Le Cafe or something nearby, instead.

Presentation: 7/10

Ambiance: 8/10

Service: 6/10

Overall Taste: 5/10

General Impression: 6/10