Thursday, September 28, 2023

Omakase Dining Experience @ HAKU - Extraordinary Japanese Cuisine, Penang

Omakase, a always surprising journey when it comes to this particular dining style. It means "I leave it up to you" which also means there will never be a menu for you when you choose Omakase style dining. 

HAKU -  Extraordinary Japanese Cuisine which is under the same building as Jazz Hotel also in the mid of redesigning their new menu and at the same time came out with some really attractive Omakase packages for the diners available from affordable to premium packages. 

Disclaimer from restaurant: All seafood imported from Japan will be going through strict scanning process to avoid any nuclear pollution that might cause any discomfort. 

The restaurant is kinda spacious and able to fit up to 60pax at full force, you can host your private events, company dinner or any kind of events that can fit into their restaurant. They also welcome private bookings and event organising at the restaurant. Private rooms are also available.

For starter, I was welcomed by 3 refreshing consist of refreshing Japan Seaweed & Salmon Roe, Baby Ika and White Pearl Sweet Corn. It was a great savory to start a meal with combination of sweet, salty and sourish flavours. Especially the Japan seaweed with Ikura that gave great texture while enjoying it.

Kara Oyster, the Japanese creamy oyster served with caviar, lime mint sauce was simply perfect and really refreshing. It was a great start to stimulate your taste buds before you go on with next course. 
The oyster was really juicy and fresh and it was perfect to go with the lime mint sauce that was refreshing and appetising.

Next I was served with a mixed plate of sashimi consists of Maguro Toro, Ebi and Hamachi. They were all fresh and gave me a very rich texture when I was enjoying it. Ebi was kinda chewy and juicy, while Maguro Toro melted in my mouth with Uni and Caviar gave me some good bites. It was a good combination.

Being a Japanese food lover, Chawamushi is always one of my top favourite Japan dish as I always love warm and smooth steamed egg that slip into my throat smoothly. 
The Chawanmushi served by Haku was steamed to perfection, not only it was soft and smooth but also very flavourful with crab meat, golden mushroom, gingko and prawn added to the Chawanmushi then topped with seaweed sauce that gave it an unique flavour. No soy sauce needed at all.

Being one of the dishes that surprised me the most, this pan-fried Hokkaido Scallop served with white asparagus, caviar and milk sauce was really something special.
It was the first time I've tasted milk sauce in dining and pairing it with crunchy white asparagus while enjoying the succulent scallop was really delightful and amusing.

The next dish served was Stewed Seabass fillet with seasonal vegetables. I was shocked to find this rather Chinese dish served in a Japanese restaurant but the portion was kinda generous and the fish was fresh. These two hot dishes prepared me for some nigiri sushi next.

You will be served with 4 types of Nigiri Sushi for this Omakase package. While fish choices will be up to the chef to see what's the best option available for you while you dine on the day.

First Nigiri was Tai Sushi(Sea Bream) which is also the best option to start with because it has mild flavour and not too strong to start for Nigiri sushi.
It was slightly sweet and delicately rich taste with firm and tender texture. 

Next was Kin Medai that was delicate and tender, with good fat content for a shiromi and the taste is mild yet full of umami flavors. 
This was served with a tiny slice of lime that gave the sushi a blast in the mouth.

Maguro Sushi, the Bluefin Tuna sushi is commonly served during Japanese Omakase, also one of the most prized sushi.
It's mild buttery taste which is also rich in flavours that is most enjoyable, I would say it is the best option for Nigiri Sushi. 

Maguro Toro, the fatty part of Bluefin Tuna which is also the most popular part of all. 
It can slip into your mouth smoothly and melts in there and gives you an unforgettable feeling, consider it a much upgraded version of the regular Maguro Sushi.

Last Nigiri I had was Hirame Sushi, Flouder fish which has a firm texture and mild sweet flavour.
It is slightly chewy compared to other fishes but it was thinly sliced and just perfect for a single bite.
All Nigiri Sushi were handmade, the texture of the rice also played an important part for my dining pleasure.

Next was something really exploding. 
The Minidon that consist of Maguro, Ikura and caviar gave me a bomb to my Omakase dining.
Image having a fireworks in your mouth? That's what I experienced while enjoying this specially crafted minidon. Every Ikura exploded in my mouth gave me a full flavoured juice. 
No sauce, no seasoning, no flavouring needed at all in this dish, just purely enjoyment from every bite.

Engawa Temaki (Flounder Hand Roll)
Slightly torched and it was firm, delicate and enjoyable.

Clear Soup with Sakura Ebi, Truffle Oil and Rice Noodle
One of the best shrimp would be Sakura Ebi, not only the texture is great but the flavours is also better than other shrimp type. I get to enjoy the smooth rice noodle and delicious Sakura Ebi and the taste got even better with truffle oil on top. Making this soup light but still flavourful

For dessert, I had a very sweet ending savouring the extremely sweet and crunchy melon and also their homemade almond cake. The melon was one of the best melon I've ever tasted, the texture, sweetness was simply perfect to my liking, putting a sweet ending to my Omakase dining experience here in HAKU. 

The Omakase package I experienced at HAKU is RM688+ per pax, which consists of 3 appetisers, 5 types of Otsukuri, Chawanmushi, 2 seasonal dishes, 5 types of Nirigi, Mini don, hand roll, soup and desserts. Cheaper package also available at RM388+ per pax and portion will be smaller. 

Special thanks to HAKU - Extraordinary Japanese Cuisine for hosting.

HAKU - Extraordinary Japanese Cuisine
1, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang 1, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang.
12:00am - 2:30pm & 6:30pm - 10:30pm
(Opens early at 11:30am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Booking number: 011-1331 3655
GPS: 5.4578002,100.3094417


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

PUTIEN Annual Eel Festival 2023 @ PUTIEN Malaysia, Gurney Paragon Mall

It’s the time of the year again for another round of Eel feast in Putien restaurants in Malaysia. This year’s festival is slightly different with Putien Malaysia introducing a few new recipes as additions to the current Eel Festival Menu.

Same like previous years, all selected quality eels were flown in from Shunde Guangdong, China and only the best quality will be picked for the feast.

Special thanks to Putien Malaysia for having me over to try the new menu.

First dish was featuring Fresh Eel Cooked in Spring Water 山泉水煮活鳗鱼where you can taste the best flavour from fresh eel with minimal flavouring added to this dish. This dish will be cooked in front of the diners and will be served individually to you. The soup will only add some ginger, spring onion and goji berries for flavouring. You can taste the sweetness from the fresh and soft eel meat.

Second dish for Eel Festival was Baked Eel Dressed in Garlic & Puning Bean Sauce普宁豆酱焗鳗鱼 was a stronger flavoured eel dish on the menu. This dish served really hot and the waiter will further stir-fried the dish when it is served on the table to let the flavours further infused into the eel meats. This dish is slightly stronger in flavour and goes well with any rice and noodle. The eel meats in this dish is quite springy unlike the one cooked in soup but nevertheless this one should be more favourable by majority. 

The other eel dishes available are2Eel in Fujian Fermented Red Rice Wine福建特色红糟鳗, Spicy Pan-fried Eel 辣子烧鳗, and Steamed Eel in Garlic and Soy Bean Sauce 蒜蓉豆豉蒸鳗鱼.

One of my top favourite dishes in Putien would be none other than the Deep-fried Pork Trotters with Salt & Pepper seasoning 椒盐猪手 that is well balanced in fat and meat layers. The pork trotters were fried to perfection and created the crispiness outer layer with juicy meat inside. One is definitely not enough for me.

One dish that I didn't noticed on the menu before was this Fried Prawn with Cereal 风味麦片虾 which was deep fried to crispy and then stir-fried with some fine cereal they have. The prawns were kinda juicy and fresh, you can even chew it with the shell along as it was kinda crispy, don't waste every bit of it. 

You will not feel unfamiliar with this red-looking dish if you know something about FooChow people.
Being one of the most popular dishes and also the must have festive dish of FooChow people, Chicken in Fermented Red Rice Wine 砂锅红糟鸡 is also one of the must try dishes in Putien Malaysia. It is one of the uncommon dishes available in Malaysia and for people who are not sure how it tasted like, this version in Putien is slightly sweet and a little bit of fermented sour note. Every FooChow family has their own version of red wine paste so although we are cooking the same dish, the taste could be different. 

Other popular dishes in Putien Restaurant are also some of their signature dishes such as their 
虾苗拌头水紫菜 Seaweed with Mini Shrimps 
一品醉鲜鱿 Drunken Squid
莆田荔枝肉 Putien Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychee
自制滑豆腐 Homemade Bean Curd

So how can we finish a meal without some good desserts? 
If you are coming with your family, I'm sure the good desserts in Putien can easily attract some of you or the elderly in your family as there are some good traditional desserts available. 
I've tried the Double-boiled Pear with Osmanthus and Aged Mandarin Peel 桂花陈皮炖雪梨 which was really juicy and put a good ending to my dinner.

Dishes in PUTIEN Restaurant were never disappointing, always the perfect place for a good meal with your friends and family. 


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Shop, Sip and Save: Sacoor Blue Rewards Shoppers with Free Coffee

Sacoor Blue, a brand with sustainable living at its heart, has collaborated with popular local coffee chain ZUS Coffee to offer a delightful reward to its customers - free drinks! Sacoor Blue shoppers will be thrilled to receive a complimentary ZUS Coffee voucher worth RM15 for every RM199 spent at participating Sacoor Blue outlets*.

This exclusive offer is only valid for a limited time, from 25 August to 17 September, 2023. Elevate your style while savoring the flavor. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity!

Terms and Conditions
Promotion Period: 25 August - 17 September, 2023.

*Participating Outlets*

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, MyTOWN Shopping Centre, IOI City Mall. LaLaport BBCC, Mitsui Outlet Park, KLIA Sepang, Johor Premium Outlets, Design Village Outlet Mall and Genting Highlands Premium Outlets (opening 8 September 2023)