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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰 [Food Reivew]

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I don't get what is the hype about the recent opening of 1 star Michelin Hong Kong Dim Sum restaurant in Malaysia. The queue can beat a concert ticket purchase. I don't get it, there are other old time 1 Star Michelin franchise restaurant in Malaysia as well, have you tried it before? No? Then you need to jump out from the queue and come to Din Tai Fung.


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Din Tai Fung House Special 招牌小菜
In case you like it wan to duplicate, the ingredients are bean sprout, seaweed, grass jelly, fry tofu and chili. No mattter who good of a cook you are, you probably can't get it right. Usually, Chinese picked spicy turnip for the base. Substituting with seaweed gives it an extra texture.

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Spicy Pickled Cucumber 辣味黄瓜
At first, by look I though it will be the chilled crunchy type of pickled. I was a bit disappointed when I pick it up with my chopstick. It was slightly soggy and soft. Maybe we took too long in snapping it, that it might be not as good as freshly prepared. It might not be a texture winner but the slightly spicy taste makes it very appetizing.

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Fragrant  Pork with Crushed Garlic 蒜泥白肉
I never saw such light color in pork meat. I wouldn't care enough to discovery whether it was bleached or not coz the garlic sauce was sooooo yummy. Totally not what I was expecting. I rarely like garlic except I prepare it myself. Sometime there is a bad garlic smell that can linger in your mouth for hours if the garlic is burnt or if it was spoil.

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ShaoShing Wine Marinated Chicken 绍兴醉鸡
I do n't particully like this because of it's bitterness. I have had ShaoShing chicken that is less bitter and more jello, this is more smooth and less oily. Probably a more healthy version but I am not so sure if anyone of younger age would like it.

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Pork XiaoLongBao 小笼包
The highlight of Din Tai Feng is non other than thin skinned, juicy, awesome filling Xiao Long Bao. Is not hard to see the dumpling filling from the half see though skin, so thin yet sturdy to hold it's form when you picking it up by chopsticks. I have been to dim sum places that it's skin rupture upon pick up and the whole Xiao Long Bao burst open and the soup gone wasted. This is the best skin so far.  As for the fragrant savory soup that become so sweet from animal carcass, it's just slightly higher than average, not the best one. My only complain is that the meat in not as tender as I expect it to be, it fallen apart quickly when I take a bite.

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Steamed Vegetable and Pork Dumpling 菜肉蒸饺
It's skin it slightly thicker than Xiao Long Bao's one. The leak (leaves part, not the white part) are pretty flavorful too, it's decent, but not awesome.

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Steamed Vegetable and Pork Dumpling 虾仁烧卖
Also a comparably thicker skin than Xiao Long Bao. Not on my recommended list, it might look really pretty and luxurious with the shrimp (psst... shrimp is not totally fresh) on top, but the way they fold it makes you bite into a lot flour on the neck before going into a pocket of exact meat in Xiao Long Bao, minus the sweet sweet soup.

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Shrimp Fried Rice 虾仁蛋炒饭
I don't understand the logic in this fried rice, It's almost so close to perfect, but failed on the shrimp (again). Howeverm the fried rice is really is really awesome, I am just guessing it, I might be wrong, I think it's not chicken egg, they use duck egg in frying the rice. Reason being, the egg aroma is far better than normal chicken eggs and the texture is quite smooth silky. Fry chicken egg usually have frothy texture even w/o beating. If they can improve on their shrimp, it will be a my first recommendation, on par with Xiao Long Bao.

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Fragrant Spring Onion & Shredded Pork Noodle 葱油肉丝面
This is a common noodle. Not common as it you can find it any where, but common in taste aspect. Just usual ingredient, not overly salty, but for Malaysian tongue, it's almost not able to categorize as savory because it's so bland.

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Noodle with Picked Mustard Greens and Shredded Pork 酸菜肉丝面
I am not sure I am easy to let down or I am picky. When I chuck down my first sip of soup hoping it o be some long hour over night boiled pork bone soup; only to let down again. 1 word: bland. It has some sourness in it due to the pickled radish, but the level of taste is almost comparable to the spring onion noodle above.

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Stir-fried Pea Sprouts with Garlic 蒜炒豆苗
At this level, I am almost certain that Din Tai Fung almost don't use salt at all. This pea sprout is probably steamed by some anchovies stock and that's all. Although I was complaining in my heart at first, but when I have the next bite, it kindda touches me. I never know when was the last time I taste my vegetable's real flavour. Normally, vegetables are are unpopular, we have to add a lot of seasonings to increase it's attractively on the dining table. However, this is not the case here. I can clearly taste the earthyness and the green vegetable smell just like when it was freshly plug out. The crunchiness...oh juicy >.<

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Golden Yam Paste Rolls 芋泥酥

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Red Bean Paste Polls 豆泥酥

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Red Bean and Purple Glutinous Rice 紫米红豆

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Mango Pudding 芒果布丁

As for dessert, I think it's just average, nothing to shout out.
After all these dishes, I can safely conclude that Din Tai Fung is not a place that attract diners by MSG and luxurious ingredient. They did not do much alteration to their dishes to cater local needs. It's the ideology to keep the most original flavors in the ingredient that bring them so far.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Delifrance Malaysia Christmas Menu [Food Reivew]

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Been reading so many movie Easter egg, that I thought I am still in April padahal it's almost Christmas. Christmas might have very difference meaning for you, but for me, Christmas == holiday == colorful deco == Christmas cookies == time to get fat. [pardon me for my logical equation statement, I am a programmer]

This year, I was invited to try out Delifrance Christmas menu. Let the colorful gourmet journey begins!
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Cupcakes (RM 5 for 1 pcs, RM25 for 6 pcs)
Moist cupcakes topped with cream cheese. Flavour choice of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry
I like the cream cheese topping. So smooth, creamy and fluffy at the same time.

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Dark Chocolate Almond Rocher (RM 15.90)
Perfectly roasted almond strips coated in delicious dark chocolate.
This is highly recommended, my favorite dessert of the night. Almond is very crispy and breakable, just like rice crackers but more solid and dense in flavor.

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Santa Play Land Gift Cake (RM 48.90)
Celebrate Christmas with Delifrance's red velvet cake with sour cream cheese topping.
Baked in angel cake pan, top with sour cream (the promotion leaflet say it's sour cream cheese though) and decorated with snow man and pine tree, what else can be more festive than this? If you have the velvet cake by it's own, it will be like meh... it's moist, it's ok, but not great; but if you put some courage out and have the sour cream with it ( I know right, not everyone like sour cream or just sour stuff in general), it will be the most amazing velvet cake you have in a while. The sour taste compliment and balance the sweetness of the red velvet chocolate very well but doesn't cover the natural bitterness and fragrance of the cocoa.  

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Rocky Land Gift Cake (RM 35.00)
Belgian chocolate cake topped with ganache. A perfect Christmas indulgent.
My favorite of the night, this is a must try. The semi-melty chocolate chunks in the cake is sooo enjoyable. Every bite is like a chocolate bar punch you though your tongue down to your throat and end with a warm fuzzy feeling inside. That's so lovely. 

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Salted Caramel Tea Cake with Walnut (RM 16.90)
Delicious moist and soft tea cake, perfect as a gift or an afternoon snack.

Double Chocolate Tea Cake (RM 16.90)
Delicious moist and soft tea cake, perfectas a gift or an afternoon snack.
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Other than the 2 highlighted cake above, Delifrance have a cheaper version of more mediocre tea cake which is like the size of a pound cake. Compared to the other 2 above, it's less attractive but your purse will thank you later.

Enough for the diabetic sweet treat that was worth dying for (well, at least for me, I can be sinking in the sour cream cheese and get suffocate by the rocky land cake and die with no regrets), let's go to the hot meal section.

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Provencal Lamb Stew (RM 34.90)
Lamb shoulder grilled to your satisfaction, drenched in brown sauce side with salad.
Lamb is not my favourite poultry. It's a bit firm and chewy but the sauce is decent. I only have a single spoon full, what do I know? 

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Poached Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce (RM 34.90)
Poached Salmon fillet garnished with dill sauce, placed over mashed potatoes with side salad.
I do not know whether this is their normal serving but does Salmon really cost that much? I can buy raw Salmon (Norwegian Salmon, not some cheap fishy trout) twice the size with only half the price of this dish. Is it excellent, no; is it tasty, maybe, is it exotic, no; is it worth the price, hell no!

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Cheesy Turkey Ham (RM 15.90)
Spaghetti tossed in cheese sauce, topped with strips of roasted turkey ham.

Lasagna (RM 17.90) (photo not available)
Lasagna layers filled with tender minced beef/chicken in a light tangy sauce topped with melted cheese.
I tried the beef one, it's a bit too peppery to my liking but the creamy melty cheese and soft pasta is something keep me going for more.

In this festive season, Delifrance offers Christmas catering ranging fro RM 28 per pax to RM 78 per pax with a minimum of certain amount of head counts. The menu consist of starter soup , hot meal, Feuilettes, Viennoiseries, mini tarlets, and beverages.
If you need more info, you may contact 603 78425718, or their hotline after office hours 0122239806. If you are shy like me (blush) that only like to express yourself in written words, you may also email them

And if you are not fond of their Christmas menu you can always go back to their all time favourite
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assorted pastries

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In the end of the session, Delifrance gave us a chance to decorate our own ginger bread man. I know this sounds nonsense considering how food savvy I am (flip hair), but this truly is my first time decorating ginger bread man. I do not grow up in an Christian family, my family don't bake as much and Chinese old people generally don't like sweet western pastry, so I am really clueless how or what to decorate on my cookies.

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The sifu demonstrating, see how long he can tarik the icing? Amazing~

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At long last, me with my low resolution, highly pixilated, heavily photoshopped face and the cutie "Why Ginger Bread Man", coz you know, it's master name is YY (cough) yeah, bad pun, I know, no need to remind me every time.