Up the Ante

One of the Klang Valley’s go-to places for pork steaks, Ante, has decided to revamp its menu with a slew of radical new dishes that incorporates both western and eastern cooking techniques and ingredients. In place of familiar dishes like pork ribeye and pork striploin Diane style comes fusion-inspired dishes like Chermoula Spiced pork shoulder made with Tunisian and Moroccan spices; crispy skin miso pork belly made with yuzukosho paste; iberico baby ribs glazed with white shoyu honey and green curry seared duck.

Hong Kong Express

For those working around the Bukit Bintang area, a new lunch option just opened up in the form of the Chiu Chow Express Lunch at Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant at Feast Village, Starhill Gallery. Hong-Kong born executive chef Alex Au noted how busy executives might not have that much time to spend on lunch, so a range of 25 rice and noodle dishes have been prepared for lunch time rush hour, served from 12pm to 3pm on weekdays and comes with an appetiser and dessert in the set. Dishes to choose from include the braised pork belly with preserved moi choy rice, slow-braised goose rice and oyster rice porridge with minced pork, among others. Reservations are essential, to be done through the website of by phone.

Loco for Choco

October saw the opening of Nayuta Chocolatasia, a chocolate boutique shop specialising in bean-to-bar chocolate using beans from Southeast Asia. Made by Chef Shunsuke Saegusa, the man behind one of Japan’s most revered chocolateries, Palet D’Or, Nayuta Chocolatasia features a range of chocolates that include chocolate bars made with beans from Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia that have 72 percent, 51 percent and 40 percent cacao content. There is also a range of chocolate bon-bons which range from classic flavours like strawberry, passion fruit and mango, to the more exotic Asian flavours like sakura, yuzu and Sarawak pepper. Visit the shop at Isetan The Japan Store on Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Edible Art  

Joining the hi-tea trend is Trace, Element Kuala Lumpur’s restaurant and bar, which recently launched its Arteastry high tea set. Priced at RM88 nett, the set made for two features a selection of sweet and savoury bites like Apple Duck in a savoury cone, Earl Grey tea infused scones with clotted cream and jam, waffle with salmon and crème fraiche, and tomato and basil macarons. The piéce de resistance, however, is The Red Splash dessert, where over 30 elements including chocolate soil, meringue and raspberry confit are artistically arranged on a wax paper, anchored by a centrepiece of a white chocolate shell holding a tiramisu cake within.

Latin Twist

Fuego by Troika Sky Dining have added exciting new dishes to their menu, presenting a new range of South-American and Asian inspired fare. Look out for the Smoked Eel Guacamole, served with crunchy plantain, yam, sweet potato and lotus root chips for some non-stop snacking, or the Prawn Ceviche with Habanero chilli, avocado salsa, cayenne dust baby corn and -20 degrees popcorn rocks. The Corned Beef Croquettes is a deeply-satisfying dish comprising beef brisket that has been slow-roasted for 6 hours and then deep-fried, while a contender is the Lamb Arepa braised lamb. Vegetarians can look forward to the Grilled Zuchinni with inhame cubes, pickled baby zuchinni and parmesan foam, or the surprisingly enjoyable grilled Cauliflower steak.

BIG appetites

Aside from being one of the city’s more impressive grocery stores, Ben’s Independent Grocer’s (BIG) in Mutiara Damansara also features a few eateries that are worth checking out while you shop. Among them include I Love Pho, one of Melbourne’s best pho shops that can be exclusively found in BIG; Taps Beer Bar, which brings a small selection of craft beers on tap and in bottles for shoppers wanting to take a breather; Inside Scoop, one of the country’s most popular artisanal ice cream brands, and Tsukijiya, which serves up a selection of the freshest sushi and sashimi.