Friday, August 11, 2017

Gobble Gobble At Temptations, Renaissance Hotel KL

What a strange name, I thought to myself, immediately associating the word with turkeys, who purportedly go gobble gobble by way of speech.  Whilst I've said time and again, I am not a buffet fan, (at my age, one has to very selective of what one consumes, and every bite must be worth the calories, so excuse me if I sound fussy), I was quite intrigued by the fact that the buffet is only RM80 nett, for the promotional months presumably celebrating the nation's birthdays. (two birthdays, one on 31st August, freedom from the shackles of the British imperialists, and 16th September again, Malaysia day).

Anway, the promotion goes runs from 1st August to 30th September, and is available Thursdays to Saturdays.  The good news for winos is, that for RM66 nett extra, you can opt for free flow house wine.  Sounds like a dietary disaster to me, free flow food and wine.

In addition to the buffet, Temptations is also showcasing some new items in their ala carte menu. starting with the Rendang Pizza...

Word of caution, it can come across as a tad spicy.  The "rendang", well, not really rendang as we know it in its traditional form, is a nice change to the usual toppings.  Personally I found the base a bit too thick, and after eating a slice, I felt the dough expanding within.

Tagliatelle Turandot, RM49, Tiger prawns, squid, mussels, fish, chilli tomato olive salsa. Considering the amount of seafood, it does sound reasonable.

Renaissance Burger, RM48, 200gm of Angus beef....

RHKL Supreme Chicken Breast, RM46, with polenta cake, green beans and corn demi glace.  I am sooooo not a chicken breast person, so you won't find me ordering this.

I love how the humble Hainanese Chicken Rice is now a staple in almost every 5 star hotel coffee house, but I don't love how it's priced.  RM48 for this.  Well, I suppose if you use real free range kampung chicken, and the finest quality of rice, AND if its done the real way, ie cooked in chicken fats, then throw in the hotel ambience and perhaps, its ok.  Or if you convert it to foreign currency like AUD or GBP, then it's almost "cheap".

Nicoise Salad, looks like more nicoise than salad, ...haha... Sesame Crusted Tuna and a hint of green.  RM38

Their signature baked Cheesecake.RM39.

I loved this refreshing drink of lemon grass, mint and sour plum they were serving, I'm not sure if it's part of the normal buffet.  Add a dash of bacardi and you have a nice Mojito.

In the buffet line up, this was my favourite dish, the stewed Lamb Shank.  So tender and falling off the bone.

The other usual buffet fare stuff, oysters, cold prawns, chilli crab, roasted root vegetables...

Myriad desserts...

The barbeque station, with an adequate selection of seafood and meat....

Every Malaysian buffet's must have dish....

Another dish I thought was rather good was the traditional Malay style ox tail soup.  What's the diff?  Well, the western style seems to be thicker, and more stew like, whereas this is more of a clear broth, once you've worked your way through all the natural oils.

Popiah Station is always popular.

Noodle Station...

More desserts...

Pasta Station

Considering I paid close to RM50 for a fish head curry lunch at some nondescript mamak place, I'd say RM80 nett for this feast is a STEAL!!! I'd personally zero into the lamb shank, oxtail, popiah, and oysters, and be quite content.

Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail & Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T 603.2716.9959 F 603.2716.9987

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Introducing Chef Mun, At Gobo Upstairs, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur

I love Gobo Upstairs, not least because of it's casual ambience, lovely bar area, but most of all, I love going there because I always somehow end up having a great time, with good food and good company.  Prices here are actually reasonable, considering its an upscale hotel, and let's not forget the wonderful skybar at the top, so it really is a great venue for entertaining.

This time around, we were there for the unveiling (sounds bridal) of the new chef, Junior Sous Chef Fun Keng Mun, or better known as Chef Mun.  The young bashful unassuming chappie presented his special menu for the media, which was superb, paired with Chilean Vina Maipo wines.

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the Tomahawk Steak, which we shall describe more about later, but this collage encapsulates the different faces of Chef, serious, candid, friendly.

We were also introduced to the Vina Maipo wines by their sommelier

AMUSE BOUCHE, Honey Roasted Beetroot, toasted walnut / feta cheese paired with Vina Maipo Vitral Chardonnay.  Who would have thought that the humble beetroot can taste so nice, especially when the usual raw beetroot is earthy and almost bitter.  This one was almost sweet.

The retinue of chefs assembling the next course ...

This was my first glimpse of Chef Mun, and he obliges me with a bashful grin....

For those who've never been, this is the bar and lounge area of Gobo Upstairs.

GUP Cold Platter of Mackerel tartare / wedges salad 6 / vodka cured salmon paired with Vina Maipo Vitral Chardonnay. Till now I am not sure what wedges salad 6 meant...I must have had one glass chardonnay too many.

GUP Hot Platter
salmon crab cake / crispy prawn durian mayo / balsamic tuna also paired with the same Chardonnay.  A bit of a "controversial" dish this one, because of the potentially off putting durian mayonnaise.  Whilst ardent durian fans like myself would have sneered at the miniscule and almost non presence of durian, the converse would be true of a non durian fan, who would probably find it most unpalatable.  I suggested they serve this as an option, and best to ask the guest upfront if they are game for the adventure, bearing in mind that the hotel services a lot of foreign as well as local guests.  Heck, Theresa Goh herself avoids durian like the plague.

For the mains, I opted for Baked Cod with Miso Honey, wasabi, bean curd / wilted romaine paired with  Vina Maipo Vitral Sauvignon Blanc or Vina Maipo Vitral Chardonnay.  Excellent cod, flaky, but firm, melt in the mouth, and exceedingly tasty.  Actually, there was a lovely lobster bisque soup in between the starters and mains, but I failed to get a decent photo of it, so you'll have have to imagine, like back in the days pre the digital age, when food articles relied on the strength of the word rather than the power of a visual.  The lobster bisque was sufficiently lobstery, and the consistency of the broth just right, not too watery to be like a local Har Mee instant noodle soup, nor so thick as to be able to stand a spoon.

An array of wines, and look at the number of bottles consumed, and these were the media peeps.

As mentioned earlier, the main course of Wagyu Tomahawk (sharing) with pomme purée / buttered vegetables, paired with Vina Maipo Vitral Cabernet Sauvignon, Pampas Del Sur Estilo Malbec was really the star dish of the night.  Whilst for a normal piece of steak, perhaps it's easier to prepare at home, but the tomahawk, (when did the tomahawk suddenly become a thing?  I never heard of it growing up, was it knows as something else?  Daging Cap Kapak or something? ) looks difficult to cook well, and Chef Mun did a great job.  Lovely char on the outside, and the meat itself, oh, simply divine, the perfect ratio of fat to lean, melt in the mouth, and the best meat of course is the one at the bone... is demonstrated here.....

And like all fine performances, an encore is needed to conclude, which appeared in the form of raclette , a cheese that is serve melted, which I absolutely LOVE.  The smell is akin to our local salted fish, and the flavours, wow, such a explosion that my culinary vocabulary escapes me.

Of course the added bonus of wonderful company makes food taste even better....


What a great night it was.

For information, a 1.5kg grilled tomahawk for sharing is RM820 nett.  I think it can easily feed 4-5 hungry ones.

Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill

Location : Level 6
Seating : 75
Operation Hours (Lounge) : 10:00am to 1:00am
Operation Hours (Grill) : LUNCH
12:00pm to 2:30pm Monday to Friday
6:30pm to 10:30pm daily
(10:15pm – last order)
Reservations : (60 3) 2332 9910
Email :