Friday, March 23, 2018

Barbecue Under The Stars at AQUA, Mandarin Oriental, KL

BBQ fans, rejoice! Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur presents an alfresco barbecue dining experience at AQUA Restaurant & Bar every Saturday from 6.00pm until 9.30pm, perfect for foodies who enjoy outdoor dining amidst an urban resort setting.

Guests can indulge in a delightful barbecue spread tinged with Argentinian influences, prepared by Chef Sebastian Barcudes and his brigade of chefs, with spectacular KL city skyline views.

Barcudes, who hails from Argentina and is currently the Chef de Cuisine of Mandarin Grill, takes barbecue to the next level with the "Big Green Egg", a kamado-style ceramic charcoal grill. The Big Green Egg can be used as a grill, an oven and a smoker, and ensures all the juices and flavour of the ingredients stay locked inside when cooking. The result - juicier, naturally tastier food!

Watch as the sun sets, and the stars illuminate the sky as you savour your dinner. 

Start with AQUA's barbecue salad with preserved lemon or ranch dressing as well as the homemade breads, freshly made on the day. We particularly loved the cornbread. From the grill, guests can delight in unlimited servings of Smoky Argentinian-style beef short rib, Coriander chipotle marinated beef brisket, Roast pulled lamb, Rosemary and thyme chicken leg, Barramundi with salsa de chiles rojos and Grilled prawns with lemon and garlic. The perfectly grilled items are complemented with homemade sauces such as Pineapple barbecue sauce, Kimuchi no moto ketchup, Chimichurri and Mint pebre (our fav - and it goes well with almost everything!).

Caipirinha (RM45)

From the moment I set eyes on the Coriander chipotle marinated beef brisket, I knew it would be a winner. The brisket has been marinated with herbs and spices such as coriander, black pepper, chipotle and smoked paprika, seared and then slow-cooked at 56 degrees for 14 hours in the Big Green Egg with 100% lump charcoal made in the USA from natural oak and hickory. Beautifully pink and tender, the flavour on the meat was simply amazing.

Meat lovers will also love the tender, juicy Smoky Argentinian-style beef short rib - finished on the grill to give it a nice sear. Using the Big Green Egg, Chef Barcudes was able to serve us barbecued chicken like we've never tasted before - moist, juicy with an incredible crust on the meat.

For the Roasted pulled lamb, a whole lamb shoulder is marinated with Chef's secret spices (14 in total), slow-roasted until tender so that it can be easily pulled apart. The flavours were intense, so good!

Spice up your evening with the Barramundi with salsa de chiles rojos. Chef Barcudes places the fish fillets in the Big Green Egg on a Northwest Alder plank to cook. Tender and moist, we especially loved the spicy sauce which just perks up our appetite.

One of our favorite things to cook on the barbecue are prawns. The beautiful, large prawns are simply grilled and served with lemon and garlic. So fresh, so tasty! Trust me, you cannot stop at just one.

Guests can enjoy the grilled meats and seafood with tempting sides such as Feijoada (Brazilian barbecue beans), Cazuela de hongos (mushroom stew), Vegetales grillados (grilled vegetables), Papas horneadas (baked potatoes with condiments) and Maize en chala (corn in the husk). To finish, a warm apple raspberry crumble is served with vanilla ice cream.

The Barbecue Under the Stars is available every Saturday at AQUA Restaurant & Bar and is priced at RM198 nett per person. For dining reservations, please call 03-2330 8798 or email


Location: AQUA Restaurant & Bar, Level 3, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2330 8798

GPS Coordinates: 3.155514, 101.711555


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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Fu Luck Bar, TREC KL: Quirky, Vintage-Themed Restaurant & Bar

Walking into Fu Luck Bar, the first thing that caught our eye was the vibrant, quirky Instagram-worthy interior with its colorful hand-painted art on the walls, ceilings and tables. Life-size White Rabbit candy, old-school TV screen, traditional granny's face powder, toy soldiers in their commanding positions (and some flexing yoga poses) and more, come to life.

The brainchild of TREC F&B Ventures, this is the start of many more interesting restaurant and bar openings in this location. Fu Luck Bar, the 80-seater bar and restaurant is its debut venue and pays homage to the eat-drink-makemerry culture juxtaposed against a delightfully quirky backdrop of the 70s and 80s, as its overall theme.

The name "Fu Luck" has two meanings; in Mandarin, it means prosperity and happiness, while in Cantonese it carries a tongue-in-cheek translation – Fu Luk – "pants down", befitting its music nights on weekends.

Located at the Electric Boulevard at TREC, just a short walk away from Zouk, clubbers will be rejoicing at the news of Fu Luck Bar's arrival at TREC as wantan mee, dim sum and salted egg yolk squid are available until 3.30am on weekends (and 2.30am on weekdays) to satisfy those after-party munchies.

The restaurant offers delicious wantan mee exclusively from the 62-year old heritage brand Pudu Chan Fatt Wanton Mee, alongside dim sum and tapas, available for lunch, dinner and supper.

Diners will have the option of having their wantan mee, either dry or in soup, with char siew, wantan, sui kow or lion head meatballs (RM16.90 each). We love the springy noodles, coated in a delicious caramel sauce and the wantan were plump and juicy too. The char siew was a little on the lean side.  If you come at lunch (12-3pm) or supper (after 10pm), they have pretty good set deals which includes noodles, snacks and Chinese tea (scroll to end for full menu).

Wantan mee with char siew and wantan

If you like your dim sum to come with theatrics, the Signature Smoking Shanghainese Xiao Long Bao (RM12.90) is the one for you  - complete with smoke and drama.

Loved the Pan fried carrot cake here (RM12.90) which came with lovely crispy edges, served with a fragrant shrimp paste dip.

We all know that roast meats and beer go very well together - have the roasted meat combo platter (RM24.90) which comes with BBQ pork (char siu) and roasted pork (siew yuk) as well as braised peanuts. The char siu here was of the "pun fei sau" (half lean half fat) variant, which was much more to my liking.

The Bao Sliders (RM14.90) are a cross between a mantou bao and sandwich - with fillings such as Chicken cutlet and rojak sauce, Black pepper pork katsu and spicy sweet curry and Crispy prawns and wasabi mayo. We had the latter, and thoroughly enjoyed it - the soft buns were contrasted by the crispy battered prawns.

These four words "salted egg yolk squid" always gets me excited. At Fu Luck, you'll be able to find a range of sharing snacks (RM14.90) and deep fried sotong with salted egg yolk is one of them. I'm happy to report that this is a pretty good rendition, with a light batter, strong salted egg yolk taste, tinged with curry leaf and chillies.

If you are in the area and fancy a quick pint, make sure you order the spam fries (RM14.90) to go with it... it's cheat day, so go all out and enjoy the pairing. They're so addictive!

Furthermore, there will be a collection of signature cocktails (RM32) from the bar, inspired by the white rabbit candy as well as Ice Kachang Cocktails, their take on frozen favorites served with shaved ice from an old school ice kacang machine.

Hocus Pocus Abacus - Jasmine tea infused Ketel One Vodka, Mint syrup, Passion fruit Syrup, Yuzu & Lemon Juice, Lime - incredibly refreshing, fruity and easy to drink cocktail. Loved it! Served with an iced gem.

White rabbit hole - Jasmine tea infused Tanqueray Gin, White Peach Syrup, Yuzu & Lemon Juice, Egg white, Lime. 

Behind Fu Luck Bar's artworks are urban art artists Graeme "Jay" Hammond from Australia and Idris Johor from Singapore; the duo behind the spectacular works at Singapore's bohemian street, Haji Lane.

Fu Luck Bar's decor are sourced from stores in Bali, Singapore and Malaysia, and then re-constructed by hand such as the abacus "chandelier". All artworks are hand-painted. A team of up to five artists led by the Fu Luck Bar resident artists, took about five months. Next, the duo will bring their midas touch to TREC's new exciting project with the transformation of Alley block. Don't forget to bring your cameras / phones with you when you visit!

Lunch & Supper Menu

Main Menu (3pm onwards)

Drinks Menu

Fu Luck Bar opens from 12pm for lunch [Mondays – Fridays], and 5pm for dinner and happy hour
[Saturdays and Sundays]. The venue closes at 2.30am (on weekdays) and 3.30am on weekends.

Location: Fu Luck Bar, TREC KL, 438 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Free parking 12-2pm; 5pm-10pm, after 10pm flat rate RM5 per entry from Sun-Thurs)

Tel: 03-2110 6938


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