Monday, September 26, 2016

Porcini Promotion @ Villa Danieli, Sheraton Imperial KL

Hailed as the king of mushrooms, porcini mushrooms are a type of edible wild mushrooms and are usually harvested in the fall. From now until 31 October 2016, diners can enjoy this prized ingredient at Villa Danieli as part of their Porcini Promotion. In this promotion, Head Chef Gaetano di Stefano will be featuring fresh porcini with a range of premium ingredients. The menu can be viewed here.

We always use dried porcini when making risotto, so it was a real treat getting to finally getting to try it in its fresh form. Fresh porcini has a deep, nutty flavour and a lovely, meaty texture. To start, I had the Vongole Saltate Con Funghi Porcini (RM68), sautéed clams in white wine served with porcini and cherry tomatoes. I was expecting normal sized clams, so imagine my surprise when I saw these giant clams instead. For this dish, the chefs have used tuatua giant clams from New Zealand. The clams are best savoured together with the sliced porcini, cherry tomatoes and sauce.

Hubby had the Zuppa Ai Porcini (RM62), porcini soup served with truffle oil and crispy beef bacon. Rich, creamy and comforting, the soup showcased the porcini's lovely nutty flavour.

For mains, Hubby had the Gnocchi Porcini E Burrata (RM68), potato gnocchi served with porcini and burrata. According to the chef, three types of cheeses are used - Parmesan and goat's cheese are added to the gnocchi when cooking, then topped with burrata as a garnish, making this a rich dish.

Our dining companions had the Filetto Di Salmone Con Funghi Porcini (RM115), pan fried salmon fillet served with porcini, green asparagus and saffron lemon sauce and the Stinco d’Agnello (RM125), slow cooked lamb shank served with porcini and rosemary lamb jus.

Meanwhile, I had the Filetto Di Manzo Alla Rossini (RM165), Black Angus beef tenderloin served with pan fried foie gras, grilled porcini, celeriac puree and beef jus. The beef was expertly cooked to medium rare doneness, much to my delight. In this dish, the porcini is cut into chunky pieces, to allow maximum enjoyment of this meaty delicacy.

Chef Gaetano has also cleverly created two desserts using porcini mushrooms - Budino Di Pane Ai Porcini(RM45 - Porcini Bread Pudding served with Vanilla Ice-Cream) and Mousse di Porcini e frutti di bosco (RM48 - Porcini Mousse served with Mix Berries and Vanilla Sauce). The mousse did not quite do it for me, as it tasted too savoury to be classed as a dessert.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the porcini bread pudding; in this dessert, the porcini has been blended into a paste and then added to the bread pudding and baked. You can also enjoy the scent of truffle oil which has been added into the dessert; overall the savoury and sweet flavours worked really well together. We enjoyed this unique dessert very much! Pretty ingenious. :)

The Porcini Promotion is available from now until 31 October 2016. For more information or reservations, please call Villa Danieli at 03-2717 9922 or e-mail


Location: Villa Danieli, Level 5, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03 -2717 9900


GPS Coordinates: 3.158813, 101.700203

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Premium Japanese Steak @ Torii Batai, KL

Matsusaka and Kobe beef are often regarded as the best beef in Japan. Steak lovers in KL can rejoice, as Torii is bringing premium Japanaese steaks to you at their Batai outlet. Diners can indulge in several different breeds and cuts, including Matsusaka, Kobe Zabuton, and Kobe Sirloin of differing meat grades (ranging from A5 to F1), along with a variety of delicious sides specially crafted by Executive Chef Nizam and his kitchen team.

Matsusaka, a black-haired Wagyu cattle, originates from the Mie region in Japan. It is Japan's best, highest grade beef, with a high fat-to-meat ratio, meaning they have more fat marbling and the best flavour. At Torii, all the steaks are seasoned simply with salt and pepper and cooked on a lava stone grill pan to medium rare doneness. For the ultimate steak experience, I would recommend that you go for 100g of different cuts, like we did.

The Matsusaka (RM310 per 100g) here was amazing! Perfectly cooked, the meat cut like a dream and was tender, buttery and full of flavour. You can feel the pockets of fats bursting as you bite down through the succulent meat. It is a must-order for Wagyu steak lovers! The steaks are usually served with a side salad, however you can opt for sides to complement them. Chef Nizam paired all the steaks with pan seared foie gras (RM29) and grilled Japanese scallop (RM19) - all my favorite ingredients on a plate, I'm in heaven!

Kobe beef is a delicacy from the Tajima strain of Wagyu cattle and is also renowned for its flavour, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. Torii's selection of Kobe consist of 4 gradings, A5 being the highest, followed by A4, A3 and F1 being the lowest. We sampled both the Kobe Zabuton A5 (RM250 per 100g) and Kobe Sirloin F1 (RM120 per 100g). Whichever you order, you will not be disappointed as the meat is simply extraordinary.

Zabuton refers to the cut of meat you obtain from the cow's shoulder. The steak is cut from what is know as the chuck flap thus giving it that flat square shape. Again, the Kobe Zabuton A5 had a beautiful sear, gorgeous flavour and melt-in-the-mouth texture! So good.

Though the Kobe Sirloin F1 is the lowest grade of steak offered here at Torii for this promotion, we were genuinely amazed at how delicious it was. Plus with its friendlier price tag, more diners can enjoy this! The meat is slightly leaner compared to the former two steaks, however it is still very well-marbled, and juicy in comparison to your everyday steaks. We loved this!

To pair with the steaks, we had the green beans with black sesame sauce (RM18), cream of spinach with poached egg (RM18) and egg yolk croquettes (RM19).

Please note that the Premium Japanese Steaks are available for dinner only at Torii Batai. For the full menu, please view here. Thank you to Torii for hosting us and for the amazing meal!

Opening times: Lunch 11.30 am till 2.30 pm (Weekdays only), Dinner 5.00 pm till late (Daily).

Service: Good.

Location: Torii Batai, Lot 8-6, Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur. (Behind Ben’s Independent Grocer - parking available RM2/hour)

Tel: +603 2011 3798 / +6019 203 7093

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