Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Hermitage @ Plaza Arkadia

Egg-omaniacs can break out of their shells at The Hermitage, where the yolk is truly on us. 

The newly hatched menu here has playful creativity to spare: Penne is topped with duck leg confit, foie gras butter and fried duck egg for a pasta combination that tastes richer than it looks (RM30). On the Eastern side of the recipe spectrum, a rice bowl also takes on ducky flourishes, with cured duck breast and salted egg furnished with the tangy uplift of Asian herbs, pickled carrots and a Thai-inspired dressing (RM27).

The brunch crowd might flock for chef Simon Teing's specialities of Picnic Eggs, a take on Scotch eggs, coated with minced chicken meat, served with salmon and tomato concasse (RM35), the highly unorthodox Profiteroles, with the choux pastry puff stuffed with soft-boiled eggs, cured salmon and avocado, alongside some pomelo, pomegranate seeds and a tamarind reduction (RM28), Red Bull Eyes, comprising two Omega-3 eggs, sunny-side-up, with a rib-eye beef patty and grilled beef brisket on toast (RM29) and Brekkie Rossini, a Sunday-morning twist on the Tournedos, with slow-cooked ox cheek topped with poached eggs, foie butter, black fungus, and truffle slices on toast (RM38).

Naturally, The Hermitage's signature dessert relies heavily on eggs too: Check out the fluffy souffle in an intriguing flavour of butternut almond, coupled with fig chutney (RM18).

It's clear The Hermitage has poured plenty of thought into producing distinctive work. That alone might be worth crowing about.

The Hermitage
F-G-7, Plaza Arkadia, Persiaran Residen 3, Jalan Intisari, Desa Parkcity, Kuala Lumpur. 
Open Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-10pm. Tel: 03-2715-8715

ROYCE' Malaysia 2017 Christmas Collection

Throughout December, ROYCE' is spreading the Christmas merriment with its latest selection of beautifully curated chocolates and cookies for this special season. If you're looking for gifts that will charm and cheer, these Santa-approved temptations will work their Yuletide magic.

For kids and adults alike, the Pure Chocolate Christmas is the best bet - a sumptuous blend of the freshest Hokkaido full-cream milk and premium cocoa, these pure round chocolate discs are bursting with festive flavour (40 pieces for RM55.80).

Also for chocolate devotees who desire a decadent twist, the Nama Au Lait Winter comes packaged in a special Christmas-edition box, befitting its award-winning aromatic milk chocolate made from fresh Hokkaido cream, featuring a touch of Cherry Marnier liqueur (20 pieces for RM55.80).

Completing this triumvirate of creamy chocolate triumphs, the Nama Chocolate Gianduja is a brilliant blend of Japanese and Italian technique and tradition, velvety-smooth Nama chocolate with Gianduja, a mix of hazelnuts, almonds and chocolate. Ideal for nutty-chocolate enthusiasts. 20 pieces for RM55.80.

Cookie admirers aren't left out: Check out the Christmas Cookies - generously coated with creamy milk chocolate on one side, these crispy golden-baked buttery cookies feature a Christmas pattern finish with three motifs: a Christmas Boot, Christmas Tree or Santa Claus design. Six pieces for RM45.80.

The Baton Christmas Cookies should also prove a crowd favourite: Exclusively packaged for this season, these lightly crisp, golden-baked cookies come with one side coated with milk chocolate. 25 pieces for RM54.80.

If you want a mix of mouthwatering treats, the Happy Selection should live up to its name - six varieties of chocolate, including limited items like the Potechi Crunch Chocolate and Strawberry Cream Chocolate Wafers. 28 pieces for RM99.80.

And for the ultimate extravaganza of everything, the Royce' Christmas Selection is the classic choice, filled with 15 varieties of the finest, most beloved Royce' treats, including special seasonal items like Christmas Cookies and Petit Kurumaro Chocolat, as well as all-time favourites like Pure Chocolate, Nutty Bar Chocolate, R Chocolat and Chocolate Wafers, all lovingly wrapped in a beautiful festive box. 31 pieces for RM179.80.

ROYCE' Malaysia
Isetan KLCC, Bangsar Village, Tropicana City Mall, The Gardens Mall, Ben’s Independent Grocer at Publika, Empire Shopping Gallery, 1Utama, Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, & Gurney Plaza, Penang.
ROYCE’ Malaysia also has an online e-store - - that offers delivery options within the Klang Valley, as well as to Penang, Kedah & Johor.

This post was brought to you by ROYCE' Malaysia

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wondermama: New Wonder Tapas Menu

By Aiman Azri

Has it been more than half a decade already since Wondermama first opened, bringing its own playful brand of Asian comfort food to Bangsar Village? The team here continues to find new ways to keep things intriguing for customers, recently launching a Wonder Tapas menu that's poised to be crowd-pleasing, available both in Bangsar and 1 Utama.

True to Wondermama's culinary philosophies, these are tapas that take inspiration predominantly from Malaysia, proving that Southeast Asian small plates are every ounce as satisfyingly worthwhile as Spanish ones. 

Some of these Wonder Tapas can be enjoyed on their own, while others are made to be complemented with rice or pita bread. Each costs RM15.90; for two customers, three to four plates should be sufficient for a meal.

For a feel-good snack, possibilities include the Otak Prawn Toast, a fresh take on a traditional kopitiam favourite, blending the flavours of otak-otak, prawn and squid on crunchy bread with sesame seeds with a Thai-influenced dip - a tasty, no-fuss start to a pleasant lunch.

We like how there's more than meets the eye for many of these specialities: The house-made WM Beef Meatballs might sound like typical meatballs, but the first bite shows otherwise - the saucy blend of peanuts, Parmesan cheese and spicy Napoletana sauce turns out to be a unique Malaysian-Italian hybrid with surprising nuances that evoke a local satay sauce.

And while the Smoked Duck Tapas may seem European at first glance, the combination of dynamics is unmistakably Asian, with the mixed vegetables, pickled radish and sprightly Thai dip lending a tangy, umami-rich bent to the tender fowl.

Speaking of fowl, there's a diversity of temptations for fans of chicken - our personal favourite is the Bittergourd Chicken Soup, comprising minced chicken quenelles, bittergourd, black fungus and egg floss, soaked in a beautifully fulfilling broth that might remind you of a lovingly home-cooked meal. It might be in the tapas section, but it's hearty enough to be a complete meal on its own.

The Miso Soya Chicken is one of the many tapas here that would work well with rice; the mix of miso with sweet soy sauce is gentle and mellow, allowing you to absorb the aromatic dimensions of this dish. And if you're looking for something to savour with pita bread, the Middle Eastern Chicken Bowl is one of the few recipes here that look for inspiration from another region (while remaining a treat for Asian palates), featuring a well-balanced ensemble of garlic chicken with onions, sesame seeds, capsicum and corn.

The Portuguese Grilled Seafood takes patrons on a stroll down Malacca's memory lane, reinterpreting a highlight of the southern city's Portuguese settlement with its lip-smacking mix of ikan pari and sotong with vegetables and spicy sambal sauce. That's another forte of Wondermama, serving up fare that's simultaneously nostalgic and new by putting its own spin on much-cherished, time-honoured staples like rojak, assembled here with assorted fresh fruits, peanuts, tofu, char kwai, rojak sauce and sesame seeds.

To lend some spice to your feast, round out your order with the Four-Angled Bean with Sambal (minced chicken with sambal, dried shrimp, kacang botol and sesame seeds), and the Marpoh Doufu (tofu and minced chicken saturated Szechuan chilli bean sauce) - both contenders for the hottest of Wondermama's new petite plates.

All in all, the Wonder Tapas represent a nice effort by Wondermama in response to patrons who want to customise a meal for sharing in the Malaysian spirit of ordering a variety of food to share with friends and families.

Longtime Wondermama devotees, have no fear that the restaurant's most popular recipes are still firmly intact on this refreshed menu. At the end of a long, hard day, Mum's Nyonya Laksa (RM 18.90) is like a warm hug, bountiful with prawns, sambal sotong, fu chuk, fish cakes, tofu pok, cucumber and egg. If you prefer your noodles less soupy, the Famous Mee Siam (RM 19.90) puts together vermicelli rice noodles with fried chicken, sambal sotong, tofu pok, ikan bilis, cucumber, green chillies and egg, with some spicy gravy to kick it up a notch.

And of course, the signature Wonder Nasi Lemak series has been maintained, currently with three variants. For the ultimate indulgence, the Nasi Lemak Salted Egg Chicken (RM 23.90) doubles down on the salted egg by serving both salted egg yolk chicken and half of an actual salted egg. The flavours and textures prove well-tuned, with all the accompaniments proving expertly executed, especially the lovely sotong and prawn sambal on the side.

Many thanks to Wondermama for having us.


G6, Bangsar Village 1, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Mon-Fri, 9am-11pm, Sat-Sun, 9am-1130pm. Tel: 03-2284-9821