22 January 2015

Equatorial Restaurant @ Tanjung Aru Plaza, Kota Kinabalu

Equatorial restaurant started off in Sandakan and has made its way to Kota Kinabalu many years ago. Although lots of people say its good, I find this trip disappointing especially if you are planning to order moderate-priced food. Although they say the premium ingredients dishes tasted far better, I find Equatorial concept is mostly on lightly seasoned cooking which embelishes a healthy flavour to it. 

Spinach Stew with Century Eggs and Salted Duck Eggs (RM 25)
 The saltiness of the ducks eggs seems to permeate in the spinach stews that is lightly flavoured.

Salted Steamed Chicken (RM 75)
A simple chicken tasting dish for me.

Beancurd with Oyster Sauce (RM 12)
 Simple, bland, lightly seasoned homemade tofu. Bleh

Teochew Steamed Pomfret (RM 112)
 As compared to the Teochew style fish in KL, this dish seems more bland and has a little sourness and saltiness to it.

Pork Belly with Salted Fish (RM 25)
 A so-so pork belly dish served in a pot topped with salted fish bits.

Complimentary Desserts
Too sweet and enpowering desserts. Super Tanker does a better job in this.

Equatorial Restaurant
My verdict? People say is good here but I find it otherwise in this trip. For such bill amount, I rather head to other seafood restaurants. Maybe the dishes I ordered was unlucky or I seem to loved strong flavour food. I guess higher premium dishes should perform better in this restaurant. Their interior deco seems a little tacky as I feel stuck in the 2000's era of design. 

This post is solely based on my own opinion


Equatorial Restaurant
Address : Lot C-G8, C-G7,
Ground Floor, Block C,
Plaza Tanjung Aru,
Jalan Mat Salleh.
Sabah, Malaysia.
Phone : +6088 313399 / 313166 / 225166
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19 January 2015



16 January 2015, Kuala Lumpur – ROCKU Yakiniku is setting the Malaysian dining scene ablaze with a new culinary trend dubbed as “restaurantainment”, which blends traditional Japanese BBQ dining cuisine with modern entertainment.

Newly opened, ROCKU Yakiniku spreads over 3,500 sq ft at the new Dining Loft on Level 7 of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, delivering a fresh new concept to traditional Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) joints. Defying convention by creating a unique atmosphere and experience for its guests, ROCKU Yakiniku infuses the traditional Japanese BBQ cuisine with a combination of modern ‘live’ music performances and various other entertainment events.

Director of ROCKU Yakiniku, Kenny Chui said “At ROCKU Yakiniku, we focus on creating a casual, refined yet edgy atmosphere, where our guests can savour the classic Japanese Yakiniku (BBQ) culinary style while enthralled with modern entertainment. We believe that Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is in a very strategic locale which allows us to capture the affluent local customers as well as the international crowd within the vicinity.”

ROCKU Yakiniku presents a total flaming charcoal grill experience, where customers can select from its line of fine meats, poultry, seafood and vegetables and grille them to their desires at their dining table.

Guests can indulge in a variety of beef which is imported from Australia and New Zealand – such as beef ribeye, beef blade and beef striploin. The seafood selection ranges from butter fish to squid and shishamo (Willow Leaf fish), which is served with its roe intact (ko-mochi-shishamo). Several side dishes such as chuka kurage (seasoned jellyfish), chuka hotate (seasoned scallop), ramen and others all come together to complete ROCKU Yakiniku’s buffet spread.

The restaurant also offers a wide-array of beer and sake, including the world’s finest sake from Gekkeikan which was founded more than 300 years ago in Kyoto, Japan.

Aside from food, ROCKU Yakiniku features a combination of live modern music performances in Korean, Japanese, Cantonese and Mandarin and various entertainment events such as magic shows and game shows every Wednesday to Saturday from 7.00 pm onwards.

“ROCKU Yakiniku is about more than just dining. These days, when consumers go out to dine, they are not just merely looking for a meal. Dining is now considered a social and networking activity. This is what ROCKU Yakiniku is creating for Malaysians through the concept of “restaurantainment”, providing a unique atmosphere that will delight and enthral today’s affluent customers. We painstakingly curate a wide variety of entertainment that will create a brand new experience for all our customers,” added Kenny.

One of ROCKU Yakiniku’s most unique performers is Zlwin Chew, the world famous Malaysian illusionist and magician, who has performed for celebrities and royalty across the globe, dazzling them with his spectacular show and mesmerising magic acts; also graced ROCKU Yakiniku’s exclusive opening event.

“Having Zlwin with us was not easy. His schedule is quite packed as he regularly flies overseas for his shows. But all these efforts are worth it as we trust in our commitment to go the extra mile and provide quality and memorable entertainment for our guests,” concluded Kenny.

ROCKU Yakiniku at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is the maiden franchise restaurant in Malaysia, of which its concept originated from Singapore and is part of The Creative Eateries Group, a group that encompass four restaurant divisions with 34 outlets in Singapore and two catering divisions in Singapore. The group has regional footprints in 5 countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and China.

ROCKU Yakiniku offers two price ranges for its buffet:
·         Lunch pricing from 11.00 am – 5.00 pm is RM32.90++ for 100 minutes buffet (Child 50% off price)
·         Dinner pricing from 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm is RM49.90++ for 100 minutes buffet (Child 50% off price)
(Note: For each additional 20 minutes, RM9.90 ++ applies)

The restaurant seats 154 pax. For reservation, please contact +603-2148 8884.

For more information about ROCKU Yakiniku, please visit www.rocku.com.my or www.facebook.com/ROCKU.Malaysia
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1 December 2014

Feng Yuan Restaurant @ 88 Market Place, Kota Kinabalu

Looking for some new worthy dim sum eateris in Kota Kinabalu? Try out the newly opened Feng Yuan Restaurant in 88 Market Place for some affordable quality dim sum that serves in the morning for visiting patrons. Feng Yuan brings a mixture twists of traditional and modern dim sum such as their Tom Yam Mai, Chicken Floss Mai, Abalone Mai, etc. Do read on below! (sorry for the low quality pics, was taken using my mobile camera)

Salad Shrimp & Fried Tofu Skin Shrimp Roll (RM 5.20 each)

Siew Mai (RM 5.20)

Tom Yam Mai (RM 5.20)
 Althought this uses tom yam spices inside, it was not really spicy and definitely worth a try!

Bamboo Roll (RM 5.20)

Char Siew Bao (RM 5.20 each)
 The char siew bun was definitely delicous and soft with a smooth texture in their buns.

Golden Lava Pau (RM 5.20)
 My favourite bun which incorporates salted duck egg into their flavours. Quite similiar taste with Wong Kok's version.

Feng Yuan Restaurant

Feng Yuan Restaurant
Overall, pricewise is cheap for dim sum as it cost mostly RM 5.20 each but good in its portion size. Service could use some improvement but still forgiven as it is still newly opened. We do hope that they will add more new dim sum into their menu for us to enjoy in the future. Do head early as limited space is available. 

 There are many other dishes which we did not try such as their porridge, durian tarts, taro puffs. Other than dim sums, you can can also find other cooked dishes such as noodles which will commenced during lunch hours.

Lot 7 & 8, 
Ground Floor, Block B,
88 Market Place,
Kota Kinabalu.
Tel: 088-255 205
Business Hours: 7.30am - 2.00pm
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21 November 2014

MIGF 2014 The Festival Awards & Celebration Party

The Restaurants and Chefs of The Malaysia International Festival 2014 are honoured in a stunning Finale!
 Kuala Lumpur, 14th November 2014. Attended by over 1,000 VIPs including royalty, 23 foreign Ambassadors, celebrities, captains of industry and international food writers, the MIGF Awards and Celebration Party signaling the finale of the 14th Malaysia International Gourmet Festival MIGF 2014 was an explosive affair with smoke, flame, red hot dancers, magical tricks and glittering awards ceremonies at the Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur last Thursday evening.

After a hectic month of dining and spectacular Festival events - set to the theme of ‘Red Hot Chefs!’ -  it was time for the hard working 28 premier restaurants to let their hair down, enjoy the camaraderie of their peers and be feted at the traditional MIGF Awards and Celebration Party.

The event began with fearless fire-breathers entering the atrium twirling flaming batons and swallowing flames whole. The Festival Chefs then arrived on the stage with much fanfare presenting a picture of happy camaraderie until suddenly eight 'chefs' broke forward, threw off their chefs' garbs and transformed into red hot dancers. The crowd burst into excited applause!

Fire-eaters and red hot dancers set the venue ablaze 
 Master magician Moudini – also disguised as a chef – then burst forth, setting the Festival Magazine on fire before turning the flames into a shower of red chillies and doves. A black curtained box was wheeled onto the stage, the curtain pulled and then, with a huge bang and burst of flames, MIGF Organising Chairman Dato' Steve Day made his appearance.

Moudini transforming crackling flames into spicy chillies!
Arriving with an unexpected bang - Dato' Steve under a shower of sparks
 After more tricks from the mischievous Moudini (including two ducks making a cameo appearance!) Dato' Steve was cajoled back into the box where he was shrunk until his head and feet were less than an arm's length apart!

And more magic tricks from Moudini.
 Once restored to full height, Dato' Steve thanked the Red Hot Chefs, fire eaters, dancers and the magical Moudini before going on to praise the 'collective effort' of all the Festival Restaurants, Festival Sponsors, Media Partners and Festival diners in making MIGF 2014 such a success.

"Let the party begin!” he enthusiastically concluded, and so it did – with good food, drink, and friends. It was the restaurants' night off and courtesy of the Vision Four Media Group, Festival restaurants and guests enjoyed the best of traditional cuisine from each state of Malaysia. A lively Latin band, energetic salsa dancers and free-flowing drinks made sure it was a long night of continuous revelry.

Red Hot MIGF dancers sizzled away and shook the party up

A culinary journey around Malaysia featuring traditional favorites from each state
 It was soon time for the MIGF Awards Ceremony. Accompanied by Dato' Steve, Festival Royal Patron Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tunku Ja'afar presented medals to the Festival Chefs followed by golden statuettes which the winners jubilantly thrust into the air to raucous cheers from their supporters. All aspects of the Festival Restaurants’ participation, from the menu and marketing down to the quality of service and the best value offers were honoured.
Tunku Naquiyuddin presents chefs with their commemorative medals
Six restaurants made the final cut for the Golden Cauldron Award – given to the best all round restaurant of the Festival - but at the end of the evening it was Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille of Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie who raised the gleaming trophy high, setting a new record by being the first female chef and the first non-hotel based restaurant to claim the Festival's ultimate prize.

Chef Nathalie and her team with the Golden Cauldron Award for Best All-round Restaurant
 In addition to Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, the finalists for the Golden Cauldron Award were La Scala, Marini’s on 57, Tanzini, Ten Japanese Fine Dining and The Olive.

Four Special MIGF Awards were also presented: The prestigious award for ‘Most Popular Restaurant at the VIP Gala Launch’ was won by Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie based on portions and value sold. ‘The Most Popular Overall Restaurant at Taste MIGF’, this time by public response, was won by Ten Japanese Fine Dining. The award for ‘The Most Outstanding Marketing of the Festival’ was won by Resorts World Genting; while Westin Langkawi’s Seasonal Tastes won the award for ‘The Most Outstanding Overall Festival Experience’; Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam of Samplings on the Fourteenth was voted by his fellow chefs as ‘Chef Congeniality’ - the most popular chef of MIGF 2014.
An emotional Chef Val stands proud as Chef Congeniality, MIGF 2014
 MIGF 2014 was sponsored by Tourism Malaysia with The Vision Four Media Group as the Principal Festival Partner. The Official Imaging Partner was Fujifilm Malaysia and Official Beer, Kronenbourg 1664. The Festival Media Partners were Astro, Asian Food Channel, Astro Radio, Seni Jaya, Vision Four and Vision KL

Recognition for All
The MIGF Awards and Celebration Party is a rare time, not only for the Festival Chefs, but also for the restaurant management, kitchen, and service staff to enjoy the limelight due to their traditional behind-the-scenes roles.

 “Everyone involved in MIGF is a winner. Everyone deserves a medal. It has been a privilege to work with all of you!” declared the Organising Chairman, Dato’ Steve Day.

As Chef Nathalie was bestowed the Golden Cauldron Award, her excited team rushed forward to make an impromptu appearance on the stage, screaming themselves hoarse amid the shower of confetti, applause of assembled Festival Chefs, and cheers of the VIP audience.
MIGF regular, the modest Chef Nathalie, was a popular winner and when she heard the result she was full of emotion.
“I’m so proud of my team,” said the petite French maestro. “Nothing would have been possible without them. This is such a fantastic honour and a great moment for us all,” she passionately stated.  
The normally exuberant Chef Val of Samplings on the Fourteenth had to wipe away tears as he was recognised by his peers as the most congenial chef of MIGF 2014.

“Any one of my brother chefs could have won this award,” he said. ”I am really honoured that they voted for me.”

The Awards
The theme 'Red Hot Chefs!' provided the backdrop for the Festival Restaurants to test their mettle against their peers in some of the most creative interpretations of the theme, ranging from spicy servings and sizzling decorations to fire breathers, fireworks and even a chef arriving  by helicopter!

Awards were given for creativity, innovation, presentation and value of the Festival Menu, quality of service, effective marketing strategies, best use of the Festival theme, best restaurant station designs and the number of Taste Sovereigns and Gourmet Dollars collected and portions sold during the Gala Launch and Taste MIGF.

Proving that it was a Festival for all, VIP judges and public diners alike made their opinions heard by way of their votes, selecting the restaurants that excelled in all arenas of MIGF – the Gala Launch, Taste MIGF and the Festival Menus as well as at the restaurants themselves during the month of October.

Festival Background

MIGF 2014 marked the 14th year of the Festival. MIGF began as the KL International Gourmet Festival in 2001 with 13 restaurants – then about all the fine dining restaurants there were in Kuala Lumpur. From humble beginnings, MIGF is now one of Malaysia's most recognizable international tourist brands. It has played a major part in helping Malaysia’s fine dining industry evolve from a virtually zero base to the vibrant premium
dining scene we see today. As a result, it received international recognition by winning the PATA Gold Award for Marketing for establishing Malaysia as one of the leading world destinations for food tourism.

Full List of Award Winners MIGF2014

Golden Cauldron Award for the Best All-Round Restaurant 2014
Overall Winner: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie
Winners: La Scala, Marini’s on 57, Tanzini, Ten Japanese Fine Dining, The Olive

Chef Congeniality 2014
Winner: Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam

Special MIGF Festival Awards
Most Popular Overall Restaurant at the VIP Gala Launch
Winner: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie

Most Popular Overall Restaurant at Taste MIGF
Award Winner: Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Most Outstanding Marketing of the Festival
Award Winner: Resorts World Genting

Most Outstanding Overall Festival Experience
Award Winner: Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Langkawi

Most Popular Restaurants
Most Popular Restaurant at the VIP Gala Launch Taste Sovereigns Collected
Winners: Chambers, Chynna, Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, Imperial Rama, Marble 8, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Most Popular Restaurant at the VIP Gala Launch Portions Sold
Winners: Charcoal, Chynna, Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, Imperial Rama, Samplings on the Fourteenth, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Most Popular Restaurant at Taste MIGF Gourmet Dollars Collected
Winners: Chambers, Graze, Grill 582, La Scala, Minori, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Most Popular Restaurant at Taste MIGF Portions Sold
Winners: Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar, Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, Minori, Nerovivo, Samplings on the Fourteenth, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Taste MIGF Awards - Judges’ Choice
Most Creative Restaurant Station at Taste MIGF
Winners: Hilton KL, NEO Tamarind, Resorts World Genting, Signature by the Hill, Tanzini, The Marini’s Group

Most Creative Food Presentation at Taste MIGF
Winners: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, La Scala, Marble 8, Nook, Seasonal Tastes, Signature by the Hill

Most Innovative Cuisine at Taste MIGF
Winners: Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar, Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, La Scala, Marini’s on 57, Nook, Tanzini

Taste MIGF Awards – People’s Choice
Most Creative Restaurant Station at the Taste MIGF
Winners: Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar, Hilton KL, Nook, Resorts World Genting, The Marini’s Group, Zender’s Bar & Grill  

Most Creative Food Presentation at Taste MIGF
Winners: Graze, Marini’s on 57, NEO Tamarind, Nook, Seasonal Tastes, Tanzini

Most Innovative Cuisine at Taste MIGF
Winners: Imperial Rama, La Scala, NEO Tamarind, Tanzini, Ten Japanese Fine Dining, The Olive

Festival Awards - Judges’ Choice
Best Marketed Restaurant
Winners: Dynasty/Sagano (Renaissance KL Hotel), Imperial Rama/LTITUDE/The Olive (Resorts World Genting), Seasonal Tastes (Westin Langkawi), Signature by the Hill, Tanzini, Bunga Emas/L’Heritage (The Royale Chulan KL)

Best Value Menu of the Festival
Winners: Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar, Bunga Emas, Charcoal, Chynna, Dynasty, L’Heritage

Most Creative Menu of the Festival
Winners: Bunga Emas, Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, Marini’s on 57, Tanzini, Ten Japanese Fine Dining, The Olive

Best Festival Offers
Winners: Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar, Charcoal, Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, Dynasty, Tanzini, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Festival Awards - Diners’ Choice
Best Festival Dining Experience
Winners: Hilton KL, La Scala, LTITUDE Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Marble 8, Marini’s on 57, Seasonal Tastes, Tanzini, The Olive

Most Outstanding Service Team of the Festival
Winners: Bunga Emas, Charcoal, Hilton KL, LTITUDE Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Renaissance KL Hotel, Samplings on the Fourteenth, Seasonal Tastes, The Olive

Most Outstanding Canapés of the Festival
Winners: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, Grill 582, LTITUDE Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Maison Francaise, Ten Japanese Fine Dining, The Olive

Most Outstanding Soup of the Festival
Winners: Dynasty, Imperial Rama, L’Heritage, Maison Francaise, Marble 8, Samplings on the Fourteenth

Most Outstanding Palate Cleanser of the Festival
Winners: Bunga Emas, Graze, Grill 582, La Scala, L’Heritage, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Most Outstanding Starter/Appetiser (Warm) of the Festival
Winners: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, La Scala, LTITUDE Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Marini’s on 57, Samplings on the Fourteenth, Zender’s

Most Outstanding Starter/Appetiser (Cold) of the Festival
Winners: NEO Tamarind, Nook, Samplings on the Fourteenth, Tanzini, Ten Japanese Fine Dining, The Olive

Most Outstanding Mains of the Festival – Meat
Winners: Chambers, Chynna, Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, La Scala, Marble 8, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Most Outstanding Mains of the Festival – Fish/Poultry
Winners: Charcoal, Dynasty, Imperial Rama, Marini’s on 57, Sagano, The Olive

Most outstanding Mains – Others
Winners: Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar, Chynna, La Scala, Marble 8, Marini's on 57, Nerovivo 
Most Outstanding Dessert of the Festival
Winners: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, La Scala, LTITUDE Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Marini’s on 57, L’Heritage, Minori

Most Outstanding Wine Pairing
Winners: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, La Scala, Maison Française, Marini’s on 57, Seasonal Tastes, The Olive
Best Value Menu of the Festival
Winners: Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar, Chynna, Dynasty, L’Heritage, Seasonal Tastes, Ten Japanese Fine Dining

Best Use of Festival Theme
Winners: Bunga Emas, L’Heritage, Nerovivo, Seasonal Tastes, Samplings on the Fourteenth, The Olive

Best Restaurant Ambiance
Winners: Chambers Bar & Grill, Chynna, LTITUDE Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, Marble 8, Marini’s on 57, Tanzini

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19 November 2014

Vino Bar & Grill @ Venition Club, Kota Kinabalu [Invited Review]

Vino's Bar & Grill is located just one floor above from Tasty Wok in Venition Club that serves western food, alcoholic beverages, and karaoke sessions. Vino's Bar & Grill has two areas (smokers & non smokers) for you to enjoy your dining meals with your friends or simply a night of drinking session.

Cheese Nachos with Salsa & Guacamole Dressing
To start things off, we were served with an appetizing cheesy crispy nachos accompanied with their homemade salsa and guacamole dish that tasted both sweet and bold. Best enjoyed while it is still warm!

Jumbo Hot Dog
A jumbo size hot dog with a generous amount of sweet and cheesy topping.

Beef Bacon & Patty Burger
This beef burger was simply divining. Although I had tasted much of this type of burgers in KL, Vino does a good job in preparing the beef patty to be juicy while loaded with strips of beef bacon, melted cheese, and a overflowing of egg-goodness. We recommend this dish!

Spaghetti Carbonara
This spaghetti carbonara dish definitely has a creamy texture and tasted very rich with a hint of beef bacon flavour in it.

Vino Pizza
Their signature Vino pizza is an explosion of flavours and ingredients that was certainly interesting to look at.

Hawaiian Pizza
Their hawaiian pizza was delicious as the the pizza dough was crispy and had a interesting mixed flavour of tomatoes, pineapples, chicken ham, and olives above.

Molten Chocolate
Finally, some sweet desserts was served after a heavy and exciting meals. This molten chocolate was sweet but was not overpowered.

Christmas Cup Cakes
Since Xmas is just around the corner, Vino's chef had put great effort in preparing this Xmas cup cakes treats that is an eye candy which could be great for kids. You can pre-order this dish by contacting Vino Bar & Grill below.

Christmas Cup Cakes

Christmas Cup Cakes

Fireball Cocktail
Last stop, some cocktail session at Vino Bar with this Fireball induced beverage. 

Do like their Facebook page below to show your support! 


Venition Club
Off Jalan Lintas (Lido-Kepayan),
88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Business Hours: 12pm - 12am
Tel: 088-729199
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