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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Top Recommended Fine-Dining Restaurant: Savelberg, Bangkok

Comfort, quality and luxury. Few food establishments can boast to have achieved excellence in these key areas when it comes to the art of fine dining.

Savelberg Bangkok is one such restaurant.

Hank Savelberg has run and supported four Michelin-starred restaurants in Netherlands over the past thirty years, and the Dutch chef has now brought premium cuisine, for the first time ever, to Thailand.

As you step into the French fine-dining concept on Wireless Road in Ploenchit, you find yourself greeted by the modern and vibrant décor, with a theme of orange and white setting an atmosphere of positivity and warmth. Settle in to the sounds of melodious tunes playing in the background, as well as the faint tinkering from the part-open kitchen within your view.

In Savelberg, all guests are provided the opportunity to witness gourmet chefs meticulously preparing their food in the most enticing and professional manner.


The key experience, then, is in the sampling of these luxury food. Ranging from succulent premium beef to the tender white meat of monkfish, prepare to savour well-designed meals that appeal to both your eyes and taste buds. Settle for the recommended set course meals or select your favourites from their full menu. Couple your meal with exquisite French wine, as you pick from a wide selection of Old and New World imports, or allow professional staff to provide recommendations.

Savelberg Bangkok provides not just quality food, but a comfortable and luxurious dining experience for all their customers.



Enmaru, Altitude, Jakarta, Jul 2015

At Enmaru, located at the top of The Plaza, you can enjoy Izakaya dining style while enjoying a bird’s eye view of Jakarta.

Originally a style of eating where one sits down for sake after a long day of work, Enmaru is enhancing the experience of devouring delicious pub food. Here, you get to enjoy in a modern, lively ambiance set in traditional, down-to-earth Japanese decor in the heart of the city.

Sashimi Moriawase IDR100,000
Chef’s choices of 3 kinds of sashimi

Ikasumi Roll IDR95,000
Squid ink rolled rice with cream cheese and deep fried chicken topping (8pcs)
Innovative, modern, eye-catching.

Foie Gras Chawanmushi IDR50,000
Steamed egg custard with foie gras
The usual Chawanmushi given a boost of luxe in the form of foie gras. It’s like Chawanmshi on steroids!!!

Kushiyaki 5 Kinds Moriawase IDR85,000
Chef’s choice of 5 kinds skewers (5 pcs)

Atsugiri Wagyu Tongue Steak IDR150,000
Grilled wagyu tongue on salt plate

Foie Gras and Yaki Onigiri Steak IDR160,000
Grilled onigiri topped with sautéed foie gras, served with teriyaki sauce
A complex harmony of flavours, colours, textures, carbohydrates, fats and protein. Deceptively simple, yet it works, works, works.

Buta Kakuni Wasabi Potato An IDR130,000

Braised pork belly with soy sauce and sugar, topped with wasabi mashed potato
Really like the sweet, very very tender pork. The best of the lot!

Maccha Fondant Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream IDR50,000
Maccha chocolate fondant cake served with vanilla ice cream
A favourite with the ladies. I guess that should be testament enough.


Gaia, Altitude, Jakarta Jul 2015

Gaia is a hip restaurant. It sits tall in the office block The Plaza overlooking Monument Selamat Datang at the famous Thamrin roundabout in Jakarta. Gaia’s neighbours are five-star hotels and huge shopping malls.

Helmed by a new executive chef Orlando Nazario, it would do well to come back regularly to the restaurant for the menu changes regularly. Instead of following a fixed menu, Chef Nazario prefers working with produce available at the market to ensure the freshest cuisine and a changing roster of dishes to excite the palette of diners.

Panzanella Crab Meat Salad Granchio with marinated Tomato Lemon dressing IDR110,000
Traditional Italian bread salad topped with modern salad. Light, fruity, zesty.

Spaghetti with Sunset Clams and Sea Urchin IDR185,000
A wonderful blend of the taste of sea, the spiciness and heat of chilli, a slight creaminess and a certain umami quality. The spaghetti was the very definition of al dente. This calibre of cuisine excites me.

Grilled 200g Angus Beef Tenderloin Filet with Foie Gras, Crouton, Figs, Port Wine sauce IDR490,000
The very tender beef was plated on a crouton disc and topped with salted pan-seared foie gras. The very important figs decorate the side of the plate— their sweetness balance out the saltiness of the four gras; their fruitiness balance out the fat of the foie gras.

1956 Recipe Mascarpone Cheese Tiramisu Cake With Espresso Coffee, Biscuits and Cacao
Lots of mascarpone.

Fashionable and the place to be, this restaurant is often booked up by immediately recognisable international brands for private functions.


Seafood in Batam; Wey Wey Seafood

Many tourists head to Batam for cheap seafood.

Golden Prawn Seafood Restaurant is famous in Batam and known to Singaporeans for their seafood.  But according to Wikitravel, Golden Prawn “seems inexpensive to touristing Singaporeans but is well-known in Batam to be an expensive tourist trap. The seafood they serve may not be fresh, which they will attempt to mask by deep frying them.”

At Harbour Bay Ferry Terminal, there is a row of seafood restaurants right by the sea.  Most popular is Wey Wey Seafood.  It is so popular that they opened another restaurant Wey Wey2 two doors away. 

The prices at this entire row of seafood restaurants are not indicated on the menus.  In other words, the prices may fluctuate between different customers.  Here is a sample of the prices quoted for 1 pax portion at Hawaii Live Seafood , which is the restaurant sandwiched between Wey Wey and Wey Wey2.

Fried Seafood Noodles IDR$18,000

Steamed scallops IDR$50,000

BBQ Squid IDR$35,000

Verdict: The seafood at both Hawaii Live and Wey Wey is not very tasty and the quantity is little.  Worse, the seafood is just a notch above unfresh.  As such, though the prices seem cheap, the seafood is not really good value for money. 

Tip 1: ask for discount at the end of meal.  I asked for a discount and they gave me a 10% discount, and I only ordered 3 items.  If you ask for a discount when ordering, they simply give you less quantity. 

Tip 2: My hotel Swiss-Belhotel Harbour Bay was just a few steps away from the row of seafood restaurants.   It is recommended that you pack your food for take away back to your hotel room to avoid eating in the sour stench of sluice and sewage.

Thirty8, Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Nov 2013

Thirty8 sits atop, on the 38th floor (hence the name), of the 1-year-old Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. 

Thirty8 showcases panoramic 360 degree views of KL city.  You can see the world famous Petronas Towers at KLCC (which is within walking distance of Grand Hyatt), KLCC Park, KL Tower as well as the rest of the city skyline. 

I arrived at Thirty8, which offers all-day dining, to try out their Alaskan King Crab and Riesling promotion.  Caught in the clean, icy waters off Alaska, Alaskan King Crabs are known worldwide for their huge, satisfying chunks snow-white meat, intense sweetness, as well as clean natural brine taste.  They are hugely sought after in Japan, US and Europe.  Riesling is a dry, sweet white wine often displaying floral and fruit aroma and notes.  In terms of importance for quality wines, it is usually included in the “top three” white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc.  Riesling also happens to be my favourite white wine.  I was impressed that Grand Hyatt KL brought together such quality cuisine and wine and I was excited to taste the dishes.

My first dish was Thirty8’s highly popular signature Fried Crab Cakes (RM$60++ for 3 pcs).  I can see why they are so popular.  They are generously-sized and the inside is completely filled with delicious, sweet crab.  The crunchiness of the skin contrasts with the moist sweetness of the crab meat and is truly heaven to bite into them, to hear and enjoy the crispy crunch and then have the sweetness of the crab flesh fill your mouth.  The crunchiness of the fried skin and the protein is excellently balanced by the roasted bell pepper relish and rocket leaves on the crab cakes.  There is just a tinge of heat from the pepper on the cakes and the chefs did an excellently job in frying them as they were not oily at all.   I order a promotional Riesling wine, Dr Loosen 2011 from Mosel-Saar-Ruwer in Germany (RM$37++).  The crab cakes go excellently with the Riesling: fried vs ice; heat vs sweet.  It was an excellent first course.

Then I tried their promotional Alaskan King Crab Salad (RM$130).  I wanted something cold and simply done which shows off the freshness, natural sweetness and succulence of the crab meat.  The Alaskan King Crab Salad has cocktail sauce, avocado, passion fruit, sun dried tomatoes and mixed greens.  On first bite of the salad, the sweetness of the passion fruit and cocktail sauce hits me immediately.  It was way too sweet and there was a certain artificiality to it.  The sauce, being too sweet covers and overpowers the natural sweetness of the crab.  I tried some of the crab that has less sauce and I was able to taste the freshness, natural brine flavour of the crab meat.  The crab meat was also very firm.  With the overpoweringly sweet sauce, the avocado and tomatoes become quite essential to balancing the sweetness.  They could go lighter on the sauce to highlight better the natural flavour of the crab meat.  A Mediterranean approach (simple, light flavours) might be much better.  Moreover, the sweetness hurts the sales of the Thirty8——it induces a sense of fullness and people are less inclined to order more.  Also, the chefs can remove the translucent soft shell more thoroughly.  I found a few pieces in my salad.  With a big, international brand name like Grand Hyatt and its respective prices, people expect immaculate excellence and flawless execution.  The chefs need to remove the soft shell thoroughly to match up to expectations.    As the sauce was too sweet, it covers and overpowers the sweetness of the Riesling as well. 

For my main course, I had the Chef’s recommended Australian Wagyu Ribeye (Marbling 7) 350 g (RM$300++).  The huge steak arrives simply and elegantly presented on a white plate with caramelised onions and a grilled tomato.  The steak marks were clearly and symmetrically criss-crossed across the steak.  The steak was extremely tender and considering this is not a fine-dining restaurant or a specialised steak house (thirty8 is a hardworking all-day dining restaurant), the steak is extremely competent. 

For my dessert, I had the highly popular Thirty8 Signature Cake (RM$25++).  The Signature Cake consists of rich, creamy chocolate cake with caramel and a hint of nut, drizzled with hot thick caramel on top, and accompanied by rich and authentic Banana sorbet and raspberries.    Texture-wise, the chocolate cake is a complex creation—–there was chocolate cake, cream, thin biscuit all intricately built together.  The construction of texture was simply genius.  As befitting the star status of the dish, the presentation received diva treatment as well.   The Signature Cake is served on a raised glass platter, covered with a bell-jar with dry-ice furiously billowing out from underneath it.  When the dry-ice stops, the hot, thick caramel is dripped all over the moist chocolate cake, coating it, enveloping it, passionately engulfing it, soaking into it.  It was like sex on a plate.  The presentation is simply arresting.  The waiter tells me this is the most photographed dish of Thirty8.      

With the immaculately dressed waiters and amazing 360 view of KL, Thirty8 is an excellent place to enjoy a lunch.  I was also told there is a Sunday brunch (12pm to 3.30pm).  With luck, there would be a report soon.

The Alaskan King Crab and Riesling promotion runs till 30 Nov 2013.

Tip: Request for Tables 34, 35, or 36 for views of the imposing and majestic Petronas Towers.  Note though that these tables only seat 2 pax each.  In other words, if you arrive in a party of 6, you probably won’t get to be seated at these tables.  

Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

12 Jalan Pinang

Kuala Lumpur,  Malaysia, 50450

Tel: +60 2182 1234 ext 2340