Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mai Bar-Becue @ Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

Our recent trip to Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral coincided with a cold spell across Malaysia. Usually our Saturday afternoon during staycations would be spent poolside, however rain and 22 degree temperatures kept us out of the pool. Nevertheless we still managed to have fun poolside courtesy of Mai Bar which serves kids-friendly Bar-BQ food and we even managed to sneak in a few games of Jenga.

Mai Bar is located on the rooftop of the hotel, so you can get pretty good views of the KL skyline here. The Tiki-themed bar features an open layout with a long bar with Polynesian art on the walls. During the day, the atmosphere is calm and great for families and come night time, the place comes alive with music as well as live entertainment (on certain Fridays, you can catch Live @ Aloft here).

Totem poles

Enjoying a game of Jenga before our food arrived

Mai Bar-Becue is available every Thursday and Friday, from 6pm to 10pm and every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 11pm. On a nice sunny day, guests can opt to enjoy their food by the poolside. On the menu, you will find jumbo sausage, chicken, beef, lamb, prawns and other seafood, with prices starting from RM12.

We had the Grilled percik chicken wings (RM12), Tandoori lamb chops (RM14), Grill top sambal sotong (RM18) and Five spice beef skewer with palm sugar BBQ sauce (RM18) and Grilled Cajun spiced tiger prawn (RM20), all served with either jacket potato, corn on the cob and smokey grilled veggie medley or sauteed veggie with grilled pineapple.

Grilled chicken wings - the wings were pretty sizeable and juicy, with a lovely mild flavour. Contemplated ordering another portion as BabySumoKids enjoyed this but ordered the mini burgers instead (see below).

Tandoori lamb chops - I thought they were very reasonably priced (2 pieces for RM14). Meat was tender and there was quite a lot of eating. Kids enjoyed this too!

Five spice beef skewer with palm sugar BBQ sauce - to be honest, I have no idea how this tastes like cos the kids finished it by the time I finished taking photos of the other dishes. Haha it must be good!

Grill top sambal sotong - what you get is delicious squid rings in a pretty spicy sauce. In hindsight, it would have been better to order the grilled squid with spicy tamarind dip (the sauce is served separately) so the kids can enjoy squid too.

Grilled cajun spiced tiger prawn - nicely grilled, good flavours.

Other than the BBQ menu, Mai Bar also offers pizza,pasta, sausage platter, satay, Korean chicken wings and various other bar snacks.

We tried the nachos (RM20) topped with chicken, chilli, guacamole, sour cream, tomato salsa, jalapenos and lots of oozy, melted cheese. Delicious!

Wagyu mini burger trio (RM34) was the best thing we ate that afternoon. Juicy Wagyu beef mini patty are topped with gherkins and a soft bun - plus their dainty sizes are great for kids too, so easy to pop into the mouth! These also come with a side of tortilla chips.

Do not leave Mai Bar without trying their cocktails. Speak to the friendly bartender who will be able to recommend some drinks to you. Mai Bar's signature cocktail, Malaysian Princess Mai Tai (RM38), consisting of silver rum pressed with blueberries and kaffir lime, topped with golden rum, pineapple and orange juice and served in a tall Tiki-themed mug, is definitely my kind of drink. Very easy to drink, with a lovely fruity flavour.

We also tried the Moana Puru (RM35) - a mixologist special concoction, featuring vodka, passion fruit puree, blue curacao, lime juice, lemonade. This one had quite a kick to it, very potent! Check out this video to see how it's made ;)

Opening times: Monday - Wednesday: 12.00pm - 12.00am; Thursday - Friday : 12.00pm - 1.00am; Saturday : 11.00am - 1.00am; Sunday: 11.00am - 12.00am.

Location: Mai Bar, Level R (Rooftop), Aloft KL Sentral, No 5 Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03- 27231188


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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CNY 2018: Li Yen, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur

Welcome the Year of the Dog at Li Yen, the award-winning Cantonese restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur. Executive Chinese Chef Leung Kwai Hong has specially designed six exquisite Lunar New Year set menus that are perfect for gatherings with family and loved ones.

The Lunar New Year feasts are available for both lunch and dinner from 15 February until 18 February 2018. The lunch set menus are priced from RM1,388 nett per table of 10 persons while the dinner set menus are priced from RM1,888 nett per table of 10 persons. Should guests wish to enjoy the Lunar New Year specialties before 15 February, they are available with advance notice. Please scroll down to the end of this post for the full set menus.

We were delighted to be invited over to Li Yen last week for a preview of their festive offerings. Chef Leung handpicked some of his signature dishes to showcase during the luncheon.

Start your meal with a prosperity toss, with the option of including salmon, tuna or abalone for a ritzy twist. Li Yen, translates to "beautiful garden" in Chinese and the Prosperity Yee Sang with salmon rosettes is befitting for the occasion. It was a shame that we had to mess up this beautiful creation during the toss.

From the lunch menu, we sampled the delicate Steamed Siew Mai with Crab Meat, Steamed Oyster with Sea Moss and Deep fried meat and minced prawn roll; a trio which were not only delicious but full of auspicious meanings (ie oysters signify "good things" and sea moss means "luck is coming"). The dim sum platter features a cute pup pulling along gold ingots, a nice touch to commemorate the Year of the Dog.

The warm, comforting Double boiled chicken soup with abalone and mushroom came with a sizeable abalone (excellently cooked too, I must add).

Fish is a must-have dish during Chinese New Year as its homonym "yu" means surplus or abundance for the new year. The Steamed bamboo fish was one of my favorite dishes of the afternoon; fresh bamboo fish fillet were alternately arranged between meaty Chinese mushrooms and Chinese ham, which adds a lovely savoriness to the dish. 

Chicken symbolises prosperity, togetherness of the family and joy. Li Yen's special roasted chicken was a delight to savour, with its extra crispy skin and juicy meat. 

For those who prefer to have their prawns peeled, the Stir fried prawns with chilli paste will be right up their alley. The prawns were fresh with an incredibly bouncy texture, and was stir fried with a sweet-tangy chilli paste and sugar snap peas.

A traditional favourite during the festive season, this Steamed claypot rice with Chinese waxed meat (Lap mei fan) features premium Chinese sausages specially flown in from Hong Kong. This outstanding dish requires up to 45 minutes to prepare for the rich, wonderful flavours of the vegetables, Chinese herbs and meat to infuse into the rice. Hubby loved this so much, that he couldn't stop gushing about how amazing it was... a week later, he was still singing praises about this dish to our friends. Not to be missed!

For dessert, we had the Black sesame dumplings in red bean soup. Dried tangerine peel is added to the red bean soup, giving it a lovely aroma and distinctive flavour.

CNY Menus (Lunch)

CNY Menus (Dinner)

Operating hours on 15 - 18 February 2018.

15 February, Thursday
Lunch: 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.00pm – 10.30pm

16 – 18 February, Friday to Sunday
Lunch: 10.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 10.30pm

For reservations and enquiries on the Lunar New Year dining experiences, kindly call Li Yen at +60 3 2782 9122 or send an email to

Non-halal/ Serves pork.

Location: Li Yen, Level 2, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (accessible from Hotel Wing)

Tel: 03-2142 8000

GPS Coordinates: 3.146901, 101.715438


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