Daily Archives: June 14, 2016

Welcome Seafood – GF, G-15 – G-18 , Asia City , Jalan Coastal, Kota Kinabalu

I seldom enjoy seafood unless it is sashimi. I am sure everyone who knows me or reads my blog knows that. So when the boys decided to take me for  seafood one night while in Kta Kinabalu. I cringed but smiled and said ok.  There were three of them anyhow so I guess I was outnumbered.

When we got there, I noticed there were many shops all lined up selling seafood.  This was not anywhere near the sea I can tell you that. I mean the sea was just walking distance, but still, I’d expect it to be near the sea.  So we walked pass many shops, some full to the brim, some quite full, some quite empty and Welcome Seafood was right at the end of the row. Why we parked right at the first shop still baffles me.

Looking around the restaurant while waiting for a server, it was nice to see all the different races sitting together and having a meal without any consequence.  The ambiance was pretty ordinary.  We were sitting outside and I don’t think there was an air conditioned section because that’s what I was told by three people who wanted to smoke.

Anyhow, they ordered since they knew best.  Looking around again, everyone seemed happy. There were some Koreans around as well and they seemed happy as well.  All in all everyone looked happy. I was just hoping everything would not be so fishy and prawny that I would be sick.

20160406_213958Soup arrived. I wanted Hum Choy Soup with seafood of course.  The soup looked refreshing so to speak and didn’t look like a bowl of boiled seafood.  I just didn’t want to taste anything fishy even though it was seafood.

The soup was really good.  They used Sea Bass and it was nice biteable pieces and not fishy at all.  The vegetables remained crunchy and still a tiny bit salty.  It was truly tasty and I could have had it on its own without anything else.  The slight tinge of sourness gave the soup that bit of kick.  I was hooked. I finished the soup when everyone stopped picking at it.

20160406_214143Next was the Clams.  Clams I don’t mind  but they need to be big because I have no patience fossicking through small clams and finding them empty.  It still baffles me how people eat those small clams you get around this side of Malaysia because it is a capital waste of time to me.

The clams had that bit of spiciness that was enough to want you to pick up the empty shells and lick it or suck it, whatever you might do in these situations.  I didn’t do any of those things of course, but I might have.  The sauce was good enough on its known and the freshness of the clams added to the just right flavor.  I think we could have ordered a bigger portion.

The Butter Prawns tasted nice. I didn’t pick at the prawns because I didn’t really like to mess up my fingers.  The sauce tasted nice with the rice.  Everyone sat and tucked in properly while I picked at the curry leaves.  It was tasty trust me.  I wouldn’t have minded if the prawns were peeled and perhaps a bigger size. These were just too small to mess around with.

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Ok I am fussy!

The fish was very good.  Although I am not one for fish with bones and all the rest, this was nicely fried and the fish was fresh. The Thai sauce that was poured all over it simply lifted it to another level.  This was enjoyable.  I cannot seem to remember what fish it was for some reason, but it would be something I would reorder.  Again I think the fish was a bit small, but it was crispy and tasty.  Size matters ok.

20160406_214534The slices of onions and bits of slivered mango and chilly, tossed into the sweet chilly garlicky sauce gave the flavor an uplift. The whole dish was polished clean.

20160406_214550I needed my Veggie fix.  Everyone I knew I Kota Kinabalu didn’t eat vegetables.  When I go out with any of them, I would be the one picking the vegetables from their plates and eating it.  This seafood and Siew Pak Choy medley was perfect for me.  At  least the prawns were peeled and the fish complemented the vegetables very well.  I ate all the vegetables because no one really wanted it.  I love my vegetables.

Then dessert came.  I was told this is only in Kota Kinabalu, but I am sure it is available here in West Malaysia as well.  This was a nice end to a rather heavy meal so late at night. This jellied coconut was just the right temperature and it was just nice sweetness. This I enjoyed as well.

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They remove the coconut water and jelly it with agar agar as well as adding some coconut milk before pouring it back, so the hot jelly mixture hardens and also gets infused with the coconut flesh inside.  The result is rather incredulous.

It was truly satisfying I must say of the whole meal.  I would still prefer to eat before 7 pm at the very latest but I don’t think I ever did when I was there.  Still it was a good experience.

I would go back for sure for seafood. These are many places there as well.  And strangely it was so close to where I stayed.  Everything can be so close in Kota Kinabalu and you only realize it when you drive around and suddenly you’re back home.

 

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Paradise Dynasty – Level 1 Paradigm Mall

I have been wanting to go to Paradise Dynasty for the longest time simply because the Xiao Long Bao are very pretty and come in different colors and flavors and their big banner advert used to hang outside Bangsar Shopping Village and I always used to see it while I was dining across the road.  Yet years later I hadn’t been there yet.

So now armed with two Groupon Vouchers, off we went to Paradigm Mall through the traffic and all.

Upon entering into Paradise Dynasty, one will be quite enchanted with their see through glass kitchen and everyone working away.  The decor and ambiance is inviting and rather classic and there is a warmth about the place although it might be quite vast inside.  Staff uniforms were also authentic and so was our Nepalese server.  He was cheerful and knowledgeable and was ale to answer all my silly questions which I just asked for the sake of asking.

So orders were placed. Kitchen staff couldn’t take their eyes of us from the moment we got in and worst still we sat next to the glass panel that enable them to over look us.

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We ordered quite a few things besides the Xiao Long Bao, because I was in my element. I like small little foods and that was all we ordered.  The Pu Err Tea comes first.  These is nothing like steaming Pu Err Tea to start a meal.  This was served in nice cups that for once 20160420_192447was not tiny.  It was perfect fit for my big hands.   I like Pu Err Tea because it has this flavor that relaxes me, more then other teas.  There is something quite earthy about it and it lingers on your palate to leave a nice after taste.  This is me, I might be waffling on, but that’s how I feel when I have a nice Pu Err.

20160420_191849Our little bowl of Mu Err which was sort of an appetizer had a nice tang to it and the mushrooms were still crunchy.  it was just something to whet the appetite which I must say was growing in anticipation.

20160420_192927Xiao Long Bao arrived,  delicately prepared and placed in color code because you had to eat them in the right sequence.  You had to start with the white as shown on the little given chart above. One things about Xiao Long Bao, you have to gently lift it off the basket which is lined with a muslin sort of cloth.

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So we started with the original.  It was adequate in taste and flavor.  Skin was perfect.  The amount of soup inside the dumpling was flavorful and not overpowering.

Now it is important to note that when you are eating Paradise Dynasty Xiao Long Bao, you should complete the whole course before you start eating the other stuff you might have ordered because you can change the whole experience and flavor of it.

Everything had arrived by the way.

Next was light green which was Ginseng.  The hint of Ginseng was just right and it did not over power the dumpling that it became medicinal in flavor.  It was relaxing so to speak, that is how I would interpret the flavor.

The peach colored one was Foie Gras.  Now of course do not expect a slab of goose liver in your dumpling because I can tell you now, you will be disappointed.  I was a tad bit as well. The minute amount was a bare bare hint of Foie Gras that if you happened to breathe while eating, the flavor would be lost.  There was a flavor of course, but you needed a very small mouth to get the whole flavor because if you have a big mouth like me, it’s gone.

Black Xiao Long Bao denotes black truffle. It was mushroomy and I liked the combination.  You only need a tiny amount of truffle to give a flavor and it did that perfectly.   I liked it.

Cheesy was questionable.  I didn’t feel it very cheesy as expected. Perhaps it is the fact that I like eating cheese and am used to stronger flavors so this one somehow did not capture my taste buds with a bang.  Friend felt the same way too.  While I was more than half way through mine she was chewing her second.

Crab Roe had a distinct flavor that you knew something crabby was present in the confines of that tiny dumpling.  It let out a nice flavor that went well with the filling.

Now this was the confusing one.  The Garlic Xiao Long Bao.   I felt this one tasted more cheesy then the cheese one and Friend felt the same too, after like 15 minutes later, since you all know she was taking her time and chewing her Baos in ‘princesslike’ fashion.  It was nice, I won’t grumble.

Now save the best for last.  Szechuan Xiao Long Bao was certainly the firecracker in the bunch.  This gave me a shock when I bit into it because of the spiciness.  This I had to stop for a while because of my burning mouth.

All in all, I enjoyed the dumplings. I might have rattled on a bit about the flavors but it is just me I guess.  I think if you’re the kind of person who eats less spicy food, the flavors would be more pronounced.  Still it was good.

20160420_192843Now my Marinated Jelly Fish came.  I always like this, and I must have it. It is refreshing and this one certainly was for sure and it had a nice crunch to it.  A lot of people say it is tasteless and it is like eating some vegetable but I like the flavor that is absorbed by the jelly fish.  The rawness of the scallions gave the jelly fish that much needed flavor.

20160420_192759I had to try out the chilled assorted eggs simply because it looked interesting. This consisted of the three eggs us Asians love.  Egg Egg, Salted Egg and Century Eggs.  The lover layer consisted of egg yolk which acted as the glue that combined the salted egg yolk and century egg and it was topped with the egg white.  You have to be careful making this I  feel as century egg yolks tend to fall apart very easily and could make this lower level a hideous greenish black.   The topping was bits of meat floss which gave it a nice flavor.

20160420_193124The Teowchew Prawn Ball could have been the belle of the ball so to speak had it been a little more tastier.  It had no salt and so the flavors didn’t come out and it was served with a sweet chilly sauce.  I don’t know where that came from but that was how it was served.  The flavors did not infuse at all because of the lack of salt.  I am sure the whole batch that day was going to be like this because this would have been made in advance and fried upon order.

20160420_193720The Scallion pastry .. hmmm was nice… but a tad bit oily for my liking. The pastry was all flaky and nice but again it lacked flavor or punch.  I like my scallion flavored anything to taste strong. Sadly this did not.Again it might have been the salt issue.  Maybe if a tiny bit of rock salt was offered then perhaps we could have sprinkled it ourselves.

20160420_194020Some of you might say, “Look! That is not how it is served”. But hey, they did serve the Teowchew Prawn Ball with Thai Sweet Chilly Sauce.

20160420_200434Ahhh , dessert….. Chilled Aloe Vera with Osmanthus. Something tender and light and cooling after all that hot heaty stuff.  It was a good end to the meal.  It was not too sweet and left a lingering flavor on your palate. The Mango Pudding was good too. It was mango milky enough to end this satisfying dinner.

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All in all, I would still come back to Paradise Dynasty.  I might have grumbled about some things but I’d still eat it again. The menu seems varied enough for a few more visits.  I think if I go again, I need to take at least three or four friends so we can have a bigger variety of food.

Service was very good.  I didn’t like the fact that when upon paying they asked if we used the Tissue?  We didn’t, but I think it was highly unnecessary to ask and charge for it.