Received this email yesterday and went into an evening of depression :( Immediately rang SB to inform him about it ...

Cilantro is my all time favourite restaurant and I've experienced many memorable moments there with loved ones; birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations. Guess we'll just have to wait the 18-20 months out ...

So, it's not Sayonara but rather "Ja mata" - till we meet again ...


Dear Valued Guest,
I would like to bring to your attention the hotels latest update.

MiCasa, is to undergo an extensive upgrade encompassing all rooms, pool deck and public areas. This will commence from January 2008 and take approximately 18 - 20 months to complete, the end result being a totally revitalized MiCasa pitched at the 5 star luxury All Suite Boutique Hotel Market.

With this in mind, our concern is that due to construction disruption, it will not be viable for our clientele to dine in Cilantro during this period and we wish to advise that Cilantro will cease operations with the last night of guests being able to dine on December 29th 2007.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience that this close down may cause, but regretfully, due to the scale of the work, we have no other course of action to take. In the meantime, we take this opportunity to thank you for your regular patron over the years and we will keep you posted on our development from time to time.

Best Regards,

Rajeshwaran Gopal
Chef Sommelier


Two Michelin chefs cooked for me in the past month! (haha!) I must be one of the luckiest foodies around ..

Chef Anton Mosimann
In early November, I had the priviledge of tasting the culinary talent of 2-Michelin Star Chef Anton Mosimann. His Cuisine Naturalle resulted in a lovely marinated salmon, poached chicken and extremely sinful bread & butter pudding for a very light and very, very satisfying lunch. To top it, we were also served some lovely chocolate truffles made by him.

He's a great PR person too, coming out to meet and chat with patrons. All this has possibly added to his appeal and success. We asked him about himself and he told us that he cooks regularly for Prince Charles and Queen Rania. Apart from having his own restaurant in London, he is also quite the entrepreneuer with and academy which not only offers lessons for up and coming chefs but Culinary Teambuilding activities for organisations! Now that would be a great experiential learning experience! Mosimann also offers a Search and Selection service ..

More info at

Service was very good at The Olive, with attentive waiters. As a take home souvenir, we received a bottle of olives from the restaurant, The Olive! (no pun intended, I'm sure :)

Chef Christian Moine
A month later, Chef Christian Moine was at the Olive to offer the Flavour of France. Unlike stodgy cream-smoothered french food normally, his was a very light and tasty twist.

We started lunch with a carrot and cumim foam (which was served in a chinese spoon and had my lunch companion and I looking at each other with the "this is ONE course???" look!) with grated carrots on top.

Second course was a lovely fish with Mediterranean vegetables. Third course was a chicken roulade in a very light cream sauce, accompanied with oven baked cheese covered potatoes. (Initally we had to choose between the fish OR chicken, but the waiter informed us that the chef changed his mind and now included BOTH as an offering).

I really can't remember what dessert was (which means it didn't make a huge impact on me!).

Unlike Chef Anton, Chef Christian was one of those Chefs who stayed in the kitchen the whole time and didn't come out or anything even if we were the only patrons on the restaurant at that time. I think I liked Chef Anton's approach - it makes him more accessible and it's stuff that celebrity chefs are made out out.

Anyway, I had a lovely time eating my way through The Olive, located at the Lobby level of Genting Hotel. Genting is sure becoming a place not just for gamblers and children but for the foodies as well ...
Is there such a word as "cupcakery"?
Well, turns out Malaysia's first cupcakery cafe - Cupcake Chic - will be opening at the Curve soon. A little booth has already been set up at the Concourse area for "cupcakeholics" to try their yummy cupcakes, including lavender cupcakes with baileys frosting, marshmallow chocolate mud cupcake and pistachio cupcake with rosewater frosting. The last one sound absolutely exotic!

So, now my visits to the Curve will include Big Apple AND Cupcake Chic .. (before heading to Fitness First or after? ) :)

Check them out at:
Read this on my last day in Melbourne. Perhaps I will need to place my name on the list in time for my next trip!

Shhh … roving restaurant gets tongues wagging
The Age newspaper, Melbourne
Larissa Dubecki
September 3, 2007

MELBOURNE'S hottest restaurant isn't in The Age Good Food Guide, it changes location weekly, and with a waiting list of 4000, it's booked out for the next year.

Zingara Cucina — Italian for "Gypsy Kitchen" — is Australia's first "underground" restaurant. It is unlicensed, illegal and transient, but has won the kind of word-of-mouth accolades most legitimate establishments only dream about.

And with the identity of the people behind it a secret, it's also the city's biggest culinary mystery.

It began almost three years ago when dinner parties held for friends by the operator and chef developed a cult following. Now, Zingara has developed into a weekly dining experience, roaming inner-city locations from car parks to lanes, rooftops, bridges, beaches and galleries.
The chef will not reveal his identity except to say he is not a professional, was taught to cook by his Italian grandmother and mother, and works in an advertising agency during the day. He says that "fine dining has become boring".

"The whole concept is around conviviality and creating that feeling you get when you have a nice meal with like-minded people. It's not about making money, but about enjoying good food and good wine," he says.

Entry is by invitation only — each guest gets two referrals to pass on to friends — and diners are told the location via email or SMS the night before.

A diner who has experienced Zingara Cucina — he asked to remain anonymous, although he will reveal he is a chef at a well-regarded CBD restaurant — described the experience as "phenomenal".

"I'd go once a week if I could, to be frank, because it's an incredible experience … the presentation, the food, which was as good as any two or three-chef's-hat restaurant in Melbourne."

At this particular dinner, held several months ago in an obscure city lane, guests were fed rustic Italian fare including handmade ravioli in sage butter with crushed pinenuts, and whole suckling pig — "all really simple flavours that were extrapolated in a beautiful way" — and serenaded between courses by an opera singer.

The diner estimates the meal would have cost $150 in any other restaurant, although Zingara diners are asked to pay what they see fit.
It was BEAUTIFUL bright sunny day so decided to head out to the StKilda Esplanade Arts and Craft market. R and the kids came to pick me up and we headed to One Fitzroy for breakfast. I promptly demolised the Big Breakfast (2 poached eggs, mushrooms, bacon and spinach) while R had the Eggs Florentine and the girls had the loveliest and fluffiest pancakes I've seen! Service was great as the staff was very friendly and attentive.

After breakfast we took a nice long walk looking at stuff at the stalls - I managed to slip in a few purchases - and then we headed to Acland Street for something to munch. Had a nice spinach slice thingamajig outside the Gloria Jean's walkway. Then we walked down the other side of Acland Street and I feasted my eyes on the lovely cakes and confectionaries from Monarch Cakes, Le Bon, etc. It brought back lovely memories as one of my schoolmates used to work in one of the bakeries and I remember her bringing a lovely fruit tart for my birthday. I bought a mini Kugelhopf and cheesecake from Monarch Cakes.

After a lovely day out in the sun, went home and managed to enjoy a gin and tonic before heading out to LiLi's for Chinese Imperial Court Cuisine with family and old friends. Lili's only serve banquets so patrons choose from 3 menus priced at $48, $66 or $138 per pax. We chose the $66 set and got a whole lot of appetizers and other dishes which included fish, venison, Peking duck, pork, prawns and scallops. I wouldn't say the food was like WOW and amazing, but the preparation was very unlike any chinese cuisine I've had before. The place is worth a visit for something different.

The visit to Lili's was made even more interesting when we found out that the police was outside and when we tried to leave they asked us to go back into the restaurant and wait for a while. From the windows, we saw 4 SWAT-team dressed policemen with guns staking out the place in front. It was really unreal, like one of those Role-Playing games that CK always plays. Anyway, after a while, we went out and saw no one around so we left.

We're off to the Yarra Valley tomorrow .. keep tuned ..
Day Two was pretty much a low-key day as I recovered from my lack of sleep and adventure of Day One. It was also a family affair, visiting my uncle's nephew's place to celebrate their baby's 1st birthday. There was some great home cooked food with lovely salads and meats though I was half expecting (and hoping) for some Vietnamese food (as nephew R married a Vietnamese lady). Pity ...

Dinner was at the pub round the corner, the Grosvenor Pub. It's gone very upmarket from the seedy place I remember passing by everyday on my way to school. Aunt D and I shared a delicious Seafood Pizza. I'm not a huge fan of pizza but this one was really nice with the freshest prawns and calamari with lots of garlic and pesto. For vegetable intake, we had the roasted vegetables.

Headed off to Crown Casino late at night. The place is crazy and quite confusing, with no numbers on the car park columns. After one round on the tables, we got thirsty so headed down to Zampeli's Cafe Greco. I like sitting out there and waiting for the hourly 'fireballs'. The cakes there are also visually very enticing as they are like giant-sized versions of old favourites. I've been eyeing the Sticky Date Pudding (one of my favourite winter desserts) and seeing that winter is just about over Down Under, I ordered one with a Iced Coffee to accompany it. Very yummy but very filling.

Don't think my stomach has been so filled in a very very long time
Arrived in the wee hours of the morning. Didn't have to wait as the driver was there the moment I came out of Customs.

First meal was an EXCELLENT home-cooked Big Breakfast at Aunt D's place. We had lovely bacon and eggs, accompanied by tomatoes and whole grain bread. To top it off, there was also a lovely BerrySweet Pure Bluberry juice and Italian coffee.

Padded around for a while and then headed off to Chadstone for some shopping. Had a lovely roast pork and apple sandwich. The pork was so moist and tender. We were eyeing the crackling and I boldly asked the lady whether we could have some (to contrast the crunchy crackle with the moist tender meat) and she gave us a whole lot. Lovely...

Dinner was SPECTACULAR! My 2 favourite brothers, CK and CF took me to a really nice swanky Japanese restaurant Shoya at Market Lane (next to Flower Drum Restaurant and opposite German restaurant HB) for nouvelle wafu cuisine. We had the $120 11-course set which was fantastic. From the Unitama (sea urchin) to dessert 11 courses later, it was the a culinay adventure which tantalised and delighted the tastebuds with the creative and innovate concoctions and freshness.

I was a very contented Nekochan at the end of the evening ...

(Photos coming ...)
I was recently in Langkawi and organised a dinner at Tun Mahathir's cafe, The Loaf. Chef Chandran and his team were most accomodating to my group's request and as a Dessert Lover, I asked him to do something special for dessert.

This is what his Japanese Chef came up with ...
A platter of desserts which not just tantalised the tastebuds but was also visually a joy to look at. That's so Japanese; where the art of eating is not just about how good the food tastes, but also how it pleases the eyes.
I'm happy to hear that a branch of the The Loaf will be opening at the new KL Pavillion soon.
Till then, you'll need to visit them in Langkawi ..
The Loaf
Lot No 9C, Perdana Quay
Telaga Harbour Park
Pantai Kok
07000 Langkawi.
Tel: 04 9594866
In 2006, I announced to my then colleauges that the future is in cupcakes! Some pooh-pahed me but I still stuck to my guns.

And seriously, cupcakes are taking the world by storm (ok, maybe not so 'drama' but they are taking the Klang Valley by storm)

Why cupcakes?
Well, they're small enough to finish by yourself
You don't have to decide who gets the middle/end, bottom/top, icing part/non-icing part, etc
They're full of flavour
They're CUTE as hell :)

Apart from cupcakes, I also have my eyes on cookies - large cookies with icing on the top. Ordered some from Su the other day as a Thank You token for some colleagues. They absolutely loved it! Thanks Su!

For the record ..some cupcakes suppliers in town ..


From NST, Friday 10 August 2007
Sheila 017 8843230 - orders 3 days in advance for up to 50 cupcakes. Self Pick Up
Bisou Cafe, Asian Heritage Row Tel: 03 2697013
Wondermilk -

Enjoy!! And remember - the future is in CUPCAKES!!! You heard it here first :)

I had my first Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg today!
I saw the Baby Creme ones at BSC few weeks ago but thought parting with over RM30 for such tiny ones were a bit too much. If they had the normal sized ones I wouldn't have minded. Anyway, when I colleague told me she was going to London for last weekend I jumped at the opportunity and asked her to get me some proper Creme Eggs. She dropped off 8 large creme eggs and a box of the mini ones on my table today!

I can't remember when the last time I had one .. maybe when I was still living in Australia. But i love them. Why? Because you bite through the chocolate shell and then this white/yellow "yolk" oozes out, just like a real egg! Ok, it's really sweet but I figured that Easter comes like once a year so it's ok,..

I remember when I was back in High School and in my first Easter there, some of my classmates bought me chocolate easter eggs .. one guy even got me a 2kg one! It was huge (but alas, hollow ..). In Australia, I used to enjoy the array of chocolate eggs they had .. some were absolutely gorgeous and you could have them personalised with the recipient's name (very romantic!) and some were based on your favourite chocolate bar - Picnic, Kit Kat, Twix (that was my favourite all through Uni - a Twix a day! My friend Peter once bought me a whole bag (at least 50 bars!) for my birthday) and some of the big ones had baby ones inside too!

I guess I sort of grew out of chocolate after I left Melbourne. Not sure why but I think the last Death by Chocolate Party threw there could have threw me off! Imagine a chocolate party where every dish had chocolate in , including Nutella sandwiches. No savouries at all! I think my friends and I kinda decided to 'surrender' after that ...

Now that I'm back in KL ... I'm slowly picking it up again. Started last year when I started exercising with a personal trainer .. after the training, my body would crave for something sweet. So, a little piece every other day ....

Was in Langkawi earlier this month and got a whole lot of Hershey's Kisses in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and almond nuts. I love the dark chocolate ones, and the fact that it was wrapped in purple foil was a big pull factor! Anyway, I mixed the 3 packets up and got one of my colleagues to distribute to everyone else.

Countdown begins .. 7 Creme Eggs left .....
nekochan is proud to present you a new comer in the gourmet world in PJ !
Cuisine Studio is a restaurant, gourmet shop and Leisure Cooking School for “The French Culinary School In Asia”.

Finally there will be a place to go to in PJ for gourmet food! Wonder what the menu is like?

Cuisine Studio,
Club House, New Wing “The Palm”,
Tropicana Golf & Country Resort,
Tel: 03 7805 3088 - Fax: 03 7805 3188

Ok, it's a bit 'ulu' but there's no Yam there .. reminds me of a time a friend moved to a place in Australia named Kangaroo Flat and he wrote back to say that the place didn't have any kangaroo and neither was it flat.

On the way down from Genting, we decided to drive back to KL via Batang Kali, Ulu Yam and Rawang .. stopped by Ulu Yam for their famous noodles and also had some really yummy Sang Har Mee with very fresh prawns. Also had very smooth fish cake to accompany the meal. The freshly squeezed Sarawak pineapple juice was perfect! Enjoy the pics