16 November 2012. Friday. I finished early at around 10AM at the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur after I applied for renewal of my passport so I hailed a taxi cab and went my way to Starhill Gallery in Bukit Bintang.
If California has Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills,
And Tokyo has Ginza
Singapore has Orchard Road,
Kuala Lumpur has Bukit Bintang
(and luckily, I’ve been to these places already!)
I was nearly tachycardic (increased heart rate) because of excitement as it’s my very first time to be in Starhill Gallery. I wanted to check out the place way ahead of the scheduled 3PM-6PM exclusive food-tasting-tour in Feast Village that they generously arranged for me. How could you say no to the luxurious food & beverage outlet group whose restaurants were recently visited by Tiger Woods and Michael Bolton? The blogger in me was ultimately happy!
This is Pavilion Mall right across Starhill Gallery; it’s all dressed up for the Yuletide Season!
This part of Kuala Lumpur is accessible by car, monorail, taxi cabs and via free rides on GO KL-shuttle buses that drop off passengers right in front of Starhill Gallery.
I have been to Pavilion Mall a few times over but never dared cross the street and set foot in Starhill Gallery. Why? Its uniquely beautiful crystal and star-like structure is quite intimidating! Wrong notion, I know. Obviously, Starhill Gallery houses the most luxurious and expensive brands of fashionable clothes, watch & jewerly shops, furnitures and sublime dining.
Detail shot of that
intimidating impressive exteriors…
So it’s true that there’s more than meets the eye! I’ve proven that the Feast Village in Starhill Gallery offers some sophisticated dishes that even the most budget-conscious-foodies would not pass up. As I’ve tried some of them, I found that prices are reasonable and competitive; even a little cheaper than the others. At one point during my conversation with the staff of Starhill Gallery that weekend, I descibed some of the meals on the menus as an affordable luxury! Savory dishes enjoyed amidst priceless ambiance -it’s a pure bliss!
There’s no argument that Starhill Gallery defines opulence and indulgence…
As I strolled and absorbed the pleasant ambiance, I took some initial captures.
Then I left and came back few minutes before 3PM. The casual but exclusive food-tasting-tour in 3 of Feast Village signature restaruants was scheduled to begin at LuK Yu Tea House.
Luk Yu Tea House in Feast Village, Starhill Gallery has the must-try-Chinese teas and authentic Hong Kong dim sums and other Chinese favorites on their menu.
My chopstick skills were so ready!
Ms. Rachel who invited me to this digestive-feast-sampling at Feast Village informed me beforehand that she won’t be able to join me due to some important office matters however, she asked their beautiful and uber charming intern from England to accompany me that afternoon.
*Cue drum roll* Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, meet my host that weekend afternoon, the 20-year-old Georgia who’s having the time of her life in Malaysia…
Lovely is an understatement to describe this young lady. She’s so spontaneous; our conversation went beyond the food we sampled together at Feast Village. I was so fascinated how she shared a bit of her personal side and was grateful that she made my afternoon in Starhill Gallery more engaging and fun! She’s lucky to have me as their only guest that Friday, oops, actually it’s the other way around -I am fortunate to experience the food sampling with her!
Still at Luk Yu Tea House…
I’m no food connoisseur but I know my palate so well. I have tasted authentic dim sum in four trips to Hong Kong and have been acquainted with the most delicious ones in Chinatown in Manila, Penang and Singapore. And the affordable (repeat : affordable!) dim sums in Luk Yu Tea House doesn’t disappoint. They satisfied the dim sum monster in me.
We savored Steam Crystal Prawn Dumpling (Har Kau / Hakao), Deep Fried Prawn & Mango Roll and Steamed Chicken & Prawn Dumpling (Siew Mai) plus even the thinly sliced pickled & sweet papaya as appetizer (not in photo) tasted so well too! Every bite was deliciously paired with mildly aromatic Lily and Jasmine Tea, Luk Yu Tea House’s signature tea! It’s heavenly!
Then Georgia and I thanked the Luk Yu Tea House manager, Melinda and walked our way to the next restaurant, Shook!
“Shook! is an exciting restaurant concept and the first of its kind that opened in Malaysia right here at Starhill Gallery. The menu flirts with seasonal trends and boasts an adventurous fusion of east and west with Japanese, Chinese Wok, Italian and Western Grill show kitchens.
The restaurant is popular with the crowd and it boasts a fanciful ambience, good food and live jazz music. A magnificent walk-in cellar holds over 3,000 bottles of some of the world’s most outstanding wines, including the world’s largest vertical collection of Chateau Mouton Rothschild Artist Label series, featuring every vintage from 1945 to 1997 in both standard and magnum bottles. Also available are European wines from the signature Shook! label.” ~Sourced via www.starhillgallery.com
I regret the fact that I forgot to click my camera on that amazing and enviable cellar where a variety of the best wines from all over the globe are housed. My jaw almost dropped while Mr. Raj, the main man of Shook! was explaining to me this and that. From their excellent collection of wines, he briefly showed me some of the private function rooms that can be reserved by guest for a customized-dining.
Can you imagine yourself dining in those Giorgio Armani seats?
Here’s one of their function room, all set for a private dinner that weekend.
We took few steps back to our table at Shook! and what they’ve prepared for us were all ready. Et voila!
Wagyu Beef Cheek (Italian spread of Shook!). Enriched with Goose Liver Butter served with Gratin of Charlotte, Leek and Roblochon.
It felt effortless when I dunk my fork and used my knife to cut a piece of that Wagyu dish after it was served on my plate because every piece of it was apparently cooked to perfection! It’s the most tender beef cuts I’ve ever tasted. I want to cry that very moment actually! It was that delicious!!! I promised myself to bring Tina and Gabby to Shook! soon!!!
Georgia was raving about Shook’s award-winning-Chinese-dish called, Snow White Dancing Prawn. Together, we asked Mr. Raj why it’s called as such and we got a somewhat logical answer-”the moment you put the prawn in your mouth, they’ll dance to your stomach” I cannot agree more! What makes it so wonderful is its thin and light batter. Most tempura-dishes are thickly drowned in flour mixture making the prawn almost tasteless but not this Dancing Prawn dish. Its overall taste would make you crave for more! Trust me, it tastes way better than it looks on my photo. My capture doesn’t do it justice.
From the grill section of Shook!, behold the Roasted Barramundi…
I bet even the most discening palates would agree with this Roasted Barramundi.
And from their Japanese spread, we sampled Spider Maki made up of Soft Shell Crab Tempura. The name of the maki needs no explanation. Hands down to this! Hallelujah!
At around half hour past 4PM, Georgia escorted me to the 3rd and last restaurant that I got to try from Starhill Gallery - the Starhill Tea Salon.
As Malaysians like all English men love tea and scones and some other pastries, it’s not surprising that Starhill Gallery puts up its own Starhill Tea Salon where the very best collection of teas from most parts of the world are available. Almost stuffed, I was still prepared for some tea time! Bring it on!
We had two tea variants. First was STS’ signature tea called Starhill Jewel and the second one’s called, Grand Wedding. While the latter has a stronger flavor, I highly recommend the Starhill Jewel Tea! Its subtle floral aroma makes it a perfect pair with any slice of cake or pastry. Talking about sweets, a delightful feast must end with tempting desserts. The staff of Starhill Tea Salon walked us toward their cake counter. Everything’s mouthwatering and the difficult part was choosing. She had Chocolate Mousse …
while I tried a Fruity Cheesecake.
Just before we ended our tea time, I’ve finally met the one responsible for my invite to Starhill Gallery Feast Village; I was grateful Ms. Rachel took a few minutes out of her busy schedule at work to see and meet me. I was glad to personally thanked her and Georgia of course, for everything. The afternoon was so surreal! They even gave me some special takeaway -a couple of exclusive Starhill Gallery magazines, a 100-ringgit voucher and a box of macarons that I all brought home to Tina and Gabby! Thank you so much, Starhill Gallery! I shall bring my family there soon!
Have I told you that Starhill Gallery consists of not only 3 but 16 food places –There’s the most beautiful bar that I’ve laid my eyes on -Village Bar (blog post here : http://docgelo.com/2012/11/17/village-bar-an-underground-fantasy/), Luk Yu Tea House, Shook!, Starhill Tea Salon, Gonbei San, Spice of India, Tarbush, Pak Loh Chiu Chow, Sentidos, Enak, Angus House, Ah Yip Herbal Soup, Kor Yo Won, Jogoya, Jake’s Charbroil Steaks and Fisherman’s Cove. Some of these restaurants I photographed…
The Vietnamese restaurant I failed to get the name.
Then there’s that restaurant made of bamboos shaped like a gorgoues boat…
It’s called Fisherman’s Cove where the famous Malaysian Chef Wan cooks his specialties. Most of them are freshest live fish from their aquarium.
Even the tandas or toilets in Feast Village is a must-see!
It was truly an unforgettable experience for me; certainly an extraordinary gastronomic and visual feasts! For the nth time that I’m mentioning in this blog post, I shall bring Tina and Gabby here soon! It’s all worth it!
*This is a sponsored post. Special thanks goes to Ms. Rachel, Ms. Georgia and all the amazing staff of Feast Village in Starhill Gallery. Thank you so much! Terima Kasih! And as we say in Tagalog, MARAMING SALAMAT po!
STARHILL GALLERY | 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | www.starhillgallery.com
*This Luxurious Kuala Lumpur Blog Series includes :
- Village Bar : An Underground Fantasy
- SkyBar : Intoxicating Views
- Feast Village, Starhill Gallery
- Chynna in Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur
- 7atenine -The Ascott-Kuala Lumpur
*GOOD NEWS : To those who read & follow my blog, I’ll appreciate if you could drop a line or two about my blogging via ths link :http://www.expatsblog.com/blogs/1157/beyond-toxicity; this is in line with the BEST EXPAT BLOG AWARDS run by ExpatsBlog.com. Maraming salamat po!