Monday, 21 April 2014

Chinoz on the Park @ Suria KLCC

Chinoz on the Park @ KLCC is a cool, sleek and modern designed brasserie that offers a Mediterranean-based menu for your dining options since 1993.  [#Note: A brasserie is a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages, especially beer, as well as food and this typically describes Chinoz to a 'tee'.]  
They have a Bar Lounge which offers a comprehensive range of wines and spirits (if liquor is your 'cup of tea') as well as freshly brewed coffee (they offer illy here) which is more my 'cup of tea' (or coffee in this case).  Not to worry, it's not a stuffy or rowdy kind of bar and there are more diners than drinkers, so you can still bring your children (maybe just not extremely young ones) as they do have a kid's menu.  [#Tip: The drinkers are actually diners who enjoy a glass of wine (or beer) with their food.]
Nicely located by the KLCC park, you can meet friends over drinks at their al fresco terrace, which gives you a great view of the KLCC fountain (once it's turned on) and park (good to 'watch the world go by' or for 'people' watching too...hehe), or choose to dine with family inside the air-conditioned dining area.
We chose a starter of 'Popcorn' Prawn @ RM25 for sharing.   This dish comprised pieces of prawn flesh and prawn heads that have been battered and deep fried.
The batter was seasoned well and the deep fried prawns were excellent, especially the prawn heads which were fried to crunchy was so, sooooooo.....gooood!!!  I've always heard of celebrity chefs (like Anthony Bourdain) describing what it's like to eat prawn heads...and now I know just how good it is if done right.
The accompanying dip, which was rather like a chilli mayo (or cocktail sauce), worked perfectly with the crunchy prawns (and prawn heads).  The dip, with hints of paprika, was outstanding (so, double dipping is  Initially, I felt that the starter was kinda pricey but when we devoured it, we counted 7 prawn heads and so I'm assuming there are 7 (fairly good-sized) prawns in the dish which makes the price more than fair.

They also have a number of interesting starters and small bites (bar food) on their menu (which goes rather well with beer) like Tempura Prawns, Crispy Silverbait, Deep-fried Soft Shell Crab (to name a few) besides the 'Popcorn' Prawn.

We chose our mains from the grill section which comes with sides of Roast Potatoes and a Garden Salad.  You then select your choice of sauce from Hollandaise, Mushroom or Black Peppercorn Sauce or a Capsicum-Tomato or Warm Tomato-Kalamata Vinaigrette.
Our first main course was the Grilled Salmon Loin @ RM55 in a black peppercorn sauce. The difference with this salmon (as opposed to all the salmon I've eaten in the past) was the shape the salmon came in.  We are usually used to being served a salmon block or a salmon fillet but this was shaped like a roulade (or loin) they managed to cut it to this shape baffles me.  It was perfectly cooked with good grill marks on the top and bottom and slightly pinkish in the middle.  The flesh was soft and flaky with just the right amount of seasoning.
Our other main was the Charmoula Rubbed Red Snapper @ RM42 which was rubbed with some Mediterranean spices and then grilled.  The spices did not overpower the distinctive but delicate flavour of the snapper.  The fish was, once again, cooked just right and served with a capsicum-tomato vinaigrette (as recommended by the wait staff).  
The 'uncommon' vinaigrette that I tried (which was vibrantly red and looked amazing) was surprisingly good, it was not tart at all and went very well with the grilled snapper.  [#Note: If there's one complaint, it would be the portion size.]
You can add on either Mashed Potatoes, Potato Chips, Onion Rings or Sautéed French Beans for RM10 if you order any of the Grilled Dishes.  Our choice was the Onion Rings @ RM10.  Again, the onion rings were different from the norm.  The onions didn't seem to come in distinctive rings and it had a slight brown hue to it (like they've been pre-fried first before being battered).  The batter, with specks of chopped parsley, was extremely light and crispy.  All in all, we enjoyed the crispy morsels very much.

I also found the roasted potatoes pleasantly flavourful and the salad was truly refreshing with added crunch from the radicchio and peppery kick from the rocket with sliced onions, carrots, cherry tomatoes, frisée and salad leaves.

They also have a wide selection of soups, salads, pizza, sandwiches, pastas (price range from RM28 - RM48) and kids plates (about RM18) on their menu to cater to everyone's palate.
To end my meal on a sweet note, I decided to order a dessert (which I don't normally do and that's the reason why we ordered only one starter).  The dessert I'm talking about is the Rainbow Cake @ RM12 a slice.  I had always wanted to have a pic of the Rainbow Cake (ever since I first saw it in a magazine) coz it's so pretty and colourful!  [#Note: This is clearly a case of feasting with your eyes first.]
A Rainbow Cake is nothing but a plain sponge cake in 6 or 7 colourful layers with a butter cream icing (even the icing is somewhat rainbow coloured).  Chinoz's slice of Rainbow Cake came in 6 colours and 10 layers and when I saw what a humongous slice it was, I thought I would have a hard time finishing it but I succeeded as the cake was incredibly light (to my astonishment) as it wasn't overly rich or "jelat" (overwhelming)...after I scrapped off most of the icing on the top (and the sides), of course.  It was a stunning showstopper indeed!!
Also, with any order of a slice of cake, you can get a cup of freshly brewed coffee for just RM3....well, it was too good an offer to pass up (and so I drank an extra cup of coffee).

Our drinks for the night:
Iced Latte @ RM16
Fresh Lemonade @ RM12
My Personal Opinion

There aren't many good restaurants in KLCC and Chinoz on the Park may provide some relief though the food may be slightly pricey.

If their appealing 'Popcorn' Prawn is a hallmark of their excellent appetisers (cum bar food/snacks), I can't wait to taste more.  You know the song 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' by Kylie Minogue....well, for me, it's 'I Can't Get the Prawn Heads out of My Head'!!

The food is good enough and worthy of another visit.  I would surely return to Chinoz...if only just to eat the immensely gratifying prawn heads again.

At Chinoz, you......Eat.Drink.Talk.Watch....and we certainly did!

What I loved:  The crunchy 'Popcorn' Prawns...who knew prawn heads could taste so good.  This is a 'die die must try' dish!

What I liked:  The fish dishes were fresh and perfectly cooked.

What I didn't quite like:  The portion size of the fish....wished it was heftier.

Chinoz on the Park
G47 Ground Floor Suria KLCC
Jalan Ampang
50088 Kuala Lumpur

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