The ads for the Heart of KL were appearing in the newspapers on a very frequent basis, and frankly, they were more exciting that the skewed local news I had begun to flip over by the pile.  My husband, being the more diligent and patient reader (I read headlines in my quest to finish reading the newspapers within 59 minutes), spotted the ad for Zing and its visiting celebrity chef, Chan Kwok, from Singapore’s Hua Tin restaurant.  Chef Chan Kwok is described as “the winner of numerous awards including Best Asian Ethnic Chef at the 2005 World Gourmet Summit. He is also author of the recently released book ‘Chan Kwok – A Culinary Genius’ which features some of his best-loved recipes.” We had heard great things about this restaurant from friends who had been there, so when I received an invitation to dine at Zing, the decision to go was a no-brainer, like a frog being asked if he’d like flies, or a dog, bones, or a cow, chocolate milk.

Ok, before you challenge me about the chocolate milk, tell me, have you ever seen a cow reject chocolate milk?


I must say that I was surprised when I walked into Zing.  I expected minimalism! I expected lots of black! I expected Jay Chou! The name did nothing to conjure images of old world charm or opium or ambient lighting, which was everything that the actual Zing represented.  Well, except for the opium bit.  Dark wooden lattice screens partitioned the different sections and thus provided privacy but it was sparse enough to prevent claustrophobia.  Everybody say together now – sooooo romantic…… *big sigh*

duck and prawn

The specially created set menu consisted of some of Chef Chan’s best recipes. The single prawn deep fried in a pastry resembling phyllo dough was lightly crisp, the shell crumbling easily as I bit into it and exposed the fresh and crunchy prawn.  I initially thought that the bed on which the prawn rested was meat floss, but upon tasting it, I quickly realised that there was no hint of meat in what I later found out was a vietnamese rice nest.  The slices of roast duck were delicious, really tender and slightly salty.  A wonderful juxtaposition of flavours in one plate.

shark's fin soup

The double-boiled superior soup with baby shark’s fin is one of the Chef’s specialties. Shark bones are boiled for 8 hours until the soup turns a milky hue. The resultant flavour is one that is very intense, an undeniable fishy flavour with the cartilaginous texture of the fins.

emerald bean curd

The emerald bean curd (in a crab meat sauce) is created by mixing finely minced watercress with tofu and I find this simply brilliant. It is such a wonderful way for me to eat my greens. If green had a scent, this had to be it.

stewed ox tail

Unlike the usual oxtail preparations which I was used to, this one was stewed in a homemade brown sauce made with chinese herbs and had the pungent flavour of garlic. The oxtail was soft and tender from the hours of stewing.

stirfried crispy rice with seafood

This dish brought back memories of my childhood and eating Rice Krispies – you know the famous snap, crackle and pop? And there was also this confection made with Rice Krispies and butter and honey and cut into squares? I couldn’t help but smile when I looked at this dish, a playful combination of crispy rice with vegetables and chopped prawns. I am now inspired to replicate this recipe at home. My husband’s in for a treat. That’s assuming I don’t burn it first. Or turn it into rice mush.

chilled mango puree with sago and pomelo

The final item on the menu – chilled mango puree with sago and pomelo. I found this very sweet, but he thought it was just nice. The texture was a find blend of thick mango, while the bits of pomelo was a good contrast, providing a slight hint of sourness and bitterness to the lovely dessert.

By now, we felt like we were best friends with Rahayu and Sulo, the two lovely ladies from PR. After all, only best friends will tell each other about their uncle’s durian plantation and where they voted in Gombak. So as a special treat, we had…..

durian pancake

Durian pancakes!……

durian tart

….and durian tarts! And ‘coz I feel like I am such good friends with you, my dear readers, I am compelled to share with you the following images….

durian pancake

Durian pancake again! Thick and oozing with fragrant durian flesh and cream!…..

durian tart

…and the durian tart again! The warm crumbly pastry enveloped the sweet durian filling which was custardy and delicious!  Bald Eagle felt like he had died and gone to a durian plantation.

Do note, however, that the durian treats are not part of Chef Chan Kwok’s menu. Prices are as follows:

Set menu: RM168++ per person (minimum 2 persons)
Durian pancake: RM12++ for 2 pieces
Durian tart: RM9++ for 3 pieces

There is also an ala carte menu consisting of the above items and a few more. Do note that Chef Chan Kwok will be at Zing only until 19 March, and if you wish to sample his cuisine at the Orchard Hotel in Singapore, there is a long waiting list and you are advised to book early. I can assure you that it’ll be much easier to reserve a table here at Zing to enjoy a meal created by this great chef.

A big thank you to my new best friends, Rahayu and Sulo. 🙂


Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur (formerly The Regent)
160 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2117 4888

Monday – Saturday
Lunch – 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Dinner – 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Sundays and Public Holidays
Lunch – 10.30 am – 2.30 pm
Dinner – 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm

The girl from Abu Dhabi may view the pictures HERE.