Although this sounds suspiciously similar to Eat Drink KL‘s blog name, Eat, Drink & More is Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ new one-stop online portal offering food and beverage concepts and more within Asia Pacific.  I was there along with the blogging glitterati – Masak-Masak, Paprika, Adly and Fatboybakes, and online restaurant reservation portal tycoon, Jek Tan.  The event, which was held on January 13, 2010 at The Westin, brought together 5 restaurant concepts under one roof – Favola and Latest Recipe from Le Meridien, and EEST, Prego and Qba from The Westin.

1. Spectacular in spectacles – L-R: Lady Cornelia, me and Paps
2. Favola logo in The Westin
3. Favola’s spread at the launch
4. The 2Ms – Martin B Jones (VP F&B, Starwood AP Hotels & Resorts) and Me
5. Tapas at Latest Recipe
6. LM Eye Openers on Ice by Jean Georges Vongerichten

A good variety of bites were available at our first station, Favola. Favola recently replaced Al-Nafourah in an Asia-Pacific-wide change in Le Meridien’s branded concepts.  The restaurant serves simple, classic fare at very reasonable prices.  (More in a future blog post.)   One which stood out was the grilled aubergine parcel with tuna, pinenuts and raisins and drizzled with vincotto, which I thought was a rather innovative use of ingredients for presentation.

Aubergine parcel

We then moved to Latest Recipe‘s station which featured, among others, one of Jean Georges’ creations, the LM Eye Openers – basically fruit juices with a punch (not the alcoholic kind).  Latest Recipe is a buffet type restaurant with new and old recipes from the East and West, but there is also a Jean Georges Signature Breakfast (ala carte) which, the management has assured me despite my protests, is still available.  To digress a bit, Bald Eagle and I went to Latest Recipe about a month back for the Signature breakfast, but were disappointed to find out that not only were the waitstaff not knowledgeable about the menu, there was also no sign or information available on the Signature breakfast.

1. Me and Lady Cornelia’s new best friend
2. Is the size of one’s pepper mill any indication of ummmm…?
3. EEST at The Westin
4. Latest Recipe at Le Meridien
5. Favola
6. Pretty pastel coloured macarons

Our third station was EEST, an Asian concept restaurant with five kitchens – Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Malay. Here, we were showered with Kobe and foie gras, tiny taro baskets, dim sum and Wagyu rendang with rice in a rolled (like kacang putih) pancake package.   All very interesting twists to traditional dishes, some working better than others.  Prego and Qba were our fourth and fifth station, and again, we were amazed at versatility of the chefs in finding fun ways to present their food.  Prego is a casual dining Italian restaurant, and as we arrived, loud sounds of an inconsistent rendition of (maybe) Happy Birthday reverberated, and all I could think of was TGIF (the restaurant, not the phrase).  Qba is hot hot hot, a Latin American bar & grill which also houses an impressive Cuban rum and cigar collection.


Eat, Drink & More’s website was launched yesterday, so I decided to give the website a go just now.   The search box is good as it allows one to choose a venue or a location quite easily, and it is only a 2 or 3 step process for one to locate something in one’s own city.   Unfortunately, the search box caters primarily for Starwood’s “branded concepts” (eg. Favola), i.e. a concept/venue which is consistent in quality and has comparable appeal and vibrancy with another similarly named concept/venue in a different location, so stand alone (non-branded) restaurants (like Prime) will not be as easily located in the search box as compared to “branded” restaurants.


After locating a restaurant, one can make online restaurant reservations here by clicking on the button.


What I like about it is that last minute bookings are accepted.   What I do not like about it is that I can’t make a booking if I choose to dine alone.  “The hotel does not confirm single diners over the internet.” Despite the shortcoming, this is a website that I will definitely bookmark for future use.  Just as I’m supportive of theQguides, an independent online restaurant booking portal, I am all for the metamorphosis of the way we do things if it allows me to be more efficient with my limited time.


Thank you, Cheryl Lum, Director of Communications at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, for your kind invitation, and congratulations to the teams at The Westin and Le Meridien on your excellent execution!

Note: Some pictures are courtesy of the management