California Pizza Kitchen – KLCC

Alcohol is served all day.

CPK drinks

So we loosen our ties, threw off our jackets & sipped mojitos, pina coladas, margaritas, smoothies & rum + tequila with our salads, pasta & pizza, FOR LUNCH, on a weekday.
Ahh.. if only this is a daily routine.

appetser

pasta

duck pizza

California Pizza Kitchen in KLCC is Sg-based Golden Pillar Holdings only franchise outlet in Malaysia.
And it’s very outlet in KLCC has been in operation since 1999, a full decade and a mean feat; if you ask me, considering the frequency and number of dining outlets that has come and gone on that very floor itself.

Come lunch time, the place is packed to the rafters, but the experienced kitchen & staff handled the orders without a hitch. A decade of practice no doubt.

customers at alunch

The imported hearth open flame oven is the trademark item in all CPK restaurants. It bakes the pizza in approximately three minutes, & the intense heat coupled with rapid cooking time preserves the natural, fresh flavors and characters of the toppings.

kitchen

Our Peking Duck Pizza (RM33.00) (Pan roasted duck breast, low-fat Mozzarella cheese, soy-glazed shitake mushrooms, crispy wontons, slivered leek & ginger and Hoisin sauce) was a tad too salty for me & I find the hoisin sauce overpowering, but as all dishes on the menu are direct creations from CPK’s central kitchen in the US, I’m guessing the ratio of ingredients & flavours are more suited to the western tastebuds.

duck pizza

Having said that, California Pizza Kitchen has survived a decade in KLCC & pulls in the crowd daily so obviously CPK has it’s fans.

pizza

Most produce in CPK is imported directly from the HQ as well, & that includes the dough of the pizza crust, the DESSERTS & the Mexican Cholula Hot Sauce you see above, in replacement for the common Tabasco for the pizzas.

All of the items reviewed is part of CPK’s Asian Delight Lunar New Year Menu, as well as their Valentine set; Special Dinner Menu for Two – RM88 ++ which includes:

– A choice of selected half size salad
– A choice of selected 1 pizza
– A choice of selected 1 pasta
– A choice of 2 glasses of mocktails or sparkling wine

The appetiser for CPK’s Asian Delight Lunar New Year Menu is Lettuce Wraps (from RM23.00 (chic/shrimp) or RM26.00 (chic & shrimp) which consisted of minced chicken &/shrimp, wok-seared with Shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, & scallops in soy ginger sauce, served on a bed of crispy rice noodles & a side of spicy chilli-ginger sauce.

This is very chinese indeed, especially when you eat it wrapped in a lettuce leaf not unlike the way one eats the “Nyonya Jiu Hu char”.

appetser

Their chinese/eastern repertoire of salads was next.
A total of 3 to choose from, my favourite is the Miso Salad, (Half size –RM19.00, Full size – RM22.00) that came in the form of a hill of shredded Napa cabbage, fresh avocado, julienne cucumbers, daikon, edamame, carrots, red cabbage, green onions, cilantro, crispy rice noodles & crispy wontons tossed in Miso dressing.

The clean crisp flavours from the salad won me over. Or it could be that I like Japanese food in the first place.

miso salad

Asian inspired salads doesn’t run far from Thai & Indonesian. And not surprisingly, the next two was the Thai Crunch Salad (Full size – RM29.00, Half size –RM26.00) with lime-cilantro dressing & topped with crispy rice sticks & Thai peanut dressing & Chinese Chicken Salad (Half size – RM20.00, Full size –RM23.00) with toasted sesame seeds & fresh cilantro in a spicy, sweet & sour sesame dressing.

thai salad
chinese chic salad

Out of the 2 choices of pastas, I liked the Kung Pao Spaghetti (With chicken –RM29.00/ with shrimp – RM36.00/ with chicken + shrimp – RM39.00) though I wished that it was spicier.
I find the Garlic Noodles (chicken –RM29.00, shrimp – RM36.00, both chicken+ shrimp – RM39.00) – wok-fried Chinese yellow noodles in garlic-ginger sauce with snow peas, Shitake mushrooms, mild onions, red & yellow peppers, broccoli, & scallions a tad too sweet.

pasta

Then came their legendary desserts… legendary because so many people have raved of their Tiramisu & their Red Velvet. Fully imported due to QC, it is flown in frozen & dressed up just before serving.

desserts

Overall, the desserts were too sweet for me, a reminder of the fact that they were made in US. But that could also mean more authentic recipes.
The Red Velvet Cake – RM22.00 was unlike previous versions that I have tasted and actual beet juice were used.
The Chocolate Souffle Cake – RM20.00 is deliciously RICH, made with Belgian chocolate & served warm with CPK’s triple-thick hot fudge on vanilla bean sauce. Don’t mess with the Americans on their fudge, I tell you.
The Tiramisu – RM22.00 is creamy, and so alcoholically infused that it deserved an order if you happened to be in CPK again.
Unfortunately banana cream was used rather than fresh bananas in the moist and rich Chocolate Banana Royale Cake. But of course, when one takes into consideration the distance it was imported from I guess it is wise to use the cream version instead.

Overlooking the KLCC fountain & KLCC park, CPK in KLCC provides diners a scenic view while they feast. I reckon the scene is even more beautiful come night time.

view

The media representatives for the session.

the people

Many thanks to Integrated Public Relations for inviting me on behalf of CPK, GPH! I’m holding my breath in anticipation for their next to be-launched creations in April 2010!

California Pizza Kitchen
Lot #140, Level 1, Suria KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+603) 2382 0512

Business Hours: 11:30a.m. – 11:00p.m. daily