Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chinese New Year Promotions at Tao Chinese Cuisine, InterContinentalKuala Lumpur


A brand new year has always prompted us to go for a change. For those looking for something different to feast on this Chinese New Year, I am sure Tao Chinese Cuisine in InterContinental Kuala Lumpur is a great place to hunt for contemporary new year dishes besides the traditional, classic favourites.


Formerly known as Toh Lee, recently it is rebranded to Tao Chinese Cuisine, offering a whole new stylish dining experience. Located just steps away from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC, the hotel is an ideal urban retreat for both business and leisure travelers.



Tao Chinese Cuisine is the epitome of dining in the heart of the city. Newly unveiled, Tao is set to impress discerning Chinese connoisseurs with its exquisite Chinese New Year menus that associates modern touch in the well-loved traditional Chinese fare and delectable dim sum, served in Tao’s invigorating and stylish interiors.

#1 Top Shell with Salmon and Wasabi Sauce Yee Sang
(鲍螺三文鱼捞生)

Interestingly, the Tao's Yee Sang not only features premium top shell (some kind of marine snail) and salmon, but also get a modern tweak by adding wasabi sauce after the popular plum sauce. The immediate flavor is lifted up although the wasabi is not too pungent but just nice enough to add a mild minty hotness, leaving a rich sweet aftertaste.

It is a brave decision to add on wasabi as many may not fancy its strong smell. Nonetheless, it blends well with the juicy plum sauce to give a perfect sweet tangy balance of flavours. As much as I love the wasabi being mixed evenly in the yee sang, I find it acceptable and a must-try even for non-wasabi lovers!
  
#2 Double Boiled Baby Abalone with Fish Maw and Cordyceps Flower Soup
(鲍鱼仔花膠炖虫草花汤)

Any Chinese meal would not be complete without soup. Leaving our senses refreshed, Chef Ngoi and his culinary team manages to capture the seasonality and rich flavours of the baby abalone, fish maw, scallop, cordyceps flower and vegetables in the broth by using a slow cooking technique until the ingredients soften and reveal a very fresh and subtle oceanic sweetness.

Many restaurants are making a move to replace the crowd's favourite shark's fin soup. Here in Tao, we enjoy something more exquisite than shark's fin, equally flavourful and full of health benefits. On top of that, the double boiled soup is much lighter, clear and soothing for the stomach.

 #3 Tao's Crispy Roasted Duck with Chinese Angelica
(‘桃’当归掛爐鸭)

I believe roasted whole duck and steamed chicken with dang gui and goji berry are two distinctive dishes that gain much popularity in many Chinese restaurants. But how many have ever thought of associating both into one dish? The wafting aroma is dominated by dang gui, but to my surprise, the sauce is rather light and well-suffused into the tender bird while retaining its outer crispy perfection.

 #4 Steamed Pomfret with Crispy Ginger and Dried Tangerine Skin
(脆姜陈皮蒸鲳鱼)

After the poultry dish, next is another delicacy that manages to bring about a pleasant surprise to the palate. Unlike many who would have just dashed delicate soya sauce to retain the fish's precious flavour, the dried tangerine skin is a nice addition to infuse the firm, flavourful flesh with aged citrus notes. 

#5 Deep Fried Crispy Scallops served with Wasabi Dressing
(香脆黄金玉带)

The deep-fried American scallop is also something to remember as its juicy freshness makes it taste irresistibly good, apart from the crispy breadcrumbs on its outer layer. Adding some Japanese influence to the dish, some zingy wasabi mayonnaise helps to tickle the taste buds.


 #6 Braised Sea Cucumber, Money Bag and Dried Oyster Sea Moss Rolls
(金汁海参蚝士发菜金钱袋)

Surprises come one after another. The next quintessential, must-have festive dish features premium seafood such as sea cucumber, dried oyster, sea moss and fish paste bathed in a rich golden pool of pumpkin sauce. What I enjoy most in this prosperity dish is the money bag that burst with juicy goodness, so soft and delightful. It’s simply a pool of wealth!

 #7 Stir Fried Shanghai "Ninko" Noodles and Seafood with Spicy Scallop Sauce
(XO酱海鲜炒上海年糕面)

One dish that takes centre stage of the evening is the stir-fried Shanghai Nian Gao, which is more commonly known as “Bak Kor” in Malaysia. I have always love this type of noodles for its chewy texture, but this traditional dish is becoming rare in town. So lovely to find such unique dish at Tao again.

Transforming a street food into delicacies associated with fine Chinese dining, the bowl of noodles is stuffed with many luxurious ingredients signifying prosperous CNY treasures such as jade abalone, fresh prawns, dried scallops, fish and chicken ham. Spiced up with aromatic XO sauce, it has a perfect balance of sweet, spicy and charred goodness although the seafood assortments outnumber the amount of noodles. Definitely a  treat of seafood!

 #8 Deep Fried Ninko with Yam
(酥炸甜薯芋头年糕)

Back to the classic rendition of Nian Gao, we are served with crispy deep fried chinese glutinous rice cake layered with small pieces of yam in between. It is nicely done without being overcloying, making it the crowd's favourite festive sweets during this season.

 #9 Chilled Hawthorn, Snow Fungus and Lotus Seeds
(冰冻山楂雪耳莲子)

Sweet endings for the meal are assured with the delicately refreshing chilled snow fungus and lotus seeds, enhanced with sweet and sour hawthorn to wash down the heavy sumptuous meal.

According to Chef Ngoi Siak Kong, the menu draws inspiration from traditional Chinese dishes, cooking methods and ingredients, but done in a modern and innovative style. At Tao, Chinese food is more than just great tasting food, it is an artistic impression that leaves unforgettable dining experiences to all.

恭贺新禧 CHINESE NEW YEAR 2013

A Toss to Good Luck: Yee Sang (捞生)
Duration: Now till 25 February 2013

Abalone Snow Pearl Yee Sang @ RM128 (Half) / RM238 (Full)
Top Shell with Salmon and Wasabi Sauce Yee Sang @ RM93 (Half) / RM173 (Full)
Salmon Yee Sang @ RM93 (Half) / RM173 (Full)
Tempura Mushrooms with Wasabi Sauce Yee Sang @ RM78 (Half) / RM138 (Full)
Mixed Lettuce with Balsamic Vinegar Yee Sang @ RM68 (Half) / RM128 (Full)


Choose to enhance your yee sang with lobster, abalone, truffle, 
salmon, baby octopus, jelly fish, mango (Additional charges apply)

Celebratory Sets (Min. 3 persons, available for lunch only)
Good Fortune 鸿运当头: RM128++ per person, 7 courses
Peace Harmony 竹报平安: RM138++ per person, 8 courses

Festive Sets (Per table of 10 persons, available for lunch and dinner)
Auspicious 大地回春: RM1,488++, 8 courses
Joyous Reunion 大展宏图: RM1,888++, 8 courses
Prosperity 步步高陞: RM2,288++, 7 courses

For reservations, please call 03-2782 6128
or email foodandbeverage@intercontinental-kl.com.my

Verdict:
1. I have totally no compliants on the food, each and every dish is a winning taste on its own!
2. Recommended: Wasabi Sauce Yee Sang, Double Boiled Baby Abalone with Fish Maw and Cordyceps Flower Soup, Shanghai "Ninko" Noodles and Seafood
3. Pricewise, it is definitely a steal, especially for seafood lovers to enjoy luxurious Chinese fare within the city centre.

Tao Chinese Cuisine 桃

Level 1 
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur
165, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: 603-2782 6128
Fax: 603-2710 8067
Email: tao@intercontinental-kl.com.my

Business Hours
Mon-Fri: 12noon - 2.30pm / 6.30pm -10.30pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays11.00am - 2.30pm / 6.30pm -10.30pm

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fashion Giveaway x Pink N Proper

During last Christmas, I won a surprise gift from my Santa Claus, Pink N Proper
Well, the gift came in late, but still I happily received the huge parcel that really surprised me!

Pink N Proper is a fashion blog shop based in UK, and they feature all kinds of trendy brand and items from UK! To name a few, there are Fashion Union, Lipsy London, Rare London, Republic, Boohoo, Vero Moda, ASOS, Dorothy Perkins, FCUK, Forever 21, Fred Perry, H&M, Miss Selfridge, Motel Rocks, Topshop.


ALL of them are 100% AUTHENTIC designers' products, and
definitely worth your penny more than those found in retail stores now!
Visit them at pinknproper.com

Besides a RM5 gift card and the PARIS Eiffel Tower Clip that I adore so much, I believe PinknProper team is the most generous mankind in the world! They have gotten me this "Keep Calm and Buy Handbags" Tote. Looks so trendy and outstanding right? 

NOT ONLY THAT!

The huge parcel also includes TWO huge red packets (Ang Pow for Chinese New Year!)
and the world famous Fashion Union's signature tee--- Fashion Addict in hot pink shade.
 It is size 38. So elastic that it fits anyone from size S to XL. 

Mad loveee. The beads are so pretty on the blouse.

Also, PinknProper has put this cute pouch in too! The "Coo Coo it is Spring in the Air" pouch is made of top notch quality fabric, with leather sides and golden leaf zipper. So sweet for you girls!


GOOD NEWS FOR ALL MALAYSIAN READERS!
This round, I am giving away TWO (2) sets of Chinese New Year Ang Pow and Gift
to 2 lucky readers!

Set No. 1 : Fashion Union's "Fashion Addict" Tee + Ang Pow
Set No. 2 : "Coo Coo it is Spring in the Air" Pouch + Ang Pow


HOW TO WIN?
1. LIKE OHFISHIEE Fanpage - http://www.facebook.com/ohfishiee
2. SIGN UP at Pink N Proper website - http://www.PinknProper.com
(Provide me your username upon successful registration).
3. SHARE the Facebook post (as Public)
4.  TAG 3 Friends by entering @"Friends' Name" 
5. Contest will end by Thursday 12.59pm, (7th February 2013)

QUICK! WIN AND SHARE THE NEWS AWAY!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chinese New Year at Ming Palace, Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur

After a pleasant gastronomical journey in Ming Palace during last Mid Autumn Festival, this year let's reunite over luxurious indulgences and treasure gilded moments in the heart of golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur at Ming Palace Chinese Restaurant situated in Corus Hotel KL.

Ming Palace's Yee Sang promotion features different styles of preparation besides the classic rendition of the popular types, such as the Australian Abalone Yee Sang with Pine Seed, Salmon and Butter Fish Yee Sang with Fuji Apple, Korean Pear and Pine Seed, Prosperous Yee Sang with Korean Snow Pear and Jelly Fish. Price ranges from RM48++ per half portion to RM268++ per whole portion.

#1 Salmon and Butterfish Yee Sang with Fuji Apple, Korean Pear and Pine Seed
(松子富士苹果雪梨双色鱼捞生)

The auspicious culinary adventure, crafted by Chef Ng and his team, starts off with the duo fish yee sang with zesty fresh fruits and pine seed, drizzled with handmade plum sauce. It makes for a more refreshing and healthier treat, and has lovely textures that enhance the biting pleasure.

#2 Salmon and Butter Fish

#3 Premium Pine Seeds

A nice variation from the festive Kuaci (Sunflower Seed), the pine seed has greater amount of nutrients, protein and antioxidants. Simply crunchy to bite along with the crispy crackers and pickled condiments.

#4 The Mixed Concoction


#5 Double Boiled Chicken soup with Dried Scallop and 'Ming Mok Ee'
(干贝明木耳炖鸡汤)

Taking centre stage of the evening is the soup, where Chinese fungus and dried scallop swim in a rich broth full of old chicken essence. Similar to many herbal soup, this soothing bowl of chicken soup brings health benefits for people of all ages. Also, Chef assures fans of shark's fins that Ming Palace also caters for their needs by offering irresistible ranges of shark fin soups.

#6 Steamed Salted 'Cheng Yuen' Chicken
(绍兴酒盐蒸清远鸡)

For mains, first is the imported chicken from Qīngyuǎn, situated in northwestern Guangdong in China. Although the saltiness would be better enjoyed by some more than others, the sauce which includes Chinese wine and goji berry also gives a sweet and heavy herbal edge to the firm flesh.


#7 Steamed Chinese Pomfret Kylin Style 
(麒麟蒸斗鲳)

At Ming Palace, Chinese food is more than great tasting food, it is an artistic impression. I took some time to figure out what's stuffed in the beautifully crafted fish. Served on a bed of Chinese garlic chives and shredded ginger, the flesh of fish is sliced into equal pieces and then layered with mushroom, carrot and vegetarian ham. They are slightly overpowering the natural sweetness of the fish, but nonetheless the fish is very moist and flaky in texture.

#8 Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Oyster and 'Fatt Choy'
(海参蚝士发菜西兰花)

This is followed by another symbolic festive dish that resembles wealth and good luck. The dish, with its standard ingredients, is made more prominent with the thick hoisin sauce, that coats the CNY treasures well.

 
#9 Golden Crispy Nestum Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk
(黄金麦香鲜草虾)

Also, try out the golden crispy prawns which are certainly well worth the praise with its crispy skin and juicy, crunchy flesh. The large sized prawns go well with the sweet and buttery nestum oats and salted egg yolk

#10 Fried Rice with Waxed Duck and Liver Sausage in Lotus Leaves
(荷叶腊味饭)

The staple dish comes at no surprise that the lotus leaf rice is a favourite of some as the heavy flavours of waxed meat are well-suffused into the moist rice.

#11 Crispy Ninko with Yam and Sweet Potato
(年年在高升)

For dessert, we are served with crispy Nian Gao, layered with yam and sweet potato. Despite of being a classic rendition of a regular glutinous rice cake, this dessert stands out with its crispy egg batter on the outside and mildly sweet on the inside. 

#12 Almond Tea with Glutinous Rice Dumpling
(杏仁茶汤丸)

Although some may enjoy the minty flavour of the warm almond tea more than others, it is a noteworthy dessert that incorporates sesame glutinous rice dumpling and sugar to balance out the strong almond taste.



9 AUSPICIOUS PACKAGES THIS CHINESE NEW YEAR

5 Prosperity Yee Sang
Duration: Now till 24 February 2013
Price: From RM48++ per half portion to RM268++ per whole portion



New Year Prosperity A La Carte Menu
From RM3++ to RM138++ per portion 

Auspicious Chinese New Year Sets
RM108++ and RM138++ per person (minimum 4 persons)
From RM988++ to RM2,888++ per table of 10 persons*
*With complimentary one bottle of red wine or chilled orange juice

ENJOY 38% OFF on second table of 10 persons for CNY set menu!

Rich Fortune Banquet Sets

RM888++ and RM988++ per table of 10 persons*
*Only valid for a minimum of 5 tables and above
**With complimentary one bottle of red wine or chilled orange juice

For reservations, please call 03-2161 8888 ext 127 or 188

Verdict:
1. The festive menu at Ming Palace retains a traditional style of Chinese food, while keeping its quality and distinctiveness of each dish.
2. Recommended: Salmon and Butterfish Yee Sang with Fuji Apple, Korean Pear and Pine Seed, Crispy Ninko with Yam and Sweet Potato
3. Pricewise, it is definitely a steal, for a simple reunion dinner within the city centre.

Ming Palace
1st Floor
Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: 603-2161 8888 ext 127 / 188
Website: www.corushotelkl.com
Email: mp@corushotelkl.com

Business Hours
Lunch: 11.30am - 3pm
Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.30 pm

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yee Sang at Xin Cuisine, Concorde Kuala Lumpur

Hi! Have you done your house spring cleaning and prepare for Chinese New Year? As for me, the upcoming festive season for this year is full of surprises because many restaurateurs are showcasing their innovations and creativity in newly invented varieties of Yee Sang and Nian Gao.

Join the Nian Gao Party!

Synonymous to prosperity year after year, Chinese Glutinous Rice Cake, or better known as Nian Gao is definitely a must-have during this spring season. Xin Cuisine is one of the first to invent nice varieties of Nian Gao using different types of sugar, creating such an attention-grabbing platter! Just by looking at the beautiful delicacies, I am tempted to try them even before starting off my dinner!

Concorde Shah Alam has the restaurant by the same name, Xin Cuisine, where I sampled the Chinese New Year offerings last year. However, knowing that both restaurants are the separate entities that serve different gastronomical delights, I am more than delighted to experience a whole different culinary adventure at Concorde KL with a large group of foodies.

Beautifully ornamented with red lanterns, plum blossoms and Chinese wall paintings, Xin Cuisine manages to bring patrons back to the era of 1970s, experiencing an exquisite yet rustic chinese dining. Alongside with the grand and warm ambiance, we are greeted by abundance of fortune cookie upon stepping into Xin Cuisine. 

One of the eye-catching decors at Xin Cuisine is of course the delicately-crafted golden dragon pillar, 
portraying sense of wealth as I admire the excellent workmanship.

Being seated on a table of 10, I am not the first to appreciate the effort made by the marketing team for such wonderful table setting. Tied in a gold ribbon, our menu of the evening is presented in a scroll, just like what we used to have in the olden days.

#1 Prosperity Mini Octopus Yee Sang with Traditional Condiments
(墨鱼仔捞鱼生)

The first customary dish is no other than the crowd's favourite baby octopus yee sang. Aside from thin shreds of pickled condiments, pomelo, peanut, prawn crackers and plum sauce, Xin has incorporated some seaweed crackers to enhance the biting sensation for diners. Overall, it adds a crispier texture to the dish.

Unlike my usual favourite Chuka Idako in Japanese restaurants, the baby octopus in yee sang retains its original taste and moisture without much seasonings. All in all, the mighty octopus seeps in the plum sauce well and enhances the crunchiness of the yee sang.

At Xin, come and and usher the new year cheer with their latest 7 yee sang choices, in which two are new variations of the year--- Abalone Yee Sang, Salmon Yee Sang, Prosperity Duck Yee Sang and Prosperity Wolf-Herring Yee Sang with traditional condiments, just to name a few. Available in regular and large portions from RM58++ to RM188++ per order.

#2 Special Dim Sum
(特色点心)

As an appetiser, be sure to try the Festive Lunar Dim Sum offerings. Being a unique festive feature at Xin Cuisine, it will be available for the first 15 days of CNY (Until 25 February) alongside with Chinese New Year specialties lined up at the restaurant. 

The Salted Egg Puff features a very thin, crispy skin but firm enough to hold the marinated seafood in it. Comes in bite-sized pieces, each puff tastes great without being overwhelming. Perhaps the absence of yam filling really lifts up the flavours and texture of the petite dim sum. It is perfectly fried into crispy perfection and has a slightly salty aftertaste.

#3 Sea Cucumber with Abalone Roll 

One of the newest recipe is fish paste with sea cucumber, covered by slices of abalone roll. Drenched in a bath of superior sauce, the homemade fish paste absorbs the flavours well, while retaining its bounciness and moisture.

#4 Oyster Wrapped with Fish Maw


As its name suggests, this dim sum is prepared by forming the seafood paste with finely chopped vegetables and wrapping them with huge layers of fish maw. If you're looking for a light meal, the restaurant also has a vast selection of dim sum to satisfy your palate. 

#5 Prosperity Egg

Next is another work of art as each piece is lovingly made with great attention paid to its look and taste. Having the first mouthful, the juicy freshness flows out from the combination of prawns, sea moss and quail egg. The steamed dim sum is especially tasty as the outer shells are very thin and soft, unlike many which are usually thin and rubbery in texture.

#6 Steamed Sea Garoupa with Soya Sauce
(鱼江好景 | 清蒸海斑)

Moving on, the fish dish is quick to whip up from the table.  The garoupa is wonderfully steamed, it has a mild, but distinct flavor, and not fishy at all. Its meat is extremely delicate, lean and flaky, although part of it has turned slightly rubbery due to the long steaming process. Nevertheless, it makes one of my favourite dish of the evening because of its freshness and light sauce.

#7 Stuffed Oyster, Mushroom with Fatt Choy & Seasonal Vegetables
(好事发财 | 发菜酿蚝士豆根扒时蔬)

One definitely can't go wrong with this symbolic new year dish. To give a different approach to the traditionally symbolic dish, the fish paste crowned with oyster gives a nice addition to the braised platter of chinese vegetarian bean curd. The sauce is rather light, mild and thin in consistency, definitely a great choice for the healthy goers.

#8 Wok-Fried Rice with Two Varieties of Chinese Sausage & Corn Kernel
(金银满堂 | 金米双肠炒饭)

Another staple dish at Xin Cuisine is the wok-fried rice with Chinese waxed meat. This dish is a combination of two types of Chinese preserved sausages, incorporated with abundance of corn kernel which adds a pleasure biting pleasure to diners. These are all finely chopped and mixed in the bed of soft rice. The savory flavours of different meats is complemented by the fragrant rice, giving patrons a sense of fulfillment.


#9 Chilled Seaweed Jelly with Osmanthus & Wolfberry
(喜气洋洋 | 桂花枸杞海燕窝)

The best is last to come. Osmanthus has always been a popular premium ingredient for making tea and Chinese dessert, and one of the best I have sampled in Xin last year was their delicate osmanthus jelly with goji berry. Now they have turned it into a chilled, soothing dessert with abundance of silky smooth seaweed jelly.

The amount of osmanthus flowers is just nice to bring out its aroma, and its slight bitterness is well-balanced with the subtle sweetness. Ladies simply shouldn't miss a second helping of this dessert that provides beauty benefits!

#10 Chinese New Year Sweets
(新春美点)

Another stunning dessert of the evening is the special nian gao that comes in 3 flavours---
Sweet Potato Nian Gao with Macadamia Nuts (RM 9.80++ per order)
Pineapple Paste & Almond Nian Gao (RM 9.80++ per order)
Durian Paste Nian Gao (RM 12.00++ per order)

They are thick layers of glutinous rice cakes enveloping smooth gooey fillings of various flavours. Closest to the basic nian gao is the sweet potato which enhances the sweetness of the rice cake without being overcloying. Definitely makes into my list of favourites of the evening too. 

Left: Durian, Middle: Pineapple, Right: Sweet Potato

The pastry-like, mildly sweet pineapple nian gao reveals a zingy flavour as its crust is made of thick pineapple paste, with a crunchy coating of finely chopped almond. On the other hand, our king of fruit, Durian also manages to reveal its distinctiveness in its rich aroma and taste. If you're up for durian mooncake, then durian nian gao would be the best delicacy for this season!

Special thanks to the culinary team led by Chef Wong Pak Seng, Chef Ng Meng Loong and Chef Lok Meng Pak for the irresistibly authentic chinese cuisine to usher the Year of Snake!

For a cosy setting, Xin Cuisine has private ballrooms as well as about 40 tables in the hall.

The dinner in Xin Cuisine is more than perfect! The host has been really thoughtful by bringing in the Chinese New Year mood. The melting good almond biscuit is one of the most enjoyable tidbits besides other myriads of sweets and light bites.

#11 Almond Biscuits

How courteous the marketing team is! Before calling it a night, we are presented a bag full of goodies--- One box of lunar new year cookies, two mandarin oranges and two ang pow packets made of silk woven cloth.

Fortune Pot
Duration: Now till 25 February 2013
Price: RM368++ (small) and RM648++ (large)

Chinese New Year Prosperity Menu
Duration: Now till 25 February 2013
Price: RM1088++, RM1288++, RM1488++ per table of 10 persons
Xin cuisine is closed on the first day of Chinese New Year

For reservations, please call 03-2144 8750 
or email fbkl@concorde.net

Verdict:
1. Although we didn't get to try a full set menu for CNY, the dim sums and few symbolic dishes have left me totally smitten! 
2. Recommended: Wok-Fried Rice with Two Varieties of Chinese Sausage & Corn Kernel and Chilled Seaweed Jelly with Osmanthus & Wolfberry
3. Pricewise, it is definitely a steal, for a luxurious reunion dinner within the city centre.

Xin Cuisine
Lobby Level
2, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: 603-2144 8750
Fax: 603-2149 2619
Email: kl@concorde.net
Website: KualaLumpur.ConcordeHotelsResorts.com

Business Hours
Mon-Fri: 11.30am - 2.30pm / 6.30pm -10.30pm
Saturday: 11.00am - 2.30pm / 6.30pm -10.30pm
Sun & Public Holidays: 9.00am - 2.30pm / 6.30pm -10.30pm

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