Category / Western
AFC’s latest foray in their long line of food & restaurant themed series comes in the form of “Reality Bites: Rise Above with Style”, featuring two celebrity chefs - Johnny Fua & Sherson Lian of Elegantology.
I was invited to the premier of the show followed by a dinner at Elegantology, and since I’ve yet to have a taste at this rather unique restaurant that I’ve heard so much about recently, it was an opportunity I had to take.
Reality Bites premiere at Publika
Reality Bites is a six part series starting 10th December, at 9pm every Tuesday on AFC. The show takes part in Elegantology Gallery & Restaurant, featuring not only the glitz and glamour of running the kitchen of a higher end restaurant, but also the day-to-day challenge and many issues faced by the two chefs and their crews.
Chef Johnny Fua, Chef Sherson Lian, & the director of Reality Bites
During the event, we were shown the first episode of Reality Bites in its entirety, alongside with an on-stage session with Chef Johnny Fua & Sherson Lian, the director of the series, as well as the creative director of Elegantology, Beatrice Looi.
So if you want to see a restaurant themed reality series that is closer to home, tune on your TV Tuesday 9pm on AFC!
some homemade bread to start, love the truffle butter
After that of course, is what I was even more interested in, the degustation menu at Elegantology.
We started out with Elegantology Baker’s choice, served with truffle butter florets, paprika chickpeas hummus, and EVOO (olive oil & balsamic vinegar?). I think we must have asked for extra truffle butter at least twice, it was very good.
Ceviche scallop, foie gras cube with braised shimeiji mushroom
Next up was ceviche scallop, paw paw kerabu, nam pla influenced Ponzu sesame drizzle. A dish that has some similarity in Sarawak’s umai, both using acid to lightly cook the seafood. Scallop was huge, juicy, and delicious, I can hae this often. The kerabu was an interesting experiment, tho one that I wouldn’t care too much for.
Foie gras cube, olive lemon soil, soy bean milk braised shimeiji mushroom is similar to chicken liver pate, but undoubtedly a lot more luxurious and sophisticated. The mushroom adds a welcoming change of texture which I do appreciate.
oxtail broth, brandied sea cucumber
Continuing our course was a much needed soup dish in the form of oxtail broth with brandied sea cucumber. The oxtail is de-boned while sea cucumber provided the texture that’s similar to beef tendon, but with a dash of seafood sweetness. The soup itself carried a nice herbal aroma.
tomato sake granita, sour plum shaved. Josen, Mei, Cheng Yi & KY
Tomato sake granita, sour plum shaved was chosen as a sort of intermission to the degustation dinner course. It was cold, sour, and a tad sweet, perfect as a palate cleanser before we continue with perhaps the most important dish.
kobe beef skewer, miso pineapple bearnaise
Which was the kobe beef skewer with miso pineapple bearnaise. This was the first time I tasted kobe beef (well at least that’s what they claimed), and yes, it was every bit as awesome as the sterling reputation it carries. The meat was super tender with superb marbling, a melt-in-your-mouth feeling that somehow does not compromise on texture.
It was so good we jokingly asked for second servings from the waiter, who actually complied! Sometimes you can achieve a lot more in life by just asking.
barramundi, smoked muscovy duck glutinous rice; replated black forest gateau
The penultimate dish was barramundi, smoked muscovy duck glutinous rice. While the fish was fresh, it was perhaps just a tad too cooked for my liking, the glutinous rice was perfect though, goes especially well with the sambal-like sauce. Also, after the beef, nothing feels the same anymore.
The rather funky looking dessert was the replated black forest gateau, a bit of sponge, chocolate, ice cream, cherries, and cream all carefully arranged in a careless appearance. It was acceptable but perhaps did not live up to the capability of the restaurant.
I really appreciate the idea behind Elegantology and their bravery in always experimenting with different dishes and menu. The overall dinner experience was very good, and while a couple dishes did not wow, they were mostly excellent, and most importantly, provide diners a different and unique gastronomic experience.
It was a wonderful night overall and I’m grateful for this opportunity.
35 Level G2, Publika,
Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-6206 5577
GPS: 3.170961, 101.665721
Over the years, from business traveling, meeting with friends, and invited reviews, I’ve seen quite a few buffet spreads. Hence, for the most parts, buffet offerings don’t excite me very much.
Then again, the Bubblier Sparkalite 4Cs Sunday Brunch at Intercontinental KL’s Serena Brasserie isn’t just any buffet spread.
Serena Brasserie, at ground floor Intercontinental KL
Heading the kitchen is executive chef Darrell O’Neill, originally from Australia and has since left a trail of presence across the globe in countries such as New Zealand, UK, France, Hong Kong, Dubai, India, Maldives, and now, Malaysia. During his time at restaurant Al Mahara t the Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai, the restaurant was awarded Best Seafood Restaurant by Time Out Dubai.
this is what we came here for, the Alaskan King Crab
The concept of the Sunday buffet brunch at Intercontinental KL centeres around 4Cs – Crustaceans, Carvery, Chocolate, and Candy.
Crustaceans is what excites us the most, there were Alaskan King Crab, slippery lobster, tiger prawns, and cray fish. Under this “C” also includes catch of the days such as fresh white fish, marinated tuna steaks, oysters, mussels, scallops, salmon, and more.
yeap, bubbly too, and a host of seafood ready to eat
If you haven’t had a chance to sample king crab due to the price, this buffet offers one of the best values. The seafood were fresh, tasty, and most importantly, plentiful. I think I had close to 10 oysters, a departure from norm as I usually don’t get more than a couple, they tasted so good!
cold cuts and little appetizer in shot glasses
The next C stands for Carvery – which basically means cooked meat that are freshly sliced. Here you’ll find roasted whole ribs, prime ribs, roast chicken/duck, and more. Trimmings such as Yokshire pudding, roast vegetable, and baked potato accompany these dishes well.
roast chicken & duck, local delights, and prime ribs too
For those who wants to sample some local delights, they are available too. A good selection of traditional Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes are available for your picking.
BBQ meat & sausage, tandoori chicken, smoked salmon
They’ve also set up a BBQ area right outside the air-conditioned dine in section. Here you get freshly grilled lamb rack, chicken tandoori, sausage, baby chicken, satay, and even freshly smoked salmon and “DIY” burger stand with mini-Augus beef sliders and mini-chicken satay sliders.
fruits, a variety of cheese, desserts, and cakes
The third C stands for Chocolate, and of course, that includes a host of other desserts as well. There are Australian lamingtons, chocolate fudge brownies and rocky road, mini Pavlovas, mini fruit trifles, banana and caramel sticky puddings, and more.
I can’t get enough of the Alaskan King Crab and slipper lobsters
Finally, last but not least is Candy. This actually refers to the Sparkalite Kid’s Corner, a section within the restaurant set up to keep kids busy learning the sweet art of making lamingtons and be entertained by the clown. This is a particularly great feature for parents with kids who actually want to have some food in peace.
with Umei, Josen, Haze, Evelyn, Dennis, and Damian
The Sparkalite ’4Cs’ Sunday Brunch at Serena Brasserie is available every Sunday from noon to 3pm. Brunch is priced at RM 120++ per person, and if you want the free flow sparkling, white & red wine and beer, it’ll be RM 198++. Kids from 6-12 is charged RM 60++ per head.
For the spread that you get, I think the price is more than reasonable, now excuse me while I go get myself more King crabs.
165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159767, 101.718045
Tel: 03-2161 1111
Hidden within SS3 there exist a couple rows of shop houses that is away from the busier part of of the housing area, and at the corner of row of shop there is a kopitiam with a pretty funky name of Restaurant Pom Pom (also a name of an island at Sabah). Within this restaurant is a small stall called A&Z Western Food, and that’s our destination for dinner a few weeks ago.
A&Z western food at restaurant Pom Pom
While there are more famous Malaysian Western food even within SS3 itself (those nearby Shell petrol station), this one is pretty special. For starter, it is non halal and actually serves pork. The menu also includes fish, chicken, lamb, sausage, and mushroom soup.
The place actually reminds me of Freddy Western at Restaurant Millenium 86 in PJ, which sadly is no longer in operation.
pork chop, chicken cordon bleu, fish and chips
For dinner, we tried their pork chop (RM 10), chicken cordon bleu (RM 12), grilled chicken with black pepper sauce (RM 9), and fish and chips (RM 9).
While the pork chop turns out just a little dry (easily fixed with a bit of sauce), the other dishes we ordered were all pretty good. The grilled chicken was flavorful, chicken cordon bleu very crispy on the outside and goes well with the mushroom sauce, and there were no complains from the fish and chips.
Haze approved the Western food here, the mash potato’s pretty good
The most interesting thing about this place though must be the way mashed potato is prepared here. They’re shaped in little balls and coated with some type of sauce, I guess that makes it slightly healthier and less oily than fries, and at the same time they taste quite good as well.
For no frills Malaysian style Western food, this is a place I don’t mind going back again and again.
A&Z Western Food
Restaurant Pom Pom
Petaling Jaya, 47300 Selangor
GPS: 3.09667, 101.61317
Hours: lunch and dinner daily
Late last month, Haze and I were invited to one of the most prestigious gastronomy event we’ve ever attended – the sixth Martell Pure Gourmet event, held at JW Marriott KL.
Martell Pure Gourmet 2013, at Marriott KL, some limited edition bottles & glasses
Martell Pure Gourmet features ingredient led cuisine paired with Martell cognacs.
With cutting edge culinary techniques and using only the finest quality produce that enhance the overall flavor as well as texture of a dish, the dinner series embodies the method of cooking inspired by Martell’s creation of its cognac.
Martell infused cocktails and some interesting pre-dinner bits
Chef Ryan Clift from the world acclaimed Tippling Club in Singapore showcased his cutting edge culinary techniques in the bespoke menu specially prepared for this event.
the beautifully decorated dining hall at Marriott KL for Martell Pure Gourmet
Before the start of the main event, we were treated with a variety of pre-dinner nibbles such as white truffle foam, soup in test tubes, and other tiny one-spoon full dishes involving tofu, foie gras, truffle, and more.
There was also a bar serving four different variations of Martell cocktails to set the mood.
Ocean Trout, Apple Puree & Sorbet, Horseradish, with Martell Cordon Bleu
First dish of the night was ocean trout, apple puree & sorbet, horseradish, bronze fennel and dill flowers. According to the chef, only 4 person (at least one of which is his friend) are awarded the permit to fish these trouts from certain part of New Zealand.
The preparation fish was exquisite, and while combination of apple puree & sorbet with seafood takes a little getting used to, it was quite a marvellous combination. The rich aromas of Martell Cordon Bleu accompanied the dish.
The technique used here was salt curing and enzyme separation in preparation of the fish.
Carrot Gnocchi, Ginger Flower and Carrot Broth; Martell Cordon Bleu
Second course was pure vegetarian – carrot gnocchi, ginger flower and carrot broth with pistachio and wild stems of fragrant herbs. Vacuum distillation technique is employed, resulting in a very soft and tender texture of carrot that has about the same consistency of very well boiled potato boiled.
The end result is an adventure in the different texture the dish provides. We continued with Martell Cordon Bleu as the cognac of choice for this dish.
Foie Gras Coulant with Spiced Wine, Cherry, Cocoa & Spices; Martell XO
The third course called for Martell XO to be paired with foie gras coulant with wine, cherry, cocoa & spices.
The technique used here is one that I’ve never heard of – sound homogenization. It is a process to reduce small particles in a liquid so that they become uniformly small and evenly distributed, which resulted in a foie gras dish that has almost the consistency closer to that of desserts, but at the same time carrying a taste that is unmistakably foie gras.
A very interesting experience, the XO with its dominant characteristic of Grande and Petite Champagne worked well with this stronger tasting dish.
Venison with Black Turtle Beans; Martell Creation Grand Extra
Forth course called for red meat that came in the form of venison with black turtle beans, dashi emulsion and black radish. Low temperature cooking technique is employed here to achieve a very tender texture of the meat while not having to scorch any part of it.
Martell Creation Grand Extra was chosen as the cognac to pair with this dish. The roasted aroma with a hint of bitterness goes well with the red meat.
By the way, the venison is sourced from deer that’s hunted in the wild using helicopter. As chef explained that there’s a believe that if the animal didn’t see it coming, it tastes better than those that has to go through the slaughterhouse.
Textures of Milk; Martell Chanteloup Perspective
The 5th course – texture of milk, was perhaps the most simplistic looking dish, but one that is hardest to prepare. Using the technique of dehydration & nitrogen, Chef Ryan Clift manage to prepare a meringue that comprises of nothing but milk alone. It was very interesting and absolutely wonderful.
Martell Chantelop Perspective, classed in the Extra category, with eaux-de-vie that may be aged for up to 50 years, provided the perfect ending to this most excellent meal.
The good chef also created “tiramisu capsules” as an additional dessert to go with coffee and cognac as an additional final item for us. Most interesting, I want to have this on my computer desk!
Haze, KY, Lex & Weizhi from kampungboycitygal.com
Martell Pure Gourmet dinner proved to be a gastronomical experience unlike any I’ve experienced before, I want to thank the good people from Martell for the invitation, and hopefully my name is on the list again for next year.
Tucked right next to the Philippines embassy and just a stone’s throw away from Pavilion and the KLCC Convention is Maison Francaise, an elegant French restaurant situated in what was formerly a bungalow.
Dining area is separated in a few areas that used to be patio, living room, pool side, and so forth. Art works, white tablecloths, leather seats, fresh flowers; decoration is simple yet classy.
Maison Francaise at Changkat Kia Peng
Being at the less glamorous of KLCC area has its benefits, you can get here without having to go through any traffic bottle necks, and you never have to park your car more than a few steps away from the restaurant.
While dinner session is usually pretty busy, as the manager and chef mentioned, Maison Francaise is usually pretty quiet over lunch. So for this session, we sampled the lunch set priced at at RM59++ for 2-courses or RM75++ for 3-courses.
amuse-bouche came in the form of in-house smoked salmon
Even though it is a set lunch, we still started out with amuse-bouche, a bite size pre-appetizer selected and prepared by the chef. The in-house smoked salmon isn’t anything fancy, but carries a delicate smoky taste which we like.
duck pate, home-made mushroom soup
The lunch menu may change from time to time and usually carries a couple different options for each course.
Appetizer was between duck pate with truffle and walnut dressing and mushroom soup finishing with truffle oil and whipping cream.
The pate, with its inclusion of walnut dressing, is a little drier than your normal pan-fried duck liver, and should delight fans of this appetizer. Mushroom soup was beautiful, creamy, and those truffle oil really gave it an extra dimension which we love.
leather jacket with green olive & garlic, slow cooked beef angus
Main course was either fish or beef.
The fish option was leather jacket with green olives and garlic, braised fennel. The seasoning was perfect with accompanying vegetables positively enhanced the seafood.
The slow cooked Angus beef, an “oyster blade” cut, is meticulously prepared in seven hours cooking. The result is a piece of meat that’s so tender you can cut it with just using the fork. The flavour of the meat is not lost, and the supporting cast of root vegetables complimented the dish beautifully.
raspberry mousse temptation
To conclude the lunch set was the dessert in the form of raspberry mousse temptation, a cacophony of sour, sweet, and very rich creamy taste. I particularly like the tiny bulbs of raspberry “bubbles” that pops in your mouth.
Haze & KY at Maison Francaise
Maison Francaise is a pork free establishment that carries a good wine and champagne selection, the restaurant also serves liqueurs and espresso coffee.
I want to go back again.
5 Jalan Changkat Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.151256, 101.715215
Tel: 03-2144 1474, 019-243 1200