Category / Western
Le Midi is a name that I’ve came across for quite sometime, and it was a privilege to finally be invited for a food tasting session in conjunction with the arrival of Chef Andrea Alimenti, who has some 30 years of culinary experience since graduating from Aurelio Saffi Florence Hotel School in 1983.
Chef Andrea Alimenti is a multiple Michelin star chef, with his first coming at the tender age of 20, then at age 30 he left Florence to open his own restaurant with some partners (the renowned Aquamatta in Capolona) for 15 years… which also received a Michelin star. It is not common that we have the opportunity to sample creations from a chef with such pedigree, we felt very honored.
Le Midi at Bangsar Shopping Center, with live nautilus
The restaurant is located on 3rd floor in the East wing of Bangsar Shopping Centre, the interior oozes a sense of mystic and class, with a couple nautilus in a round aquarium at the centre of the dining hall. This was actually the first time I witness these pelagic marine mollusks outside Aquaria, way cool.
Anyway, we’re here for the food, and you can’t order the nautilus.
eggplant nest with truffle egg yolk and parmesan cheese
Out first dish was eggplant nest with truffle egg yolk and parmesan cheese. A dish with deceptively simple base ingredient – poached egg and eggplant, manage wow us with it’s wonderful combination of texture and taste. The eggplant fried to a texture not unlike bacon, the egg poached perfectly, and shaved parmesan with truffle gives it that touch of complexity. I was impressed.
mozzarella ravioli in tomato consommé
Next up was mozzarella ravioli in tomato consommé, a classic Italian dish with a well balanced taste of acidity from tomato consommé countering the stronger mozzarella cheese within the ravioli.
A glass of Secret de Berticot Sauvignon Blanc proved to be a worthy companion for the above two dishes.
homemade Tagliolini in saffron butter whiskey salmon cream and crunchy almonds
Next we had homemade Tagliolini in saffron butter whiskey salmon cream and crunchy almonds. A type of pasta popular in Emilia-Romagna, a region in Italy.
While we love the soft smooth texture of the pasta, I thought the salmon cream was a little too mild, but nothing a dash of sea salt won’t help. We also had Secret Berticot Rosé to go along with the pasta. Though the Rosé was a decent pairing with pasta, we felt that the Savignon Blanc was actually suited for this occasion.
seabass with fine herb crust on spinach bed
Next up - seabass with fine herb crust on spinach bed. Seabass, or barramundi, is quite a popular fish in local cuisine, but I’ve never had it prepare this way before. The crust gives it a crispy herbal taste while leaving the texture of the fish still tender and moist. The spinach did a fine job as a side kick, and we had more white wine to go with this.
It was already a rather good night at this point.
tenderloin in old Madeira sauce with foie gras and fig
Then came my favorite dish of the night, tenderloin in old Madeira sauce with foie gras and fig.
When it comes to beef, I’m usually one who likes to have it as is. Be it ribeye, NY strip, tenderloin, of Black Angus, Wagyu, you name it. I like to have it medium rare with nothing on it.
On this occasion though, I was proven wrong. The Madeira sauce and fig really enhanced the taste of the already excellent beef. The foie gras, of course, managed to kick it up a notch. Give me this any day and I’ll be the happiest man.
Red meat deserves some red wine to go with, so we had a glass of Château Pouroutou red to go with (I believe it was merlot). Perfect.
As usual, by the time we were well full, dessert is served. Not one, but five creations from the good chef. I took a bite from all of them and wished that I had a bigger stomach to properly devour them. They are:
- Millefoglie with Chantilly cream and caramel
- Vanilla panacotta and strawberry coulis
- Chocolate fondente and mini chocolate cup
- Chocolate tender heart with Amarena cherry parfait
- Orange cheesecake and chocolate drawing
KY, Haze, Mei & Josen, Melissa, Kelly, Chengyi, Chef Andrea Alimenti
It was a great dinner with even better company, thank you Melissa for being a generous and wonderful host. We will be back to Le Midi.
Le Midi Restaurant
3rd Floor, East Wing,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,
285 Jalan Maarof,
Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2094 1318
While still in the year of Snake, I got an invite to sample Chef Malcolm Goh’s dishes at Samplings on the Fourteenth at Berjaya Times Square.
For those who aren’t familiar with Chef Malcolm Goh, he is one of the chefs on AFC’s Great Dinners of the World (together with Johnny Fua and Sherson Lian of Elegantology). Pairing with popular Malaysian radio DJ and host, Tham Zher Peen, Chef Malcolm is now back on AFC’s Back to the Streets 2.
Chef Malcom Goh & host Tham Zher Peen (lower left) for AFC’s Back to the Streets
The show features chef Malcolm and Zher tracking down and replicate Malaysia’s outstanding street food at the BERJAYA University College of Hospitality kitchen, which was also where we had this dinner.
For more information of the show, check out asianfoodchannel.com/show/back-to-the-streets-2
roasted portobello with smoked garlic vinaigrette
We started the night with roasted portobello pave with garlic vinaigrette, mushroom tortellini with tomato fondue and herb salad. The portobello fashioned into a cube and was one of my favorite items from the whole night, nicely balanced by the freshness of salad and the more subdued taste of tortellini. Very nice.
salmon mi-cuit with pickled beets, cauliflower mousseline
Second course was salmon mi-cuit with pickled beets, cauliflower mousseline, potato chips and spiced butter sauce.
Mi cuit roughly means half cooked in French, which is a fine preparation method for salmon with its delicate texture that tends to become tough and harsh when overcooked. The accompanying pickle and potato chips compliment the fish well.
sous vide chicken with crispy skin, creamy leak stew
Third course was sous vide chicken with crispy skin, creamy leak stew, golden potatoes and red pepper emulsion.
Sous vide is a method of cooking where meat is sealed in a vacuum packed plastic bag, then dipped in a a water bath with accurately regulated temperature. By cooking chicken this way (which I didn’t realise then), chicken breasts remain moist while fully cooked to the internal temperature of 165ºF.
I love the leak stew, and absolutely enjoyed the crispy skin (needed more of that), and while I never liked chicken breast, this method made it pretty decent, but did not change my stance on chicken breast.
with Eelaine, Mei, Josen, Chengyi, Frank, and Kelly
We ended the night with coconut ice cream and blackcurrant sphere. The blackcurrant spheres were a jolt to my senses, absolutely delightful! I did like the coconut ice cream too, but left to wonder how it’d be if we had stuck to having gula melaka sphere instead.
It was a good dinner and more than validated the ability of Chef Malcolm Goh. Check out the show!
Samplings on the 14th,
Berjaya Times Square Hotel ,
14th Floor Berjaya Times Square,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14271, 101.71061
Tel: 03-2117 8000 ext 8131
Fax: 03-2117 8155
Located at Wolo Hotel in Bukit Bintang (just right across from Lot 10), Tous les Jours is the new kid in town with fancy dress and high society aura.
The location is great, and facade of this born in Korea French-Asian bakery rejuvenates this side of Bukit Bintang, upgrading it to be of equal to the Starhill/Pavilion area.
Tous les Jours, bukit bintang
Since it looked so beautiful from the outside, we just had to make a trip during lunch on a work week to see what this place is about.
The interior consists of area, an expansive ground floor offering coffee, cakes, and assortment of bread and pastry, with about half of the area spanning over two floors in terms of ceiling height.
bread, coffee, cakes, sandwiches, soup & salad
Upstairs, there are more seating areas and another bar in which you can order sandwiches, all-day breakfast, tartine, as well as soup and salad.
The product selection is immense, with the smell of freshly baked bread and coffee in the air, the ambiance is perfect.
lunch for three, covering most of the product type at Tous les Jours
We had Korean wheat and sweet potato cream bread, blueberry pastry, a cup of caramel latte, some cakes, macaroons, as well as a breakfast set and caramel latte.
Over all the quality of pastry and bread were very satisfying, and perfect for any carboholics. I was a bit impartial to the way the presentation of caramel latte, but the coffee did not disappoint.
Sheng, Joyce, and KY
Expect to spend about RM 20+ per person for enough food to fill the stomach, and for the quality and concept, I’d say this place is definitely worth visiting.
Tous les Jours
60000, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.14716, 101.71140
Tel: 03-2201 3526
Good news for those who studies at Sunway University, stay at around the area, or generally likes hanging about at this car tuners’ paradise – there’s yet another new coffee place!
I really like how new coffee places are now mushrooming all over the city, with many of them offering really quality coffee with some rather nice concepts. Gone were the days where espresso based coffee is only found at Starbucks and Coffeebeans.
Garage 51, opposite Sunway University side entrance
Garage 51 is owned by the same people who run CoffeeSociete, so in terms of drinks, there’s already a pretty good reputation going on.
As for the cafe, like the name suggests, it is based on a garage theme. A volkswagen Beatle convertible by the side that is now an alfresco dining table, and seatings atop a container which is now a kitchen gives this place a pretty unique ambiance. I also really like the expansive high ceiling within the main area.
cafe latte & chai latte
We tried their cafe latte and chai latte, and while the tea kinda turned out slightly sweeter than we would have liked it, the latte was excellent. Aroma of coffee well balanced with the silky smooth milk, just what a caffeine addict needed.
grilled chicken & grilled lamb shoulder
Other than caffeinated drinks and slices of cakes, Garage 51 also offers a small menu of dishes served after 6pm. There are only 5 items on it, and we tried two of them.
The grilled chicken (RM 19) I had was pretty decent. It came with homemade croquette potato and cauliflower as sides, the quarter chicken well marinated and the sauce compliments the meat pretty well.
Lamb shoulder (RM 22) with mashed potato and salad wasn’t executed nearly as well, but generally an okay dish.
Other entrees include olive aglio olio and a couple baked eggs dishes.
KY & Haze catching a late dinner and some coffee at Garage 51
Garage 51 also serves brunch and carries speciality single origin coffee that changes from time to time. I didn’t try their Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Gelena Abaya coffee on my first visit, but I’m quite sure it is a place I’ll head to again in the near future.
51, Jalan PJS 11/9,
GPS: 3.067876, 101.603086
Hours: 11 am to 11 pm
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