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Tag / merlot

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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

dessert galore!
dessert galore!

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
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.

map to Bangsar Shopping Center

Address:
Le Midi Restaurant
3rd Floor, East Wing,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,

285 Jalan Maarof,
Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.142808,101.667448
Tel:  03-2094 1318

Earlier this month I went on a bit of a food review streak. First was Iketeru at KL Hilton, then the Wine dinner at Opus Bistro, followed by Leonardo’s, and then Mandarin Grill, and I think there’s one more before the conclusion of this week.

I usually don’t go to as many review sessions, but the invitations from this month were all too tempting to refuse (though I did forgo a wine dinner in favor of futsal). Leonardo’s stand out in the list for that it is the only one that serves one of my favorite meats – pork.


Leonardo’s Dining Room, Concha Y Toro Sauvignan Blanc 2008

Tucked at a little row of shops by Jalan Bangkung at Bukit Bandaraya, Laonardo’s is run by the same people that brought you Opus, Cava, and Moxie (I haven’t been to the latter two).

While the name might have an Italian origin, the food is more fusion than anything: from pizza, pork knuckle, to bak kut teh and hokkien mee, the menu cuts across different cuisines but with a distinctly pork centric theme. A theme the invited guests in this session agreed whole heartedly.

crispy bacon lollipop, belgian black mussels, kentucky fried frogs
crispy bacon lollipop, Belgian black mussels, Kentucky fried frog

We had three appetizers to start the night, crispy bacon lollipop was this cute dish with breaded pork balls on satay sticks served in a glass of salt, a mayo based sauce accompany the dish just to make it even more sinful. The balls had cheese and pork in it, I didn’t pace myself and had more than a couple.

The Belgian black mussels (RM 55) were cooked in a savory white wine and cream broth, from fresh and not frozen seafood, with of parsley and onion to add to the flavor.

My favorite appetizer out of the three must be the Kentucky fried frog, and I’m sure Kim would kill for this. Deep fried in a very light batter, the freshness of the frog legs perfectly intact. I’m amazed how well it goes with the tartar sauce (if I get it right). Perfect beer snack.

italian cippino, spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza
Italian Cippino, Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak, mama mia pizza

The Italian Cippino (RM 46) is, I supposed, a dish Leonardo himself would be quite familiar with. Plenty of seafood in tomato broth, served with foccacia bread. There’re fish, mussels, prawns, and squid too.

The Spanish black pig shoulder loin steak (RM 55) is served medium well with picon blue risotto mustard sauce. The meat was as tender as any top grade steak but with a hint of pork texture and taste, no wonder it is also known as the wagyu of pork world. Delicious!

The rectangular mama mia pizza (RM 35) is a thin crust pizza cut in six pieces and precariously topped with jamon serrano (similar to parma ham), rocket, and mozzarella cheese

ciki, Leo's Pork Knuckle Platter, KY
ciki serving Leo’s pork knuckle platter, I licked the bone clean

My favorite main dish of the night has got to be their signature Leo’s pork knuckle platter (RM 75). The pork knuckle is perfect, with the meat super tender you could tear em clean from the bone (as I demonstrate) while the skin roasted till super crispy.

There were red sauerkraut & garlic herb roasted potatoes to balance the taste too, it couldn’t have been better. I absolutely love it.

pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns
pork chorizo sausage, grilled pork neck, hokkien mee with giant prawns

Pork chorizo sausage (RM 38) is served with bacon, potato, and apple rosti with chunky tomato relish. A pretty hearty meal by itself, I’d have this with some Guinness.

Another unique dish at Leonardo’s is their grilled pork neck (RM 25) with spicy mango. I like the cilantro salsa that comes with it, but to be honest I personally didn’t like the pork neck much, the texture’s a bit too soft and oily for my liking.

Edward, the part owner, insisted that we try their fried hokkien mee. Served with some seriously huge prawns, I must say that it didn’t disappoint if only it’s a tad too sweet for me. Then again, perhaps my taste bud was tainted with the previous nine dishes I tried?

banana bread and butter pudding, grilled mango, baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction
banana bread n butter pudding, grilled mango w pink peppercorn & cardamom,
baked apple with fillo pastry, chocolate seduction

Then of course, the desserts have to come when I’m already absolutely full to the brim. However, I find that this is generally not a problem with girls, they seem to have a separate stomach reserved just for dessert. Call me sexist, but it is absolutely true!

The banana bread and butter pudding (RM 18) served with vanilla ice cream was my favorite among the desserts. Grilled mango with pink peppercorn and cardamom (RM 18) was a bit strange, the baked apple with fillo pastry (RM 18) sweet and savory, and the chocolate seduction (RM 22) was absolutely rich and flavorful I don’t know how anyone could actually finish it right after a big meal.

Then again, I don’t have that spare dessert stomach.

hanging out with the gang at Leonardo's, Jalan Bangkung
we had a whole lot of food and fun at Leonardo’s

It was a very satisfying review session. Cumi & Ciki, Fatboybakes, Eiling, A Lil Fat Monkey, Nigel & Allan from Just Heavenly, and Li Zhi were among the people that made up the great company.

Fadlin also got us some lovely wines sponsored by Magnum to go with all these food. We had Villa Girardi Soave 2007 (Italian) , Concha Y Toro Sauvignon Blanc (Chile), Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 2006 (U.S), and James Irvine Barossa Merlot 2006 (Australia).

map to Leonardo's Dining Room

Address:
Leonardo’s
61-1 and 61-2, Jalan Bangkung,
Bukit Bandaraya,
59100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2096 2226

I had been anticipating my second Friday Wine Lunch ever since the first installment at Carat Club last month, so when Lenny from Millennium Associates invited me to Chinoz a couple weeks ago, I was overjoyed.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Nigel Dolan, chief wine maker, Wyndham Estate

The Friday Wine Lunch at Chinoz was hosted by Wyndham Estate, and organized by Millennium Associates with Pernod Ricard Malaysia. We were lucky enough to have Nigel Dolan, the chief wine maker from WE to join us for the session.

Lionel Lau and Chris Low who blogs at the cork brothers played excellent hosts, while Eiling, Gareth, Kim, and I were joined a few dozen Friday Wine Lunch regulars in this session.

foie gras bon bon, wild mushroom consomme, Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
foie gras bon bon, wild mushroom consomme oxtail ravilioli

We started off with soup, the Wild Mushroom Consomme with Oxtail Ravioli paired with chilled Wyndham Estate Bin555 Sparkling Chiraz. I actually liked the soup quite a lot, it kinda carry stronger mushroom and a weak marmite taste to it. The texture of oxtail ravioli and it’s rather raw meaty taste gives the soup a very strong contrast. The sparkling wine washes the soup down just nice.

Next up was foie gras bon bon with caramelized apple. I love foie gras, and while this dish tasted pretty good, the portion left me with somewhat unsatisfied cravings. We had Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Cabernet Merlot to go with it. Cabernet Merlot is one of the earliest wines I’ve tasted back when I was in the states working in a restaurant, memory of yesteryear rushed back as I sipped the wine, not unlike the effect you get from listening to an old song on radio.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Confit of Salmon with poached oyster

We were given a choice of two main dishes and I went with the salmon. The color of the fillet captured my attention as soon as I set eyes on it, still bright orange and just very, very lightly cooked with minimal salt or any other spices to preserve its natural sweetness. It was so good I savored every single bite of it. The poached oyster adds character to the dish as well.

Fish is often paired with white wine, and it was not surprising that Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Chardonnay is chosen for this dish.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Oven roasted Beef Fillet and Green Tea and White Chocolate Mousse

Wyndham Estate Show Reserve Shiraz, the last of the 4 types of wine for the session, is paired with the other main dish – the oven roasted beef fillet, which was a little too tough and too cooked for my liking. However, I did enjoy the Show Reserve Shiraz and took liberty in having a couple glasses before the session is over.

The green tea and white chocolate moose concluded the meal in a sweet note. The two types of moose served in (surprisingly delicious) chocolate cups. I had another Shiraz with this.

Friday wine lunch at Chinoz, KLCC
Eiling and I, group photo with Nigel, Chris, and the gang

It was a very good lunch session and I would like to thank Lenny for the invitation. Friday wine lunch usually falls on the last Friday of the month, you can check with Millennium Associates for more information.

map of KLCC

Address:
G47 Suria KLCC
Petronas Twin Towers
50200 Kuala Lumpur City Centre

GPS: 3.157581, 101.712102
Tel: 03-2166 8277