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
It’s been a while that this blog features any fancy dining experience, so the invitation from Tanzini Upper Deck came just at the right moment.
Situated at the 29th floor in G Tower, Tanzini Upper Deck features a double volume (ermm.. aka very high ceiling) dining room complete with custom made star-lights which. Coupled with the full view of the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers, the ambiance is about as good as one can wish for.
Tanzini Upper Deck at G Tower
Tanzini Upper Deck only offers 4-6 course degustation menu and private functions, if you’re looking for ala carte dining, that would be Tanzini just a level below.
While waiting for everyone to arrive, we started off the night with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, a non-vintage champagne comprises 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. I’m not exactly a wine critic, but the fruity aroma and full texture of this drinks makes it one of the better champagne I remember having.
Lollipop Scallops, Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane”
We tried three types of appetizers, starting with a daring display of creativity in the lollipop scallops. It was in essence, grilled scallop on a stick encased with caramelized sugar. Sweet and savory, a departure from the normal preparation which tends to go towards the salty side. Interesting nonetheless.
Halibut-Salmon “Mokume Gane” is inspired by Japanese mixed metal patterns. In this instance, using halibut and salmon that results in the orange/white pattern. Served with house pickled ginger, lemon grass-calamansi granita, candied hojiso (shiso leaf), and horse radish. The taste was quite distinctly Japanese for me, and in a very good way.
Black Truffle Custard
Another choice of appetizer is the black truffle custard that comes in three parts – truffled egg-mushi, a squid ink cone with sweet corn, and finally, prawn noodle with trout roe.
This was almost a 3-in-1 dish. I love the truffled egg (kinda reminds me of the foie gras egg in Gu Yue Tien, though they are different) and enjoyed the textures of prawn noodle with trout roe. The final third of the dish though, was overpowered by the sweetness of the corn that very little hint of squid ink was apparent.
“BLT” soup – bacon marmalade, lettuce m-sponge, tempura soft shell crab
Next up was a choice between the two soups we tried.
Chef Eugene’s interpretation of “BLT” was our first soup. Veloute de tomates, bacon marmalade, 30″ lettuce m-sponge, and tempura soft shell crab.
I’ve never tasted bacon, lettuce, and tomato quite this way before, and I gotta say it was very impressive and daring. The soup was like a very supped up (pardon the pun) version of tomato soup. It was quite delicious.
Smoked Oyster Tea
Should you choose the smoked oyster tea as the choice of soup instead, you won’t be disappointed. This dish was a demonstration of the perfect harmony in consomme of oyster, fenugreek (herb), smoked trout roe, ginkgo, and oyster kara-age (similar to tempura).
The soup is poured just before eating, and rightly so, because 2 minutes later the crispy skin of oyster kara-age would’ve become soggy.
Ox Tongue Yakitori and House Muscovy Duck
After appetizer and soup, we moved onto starters.
Ox tongue yakitori and house-cured muscovy duck were the two dishes to be chosen from the menu.
On one hand, the fancier ox tongue dish comprises of miso-ginger infused ox tongue skewer, fennel in Yuzu dressing, asparagus kimchi, and fried béarnaise. The ox tongue was very good in its delicate taste and texture, fried bearnaise was interesting, but the asparagus kimchi though, was a surprise that wasn’t exactly in a good way. I felt that it was a little bit out of place.
the duck dish, on the other hand, was excellent! Plum sauce, pop rocks & melon galia, truffled potato stuffed bok choi, and litchi glass are the ingredients. Chef Eugene got this one perfectly executed, it just tasted very very good.
Redefined “Aussie Pie”
We had an intermezzo in the form of some sorbet which acted as a palette cleanser, after that was the main dishes.
Out of the 3 choices, I selected the Redefined “Aussie Pie” - glazed hilside farm lamb loin in house stock, kataifi, truffled mashed peas, vegemite orb, and sautéed vegetables. This dish was another display of art, and the good news was, it actually tasted rather good. The lamb loin was almost a little too dry for my liking, but that was just me nitpicking a little.
“Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Desconstructed English Man’s Treat
Haze had the “Uncle Sam” Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks - slow braised wagyu in rye stock, grilled king trumpets, dark chocolate crouton, and seasonal vegetable. This turned out to be one of the weaker dish, and we felt that it was actually a little bit of a waste to braise a good piece of meat. Truth be told, it was a disappointment.
The third main dish was the Deconstructed English Man’s Treat, basically chef’s interpretation of the classic fish and chips, with fillet of marbled goby fish & carbonized batter, violet potato, glazed savoy cabbage, texturized garlic oil, and 62 Celcius organic egg yolk. Eiling, who ordered this dish, had this to say:
“This is a very complicated dish but I like the contrasting textures and the egg yolk certainly is a unique addition.”
Sweet Ending: Flamed Popcorn Gelato
The dinner ended with flamed popcorn gelato – hazel streusel, bruleed banana, black elderberry glazed fuji apples, and salted caramel toast.
The presentation of the dessert really placed an exclamation mark to the chef’s creativity. It was served with the smoke from dry ice overflowing the table, and some Grand Marnier poured onto the glazed apple for the flame. The spirit did make the dessert a bit bitter, but I actually love it bitter so that suited me well (not so for the girls).
KY, Eiling, Haze at Tanzini Upper Deck
All throughout the dinner, chef Eugene came out and explained the meaning and intricacy of each dishes, which made a world of difference. Service too was excellent throughout (but this is an invited food review, so your mileage may vary).
Most importantly, you might ask, is the price:
RM 155++ 4 course dinner
- Chef’s Special
- Choose one out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
- Choice of Mains
RM 185++ 5 course dinner
- Chef’s Special
- Choose 2 out of Appetizers, soups, or starters
- Choice of Mains
RM 215++ 6 course dinner
- Chef’s Special
- Choice of Appetizers
- Choice of Soups
- Choice of Starters
- Choice of Mains
Tanzini Upper Deck
Level 29, GTower
199 Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.1590, 101.7200
Tel: 03-2168 1899
One little perk being a food blogger is that every once in a while, I get to sample the lifestyle of the slightly more privileged. Last Wednesday was one of such occasions, I was invited to a dinner at Opus Bistro hosted by Millennium Associates and Pernod Ricard Malaysia.
While having attended a few of their Friday wine lunch series, this was the first time I attended such event for dinner. Lunch with wine is always a bit of a compromise between how much one can eat, the weather, and the level of influence you are comfortable with while the sun is still out. No such restraints for dinner, which was what made this event even better.
Opus Bistro with Montana wine
Opus Bistro is located at Jalan Bangkung, a part of Bangsar (actually Bukit Bandaraya) that doesn’t challenge your sanity when it comes to looking for parking space. The restaurant is simple yet posh, an ambiance fit for the cuisine it serves.
While waiting for 7:30 pm dinner to start by our standard Malaysian lag time, we indulged ourselves with some asparagus smoked salmon roullade canape (a fancy way to say rolled up food) and Montana Classic Sauvignon Blanc 2007. I wans’t complaining, it was a good start to the evening, my taste buds agreed.
homemade ravioli porchini in wild mushroom sauce, sauvignon blanc & pinot noir
scampi lettuce green cappucino in tomato broth, raw tuna carpaccio with caviar
By the time our first dish, the lovely scampi in tomato broth is served, it was already 8:30pm. Malaysian timing does not spare anyone. While the scampi isn’t exactly lobster, it did not disappoint, I especially love the savory broth.
Next up was the marinated albacore raw tuna carpaccio that comes complete with caviar, soy chili, and aragula (rocket salad). I tasted a hint of truffle oil in the marinate, and the tuna was fresh, smooth, and tasted awesome. I was more than happy when Suan gave me most of her portion since she doesn’t exactly eat raw fish.
Those two dishes were paired with Montana Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008, white wine with seafood, never goes wrong.
The homemade ravioli porchini in wild mushroom sauce didn’t taste too wild, the walnut did not stand out either, but the truffle oil, ahh, that really gives this dish a very distinct class. I loved it. We had the Montana Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 with it.
marinated wagyu skewer, Montana terraces pinot noir 2007
fillet of carribbean red snapper with poached scallop , cheese platter and fruits
The forth dish was fillet of caribbean red snapper with caramelized port sauce accompanied by poached scallop. I thought the fish was alright but not particularly special, perhaps overshadowed by the previous dishes. The scallop was fresh and sweet though.
We switched to Montana Terraces Pinot Noir 2007 for the next dish, the marinated wagyu (marbling no. 7) skewer. Using wagyu beef of this quality on a skewer is perhaps a bit of a luxury, but none of us complained. I could have easily consume another portion if it was presented to me.
Finally, we had cheese platter with fresh fruits to conclude dinner. Aged cheddar, goat, gorgonzola, and my favorite – brie. We switched Montana Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2008, the sweeter green grapes compliments the cheese well, we were well satisfied.
Sue Lynn, Suanie, KY
This event cost RM 150 per person, with the excellent foods at Opus and free flow Montana wines, I’d say it is quite a good deal. I met Sue Lynn of bangsarbabe for the first time, and had the opportunity to catch up with familiar faces I haven’t seen since last Friday Wine Lunch. It was a lovely evening.
I need me some grapes now!
67, Jalan Bangkong
59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.138116, 101.669197
Tel: 03-2092 4288
Blackberry is really taking off now. As of today I have 46 contacts on BBM itself with Horng being the latest addition to the gang. Xpax was the first to offer blackberry services to prepaid users, and now the pioneer just got better with Big Freekin’ Sale.
Activate BB 250 everyday from Monday to Friday, and you get to enjoy free blackberry access all weekends. Now isn’t that a great deal? This offer lasts till the end of March, 2010. Don’t miss out!