Sunday, May 1, 2016

White Asparagus Promotion @ Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental KL

The much-awaited white asparagus season is here again! Also known as 'edible ivory', 'white gold' and The Queen of Vegetables, white asparagus is well-loved for its texture and delicate flavour. As spring arrives, white asparagus is traditionally harvested in various parts of Europe.

From 2-15 May 2016, diners will get a chance to enjoy white asparagus with a selection of dishes specially put together by Chef de Cuisine, Benjamin Halat at Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental KL. The seasonal white asparagus featured in this promotion are imported from France.

Mandarin Grill, the hotel's grill restaurant

To go with the starters, we had the Gruner Vetliner, "Singing" Laurenz, Kremstal (RM48 per glass) to pair with the white asparagus dishes.

The white asparagus salad (RM74) features both white and green asparagus served with poached egg, heirloom tomatoes and herb dressing. The beautiful poached egg sits atop a bed of finely sliced leeks and carrots, which have been blanched and then deep fried and arranged to mimic a bird's nest.

The white asparagus mousse (RM88) wowed us all with its artistic presentation and exquisite taste. The mousse is made using white asparagus stock and undergoes a lengthy process to create a mousse with a rich and creamy texture. Crowning the mousse are tender white and green asparagus tops, potato crisps, nasturtium flowers and home cured salmon.  The salmon is cured for at least 8 hours, using a mix of salt, sugar, five spice powder, dill and more.

One of our favorite dishes of the evening was the white asparagus soup (RM46), usually served with duck rillette. We got a taster portion served in a mini teacup - the soup was warming, rich and creamy, and packed full of flavour.

Sauvignon Blanc, Sixty Drops, Marlborough New Zealand (RM52 per glass) - fresh and fruity

For mains, you can pair the white asparagus with either the dover sole, half Boston lobster, grain fed Black Angus beef tenderloin, and Wiener schnitzel. Or you could enjoy the classic combination of white asparagus served with parsley potato, Hollandaise sauce and butter (250g for RM105 or 500g for RM220).

A traditional Viennese dish, Wiener Schnitzel (RM118) is a thin, breaded veal cutlet, served with lemon. This is a wonderful dish to pair with white asparagus.

Chef Benjamin Halat appears with our tenderloin steaks (RM178 for 150g) and sliced them tableside to reveal a beautiful pink centre. Perfectly cooked and tender, these steaks also had a beautiful smokey crust as it is grilled in a Josper oven.

Another highlight of the meal were the grilled Boston lobster (RM198 for half), which were immaculately prepared. Fresh, taut and delicious, this is one lobster we wouldn't mind eating over and over again.

For dessert, we were served Mandarin Grill's signature apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Sweet, tart with a crispy edge, the tarts were excellent.

The White Asparagus promotion is available from 2-15 May at Mandarin Grill restaurant.

Opening times: 12pm to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10.30pm.


Location: Mandarin Grill, Lobby Level, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2380 8888

GPS Coordinates: 3.155514, 101.711555

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Set Lunch @ Italiannies, The Gardens Mall, KL

We won another RM50 voucher to dine at Italiannies, this time we went there for lunch. They do a 3-course set lunch for RM29.90 nett, which is pretty good value for money.

The set lunch includes soup of the day, a starter, and main course. You can also opt to have dessert with the set lunch for an extra RM5.80. The soup of the day during our visit was minestrone soup, which was served soon after we placed our order. For starters, Hubby chose the trio risotto balls - the deep fried breaded risotto balls was served with pomodoro sauce and fresh salad. For mains, he had the lemon oregano marinated lamb chop served with new potatoes and vegetables. The server asked us what doneness we wanted when we were ordering, so we opted for medium doneness, however the lamb that came was cooked well done and was pretty tough and chewy. Quite disappointing.

We enjoyed the mussels during our last visit, so having it again this time. This is from the a la carte menu - New Zealand whole shell mussels cooked in white wine and fresh herbs (RM33.70).

Kids eat for free with every main course ordered (surprisingly the set lunch's main course is eligible), so we ordered the 8" thin crust margherita pizza. Nice thin crust, kids enjoyed this.

All things Hello Kitty .. so cute!

For the full menu, click here. The set lunch is available on weekdays only from 11am to 3pm.

Opening times: 11am to 10pm daily.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM97.60.

Location: Italiannies, Lot F-215, First Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2283 3675


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