Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sage Restaurant, The Gardens, Kuala Lumpur (Visit #6)

For those of you not accustomed to reading this blog - this is a guest entry by Baby Sumo's Hubby. For reasons to be disclosed later....

As a small reward for enduring 1 month "confinement", I treated my wife to lunch on Friday 1st October at Sage Restaurant. This kitchen has always produced food we have enjoyed eating, whether it be for lunch or dinner and we were suitably tantalised this week after viewing their online menu for their Discover Lunch 3-course Set Menu.

I do enjoy the open-kitchen concept at Sage, there is something quietly reassuring about seeing well-dressed professional chefs at work preparing your meal, compared to the alternative where a plate of food simply appears from a serving hatch.

This is my first venture into "food blogging". For me, a dining experience can be enjoyed in many many forms, all having their own appeal and/or comfort factors - from the simplest of home cooked foods, BBQ, dare I say fast food drive-thru, hawker stall tapau, simple roadside restaurants, hotel kitchens or unique privately owned food outlets. There is a wide food selection available in KL and I consider myself lucky that all these options are readily available at mealtimes.

In my opinion, formed over several visits during 2009 and 2010, Sage offers well constructed menus, simply presented food and consistently delivers a satisfying meal - so here goes ...

"Food is like a work of art. The plate is my canvas. The ingredients are my paint. The customers are my critique"
Chef Daniel

The restaurant itself is located high up in The Gardens Hotel & Residences. The floor-to-ceiling windows ensure plenty of natural light pours in and the simple yet classy decor lets the food and any discussion you wish to partake in at your table make the experience.

"Seconds out - round one"

Royale of Boston Lobster with Sea Scallop and Yuzu Citrus


A la minute Smoked Salmon with Soba Noodles and Wasabi

Wife was a little handicapped in her choice since certain food stuff (such as shelled seafood) are still out of bounds for up to 100 days! However we had both studied the menu at home and knew what we were going to order prior to leaving the comfort of our own home.

A nest of tasty soba noodles was topped off with a chunky seared piece of smoked salmon - just as expected from the menu. The textures and flavours combined here worked very well. The wasabi enhanced the noodles perfectly and the smoked salmon was plump with a nice crackling crisp skin.

Hold on. Is that an oyster? If you are an oyster lover then this was an unexpected and welcomed addition to the dish, one which I would have thought would warrant a mention on the usually precise menu descriptions. Since oysters are on the list of banned "confinement" substances, it was passed to my side of the table and was a more than pleasant addition to my "seafood soup".

We have seen these fashionable Staub cocotte cast iron pots at several restaurants lately. Sometimes these presentation efforts can enhance the dining experience, personally I like a little pomp and ceremony during a celebratory meal. The descriptions alone whet the appetite; my "seafood soup" was suddenly a regal sounding dish.

Royale of Boston Lobster with Sea Scallop and Yuzu Citrus

This dish interestingly presented 4 contrasting textures to my palate. In order of ascending firmness there was the soup stock, the steamed egg, the scallop and the lobster. I do like a good soup and in layman's terms this was a good soup :-)

Having both enjoyed our respective choices for appetiser the battle was evenly poised, in the balance at this early stage :-)

"Seconds out - round two"

Pan Fried Deep Sea Pomfret with Prawn, Sansho Beurre Blanc
Grain Fed Angus Tenderloin with Foie Gras and Natural Jus

I often let my wife choose first when we dine and to maximise her blog content I will select a dish different from her choice for every course, within reason.

On previous visits to Sage I have had their fish option for the reason explained above. However, today I fancied beef and being topped with foie gras, it was a no brainer for me when it came to selecting our mains. Served simply with mash potatoes, mustard, kailan and its own juice, this hits the spot for a meat lover.

However just before I made my first cut I asked my fellow diner "Where is the "foie gras ?"

Recently at Cilantro I had to ask "where is my scallop", at first thinking that the kitchen forgot to plate it up, then moments later found it packaged inside the zucchini flower!! A nice touch, I thought.

No such illusions here today though unfortunately - collectively we scoured the plates before us before proceeding, then in unison waved the waiting staff over for clarification.

Ever since our first fine dining experience where the expansive menu descriptions took longer to read than the petite dishes themselves took to eat, we have often kept a copy of the menu at our table to fully appreciate the main constituent parts of the dishes in front of us. This practice definitely paid off today as a glance to the menu confirmed we were both missing our foie gras!

To our amusement the response was "The kitchen staff have misplaced your foie gras". I kid you not, that was exactly what the waiting staff said to me. In retrospect the correct procedure surely would have been to take both our plates back and replate the dishes as the head chef had intended them to be. In this case the decision taken, by the waiting staff I may add, was to make us wait for our foie gras :-( However, I couldn't wait for fear of my meat getting cold...

We both agree the grain fed angus tenderloins were delish..

Fashionably late? Not so on this occasion..

By the time the foie gras arrived, we have almost finished devouring our beef.

The sum of these two combined did indeed pack more punch than when they were sampled individually. It would have been nice to experience this complete dish as Chef Daniel had planned it when he wrote the menu.

Every cloud has a silver lining. This unfortunate yet laughable event was the incentive for my foray into food blogging. Being a big fan of Sage the wife was reluctant to make a negative entry for visit#6 hence I have taken the reigns - I hope you are enjoying the ride so far.

With 2 rounds gone the blue corner are slightly ahead having taken the second round with a unanimous decision, however me thinks the red corner still has what it takes to make a comeback...

"Seconds out - round three"

Mille Feuille of Caramelized Apple wih Cinnamon Ice Cream
2 Choice of Artisanal and Fermier Cheese

Mille Feuille of Caramelized Apple wih Cinnamon Ice Cream

I am a sucker for desserts and 99.9% of my dining out meals will be rounded off with a sweet and an espresso coffee. I would like to venture into the cheese and wine offerings, however it wasn't for today. I can't fault the sweet we had, maybe I would have chosen something different but given the selection today I made my choice and I have no regrets.

So there you have it - last week's Lunch at Sage - I enjoyed it.

For those of you who are following the score, this round went firmly to the red corner making it a tie after a fairly fought 3 round match.

P.S. I would have thought a kitchen serving set lunch Monday to Friday would have mastered the menu by Friday!! Having said that the foie gras episode has been forgiven already - we will definitely be back.

Opening times: Monday to Friday 12.00pm to 2.00pm (Lunch); Monday to Saturday 6.00pm to 10.30pm (Dinner). Closed on Sunday.

Price: RM100 nett. 10% discount with The Gardens Club Card.

Location: Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar, The Gardens Residences, Level 6, The Gardens, Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2268 1328



  1. wah...yummy yummy...but too sad i dun hv the garden card for discount...

  2. nikel: You can get a Gardens Club card when you spend RM1000 and above in a day in The Gardens, or you can purchase it for RM100. It's worth it if you go to Gardens often and spend, as there are quite many outlets plus hotel offering discounts.

  3. lovely blog you've got here. we love sage too.. isn't daniel's cooking just simply the best;)

  4. cumi & ciki: Thanks for dropping by. Totally agree, that's why Sage is one of our favorite restaurants :)

  5. Thank you my dear, keep an eye out for the rest of it :)
    Restaurant Equipment


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