Thursday, October 20, 2011

MIGF 2011: Samplings on the Fourteen, Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

During the MIGF Gala Launch, we sampled many dishes from participating restaurants, but the dish that really stood out for us and left an impression was the foie gras/scallop combination appetizer from Samplings on the Fourteen. Needless to say, I was delighted when we received an invitation to sample their Full Festival Menu recently.

Samplings on the Fourteen is a fine dining restaurant located in Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur and gets its name from the floor it is located on. The restaurant only started operating in April this year and offers Western classic cuisine. 

The restaurant exudes a contemporary modern feel but at the same time, it is relaxed and casual. The main dining room can seat 60 people and there are also 2 private rooms if you prefer extra privacy. From the main dining room, diners can enjoy views of KL's skyline which includes the famous Petronas Twin Towers. Watch as night falls and the view is transformed to something quite different. The restaurant also features an open kitchen, which I personally liked very much since I got to watch all the kitchen action from our table. 

You can see Petronas Twin Towers from here

Open kitchen

Twin Towers

Modern contemporary interior

Before our dinner began, we were introduced to Sampling's talented and gregarious award-winning Chef de Cuisine, Chef Valmurugan Subramaniam, also better known as Chef Val. Throughout our dinner, Chef Val took time to come out and explain his dishes from the MIGF menu to us. It was really nice seeing the chef going around and interacting with the other diners too.

Samplings Chef de Cuisine

For a fine dining restaurant to excel, not only does the food need to be good, the service plays an important role too. Service here sure is excellent, I was very impressed.

The Full Festival Menu (5-course) here is priced at RM350++ per person with wine pairing or RM180++ per person without wine. There is also a Light Festival Menu for RM100++ per person. The restaurant have also come up with a special beer pairing Full Festival Menu (in conjunction with Oktoberfest) priced at RM280++ per person. You can view the menus here.

Amuse bouche : Carrot jelly with mixed cress

Three types of bread rolls to choose from.. the grain detail on this roll looks so pretty!

The Cloudy Bay Chardonnay was very pleasant and palatable

Enjoy 10% discount on selected wines and champagnes

Combination of Seared Foie Gras, Tomato and Onion Tart & US Scallops with Yellow Mushrooms, Chive Salad

We loved this the first time we had it at the Gala Launch and this time around, we were still wowed. This was easily our favorite dish of the evening. Chef Val explained that he used the more superior goose liver instead of duck. The foie was absolutely luscious. Then, we moved on to the lightly seared scallop, juicy and bouncy and excellently complimented by the slight saltiness from the ikura roe. A decadent start to our meal.

Two winners on a plate

Seared scallop with yellow mushrooms and ikura roe

Seared foie gras with tomato and onion tart

Light smoked duck essence with ginseng root and raviolini

The duck consomme was light and flavorful. It is definitely my first time having a ginseng infused soup in  a Western restaurant. The ginseng was not too overpowering since it was only infused into the soup in the last minutes of preparation. To prepare the soup, Chef Val has gone through a laborious process to smoke the duck, roast the duck skin, use the duck meat for the raviolini filling, and even add a few drops of duck fat to finish the ensemble.

Celery Mint Sorbet

An interesting, refreshing combination of celery and mint, which did a good job of cleansing our palates.

For mains, diners can choose between two dishes. We decided to order one each to sample.

Roasted Australian Pistachio Crusted Baby Veal Rack served with Greens, Potato Confit and Truffle Jus

Baby veal is the meat of young cattle. We have been told that Chef Val's forte is beef, so Hubby was pretty excited to try this. The meat was perfectly cooked, so tender and moist. The potato confit had a creamy texture akin to mash but with the appearance of a boiled potato. We were astounded when Chef Val explained all the work that had gone in to transform the humble potato.

Nicely done 

Cajun spiced black cod, seared prawn, vanilla oil and escarole risotto

The cod was nicely cooked, with a firm and sweet flesh, and was given a nice twist with the cajun spice. The prawn was also juicy, but what really impressed me from this dish was the risotto. I've only had a handful of good risottos in KL, and Sampling's risotto was done really well. Creamy with a nice bite, I enjoyed it very much.

Risotto sits in the potato ring beneath the cod

Ricotta cheese cake, chestnut mousse with raspberry coulis and almond crisp

For the finale, we were served this pretty dessert -- the ricotta cheesecake was rich and creamy, but I didn't care too much for the chestnut mousse .

A sweet ending

It's often said that when a person is happy, the food that they cook will taste more delicious, when compared to a grumpy or angry person. The kitchen team at Samplings were definitely a happy bunch, no wonder our dinner tasted so good. :) Thank you guys for cooking such a lovely meal for us. Special thanks to Chef Val for taking time to explain the dishes to us. And finally thanks to Siew Yee for the kind invite.

Romantic setting

Illuminated Petronas Twin Towers

KL Roads by night

Verdict: Beautifully presented food, high quality ingredients and very well-prepared. Service is top-notch which makes the dining experience all the more memorable. 

Note: Beer pairing is with Kronenbourg 1664, Stella Artois, Erdinger White Wheat Beer/Kronenbourg Blanc. 

Full set of photos available to view here. 


Opening times: Dinner only (6.30pm - 10.30pm). Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Price: Full Festival Menu (5-course) RM350++ per person with wine pairing, RM280++ with beer pairing or RM180++ per person without wine. Light Festival Menu for RM100++ per person. Festival Offers available to view here.

Location: Samplings on the Fourteen, Berjaya Times Square Hotel, 14th Floor, East Tower, 1 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2117 8131

GPS Coordinates: 3.142637, 101.709538


  1. Chef Val certainly is friendly and full of character. He is obviously a gifted chef and Samplings is in good hands with him at the helm.

  2. Mmmm, the starter looks good. But ya, I think 5-6 years ago, whenever we saw foie gras on the menu, we could safely assume it was goose liver. But it does seem like many outlets are using duck instead of goose these days...

  3. Sean: All part of cost cutting I guess. And yeah, the appetizer here was really good. I really love it. :)

  4. lots of good food here.. mmmm yum

  5. Agree 100%...happy chefs = happy...oops...delish food :)

    I m going to try their ala-carte after MIGF...too much coupon-ing activities this month :P

  6. ahh, i miss theirs a lot!!! every dishes were perfect!

    ulric, do try this one in samplings on the fourteen :)

  7. Isaac: Yup, top notch ingredients and very well prepared. Highly recommended. Bring yr wife here la to celebrate yr one month wedding anniversary hehe.

  8. Ulric: They have a good range of classic dishes in their a la carte menu. I am eyeing their foie and duck confit edi. :P

  9. Ai Wei: The dining ambience, food and service is all great here hor. :)

  10. Ai Wei: Yep...saw ur blog also ler...thanx 4 d recommendation :)

    Baby Sumo: I m eyeing n eyeing n eyeing their whole menu...hahaha :D


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