Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Birthday Eve Celebration @ Frangipani Restaurant, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

We started off my birthday celebration at Cilantro, followed by meals at Prime, Makan Kitchen and Sim Hap Ke with the family. It was indeed a week of indulging in good food. On the eve of my birthday, Hubby took me to Frangipani, a fine dining French restaurant which we have been wanting to try.

One of the most striking things about the restaurant is the interior and ambience that it exudes. In the middle of the restaurant is a still black pool... when we entered the restaurant, we were told 'to be careful not to fall in'. For me, Frangipani is definitely one of the prettiest, modern looking restaurants we've been in KL. I'm so happy we chose this place for my birthday eve meal -- really romantic!

That's the still pool in the middle!

No frangipani as table decor.. the restaurant is named after the frangipani tree that used to stand in front

We spotted Chef Chris Bauer having dinner with some of his friends as we walked into the restaurant -- thankfully, our food turned out well despite the chef not being in the kitchen :) The menu is quite an interesting read; the chef briefly describes what each dish is made of.. it was nice to know what sort of preparation went into each dish (will copy some out and put them in Italics below the dish). Since we had afternoon tea at Mandarin Oriental KL just 3 hours before that, we couldn't handle the tasting menu (RM220 without and RM390 with wine) hence we went for the 3-course menu for RM160 with an option of adding on dessert for RM30.

We were served an amuse bouche (ratatouille on toast) and a pre-starter (smoked salmon with apple and roe) which were both very tasty.

Amuse bouche


For the first course, I had the pan roasted porcini powder dusted Hokkaido scallop with half cooked potato sliced, seared porcini mushrooms and white gazpacho vinaigrette (supplementary RM10). Phew what a long name!

"This little dish packs a huge flavour punch. We roast dry rice until brown, then grind it to a dust and add dried porcini mushroom dust to this, then coat the scallop with this mix before frying it. The result is wonderfully fragrant, beautiful scallop with a light crust that seems to heighten the taste of the sea. Still crunchy potato slices and a few dabs of a lightly acidic gazpacho vinaigrette perfect the dish." 

I feel the chef definitely achieved all the aforementioned, I loved the light crust on the scallop as it provided a nice texture to the bouncy scallop. The half cooked potato tasted a little like turnip, nice crunchy texture. If I had a complain about this dish, it would be that I expected more than 1 scallop since I had to pay a supplementary for this dish (cant see the logic behind the pricing).

Looks like the scallop is dusted with gold dust :)

Hubby had the Fresh tiger prawn ceviche with avocado cream, dried tomato reduction and chillies. Tangy, refreshing and delicious.

"The combination is an absolute classic. Prawn, avocado, tomato but here we have given each ingredient an interesting twist. The prawn isn't cooked in the usual sense, it is turned into a ceviche, a method by which acidity of lime juice is used to 'cook' the prawn. The tomato is dried and then turned into a very concentrated sauce and the avocado is diced, fried and then blended into a cream. This process brings out a completely different flavour dimension in the humble avocado."

For the second course, I had the 'Black' Rice risotto with grilled fresh water prawn, baby squid and oyster. Although it is called a risotto, the chef did mention in the menu that "this is not a risotto nor is the rice black" but calls it one of his best dishes to date. This dish is made using risotto rice, and then a creamy (cheese?) sauce is poured over the dish in front of us. The black lines at the side of the plate is squid ink, mixed into the sauce will make it black, hence the name. The rice is perfectly cooked, and this was a dish which I enjoyed the more I ate it.. it has a lovely umami-ness to it.

When Hubby ordered the Warm tea smoked salmon with confit potatoes crème fraîche and salmon roe, the waiter said 'Good choice sir'. This ranks high as one of the best smoked salmon we've eaten (another place which does awesome smoked salmon is Sage), love the pairing of ikura roe with it. The confit potatoes was lovely too, served in many pretty layers.

Palate cleanser -- honeydew sorbet with pink peppercorns

For mains, I was torn between the duck confit and braised wagyu beef cheek. In the end, I ordered the braised wagyu beef cheek served with braised red cabbage, mole sauce and pumpkin dauphines.  The beef cheek was braised til it was tenderly soft, so so yummy. Then it is grilled so you get a lovely crust. I didn't really care much for the Mexican mole sauce though, made with nuts and bitter chocolate.

Hubby picked from "Today's Special" (supplementary RM28), the Grilled Wagyu Rump with Portabello mushrooms tempura, sauteed Brussel sprouts with truffle glaze. The steak was perfectly cooked to medium rare, super juicy. The tempura mushrooms is a nice twist.

We were full to the brim by now, but decided to share a dessert. Since there was quite a few to choose from, we ordered the Trio of Desserts (supplementary RM5) for a taster of smaller portions of three desserts picked by the pastry chef.  We were presented with the iced green apple soufflé with cinnamon crumbs and a tarte tatin on the side, super dark chocolate and pistachio terrine with passion fruit mascarpone custard & forest berry coulis and pistachio & white chocolate cheesecake with Irish tea sauce, toasted pine nuts and pistachio cream filled Russian cigarette.

Our favorite of the lot is the super dark chocolate, using 80% Valrhona which tastes really rich and sinful.

Iced green apple soufflé with cinnamon crumbs and a tarte tatin on the side

Pistachio & white chocolate cheesecake with Irish tea sauce, toasted pine nuts and pistachio cream filled Russian cigarette. 

Super dark chocolate and pistachio terrine with passion fruit mascarpone custard & forest berry coulis

More photos of the restaurant interior... absolutely love it. 

Went upstairs to have a look at the trendy Frangipani Bar

Verdict: The food definitely impressed, but what really left a mark for us is the interior and ambience. Perfect for celebrating a special occasion. 

*If ordered a la carte, first course is RM38, second course RM58, third course RM80 and dessert RM35. Supplementary may apply for certain dishes. 

For the full set of photos, click here

Opening times: 7.30pm, 10.30pm last orders. Closed on Mondays.

Service: Excellent.

Parking: There is an open air car park next to the restaurant, RM15 per entry. 

Location: Frangipani Restaurant & Bar, 25 Changkat Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2144 3001


GPS Coordinates: 3.147404, 101.70825


  1. the black rice dish looks like comfort food for a rainy, traffic-clogged weeknight :D y'know, once upon a time, when anyone asked me what my most highly recommended restaurant in kl was, i'd say it was a tie between frangi & senses. nowadays, i dunno what it is anymore, but frangi should still be in the top 10! :D

  2. my sister has been begging to dine at this place since she was nine. your review seemed convincing and i will cite this to convince my parents to bring her there

  3. The columns make the place look grand isn't it? I love your hubby's pick:D

  4. Sean: The black risotto was fab.. the more I ate it, the more I liked it. And by the time I finished, I wanted more.. I guess that's what makes it a great dish :)

    My fav restaurant is still Sage though.

  5. Michelle: Wow, since 9? The ambience here is really great.

  6. QuayPo: Hehe I'm extremely happy with Hubby's picks too. Suffice to say, I had a great bday celebration this year. :)

  7. Black Pool at the middle of the restaurant doesn't sound nice, wonder is there any accident happen before :P

  8. the ambience is crazy good! :D and i love the sorbet the most


  9. Nice! But just that the lighting is a bit dim. I personally prefer restaurant with brighter lighting :) my dear has been doing research at your blog to hunt for nice dining place for my birthday next mth. Haha! Your blog provides many good idea for ppl :)

  10. yea, the seared scallop is my most favorite dish at there :D piping hot and crispy crust!

  11. The ambience is really romantic - the columns and the pool in the middle. But parking is a chore in Changkat though.. It seemed like your hubby booked the whole restaurant for the both of you that night! ;)

  12. Dear Baby Sumo,

    I remember this place had a nice bar upstairs but the dining areas look beautiful. I can imagine that beef cheek being so tender and delicious too!

  13. Oh GOSH this place looks amazing, and I can't believe you dined many places again? *starts counting off toes*

    I think the coolest part definitely has to be the black poo. Man, if only you were allowed to take a dip in it. the evening would be complete. Or a mess. Either one

    Great post! Would love to try it out someday xD


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