Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Loaf, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

After a morning of shopping in Pavilion KL, we decided to stop at The Loaf for lunch. The Loaf is a lifestyle bakery / bistro, jointly owned by Motoko Resources Sdn Bhd and Tun Dr Mahathir. The outlet in Pavilion KL was opened in September 2007.

The premium breads and pastries are made daily from the finest imported and local ingredients using traditional Japanese techniques. Flour is imported from Japan and butter from Belgium, making the breads unique.


The restaurant is quite cosy. Service is pleasant.


Langkawi Sunset /The Loaf's Mocktail / Pineapple juice (RM10 / RM10 / RM8)



We were served some complimentary bread while waiting. OK I admit that when this was served, I thought it looked like ordinary wholemeal bread one can get at the supermarket. But looks aside, this was actually very nice, good quality soft bread.


Since they pride themselves in their freshly made bread, Hubby decided to order The Loaf's Club Sandwich (RM20). A tower of toast, chicken ham, streaky beef bacon, farm fresh egg, tomatoes and crispy greens, this was one tasty sandwich! Just wish that they would make it more bite-size-friendly, so we dont have to struggle to fit everything in our mouths.


Surprisingly very good sandwich

Since I wanted something light, I had the Creamy Mushroom Soup (RM14). The soup is prepared with fresh buttom mushrooms and possibly topped with some truffle oil. In my opinion, this is the best mushroom soup we have tasted (when compared to other mushroom soups in the same price category). Laden with chunky mushroom bits, the soup was thick and wholesome.



One of our guests had the Beef Brisket Sandwich (RM32). The beef brisket has been braised in BBQ sauce, so it is tender and slightly sweet. Then, it is topped with Italian mozzarella cheese, onion jam and jalapeno. It was delicious, though I felt it was slightly overpriced for such a small portion.

Big Country Farmhouse (RM12)
Baked omelette with cheese, mushrooms, spinach, sliced onion, beef bacon and crispy green salad.


After lunch, we headed over to Baskin Robbins and enjoyed some ice cream. :)


Verdict: The Loaf is an ideal place for light bites, though prices are not exactly cheap.

For full menu, click here.

The Loaf also has outlets at Langkawi, Bangsar Village II, Empire Subang and IOI Puchong.


Opening times: 8am to 10pm daily.

Service: Good.

Price: RM135 for 4 adults.

Location: The Loaf, Lot 3.13.00 & 4.12.02, Level 3 &4 Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03- 2145 3036

Website: http://www.theloaf.net

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie @ Menara Taipan, Kuala Lumpur

Today, we were looking for a lunch venue and after considering some old favourites and some recently opened restaurants, we eventually bit the bullet and opted for the novelty of opening day at Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie. Our decision was based on information that the chef (Evert Onderbeke) from High Tide has been recruited and that our past dining experiences at Nathalie's Gourmet Studio have been pleasurable.

Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie has taken over the premises previously occupied by High Tide Restaurant. The restaurant has been renovated and now sports chic lamps and furniture in purple hues. The atmosphere is relaxed and we could view both chefs in action through the open kitchen. Service was also very pleasant and efficient.

There are several menus available here. For lunch, one can opt for either the set lunch or a la carte menu. The set lunch consists of Nathalie's French bento for RM45, or fresh homemade tagliatelles for RM35. From the a la carte menu, there is a choice of 5 starters, 5 main courses and 6 desserts. There are also 3 specially designed menu; namely Nathalie's selection 5-course menu for RM135, Seafood menu 5-course for RM130, or Degustation menu 6-course for RM180. Some a la carte items are featured in the specially designed menu. Menu changes monthly, similar to Nathalie's Gourmet Studio.

Hubby suggested that we go for the degustation menu and that we chose one of the main courses each in order to fully explore the menu.


Lovely purple hues



One of the main differences between Cuisine Gourmet and Nathalie's Gourmet Studio is that this place serves alcohol and is opened from 12.00noon to 10.30pm daily (except Sunday). There is even a hi-tea from 3.30pm onwards.

Bar & Open Kitchen



Freshly baked bread


Nice butter

Glass of Semillon

We start off with Three Finger Food, namely tuna on blini, lightly seared scallop with Szechuan pepper foam and onion jam followed by a gingerbread and foie gras cremeux. The myriad of textures and flavours of this starter is absolutely wonderful and this was possibly my favorite dish of the afternoon. I also love how beautiful this dish looks.

Gorgeous plating


Tuna on blini
Soft blinis topped with creamy avocado (I think) and a sliver of tuna


Lightly seared scallop with Szechuan pepper foam and onion jam
Love the sweetness of the caramelised onions with the scallops

Gingerbread and foie gras cremeux
Love the taste of savoury foie against the slightly sweet gingerbread


Next up, was the morel soup with a truffle foam. The soup was very thick, rich and smooth and tasted even better after each scoop.


Morel Soup in Truffle Cappuccino

Morel Soup in Truffle Cappuccino

Another beautifully presented dish, the tuna tartar with pan fried duck liver was a visual delight. To be honest, I ate both components separately and enjoyed them like that. The tuna tartar had a subtle Asian flavour and was fresh tasting. The pan fried foie was pretty good, and melted in the mouth. I noticed the pretty pea shoot, a signature garnish of Chef Evert.


Tuna Tartar, Pan Fried Duck Liver, Asian Flavours

Neither of us had eaten snails before, today we preferred to refer to them as escargot as it definitely sounds more appetizing. Hubby confessed to be a little apprehensive on the first mouthful but to his delight, it turned out to be his favourite course of the afternoon. The flavours worked well together, and I especially liked the herb emulsion.

Snails in Herb Lasagna, Garlic Mousseline, and Herb Emulsion

Escargots

We almost missed the fine detail within the pasta sheets used to create the lasagna of this dish. Herb leaves have been embedded in the translucent pasta to create the visual effect shown below.

Out of the two main courses, we prefer the lamb loin which has been cooked to perfection. The lamb loin has been stuffed with fresh mint, roasted garlic and espelette chilli and was packed full of flavour and tender. It was served with some pearl beans, which I unfortunately couldn't finish since it was quite filling. But I definitely enjoyed this dish very much as it was delicious.


Lamb Loin Stuffed with Fresh Mint, Roasted Garlic and Espelette Chilli, Pearl Beans in a Broth, Mint Oil


After taking his first bite of the fish, Hubby commented that it tasted cold. A quick reread of the menu highlighted the words"lemon marinated ikan kurau" which led us to believe, rightly or wrongly, this was in fact a ceviche. Hubby later admitted that he fancied the concept of having the degustation menu today, however he did not spend too much time reading the menu in great detail.

Lemon and Thyme Marinated Ikan Kurau, Scallops and Oyster Tartar, Cress Emulsion


For desserts, you get to choose from the a la carte menu. I went for the Jivara and orange chocolate tart which I enjoyed. The pastry was crumbly and the chocolate was to my liking.


Jivara and Orange Chocolate Tart, Cocoa Nougatine, and Vanilla Ice Cream


Hubby went for the Cafe Gourmand (selection of small desserts) served with a choice of tea/coffee. Upon it's arrival at our table he felt a little cheated because his speed reading of the menu earlier had led him to believe there were 5 items on his dessert platter, when in fact 3 of them were in the same glass. In all honesty though, he was more than satisfied with his lunch today and possibly would have struggled to polish off 5 desserts (then again maybe not since they were so good..)



The strawberry tart was very pretty and tasted fine too.

Mini strawberry tart


The Lemon sorbet cleansed the palate in preparation for the main act, the creme caramel, which was very smooth and creamy. A fitting end to a quality lunch.

Caramel Creme Brulee in a Glass, served with Lemon and Thyme Sorbet and Lemon Tuile

Nathalie has quite a reputation, locally for producing quality macarons and this chocolate macaron was a delight to eat.

Chocolate macaron

Two further macarons were presented to us by Nathalie by way of thanking us for visiting her new outlet on its opening day. This was a kind and welcomed gesture - Thanks Nathalie :)



Restaurant entrance


Restaurant signage

They will also be opening another bistro/cafe, in the same building, directly opposite Cuisine Gourmet serving macarons and light bites in September 2011.

Click here for the a la carte menu for July 2011.

Verdict: The food here is well prepared and beautifully presented. The menu is pretty similar to Nathalie's Gourmet Studio. Both restaurants are good in their own right but the interior here exudes more class and offers more comfort. After a pleasant first visit, we would definitely be returning for more.


Service: Excellent.

Price: RM180 per person for 6 course degustation menu.

Parking: Valet parking is available at Menara Taipan for a reasonable fee of RM10. Otherwise, you can park at The Weld and walk over to the restaurant.

Location: Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, Ground Floor, Menara Taipan, Jalan Punchak (off Jalan P. Ramlee), 50250 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2072 4452

GPS Coordinates: 3.152011, 101.706153

Website: http://cgn.nathaliegourmetstudio.com/

Discover Lunch @ Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar, The Gardens, Kuala Lumpur

Hubby's parents traveled 11,000 km to visit us and their two grandchildren for the first time in Malaysia. Where better for lunch than my favorite restaurant, Sage. I was excited to bring them there since I have been telling them how good the food there is.

We got off to a flying start since both of them love ginger beer and the complimentary drink just happens to be that. They were also impressed with the freshly baked bread and accompanying basil dip. It also helps that the restaurant interior is chic and the service is excellent.


Open Kitchen


The Fricassee of Mushrooms with Seared Sea Scallop and Foie Gras was absolutely heavenly. The luscious foie was delightful and melt in the mouth... I wished for the foie to linger in my mouth just a little longer.



Hubby had the Poached Crayfish with Rock Melon Salad and Vinaigrette. A dish bursting with color as well as texture. The crayfish was meaty and taut and was complimented well by the sweetness of the rock melon.

One of our guests had the Roasted White Pomfret with Cuttlefish and Spanish Anchovy Sauce. The fish was cooked to perfection, however the cuttlefish was a little too rubbery for her liking.


No complains from the three of us as we happily ate our way though our Wagyu Beef Striploin with Mashed Potato and Sauce A L'Estragon. The beef hit the spot.

For dessert, both our guests opted for the cheese platter, which consisted of Brie de melun and Rocquefort cheese. It was served with fig terrine and homemade bread.


Hubby and I had the Fresh Plum and Banana Crumble with Homemade Ricotta Ice Cream. This was a disappointment as we did not like the taste and texture of this dessert. The only saving grace would be the ice cream. A little birdie told me that Sage might be getting in a new pastry chef, so hopefully we would see some improvement or changes in the dessert department.


We set out to treat our guests to a great lunch that afternoon, and I believe we succeeded. :)


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


Service: Excellent.

Price: RM100 nett. 10% off 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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sky Bar & Gobo Upstairs Bar & Grill @ Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

5 months down the line, and I still haven't blogged about our evening at Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. We went there to meet Hubby's good friend from university who was here in KL for business.

We started off with some drinks in Sky Bar, the hotel's open air rooftop bar on Level 33. The view here was quite spectacular, a good closeup of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. The boys had some beers while I had a Shirley Temple mocktail (RM20), which unfortunately was very diluted.


Crystal decoration at hotel lobby which I adored



View from Sky Bar (Level 33)


Sorry I'm taken


There is a pool in the middle of SkyBar if you want to take a dip...


Ladies Night on Wednesdays here


Shirley Temple Mocktail

Illuminated Petronas Twin Towers

Sky Bar in the evening


Since it was late by the time we finished our drinks, we decided to have dinner in one of the hotel restaurants. We chose Gobo Upstairs Bar & Grill over Gobo Chit Chat since the menu looked more interesting. From the restaurant, we could also get a very good view of the Twin Towers (if you sit by the window). The setting is quite nice, but a little too dark for photographs.



Open kitchen

While we waited for our food, we were served some olive bread with truffle butter. Really good stuff! Amuse bouche was Mediterranean vegetables with pesto.



Amuse bouche


I had the Brandy Flamed Lobster Bisque (RM26), which I thought was pretty delicious. It is one of those soups which you find yourself spooning mouth after mouth and never wanting to put your spoon down.


Hubby had the Trio of Seafood (RM45) which came beautifully presented. The trio is made up of smoked salmon with a pickled eggplant with orange vanilla reduction, pan seared scallop with truffles and potato fondants and king prawn cocktail. All components were immaculately prepared, though portions were a little small.


Our guest had the fresh tomato soup and a filet mignon steak, grilled to perfection. All main courses are served with a side salad.


Fresh Tomato Soup (RM20)


Filet mignon steak (RM75 for 200g)


Hubby had the Norwegian Salmon Steak (RM45), the fish was moist with a beautifully crisp skin.


I had the Lamb Shank (RM55) which was pretty damn good. And the portion was really HUGE! I struggled to finish it all... my advice if you're ordering this is to skip the starter if you want to have a dessert after. The meat was tender and fell off the bone easily.




The waiter recommended that we ordered a side dish each, since the main courses only came with a side salad. In my opinion, two side dishes is plenty to share among three adults. We had the truffle mashed potato (my choice which also is my fav), whipped potato with roasted garlic, mascarpone and Sarawak pepper and creamy baby French bean with garlic.



Truffle mashed potato (RM15)


Whipped potato with roasted garlic, mascarpone and Sarawan peppercorn (RM14)


Creamy baby French beans with garlic (RM14)


After dinner, our guest enjoyed a 21 year old Auchentoshan whisky (RM59). Smooth.



Restaurant interior

Wine


For desserts, Hubby had the Tiramisu (RM22). Sadly this didn't quite make the mark. I think it was meant to be an alcoholic version, but I couldn't taste any alcohol. We also had to wait quite a while for this to be served.

Verdict: I was pretty impressed with the food quality here, though prices are on the high side.


Service: Good in general, but a bit slow towards the end.

Price: RM509 for 3 adults, including 2 glasses of wine.

Location: Sky Bar, Level 33, Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill, Level 6, Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03- 2332 9888

GPS Coordinates: 3.154271, 101.715417

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