Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New seasonal menu by Chef de Cuisine John Nash @ Lafite, Shangri-La Hotels Kuala Lumpur

Last week, someone asked me what was the most interesting thing I ate recently. I didn't have to think long as there was one dish which stood out for me - it was this dish from Lafite, Shangri-La Hotel KL.. read on..

Crispy Amadai with Endive, Mushroom and Lentil 

In November 2011, a new chef by the name John Nash joined Lafite as the Chef de Cuisine. He hails from Virginia, United States and has attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu. I had the privilege of meeting and talking with this chef when I dined there recently. He clearly is a great chef as all the food we tasted was delicious and very beautifully presented. He tells us that taste is important, but presentation is the key to making a dish stand out.

Feast your eyes and mouth.. 

The signature flower arrangement at Lafite


It was the busiest I've ever seen the restaurant, many eager to try the new chef's offerings. As mentioned previously, the set lunch has now been changed to a 3-course menu for RM99++, and will be rotated every 45 days. Same goes for the a la carte menu, which will be rotated 45 days to reflect the seasonal ingredients that the chef can get his hands on (ie two new menus each season). Currently, the menu showcased is from the winter season, in mid March it will be changed to a spring menu, which I think will be good since it's the chef's favorite season.

From the dinner a la carte menu, you can either opt for the 3-course (RM195++) or 5-course (RM275++) and is available Mondays to Saturdays. There are 4 selections for each course. The food here is modern French. 

The delicious winter butter made from maple syrup, figs, raisins, and apricots. So good you can even eat it on its own. 


From the next menu onwards, Chef de Cuisine John Nash will also be showcasing his own bread. 


Diners start with a trio of amuse bouche. Yes, three little surprises instead of one. ;) Isn't that a great start already? We had the crab with lemon jelly, followed by the playful goat's cheese bon bon and beetroot (with a crunchy surprise in the centre) and a slightly spicy prawn with lemongrass.

Trio of amuse bouche


My favorite was the goat's cheese bon bon cos it's cute ;)


Prawn lemongrass

Crab with lemon jelly and caviar


First course was the fabulous Boston Lobster, served with caviar, grapefruit and vanilla sauce and date puree. Firstly, I love the colours - don't you think it's just vibrant and makes you happy, hard to believe that this is from winter season right? The tender lobster (thick chunks too!) has been butter poached and was just uber yum.


The next dish is the one that is really unique... crispy amadai fish. This fish, roughly 1kg each, is from Japan. What makes this truly unique is that the fish is deep fried with the scales intact (yes edible scales!!). You know how irritated you get if you ever find a piece of scale on the fish skin, and who would have thought you could actually eat them. It's almost tempura-like, crispy scales and skin and then moist and sweet flesh on the inside. I asked the chef if the scales are actually soft before cooked, but he said they are hard so I was even more impressed that he got to make it edible! This was served with porcini mushrooms, lentil puree, mustard emulsion and endive. Very simple but interesting dish!

Crispy amadai

The scales look so pretty!


The next dish to arrive was the Wagyu striploin, Master Kobe with a marbling of 10+. Cutting through the tender meat, it revealed a beautiful pink centre. I devoured the meat, and the pairing with barley, horseradish foam, potato ring and black salt was spot on.  Later, I found out that the steak has been sous vide first before being seared for a crusty finish.


The black salt was something quite unique



Voila- beautifully cooked!


It was interesting to learn that the chef creates his own desserts, as many fine dining kitchen usually have a separate pastry chef. Dessert was the soft chocolate roll which was deliciously rich and creamy. It was served with a peppermint ice cream, spice cake and chestnut puree.

Gorgeous looking and tasting dessert


Chef de Cuisine John Nash and moi ;)


Flower bouquet at lobby

Service has greatly improved. The staff seemed to be much more knowledgable about the dishes (Chef John Nash tells us that he briefs the service crew regularly) and service is friendlier. I could quiz them about ingredients on the plate and they would have an answer for me (versus the common answer you get in many restaurants, "I don't know, let me go ask the chef". )

Full set of photos available to view here. 

Opening times: Lunch Monday to Friday 12.00 - 2.30pm; Dinner Monday to Saturday 7.00pm - 10.30pm. Closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Location: Lafite Restaurant, Lobby Level, Shangri-La Hotel, 11 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03- 2074 3900

Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/en/property/kualalumpur/shangrila

GPS Coordinates: 3.1541, 101.706297

* This is an invited review. 

16 comments:

  1. Colourful ,excellent blog, nice picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Margaret! It was a very enjoyable meal.

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  2. Love the look of that dessert! A chocolate roll with mint ice cream?

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    Replies
    1. Peppermint ice cream.. I enjoyed the dessert very much. I could eat 3 of that!

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  3. This post really explains why I had to go to lafite three times before i leave for melbourne. Hahahahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you try their a la carte menu too or just the lunch?

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  4. ooo, the amadai does look really fascinating! i've only had this fish once in KL, at ten japanese restaurant (solaris dutamas). but it was only boiled with veggies there, i think. didn't get to try the scales! :D

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    Replies
    1. I dont think it would be nice eating boiled scales LOL

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  5. Oohh the wagyu looked perfect! Salivating now! hehe

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    Replies
    1. I know.. it was so perfectly cooked!

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  6. impressive! even the butter & bread looks good...

    guess the word is out, hence the crowd. The deal sounds great since you get a very delectable lobster and wagyu... I ll have to put this on my wish list!! :0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe you can go try the lunch also, it's very good. ;)

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  7. You made me wanna go Lafite now!

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    Replies
    1. Hehe ask Chris to bring you! Worth the trip ;)

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  8. Hi.. I looked at ur blog post n i really attracted with Lafite dishes~~ It's looks so so nice when comes with your description..
    May i know how much u spend on this meal? Is the rm275 = 5courses enough for 2person? or actually the portion just enough for 1pax?
    Thanks alot!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, you can refer to their menu on their website:
      http://www.shangri-la.com/kualalumpur/shangrila/dining/restaurants/lafite/menu-wine/

      For lunch, 3-course RM99++, 4-course RM129++.
      RM275++ for dinner is per person. But there are options for 3-course for RM195++.

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Please drop any comments or questions you may have here. Thank you so much for reading!

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