The much-awaited white asparagus season is here again! Also known as 'edible ivory', 'white gold' and The Queen of Vegetables, white asparagus is well-loved for its texture and delicate flavour. As spring arrives, white asparagus is traditionally harvested in various parts of Europe.
From 2-15 May 2016, diners will get a chance to enjoy white asparagus with a selection of dishes specially put together by Chef de Cuisine, Benjamin Halat at Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental KL. The seasonal white asparagus featured in this promotion are imported from France.
Mandarin Grill, the hotel's grill restaurant
To go with the starters, we had the Gruner Vetliner, "Singing" Laurenz, Kremstal (RM48 per glass) to pair with the white asparagus dishes.
The white asparagus salad (RM74) features both white and green asparagus served with poached egg, heirloom tomatoes and herb dressing. The beautiful poached egg sits atop a bed of finely sliced leeks and carrots, which have been blanched and then deep fried and arranged to mimic a bird's nest.
The white asparagus mousse (RM88) wowed us all with its artistic presentation and exquisite taste. The mousse is made using white asparagus stock and undergoes a lengthy process to create a mousse with a rich and creamy texture. Crowning the mousse are tender white and green asparagus tops, potato crisps, nasturtium flowers and home cured salmon. The salmon is cured for at least 8 hours, using a mix of salt, sugar, five spice powder, dill and more.
One of our favorite dishes of the evening was the white asparagus soup (RM46), usually served with duck rillette. We got a taster portion served in a mini teacup - the soup was warming, rich and creamy, and packed full of flavour.
Sauvignon Blanc, Sixty Drops, Marlborough New Zealand (RM52 per glass) - fresh and fruity
For mains, you can pair the white asparagus with either the dover sole, half Boston lobster, grain fed Black Angus beef tenderloin, and Wiener schnitzel. Or you could enjoy the classic combination of white asparagus served with parsley potato, Hollandaise sauce and butter (250g for RM105 or 500g for RM220).
A traditional Viennese dish, Wiener Schnitzel (RM118) is a thin, breaded veal cutlet, served with lemon. This is a wonderful dish to pair with white asparagus.
Chef Benjamin Halat appears with our tenderloin steaks (RM178 for 150g) and sliced them tableside to reveal a beautiful pink centre. Perfectly cooked and tender, these steaks also had a beautiful smokey crust as it is grilled in a Josper oven.
Another highlight of the meal were the grilled Boston lobster (RM198 for half), which were immaculately prepared. Fresh, taut and delicious, this is one lobster we wouldn't mind eating over and over again.
For dessert, we were served Mandarin Grill's signature apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Sweet, tart with a crispy edge, the tarts were excellent.
The White Asparagus promotion is available from 2-15 May at Mandarin Grill restaurant.
Opening times: 12pm to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Location: Mandarin Grill, Lobby Level, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2380 8888
GPS Coordinates: 3.155514, 101.711555
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