Thursday, October 6, 2016

MIGF 2016: Samplings on the Fourteenth, Berjaya Times Square Hotel

That time of year is upon us again. From 1 - 31 October 2016, MIGF, now known as Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival, promises an epic month-long event (themed 'High Octane Chefs') where restaurants will be offering exciting menus to entice diners.

We were invited to Samplings on the Fourteenth, Berjaya Times Square Hotel to sample their MIGF menu. The restaurant is helmed by Chef Val,  and offers Western Classic cuisine. For MIGF this year, Chef Val has put together two menus, a 7-course Full Festival Menu (RM228 without wine, RM388 with wine) and a 5-course Light Festival Menu (RM178 without wine, RM288 with wine). 

To start, we were served with an amuse bouche of lamb tartlet with goat cheese croquetas. This was followed by the appetizer, pan fried haloumi, chilled marinated vegetables and lemon emulsion. These two courses were paired with the Hugel Gentil Alsace, France 2014. Haloumi is a semi-hard cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk. Since haloumi is a salty cheese, Chef Val pairs it with a selection of marinated vegetables (radish, carrot, mushroom, tomato, sugar snap peas) as well as a chive flower. Not only does it work as a garnish for the dish, the chive flower is added as he feels the mild spicy flavours from the flower works well with the vegetable components of the dish.

I enjoyed the Green Pea Cream soup, which was rich and smooth. Sitting in the centre of the soup plate are tomato tartare with artichoke chips, peas and a whole cherry tomato. Hot soup is then poured tableside onto the plates. The tomato tartar gives the soup a lovely added texture as well as making it more visually appealing.

Then, we were served the second appetizer, the Poached Baby Mackarel, with chick pea puree, smoked garlic cream and walnut. Chef Val tells us that the baby mackarel was cooked sous vide for aout 4-5 minutes. This was paired with the Tahuna Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2014.

Palate Cleanser - Malibu Lime Sorbet served in a mini coconut shell

For the main course, diners can choose from either the Pan Fried Halibut Fillet, Slow Cooked Cutlet of Lam, or Wagyu Beef Medallion. No prizes for guessing which one I went for. :P

Pan fried Halibut Fillet, smoked tomato puree, parsnip, shell fish froth

Slow cooked cutlet of lamb, baked stuffed red onion, glazed root vegetables, and jus of cherry

I went for the Wagyu Beef Medallion, served with duck foie gras, pumpkin with a hint of Xeres vinegar, and thyme jus. The beef was beautifully cooked to medium doneness, and was tender and flavorful. Unfortunately, the foie was slightly overcooked and I'm not a fan of polenta, otherwise this was a great dish.  This was paired with the Trivento Reserve Malbec, Argentina, 2014/2015. 

We loved the dessert - Guanaja chocolate delice, with sea salt flakes, butterscotch and cream cheese mousseline. Just the right amount of sweetness, balanced beautifully with the sea salt flakes. This was paired with the Graham's Fine Tawny Port, Douro. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here, many thanks to Berjaya Times Square Hotel for the invitation!


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

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

Tel: 03-2117 8131

GPS Coordinates: 3.142637, 101.709538

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