El encantar de príncipe.

It is never too early to plan a Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner. Besides, it is already October. December will be around soon in the blink of an eye. Crystal Jade is way ahead on this planning. Three months ahead, to be exact. With a brand new instalment to their some 80 outlets family chain, Amuleto, it was probably the perfect opportunity to play dress up (with your food) this Christmas and New Year.

Amuleto (which means ‘amulet’ in Spanish), is only two months’ old, but already they have gained recognition and liking from everyone around the Mid Valley City. With its tasteful red interior design, peppered with flowery glass table tops, it is a cosy destination for a meal, whether you are with a partner, family, friends, or even your entire office staff.

Diners will be treated to new sets of menu this coming holiday season to end the year and start a new one on the right note. Or in this case, the right taste. Here are some of the dishes to get you anticipating in your pool of drool.

As a starter, there is the Prawn Bisque soup.

While Keith, the General Manager of the Crystal Jade dynasty, was giving me a brief rundown on the restaurant, I could not help getting sidetrack by the alluring smell of the soup. The aroma of the prawns in this soup is overwhelming; it just keeps on drawing me to look and it and saying, “hurry up and try me already!” Heh. So I did. And, I thought it was quite an unusual dish, because usually in restaurants like this, you would not find prawns in your soup till the main course, or maybe never unless you order some seafood related platter. So it was quite a good and original touch blending East and West in this first dish.

For appetisers, you an also opt for the Hot & Cold Combination Platter.

Garlic prawn, Boxing Chicken and Baby octopus – a little threesome to reawaken your tastebuds for something bigger later on. I have never been a fan of platters, especially for appetisers. I have a small appetite and I believe in saving my space until the real food comes along. So, if I have to have a starter, a soup would do just fine for me already. Besides, I am not a fan of baby octopuses either. But hey, each to his own.

Ah, Christmas would not be complete without a turkey sitting on your dining table. During my family’s Christmas party every year, I have to wrestle with close to a hundred guests to have a few slices of turkey after being kept away from it for 364 days. And sometimes, I am left staring at the empty bone structure with my dad, sweaty from all the shredding, shrugging at me. Boo. So, how nice it would be to have a plate of turkey all to yourself this Christmas?

The Roast Turkey Breast comes with homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce. Now, when I say homemade, it is really homemade. Keith mentioned a little bad news that the culinary industry failed to get into the country the usual ingredients to make the stuffing. So, when the world does not give you lemons, you grow a lemon tree and get some. In this case, the chef whipped up his own version of stuffing. I cannot say it is the best stuffing in town, because it tastes nothing like the ones I am used to. It is made out of breadcrumbs, and there is just something missing. So. No go for the stuffing, but the turkey is nice. Dipped it for a little sweetness in the cranberry sauce, it feels like Christmas has arrived early for this girl.

Other than that, one can also try out the Yakitori Salmon Steak with mashed potato and tempura kangkung ( I never thought I’d see the day when I combine Japanese and Malay together heh).

I thought it was quite interesting to deep fried kangkung. Alas, I am no fan of tempura, let alone vegetable, so, I would just have to take Keith and I-Mae’s word on how good it is. Besides that, the salmon meat is grilled to the right timing – not too soft till it’s falling off your fork, yet not too hard till it feels like you are chewing lead. Same goes for the mashed potato too. A pretty typical Japanese dish, dressed in Westernisation, I must say.

For dessert, there is the Christmas and New Year Bread Pudding, another dish not to be omitted during the sanctity of the festive season.

I thought it was quite a big chunk of pudding, after what we have eaten before. But it was a tasty dessert. Sticky texture coated with homemade custard, and tiny bursts of sweetness from the raisins. Keith was quite an excited man as he started adding all those Christmas decorations on the side. I thought they were quite cute. Heh. But I dared not tried any of those extra sugar, because I might just die from all the sweetness. A pretty nice way to end a meal, if I do say so.

But. You know what would be the perfect way to end a meal?

Why, a Chocolate Fondue, of course. Totally unrelated to the Christmas and New Year menus, but would probably be a sin to just overlook it.

Served with grapes, oranges, kiwis, strawberries (Yay!), bread and balls of ice cream, dipped in your choice of dark or white chocolate. I-Mae and I were happy, happy girls as we wrapped up our late lunch that day.

Surprisingly, I found myself going for the white chocolate instead. For some reason, the chocolate in Malaysia just freezes up too fast. The other time, I was in Marche and I decided to go for a bowl of chocolate-coated strawberries for dessert and I found myself digging through a mine field with strawberries as diamonds.

The chocolate fondue is an all-time favourite on the Amuleto menu. So, if you do not know where else to go for a fondue – they have a cheese fondue too – you would know now. Boys, better find a better hiding place because I would bet you your ladies are going to be dragging you to this spot every other week just for the fondue.

Like the amulet charm, Amuleto is quite a prince charming in the form of a restaurant. However, I would not say the food is anything out of this world. Quite a typical menu actually, when it comes to restaurants like these. I thought it is just another fancy spot to add to the list of fine dine splurging. But I guess the originality lies in the interior decor and how the restaurant brings out the best in their food. After the menue preview, I thought Amuleto did a pretty good run on standing out.

It’s Crystal Jade, after all, a family tree of 16 dining concepts and 80 outlets across Asia. (Heck, even Keith’s business card opens up to three folds). I would not be surprised if they open up a mamak stall at the back street of KLCC.

Also seen on VM @ Travel Talk.
* El encantar de príncipe is Spanish for ‘prince charming’.

++
Amuleto by Crystal Jade
Lot G.E.015
Mid Valley Mega Mall
Mid Valley City, Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Opens Sunday to Thursday @ 10AM-11.30PM; Friday, Saturday, Eve of Holiday @ 10AM-1AM
T: +6 03 2287 4128

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