Posts Tagged ‘Cuisine:French’

Pulse of The Press Room.

June 6, 2010

Here comes the beginning of the month, when paychecks have just been cashed in. It is also the middle of the year already. Oh, how time flies. The good news is, half of the year’s worries and troubles are over and done with already.

How about a little ‘celebration’ to give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the first 6 months of 2010? Or perhaps just something to treat yourself and your friends to since you now have some extra dough with you?

The Press Room is no stranger for fellow Bangsarians, as well as any KL-ites who enjoy good Anglo-French cuisine and a good atmosphere to be in over the weekends. It is also a commonplace for wine enthusiasts with the restaurant’s abundant collection of the world’s best wines hanging off the shelves.

For starters, there is Escargot Gratinés with Bleu Cheese Butter (RM26).

Or in English, snails.

OK, I know it does not really sound appeasing knowing what it really is. Fact is, I did not even know what I put in my mouth that day either until I babelfished what ‘Escargot’ meant today. But I suppose it was quite an interesting dish. Just as long as I do not eat too much of it.

The dish is prepared in a famous French culinary technique known as gratin, whereby it is cooked under an overhead grill until the toppings of breadcrumbs, bleu cheese and butter is brown and golden. The texture is slick and juice, and the gratin toppings just make everything go down smoother.

There is also Salmon Tartare (RM32) for starters. What better way to start off your course with some finely chopped raw salmon that tingles your tastebuds with its sweetness? The juicy meat, heightened by the seasonings, will awaken your senses to get you all ready on what is to come.

If you are up for some seafood, might we suggest Moules Marinières, Frites (RM30), or fried marine mussels.

I have never been a fan of shellfish. I have to at least be eating them with something else, like pasta or risotto, so I do not throw up. But surprisingly, I loved this dish. The buttery and cheesy sauce kept things fresh for the palette and I am gunning down one after another pretty fast. Definitely something to share with a friend or two.

For something from the grill, Duck Breast à l’orange (RM45) is the dish to go for.

If you have never been a duck fan (because of that ‘duck smell’), you will probably learn to love it here. The so-called ‘duck smell’ is pretty much non-existent – not that I have a problem having it around anyway, and the zesty orange flavour highlights the juicy and tender meat texture.

The Cheese Platter for two (RM42) is perfect to kick start or finish up your meal, or even just to have something to chew on.

Feta cheese, goat cheese and bleu cheese, with complements of crackers, nuts and fruits to reset your tastebuds to end things pretty like the pretty bow for the final touch of your Christmas present.

Too bad we were not given any desserts to try out. It already sounded so yummylicious on the menu itself. So, perhaps some other time, I shall stop by solely for their Crème Brûlée or – gasps – Chocolate Volcano (RM16 each), Lemon Meringue or Peach Melba (RM12 each). Yums.

Also, being called The Press Room and all, wine aficionados will definitely have a field day with their wine list is extensive and superb with a wine collection from all over the world. Reds, whites, champagnes, sparklings, magnums, desserts – you name it, they will probably have it.

Call for any of the waiters or waitresses in The Press Room, as they are all trained to help you with recommendations on what to go best with your selected dishes for the day/night.

Things are quieter in daytime at The Press Room. Although it is located by the busy traffic light of Jalan Maarof, the greeneries that surround the mall seem to filter out the gridlock like a solid wall, leaving patrons in the restaurant  a serene and tranquil atmosphere to enjoy your morning coffee or tea.

Spend your early hours at the al-fresco area enjoying a cuppa while flipping through the Sunday papers alone, or with plenty of company over a feastful luncheon after a fun Saturday night out.

By nightfall, it is said that The Press Room is the place to be to see and to be seen. So guys, give yourself an extra dab of that musky cologne and polish up your charming smile, and ladies, it is the time to put on that sultry body-hugging black dress and dreamy mascara – go all out to look your best while you are dining in one of Bangsar’s bests.

The deep red timber wood complements the sensual colours of golden orange bouncing off the walls set you in the mood for love – or lust, if you must – as you toast to your friends and loved ones the clink of their best house wines meticulously selected from their brewery.

It does not matter whoever you are and whomever you are with: whether you are a guy and you are out with your guy friends for a guys’ night out, or a lady with your lady friends for a girls’ night out with good food, wine and company; someone who would like to lavish your date with something above the class, or a special family dinner to celebrate your grandpap’s 50th birthday – The Press Room fits the picture perfectly.

++
The Press Room
Bangsar Shopping Centre
Lot G110, Ground Floor
Jalan Maarof
Bangsar
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Opens everyday @ 12PM-2AM
T: +6 03 2095 8089
F: +6 03 2095 1089
W: http://www.gastrodome.com.my

French lessons with L’Heritage.

October 23, 2009
Kick start your MIGF experience this year at L’Heritage with the appetiser – Salmon trout tartare, made from finely chopped raw salmon, smoked salmon and cucumber, set off with a crispy piece of parmesan tuille, topped with a spoonful of caviar, rucola (arugula) and sorc-l’tranche juice.
Next up is the starter of Quail leg confit with beetroot, prepared in one of France’s oldest ways of food preservation. The quail legs are cooked in a very slow fire of 60ºC for three hours to preserve the seasoning alongside the rendered fat in the softened meat. Served with the dish is Languedoc gratin and avocado volute, a traditional food preparation for French cuisine, where sliced eggplants, tomatoes and zucchinis are topped with a layer of melted and browned grated cheese.
For soup, L’Heritage takes things lightly with the Herbs tomato consume with moref seafood dumpling, one that does not weigh down the senses with its fluffy water-based form and bits of moref dumplings. Simple in preparation and without any hanky panky.
Before delving into your main course, L’Heritage provides you a moment to lighten up your palettes with Lemon sorbet with a tinge of the bitter basil and a dash of Calvados, an apple brandy. It provides a quick way to reset the taste buds with a minty sourness that almost makes your eyes water.
For the main course, diners have two choices at L’Heritage.
There is the Stone-grilled wagyu beef, with petit romaine (cos lettuce) drenched in old pot green peppercorn juice. Slice your way through the layer of meat and relish on the juicy saltiness that tingle the senses.
Alternatively, try the Oven-baked red mullet with a crispy outer layer followed by tender soft insides. The dish is also harmonised with a crunchy sweetbread paillaid, capers relish and showered with duck foie gras emulsion.
For dessert, sample on the French’s well known sweetie Mille fuille, made of several layers of crispy pastry alternating with a variety of berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, and sabayon, a very light custard made with sugar, egg yolks and sweet wine. The dessert is also complemented with a scoop of fragrant mint ice cream to give the taste palette a refreshing finale.
Recommended wine for the L’Heritage Festival Menu are France’s Albert Bichot Cotes du Rhone and Albert Bichot Cotes du Rhone Blanc.

Also guest blogging at Backseat Radio: NME, not a music enemy.

——

Recently inducted to the fine dining scene in Kuala Lumpur is the new French guy, L’Heritage Restaurant, at the equally brand new hotel in town, The Royale Chulan. This French restaurant opened its doors on the very day of the 2009 Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2009 launch on October 1, 2009.

Although the restaurant may be new, the walls still stank of paint and the surrounding still eerily deserted, the people behind the scene is not, especially Executive Sous Chef Sabri Soid. (Why yes, it is not a Frenchman running the kitchen, but a local Malay). He has seen glory days when he was cooking up a storm in the Langkawi Four Seasons, with guest lists as famous as Mel Gibson, Tony Blair and Michael Schumacher themselves.

Although he has never been to France himself, or pick up a ‘French for Dummies’ as he stirs his pot of soup, Chef Sabri seems genuinely knowledgeable in what he knows about the French cuisine. So, it was quite an interesting feat for me too, to learn about the kinds of traditional food preparation in France.

L’Heritage’s Festival Menu starts with the appetiser of Salmon trout tartare, parmesan tuille, rucola and sorc-l’tranche. The tartare is made from finely chopped raw salmon, smoked salmon and cucumber dices, which is paired with the crispy piece of parmesan tuille, topped with a spoonful of caviar, rucola (arugula) and sorc-l’tranche juice.

I am a fan of raw salmon so naturally, this appetiser works for me, especially when there are bits of refreshing cucumber dices hidden in the tartare. I thought the parmesan tuille was a good touch. Although it has this heavy saltiness going on, I still like it.

For starter, the Quail leg confit with beetroot, languedoc gratin and avocado volute. Confit is France’s oldest and most common way in food preservation, and it is now quite luxurious since it preserves meat without actually refrigerating it.

For this dish, the quail legs are cooked in a very slow fire of 60ºC for three hours to preserve the seasoning alongside the rendered fat in the softened meat. Served with the dish is Languedoc gratin and avocado volute, another traditional food preparation for the French, whereby sliced eggplants, tomatoes and zucchinis are topped with a layer of melted and browned grated cheese.

The quail legs are ecstatically soft and they just fall off the teeny bones when you run your knife through it gently. Too bad quails are not bigger, eh? Heh. As for the volute, in my opinion, anything with melted cheese on it is a good thing. Enough said.

L’Heritage takes things lightly for the soup course with Herbs tomato consume with moref seafood dumpling. Fluffy and water-based with floating bits of mushrooms and sliced moref dumplings, it does not weigh down the senses. It is simple in preparation and without any hanky panky.

Nothing really out of the ordinary for this one compared to the previous two dishes, save for the moref seafood dumpling, which has a texture that is quite similar to a – fishball.

At this point, my taste palettes are getting a little tired out with the constant saltiness from the tuille and the confit and the consume and the cheese. I have lost count of the times I grasp for my glass of water.

So, to take a break from it all, there is the Lemon basil sorbet with calvados. Served in a cylinder shotglass, it is – for a change – sour, with a tinge of the bitter basil and a dash of Calvados, an apple brandy. It provides a quick way to reset the taste buds with a minty sourness that almost makes your eyes water, literally.

For the main course, diners have two choices at L’Heritage. First one being the Stone-grilled wagyu beef, petit romaine old pot green peppercorn juice. I did not really like this because it was really, really salty, so much so that I could not taste anything else on the dish but that lingering taste. And juicy as it was, it sort of bothered me that the beef was oozing blood still. Meh.

Alternatively, there is the Oven-baked red mullet, sweetbread paillaid, capers relish, duck foie gras emulsion. It has a crispy outer layer blanketing the tender soft insides, it is harmonised with the sweetbread that reminds me a lot of hashbrowns. Once again, salty is the main flavour.

Right about now, I was longing for something sweet, and I can definitely count on that for dessert: Mille fuille of berries sabayon with fragrant mint ice cream. Here, we got to sample the Frenchmen’s well known sweetie, mille fuille, a kind of layered pastry alternating with a sweet filling that is usually cream or jam.

Chef Sabri did a bit of self-composition here, changing the pastry to a kind crispy cereal Middle Easterners have for breakfast (which I did not quite catch the name), and having a variety of berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries together with sabayon, a very light custard made with sugar, egg yolks and sweet wine. I thought it was quite a job well done.

However, the complementing mint ice cream seems a little out of place for me. It did not quite give the refreshing finale it was aimed for. And I felt like I need another shot of their lemon sorbet to do the palette reset properly.

It is my first time trying out French cuisine, so I am not sure if it is common for the meals to be taken with extremely heavy flavours. It was a little too much for me to bear palette-wise, to be honest.

The one thing that really did it for me was the dessert; it was original, blending French cuisine’s traditional sweet delicacy with the chef’s own imagination. Other than that, they might need to tone down on the saltiness for me to really enjoy the menu.

Recommended wines for the L’Heritage Festival Menu are France’s Albert Bichot Cotes du Rhone and Albert Bichot Cotes du Rhone Blanc.

Festival Menu
RM239++ per person with wine
RM159++ per person without wine

++
L’Heritage Restaurant
The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur
6 Jalan Conlay
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Opens daily 12PM-10.30PM
T: +6 03 2688 9688
W: http://www.royalechulan.com.my