I have always had high regards for Chef Johnny Fua and Sherson Lian. Both are one of the few local chefs that I truly respect. One is rather temperamental and cheeky while the other is endearing and cheeky.
I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which
My previous dining experiences by Chef Johnny were at Upper Deck at GTower and another time during the launch of the Great Dinners of The World. After that I was honoured to be a guest of the Great Dinners of the World Appreciation Party where I met all 4 chefs again and had a superb dinner.
Today, you do not need to be an invited guest to dine on Chef Johnny Fua and Chef Sherson’s masterful culinary creations. Both are now the mastermind behind the about-to-be-launched (but already open for business for the past few weeks) Elegantology Gallery and Restaurant in Publika.
I have known that it was open for business for some time. After giving it a few weeks to settle down, I went in for dinner with 2 friends who aren’t unfamiliar with the kitchen or food business. Together we sipped Martell and shared a full degustation set plus 2 mains.
The menu is limited to Degustation for the evenings and Set Lunches for now. We requested for 1 degustation and 2 mains but was informed that that wasn’t possible. Anyhow, to cut a long story short, we managed to get what we wanted in the end.
Beef Ribs of 72 Celcious 24 hours, Red Dates & Chestnut Gravy, Truffle Mash – RM185++ (not just the dish but the whole degustation set if you order this particular main course).
This was superb. Seriously.
I love how meltingly tender the meat was and the well balanced truffle mash; rich but not overly buttery and perfumed with truffle.
Oven Baked Tandoori Black Cod, Chickpea Cumin Raita, Pickle Japanese Cucumber – RM175++ (if ordered with the degustation).
Honestly the raita (yogurt) tasted a “bit off”. All 3 of us weren’t sure if it was our tastebuds, it was meant to be like that or it has gone bad as it didn’t have the cool, fresh tang of yogurt but was mildly sourish.
However the cod was beyond reproach. It was marvelously flaky, soft and sweet. The first thought that occured to me upon reading the description on the menu was that tandoori spices might overwhelm the delicate cod but fortunately that wasn’t the case. Well, I guess you can say that good ingredients and produce are safe in the hands of a skilled chef.
The last main – Shao Hsing Tiao Chicken, Garlic Pilaf Rice, Chilli Sesame Jus. RM165++ as part of the degustation set.
It was futile not to compare this with chicken rice for it is essentially a glorified version of a very good plate of chicken rice. Well for that price I would have complained if it’s was anything less. But seriously, please order the cod or beef.
Actually our meal started accordingly to the degustation set. I started my post with the mains because they were the best part of the meal.
We begin with the complimentary foccacia accompanied with 3 dips; olive tapenade, balsamic and olive oil and herb butter. The foccacia name is certainly misleading in terms of texture though it was redolent of herbs.
The Appetizer – Corn Fed Chicken with Foie Gras Stuffing, Red Wine Pearls & Korean “Bae” (pear), Plum Glaze & Century Egg was creative with many fun elements.
We had no complaints other than with the red wine pearls which was like solid jelly pearls. Then again neither Chef Johnny nor Sher was around to explain if it was meant to be such. I would certainly ask them about it when I see them again.
Salad – Char Grilled Sake Squid, Chilli Jam, Fine Mixed Mesclun Leafs with Shoyu No. 10.
The squids were almost too cute to be eaten!
But we ate them anyways. Overall the salad was fine, other than the salmon trout roes which was soft (almost mushy) instead of firm and popping out with briny goodness in my mouth. My dining companion Alven said it’s probably due to the kitchen using frozen roes which would affect the texture of the roes once it was thawed prior to serving.
Moving on was the Soup - SzeChuan Dumpling, Dong Quai Superior Broth.
At first sip we concurred that it is reminiscent of bak kut teh (our local pork bone soup), albeit a much watered down version. The soup lacked the depth of flavour and aroma commonly associated with chinese soups. Then again, both chefs weren’t around to explain the concept of this dish, and perhaps the “lightness” of the broth is intentional. If it is, well, I personally would have preferred it to be more robust.
After the lackluster starters, the meal finally took a turn for the better with this Kelantanese Laksa (shouldn’t it be laksam?) with Soy Bean Mien, Hokkaido Scallop, Sambal Twist.
All of us loved it! The scallop was perfectly translucent within and the broth was thick and tasty. I’m guessing this is Chef Sher’s recipe.
We had a complimentary dish from the kitchen – the Thai Beef Roll which comprised of tender beef with arugula leaves and a wedge of orange. Not bad.
The palate cleanser just prior to our mains -apple lime vodka sorbet was mild in alcohol but does its job as a palate cleanser commendably.
After the palate cleanser was our mains and I have described those earlier in this post. All in all, the main courses were really good while the starters from the degustation menu was a bit of hits and misses. Anyhow, both chefs were not in the restaurant that night.
Would I return? When there’s a new menu out why not. For now I think I’m done.
Below: Desserts, which I skipped.
Elegantology Gallery & Restaurant, Publika
35, Level G2, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1, Kuala Lumpur, MY.
03-6206 5577 (Restaurant) / 03-6206 5599 (Gallery)
It’s on the same row as The Social, Silverspoon, Estilio and it faces the square. From Fat Boys walk towards The Bee and you’ll see it.