3 years. 3 years of being continuously amazed by Chef Alexander Waschl. It was like a 3 year affair that has finally reached its peak.
MIGF 2011 was “Hmmm… he’s good and the meal was promising“. In 2012 it was “Chef Alex is definitely a chef to watch out for.”
And this year, it’s just “Damn, I need to make dinners at The Restaurant a regular affair, not just an annual visit! “.
Before writing this I checked back on my previous posts on his MIGF dinners and the first thought that occurred to me was “Thank god, I didn’t use the word “exquisite”. 😀
Ok, that was an inside joke between me and Karen, who had commented over dinner about how overused the word is in food blogging.
Unfortunately the word is now stuck in my mind, and if she is reading this, she would be seeing the word “exquisite” a few times here.
Amuse Bouche. One word – Exquisite.
Chef Alexander Waschl is a perfectionist. Just spend some time talking to him about food and his work and that would become apparent. He seems to be a creature of habit too. For one, he likes to present his dish in trios (or more) on a plate.
He is proud of his foie gras creme (ice cream, mousse or whatever else you wish to call it) and rightfully so. That, and his smoked duck had made frequent appearance on his menus.
His forte is meat, and having said that, I must declare now that I might be biased in my review. Feed me meat (the best there is please) and juicy burgers and I’m sold. 😀
Last but not least, he will always pop by during dessert and spoon some glorious, wickedly diet-busting liquid over the last course and grinned just as devilish when we protest feebly about how stuffed we are.
But he is not a man without surprises. While one will appreciate the familiarity of dining in The Restaurant (salmon, beef, lamb, foie gras are prominently featured) Chef Alexander does successfully throw in some twist in the plot somewhere.
Barely warming my chair, our amuse bouche appeared. Pretty little thing, and I was hungry, after spending an hour bending my body in some weird poses in the name of photography. You can check out the photos on my Facebook.
I dug in, and spent the next few minutes in silent. It goes without saying that it was good. I shall refrain from using the word ‘exquisite’ again.
My partner Joanna described it as mind-blowing, and literally barked at the waiter who tried to clear it away before she finished it.
The white translucent jelly on top is extracted from white tomatoes. The layer below is smoked cod fish mousse; smooth and fine and no, not fishy at all.
The Appetiser reminded me of the 2011 MIGF menu where the star ingredient back then was tuna instead of salmon.
At the top we have the Salmon Tartar lightly seasoned with olive oil and onions and the salmon crudo, still slightly rare inside and coated with herbs all round (very similar to last year’s Medallion of Salmon). Stretched out at the bottom of the plate is the salmon carpaccio, perfect in its undressed form. 2 surprising elements on the plate was the Horseradish Panna Cotta and the Yuzu Sorbet, the former a pleasant one while the latter an acquired taste that I couldn’t managed to develop the taste for. And why is Yuzu green? Well, ask Chef Alex yourself. 🙂
With the Marinated Radish (think pickled) and the red radish discs this was a plate of seemingly complicated flavours and textures, but an enjoyable one.
Last year I had foie gras ice cream with smoked duck. This year I had foie gras creme with smoked duck. Sounds repetitive on paper, but entirely intriguing on the palate.
The key similarity of elements on this grey stone are Granny Smith Apples, Smoked Duck and Foie Gras. I love both the taste as much as the presentation on this one.
On the left we have the foie gras mousse coiled within smoked duck plus a cigar of smoked duck, both sitting pretty on a thin buttery cracker. Slivers of zesty Granny Smith apple gave contrast to the musky, creamy liver.
Similarly on the right Ms Granny Smith was incarnated in a wobbly, tart, yet subtly sweet form. Another roll of Chef Alex’s signature smoked duck shared the space with a scoop of foie gras creme, which was velvety seductive on the tongue.
We moved away from the cold and ushered in the warmth with the soup.
A sip of this pond of sunshine ensured that Joanna and I will never appreciate corn in any other form again.
Every sip was full of natural corn goodness. Scallops in corn soup may seem weird on the menu but this is one of those pairings that tasted a lot better than it sounded.
No fancy imported corn used but just our regular Cameron Highland ones, which was surprising, for I never had high regard for our local corn. The secret is in Chef’s recipe of course, one of which I’ll slowly but surely squeeze out from him. Hopefully. 😀
We were stuffed by then and we still have 2 mains and a dessert to go. One certainly can’t complain about the quality or portion for the price paid for the MIGF dinner here. Besides, the tiered pricing allows diners a selection of 3,4,5 or 6 courses so pace yourself accordingly.
From the sea we had the sashimi grade seabass which marvelous in its simplicity – thick flakes and melt-in-your-mouth texture. This sits on a pool of Bouillabaisse sauce, sharing the space with the airy Garlic Mousseline.
But it’s always the Land that stimulates me. This year’s Smoked Lamb Rack, Confit Lamb Shoulder, Egglant, Potato Fondant, Baked Potate Strudel is a dish I’ll remember for a long, long time.
But as Joanna had said, there’s only that much one can describe meat; the standard being ‘juicy, tender, flavourful’, of which both the rack and confit was exactly that, But it was the surroundings of this dish brought out the flavors even more. We were fascinated with the potato strudel that crumbled at the mere prod of my fork. I was busy mopping up the aubergine puree for the better half of the time the dish was on the table, moving on to the aubergine rolls which reminisces of dehydrated vegetables and then the potato fondant, laced with sweet tomatoes.
Everything on this plate was good, and I did my best to finish it.
Dessert, where the use of the adjective “ultimate” is justifiable.
Ultimate Chocolate Brownie, Iced Milk Mousse, Nougat Ice-Cream, Berries.
Every year Chef Alexander would explain to me on how he kept to the theme of the MIGF, something that not many other chefs did I reckon. Anyhow this year’s theme was ‘cool chefs’ and Chef Alexander had integrated many winter produce and methods of cooking into his dishes.
If you buy me a dinner here, I’ll tell you. Else try guessing from the dishes above. 😀
I know I had said this about Qba’s MIGF menu, and I’m saying the same for The Restaurant now. Please do make time to visit The Restaurant for dinner this month! I’ll happily oblige of course, if you need a dinner companion.
Full Festival Menu:
RM220 ++ per person (any 6 Courses without wine)
RM200 ++ per person (any 5 Courses without wine)
RM180 ++ per person (any 4 Courses without wine)
RM160 ++ per person (any 3 Courses without wine)
Thank you again Karen and Chef for the sublime dinner. It was certainly one of the best meals of 2013.
Stay connected to their FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheClubSaujanaResort for updates on their wine dinners.
The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur (It is DIFFERENT from The Saujana Resort but on the same side of the road. If all fails, follow the GPS below!).
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS, 40150 Shah Alam, Kuala Lumpur
GPS Coordinates : N 3 06.498, E 101 34.645
Tel: +603-7806 7000