After giving Renoma Cafe Gallery a few months breather since my last visit and also to give the kitchen team an opportunity to sort out the issues on their brunch food & service, I revisited 2 weeks back for dinner.
As you may know, I’m a big fan of their brunch, but consistent negative feedback from my readers as well as friends who have visited weeks after me was disturbing.
Even a friend of mine who went for their ala-carte menu didn’t quite like it.
I don’t quite understand it actually. I went for their brunch with 2 friends and we had a fabulous time. And no, it wasn’t an invited review and the head chef wasn’t even there. Happily sated, we paid our bill and I wrote a pretty glowing review.
Here’s one of my favourite dish from the brunch: Confit of Muscovy Duck Leg, so competently done, not overly salty or dry.
I went for dinner before too, and this time Chef Alven was in the house. He took us through his best dishes and I enjoyed my meal, especially the Hanger Steak.
I don’t usually re-visits restaurants in KL as there seem to be a new one popping up every week. But I do make an exception for Renoma Cafe Gallery.
I enjoyed having my tastebuds tantalized with Chef’s Alven cleverly crafted dishes since he’s fond of (and daringly too) incorporating both local and imported spices and produce to create some pretty unique creations that somehow worked harmoniously on the palate..
On a recent Sunday evening, we started with the Pacific Bluefin Tuna, (RM35) as recommended by one of the service staff. Unfortunately it was rather bland and uninspiring for a bluefin tuna cooked in matsutake sauce and I only enjoyed the side salad, avocado bavarois, apricot chutney and the spicy puff rice.
On the other hand, I must really compliment Chef on the beautiful dots of creamy avocado bavarois and sweet apricot chutney; both of which were lick-the-plate worthy.
Anyhow the 6 hours braised short ribs remedied our earlier disappointment. This was fork tender but the most tender section was at the top, where the fat was. Closer to the bone, the meat was slightly chewier . Chef Alven was on off that evening so I was only able to ask him about it during a return visit recently. He explained that he had wanted to retain the bite of the meat and thus it was not as soft as the one I had in Elegantology.
This was a carbonara using casarecce – a type of scroll pasta. For RM36 our casarecce came with summer truffle, organic egg, toasted nuts, parmesan cheese and duck prosciutto.
The entire dish was devoid of cream (as how it originally should be), and lip-smackingly good! We mopped up the sauce with the complimentary bread rolls so you can imagine how good it is! However, we would advise you to steer clear of the salty duck prosciutto.
Our bill: RM155.45.
2 days after that dinner, we headed back for another session, this time with Chef Alven in the house. He had wanted me to sample some of his new items on the menu.
We started with the escargot, but done in a very interesting manner. Still french, in between layer of crispy mille feuille!
Appetizer: Escargot – Mille Feuille Of Escargot Fricassee with Forest Mushroom, Gruyere Cheese, Sauce Verte, Pumpkin Seed Oil & Salad Leaves – RM30.
It was a novel twist from the usual escargot swimming in cream and cheese isn’t it?
Under the Appetizer section as well, we sampled Chef’s housemade Creme Brulee of Goose Liver Mousse stuffed with Dried Fruit, Tropical Fruit Compote, Compressed Rock Melon & Salad Leaves -RM42.
This superbly smooth (hence the term creme brulee & mousse) and surprisingly light wasn’t as livery (bitter) as the usual pate and the hidden fruit compote inside was a sweet surprise. This is definitely recommended for those who would like to eat pate, but find some pate a tad strong on the palate.
Pleased with the 2 appetizers, we moved on to the Entree – South African Abalone : Sliced Whole Abalone With Chilled Black Truffle Capellini Pasta, Troute Roe, Hon Shimeiji & Matsutake Infused Dashi Broth – RM42.
This was a cold european and oriental influenced entree with fabulous umami flavours imparted by the dashi and added luxury of truffles and abalone.
I asked for the veal sweetbread as I saw on their FB Page that this dish was on the previous week set lunch. Since it was already off the menu, Chef Alven improvised and came up with this instead; capellini with sakura dried shrimps and veal sweetbread.
The combination of sakura dried shrimps and the chilli oil gave a lovely fragrance plus the unexpected slow burn at the end was a nice surprise as we tucked in forkfuls of smooth slippery capellini. As for the veal sweetbread, I must say it’s an acquired taste.
Grilled Slipper Lobster (Ours was substituted by a lobster) / Salted Egg Yolk Motoyaki /Linguine “Phad Thai” / Crispy Shrimp / Bean Sprout / Kaffir Lime.
The lobster was baked in Motoyaki (typical Japanese mayo based sauce used in baking seafood in shell) while the noodles were interestingly Thai spices imbued. Like I said before, Chef Alven has a knack for experimenting his dishes by integrating a play of different food cultures.
I’ll like to see a Nyonya infusion soon, yes, blame it on the recent Melaka trip. I’m all inquisitive of Nyonya food and spice now. 🙂
From the meat menu we had the Kobe (stock from Japan to Singapore to Malaysia) Grade A5. This is based on stock availability as the usual would be Master Kobe from Australia.
Price are as follow: Master Kobe (Australia) – Mable-Score 10+ Sirloin Steak.
200gm – RM282
100gm – RM152
The same prices applies for the Japan Kobe, A5 (if there is stock, do call to reserve). Tastewise I must say it’s superbly buttery and the texture supple, exactly how a such a heavily fat marbled piece of meat should be. However, I couldn’t stomach more than a 100g as it was oozing fat from every chew!
But if you want Kobe without having to pay for accommodation and flights, then this is it.
Tea-Smoked Duck Breast.
Pan-Seared Black tea-Smoked Duck With Sauteed Puy Lentil Red Wine Compressed Asian Pear & Blood Orange Sauce Bigarade – RM54. Black tea infused or otherwise, if you’re a fan of duck you would enjoy this immensely. If you have noticed, every dish comes with imported vegetables which is also one of the main reasons I enjoy my meals here. I’m serious, I’m just sick of mashed celeriac, mashed potatoes, asparagus and broccoli as sides!
Coq Au Vin.
Slow-Braised Cornish Rock Free-Range Green Chicken In Burgundy Wine With Pearl Onion, Button Mushroom & Fettuccine – RM42.
I haven’t tried any Coq Au Vin in France itself so I can’t vouch for it’s authenticity. Nevertheless, it is a hearty dish with the added pasta and the flavour of red wine was pretty distinctive.
Finally we got down to desserts. I was pretty stuffed by then but from my past experiences RCG’s desserts are really worth the calories. This time we sampled the Green Tea Creme Brulee, the Baileys Parfait and the Lemon Cheese Tart, all of which I gave a reassuring thumbs up.
Both meals I had (as recorded above) were overall satisfying. Another trip is due soon for their Surf and Turf Burger, which is an amalgamation of UNAGI (yes!), beef and lobster.
Anyone up for it? 🙂
Lastly, for those of you who has been asking about the Sunday Brunch, it is difficult for me to confidently recommend it as I have not been back for brunch and won’t be anytime soon.
I’m not sure of the current situation but I do know that they (Renoma) had capped it to only 80 pax each Sunday to facilitate the operations.
Still if you would like to go (it’s really worth the price paid), just be early. It starts at 11am so be there sharp!
Another reason to dine at Renoma Cafe Gallery? Just step into the outlet and you will know why. The beautiful interior of the restaurant can be hypnotic. So much attention to details can be seen here. Enjoy these pictures below all courtesy of Pak Lan! 🙂
Renoma Cafe Gallery
Lot 510, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia