REVIEW: MIGF 2011 – Festival Menu @ Al-Amar, Pavilion KL

Visually arresting yes? 

Nougat Glacé Laid on a Bed of Vanilla Pineapple Confit Served with Pineapple Sauce & Spiced Chocolate Shell.

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Well, that was precisely what we thought too when we were presented with the dessert platter for the 2011 MIGF menu for Al-Amar Lebanese Restaurant.
Al-Amar is all set to impress diners with their affordable (YES, affordable!) yet superb MIGF menu this year.

Transition from the seasons of the world, easing from summer to winter, each dish showcases different ingredients & flavours according to the seasons.
The brilliant chef has carefully designed the menu in keeping to the theme of MIGF 2011 this year; which is “It’s Raining Chefs“.

Festival Chef: Chef Michel Karam

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Festival Menu

Lebanese Four Seasons
For a sunny start
Authentic Labneh Trio with Lebanese Southern Tapenade and a Brush of Thyme

Wine: Chateau Musar Jeune White, Viognier, Corsican variety, Vermentino and Chardonnay, 2008, Lebanon

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Labneh, (a cheese made of strained yogurt) coated with 3 different herbs – thyme, mint, chill powder & paprika. Good to eat it with the breadsticks or just on its own.

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Summer blooms
Apricot Glazed Beetroot Tartar on Mango Leather and Rocket Coulis

Wine: Chateau Kefraya Blanc de Blanc, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay, 2008, Lebanon

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Summer blooms – we had bright red beetroot, refreshing and tangy with the fruitiness of apricot. The beetroot were firm but really sweet, perhaps a bit too much apricot syrup? But it was a sweet sweet summer alright. :P

Autumn flavours
Spinach Bonbon, Soujouk Mille Feuille and Herb Crust Filled with Hommos and Grass Fed Baby Lamb Fillet

Chateau Musar Jeune Red, Cinsault, Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, Lebanon

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Presentation were all very artfully done, as you can see from the pictures.
Our Autumn course consisted of something a little heavier, their made-in-house lamb sausages (finally some meat!), 2 spinach spring rolls ribbons (they are known as bonbon actually.. I was just trying to be funny here) and last but not least, the grass fed baby lamb which was to me, non-existent.

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Actually, it was there, on that “fish-y” looking thing you see above. The 3 little bits sticking out from the hummus in that fish-shaped crust.
To be honest, the whole dish was tasty, it’s just that sharing it with 3 other hungry bloggers was in my opinion, a bit sad.

Raining chefs
Braised Rack of Lamb with Stuffed Baby Marrow and Vine Leaves Accompanied by a Garlic Mint Sauce

Wine: Chateau Musar Hochar Père & Fils, Cinsault, 2002, Lebanon

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Yes, 4 bloggers (actually it was 3 +1) shared one dish of each course in this MIGF menu. Yes, I agree that one doesn’t have to eat the whole dish to know it’s good but still……..

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Anyways, back to the food. The eye-candies on the sides were delightfully as well. The above is a bob of meat mixed with rice, served cold and sits prettily in a hollowed out squash. The vine leaves wrap .. hhmmmm.. memory kinda fails when you have to fight for your food before the whole plate is wiped out.

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Fortunately, I do remember the lamb. Fork tender; a knife wasn’t required at all. Pink in the middle, barely seasoned and moist. Just like how I like my meat.
They say having just a bit of something leaves you yearning for more. Well, if that’s the case then the ploy worked, for I only managed a slice of it before it all disappeared and I’m definitely hankering for more.

Pan seared Red Mullet Fillets with Sayadieh Rice and Drops of Fish Jus
Wine: Chateau Musar Cuvée White, Obeideh, 2004, Lebanon

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The lovely aromatic sayadieh – “fisherman rice” was wonderful on it’s own. Very flavourful. Very fluffy.
Middle Eastern rice dishes are always so tasty right? It must be the stock that they used to cook the rice. It makes you forget everything you hear about carbs being bad.

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The fish .. I guess it was alright. But the rice stole the show.

Sunshine after the rain
Nougat Glacé Laid on a Bed of Vanilla Pineapple Confit Served with Pineapple Sauce & Spiced Chocolate Shell

Sunshine after the rain indeed. If you’ve got a cloud over your head, this pretty kaleidoscope of colours is bound to turn up the corners of your mouth. :P

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You smiling yet? I’m sure you are. This platter of art tasted as good as it looks.

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But of course, you got to be hasty. Not only were there 4 – 5 spoons digging into it at once, the ice cream melts pretty fast too.

Cardamon ice cream encased within a chocolate shell. Creamy, cold with a nice tinge of spice.

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 Full Festival Menu: RM138++per person with wine
RM98++per person without wine

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Yup, all that above for RM98++! (We were not served any wines). I did say that it was a tasty and affordable meal right?
It is one of the best value MIGF menu for 2011. I think it would be filling enough for 1 (one) pax. I can’t guarantee, since we were sharing everything during the session.

Luckily we were served some “canapes” at the start of the session. These are from Al-Amar’s Catering menu.

migf 2011 - Al-Amar Lebanese Restaurant

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Do check out my other reviews on Al-Amar:
These posts features more of Al-Amar’s ala-carte dishes. Prices included. Lebanese wines are available too.
Post 1: Affordable Lebanese Food at Al-Amar Express, Fahrenheit 88
Post 2: Chateau Musar- My Lebanese Wine Tasting Experience at Al-Amar Pavilion KL

PS: I’m loving the pictures in this post. Thanks to the free NX11 workshops that I have been attending, I have mastered the Samsung NX11 slightly better now and able to use manual mode to play a bit with the settings for better control on the images! Yay!
Samsung NX11

Category : Food