The Restaurant @ The Club Saujana Resort took home 14 MIGF (Malaysia International Gourmet Festival) last year and 18 awards from the recent MIGF 2013, making it the Overall Best Restaurant this year. In the 3.5 years Chef Alex had called Malaysia home, he had worked tirelessly on improving the entire dining experience in The Restaurant; with the most obvious changes reflected in the menu, the service and in every component of the food he serves.
I had personally followed its progress and had continuously been impressed. To date, my dinners here (MIGF, Christmas, wine pairing) had not disappointed and if possible, every meal seems better than last!
For those who have been inquiring after seeing my FB/Instagram postings, here are the prices and pictures of the dishes for the upcoming Christmas menu. Do make your reservations early!
The menu: Prices varies according to the number of courses selected, which means you don’t have to choose between say, 2 mains because you can select any dish to make 3, 4, 5 or 6 courses.
Amused bouche. This varies daily and I had a pretty good prawn ravioli that evening.
Appetizer: Tuna Carpaccio Marinade with spiced Oil, White Tomato Mousse, Tomato Salsa, Grilled Octopus.
As usual Chef Alex’s dishes are meticulously thought out, aesthetically pleasing and harmonized in terms of the flavors of every component on a plate.
It certainly spoke volumes of the deliberation and preparation he pours into each of his creation. I believe I had said this before in my prior postings on The Restaurant, and I’ll reiterate it again. Every element that goes into a dish plays a role and are likely to be prepared from scratch in his kitchen.
Take for example the frothy White Tomato Mousse. This was made from tomato water whisked into foam with gelatin plus egg whites added to stabilize it and chilled before serving. And that makes up just 1 component of this plate.
The tuna was marinated with spiced oil which consist of rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and chilli and a few more ingredients that I didn’t managed to catch since I couldn’t type as fast as Chef Alex’s dictation.
Then we have the salsa, the greens which was tossed with vinaigrette, the green dots and the octopus, all of which made up ONE appetiser, which took me a mere 5 minutes to wipe clean.
Should I have been slower to savour this? Well, that would have been difficult, for I was very hungry, and the dish was very good! 🙂
Soup: Double Boiled Chicken Consomme, Rosemary Semolina Dumpling, Slow Poached Foie Gras on Chicken Ragout.
When I read ‘double boiled’ on the menu I was intrigued. Is Chef Alex attempting a chinese soup?
I don’t think I had tasted anything remotely chinese from him as yet, and I was eager to see how this would turn out. He had never failed to excite his diners at each MIGF due to his ability to create unique dishes, or somehow turn an ordinary ingredient into something unexpected.
The chicken consomme was good with its clean flavours, but it was the rosemary scented semolina dumpling that stole the show. It is simple yet it added character to the soup. I didn’t think for once rosemary and chicken consomme matched, but it did.
I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to eat the Slow Poached Foie Gras on Chicken Ragout separately but I did. While the consomme was clean and clear on taste, this was creamy and rich.
For those who are interested to know, the foie was slow poached in olive oil, salt and pepper while the ragout uses chicken breast, cream and cut vegetables.
Pre-Main: Medium Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Vegetable Sauce, Truffle Onion Wantan.
The tender lamb was good, but the sides of carrots and leeks aren’t any less tasty, especially when they are confit in lamb fat (I kid you not!)! There I was thinking that I was being a good girl eating my vegetables, and nearly gasped out loud when Chef revealed how it was prepared.
I added 20 minutes to my cardio the very next day but it was all worth it! 😀
And oh, that truffle onion wantan was just a nice mouthful.
Passion Fruit Sorbet: Passion Fruit Sauce, Yogurt.
Yogurt with sorbet. Why not? It adds a creamy mouthfeel to the sharp sorbet.
Main (Seafood): Smoked Salmon with Spice Fennel Fond Saffron Potato, Tomato, Crabmeat & Mussel.
Mains offers options from the land and sea. From the ocean this pool of oceanic treasures is marvelous creation. While most restaurants serve seafood grilled, baked or pan seared, then artfully arranged on a plate with sides of carbs and some greens, Chef surprises with a “seafood soup”!
He has personally smoked the salmon with hickory wood and marinated the fish with salt and sugar. Commercial smoked salmon are easily available, but no, not for Chef Alex who insist on controlling every component of each of his dish, which translates to the quality and superb flavours you’ll experience when dining at The Restaurant.
The salmon has a nice smokiness, wasn’t too salty and wonderfully flaky and soft. I tooks generous sips of the smoky sweet broth, which somehow reminded me of the popular ABC soup because of the tomatoes, potatoes and onions.
For mains I would usually choose meat over seafood, but I loved this salmon dish as much as I swooned over the duck.
Main (Meat): Oven Roasted Christmas Duck served as Breast and Leg, Orange Gravy, Chanterelle Bread Dumplings, Braise Red Cabbage.
For those asking for turkey, unfortunately there won’t be turkey on Chef Alex’s menu anytime soon. Which is fine for me since I never liked turkey anyways.
Trivia; do you know that duck is more of a part of Christmas than Turkey? According to experienced foodie and writer Hooi Khaw, turkey is made popular by the American.
Anyhow who needs the turkey when you can have duck? I love the duck leg; superbly crispy skin & firm, tender flesh. It was confit and marinated with fennel seeds, star anise and a myriad of spices. The duck breast was roasted. The orange sauce, which was sweet, bitter-ish and tart at the same time goes beautifully with the whole dish.
Pre-dessert: Christmas Pudding with Vanilla Sauce.
Dessert: Chocolate Brownie with Christmas Pear Mousse and Jelly Champagne Pear Sorbet and Poached Pear.
Choose to dine in the quiet, air conditioned comfort of the restaurant or to sit outside by the pool and enjoy the calming ambiance.
At the end of dinner, Chef Alex announced the new lunch and dinner menu of which you can check out here –> http://www.shr.my/hotels-resorts/the-club-saujana-resort/dining/
As you can see, Chef Alex isn’t the sort to take the easy way out and repeats his usual mains on his Christmas menu so do make an effort to sample his Christmas menu which is only available on 24th and 25th December 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