UPDATE: 28th January 2013.
After the comment left by Ryan as below (comments section) as well as some comments I’ve got from a few friends who went, I have decided that there are enough FACTS for me to update my post here. According to the reports, the food standard has dropped tremendously due to the popularity of the brunch. Service was incredibly slow too. I had somehow foreseen that this might happen once the brunch gets popular and taking into consideration of menu; which as you can see, are dishes that needs great care to cook and time to prepare.
I’m sad for those who have read about this brunch (whether from my post or others) and had went in good faith to be disappointed. As such, I am now updating my review and would not personally recommend this buffet to anyone UNTIL I have again, firm reports that things have improved. I’m sure once the kitchen found its footing again, food would be as stellar as I have remembered it. Until then.
I just had Sunday Brunch at Renoma Cafe Gallery today and I’m very impressed with the food! For RM85++, I daresay it’s one of the best buffet in town.
Prepared upon order, everything came beautifully plated, in satisfying portions and most importantly tasted fabulous!
Here’s the menu:
We arrived 11am sharp yesterday morning (Sunday) and the service and kitchen staff were already ready to serve. That’s a good sign. I never liked having to wait when it comes to food.
The aim was to try every dish from the menu. The bread basket came around and I ignored it. Do note that my post today would be less wordy than usual as each dish comes with a description that is self explanatory. Besides, we liked almost every dish we had!
MUST ORDER: Hokkaido Scallop and Cold Cha Soba, Simply a beautiful dish with dimensional flavours thanks to the marriage of kombu and yuzu.
Description: Pan-fried Scallop, Black & White Sesame, Green Tea Noodles, Hijiki Seaweed, Bonito flakes, poached eggs, Yuzu Kombu broth.
MUST ORDER: Sea Urchin & Crispy Tofu. Textural & temperature contrast of cold creamy uni and hot silken tofu. Interesting and intriguing. We weren’t sure how to eat this so we tried both separately and all at once. Big briny ikura topped the uni while small popping salmon roe sits on top of the bean curd. Is there a relevance? I would have to ask the chef.
Description: Hokkaido Bay Sea Urchin, deep fried bean curd, salmon roe, poached white asparagus, Hong Kong Chilli Oil Broth.
MUST ORDER: Smoked Duck Tea. Rich bodied of duck essence with a clean finish. Amazing depth of flavour.
Description: Consomme of smoked duck, wood ear mushroom, green pea, water chestnut, pan-seared goose liver.
MUST ORDER: Lamb Chop “Chimuchurri”. It was actually served medium but retained all juiciness and flavour. Lamb lovers, go for it!
Description: Char -grilled Lamb Chop, Argentina Chimuchurri sauce, fried potato, sauteed garlic french beans.
It’s so good that I had to clean the bone of any shred of meat!
MUST ORDER: Croque Madame, so called because a croque madame; being a “lady” version of croque monsieur is served with an egg. Forget the no carbs rule during a buffet. ORDER THIS!
Description: Grilled sandwich, gruyere cheese, beef pastrami, air-dried muscovy duck breast, chicken salami, Black Truffle Egg.
Stuffed to the brim with meat goodness inside!
MUST ORDER: Hokkaido Scallop & Avruga Caviar. Order anything with the word “scallop” in it. Enough said.
Description: Hokkaido Bay Scallop, pan-seared, avruga caviar, red chilli linguini, Shio-Kombu Beurre Blanc, 7 spiced sesame.
This is the exact level of doneness I like for my scallops. Still smooth and opaque within and juicy! As for the pasta, the complex sauce was intriguing and leaves a slight fiery burn in the throat.
MUST ORDER: Confit of Muscovy Duck Leg. Hardly salty and really flavourful to the bone with a marvelous crispy skin. Dare I say it’s the best duck confit in KL? Hmmm…I guess the more prudent accolade would be the best I have had so far!
Description: Slow-cooked French duck leg in duck fat, sauteed potato, caramelized onion, baby vegetable, apricot & mustard sauce.
Waste not any of the accompanying sides either. Everything on this plate is lip-smackingly delicious!
MUST ORDER: Hanger Steak with Port Wine sauce.
Description: Read my previous review HERE. Or just take my word for it – It’s excellent! I like my meat medium rare so I won’t guarantee you the same concentrated flavour if you order yours otherwise.
MUST ORDER: Black Bass Fillet “Portuguese Style”. A genius marriage of the west and east. I like the added touch of the okra at the side. Isn’t that so synonymous with Portuguese style fish? 🙂 And oh, be sure to chew on every single grain of the creamy risotto!
Description: Baked Black Bass Fillet, bamboo leaf, spicy Portuguese sauce, saffron risotto, grilled baby vegetables, okra.
A wonderful piece of fish. The moderately oily meat is tender and moist with large, thick flakes.
MUST ORDER: Risotto ai Funghi Porcini. If you have always hated risotto for its starchy (or even worst; gooey) texture, then this is the risotto to make up for all the bad ones you had. Renoma Cafe Gallery’s version is wonderfully earthy, woody and threaded that fine line between the familiar complain of “uncooked” (too hard inside) and “overcooked” (mushy) texture. Here it was perfectly al dente – where the rice still retained a little bit of resistance as you chew but not rock hard in the center and mushy on the outside.
Description: Arborio rice, mushroom broth, porcini mushrooms, grana padano, parmesan, white truffle oil, sauteed sugar snap pea.
MUST ORDER: Foie Gras & Black Truffle Capellini. If you’re looking for a buffet in town to indulge in foie gras, this is it. Each dish that features foie gras was served perfectly seared and in substantial sized portions. Moreover this marvelous portion of pasta was expertly executed. The flavourful base clung to the angel hair pasta and each bite gave unparalleled flavour.
Description: Pan-seared foie gras, sauteed angel hair pasta, summer truffle, muscovy duck rillette, smoked duck breast, forest mushroom.
MUST ORDER: Miso Glazed Atlantic Cod. Another winner from the seafood department. Do remember to coat the pasta with generous amount of the chinese superior broth.
Description: Glazed white miso cod fillet, chinese superior broth, pearl onion, wheat germ tagliolini pasta, crispy leek, sauteed baby nai pak.
Moving on, the next section would be what I opined to be “Recommended”. Basically I find these dishes good, but somehow lacking in something.
RECOMMENDED: Forest Mushroom Veloute. I’m sorry. My 2 dining partners loved it. I think it could do with a bit more creaminess.
Description: Veloute of Black Trumpet, Oyster mushroom, porcini mushroom, white truffle oil, creme porcini.
RECOMMENDED: Lamb Rack. We got a very fatty rack with very little meat. Most of the meat were concentrated at the front portion of the rack. I’ll take the lamb chops over this anytime.
RECOMMENDED: Hamachi King Fish “Mosaic”. A gorgeous piece no doubt! My only grouse was the lack of succulence in the fish. It was almost bland on its own but alright with the drizzle of yellow sauce on top. Perhaps it was meant to be eaten all in a mouthful with the ikura, sauce and the mangoes; which was delightfully sweet! I would need to clarify with chef about this.
Description: Yellowtail King Fish, Bluefin Tuna, Frozen Pakistan Mango, Orange Oil & Vinaigrette, Salad leaves, seaweed.
RECOMMENDED: Crispy Mozzarella Caprese. The menu read “pan-seared” but it came battered. Still it was a salad with wonderfully dressing – the mix of pesto, balsamic and avocado oil.
Description: Pan-seared buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomato, asian pesto, aged balsamic, salad leave, pine nut, avocado oil.
RECOMMENDED: Grilled Beef Kofta & Harissa. Nice balls. Really. 🙂
Description: Char-grilled grass-fed beef striploin skewer, arab spices, bulgur wheat, pine nut, harrisa hot chilli stew, toasted bread.
Not very good: Salade Nicoise & Scottish Salmon. This paled in comparison to the other dishes not because it was a salad but rather due to the taste.
Description: Salad leaves, smoked scottish salmon, grilled artichoke heirloom tomatoes, anchovies, quail egg, red wine vinaigrette.
Finally the desserts! 🙂
The pastry chef has my respect. Desserts at Renoma Cafe Gallery triumphs over many 5 stars hotels in the city.
First up is our favourite panna cotta, just as milky and tangy as we remembered it.
The Apple Cake with salted pecan crumble, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce is one of the best I have had. Glorious layers of apples, moist and non-overly perfumed with cinnamon.
Orange Vanilla Creme Brulee – orange & vanilla bean rich egg custard, crusted brown sugar. Wonderfully made with stimulating citrus scent.
Every restaurant offers a minimum of one chocolate dessert. This could possibly be the best molten lava chocolate cake in town.
Valhorna Chocolate Fondant – soft & melted centre chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, wild berries stew.
The insides were not as runny as the usual molten lava cake but we didn’t mind such deep, rich chocolate flavour.
The outer crust was crisp, the thin sponge soft and well, I already told you how’s the molten chocolate is! 🙂
Renoma Cafe Gallery makes their own range of ice cream. Other than the vanilla one we sampled earlier with the apple pie, we ordered Cointreau Creme a l’ orange (alcohol). Chocolate Marshmallow (which was basically good chocolate ice cream studded with marshmallows) and Rum & Raisin (alcohol).
We gave thumbs up for all, especially the alcoholic ones! 😀
Last but not least, the Tiramisu!
There wasn’t a very prevalent liquor taste in this but the superb mascarpone layers (light yet cheesy!) and the skillfully soaked lady fingers (skillful because it was soaked just nicely without turning the outer crust soggy) had us wiping the plate clean.
Although this is a buffet, do allow the kitchen ample time to prepare the food. As you can see from the pictures above, every dish is meticulously plated and food was cooked just right; from the risotto to the pasta to the foie gras. We had to wait for while in between courses but it was fine for us as we understood that such dishes can’t be rushed.
And for our patience, we were rewarded with top notch food, attentive service and a thoroughly enjoyable time! :DD
Renoma Cafe Gallery
Lot 510, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Earlier dinner review — > HERE.