My memories of The Restaurant will always be strongly tied to the previous chef who had done a fantastic job with the menu and had bought an unsurpassed dining experience with his genuine hospitality and cooking skills.
Tonight I walked into The Restaurant for the first time to meet his successor, and naturally, expectations were in place.
To cut the long story short, Chef Ryan has bought his own expertise into the picture, and The Restaurant now features a reinvented menu that is a clever play of Asian spices married with Western cooking techniques.
There will be lingering memories of the previous chef’s strong modern European cuisine for those who are familiar with his style, but The Restaurant is now ready for a sail in a fresh direction, and as Chef Ryan has demonstrated with the dishes served that evening, the change can be an interesting, stimulating journey.
A native Filipino, Chef Ryan Arboleda grew up in New Zealand and had 14 years of experience in the culinary industry.
That evening, he showcased his Asian touch in a myriad of Modern Asian Street Tapas with a mix & match of tapas dishes ranging from hot and cold versus traditional and new.
I was suitably gratified with some; starting with the Steam Bao, Char Grilled Beef, Hoisin Sauce Mung Bean Salad where the juicy, medium rare beef makes for a truly delicious bite.
My next favourite is the Salmon Tostada; pleasantly creamy and fresh with added crispiness from the thin cracker, made better with little hills of gaucamole with a touch of caviar plus a ring of chilli.
Little details; but it made each bite delightful as the flavours come together.
2 halves of lime sat at the side, should you choose to drizzle over it a spritz of burnt lime juice to cut through the creaminess.
It wasn’t necessary for me; for I love any fish partially raw (must be fresh of course) and enjoyed the delicate taste of the fresh salmon as it is.
Stronger flavours was in the Thai Chicken Larb ‘Tacos’; for the meat was fried in spices before it was folded in the taco shell.
The Spiced Tempura Prawn, Passion Fruit and Chilli Coulis is a playful, fruity rendition of fried prawn and I liked it for the sweet and tangy character.
Scallops were perfectly cooked, sat on a pool of deceivingly creamy curry sauce that exploded its fiery character in the mouth.
I loved it; though many didn’t think that the spicy levels of the sauce complemented the delicate scallop.
What I did was simple, just a touch of sauce for each scallop (don’t mop up a whole glob!) and I easily devoured 4 of these babies that evening.
Korean Beef BBQ served with Grilled Pear & Kimchi, Roasted Broccoli.
This looks like duck bacon and tasted like duck bacon too! I personally find it a bit salty and thus I would match this with beers.
Think of it, slices of these pink morsels with a pint overlooking the beautiful alfresco terrace of The Restaurant, plus a cascading pool surrounded by lush and well manicured gardens.
The Restaurant is one of my favorite restaurant for a reason, and I had included it in “My Best Restaurant in KL/PJ” list last December 2014.
Whether the other items on the menu will live up to expectations is story for another day, for we merely had tapas this evening.
Prices for each tapas are from RM19 – RM45 ++.
Our last dish was the “Poached Coconut Cod, Massaman Curry topped with Papaya Salad”.
Execution is good and as I fork the delicate cod into my mouth, I realized that the modern European menu that The Restaurant is known for for the past 4 years has faded, and in its place an exciting Asian European contemporary renditions await to welcome its fans.
To try more of Chef Ryan’s new menu, make your reservation now by calling 03 – 7843 1234 or email [email protected].
The Restaurant @ The Club
Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
40150 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Open: 6.30 am to 11.00 pm, Monday to Sunday