I’m always in for a surprise when I dine at Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. During my most recent visit, I sampled the restaurant’s latest creations by Chef de Cuisine, Reto Weber.
The dinner menu included an appetizer of foie gras ballotine with barbary duck confit, spring morels and granny smith apple puree. Appealing and tasty, the goose liver – marinated with port wine and sea salt – was given a rustic touch by the slow cooked duck confit.
I also liked the smoked rainbow trout with asparagus salad, poached quail egg and French village crouton. Apple wood was used to smoke the trout for 15 minutes and the fish is cured for another half a day. The end result was moist and flaky with a smoky-sweet finish.
The John dory fillet (sourced from New Zealand) with turnip puree, chorizo, venus clams and butter lettuce was as tasty as it looked. Seasoning was kept light, allowing the flavour of the seafood to stand out. The clams were sweet and meaty, and Chef Reto shared that this was sourced locally to ensure freshness.
Even better was the wood mushroom cream soup with cured duck breast, morel dust and thyme essence. Wild mushrooms are used to give the soup a deep, earthy flavour and the pairing of duck breast really livened up the dish.
Butter poached Boston lobster screamed decadence, served with mascarpone enriched lobster bisque sauce, tarragon papardelle, coral oil, parmesan crisp and mascarpone. The lobster had a rich flavour from the butter and bisque, but I found my piece a tad overcooked. A pity really, for this would have been spectacular.
I thoroughly enjoyed the hay smoked wagyu beef rib eye with confit new potato, double baked gruyere cheese soufflé and black truffle jus. The rib eye boasted a marbling score of 6 and was extremely tender with a buttery-richness from the fat. Good stuff!
Desserts were equally promising; I preferred the platter of crunchy maple pecan bar, semifreddo, chocolate mille feuille, strawberry consommé to the peach combination. The former had a nice balance of bittersweet chocolate and tanginess from the strawberry.
The peach combination comprised a peach sherbet, Chantilly and peach velvet cake; a lighter alternative to the maple pecan bar. And like all my previous experience at Mandarin Grill, we capped off with coffee and the hotel’s finest petit fours.
On the whole, I enjoyed the new dishes at Mandarin Grill. Save for the overcooked lobster, the rest were good in their own way. For reservations, please call 03-2179 8960 or email [email protected]
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Food: 7.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Good food and lovely presentation. If you’re a fan of fish, the smoked rainbow trout is a must-try!