* This article was also published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 31st July 2010.
The newly-opened Mandarin Grill brings luxury dining to a whole new level with its beautiful ambiance, delicious dishes and exotic cutlery!
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur stands tall with the opening of its latest restaurant, the exclusive and contemporary modern Mandarin Grill. Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this restaurant is complete with an inbuilt fireplace, elegant interior and floor to ceiling windows revealing a beautiful garden.
The restaurant focuses on a unique menu with a range of classic dishes with a modern twist, created by Chef de Cuisine Cedric Darthial. The Frenchman has an illustrious culinary career, having worked in Michelin Star restaurants as well as being awarded the Best Chef of the Year 2009 in Dubai.
Mandarin Grill possesses a wine cellar that holds an extensive selection of champagne and wines, both from the old and new world.
We were shown to our table by the window with the view of an open space surrounded by lush greenery. Once being seated we were served with nibbles of delicious bread with two types of butter and fresh fruit juices.
We began with the appetizers. The Yellow fin tuna sashimi was kept very simple. With its mild flavor and firm texture, the fish was simply appetizing with the tomato salsa and the wasabi lime cream with a hint of tanginess.
Next came the serving of Foie gras au torchon, Smoked duck breast and the Pumpkin Veloute Soup. The plating of the Foie gras au torchon was creative and this dish indeed highlights Chef Cedric’s creativity. Rolled into a firm piece, the foie gras was served with pear and ginger chutney, along with the beetroot puree. I enjoyed the creamy foie gras with the accompanied spiced bread.
The Smoked duck breast came with Apples chutney, mesclun and orange five spices dressing. The duck meat was tender and flavorful, balanced well with the chutney and five spices.
A window seat revel in the relaxing views of the garden
The final appetizer before the serving of the main course, was the Pumpkin Veloute Soup. The soup was delicious and creamy and was elegantly presented in a glass!
The gastronomic indulgence included four main courses.
The Seared Sea Bass was prepared beautifully, firm yet still moist on the inside, accompanied by a combination of cabbage compote, tempura cress and citrus Beurre Blanca. And it came in the right portion.
Apart from the fish, we also had the savory Arugula Seafood Rissoto. The rice draws its green color and the subtle yet distinct flavor from the arugula. It was creamy and served with Alaskan crab leg, prawns and juicy scallops. I had my share of taste and it was pretty flavorful with the freshness of the seafood. Chef Cedric did great in elevating this classic dish with the arugula.
Mandarin Grill is serious about its steaks. Besides having an impressive selection of beef, the restaurant also provide diners with a selection of steak knives from the prestigious French knife manufacturer, Laguiole.
The handles are made of cattle horn, ivory and exotic woods from around the world. Not only is it famed for its hand-crafted beauty, Laguiole knives cut through the meat effortlessly. Mandarin Grill definitely brings luxury dining to a whole new level!
Close-up shot of the knife with the distinctive Laguiole bee
Moving on to the steaks, we had two renditions of succulent meat – the serving of Black Angus Sirloin and the 1824 Tenderloin. Both were perfect – medium rare with a charred flavor and juicy with a good balance of tenderness.
Perfectly charred Black Angus Sirloin with a juicy red center
In Mandarin Grill, diners have the option of two side dishes and a sauce. We chose the crispy fresh garlic jumbo asparagus, soft gratin dauphinois and morel sauce.
Deliciously tender 1824 Tenderloin
The grand finale was the Mango Cheesecake and Manjari Chocolate Ganache served with hot beverages of Macchiato and Espresso. The lusciously creamy Mango Cheesecake was presented with Pecan nut crust and stracciatella ice-cream.
The divine Manjari Chocolate Ganache, served with Coffee Anglaise and chocolate sorbet, was indeed a chocolate fantasy for me.
Opening alongside the Mandarin Grill is the cozy and relaxing MO Bar which provides one of the best and largest selections of single malt whiskies in Kuala Lumpur. I am looking forward to trying out the single malt whisky on my next trip!
It was truly an enjoyable lunch at Mandarin Grill, with a delightful mixed experience of taste and texture. My appreciation to Veronica Choo and Nicole Andres for hosting us at Mandarin Grill and MO Bar.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 21798960