BY CK Lam
It is spring time and we see the highly prized white asparagus featured on the menus of fine dining restaurants in Penang.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang has the imported ‘royal vegetable’ highlighted in the Feringgi Grill. The fine dining restaurant serves an a la carte menu offering diners the chance to try many of Chef De Cuisine, Matthias Tretbar’s white asparagus dishes.
Plump stalks of white asparagus (photo credit to RSRS)
The white asparagus has something a little more special. “To cultivate white asparagus, tender shoots are covered with soil as they grow, so that they are not exposed to sunlight and will not turn green as they normally do. The white asparagus is less bitter and tenderer than the typical garden variety asparagus,” said Chef Matthias.
The evening started with a few bites of house-made bread, followed by the amuse bouche of crispy beef croquet with cauliflower mash.
Chef Matthias prepared two starters which were amusing to the palate. The first was pickled white asparagus, served on a bed of shredded lettuce. The pickled white asparagus seasoned with olive oil, vinegar and shallots along with toppings of tomato basil salsa offered refreshing flavours which perked things up.
The second was stir-fried white and green asparagus with strawberries, edible flowers, rocket, and the prized foie gras. An elegant presentation, the dish was accompanied by drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette. The thick zesty vinaigrette and the sweet nutty flavor of the asparagus cut through the richness of the foie gras.
Stir-fried white and green asparagus – RM72
Pickled white asparagus – RM32
The caramelized white asparagus cream soup was poured by Chef Matthias. Made from pureed asparagus, stock, and a touch of cream, the intense asparagus soup had slices of smoked salmon and caviar, which added a depth of flavor and a bit of bite.
Caramelized white asparagus cream soup – RM32
We also enjoyed the sweet nutty flavor of the white asparagus in the main seafood and meat dishes.The choices on the menu included king prawns, pan-fried scallops, wagyu beef tenderloin, braised beef cheeks, lamb chops and Canadian cod.
Chef Matthias added smoky flavor to the light and juicy Canadian cod. Among the meaty dishes, we sampled the grilled lamb chops and braised beef cheeks. The rich and juicy texture of the lamb chops pleased the palate more than the braised beef cheeks.
The main dishes were accompanied by baby potatoes and a choice of choron, bearnaise, hollandaise or maltaise sauce. The rich hollandaise sauce lent a startling level of flavor to the white asparagus.
Lamb Chops – RM158
Canadian Cod – RM118
Braised Beef Cheeks- RM128 and Pan Fried Scallops – RM108
We had the palates ready for dessert, a colorful dish comprised of Grand Marnier marinated fresh strawberries with orange yoghurt mousse and pistachio (RM32).
The dish with eye-pleasing presentation is an absolute delicious dessert.
Do not miss out this a la carte white asparagus promotion, running for two months from beginning of April to 31st May, 2014.
For reservations or more information, please call 04 – 8888788. The Feringgi Grill is open from 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa
Batu Feringgi Beach
* Many thanks to Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa for laying on this invitation.