Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Birthday dinner at Max! Kitchen & Wines - Degustation Menu

I turned 29 on Monday.


Bald Eagle called me on Monday afternoon with a simple message. "Meet me at Max's at 8.15pm." I was elated!

I knew it would be no simple dinner. When a chef is given a free rein over the menu, one can expect only the best.

It was a 10-course meal that was designed to please.

feta cheese and tomatoes smoked salmon and spanish octopus Beef bresola

Our first course of smoked salmon came with feta cheese and tomatoes on a bed of chopped spanish octopus, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I love how Max combined the different ingredients to create interesting flavours. The combination of salty, pungent, sweet and sour with the different textures was amazing. The second course of beef bresola (thin slices of cured, seasoned beef) was served together with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes in olive oil. Again, the combination of flavours were wonderful and I felt a sense of excitement, almost like opening christmas presents to see what Santa (in this case, Max) had put into my Christmas stocking!

scallop with sundried tuna on pesto sauce and scallop with pernod sauce

scallops tuna loin wrapped with spanish chilli yabby

The third course was undoubtedly Bald Eagle's favourite dish. The dish was creatively presented; one scallop, lightly grilled, with a sliver of sundried tuna inserted into it, and served with pesto sauce, and the other scallop served with pernod sauce with chopped vegetables. It was a difficult task deciding which one I preferred between the two, and really, there wasn't any reason to choose one, was there?

The fourth course was my favourite. Tuna loin wrapped in spanish chili with tomato clam sauce. The tuna loin was lightly seared so it was cooked on the outside while the inside was still red and juicy. It was my first time trying the spanish chili and I loved the intense sour taste (from the pickling) which combined well with the tuna. I wouldn't have thought that a creamy sauce would have gone well with the tart flavour of the chili, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the flavours blended with each other.

The grilled yabby was laced with old sherry which again, lent a slightly tart flavour to the dish. I would have loved to try more of it as there was only so much flesh in one yabby. Maybe next time.

smoked duck chicken breast grilled lamb

There was more meat to chew on in the sixth course - smoked duck with yellow oyster mushrooms. The meat was not tough, as how duck sometimes tends to be. The seventh course of chicken breast was served with stewed vegetables - I remember eating bellpeppers and tomatoes - and this was served with a lovely garlicky sauce. The vampires would have stayed away from me. At this point, I was beginning to feel rather bloated, but like a woman in lust, I was unable to say "stop". And so the waiters brought out the eighth course - grilled lamb with cannellini beans. The beans are similar in size to kidney beans, but they are white in colour and a popular ingredient in Italian cuisine.

And then came out the ninth course. The dish that made me weep tears of happiness. Wagyu beef cheeks served on mashed potatoes. Simply divine.

chocolate souffle, kataifi pastry and vanilla ice cream chocolate souffle birthday cake

The final course was the dessert which consisted of warm chocolate souffle, kataifi pastry and lovely vanilla icecream. I amazed myself by finishing up everything. I suppose one doesn't have to try very hard when there's good food around!

And to top it all off, what's a birthday without a birthday cake eh? (courtesy of Max)

birthday bouquet It's been a lovely birthday week, so far, thanks to so many wonderful people. Bald Eagle, for the beautiful flowers and a delicious dinner so lovingly planned, my dear friend, Kenny Mah, for the wonderful collection of 4 pieces of writings, Bouncing Barbie for the yummy Japanese lunch at Mizu (you know what I like, girl!), all the sweet little presents from friends, so thoughtfully chosen, and the wishes..those wonderful SMSes (yes Robert, you're the first!), emails and calls from you, dear friends and readers....I'm such a lucky girl. And I'm really happy. :-)


Kenny Mah said...

Waitaminute... you can't be 29!

Aren'tcha the same age as me.... 28? ;)

Precious Pea said...

If i knew earlier, I would have gone to Max on Monday instead of Tuesday. But i guess you wouldn't want a big lamp post shining on you both rite? But then again, I could have shared my white asparagus with you. Hahaha...anyway...Happy '29th' Birthday, my luscious sista!

MeiyeN said...

oh my..... what a lovely dinner! so sweet of your hubby :D it's really good to know you enjoyed your birthday.... many happy returns yah! *hugz*

bha said...

First of all belated happy bday....seems u really had fun...a ten course meal, a perfect way to celebrate for someone like you...enjoy

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

kenny dear:

hehe. that'll be pushing it. :-P

precious sista:

haha. i would have welcomed your company anyway....or at least, your white asparagus. :-P


Thanks dear. :-) And yeah, hubby's great, despite all the abuse from me. :-P


thank you! Yes, it was a lovely meal, indeed. He sure knows how to pamper me. :-)

UnkaLeong said...

Kenny : I thought she was my age? 18 ;) Love you lots. Hope you had a blast!sfuhjiv

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

oh dear lord..i think that could very well feast a whole army!..happy birthday..1 more year before the big 3-0!..hahaha

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


hehe. 18 is pushing it too much la. sfuhjiv to you too!!! *mmuahh*


The food portions were small so not so bad la. Yeps, one more year before the grey hair kicks in!

Unknown said...

gasped!! 10 course dinner..hahaha..anyway best wishes to u..happy '19' n stay young !

k.t.x said...

now this is a realllll feast! i m happy for u!! so, did u manage to finish everything??? lol.

those r real gourmet stuff u had, a mix and match of dimsum/tapas/kaiseki styled courses!

happy birthday again!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

wow! That was one delicious 10 course dinner you had. :)

Anonymous said...

What an amazing dinner you had there! 10 course huh .. the food must be great to have you and Bald Eagle wiped out everything then. Have a lovely year ahead, take care *hugs*

sc said...

wow! lavish dear, just lavish! ;)gasp! and i never knew we are of the same age.. (in a few months time, i would..hehe)

~Christine~Leng said...

such a lovely dinner! So sophisticated! Seems like you've enjoyed urself! and.. that's great!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


no,no, you got it wrong...I'm 29, not 19. hehe. 19 is pushing it.


yes, I finished everything.

Max's spanish style food is pretty good. You should try it some day.

the cooking ninja:

thanks for the birthday wishes!!


yeah, the food was very very good!! We waited in anticipation for every dish!


yeps...we're about the same age. Just that I have a few more wrinkles (nothing that botox can't help).

christine leng:

yes, I did enjoy myself. Simply wonderful. Wonder if Bald Eagle will take me out again...oh, waitaminute, yes he will! I believe there's another session coming up soon. :-D

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!
Bet you had a good time enjoying dinner with your loved one. :)

wmw said...

Now if only the number of courses served coincide with our age! hahaha...It'll all have to be a bite size! :o)

Big Boys Oven said...

What a gorgeous meal......happy sweet 19..opppssss 29! :)

Babe_KL said...

lots of new item eh? everything seems good. glad you had a wonderful day.

daphne said...

Sounds like u had a great time! what a wonderful intimate dinner with your hubby! *u hv to teach my bf! ;p

I like that style of cooking too. Full of surprises...and which girl doesnt like surprises? (nice ones i mean).


Kenny Mah said...

Right, 18. Right...

Now who's really pushing it? LOL

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


thanks! i sure did!


29 dishes not too bad wat. :-P


thanks dear. Glad you got the age right.


some of the items aren't on the menu, I believe. oh yes, i had a wonderful day indeed!


hahaha. I believe each man has his own unique style of celebrating. Some choose to be lavish (like BE), others choose to celebrate in their own quiet way. I'm happy either way. :-) And yeah, I love surprises too!!!


and the young try to be younger! We'll never be able to catch up, will we, dear?

Kok said...

What a sumptuous dinner! Again, Happy Birthday to you!:)

teckiee said...

Wow! A very nice (and romantic) meal indeed.

Henry Yeo said...

happy birthday, you (almost) merdeka baby

Jackson said...

ooo....MAx again!! u r such a lucky girl!!

Cynthia said...

That's a great birthday feast. Have a fantastic year!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


yes, hubby knows how to pamper me. :-) tq tq!!


It was a nice meal, that's for sure. :-)


thanks, henry!


I am, aren't I? *wide grin*


Yeah, that was a lot of food! Thank you!

msiagirl said...

perfect!perfect! must suss out your fave food to feed you when I see you :)

Anonymous said...

This might be late but glad that you had a great time ;)

Kenneth said...

Wait a sec? You mean that youre younger than me??? LOL my lil papadum.