My life has always been about 3 guesses. For 18 years of our lives (7 spent married), we'd been playing the guessing game.
"What's for dinner tonight, dear?"
"I'll give you 3 guesses."
"What movie are we watching?"
"3 guesses before the next ad comes on!"
"What car are you buying?"
Well, you get the idea. However, sometimes, the guessing game backfires.
"Where are we going tonight?"
"Guess." He keeps me in the dark.
I make my guess, and dress in a nice smart casual outfit and meet him after work. That's when I spy loads of elegant looking people dressed to the nines in Choo and Blahnik, dripping with jewels.
"Fock man. You could have told me!! The fockin' Queen is here, and I'm dressed in......focking' office clothes??!!?!"
He eased up on me for a couple of months, but resumed his impish ways soon after. A leopard never loses its spots.
It was our wedding anniversary and we were going out for a romantic dinner. The usual charade ensued.
"Where are we going?"
"It's a surprise. I'll give you 3 guesses."
"Give me a hint, at least."
"Fine. I'll give you 2 hints. It's connected to The Gardens (Mid Valley), and it's Japanese," he offered graciously.
That seemed simple enough. "Yuzu," I proclaimed. "We're definitely going to Yuzu."
"Wear something nice," he winked, neither affirming nor denying.
Since he was buying, I offered to drive (after all, marriage is a 50-50 deal, isn't it?).
I was soon driving past Mid Valley straight on to the roads leading to the American Embassy. As we drove into the carpark at MiCasa, I still couldn't figure out his clues. (I really should have paid more attention to Fatboybakes' blog entry on Cilantro last week instead of merely gawking at the stupendous amount of foie gras he had consumed.)
"Ok. Explain yourself," I demanded. "What has Cilantro got to do with The Gardens or Japanese?"
"Cilantro will be opening a branch in The Gardens," he paused for dramatic effect, "and Cilantro is a French-Japanese fusion restaurant!" Did I imagine the "ta-da!" at the end?
Bald Eagle = 1, Lyrical Lemongrass = 0.
As we sat down in the plush semi-circular seat, we were told that the bread would take another 15 minutes. "Freshly baked bread!" I exclaimed. And what a magnificent treat it was to eat the bread spread with the most delicious truffle butter! We loved it so much that we actually finished up all the bread on the table, only to be asked politely if we wanted any more. I blushed and mumbled that the truffle butter was glorious, and the kindly looking lady nodded knowingly, probably used to the same reaction from all her guests.
A tiny bit of chicken sausage served with a gelatinous topping came with the chef's compliments. I never thought chicken sausage could taste so good.
My starter was a Pan-fried Unagi with Foie Gras (RM68). The grilled eel was layered with foie gras, then coated with flour and fried. Cut horizontally across the layers, pop it into your mouth and feel the sweet richness melt in your mouth. Along with cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels, this must definitely be one of my favourite things.
The appetisers list was extensive, and it was a tough choice. How does one choose from 6 hot and 6 cold appetisers, all carrying names with at least 5 words in each? He, being the more decisive person in our relationship, took only 2 minutes as compared to my 10 to decide on the the first dish. His Baked Truffle Souffle with Parmigiano Reggiano (RM48) came with a creamy truffle sauce that was utterly decadent. Another melt-in-your-mouth experience.
In between courses, we were served a white wine granita to cleanse the palate. It had a nice granular texture.
I've always loved fish. But this time, I made sure I spent 15 minutes scrutinising all the items on the Main Course list before I made my final decision. My Lightly Smoked Salmon with Confit of Beetroot, Truffle Soy Vinaigrette (RM68) was perfect. The outer layer of the slab of salmon was lightly cooked, and as the layers progressed to the centre, it was almost raw. The musky scent of the truffle mixed with the distinct salmon flavour together with the generous portion of salmon roe created a rather salty combination, but mix it with the sweet creamy sauce and a perfect balance of flavours is created. Every bite was ecstacy.
He was equally enraptured with his Wasabi Crumble Crusted Wagyu Cheek with Roasted Mushrooms (RM68). The flavour of the wasabi very lightly caressed the tender slab of wagyu cheek. Another recommended dish.
Desserts are priced at RM32 each, but a group can opt for 4 choices (dessert platter) at RM98. Although I was initially keen on trying the dessert platter, sensibility prevailed as I accepted the reality of the situation. I was stuffed. And so, reluctantly, I chose the dessert which I felt would be the lightest - the Home-made Souffle in Green Tea with Green Tea Ice Cream. It was a great choice as the eggy smell wafted into my nostrils like a temptress after her diamonds. I loved the souffle as it wasn't too sweet thanks to the green tea which added a hint of bitterness to the overall flavour. The green tea ice cream was definitely homemade.
Bald Eagle went for the bold and brazen choice of Dark Chocolate Cup Cake with Earl Grey Ice Cream. Ah...what is there not to like about a molten chocolate cake!
I hear that the restaurant will be undergoing renovations come March 2008, so if you're keen to visit this place, do so before then. Also, rumour has it that the new outlet at The Gardens will be serving predominantly Mediterranean cuisine, so expect a different menu.
Restaurant and Wine Bar
368B, Jalan 1/68F, Off Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-21798000 or 03-21798048 (DL)
Operating hours: 6.00pm to 1.00am Mon to Sat; 12.00 noon to 2.00pm every Friday. Closed on Sunday.
The good people of Abu Dhabi who are unable to view my flickr pics may view pics here.