Friday, November 16, 2007

The MIGF dinner that almost was - feat. Gobo Upstairs, Traders Hotel KL

IMG_2192 The month long Malaysian International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) is back. It features a number of really great restaurants, but the prices can be rather expensive (a relative term) even though one would get pretty good value for the prices paid.

On Henry's persuasion, I enthusiastically rounded up a group of foodies to visit Gobo Upstairs, a restaurant in the relatively new Traders Hotel. Unfortunately, as the day arrived, my body was suddenly attacked by the dreaded flu, but being the responsible coordinator that I was, I persevered for the greater good. Ahem.

The thing about the flu is that one loses practically all of one's tastebuds, except maybe the ability to taste salt. Anyhow, I decided that instead of wasting RM160++ on the MIGF menu, I should consume something hearty instead. Like soup.


And that's exactly what I had. A robust lobster bisque bursting with flavour (which I could taste!!). The others, except for Henry, took my lead and decided to order from the ala carte menu which was surprisingly priced very decently. I mean, can anyone think of any other fancy restaurant that serves baby beef short ribs at just RM38? And according to those who tried it, the meat was literally falling off the bone. The lamb shank, at RM38, was apparently an equally good option. I could literally see Fatboybakes' face glow with happiness in the very dimly lit, chic restaurant. Nipples Joe had a very strange looking pumpkin risotto which he guarded with his life, so I didn't get a chance to taste it. Oh, they treated me like the plague just because of a little itty bitty flu, so I wasn't allowed to share any of their food. Except for Precious Pea, that sweet darling. She was kind enough to share a creme brulee with me.

creme brulee The creme brulee came in four different flavours. My favourite (and Precious Pea's least favourite, my gain) was the ginger flavoured brulee. The other four sections consisted of coffee, chocolate and hazelnut. My main course of grilled cod was overly salted, but other than that, I found the flesh to be very moist and tasty.


Henry's choice of the MIGF menu came with a tomato appetiser, Black Ink “Spinosi” Tagliatelle with Octopus Merlot Ragout and Green Asparagus for the starter, Chargrilled Australian Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Confit, Lentil’s Fava Beans and Fresh Mushroom Ragout for the Mains, and Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate for desserts.

Overall, I like the ambience at Gobo, and I'd certainly revisit the place for a few reasons:

1. Service is excellent. From the moment I entered, I was greeted by name, and they made the effort to explain all the items on the MIGF menu as well as the ala carte menu. They were also able to make recommendations on house specialties.

2. The restaurant is lovely, if you like the modern look with subdued lighting. It doesn't feel cramped, although it isn't a very large restaurant with a seating capacity of approximately 60 people. Gobo

3. Good value for money. One can get a good meal for about RM100 per pax. Am not sure about the wine selection, though, so maybe someone can enlighten me on that?

4. Parking's a breeze. The hotel shares the parking area with the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, so there is ample parking.

Traders Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Reservations: +603–2332 9888

Also see Fatboybakes' take on Gobo.


Precious Pea said...

Sista, thanks for organising this dinner. Really enjoyed it. Food was great and value for money. I volunteer to go with you again when you are feeling much better. ;)

Henry Yeo said...

Choose another venue.
And make sure you take the darn festival menu.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Precious Pea: Hehe. Noted! And after that, we'll go chill out at the great Skybar, k. ;-)

Henry: Another venue? No way, dude! I got no money already. :-P

HairyBerry said...

kudos for the great pics despite the flu! and RM38 for the rib/shank in that kinda place?? though looked petite, it's still relatively cheap!

LianneK said...

heard so much about this place but have not seen the food much on blogs. kudos, at last have an idea now .. looks really, really good

Henry Yeo said...

aiyoh, low on money is no excuse (borrow now, pay back tomorrow)!

Henry Yeo said...

finally posted about Gobo upstairs. have a look.

Argus Lou said...

what a quaint name - Gobo Upstairs!
Sounds like my sis telling her giant dog to get upstairs (yes, his name unfortunately is BoBo).

John ( said...

Man the food looks good.... Maybe I should try eating there the next time i'm in KL (esp when u said the word affordable :P)

oh btw.. waiting for your email :P

wmw said...

Loveyly pics...haha, you and Precious P can go for what you want next round, foie gras???

Anonymous said...

Gobo... when I read this title, for some reason I kept thinking of goblins. Then I remembered, there is a goblin called Gobo in the Noddy series!

Is there any place in KL that is like El Bulli that requires months of notice to make reservations? I can wait.. until summer.. :D

msiagirl said...

Glad the flu can't keep you down, girl! Sounds like a fun evening, jeles, jeles.

Anonymous said...

I am truly surprised that Traders could produce such a good restaurant. The food was awful in Traders Singapore. But having said that.. the Traders Sydney was great. I bet the restaurant is not affiliated to Traders..??

Cynthia said...

Hmmm, well is this was with the flu :) I can only imagine if you were running on cylinders! Love, love, love your pics.

Get better soon.

Big Boys Oven said...

Looks so lovely!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

thanks for the can i get back my fair share of photos??..

the reason i guarded with my life..was because it was so tiny in portion, it wasnt funny..unlike the dmn big portion of ribs that was basically flying to everyone elses plate..

Unknown said...

whoa an upscale place with good food and reasonable more cafe cafe on special occasion..hehe

Anonymous said...

i went there for valentine's dinner this year and i can still remember everything that i ate haha

but i still prefer pacifica though..

anonymous food eater

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

nic: yeah, but bear in mind that the sides are extra. Despite that, i guess it's still relatively cheap.

imbi & itchy: if it weren't for the MIGF, I'd probably take my own sweet time to visit Gobo. hehe.

henry: nice post.

argus: it'd be interesting to find out how Gobo got its name. Not from a dog, i hope!

namor: loads of good food in KL. Have fun. :-)

wmw: you can read our minds!

kat: thankfully, none of the restaurants in KL require long waits. Not that the food isn't up to par. :-P

msiagirl: i still wish I'd recover fast enough. Life isn't stopping because of a flu bug, unfortunately.

mama bok: That's an interesting point. I should find out whether the restaurant is affiliated to Traders.

cynthia: hahaha....i hafta eat after all. :-P Thanks for the compliment, dear!

BBO: it is, isn't it?

Nipples: Coming, coming....

kampungboycitygal: Good to have options, i guess... :-)

anonymous food eater: I'll have to check out Pacifica...thanks!