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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bites: Sage @ The Garden Residences, Kuala Lumpur

Home has now become a lot quieter.  Most of my relatives live outside the country in Australia, Canada and Singapore. So now, even during the winter solstice festival, it would just be mom, dad, sis and I.    Normally such festivals include a whole lot of cooking but this time around, we decided that with only 4 people in the house, this was way too troublesome.  So for this special occasion, mom still made the obligatory tong yuen but we went out for a nice dinner at Sage @ KL, a Japanese – a French fusion restaurant.
 
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The interior is neat with high ceiling.  When we first stepped in, it was super quiet and it pretty much stayed that way the whole night.
 
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Bread with delicious EVOO parsley dip!
 
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Two types of bread.  One white, the other whole meal.  And boy I have to say that the quality of the bread was pretty amazing too a level that it can easily rival Amuse.  But learning from Amuse, it makes sense to serve the bread on lava rocks to keep it warm throughout the occasion or at least for a bit.
 
The Amuse Bouche:
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Scallop Carpaccio with a hint of tomatoes.  Not too bad but it was not the best I have tasted.
 
Chef’s special of the day.   King Fish sashimi slightly smoked with a edible flowers.
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Having eaten it, my first question was why did the chef slice the fish so thick?  I soon realised that it was probably a smart idea since you would want the fish to have enough smokiness without actually cooking it through.  This was pretty yums.  I preferred this to the Amuse Bouche.
 
The few appetizers we had for our 4 course meal
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Seared Foie Gras with Dark Grapes and Red Wine Reduction was sister’s choice.  This was absolutely moorish if you fancy rich, fatty Foie Gras.  For me, half of this would more than justify as an appetizer but for my sister, this was just spot on.  It was insane IMHO.  Other places that I have dined at do not even serve Foie Gras of this richness until I re-visited Joel Robuchon’s Restaurant in Hong Kong again.
 
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I decided to keep the cholesterol low with a small serve of spicy seafood pasta angel hair.  This was delicious and I would expect so as its flavors were very inclined towards the Asian palette.  This means, there is a lot of acidity, salt was perfect for me and woah the flavors were just very nice.  The seafood was nicely prepared with generous servings of fish, scallops and prawns.  A very appetizing way to prepare diners for their next course.
 
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Dad has the Cream of Cèpe Mushroom Soup with White Truffle Oil was dad’s choice to share with mom.  I felt like the soup was just mediocre.  It was creamy and rich but nothing that I have not eaten before.
 
 
For the mains:
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Mom and Sis called the special of the day which was a lobster pasta.  This featured a generous serve of lobster cooked in a very rich seafood sauce.  It felt like a very condensed bouillabaisse or perhaps a lobster bisque which was fine if you are a big fan of rich seafood but mom said she preferred it to have a little more Asian feel to it.  I understand why because this might feel very one dimensional if the only thing you could taste is a lobster bisque flavored sauce throughout the whole meal.  Normally at this level of dining, it is always about the layers of flavors harmoniously pleasing the tongue.   Perhaps a little more thought?
 
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My choice for the night was the Beef Rossini with Roasted Foie Gras and Red Wine Sauce.  Having chosen this as a main was the only reason why I did not order the Foie Gras as my main.  It was a good call really, because the Foie Gras used in this dish was no lesser awesome compared to what my sister had.  More importantly, this awesome piece of beef fillet puts even Perth Royalty of fine dining Balthazars to shame.    This was just perfect.  No saddening fatty muscle to disrupt the meal.  Just very tender yet decently lean red meat melting in your mouth in each bite.  Mash was delicious and so were the greens which were cooked just spot on the complement the meal.
 
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What dad ordered was even more intriguing when it showed up like that.   Paté en Croute Chicken with Foie Gras and Natural Jus was dad’s choice and eh did not quite like it.  I think probably the fact that is was a free range chicken and they probably used the leaner part of the chicken to make the pate rendering it too dry.   Seems like my dad was on a spree of bad selections that night.  Or perhaps it was not that bad, just not good either.
 
Then comes the desserts:
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I decided to tryout the Mille Feuille of Strawberry with Cointreau Ice Cream.  Which was, sadly, a looker but not quite a tasty treat.  Its Mille Feuille felt shortchanged like I wanted a million layers but you clearly gave me 3.  And the bigger problem was that each of the 3 layers did not each feel like a third of a million.  I expected more crumble.  More crack with my spoon.  For these reasons other than the sour strawberries, this dessert was not my thing.  Oh but the ice cream was nicely prepped!!
 
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Classic Crêpe Suzette with Grand Marnier Ice Cream.  Dad dessert was really nice I felt.  I would have preferred his to mine any time. 
 
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Sister decided to stick to her favourite which was the Ginger and Lime Brulée with Mixed Berries, Almond Tuile.  This was probably the saviour for Sage’s dessert Kitchen.  The brulee has a good taste of ginger and lime but the important thing to me was that the brulee custard was spot on.  It was soft, smooth and creamy.  Not gluggy, hard and sometimes having a lot of bubbles in it.  This was really nice despite me having just one teaspoon of it!
 
At the end of the meal, we had hot drinks and petit fours which sadly only had 1 chocolate per person.  Sipping hot drinks after dinner the family just stayed there and chilled.  It was a rather good night marred by some underperformers which had really fancy names.     Something like how company sometimes give their workers title like Executives but they are nothing but graduates Hhahaha.
 
Family photos:
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Sis and Mom!
 
 
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Dad and I!
 
Not sure really awkward coincidence but out shirt colors are fairly similar according to the gender.
 
WenY

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