CHEF Takashi Kimura’s specially curated Japanese-French fusion menu during the Rhone and Provence Speciality Food Festival took diners on an extraordinary culinary journey.
The exceptional fare was prepared to complement red and white wines from Rhone and Provence in France.
The 10-course meal at Cilantro not only proved Kimura’s skills in French cooking but also his impeccable knowledge of ingredients in showcasing the best of Europe and Asia.
It was certainly a treat for epicureans and an eye-opener for first-timers.
Starting off with an amuse-bouche in the form of cured tuna, the well-marinated fish was paired with thin slices of bread.
The perfectly seasoned fish commanding a savoury flavour was an appetising start indeed.
The sea urchin with carrot mousse and consomme jelly, which was next, was a play of different textures.
The gelatinous consomme against fresh and soft sea urchin was delightful while the fluffy carrot mousse added another element in taste.
Meanwhile, the cold capellini coated with pistou sauce presented a mix of garlic cloves, fresh basil and olive oil.
The twirled pasta nestling in the middle of the plate, topped with several slices of thoroughly seasoned seki aji or Spanish mackerel, further accentuated the dish.
The third course was luxurious — a generous serving of Oscietra caviar on zucchini flower with anchovy mousseline.
We moved on to seafood and meat dishes to find delightful surprises in the lobster with rosemary sauce as well as roasted veal with artichoke and summer truffles. Served with halved baked potatoes, the firm lobster meat drenched in the sweet yet tangy rosemary sauce was a heavenly match.
While the roasted veal was cooked to perfection, the lobster fared better in both texture and taste.
Kimura surprised us with a palate cleanser called Granite, which comes with frozen grapes with grape flavour shaved ice.
The name of the dish was apt as it was nicely presented in a small ceramic bowl with ice resembling an amethyst.
The main course of slow-cooked duck breast aux epices was done flawlessly.
The thin sheet of milky duck fat sandwiched between the meat and the skin enhanced its flavour.
Although slightly gamey, the complexity of the chef’s homemade sauce masked the meat well, making it a memorable treat on the palate.
The meal concluded with fruit tomato compote with vanilla and almond sorbet, a sweet and sourish combination.
Four wines that were selected by chief sommelier Guillaume Villien were the Condrieu 2010, Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Les Olivets” 2010, Domaine Des Terres Blanches Rose 2016 and Domaine Des Terres Blanches Blanc 2016.
The dark ruby “Les Olivets” 2010 offered hints of liquorice and herbs which then graduated to complex flavours of robust berries.
The rose, on the other hand, was tinted pale candy pink with gold reflections. With young and intense nose of grapefruit and passionfruit as well as an aromatic and refreshing finish of apricot and plum notes on the palate, this pleasant wine was simply likeable.
Cilantro also serves a different menu each week for its Executive Lunch every Friday.
CILANTRO RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR, MiCasa All Suite Hotel, 368-B, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2179 8082) Business hours: noon to 2pm (Friday), 6pm to 10.30pm (Monday to Saturday). Closed on Sundays.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.
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