WITH Valentine’s Day almost upon us, romantic-themed set menus abound at restaurants.
Well-known for its romantic offerings, Urban Restaurant at Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur will once again entice diners with specially curated dishes created by chef de cuisine Sharusmizal Mohamed Salleh.
Also known as chef Buoy, Sharusmizal has infused more Asian flavours into his dishes, but in a thoughtful and subtle way.
After an amuse-bouche, the appetiser is a trio comprising salmon, rockmelon and a seafood dumpling.
The Norwegian fish is cured with vanilla, sugar, salt and citrus such as lemon and grapefruit. The tartness of the cured fish and salty fish roe was balanced with a creamy sauce and went well together.
Buoy’s Asian infusion is prominent in the rockmelon bite as it was topped off with a mini yee sang salad.
The rockmelon itself is compressed and soaked in a kaffir lime and lemongrass syrup, while the yee sang is dressed in a marinade of apricot and orange marmalade.
While this may seem overly sweet, it was pleasantly refreshing and the flavours complemented each component.
In contrast, the seafood dumpling had a hint of spiciness from chilli in the stuffing. Crabmeat, prawns and herbs in the stuffing give flavour and texture.
After appetisers, diners will also be served a special palate cleanser in between courses. As a special Valentine’s treat, a Red Dragon Ginger sorbet fits in perfectly with the theme. Made from red dragon fruit, the sorbet was refreshing and helped to whet the appetite.
For the entree, diners have the option of a fish or beef dish.
The snapper fish is served with charcoal seafood beignet, sauteed Malabar spinach and topped with a lobster sauce.
The fresh fish was lightly pan-fried with only salt and pepper so as to not alter the taste of the meat, while the skin was still crispy.
For the beef, a crust of cep mushrooms lend earthiness to the meat, but this is balanced with a creamy potato, carrot and celery salad.
Served alongside was a morsel of Harissa (hot chilli pepper paste) braised beef ragout baked in puff pastry.
Caraway or cumin seeds on top of the pastry give a nice aromatic element to the dish.
For dessert, the lavender coconut cake and pineapple ice cream clearly showcase tropical elements. A pastel purple mirror glaze on the cake with a tart lime gel melds the components perfectly.
The Valentine’s celebration three-course dinner is only available for dinner on Feb 14 and priced at RM118 nett per person or RM178 nett per person (with wine pairing). Reservations are encouraged.
URBAN RESTAURANT, Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, 73, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2141 9988). Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm (Monday to Friday), 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Monday to Saturday). Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.