Field of flavours


The Charred Spanish Octopus strikes the right balance between being caramelised and the infusion of flavour from charring.

THERE is an art to cooking with skillet and pan, which if done right, will leave a lasting impression on the mind and taste bud.

When searing with a pan, the heat must be high enough to produce a pleasant layer of crust on the browning meat but not too high that it becomes dry of flavours.

Sauteing, meanwhile, uses heat to blend all the flavours while maintaining the integrity of the meat, if just barely, thereby keeping the food vivid.

Pampas Reserve Grill & Bar in Kuala Lumpur offers food lovers with a discerning palate all of the above with its wide selection of gourmet food on the menu.

Add in the relaxing atmosphere at this restaurant that is nestled in the heart of the city, diners are guaranteed a classy dining experience.

The appetisers here, elegant in presentation, offer a glimpse into what the main courses have to offer.

The Pan-Seared Scallop offered a pleasant mix of brine with velvety flesh, served alongside some white beans to lend a slightly earthy flavour to the dish.

The soft-textured scallops fell apart at the touch of a fork and went nicely with the green pea puree.

The Charred Spanish Octopus struck the right balance when it came to charring, teetering just on the right side of being caramelised with flavours.

The hint of char on the meat added a pleasant mix for the taste bud.

Served alongside it was spicy pumpkin barley risotto, which truly fleshed out the smokey characters of the octopus.

For a bit of spice, try Gambas which consists of tiger prawns with red chillies and paprika.

The addition of basil gave this dish the extra herbaceous dimension that balanced out the picante prawns.

For main course, Pampas offers plenty of exquisite options for the customer’s consideration.

The Barramundi Fish Fillet was nothing short of a culinary masterpiece.

It was obvious that the chef had made painstaking efforts to ensure the fish, caramelised in a light butter emulsion, retained its toothsome texture.

The thin coat of butter around the flaky flesh lent it a touch of saltiness but not without some sweetness to complement it.

The fish was accompanied by a sweet potato puree that joined the fiesta of flavours.

And it was presented with a slice of lemon, in case one feels the need to inject some citrusy taste.

For me personally, the Black Angus Beef Sirloin was the absolute highlight at Pampas.

The meat, juicy and tender, was seared to perfection and served with a thick creamy wild mushroom sauce.

The strong smokey aroma was incredibly inviting, and the elegant presentation makes you want to tuck right into it.

The restaurant truly pulls out all the stops to woo diners with this dish especially.

Accompanying the steak were Lyonnaise potato, rocket salad and tomato chutney to provide a wholesome and hearty meal.

Diners have a choice of either the 250g or 350g meat, each priced differently.

Meanwhile, the Linguine King Prawn masterfully fused two culturally distinct culinary traditions — Italian and Asian — into one dish.

The pasta was curry-based yet radiated a pleasant cheesy aroma with a creamy taste.

The portion was generous and with the succulent, meaty prawns holding court on the plate, this dish would certainly entice seafood lovers.

I find that the rocket leaves in the dish balanced out the prominent curry aftertaste.

For dessert, try the Warm Dark Chocolate Ganache, a chocolate cake with molten chocolate at its centre and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The dense confection, when cut, leaks a thick chocolate lava that when combined with the ice cream, will put anyone with a sweet tooth in saccharine heaven.

Pampas welcomes walk-in diners, and it also offers a “Table for two” set priced at RM288++.

This set consists of the Charred Spanish Octopus for appetiser, a choice between the two main courses and the dessert of chocolate ganache.

PAMPAS RESERVE GRILL & BAR, Suasana Bukit Ceylon, Persiaran Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. (Tel: 012-2111 480). Business hours: noon to midnight (weekdays), 4pm to midnight (weekends and public holidays). Pork-free.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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