Bite into Yuletide favourites


A MACARON tower is the highlight this Christmas at Le Meridien Putrajaya. And rightly so, because the meringue and almond cookies here are just wonderful.

Like delicate pieces of porcelain, they melt like sugar clouds in your mouth. Filled with a ganache of milk, whipped cream and dark chocolate, diners will discover how fragile the macaron shells are, cracking like pigeon egg shells at the first sign of pressure.

The secret lies in resting the macaron before baking, said pastry chef Hansraja Jayaraman. “No need to brush with water. Just let the mix settle for 20 minutes before going into the oven at 160°C.

The festive dessert selection also includes a ginger fruit cake. Like a rich, moist lebkuchen, it has a rich aroma of mixed spice and nutmeg.

The orange peels have retained a chewy crunch in the ginger powder and black treacle cake mix. The peels are coated in flour before they go into the batter.

We also liked the cheesecake for its fluffiness. Just like the plum pudding, it was baked in a water bath.

(Clockwise) Roast garlic lamb leg, Louisiana barbecued short ribs, a variety of roasted and pan-fried vegetables and bread with chestnut stuffing.
(Clockwise) Roast garlic lamb leg, Louisiana barbecued short ribs, a variety of roasted and pan-fried vegetables and bread with chestnut stuffing.   

But enough with dessert. Let’s go for the starters, all created by sous chef Irwan Sutan Chairul.

There is seafood terrine, a salmon mousse with mussels that has been steam-baked until firm. The potato salad has the creamy flavour of egg yolks and packs a crunch with crispy beef strips.

A trailing whiff of cider wood still accompanies the smoked duck but you will have to sort it out among the orange bits and pomegranate seeds.

We also liked the apricot chutney in the salmon gravlax, cured in-house with one part salt and two parts sugar for eight hours in a chiller at -5°C.

Next, it is time to sharpen your knives for the carvery station.

Junior sous banquet chef Abdul Razak Mahamad said this year’s feature is roast garlic lamb leg and barbecued short ribs seasoned with lots of paprika, cayenne and black pepper.

The beef ribs have a generous amount of marbling which explained its buttery taste.

A bread and chestnut stuffing came shaped like a loaf and the accompanying vegetables were as a colourful produce patch.

Abdul Razak said to make sure the vegetables were done just right, they were cooked separately. The pumpkin and potatoes were baked. When pan-fried, the Brussels sprouts went together with the broccoli while the zucchini and asparagus came in at the next batch.

Christmas cheer comes in the form of wild berries cheesecake (front) and gingered Christmas fruit cake (back) at Le Meridien Putrajaya.
Christmas cheer comes in the form of wild berries cheesecake (front) and gingered Christmas fruit cake (back) at Le Meridien Putrajaya.  

Of the three sauces, the giblet sauce, which is made of chicken liver, is the richest. Our favourite, however, is the cranberry sauce – sour and flavourful.

Christmas Eve dinner is RM168nett per adult and RM84nett per child.

Christmas Day brunch is RM148nett per adult and RM84nett per child.

Christmas Day dinner is RM138nett per adult and RM69nett per child.

LATEST RECIPE, Le Meridien Putrajaya, Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City, Putrajaya. (Tel: 03-8689 6888). Business hours: 12.30pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.

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

Central Region