There’s a 3-week (maybe four) period in August & September that brings forth the word “Gluttony”. The 3-week stretch begins with my b’day (20/8), our anniversary (27/8) and ends with wife waiyan’s b’day (3/9). All three events merit an evening of dining, I’m sure all will agree. J
We did consider doing one big DINE to cover all three but given the richness and variety of KL’s food spots, why should we? Hehe… I was just commenting to waiyan that in the past, all the nice makan places used to be centered around Bangsar (the Telawi area). Now they are scattered everywhere and you can have your pick of any country’s cuisine including the Middle East!
(Warning: This is long post since I’m writing about three dining in one)
MY BIRTHDAY 20/8
Venue: Gogung Restaurant (Korean)
Location: Midvalley Gardens
The actual plan was to drop in to SAGE Gardens after hearing so many wonderful stories about it’s food and how it’s a more affordable version of Cilantro (same chef la). So happily we got into our cars, drove to Midvalley Gardens, went up to the cluster of restaurants in L5 and hmm… can’t find SAGE.
Apparently it’s located inside the Gardens Residence (not the mall). And from where we were (near the Fong Lye Restaurant), we actually have to walk back towards the other end. The walk was a nice stroll through a walkway with nicely done ambience.
We found SAGE. Walked in, asked for a table for two, non-smoking and the leng chai waiter smiled and asked, “Do you have a reservation?”
Not-so leng chai waiter now continued, “Am sorry if you do not have any reservation, we are full for the evening. ” And he smiled… nicely done.
Main reception at SAGE. Next time then…
Haha… okie. Can’t blame him. Not his fault any way. He was actually very well-mannered and courteous which gave me a good indication of the level of service inside. So I took their biz card and said will call back for next week. A bit disappointed but anyway that’s my fault for not checking out SAGE needs reservation if you are dining on Fri or Sat evening.
We strolled around Gardens trying to decide which restaurants we wanna pop into. We did contemplate going over to Sheraton for Villa Danieli but as it’s already close to 9 pm we decided to just pick a good restaurant in Gardens itself.
Go-gung looks inviting and we haven’t done Korean recently. So Go-gung it was.
They serve the traditional Korean BBQ style which has been the rage some time back… only after looking at the menu did I realize this is related to Koryo-Won @ Starhill, which I’d dine last year during the management meeting of my past company (DC).
Their dishes are all in Korean names so dun expect me to remember them (my sis Laiwah probably can) but I picked the one with duck breast. Not a bad choice.
But their winner would be the Ginseng Chicken soup. It’s large enough for us to share and there’s not a hint of salt in it. They even gave us a small bowl of salt in case we need to “flavor” it, but no thanks. We luv it just as it is.
Ginseng chicken soup that’s very well done traditionally…
Overall a worthwhile dining experience. They call themselves “fine korean restaurant” but that’s pushing things a bit. They are a nice restaurant – and from the outside they do look “expensive” – but I wouldn’t say they are in the “fine dining” area. This does not mean their food is not good… they are delicious and they are not that expensive so well worth your money.
My lovely companion for the evening
I’ll certainly want to come back here again, for their Ginseng Chicken soup. J
A happy b’day dude
OUR ANNIV 27/8
Venue: Mandarin Grill
Location: Mandarin Oriental, KLCC
We took our anniv dinner on Sat evening (28/8) instead of on the actual day itself. Had wanted to book Sage but thought of keeping this option for her b’day which is next week. Villa Danieli would have been my obvious choice. We luv it’s rustic family style Italian setting.
But Mr Pumpkin wins… and off to KLCC we went.
Main recep at Mandarin Grill.. Pretty unassuming
Oh.. They grill their food with fire?
I did call in for reservation, just to avoid getting disappointed again but in all likelihood I guess that’s not necessary.
Very nicely decorated, but crappy shots using my non-DSLR
in low light won’t show you how beautiful the place really is
They are famous for their Prime and Kobe steaks. However both of us are not beef lovers so that’s not likely coming to the table. But if you order their steaks, you’ll be presented with an impressive selection of prestigious steak knives from Laguiole, with handles being made of cattle horn. Ooohh…
The first question that’ll always be posed to you in such restaurant, “Sparking or still, sir?”
Always the same answer, “Still” J
Wanna guess the price of this still drinking water? LOL
I noticed they carry a “bull-theme” deco through out the restaurant. Notice how the salt & pepper shakers above are in the shape of a bull horn? Nice touch.
My choice of bread for the evening
Their choices are bread are.. Extensive! I think they’ve like over a dozen different type of bread and the waiter actually patiently described each and every one to waiyan (but dun think she was remembering each and every one, hehe)
The starter for the evening
Again, the waiter actually explained to us each and every one of the ingredients used in preparing the starters. Very the well-trained I must say. J
They have a nice sexy name for the green stuff in the starter but according to waiyan, others just call them “green beans”. LOL
One of the must-try – crab cakes
There are two must-trys here – the crab cakes (appetizer) and the pumpkin soup.
Crab cake is certified yummy with the amount of crab meat packed into those “cakes”!!
But we are here for their signature pumpkin soup, supposedly a “secret recipe” of their chef and no one serves them pumpkin soup like this in KL. Hmmm…
Their signature Pumpkin Veloute soup
No complains about the soup though. Except they came in rather large servings… I mean, this is a fine dining restaurant and I was thinking their soup would come in smaller bowl. What we had – for a single person – is large enough to be shared by two. So soup gluttony it was for both of us..
Our choice of main course is their other signature dish, Roast Duck served French-style for Two. When the waitress asked how we like the duck to be served, “Both the breast portions first, or both the drumstick portions, or one breast one drumstick” – I didn’t quite get her. Hehe. I did reply that we would prefer one breast, one drumstick.
Waiyan with the first serving of roast duck
The first serving – waiyan got the white meat portion while I’d the drumstick – was your typical roast duck. While not bad, it was nothing to shout about. Think my drumstick was a bit overdone.
At first, we thought this WAS all the main course… and was preparing to order dessert….. when the captain came over to us and gently explained to us, there’s ANOTHER serving about to be served soon. Hah?
He explained this is the traditional French style of preparing and serving roast duck; in two portions. The first in usual roast-style, and the 2nd in a softer marinated style.
A-ha.. Now I understand what the waitress was asking us about!! LOL.
The 2nd serving of the Roast Duck
The best always come last, they said. The 2nd serving was SUPERB!! I now stand corrected. There are not “two” must-trys here; you can now add the Roast Duck to it to make three!!
Dessert time, and I ordered the Manjari Chocolate Ganache while waiyan went for the mango cheese cake. The chocolate sorbet that comes with mine was sinfully delicious.. hehe
The Manjari Chocolate Ganache – a must-try if you are a chocolate lover
We washed down all the sinful food with coffee (myself) and peppermint tea (for her)
I really like these two “bull” wooden decos. Wouldn’t mind getting one for the home.
Overall this was a superb evening of indulgence. Lots of reasons to come back here… and the taste of the 2nd serving of the roast duck still lingers in me mouth. Pricewise and food-wise, they certainly deserve to be in the fine dining class.
Waiyan with a terrible stomach-ache *after* (hehe) – guess was the peppermint tea
WAIYAN’S BIRTHDAY 3/9
Venue: Sage Gardens
Location: Gardens Midvalley
The last (but not least) of the trilogy would be waiyan’s birthday dinner. For this it will be SAGE. This time I made an early call to book our table. Even then, I was informed the early slots were all full and the earliest for us would be 9 pm. Ah well… a late dinner’s better than no dinner. Business must be good for them. J
Again the same leng-chai waiter was there to greet us.. And yes, this time we got reservation!! Haha
Their proud display of wine, wine lovers pls take note…
Sparking or still, sir?
The deco is of the minimalist style, but nicely done and I like how they use chrysanthemum to add a dash of color to the otherwise white tables.
Service is excellent… the waiters paid attention to all the guests and we were given a lowdown on the chioce of menus before they left us to our own to peruse the menu.
They have set menus for both lunch and dinner, and even Gourmet Dinner set which surprisingly are not expensive (considering the setting of the place). The set dinner goes for Rm150 and the Gourmet Dinner only Rm170.
Waiyan went for the set dinner (always one to spot a bargain but this time, I think she didn’t quite know what’s she getting herself into, hehe) while I opted for the ala carte as I do not think I can take their appetizer with a main course.
Waiyan’s luxurious appetizer!!
She got a shock when they serve her the appetizer of Pacific Oyster. LOL. Probably expecting a smaller serving, she didn’t bargain on getting a king-sized serving!! She tried to pass some to them but well, I dun take any seafood (save for fish) so it’s still all yours, dear.
They even have bar-style dining seat. Hmm… does anyone really sit and dine at the bar in a fancy place like this? But it does remind me of the game Cafe International
where the waiter does get to seat ppl at the bar instead of losing points (hehe). Where can you play Cafe International? Well, at Boardgamecafe.net meetups of course (click here to get an invite
Note: hehe, can’t resist the advert plug-in! 😛
Her main course of Atlantic Seabass…. looked very fresh. I went for Smoked Duck with foie gras. Yeah if you have been observant, you would have noticed I chose “duck” in all the 3 dinners. 🙂
An overhead view of the dining table done minimally mostly in white with a dash of yellow provided by the chrysanthemum.
Dessert was Chocalate Fondant for me and Hazelnut Nougat souffle for her.
Verdict? Have to say after the run-around with the reservation and what-not, the quality of food here is surprisingly slightly underwhelming. It’s not bad, just that I can’t understand why’s everyone flocking here to the extent you may even need a week’s reservation (I was informed by a good fren)!
Price-wise, it’s not as pricey as Mandarin Grill and you can get a hearty dinner for Rm150++ per pax here (excluding wine of course since there’s no upper limit once you start sniffing around the wine). It’s still a very good place to dine out (esp if you fancy Japanese-French cuisine). Service is top notch and the staff is all very knowledgeable.
The b’day gal
Hope you enjoyed your b’day dinner, dear and many many happy returns of today. J
Epilogue: After the 3-weeks of dining, guess it’s now back to back-to-back treadmill for me to run off those xtra kilos!! Run fatboy run!