Eugenie Chan and Monica Tindall
Driving into The Club, you feel as if you’ve stumbled into a secret hiding place. Ample parking is an immediate bonus, and a short tree-lined stroll soon has you in the sophisticated lobby. Immediately, the outside hustle and bustle is forgotten as the mind is swiftly whisked into resort mode. The pressures of the street are lifted and thoughts of deadlines, schedules and commitments are soon replaced with peaceful notions of clean air, abundance of space and a sense of care.
Just beyond the lobby, and sharing the same pleasant views over a cascading pond and manicured gardens, lies The Restaurant. The interior is relaxed, yet luxurious, with warm marble tones and dark wood accents. The al fresco patio is a popular spot early evening, while the elegant indoor dining area provides air-conditioned comfort.
Chef Ryan Arboleda, the new Chef De Cuisine, combines his Philippine heritage with his home country New Zealand to gift guests with the best of two worlds – explosive Asian flavours with high importance placed on top quality ingredients and delightful plating. With more than 14 years of international culinary experience, chef Ryan promises to impress with meticulous care in preparation and creative flare injected into familiar recipes in his introductory menu of Modern Asian Street Tapas.
We start the night with a platter of small bites: Steamed Bao served with Char Grilled Beef, Hoisin Sauce and Mung Bean Salad (2pcs, RM19); Thai Chicken Larb Tacos with Mint and Toasted Rice Dressing (3pcs, RM18); Salmon Tostada with Guacamole and Chilli (2pcs, RM25); and Spiced Tempura Prawns with Passionfruit and Chilli Coulis (2pcs, RM22). Particularly outstanding are the tacos and the salmon tostadas – both are given a significant boost with a gentle squeeze of lime. The prawns, speared by a skewer, are also devoured all too easily and the sweet, spicy, fruity sauce is mopped up until the very last drop.
|Steamed Bao served with Char Grilled Beef, Hoisin Sauce and Mung Bean Salad|
|Thai Chicken Larb Tacos with Mint and Toasted Rice Dressing|
|Salmon Tostada with Guacamole and Chilli|
|Spiced Tempura Prawns with Passionfruit and Chilli Coulis|
Part of the larger plates tapas menu, Korean BBQ Style Duck with Grilled Pear, Kim Chi and Roasted Broccoli Puree (RM35) is a must. The duck comes in soft succulent slices and should be taken with a morsel of each of the accompaniments in a single bite. Each lends their own subtle flavor and texture forming a balance of deliciousness in the mouth.
|Korean BBQ Style Duck with Grilled Pear, Kim Chi and Roasted Broccoli Puree|
Another must-try dish is the Seared Scallops with Thai Chu Chee Sauce, Pineapple Tandoori Chicken and Mint Raita. Plump supple scallops assemble the length of a rectangular plate on which pools a vibrant and wonderfully creamy Thai orange curry sauce. The delicate scallops melt in the mouth, while the sauce ensures a strong kick to the back of the throat. It’s a seductive play with the taste buds, one that is effortlessly succumbed to.
|Seared Scallops with Thai Chu Chee Sauce, Pineapple Tandoori Chicken and Mint Raita|
Just as we think chef Ryan has presented his knock-out dish, along comes the Poached Coconut Cod, Massaman Curry and Papaya Salad (RM45). Moist flaky fish is a prime example of how precisely cod should be cooked and how sumptuous it can be when done right. The rich and addictive curry could easily be eaten on its own, or mopped up with spoonfuls of rice. Tangy young papaya salad offers a crunch and a fresh break from the intensity of the sauce. Fish, salad and sauce play a beautiful harmony together, and we declare this dish another one that merits repeat orders.
|Poached Coconut Cod, Massaman Curry and Papaya Salad|
Tapas and wine are not usually found apart and The Club Saujana Resort has not forgotten this essential partnership. Besides an admirable menu of both old and new world wines across a range of affordability, the property has carefully chosen, in conjunction with Frankland Estate, Margaret River, six fine wines that pair extraordinarily well with food. Priced very reasonably they are available by the glass and bottle. Read more about the wines, our tasting notes and most preferred drops via this link.
Reasons to visit: beautiful setting; gracious service; Seared Scallops with Thai Chu Chee Sauce; Korean BBQ Style Duck; Thai Chicken Larb Tacos; must not miss the Poached Coconut Cod, Massaman Curry and Papaya Salad; excellent selection of bespoke wines of the house.
The Club, Saujana Hotels and Resort
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS
40150 Shah Alam
Selangor Darul Ehsan
+6 03 7840 5288
Open: 6.30 am to 11.00pm (Monday to Saturday) 6.30 am to 10.30am (Sunday)