KL has such a vibrant food and beverage scene that it’s only with consistent concerted efforts that restaurants can keep up with guests’ ever-changing preferences and constant desire for something new. Swinging into the festive season and embracing the challenge of providing extraordinary experiences for KL foodies, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel presents “Find your Lucky Star, a one-of-a-kind pop-up restaurant, conceptualized by multi-award-winning interior designer, Emma Maxwell.”
Italian chef, Gaetano Di Stefano of Villa Danieli, and French chef, Francois Mermilliod of Bar-A-Thym, Singapore (we know Chef Francois from Singapore and are particularly excited to find him here in KL!), join forces to curate celebratory menus from 12 to 29 December 2017 for lunch and dinner. With each session held in the pop-up restaurant accommodating a maximum of only 12 guests, seats are hot-selling tickets and a fun way to make this festive season truly memorable.
Provoked by the question, “How do we make our dreams come true?” designer Emma Maxwell came up with the “Find your Lucky Star” concept based on the premise of viewing the world through a different lens.
Emma explains, “As guests walk through the threshold of the external austere and rigid structure, they are swept from the chaotic and bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur and submerged into a seductive and evocative “other” world. A scene that is the exact opposite of what they perceived from the rigidity of the exterior of the structure.” She adds, “They will then, venture into a fantastical scene that initially doesn’t make sense to the human condition. Guests are placed “upside down” in an evocative landscape, where the clouds and the treetops are the basis for the floor and walls.” Throughout the course, guests will experience the transformation from the dark void above them moving into a shimmering star field before crowning the experience by searching for their lucky star and making a wish.”
Tonight I have a sneak peek into the sensory wonderland with of Chef Francoise Mermilliod.
Find Your Lucky Star First Course
Chef Francoise gets us started with a Ceviche of Yellow-Fin Tuna. A lip-smackingly more-ish yuzu ponzu dressing seasons the fish with a seductive drizzle and apple-fennel salad partners well complementing the light freshness of the first plate. An aromatic Sauvignon Blanc from Huntaway Marlborough has wonderful notes of tropical fruit on the nose and follows through with a nicely weighted palate.
The Ravioli is like no pasta I’ve ever eaten. The skin is almost transparent and a generous fresh hunk of lobster is lightened by tropical citrus and fruit with guava, lime sabayon and nahm jim. It’s a superb dish that does well with the next wine pairing of a 2015 Bonpas Cotes du Luberon Blanc. I still have a few drops left from the sav blanc of the first course though, and find the tropical notes in the earlier serve more complementary to the freshness of this course.
Served in the butterflied exoskeleton of the crustacean, the Seared Scampi is lightly grilled and topped with a ball of angel hair pasta. Even though the pasta is in a tangle, each strand is detected with its al dente firmness. The intensity is taken up a notch with Hokkaido sea urchin, and petite sakura ebi (shrimp) add some crunch. The butteriness found in the 2015 J. Moreau & Fils Chablis stands up to the bolder profile of this dish and its liveliness and minerality trim the seafood suitably.
A flaky fillet of Wild-Caught New Zealand Grouper rests between an al dente saffron risotto and a seductive razor clam peppered with micro-greens. A brilliant blue plate (handmade in Japan) holds the fish and a smoked eel broth is poured over the top of it all post-delivery. The Australian 2015 Capel Vale Margaret River Chardonnay continues to elevate the liquid offerings showing why WA wines are so fab. This one has much more structure than the previous wines and its time spent in French barriques is clearly evidenced in the palate.
As the night lingers and the wine continues to be poured, the enchantment of the mirror-topped dining table comes to my attention. With lights from above reflecting to below, our glasses of white wine literally glow. Meriting note also at this point are the sensual glasses each wine has been served in, each specific to the individual grape varietals.
The main course arrives and when knives slice into the Milk-Fed Veal Tenderloin the table goes silent. The quietness is quickly replaced with murmurs affirming the incredible tenderness of the meat. A foie gras foam provides a contrast in perception: it’s light because of the aeration yet full flavoured. Toasted buckwheat groats contribute a fantastic crunch and a nutty earthy savour. If served with the veal alone, I’d dare to say that the 2015 Capel Vale Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon would overpower the delicate meat. The foie gras and buckwheat, however, elevate the dish’ robustness aligning affably with the fruit character of the wine and soft tannins in the conclusion.
Final Course, Find Your Lucky Star
Warm Pear and Raspberries “Bourdaloue” with a luscious scoop of velvety house-made vanilla ice cream concludes the meal along with a cup of tea (or coffee) and petit fours. The almond meal gifts the dessert a pleasantly crumbly texture and the sweet and sour tang of berries leave us on a lighter note, winding up the evening feeling thoroughly satisfied.
The “Find your Lucky Star” experience is available between 12 to 29 December 2017, hosting only 12 people per session. The four-course lunch is priced RM188 with mocktail pairing and RM238 with wine pairing. The six-course dinner is valued at RM388 with mocktail pairing and RM438 with wine pairing. From December 12 – 16, Chef Francois presents a contemporary French menu, and the following week, December 17 – 29, it’s Chef Gaetano’s turn to share his Italian creations.
Reasons to visit: a unique and delicious experience to wow your friends, colleagues and family and create unforgettable festive memories for 2017.