Words: Margaret Elizabeth Photos: Monica Tindall
Just arriving at the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is exciting. It is like a step back in time to the 1930’s when luxury, style and elegance were all the rage. Greeted by friendly and professional doormen in white safari suits and pith hats, I was escorted to the Colonial Cafe to partake of a Festive Menu that included highlights from the even more extensive Christmas Eve Dinner Menu (RM280 nett per person, RM380 nett per person with wine pairing).
Christmas Menu at Colonial Cafe
Colonial Cafe is situated in the original Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur and it is easy to see why this building has world heritage status. The original features are stunning and a luxurious bygone era is recreated with an interior design that merges the beauty of east meets west. Our table was laid out with white linen and full silver service cutlery and the entire dining room looked glorious in shades of red, gold and green, with fir leaves, Christmas centrepieces and a magnificent orchid display.
In the background Kuala Lumpur’s iconic, fourth generation band, The Solianos were playing a tribute performance to the cool and chic Rat Pack sound of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. The original Soliano maestro, Alphonse Soliano came to Kuala Lumpur from the Philippines and was such a hit that he stayed and a musical dynasty was born. The current band members continue Alphonse’s legacy of with a vibe that is classy, elegant and mellow, perfect for our festive feast.
To open our palates for the Christmas menu to come we enjoyed a prelude of warm, Smoking Bishop Mulled Wine. A subtle blend of spices in red wine with an enticing scent of cinnamon. That certainly did the trick and Monica and I were more than ready for the first taste, an Amuse Bouche of Breaded Camembert Cheese with Blueberry Sauce. I loved the texture of melting cheese combined with crunchy breadcrumbs. The blueberry sauce was a pleasing change from the usual cranberry and so, we were ready to eat in earnest.
On to Cream of Watercress Soup with Lobster Meat, which looked very Christmassy. The green watercress with a hint of red from the lobster skin and a swirl of cream reminded me of a Christmas bauble catching the light on a tree. Lightly garnished with crimson micro flowers it was rich in appearance and taste. There was an earthiness to the watercress that contrasted well with a hint of sweetness from the lobster meat. Absolutely delicious.
The mid-course was Roasted Sliced Whole Turkey accompanied with cranberry sauce, stuffed chestnut, and buttered vegetables. The turkey was elegantly presented on a large white plate and of course, a sliced from a whole roast turkey. The turkey meat was moist and juicy as you would expect from top chef, Chef Zaidi. The traditional flavours of cranberry and chestnut were incorporated with style. I enjoyed everything about this dish. The chestnut stuffing was plentiful and I loved it. The buttered vegetables were a triumphant combination of Brussels sprouts, carrots, courgette, parsnip and heritage tomato. It was a trip down memory lane of Christmases past with a modern twist.
As my main course of Baked Honey Glazed Cod Fish accompanied with Butter Glazed Asparagus arrived the aromas of perfectly cooked fish preceded it. I could hardly wait to get into it. This was a generously sized portion of fish, beautifully presented in a soup plate to capture the flavoursome sauce. The cod sat upon buttered, firm asparagus and the juices from the fish enhanced the sauce and the vegetables contributing small yet delicious variations to the sauce as we ate. For those who prefer a meat course alternative, the option is Braised Beef Cheek Accompanied with Gorgonzola Polenta and Vegetable Lasagna.
I was so excited when I saw my dessert, Home Made Chocolate Fudge Cake with Crisp Brandy Snaps, Berry Comport with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It so perfectly captured Christmas extravagance and fun. It was a very cleverly conceived dessert conjuring up images of Santa, snowflakes, fir trees, holly and ivy from many Christmas songs and carols. Inside, Santa’s hat was a creamy, chocolate mousse. The bobble on Santa’s cap was white chocolate decorated with gold, quite charming as well as being decadently delicious to eat. Homemade chocolate fudge cake was a just right balance of molten chocolate and springy fudge cake topped with a chocolate ganache topping that was invitingly shiny. The vanilla bean ice cream was perfect, cool and smooth around the crispiness of brandy snaps. Tying the components of this dessert together, berry comport offered a hint of tartness alongside shades of sweetness. Y.U.M.M.Y.
We rounded off the Christmas menu with the satisfying last taste of freshly brewed coffee. Tea is available if you prefer. Altogether this was a hugely satisfying meal in terms of taste, quality and quantity. Everything was so beautiful and stylish that I felt thoroughly spoiled which is how you should feel at Christmas.
Reasons to visit: The Christmas menu – perfectly cooked cod, moist turkey- often so hard to find and the unique texture and flavour of stuffed chestnut. Ambience: it was in the words of Cole Porter a lover of style and sophistication, “ it’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely”
You might also want to check out the other festive menus available: The Rat Pack Afternoon Tea with a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea option (RM80 nett per person); Christmas Menu (Day, RM220 nett per person, RM320 nett per person with wine pairing); and the New Year’s Eve Menu RM380 nett per person RM480 nett per person with wine pairing.