Six-course Dinner Menu – ATAS
Words: Meg Alice Photos: Monica Tindall
The Yum List returns to the RuMa Hotel and Residence‘s signature restaurant ATAS Modern Malaysian Eatery to find it has once again evolved reflecting customers’ wants but staying true to its respect for locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
This is the Yum List’s fourth review of ATAS since Chef Tyson Gee’s arrival in late 2018. It remains one of the chicest hotel restaurants venues in Malaysia celebrating farm-to-table fine dining.
Six-course Dinner Menu – Atas
Emerging from Malaysia’s strictest COVID-related lockdown in summer 2021, Chef Tyson’s latest creation is a six-course journey menu with refined a la carte options focusing more on Western dishes but still using uniquely Malaysian ingredients. This is a departure from our previous experiences at ATAS, which highlighted its interpretation of more Malaysian-style dishes. The through-line for this Canadian-born chef is the farm-to-table philosophy using the freshest and best locally sourced ingredients. Come try yourself and let us know what you think of this new chapter for ATAS.
Chicken and Waffles
The six-course journey starts with a bang letting diners know immediately that ATAS is departing from modern Malaysian cuisine.
The chicken and waffles course is a cheeky nod to North American-hipster food. The chicken is actually chicken liver and is one of my favourite bites of the evening. The velvety liver parfait is light and smooth paired perfectly with the waffles and hint of hazelnut. Always game for new techniques, Chef Tyson uses croissants packed into a waffle pan which explains the buttery beauty in the waffle interpretation. What brought the dish home was the addition of pegaga leaves, a small green herb with a thicker texture than watercress or parsley. I never want chicken and waffles again without pegaga.
Stracciatella Cheese Course
If you’re not familiar with stracciatella cheese, it is similar to burrata but with shredded mozzarella. Chef Tyson pairs the stracciatella with a lightly pickled chayote (think elevated cucumbers). He also includes edamame, green chillies, macadamia nut sprinkles for texture, and garlic flowers for an added punch. The result is a very light and bright second dish pushing chayote to the front.
Both the first and second courses are paired with Mionetto Prosecco Superiore from Vento, Italy. The bubbles add to the surprising lightness of both the chicken liver and stracciatella.
Six-course Dinner Menu – Smoked Ocean Trout
I sometimes forget that ocean trout is as pink as salmon, which for a moment I thought I was eating until the marvellous trout flavours took over in this third course. This generous dish presents the fish as if they are cut into little minnow shapes, or maybe that was our imagination. The trout is paired again with bright, citrusy flavours from the apple and passion fruit. The tapioca crackers are a delicious twist and underscore that Chef Tyson thinks through every detail. The sour cream pearls tie the dish together.
The charred calamari fourth course is my favourite in this journey. Perhaps because it was neither Western nor Malaysian, or maybe both, or maybe simply Chef Tyson’s clearest point of view. From our last review, we raved about the charred corn; charring may be ATAS’s secret weapon due to its charcoal oven. The calamari is served atop the most delectable and decadent keladi rice from the Langit Collective. The Yum List’s founder Monica was well familiar with the keladi black rice and educated me on the Langit initiative to bridge urban and rural economies through the sale of heirloom produce. The third star of this dish is the wing bean, also known as the four-angle bean. These crunchy cube-shaped tubes hold their own against the calamari and rice, refusing to be left out of the party. The wing bean is a revelation to me. While the dish had a flashback to the prior three dishes due to the pop of calamansi (a lemon-lime citrus hybrid), the heartiness of the keladi rice is a wonderful transition to the main courses.
The smoked trout and calamari course are paired with Hunter’s Wines from Marlborough, New Zealand, which is fruity with good acidity in the finish. This white wine cut through the smokiness of the trout and the charr of the calamari.
Choice of Mains: Ikejime Seabass or Dry-aged Duck Breast
Monica and I shared the two main dishes. Starting with the beautifully cooked seabass, the best way to describe the accompanying Americaine sauce is to think foamy bouillabaisse in all the right ways. The seabass is accompanied by fennel and kaffir lime. The white wine pairing is the Australian Capel Vale from Margaret River.
The equally perfectly cooked duck breast main course is accompanied by a raspberry-plum sauce and beetroot, but don’t worry, it’s not sweet. The red wine pairing is a Clos Henri Petit Clos from Marlborough, New Zealand. I preferred the duck mostly because I was hankering for a glass of red wine for the main course, and duck is generally less available to me.
Six-course Dinner Menu – Peaches and Cream
We started the meal with chicken and waffles, which has some roots in the American south. It is most appropriate to end the journey back where we started with a derivate of peaches and cream, another American southern traditional dish. The peaches are delightfully fresh, and the crème Fraiche is a surprise twist on the cream profile. I especially liked the hint of pine nuts to give the dessert a savoury element.
Post Six-course Dinner Menu Thoughts
When we asked Chef Tyson for the theme of this six-course meal, he said there wasn’t one except he was playing with bites and flavours that were coming to him during the long summer lockdown. Chef Tyson gave a shout out to his fellow food collaborators at the Little Farm on the Hill in Bentong (https://alittlefarmonthehill.com), about 40 minutes outside Kuala Lumpur. He frequently asked them to send him what was delicious and seasonal during the lockdown. I suspect that these treasures included the pegaga, chayote, wing bean, calamansi, and beetroot, which were some of the stars of this meal and remain true to the original ATAS philosophy.
This six-course meal is priced at RM 248 per person and RM 130 per person for the wine pairing. This menu has no set end. Items from the a la carte charcoal oven menu include ricotta and pea dumplings, lamb loin, king prawn, and of course, a wagyu sirloin.
For those following ATAS since its opening in 2018, let us know what you think of this latest adventure or if you have tried the a la cart menu items. If you’re new to ATAS, you will not be disappointed as all good food starts with the quality of the ingredients, and that is the hallmark of this restaurant.
Reasons to try the Six-course Dinner Menu: a strong focus on the best of local, seasonal produce; stylish setting; creative menu.
Six-course Dinner Menu at ATAS – Modern Malaysian Eatery
The RuMa Hotel and Residences
7 Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
E-mail: [email protected]
ATAS at The RuMa Opening Hours
Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday from 6 pm until 10 pm.