French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur

Stargaze Menus at Gesuto – French-Japanese, TTDI

Stargaze Menus – Gesuto

Words: Theresa Hogan Leahy
Photos: Monica Tindall

While I was delighted to be invited by Monica to Gesuto, I admit to being a little scared of Japanese cuisine. I am unfamiliar with the culinary terms, and, of course, there are the chopsticks … My fears were soon laid to rest when we entered the unassuming entrance leading to a clean, sleek interior. The staff were attentive and knowledgeable, patiently answering my questions, and the contemporary menu meant either chopsticks or western-style cutlery could be used with grace.

With teal-coloured walls and chairs, and plain tables, the unfussy décor added to the relaxed atmosphere. The gold and white string curtain dividers between tables provided a sense of intimacy but allowed guests to feed off the buzz of the kitchen and other diners.

*** Sadly, Gesuto will close at the end of the month, so use the promo code “GesutoFarewell” for a 10% discount and your last chance to try Chef Kurt’s magic.

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Gesuto TTDI
Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur

Episode 2: Stargaze Menus at Gesuto

Episode 2: Stargaze was the title of our menus, reflecting Head Chef Kurt Lim’s admiration of those who have acquired a Michelin star. He is a passionate chef with a clear vision and determination that was seen throughout the five sumptuous courses he and his team prepared.

Gesuto has two menus, prix-fixe: Stargaze at RM 298 and Level Up at RM 358 per person. The difference is the ingredients, but I can assure you there was no difference in expertise, skill, and unabashed devotion to food from their creator; it is a restaurant known for its modern and innovative Japanese cooking.

As soon as we sat down, we were welcomed by Swapan, the cocktail master, who had a plate of sourdough bread and kombu butter, which kept us busy while we poured over the cocktail menu. Monica and Caning decided to try the Gesuto Concoctions while I opted for a mocktail – a first for me. Caning sipped The Yukaze, RM 38, which had a strong citrus flavour accompanied by frothed egg white, adding a fluffy, creamy finish to the gin base. Monica’s Gesuto Sake Mojito, RM 38, was a twist on a Mojito with sake, lime, brown sugar, yuzu, and a Japanese perilla leaf in place of traditional mint. Although the cocktails were impressive, I wasn’t short-changed with my delicious Virgin Mojito chocked full of tangy strawberries, mint, and brown sugar.   

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Bread & Butter
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Sake Mojito
Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
The Yukaze (with and without booze)
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Strawberry Mojito Mocktail

1st Course: Hamachi Tartlet and Icefish Puff 

From the Stargaze menu, we had Hamachi Tartlet. The tartlet was nestled in a bed of tiny white pebbles held aloft in a crunchy pastry. The Hamachi fish within had a firm texture which was heightened by the explosive tobiko roe in the mango gel.

From the Level Up menu, we had Icefish Puff. It lay on a bed of black seeds with red ginger and a fleck of gold, adding a glamorous touch. The sweet chewy white corn and Tonburi earthed the dish and gave it a fresh and clean taste. Both dishes went well with the Spanish white wine, which was a 2020 Torres Vina Esmeralda at RM 198 a bottle and RM 38 a glass.

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Hamachi Tartlet – Stargaze Menus
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Icefish Puff
Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
2020 Torres Vina Esmeralda

2nd Course King Mackerel and Toregai

Chef Lim announced that course two from his Stargaze menu was his favourite dish. Would we agree, well the answer is YES! We all loved this King Mackerel terrine. It was a multi-coloured flag sitting in a golden pond of flavour. The “flag” was made of white mackerel fish followed by minced green mackerel, prawn, and spinach and concluded with the reddish-brown quinoa held together with the mackerel offcuts. Kurt is keen to waste nothing, and, of course, The Yum List disapproves of waste too and proceeded to polish the plate clean.  

For pure aesthetic pleasure, Torigai from the Level Up menu was my winner. Clams rested on green mustard leaves, encircling a buttermilk emulsion of herb oil and balsamic vinegar. The glazed pottery’s stripes guided the eye to the centre, where a tuile reminiscent of a wintered tree lay. Being so beautiful, I was delighted when the taste matched. The crunchiness of the mustard greens and the silkiness of the clams with the sharp vinegar and biscuit tuile was bewitching.

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
King Mackerel
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur

3rd Course Shirako and Kuruma Ebi 

A first for me was eating Sea Bream Shirako, a velvety milt. The sacs had many hours of preparation, including an overnight soak in brine to remove the iron taste. They were then wrapped in panko breadcrumbs, deep-fried, and heated in an oven to exactly 60 degrees. Our next dish of Malacca Straits-sourced jumbo prawns could have been mistaken for lobster; they were so meaty. The prawns were skewered and garnished with spicy mayo and prawn flakes. The tobiko roe made a return appearance in this dish, but this time infused with wasabi. The sea and land collided with a black fungus mushroom dressed with chilli, coriander, and umami.

Cool fact: Kuruma Ebi (Japanese tiger prawns) when imported from Japan cost up to RM 1000 per kilogram! However, the same breed is also found in Malaysian waters making them much more affordable and sustainable.

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Sea Bream Shirako – Stargaze Menus
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Japanese Tiger Prawns – a local breed
Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Kuruma Ebi 

4th Course Snow Crab Pasta, Duck Breast, and Sweetlips Fish

The next three dishes were choices on both menus. Before we started on our mains, Swapan suggested the 2021 Conte Placido Chianti DOCG from Italy (bottle RM 148 or glass RM 33). It was a dry wine full of dark fruits and tobacco, which added to the varied taste of the main dishes.

When initially perusing the menu, I was attracted to the Duck Breast accompanied by the Manti Gyoza and Mignonette Pearls. I was intrigued that Chef Lim had given the Turkish manti dumpling an oriental twist by pan-searing it like gyoza instead of steaming it. The Muscovy Duck was sourced from Perak and chosen for its tenderness and easily rendered skin. I can attest that these two delicious characteristics were evident. The mignonette pearls were cooked in Champagne and vinegar, a perfect contrast to the sweetness and fat of the duck.

The Sweetlips Fish, from the Plectorhinchus family, is a prime reef fish that lay on a ragu of fish offcuts combined with orange peel, pepper, corn, and fermented bean paste. It was covered in a nutritious black rice koji sauce and roe. However, it was herring roe this time, and its salty taste heightened all the flavours beneath.

Snow Crab Pasta had an additional charge of RM 38, but it was worth it to taste the sabayon delicately mixed through thin strands of capellini. Two types of roe, one salmon and one pollock, and kani miso infused the crab innards to create a burst of flavour. It is serious comfort food, and we all agreed it’d be the perfect after-work relaxing meal. Unfortunately, Chef Lim will likely be too tied up with his fab restaurant to indulge in our Friday night food fantasy.

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
2021 Conte Placido Chianti DOCG
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Duck Breast – Stargaze Menus
French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Sweetlips Fish
Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Snow Crab Pasta

5th Course Caramel Pistachio and Matcha

Chef Lim talked us through all the previous courses, but this time he allowed both of his pastry chefs to shine. Pastry Chef Annuar had created a caramel pistachio éclair with vanilla ice cream and an intriguing citrus crumb. Vanilla ice cream was paired with small drops of passion fruit, bergamot, and lemon that were passed through liquid nitrogen to create a beautiful icy crunch. Needless to say, not a crumb was left.

The second dessert was created by Pastry Chef Maverick. When I asked him what his inspiration was, he replied succinctly with “Matcha”. True to his word, we had sponge, praline, and ice, all with a distinctive matcha flavour. The dish also had red bean jelly, and the sweet and nutty flavours were accentuated by the salty-sweet seaweed slice that would give a salted caramel biscuit a run for its money. 

French Japanese Restaurant Kuala Lumpur
Caramel Pistachio – Stargaze Menus
Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI

Reasons to try Gesuto’s Stargaze Menus:  Simply put, the food is delicious. The staff and ambience are relaxed, and the whole experience is great value. Beyond that, Chef Lim’s vision to reach for those stars shines out with his King Mackerel dish, the novelty Shirako, his comforting Snow Crab Pasta, and his perfectly cooked Muscovy duck. The desserts are outstanding, too and I’ll dream of that seaweed biscuit for some time. Gesuto is full of surprises and new experiences, all of them delicious. Let me conclude with a phrase from their website that aptly sums up our experience, “a flavour for every occasion, a sensation for every moment, and a taste for everyone”. Indeed! 

Sadly, Gesuto will close at the end of the month, so use the promo code “GesutoFarewell” for a 10% discount and your last chance to try Chef Kurt’s magic.

book now

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Stargaze Menu

Stargaze Menus Gesuto TTDI
Stargaze Level Up Menu

Gesuto – Stargaze Menus
No 24, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Kuala Lumpur
+6012 773 2070

Gesuto Opening Hours
Lunch: Friday-Sunday at 12 – 2.30 pm
Dinner: Thursday to Tuesday from 6 pm (Closed Wednesdays)

Find more Japanese restaurants in KL here, and stay up-to-date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations for Malaysia here and here.


  1. It been a while since I had sake.
    Coffee is on, and stay safe.

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