Celsius @ Fahrenheit 88

September 14, 2010

Fahrenheit 88, Part II: KL's latest mall still seems like a swirl of construction site dust and paint fumes, but its flagship restaurant _ Celsius _ is 100 percent ready to welcome visitors.

This semi-alfresco establishment isn't a bad-looking place, but its loud music (even early in the evening) might turn off anyone seeking to dine in peace.

The wide-ranging menu of Western and Asian standards here (alongside numerous cocktails) might look conventional at first, but a closer study will show that the kitchen has taken intriguing liberties with these recipes.

Caesar salad with smoked rabbit. Couldn't resist trying this; while the rabbit tasted like regular smoked chicken ham (we were assured it was rabbit), this was still impeccably prepared, with crunchy leaves, a light but creamy sauce & nicely boiled eggs (not runny, but not hard).

Sauteed mussels with curry leaves, dried shrimp and hoi-sin sauce. Tasted like a "kam heong" version, but worth ordering if you're looking for juicy, flavorful mussels.

Tiger prawns wrapped with deep-fried wantan noodles, served with Japanese cucumber. Decent finger food; the prawns were plump and fairly fresh, perfect for dipping into the gooey combo of guacamole, mango & chipotle dressing at the bottom of the bowl.

Risotto with porcini, portobello & button mushrooms, tinged with saffron. Comfort carbs; a nice change from other mushroom risotti that are often overpowered by the flavor of mushrooms. This still tasted earthy, but with a pleasant aroma of herbs that we couldn't quite identify.

Spicy Mango Caipirinha (rum, monin spicy mango, lemon wedges, mango, brown sugar) & Rambutan Caipiroshka (vodka, rambutans stuffed with pineapples, lemon juice).

Lavender Mojitos (rum, lemon juice, mint leaves, brown sugar, lavender syrup).

Fahrenheit 88, Kuala Lumpur.