Cheese & Wine Promotion: Gobo Upstairs @ Traders Hotel
August 14, 2015
It's been more than six long years since we last stepped into Gobo Upstairs, which was one of our favourite hotel restaurants in the city centre between 2006 & 2008. We couldn't have chosen a better time to return - Gobo Upstairs now offers exceptionally tempting monthly promotions, with August brilliantly dedicated to cheese & wine, two of our favourite things ever.
Traders Hotel's flagship restaurant remains sleek as it nears its second decade, with service that continues to sparkle. Behind the scenes, the kitchen is currently helmed by chef Kelvin Kilin, who has worked his way up in Gobo Upstairs from the start This is still the place where we'll finish all the butter & bread (complemented this month by a creamy capsicum dip) & marvel at the amuse bouche - potatoes with delicious morsels of Angus beef cooked in red wine (we'd happily have it as a main course).
We had high hopes for these cheese dishes; Gobo succeeded in fulfilling them, with recipes that were beautifully thought out from beginning to end. You'll find both unusual & familiar cheeses, but you won't go wrong with either of these starters: Figs teamed with French Boursault cheese (rich-textured, soft-ripened), macadamia nuts & balsamic honey reduction, or a fine variation of a Caprese salad, with lovely, sweet tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese (top-notch in quality), pesto & walnuts.
Each of these dishes can be ordered a la carte, with highly recommended optional wine pairings for every one of them. This is Gobo's first time offering wine pairing for its monthly promotions, & the selection is wonderfully fitting, with food & wine complementing & elevating each other: Trimbach GewÃ¼rztraminer 2011 (lusciously perfumed) for the fig salad & Little Yering Chardonnay 2012 (crisply vibrant) for the tomatoes & mozzarella.
If you're looking for visually ravishing temptations, Gobo Upstairs aims to please: Both the seafood thermidor (king prawns with mussels & scallops prepared with Boursault & mozzarella cheese, paired with Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2014) & Napoletana-style soup with cream & Parmesan cheese crisp prove to be memorable sights, irresistible for photography.
Our favourite main is the Angus tenderloin, bravely crowned with French Livarot cheese, a variety that's only occasionally served at KL's restaurants, with a pungent earthiness that really turns us on. It's effectively paired with the beef (& a fruit-driven Weighbridge Shiraz 2012) - steaks have always been Gobo Upstairs' forte, & this emphasises why. Wrap up your meal (the cheese promo is available only for dinner) with a full-attack platter of Boursault, Livarot & blue; it's worth noting that even if you can't make it this month for this cheese fest, September's promo sounds mighty promising too - a menu that's all about lamb.
We couldn't help ordering a few Italian-inflected items from the regular a la carte menu: The Chef's Pasta is the most rewarding, sumptuous with a triumvirate of shaved truffles, truffle oil & truffle cream sauce, plus a runny egg, mushrooms, asparagus & cherry tomatoes. The risotto is relatively less punchy, but it should satisfy patrons looking for a well-executed risotto with lots of fleshy seafood. For dessert, the frozen hazelnut cake with morello cherries & vanilla anglaise is a safe, certain-to-please bet. Many thanks to the Traders Hotel team for warmly hosting us - we won't take another six years to return!
Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill
Level 6, Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Open for lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-2332-9910
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