October 12, 2010

One of KL's most deserted hotel restaurants, but undeservedly so. This is an elegant, classic setting (let's avoid the word "old-fashioned") that's ideal for a calm, relaxed dinner, with mellow French-language songs gently wafting in the background.

The absence of any other customers on a recent weekday evening could be counted as a blessing: we had a perpetually replenished spread of bread _ accompanied by two flavors of butter (fruit & pesto) _ all to ourselves.

This year's MIGF menu at L'Heritage kicks off with an amuse bouche featuring a tartar of Kobe beef & black caviar, alongside a smoked & roasted tomato shooter. A tangy way to tantalize the taste buds for the numerous courses ahead.

Maine lobster Thermidor with old-style Cafe de Paris butter. Small pieces of lobster (less than bite-sized) with thick, savory sauce.

Foie gras au torchon with quail leg confit, baby pear strudel, crayfish oil & redcurrant reduction. Nearly every recipe here had a complex range of components. For this, the soft, velvety liver went quite nicely with the tender (but understandably bony) quail.

Salmon trout poached in duck fat (tasted like regular salmon, but a bit more moist) & yabbies coated with oats & Maltaise sauce (texturally interesting, but unmemorable, taste-wise). Freshness was a problem with some dishes here _ several ingredients tasted past their prime.

Garlic onion soup with porcini fricasee. Nicely presented, but if someone ate this blindfolded, he might believe it was just another soup served at an upmarket cafe like Delicious.

Lamb noisette with red onion dauphines, white anchovies, black truffles & gremolata oil. An outright disaster. The lamb was unbearably gamy _ practically foul. The anchovies were no help, while the truffles were wasted.

A palate-cleanser of lavender sorbet with honey candied kalamansi. Sourish, but helped to remove the aftertaste of the lamb.

Slow-braised Black Angus ribs with sweetbread & morels in a choux pastry cage. An eye-catching composition; the beef was flavorsome enough, but the highlight was the pillowy, delicate sweetbread (calf thymus & pancreas).

Orange souffle with dates. Competently prepared, but not extraordinary.

Valrhona chocolate brulee & caramel tea parfait. Can anyone possibly not be stuffed by now? This set menu seems designed for stupendous appetites.

French cheese assortment. Marvelously stinky.

Chocolate pralines. A sweetly satisfying end to a meal that had a tad too many misses. B+ for effort, but the final results on the table merit a lesser B-.

Click here for earlier entry on L'Heritage (Oct. 9, 2009).

Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.