Skillet At 163 @ Fraser Place
April 5, 2015
Skillet At 163 - which replaces Mediteca at Fraser Place this month - represents an intriguing initiative by chef Raymond Tham & his terrific team to showcase inventive fare with an international flair. It's a restaurant worth watching, with plenty of potential.
Start with locally sourced baby octopus, complemented by cross-border diversity - cream cheese, Malaysian ulam, Indonesian tempeh & subtly spicy vinaigrette (RM30). Skillet At 163 is still in a soft-launch stage, so there's fine-tuning ahead, but Tham has the experience & expertise for this, having honed his craft for years, including at Bermuda's Fairmont Southampton resort.
The menu keeps Asian flavours staunchly in mind - you'll find everything from fries with Korean kimchi, minced chicken, kitchen-made tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese (RM18) to scotch eggs with bunga kantan pickle & fried shallots (RM22; not available when we visited, but should be offered sometime soon).
Tham has worked with Belgian chocolate brand Callebaut, so cocoa naturally strives for the spotlight at Skillet, with Aussie beef brisket prepared in Belgian cocoa mass gravy (a subtle enhancement) - a rich braise blanketed with garlic mash (RM39).
Skillet's signature recipe for now might be the chicken mille-feuille (RM38++), with savoury, spiced layers of chicken otak-otak meant to be eaten with cashew crumbs, percik sauce & a beetroot spread. A recipe that takes risks that deserve appreciation.
Skillet's minestrone barley 'risotto' is thick with the taste of tomatoes, bolstered by mushrooms & peas (RM28). Other potential highlights include fried tamarind chicken foccacia & pan-seared barramundi with turmeric barley risotto, plus other temptations once the kitchen - which comprises many of KDU lecturer Tham's former students - finds its footing.
Tham's primarily a pastry chef who's laboured at the likes of Surrey's Wentworth Golf Club & taught Advanced Patisserie at KDU University College, so keep an eye on the desserts - we had a composition of Ghana chocolate sponge with Maldon sea salt & macadamia nuts (RM28), but expect upcoming creations like chocolate bonbons with surprising Malaysian flavours.
Cocktails are available; wine is too now. Skillet's service team, led by maitre d Shaun Ong, ensures every need is well met.
Skillet At 163
163 Fraser Place, Jalan Perak, Kuala Lumpur. Open Mon-Sat, lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-2181-2426
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