Gastronomic ballroom launch@Intercontinental Hotel KL

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Our church friend, Janny, works at Intercontinental Hotel and we were so happy that she called us along to be a part of her hotel’s grand ballroom launch. The ballroom was refurbished and with this, the hotel hopes to gain more access to events. The gorgeous diamonds decoratives hung on the ceilings made the whole place seemed posh and glam.

At the cocktail session, we were greeted with ample drinks: beer, wine, mojitos, sodas etc, a photo booth with props and also a 10-minute massage counter courtesy of the hotel’s spa team. Awesome!

Not longer after,  we proceeded into the grand ballroom….and all I could say was… I was in food heaven! The first thing that caught my eye was the dessert section!

in particular …this dessert tower shaped,  formed and decorated with miniature desserts of all sorts.

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Honestly, hats down to Hansel and Gretel. How they, as kids, could resist the temptation of the witch’s dessert home..and when I, a full grown adult walked into THESE, my heart squealed with excitement, feet tingling with a happy sensation. I wanted to just grab everything and munch every single one of ’em like Sesame Street’s cookie monster. All of them looked so colourful, pretty and delicious!

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After calming myself down from the sugar high, my eyes started to wander around and wow…more amazing food to be served! This is the western roasted beef section. You can tell that this was one well roasted beef by the colour of the sliced piece. Tender, and smokey!

All the food served here are taken from the restaurants and cafes in the hotel itself. Besides promoting the ballroom, they were also showcasing their culinary skills too!

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They also had a french foie gras section, where the chef carefully grilled each piece to perfection before serving it in between two cute pieces of bread, like mini burgers. Omgosh. The foie gras was…DIVINE. You can tell that they were freshly grilled for you and the musky taste was not too overpowering either. Guilty as served (ate 2 pieces).

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Sake was also served to all patrons in such a cool way! Beautifully carved ice that pocketed the giant sake bottles to keep them cool. The sakes were also poured from the tip of the ice carvings before they drizzled down to the bottom where the sake glasses were placed, waiting to be filled. Haik!

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I had the pleasure to witness for the first time ever a Tuna sliced upon before serving. It was a yellow fin tuna and we were told it weighed a whopping 35 kgs! That is one heavy load and it was all done by only one person, this Japanese chef. Those are some skillful and strong pair of arms yo! As he sliced through, you could hear some of the bones cracking. I am sure this was not an easy task, and a lot of strength was needed to do the job. Salute!

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For my osyter loving friends, they jumped for joy seeing this counter. As I do not eat clams or shells of similar types, I can only imagine the joy they encountered was probably like the joy I encountered when I saw the dessert counter.

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How can I not get my hands dirty…with these! Chocolate fondue, with giant chunky marshmallows and strawberries. They were so delicious and within a bite, I’d knew that the chocolates used were of decent quality. My only regret was that…I should have skipped breakfast and lunch, if I knew I was coming for all of these!

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We were also given a lovely door gift on our way out! A box of macaroons to bring home all these sweet memories! How cool it was! After coming back from Singapore, my next morning’s breakfast at home was ala french style: croissants from Tiong Bahru bakery, and macaroons from Intercontinental…served with home brewed french press coffee.

Thanks Janny for the wonderful invite and wishing you and your team a great success ahead!

For more details, the link is here: http://www.intercontinental-kl.com.my/

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Self-pampering dinner treat@Sage Restaurant, Gardens Midvalley

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With the continuous weakening of the MYR, special restaurants can only be dined in on special occasions. My last visit to Sage was 3 years ago (Boooooo…..) and I could never forget the taste and texture of the wagyu beef cheek in my mouth.

Walking into this place brought a nostalgic feel and I was excited to re-visit my dream wagyu beef.

As per norm, we were served with bread slices as appetizers. There were varieties: plain ciabatta and sun dried tomatoes loaf. The one with tomatoes tasted better than the ciabatta which were strangely served cold to us, thus making them a little hard. I did recall my 3 years-ago experience for this fared better than the current one.

After tasting Yeast’s appetizer bread, I gotta say… Yeast won over for me, the freshness of each roll was amazing and bread was so fluffy. I had to stop myself from eating more of it to save some space for the mains.

We had two different menus: 1) dinner set meal at RM175 nett and 2) chef’s special dinner menu at RM195 nett.

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This dainty spoonful of lobster meat with caviar, was not bad. It had a finesse on the tastebuds and both ingredients blended well together.

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The extra dish served from the chef’s special menu was pate served on buttery toasted airy and porous bread slice. The pate was fantastic. The aroma was pungent, with a savoury taste not too strong to make you feel sick after eating a few slices of it.

The downside was the bottom layer bread. Not sure if it was meant to be served this way, but the bread was cold and slightly soggy, once cut the pate fell off the bread. My personal humble amateur comment was if the bread was hardened, crunchy, crispy, perhaps it would be better. Then again, I am not a chef.

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The first dish of the dinner set menu was the seared foie gras with dark grapes served with red wine reduction..and it was…fuh! spectacular. I did not have this on my last visit here. Grilled until the outer later formed a thin, crunchy, hardened later but once cut through in….oooh la la. MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. The dark grapes were soaked and cooked with red wine, reduced till they formed into a sauce. DIVINE.

Frankly, I was already full by now and my main was not even served yet!

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The first dish of the special chef’s menu was the carpaccio of hamachi with caviar and truffle soy. I had this exact same dish 3 years ago and it was honestly, the best sashimi I had ever had in my life. Until I went to Japan haha.

This time however, it was still good..as the combination of the rawness taste of the fish with the salty caviar and fragrance from the truffle was an awesome combo 3-in-1, but somehow the hamachi did taste just a tee wee bit slightly less fresh. But no major complaints!

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This was the main dish of the chef’s special menu: cured lamb shank with provencale style of vegetables wasabi. The lamb shank portion was quite big..easily 20cm’s length. It may seem a little less in finesse but the taste proved totally otherwise. Once the fork plunged in, the meat just fell off to swim in the amazing savoury sauce. Oh my…the guilt of finishing it all on your own. But it was just…wow… best lamb shank I ever had.

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Of course, I will not forget my love at first taste…the wagyu beef cheek. This time, the chef has coated the beef cheek with crusted wasabis to add a little Zing and Kick in your mouth before it landed into the meat.

As for texture, I believe that the picture spoke on behalf of me. The tenderness and the light smokey and buttery taste….oh man..perfection. I remembered that this dish on its on as ala carte cost RM95. @_@

For a more cost effective one that did not taste too far off from this premium benchmark, you may try Yeast’s wagyu beef which is served in 3 pieces, about RM60plus. Although they are not cheeks but…oh my, they were really good as well. You may search up my post on Yeast to know more.

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I was craving something chocolatey badly and the only chocolate dessert item on the menu was the chocolate fondant with earl grey tea ice cream.

I never expected how well the both went along. It was my first time trying out the earl grey tea ice cream and I was impressed how strongly infused the flavour was into the ice cream and it was not even sweet at all.

The moment the fork dived in, the molten lava chocolate flowed out. KABOOM.

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The creme lime custard with ice cream was a little too wierd for me. I can’t recall much of its taste as I stopped after my second spoonful. Too creative for my liking.

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The good thing about this place is that they offer free coffee of all types (black, cappucino, macchiato etc) at the end of the meal. I was so full till I felt a strong urge to let my zipper go. JOKING haha. I ordered a long black in hopes it would help wash down the fullness. At the same time, I told myself that I would just drink a little bit in case the caffeine deterred me from sleeping later on…but after having one sip, oh man. This is some good shyt yo! One of the best cuppas I ever had. Even better than a cuppa long blsck on a barista’s good day in Artisan.

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The wine to complement the dinner was also selected to make its finesse. This bottle cost over SGD 280.

Chateau malescot is one of the classified growth.  It has been gaining pretty decent scores lately. I have been priviledged to taste the 1978, 1988, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 to 2005

In general, malescot wine aged pretty well and pretty approchable at above 5 years of age.

The 2003 opened recently in 2014 exhibit a beautiful nose of leather and pencil shavings. However, you could still detect a significant alcohol heat on the nose, typical of the 2003 vintage affected by heatwaves across Europe.

The mouthfeel was plush and medium bodied.

It could evolved further with another 5 years of bottle age. By then the fruit would mellow down and show more of its tertiary character.

All in all, I had a gastronomic time again at sage, as I expected. But now with the existence of Yeast and my first try for dinner was awesome, with a slightly lower cost, I do feel inclined to give Yeast another try in the future..but Sage will always be a dear one in my heart.

Total damage for the night : RM488 + wine SGD 280….it was 1.5K gone.

I am guessing my next meal here will be another 3 years from now. Hopefully I have great news happening in my life that gives me the excuse to dine in Sage again.

Till then!

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