pretty looking crispy scallop tart
I've been so busy with my Ramadan Bazaars that I've yet to post this up, a review on Nathalie's Gourmet Studio's August menu until I spied someone else's blog post about it. So here goes, just before we switch over to another new menu in September.
tomato crumble with goat cheese foam
The best part of eating in a restaurant with loads of foodie friends is you get to review the whole menu at one go since we all end up sharing the various dishes. It was a mixed bunch this time - friends who had dined before in Nathalie's for last month's menu and some who were new to the whole place.
two salmon tartar with green lentil salad
We have all been steadily impressed with the appetizers here hence we went for the full monty this time (everything on the menu except the deconstructed salad nicoise, which looked good from the next table).
crab mille feuille
The crispy scallop tart with melted onions and Szechuan pepper sauce (RM29) got the vote for the prettiest appetizer as it came with an edible oh-so-lovely (but tasteless) purple pansy. While it looked gorgeous, the sweet taste of the melted onions layered on the bottom of the tart and the creamy sauce didn't help to uplift the delicate taste of the fresh scallops at all but drowned it completely. Moreover, there wasn't any tingling sensation in the mouth from the Szechuan peppers in the sauce to make it even noticeable. In fact, now that I'm staring at Paranoid Android's blog post, I don't spy any peppercorn husks, so it is a mystery to me whatever happened to the peppers.
Left to right: Half cooked salmon, risotto like paella, halibut brandade
Instead we found solace with the tomato crumble with goat cheese cream and balsamic reduction (RM25). The tart is similar to the one I first tasted at Nathalie's, which came with a poached egg but this time it is presented differently with a crumbly topping with toasted pine nuts. The tangy tomato flavours meld perfectly with the lightly flavoured yet distinct wispy goat cheese cream making the whole ensemble simply divine. On the other hand, the two salmon tartar, green lentil salad and orange dressing (RM27) was a contrast of textures - soft raw salmon diced finely with the slightly grittier texture of the green lentils. Somehow this didn't work for us though as our tongues seemed to just prefer the tartar without the lentils. Mille feuilles are a favourite here so we had high expectations for the crab mille feuille with Nathalie's pesto sauce (RM27). While the whole ensemble was light tasting with the avocado puree, fresh crabmeat, light-as-air layers and pesto sauce on the side, the flavours didn't blow our tastebuds away compared to last month's amazing tuna mille feuille.
wild mushroom tagliatelle
That day when we dined, we felt that the kitchen was a little heavy handed with the salt for most of our main courses including the half cooked salmon, daikon and wasabi puree with coriander pesto (RM37). Eaten with the mash potatoes on the side, the saltier taste was bearable. The halibut brandade (RM47) was a mix of mash potatoes with salted halibut (versus the traditional cod) was served with a fresh herb emulsion and fried garlic chips. Unfortunately we found the dish way too salty for our palates even though this is one of the characteristics of brandade since it is made with salted fish.
pan fried beef tenderloin
The saving grace was the wild mushroom fresh tagliatelle (RM32) topped with a parmesan and mushroom emulsion - al dente pasta ribbons mixed with the umami flavours from the wild mushrooms and a foam to lighten the whole experience. The risotto like a paella (RM57) which came with king prawns, squids, chicken and a saffron emulsion was a shade less brilliant to the pasta dish but nevertheless we did enjoy the creamy yet-not-stodgy rice grains. Equally good was the pan fried beef tenderloin served with a glazed rich tasting red wine sauce, grilled polenta (shaped like thick fries) and a grilled vegetable skewer (RM59).
raspberry mille feuille
Desserts is always a pleasure here and the show stopper was the raspberry mille feuille (RM22) that looked stunning on a piece of black slate. Complementing the pastry layered dessert were a gorgeous raspberry espuma served in a cute little glass jug and a lychee sorbet. Not the easiest thing to share with a few people but we managed to enjoy every teeny weeny bite of the layers and spoonfuls of the light-as-air espuma.
upside down mango tart
A little less showy but trumping the raspberry mille feuille in the taste department was the amazing upside down mango tart (RM19) served with a mango and lime sorbet. The mango and lime flavours complemented each other perfectly to make it wonderful yet light tasting end to the meal. We also tried the selection of small desserts - mini vanilla and caramel choux, chestnut and chocolate espuma and a macaron (RM18).
We also had the chance to sample the canelles fresh from the oven that came with a thick caramelised crust and a moist yet slightly chewy center. Overall, our favourites are the appetizers and the desserts so I reckon the next time, we'll just skip the main meals and focus on those two courses.
Nathalie's Gourmet Studio
Tel : 03-6207 9572
(Pork free. Open from 9am to 6pm. A light breakfast menu is available in the morning with lunch only being served from 12 noon onwards. Reservations recommended. For the whole set of pictures, see my Flickr set.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.
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