Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Steve Allen at Dish @ Dua Annexe, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur
Four times to Dish and I reckon it's not the last visit.
I peeked back at my archives. Way back in 2009, Dish (Delicious Ingredients Steak House) blazed into the city's dining scene. At that time, it was the decadent bone marrow and caveman portions of steaks that got everyone's tongues wagging. Unfortunately I didn't warm up to the place even after a few visits as I could not fathom eating my steak well charred on the outside. Means too much carbon that will slowly kill me off.
Fast forward to 2012. KL's fickle dining crowd have moved on to shiny new places. Enter Steve Allen and the ball game changes for Dish.
Who is this Steve chap you must be asking?
Well, he is a friendly English bloke looking to explore our Asian shores. Most importantly, he brings with him the experience of working with Gordon Ramsay. Most couch potatoes will know of Ramsay from channel surfing through Hell's Kitchen or even Masterchef USA. Ramsay may be loud and rude (it's all television people!) but he is a talented chef who groomed many young chefs such as Marcus Wareing, Jason Atherton, Steve and the list goes on.
Before Steve joined the Delicious Group, he was the head honcho in Ramsay's outpost in the prestigious Claridges Hotel. He is enjoying his stint here, exploring our local fare with gusto.
The other day he tried guava and next thing we know, it is on this week's lunch menu - a cool rendition with white chocolate ice cream that we slurp down to counteract these hot humid days.
For those unsure about Steve and his menu, we recommend an easy way to get acquainted with his food....try his lunch menu that is available daily including weekends.
Prices won't cripple your wallet but it's definitely way above that usual budget meal you have at the food court. For the quality of food you get, we reckon it is a good deal. Two courses are priced at RM65, while three courses (how can one miss dessert!) is at RM75. Both choices come with a cup of coffee or tea, and petit fours (marshmallow and chocolate truffle).
The lunch menu changes every fortnight. We sampled the current menu and love the mild tasting curried carrot soup with the crispy squid served on the side. The chargrilled mussels are perfectly cooked and not too rubbery with an apple and garlic broth that you wipe up with the toasted ciabatta bread. The chargrilled sirloin is a nice portion for lunch (too much would mean food coma!) that is topped with the lobster butter. A must is the triple cooked potato chips - crispy on the outside with a fluffy centre. Even the pan fried salmon fillet is beautifully cooked with a crispy skin and soft pink flesh. We end with a cooling guava soup and a toothsome almond financier (hot from the oven) with roasted pineapple and creamy mascarpone ice cream.
We had sampled the seared duck breast from the last lunch menu and loved the accompanying ginger carrots with braised duck leg broth. Such a comforting dish that had us all wishing there was more of that fortifying broth.
Once you are convinced, head towards here for the dinner menu. You start with eggplant fritters studded with black sesame seeds with a sour cream dip. They are good and even the eggplant hater loves them. We also love the decadent herb butter with bits of red pepper and herbs so be careful to not over indulge on bread. It is hard but more good things are coming.
For those seeking utter decadence, go for the ballotine of foie gras and smoked duck (RM46). The creamy melt-in-the-mouth foie gras is wrapped in smoked duck slices and served with the toasted brioche. Spiced pineapple on its side helps alleviate the richness of this dish.
For something way much lighter, go for the seared and marinated tuna (RM42). Shaped like a "D", the fish is paired with a piquant pickled radish, decadent crispy quail eggs and french beans. There is an Asian slant to this dish with its soy sauce and ginger flavours. Another light choice is the classic Italian vitello tonnata (RM36), thin slices of marinated veal topped with tuna mayonnaise and served with argula leaves and croutons.
My favourite is their signature sauteed scallops (RM48) as I've eaten this for three times. The curry powder dusted succulent scallops are served with a creamy cauliflower puree (mash without the carbs!) and crispy turkey bacon and almond crumbs. Thin apple slices and apple vinegar caramel sauce dotting its sides help cut through the rich taste.
My first introduction to the mains yielded one firm favourite, the salt baked cod (RM69). Encased in a salt dough crust embedded with lemon slices, the fish is juicy and succulent. It is paired with a red pepper and lemon sauce that is delicious. Eat each piece of the zucchini and peppers as they all have a beautiful natural sweetness.
Steak of course is a must. My first visit, I tried a tenderloin that was perfectly cooked with beautiful chargrilled marks and a juicy red centre. You get choices of different sauces, such as truffle beef jus lobster butter, their bernaise sauce and etc but I love eating my steak plain. In subsequent visits, we sampled smaller sizes for the lunch set that was equally good.
Depending on your mood, go for the sides (RM18 each) such as the creamy potato puree, triple cooked chips, truffled mac and cheese or my big favourite, the charred Brussels sprouts with chillies and anchovies (RM18). Love these vegetables that were so fragrant and delicious.
Last but not least...desserts that are so good.
I often find restaurants always end with rather ho-hum desserts but here, I find the endings to be spectacular to make me want to return again and again.
Hard to narrow down my favourite dessert as I love them all. There's the strawberry mousse, granita and jelly with olive oil ice cream sprinkled with black pepper (RM21). I like the light flavours of this combination that makes it easy to finish it by yourself with not much guilt. Equally less guilty is the pineapple carpaccio, coconut sorbet and tuille (RM21), a refreshing treat that reminds me of pina coladas in the sunshine beach.
For truly decadence, go for the cold chocolate fondant, poached mango and yoghurt sorbet (RM21). This is akin to a chocolate mousse with a creamy flowing centre that is topped with a crunchy nut biscuit. Poached mango cubes cut through the richness. Unfortunately this is overshadowed by the brilliant caramel chocolate delice, lime ice cream and raspberries (RM21). Voted the big favourite, the rich chocolate taste is wonderful paired with the tangy lime ice cream and the lime rind that dots the ruby red raspberries. A must for chocolate lovers!
213, Jalan Tun Razak
Tel: 03-2164 1286
(Pork Free. Open for lunch from 12-3pm and for dinner. For the full set of pictures, see the Flickr set. For weekly updates and the full menu details, see this link to Dish's website. )
*Disclaimer: Most meals were paid by the reviewer except for one blogger tasting session.