Monday, May 31, 2010

Dining Out @ Nathalie's Gourmet Studio, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur

rainbow macarons

Apologies for the absence, first I was away for a few days and after that, life got a little out of sync hence the delay in blogging. Rather than starting on my trip, I thought it'll be nice to mix it with a little local flavour since most of you would rather read about somewhere you can access straightaway versus getting that fix vide a jet plane.

tomato parmesan cheese tart with poached egg and black olive tapenade

Getting back in the groove meant doing a little food hunting during the long weekend and I must admit I have been pretty happy with the results - four good ones out of five is not too bad of a result I reckon.

frothy fennel soup

Back to this place which I first heard a little from reading Expat Lifestyle and subsequently through an email that was circulated announcing its arrival. I was curious since Nathalie Arbefeuille has built quite a reputation for herself with her macaron classes at the Cooking House. She has also been appearing in a number of publications by them, firstly in their own magazine titled My Nourishment and their first book, Out of the Shell for Nutriplus.

spinach and parsley raviolis in a parsley broth

Armed with the address and a warning from
a blog entry saying it's difficult to locate, I was well prepared for a scavenger hunt around the huge complex. We deduced it must be somewhere not on the row that faces the main road and looked at the back units and eureka, we found it, all the way on top. If we entered from the entrance near Heidelberg Kaffeehaus, it was straight all the way up on the escalators, pass Pink Jambu and etc.

lamb tagine with artichokes and couscous

Even though the place was so well hidden, we were pleasantly surprised to discover it was packed with people. Looking for a space within the main restaurant area was an impossible feat, hence we opted to sit outside in these low loungeabout chairs. We felt a little out of place, as we were the only locals as the place was packed with the French. Obviously word has got around hence the crowd.

strawberry success

The menu is pretty small with maybe about 4-5 items per course, and if you're ardent fans of Nathalie's cookbook, you can spot a few familiar items. In the main courses, there's risotto, a cod fish dish and weirdly enough, green curry chicken in there. I also spotted the tomato parmesan cheese tart similar to the one on the cover of the Out of The Shell cookbook, which we ordered to try.

lemon tart with lemongrass sorbet

Even though we sat outside, service was fast and efficient. I loved the tomato parmesan cheese tart (RM25) starting from the flaky parmesan cheese biscuit base, the tangy tomatoes in between, the poached egg on top with a black olive tapenade. A large slice of parmesan cheese completed the tart's effect with swirls of reduced balsamic vinegar sauce around it. Light and satisfying indeed. I also liked my fennel soup (RM20) a light concoction with basil leaves and tomato that you mixed to give the otherwise light tasting soup a bit more taste.

Show Splashie Boy, homemade ravioli and he will zoom in on that hence the spinach parsley ravioli (RM38) was a must order for him. It came in a green parsley broth that didn't look too appetising but was nice and light. Personally I didn't care much for it, but he loved it. I was instead very happy with my Lamb Tajine (RM35) - fork tender lamb pieces with an artichoke, fava beans and couscous. Again, something that was satisfying yet leaving more than enough room to enjoy my dessert.

Dessert was the best ever so leave room for that if you have a sweet tooth. I liked the tall Strawberry Succes (RM15) - light as air (with a softer texture) meringue discs sandwiching fresh cream with raspberries and strawberries topped with a raspberry sorbet. Yummy concoction indeed! Splashie Boy's lemon tart with the lemongrass sorbet(RM15) was equally toothsome and eaten quickly as it was light and refreshing. I also liked how they serve a selection of Mariage Freres teas - a favourite of mine and one of the best ever teas I reckon. Don't think anyone else in KL serve these teas.

One shouldn't leave without a stop at their technicolour display of macarons. There's about 13 flavours, so get a box of each flavour (raspberry, chocolate, caramel, coconut, passionfruit and etc) to try in rainbow colours. Macarons definitely play a big part in the place, as you see them on the wait staff's aprons, on the walls of the restaurant and even on a serving tray used as a display. I can see why, as I was blown away with the light as air texture of the sweet confections. Not overly sweet until you get a diabetic attack, each one was savoured slowly throughout the long weekend. I'm now plotting to return for more macarons (just have to look for an excuse to buy them!), a taste of their caneles, French brioches and maybe more of their menu.

Unit A4-01-5
Solaris Dutamas
Jalan Dutamas 1
Kuala Lumpur


(Pork free. Place is open from 10am to 6pm, as Nathalie still does catering in the evenings. Closed on Sundays. There's no breakfast menu but you can eat caneles or brioches with tea. Best to book a table ahead. The macarons are RM4.40 each. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.)

Post Note: The menu changes every month and these items were only available for May. There is an entirely different menu for all courses this June. There is beef carpaccio, asian crab salad (very yums!), salmon blinis for starters, oxtail stuffed squid, duck confit, halibut served with whole roasted tomatoes and a very sharp tasting eggplant puree, a reverse kinda dessert with meringue, sorbet and chocolate sauce, an orange creme brulee on a biscuit base and the sampler dessert with chocolate tart, rhubarb crumble and macaron.

*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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minchow said...

I love the look of that ravioli! In fact, anything green agrees with me. Can't wait to see you blog about your trip!

boo_licious said...

Minchow -*feeling guilty now* - I better get my ass down to blogging abt HK. So many great pixs that I'm at a lost.

Ellen Whyte said...

Looking forward to hearing about the trip! This Nathalie's ... is it expensive?

Kenny Mah said...

Oh the colours of the macarons! A rainbow I'd gladly taste. ;)

P.S. Yeah: HK! Cepat, cepat! :P

怡潔 said...


boo_licious said...

Au & Target - I've added the prices, didn't have the receipt with me earlier on.

Kenny - Looks like I better blog abt HK soon, everyone asking for it.

Ciki said...

eh! i did her CLASS!!! ahpa too! LOL

J2Kfm said...

Gorgeously cheery macarons. Now if only this place is easily accessible.

thule a.k.a leo said...

I think that I need to search for this place :)

NekoHime said...

The strawberry success looks nice! Looks like a must try place

Bangsar-bAbE said...

That lamb tagine looks every bit delicious. I'd choose this over the ravioli too! ;)

Rebecca Saw said...

Saw Sean's and now yours. I got to visit real real soon!! ;)

worldwindows said...

Presentation is really neat and when there is a need for colours its there. The lamb is interesting with artichoke, fava beans and couscous.

Krystle Chelsea said...

Oh my goodness...I love macaroons and the ones in your picture look really crispy and sweet!
credit score

qwazymonkey said...

Oh wow! What a wonderful display of Macarons. Finally, a place to get good ones off the shelves in KL. Would definitely give this place a try soon. REAL soon. :)

boo_licious said...

C&C - so when do we see your macarons?

j2kfm - no public transport here I think. Maybe cab?

Leo - search is the operative word here as it is not easy to locate for a new timer.

Nekohime - I loved the strawberry succes but sadly now no more, as changed already. There's a similar one with chocolate sauce instead in the new menu.

Bsar-babe - it was yummy stuff!!

nomadgourmand - be prepared though, menu is different. Kinda feel new menu is not up to old menu's standards though.

worldwindows - yeah, place has nicely put together food.

Krystle - macarons are yum. So far bought 3 boxes already.

qwazymonkey - just remember food has changed though for the slightly worst I reckon.

Unknown said...

Every menu has different taste!You should come try the new duck confit with warm salad...its currently the hit of the menu!

boo_licious said...

Tan - had it this week already. I'm more a fan of the Asian crab salad, served in the western tower style.

Unknown said...! I haven try all the food there sadly speaking and yet im the sous chef there...

Autumn said...

hey... how big is one macaroon? how many cm in diameter? rm4.40 each macaroon????!!!! then a box of mixed flavours will be above 50 for 13 pieces?

Unknown said...

the macaroon is around 3.5cm in diameter i guess...and ya it will be above 50 for 13 pieces...haha

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Unknown said...

I love Nathalie's Macaron too >.<
they r so cute and tasty, the best macaron in town

but the business hour is not convinience to me, really difficult to try the main courses.

zenegra online said...

Love you blog..Really very nice recipe...Thanks for posting this blog...

blog-tips-kurus said...

lamb..lamb..lamb.. :-)

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