Monday, August 2, 2010

Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar @ MiCasa All Suite Hotel, Jalan Tun Razak

Well everyone is probably dying to know about Melbourne, or either that you must be scratching your head thinking what Melbourne? Let that be for another post, meanwhile read about Cilantro.


It was almost not meant to be, my relationship with Cilantro. Two years ago, the week before it was going to be closed down for renovation for an indefinite period of time, i desperately tried to secure a reservation with no success. Some VIP had booked out the whole place on its last day of service. Since Cilantro was re-opened, i flirted with the idea of getting together but it was not until my last Friday in Malaysia for the year, that we stepped into the restaurant.

Without a budget to go for their dinner degustation menu at RM300 per head, we opted for lunch which is half the price but is only available on Friday only, talk about exclusiveness.

Despite all the whiff of it being "the" fine dining restaurant and the talk in town, the decor is not overly done. The phrase "less is more" precisely describe the tables and plush chairs.

For those who don't know what Cilantro is all about, it starts off with their legendary truffle butter.

It is as good as it's legendary status says it is. One item that i would go back for, the smoothness of the butter and the plentiful earthy truffles.

Be generous when you are spreading it.

As part of the weekly rotating menu, you are also served a complimentary glass of Kir Royale, if you find yourself being a non-alcoholic, they are very accommodating and will serve you a fresh juice. Instead of insisting on sparkling or still water, Cilantro also serves free drinking water, iced or warm. Want to know what Kir Royale is? A glass of champagne with a dash of black current liqueur, very refreshing.
Talking about accommodating, i had another request. Famed for their liberal use of foie gras, i was disappointed to not find any in their lunch menu. Guess what? they obliged when i asked if i could replace one of the courses with foie.

Although it was probably half the usual slice, simple pan fried with a brown sauce, i was in heaven. Eat it with a little bread to taste how creamy it is.

The original first course: Sea Urchin with Artichoke Veloute and Pacific Oyster with Ginger Vinaigrette. Showcasing the natural freshness of seafood, this was slightly seasoned and goes to show that if you use fresh produce, you will get good tasting food.

Course 2: Open Ravioli of Porcini with Egg Mollet, Summer Truffles.

There is a contradiction in this dish that i love, a simple ingredient like the runny yolk eaten together with a more exotic item like truffles. The earthiness of the summer truffles, the well cooked egg yolk and porcini mushrooms is eaten together on a square shaped pasta.

Course 3 or the Main Course is usually an option between seafood and meat.

The Pan Fried Turbot with Baby Squid and Capsicum. Again another simple dish that allows for the ingredients to speak for themselves. Turbot; an expensive fish is worth the bite as it has flesh like a stingray but the texture is similar to a garoupa, meaty and firm. The squid with black ink made the dish slightly more fulfilling as the portion of the fish is quite small.

The Two Way Preparations of Wagyu Beef was a delight to eat. A medium cooked slice of wagyu sitting on a bed of beef and mushroom ragout and mash vs. a lightly sear and roast wagyu with herb eaten with mustard. Again the portions are not exactly mind blowing but it also means you learn how to appreciate it more.

Kyoho Grape with Vanilla Ice Cream and Granite. The theme of simplicity carries through right on to dessert. Sweet and gigantic grapes is topped with shaved grape flavoured ice and a scoop of vanilla ice cream to gel everything together. A very good palate cleanser too.

Coffee ends the meal.

Undoubtedly, the food here is as good as everyone says it to be. While the dishes we had were not exactly littered with fancy molecular ideas, there were all well cooked. Service here is should be the benchmark for all fine dining restaurants. I give a lot of plus points when the person serving you does not insist you order bottled water and is more than willing to serve you normal drinking water. Impeccable really.

Address and contact details:

Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar,
MiCasa All Suite Hotel,
368-B, Jalan Tun Razak,
50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +603 2179 8082
Lunch - Fridays only (12.00pm-2.00pm)
Dinner - Monday-Saturday (6.00pm-10.30pm)
Closed on Sundays

Verdict: Really 5 stars? Well quality comes with a price, a price that not any Tom, Dick and Harry can pay on a weekly basis, except for old rich farts who carries their wine in leather cases.


J said...

Looks like you had a great meal there. :)
(Good that you managed to mark Cilantro off your list before leaving for Aus. It's definitely a restaurant not to be missed!)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I could go there every week and not tire of it! It's a smart idea for them to change their lunch menu every week too.

- m i c h e l l e - said...

GOODNESS GRACIOUS! *gasps* Reading this in class at lunch hour when my tummy is grumbling is like the WORST decision ever. I MUST GO WHEN I HEAD BACK HOME!

fatboybakes said...

hmm, at least they've changed their "let's shove expensive mineral water down your throat" tactics. a friend of mine paid RM500 for water alone, and another one RM120 for a party of 4. but this was pre-renovation days la.
are you sure you're not actually lurking around somewhere in kl? you sound very near.

J2Kfm said...

Still remember how back at Indulgence, I slathered (smothered?) almost a quarter of the container full with the truffle butter on the fresh breads.
Then ended up half full with breads before the mains.
RM150 for the spread sounds reasonable, given the quality ingredients presented.

Baby Sumo said...

Cilantro is definitely one of the best fine dining places around... love the food and service there! Too bad my wallets' not fat enough for me to dine there more often..

UnkaLeong said...

Was this the lunch I had to pull out of last minute? *sigh* work go in the way :(

Hope all is well with you down under :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

unkaleong: haha no, this is the week after, becky wasnt free also.

babysumo: yeah cant dine that often with my meagre salary.

j2kfm: i asked for another serve of butter hehe.

fbb: well its 20bucks ++ a bottle, how did u guys drink 25 bottles?? sound like i never left.

michelle: u r suppose to study in class,not read blogs!

ll: well its once a week, so its quite alot of hard work hor but then again they all use fresh ingredients so every week its different.

j: yes i managed to strike it off!

Sean said...

the meal looks light enough that we could still go back to the office to work after that! though the thought of working after two hours of this culinary paradise seems rather depressing also, heheh...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: yeah if u hav alot of bread like me, all u want to do is sleep.

Xiao Yue said...

Hi. I find your blogs when i am google'ing just now. Currently i was planning for the venue to celebrate my bf's bithday on this coming Saturday. But i'm not sure which place to choose and would like to ask for ur opinion. I found ur blog tru your post about Tamarind Springs. Many people mentioned about the good ambiance.

I'm not sure it's a good place to dine in during my bf bday and i'm quite confuse as Tamarind springs provide diff cuisine such as Thai, Indochina etc. (*Some restaurants within same group located in same place?)

Or u could suggest other place which is good for dinning.
Budget: RM150-180
Ambiance: Romantic
Food: normal to good ( we don like beef)


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

xiao yue: i dropped a msg on ur facebook, do check.

thule a.k.a leo said...

I might have just found my way right to Heaven by going to Cilantro :)
but first I need to save up enough $$$ for the degustation menu for 2. that works out to RM600 (is it nett??)

vialentino said...

drooling now...nice the dining setting...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

vial: haha dont drool, go for it!

leo: i think its nett if im not mistaken, go checkout the website!

CUMI & CIKI said...

why no more crooked shots one ar, at the beginning of the post all.. the food so good u forgot nipple's style of photography ar? huh..? huh?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

C&c: haha no la no space to do crooked photography

eiling lim said...

aarghh and i haven't been there! Probably because the Wyndham estate cornered the wines at this restaurant.

Tummy Rumble said...

wow, everyone is talking about cilantro.. I have yet to try it.. one day... one fine day...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eiling: haha what abt the wyndham estate? ur fren own the distribution?

tummy rumble: one fine FRIDAY, but if you have the dough, its a diff story.

Bab said...

have read mixed reviews about their set lunch here. Hmm.. i wonder is it really that good and worth of a 8th place on the Miele Guide. I must give this place a try!
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