Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Extravagant Lunches @ Lafite, Shangri La Hotel and Sage, Gardens Residences

The most frequent things you hear from someone who's been away from KL for a long time is how they miss the late night stalls, hawker food and the great Asian classics. However as much as I miss my bak kut teh, chee cheong fun or char siew, you got to admit fine dining in KL (especially during lunch and of course if you know where to look) is a pretty good deal when one earns Australian dollars to spend in Malaysia. 

Two of the places that I have good experiences at are Lafite at the Shangri La Hotel and Sage at the Gardens Residences. Lunch at both places are pretty affordable once you convert the meal back to Australian dollars. A 4 course lunch at Lafite was RM128++ (benefit of having a friend who has the Prestige card means a further discount of 33%) and a 3 course lunch at Sage only set me back for RM100. The Australian dollar hovers around the region of RM3 - RM3.20 to a dollar.

Furthermore if you haven't been back to Malaysia for a long while, you might want to drop by for a dose of good service before realising how unfriendly and crap the service is at the shops (or maybe it was because I kept going out in my t shirt, short pants and thongs and walking into places like Hugo Boss). 


Sage is perfect for those who want to catch up for some shopping before or after the meal. Compared to any other restaurant in the mall, it still smells exclusive, no long queues and obviously no crazy amount of noise.


The lunch at Sage is not exactly suitable for the bigger eaters and you can say the portions are on the smaller side. However the bread is refillable and with the basil and parsley dipping, I was happily filling myself up. 

The lunch menu is a standard 3 course meal with 2 options for entree, main and desserts unless you have specific dietary requirements. It changes every week so you can happily go back time and time and find new dishes too. 


The first course was a quail, foie gras, truffle and mushroom dish. Everything was beautifully cooked on the plate but a tiny bit of jus would have tied everything nicely. Of course, who will complain if given a bigger piece of foie gras?


Judging from the above piece of steak, you will know what I mean when I first said Sage is not exactly the place for big eaters. I reckon the steak could not have weighed more than 150 grams. However, beautifully cooked and the anchovy butter was the icing on the cake. Accompanied with mash so smooth that it melts in your mouth and the red wine jus, there can be no better start to the day. 


My memory is obviously failing me at this point because apart from jelly, peach vanilla ice cream and a wafer, I can't seem to link it all up. That being said, the choice of a poached fruit means you finish the meal off without feeling like you have put on a 100 pounds and head back to office snoozing. 

Address and contact details:

Sage Restaurant
The Gardens Residences
6th Floor, The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel No: 03- 2268 1188

Once upon a time, Lafite was like the grand daddy of fine dining but having been away from KL for a year, I am pretty sure Lafite is now only one of the many places around. The lunch menu here is slightly more interesting. You have a choice of having a buffet of starters, a main and a dessert or a fixed set of 3 course or 4 courses. Prices start from RM80-90++. I was starving and decided for the full monty, the four course. 

Each course has 3-4 options including a vegetarian so you can mix and match. 


If only I can stuff myself silly with everything but this time around I had a piece here and there but most of the breads on the plate was pretty good with the home made butter (if I recall correctly had figs in it). 


The first course was seared scallops on a bed of passion fruit sauce that wasn't too sweet but paired well with the seafood. 


This I remember slightly better, the beef broth was magnificent. Clear but packed with so much flavour, this is the kind of stuff I want to cook but I cannot imagine the amount of beef bones and time required to cook this. Served with another scallop which I didn't mind and a quail egg. 


The lamb was delicious as well, cooked to a pink centre and compared to Sage, the portions are clearly more generous. I believe it came with some fried croquettes and whats there not to be like about fried items unless you are a health freak. 


Dessert was an interpretation of something black forrest and sounded like the best option amongst the lot but it turned out to be well, normal. The sponge wasn't exactly very moist eventhough the mousse was delicious. I felt like the components was better off eaten separately and wasn't very cohesive. 

Overall another brilliant lunch, if you have the money to spare or a friend who has the Prestige card.

Address and contact details:

11 Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
(60 3) 2074 3900


Baby Sumo said...

Sage is still my favorite fine dining place for lunch. The quail looks magnificent, and I have to say they're always generous with the truffle shavings although this is just set lunch!

Michelle Chin said...

I love both sage and lafite but as i've said (and i will say it again), each time a new chef lands at lafite, i just fall in love with that place all over again.

ah, my tastes can be as fickle as a harlot's love for a man sometimes...

anyway, i am really glad that you love both places!!

Julian Si said...

Every time I go back for a short vacation (Even when its reasonably long, when I went back for 1 month in Nov last year), I keep going to hawkers, hawkers and the odd restaurant ... but never really to "fine dining" eateries.

Nice review of both Lafite and Sage, I like Lafite but have been gradually less-excited about Sage over the years. Sigh!

I must FINALLY take Mrs Si to Cilantro this trip, can't wait!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

Baby sumo: yea but I would have loved a bigger portion over the truffle shavings any day!

Mchin: I have dined in both places before and they never fail me before!

Juliansi: well I love my hawker food as much as fine dining so oh well got to strike a balance!

Rebecca Saw said...

Oh welcome back!!
Ahh looks like i got to lunchy at Lafite soon. Quite a steal fr that price really...

Nikel Khor said...

All the food damn good d..