October 9, 2011

MIGF 2011: The Restaurant, The Club Saujana Resort

My first taste of MIGF 2011 menu was inaugurated at The Restaurant, hosted by the charming Mr. Pat Phanekham, Manager of The Club Saujana Resort!

I never knew about The Restaurant till I was discreetly led to it by the staff of the resort upon arrival that rainy night. The whole place was designed to reflect an air of bold elegance and opulent finish filled with dark wood panels, off white walls, dark leather sofas, plush chairs and pristine white table setting. One cannot help but feel the power of superiority to be able to dine at The Restaurant!

The Restaurant is helmed by 30 years old Austrian-born Chef Alexander Waschl, who although is fairly new to the restaurant, has already show great potential in his modern impression of European cuisine. Chef Alexander spoke with such passion in describing each detail of his dish that one can see how dedicated and thoughtfulness he puts in to every of his creation!

A platter of crackers, grissini and bread was served with butter; truly the classic way to start off the meal in any European restaurants. For the norm, people usually disregard bread and butter lightly… however; I am never with the norm as a good quality bread and butter can lead me to a journey of undeniable satiation! The Restaurant serves a superb rich and creamy butter so beautiful that it was hard to resist with my sheer will power! (I believe I ate more butter than bread that night!)

First course of the menu was such an artistic impressionist sight of Home Dried Watermelon Carpaccio, Parmesan, Aged Balsamic & Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The almost dark red hued of the dried watermelon contrasting against the deep rectangle platter was dotted with shaved parmesan and parmesan mousse. The Chef brings out an exquisite bottle of aged balsamic to drizzle lightly against the sheen of the olive oil.

A taste of the original dried watermelon without the balsamic was an amazing experience tingled with sweetness and a hint of crunchiness. My next action was to now savor the dried fruit slices with the parmesan and balsamic vinegar which totally changes the flavors by lifting the sweetness off to a balance of savory cheese flavor coupled with a hint of quality sourness to the dish. I adored the parmesan mousse tremendously with its rich and luscious sensation. It was such a one-of-its-kind dish with a modern twist!

The menu offers two options for Second Course and I have lucky enough to sample both.

Lobster Bisque with Lobster Grissini was an explosion of seafood stock lending the velvety lusciousness to the bisque. Thick, creamy and silky, the bisque was a star itself whereas the lobster grissini was less noticeable in the crustacean flavor. This is my favorite in the second course. Highly recommended for seafood connoisseurs… J

Clear Oxtail Consommé with its own Ravioli had great boldness in the dark meat stock. The flavors were well balanced despite the darkness with clean and robust flavors of the oxtail. The light broth is good for those who prefer lean and light flavors to rich and creamy soups.

Oxtail Ravioli shaped daintily was filled with minced oxtail and a ragout of carrots, celery and zucchini for a hint of texture. The ravioli was al dente and definitely good enough to be savored on its own.

Our Third Course was Crab Cannelloni with Lemon Grass Curry and Ginger. An Asian influenced dish that married Italian with Asian spices was quite appealing. In theme with the MIGF tagline, the dish is concise from nature’s element of water where the crab reflects the water and the lemongrass ginger provides the after rain feel of the sensation against one’s palate. The flavor was tangy and hinted with a mild curry spice while the creamy mixture of minced vegetables provided the texture element.

I was very impressed with the Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Coriander Drizzle and Spiced Cream!  The dish looked innocuous enough but managed to wow everyone that night with its audacity in flavors. A gutsy moved by the chef for his bravery in going all the way for this dish. The olive oil poached halibut was such a masterpiece with a melt-in-the-mouth sentiment and a bold spiciness in the miniscule droplets of coriander and chili sauce. The spiced cream was scented with masala and had a good robust flavor. At first taste, the spiciness was strong but it mellows out after a few bites and the addiction kicks in to crave the sensation again. It was simply a very powerful dish with a big statement to make!!

Veal Assiette was translated into veal three ways with Braised Veal, Fillet of Veal and Veal Wanton. My choice of the three would have to be the braised veal. The piece of braised meat was simply tender and I could fork it easily while the sauce glazed the meat with silky flavors. The fillet was cooked to pink and no doubt it was of good quality but I would like a bit more flavor on this. Veal wanton was crispy and juicy. What I do like in addition was the medley of leeks with zucchini and carrots on the side as it was delicious!

For desserts, there is a choice of two very different options. My first taste of Vacherin Ice Cream with Port Wine Plums was a note of sea salt contrasting against the creamy flavor of the Vacherin cheese followed by the sweet and slightly sour flavors of the port wine braised plums. The plums were so sinfully scrumptious that I believe I could even just have the plums alone!

Vacherin is a soft, rich and creamy French cow’s milk cheese made from unpasteurized milk. According to the chef, Vacherin should be eaten at room temperature or slightly warm if eaten on its own original state. I find the cheese texture to be thick creamy and slightly salty, thus would be suitable to have this with some saltine crackers.

Chocolates and Raspberries was simply a match made in heaven! The art of the pairing was just too beautiful to consume and every mouth was a luscious combination of rich dark chocolate balanced with a spike of sourness from the red raspberries. Maybe I am being too biased because I love raspberries but I still stand firm that this dessert was just heavenly created with such intricate details from chocolate raspberry cake, chocolate mousse, raspberry filled with its own sauce and light foam!

A truly unique experience to savor throughout the course! Chef Alexander has definitely put so much thought into details and also synchronized his menu with the theme of ‘It’s Raining Chefs!’ through mimicking the nature of rain and colors throughout the dishes. Every effort downright from the tedious work of drying the watermelon to the fusion of Asian spices and the perfect dessert deserves a standing ovation!  

First Course
Home Dried Watermelon Carpaccio Parmesan,
Aged Balsamic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Marinated Salmon and Salmon Tartar Avocado
Second Course
Lobster Bisque with Lobster Grissini
Clear Oxtail Consommé with its own Ravioli
Third Course
Crab Cannelloni
Lemon Grass Curry and Ginger
Cinnamon and All Spice Poached Saddle of Venison Celeriac Puree and Braised Celeriac
Veal Assiette
Braised Veal, Fillet of Veal, Veal Wonton
Olive Oil Poached Halibut Coriander Drizzle and Spiced Cream
Chocolates and Raspberries
Vacherin Ice Cream with Port Wine Plums

Ayala “Zero Dosage” NV
Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2010
La Chablisienne Chablis “Mont de Millieu” 2006
Marchesi de Frescobaldi “Lucente” 2007
Akarua Pinot Noir 2009
De Bortoli “Black Noble” NV

Full Festival Menu
RM440 per person with wine (five courses)
RM380 per person with wine (four courses)
RM280 per person with wine (three courses)
*one glass of wine per course 
RM220 per person without wine (five courses)
RM190 per person without wine (four courses)
RM140 per person without wine (three courses)

Block Booking
Festival Menu groups of 6-12 people will be given 10% discount on the total bill.

Wine/Champagne Offers
Enjoy 10% discount on selected wines or champagne ordered with the Festival Menu.

Beverage Offers
Enjoy 10% discount on any beverage when ordering from the Festival Menu. There is also 10% discount on all mocktails and cocktails.

Birthday Offers
Birthday groups can enjoy 10% discount on the total bill for up to 12 persons.

The Restaurant
The Club Saujana Resort
Jalan Lapangan Rerbang SAAS
40150 Kuala Lumpur

Festival Reservation: 03 7806 7000


  1. the Vacherin is looking just lovely in gooey-liked

  2. Dried watermelon? This really surprising me O.O

  3. wah melting photos that feel so desireable.

  4. Nikel: you bet!.. it was awesome.

    Ai Wei: yeah.. creamy and salty.

    Choi Yen: yeah.. the chef told us how much tedious work goes into drying that fruit @_@

    BBO: almost too desirable!