May 6, 2015

The Gallery @ Taman Tun Dr. Ismail

A Wonderlust of French & Italian Cuisine

Taman Tun or TTDI is quite the sumptuous neighborhood with lots of hidden gems of restaurants and cafes. Another recent invite had us discovering a gorgeous restaurant elegantly named The Gallery situated along Jalan Aminuddin Baki. Almost discreetly located in one of the shop lots, one might almost missed this lovely restaurant if you are not looking out for it. Either that or one might really think it’s an art gallery with its signboard.

The Gallery is run by a family of talents, from Latifah, The Gallery’s owner to her daughters Natasha who runs the kitchen as chefs together with Nabila’s husband while Nabila works the front-of-the-house. A quick chat with Latifah and Nabila had us all feeling warm and fuzzy, that’s how humble and friendly both mother and daughter was. Their obvious passion for good food is admirable. The chefs honed in their culinary skills abroad for several years before deciding to return home to open The Gallery.

True to its name, The Gallery is all decked out in gorgeous art pieces that immediately grabbed my attention upon entering the restaurant. The décor is minimalist, elegant and contemporary. Bold black walls contrasted with red banquette wrapped seating, wooden furniture and flooring. The bar is colored neutral together with a shelving cabinet displaying pretty dining ware.

The menu boasts of French and Italian favorites together with a decent list of mocktails, flavored iced teas and coffee. To kick off the evening’s French and Italian soiree, the few of us had TG Sunrise (RM16), Raspberry Mint Tea (RM15) and Peach Twist (RM13). My Raspberry Mint Tea is refreshing and bursting with tangy berries and mint.

For starters, we had a few items from the menu starting with TG Crostini (RM15). Crostini are little toasts topped with various toppings favored by Italians as snacks or appetizers. TG Crostini features toasts with 3 choices of toppings from roasted sweet pumpkin mash to roasted cherry tomatoes and tuna with bell pepper. Simple fresh ingredients that made up beautiful rustic flavours…

I love a good arancini and the Arancine (RM18) here is risotto cooked with mushrooms, mozzarella and parmesan before it is being crumbed into tiny balls and deep fried till golden brown. The tiny crispy rice balls are superb in flavours and cheesy too. The rice balls are creamy with hits of earthy mushrooms bits. I could easily polish this bowl off myself happily.

Next of the appetizer list was Grilled Prawn Skewer (RM18), two skewers of prawn and scallop grilled and dressed with lemon chili vinaigrette. The seafood skewers are served with mixed greens and corn puree. Though a little plain, the seafood are well cooked and juicy.

The Classic Caesar Salad (RM25) with added Smoked Salmon (RM10) was delish. Good tossed of all ingredients of romaine, croutons, beef bacon, parmesan with Caesar salad dressing and topped with soft poached egg with molten center. The Caesar salad dressing was robust, lightly tangy with good notes of garlic and cheese. The egg and salty smoked salmon added more depth of flavours to the salad.

I also enjoyed the Prawn Bisque (RM22) a lot. The thick bisque was gorgeous with robust shellfish essence. It was also creamy and lightly spice up. A drizzle of salsa verde of herbs added richness and sharp zingy flavours to the bisque. There were also a few sautéed prawns in the bisque which is a lovely touch.

TG Lord Burger (RM32) is a heavy contender with its thick sirloin patty stuffed with oozy mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Then the whole works of greens, fresh tomato, sweet onion marmalade and wild mushroom sauce is piled on the patty sandwich with soft burger bun. The sirloin patty is gorgeous and really cheesy and juicy. I like the addition of sweet onion marmalade as it gave the burger a lovely sweet smoky note. Though nothing new, I also like the steak fries that came with the burger because I happen to enjoy thick cut fries more than those scrawny ones.

If I were to highly recommend one dish, it would be the Farfalle alla Ragu di Manzo (RM28). The Gallery has tweaked the ragu recipe for a while and has finally nailed it with beef short ribs ragu over farfalle pasta. I loved the flavours of the rich tomato based ragu and the fact that they use beef short ribs made the meat pieces fork tender and so flavourful. The pasta was cooked al dente and managed to absorb the scrumptious ragu sauce well so every bite of pasta was beautifully satisfying. Highly recommended for pasta lovers!

Linguine de Pepperonata (RM25) is another signature of The Gallery and this one is also pretty good. It has a very piquant and spicy sauce of bell peppers, tomato, black olives, onions and garlic. This meatless pasta is quite addictive with the spicy sauce and briny olives. Other pastas to check out are TG Mac & Cheese, Classic Linguine Carbonara and Spaghetti Aglio Olio.

Risotto with parmesan fondue, crispy leeks, brown butter and gremolata summed up Pan Seared Scallop (RM48), a special of the day. This one is also very delectable and since I love a good risotto and scallops, this dish was almost a match made in heaven for me. The risotto was so creamy and cheesy in flavours and has got a good al dente bite in the rice. The scallops were gorgeously seared on the outside in brown butter and remain tender inside. The delicate oniony leeks and bits of gremolata added more flavours and textures to the dish. It’s just a perfectly executed dish and I would certainly order this again.

If you are into meat, the menu has plenty of meat and poultry to offer as well. Roasted Spring Chicken (RM38) is one sexy bird at sight. The plump roasted spring chicken sat on a bed of basil mashed potato and is also served with sautéed vegetables and a beautiful orange thyme sauce. The chook is well-seasoned and roasted beautifully. The meat was juicy too and when paired with the citrusy sweet orange sauce, the flavours were scrumptious.

Pan Seared Black Cod (RM69) was served with another citrus sauce, an orange butter sauce that has a rich citrusy and sweet note. The fish was nicely cooked but a tad too thin cut for me. I like my cod to be cut thicker but that is really a tiny matter as it is more of a personal preference of mine. It is served with roasted potatoes, cherry tomatoes and asparagus.

The Pan Seared Duck Breast (RM42) was another French favorite and came paired with a nice large piece of potato pancake, crispy fried garlic chips, side of mixed greens and cranberry sauce. The skin of the duck was well rendered till its fat are minimal and nicely charred while the duck meat remain medium rare in the middle. The cranberry sauce gave the dish a nice subtle hint of fruity sweetness and light tartness to balance the richness of the duck. I enjoyed the potato pancake too.

Grilled Black Angus Rib-Eye (RM95) was a hefty piece of 250g rib eye nicely char grilled till medium rare doneness. This dish is simply my kind of dish. Served with creamy sweet potato mash, sautéed mixed mushrooms and topped with lots of arugula leaves, the steak also has a drizzle of vincotto sauce. Vincotto sauce is reduced fig vinegar which has a luscious rich caramelized sweetness. The rib eye is tender and juicy and cooked till just right. I adored the vincotto with the rib eye and the sweet potato mash pairing as it was super yum!

Grilled Rack of Lamb (RM55) is another choice for meat lovers. The lamb racks are served with roasted baby potatoes, pepperonata and rosemary sauce. As one can see, the lamb racks are meaty and quite lean. It is well-seasoned and nicely grilled to medium. The rosemary sauce is savory and aromatic while the pepperonata is sweet and soft. It’s a pretty decent dish overall.

Though we were all quite full, the mentioned of Baked Alaska (RM26) and other desserts were enough to tempt us again to try them. The Gallery does Baked Alaska differently. It has coconut cake with mango sorbet nicely covered in Italian meringue and torched till nicely browned on the edges. It is then served with pandan paste, coconut crumbs and strawberries.

I like this version a lot. It’s a nice change and the mango sorbet is so refreshing and vibrant in flavours. The pandan paste was ok but I wouldn’t miss it if it wasn’t there. A creative touch on the classic Baked Alaska!

Chocolate Vault (RM26) was another signature of The Gallery. It was an elegant dessert of chocolate fudge brownie and milk chocolate mousse coated with rich dark chocolate in the shape of a dome. The dome is served with raspberry and orange coulis, orange segments and crushed nuts.

Chocolate is always a good sweet ending. This one was not overly sweet and was nice and rich with a lovely bittersweet note. The berries also help to balance up the chocolate.

The simplest dessert when made well really takes the cake! Petite Orange Madeleines (RM15) is one of them. The French little cakes are simply a must-order here at The Gallery. Made fresh upon order, these fluffy orange scented madeleines are just so delicious and addictive. Make sure to order them and savor them piping hot!!

Haagen Daz Ice Cream (RM12 per scoop) is also available in few flavours.

The Gallery is a perfect venue for family, friends and business dining too. I like their food and find lots of hits on the menu. My personal favorites are the Arancine, Farfalle alla Ragu di Manzo, Pan Seared Scallop, Grilled Black Angus Rib Eye, Baked Alaska and Petite Orange Madeleines!

165, Jalan Aminuddin Baki,
6000 TTDI
Tel: +60 0377322005

Business Hours:
Tue - Sun: 12:00 - 15:00
Fri: 16:00 - 20:30
Closed: Mon

1 comment: