As the 14th of February approaches, you’re stuck wondering where you’re going to make some of the most remarkable memories this year.
And these days, urban rooftops are seeing a heyday of sorts – from rooftop bars to trendy hotels, no amenity is as sweet as a pool, bar, or restaurant on high.
So it goes without saying, that Marini’s on 57 has the best seats in town, when it comes to an unparalleled view, from way up high. Whether you’re sipping cocktails or indulging in some fine Italian nosh, it’s hard not be in awe of the 360 degrees of rolling downtown topography, with sight lines stretching from the Petronas Twin Towers to the unmistakable lime-stone outcrops of KL and beyond. On a clear day, one can see forever into the horizon.
This Valentine’s day, the good folk at Marini’s under the helm of Chef Federico Micheletto, have paired culinary excellence with breathtaking views of many of the city’s iconic landmarks to create the ultimate dining experience. Highlighted by fresh ingredients the menu boast an exquisite selection of choiced meats, and delicate seafood.
To start things off, we were presented with a rather cute bonzai plant, on which our Kalamata Olives coated with basil leave and parmesan cheese hung.
Actually Kalamata olives, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil are the main ingredients for black olive tapenade, so this little ball tasted just like that, with an added textural crunch form the basil crumbs and a nice saltiness from the parmesan cheese.
Oh, I am not sure what it is that makes the breads at Marini’s so irresistible.. perhaps the crunch of the crispy pizza crackers, or the nuttiness of the Walnut bread, even the warm, buttery Ciabatta and the mini French baguette that are so delicious when slathered with salted butter.
Intro : Oyster, Crème Fraîche & Soils
There’s definitely more to this starter, than meets the eye. A carefully crafted colorful line up of, basil crumb, carrot puree, sour cream, oatmeal crumbs, crispy beetroot & potato covered with charcoal breadcrumbs. At the center sits the Belon oyster and sea asparagus in lemon sauce, followed by more beetroot puree, soil, crispy persimmon and finally a last dollop of sour cream.
The sweet persimmon, turned out to be the perfect foil for the soft, minerally oyster. The crème fraîche plays the same role as cream or milk in a simple stew. One oyster lightly cooked, topped with the lemon-flavored crème fraîche is all you need for a memorable appetizer! Belon Oysters from the Belon river, France are small but incredibly sweet.
The sea asparagus really intrigued me – a briny bean, with plenty of snap. These rare, skinny stalks of crunchy sea vegetation, actually a fleshy flowering plant, have a subtly salty flavor and a fascinating crispness that suits them to the rich, creaminess of the belon oyster. So good!
We paired most of our dishes with the Colline Pescaresi IGT, “Jarno Bianco” Podere Castorani which turned out to be a versatile white, with good structure on the palate and was smooth and fruity.
CAPESANTE : Compressed Scallop, Truffles Terrine & Pickled Greens
This next dish of Hokkaido Scallops, compressed with layers of black truffle, was just too good for words. Trout caviar, gherkins, & multicolored carrots added a nice tartness and texture to it. Three dollops of Béarnaise sauce tempered the sharpness of the pickles nicely too.
Add truffles to anything and it immediately elevates the flavours if you ask me!
UOVA E CAVIALE : Poached Parisi World Best Eggs, Sevruga Caviar & Fish Mayonnaise
Sometimes an egg is just an egg. But if you’re lucky, sometimes that egg comes from the uber egg meister Paolo Parisi! Parisi’s egg-like head is well known in Italy, where it appears on egg cartons. They are some of the most sought after, and of course expensive eggs around. I hear they cost one euro per egg.
So was it good? Hell yeah.. and the rest of the ensemble wasn’t bad either. Brioche bread, Fish mayo and the perfectly sous vide poached egg.. what’s there to complain about? And yes, whilst the Sevruga was good.. of course Beluga would have been way better!
GRANCHIO : Alaskan King Crab, Consommé Clear Soup & Gingko Nuts
This next dish was actually a refreshing tomato consomme made all the more sweet by the Alaskan king crab. A slight bitterness imparted by the Gingko (on purpose, says the chef) gave this soup an interesting bitter-sweet dimension.. very apt for the Valentine’s theme I suppose. So far, all the dishes had a lightness and delicate feel about them which was nice.
Chef Federico Micheletto shows us his Zucchini Flowers… locally grown no less!
plump and huge Zucchini Flowers.. ideal for stuffing
ZUCCHINI FIORE : Fried Zucchini Flower, Ricotta Cheeses & Almonds
This dish of Fried Zucchini Flower, Ricotta Cheeses & Almonds while pretty, was slightly too full-on for me.
The entire Zucchini Flower was stuffed with Ricotta Cheeses, and deep fried. It was presented in a liquid Burrata cheese as well, which was why the dish was too full-on. Crunchy Almonds in the riccotta cheese however, were a delight to bite into.
ARAGOSTA : Poached Lobster, Fine Butter, Cream & Broad Flat Pasta
Loved this next dish of butter poached Boston lobster and homemade broad flat pasta. This succulent seafood dish was rich but not heavy, flavorful and in complete balance. The broad pasta was cooked al dente so it had a gorgeous chewy texture. Perfect for mopping up the buttery juices of the poached lobster.
The Colline Pescaresi IGT, “Jarno Rosso” Podere Castorani was a tannic, full bodied and rich red, with a long finish. It paired well with the next dish, the lamb.
FILETTO D’AGNELLO : Lamb Tenderloin Wellington & Roasted Potatoes
This next one was a “traffic” stopper!
A variation of the classic beef wellington, this dish employed lamb and a rich, flavoursome topping of pate and mushrooms. The lamb was juicy and succulent without being gamy. The potato that resembled traffic lights, made with spinach, carrot & beetroot was a cute touch.
TU MI AMI, a.k.a. “you love me”
And finally, after that magnificent dinner, if you asked your date, “Do you love me..?” I am sure the answer would be, “Yes!”
How much will this Valentine’s meal set you back by? Well, MYR 1999.00++ per couple, for the Panoramic Table, and a flute of Moet et Chandon “Brut Imperial” each, or a glass of Colline Pescaresi IGT, “Jarno Bianco” Podere Castorani each, or a glass of Colline Pescaresi IGT, “Jarno Rosso” Podere Castorani each.
Otherwise, if you’re happy to forgo the prime location by the window, and the view, it would cost MYR 1599 ++ per couple, at the Centre Table, plus a Cocktail each.
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