I was not sure what my expectations were of this super high class restaurant whose name has stood the test of time, apart from expecting the meal to be phenomenally expensive. Also, being the pessimist that I am, I was expecting to be disappointed by the current reviews I have read so far. Wrong on both counts.
The incredibly expensive meal wasn’t expensive. More importantly, I don’t think I was expecting to be blown away by the food quite as much as I was, that’s for sure.
The incredibly expensive meal wasn’t expensive..
This restaurant really is something else, a unique experience and a cut above the other fine dining restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, that I have eaten in. The ambiance was perfect, friendly and relaxed. Each course was outstanding and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend going if you love fine food and want something different. My only slight criticism was that the service was a tad sluggish and tough it was not terribly late, some of the desserts from the dessert bar (such as the cheese) had finished by the time we finished our meal.
I’m not going to talk too much about the food because I do not want to spoil the surprise.. for Chef Georg Schröppel is as much a magician as a cook. He definitely pulled out a bunny for me, from that hat and made a jaded magic-show fan sit up and go Wow..! If there were a Chef ‘s Magic Circle then Chef Georg Schröppel should certainly know that group’s secret hand-shake and password.
One thing I will tell you though is you must try the new set lunch menu.
Good news too for all you young hungry executives out there who are as eager to climb the corporate ladder as to show off to that new girl you are trying to impress, that you know about the finer things in life. You can show off for a lot less at this restaurant.
Chef Georg’s luncheon menu is to die for..
Lafite is now offering Chef Georg’s luncheon menu from which you can choose a selection of hot and cold appetizers before indulging in a delicious main course. For one appetizer and main course, the price is RM 82 (plus service charge and tax), or you can enjoy two appetizers and a main course for the price of RM 108 (plus service charge and tax). Both sets include unlimited desserts from the showcase and coffee and tea. You might think “great prices” already but wait till you see the food. You will be wondering why Lafite’s management has lost their mind giving way almost free food. OK, I exaggerate. But you catch my drift.
Then as we were dining, I saw the Chef.
He is young, good-looking.. really too young to have so many accolades under his belt. What’s more I pledge complete and utter allegiance to a Chef, ANY chef who offers such delicate, wholesome cuisine at such amazingly affordable prices.
Chef Georg’s cooking style can be described as how I like to wear my hair – light and breezy. It’s simplicity is so gob-smackingly obvious yet effective, you wonder why you never ate here sooner. Another point on young Chef Georg here is that his highly aesthetically pleasing creations are not just pretty things that sit on a plate. The dishes are wholesome, never overcooked and packed with antioxidants that will not leave you feeling lethargic and this my friend is essential, for that ‘Body Combat’ class you will be attending in a couple of hours time. First time I ever felt pumped up energy levels after a fine-dining lunch. Normally you need to scrape me off the ground with a spatula, like a newly trodden, flattened slug on the jungle floor.
Ok, ok, now I have definitely said too much. Some gorgeous food porn on some crazily affordable food! Feast your eyes now, if you please.
HOT AND COLD APPETIZERS
It’s not all solely in the presentation, though that counts..
Four Colour Tomato Salad .. four colour tomato, tomato marmalade, white tomato mousse, tomato sherbet, honey yuzu vinaigrette
..it is in the flavours and textures as well.. and believe me, it is all here on this plate! A lovely, refreshing plate of cold starter of tomato that had us Oo-ing and Ah-ing in appreciation.
Chilled cucumber soup – with Hokkaido scallop, sesame cream, dill, black sesame jelly and salmon
Asparagus quails egg – White asparagus, poached quail eggs, Bearnaise sauce
Spiced risotto – risotto, duck bolognese, braised radicchio lettuce
Homemade Tagliatelle Pasta – butter poached salmon fillet, kumquat compote, salmon caviar sauce
Zen-like features to soothe the weary soul..
Golden Brown Seared Atlantic Cod Fish – roasted Cod , baby potatoes, young carrot, black truffle sauce
Duck Confit – Almond potatoes, red cabbage, Brussels sprout, green cardamom sauce
Stuffed Organic chicken breast – young leek, king oyster mushroom ragout, chive sauce
Braised short rib – crispy celeriac sticks, young broccoli, corn, thyme sauce
dessert showcase – a variety of sweet endings!
My three other dining companions will attest to the fact that the food presented was close to faultless. Speaking for my own selection of hot and cold appetizers as well as the mains, I was deeply impressed. I actually went with a “fish theme” and felt that it was a good choice. The Yellow fin tuna tartar which was essentially black sesame crisp, crushed avocado, cucumber salad, ginger yuzu vinaigrette was as beautiful a starter as it was delicious. The creamy avocado and delicately diced tuna was nicely balanced by the zesty ginger yuzu vinaigrette. I felt refreshingly perky after this cold starter (To answer that raised eyebrow, yes, more so than normal). Also, if you think that sort of starter might be a little too healthy for you, check out my second starter of Asparagus quails egg .. Oh, it was a half boiled quail’s egg and you would have seen me shiver with delight as the center burst forth and engulfed the white asparagus and Bearnaise sauce in a golden cloak of runny egg yolk. Fantastic!
My mains of Golden Brown Seared Atlantic Cod Fish was fresh and full of that fatty flavor of Cod. This fish was so finely roasted it only just imparted a light browning to the outer coat of the fish. A calculated, finishing touch of black truffle sauce was all this dish needed coupled with sides of baby potatoes and young carrot to seal the deal. I polished off my mains without any problems whatsoever and I was ready for my Combat Class , starting in about 3 hours at the gym. The other thing I really appreciated about my Cod was that the Chef served the truffle sauce in the form of a fluffy bed of foam. Beautifully light, yet supremely decadent. After this the desserts were a blur because we had so many to choose from. One thing I was unhappy about was that the cheeses had run out. Apart from that, not much to complain about really.
A great end to a superb lunch. The company was terrific too for sure.
Lafite’s set lunch comes highly recommended. What are you waiting for, all you corporate ladder climbers. Get eating.
On Chef Georg Schröppel
Born in 1978, he is of German nationality. For two years prior to moving to Restaurant Lafite, Chef Georg was the Chef de Cuisine at the Ritz Carlton, Guangzhou, one of China’s most prestigious fine dining establishments where his culinary talent was recognized with the presentation of “Best Restaurant in Town Award” by Talk Magazine. In 2007, he earned the Chef’s Master Craftsmen’s degree in Rothenburg, Germany, prior to which he spent time honing his fine dining cooking skills in two- and three-star Michelin establishments such as the Residenz Heinz Winkler, Restaurant Waldhotel Sonnora in Germany and the French Laundry in the United States.
Shangri-La Hotel, 11 Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
T: (60 3) 2032 2388
F: (60 3) 2070 1514
Dinner: 7pm – 10.30pm, Monday to Saturday