Millesime, which opened late last year in a grey space in one corner of Solaris Dutamas on Mont Kiara, is what we call a mellifluously named restaurant (the word means “vintage” in French) with familiar innovative dishes on the menu that people have come to recognize as the trademark of a well-travelled, even eminent, chef overseeing the kitchen. I am talking about Chef Max Chin.
Settling into the dimly lit, dining section of the sprawling Millesime restaurant is like settling into a seat in your own living room – if your living room happens to be done in the fashion of industrial modern minimalist architecture, that is. Oh yes, I feel very much at home here indeed. Perhaps the smiling Chef who cooks in the open kitchen just inches away from where I sit is yet another brownie point towards putting me at ease. I love this sort of informal dining. Chic yet laid-back.
Tonight we are at Millesime celebrating my birthday. Husband said too many new restaurants in town with too much going on. Let’s go some place cosy where we know we will be in “good hands”. It didn’t take long to settle on Millesime and their Degustation Menu as the dinner of choice. And an excellent choice it turned out to be. We have been dining here over the course of this restaurant’s lifespan and we must say that the food has improved. The reason being, we find that Max’s degustation menu is constantly evolving in terms of using better and higher quality ingredients. They have diligently taken into account our feedback and challenged themselves to work harder to provide a better dining experience for us , the diners. Simply put, their cooking is more mature and exciting than when they first started.
Here is our degustation dinner..
the amuse bouche
Pacific Oysters; Warm Seaweed Buttered and Parmesan Gratinated Tartare of Yellow Tail Tuna Loin with Chive, Lemon Foam and Shaved Fennel
This first course was a duo of pacific oysters- One with seaweed, sea salt, white wine and french butter and finished off in the oven – this had a light, Japanese sort of taste and feel to it, thanks to the seaweed. The other oyster was done in a classic “mornay” style – i.e. with a full cream sauce, topped with fresh grated parmesan cheese and gratinated under the salamander. I loved the crisp, golden crust on the surface brought about by the gratinating. A hand chopped yellow tail tuna loin in tartare style, marinated with lemon oil, fresh chive and extra virgin olive oil, lay sexily on the side.. this finished with a dollop of lemon foam and shaved fennel salad, laced with a raspberry vinaigrette completed the ensemble. Off to a grand start, I would say.
Baked “Open” Hokkaido Sea Scallop Pastry Pie Capsicum Relish with Emince of Gulf Prawn, Sea Trout Roes and Crustacean Oil
This was my favourite course of the night. It was so unbearably pretty. It tasted fabulously light and oceanic as well.
The term “open” refers to the pastry pie that is a lighter version of an encaged pastry pie, a la traditional mode. A simple yet well baked puff pastry top, served together with the Japanese Hokkaido sea scallop which had been caramelised and cooked al dente, is what I would refer to as, my sort of “perfect dish”. A glaze of white wine enhanced the flavours. The base sauce was covered with chopped sea prawn from the Arabian Gulf, prepared together with a mild – vinegared mixed capsicum brunoise (cubed) in a lobster bisque and finally garnished with sea trout roes and crustacean oil. So you see, they actually went through a lot of trouble, to make something seem light and delicate tasting. A lot of effort, to seem effortless. I like this. This should be the motto of my life. haha.
Goose Foie Gras Pan Seared on Stuffed Rigatoni Pasta Black Truffle Emulsion and Mascarpone Creme Fraiche
OK now, no more Mr. nice guy. Pretty dishes aside, time to bring out the heavy weights.
Two elements of foie gras apply in this dish. The italian rigatoni pasta was stuffed with a duck liver terrine and the other was a classic caramelised fresh goose liver. Apparently this dish took a certain amount of skill and timing precision because, the pasta needed to be steamed correctly and the goose liver needed to be well gratinated, and both needed to land on the plate at the correct time – all of which required a lot of co-ordination. Max told us he chucked out a few because it didn’t meet his requirements.. I was like, Why? Don’t throw it way.. Chuck it into my mouth!
The sauce for this dish was a black summer truffle emulsion created with a base of black truffle juice, chicken stock, white wine, port wine and emusilified with french butter. The sauce was further enhanced with chopped black truffle as garnish and added to a french style sour cream “creme fraiche” with a hint of mascarpone cheese. The cheese sour cream sauce acted in place of the normal cheese sprinkle you normally add to a pasta dish. How ingenious.
A popsicle of white chocolate lined raspberry sherbet as palate cleanser!
Ah, I love surprises and this was a nice surprise. Rather than the popular way of serving a scoop of sherbet, this was made into a “popsicle”, drawing from the childhood memories of enjoying ice lollies. This was not on the menu.
Crisp Polenta Crumbed Soft Shelled Crab with Atlantic Black Cod Fish Fillet Braised Leek with Baby Octopus, Crab Meat and Pine Nuts
For the mains, I had the fish and Cumi went with the lamb.
First the fish. This dish was a play on textures – hard/crunchy vs. flaky/soft. The softer texture of the atlantic black cod fish fillet was exquisite. The sauce was concocted with crab meat infused in a french double cream, then garnished with sliced leek, baby octopus carpaccio pieces and pine nuts to intensify the flavours. The soft shelled crab from the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam was rather interesting. It was coated with a mixture of Japanese panko crumbs and Italian polenta to give it a crunchy form, once shallow fried. I liked the flavour of the soft shell crab, but found the batter a little hard. Still, the Black Cod more than made up for it. I once knew a girl whom, upon entering a Japanese joint, any Japanese joint, would eat nothing but Black Cod. I can sort of identify with her weird obsession. Sort of.
Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb with Provencal Herbs Crust Pistou Laced Mushroom Ragout, Farmer style Lamb Farce and Garlic Soubise
Cumi devoured the Lamb in a flash. He said he wished there was more of it.
The rack of lamb from Western Australia, marinated with extra virgin olive oil and pan seared to a pink and juicy medium rare, was divine. He particularly liked that the lamb rack had a buttered bread crust of provencal herbs such as fresh thyme and rosemary – made the lamb so aromatic. A pesto like sauce called pistou , was tossed with a mixture of fresh field button and shimeji mushroom as a ragout garnishing. This pistou is a french version of italian pesto where walnut is added, instead of pine nuts. A garlic soubise, from a puree of roasted garlic and onion, completed the ensemble.
Golden Kiwi and Chokam Mango on Sabayon with Silver Rum Raspberry Coulis with Seasonal Berries, Macaroon Garnish and Vanilla Ice Cream
What’s better than dessert for one? Dessert for two of course!
A golden kiwi paired with local mango macerated with Jamican silver rum served on a sabayon was just too pretty for words. It tasted terrific too. This long plate was a lovely collection of fresh raspberry, blueberry and blackberry served together with a coulis of raspberry, accompanied by a french macaron and home made vanilla ice cream. This was served with a choice of either coffee or tea.
The dinner was near perfect. All the dishes were exquisite and we had little to complain about. Priced at just RM220 we were really surprised at how value for money the meal was. We would highly recommend the Degustation Dinner to our friends. For those who love their wines, there is a weekly Wednesday Wine Luncheon of four courses with selected wines at RM 120 nett and this is indeed the best deal in town in terms of a wine accompanied meal. Basically you get three glasses of wine, either white or red to go with your 4 course meal. The luncheons are all unique and have not been repeated since they started. How fabulous. This is next on my list. Right now, my stomach is satiated and I think I really need to hit the sack. Bonne nuit!
G1-01-3, Level G1
Menara Kencana Petroleum, Solaris Dutamas
No. 1, Jalan Dutamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Operation hours are from 12pm-12am
Reservations: +603- 6211 0648