Playful Canapés With Free-Flow Perrier-Jouët Champagne? Weekend Brunching Will Never Be The Same Again
The weekend’s simplest pleasures are easily found in a relaxing meal, bubbly, and good company. We’ve had our fair share of bubbly brunch luxuries, and our recent brunch plans saw us at Babe, drawn by a newly introduced, quarterly rotating menu by Michelin-starred Chef Jeff Ramsey. A debut Sunday Champagne Brunch featuring elegant food and unlimited flow of Perrier-Jouët sounded like the answer to a nice Sunday wind-down from noon onwards.
2/11Babe's iconic favourites
As soon as we settled into our seats, chilled liquid gold filled our glasses and heightened our senses as we soaked in the panoramic city skyline. We knew instantly the RM300++ priced brunch with free flow Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut was a bargain for a million-dollar seat and menu to boot.
A lineup of free-flow canapés made their rounds, and we were thrilled to see old favourites, like the familiarly refreshing Oysters with Apple Granita, delicate Bonito Glass ‘crackers’ and molecular Caesar Salad capsules, joining newer, small bites.
3/11Familiar twist: Sashimi spring rolls
Of the all-you-can-eat lineup, we particularly enjoyed the sashimi spring rolls, packed to the slender likeness of a Chinese egg roll cookie. One bite and a satisfyingly crisp snap of the deep-fried pastry shell revealed a luscious filling of chopped, silky sashimi, cured with soy and wasabi gelee.
4/11Nuggets of surprise: Lamb cromesquis
Another delightful canapé, the Lamb cromesquis, presented a crispy, golden-crumbed shell that packed more punch than its unassuming globed appearance. The highlight was in morsels of tenderly succulent lamb, teasingly familiar siew pau flavours of roast, caramelised meat filling, served with a sweet/salty red miso and coriander dip.
Where the canapés showcased Chef Jeff’s game of textures and temperatures, the mains were an entry into eclectic terrain of seasonal highlights, licked by contemporary Japanese flavours.
5/11Sea's best: Black butter cod
Ticking the boxes of familiar, delicious and unforgettable was a black butter cod served with broccoli and kale salad. The fresh and sweet white flesh was seasoned with earthy molasses of dried black mushroom teri and gently pickled mustard seeds. The simplicity of blanched broccoli and kale cast a spotlight, rubbed with a cheery citrus vinaigrette.
See also: Ethical Eats: Smoked Salmon & Other Seafood
6/11Not your average custard: Japanese chowder
Inspired by chawanmushi, this chowder yielded a pleasant surprise as we dug our spoons into a fluffy potato mousse. A topping of smoked coconut ‘bacon’ added hints of texture and aroma to the almost airy custard. Halfway through, ‘clam spheres’ – Chef Jeff’s clam-infused ‘sacs’, were unexpected ways to serve up briny shots of dashi.
7/11Moreish molecular: Mozzarella Explosion
An ode to the Caprese Salad, Chef Jeff infused his molecular magic into a Mozarella Explosion by injecting a miniature globe with the cheesy, liquid substance. As soon as the richness sinks in, we were encouraged to pop a plump, ripe quartered tomato for a gloriously fruity finish.
8/11Guilty pleasure: Truffled nori fries
It’s easy to ace fries, but when they’re doused in truffle and liberal shakes of nori flakes, that’s a whole new dish altogether. Although we were half-past stuffed, the mountain of thick-cut fries played a disappearing act as fingers and forks reached for more of the golden strings enrobed in seaweed and truffle sprinkles.
9/11Bovine beauty: Wagyu Nigiri
The promising glisten of pink wagyu proved more sensational than its marbled appearance. One bite of this beef sushi and we were biting into a beefy cloud number nine, letting the meltingly rich raw meat sink in, topped with a ’caviar’ of pickled green Japanese peppercorn topping, on pearls of seasoned, sushi rice.
See also: 'Sushi University' Educates Tourists On Omakase & Etiquette
10/11Sweet surrender: Of strawberries and pumpkin pie
Many savouries later, our palates were ready for dessert. Three choices were presented, with fruits heavily featured. We love the thought behind the strawberry shortcake a delicate assembly of liquid, pliable shortbread cookie, pickled strawberries in a sponge, and a sheet of fruit glass, light yet elegant. A personal favourite though, would be the pumpkin pie, reconstructed into a pie shell orb, that cracked to reveal a silky spiced pumpkin crème, scattered with bits of buttery cookie crumb.
11/11In high cheer with Perrier-Jouët
Having tasted the elegant food paired with the freshness of Perrier-Jouët champagne, we couldn’t have our brunch any other way. There were options of red and white wine, but the Grand Brut's multi-faceted fruity and floral profile, with hints of aromatic vanilla, proved a versatile accompaniment to Chef Jeff’s thoughtfully curated brunch plates.
Chef Jeff’s Sunday Champagne Brunch is available quarterly this year, with the next menu anticipated for August. For updates and more information, visit babe.com.my or call 03-2095 8599.
Photos: Joel Liew