Review: Cé La Vi Kuala Lumpur Excites With Pan-Asian Cuisine
There's a new global F&B powerhouse in town, making their debut with an eclectic menu that covers a wide range of cuisines. While the restaurant does execute familiar favourites well, diners can expect to enjoy new twists that keeps things fresh.
While the dishes we tried for our review are on the opening menu, they may be subject to change.
Cé La Vi
The global F&B lifestyle group Cé La Vi recently opened its doors in Kuala Lumpur, bringing a new restaurant for discerning guests to wine and dine at. With a wide selection of Pan-Asian influenced dishes to choose from, the restaurant's foods are made to be shared, promoting a communal eating experience.
Oyster & Scallop Ceviche
Something light, fresh and delightful to start the meal at Cé La Vi, oyster and scallop ceviche tastes every bit as good as you would imagine. Both molluscs are incredibly fresh, of a fairly large size and has a lovely creamy quality, while the sauce is tart, slightly herbal and just with enough citrus elements to give it that desirable sour aftertaste.
Green Salad With Ice Plant
Ice plant, known for its refreshing quality and slightly acidic taste, takes centre stage in the restaurant's reimagining of a green salad. Sliced radish, sauteed onions and sesame dressing complete the dish, making for an easy-to-enjoy salad to begin the meal with something green and lean.
Fundamentally Japanese, Cé La Vi offers a beautiful sashimi platter as another great addition to your order. It's safe to say that the quality seafood the restaurant uses really shines through with this dish, having varied cuts of tuna, tuna belly, snapper, Japanese sea bass, prawn, scallops and more. Slices are generous and meaty, while the addition of yuzu kosho, which we recommend to try alongside the usual shoyu and wasabi, shakes this tried and true dish up in a good way.
Spicy Katafi Prawn
If you've noticed that most of the dishes we're having involves seafood by now, it's because Cé La Vi does seafood really well. Another case in point: spicy katafi prawn, a crunchy prawn fritter that gets heat from chilli jam and sweetness from a counter balancing mango avocado salsa. The prawns have a satisfying crisp texture, a meaty filling and as previously mentioned, a nice spicy-sweet flavour combination that works well.
Tempura Bento Set
Cé La Vi is also open for lunch, offering a number of Japanese style bento box set lunches that come with chawanmushi, salad, Japanese white rice and a soup. Take your pick from salmon teriyaki, sushi, sashimi, wagyu teppan, tempura and more, with the tempura bento set offering a nice diverse cast of seafood and vegetable fritters that goes well with a bowl of white rice.
Lobster Char Kway Teow
One of Malaysia's beloved food icons gets a very luxe upgrade with the help of lobster and a small sprinkling of edible gold. The lobster meat actually surprisingly works well with the charred fried noodles we all know and love, adding a succulent and sweet juicy seafood element. The restaurant's char kway teow has a slightly sweet tinge, complete with all the ingredients you'll come to expect from the dish.
Autralian Wagyu Rib Eye
Breaking up the seafood mix with a little Australian wagyu rib eye cooked with a soy and butter glaze, we could really taste the Pan-Asian influence with this dish. It has a wonderful umami-butter profile, thanks to the glaze, that works well with the fat and beef jus, creating a good mesh of powerful flavours that excite the palate. Add a dash of mustard for a lovely spicy-sharp twist.
If beef isn't your thing, perhaps cod is. Teriyaki infused and served with red miso and negi (spring onion), the dish has a dominant sweet taste with minor umami spikes. The cod is cooked perfectly, retaining its rich oily and flaky qualities. Depending if you're a fan of teriyaki, this dish may or may not be for you. With that being said, the teriyaki glaze helps to lock in the natural qualities of the meat very well.
The dessert platter to end all quibbles when it comes to the end of the meal, you'll find a wide range of treats for everyone with this dish. There's mango sticky rice, yuzu cheesecake, chilled cherry tomatoes and local seasonal fruits to share. The mango sticky rice allows the fragrant qualities of the rice to shine through while the chilled tomato soup has a plesant bittersweet matcha taste that surprised us. The yuzu cheesecake was also a winner, pairing well with a scoop of ice cream.