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Digest Review: Cilantro Serves Minimalistic Food Art On A Plate

Review: Cilantro Serves Minimalistic Food Art On A Plate

Review: Cilantro Serves Minimalistic Food Art On A Plate
By Tien Chew
February 19, 2018
Chef Takashi Kimura and his team are known for creating meals that focus on celebrating prized ingredients and plating them in understated elegant fashion. Throughout the year, when the season for certain ingredients become ripe for the picking, chef Kimura will dedicate a menu that feature these regional marvels. This time, he celebrates French winter ingredients.

1/8 Over 20 Years Of Excellence

Cilantro | Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Cilantro | Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

A go-to restaurant for gourmands around town, Cilantro has grown more impressive with time under the direction of chef Takashi Kimura. The talented cook has an admirable dedication to his craft, focusing on continuosly improving his dishes until they become minimalistic works of art on a plate.

For the establishment's contributions to the Malaysian dining scene, we awarded Chef Kimura and his team the Tatler Legacy award at our T.Dining Best Restaurants 2018.

To lure connoisseurs back to the restaurant every now and then, the restaurant periodically creates one-day-only dinners that highlight seasonal ingredients that are fresh and of exceptional quality.

Cilantro's latest promotion took place last month, celebrating some of the finest French winter ingredients.

2/8 Brittany Scallop With Caviar

Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

Plated to resemble a scallop in all its natural glory, including tiny strands of sea foliage, the first course for the night immediately won us over. Opening the shell revealed a tantalising sliced scallop paired with a dollop of caviar and a tiny amount of green dressing, a combination that gave even the beauty of pearls a run for its money.

On the palate, the sweetness and tenderness of the scallop were the main pulls, with the caviar enhancing the taste of the mollusc with bursts of saltiness balanced by the earthy nuances of the dressing. Beautifully plated and exceptionally appetising, this was a fine way to begin the meal.

3/8 Buckwheat Tagliolini With Truffles

Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

Following up a simple yet delicious starter with another that's equally delectable, the next masterpiece to arrive was buckwheat pasta served with a seductive egg yolk and shaved French truffles. 

After breaking the egg yolk and marvelling as it oozed through the tagliolini, eating our first forkful exposed a dish that was warm and earthy in taste yet subtle in execution. The mushroom base of the pasta mixed with the wonderful buckwheat tang of the noodles, umami taste of the truffles and the rich egg yolk, made for a truly outstanding dish that left us wanting seconds.

4/8 Meuniére Of Cauliflower With Truffles

Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

Our desire to have another helping of tagliolini was answered somewhat when the third course arrived, a serving of cauliflower done three ways and cooked à la meuniére before being topped with shaved truffles.

A truly delicious trio (dehydrated, roasted and emulsified) that gave crunch, texture and a flavourful barrage that didn't overstay its welcome on the palate.

5/8 Britany Blue Lobster & Turbot

Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

From the French seas to the table in front of us in no longer than a day, our fourth course comprised a seafood duo of lobster and turbot. 

The lobster was sweet and juicy while the turbot was buttery sweet, tender and flaky. Deceptively simple on the eyes but not in the mouth, this dish moved the meal along to protein territory in true Cilantro fashion – showing diners exceptional ingredients cooked beautifully.

6/8 Roasted Pyrénées Milk Fed Lamb

Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

Not long after we cleansed our palate with a citrus sorbet, on came the main course for the night, two slices of roasted lamb, fluffy whipped potato and a dash of mustard on the side. 

The meat yielded a nice chew; cooked till slightly bloody with a well roasted skin for extra flavour. Served with fat still intact for that extra taste, the velvety potatoes served as an excellent companion to the dish while the mustard gave us the opportunity to add spice to the meat in controlled amounts, as to not overpower the natural nuances of the lamb.

7/8 Honey Ice Cream With Roquefort & Périgord Truffles

Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

Ending the meal on a high note, chef Kimura takes two beloved desserts, cheese and ice cream, and marries them to surprisingly delicious results.

Refreshing and well executed, the honey ice cream on its own had just the right amount of sweetness, while the combination of walnuts and globules of roquefort (blue sheep's milk cheese) when eaten altogether, makes the dish a real pleaser.

 

8/8 Following The Seasons

Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler
Photo: Steven Sum/Malaysia Tatler

As mentioned at the start, this review was written after having eaten Cilantro's seasonal French winter menu. While some of these dishes were a one-night only deal due to the ingredients used, the skill and inventiveness behind these dishes showcase chef Kimura and his talented team's knack for serving up cuisine that will most certainly please. This of course extends to the restaurant's daily menu.

Their next seasonal menu will leave France for Japan and take place sometime in March, where chef Kimura will use premium Japanese ingredients, but cooked to French specifications, to once again whip up a meal that will probably be just as delicious as the one we had.

You can be sure we'll let you know when Cilantro's next seasonal dinner will take place, stay tuned.

For more information, visit the restaurant's website or contact 03 21798082.

Tags

Digest Cilantro French Cuisine French Food gastronomy

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