Leave These 5 Preconceptions At The Door When Supping At Saint Pierre
November 2, 2018 | BY Samantha Lim
Fine dining lovers such as you and I might gladly traverse the Straits of Johor to sup at venerated establishments in Singapore. Even so, we couldn't hide our elation when Saint Pierre, an 18-year-old, 1-Michelin-starred restaurant, revealed that the W Kuala Lumpur would house its first overseas outlet.
For those unfamiliar with Saint Pierre's prestige, here's the nitty-gritty: After settling down in Singapore with his Malaysian wife in 1999, chef Emmanuel Stroobant founded Saint Pierre at the start of the second millennium. A man ahead of his time, Stroobant concocted radical dishes that remain timeless favourites; the Atlantic cod is one such dish.
Carrying a sense of maturity that's absent in many of its contemporaries, Saint Pierre Kuala Lumpur may alter existing misconceptions about food.
Vegetables Are Boring
...until you taste the beautifully plated plants at Saint Pierre Kuala Lumpur. Two things are true of a dish if you spend long minutes admiring it but mere seconds devouring it: striking beauty and shocking deliciousness. As a matter of fact, we had to be roused by maître de maison Ramon Susany, who was concerned that the dish's dipping temperature would no longer spur optimum enjoyment (bless his vigilant heart). Such is the effect that the French Petit Violet Artichoke, Turmeric, Pine Nut had upon our party. Stroobant, a staunch yogi who adopted vegetarianism five decades ago, puts vegetables at the forefront of Saint Pierre, as do some of the best chefs of our generation e.g. René Redzepi of Noma and Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy.
Fruit And Vanilla Are Reserved For Dessert
...say chefs facing creative blocks. While 16th century banquets in Europe and the Middle East were fearless with regards to mixing and matching ingredients, today's chefs limit themselves by compartmentalising 'sweet' and 'savoury' ingredients. Not Emmanuel Stroobant and his team, though — vanilla bean's unmistakable perfume complements the sweetness inherent in the Blue Lobster, Apple, Chervil, Onion while gaminess is curtailed by a medley of fruit in the Pan Fried Foie Gras, Lychee, Apricot.
Sauces Are One-Dimensional
...unless you exercise your creative juices. A protégé of Stroobant's, chef de cuisine KimKevin de Dood brings his own flourishes to Saint Pierre Kuala Lumpur's table. The first thing we noticed in the Lamb, Leek Curry, Thyme dish was the playful plating. Exhibiting a keen understanding of viscosity, liquids of different textures had been ladled upon one another to wondrous effect: a ring of onion puree contained lamb jus, upon which hovered an airy head of fermented Hokkaido milk. This plating of sauces was, in fact, my most cherished epiphany at Saint Pierre Kuala Lumpur.
Eastern And Western Flavours Shouldn't Mingle
...except that they can, and do at Saint Pierre. Asian ingredients undergo classical French cooking techniques, resulting in harmonious dishes like the Atlantic Cod, Miso, Oxtail, Roots. Flavours aside, let’s talk about texture. Medium-well is something that's always addressed with red meats, rarely with seafood; but at Saint Pierre Kuala Lumpur, medium-well perfectly described the scallop, the lobster and Atlantic cod fillet.
Don’t Eat The Tableware
...if you believe in social graces. But at Saint Pierre Kuala Lumpur, you're more than welcome to tackle the dessert bowl. A snow-white meringue cup forms the base of the Strawberries, Basil, Mascarpone Ice Cream, a structural dessert that might bring the Asahi Beer Hall in Tokyo to mind. Give dessert a gentle *thwack* with the back of your spoon, and enjoy a twinge of sadistic glory as the whole arrangement comes crumbling down. Dig in.
Lunch: 3, 4 or 5 courses at RM188, RM258 & RM298 respectively.
Dinner: 5, 8 or 12 courses at RM448, RM598 & RM748 respectively.
* Vegetarian menus are available.
**Diners in one party must opt in for the same menu.
*** Both Saint Pierre KL & Singapore do not serve pork.
****Additional charges for wine pairings & cheese trolley service.
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