BabeRestaurant, $$$$, Japanese, Damansara Heights
Opens at: 18:00keyboard_arrow_down
Mon - Sun
- Mon - Sun 1800-2300
- +603 2095 8599
- 11th Floor, Work@Clearwater, Jalan Changkat Semantan, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
- Accept Credit CardYes
- Dress CodeSmart Casual
- Bring Your Own BottleNo
- Car ValetYes
With sweeping views of the KL skyline, Babe’s raison d'être could merely be for its breath-taking vista, if not for the innovative and mouth-watering food it serves up. Divided into an indoor dining area and an outdoor deck area, there are no prizes for guessing which one most diners at this glamorous eatery gravitates to. Just like its food, the décor of Babe is modern and contemporary with a soothing colour palate and sensual artwork which add up to the most memorable dining experience. A lap pool wraps around the restaurant and the submerged loungers almost tempt any diner to step in and get their feet wet.
Perusing the menu at Babe, a gourmand would salivate at what this self-termed “fun dining” establishment offers. It’s not an extensive menu by any stretch, but what they have certainly is enough to satiate any well-honed taste buds or rumbling tummy. Divided into four distinct categories – sea, land, plant and sweets, this progressive and well thought out menu certainly packs the culinary punches when it comes to tastes, textures and visual presentation.
Definitely opt for the fun dining menu, a tasting menu consisting of 12 small dishes that’ll take you on a gastronomic journey like no other. Starting with a liquid amuse-bouche placed inside a test tube and called ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’, this concoction ignites the taste buds with its smoky and savoury flavours having traces of miso, mango lassi, ratatouille and chicken rice!
The first dish, lomi lomi salmon is the perfect introduction to Babe’s wunderkind chef, Jeff Ramsey. As the first and only American to earn a Michelin star during his tenure at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Ramsey pays tribute to the time he spent in Hawaii with this salmon tartare with tomato and shio kombu (salted kelp) all rolled up in a Noni cone. The next dish of prawn siu mai, is closer to home, or least Ramsey’s unique interpretation of it. Fried instead of steamed, the crispy purple potato skin with prawns and cous cous is slightly spicy at first bite but is followed by a tangy explosion of flavours.
Next up is the kanpachi noodles, a two-pronged dish with the first being a liquid shot made with dashi, tomato water, basil oil and shiso leaf flower, followed by fresh kanpachi fish cured with calamansi cut into strands to resemble noodles and topped with a clear and transparent calamansi sheet. It has a slightly tart and sour taste which is rather appealing especially after the preceding dishes.
Edible mai tai is a welcome choice since it’s light, fresh and fruity. Serving as a palate cleanser, this solidified form of the well-known cocktail has two slices of pineapple impregnated with rum, orange, passionfruit and lime. Following closely is the airbread crab mousse and toro, a mini baguette filled with crab mousse and topped with slivers of blue tuna belly. Next is a ‘steak’ sandwich which is bread made from tomato water, a sheet of cheese, (in the form of a lettuce) beef tongue, Wagyu tartare and a drizzle of tangy mayonnaise.
With the carb craving fulfilled, the duck and Coke dish satisfies the umami sense of taste to a T. Crispy and wafer-thin chicken skin with duck terrine, foie gras cubes, pickled mustard and a jelly sheet made from Coca-Cola must win an award for its ingenuity. The unagi sunchoke is a nice contrast to the previous duck dish because it’s simple and straightforward – charcoal-grilled unagi with sunchoke puree, braised gobo and fried burdock root with thyme.
The braised abura bouzo is Japanese skilfish with braising spheres and ginger foam and is tasty and fresh. Then there’s the Kagoshima A5 sukiyaki, which must be the jewel in this tasting menu’s crown as it has melt-in-your-mouth Kagoshima Wagyu beef served with chrysanthemum leaves and eringi mushrooms. The ‘lie-mau’ dish sports an interesting visual illusion whereby something looking like lime is actually made from green milk tea skin and filled with calamansi curd.
Just when you’re wishing the epicurean odyssey would never end, out comes the final dish of strawberry shortcake. But least it’s mistaken for just another confectionary creation, chef Ramsey is quick to point out that it’s a deconstructed shortcake with strawberry and cream mousse topped with a honeydew glass sheet, shortcake cookie and pickled rose petals.
Babe’s selection of champagne, sparkling wines, rosé, reds and whites is sufficient while its sake selection is exemplary. There’s also a wine and sake flight which serves three or four glasses of different wine and sake selections to pair with the menu.
Personalised and efficient service is to be found, with the waiters being knowledgeable about the menu, wines and sake on offer. Celina Wu, the manager or ‘Top Babe’ as she would like to be called, is available to guide any novice through the menu. But if you need to know more about the Japanese-accented tapas or Japas (a term chef Ramsey coined for his brand of food) you can call on the man himself, assuming he is not too busy in the kitchen creating his edible masterpieces.
The bill, which includes the fun dining menu for two, sake flight and bottled mineral water amounts to RM1,300.