Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sage @ The Gardens


With one week's advance notice, we asked Sage to prepare a customized dinner for two of us, featuring mostly recipes not on their current menu. We submitted a list of basic ingredients that we wanted, while they masterminded the final arrangements.


The thought of a 12-course feast appeared daunting at first, but the portions were pretty light. We began with a trio of Pacific oysters, dressed with konbu jelly, ginger vinaigrette & wasabi vinaigrette. Sublime in their briny, elemental freshness; plump enough to provide pure pleasure with each pop.


Truffle-scented carpaccio of yellowtail with akame & Shizuoka tomatoes. A variation of one of Sage's most beloved specialties. Fresh, fatty fish, with a delicate taste that was nicely balanced by the earthy aroma of truffles.


Vichysoisses of artichoke with sea urchin & gold leaf. Cold, creamy decadence. Each of these first three dishes successfully whetted our appetite for more.


Foie gras, avocados & mirin soy. Melt-in-the-mouth bliss; perfection on a plate.


Seafood with tongarashi spice. Here, the meal began to falter. This tasted like regular angel hair pasta with seafood, though its mild spiciness made things a bit interesting.


Glazed anago with aged balsamico. There seemed to be more batter than eel in this.


Bouillabaisse with pernod & aioli. We've had this previously at Sage, but while we didn't actually request it this time, it was pleasant enough, brimming with more seafood than before.


Pan-fried red emperor fish with Hokkaido scallop & king crab sauce. The fish and scallop were OK but unremarkable; it was the rich, bisque-like sauce that made this memorable. Apparently, this was featured as a Friday lunch item at Cilantro, exactly a week after we had it here.


Capon with Perigueux sauce. The tasty truffle-&-madeira sauce rescued this; the chicken was fairly tender for breast meat, but had a not-quite-pleasant gaminess.


Duo of ox tongue with mushroom veloute & Wagyu beef cheek. No complaints here; both halves of this could hardly have been more succulent or flavorful.


Two courses of dessert on one platter, since we were pressed for time in the end. Ginger & lime creme brulee, as well as calvados souffle. Could have been more impressive in terms of texture. The creme brulee (which appeared on Sage's weekly lunch menu a fortnight later) had scarcely the semblance of a caramelized crust, while the souffle was one-dimensionally airy.


Trimbach Riesling 2007 & Fratelli Bolla Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT 2007.


Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2009 & Grant Burge Hillcot Merlot 2008.


For earlier entries on Sage, click: April 9, 2009 & March 14, 2010.


The meal was costly (which was our own fault for seeking this spread), with both hits and misses, but we appreciated the effort by the folks here.


Sage,
The Gardens Hotel & Residences.
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

40 comments:

  1. Well, it wasn't perfect but looks/sounds like there were many heavenly moments! :)
    (*drool* Earthy truffles and fish - the best pairing of land n sea?)
    (And what a nice looking slab of foie! Yums!)

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  2. j: oh yeah, more hits than misses, thankfully! i probably wouldn't attempt this at sage again, but it was a fun experiment! the oysters were my favorite, followed by the foie gras :D

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  3. The foie gras dishes are very good. I can testify this because I had two foie gras in one dinner. :P Very greedy me.

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  4. How much was such a dinner?? must've been expensive! LOL
    looks very nice..

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  5. say my name say my name..! i wish my name was sage LOL. then when ppl think of me, they think of something yummie. a real dish.

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  6. its hard to score a 12 out of 12 n i think theres only so much tricks that 1 has in the bag, so nxt time a lesson to the public, stick to 3-5 courses? haha.

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  7. michelle: heheh, i definitely wouldn't mind two foie dishes on that menu!
    andrew: rm500 nett per person, excluding wine. slightly more than triple the cost of a regular dinner at sage, but that's pretty proportionate to the number of dishes =)
    ciki: but u have a lovely name already, no need to change it! :D
    joe: true, a lesson to me! but fortunately, the overall menu still managed to pass with flying colors =)

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  8. I understand why you'd request for a tailored menu based on the usage of specific ingredients, but I'm not sure I'd do the same. This is only because several factors have to be considered - availability of seasonal ingredients, freshness and chef's strengths. Anyhow, looks like you succeeded (somewhat hehe). Bravo! I'd die to have a decadent meal like that!

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  9. lemongrass: yeah, u're totally right, it's so tricky to strike a balance between giving the chef free rein of the menu and wanting to ensure that all my favorite ingredients are well-represented. luckily, it was a worthwhile adventure!

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  10. You have exposed Sage's weakness. The entrees are usually better executed and thought out than the mains. LOL. The chink in the armour.

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  11. android: issit?! wow, i didn't realize that. hmmm, wonder why though ... i usually treat mains as the star of the meal, while starters and desserts are supporting acts for me. though i guess a lot of other people look forward to dessert the most, heheh :D

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  12. Bravo for even attempting it - a customised 12-course feast, and with a pricetag to match it, no less. :)

    Don't you ever just eat hawker food or simple, home-cooked meals? :P

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  13. lfb: nothing ventured, nothing gained, rite? :D the honest answer to your question: how should i put it ... well, i do eat at outlets that serve hawker-style food and meals that feel simple and home-cooked. in fact, there'll be nasi dagang and goreng pisang in an upcoming post this week!

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  14. Nasi dagang AND goreng pisang? Amazing... But your 'honest' answer doesn't really reveal how often you deign to eat such simple meals wor... what, once in a month or two? :P

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  15. lfb: actually, it won't seem amazing anymore once u see where it was :D hmmmm, i'd eat a home-cooked meal a bit more often if i had the opportunity or if someone offered to cook me one. hint, hint :P

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  16. Oh no. 5-star nasi dagang, you mean? Goreng pisang smothered in truffle shavings, maybe?

    I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks. (In your case, you'd probably just cook and eat the dog, yikes.)

    P.S. Try hinting to A Lil Fat Monkey: He's an amazing home chef! :)

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  17. lfb: actually, another reason is that my digestive system has a really low tolerance for spicy stuff. my stomach ends up churning the day after i eat beef rendang, mutton varuval or green curry chicken. so i have to stick to the safe stuff :D heheh, i think i'd be a decent home chef too. but first, i'd need to learn how to cook. and then i'll have to buy an oven, stove, microwave and cooking utensils for my home :D

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  18. Well, there are tons of non-spicy hawker fare like chicken rice and roti+dhall, what. I bet even your chicken rice comes with some special imported ayam from Jepun or it's decorated with gold leaf or something. :P

    P.S. Or you can just hop over to your Lady Lemongrass's home and cook there ma. I bet she has a fully-stocked kitchen. :)

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  19. The pics is taken for one portion right? because RM500 nett is darn cheap for 12 course!
    What's the occasion. *wink

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  20. lfb: i do love me some hainanese chicken rice (since my mom's side is hainanese, i can take pride in this recipe). grrrrr, fine, i'll put up the goreng pisang post tomorrow to silence all u doubting thomases and kennys. p.s. ermm, shah alam is a distant wasteland. :D
    augustdiners: heheh, it was indeed RM500 nett per person for all those 12 courses, or RM1,000 nett for two people (we each had 12 individual plates of everything). what's the occasion? call it an experiment! :D

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  21. Can't wait for the Eat Drink Hainanese Goreng Pisang post tomorrow. *guffaws*

    P.S. I have to agree on that count. Why does she live so far, again? :P

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  22. WAH!! there goes my monthly budget for food!! LOL!!! It's true... for the price that you are paying, I think that I can only afford to eat this once a year during special occasion! Anyway, I'll just stick to their degustation menu which cost about one third of the price :P

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  23. Ouch...1k damage for a night of gluttony. Well hope your investment reaped much rewards ;) :P
    Foie gras and avocado seems like a good match, kudos to the chef for that combination.

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  24. lfb: tomorrow has almost arrived! *chuckle* hmmmm, we shouldn't be too harsh on those folks who live in such desolate districts. we might hurt their feelings. :P
    leo: yeah, this dinner was a bit too extravagant. i definitely won't do it often, heheh! but really, you're more practical with your income than i am, so that makes you a wiser person, really. i respect and admire that :D
    elrond: no regrets about the meal! :D yeps, foie gras and avocado are a match made in heaven ... but foie gras, avocado and unagi would be a threesome to die for! :D

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  25. Hello Sifu, you should have told me you're going to Sage. Could have passed you a discount card that'll give you 20% off!

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  26. Btw, the Trimbach's an excellent choice! 91 pointer by Wine Spectator!

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  27. Haha..u knw waht..I certainly dun mind being adventurous too! once in a while. after a month of slogging it out at work ;)
    But for now, i think i'll jz hop over for lunch! ;p

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  28. shaun: aiya, lemme hop into my delorean and go back in time to get the card from you! :D hmmm, i have to confess that most of the time, i just order the cheapest wines on the menu. rm20-35 for glasses, rm80-140 per bottle are what i look for. am kinda hopeless at recognizing and appreciating wines. the one thing i know for sure is that i hate cab sauvignon!
    tng: oh yeah, u're still one of the top 10 most adventurous eaters that i know! :D i guess dinner at sage can be reserved for really special occasions. if i remember correctly, u enjoyed your lunch at sage earlier this year, so when the right time comes, u should treat yourself to another round :D

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  29. it's ok. there will always be another opportunity. the card also gives 20% off Cilantro.

    as for wines, the corkage charge is really reasonable at Sage so I'd probably be more inclined to bring my own wine there. cheap wine does not always translate to bad wine!

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  30. shaun: don't tempt me! whenever i do eat at cilantro, i'm a pauper by the end of the month. but yeah, i've never brought my own booze into sage, but this reminds me that there's that wine shop, "bottles & bottles," on the lower ground floor of the gardens mall that i've always been meaning to check out...

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  31. Yeah with the card, you can be the same pauper at the end of the month but you get to eat 20% more! Lol.

    Why don't you check out WineActually.com too? It's Malaysia's first licensed online wine merchant. It's much cooler Sean. ;)

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  32. shaun: a well-fed pauper seems like a paradox, but okaaaaay :D i'm keen to place an order, but more likely only in nov/december when i might need the six or more bottles for year-end festivities. i don't keep any wine at home, partly cos i wouldn't be able to resist the urge to open a bottle every night and guzzle it before bedtime. but yep, got it ... no buying from retail outlets when wineactually.com is here to serve! :D

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  33. omg, sean dearest cousin. ahhaha what a small world. my friend, shaun lee (this is getting so confusing) told me to check out this blog cuz u wrote about sage, and im MEANT to be bringing him there as a thank you for helping me out with some stuff. and OMG, ure my cousin! :)

    btw, awesome blog u have, and awesome dinners! hehe y u nvr bring me? :) cant wait to check sage out!

    Lisa

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  34. Lisa: I am not surprised that you are Sean's cousin. You are as tham chiak as he is only you don't have a blog. Ok ok, I am just joking! Haha.

    Sean: Now that I know you are Lisa's cousin, I'm obliged to give you our family rates when you do make a purchase. Just drop me an email or something.

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  35. with one week advance notice, you've been very kind! haha... the food looked good and I'm sure after the 12th dish, you would have to start loosening the belt huh?

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  36. lisa: coincidence or fate? heheh. wah, it's been yeeeeears since we met. even though i think we have each other on fb lah. if u're working in the klang valley, let's do dinner sometime. really :D
    shaun: family rates? sounds like i'm married to the mob! but sure, will do. just gimme some time to make that purchase, but it'll happen. i'm slow that way =)
    eiling: after the capon, i was ready to call it quits already! :D

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  37. OH MY LAWDDDIE!!! what a spread. true la, a bit hard to find a menu where all the items are hits. but looked pretty darn good. lovely that the unagi was more batter than eel!!! guffaw.... err..how much was it ah?

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  38. FBB: ya, I think I was naively hoping that every single course would blow us away! But we still left that evening with satisfied palates and tummies, heh. It was 500 ringgit nett per person excluding wine (so 1000 for two, plus a couple of hundred for the wine)

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  39. 500 ringgit! wah, can go to Cambodia and back!

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  40. lemongrass: but have to sleep on the streets and beg for food there :P

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