Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Romanza @ Ampang

It's always cause for celebration when a fresh-faced outlet takes off at Terrace at Hock Choon; Romanza Le Restaurante marked its maiden flight on Valentine's Day, propelled by fantastic fusion fantasies in which Europe & Asia land on a singular runway of recipes.

Romance was in the air as Romanza unveiled its lovely setting to endearing effect, with a band charming customers with renditions of Eric Clapton's "Beautiful Tonight" & Elton John's "Something About The Way You Look Tonight" _ though it was bizarre that they also sang Adele's "Someone Like You."

Cold winter melon & coconut soup with ginger sorbet & pine nuts, strange but exhilarating. The foundation of the menu is French Mediterranean, flirting with influences from Japan, Indonesia & more, balanced by South African chef Steven Kruger with high-wire culinary bravura.

Tempura of tiger prawns, mango & sesame salsa with Pommes Maxim, pickled red cabbage, curly lettuce & rose caviar in a vanilla-&-black pepper vinaigrette. Painstakingly put together, but perhaps overly fussy, with so many components competing for attention.

Roasted chicken thigh roulade, glazed with Indonesian sweet soy sauce & served with crisp leeks & risotto laced with spring onions & shiitake mushrooms. The risotto might be a bit too mushy, but this remains flavorsome enough to keep us tantalized.

Slurp & swallow: freshly shucked oyster with plum chutney, fish roe & apple kiwi salsa.

The happily-ever-after: rose-&-yogurt-swirled sorbet with lime jelly & crystallized rose petals.

Cocktails are available; berry margaritas contain all the Vitamin C you'll need this week.

Seeing red, with wine that runs crimson. 'Tis the season to be tipsy ...

Romanza Le Restaurante,
Terrace at Hock Choon, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-4252-6059

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44 comments:

  1. I love strawberry... I bet d berry margaritas really taste good...
    Weird huh for a guy who loves strawberry.....

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    1. Simple Person: oh, i like blueberries! but i usually don't like strawberries & raspberries, cos they can be a bit too sour sometimes :D

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  2. The food presentation here is very vibrant. Lots of colour ;)

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    1. Baby Sumo: the food was very attractive indeed! i think this was my first time seeing a soup that had something PINK in it! :D

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  3. Wow those dishes look complicated. I imagine a lot of time went into their preparation - or the decoration at least.

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    1. The Yum List: oh yeah, i usually try to be appreciative of recipes that had a lot of care & consideration poured into them, heh =)

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  4. Now...this is wat I call fusion...creative and colourful...full of flavours :)

    Btw...wat r the prices like? =)

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    1. Ulric: ooh, prices seem a bit steep, unfortunately. i think for a full-blown dinner, it's best to budget at least RM100 =)

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  5. I'm just curious who your Valentine's Day date was last night? *winks winks* :D

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    1. Kenny: *blinks blinks* oops, i need to go get a drink of water. will be back later :D

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    2. You're not getting off that easily. Devil and I will interrogate you the next time we have dinner together. No Escape Wan! :P

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  6. Both the environment and food look good.
    New place to go! But I guess we need to start saving money first. :P

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    1. CK: save up for a celebration dinner, maybe! maybe to celebrate after you've finished moving apartments, heheh :D

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    2. After moving, we will be "pok kai" already, no money to go! hahaha.

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    3. CK: hahah, ok, then can celebrate after you get your first tenant for the old apartment! :D

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  7. OooooOOO.. I love a place with a good band playing! But a terrible one puts me off immediately! Even before the food is served!

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    1. Vien: ooo, the band here was kinda ordinary, to be frank. i think it was a one-night-only valentine's day gig for them at this restaurant =)

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  8. Is this next to fukuharu or at the top level?

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    1. Michelle: it's next-door neighbors with fukuharu :D

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  9. I've always loved Terrace, and am happy that there's yet another reason to visit the place. The setting of the restaurant is quite pretty; I guess the restaurant is aptly named. :-) Interesting match of ingredients, and almost as quirky as the pairings you've suggested in the past. :-)

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    1. Lemongrass: oh yeah, i'm hoping 2012 might herald the rejuvenation of terrace at hock choon! there's supposed to be a northern indian outlet also opening here later this year. time for some butter chicken! :D

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  10. Nice place... overall do you like the food there?

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    1. Smitten by Food: ya, i think there could be improvements, but maybe it's just teething problems so far. i'd rate the food a solid B for now. maybe even B+ :D

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  11. The oyster with plum chutney, fish roe & apple kiwi salsa sounds funky!

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    1. Bangsar-babe: it's a very strange but very cool threesome to put together on one oyster! :D

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  12. I don't think one of those oysters will be enough! lol

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    1. Drops of Contentment: heheh, one oyster is NEVER enough! :D

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  13. Brilliant food presentation and quite a fair bit of ingredients being used. The taste buds must have been working real hard to appreciate all the details.

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    1. Missyblurkit: you're right! at first, i was minimizing our alcohol intake, so we could concentrate on the food. by the end though, we couldn't resist having the margaritas :D

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  14. I really REALLY like the restaurant ambience! And those comfy high back sofas looked like they're begging me to sit on them!! :)

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    1. Iamthewitch: oh yeah, i think you nailed it perfectly. this place is both beautiful & comfortable! :D

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  15. the berry margarita looks really good apart from the other appealing foodstuff :)

    Latest: Look out for the Haven!

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    1. Fish: the margarita was very eye-catching indeed! :D

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  16. This place looks chic with all the black and white tones. Maybe next time I'll wear some black and white attire to blend in. hehe

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    1. Eiling: heheh, i think you'd blend in perfectly & stylishly with anything that you wear! :D

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  17. Confusing fusion more like it! :P
    But one certainly can't call it boring!
    Eh, Adele's "Someone Like You." is your fav no? :p

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    1. Rebecca: ooo, i do love the song, but it's a sad song! not suitable for valentine's day, heheh :D

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  18. Oooh can I order the head rest of the chair? That would be perfect as my headboard! ;))

    Sean... why restaurant foods are so smalllllll? :p :p

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    1. Rad: heh, I would love that headboard too for my couch! :D small portions mean they're trying to persuade us to order more dishes =)

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  19. Cold winter melon & coconut soup with ginger sorbet & pine nuts.. woweee.. looks refreshingly good.

    So, Terrace at Hock Choon makes a comeback.. good! that place seriously needs more life;)

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    1. Ciki: that soup helped prove to me that cold soups can be as enjoyable as hot ones! :D and yeah, maybe 2012 will the year when terrace at hock choon stirs up with a vengeance! cross fingers =)

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  20. hey there
    going to visit Malaysia ( KL and Penang ) 3days later
    and i'm so going to this Romanza.. the presentations were superb

    quite steep but it worth, i guess.

    Hotty Potty
    http://xhottypottyx.blogspot.com

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    1. Cend: hope you have a good meal here! =)

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