Sunday, April 5, 2015

Skillet At 163 @ Fraser Place

Skillet At 163 - which replaces Mediteca at Fraser Place this month - represents an intriguing initiative by chef Raymond Tham & his terrific team to showcase inventive fare with an international flair. It's a restaurant worth watching, with plenty of potential.

Start with locally sourced baby octopus, complemented by cross-border diversity - cream cheese, Malaysian ulam, Indonesian tempeh & subtly spicy vinaigrette (RM30). Skillet At 163 is still in a soft-launch stage, so there's fine-tuning ahead, but Tham has the experience & expertise for this, having honed his craft for years, including at Bermuda's Fairmont Southampton resort.

The menu keeps Asian flavours staunchly in mind - you'll find everything from fries with Korean kimchi, minced chicken, kitchen-made tomato sauce & mozzarella cheese (RM18) to scotch eggs with bunga kantan pickle & fried shallots (RM22; not available when we visited, but should be offered sometime soon).

Tham has worked with Belgian chocolate brand Callebaut, so cocoa naturally strives for the spotlight at Skillet, with Aussie beef brisket prepared in Belgian cocoa mass gravy (a subtle enhancement) - a rich braise blanketed with garlic mash (RM39).

Skillet's signature recipe for now might be the chicken mille-feuille (RM38++), with savoury, spiced layers of chicken otak-otak meant to be eaten with cashew crumbs, percik sauce & a beetroot spread. A recipe that takes risks that deserve appreciation.

Skillet's minestrone barley 'risotto' is thick with the taste of tomatoes, bolstered by mushrooms & peas (RM28). Other potential highlights include fried tamarind chicken foccacia & pan-seared barramundi with turmeric barley risotto, plus other temptations once the kitchen - which comprises many of KDU lecturer Tham's former students - finds its footing.

Tham's primarily a pastry chef who's laboured at the likes of Surrey's Wentworth Golf Club & taught Advanced Patisserie at KDU University College, so keep an eye on the desserts - we had a composition of Ghana chocolate sponge with Maldon sea salt & macadamia nuts (RM28), but expect upcoming creations like chocolate bonbons with surprising Malaysian flavours.

Cocktails are available; wine is too now. Skillet's service team, led by maitre d Shaun Ong, ensures every need is well met.

Skillet At 163
163 Fraser Place, Jalan Perak, Kuala Lumpur. Open Mon-Sat, lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-2181-2426

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24 comments:

  1. I love the wall with the exposed brick and flowers! This makes such a beautiful centerpiece and decor for this eatery, Sean! The ambiance looks calm and welcoming and their presentations are over the top! Beautiful! :)

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    1. Linda: that wall is one of my favourite parts too, and i'm glad you like it! :)

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  2. Oh no... What happened to Mediteca?

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    1. Kelly: it appears to be permanently gone ... they've wiped out their website, etc ...

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  3. where did mediteca go?? pity if they shut for good! they turned out some solid food!

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    1. Justletmeeat: it seems to have vanished completely, and its former chef-owner is working on other projects now...

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  4. I'll go straight to the dessert and the wine please. :)
    Happy Easter!

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    1. Lux G: thank you, i hope you had a good easter weekend too ... and yep, more wine for me too! :)

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  5. Love that piece of art in the wall - the one with all the flowers.

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    1. Suituapui: i enjoyed looking at that all evening! :)

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  6. Some seriously creative brains at that place! Its great to see asian touches used in different ways.

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: yup, this does open up a whole universe of interesting combinations :)

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  7. Used to makan at Fraser Place, just a walking distance from my old office. Haven't been back for long long time. Good to know there is something new, hehe.

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    1. CK: heheh, yeah, if you're ever near fraser place and wondering what to eat, this could be an option :)

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  8. Intriguing... i see some unique dishes here

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    1. Ken: a nice example of imagination at work :D

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  9. I'm happy to see more and more places around KL starting to push the boundaries a little with their menu offerings. Would love to try this spot.

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    1. The Yum List: you're 100 percent right, we do need places that surprise us and keep things fun :)

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  10. The Aussie beef brisket with Belgian cocoa....hmm, they say red meat pairs well with a red wine chocolate sauce though I've not had it before.

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    1. Contact.ewew: the cocoa is subtle here - skillet's team says it's meant to tingle a bit in the throat when/after you swallow, heh :)

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  11. Love the colours of the earthy minestrone risotto...while pan-seared barramundi with turmeric barley risotto sounds good...gonna try tis place on Fri =)

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    1. Ulric: yeah, the risotto's hues are warm and appetising ... hopefully you'll enjoy your meal!! :D

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  12. Excellent Asian flavours, blended with western presentation truly make Skillet At 163 an unique place for fine dining. The chefs at Skillet must have put in a lot of thoughts and effort to come up with their recipe creation.
    will certainly visit Skillet again.

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    1. TGT: am glad you like Skillet ... thanks for your feedback

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