Eat Drink KL: Millesime

Monday, October 18, 2010


After succumbing to a memorable meal filled with thoughtfully assembled ingredients, it seems safe to say this: Millesime is one of 2010's best new restaurants.

Even for everyone who's been eating Max Chin's food since his time at Tengkat Tong Shin, there are still surprises to be found in his culinary bag of tricks. Millesime feels like a natural evolution for this earnest, enthusiastic chef _ it's the perfect place for potential new admirers to make the acquaintance of his prowess in the (wide-open) kitchen.

The advance media publicity has already made one fact famous: there's no a la carte menu here. Customers place their faith in Max to craft set meals based on what he believes to be the best produce on any given day.

Succulent slices of seared tuna loin with chopped clams & organic sesame oil. This amuse bouche left us wanting more; we'd gladly gobble up a main course composed entirely of this.

Warm salad of halibut, avocado, artichokes & raspberry vinaigrette. Halibut recipes can sometimes be bland, but every bite of this really whetted our appetite; moist, delicate fish drizzled lightly with tangy oil & vinegar, working magic with creamy avocados.

Gratinated & blow-torched scallops with salmon roe, truffle oil, piquillo pepper coulis & chive cream. The scallops were sliced fairly thin, but somehow remained impossibly luscious, with a subtle smokiness and unexpected earthiness. Loved the interplay of tastes and textures.

Dijon mustard-glazed duck breast with duck liver terrine & sweetbread. Perfection on a plate; the bacon-like savoriness of the duck meat, the buttery decadence of the liver, the squishy juiciness of the sweetbread _ they even smelled spectacular together!

Air-dried Spanish beef with potato strudel & mushroom melange (comprising chanterelles, button mushrooms & shimeji). My favorite for the evening, thanks to the bold, robust taste and intensely rich, firm texture of the beef slices.

Smoked chicken with poached farm egg, asparagus & potato & leek sauce. Can't go wrong when an immaculately runny egg yolk is flowing all over the dish; we might not have loved the relatively ordinary-tasting chicken, but we still finished every spoonful.

Lamb cutlet with fig jam, zucchini & gorgonzola ravioli. One of the miracles of Max's cooking here is how nearly every element in nearly every dish combines forces for a sum that truly is greater than its parts; terrifically tender lamb, pleasantly tart jam, inimitably salty cheese _ a harmonious symphony of flavors to rouse jaded taste buds.

U.S. beef escalope with gratinated pesto & parmesan, gnocchi & tomato coulis. A stab at something that would fit in seamlessly at Italian restaurants. Melt-in-the-mouth meat, but the gnocchi could've been fluffier and lower in sodium _ a matter of personal preference.

Thyme-scented yogurt ice cream with poached pears & assorted fruits. A refreshingly cold and sweet finish to a four-hour feast.

Lawson's Dry Hills Pinot Noir (2007; Marlborough, New Zealand). Whiffs of cherry and chocolate in a very drinkable wine with soft tannins.

Kaesler Stonehorse Shiraz-Grenache-Mourvedre (2007; Barossa Valley). A more complex wine with notable length and tolerable acidity. Well-matched with the later courses.

One last note: Millesime's look is marvelous. The wild, wicked crimson of a sensual boudoir, merged with the moody, metallic sophistication of the Centre Pompidou. Or something like that.

Ground Floor, Menara Kencana Petroleum,
Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 6211-0648
Closed most Sundays.