Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tastings by Chinoz on the Park, KLCC

As featured on Malaysian Today, 23rd October 2008!

Menu: Tastings by Chinoz on the Park
Add: Chinoz on the Park, G47, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2166 8277
Note: Pork-free

I was in the mood for some fine-dining one evening, and we made our way to the Twin Towers in the heart of KL. This was my first visit to the much talked-about Chinoz on the Park. The decor is rather stark, with a blend of steel and light-coloured wood used as decor. For a moment I wasn't quite sure if the "fine-dining" theme worked, but when we were presented with the chef's special menu, known as "Tastings", my eyes lit up.
Chef Haffizul Hashim who was appointed as Chinoz’s new chef de cuisine in early 2008, came across as being quietly confident, and had a boyish charm about him. He was clearly passionate about his food, especially when he presented us with details of the menu items. He has a bachelor of culinary arts degree from London, following which he worked in the gastronomic capital's finest restaurants, including the Mirabelle and Ritz. It was here where he learnt the trade from Michelin-star rated Chez Bruce.

Before the meal arrived, we enjoyed warm nutty wholemeal bread, followed by a dainty pumpkin-based pallet-cleanser. The latter was so good, and it made me eagerly await the main courses.

I could not resist selecting the Degustation Menu, RM$160, which was a selection of Chef Haffiz's creations, and it was a scrumptions choice! The meal started with a Cauliflower veloute with hokaido scallop and truffle. This was served as a shot-glass of Cauliflower foam, which was really good in its own right. However, when combined with the really fresh scallop and thinly sliced truffle, the flavours come alive.

The next course was the Blue fin tuna, with lemongrass-vanilla oil. Whilst having this dish, my dinner partner pointed out Chef Haffiz's signature style of mixing textures. The finely sliced green beans as well as little flowers sprinkled over the top, provided a burst of textures and colours, and was well appreciated.

On to the two main courses, the first being the Roasted barramundi in potato wrap, with seared scallop, parsnip vanilla puree. The barramundi was full in flavour, and the potato wrap was remarkable, tasting of potato yet having a rosti-like texture which I have not had since my days in the UK. The scallop was once again fresh and flavoursome, whilst the parsnip was delicious.

Then came the masterpiece, a slow braised daube of beef cheek a la Bourguigonne with pomme puree. The beef flakes away when the knife is applied, and it simply melts in your mouth. This was probably the result of the classical french cooking technique of slow stewing and reduction, and it was simply marvelous.

I had to make room for the dessert, which was the Chocolate parfait peanut tuile, beurre de cacahuete ice cream. Tasting of peanut butter, with crisp-to-bite textures, this was a chocolate lovers dessert. Coffee was then served. I felt that the quality of food and reasonably generous servings more then made up for the RM$160 price tag of this menu.

RC who had chosen the restaurant, having previously enjoyed the many creations of Chef Haffiz on two previous seatings, chose the ala carte "Tasting" menu instead. She had a starter of Parsley risotto with sauteed escargot, portobello mushroom confit, RM$36. The flavours of the escargot, mushrooms were perfectly blended with the beautifully cooked risotto. Simply a marvelous starter!

For the mains, Chef Haffiz strongly recommended a fish, the Red Mullet, which was served with two citrus fruits, both Blood orange as well as Grapefruit at RM$78. It was so beautifully grilled that the flavours and moist texture of the mullet were well preserved, and the citrus combination complemented the dish perfectly.

For dessert the delicious and heavy Pistachio and Olive Torte, with strawberries, vanilla ice cream, RM$20, was well enjoyed. This was a truly generous portion, with two large slices of torte or cake served, and the sharp tasting minced strawberry flakes went well with the sweetness of the pistachio torte.

Overall, the service at Chinoz was attentive, and the food was both beautifully presented and creative, as it was delicious and enjoyable. Do give this special venue a try, whilst Chef Haffiz is in town. Be prepared for a sublime dining experience in KL!


Shell (貝殼) said...

i like tis series of photos.. looks sharp & clean^^

boo_licious said...

ah, u got nice pixs. Mine didn't turn out well, or else I would have blogged abt this earlier. We liked the beef too, very yummy.

Julian Si said...

Shell - Thanks!

Masak2 - Aww, thanks! Coming from queen of makanblogs, that is quite the compliment :-)

Good food, gorgeous presentation, nice chef, relatively keen prices for semi-fine dining = BRILLIANT!

fatboybakes said...

i generally quite like chinoz on the park, but after i blogged about it, some ppl went and had horrific experiences there...sigh.....consistency is a rare trait in our msian F&B outlets...

Anonymous said...

Very nice review - I have eaten at Chinoz a few times (prior to the new chef) and have always thought that the food was very mediocre.
It is very obvious that Chef Haffiz has given the restaurant a breath of fresh air. His style of food does mimic the training he received at Chef Bruce.
Is the amuse bouche a Butternut squash veloute with Sage?
One small comment though is that there is repetition of ingredients on the tasting menu (Scallops)