Hilton Kuala Lumpur
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Tel: 03-2264 2592/2596
Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm, daily
THE phrase ?out with the old and in with the new? aptly describes Hilton Kuala Lumpur?s Graze which has replaced the elegant Senses.
In presenting delectable European fare, chefs rely on fresh and seasonal produce. Hearty and earthy meals in this modern restaurant were recently unveiled following major renovations at the premises.
Browsing through the menu, it becomes apparent that it has big shoes to fill in keeping up with the award-winning Senses.
Although Senses? rigidness has been replaced by an unpretentious dining room, its elegant fare is still missed by diners who enjoyed the lavishness and comforts of fine dining.
So forget the magical moments when chefs played around with liquid nitrogen, tantalised your taste buds with a touch of molecular gastronomy or added drama to your meal.
At Graze, it is all about going back to basics.
The one-page menu is easy to like with its offerings of regional European favourites. The menu beckons diners on a journey through the continent.
For appetiser there is a choice of Steak Tartare with Hand-Cut Fries, Onion Jam, Toasted Sourdough (RM42), Mimolette Cheese Souffle with Raisins and Pine Nuts (RM28), Smooth Chicken Liver Parfait, Caramelised Apple Jam, Toasted Baguette (RM28), Pissaladiere Tart with Olives and Anchovies (RM28), Goat?s Cheese Beignets with Sweet Millet and Garden Salad (RM25) as well as Calamari Fritti ? Flash Fried Squid (RM28).
The beignets, which are deep-fried choux pastry, were interesting. The creamy goat?s cheese filling was a delicate match to the salad and sweet millet.
The velvety texture of the chicken liver parfait and tanginess of the apple jam over crisp baguette slices was a melt-in-the-mouth sensation,
Home-made flavours dominate the soup section with Onion Soup, Petit Baguette layered with Gruyere Cheese (RM18), Provencal Pistou Soup (RM18) and Pappa di Pomodoro ? Tuscan Tomato Soup with Durum Bread, Olive Oil (RM18).
A personal favourite was the warm and flavoursome pistou soup, reminiscent of minestrone.
From Italy, Risotto Alla Milanese, Saffron Mascarpone and Shaved Parmesan (RM33), Tortellini of Potato and Fontina with sauteed Escargot and Baby Spinach (RM33) and Ravioli with Roasted Pumpkin and Ricotta (RM33) star in the line-up of pastas.
When it is time to decide on the main course, many dishes vie for attention including Roast Chicken with Garlic and Thyme, Ruby Roseval Potatoes and Button Mushrooms (RM42), Bouillabaisse, Sea Bream Snapper and Lobster with Toasted Baguette and Rouille (RM92), Slow-Cooked Dorper Lamb Shoulder and Grilled Rack with Parsley Mashed Potatoes (RM58), Grilled Snapper, Caper Butter, Haricot Vert and La Ratte Potatoes (RM58) and Moussaka ? Baked Lamb and Aubergine (RM38).
The English-inspired roast chicken, according to Graze head chef Audrey Chin, was a dish that required many hours to get right.
Firstly, the chicken is soaked in a brine of milk and salt overnight, before being seared and roasted.
Although it is a signature item here, my taste buds preferred the lamb option, cooked in two styles.
The lamb shoulder is slow cooked and the rack is grilled to offer a contrast of flavours, with the meat a delicate pink as one slices into it.
Even the robust flavours of the bouillabaisse was pleasing, as a variety of seafood is thrown into a pot and stewed with carrots, leek, celery, fennel and saffron for a wholesome soup.
However, the chunks of lobster on my plate had spent a little too much time on the boil, as they were somewhat chewy.
There are also prime cuts of beef and lamb served with hand-cut French fries and Bearnaise sauce, for diners who want meatier options and which are priced from RM64++.
After indulging, if there is room for dessert, try the galore of tarts.
Lemon Tart with Fresh Berries, Sauce Anglaise (RM18), Warm Tarte Tatin and Vanilla Ice Cream (RM18) and Graze Chocolate Tart (RM18) helps keep it simple after your meal.
A glass of Limoncello after a satisfying lunch or dinner is not a bad idea as well, as it helps aid digestion.
Executive sous chef Michael Elfwing said diners could also savour the variety of French and Italian cheeses, some of which are allowed to age in a special fridge.
The cheese choices are changed every 14 days.
?We are trying to attract the cheese lovers in Malaysia and this is our opportunity to introduce different cheeses to diners,? he said.
This is the writer?s personal observation and not an endorsement of StarMetro.