SKILLET AT 163,
Lot 163, No 10,
Jalan Perak, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2181 2426
Business hours: 11am to 10.30pm.
Closed on Sundays.
ALTHOUGH fusion cooking needs no introduction in Malaysia’s burgeoning culinary world, one restaurant has successfully mastered the fine line in fusing European and Asian flavours.
Skillet At 163 in Kuala Lumpur, a casual fine dining restaurant, is headed by chef and chocolatier Raymond Tham.
A man of many skills, Tham has worked at Bermuda’s Fairmont Southampton Resort and Surrey’s Wentworth Golf Club before returning to Malaysia.
Here, he taught Advanced Patisserie at KDU University College before setting up the restaurant.
As co-owner of the restaurant, Tham has applied his Asian roots to Western-style cooking techniques – resulting in a menu that is sure to excite.
The restaurant serves from two sets of menus for lunch and dinner.
While the lunch menu is catered to those looking for a quick but fulfilling bite, the dinner menu invites guests to linger and savour their unique dishes.
During a recent sampling of its dinner menu, we started off with the Scotch Egg with Asian Slaw (RM28), a traditional English dish. Tham said the dish reminded him of his time in England.
Consisting of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, it is then coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried.
What made this one of Tham’s signature dishes was his treatment of the sausage meat and accompanying salad.
“Originally, pork is used, but because we are a pork-free restaurant, I used chicken meat instead.
“I also added chilies and lemongrass to enhance the flavours,” he said.
With its bright yellow centre and resting on a salad bed of pickled bunga kantan, frisée and ulam raja, the dish was visually appetising and tasted even better.
The warm creamy yolk and hint of spiciness went well with the coolness of the salad.
Next came the Pan-Seared Hokkaido Scallops (RM44) with pineapple carpaccio, pink peppercorns and tarragon dressing.
At first glance, this dish looked simple and uncomplicated but its true test was in its taste.
Surprisingly, the sweetness of the pineapple did not overpower the perfectly seared scallops. The scallops had a delicate flavour but had a “bite” from the peppercorns and luscious dressing.
For mains, pasta lovers will enjoy the Signature Asian Aglio Olio (RM36).
Instead of the usual ingredients like garlic and parsley, Tham has rejuvenated the dish by adding dried shrimp and curry leaves. On top of this are four large tiger prawns that were lightly sauteed.
Another signature dish is the Braised Australian Brisket (RM39) with Belgian cocoa mass, glazed root vegetables and potato mash.
The beef was tender while the hint of chocolate added depth and denseness to the dish.
The mash was seasoned well and complemented with the crunchiness of the root vegetables.
For something truly unique, the Chicken Mille Feuille (RM39) was an exciting experience.
Traditionally, a mille-feuille is made up of layers of puff pastry and cream.
Inspired by this French dessert, Tham replaced these ingredients with chicken otak-otak, spring rolls, cashew crumbs, pickles and percik sauce.
He served the dish with fried risotto balls and seasonal vegetables.
Any visit to Skillet At 163 must end with one of Tham’s desserts.
The Texture of Chocolate and Liquid Nitrogen Sorbet (both priced at RM45 each) were a revelation.
The chocolate dessert (top pic) was particularly memorable with its various components of chocolate sphere, white chocolate popcorn, roasted cocoa nibs and chocolate soil.
When served at your table, liquid nitrogen is poured into the sphere where it instantly freezes the white chocolate.
The sphere is then broken and its treasures uncovered – simply delectable.
Meanwhile, the Watermelon and Lychee Sorbet is sure to delight guests both visually and texturally as the mixture is light and flavoursome and prepared right before the diner.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.