Three restaurants prepare a variety of Christmas specials
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
Tel: 03-2717 9900
For reservations or enquiries on business hours,
contact the restaurants at 03-2717 9900 ext 6933 (Essence)
/ 6921 (Villa Danieli) /6988 (Celestial Court).
Alternatively, real-time reservations can be made at www.spgrestaurantsandbars.com.
TURKEY, cranberry sauce and traditional pudding are often associated with Yuletide meals. However, three of Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur’s dining establishments are coming up with a wide variety of dishes, specially for Christmas and New Year.
For this review piece, the dishes sampled were from Essence, the hotel’s all-day dining establishment; Villa Danieli, the Tuscan-style Italian restaurant; and Celestial Court, Sheraton’s Chinese cuisine establishment.
The theme for this Christmas at Sheraton is “Sugar and Spice”, and starting off with Christmas Eve, diners can choose to sample Essence’s buffet dinner, with luxurious dishes such as oyster shooters, a butcher’s palette (composed of different cold cuts and salmon) or hot smoked salmon, cured with brown sugar and other condiments.
Some highlights include the plum-glazed duck breast, accompanied with a creamy fennel slaw, giving rise to two distinct, yet complementary flavours. The butternut squash risotto with chilli flakes is very well-done although the risotto itself seemed to have a little crunch. I myself prefer a more delicate texture.
Those looking for a sit-down dinner can opt for Villa Danieli, which offers appetizers such as the king prawn salad or cod medallion, the latter which comes with a saffron and vanilla-flavoured hollandaise sauce, in keeping with the “spice” part of this year’s theme.
While the saffron notes are mild, the colour of sauce gets a lovely boost from this prized spice. The sauce is light, and goes well with the pine nuts and cod fish.
Chinese food lovers can look forward to Celestial Court’s Christmas Eve appetizers. Its Peking duck tastes good but was probably overshadowed by other appetizers such as the “Beijing” lamb and leek dumpling (pot sticker), which was accompanied by a hot bean sauce.
Other luxurious appetizers include steamed fish maw, accompanied by shrimp mousse in egg white sauce and deep-fried cheese balls of light cheddar, with prawn, bean curd and spinach.
On Christmas Day, both Essence and Villa Danieli will be open for brunch.
Essence will be serving sea bass, with orange, avocado and green onions, among others. Other dishes are simply a delight, such as the stuffed mushrooms with tuna tartar, over shooter glasses with blue-coloured salt within for visual appeal.
One thing to try is the rack of lamb, with five-spiced lentils and black pepper glaze.
For that unexpected contrast in taste, slices of apple have been scattered about to impart a sweet, tart undertone to the dish.
Villa Danieli, on the other hand, has items such as Norwegian Salmon tartare, with peeled orange slice and chives.
The fruit imparts a faint orangey taste to the rich salmon taste, paired with the light allium flavour of the chives.
Another highlight is the sea bass wrapped in butter paper, with fresh lemon and herbs. The buttery aroma contrasted nicely against the lemon juice squeezed over the fish.
For dessert, we were afforded portions of Essence’s “Ivory Passion” gateaux and chocolate truffle mousse tart for Christmas eve, the latter making a very strong impression with its use of dark chocolate.
Villa Danielli, on the other hand, offered goat cheese, with its light tart flavour counterbalancing the cinnamon and rich apple tarte flavour of the tartin dessert, accompanied by white pepper mousse and an orange and Java pepper toffee sauce.
Essence will be serving its buffet for Christmas Eve (Dec 24) from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, priced at RM128++ per person, with additional free flow of house wines and draught beer at RM188++ per person, while the Christmas brunch will be served on Dec 25, from noon to 4pm at RM118++ per person, and at RM178++ with free flow of house wines and draught beer.
Villa Danieli’s four-course Christmas Eve dinner is priced at RM220++ per person, with Christmas Day’s poolside brunch open from noon to 3pm, priced at RM118++ (only food) and RM178++ per person with free flow of drinks.
Celestial Court’s Christmas Eve dinner buffet, on the other hand, is priced at RM168++ per person (for a minimum of two diners), and RM208++ with free flow of draught beer or house wine.
There are also New Year menus available for all three restaurants.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.