Ascott Kuala Lumpur,
9, Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2161 7789
Business hours: Monday to Thursday (4.30pm to 1.00am),
Friday (4.30pm to 2.00am),
Saturday (4.30pm to 2.00am).
Closed on Sunday.

MICHELIN star chef Nicola Isnard enjoys dishing out a mix of contemporary and classical dishes, and enhancing his creations with citrus piquancy.

Originating from the south of France, the chef of Provencal origins is influenced by Mediterranean ingredients and cooking styles which he fancifully combines with the best produce of Burgundy.

047C484EFB22411C8CBEC81C42993238Acidic splendour: Isnard with the 7atenine staff displaying the citrus-flavoured food and cocktails.

Hence, the dishes out of his kitchen are never dull but full of colour, rich in flavour and deliriously delicious.

Isnard’s career began in Avignon, south of France and has since worked with renowned names in France.

He was the chef de cuisine for L’Auberge du Vieux Puits under three Michelin-star chef Gilles Goujon for three years from 2002 before joining Le Chateau de Curzay where he relaunched the culinary direction of the Chateau to the level of ‘haute gastronomie’ and was rewarded with a first Michelin star.

Isnard’s fascination for acidic flavours is apparent as he finds its zesty appeal exciting and titillates the tastebuds of diners.

“When a dish is acidic, it entices the diner to dig into the dish even more and I love incorporating the citrus flavours of lemon, lime and orange into my dishes,” said chef Isnard said.

His flavour-bursting dishes were introduced by contemporary dining destination 7atenine at its Indulgence Series presenting chef Isnard recently.

This gastronomic affair was rather challenging for the renowned chef because it was his first time pairing food with cocktails.

“I am used to pairing wine with food but I have never paired cocktails with food.

“Cocktails are sour and sweet so it was initially a little trying but what’s important is finding balance in the food and drink,” he said.

Every dish that chef Isnard presented that night was a representation of dishes that he had served at his restaurant L’Auberge de la Charme in France.

To kick off dinner, chef Isnard sprung a surprise by unveiling a zesty oyster and sour cream amuse bouche that prepared the palate for a journey into that led on to the Scallop Carpaccio with Quinoa and Citrus Fruits.

The plate of scallops was served with the interestingly named Monkey Gland cocktail — a mix of Bombay Sapphire, Bol’s Orange Curacao, orange juice and Absinthe.

Most of us found the scallop serving a tad salty which was done intentionally by the chef as the scallops, quinoa and salad are to be relished together.

My favourite dish was the Soupe a’ l’ognion which was exciting as this was no ordinary Onion Soup.

Instead this rendition came with onion compote, crouton, beef and chicken jus with a dollop of heavenly ice-cream.

The touch of ice-cream gives it its creamy essence.

For the main course, there was Low Temperature Cooked Seabass, Hommous, Ginger Lemon Broth and Chambord Cosmopolitan or Loin of Lamb, Eggplant Cannelloni, Garlic Confit served with Apple Martini.

In the seabass, Isnard preferred the use of lemon juice while in the lamb dish, he merged the flavours of reduced orange juice in the eggplant.

For dessert, we delighted in Raspberry Soup, Gingerbread Espuma with Orange Olive Oil before calling it a night with Grappa Lemoncino.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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