Hilton KL was celebrating all things French from May 21st-27th. French Gastronomy was part of the celebration and the Hotel's Fine Dining Restaurant Senses had invited Parisian Guest Chef Mathieu Pacaud from Michelin 3-Star L’Ambroisie to take the helm.
We made a reservation a week in advance and was excited to sample Chef Pacaud's five course tasting menu that included a few of his restaurant's signature dishes.
Breads and Butter
Our meal began with an assortment of that included Rye, Multi-Grain and Dinner Rolls. The breads were a disappointment with most of them being cold and hard. The dinner rolls were the worse. It was dry and chewy a complete opposite of what a dinner roll should be.
One would expect that a chef of such caliber would churn his own butter or make his own dips and spreads. But this wasn't the case. The butter was imported.
Canapes: Filo with Lemon Sabayon / Anchovy Sabayon on Mini-Brioche
I enjoyed the light and crispy texture of the Filo but found the lemon sabayon bland. The brioche was excellent with the anchovy sabayon’s saltiness balancing out the richness of the buttery brioche.
Amouse Bouche: Caviar Sabayon
We were a little put off at seeing a third Sabayon. But this all changed when I had my first spoonful. The three different creamy layers melded so well together with the caviar sabayon's saltiness, the water cress and potato puree (I think) providing a nice earthy flavor.
Course #1: Chaud froid d'oeuf mollet au cresson, asperges verte au caviar osciètre (Hot-cold boiled eggs, watercress, asparagus and Oscietra caviar)
We were first brought the Egg and were then given a generous spoonful of Ostera Caviar that is followed by our waiter pouring in the watercress puree into our bowl. This was a simple but pronounced dish conveying the chef’s skills. The egg was poached so gently that the yolk inside was still runny. Despite the many components of the dish the flavors and textures complemented each other really well.
Course #2: Navarin de homard, pomme de terre nouvelles au romarin (Lobster stew and potatoes with rosemary “Noirmoutier”)
Our second course came in the form of a Bento Box which holds the Brittany Lobster Tail together with its claw meat that was served on a Hot Stone. The sizzling sound and smell from the Hot Stone cooking the claw had us salivating as the waiters came with our food.
The lobster was a little chewy but flavor wise it was excellent with the tail's sweetness heightened by the crayfish sauce. The claw was tender, fresh and perfectly seasoned.
Filet de bœuf de Kobe en croute de poivre et miel, confit d'échalote (Tajima filet of beef, honey and pepper crust served with confit of shallot)
The piece de resistance was our third course, the Pepper and Honey Crusted Tajima Beef Fillet with a Shallot Puree and Shallot Confit. Tajima cattle are the cream of the entire cattle breed. Kobe and it’s more expensive counterpart Matsuzaka Steaks are derived from Tajima Cattle.
I’ve had plenty of Wagyu, USDA, Black Angus and AAA Steaks in their different grades, cuts and aging process. But seriously… none comes close to the tenderness of this beef. For god sakes it’s a fillet, the cut from the cattle that has the least amount of fat but yet it was so soft and smooth. The texture felt as if we were eating fat but without the oils dripping out. There was no stringy texture that is usually associated with lean meats either. If I knew how good this tasted I would have begged to just substitute the entire 5 course-tasting menu for just a huge Tajima Fillet.
Meringue perlée à chantilly, fruits de saison (Pearled Meringue with Chantilly cream and Season fruits)
We were still in shock at how good the Tajima Fillet was when our first dessert course arrived. It sounded simple, looked simple but it was delicious. I loved how the chef cleverly used the torte raspberries and strawberries to contrast the sweetness of the vanilla meringue. The texture of the meringue was also worth noting where it was crisp at first and then melts upon touching our tongues.
Tarte fine sablée au chocolat, glace à la vanille de Bourbon (Chocolate pastry tart with Bourbon vanilla ice cream)
Our last course was their signature Chocolate Torte. I’ve seen pictures of it served at their Parisian Restaurant and upon serving it to us our waiter claimed it was the best of all the courses. The torte had a dense crust that had a filling that resembled the inside of a Molten Chocolate Cake. We liked the dessert but agreed that the torte would have been better if the chocolate was bitterer. We did not taste any bourbon flavor in the ice cream and found it way too sweet.
At the end of our meal I think I could sum up the food of Mathieu Pacaud to be simple but well executed. The presentation of the food was not over pretentious neither was the cooking complex with the choice of ingredients being found in every High End French Fine Dining Establishments. The difference between Pacaud and many other chefs would be his ability to master the use of these ingredients to come up with almost perfect dishes.
Price: $$$$$ (USD 150 per person without wine)
Address:Hilton KL 3 Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50470
View Larger Map
Address: 9 Place des Voges, 75004 Paris
View Larger Map