How many of you use Aesop to wash your hands and the same brand again to moisturize your hand after going to the little boy's or little girl's room? No prizes for guessing which restaurant's washroom this pair came from? And this picture sort of summarizes what Dish is.
Located along Jalan Tun Razak's posh Embassy row, Dish is housed in the ground floor of Dua Residency. An offspring from the famous Delicious group, and obviously born with a siver spoon in the mouth, Dish exudes a simple charm as you enter the restaurant. But underneath the charm, you can just smell posh, old, sophisticated money. Not the nouveau riche Christmas Trees dripping with Jewelery types, screaming for attention with their loud voices and greeting one another as Datuk and Tan Sri. But the polished, unassuming kind with a pedigree and an illustrious resume of finishing schools and country houses. You'll feel very comfortable here dressed in your Timberlands and Polo T's. The restaurant was quite full when I dined there, but the noise level was bearable even though the tables are very close to one another. A rare encounter in KL.
The interior is charming and rustic and Dish shares the Dining floor with a boulangerie selling freshly baked loaves and cakes and also a store selling some gourmet items as well. Service from the sleekly trained staff was impeccable. Polished and confident, they squeeze every charm of this small little restaurant and the Restaurant Manager was cheerful and managed to put me at ease immediately.
The Menu was not very extensive but filled with crowd favourites and Carnivores will be delighted to know that they serve steaks with a large variety of quality cuts. The pouring wines that were available were from a list of about 10 each for the reds and whites, mainly New World. The menu was a very safe, Marketing plan menu which will not offend anybody. Pastas, Potato Gnocchi, mussels and oysters.
I started off with the Lobster Omelet served with Lobster Bisque. Be forewarned that the portions here are humongous. This could easily be a main course by itself! This dish is rich and very satisfying. Think of Sang Har Meen soup, quadruple the intensity and that's how rich the soup tasted. Otherwise the omelet was perfect and light, with lobster meat inside.
This was followed by Pan Fried Duck Breast served with Foie Gras. No complaints here either. The duck was pan fired to medium and served with rich and decadent piece of Foie. The smokey juice was sweet and aromatic.
The Pavlova was marvelous. Deliciously sinful layers of meringue on some crispy pastries topped by luscious cherries and some chocolate flakes. Each time I bit into the meringue, I felt myself floating up to the clouds!
Although the menu disappointed me initially with the lack of imagination, it was all made up for by the quality of the food served. They came in generous portions, filled with quality ingredients and of course the immaculate service earned Dish a few brownie points as well. Why did I compare it to the Aesop in the washroom? Like Aesop, the presentation is simple and fuss free, it's expensive, it's got quality, it's elegant and understated.
As for the wines, it too reflects the philosophy behind the concept of dish very well. No surprises, elegant and dependable quality. The Grant Burge Reserve Chardonnay 2007 was straw coloured, creamy and smooth. Unoaked and medium length, it exhibited a slight floral nose with melons and apricots and had just a touch of acidity. It paired well, but not perfectly with the lobster. The Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2007 was a good, albeit unremarkable but expensive Pinot Noir. Velvety smooth with a tinge of smokiness, the plum and berry notes was very prominent and the chewy tannins very balanced and proportionate. It matched the Duck perfectly.
And the surprise happened after I paid my bill. As if they have read my mind they served me some complimentary chocolate truffles, to make up for my disappointment about the Tartufo. Their version was made from soft chocolate instead of gelato, but the chocolate was pure delight and the truffle was heavenly.
Although it has not sold itself as an upmarket, fine dining restaurant, but a casual, upmarket restaurant cum steak house, the food did not disappoint. If you take it as that, then the less adventurous menu does make a bit of sense. Reservations are recommended because when I was there, it was quite full.
Jalan Tun Razak