In the good old days of yore (also known as my salad days....I found out "salad days" refers to one's heydays), this building was the venue for BONTON, one of the premiere restaurants in town, and hey, had food bloggers existed then, the reviews for upscale restaurant would be over within a week. I remember coming here for many a date, with different cast.....
Some years ago, the place became TOP HAT
but I suspect there was some link with the original BONTON because the menu, layout, etc, remained suspiciously similar. In fact, I think these three establishments probably came from the same source, and share the same DNA. TOPHAT, BONTON AND SUCHAN. Does anyone know what mysterious cord links the three?
Anyway, cousin who works in London is back for holidays, so as self proclaimed president (by virtue of age) of the council of cousins, we insisted he buy us dinner, as the pound is 7 to 1. He chose Top Hats as the venue, based on recommendations by his friends. We asked him why he didnt consult us, but propriety dictated it was impolite to ask the guests for recommendations. Got such thing one ah?
They have quite a range of sets, the Mediterranean Seafood one being the most costly. The chicken & mushroom pie set is RM55. I usually have that, but decided this time not to. Wife had that C&M Pie set, which came with 6 top hats, the mains, and a choice of dessert. I had the asparagus soup, which I had to return, because it was way too salty (the proprietess who agreed it was too salty said, "aiyo, the cook must be in love la"), and got it replaced with some tomato /french onion kind of combination. For mains, the tenderloin.
The tophats, or pie tees, were okay. Nothing to ooh or ahh over, but tasty enough, and when hungry, actually very palatable.
My replacement soup, which seemed a tad oily. However taste wise, it was not too bad. That thing on the spoon is that cheese on bread thing that they usually serve with french onion soup.
Wife's chicken & mushroom pie andaccompanying vegetables. I liked the pastry of the pie. I think its a form of Flaky Pastry. I wonder how they get it so evenly browned though.
Cousin's fish.... Looked good. Forgot to ask him how it tasted.
Another cousin's nasi bryani spread. They used to serve these in large rattan platters.... now its on an ordinary plate.
Sister's ox tail stew.
My tenderloin, which was a bit tough. Taste wise it was okay. I quite liked the mushroom crepe that accompanied the dish, (the one with the two brocolli pieces on top) and the two pototo croquettes.
Ah, this is one of the few desserts that I simply love ordering, because I can't replicate it, after years of searching for a recipe. Also, since no one in the family likes pear, this pear ginger upside pudding might not receive an audience if I did make it. Ah, guinea pigs needed. Served with treacle ice cream, it is one of the FEW sweet desserts that I CAN stomach. But actually this was part of wife's set.
Sago gula melaka, such a simple yet refreshingly good dessert. Sago is another thing I've never gotten around to doing. I always reckon things like sago, nyonya kueh, kek lapis, glutinous rice dumplings are somehow not worth the effort making, because they are readily available, and such good quality and affordable prices.
Thanks cuz for a lovely dinner and great company.