I have always lived under the illusion that Renoma was a home grown Malaysian brand, with some Westernified name, (okay, no such word, I know), but apparently, it's French, founded by Maurice Renoma, and if you don't believe me, read the french Wikipedia HERE.
When I got the invite from Taufulo, I was rather curious, as to what this place was all about, and was even more intrigued when I saw the address was on Jln Bukit Bintang, which we all know, is PRIME real estate. Very bold, I thought, for a cafe to open at such a prestigious location, especially one hitherto assumed was a local brand. But well, they're French, so it's okay.
It was easy enough to find, opposite Prince Court, and anyone with half an eye would not miss it, as it is rather prominent, housed in a huge compound, in what must have been an old house belonging to the old rich of KL. If walls could talk, I wonder what secrets the Renoma walls would reveal.
This huge sign was there to welcome us.
The place is rather swanky, with several autonomous regions, a VIP room, which is ideal for a private party, (think along the lines of stag or hen, ooh lala), an open bar with games and darts area, a proper dining area, numerous bars, and well stocked ones too. In fact, I was so enthused by the VIP room, I immediately recommended it to my friend who was looking for a private room for a hen's night. A minimum spend of RM3000 is required, and the place can fit 15 seating pax, and probably up to 30 if they mill around. The VIP room is decorated with plush sofas, dining table, ...all very nicely padded up.
Oddly enough, THESE babies were served first, not sure why. Red velvet cupcakes, and two other signature cupcakes. I initially thought maybe it was a savoury starter...disguising as dessert.
Their rather elegant house wine, (not house pouring, but house as in signature), which I believe is RM250 a bottle. A full bodied merlot, apparently made specially for Renoma. Easy to drink, with a lovely bouquet of fruits and tanine.
Assorted canapes, covering sea, farm and forest...In case the visual is insufficient, the beef roll would be farm, the mushrooms forest, and the salmon sea.
Classic Mojito, lovely refreshing dash of rum in lime juice and mint leaves crushed to impart that wonderful flavour.
Cured Muscovy Duck Breast salad, which I thought was lovely, and I loved the poached egg in the centre. I have this thing for eggs, so in my book, it's difficult to botch up anything if your eggs are perfect. The cured duck breast is tender, and smokey.
Nicoise Salad With Smoked Salmon - Crunchy salad, with rich dressing, and slivers of smoked salmon. Probably can pass off as a health dish, if it wasn't for the rich dressing.
Their signature margaritas... I didn't try it, so I wouldn't know, but you can read all about it at Taufulo's blog post HERE.
Ah, the piece de resistance for the night, in my opinion. A decadent 120gm slab of foie gras, at RM78. Melt in the mouth foie, seared to perfection. Actually I would have opted for this as a main course, and it would have been more than sufficient. Of course, inevitably, a debate raged about the "cruelty" involved with foie gras etc. But I'd like to think that geese roaming free and having plenty to eat isnt the worst thing. Anyway, if you really want to be pedantic, then vegetarianism is the way to go.
Forest Mushroom and Foie Gras -Velouté of Black Trumpet, Oyster and Cepe Mushroom
with Goose Liver Purée and Crème Porcini. Decadent to say the least, but a tad too salty for me, which we fedback to the chefs. (figuratively speaking)
The Lobster Bisque, a very nice thick broth, and generous chunks of lobster unlike some places where you'd be lucky to get a hint of lobster in the bisque. This dish screams out for good bread and butter to make sure there is nothing left in the bowl.
Mini Snail parcels, escargots wrapped in puff pastry, decorated with lotus root, that totally camouflages the slugs, but very pretty. I didn't try this, so I can't say anything.
French Onion soup, with a generous helping of melted cheese on top. A very hearty soup, and actually the cheese fills you up, so despite the relatively dairy free soup itself, it is rather rich.
Croque Madame, (though I love to say Croaked Madam). Essentially, the difference with a croaked madam, and monsieur, apparently, is that the former is served with an egg, as befits a woman.
Did I say the foie gras was the height of decadence? Well, this duck foie gras burger is a close second. Ground duck meat, enveloping a CHUNK of foie gras within. Gosh, bring out the Lipitor...but oh so good. Melt in the mouth, a carnivores dream.
Look at that cross section! Swoon! Faint.
Oriental Rack of Lamb. Though Taufulo waxed lyrical about this dish, I have to say that in my old age, I am not a lamb fan at all, and didn't try this. But the general consensus by those who did have it was a thumbs up.
Bouef Bourguignon, (I can imagine Julia Child saying this), ..using beef cheeks, imparting that slightly gelatinous texture, but falling off the bone, and most tender. At RM58, this is a steal for the bovine fans.
Ribeye Wagyu, 220gm for RM128. Very reasonable, I reckon. Love the marbled meat, and the sheer tenderness of it, melts the heart as well. (after clogging it).
Cod Meuniere, RM62- Wild Caught Cod Fish Fillet Poached in Brown Butter, Seasonal Vegetables, Capers, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Lemongrass & Orange Maître d’hôtel Sauce. Actually quite reasonably priced for COD. Honestly, I don't know HOW bloggers can eat so much, I was really stuffed by this time.
For some reason, I thought this was pigeon, and even posted in my facebook that it was, but obviously I was mistaken. It's actually Coq au Vin ( Burgundy Style Spring Chicken) at RM36 - Maybe it was the size of the spring chicken that made me make the pigeon mistake. The young chook is braised in burgundy wine, and served with a wide array of vegetables. Ah, yes, one thing that really stands out at this place is the gorgeous side vegetables that the chefs so painstakingly prepare. Not only are they pleasing to the eye, but all taste delicious too, and very unique. Not your ordinary run of the mill chunk of brocolli and spinach.
Okay, this was my own main, lobster thermidor, which has been deconstructed, as we who ordered it were expecting the lobster to come in its shell. Medallions of lobster drowned in thermidor sauce, which is a bit gratinized, and a bit salty.
Creme brulee, orange vanilla flavoured. Silky smooth, with that lovely crackling of caramelized sugar on the surface.
A beautified take on traditional Peach Melba.
Valrhona Chocolate Fondant, with the oozy centres, accompanied with a side serve of ice cream.
Le Cafe gourmand, an espresso shot (which would keep me awake all night), and four of their signature miniatures. Macarons, mango mille feuille, etc.
Chef Alven Tan, Chef de Cuisine, and Chef Amanda Lim, Chef Patisserie, make an appearance at the end of the meal, to receive the kudos they so deserved, and also some feedback on the saltiness of certain dishes.
Renoma Cafe Gallery
Lot 510 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Open: Sunday-Tuesday: 12.00pm to 11.00pm Wednesday-Saturday: 12.00pm to 1.00am