Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Journey Back To Le Midi

Before my recent dive trip, off the North Andaman sea, a fellow diver said he would like to see a Nautilus.  Now, really, if you did see a Nautilus, you'd either have to be damn lucky, or diving at ridiculously dangerously deep depths...but little did I realise, that during a rather unexpected journey....

...well, we could imagine we were on this vessel with its multi masts and sails...sailing in the Mediterranean, .. LO AND BEHOLD, not just ONE, but TWO nautili!!!

And where would one witness such a phenomena?  The answer...

It's been awhile since we were at LeMidi, the last time we were there, that interesting aquarium housed a host of flourescent jellyfish, which imparted a rather dizzying effect if you stared at it long enough. You can check out my earlier post HERE.

One of the reasons that the lovely owner, Melissa Groot, invited a group of us again, was to sample the offerings of her new Chef, Andrea Alimenti, who was the executive chef of the restaurant Acquamatta in Capolona near Arezzo, and partner of the same restaurant together with Paolo Pasquini (maitre d’) and Leonardo Motolese (chef).

3 Different Michelin Stars!! 
Two of the restaurants he worked in in Florence received a Michelin Star as did his own restaurant Acquamatta, which has also received excellent reviews in gastronomic guide books.

For more information about this highly accomplished chef, check out these websites.

http://www.italianculinaryfoundation.com/chef/alimenti.shtml‏
http://www.white-ibiza.com/formentera-2012-meet-the-chef-andrea-alimenti‏
http://www.ftnnews.com/oldsite/wacc1764.htm‏
http://forums.egullet.org/topic/46787-slow-food-diary-study-in-italy/page-4‏

In case you were wondering, LeMidi is on the 3rd  floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre and boasts beautiful vistas of the Twin Towers, if you need a room with a view.



To start, we had the Eggplant nest with truffle egg yolk and parmesan cheese.  The eggplant was so delicious, it tasted like bacon, someone commented.  A rather good substitute, I'd say!!! The strong flavour of the parmesan, coupled with the rich runny yolk, consumed together with the egg plant was a mesmerizing treat to the senses, both in flavour and texture.

Somewhat like a palate cleanser before we started on the wines, a strawberry dacquiri, which essentially, is a ladies' drink, and a bit on the sweet side for me.  Very refreshing, nevertheless, like freshly fallen rain after days of haze in KL.
Mozzarella ravioli in tomato consomm√©.  Loved the tomatoey broth, but the ravioli was a bit too filling and rich for my simple Asian peasant palate.  So by the time I had popped in the four ravioli (is the singular for ravioli raviolus?) I was bordering on full...

A lovely sauvignon, handpicked by Melissa, ever the perfectionist, to accompany our meal.  An easy to drink crisp sauvignon, with citrusy notes to lighten the meal.


Homemade Tagliolini in saffron butter whiskey salmon cream and crunchy almonds. There was a wonderfully hearty feel about this dish, the toasted almonds smelt like toasted oats, (or maybe there were oats present, or someone was sowing them wildly nearby), and the flavour of the salmon cream, very rich but very delicious.  I am not sure what texture the tagliolini is supposed to be, and if variations are allowed, but I would have preferred mine a bit firmer.  I dont want to bandy around the term al dente as I'm not sure if that is correct.  

To accompany this rich pasta dish, a lovely light rose merlot.

Inelegance in its full glory, eating pasta chinese noodle style.

Seabass with fine herb crust on spinach bed, ..what's not to love.  Fresh filleted sea bass, with the lovely flavours of basil and spinach, almost pesto like, with a lovely crunch.  I would definitely have no problems finishing this.


But if I liked the seabass, I absolutely LOVED this. Tenderloin in old Madeira sauce with foie gras and fig.  The tender tenderloin, ...and usually I am fine to eat a good cut of meat without sauce, but this sauce, foie gras and fig... simply sublime.  Figs impart such a unique flavour, and the texture of figs I simply love.

For a Monday school night, we certainly did well with the plonk, ...actually there was another bottle in the ice bucket.  Oh, the Bordeaux was served with the Tenderloin, a perfect match, that strong bodied red that brings out the best of bovine in the tenderloin.

Vanilla panacotta and strawberry coulis.  I wish I had taken a video of the perfect wobble.  Not overly sweet, lovely and creamy without being gelatinous.  


 Chocolate tender heart with Amarena cherry parfait.  Basically a molten lava cake, with that flowy chocolate oozing out as you dissect it but I totally forgot to take a picture of the ooze, because I was just too busy eating. 


My personal favourite, Millefoglie with Chantilly cream and caramel.  Their caramelised orange and apple slices are also really good, and are not there just to look pretty.  This dessert looks simple, but I am sure it is not easy to achieve that kind of fine layering in the pastry, which I enjoyed tremendously.

Chocolate fondente and mini chocolate cup

 Orange cheesecake and chocolate drawing.  A safe dessert, for the traditionalist who want something more familiar.  Nevertheless, you can tell that the quality is excellent.  

A rather happy crowd 5 bottles later.....

Makan Fairy Godmother, Melissa and Kelly Siew... (who has perfected the art of selfies)...

We had the privilege of meeting Chef Andrea Alimenti, who is very affable, and friendly, despite the accolades and awards.  And it's true, fat people should never stand at the side.

We have a nice chat, and he reveals why he gave up his successful restaurant after 15 years, and how coming here is a nice change, and a new challenge.  Of course, as a chef new to this country, he faces the challenges of sourcing ingredients that are up to his standard, or equivalent if not readily available.  All very exciting.

It is exciting times ahead for Le Midi, with the new more affordable fine dining (previously it was a bit on the high side, but then again, seafood was flown in fresh from the mediterranean, so you really get what you pay for).

Add:
Le Midi Restaurant
3rd Floor, East Wing, Bangsar Shopping Centre,
285 Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2094 1318

4 comments:

KY said...

I only had one nautilus in my camera, life is not always fair.

Ciki said...

Inelegance in its full glory, eating pasta chinese noodle style... credit moi for that foto please!! LOL

Oh, what happened to your humorous post... this is so unlike you... almost like a SERIOUS food blogger.. god forbid! hahaha

fatboybakes said...

@ciki aiyo, if putting the pic of pasta dangling off my mouth is not humorous, i dunno what is. hahaha. God forbid indeed.

fatboybakes said...

KY, yalor, 5 whale sharks, what can i say... life isnt always fair.