Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fabulous Favola, Le Meridien

This the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la FA-VO-lA. For some reason, that ditty got stuck in my head, so I thought I should purge it by posting about this wonderful dinner we had recently at the newest outlet at LeMeridien. Favola.... sounds like an exotic name of a dancer, or maybe I'm confusing that with Pavlova, or a gipsy fortune teller. It could even be Malaysian, Favo-LAH!

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a little ravenous rabbit introduced us to her cousin, one of the other rabbits that had multiplied like rabbits in a fertile faraway land, who had invited a group of motley hungry floggers*, to sample the new treats they had to offer. Unlike the Witch who beckoned Hansel and Gretel to her gingerbread house, and subsequently ate them, our wonderful hostess, Cheryl Lum of Meridien, just fattened us up without eating us while we aspired to live happily ever after.

*Us comprising the Famousest Flogger of All, KY Speaks, The Queen of the DSLR Kingdom, AWhiffoffart (oops, I mean awhiffoflemongrass), The Queen of the Flogging Kingdom, Masak Masak, The Flying Winged Monkeys, Ciki and A LilFatMonkey (the penguin equivalent of Flying monkeys, ie, flightless), and The Baker who made the gingerbread man....

Favola means "FABLE" in Italian.

What was previously the Middle Eastern Al Nafourah no longer has belly dancers, but murals and frescos made to resemble some casual alfresco dining place in Italy. Check out the man in the mask groping the lady's chest.

The lovely breads. Actually if you are on a low budget, just come here and eat lots of bread, with the lovely potato truffle flavoured dip, and order a small starter. Sure full one! (don't kill me please, Cheryl).

Cold Antipasti (RM35 for a selection of 5) from the Crudo Bar which includes the following:

i. Octopus tossed with chopped garlic, chili flakes, sea salt & olive oil. The octopus was surprisingly tender, and not like something from the Michellin (tyre) factory.

ii. Seafood Salad in a dressing of garlic, chili-olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkled with Italian parsley

iii. Bresaola, shaved dried beef topped with aragula, fresh fig, pink peppercorn, drizzled with lemon juice and extra virgin oil.

iv. Bruschetta with cured salmon, portobello mushrooms and buffalo mozzarella topping

v. Caprese, a unique salad of buffalo mozzarella layered between slices of tomato, basil, anchovies, garlic confit, and oregano.

(Note: Food titles and some descriptions have been shamelessly plagiarised from Alilfatmonkey's blog, since my memory is failing me)

The platter of Warm Caldo Antipasti (which could lead to an angioplasty) included crispy sardines, which were my favourite, coz I don't think I've had them before, breaded cod fritters, with a duo of dipping sauces, of which the garlic sauce was sublime, and Panzerotti. (the curry puff shaped ones). I loved them, because I thought the pastry tasted delightfully buttery. But apparently, its pizza dough, ....perhaps it was fried in butter. Perfect finger foods.

Another starter, crispy pizza dough with olives kinda thing.

While the rest of the table was sitting down in civilised conversation, the two monkeys were roaming the restaurant, trying out the most amazing fruity balsamic, and err....making monkeys of themselves. In an adorable way, of course.

The lobster risotto. Usually not a risotto fan, I found this one quite palatable, perhaps it has been made to cater to our uncultured palate. Not too aldente, but not soggy either.

The Wagyu Cheek Lasagna. Actually it was great, but I felt it would have been just as good with any normal beef. Lovely layers of freshly made lasagna. Eat your heart out, Garfield.

The Conchiglioni Marinara al Cartoccio
Shell shaped pasta, served in parchment paper. Must be inspired by Seri Kembangan chi pau kai. Nicely al dente, and not overpowered by sauces, you could taste the tastiness of the pasta itself, complemented by the subtle tomatoey clammy sauce.

Veal Escalope Duo Mondi, one seared, one breaded. With a generous serving of truffle mashed potatoes. I prefer the seared veal.

The veal osso bucco in rich jus. I love sucking the marrow.

Seared scallops on a bed of mashed cauliflower doused with truffle oil. How can you possibly go wrong with such a divine combination. Hmmm, I feel like having this for lunch.

The honored cast for the fable that night. We had to get home before we turned into pumpkins, before midnight.

The two monkeys. "Let's send our pics with our resumes to Elphaba"

Say Chis Everyone. Let's grope the grappa.

Thamby: Shall I snip off his name tag?

KY: Blink blink, pinch me, am I dreaming, surrounded by such HAWT HAWT CHICKS!!!! I must be in a fable....

One of the house specialties, Mussels err....in a tomato sauce. Although we were bursting at the seams by this time, Cheryl insisted we had a mussel each.

Monkey moans that he has more Mussels!!!

The jolly Chef Antoine and the lovely Paprika aka Ravenous Rabbit.

That blurry thing is actually the empty bone which had its marrow sucked out. (No no no, not the bones in focus. The unfocused one)

Note: How does one pass the meat dishes to CIKI? "Here please pass the meat to those bones"

Their signature Tiramisu. Yummy layers of sponge, soaked in Illy Coffee and slathered with mascarpone and chocolate. This is why the rabbit lost to the tortoise in the race. Too much tiramisu.

A ricotta thingie with summer fruits. Very light, almost yoghurty, and resembles a very healthy breakfast.

My personal favourite for the night, the Panna Cotta with a summer fruit coulis. The texture of the panna cotta was amazing, and the sweetness was balanced by the tangy coulis. Yum.

At the end of it all, the hostess with the mostest tosses her hair back in satisfaction, knowing that her harem* was well fed and contented.

What a feast. And some VERY POTENT GRAPPA at the end to finish us off. Heaps of thanks to Ravenous Rabbit for securing us the invite, and to Cheryl for having us.

Prices are very reasonable. Considering the location and 5 star venue, the prices are comparable with your normal Changkat BB kinda outlets. A casual happy atmosphere, (not the quiet quiet prim proper fine dining atmosphere), a great place to hang out with friends.

And so, we lived happily ever after.

*Special Acknowledgement to Kenny Mah for helping me with my vocabulary.


Ciki said...

oh excellent ahpa! love the post - u so damn farnee.. chis.. lucky u didnt post any bad shots of us.. i want those shot! call u later:P

Ciki said...

YOUR write up is 5star la:P

Kenny Mah said...

I do so love the hostess punya rambut. Makes me wanna grow some long hair myself so I can swish swish... Er, nevermind that. :P

P.S. It makes me wonder what sort of friend you have in this Kenny Mah fella when you asked him what is a group of people under the care of a nanny and he answers, "Harem."


qwazymonkey said...

Wah!!! This is sheer genius. NOT THE BONE IN FOCUS! *bow bow*

And I gotta say, I think this is the most I've ever been featured on anybody's blog. And better yet, not a bad shot of me in sight. *clap clap clap*

But alas, this monkey is flightless.

gfad said...

How come your Italian rest at La Meridien KL seems to have more interesting food than Italian rest at La Meridien AD? And at half the price too.. Cis.

The warm antipasti plate looks scrumptious, esp the karipap.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ahhh would like to come here to live happily ever after..

theres now so many places with risotto!

J said...

Waaah. Looks like another yummy and fun night out.
*trying not to be JELEZ*

Great shots of the food and everyone too.
:) :)

KY said...

what's this fehmes nonsense!

i wanna eat again wanna eat!!! but can skip the grappa :S

Rebecca Saw said...

sigh..such good food..so tempting.. must go there soon...

thule a.k.a leo said...

EH??? I thought the monkey said that he has been good this year (in his latest post blog) :P saw him with the international sign leh...

HairyBerry said...

talking about midnights, pumpkins and fables...remind me to tell you about a sorta XXX version of cinderella. pssst..yes, it's related to pumpkins...ouch!

rosa said...

thanks for the review. kinda tired of Prego, will try Favola next time...

Ciki said...

dear ahpa, thx for inspiring me to be a better person. thx for always picking up the fone when I have CAR trouble!

Merry Christmas and happy new year babes..see you in 2010!! muaks!

Julian Si said...

My dearest bro .. God Bless you and all the family bro, what a year it has been ... topped off by Your Cake :-)

Hugs, love from the desert..
J and L

Bangsar-bAbE said...

(How does one pass the meat dishes to CIKI? "Here please pass the meat to those bones") -- ROFL!!

Merry Xmas FBB! =D

LianneK said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and family Cheng Yi! Where have you MIA lah? Busy baking still?

Babe_KL said...

Happy New Year to you and your family!