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ELITE Review: Babe, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It had been a while since we hadn’t indulged ourselves in a fine dining. As a result, my friends and I treated ourselves to a touch of delicacies last week. We had learned that Babe had recently replaced its ELITE signature sets with new dishes, so we decided to give the new dishes a try.

Situated on the 11th floor of Work@Cleanwater, Damansara Heights, Babe combines a gastronomic ‘fun-dining’ experience with one of the best views in the city. We were all in awe with the charming view from the restaurant and were lucky enough to have a table which overlooks KL’s skyline and world-famous Petronas Twin Towers. We were all ready to expect the unexpected from the signature dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Jeff Ramsey who is famous for his refined repertoire in modern Japanese cuisine.

1. Ootoro Spring Roll (RM120)

Click here to view Ootoro Spring Roll
Two perfect-looking spring rolls were carefully placed on top of a layer of beautiful bamboo twigs.

Well, we all have heard a lot about “Tokyo”, “Kyoto” and a number of interesting Japanese words, haven’t we? So, what is Ootoro? Is it a city? To help you get out of any confusion it may cause, I shall first start with explaining about the name! Ootoro or otoro is actually considered one of the most worth-eating parts when it comes to tuna. Why is it so? Because it is the fattiest cut of a tuna’s underbelly! The gourmet food has made it way to become one of the top luxurious and must-try dishes in the world. Ootoro quickly becomes the favorite of many famous chefs around the world, and Chef Jeff at Babe also fell into its love bait.

The Ootoro Spring Roll is a symbol of finest simplicity. The dish impressed us with two pieces of perfect-looking spring rolls carefully placed on top of a layer of beautiful bamboo twigs (they are real and gorgeous!). This decoration quickly brought us back to the nature for a minute, picturing ourselves in a Japanese garden full of bamboos and blossoms. The chef had disclosed an interesting fact – he hand-picked the bamboo twigs from the building the restaurant located at! Personally, I love this idea as it shows how creative and detailed the chef is! Inside the crispy spring rolls were little cubes of fatty ootoro, fresh wasabi, soy sauce gelée and Myouga, a type of Japanese ginger.

Click here to view Ootoro Spring Roll
Inside the crispy spring rolls were cubes of fatty ootoro.

I was so thrilled and curious to have my first bite of the crispy spring roll shells filled with chopped fatty tuna sashimi. It was a pleasant surprise! It was satisfyingly crunchy at first; however, my attention was quickly shifted towards the fatty otoro. The premium tuna melted on my tongue and for a split second, I felt so heavenly. I immediately understood why it was considered the dream of gourmet gastronomes! If you have always thought that raw tuna is bland and boring, you might want to think twice. Fresh and fatty, it dissolved completely while filing the mouth with a perfect combination of flavors and great satisfaction. A true epitome of luxury for fine-dining (and of course, fun-dining) connoisseurs!

2. Charcoal Grilled Alaskan King Crab (RM180)

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The Alaskan king crab was stunning and irressitible.

The chef had done an incredible job in transforming the pristine seafood imported from Alaska into such a delectable dish – gigantic legs of Alaskan King Crabs were cooked on a hot stone with charcoal; setting aside were halves of juicy calamansi. Staffs will help the diners to grill the crabs so don’t worry if you don’t know how. We squeezed some calamansi over the king crab to elevate the flavours of the dish and all of us couldn’t help to get excited seeing the dish became smoky.

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A close-up shot of the charcoal.

As disclosed by the chef, there was an ingredient used to made the crab meat tastier – the Kombu umami butter! Kombu, which is the king of seaweed, is an edible kelp used as a versatile ingredient and provides dishes with umami flavour, nutrients and minerals. The word “umami” itself is also an interesting word. Umami is an unique category of taste in food besides sweet, sour, salt and bitter. It did an awesome job in bringing amazing flavour to the crab meat.

Click here to view Charcoal Grilled Alaskan King Crab
Not only does the Charcoal Grilled Alaskan King Crab taste great, it also provides one-of-a-kind health benefits as it is rich in high-quality protein.

We quickly dived into our share of crab. Unlike other crabs’ meat, the texture of Alaskan king crab was so delicate that each bite is irresistible with the natural sweetness of the crab meat. I was not surprised when I was informed that Alaskan King Crab is the most sought-after crab species in the world. Not only does it taste great, it also provides one-of-a-kind health benefits as it is rich in high-quality protein.

This dish is voted as the favourite dish among the three new ELITE dishes among the few of us. Overall, the dish was sophisticated and immeasurably enjoyable. Oishi!

3. Truffle A4 Wagyu Sukiyaki (RM180)

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Beautifully marbled strips of A4 Wagyu were presented nicely along with Japanese vegetables and truffled egg.

The Sukiyaki dish honours Babe’s concept of using fresh produce and seasonal discoveries. Beautifully marbled strips of A4 Wagyu beef were presented neatly with Japanese vegetables and mushrooms. This sukiyaki also comes with a perfect truffle egg yolk. The Japanese vegetables were grown from the chef’s rooftop garden so it’s absolutely fresh.

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Dip the cooked Wagyu beef into the truffled egg to have the best dining experience of this dish.

I wondered for a moment: what made Wagyu beef one of the most expensive beefs in the world? Visually, the beef possessed a soulful goddess look – beautiful pink with gorgeous marbling. The beef also stands out from the rest for its health benefits. Pure Wagyu contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acid rich in Omega-3s. To have the best dining experience of this dish, first, pour a bit of sukiyaki sauce over the beef and vegetables before dipping the cooked meat and vegetables into the egg. It was lip-smacking! The wagyu beef which cooked to our preferred doneness, soaked up the sukiyaki sauce and the truffle flavour infused in the egg yolk. Simple perfection!

If you would love to experience dining at Babe, you can now reserve a table here.

You will also get all of these signature dishes for free using TABLEAPP ELITE Membership! Sign up here.

Babe,

11th Floor, Work@Cleanwater,
Jalan Changkat Semantan,
Damansara Heights,
Kuala Lumpur.

Tuesday – Sunday: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm,
Closed on Mondays.

Roasted Turkey

Christmas at La Risata Bar Pizzeria Ristorante, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

La Risata has been a big name in Italian dining scene in KL. The multiple award-winning restaurant  has recently bagged the Best Italian Restaurant award from Time Out KL Food Awards 2015. Despite its fame, La Risata hasn't lost its steam since opened in 1996 – that’s almost two decades of making Italian pizzas and pastas the right way!

 

 

As 2015 draws to a close, I was invited to sample La Risata’s Christmas menu. La Risata Medan Damansara outlet is quietly tucked in Damansara Heights, away from the hustle and bustle, making it a hidden gem in the city. The restaurant carries an old-world charm and has a cozy setting. The sampling was held on a weekday night. By 8pm, the restaurant was already packed with diners. I was relieved and grateful that I had my table reserved earlier. At this moment, I made a mind note to self – reservation is highly recommended to dine at La Risata as the business is so good!

 

 

Entering the restaurant I was greeted by the charming waiters and on-point festive decorations. The dining room was dimly lit and surrounded by Christmas lights and ornaments hanging on the exposed bricks. I couldn’t help to notice the little silver reindeers hiding among the presents under the Christmas tree – not that kind of typical Christmas decoration that you see elsewhere – La Risata truly cares about the finest details. I began to anticipate for my Christmas sampling at La Risata more.

 

Christmas lights and wine glasses at La Risata
Christmas lights and wine glasses at La Risata

Can you feel Christmas?
Can you feel Christmas?

 

Antipasti

 

 

As an antipasto, a thin-crust white Pizza Mozzarella (RM30++), baked in La Risata’s famed brick oven started the dinner great. The perfectly baked crust was topped generously with La Risata’s homemade smoked mozzarella, anchovy and marinated peppers. The pizza went well with the fruity red wine served. I was delighted by the good execution of the pizza where it’s widely known that pizzas are hard to impress diners because they could become rather predictable.

 

Pizza Mozarella
Pizza Mozarella

And here comes another antipasto with an extremely long Italian name – Tonno Pinna Blu alla Griglia con Gnocchi Nero di Seppia (RM46++) – tender cuts of grilled BLUE FIN TUNA (gasp!) with bed of squid ink gnocchi in a lemon butter sauce. The rare combination of tuna and gnocchi was surprisingly good.

 

Tonno Pinna Blu alla Griglia con Gnocchi Nero di Seppia
Tonno Pinna Blu alla Griglia con Gnocchi Nero di Seppia

 

I personally heart this antipasto – Insalata Razzo E Pera (RM32++) – a healthy looking rocket and pear salad with lemon dressing and shaved parmesan. The light and refreshing taste of the pear did good help in lifting my guilt for having heavy (but also heavenly good!) meals back-to-back. Definitely a good choice for antipasto before feasting on the Roasted Turkey.

 

Insalata Razzo E Pera
Insalata Razzo E Pera

 

Secondi Piatti

 

 

For the main course, the enormous and mouth-watering roasted turkey Tacchino Arrosto (RM338++, 4kg, serves 10-12 persons) awaited. Look at that perfectly golden, moist turkey! So beautifully prepared!

 

Roasted Turkey
Roasted Turkey

The roasted turkey was served with traditional chestnut stuffing, roasted vegetable with cranberry sauce and giblet sauce. You would feel the Christmas blessings the moment you sink your teeth into the tender cuts of the turkey dipped with the specially prepared sauce. The roast was cooked to perfection and dissolved in my mouth. Too good that I was lost in words.

And that was not the end of the happiness yet! Another delight came – Cosciotto d’Alene (RM228++, 3kg, serves 10-12 persons) – gigantic roast leg of lamb with root vegetable served with rosemary sauce.

Roast Leg of Lamb at La Risata
Roast Leg of Lamb at La Risata
Nicely done!
Nicely done!

 

Dolci

 

 

I had the chance to sample THREE exquisite desserts (oh god, triple happiness!) The first was Tiramisu (RM160++, serves 12 persons), how could you miss having Tiramisu at an Italian restaurant! Layer of Savoiardi biscuits soaked in espresso and filled with Italian mascarpone cream cheese, the Tiramisu perfected the dinner.

 

The very pretty Tiramisu
The very pretty Tiramisu

Zucotto (RM120++, serves 8-10 persons), the pretty liquor dome cake filled with sinful chocolate and vanilla cream with almond, hazelnut and chocolate bits!
Zucotto (RM120++, serves 8-10 persons), the pretty liquor dome cake filled with sinful chocolate and vanilla cream with almond, hazelnut and chocolate bits!

Torta di Zucca (RM80++, serves 8-10 persons), pumpkin pie served with maple cream sauce.
Torta di Zucca (RM80++, serves 8-10 persons), pumpkin pie served with maple cream sauce.

 

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE DESSERT TIME. 

 


All of us know that preparing for Christmas meal takes an inordinate amount of time and patience. La Risata is thoughtful to make their festive selections available from December 2015 to 10th January 2016, where you can “mix and match” to create your own sumptuous Christmas or New Year menu for your celebrations at restaurants or in the comfort of your house.

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! *burp*

 

 

 

La Risata Bar Pizzeria Ristorante

 

Damansara outlet

128, Jalan Kasah,

Medan Damansara

50490 Kuala Lumpur,

Malaysia.

Daily: 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Click here for reservation

 

 

Ampang outlet

16, Jalan Persiaran Ampang,

55000 Kuala Lumpur, 

Malaysia.

Daily: 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Click here for reservation