Tucked away in the far end of The Club Saujana Resort is The Restaurant. There’s no fancy name attached, it’s just simply known as The Restaurant.
This is the playground of Chef Alexander Waschl, who hails from Austria. In the past 3 years that he’s been here, Chef Waschl has been delighting guests with his stunning modern European cuisine. So it isn’t any surprise that The Restaurant bagged 18 awards in the MIGF (Malaysian International Gourmet Festival) last year. This includes 2 Special Festival Awards – the Golden Cauldron Award for the Best All-Round Restaurant for the festival. The criteria to win this prestigious award include the standard of cuisine, the enthusiasm and creativity of the chef, kitchen, service of the entire restaurant team and the overall service.
The charming soft-spoken chef also won the respect and admiration of his fellow chefs as they voted him to take home the Chef Congeniality Award as well.
Chef Alexander Waschl
When they say Chef Waschl’s creations are stunning, believe it. Every time I get served his dishes, I’m almost reluctant to dig into them simply because they are so beautifully plated and presented. Attention to the most minute details, balance of form and colours… nothing escapes Chef Waschl’s eagle eyes. Fresh from the euphoria of MIGF 2013, Chef Waschl has created some new dishes in the lunch and dinner menus for The Restaurant. Of course, the signature and popular items still remain in the lunch and dinner menus.
Recently, we had the privilege of checking out some of Chef Waschl’s innovative dishes. Some of these were served at the MIGF in October 2013, some are evergreens and some are new creations. You can see that in most of his dishes, Chef Waschl uses some of the most unique combination of ingredients creating an exciting edge to them which never fails to titillate even the most jaded taste buds.
Chef Waschl’s Foie Gras Ice Crème is not new. I have tasted this about 2 years ago and have nevre forgotten about it. The smooth richness of crème and slightly grainy foie gras builds a lasting memory on the palate simply because it is so very good. Here it’s presented with a Smoked Duck Roll and Granny Smith Apple (RM100) – it’s amazing how these 3 ingredients cause an explosion of textures and flavours on the tongue!
A mini smorgasbord of Smoked Duck and Foie Gras with oven baked Apple, Wantan and Cranberry Sauce – another showcase of the Chef’s fondness for smoked duck, foie gras, apples but this time with the added companion of crunchy fried wantan.
The Open Lasagna (RM60) may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s actually a flat piece of thin pasta cooked in a thick creamy sauce flavoured by saffron, pepper and leek accompanied by poached scallops. Strictly for pasta lovers, I’d say.
Another unique warm appetizer – the Truffle Duck Confit Ravioli with Tropea Onion Jam and bathed delicately with White Port Wine Foam (RM50) is bound to impress with its lush presentation. Those pieces of truffle shavings definitely lift the ravioli beyond ordinary.
I’m not sure why the Smoked Spring Chicken served with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Fried Mushroom Bread Dumpling and Onion Jam (RM60) is classified as a “warm appetizer” because to me, it is substantial enough as a main course. I love how Chef Waschl has playfully put together the varied components of this dish. When eaten together, the tender tasty spring chicken and mushroom bread dumpling are perfect.
For a light consommé but with some bites in it, the Mushroom Consomme with Mushroom Ravioli and Vegetable Brunoise (RM 34) won’t go wrong. I love the fresh plump mushrooms, imparting their lovely earthy aroma in the soup.
If you love a thicker soup, the Garden Peas Cream Soup with Oven-roasted Pine Nuts (RM34) is really good. Scoop deep into the bowl for that surprise bite of crunchy pine nuts.
The Salmon Carpaccio is from the MIGF 2013 menu. Causing a riot of colours on the plate are Horseradish Panna Cotta, Marinated Radish and a scoop of Yuzu Sorbet. Everything here is almost too pretty to eat!
The Pot Au Feu (RM85) has some really strong robust flavours, thanks to the Grilled Scallops, Squids, and Lobster Tortellini jostling for space in the deep plate. On top of that, a spicy sambal sauce jazzes everything up. I can do without the sambal sauce though.
Chef Waschl loves working with fish and both his main courses of Grilled Salmon with Citrus Fruit Sabayon, Carrot Mousseline, Crabmeat Cannelloni & Sautéed Vegetable (RM85) and Pan Fried Seabass with Bouillabaisse Sauce, Garlic Mousseline and Ratatouille Vegetable (RM85) are executed with great aplomb. Using only the freshest fish, and cooked skilfully, I totally enjoyed every bite of the sweet flaky fish.
Red meat lovers will love the Wagyu Striploin and Braised Organic Beef Cheek (110g) with Celeriac Moussline, Baked Cepes Mushroom Ravioli (RM180) and the Roasted Rack of Lamb and Braised Lamb Shoulder with Eggplant, Potato Fondant and Baked Potato Strudel (RM150). I adore the “medium rare” wagyu striploin but am not so crazy about the beef cheek. Not that there’s anything wrong with the beef cheeks (they were deliciously tender!) – it’s just that I like my beef grilled plainly and slightly undercooked.
Wagyu Striploin and Braised Organic Beef Cheek
Roasted Rack of Lamb and Braised Lamb Shoulder
If you fancy some local fares, well, the chef has thoughtfully included several Malaysian favourites on the menu. One of the most popular and most-ordered dish is the Nasi Goreng Kampung (RM40) – a superb deluxe rendition with huge skewered prawns, chicken satay, keropok and topped with a sunny-side-up egg.
Desserts are not listed in the lunch and dinner menus – you just have to choose from the specials of the day. They can be anything from the Ultimate Chocolate Brownie with Iced Milk Mousse, Nougat Ice Cream and Berries, Iced Champagne Mousse with Chocolate Chili Bonbon or House-made Creamy Ice Coffee with Amaretti (prices range from RM30-34).
Ultimate Chocolate Brownie
Iced Champagne Mousse with Chocolate Chili Bonbon
House-made Creamy Ice Coffee with Amaretti
The Restaurant operates for breakfast 6.30am – 10.30am, Lunch 11:30 to 15:00 & Dinner 19:00 to 22:30.
The Club Saujana Resort
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS
40150 Shah Alam