OK, the word is out, has been out quite some time now, that Chef Steve Allen, E&O’s Group Creative Chef and new consultant chef to The Delicious Group has been rustling up some pretty neat dishes at DISH. He has revamped the menus there as the brand new a la carte menu now features 34 stunning dishes which were launched recently. DISH – The Delicious Group’s unorthodox fine-dining establishment that is luxe in spirit but casual in practice, now spots a few new “tweaks”, not only in the menu but even down to its table settings.
“One of the first few things I did was to do away with those cone-shaped folded table napkins!” said the affable Chef Steve. It works… now the ambience in DISH has taken on a more casual and relaxed tone.
Chef Steve has flown in direct from the camp of London’s Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s where he was Head Chef. Of course the burning questions that everyone asks him are “What is it like to work with Gordon Ramsay?” “Is he as temperamental as depicted in the tv shows?” According to Chef Steve, Gordon Ramsay is not as bad or merciless as shown on tv – “that’s just for tv“. In real life, Chef Steve says his former mentor is very down-to-earth, and hardly screams at anyone in the kitchen… but if he does, then whoever’s at the receiving end will know that it’s time to make an exit!
Looking at Chef Steve busying himself in DISH’s kitchen, I can see that he has the same quick energetic pace as his former boss. Dashing in and out of the kitchen, in between showing the other chefs how to do some tasks and supervising the others, Chef Steve even posed a bit here and there for our cameras. Then he shoo’ed us to our tables as he was about to serve some of his signature dishes for our tasting.
From 2001-2011, Chef Steve Allen was with Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s London, starting from chef de partie up to Head Chef under Mark Sargeant, the Executive Chef. Chef Steve certainly made good use of his time in this renowned restaurant, running all aspects of the business including finance, recruitment and business development. It was in Claridge’s of London that Chef Steve Allen’s path crossed with Datuk Terry Tham, E&O’s Managing Director (who is a regular diner there) and from there, like they say, the rest is history.
Complimentary dual amuse bouche of Eggplant Fritters and Goat Cheese with Watermelon sprinkled with pine nuts and drizzled with balsamic dressing – a great way to tease your palate!
Chef Steve’s style of cooking swerves towards modern and trendy yet retains a good dose of “heartiness”. Take his Pumpkin Soup with Mushrooms, parmesan and truffle (RM22), for example. The soup is very thick, rich and smooth (like all good hearty soups should be) and I love the earthy combination of mushrooms and parmesan, not forgetting the truffle, of course.
The Seared & Marinated Tuna is served with Pickled Radish & Crispy Quail Eggs (RM42). The quail eggs are coated in a thin batter and deep-fried (hence, the “crispiness”) yet you can see the yolk is still runny – very well executed! The tuna has been seared a mere 2mm, nothing more than that so that it retains its sweet succulent centre and if you think it’s going to taste “fishy”, fear not – those strips of pickled radish does an excellent balancing job. See also how careful the chef is, in ensuring that every piece of tuna and egg on that plate is of almost-equal size!
The next starter - Sauteed Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Turkey Bacon and Almond Crumbs (RM48) is a big hit with us. Everything about this dish is so delicate. The scallops have been saute’ed just right… they’re smooth and sweet and delicately balanced on a bed of pureed cauliflower in between crisp slices of apples. The turkey bacon bits and almond crumbs are sprinkled carefully on the scallops and there are these pretty little cauliflower florets and purple wasabi shoots giving it that aesthetic sparkle. Take a piece of scallop and a bit of everything else on the plate and you are in for an explosion of tastes and beautifully contrasting mouthfeel!
While the scallops were delicate, the ensuing starter of Vitello Tonnata (RM36) is arresting in its visual effect. The thin pink slices of marinated veal form the base and a bunch of fresh crsip arugula is arranged on top and tuna mayonnaise is poured over in even spirals, forming concentric rings on the veal. Feast your eyes on this before you feast on the dish!
My favourite Mains is surely the Salt-baked Cod with red pepper andd lemon sauce (RM69). The cod fish is encased in a salted pastry and baked. The inedible pastry is then cut, revealing the steamy hot cod inside. Meanwhile a plate of roasted vegetables is ready, with pureed red peppers in the centre and that’s where the chunk of cod is placed. I love those sweet roasted capsicums, zucchini and lemon slices.
All the above dishes are from the A La Carte Menu.
Chef Steve has also created a totally new Lunch Set Menu wtih 8 tantalizing options andd weekly updates. You can opt for 2 courses (RM65) or 3 courses (RM75) from gems such as Ravioli of Wild Mushrooms and Chickent (from Starters), Chargrilled Rump of Wagyu Beef with either Truffled Mac ‘n’ Cheese or Triple-cooked Chips (from Mains) and Pineapple Carpaccio (from Desserts).
Duck lovers can also choose this duo: Seared Breast of Duck with Braised Duck Leg, creamy potato puree and ginger carrots as one of the mains in the Lunch Set Menu.
For desserts, we tried the Caramel Chocolate Delice with Lime Ice Cream & Raspberries (RM21) – a great combination of rich chocolate and tangy lime with the raspberries giving it a sourish lift.
The Cold Chocolate Fondant with Poached Mango & Yoghurt Sorbet (RM21) may look mediocre but once you dig into that glass, you will be quite blown away with the smooth creamy decadent chocolate fondant! I wished I didn’t have to share that, really.
The 3rd menu that Chef Steve is developing is for DISH’s Weekend Lunch and I’m sure many are eagerly waiting for this. As of now, I believe that menu has been launched. The next task for Chef Steve is then to look into revamping the E&O Group’s iconic Delicious cafes. That’s something to really look forward to, as of late, this chain of cafes has been a bit lack-lustre and now seeing what Chef Steve has done for DISH, I believe there will be exciting and delicious days ahead for us.
For reservations at DISH, please call 03-2164-1286.
Lot 1-1 Ground Floor, Dua Annexe
211 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Mon-Sun & PH: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch) & 6.00pm-11.00pm (Dinner)