The first time I met Chef Yenni Law was at the media launch of her book “Meatology” (read my write-up here). Of course Yenni was very busy during that event and we didn’t have much time to chat. I sampled some of her dishes (from her cookbook) during the event and from what I tasted, I was pretty excited with Yenni’s creativity. I couldn’t wait to check out more dishes from her restaurant, Boathouse.
Now, if you are a resident of Taman Tun Dr Ismail or its vicinity, you would probably have heard of Boathouse as this restaurant has been around for the past 11 years. It’s a popular restaurant in the neighbourhood – almost iconic in that Lorong Rahim Kajai area which is F&B-centric. The interior of the restaurant is rusticly cosy with warm vibes thanks to the earthy tones and wooden flooring.
Boathouse is one of those very rare establishments that doesn’t close in between hours so you can drop by throughout the day whenever you need a bite or drinks. Well you can have more than a bite actually, because the menu at Boathouse is pretty extensive. It has a huge variety of western favourites to some local delights. From foie gras, lobster bisque, steaks, pasta, pizza to char kway teow with duck egg and claypot loh shee fun!
On top of the extensive regular menu, for this month, Yenni has also come up with several special dishes in celebration of St Patrick’s Day. To commemorate the patron saint of Ireland, the St Patrick’s Day dishes contain a special ingredient, the very Irish Guinness Stout, of course. So, if you hurry over to Boathouse before the end of this month, you can get to savour the 3 special St Patrick’s dishes, which are:
Guinness Porker (RM59) comprises 2 pieces of porky stars: bacon steak and cured pork loin steak served with legumes and Guinness pepper mushrooms. The texture of the meats is firm and flavours are definitely bold – these are cured meats, after all. A little on the salty side, hence pairing them with lots of Guinness would be a good idea.
Lamb lovers would totally dig the Guinness Shepherd (RM68) – blackened lamb loin (400g) served with apple BBQ and Guinness Sauce. These tasty babies are bathed in the sweetish sauce that has a gorgeous blend of fruity and malty flavours.
My favourite is the Guinness Catch (RM78). And what a catch that is! A thick cut of Grilled Atlantic Cod is served over Guinness onions & Guinness balsamic honey. The flaky fish is velvety smooth and sweet to the taste, enhanced by the caramelized onions. I could eat this on its own without the honey sauce – it’s so deliciously sweet it really doesn’t need much embellishment. Another plus point is that it’s served with a substantial portion of risotto with lovely smokey flavors infused from the cured duck meat cooked with it.
The above 3 dishes are available for a limited time only, until end of this month.
Now, let’s get on to some of the house favourites. Fresh oysters are always good to start off any meal and here in Boathouse, Yenni likes to serve fresh Pacific oysters with a luscious crown of lumpfish caviar. Scallion curls and caper buds add on the aesthetic appeal – just slurp those slippery morsels down your throat after a squeeze of lemon.
Lumpfish Caviar Oysters (3pcs for RM23)
If oysters are not enough to satiate that extravagant streak, get a serving of Foie Gras French Air- Flown (100gm RM67). It’s another delightful House Special, a sinful and indulgent one, I may add. The lovely platter has three thick slices of pan-seared Fernch foie gras deglazed with Pinot Grigio, accompanied by a sweet beetroot relish and rocket leaves. I can’t think of anything more decadent than this, but damn it, it’s so good and irresistible!
Caramelized Roast Pork with Garlic Cloves (RM28) is a House Special that’s a big hit especially if you’re having drinks. The crispy roast pork and whole garlic have first been saute’ed with bacon and baby chillies and once they are crispy enough, they’re caramelized with brown sugar and flamed with brandy. Amazing aromas, perfect with that pint of beer or Guinness.
If you have read “Meatology”, you’d know that Yenni loves working with meats and seafood. Two of her signature meaty items are: Steak Au Poivre a la Gueridon (RM76) and the gigantic Slow-Baked Holland Pork Belly Rib (RM78).
The 320gm succulent prime steak fillet is studded with aromatic black pepper charbroiled to your preferred level of doneness. Then the fillet is flambéd with brandy at your table and served with a wicked VSOP sauce. The steak is served just with mashed potatoes, with no other distraction. The VSOP sauce is immensely fragrant yet light enough not to engulf the natural tastiness of the steak.
The 1kg Holland rib is truly impressive. Layers of meat and fat cling onto the rib, held together with a crunchy layer of skin. The whole piece is then slow baked over granny smith apples till tender. To give it a caramelized glaze over the fat, it’s further charbroiled and doused with Yenni’s special Apple Barbeque Sauce. It’s a painstaking process but this is where Yenni’s passion makes it so effortless.
If you must have a pasta at Boathouse, have the house special of Carbonara Real Bacon and Caviar (RM39). By “real” bacon, it obviously refers to the delicious porcine version. So these generous portions of real bacon, saute’ed to a golden crisp are scattered all over the pasta, cushioned by creamy sauce perfumed by white wine and egg yolk. And for that lavish element, the pasta is topped with lumpfish caviar too. No one would argue that bacon and caviar are bad partners and that is the winning combination for this pasta dish.
When it comes to desserts, Yenni’s forte lies in old school types. She’s passionate about keeping alive such age-old goldies. If you love bread pudding, Yenni’s version of Jamaican Bread and Banana Butter Pudding (RM26) is to die for. It’s a dream concoction of bread pudding layered with banana and raisins steeped in rum, soaked in a fresh egg custard and baked till a caramelized crust is formed. It’s served piping hot, straight from the oven with vanilla ice cream. This is baked according to order so please expect to wait about 25 minutes for this. It’s certainly worth waiting for!
I can’t remember when the last time was that I had a Bombe Alaska. It’s such a heart-warming dessert from the good old days. Yenni’s version of Bombe Alaska (RM35) doesn’t only warm the heart, it warms the stomach too. The meticulously-prepared dome-like cake has wicked layers of chocolate, frozen vanilla ice cream studded with strawberries and rum-macerated raisins and covered with a satiny meringue. Brandy is poured over it before being flambe’ed at tableside. The explosion of flavors and textures is such a kick, really… you just gotta get bombed for this.
There are still many other dishes I want to check out in Boathouse, like the Pig’s Balls & Skin, Chempedak Chicken and I heard the Roast Pork there is divine, available only on Fridays. Yes, I need a Friday date at Boathouse, soon.
16 Lorong Rahim Kajai 14
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur