If I have to take leave to go for a lunch, it’d better be good.
Now which restaurant would warrant a half-day leave for me to enjoy its lunch? Well, that would be Cilantro – one of the doyens of fine dining in the city. I, like most common folks, do have a little inconvenience called a “regular day job” which would require applying for half a day off if I want to lounge over a lunch which lasts well over the 1-hour allocated under our employment terms!
If you lunch at Cilantro, you definitely would need more than an hour, especially for its special Friday Lunch – the only weekday that this restaurant is open for lunch. You simply do not want to rush it. With its simple elegant setting and renowned for its French cuisine with Japanese influences, thanks to the skills of Chef Takashi Kimura, Cilantro has long been on my list of “Must Eat” places. Priced at RM150 nett per person, this Friday Lunch is almost always booked out, so a reservation really is a “must”! The menu changes every week… that Friday I was there, Chef Takashi presented this…
The bottle of Tuscay was not included – it was compliments of moi for my lunch partners! But this glass of kir royale was complimentary…
I loved the freshly-baked breads served and I loved them more when I spread them with Cilantro’s truffle butter. Usually I would use butter sparingly, but with this truffle version, can you believe that I finished the entire serving?! I almost asked for a second serving! If they hadn’t served the appetizers, I would have proceeded to just eat bread for lunch and be quite happy with that 😉
Service was excellent – prompt, attentive without being intrusive.
Cold Capellini with Panache of Seafood & Mentaiko
This exquisite plume of fresh salmon, whitefish and pollock roe sitting atop the cold thin pasta was a burst of marine sweetness. The different textures of the seafood and pasta gave a fantastic mouthfeel – I wished there was more of that creamy luscious mentaiko!
Hokkaido Scallop with Artichoke Soup & Truffles
What can I say about this awesome soup? There’re chunks of succulent Hokkaido Scallop and delightful shavings of truffles – what a wicked combination! I couldn’t decide which to eat first because I wanted each to be the last… you know, save the best for last? It was a losing battle… both didn’t last very long in my bowl!
After the very promising appetizer and soup, can you blame me for having high expectations for the mains? I chose to have the Free Range Chicken. The traditional method of fricasseeing the chicken rendered the robust meat at just the right texture, not too chewy and certainly not too mushy. I enjoyed the natural sweetness of the chicken and those few chunks of Maine lobster were a bonus!
Fricasse of Free Range Chicken with Maine Lobster
Panfried French Rouget Fillet with Baby Squid & Raouille
If fowl is not your scene, then there’s the alternative of fish. I didn’t have this, so I really can’t comment.
Dessert didn’t really rock my socks. It was a simple affair of roasted plum and icecream … a bit of tartness and a bit of creamy sweetness to end the meal. Oh, tea or coffee was also served and we seized that opportunity to slowly sip our drinks and chatted and chatted…. until the service staff had to politely remind us that they closed at 3.00pm and we were still reluctant to leave even after 3.15pm!
Roasted Plum with Vanilla Icecream
So, at RM150 nett per pax, I would say the Friday Set Lunch is good value, considering that top-notch quality ingredients were used – after all, Chef Takashi’s policy is that the best tasting meal is one that uses only the best ingredients, coupled with appropriate cooking methods and the right seasoning – now, how can you go wrong with that? Well, perhaps dessert lovers would probably wish that their sweets range could be a bit more exciting.
Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar
MiCase All Suite Hotel
368-B Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Lunch – Fridays only (12.00pm-2.00pm)
Dinner – Monday-Saturday (6.00pm-10.30pm)
Closed on Sundays