Friday, July 30, 2010

Sage at the Garden Residences

New blog layout! Needed to redesign to fit the Foodbuzz buttons & banners. I don't actually know what I can win (or if there even is anything at stake, lol), but in any case vote for me anyway!

Been thinking about Sage for quite a while, but never been able to go in the past. Part lack of financial power, part lack of a special person to go with, part lack of occassion. Because as much as I'd like to, I don't have the wallet muscle to go fine dining for no reason :)

Anyway on occasion of our, well, anniversary, the darling and I *finally* visited Sage. The original Chef, Takashi Kimura (who's supposed to be some sort of celebrity around here, I guess), has moved on to uh ... other pastures, leaving Chef Daniel to helm the kitchen.

Stepping in ... Sage decoration seems to be quite minimalist. It's not as cozy / romantic as, say, Cafe Cafe KL. Here's the view from the outside - there's a mini-hallway to walk through before getting to the dining area.

Semi-open kitchen! The dining area was full, impressive for a weekday night. Definitely need to make prior reservations if you're planning a trip.

Our dining area overlooks part of KL ~ no wine for us though, because neither of us can hold any alcohol. At all.

Sage's menu is pretty straightforward. It's MYR60.00 (nett) for the Starters, MYR95.00 for the mains, and MYR30.00 for desserts. Or you can go for the Sage Dinner (starter, main + dessert, MYR150.00) or the Gourmet Dinner (chef's daily special starter, starter, main + dessert, MYR170.00).

Now ... a slight tangent to the food review is that I simply must comment on the service. One of the captains was taking our order, and I asked her what the chef's daily special starter was, to which she answered "fish." That was it. One word. What, do I look like a psychic? I asked for more detail and she answered "flying fish." Cooked? Raw? Fried? Curry? Inexcusable.

Coming back to the food, we're served with free-flow bread throughout the night, with what seems to be basil in olive oil dip. The dip is nice, but the bread is nothing special - perhaps we're spoilt by the superb breads served in other places like Prime or Favola.

The meal starts off with this ... starter. Not too sure what it is as the waiter didn't actually tell us, but as far as we can tell it's Prawn Tempura on a bed of some sort of tomato salad/dressing. Quite nice!

The aforementioned "flying fish" turns out to be sashimi-style. I'm not entirely sure what the black stuff on top is - definitely not caviar, and (if memory serves right) not flying fish roe either. Come to think of it I'm not sure what the white stuff is either, ha ha.

Our first chosen starter is the Seared Foie Gras with Dark Grapes and Red Wine Reduction. The Red Wine reduction sauce is nice, and the sweetness of the grapes is a good companion to the delicious, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Foie Gras.

Next up: Carpaccio of Wagyu with Plum Infused Konbu Sauce. Top marks for this as well - the Wagyu is deliciously melt-in-your-mouth as well, and the sauce compliments it nicely.

* (From Wikipedia) Carpaccio is a dish of raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna) generally thinly sliced or pounded thin and served as an appetizer.

Moving on to the mains, is the Smoked Duck Breast with Foie Gras and Red Wine Sauce. Foie Gras again?!? I know, right? Ha ha. The sauce is again, top notch, but overall the darling and I agree that the one we had at Cafe Cafe KL was overall a bit better. And two servings of foie gras in a meal is a tad bit overkill.

Roasted Cod Fish with Scallop, Miso Sauce. The cod comes with thinly sliced lotus roots, which goes surprisingly well with the overall dish. I'm not quite sure if the thing in front is really a scallop, though. Was a bit tough and had a fishy taste. Never tasted anything quite like it, but I'll put that down to just being inexperienced in this fine dining world.

For desserts, we first share a Baked Fuji Apple Phyllo Pastry and Caramel Ice Cream. It's nice, like an apple pie in crispy puffy pastry, but not outstandingly so. Caramel ice cream was nice too, although the scoop size was perhaps a tad bit kiam siap.

To finish: Chocolate Fondant with Earl Grey Ice Cream. Cutting through the chocolate cake with a spoon reveals that it's almost entirely filled with semi-melted semi-dark chocolate. Delicious, with just the perfect amount of sweetness.

Coffee and Tea are included in the Dinner (no need pictures for that ... right?).

Overall, considering the price ($320.00 for both of us), and considering the huge reputation that Sage has among Food Bloggers, we're a little underwhelmed. The food is good, but not great or outstanding - the service is a little lacking, and the lack of sound dampening materials anywhere means that it's relatively noisy. If the dinner cost ~$100 we wouldn't hesitate to give it 5-stars; but for this price range the dinner really does need to be a bit more special


  1. Foie Gras!!! starting to get addicted...
    <3 it so much...

  2. Tempted to try it out after reading your review.

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