Famous in the local culinary scene for her passion towards her trade, Isadora Chai’s modern French temple to food is cooking up a storm this Raya, introducing a special degustation menu focusing on a popular luxe ingredient – truffles.
Starting at RM380 per person and available throughout syawal (now till end of Raya), the menu features six courses, incorporating truffles into dishes that doesn't leave diners overwhelmed at the end of the meal.
The meal begins with the restaurant’s signature coddled egg with crouton dust and fleur de sel (flower of salt), only this time with a sliver of truffle to liven up the dish. Use the asparagus, in lieu of the typical French soldier, to stir up the egg and truffle before eating. The egg itself is clearly the star, runny, delicious and supported by a cast of ingredients that help to add texture and flavour to the dish.
Next up is the asparagus soup with truffle and walnut praline. Creamy, warm and with a pronounced asparagus taste that didn't get overshadowed by either the truffles or walnuts, the soup has a great mouth feel in which the soup's texture is satisfyingly slightly chunky. The truffles present in the dish are very apparent, working in unison with the sweetness of the candied walnuts to create flavour harmony.
Taking cues from the land and sea, seared foie gras with scallop sashimi and shaved truffles act as the third course. The scallop is soft, fleshy and subtle in taste while the foie gras has more heft and is richer on the palate. The truffles add their own charm to the dish, working with the fattiness of the liver and the sweetness of the scallop. The cucumber on the other hand, adds crunch and a refreshing facet to the overall delivery.
With an already rearing appetite, on comes the truffled egg linguine topped with fried egg and truffle shavings. The aroma of truffle and cheese is immediately present upon arrival and as a pasta lover I quickly put fork to noodles for a taste. A simple dish that allows its ingredients to shine, the egg yolk and cream combination results in gratifying forkfuls of noodle goodness, made even better thanks to the truffle's umami qualities.
For the main, diners have a choice of either the quail or lamb. The former, quail stuffed with foie gras and truffle cream, is succulent, moist and well-seasoned. The bird itself is tasty, with the foie gras helping to add richness and deft to the small bird, while the greens provided helps to ground the tastes of the quail-goose liver combo. The truffle cream gives diners a different way to enjoy the fungus and the shallots are sweet and crunchy.
The lamb with crispy lamb trimmings and smoked eggplant puree, on the other hand, is well bloodied and juicy with only a feint hint of gaminess. The truffle and mushroom combo provides an umami punch, while the crispy lamb trimmings gives off bursts of flavour when taken together with the meat, making for a hearty and filling dish.
Although you can end your meal with a dessert of your choice, we suggest ordering Isadora’s latest entry to her Mindscrew series – pineapple rolls stuffed with yogurt and paired with caramel dressing, a scoop of ice cream and a miracle berry pill. Before we tuck in, we were instructed to suck on the pill for 2 to 3 minutes. The pill amplifies the sugar receptors and numbs the sour receptors on our tongues, allowing our almost sugar-free dessert to now taste as the chef intended, providing a fun way to end the meal.