Tuesday, 23 October 2012

MIGF Menus at Al Amar and Circus, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Al Amar, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Lebanese cuisine, alcohol, wine
Layali Loubnan (The Nights of Lebanon) - Al Amar
Al Amar, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Lebanese cuisine, alcohol, wine
Shanklish (a fusion of aged Lebanese cheese mixed with olive oil and chopped parsley, tomatoes and onions) - Al Amar
Al Amar, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Lebanese cuisine, alcohol, wine
Lamb Rack with Cousa Mehchi and Warak Enab - Al Amar
Circus, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Spanish Chef, degustation menu
Amuse Bouche - Parmesan Crissini with Bresaola - Circus
Circus, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Spanish Chef, degustation menu
Chili Crab Cake with Organic Mixed Salad - Circus
Circus, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Spanish Chef, degustation menu
Crispy Wild Mushroom Risotto - Circus
Circus, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Spanish Chef, degustation menu
Cod Fish with Truffle Butter Foam - Circus
Circus, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Spanish Chef, degustation menu
Wagyu Beef Tenderloin - Circus

MIGF Menus, Al Amar & Circus, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Al Amar, MIGF, menu, Pavilion
Hot Mezze
October is a lip-smacking month for foodies in Kuala Lumpur. All around the city, fine dining establishments do their best to outwit their competitors with set menus and wine paired offerings showcasing the skills of their chefs and the cuisine specialties careening from their kitchens in an attempt to dazzle spectators of the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival.

Sampling two menus in one night at Pavilion we tried conserving tummy space by just nibbling at Al Amar in preparation for a later five course menu at Circus.

Al Amar, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Lebanese cuisine, alcohol, wine
Cold Mezze
A profusion of Middle Eastern restaurants around the city makes choosing difficult. Al Amar, however, stands above the flock with its beverage menu filled with alcohol enriched options – the only Middle Eastern spot I know of in Kuala Lumpur that serves liquor. A couple of Lebanese wines make the drink list unique as well as a strong anis flavoured Kefraya Arak. Keskoun! (cheers) to that.

Al Amar’s MIGF menu is a stomach engorging list of classics. It begins with hot and cold Mezze of enduring favourites including these highlights: Shanklish (a fusion of aged Lebanese cheese mixed with olive oil and chopped parsley, tomatoes and onions); Hommos (chickpea dip); Meffarakeh (lamb stuffed wheat dough cooked in yoghurt) and; steamed artichoke with a zesty garlic and olive oil dressing.

Al Amar, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Lebanese cuisine, alcohol, wine
Moghrabieh Chicken
The main is a choice of a hearty plate of Moghrabieh chicken – poultry and semolina pearls cooked with cinnamon and an all spice onion broth, or, Lamb Rack with Cousa Mehchi and Warak Enab – lamb served with rice stuffed zucchini and vine leaves with mint yoghurt sauce. (The vine leaves are particularly grand!)  Dessert, Layali Loubnan (The Nights of Lebanon) is a layered pudding of kachta and bananas topped with nuts and honey.

Al Amar’s MIGF menu is priced at RM115++ per person without wine and RM195++ with wine.

Moving down to Circus, a five course meal and an incredibly eye-catching environment was waiting for us. Giant paintings, an evolving visual display and long feature bar backed with a beehive of bottles changes over the day with the aid of clever use of lighting and upbeat chill music. The goal of restaurants in the Eatertainment group is to provide a comprehensive night out including entertainment in the form of food, live music, dance shows and a host of drinks. Al Amar and Circus are both examples of places to pass a leisurely few hours with friends, both old and new. Describing themselves as a “modern bistro and cocktail lounge to gather, relax, mix, mingle and drink,” Circus is more than just a restaurant.
Circus, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Spanish Chef, degustation menu
French 75

Circus’ (* Note Circus is now closed) MIGF menu is a five plate degustation featuring a mish mash of international cuisines. The Amuse Bouche of Parmesan Crissini with Bresaola was a popular start at our table and came paired with a French 75. This classic cocktail dates back to 1914 Paris, where it was named after a canon used in the war for its strong kick. A base of gin, lemon juice and sugar is topped with Chandon champagne producing a perfect opening for the palate.

An appetizer of Chili Crab Cake with Organic Mixed Salad came next with a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc by La Palma. Usually this wine would have paired well with the crustacean, however the heavy handedness with spice slightly overpowered the grape. Presentation of this dish, along with the others were all eye catching though and those who taste first with their eyes will be pleased.

Circus, MIGF menu, Pavilion, Spanish Chef, degustation menu
Lime Granite Sorbet
Crispy Wild Mushroom Risotto served as the starter and was just a touch drier than the traditional version allowing it to be rolled into a log allowing a unique mounting. The fruitiness and crispness of the Argentinian Terrazas Chardonnay paired well with the unctuous risotto. A Lime Granite palate cleanser came at just the right time, refreshing our mouths for the main.

Cod Fish with Truffle Butter Foam paired with a Californian J Lohr Painter Bridge Chardonnay was my choice. The peach and pineapple notes of the wine allowed the cod fish to shine while providing a silky addition to the palate complementing the dish. The Wagyu Beef Tenderloin was hubby’s pick. A smooth peppery Australian Shiraz by Tyrells Moores Creek was a good companion to the beef but would also be a decent drop for quaffing on its own.

Dessert came in the form of a classic Crème Brulee. The subtle addition of lavender added a touch of interest and the partner glass of Dr Loosen Riesling Qualitatswein provided extra sweetness. This citrusy, peachy, rich textured German wine seems to be quite versatile and I could imagine it too with some toasted walnuts and salty cheese or a spicy dish such as the Crab Cakes from earlier in the meal.

Circus’ MIGF menu is priced at RM168++ without wine an RM278++ with wine.

Lavender Crème Brulee
Reason to visit: Al Amar - the only Middle Eastern place in the city serving alcohol. Circus -  chic funky, a good place to meet, mix and mingle.

Al Amar Fine Lebanese Cuisine
Level 6, Pavilion
+6 03 2166 1011

Circus
Level 3 , Pavilion
+6 03 2141 6151
Open Sun – Thurs 10am – 2am
Fri & Sat 10am – 3am

* Note Circus is now closed.

Pavilion
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia

12 comments:

  1. OH what a night! I miss the delicious wine food pairing session! :D

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    1. Truly, they must think bloggers have expandable tummies! What were they thinking two restaurants in one night?! I guess they were right, we still did it! :-)

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  2. Drooling plus-plus... The beef! Ooooooo!!! Slurpsss!!!!

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    Replies
    1. So funny Suituapui, thanks for the sound effects. :-)

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  3. WOW!! The food looks amazing my friend. I hope to be there soon

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    Replies
    1. Lots of yummy options in KL! I'm happy to guide you to some of the more delicious places. :-)

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  4. Wow, u seem to be attending quite a few Mediterranean food tasting sessions! I'm impressed with their presentation here. Have fun, my dear!

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    Replies
    1. Love Mediterranean food - it's usually so healthy.

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  5. The Crispy Wild Mushroom Risotto has a funny looking :P

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    Replies
    1. It's not the usual shape you'd expect is it? :-)

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  6. What can I say, the Waggu beef is the most impressive dish. I would eat it so often as I get the chance.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    Replies
    1. Come to Malaysia my friend. There are many options awaiting your taste buds. :-)

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