|Starter – Portobello Carpaccio Pecorino, Grissini, Balsamic, Soft Herb|
|Entrée – Spatchcock Confit, Baby Romas’s, Frisee, Kiwi Gazpacho|
|Main Course – Wagyu Short Rib Smoked Porcini Risotto, Parsnip Puree|
|Dessert – Black Forest Molecular with Raspberry, bitter chocolate, coconut sago, pistachio|
The Olive, MIGF Menu, Maxim’s, Genting Highlands, Malaysia
In the name of a culinary adventure, we recently escaped to the cool climate, lush green hills and colossal structures of Genting Highlands. A reasonable, 45 minute drive from the city saw us meandering up a serpentine road surfacing at a mist girdled peak. Stepping out of the car, coats were buttoned, hands rubbed vigorously (both in excitement and an effort to warm up) and a smile from ear to ear endorsed this well received change in temperature.
Crisp air though was not the only lure, The Olive, Maxim’s continental fine dining restaurant, is offering a specially crafted menu in conjunction with the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival. That, along with the promise of relief from the heat and, the reputation of good humoured Aussie chef, Daniel Sheen, gave us more than enough rationale to make the trek.
Three years running, Chef Daniel has created menus in line with the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival’s theme. This year’s leitmotif, Classical Chefs, is understood at The Olive through a traditional menu celebrating the natural textures, flavours and aromas of high quality ingredients and offers a molecular twist at the end of a common thread.
The set dinner menu launched with a captivating starter, Portobello Carpaccio. The earthy rich flavour of almost transparent wafers of mushroom rounds was delicately balanced with a sharp pecorino, balsamic vinegar, soft herbs and topped with crunchy grissini. Followed by a full-bodied Celeriac Veloute with salted cod mousse and truffle oil, we found the opening statement to be an unbeatable lead.
Poultry and meat made a marvelous middle. A tower of Spatchcock Confit sat atop layers of baby Roma tomatoes, frisee and a sweet kiwi gazpacho. The main course, Wagyu Short Rib, was delivered on a black slate with smoked porcini risotto and white drops of parsnip puree provided a visual contrast to the sable plate. Silence swept the table for the duration of consumption of this dish. Sliced with a butter knife, the beef literally fell apart and deliquesced in the mouths of diners accompanied by ‘mmms’ of admiration.
The dessert lent itself to a surprise ending moving in the opposite direction of the ‘classical’ theme. A molecular deconstruction of a Black Forest Cake disappeared from plates rather swiftly, leaving little evidence of the detour off the expected path. A compilation of bitter chocolate, raspberry, coconut sago and pistachio reflecting off a mirrored plate was not only a spectacle for the eyes, but a thrill too for the tongue.
|Australian Shiraz, Grant Burge|
While we didn’t go for the complete wine paired menu we couldn’t help but engage in a glass of their house selection – after all fine dining and wining are pretty much imprinted on our genes (at least that’s our excuse). Sourced from the Barossa Valley Australia, The Olive’s house red is a bona fide crowd pleaser – literally! The team appoints a house wine by procuring guest feedback. This particular choice is the result of a tasting session with a gathering of around 20 aunties, 20 uncles and a troupe of young ladies and gentlemen from the casino. Out of a number of possibles, this smooth red came out the victor. So when, staff at Genting say that they value their guests’ opinions, they’re truly mean it.
The Olive’s Malaysia International Gourmet Festival menu is available from the 1st to the 30th of October at RM298++ per person without wine pairing and RM398++ with wine pairing. The intimate restaurant only seats 75 diners including two private rooms so a reservation is recommended. The Olive is pork free and open daily for dinner from 6pm. Lunch is available Sundays and Public Holidays.
Reason to visit: A mini adventure, only a 45 minute drive from KL, with rewards of fine food, an extensive well chosen wine list and a refreshingly cool climate.
Lobby Floor, Maxims Genting
Genting Highlands Resort
69000 Genting Highlands
+ 6 03 6105 9668