Aly's Food Review

Aly takes you on a culinary journey through some of KL’s best restaurants.

All Day Dining in a world of Flavours

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Flavors @ Swiss Garden Hotel

All Day Dining in a world of Flavours

Located between the famous Bintang Walk and tourist haven Chinatown, a world of Flavors awaits you in Swiss-Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Located on the first floor, The Flavors Restaurant is a unique concept of chic yet charming all day dining.

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The hotel itself has been around since 1993, but Flavors is a relatively new dining outlet. Although the restaurant at first glance looks chic and contemporary, I noticed there were subtle bursts of traditional elements.

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Intricate linear partitions and “anyaman” (Malay weave) paneling and carvings impart a warm and welcoming feel to the place, and tables are spaced out so you can enjoy intimate conversation while witnessing the live cooking action in the show kitchen.

A brand new addition to the family is Executive Chef Charles Aseervatham, who brings with him 20 years of experience as a chef, most recently as the Executive Sous Chef in a five Star hotel and as a personal chef to dignitaries in Penang. He has acquired vast skills and exposure during his 10 year tenure as the Chef De Cuisine in GPK Level 2 Restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand, training under one of New Zealand’s top Chef’s.

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“It was 5 years before he let me near the stove! 5 years of chopping and prepping,” he tells me. “It was hell, but worth every second!” I ask him if he is a bad tempered chef and he pauses and smiles.

“I used to be… but not anymore. I find you get more done if you treat people with courtesy and respect.” That’s exactly what got him where he is today.

The menu at Flavors has undergone a makeover, and combines traditional favourites with modern influences. “What will we be tasting today?” Shareena (Red Weekends) asks him eagerly.

“Ahh… I have for you our new Signature Menu,” he replies mysteriously. “And, my signature dish. The Salmon Head Curry, which will be available in the Flavors themed buffet dinner.” I scratched my head. Salmon Head Curry? That was new to me, and I couldn’t wait to try it.

Off he went to the kitchen to get cooking, and I settled down to enjoy a tall cool glass of 5-Greens. This was Flavors signature health drink. I was asked to taste it and guess the ingredients. I managed 4 which were cucumber, green capsicum, celery, green apple but the fifth green, the one that gave the blended drink its bitter edge, escaped me. “It’s bittergourd!” I’m told. An interesting combination, I definitely felt much healthier after drinking it!

Soon we had in front of us our starter which was a medley of bright colours. This was the Chicken and Avocado Salad, tossed in a tangy vinaigrette with a hint of spiciness from a dash of curry powder.

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Juicy cherry tomatoes pop in your mouth and crispy noodles add texture to the fresh green leaves. I loved the sweet and savoury simplicity of this dish. Next was the rich Forest Mushroom Soup, with a dollop of warm cream and a sprinkling of parsley.

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Warm and comforting, I felt soothed by the light yet creamy broth. You can really taste the woody essence of wild mushrooms.

Our main course was divine. A simple, classic Beef Tenderloin with blanched Asparagus and Potato, topped of with a rich meaty gravy and a dribble of Béarnaise sauce.

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The tenderloin is often called The King Of Meats because as it’s name suggests, it is a lean and tender cut of beef. Any flavor can be added and the porous meat will absorb it all. Despite all that piece of meat has going for it, it is also often overcooked and ruined. Not here at Flavors. Our tenderloin was a perfect ‘medium’, seared on the outside, a delicate pink on the inside.

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It was so tender and velvety I cut into it with a butter knife and unleashed the meaty juices from within. Needless to say, this was a favourite, especially with Nicholas (RedFM) News Team. Terry (Red FM Drive) kicked himself the next day when he found out what we had.

The Flavors Signature menu is rounded off nicely with a classic Italian dessert of Tiramisu. Suitably satiated, I almost forgot that it was time for the bonus round! The highly anticipated Salmon Head Curry!

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Chef Charles personally brings out this dish and explains to us that this way, after filleting a whole salmon, even the head gets used and no parts are wasted. In front of me sat a bowl of thick, red curry, radiating intoxicating scents of herbs and spices so fragrant that despite my fullness, my mouth started salivating.

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It was perfect to mop up that curry with a chunky slice of bread like Shareena did or douse it over steamed rice like I did. One taste and I was hooked. The flavor the salmon head is fused into the curry, giving it a rich, fatty taste. Slow cooked with okra, aubergines, chilies, onions and garlic, we all slurped down the robust gravy as if it was a soup!

Flavours has a special Ramadhan Buffet Dinner that runs from the 22 August to 19th September, reasonably priced at RM 65++ per adult and RM 33++ per child. A promotion that will run in the first and last week entitles patrons to enjoy the buffet at a special price of RM 40++.

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There was talk of a whole lamb stuffed with fragrant rice, and Beef Rendang, and so much more. Shareena, Nicholas and I looked at each other. We now had another reason to head back and immerse ourselves in the world of Flavours for the ultimate gastronomical experience. I have a sneaking suspicion it may be more than just the three of us!

Try Flavors at Swiss Garden for yourself! Starting Monday 31 August, tune in to The Big Red Food Review, Eleven2Three with Aly to win a meal for 2 worth RM150!

Written by alyredfm

August 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Reviews

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