By RIO ROSE RIBAYA
As the original was published on 19 December 2017
There’s something heart-warming about sharing roast turkey and cake with the entire family on Christmas Day. It’s a tradition that never grows old even with the passing of each year. But if you’re looking for a less traditional celebration, Sheraton Imperial is offering something new.
This year, the five-star hotel has created a celestial pop-up dining restaurant called Find Your Lucky Star. The temporary dining venue stands in the middle of Sheraton Imperial’s Pavilions Lounge and offers an out-of-this-world experience.
Save for the artwork of stars on its exterior, the structure looks a bit plain — at least from the outside. It’s what’s inside that makes all the difference. Slide the door open and candle lights flicker through goblets and clear glass pendants seemingly bind you in a spell. A video projection eventually transforms the space into a universe of colourful galaxies and constellations, making it more magical.
One of the impressive works of Australian cinematographer Damon Escott, the two-hour light show also features stunning cosmic movements. These include falling stars and meteor showers that will dazzle you until you finish your six-course dinner.
Yes, the stunning display is impressive. But the contemporary French fare made the experience an unforgettable one. Thanks to Singapore’s Bar-A-Thym Chef Francois Mermilliod, we enjoyed his signature dishes that are modern and casual. They also hinted of the chef’s Italian and Asian influences, adding refreshing twists to his Southern French roots.
From chilled lobster ravioli to wild-caught NZ grouper, here are the gorgeously-plated courses that we wish would be available longer.
Find Your Lucky Star guests from 17 to 29 December will enjoy Villa Daniele Chef Gaetano Di Stefano’s exquisite Italian cuisine. Sheraton Imperial KL is located at Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Visit their website here or contact +603 2717 9900 for reservations.
Ceviche of Yellow Fin Tuna
Our six-course dinner was off to a refreshing start when Chef Francois garnished his ceviche of yellow fin tuna with apple fennel salad with yuzu ponzu dressing. The crisp apple fennel provided more texture to the dish while the Japanese citrusy sauce brought out the freshness in the tuna.
A single bite into the second course immediately eclipsed our liking of the ceviche. Its transparent, soft rice paper had a citrusy tinge from lime sabayon. Combined with a stuffing of crunchy, finely chopped guava strips and nahm jim sauce, the ingredients gave a refreshing taste to the generous chunk of lobster.
We’re convinced that the ravioli was our favourite until we tasted the lightly grilled seared scampi. Hokkaido sea urchin served as the bed for a ball of al dente angel hair pasta, which was served with buttery Sakura ebi bits.
But the best dish we had came in the form of a flaky fillet of wild-caught New Zealand grouper. Brown on the outside, the generous piece of supple fish is topped with a seductive razor clam and micro-greens. We love how the meat packs a punch of flavour that absorbed the tastiness of the firm saffron risotto and smoked eel broth.
Milk-fed veal tenderloin
We also enjoyed the milk-fed veal tenderloin, which was incredibly tender. Even though it was cut thicker than we expected, dipping it in the roasted buckwheat groats lent an exciting nutty, earthy taste to the dish. It also came with a light yet full-flavoured foie gras foam.
Warm pear and raspberry tart capped our celestial dining experience. The generous scoop of velvety vanilla ice cream and crumbly subdued the sweet and sour tang from the raspberries of the crumbly pear tart, leaving us feeling refreshed and jolly.