Sunday, March 09, 2014

RAISING THE ROOF WITH SIGNATURE SPECIALS




Rich, smoky and roiling with big flavours, the Charred Seafood Noodles (RM38) at Signature by The Hill -- the trendy gastro-lounge that's one of the five F&B entities up on The Roof has scores of patrons making a beeline for it nightly with some even calling ahead to book their portions.
Nobody gripes about the princely sum since this dish is fit for a tycoon. Described as Signature's take on Penang's famous char kway teow, the noodles are laden with nicely cooked king prawns, oysters, calamari and scallops. We love how much 'wok hei' the flat rice noodles have; that elusive slightly charred nuance that leaves one hankering for more of those silky, spicy and garlicky ribbons. No wonder this item has become the outlet's hottest seller since opening.
There's lots of things going for Signature as a newish F&B haven. There's the expansive view of course but the extensive menu that includes creative cocktails and premium beverages alongside Asian and international fusion cuisine is worthy of your attention too.


The owners are savvy enough to realise that some of their patrons are bound to hanker for local delights hence they have gotten the chef to put in a discerning selection. Besides the deluxe CKT, you may want to sample the Imperial King Prawns Noodles (RM42) -- yet another upscale interpretation of sang har meen which has crispy egg noodles cooked with fresh king prawns, seared scallops and squid in thick egg gravy. We daresay it is another surefire winner that would go down well with the home crowd.
We also like the outlet's quirky humour when it comes to speciality cocktails. Giving a grown-up spin to Malaysia's most popular drink is such an ingenious move! The runaway winner has to be the rum, Bailey's and Kahlua-spiked Milo Ais (RM28) while those who want to relive their rabble-rousing frat and sorority house days, the Watermelon Slush (RM40) -- a potent concoction of Sminoff vodka, Midori, lychee liqueur and watermelon juice should remind you of those heady times.
Sober up for your meal with a salad or two but no worries, they're anything but boring. The current hot spell will make you appreciate the Summer Duck Salad (RM23) ever more for the cool, perky ensemble has juicy watermelon cubes, longans, slices of smoked duck breast and crumbled feta cheese clustered amidst mixed lettuce leaves and arugula, tossed with a peach dressing. A delicate play of sweet-briny accents against multiple textural layers, what's not to like?
Italian air-dried beef, Parmesan shavings and sliced mango give the Leaning Tower of Caesar (RM22) refreshing twists; punctuating the classic romaine lettuce and homemade Caesar dressing combo with their distinct mellow saltiness and fruity sweetness.
Personally I'm not keen on Brussels sprouts but the pile of rotund salad leaves drizzled with sesame dressing and adornments of quail egg halves, cherry tomatoes and thick-cut slices of sesame-speckled, seared tuna in the Seared Maguro Akami (RM26) showed cohesiveness of this veg with the correct choice of ingredients can turn it into a delightful offering.
From the Drinking Partners menu which serves nibbles and light bites to line the tummies of those out on night-long drinking sprees, the Drunken Garlic Clams (RM23) would be most appropriate. Soused in white wine, garlic, chilli and olive oil, the white clams and black shell mussels are sublime; tender with toothsome chewiness and the irresistible creamy winey sauce best mopped up with slices of garlic toast.
True to the saying 'once you go black, you never go back', I daresay once you try the Scallops Black Aglio Maki (RM45), you'd never look back either. Served in a sizzling hot plate, the dish proffers squid ink spaghetti sauteed with olive oil, garlic flakes and chilli gilded by several 'maki' (rolls). Upon closer inspection, those turn out to be grilled scallops in disguise, wrapped up in laver seaweed with tobikko topping. This pasta's quite a show-stopper in the taste department while its black on black presentation is oddly memorable.

Both the Signature Grilled Salmon Pasta (RM45) and seared Black Cod (RM55) fillet with braised leek and fennel with tomato jam will easily net their fair share of fans. The former featuring a thick slab of perfectly grilled salmon atop a bed of al dente spaghetti in mildly spicy creamed tomato sauce is piquantly robust; the fish and pasta's voluptuous richness tempered by a heap of fresh peppery arugula. 


The cod's subtler but no less unctuous flavours meld superbly with the braised leek and fennel; their natural pungency mellowed into slick caramelised sweetness which render the tomato jam somewhat redundant.
We like the playful element of how the King Prawns Linguine (RM49) is presented. Instead of piling everything into one plate, the chef has opted to separate the jumbo prawns into an old-fashioned airtight mason glass jar then present it alonside the pasta and a dollop of black caviar on a square plate. You'd have to secure the jar lid and shake the contents up to ensure the crustaceans are evenly coated in its olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes dressing before pouring these out onto the pasta. Trust me, the resultant outcome justifies the expended effort.
Meaty choices to sink your molars into include Black Angus Tenderloin (RM88) served with pumpkin mash, garlic chocolate, arugula and sauteed seasonal vegetables and chargrilled Rack of Lamb (RM58) with roasted pumpkin, Brussels sprouts fricassee and signature mint sauce.
Unlikely as it sounds, the collusion of garlic and chocolate sauce succeeds in giving the beef a unique taste dimension. For the latter, the textural and taste profiles are boosted by the accompanying side of Brussels sprouts, chunky chicken ham and onion fricassee.
Sweet endings appear in the form of timeless Western creations such as cakes and puddings as well as a cheese board. If you are like something light yet interesting enough to tickle the palate, Romeo Y Juliet (RM24) -- strawberry jelly complemented by an elongated crumbly cookie and a lemon curd tartlet should float your boat.
Chocoholics will find the Spicy Chocolate Lava (RM22) swoon-worthy enough since the molten centre cake comes with bursts of chilli hotness and a topping of Kahlua-infused mascarpone, and berries compote.
Besides Signature, The Roof's integrated F&B and entertainment hub has four other crowd-pulling concepts: Stratosphere -- Asia’s first luxury bar nestled on top of an infinity grassed helipad with a 360-degree view of the city and greater Klang Valley, Play -- a premium dance club with guest stints by local and international DJs spinning the decks, The Malt & Leaf -- a cosy haven where vintage malts are paired with the world's finest cigars and Score -- a lively sports bar for post-work tipples and R&R.

For reservations at Signature by The Hill, call tel: 03-7725-3588. Address: The Roof, Sky Level, 1 First Avenue, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.


Summer Duck Salad (RM23), slices of smoked duck breast are served with cubes of watermelon, longan, feta cheese and tossed with a peach dressing.  - See more at: http://pureglutton.com/signature-roof#sthash.7Uw3gRm4.dpuf

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