Wednesday, October 12, 2016

NEW CHEF CUTS A SWATH AT SENJA



Chef Marco Violano from Puglia, Italy brings over 20 years of culinary experience from internationally acclaimed restaurants and luxury chain hotels worldwide to Senja, the all-new Italian restaurant at The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur.

Surrounded by a cascading pool and lush gardens, the new Senja now occupies the stylish space (formerly The Restaurant) effective August this year. The plush lounge remains the hallowed threshold that accords arriving patrons tentative glimpses into the ambient-lit dining area. Beyond the bank of French doors is the serene alfresco terrace
A complimentary cocktail of Campari Soda heralded our sneak preview of Senja's Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival (MIGF) menu created by Chef Marco. The perfect antidote to drown out the weariness of battling post-work traffic.
Patrons partaking the MIGF menu will commence with Amuse-Bouche of Tortino di
Parmiagiana di Melanzane con Pomodori San Marzano e Crema al Parmigiano (Baked Layers of Eggplant “Parmigiana” Style with Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella). 
Such bright, lustrous and winsome flavours evoked by the cheese, eggplant and tomato trinity were brought to a crescendo by the citrusy freshness of the Frankland Estate 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from Western Australia. Our palate was suitably 'amused' in anticipation for the slew of exquisite dishes to come.
 
Appetiser to open the showcase comprised Battuto di Tonno Pinna Gialla con Croccantino di Polpa di Granchio Piccante e Salsa Tonnata (Yellow Fin Tuna Loin Tartare with Crab Cake and Tuna Sauce).
It was comparable to a summer carnival where voluptuous tuna dices dipped and frolicked with the crusty and delicately sweet crab cake, amidst ripples of concentrated savouriness. The sparkling duet garnered extra accolade from the accompanying Western Australia's Frankland Estate 2014 Chardonnay.
Warming up to the stellar performance was Zuppa di Pomodorini Pachino Siciliani con Burratina di Corato ed Olio al Basilico (Sicilian Cherry Tomato Soup with Burrata Cheese) complemented by Margaret River's Miles from Nowhere 2013 Chardonnay. We were bowled over by the vibrant vibes of the Mediterranean in which sun-ripened tomatoes imbued their fruity sweetness into the salubrious broth, amplified by swirls of aromatic basil oil with a mild cheesy richness at its core.
We then fell hook, line and sinker for the sumptuous main course of Rollata di Filetto di Merluzzo con Zucchine Verdi in Guazzetto di Vongole Piccanti (Roasted Cod Wrapped with Zucchini and Lemon Thyme in Spicy Clams Stock and Broccoli Purée).

Washed down with prevalent notes of vanilla, melon & peach in the same Chardonnay, we were reeled in by the smooth, fine textured fish wrapped in zucchini ribbons which had gently soaked up the soulful clam essence and zingy purée.
As an ardent fan of scallops, I succumbed to the lure of Risotto al Nero di sepia con Medaglione di Cappesanta e Bottarga (“Carnaroli” Squid Ink Risotto with Hokkaido Scallops Medallion and “Bottarga”).
Complemented by a plummy Frankland Estate 2014 Shiraz with faint spice overtones, the divine scallop charmed the palate with its coy sweetness; the seafood's tender succulence stood out like a shining beacon in the unctuous pool of bewitchingly dark, nutty grains. A dusting of grated salted mullet roe ensured everything ended on a clean plate.
The chef proved going meat-free need not be boring as his Lasagna Cotta al Forno con
Funghi Porcini e Vellutata al Tartufo (Baked Lasagna with Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Fondue) proffered an endearingly rich, rustic tempo no serious food lover could ignore.

Crème Brulée al Pepe Nero con Composta di Banana (Black Pepper Crème Brulée with Banana Compote) brought sweet closure to our splendid preview. The portion was far too decadent although it was a well-matched cohort for Deakin Estate 2014 Moscato from South Australia.
The special MIGF menu is priced at RM280 nett per person (without wines) and RM370 nett with wine pairing, available until 31 October 2016.

For dining enquiries or reservations at Senja, please call (03) 7806 7000 ext 6722.
Address: The Club Saujana Resort Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS, Shah Alam, Selangor. Website: www.shr.my

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