It's a silly cliché but The Restaurant is the restaurant that I'd love to be wined and dined at given a choice. Cosily ensconced in the plush serenity of The Club Saujana, its posh, clubby ambience keeps the hurly-burly of daily life at bay.
But what is a classy restaurant without good food? Fortunately, The Restaurant's leading man - chef Alexander Waschl - ensures every diner leaves with Cheshire cat-size smiles on their faces, coaxed by his wealth of culinary aces that leave discerning connoisseurs well-satisfied of course. Much-lauded since his arrival some three years ago, Alexander the Great (well, he has been winning all these awards hence the nickname) has proven that the way to people's hearts is indeed through their stomachs.
If your curiosity is piqued and you wonder what are his specialities that have everyone singing his praises, the wickedly luscious Foie Gras Ice Crème with a Smoked Duck Roll and Granny Smith Apple (RM100) is a surefire bet. I guaranteed your heart will melt after a taste of that cool, creamy yet mildly briny confection.
The Smoked Duck and Foie Gras with Baked Apple, Wantan and Cranberry Sauce – a tongue-teasing palette of textural and flavourful contrasts that will get you into a real flap.
Even more devilishly delectable is the Truffle Duck Confit Ravioli with Onion Jam and White Port Wine Foam (RM50); an ethereal blend of heavy and light flavours, tender and slippery smooth textures, as well as dominant and subtle nuances on both the nose and tastebuds.
Drink in this 'garden' of sweet peas
Although I'm no soup lover, I really dig the Garden Peas Cream Soup with Oven-roasted Pine Nuts (RM34) for its bright, jade-green hue and velvety slickness. Earthier and brimming with woody robustness, the Mushroom Consommé with Mushroom Ravioli and Vegetable Brunoise (RM34) tastes reminiscent of heartwarming chicken essence – perfect comfort food for world-weary souls.
Similar succour can be sought in the Pot Au Feu (RM85) though the chef's version is strikingly different from the classic French one. The delicate pasta parcels of Grilled Scallops, Squids, and Lobster Tortellini bathed in some lush, voluptuous sauce that jolts the tongue with some startlingly zingy 'kick ass' sambal-laced emulsion.
Further evidence of Chef Alex's penchant for spicy food can be found in the outlet's signature Nasi Goreng Kampung (RM40). Before you freak out over the princely sum, let it be known that this ultra-luxe, top-selling rice platter is fit for a king and includes skewers of succulent prawn and chicken satay, crowned with a sunny-side up egg.
My personal show-stealing pick for an encore would be the Smoked Spring Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Fried Mushroom Bread Dumpling and Onion Jam (RM60). It's substantial serving for a warm appetiser but hey, who's complaining? This tender chook coupled with the various components is a culinary masterpiece that has to be savoured to be believed.
Minimalist fans would enjoy the Open Lasagna with Poached Scallop, Pepper, Leek and Saffron Sauce (RM60). The 'nude' pasta sheet adorned with poached sweet scallops and drenched in saffron-scented, leek and pepper-flecked sauce definitely makes no apologies for its plush richness.
Fish fans aren't bereft of choices either with temptations such as Grilled Salmon with Citrus Fruit Sabayon, Carrot Mousseline, Crabmeat Cannelloni & Sautéed Vegetable (RM85) or Fried Seabass with Bouillabaisse Sauce, Garlic Mousseline and Ratatouille Vegetable (RM85). Both fish are cooked to opaque, toothsome doneness and gently perked up by attendant sides that enliven their delicate sweetness.
Brace yourself for pin-drop silence when sampling the Roasted Rack of Lamb and Braised Lamb Shoulder with Eggplant, Potato Fondant & Baked Potato Strudel (RM150). Suffice to say long-winded description is unnecessary; the proof is completely is its eating.
The heftier serving of Wagyu Striploin and Braised Organic Beef Cheek (110g) with Celeriac Moussline, Baked Cepes Mushroom Ravioli (RM180) should leave even the most mighty appetite replete. Swaggering with irresistible juiciness, this is one piece of buttery-tender meat that will sear itself into your memory.
Don't fool yourself into believing you'd never be able to tackle dessert (RM30-RM34 each). Not when sinfully decadent creations such as the Ultimate Chocolate Brownie with Iced Milk Mousse, Nougat Ice Cream and Berries, Iced Champagne Mousse with Chocolate Chilli Bonbon and House-made Coffee Ice Cream with Amaretti beckon. Just succumb and revel in the sheer sweet bliss!
The Restaurant, The Club Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS, Shah Alam, Selangor. Tel: 03-7806 7000