Monday, November 28, 2016


Strips of smoked salmon laid out in the house Smoked Salmon Salad (RM29.90) - an appetising fresh salad of hydroponic lettuce leaves, diced green apple and beetroot, microsprouts and walnuts dressed in balsamic vinaigrette paved the way for our dining experience at D Empire, a modern European restaurant at Pavilion KL.
Previously located at Main Place USJ and Mont Kiara, D Empire is now soaring high at posh new premises with super-high ceiling and picture windows giving shoppers expansive views of its polished brasserie-style setting. It's a befitting stage allowing us to dine as princelings without turning us into paupers.
The classy, warmly lit interior may seem intimidating but upon stepping in, you'd find the timber flooring, streamlined panelling and long banquette seating along with sturdy bentwood chairs and dining table a desirable haven to dine and unwind.
After we warmed up to some of the house mocktail concoctions, Chef Dallan Tan set about preparing a feast for our sampling. A veteran with close to three decades of experience, his speciality lies in fine European cuisine from past working stints locally and abroad.
After the initial green curtain-raiser, we got to grips with a plate of piping hot stuffed Escargots Bourguignon (RM26.90, half dozen).
Bathed in a golden pool of melted butter on silky smooth mash, those moreish, succulent snails with chopped garlic and herb tasted sublime. We couldn't resist pairing them with crusty baguette pieces dunked into that luxuriant buttery sauce.

There's a timeless appeal in the Italian speciality of risotto - its rusticity and basic simplicity referencing those comforting dishes we cherish. Chef Dallan Tan displayed his well-honed culinary prowess in the Creamy Mushroom Risotto (RM32.90), artfully ensuring the plump, al dente grains burst with the delicate scent and woody nuances of button and oyster mushroom.
The chef highlighted that the menu is a work-in-progress hence he rustled up his latest Pizza Bandiera (RM28.90) for our sampling. Channelling the tricolour Italian flag through sliced roma tomatoes with fresh rocket leaves and savoury cheese shavings, the scrumptiously crisp pizza ticked all the right boxes: texture, toppings and taste for us.
For a quintessential grasp of Italian culinaria, we highly recommend savouring the Olio Bacon (RM26.90). Simply tossed in olive oil with a trinity of bird's eye chilli, flat leaf parsley and smoky beef bacon slivers, the pasta left us smitten with its bare-frill deliciousness.
A surefire crowd-pleasing choice came in the form of charbroiled and baked Chicken Whole Leg (RM29.90). It tasted way better than its ho-hum description - the deboned chicken thigh and drumstick flaunted such crispy skin and juicy meat, it had us clucking with approval. Accompanied by Mediterranean-style grilled veggies with a splash of tangy and lightly creamy caper sauce along with flavourful chicken jus, Chef Dallan Tan said  getting the right chook of a particular weight is key to the dish's making.

A drizzling of sensuous beef jus made from scratch and a smear of mustard provided the finishing touch to the grilled grass-fed Black Angus Ribeye (RM58.90). Unfortunately, we found the steak cooked to medium tottering on the brink of well-doneness which didn't cut it for those of us who preferred it medium rare.
Things soon returned to even keel when we reeled in the ship-shape speciality of Salmon Trout (RM46.90). The slab of fish had a spot-on blush pink centre; its richness amplifying the piquant accents from the accompanying spicy coulis + caper cream sauce.

Passionfruit cheesecake (RM17.90) brought sweet closure to our maiden visit to D Empire. It was a luscious yet light enough creation to see us off into the night without leaving us feeling like deadweight.
I have a feeling we'd be back in view of D Empire's winning factors: strategic location, elegant ambiance, decent food quality and reasonable pricing. Check out the Executive Set Lunch too which offers fab value for money.

For reservations at D EMPIRE ART OF CUISINE, please call tel: 03-2110 6196. The resto is located at Lot 6.33 & 6.34, Level 6, Pavilion KL, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL.

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