Midday Specials. Social Bites. The Cookbook. These catchy names denote the new lunch, light snacks and dinner menus at Cedar on 15, the rooftop restaurant and lounge at Impiana KLCC Hotel in line with 2019.
Following a fresh approach taken by Chef Helmut Lamberger, Corporate Chef (WACS Global Master Chef), local media peeps were given first dibs into the culinary team’s versatile repertoire.
Waitstaff swooped in bearing trays of Social Bites, catching our eye with the unusual presentation. Our Version of Bitterballen (RM26) — crisp potato croquettes flavoured with smoked turkey ham and cheese finished with dollops of avocado mousse (pix below) were scrumptious enough that I unashamedly went for repeat helpings.
Cocktail parties definitely would be more fun with wickedly delish Rockefeller Shrimp Popcorn (RM40) — crunchy deep-fried shrimp ‘popcorn’ in waxed newsprint cones served with roasted garlic aioli (bottom top pix). These nibbles easily reel you in so keep a tight grip on your own resolve or else...
Simpler but no less appealing on the palate is Vine Tomato Bruschetta (RM39). Amazing how sublime Cameron Highlands baby tomatoes baked with ricotta cheese, parsley oil and crushed pepper (bottom top pix) can taste when paired with some nice tipple.
According to Chef Helmut, the new menus focus on classic European favourites with modern updates, to cater to today’s discerning diners. He emphasised his team also took into consideration key issues such as seafood sustainability, the use of locally-grown herbs and mushrooms, changing food trends and evolving palates.
One of Chef Helmut’s notable creations, Carpaccio of Portobello Mushroom (RM54) actually won him the coveted ‘Chef of the Year, Austria’ by Gault Millau back in 1991. His latest interpretation in which the thinly sliced fungi came dotted with burrata cheese and whipped horseradish was a delicate, no-frills composition of rustic earthiness — to symbolise the Forest in The Cookbook (dinner menu).
The evening’s showstopper for me was the Earth-inspired Cream of Kohlrabi (RM44) with butter-seared scallops, baby greens and coral tuille. Also known as German turnip, this temperate vegetable is now grown in Camerons. Part bulb and part vegetable, it’s a cross between a radish, jicama, collard green and broccoli.
The Cedar on 15 team did an excellent job turning it into a lush, creamy soup that allowed the scallops’ natural sweetness to shine and enveloped the asparagus tips with its sleek smoothness.
With sustainability issue gaining traction in the food industry, Chef Helmut and his team selected Pan-fried Fillet of Malaysian Barramundi (RM64) as their main course of choice during the menu launch. A good decision as the fish itself proved on-point, accompanied by churned almond butter and sides of artichokes, potatoes, asparagus tips, olives, herbs and lemon wedges.
Passion is essential to chefs and the entire gastronomic feast we had experienced proved Chef Helmut Lamberger and his chaps spared no efforts in ensuring we went home happy. Their finale appeared in the form of A Medley of White Chocolate & Raspberry (RM44) with citrus crème and crispy snaps. Cloud-light with a well-balanced quotient of sweet and tangy accents, it hit the spot for me although I’m no fan of mousse-type treats.
The chef also demonstrated the preparation of some signature dishes such as Skaagen or Scandinavian Shrimp Salad, Foie Gras ‘Magyar’ and Barbary Duck Breast during dinner. A plethora of specialities from all three menus was also displayed for us to photograph and view at the launch.