Lamb, lobster, dry-aged chicken. These are some of the tempting choices you'd find Joon Dining's Set Lunch...minus the princely sum. The restaurant’s 3 course Set Lunch at RM48++ per person and 4 course for RM60++ per person is a good deal these days.
The culinary force here is 43-year old Tyrell Joon whose fine-dining credentials include stints at the much-lauded Les Amis and Iggy’s in Singapore. Opened last year, Joon Dining is part of the Rare Food Company; the modern, minimalist restaurant is located at B.Land in Petaling Jaya where several other hipster joints are also onsite.
Chef Joon said “the set lunch is a pared-down version of our degustation menu. Our aim is to entice more local diners to try Joon Dining’s specialities; enabling them to learn about my modern European cooking infused with Asian influences. We hope they will understand and appreciate the new ingredients we use, and our innovative food preparation techniques such as meat ageing and sous vide. We also want to educate more people on food and wine pairings.”
The Set Lunch first course comprised warm, house-made Ciabatta Roll with Garlic Lemon Butter – a nice starter to whet the appetite whilst we perused through the list of five starters, five main courses and two desserts.
My personal favourite starter is the truffle oil-scented Mushroom Cappuccino with Sourdough Melba Toast. Foamy at first sip, we took to the lush and creamy soup instantly; relishing every delicious spoonful in-between bites of the crisp wafer-thin toast.
Tossed with shredded lettuce, purple cabbage and chunks of pomelo sacs, the refreshingly tangy Baby Octopus al ajillo style (it means cooked in garlic) came flecked with crisp garlic and chilli flakes. This on-point salad also got the thumbs up.
Chef Joon’s Sautéed Wild Mushroom with slightly chewy Duck Gizzard and Balsamic Crème proved winsome too. We enjoyed the varied range of textural interplay from the custardy soft onsen egg, chewy gizzard and tender fungi. The lightly toasted pieces of bread were great for mopping up the sauce.
Another locally inspired appetiser is Pani Puri. The fried semolina-wheat dough, sized like ping-pong balls, came with an appetising filling of diced salmon, compressed apple and ginger ponzu dressing. So fun and delightful to eat.
Vegetarians and health-conscious diners may opt for Roasted Cauliflower with Salted Egg Gribiche, Pumpkin Seeds, and Sultanas. Joon tweaked the gribiche (French cold egg sauce) with salted egg yolks, emulsifying it with oil and mustard then adding chopped chervil to finish. Sultanas and pumpkin seeds lent mild sweetness and crunch to the dish.
Zingy Sichuan peppercorns’ tongue-tingling heat dialled up the appeal of Mala Mongolian Lamb Ragout. Served with mini fried mantou buns, we had a field day chomping on the juicy chunks of lamb amidst soft radish pieces and deep-fried lotus root crisps.
Chef Joon’s meat-ageing showcase is exemplified by his Free Range Dry Aged Chicken Confit with Tajin Lyonnaise Potatoes and Sweet Corn Velouté. Complemented by sweet, creamy smooth velouté, caramelised onion and fried baby potatoes, the tender chicken and spiced potatoes hit the spot for us. He told us the ageing process tenderises the meat and intensifies its flavour.
For a supplementary charge of RM18, you can savour the chef’s show-stealing Lobster Pasta. The natural sweetness of the wild-caught spiny lobster meat was accentuated by mellow spicy-sour kimchi sauce, making it a superb pairing with his fresh, handmade pasta.
Tuak along with chilli and garlic was Joon’s choice to flavour his famed Vongole Pasta (RM48). Suffused by the heady rice wine and aromatics, the Bornean clams’ sea-sweetness was thoroughly soaked up by the house-made pasta.
The Super Seafood Paella (supplementary charge of RM28) was laden with clams, prawns and half a lobster (mixed seafood may change dependent on catch of the day). Rendered with tomato cream and sweet basil aioli, this hearty rice dish left no room for complaints.
From the a la carte line-up, we fished for Broiled Izumidai with Ulam Raja Parmesan Espuma and Choy Poh Popcorn (RM58). TBH, we found the tiny bits of preserved radish ‘popcorn’ barely made a difference to the sweet white Nile tilapia, somewhat eclipsed by the more distinct nuances of parmesan and local herb.
Dessert was a tad underwhelming as only Lemon Cheese Curd Tart was available during our visit. Even though the tart had canned peach slices and honey tuile as adornments, the lemon curd didn’t leave any impression.
|Dry-ageing eel and chicken in the special cabinet at Joon Dining|
For reservations at Joon Dining, call tel: 016-848 4257. Address: Lot 1, b. Land, 2, Jalan 51a/225, Seksyen 51a, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Business hours: Mon-Sat 12 noon – 2 pm; 6 pm – 9 pm