Friday, 14 November 2008

Piggin' Out: Sage, The Gardens

Restaurant: Sage, The Gardens, Midvalley City
Tel: 03 2268 1188
Note: Dinner only and it's best to call up and book beforehand.
Directions: Take the Isetan side lifts to Level 6. There's nothing else on that floor when you come out of the lift so finding it shouldn't be an issue.

I was just reading The Cork Brothers' recent post on Sage and remembered that I wanted to write about my experience there too.

Sage is the sister restaurant to the famous Cilantro at Micasa apts which closed a while back. Now, I never had the chance to go to Cilantro... One, I was in the UK when the whole buzz about Cilantro was on. Two, I procrastinated when I came back. People had been telling me over and over again that I should try it out. I said I would but never did until it was too late.

So, after reading this blog post, I knew it was time.

Last Friday, with no particular plans in mind for dinner and the parents both available for dinner, we headed to Sage. I was surprised we could get a table at such a late notice but we did. When we arrived, we saw why. The whole place was pretty empty except for 3 other tables. Unlike a few weeks ago when we called and they'd said they were fully booked that weekend and the weekend after. (worsening consumer sentiment, perhaps?)

The parents only took a main course each while Rommel and I both went for the 4-course set. There was a reason for this though - we shared the starters and desserts. (Our miserable attempt at eating less).

The Chef's Special of the Day was the same as what the Lyrical Lemongrass had - oysters topped with fresh cream and caviar. I wasn't in the mood for oysters so Mom had it instead.

Next I had the scallop while Rommel had the wagyu beef. Note, I said scallop, without an s. For RM60 (if you had it ala carte), that's pretty steep even though the scallop was a decently big. The wagyu beef was pretty nice from that one bite I had. Rommel said it was good.

Mom wanted "something light" and she initially wanted the scallop for her main meal until I pointed out that the menu says scallop, not scallops (and I was right). So she ended up ordering the threadfin fillet with wakame, which frankly, was rather bland and she kept complaining. It pretty much just tasted like some poached fish served with some bland seaweed broth.

By this time, I was already feeling tremendous disappointment. Then Pa's salted cod with foie gras came. I remembered this from the Lyrical Lemongrass' review. I didn't try it but Pa seemed to enjoy it. Maybe he would have enjoyed it with some wine but he was trying to be disciplined that day - no alcohol and no red meat. The dish certainly looked interesting and the foie gras - delectable.

Then my main course came. Duck confit with foie gras. I took a bite and was in foie gras heaven. Like literally. I didn't realise my dish came with foie gras actually. Was craving for duck and so I didn't read the rest of the sentence in the menu to see what came with it. But it was certainly a yummy surprise. And I shared this sinful treasure called foie gras with Rommel (he was already eyeing it the moment the waiter placed the plate on the table). We both enjoyed it so much that I now have it as my phone's wallpaper.

The duck itself was also perfection. Really moist, enough fat but not too much, lightly seasoned.

Rommel ordered the lamb cutlets. I had a bite and vaguely remembered that it tasted really nice. Sorry but I cant comment anymore because all I really remembered from the main course was the foie gras.

Dessert was actually a great disappointment. Mom saw the "apple crumble" and wanted that. Rommel took the chocolate biscuit with some sweet sauce (I cant remember now if it was caramel or butterscotch). Mom's apple crumble turned out to be an almond crumble with poached apples at the bottom (again, we did not read the menu properly). She had in mind some sort of apple pie. In any case, I wasn't impressed at all with the dessert that day but maybe it's because the foie gras had shadowed everything else. (yes I can still go on the foie gras).

Price-wise, I'll actually say it was decent. Not the shocking OTT price range that I was expecting (I've heard stories from others on how the cost of their meal at Cilantro can be pretty steep). Yes, the scallop was expensive but when you include it as part of the 4-course Gourmet set that goes for RM160, I thought it was acceptable. If you didn't want the full course, they also have the 3-course Sage set at RM140 or you can order a la carte - starters at RM60, main course at RM80 and the dessert at RM30.

I'd order just my duck confit with foie gras next time.. At RM80 for that, it's really value-for-money. Especially when a certain other French-ish restaurant in downtown KL once charged me RM90 for just the foie gras.

Next on my checklist - a visit to my cardiologist to see what he has to say about this. Doctors already predicted that I have a really high chance of getting a heart attack sometime soon, given my cholesterol levels. Eep. Eat and Be Merry!