Louise Miller and Monica Tindall
The Oak Room’s normally exclusive members only policy is on hold for the month of October when non-members can enjoy the classy environment of its expansive dining space to partake in the MIGF menu. The layout, decor and design of this club impresses as soon as you step through the door to its reception area. From here, the huge dining room spreads out before you.
Contemporary and classy, the dining space has different vibes in each of its distinct areas. It’s chilled and stylish in the main room, with more relaxed seating around the grand piano on a raised section by the tall windows. Overlit by a stunning amber light feature, a cool oval bar takes centre stage – a perfect place to enjoy an aperitif we think.
Further exploration of the venue reveals a range of private dining rooms, a lounge room perfect for relaxing in an armchair after dinner, an impressive wine room, a pretty patio and terrace and even a karaoke room or two!
Reassuringly, membership is free! This is surprising given the sophistication of the venue – I would have assumed that this comes at an exorbitant price but no, just fill out an application and wait to see if you fulfil The Oak Room’s desired member criteria. We are unsure as to what these are, but a conversation with their staff will allow them to ascertain if you fit the bill! Those fortunate to meet requirements will be entitled to use this lovely space when you wish and to bring a guest with you.
On completing our tour, we are offered the signature mocktail, The Spice of Oak. I identified ginger immediately but was unable to pick out any of the other spices in the blend used to make this tasty and refreshing beverage.
Freshly baked bread rolls warm from the oven with chive flecked butter announce the start of our meal with an amuse-bouche of delicious smoked salmon cylinders garnished with a punchy horseradish mayonnaise, salty black caviar, wolfberries and a sprig of aromatic chervil. A tasty and beautifully presented opener – we were off to a good start.
Using a fusion of Asian ingredients with Western methods, Chef Fong told us that the festival menu features some dishes from The Oak Room’s usual menu along with some special new creations.
Seared Hamachi or Japanese white tuna followed as our appetiser. Served perfectly rare inside, the fish was accompanied by a beetroot puree and sat on top of a pool of syrupy dashi sprinkled with sumac and fish flakes. Jewel like salmon roe crowned the fish, adding a saltiness to each bite. Fresh raspberries added an unusual touch to this dish. WestEnd Semillion Sauvignon Blanc 2013 was well-matched with the fish.
The entree was Pan-Fried Foie Gras with Duo of Pear, Onion Marmalade and Mixed Cress. The foie gras had been fined chopped and molded into tiny patty shapes before pan-frying, giving them a entirely different and courser texture to the way it is traditionally served. Brushstrokes of a tasty sea urchin based puree decorated the plates and added a depth of flavour as did the two onion marmalades, one red and one wine, stewed and caramelised in red and white wine respectively. Both of these jams and the caramelised Korean pear imparted a delightful sweetness to this impressive dish which was paired with the Spanish Don Vinico Chardonnay Macabeo 2013.
The soup course that followed was a Consomme of Golden Melon with Dumpling paired with a Chilean Valdivieso Chardonnay. This was a unanimous hit with us as we all felt instantly comforted by the sweet and deeply warming flavours of this golden liquid. I was convinced that some sweetening agent had been used – sugar, honey perhaps, but was assured by Chef Fong that the butternut squash used in the broth was entirely responsible. The gold leaf adorned dumpling was tightly packed with tasty minced chicken meat and was as delicious as the consomme.
Pot Roasted Black Cod followed the soup. Presented on a bed of chickpea and potato puree and accompanied with a sun blushed vine tomato, drizzles of olive oil and a balsamic reduction and a creamy oregano and lemon veloute, this was a toothsome main that pleased us all as did our second glass of Don Vinico Chardonnay Macabeo 2013.
Once we’d cleansed our palates with a tangy lime sorbet drizzled with a passionfruit we were ready for our second main.
The Pan-Fried Rack of Lamb was paired with a WestEnd Cabernet Merlot 2013. The New Zealand lamb was served atop a creamy ragout of yellow kumara napped with an intensely flavoured Wild Rustic tomato based sauce. The mangetout, asparagus and baby carrot that accompanied the meat were perfectly cooked, fresh, and had just the right amount of bite. The meat itself was very flavourful and nicely pink the further we cut in. Caning and I both agreed that we’d have enjoyed it even more a little pinker, so rare meat lovers should make this request.
The festival menu’s dessert, Strawberry Pavlova, had been a been hit at Taste MIGF: the pretty pink meringue nest filled with a sweet strawberry cream and garnished with fresh fruit is sure to please most sweet toothed diners. A plump strawberry sitting atop a layer of crumbled pistachios and adorned with the recurring gold leaf enhanced the menu’s pre-finale yet further as did the NVY Passionfruit, a sparkling wine, which partnered the dish.
Perfect cubes of Red Velvet Cake, Cheesecake and a trio of macarons made up the plate of Mignardises that brought the festival menu to its conclusion.
The Oak Room’s MIGF menu costs RM188 nett without wines and RM268 nett with wine pairing. MIGF offers include a 50% discount on a second bottle champagne, 20% discount on selected red and white wines, 10% discount on a la carte menu throughout the month of October. Groups of 10 or more festival menu diners will also benefit from one free menu for 10 full festival menus ordered.
Reasons to visit: A chance for non-members to check out the club for this month of October, attractive spacious setting, Consomme of Golden Melon, good value MIGF offers.
The Oak Room
Level 3, Nexus
59200 Kuala Lumpur
The Oak Room is open Monday to Saturday from 11:00am to 12:00 am and is closed on Sunday.