Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review : Twenty.One Christmas Set Menu

I wrote about the set menu offering at Twenty.One about a month ago and yesterday, we visited the outlet in Bangsar Shopping Centre for a catch up session with the Marketing Manager, Ms. Janet Lam and also to sample the scrumptious meal that was created and prepared throughout December to celebrate Christmas and New Year 2012.
This is my second time to Twenty.One, first when i reviewed the Mother's Day Special where the food left m wanting more. Moreover, i have wifey with me this time around. She has wanted to visit the place since my last review, but never had the chances or time.
The interesting thing about this review was that i am given the teaser before the actual review - which will allow me to verify the authenticity of the photo during the teaser against what will be served on the table. Often, like some fast food restaurant, what you see on the advert are often NOT what you will get.
We arrived at the restaurant by 7pm. By then, many tables has been reserved and there was already a crowd trickling into the place. Granted that it was Friday night and there was a party happening later that night with guest DJ from Joey G and Patricia K, the general crowd was there to celebrate anything from birthday (there were 3 birthdays!) to hen's night (someone getting married).
Reserved for a Bride-To-Be
We started the dinner with a Lycheemartini (for wifey) and a glass of Guinness Draught for myself. I do not take to drinking that well, but circumstances requires me to learn to hold my drink - at least a glass. I apparently came at the right time as my glass of "Black Gold" was fresh from a new barrel. It was clearly evident with the ultra smoothness of the bitter stout with the characteristic bitterness.
Stirred and Sweet
It's Good For You!
Before i go on, it might be good to let all of you know that Twenty.One is actually conceptualised by the same people that brought you the good ol' Telawi Street Bistro where drinks and food are of about the same expected standard for the money that you will spend on. This is important as my observation of some of these establishment is either you get good drinks or good food - never both together. Occurrence of both good food and good drinks are not impossible to find, but difficult to chance upon.
We were told by Janet that the servings will be enough for sharing if we wanted to. We decided to go with one starter each as they are "manageable". When we received the first course, we were surprised with the consistency of the food presentation. You can cross check the photos given by Janet against the photos i have taken of the food below.
Here is the first starter that is asparagus salad with duck prosciutto with poached quail eggs in hollandaise sauce tasted as good as it looked. It was the first time i ate the duck prosciutto or air cured duck ham. I must say that the duck taste/smell is very subtle and the air dried ham gives a very nice chewy texture to compliment the crunchy asparagus and the hollandaise sauce. While we had poached eggs before, no one took the trouble to poach something as small as the quail eggs. I must say they are rather nicely paired with the whole meal.
Hmm...the presentation looked good!
A Wife that don't forget you and gives you the first bite.
I had my Brussels sprout soup with turkey meatball. The greenish soup tasted better than it looked. Some people are wary about eating something because of the color or how they look, let me assure you that if green turns you off, just eat with your eyes closed and let your tongue savour the savoury sweetness of the soup. The meat ball made from turkey was good too. It is a out the size of an average fish ball and the portion is just right without filling up the tummy before the main course.
Photo did not do justice to the serving
One spoon, or thereabout, for size comparison.
Between the two starters, i will go for the soup. It provides a warm feeling to the tummy and you do have your vegetable and soup at one go. A winner in my opinion.
While waiting for the mains to come, the conversation obviously drifted to Twenty.One schedule for year end. I was informed that the outlets have been kept busy with a lot of year end functions and booking has been flying in on a daily basis. As they say, if the food is good, the drink is reasonable and the ambiance is close to perfect, the promotion of the place will be by word of mouth. Three functions back to back in a day prove just how popular the place has grown to be. So, do book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Not long after that, the main arrived and the portion sort of taunt me in a virtual way if i can finish it.
The plate was big, so was the portion
Slices of Oven baked turkey breast with chicken sausages, edamane beans and caramelised cranberries was a mixture of meatiness and fusion at one go. To start with, people usually cook potato croquette and not YAM croquette. The texture and taste would remind you of the yam basket. Secondly, who would have taken the trouble to pair up edamane (soya bean) with something this western? IN that sense, this is Fusion in not a very confusing way (like a spaghetti wan tan mee, for example?) One thing that still impressed me was how the chef keeps the turkey keel (lesson learnt, my blog was blocked off because of the word br3ast) meat juicy and tasty. Keel meat are known to be dry and with very little fat, making the cut a challenge to be cooked perfectly. I suspect the keel was cooked sous vide, just like the chicken that was served in the previous review.
Told you it was a large serving
The mains filled me up and the Guinness just made the food go down with pleasure. It is like turkey agrees that the Stout was good for it too! Needless to say, the plate was cleaned - short of me embarrassing myself by licking up the sauce; though Janet allowed me to.

With the main done, it was time to walk about to allow the food to settle a little bit while waiting for the dessert to be served. We went for the Chrissy Pudding as the Banana Pudding sounded very filling. Janet did warn us that the dessert is dense - many could not finish it alone and has to be shared by two person.
I took that as a challenge. I have sweet tooth and it has been months since i had a proper dessert. Secretly, i was telling myself that "i will burn this off, somehow".
Vanilla reduction, blueberries and crumbles...sinful
If you idea is to have dessert as your main, i say go ahead, this one is a filler. It was not too sweet (even after my "sweetness meter has been recalibrated after months of abstaining from sugar laden food). It gives a just nice feeling with the vanilla reduction (i.e. cream) and the sourness of the blueberries gives the dish a bit of punch to it.
Feeling Christmas-y already!
The meal came up to about RM75++ each pax, which is ain't too bad if you are looking to splurge a little to reward yourself for that "job well done" or to use up a small portion of that year end bonus being dished out at this time of the year. Add in the happy hour drink (buy 1, free 1), it will be about RM100++/pax/meal.
with good sunset view such as the KL city skyline thrown in, you can sit all night to soak up the party atmosphere when the night grow older (usually party starts at 11pm) and the crowd starts to pack in.
Perfect location for 2012 Countdown???
They could be contacted at the addresses and phone number below for inquiries or reservation purposes. Open for both Lunch (12 noon onwards) and Dinner! They gladly takes catering for functions (F&B and events) with the location easily able to cater to 100pax or possibly more.

twenty.one kitchen+bar
20-1, Changkat Bukit Bintang
Tel : +603 2142 0021
twenty.one tables+terrace
T1, Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Centre
Tel: +603 2287 0021
twenty.one outlets are brainchild of Dan and Richy and they started the business back about four years ago as DR.Bar. Having won at least two HORECA awards (that's Hotel/Restaurant/Cafe if you wonder what that is) and mentions in the local TimeOut KL and Juice magazine certainly hold volume for a humble four years old establishment. You can also find them in Facebook here and here or follow them on twitter @twentyone_tweet.

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