Affordable Fine Dining @ Marco Creative Cuisine, 1 Utama: Awaken Your Senses
27.04.2017 by thequahs
Whenever someone mentions “fine dining”, the first thing that just pop in our mind is how expensive it usually costs, on top of how small the portion usually is. To our surprise, this was the first time we stumbled upon an affordable fine dining experience that does not skimp on quality, quantity, or overall experience.
Located in the heart of 1 Utama Shopping Mall in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Marco Creative Cuisine as a simple yet classy interior that doesn’t intimidate new or veteran fine cuisine diners.
It wasn’t easy to find the restaurant at first, but here is a huge hint. Marco Creative Cuisine is located at the Old Wing, in the vicinity of shops like TGIF, Carl’s Junior, Shojikiya, Sun Moulin Bakery, and PappaRich, just to name a few. It also took over the spot previously known as Franco.
So, how do you enjoy a lovely fine dining experience? Firstly, let us explain the way the menu works. At Marco Creative Cuisine, you enjoy a 7-course meal that consists of a palate cleanser, an appetiser, a choice of soup, a choice of entree, a choice of main, a choice of dessert, and a choice of drink to go with your dessert. It may sound a lot to some, but overall, the portions are just about right. For this season, you will experience Marco’s Journey of Flavours menu which will Awaken Your Senses; a course that will only be available for 4-6 months before the journey changes.
The Palate Cleanser
Let’s start with the palate cleanser. This Velvety Macha-Lime Shooter is served in an espresso-sized cup, and is meant to awaken your senses to this Journey of Flavours. It is lime sorbet based foam with green tea powder sifted on the top. The foam is freshly made, so make sure you quickly consume before it flattens out! It still tastes great either way, and it feels refreshing to the palate.
Next up is an appetiser. In this course, you will enjoy a Savoury Eclair, which is somewhat like a gruyere-flavoured crunchy hollow pastry topped with aubergine caviar, green chilli pesto and tomato confit. The contrast in texture is quite surprising, with the slight spiciness of the green chilli pesto and tanginess of the tomato brings a burst of contrasting flavours in your mouth. By the way, we were told that the right way of eating this dish is with our hands. Hurray for casual dining! Haha.
Choice of Soup
Now, you can decide whether you are super adventurous, not too adventurous, or in-between. #theMissus was feeling adventurous so she ordered the Strawberry Gazpacho, while #theMister decided to go for the in-between option, which was the French Onion Soup. Another friend was there to try the classic Truffle Mushroom Soup, so we managed to snap a photo of it for your reference. Haha.
The Strawberry Gazpacho is cold soup of strawberries, capsicum, onions, and cucumber, served chilled topped with dehydrated strawberries and microgreens (in this case it was mint). How did it taste? Well, it depends on how adventurous you are. Some might find chilled soup a little weird, especially with strawberries, but honestly, it was really refreshing. It wasn’t sweet like dessert as one would expect, but with a hint of spice from the capsicum, it balanced out the flavours, while the sweetness of onion cuts the sharpness of the fruity strawberry.
As for the French Onion Soup, it was seriously quite a thick broth of caramalised onions. Served with two thickly sliced French Toast on the side, both the soup and toast is a little on the sweet side, though the sweetness of onion comes from the 4 hours of boiling it in homemade chicken stock. The soup is quite thick, more on a gravy side than what you would expect from a soup, which can fill you up quite a bit despite its portion size.
Just like the soups, you have 3 choices of entree to choose from. Just like the soups, your choice would probably depend on how adventurous you are. If you want to try something different from the norm, then you should try this Savoury Ice Cream Salad.
Never did we ever think that you can actually make the salad dressing into an ice cream. The savoury ice cream is seated on a bed of hand-chopped roasted olives, surrounded by a bed of assorted baby leaves, seasonal microgreens, heirloom tomato, and (edible) violet flowers. The light cool flavour of the ice cream went well with the saltiness of the olives, giving an interesting mix of flavours in the mouth.
For something not too out-of-the-norm, you can try the Chicken Liver Parfait. Do take note that this specific dish has some alcohol in it to make the pate more flavourful. This pate is a little different as it has a brûlée top, and served with toast and Granny Smith apple chips. This is quite a rich dish, and can be a little on the sweet side since it is creamy, and has a sweet top with sweet apple chips. If you prefer something on the classic side, or if you are on a plant-based diet, you can opt for the Garden Platter which is a salad of garden greens with French Tartare sauce.
The Main Dish
This is the main dish of the journey and you have a chance to choose one of the six mains available. Out of the six mains which includes the recommended Duck Breast with Orange Puree and Roasted Beetroot, the Chicken Roulade with Brussel Sprouts, Salmon with Jet Black Hollandaise, Squid Ink Japonica Rice (another highly recommended dish), a classic Pomodoro Cream Seafood Pasta, and a plant-based Vegetarian Arrabbiata.
#theMissus chose the Duck Breast with Orange Puree and Roasted Beetroot since she loves duck and it was afterall, one of Daren Leong, chef-owner of Marco Creative Cuisine’s signature dish. According to Daren, this particular dish was inspired by the Cantonese roast duck, and to make this meat as tender as possible, it has been sous vide and seared, finished with Naval oranges and 66% Valrhona dark chocolate sauce. The aftertaste? Exquisite. The mix of bitter, sweet and sour gives this main dish a burst of flavour, paired with the juiciness of the duck.
As for #theMister, he chose the Salmon with Jet Black Hollandaise, probably because he likes hollandaise sauce and being black in colour, seems more intriguing than rice. He isn’t really much of a fan of rice. Anyway, the salmon also tastes like it is sous vide and seared, finished with squid ink hollandaise sauce and green chilli pesto that was also used in the appetiser, with pickled beetroot on the side. The beetroot actually tasted pretty yummy, so much so that #theMissus who hates beetroot actually gobbled it up. This dish was pretty decent, but more for those who aren’t too adventurous and prefer the safer route.
Dessert and Drinks
Finally, we have reached the end of our journey with dessert and drinks. In both the dessert and drinks section, you have 3 options to choose from. Dessert option include Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie, Raspberry Decadence, and Creme Brulee with White Chocolate Sherbet. For drinks to go with your dessert, you can choose to have Single Origin, French Press Coffee, Loose Tea Leaves, or Sparkling Ice Berry, depending on whether you like coffee, tea, or an iced drink.
We ordered a the Lemon Meringue and the Creme Brulee, and #theMister had coffee, while #theMissus ordered the sparkling berry drink.
The Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie is plated with different elements separately, such as Lemon Curd, Passion Fruit Gel, Italian Meringue, and White Chocolate Sherbet. This classical dessert was plate in such a way, that it allows you to choose how you want to eat it, whether you rather start from nibbling on the meringue or head straight to the sherbet, or just mix everything up. What we liked most was that the dessert wasn’t too sweet; in fact some other dishes tasted sweeter than the dessert so it is a nice end to this journey.
As for the Creme Brulee with White Chocolate Sherbet, Chef Daren has made this classical dessert into something a little more whimsical. The meringue kisses are candy cane coloured, with the White Chocolate Sherbet sitting on a bed of chocolate cookie crumble. Just like the other dessert, this dish isn’t too sweet, which makes a lovely end to an exciting journey. Do also try out the Single Origin French Coffee; the aroma is just heavenly.
. . . . .
I like the fact that you’re given choices throughout the entire journey as most set courses usually only allow you to choose the main dish. At the same time, there aren’t that many choices to give you a hard time in selecting, which can be frustrating sometimes. I was also pleasantly surprised that Brussels Sprouts was included as the side compliment for the chicken main as it usually isn’t a favourite vegetable for most people, but hey, Chef Daren also shares the same love for it and that’s probably why it is on the menu. 🙂
Generally, I think it is quite worth the amount paid. RM78+ per person, and everything can be served within 50 minutes; that’s quite a feat. Most fine dining places would charge much more and with smaller portions. In fact, the price for this Journey of Flavours is one of the most affordable fine dining I’ve come across without compromise in ingredients and quality. However, if you are not the adventurous type, try not to go for something that is way out of your comfort zone or you might waste the chance to enjoy what this place offers.
MARCO CREATIVE CUISINE
BUSINESS HOURS | Mon – Sun: 12 noon – 3pm (Lunch); 3pm – 6pm (Coffee & Desserts); 6pm – 10pm (Dinner)
ADDRESS | Lot G146, Ground Floor (Old Wing), 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya 47800 Selangor, Malaysia.
PHONE | +603-7731 8293 (Reservation Recommended)
EMAIL | firstname.lastname@example.org
PAYMENT | Cash, Visa, Mastercard
PRICE RANGE | RM78+ per person, with A la Carte Order of Soup/Entree: RM18 per serving, Main: RM35 per serving (+RM10 for Duck), Desserts: RM20 per serving
HALAL | Pork-free, serves wine.
CHILDREN FRIENDLY | 1/10; Food and decor not really suitable for kids. Save this place for a date night instead.
FACEBOOK | www.fb.com/marcocreativecuisine
WEBSITE | www.marcocreativecuisine.com