It comes as no surprise that DC Restaurant by Darren Chin is known as one of the best Malaysian fine dining restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. What makes them stand out is not only its usage of some of the highest quality ingredients from all over the world, but how DC Restaurant has sought to define their own dining experience, a journey of culinary growth by the restaurant and its restauranteur, introducing DC Restaurant cuisine.
DC Restaurant takes its name from the owner Darren Chin, whose cuisine is undoubtedly some of the finest you can get in Kuala Lumpur. His use of high quality ingredients speaks for itself, and can be seen on his plates from amuse to dessert. His French training coupled with Japanese techniques produce some of the most unique pairings you can find, but he does not stop there. He furthers this evolution of the restaurant in developing its own unique cuisine, not bound to a specific style. When asked what influenced his thoughts when preparing a new menu, he replied: –
“We try to follow the European seasons because that’s when those specific ingredients are at its best. This is mirrored in the relationship that we have with our suppliers where they inform us when the produce is at its peak, and is best for harvest and use. We try to skew away from only creating protein-centric dishes. We let each individual dish evolve so it can stand on its own. Our signature somen took us a while to perfect, and with our langoustines dish, we apply our own fermentation techniques to produce the fermented vegetable jus used. Our cuisine does not fit into a certain definition of a specific type of cuisine. We want to showcase our personal expression that is DC cuisine as a whole.” — Darren Chin, Executive Chef of DC Restaurant.
DC Restaurant Autumn 2017 Dégustation Menu
The Autumn 2017 menu at DC Restaurant takes you on a gastronomic journey, titled the DC 7 Course Discovery Menu. The meal is based off the 7-course menu, with additional chef’s specials from Chef Darren for the tasting. The selection is quite broad, with a variation of choices for vegetable and seafood courses, but what is most interesting would be the selection of mains to choose from, with different proteins highlighted, such as scallops and blue lobster as seafood options, and veal, venison, lamb and wagyu for red meat choices.
DC’s 7 Course Discovery Menu
The first dish, a duo of pre-amuse bouche, a selection from the Chef’s Daily Amuse Bouche. The first pre-amuse was Pennywort, Uni and Coconut. This dish had that briny sweetness from the sea urchin, with fine strands of bitter pennywort (known in Malay as pegaga) and dry desiccated coconut giving the amuse an umami burst and coarse texture. The second pre-amuse was Muzuku, Chives and Ponzu. The muzuku, a Japanese fine hair seaweed, had a strong but delicate briny sweetness, that was made pronounced with the sharp notes from the chives and sourness of the ponzu. The Chef’s Daily Amuse Bouche changes each time, but you won’t be disappointed.
The second dish, a bread course, were the Croissants and Ciabatta served with French butter. The bread here were fresh and fluffy, and of the selection offered, the croissants stood out the most with its crispy and not overtly buttery texture. Easily some of the best breads you can have in Kuala Lumpur.
The third dish, an amuse-bouche course, was the Heirloom Tomatoes, Burrata, Basil and Fresh Horseradish with Olive Oil. The burrata was creamy and complemented the sweet, fragrant and flavourful heirloom tomatoes, with slivers of basil and fresh horseradish giving it a deeply flavoured but pungently mild kick. The high grade olive oil gave it a fruity note.
The fourth dish, an amuse-bouche course, was the French Wild Oyster with Cucumber Granité and Passionfruit Mousse. The oyster morsel itself was quite creamy, with hints of a metallic taste undertone. The cucumber granite gave a very light contrast to the intensely sweet and sour burst from the passionfruit mousse, further contrasted with bitter micro florals. This appetiser was immensely perfectly balanced and is must try.
This dish was paired with the Larmandier-Bernier Champagne, a champagne that complemented the umami rich oyster starters.
The fifth dish, an amuse bouche course, was the Beetroot Cloud, Fermented Vegetables, Rice Cracker with Budu Mayo and Yoghurt Powder Dust, Pumpkin Croquette and Smoked Butterfish Cubes. This dish starts off with the beetroot cloud and ends with the butterfish cubes. The beetroot cloud was genius, with the fruity sweetness of the beetroot, but with the texture of a meringue, melting in your mouth almost instantly. The fermented vegetables consisted of carrot and cauliflower, which had undertones of light sweet-sourness. The rice cracker was crispy, with most of the flavour coming from the umami punched budu mayo, with the yoghurt powder dustings cutting through the fat from the mayo. The crispy pumpkin croquette had a nice sweetness to it. The final component, the butterfish, had a nice smoky flavour with an interesting rubbery texture.
The sixth dish, the first course, was the Takao Cold Somen with Ogawa Bafun Uni. The somen noodles absorbed the dashi broth giving it an intensely savoury stock, with the sea urchin mixed in creating an umami emulsion. The dollops of ikura gave it an interesting burst of briny sweetness, with the chives giving it some liveliness. The way to eat this dish as instructed, is to mix it all together for that intense flavour explosion. A great interpretation of a classic Japanese dish.
“It took us some time to perfect this dish to where it is today and it has become a favourite. I would say that this dish has become one of our signatures.”
The seventh dish, first part of the second course, was the Japanese Snow Crab au Gratin, served with Champagne Sabayon, Prestige Ossestra Caviar, Chayote. The snow crab was served au gratin, briny sweet and springy. The flakes of crab flesh were layered on top of the champagne sabayon, with the chayote adding a nice firm texture to the dish. The caviar added a rich umami flavour to the delicate crab flesh.
The eighth dish, second part of the second course, was the Crab Dashi with Green Eggplant and Scallop Mousse. The dashi stock was made from crab, with Thai flavours coming through with the pennywort. The green eggplant was stuffed with crab and scallop, served with a side of sweet prawn and raspberry dust.
“We use the whole animal when we are able to get it in season, so for example, when we the Japanese snow crab is on the menu, we even use its shells to make the crab dashi stock. We believe in using the animal head to toe.”
This dish was paired with the Stephane Ogier Viognier De Rosine 2015, a floral white wine which was paired with the Japanese snow crab dishes. The floral notes went well with the delicate seafood.
The ninth dish, the third course, was the Scottish Langoustines A La Mi Cuit served with Fermented Jus, Burrata, Fresh Horseradish and Ikura. The langoustines were cooked mi cuit, or simply semi-cooked, with its texture still very springy and intensely sweet. The fermented jus gave it as a nice acid base, with the creamy burrata and sharpness from the horseradish giving the dish a bit of a punch. Fish-scaled radish added a crispy texture with ikura giving that savoury burst of umami.
The tenth dish, the fourth course, was the Tentacles – The Nadodi Expedition served with Galician Octopus, Mango Curry Cream, Pennywort Salad and Squid Oil. The tentacles were sous vide to perfection, superbly springy yes would segment easily with the pull of a fork. The octopus was intensely flavourful, complemented with the piquant spice of the mango cream. The Pennywort salad added a nice bitter herby flavour, with the squid oil adding an interesting dimension.
“As with our dish Tentacles which we concocted with Nadodi, what makes this dish stand out is the use of AOP Galician octopus. With this type of high quality protein, it doesn’t lose its flavour or texture when you sous vide. The result is really because of the quality of the protein. You cannot get the same result with the local octopus.”
This dish was paired with the Domaine du Lycee Viticole de Beaune Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Beaune, Burgundy, France, a pinot noir which was quite light and fragrant. This wine went well with the langoustine and tentacles.
The eleventh dish, a palate cleanser, was the Kalamansi Granité with Yuzu-Mint Yoghurt. The granite had a strong sweet and sour flavour, with the yuzu-mint yoghurt cutting through some of the sharpness with an unexpected creaminess. As with everything Darren does, he goes a long way to bring such complexity to a palate cleanser, which he states was inspired by his previous trip to Bali.
The twelfth dish, the fifth course, was the Australian 16-hour Slow Roasted Lamb Rack. The lamb was served with green gazpacho cream, cauliflower purée and handmade strigoli pasta. The lamb was slow roasted, leaving the inside pink with the outside charred perfectly. This slow roasting process ensures the skin is crispy and fat is rendered without compromising on the doneness of the meat.
The thirteenth dish, the sixth course, was the Japanese Matsusaka A5 Wagyu. The wagyu was also served with green gazpacho cream, cauliflower purée and handmade strigoli pasta. The A5 wagyu was cooked perfectly on a Robata grill, ensuring that the flesh is served medium-rare, still succulent on the inside, with the extra crispy char on the outside. Because of the high grade of protein used, the marbling on the meat ensures that each bite melts in your mouth after the crispy first contact. Every bit is really worth the extra RM198, better than most steakhouses that specialise. This dish is really taken to a whole new level.
This dish was paired with the 2011 Chateau Beychevelle ‘Amiral de Beychevelle’, Saint-Julien, France, a Bordeaux wine which was savoury and rich profile. This wine paired well with the lamb and wagyu, cutting the fat while complementing the red meat.
The fourteenth dish, the seventh course, was the Meringué served with Summer Berries, Vanilla custard, French Mara Strawberry Soft Serve and Almond Cookie Crumble. The meringue was served wobbly, and was sweet with fresh and tangy berries. The custard gave it a creaminess, with the almond cookie crumble adding some nice texture.
The fifteenth dish, an alternative seventh course, was the Le Fromage. This was a selection from their perfectly matured cheese cart, which is carefully monitored and served only when it’s at its peak. The selection of cheese were 2 blue cheese, the Bleu d’Auvergne and Fourme d’Ambert, shaving of the dry Tête de Moine, and 2 soft cheese, the Brillat-Savarin and the Reblochon.
The sixteenth dish, the grand finale, was the Brown Butter Gelato with Assorted Macarons. The brown butter gelato had an intense sweetness to it, layered on top a banana marmalade. This dish is perfect if you’ve had the cheese course before. The macarons were the perfect sweet ending to a very decadent meal.
The DC Restaurant by Darren Chin Experience
Darren Chin impresses time and time again, especially with the quickly developing culinary culture in Malaysia. However, Darren has really come into his own more and more, with bolder steps taken to forming his DC cuisine. Where he once focused on the quality of ingredients, he now branches out with more varied techniques, from vegetable fermentation to inspirations from Thai cuisine. When asked what drove this change so dramatically, in deep thought, he stated: –
“I think DC has come a long way in terms of our cuisine. We have started to come into our own. There is no specific cuisine we base our menu on. It’s distinctively DC. It’s DC cuisine.”
For that unique experience in which we consider the best fine dining restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, you will really have to step into this establishment to understand why.
For more information about our previous review, see our review of DC Restaurant by Darren Chin.
44, Persiaran Zaaba,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur.
+603 7731 0502
7.00 pm till late
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NICHOLAS NG & TEOH ENG HOOI | WEBSITE: DC RESTAURANT |