There are very few restaurants that caters to a high quality dining experience, and DC Restaurant by Darren Chin on Persiaran Zaaba in the Taman Tun Dr. Ismail area of Kuala Lumpur is one of them. Serving a modernist take on traditional French cuisine, this restaurant is generous with its use of high quality ingredients such as imported French pigeons to the use of black winter truffles.
As you enter the restaurant, you are greeted with a long seating table, evoking a sense of elegance and proximity. The restaurant is divided into 2 floors, while the ground floor offers a more open concept which is easier for bigger groups of people, enabling conversation between patrons and large groups. The upper floor offers something more intimate, where you are able to dine in privacy with individual tables, perfect for a more romantic setting.
Headed by Darren Chin of the Délifrance Sandwich World Cup fame, he believes that to serve fine dining, you should let the ingredients sing for themselves. This is why his approach to food can be seen as one of the most luxurious fine dining experiences you will find in Kuala Lumpur. When asked what his philosophy is when it comes to a fine dining experience, he stated: –
It’s very tough to find the right people for staffing; and produce which is of high quality. I like to take from what the land has to offer, which we call terra. It’s actually quite simple, it has to stand out. Today, it can’t just be Instagram-friendly, it has to taste good. There is no use for it to just look good but not taste good. We’re looking to give our patrons an experience. Each plate should reflect me and represent the philosophy and spirit of the restaurant.” — Darren Chin, Executive Chef of DC Restaurant.
When dining at DC Restaurant, you are offered up a choice of their Degustations Menus – one which comes as a 5 course and the other as a 7 course. In addition to the already opulent menus such as the 7 Course Dom Pèrignon Vintage 2005 Menu, you can further elevate your dining experience to an even more luxurious one with the addition of Ossetra caviar and Muscovy duck foie gras.
The Amuse Bouche were titled “Sandwiches”, and consisted of two distinct morsels. The first sandwich was a Cured Petuna Ocean Trout with African Rooibos Tea with a Truffled Crème Fraiche. The trout is lightly cured, reminiscent of a salmon ceviche, served with a dollop of caviar and ikura. The burst of the savouriness was a nice introduction of what was to come. The drops of concentrated rooibos tea added a nice tinge of bitterness to the bite.
The second sandwich was the Smoked Yellowfin Tuna with a Torchon of Foie Gras and Aged Balsamic. This sandwich has a light smoky aftertaste, which was great for the humble yellowfin tuna, generally a less fatty fish. The creamy foie gras was pungent with a deep umami flavour, which were complemented by drops of aged balsamic, giving it a nice tart finish. The sandwich “bread” was made from wafer thin pastry, giving it a nice texture play.
The First Course consisted of the Terre et Mer, an interpretation of a surf and turf. Serving as a duo, the first component consisted of a Nigiri of Katsuo on Koshihikari Rice and Black Truffle. The nigiri was topped with generous slices of black truffles and akame flowers, giving the dish a pronounced bitter tinge. The koshihikari rice had a very robust flavour and a smooth texture, which felt like you were eating pearls, definitely the caviar of rice.
The second component was the Rare Wagyu with Soignon Fresh Goat’s Cheese, Black Truffle and Crispy Brick Pastry. The wagyu is prefect in texture and temperature. The goat’s cheese had a nice slight pungent flavour which complemented the earthy flavour of the wagyu, both giving the tongue a full mouthfeel. The brick pastry gave some needed crispy texture to the dish, making each bite ever more enjoyable.
The Second Course was the Irish Oysters Rockafeller Style, Grilled with Aged Cheddar, Oyster Emulsion and Grated Fresh Black Truffle. This dish was served baked warm with the briny flavour of the oyster still fresh, which was complimented by the aged cheddar. The umami flavour of the cheese with the earthy grated black truffle were a good pairing, and the crispy bread doubled as a nice dip stick for the concentrated flavours at the bottom of the shell.
The Third Course was a Pumpkin Potage with Black Truffle, Creamy Pumpkin Velouté, Lobster Scallop Roulle with Scrambled Kampung Eggs and Crispy Croutons. This dish was a nice nod to a pumpkin soup, without it making the meal too heavy. This soup was presented in three interpretations of textures: – firstly, with the creamy potage; secondly, the foamy velouté; and thirdly, the fluffy kampung eggs. The perfectly seasoned lobster and scallop roulle added a nice springy texture, giving the dish some bite, and the croutons with its crunch.
The Fourth Course was the Cold Cappellini with Botan Ebi tossed in Konbu Shio, Marinated Ikura and Hanaho Flowers. The cold cappellini was decent with the flavours of the sea from the ikura and the konbu, although it needed a little more dimension. The botan ebi was nicely poached, garnished by the mildly spicy flavours from the hanano flowers, the blossoms of the shiso, giving it an interesting sting.
The Fifth Course, the main entrée, was the Brille Filet or AOP French Pigeon. The Irish wild caught pan roasted Brille Filet served with Baby Turnips, Daikon Radish a la Etuver, Miso Sabayon, Grilled Mandarin Orange, Mizuna Salad, and a Lobster Emulsion. The fish was nicely seared on the outside, while still springy on the inside. The Brille was also an interesting choice for a fish, which was good as it was a healthier choice, being quite lean. The grilled oranges added a nice sweet citrusy flavour and the daikon radish gave it a crunchy texture. The lobster emulsion was a perfect complement to the taste of the fish.
The alternative main entrée was the slow roasted AOP Anjou French Pigeon with Shaved Black Winter Truffles, Chestnut Cream, Grilled Mustard Greens, Braised Seasonal Vegetables, Swiss Chard, Pickled Myoga and Pigeon Jus. The flavour of the slow cooked pigeon was perfect, which had a mild gamey taste, yet perfectly pink. The meat was flavourful, reminiscent of the cross between a perfectly timed chicken and roasted duck. The skin was also rendered and crispy, flavourful from being roasted, which was complimented by the grainy chestnut cream. The mustard greens added a nice tinge of bitter while the pungent myoga, the blossom of the Japanese ginger, were reminiscent of leek. This was one of our personal favourites, a great example of a perfectly cooked protein.
The Sixth Course, the main course, was a choice of the DC Signature Seafood Medley or King Island Black Angus Fillet. The DC Signature Seafood Medley is a grilled Seabass with White Miso, Kizami Wasabi, and Fresh Yuba Salad with a side of Hokkaido Scallops, South African Abalone, Grilled Slipper Lobster from Mersing, Johor, topped with a Sea Urchin Emulsion and Crispy Croutons and Chervil. The grilled seabass in miso was flavourful and springy to the bite, elegantly topped with a dollop of caviar giving it that extra luxury. The Hokkaido scallops were cooked perfectly, just pass the point of being rare. The yuba salad, a Japanese tofu skin, added a nice full-bodied creamy texture. The abalone had good chewiness, and the slipper lobster was springy to the bite. The entire dish was completed with the most opulent sauce you will come across, Darren Chin’s signature sea urchin emulsion. The emulsion itself was perfect from the natural sweetness of the shellfish, and savouriness from the complex nature of the sea urchin. One of the best seafood dishes we have come across. Simply outstanding.
The alternative main course was the Australian Grass-Fed King Island Black Angus Fillet, served with Puy Lentils in a Red Wine Jus, Maitake Mushrooms, Crusted Lamb Sweetbreads, Burnt Onion Pureé, Pear spiced with tonka, and a Akame Salad. The meat was done medium rare, and had a robust flavour in itself. The lamb sweetbreads added a nice mild earthy flavour, with its crispy panko batter giving it a nice play of flavour versus texture. Maitaki mushrooms also carry quite a heavy meaty flavour and texture, emphasising the earthiness of this dish. The burnt onion puree and pear spiced with tonka beans gave it an intensified vegetable umami flavour, complementing the seared meat umami flavour.
The Seventh Course, the dessert course, was a choice between a Mulberry-Pomegranate Granité or a Café au Dome. The first choice was a Mulberry-Pomegranate Granité with Yuzu Jelly, and Fresh Seasonal Fruits. The granité was a natural intense sweet and tart, with a nice acidic kick from the pomegranate and mulberry. The course texture of the dessert played well with the yuzu jelly cubes, which gave it a nice citrusy bittersweet aroma. Compliments to Chef Jade for a wonderful granité.
The alternative dessert course was the Café au Dome, a Mousse au Café with Bitter Robusta Ganache, Crispy Praline Crunch, Milk Chocolate Sauce Spiced with Quatre Éspice and Macerated Cherries. The coffee dome ganache had a lavishly rich and bitter taste, with luxurious gold flakes. The rich chocolate was complemented with crispy pralines, which was all enhanced with spiced chocolate sauce, bringing out the flavours of the chocolate. The cherries added a nice tinge of tartness to the dessert as a whole.
The DC Restaurant by Darren Chin Experience
If you are in Kuala Lumpur and are looking for the perfect place to have a great fine dining experience, this would be the perfect location. The restaurant used only high quality ingredients from top to toe, and is perfect for connoisseurs and gourmands alike as can be seen on DC Restaurant’s Degustation Menu. The one thing about DC Restaurant is that the food is ironically unpretentious, and served in the best way they know how. The menu is well thought out as everything is on the plate for a reason. When asked what he thought about the local fine dining scene, Darren had this to say: –
“In Malaysia, we have plenty of street food but gastronomy, which focuses on gourmet cuisine, not so much. At the moment, we are just touching base. People come to my restaurant to taste my food, and I hope to give them that kind of experience. From the get-go they will say it’s French, but with that wow factor. This is what I strive to achieve.”
Certain excerpts of this article appeared in The Finer Things in Life as featured on My Malaysia.
For our previous reviews, see DC Restaurant.
44, Persiaran Zaaba,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail,
60000 Kuala Lumpur.
+603 7731 0502
7.00 pm till late
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: TEOH ENG HOOI | WEBSITE: DC RESTAURANT |