Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This is philosophy behind Samplings at the Fourteenth. This primarily Swiss and French fine dining restaurant is also tied to the Berjaya School of Culinary Arts, and is located on the 14th floor of the Berjaya Times Square Hotel, with a view to match.
The entrance to the restaurant is situated at the far end of the East Tower of the Berjaya Times Square Hotel, where you are greeted by the bar and a long walkway before entering the dining area. The restaurant is small and sits 60, with only a certain number of tables and booth, complete with two private dining rooms and an open kitchen.
The restaurant is headed by Seremban native Chef de Cuisine Valmurugan Subramaniam, who trained at Parkroyal Hotel, Equatorial Hotel and The Chalet, where he trained specialising in Swiss, and French cuisine. He has worked with renown German cuisine chef Jochen Kern, where he enhanced his culinary skills and understanding. Under his stewardship, Samplings has received multiple awards including 12 awards from the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIGF) 2015. When asked what his philosophy here is when it comes to cooking he quipped: –
“I believe that cooking is an art, it’s about making ordinary ingredients into extraordinary dish, I love the art of cooking and I want continue it as my passion. Besides, I feel happy because it is a way of sharing everything, I enjoy cooking and want to make the best of what I have available. Some of our signature dishes include our braised beef cheek and confit dishes. When braised, the beef cheek become meltingly tender, with a rich, deep flavour. Moreover, practice makes perfect, I can keep improving my cooking skill through every single time cooking.” —Valmurugan Subramaniam, Chef de Cuisine at Samplings on the Fourteenth.
Samplings on the Fourteenth Menu
The menu at Samplings consist of a variation that more accurately is described as bistronomy. The selection is wide from a range of appetisers, mains and desserts. The dishes range from simple soups, to a generous portion of foie gras as well as black truffle in many of their dishes. Samplings is also tied to the Berjaya School of Culinary Arts where pupils are able to train under the restaurant to learn more about bistronomy and fine dining.
The first dish, a soup course, was the Crème of Jerusalem Artichoke, consisting of a sunchoke cream flavoured with boursin-garlic cheese. The soup had a good consistency to it, and the flavours of the sunchoke were subtle flavour. The boursin-garlic cheese was rather mild, but made a nice soup course.
The second dish, an appetiser course, was the Norwegian Salmon Gravlax, consisting of fresh cured Norwegian salmon served with baby mesclun, potato salad and a honey mustard dressing. The salmon was fresh and springy, with bits of capers giving it a nice umami contrast.
The third dish, an appetiser course, was the Poached Sea Scallop, consisting of ikura, chipotle tomato and spinach puree. The scallops were fresh, and was helped by the ikura. The scallops would have better shone if it was charred to give it some texture.
The fourth dish, an appetiser course, was the Pan Seared Foie Gras, consisting of duck foie gras served with a toasted brioche, mango, lotus root and a port wine glaze. The foie gras was cooked still pink on the inside, with the mango adding an interesting sweetness to it.
The fifth dish, a fish course, was the Pan Seared Black Cod Fish, consisting of black cod served with trout caviar sauce, garden greens, and porcini risotto. The cod was cooked well, with the flesh still firm and skin crispy. The porcini risotto was flavourful and added a nice texture to the dish.
The sixth dish, a fish course, was the Seafood Tomato Bouillabaisse, consisting of sea bass, prawns, sea scallop and baby lobster, accompanied with fried onion, rouille and a baguette toast. This dish had the traditional Marseille flavourings and had a good portion of a variation of seafood with contributed to the bouillabaisse flavour. However, the chef has still managed to pay homage to this dish without its essential ingredient, the rascasse or sea robin.
The seventh dish, a seafood course, was the Lobster Thermidor, consisting of spiny lobster baked in a creamy cheese sauce, served with truffle risotto and seasonable vegetables. The lobster was briny sweet, with a traditional creamy gruyere giving it that distinct taste.
The eighth dish, a meat course, was the Osso Bucco, consisting of ox tail served with Mediterranean vegetables and garlic sauce. The flavours were present, with the meat of the tail falling off with a tug of the fork. This interpretation used ox tail instead of the traditional veal marrow, which would have lent to giving it more flavour.
The ninth dish, a meat course, was the Classic Tournedos Rossini, consisting of a grilled fillet of Australian beef tenderloin topped with seared foie gras, served with asparagus and gratin potato and truffle sauce. The tenderloin was cooked well, medium rare with a generous portion of foie going with it.
The tenth dish, a meat course, was the Australian Wagyu Tenderloin, consisting of an Australian wagyu tenderloin, served with truffle mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. The wagyu was considerably melty, with the truffle mash giving it some play of texture and aroma.
The eleventh dish, a dessert course, was the Giandutto Terrine, consisting of a chocolate hazelnut mousse with raspberry sauce and sesame tuille. The hazelnut mousse was fragrant and quite decadent, with the sesame tuille adding a crunchy sweetness.
The twelfth dish, a dessert course, was the Italian Tiramisu, consisting of a deconstructed tiramisu with coffee jelly. The mascarpone cheese cake was fluffy, with a nice undertone of coffee. The physalis added a nice bright acidity to the traditionally sweet dish.
The Samplings on the Fourteenth Experience
One of the best aspects of Samplings would be the view and the privacy it offers to its patrons. With a location overlooking the Kuala Lumpur skyline, the restaurant is perfect for a romantic setting and dining. The wide range of dishes ensures that every visitor has a wide variety of choice, and is perfect for people who love that little opulence in a meal with their profound use of foie gras and truffle. When questioned on what experience Samplings is trying to deliver to its patrons, Chef Val said: –
“From my perspective, each chef should have an understanding of ingredients and cooking skills to deliver to patrons. I deliver my attitude to patrons through my dishes. I am always pleasing my patron with extra ordinary dishes. I am satisfied when seeing patrons enjoy eating my dishes.”
For that wine and dine on the top of the world, do give Samplings a visit.
14th Floor, East Tower,
Berjaya Times Square Hotel,
1 Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
+603 2117 8000
Mondays to Saturdays 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NICHOLAS NG| WEBSITE: SAMPLINGS ON THE FOURTEENTH |