Located within the recesses of the Damansara City Mall sits a refined contemporary European restaurant with an Asian twist. Beaming with art deco inspired gold fixtures throughout, this opulent eatery is aptly named Soleil. With contemporary cuisine in mind, Soleil serves a mixture of modern French and Belgian, with an equally decked out cocktail bar that equally complements.
As you enter the restaurant, you are greeted with golden fixtures and glass panels reminiscent of 70’s art deco permeating throughout the restaurant. The oblong bar sits as an island where you can be served on either side. The restaurant opens into many isolated eating spaces for more privacy when needed, including many of its private dining rooms. For those that prefer, there is also omakase seating, when you are seated beside the kitchen, where the chef will serve you directly from the freshest items on the menu of the day.
Soleil is headed by Owner and Executive Chef Evert Onderbeke, hailing from Ghent, Belgium. He began his culinary journey graduatinf from Belgium’s Ter Duinen in Koksijde. He later mentored under 2 star Michelin Chef Rogers Souveryns under Diner Prive before moving to Malaysia heading High Tide, winner of Time Out KL’s Best Seafood restaurant 2010. He then joined Batu Batu Resort in Johor, refining his Asian cuisine knowledge before settling as the Executive Chef of Soleil. When asked what his philosophy is when it comes to cooking and what cuisine Soleil specialises in, he stated: –
“It all starts with good ingredients. As I’m trained in French cuisine, the sauce is the most important. Consistency is a must and always remember to taste, taste, taste when you are cooking. We specialise in European cuisine, mostly French, Belgian, Italian and Spanish with Asian influence. This comes from my time spent in Asia and my travel experiences. Our signatures include our king crab, Hokkaido scallops, duck confit and pandan crepe. Dishes come and go but we play around with some main ingredients which will be always on the menu.” — Evert Onderbeke, Executive Chef of Soleil Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Soleil’s Chef’s Table
Soleil also offers Chef’s Table menu consisting of the freshest picks of the day, and is served at the table counter beside the kitchen. This is perfect for people who want to experience the cuisine with interactions with the Chef.
Soleil’s Dégustation Menu
There are essentially two types of degustation menus at Soleil, one being Soleil’s Dégustation Menu, and the other being Soleil’s Chef’s Table. The dégustation menu includes a 6-course menu, with an amuse bouche course, followed by 2 starters, 3 mains and a dessert.
The first dish, an amuse bouche course, was the Red Moruno Prawn Tartare consisting of red moruno prawns, served with a calamansi-mint sorbet, avocado, wild salmon roe and micro greens. The calamansi sorbet added a nice acidity to the dish, with the mint brightening it up. The dollops of salmon roe also added a nice briny umami burst, with the creamy avocado cutting the sharpness. The prawns were an interesting choice, but as with raw prawns, it can leave a slightly gelatinous texture, which perhaps would work better with a mix of prawn and scallop.
The second dish, a starter course, was the Seared Hokkaido Scallop consisting of seared scallops, homemade tagliatalle and cod roe butter. The scallops were cooked perfectly, with a crisp char on the outside, while the inside still rare. The tagliatalle in the cod roe butter has a sweet and savoury burst of umami, with the tiny roe giving a nice grainy texture to the dish. The scallops were the star.
The third dish, a seafood course, was the Seared Patagonian Toothfish consisting of toothfish and octopus served with sautéed baby spinach and a lobster béarnaise topped with caviar. The octopus had a nice char to it, with its springy texture, contrasting the firm flesh of the toothfish, with the baby spinach adding an alkaline contrast. The béarnaise sauce was thick giving the dish a fatty mouthfeel. This dish is perfect for those who prefer something a little heavier.
The fourth dish, a meat course, was the Slow Cooked Veal Head, Tongue & Sweetbread Stew consisting of cooked veal head, tongue, sweetbread, baby vegetables in a creamy sauce. The meats were slow cooked to perfect tenderness, with the tongue springy and veal cheek flavourful. The most outstanding aspect of the dish however, was the veal brain. It was fresh and extremely tender, yet bouncy. The delicate flavour was complemented by the rich creamy sauce. This modern Belgian dish was the highlight of the meal, a must try.
The fifth dish, a meat course, was the Grilled Rack of Lamb consisting of lamb, roasted sunchoke puree, savoy cabbage and a red wine sauce. The lamb was cooked perfectly, with a nice char on its surface, while still pink on the inside. The sunchoke puree helped cut the fat, while savoy cabbage balanced the protein.
The sixth dish, a dessert course, was the Parsley and Mint Cake consisting of parsley and mint sponge cake, served with olive oil ice cream and honey mascarpone. This dessert was quite inventive with its use of non-traditional dessert ingredients.
The Soleil Wine Bar
Soleil also boast an interesting cocktail menu, with the Teh Tarik cocktail being an alcoholic interpretation of the Malaysian favourite. The bar is also stocked with a selection of Belgian beers and serves a wide variety of wines. There bar also carries a selection of specials for Ladies Night.
The Soleil Experience
Soleil has quite an interesting menu, with its selections perfect for fine dining or casual dining, depending on your choice of experience. As one of the few Belgian restaurants that specialises in French, Italian, and Spanish, Soleil takes it further with their Asian inspired touches. When asked what experience they want to deliver to their patrons, Chef Onderbeke replied: –
“Whatever dish you order in Soleil, the main ingredient should be the highest quality available. It should be cooked correctly and not too complicated so that it goes well with a good bottle of wine.”
For one of the better modern Belgian cuisine experiences in Kuala Lumpur, head on over to Soleil for just that experience.
Lot 7 & 8,
Damansara City Mall,
Damansara Town Centre,
50490 Kuala Lumpur.
+603 2011 8261
Weekdays 10.00 am to 10.30 pm
Weekends 9.00 am to 10.30 pm
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NICHOLAS NG | WEBSITE: SOLEIL RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR |