Thursday, January 01, 2009

christmas at the apartment

I don't know why but I just had to celebrate Christmas out of Japan. The first year I was here, I flew to Korea to spend the winter with Cindy. Tired of the blistering cold, I thought I should return to Malaysia the next winter.

This time, I felt a little bad coz I had more reasons to stay back and celebrate with my friends at GAP. But the warm tropical weather was beckoning and besides, I had some serious matters to attend to at home.

As soon as I touched down, my face blushed at the heat and humidity, and almost melted if not for the air-conditioning in Papa's car. Slowly the layers of winter clothes came off and I was able to adapt back to the Malaysian weather.

One of the highlights of any trip back home is dinner with the family. In fact, not just only for Christmas dinner, but I made it a point to spend as many dinners as possible this time with Papa, Mama & Kit. With the prime slot blocked out, I had to allocate breakfast, lunch and supper slots to friends! My apologies if some of you could not get me. It was definitely a whirlwind trip, commented Sookie.

We booked the apartment for our Christmas eve dinner. It was surprisingly not crowded by the time we arrived. Perhaps that was the reason why we had such attentive waiters at our call.

One to hold the tray of food, one to pass the food and another to put the food on the table. I bet they had training as relay runners. But seriously, they were still courteous even when the crowd started coming in.

Decorated like the interior of a real-life apartment, the restaurant felt rather comfy with sofas, shelves of books and Ikea-like furniture.

Since the course meals sounded quite a mouthful, we decided to just order 3 sets for the 4 of us.

Our appetisers comprised of:

- Spiced Nuts

- Chilled Eggnog

- Tapas Plate

As soon as we had finished off the last bits of our starter, the main courses came in one by one. It's always good to eat with people who love food. There's nothing worse than having a meal with those who are picky, can't find anything good to eat on the menu or find no joy in eating! Eating with foodies just increases one's appetite and enhances the gastronomic experience.

- Chilled Gazpacho (traditional home-made Italian vegetable consomme)

- Peking Duck Crepe Rolls (Asian classic with European twist)

- Shredded Chicken Salad (fresh mixed green leaves with moist chicken shreds)

Actually the above looked more like post-starter/pre-main course because what was to come sounded more like the real dishes themselves.

- Roasted Salmon on Bok Choy

- Roasted Leg of Lamb (served with mint sauce, roasted root vegetables & mash)

- Roasted Striploin (with rosemary & thyme gravy, braised red cabbage, roasted butternut pumpkin & sweet potato)

While waiting for the stomach to settle with all the food, we asked the waiters for glasses of water. Seems like they ran out of glasses, one of them was an odd one out. It had a rather unusual handle.

Do we hold it with the thumb on top and the index finger gripping it at the bottom of the handle?

Or do we move the index finger further towards the edge of the glass with the middle finger balancing it at the bottom?

Neither! The awkward handle was put there for mere decoration purposes. Just hold it as you would a handle-less glass.

While we were having deep discussions on the ergonomics of cutleries and glassware, dessert came.

Clockwise from the top : Burnt Caramel Sweet Tartlet, Hot Pear & Apple Crumble, Sweet Mince & Glazed Cherry Flan

It's not always we get to sit down at a nice restaurant with everyone in the family and have a good meal together. For me, it's more of the company and spending time with loved ones. My parents aren't very fussy about food, seeing them enjoy meals together is something I will miss.

Everyone was stuffed towards the end of it. The food itself looked rather delicious, but the taste itself was nothing to shout about. Most of them could be found in the Christmas menus of many Western & fusion restaurants. Personally the dessert was too sweet for my liking. However, the variety in dishes was rather creative, given that they tried to have food from various parts of the world, with more prominence towards British sweets.

Service was commendable, their waiters were very polite, I must say. Even if you're paying a bit more at places like this, it's not a given that their waiters will be so attentive. Interior decor was rather interesting. We visited their outlet in KLCC overlooking the fountain and park. I did manage to peek into the one at The Curve, that looked rather comfy too since the space seemed much smaller.

I don't usually do this, but there's always a first for everything. If it helps with choosing restaurants and knowing what's to go for, here goes...
Food : 6/10
Service : 8.5/10
Ambience : 7.5/10

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