Food can come in many presentations. I am ok with hawker food as long as they are good and clean. Sometimes you do patronise fine dining establishments for certain special occassions or for business meetings, or just because its Tuesday night.
How often do I get to go to these places? About a couple of times a month, sometimes more frequent. So my opinion is based on my dining experience over the past 12 months in KL. Till last night my top 3 list has always been in this order:
1) Cilantro (even though there was a change of chef with the refurbishment)
3) Millesime ( loved the food and service, but the desserts keep holding them back from getting to the top two spots)
My last 2 visits earlier this year was a slight disappointment at Sage, just couldn't pull all the flavours together. The dishes were uneven.
Gave Sage another go last night and it was possibly the best fine dining experience in KL for me. Must get the Tasting Menu cause it has the one special dish, possibly the best single dish I have ever tasted ... ever.
The kingfish was excellent, very fresh with bite and bit of dressing was absolutely divine, some mirin, light vinegar and something else... it would have been sublime with any kind of fresh sashimi. 9/10
The second course was duck foie gras wrapped with anago. I was a bit disappointed that it was duck and not goose liver but again, wow, 9/10 ... and its the wonderful sauce again which brings out the delicate anago and even manages to wove the "not as delectable" duck liver successfuly into a wonderful pairing.
So, what next, I was trying not to raise my expectations any further for fear of disappointment. Aaahhh, a palate cleanser, mojito granitas, its as if the chef knew my favourite liquor (neat) was tequila, and my fav cocktail (mojito), brilliant, fresh and exquisite.
The main was wagyu done 2 ways. I was again guarded as to the many times some chefs have tried to do too much with wagyu. Its usually sexy enough on the grill with some sea salt and pepper. I saw one part was "braised" and I was a bit reluctant already. The braised part was done with the tendon part (ngau gun) - OMG, fall off your chair gob-smacking good. I could have used the blunt part of the knife and still would have went through the meat like hot knife through butter.
The second part was plain grilled wagyu steak, WOW again. Added together, possibly the best single dish I have ever tasted. The sealer was the condiment on the side, the yellowish salt like thingee - its yuzu with some lemon peel and tiny bits of chilli, absolutely goes with the wonderful wagyu. 12/10 Remember to get it MEDIUM RARE, not ever MEDIUM...
Usually it will take a really good Western dessert to tempt me to finish the sweet dish. The very thin apple tart was excellent, crispy pastry though the ice cream could have used a tad less cinnamon. You should actually ask for a switch to the Belgian warm choc tart, thats divine, warm choc oozing out complemented very well with the earl grey ice cream. So, after last night, Sage topples Cilantro for me ... till the next time I visit both again.
I would strongly recommend to go and get the Tasting Menu (RM250pp net) before they change it. Look... you would have lost a lot more than that staring at the screen punting stocks for the last 2 months anyway. Live a little, indulge a bit, walk in the rain sometimes ... !!!