It had been a few months since I last ventured into Lafite. Despite the stylish upgrade to the lobby, Lafite the restaurant still basks in its trademark luscious purples, and the streaming water feature still deservedly has centre stage. The ghost of ex-head chef Kevan Cherkas, now residing in Singapore’s Shangri-La, still lingers but only in small traces on the menu.
Thankfully my favourite dish of the previous menu has staying power. The infamous dessert “breakfast” still lives on and I would recommend anyone to get down here and try it before Damon Campbell asserts his authority and moves it gently on. Damon is the new head chef and although I was anxious to see whether he could fill Kevan’s shoes, I waited a few months to allow him to bed in.
The wait was worth it. I will not bore you with details of every single course as I lazily put my palate in the charge of the man himself and sat back and let the tasting menu do its stuff. Style-wise the food has not changed adversely but there is a subtler approach in Damon’s fl avours. Although the frozen oyster dropped in liquid nitrogen coupled with one in a raspberry reduction seem a tad on the cuisine hedonistic side they hold up as a challenging yet harmonious combination.
The buckwheat donut (I will forgive the American spelling due to the Canadianness of the chef) with crème fraiche, chives, shallots and caviar was startling in its simplicity yet beautiful in presentation. Anyone for spicy squash soup with duck and popcorn? Pretentious some would say in name, but yet again the skill and fl avours to back up the PR. What I am saying is that Molecular Cuisine, which many call this style of contemporary cooking, can often be all fur coat and no knickers so to speak. However, Chef Campbell manages to entice with name and deliver with substance. A truly delightful meal created by a chef we should be proud to have in KL. Graham Paling
Lafite was voted Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the Time Out KL Food Awards 2009 and 2010. The restaurant was shortlisted in the same category in 2011. It was also voted Best French Restaurant in 2009, and Damon Campbell was specially commended in the Outstanding Chef of the Year category. Our food awards are 100% voted for by the people of KL. This way, we guarantee that popularity and consistent performance is rewarded.
Lafite, Shangri-La Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri, 12noon-2.30pm; 7pm-10.30pm; Sat, 7pm-10.30pm|