Multi-sensorial dining experience typically involves scents, liquid nitrogen, fire and sometimes interaction with a dish. The way each dish is plated serves as a window for another picture-perfect moment.
Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur’s Executive Chef Olivier Pistre takes this interpretation to a whole new level with the new Five Elements menu, the chef’s creative take on reinterpreting modern European cuisine inspired by forces of nature. The new menu, which is now available at Lafite, employs the intrinsically complex and abstract concept of the five elements of life – Wood, Earth, Fire, Metal and Water – into fundamentally French cuisine.
“The cuisine is based on fresh, top quality produce prepared in a traditional fashion but drawing on the latest techniques. I want to create an imaginary type of dish to provide a sensorial, generous and emotional dining experience,” says chef Olivier.
True enough, it lives up to its creed with clever dishes that balance each element. Just as how water nourishes the earth, and wood fuels fire, each dish that is created for a specific element tells a unique story. Like the Earth element menu, chef Olivier incorporates the ingredients such as duck, truffle, root vegetables and dark chocolate to give the earthiness and understated flavours of ‘earth’. Each course from starter to main and dessert has been curated to represent the qualities of the element.
What’s your element?
As you walk into Lafite, you’ll be asked to key in your date of birth to find your ‘element’. A personalised experience begins with specially crafted cocktails that represent the respective elements. Try the Metal Fizz if your element is Metal, a potent mix of Absolu Elyx Vodka, dry white wine, elderflower and lemon. Otherwise, Inferno is a refreshing concoction for the Fire element with a mixture of Jamaican rum, Sambuca and freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime.
If you have a strong appetite, the Metal menu combines the right choices for you. Start off with Mussels Sauce Poulette with Pommes Grenailles (RM63). Enjoy a large pot of succulent mussels in herbaceous cream sauce served with poached baby potatoes.
There is a choice between Red Snapper (RM158) or Slow Cooked Spicy Lamb Shoulder (RM158) for the mains. The fish is a beautiful take on the local ikan goreng – nicely spiced and seasoned – and served with tangy croutons and fried capers. Adding fried capers elevates the dish with a strong flavour that is sharp, but at the same time complementary.
The lamb shoulder, on the other hand, is delightfully paired with smoked eggplant, coriander sable, pomegranate gel and parmesan gnocchi. Each component works together but best to take a bite on the lamb, then the sable, gnocchi and smoked eggplant – in that order. The charred flavours offer an interesting taste; cancelling the need for the typical mint sauce.
For the ladies, it is recommended to take on the Fire menu or the delicate Water element that offer a great selection of seafood including scallop, tiger prawn and octopus. The Grilled Octopus (RM158) comes highly recommended, served with corn cream, arugula paste and black garlic sauce. Shavings of pecorino romano add a sharp taste to counter the richness of the three distinct sauces.
The dessert menu is also quite the spectacle. If you stay in the Metal element, Chef Olivier’s Cherries’ Surprise (RM42) is worth every bite – especially the rich and tart cherry ice cream. If you’d like to balance the creaminess of the mussels and lamb, go ahead and order the Candied Lemon (RM42) in the Water repertoire; which comes with Limoncello Espuma, caramel crumble and lemon sorbet. The espuma foam is light on the palate and paired with the zesty touch of lemon.
For something richer, Earth’s Valrhona ‘Manjari’ 64% Grand Cru Chocolate (RM42) is definitely worth every spoonful. There is a certain lightness that the Chocolate Espuma and meringue offer, which counter the richness of the vanilla creme anglaise. Dark chocolate soil adds crunch and texture, while depicting the ‘soil’ itself. When eaten together, all three courses come together with a surprise — but in a very unexpected way.
Chef Olivier has definitely pushed the boundaries this time with his Five Elements menu, especially with such creativity that is well balanced, controlled and innovative. This may be his first pop-up concept that is definitely worth trying, but we are sure to keep an eye on what else Chef Olivier has to offer. All we have to do now is to wait and see.
12.00pm – 2.30pm (Mon – Fri)
7.00pm – 10.30pm (Mon to Sat & Public Holidays)
Closed on Sunday
Recommended dishes: Mussels Sauce Poulette with Pommes Grenailles, Australian Beef Short Rib and Candied Lemon
Price: 3-course menu RM260++ / Wine pairing RM70
Service: Friendly and attentive