What better way to celebrate the arrival of fresh spring ingredients than with a new menu in Skillet@163?

With the arrival of spring comes the promise of new beginnings. Flowers bloom and the sun sprinkles its warmth and growth on the earth. Mirroring the growth of spring is Skillet@163’s new seasonal menu, which I recently had the pleasure of tasting alongside some great picks from Perrier-Jouët Champagne.

Having tasted many seasonal menus by Chef Raymond Tham in Skillet@163, I was confident that the new spring menu would be nothing short of excellent. Indeed, I wasn’t wrong.

The two amuse bouche we had.

We begin our lunch with some amuse bouche, a savoury cannoli and a delightful little ratatouille. The former is a popular springtime delicacy, as it highlights perfectly the rich and juicy flavours of fresh vegetables. Here, Chef Raymond condensed it into a delicious little amuse bouche, leaving me wishing there was more.

Our first course is a dish I’m familiar with, which is an icon from Skillet@163’s sister restaurant, Beta KL. It’s Miyagi Oyster with kedondong granita, served alongside the Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV. Juicy, sweet, and succulent, the first dish was an excellent refreshing treat to start the lunch with, alongside the effervescent Grand Brut NV.

Asparagus is also a popular springtime vegetable, which was char-grilled in the second course served with a housemade duck prosciutto, lightly-smoked koji foam, and housemade black garlic cream with a hint of caramelised sugar. The asparagus on the palate was able to showcase different layers of umami, and was paired with a Sybille Kuntz Spätlese Riesling 2011, which had a slight minerality that complemented the vegetable dish.

Right before the mains, I had a dish that not only caught my eye, but was also paired with the Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé NV, which had to be my favourite that afternoon. It was none other than the Sunflower, a foie gras dish inspired by Van Gogh’s famous sunflower painting. The foie gras was dusted with curry powder and served with brioche to pare down the richness of the foie gras. As for the rosé champagne, the stronger flavours of red fruit from the 50% Pinot Noir combination was definitely not drowned out by the foie gras — in fact, they both went well together.

The main dish was a decadent one: Japanese Omi Beef Striploin A5. One look at the marbling on the striploin and you can already feel it melting like butter in your mouth. Paired with the lightest and fluffiest pomme de terre (pureed potatoes), greens, and sweetbread, just three slices of the striploin was enough for me to call it a day.

Finally, the lunch ended with a gorgeous dessert — after all, Chef Raymond is a pastry chef professional. Mocha has a base of mocha mousse with macadamia nuts and Belgium chocolate. If chocolate is your life, then this dessert will be your life force. Its pairing with the Martell Cordon Bleu cognac is second to none, bringing our decadent lunch to a close.

If the season of spring were to be condensed into a gastronomical experience such as this, then I would gladly experience the turn of seasons at Skillet@163 each time.

(Photography: Lifestyle Asia KL/ Poh Nee on the iPhone 12 Pro)

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.