I rarely do lunch reviews however her holiday schedule was rather packed so this was the only time I could catch up with her before she went for her vacation so I carved out some time to have lunch with her at Essence at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
Essence is Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel’s signature restaurant and offers an á la carte menu and an international buffet. In fact the international buffet seems rather popular as the restaurant was bustling with diners helping themselves to the buffet which featured a variety of food available including notably the local noodle station, dim sum, fresh seafood bar, and sushi bar. The restaurant has an open kitchen concept (Villa Danielli which is the hote’s Italian restaurant has a similar open kitchen concept, and you can read about here – https://timchew.net/2013/10/10/romantic-dining-spots-villa-danieli-sheraton-imperial-kl/) and you can watch the chefs putting their culinary skills on display.
Joining me for lunch was my regular partner in crime who enjoying her two-week long break from work (so lucky!).
Some sparkling water and freshly squeezed watermelon juice to start off the meal.
A bread basket filled with soft, fluffy and delicious breads and breadsticks!
Wild mushroom soup – RM30.00++. This was pretty good. Flavourful and with some texture from the mushrooms and nicely complemented by the piece of pesto garlic toast on the side. Actually this is the first time that I had pesto on my garlic toast and it gave a nice rather green dimension to the dish that can me a little rich (good thing the extra cream was sitting in a dollop on top and you could easily remove it if you didn’t want it).
Cobb salad – RM32.00++. The Cobb salad originated from USA and legend has it that Robert Howard Cobb invented it in 1930 one night when he had not eaten until almost midnight and he decided to throw some leftover in the kitchen together with some bacon. Another version of the origin of the Cobb salad is that of a chef making it and naming it after his restaurant’s owner – Rob Cobb (Rob is short for Robert so go figure) in 1929. Of course in Malaysia having real pork bacon is somewhat rare but the Cobb Salad in Essence can hold it’s own and can actually be a healthy main if you’re not a particularly big eater especially with the slices of roast beef in it. The salad’s dressing which was a savoury cheese dressing was on the side which was great as my partner in crime absolutely hates salads that are drenched in dressing (phew!).
Mille Feuille of Sea Bass – RM68.00++. Wokay…this is an odd name (Mille Feuille is usually a layered French puff pastry dessert but for this dish I believe it refers to the different layers) for what is essentially steamed sea bass Chinese style over a bed of what I think was kai lan. The fish was very fresh though and was boneless so it was quite delicious to eat especially with the (soy sauce based) sauce.
Black Angus Beef Tenderloin coated with Crusted Herbs – RM118.00++. First time I had garlic bread (no pesto on this one) with my steak but I didn’t mind as it soaked up all the delicious juices of the tenderloin and some of the sauce too and was really delicious. The beef though was slightly cooked above my preferred medium rare (I prefer really pink which this was more like medium – which my partner in crime prefers anyway so no complains here) so next time maybe I’ll order “rare” and see what comes out. The tenderloin, although cooked medium was still very tender and flavourful. Liked the beautiful charred lines too as it showed that this steak was grilled (and not fried). This was a pretty hearty main though and I was definitely going to need some strong coffee to keep awake after.
After lunch we decided to go have a cup of coffee at Toastina Café & Bar but on the way for we passed by the Pavilions Lounge and couldn’t help but to stop and snap a pic of the colourful desserts which were there as part of the “Spiced Theme English Afternoon Tea” which also features TWG tea! The afternoon tea is priced at RM40.00++ per person and is available from Monday to Friday, 2.00pm to 6.00pm.
Opting not to take the lift we descended from the mezzanine floor to the lobby using the beautifully elegant marble sweeping staircase. Psst! Don’t tell her but the image of her in a flowing wedding dress descending the staircase did cross my mind when I snapped this pic.
We eventually made our was to Toastina Café & Bar which is located on the ground floor on the side of the hotel which faces Asian Heritage Row for some freshly pressed coffee.
Toastina Café & Bar is a cosy café and bar that offers a range of salads, hot soups, pies, build-your-own-sandwiches, cakes and sweets. It is a good option if you’re looking for a place for a quick lunch, or enjoy some tantalising desserts (they have pastries, cakes, éclairs, cupcakes, muffins, etc. etc.) or have a comfortable break with a good book and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
The café side features a variety of premium-brew coffees, signature chocolates, iced toasticcinos, freshly-squeezed juices, energy-booster mixes, fruity drinks, and local favourites while on the other side of the glass partition is the bar and lounge area which serves beer, liquor, champagne, cocktails and wine.
If only every weekday afternoon could be this relaxing.
BTW there are some upcoming promotions happening at Toastina Café & Bar in November and December 2013.
Essence has a seating capacity of 200 persons, serves buffet breakfast from 6.30am to 10.30am daily, buffet lunch from 12.00 noon to 2.30pm on Mondays to Fridays, and buffet dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.
There’s also the weekend hi-tea at Essence on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm.
Essence is located at
SHERATON IMPERIAL KUALA LUMPUR HOTEL
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: 03-2717 9900
For more info head over to http://www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com/essencerestaurant