I’ve been very blessed throughout the years to have had the opportunity to dine at dinners prepared by Michelin starred chefs in the past and those dinners were so awesome that they remain in my mind to this day (even though I’ve done hundreds of reviews throughout the years). However nothing quite prepared me for the Valentine’s Day dinner menu at BABE – Japas Fun Dining which is located in Work@Clearwater in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.
BABE – Japas Fun Dining has a most remarkable and impressive 10 course menu for the upcoming Valentine’s Day this year and Wei Leng and I headed over recently to try it out. BABE at Work@Clearwater which is helmed by Michelin starred Chef Jeff Ramsey, has been around for over a year and has created waves in the upmarket F&B scene in Kuala Lumpur with its quirky and convivial dishes that you would have probably seen many girls posting about on Instagram. Looking at their Instagram tag, the restaurant is a very popular place among couples celebrating occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, and also among groups of friends celebrating birthdays.
Valentine’s Day 2017 Menu at BABE
Priced at RM999++ per couple
Includes 1 glass of Sparkling Rose for Ladies & 1 glass of Sparkling Wine for Gentlemen
Caprese Salad Explosion
Mozzarella Cheese Spheres and Japanese Amela Fruit Tomato with Basil
You absolutely must get the cheese sphere entirely in your mouth and make sure your mouth is shut tight before you bite into it or risk this one bursting out of your mouth and all over your
date table thereby showing what an uncultured person you are!
That aside, the sphere was a truly wonderful little explosion of flavours in your mouth – a little party in fact especially for a cheese lover like myself.
O-Toro Tartare and Wasabi Shio Koji
Chopped Bluefin Tuna Belly in Crispy Shell
O-toro is pretty much the most expensive part of the tuna and this one was presented on a crispy little “boat” and made to be eaten with your hands. The o-toro was simply gorgeous, while the wasabi shio koji added another dimension – the slight spicyness of wasabi with umami. Together…this was one dish I couldn’t stop eating and I sincerely wished for more but had to remind myself that this was a 10 course dinner. OK on to the next course…
Mini Crispy Uni Tacos
Nori Tempura Taco Shell, Sushi Rice and Dashi Soy Gelee
The ingredients just keep getting more premium and this course took it up another notch with the introduction of “uni” or sea urchin which was gloriously rich . Served on a bed of rice which in turn was wrapped in a seaweed taco shell (testament to Chef Ramseys upbringing in the States no doubt) which provided a mixture of flavours and textures in the mouth. I’m generally not a big fan of uni, but after tasting this dish I definitely am now!
Part of the “fun dining” and not fine dining concept at BABE is to have dishes that evoke the senses and make for an interesting discussion between diners as to the flavours and textures.
1000 Year Old Cedar Smoked Young Yellowtail
This one is great for an Insta video post – the smoke from the tiny smouldering piece of 1,000 year old cedar rises out of the “dim sum” basket revealing two (2) picture perfect pieces of yellowtail sushi inside. Full marks for presentation! You can actually taste the smoky flavours from the cedar while you partake of the delicate yellowtail sushi.
Seared Wagyu Beef with Sansho Tsukudani
Next was a half seared and half raw wagyu beef sushi for me and a non-beef substitute for Wei Leng who doesn’t eat beef. Oh my – the wagyu sushi with the tiny dollops of simmered Japanese pepper in soy sauce was simply amazing.
Black Truffle and Alaskan King Crab Chawanmushi
Ankake Sauce with Perigord Truffles and Ginger
This one has to be the king of all chawanmushis! The generous pieces of king crab combined with the luxurious black truffle paired with a slight zing from the ginger made this a dish of multiple dimensions indeed! Savour it with your eyes closed and taste the various elements that come together to make this one incredibly extravagant chawanmushi!
Grilled Hiroshima Oyster
Yuzu Kosho Tama Miso
Most of the baked oysters I’ve had are usually smothered in cheese and we were pretty surprised by the yellow sauce atop these oysters until we double checked the menu and saw the word “tama” which means “egg” in Japanese. The egg was combined with yuzu kosho and miso making a rich savoury sauce with hints of citrus. I can’t eat normal baked oysters (granted that these oysters were grilled and not baked) with cheese any more without thinking of this awesome version. Creamy, rich, briny, umami all in one bite – simply marvellous!
Marble Grade 9+ Wagyu Steak with Kurozato Jus
Crispy Kale and Lily Buds
This was the dish that I was waiting for and it totally blew me away! Now I’ve eating wagyu with grade 10 marbling before but it definitely couldn’t compare to this. The most incredible steak I’ve ever eaten, drizzled with a delectable Japanese black sugar sauce which I actually ate more with the mashed potatoes and everything else (besides the wagyu) on the plate as I love my beef as is…without sauce which is the way to really taste the meat. The meat was tender and flavourful, and I savoured every single bite, secretly wishing there was more. (A fish dish is available to replace this main if you don’t eat beef but do inform the restaurant beforehand when you make your booking.)
Rose Nitro Puffs
Take my breath away
Nitro Puffs is the signature dessert at BABE and you can see many posts of them on social media. Given a little modification with the inclusion of rose for the Valentine’s Day menu, make sure you get your camera ready to capture the stunning effect when your partner exhales after biting into one of the puffs.
Everyone knows that your first love is sweet and sour
Cherry Chocolate, Almond Crumble, Genmaicha Ice Cream, Genmaicha Meringue, Mochi Panna Cotta, Rose Orange Blossom Sauce
I have never seen such a pretty petit fours before!
Price: RM999++ per couple
Optional add ons:
Sake Flight of three (3) glasses priced at RM160++
Wine Flight of three (3) glasses priced at RM130++ (Sparkling, White, Red)
Wine Flight of four (4) glass priced at RM170++ (Sparkling, White, Red, Sweet)
A little on the background of Chef Jeff Ramsey – he earned his first Michelin star at the age of 32 during his tenure as head of Mandarin Oriental Tokyo’s Tapas Molecular Bar. Chef Ramsey was trained under Masayoshi Kazato, the official Sushi Ambassador of Japan and chef José Andrés, protégé of the legendary Catalonian chef Ferran Adrià of elBullí. Now 41 years of age, he still makes all the girls swoon with his charming boyish and part American/ Japanese looks (look at Wei Leng’s blushing and shy face ha ha ha!).
The dinner was truly exquisite and incredibly memorable. The stand out dish for me was the wagyu steak which so totally blew my mind while Wei Leng really liked the chawanmushi. To be entirely honest, I actually liked pretty much every single savoury dish (I’m not much of a dessert person but I thought the dessert was pretty good while the petit fours had really amazing presentation) in the 10 course Valentine’s Day menu. I almost entirely certain that bringing your date for Valentine’s Day dinner at BABE will score you lots of brownie points with your partner as she’ll have the chance to upload post after post on social media.
While I believe that celebrating Valentine’s Day is primarily about creating special memories shared by you and your partner, a fringe benefit of bringing your partner to a truly remarkable and tantalising Valentine’s Day dinner like this one at BABE will allow her to “show off” what a great boyfriend you are and I’m sure you’ll get a nice “reward” after dinner.
So go one, if you think your babe is worth it, bring her to BABE!
The Valentine’s Day menu is available from 10 to 14 February 2017 only.
BABE – Japas Fun Dining is located at:
11th Floor, Work@Clearwater,
50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone: +603.2095 8599
Operation Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 7pm & 8.30pm seatings (CLOSED on Mondays)