- Victoria Brown
Babe Restaurant, Damansara Heights
Wagyu beef is the king of beef. It is most desired due to its beautiful marbling, resulting in the beef practically melting in your mouth as you bite into it.
It is tender and flavourful, and it is no surprise why people rave about it. I am salivating just thinking about it again!
Many hear stories of Wagyu cattle being pampered with daily massages, Baroque music playing in their air conditioned stables, and being fed chocolate as part of their diet.
But behind the lore, it is undeniable that Wagyu beef is of premium quality. That is why Chef Jeff Ramsey at Babe Restaurant wanted diners to experience four different types of Wagyu to compare and appreciate the fine beef.
For the month of July, Babe is offering a dining escapade like none other with their special Wagyu promotion menu.
We had the opportunity to try some of Babe's Wagyu menu items as well as some a la carte items from their normal menu.
For Babe's Wagyu Promotion menu, you can choose to have four courses plus three 'snacks' priced at RM610++ per person. Or you can choose to have six courses plus three 'snacks' priced at RM930++.
We tried two out of the three 'snacks' for the Wagyu menu. First, we tried the Wagyu Beef Tendon in Ponzu with Chili Radish and Spring Onion.
It was a joy to eat! When I think tendon, I imagine it to be tough. But instead, it was soft, tender and bursting with flavour!
When the Chicken Skin Crisp with Wagyu Liver Parfait, Red Wine Caramelized Onions and Pickled Mustard Seed came, it looked amazing and its taste matched its aesthetic.
Yes, it was a little rich with the fried chicken skin and the creamy liver parfait paired together, but I loved the flavours. I particularly liked the pickled mustard seed, it was so delicious!
The third 'snack' is the Bulgogi Cotton Candy which we unfortunately did not taste.
As for the Wagyu dishes, we tried three out of the available six dishes available for the set menu. The dishes are also available as a la carte options (the prices listed are the a la carte prices).
First, we had the A5 Tartare "yukkwe" Pear, Brioche Rounds, Sesame Aioli, Sesame Oil Powder (RM160) which turned out to be my personal favourite of the three dishes we tried.
It was my first time having tartare and I loved it! Before, I was worried that raw beef would give off a strong taste and smell, but this dish was so full of flavour and the tartare just highlighted how tender and high quality the beef is.
I loved the sesame flavours in this dish, the sesame oil powder was particularly delicious with its intense flavour. Everything was flawless!
The Semi Seared Australian MB9+ Wagyu Nigiri Sushi with Arima Sansho (4pcs RM160) was another popular dish. The first thing you notice is how the thinly sliced beef glistens, inviting you to devour it.
It is quite a large sushi, so you can choose to eat it in one big bite, or two bites. I personally recommend eating it in one bite!
The beef was incredibly tender and like every other wagyu dish, just melts in your mouth. The Arima Sansho, which is sake, sugar and shoyu mixed together, gave the sushi a real depth of flavour which was delightful. It looks simple, but it was so delicious.
The Sukiyaki of Kagoshima A5 Cube Roll with Truffled Onsen Egg (RM160) was one of the best sukiyakis I've had the pleasure of eating.
The sauce is so full of flavour, but it is quite salty so you don't have to pour the whole thing in. The beef is again, sliced thinly, making it incredibly easy to eat. You will just wish for more! The truffled onsen egg adds a richness to the dish and brings it to a whole new level.
Other Wagyu dishes we didn't try included the Raw Matsuzaka A5 Strip with Caviar, River Stone Cooked Kobe A5 and Charcoal Grilled Kagoshima A5 Ribeye. As you can see, Chef Jeff Ramsey utilises different Wagyu cuts that are prepared in very different ways.
The highlight from Babe's a la carte menu was the Mozzarella Explosion and Amela Tomato (RM40).
I don't know how they do it! The mozzarella ball literally explodes in your mouth, so be very careful when transferring the sphere to your spoon. The tomato was fresh and sweet, and the perfect accompaniment to the mozzarella ball. It is a classic pairing and a must-try!
The Black Truffle Onsen Tamago (RM35) was another favourite. It reminds me chawanmushi because it is so smooth and custard-like. But it is actually a traditional Japanese low temperature egg which is slow cooked.
I love the prominent flavour of truffle paired with the silkiness and creaminess of the egg. Onsen Tamago is a simple breakfast item in Japan, but Babe transforms it to a high-end dish that wows and stuns anyone who eats it.
BabenDazs (RM35) was the dish that was most fun to eat! I really have to give praise for Babe's fantastic packaging, it really does add to the diner's experience.
It is my first time trying savoury ice cream, and I must say, I was impressed!
The foie gras and VSOP ice cream sandwich was a fantastic and indulgent combination. The balance of flavours was perfect and I loved the ice cold foie gras and the crunch from the ice cream sandwich was delightful.
The Shimaaji and White Konbu (RM55) was unlike any sushi I've tasted. The fish was fresh and cut perfectly, while the sesame oil powder simply enhanced the flavour of the fish, it was superb!
Those of you who shy away from raw oysters should try this grilled alternative at Babe.
The Grilled French Royal Oyster with Tama Miso (RM50) at first confuses the senses. Initially, you think it is cold, as it is served on rock salt that looks very much like ice.
But as the warm oysters slides into your mouth, you experience the creaminess of the miso and slight smokiness from the grill. It was simply delicious!
To accompany our meal, we enjoyed one of Babe's signature mocktails which is the Torch Gingerale (RM25).
I loved the cut ginger in the drink that gave something for you to chew on as you gulp down the spicy, tangy fizzy drink.
For dessert, we enjoyed the Pina Colada (RM28) that draws inspiration from the cocktail. It features a coconut, vanilla parfait with spiced rum and pineapples.
All in all, it was a unique dining experience with interesting flavours and textures.
Babe certainly excites their diners with unexpected dishes that highlights their quality ingredients. They combine the best of the East and West in their fusion dishes, but not straying too far from their Japanese inspiration.
11th Floor, Work@Clearwater, Jalan Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 6pm to 11pm
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