Suet Fun and Sheka came over the house yesterday at 3.00 pm. A bottle of red, a quarter liter of Bombay Sapphire, and half of Jeannie's last pack of Virginia Slims later, Sheka reminded me about an old message posted in the Tigers EGroup about Tiger Mike's "Restaurant". Sheka had never met Jeannie before and the posting was the first time he had noticed Jeannie's name mentioned. The following is that posting dated 3rd October, 2005:
3rd, October 2005
The wife and I went to a quaint restaurant today. Located somewhere between KL and Klang, it can be rather difficult to locate if you do not have explicit directions. We arrived there at 12.30 pm and stayed till about 9.15 pm. You can guess this is no ordinary place.
We were greeted at the door by the chef himself and with almost telepathic perception served up Famous Grouse soda for yours truly and a quick Pepsi for Jeannie.
The place itself was immaculately clean with hardly a piece of furniture not in its right place and not a speck of dirt to the touch. The distinguished lady boss was at hand to make us feel most welcomed while the chef put finishing touches to the first course that was to ensue. Another whiskey later, we were presented with a personalized “menu of the day” which really made us feel honored to be customers for the day. It was obvious that great detail was put into the preparation of the menu and that set the anticipation for the meal that was to come. There was even a little commemoration in the menu card that really bowled me over! I will take you through the menu as we progress!
The meal started with piping hot miso soup which was quickly consumed with gusto together with a salad of fresh crunchy greens with Japanese dressing; a heady mix of French and oriental flavors! This was immediately followed by imported mussels on a half shell garnished with herbed garlic butter and lightly toasted. The accompanying bottle of Wolfblass Red complemented the mussels perfectly even though a philistine like me was always told perhaps a chardonnay was more appropriate. Compliments to the chef who obviously knew his craft!
Next came the Lime Sorbet which I am told was to cleanse the mouth of any after-taste from the entrées. The chef was gracious enough to bring out a liqueur from his private collection that added a zing to the already tangy lime sorbet but the desired effect was amazing.
What was truly puzzling is, all this while the chef and the lady boss joined us for the meal and as far as I could see there was no one else in the kitchen! The chef just went into the kitchen and brought out his creations as if he materialized them from thin air! He was in fact very much like Jaime Oliver! He made everything seem so simple.
The main course was to me the piece de resistance…..a generous portion of custom done, pan seared to perfection, rib eye (I think it was) accompanied by half a baked potato, shitake mushrooms and snow peas. The carnivore in me polished off that in no time. Jeannie was served three rather large portions of lamb chops that had been pre-stripped of fat and was done just the way she liked it. Lady boss had pan seared salmon steak and yet there was no one else in the kitchen; amazing. By then we were on the second bottle of red.
Dessert of the day was Haagen-Daz raspberry ice-cream on a bed of canned mix fruits. Certainly Haagen-Daz needs no introductions. This meal was not over by far! Expresso made before your eyes! Luigi Lavazza coffee no less; a brand which dates back to 1895 in Turin, Italy.
Since we were the only customers at the time, and it was after all a quiet Sunday no one was pushed for time. Out came the cheese board and crackers….and port! There was a variety of mild cheeses; I could only recognize the camembert, feta, and cheddar among them and the chef did not bring out his favored blue cheese for fear of sending us out the door immediately! This was followed by another bottle of red.
You would think that was the end. We were real stuffed by then! The thing which made the whole afternoon all the more enjoyable was the company. That to us was the highlight of the day. We were enthralled by the stories and history that were the main topics of conversation that time just rolled by unnoticed.
Before the day was over, Jeannie had a pleasant surprise. Caviar which is a favorite of hers was served with the fourth bottle of wine. We were told the establishment had run out of a house specialty; an occasional availability of foie gras (depending on availability of goose liver) or available most times, chicken liver pate. That was enough to set us thinking of the next visit! Herein lies the cost of the whole wonderful meal.
How much did the whole meal cost? Nothing!! Nothing in pecuniary terms anyway! Well, the agonizing wait for the next available booking is the price one has to pay and that could be never! I signed off the menu card with, “Thanks for the once in a lifetime experience”……..you know why? If there is a second invite, it will never be the same as the marvel of the first time.
THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH MIKE NASER AND FAZILLAH TAIB. As Jeannie rightly put it; “It was better than sex, maaaann!!!”