For a night of Jazz and food
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 17 Aug 2012
In the mood for a little soul pampering after a long week’s hard work made us think of Alexis, an eatery at Jalan Ampang which serves exquisite dishes and fine live jazz music, but at a bit of a cost.
Creamy Baked Button Mushrooms.
Donned in smart casual attire, in we stepped through the thick black heavy curtains draped around the whole restaurant - presumably to reduce reverberation and echo to allow for better acoustics during performances.
Apart from the endless display of wine bottles on the racks to the right of the outlet, we were drawn to the many tempting choices of desserts like meringue, pavlova, tarts and their highly talked about tiramisu.
As we had made reservations, we managed to get a table in the middle of the restaurant, directly facing the stage lined with percussion and string instruments for the show that night.
After taking a moment to look through the diverse menu which offers a selection of local favourites and a variety of Western dishes, we opted for the latter, for something different.
First came the appetisers, baked button mushrooms and lightly fried calamari rings which can be found under the Tapas section in their menu.
The button mushrooms, which were cut in halves, were served in a plate of rich creamy cream sauce topped with a handful of cheese and herbs.
Lightly fried calamari rings.
On the side were three thick slices of buttered French baguette breads - which is not that fragrant when eaten by itself but tastes amazing when dipped into the cream sauce.
It is recommended to make a hole in the middle of the bread, drop a few mushrooms in, load it up with the sauce and take a huge bite.
Lovers of Italian white cream sauce will not be disappointed as the thick and rich sauce was perfectly seasoned, not too salty and not too cheesy to make you feel full or bloated.
The empty plate was then replaced with the lightly fried calamari rings, which were not covered in too much batter but just enough to give the crunch we all seek in fried food.
Do squeeze in the two slices of lemon wedges accompanying the fried squid before eating, as this may not only get rid of the fishy smell but also give the dish a tangy twist.
We satisfied out cravings for fried food with the squid rings as they were neither tough nor covered in oil.
Halfway through dinner, we were approached by one of the waiters reminding us that we cannot order for anymore water because it was after nine.
Do note that at Alexis, it is their policy to not serve water after nine but patrons can always order themselves cordials, choose from their extensive wine list or other drinks.
Because we ordered the roast tarragon chicken and seafood linguine vongole, we decided to go for the French Rose wine, which complimented the dishes well.
Up first was the linguine vongole, pasta noodles with clams in English, which was cooked with Chardonnay sauce.
The noodles were well cooked, with a little spring in every bite, and served with a generous amounts of fresh clams which filled the huge plate.
We did not really taste the white wine Chardonnay sauce maybe because the alcohol had been reduced while cooking but in total the dish was still tasty.
Though the serving looks huge and may be a little too much for small eaters who still want dessert, not to worry as it is not as filling as it looks partly because the noodle is semi-dry and not creamy.
Next we tried their roast chicken served with savoy cabbage stew, morel Normandy, which is a brown looking edible fungus from France topped with crushed pink peppercorn.
The tender and juicy chicken tasted simply divine, especially when downed with a sip of the wine.
Seasoned with tarragon, the flavourful roast is served sitting on a bed of healthy stewed cabbage which is recommended to be eaten together with the chicken.
What caught our attention next was the pink peppercorn, usually made from dried berries, which did not taste as pungent or peppery as the other black and white peppercorns.
Even so, all those unique and different mixes of spices and condiments made for one unique dish indeed.
Just as we were done with the mains, the lights were dimmed for the Bossa Nova performance featuring Xiong, a musician well known for singing the sweetest tunes of Brazilian music.
With the samba-jazz styled music serenading us, we ordered a slice of the tiramisu cake, which was made of coffee cake, chopped chocolate, tiramisu cream and topped with praline nuts, served with strawberry jam.
Ordering coffee to go with the dessert was a good choice as we could then slowly savour the cake and coffee, while enjoying the music and talk for hours at the cosy eatery.
Alexis has five branches around the Klang Valley and its locations and contact details can be found at their website www.alexis.com.my.
The branch reviewed here is in Alexis Ampang housed at Lot 10 & 11 Great Eastern Mall, 303 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Call 03-4260 2288 for details and reservations.