BETWEEN my right foot and my brain, it’s hard to decide which is getting number as I join countless other vehicles inching their way along Jalan Tun Razak in the rush hour crawl that’s contributing to my delay for my appointment.
Even Adele’s dulcet tones on the radio aren’t helping to soothe the nerves.
Consolation comes when I attempt to channel my thoughts to the gastronomic pleasures awaiting me at my destination, the sole reason for subjecting myself to this urban hazard. Among the many dining and entertainment venues lining the boulevards of TREC, Kuala Lumpur’s latest party destination, is Supperclub KL. It calls itself an upscale contemporary French gastro bar and club lounge.
Within five minutes of being welcomed and seated on the terrace, my stress completely dissipates, thanks to a distraction that suddenly arrives on the table. A majestic platter of cold seafood takes my breath away with its alluring arrangement of freshly shucked oysters, Tiger prawns and whelks, all imported from France, sitting prettily on a bed of ice, accompanied by lemon wedges and an aioli dip.
The French oysters are like nothing I’ve tasted before. Persuaded to try one without condiments, I discover a flavourful clean taste of the ocean that instantly wins me over, and from then on, the lemon wedges become redundant. Intended for sharing, this dish falls under the menu category, The Wow Platters, suitably named in reference to the impression they make. The pork-free menu also offers Bar Bites, Starters, Mains, From the Grill and Gourmet pasta.
The charcoal-hued outdoor terrace is a strategic place for people-watching but there’s more comfort and ambience indoors. Swanky yet laid-back, the spacious dimly-lit interior of Supperclub KL exudes urban chic across an open layout that accommodates a good choice of seating options, ranging from high chairs and lounge sofas to cosy booth tables and a private room.
The large bar features prominently, a reminder that you’re in a gastrobar, where the highlight isn’t just the gastronomy but also the mixology concoctions.
LEGACY FROM LYON
Just a few months ago, Supperclub KL underwent a re-branding which involved moving away from international cuisine to focus instead on contemporary French fare. The new direction was triggered by a new friendship that was struck last year between the French owner of Supperclub KL and two compatriots who’ve since joined the team as manager and chef.
French Chef Romain Fabre and manager Benoit Le Rioux are certified by the prestigious Culinary Institute Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France, and they’ve worked in various Michelin-starred establishments in their homeland and Switzerland. With such credentials, patrons are promised top notch service and haute cuisine at Supperclub KL, utilising the finest quality ingredients to prepare classic French dishes with contemporary techniques.
For example, there’s no such thing as just scallops. You savour butter-roasted Hokkaido scallops accompanied by celeriac puree, glazed chestnut, lobster bisque and pickles of button mushrooms. You don’t just get beef consommé. You’re presented with double-boiled beef consommé served with foie gras and truffles, covered with oven-baked puff pastry.
This classic clear soup was first created by Paul Bocuse, a world-famous French chef and restaurateur known for advocating a lighter style of cooking. The dish has been on the menu of his Michelin three-star restaurant in Lyon, France, since 1975. His legacy to modern French cuisine continues in the hands of talents such as Chef Romain who pays homage by introducing the creator’s signature soup to Malaysians.
Despite its opulent description and having been boiled for six hours, the consommé is rather light-tasting and not too beefy. The roasted Hokkaido scallops dish is another starter that offers a light palate-pleaser. With buttery, earthy and acidic nuances, there’s a well-balanced play with flavours when the different elements are eaten together.
ASSOCIATION OF FLAVOURS
The starter that piques my attention the most is the pan-seared foie gras and green apple in three ways. Considering my aversion to liver, this dish is a surprising delight and it isn’t just owing to the buttery texture and unique taste of the duck liver. The excellent pairing with apple puree, butter roasted apple and Granny Smith sorbet brings the flavours to another dimension, with enough hint of tanginess.
Chef Romain explains: “It’s a very complex dish because there are different textures, different temperatures and the balance between the fat and the sour. The foie gras is fat so we try to balance out with the Granny Smith apple and some sweet balsamic reduction.”
The main courses also showcase his finesse for complex flavour association where he creates interesting combinations. He shares: “Everywhere you go in the dish, you have a new flavour, something surprising, otherwise the dish will be very flat.”
Take the pan-seared Turbot fish in Grenobloise, a term which refers to a mixture of brown butter, capers, parsley and lemon. Combine a piece of the mild white fish with some potato and douse it in that pungent sauce to gain a delicious harmony of flavours. The one component worth scoffing on its own though is the dreamy creamy mash potato.
When the US Black Angus Tournedos Rossini arrives, Chef Romain demonstrates, upon request, the proper way to dive into this classic French steak dish. The decadent Tournedos Rossini comprises a beef medallion topped with seared foie gras, garnished with slices of fresh truffle. With a fork jabbed into the top, he quickly slices from the foie gras downwards into the medium rare beef tenderloin, dips the duo into some sauce and pops it into his mouth. I decide to commit a faux-pas by sampling the succulent beef and foie gras separately at first before following the chef’s way, just to confirm that combining the flavours does deliver a better taste.
Dessert arrives in the form of a fluffy and refreshing Tropical Mango Soufflé served with an effervescent cake sparkler. Anyone celebrating their birthday can enjoy a complimentary soufflé . By this time, I’m well-chilled, my feet are in tapping mood and my brain is feeling a pleasing rush from the palatable experience.
Traffic? What traffic?
Lot E12-14, Electric Boulevard, TREC KL, Jalan Tun Razak, KL
Opening hours: Daily 5pm - 3am