If there is one KL fine dining spot which continue to surprise & satisfy all this while (bearing in mind new pretenders to the throne like Enfin by James Won or Darren Chin’s DC Restaurant), it has to be Cantaloupe by long-time KL-based Luxembourger chef, Chris Bauer. Bauer brought his previous restaurant, Frangipani, to great heights before decamping to his own spot (together with partner, Eddie Chew), Cantaloupe, in 2013.
Cantaloupe is a sumptuous restaurant on the 24th floor of one of the Troika towers, with high-ceilings and large glass walls looking out to the KL city centre.
The menu is interesting: one can choose from 24 menu items for one’s 4-course, 6-course or 8-coure meal. No limits to what one opts for - so you can end up with 6 mains if you so choose, or an all-dessert meal
Amuse-bouche: Barramundi tartare, Apple jelly with apple mousse & smoked duck, Seaweed cracker with sea urchin mousse.
Miniscule sizes! The coil of barramundi could rest on my fingertip with space to spare.
Apple jelly with apple mousse & smoked duck, served with a tiny spoon used for conveying salt or spices.
You simply have to marvel at the meticulousness and attention to detail in assembling such microscopic works of art. Seaweed cracker with sea urchin mousse:
- Singularly the best dish I had this evening was the smoked salmon, compressed cucumber, potato confit, creme fraiche, dill custard and salmon roe.
Octopus & King Crab - sliced octopus, king crab ragu, yukari, shaved bottarga, purple cabbage broth.
Leek & Marrow - grilled young leeks, roasted Wagyu marrow, red wine reduction, rock chives. My fave item, despite its sinful richness.
Preparing the palate cleanser - cucumber-elderflower sorbet - tableside.
Lobster & Scallop - aqua pazza, crushed basil, pine nut mayo, scallop foam, baby zucchini flower, borage cress. This dish, made with the freshest, sweetest shellfish, is a must-not-miss. Stupendous.
Duck Confit, with mashed potatoes, crispy potato chips, mustard sauce. One of my fave French classics. The version here was surprisingly “pedestrian”, considering Chef Bauer’s Luxembourger roots.
I chose one dessert item - recommended by my waiter. And it was perfect: fragrant, nutty, crunchy textures and surprisingly spicy ice-cream.
Nuts & Seeds - coffee jelly, crystallised rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, chocolate & ancho chilli ice-cream.
The most satisfying fine dining meal I’d had in KL thus far. Cantaloupe has it all - good food, friendly service and a view to kill for.
23A The Troika
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2162 0886
Operating hours: 12–2pm, 6:30–10:30pm Mon-Fri. Only 6:30–10:30pm Sat/Sun.