Citrus Wine & Dine
No. 38-46 Laluan Ipoh Perdana,
Food Type: Modern Eclectic
Food Rating: 4/10
Nearest tube: –
(Editor’s note: Please note that the scoring of food in Malaysia is based on a linear scale)
With J over from Hong Kong, I took the opportunity to take her about for some food. Her parents are pretty conservative though when it comes to eating out (ie. Chinese food only) so I opted to take only J for lunch at Citrus. The food served here is best described as Modern Eclectic – Modern European with Asian influences. If I am not mistaken, they do an excellent 3 course Lunch menu for RM 19.90 (about £3) including water and coffee. Yup! Eating out in Malaysia is really cheap. As this was J’s only chance to eat here, we opted for the more expensive Ala-carte dinner menu. We decided that it to go for a 3-course meal and share each course so that J could try a variety of dishes. The restaurant were more than happy to accommodate our request.
Salmon Sashimi ‘Citrus Style’
Our first starter was Salmon Sashimi ‘Citrus Style’. Raw slices of salmon were each marinated in a bit of olive oil and topped with some chives, ginger and flat-leaf parsley and served with some wasabi and sweet soy dipping sauce. The salmon was fresh, smooth and at the right temperature (raw fish, in particular salmon can sometimes be served too cold or too warm resulting in some of its flavours or textures lost). I was a bit worried with the addition of the condiments but was glad to find that the condiments enhanced the subtle flavour of the salmon instead of overpowering it. The wasabi and soy dipping sauce almost seemed like an afterthought and was unnecessary in view of all the flavours already present on this dish. I felt that the dish could have done with some texture – perhaps in the form of sea salt replacing the soy. (5/10)
Pan-Seared Foie Gras with Caramelised Pears
Our second starter was a Pan-Seared Foie Gras with Caramelised Pears. The chef at Citrus has previously worked in Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore where he won a Gold medal award for his foie gras dish in a cooking competition. I’ve been fortunate enough to sample that foie gras dish (Pan-seared Foie Gras with a Poached Egg) and felt that it was divine. However, this rendition of foie gras is best described as being confused. There are simply way too many elements going on in the dish. I would have been happy to eat this dish if it contained some foie gras sitting on top of the pears. Instead, the dish is also loaded with cherry tomatoes, a side salad of lettuce, mango salsa, papaya chutney, cucumbers AND balsamic glaze – all of which added nothing to the dish. This was a huge shame because the foie gras and the pears (which were first poached in a spiced wine before being caramelised) were actually really good. Taken as a whole though, the dish only merits a 2/10.
Roasted Cod with White Wine ‘Foam’
For the fish course, we opted for Roasted Cod with White Wine ‘Foam’. This dish is again overcomplicated. The cod fish was of very good quality (Australian Cod served here is oilier than the Cod available in the UK and as such has a more robust flavour and silkier texture) and correctly cooked – the fish was flaking apart on the plate – and seasoned. If you follow my blog, you will already have known that I am hugely opposed to foam. The white wine foam here hasn’t made me change my mind. Some sun-dried tomatoes accompanied the roasted cod, which while very good, did not complement the white wine ‘foam’. The fish was served on top of a bed of mixed grilled vegetables and mashed potatoes which were passable. This dish was definitely a missed opportunity (3/10).
For mains, we had the Wagyu Ribeye. One of the main reasons I decided to take J to Citrus is because she had never tried Wagyu beef before. The rendition here is every bit as good as I remember it to be the last time I was here. The beef was buttery and melting tender as expected (you can cut it with a spoon) and packed full of flavour. The beef fat was also nicely caramelised something which is often overlooked. (yum! I love beef fat) The beef was served with the cooking jus, some grilled vegetables, a mushroom ragout (which was itself creamy and full of flavour) as well as some paprika potato wedges. A very satisfying dish indeed. (7/10)
Pandan Crêpe with Caramelised Bananas and Vanilla Ice Cream
For desserts, we started off with some Pandan Crêpe with Caramelised Bananas and Vanilla Ice Cream. This dessert is one of my favourites here – rich, toffee-like bananas are wrapped in pandan crêpes. The richness of the bananas were nicely balanced off with the vanilla ice cream which were a touch too cold for my liking (people should really learn what soft-serve means!) with the nuts adding texture to the dish. While the dish was overall enjoyable, it is unfortunate that due to the quality of the milk available in Malaysia, the ice cream is brought in, instead of made fresh by the restaurant. (4/10)
The second dessert is one of our favourites (well J more than me) – Tiramisu. The problem I have with Tiramisu in Malaysia is that a lot of the restaurants here serve the non-alcoholic version as the restaurants are certified halal. The alcohol is needed to cut through the richness of the cake and give it a serious kick. As a non-alcoholic version goes, this one is passable with a moist coffee soaked sponges sandwiched by rich layers of cream and cheese. A stylish biscuit tuile adds some eye appeal to the dish – the tuile being quite pleasant actually (4/10). I finished off lunch with some very good quality expresso – a rare find by Malaysian standards.
A 3 course lunch for 2 including a mocktail, orange juice and coffee came up to about RM310 (roughly £50), although a third of that cost can be attributed to the Wagyu beef. The food at Citrus at it’s best is very good but at times can get too complicated for its own good. As evident by our meal today, two of the best dishes served today were also the simpler ones where the good produce were allowed to shine. The age old cooking adage of ‘sometimes less is more’ has never been more true. Also one last nitpick – what is the obsession Malaysian restaurants have with parsley as a garnish? Gordon Ramsay would have a heart attack!