LaFite at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur

April 20, 2014
It's nine in the morning and I'm in the Golden Lounge, KLIA, waiting for my flight back to London. Dear God, it's early and a Sunday morning but somehow the airport is rammed with people...where are they flying to? Anywhere but on my flight please, I'm claustrophobic. Please please please. Here's another first world problem, trying to muddle through a sleep-addled brain and figure out which lane is moving more quickly; the Premier Lane or the regular Autogate (for Malaysian passport holders)*.

*answer: Premier Lane, but only by a hair. Whaaaaat.

My sincerest apologies to all the people in K.L that I didn't meet up with this around. Acquaintances, long-lost friends, and long suffering family members alike. I only came back for a month for a few events, couple of trips, to take care of some business, and to see some family, so my time in Malaysia was sparse. I wasn't feeling my best either, for some reason I kept falling sick and I made at least six trips to the hospital (the Prince Court staff are my new best friends). Of course I am also the worse at making plans to make up for people, people usually chase me or just figure out where I am and show up to see me. 

Anyway, if you're one of those sorely-neglected friends/family/foe I've mentioned, I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you when I'm back in November and maybe I'll talk you all to LaFite at Shangri-La?

An institution, it's one of my oldest favourite places to dine for years. Of course I enjoy French cuisine, and small portions for when I want to feel less like a noble savage and more like the refined madame I pretend to be.

Their signature fruit salad; paper thin slices of mango, dragon fruit, grape, scattered with almonds, sorbet, blueberries and raspberries. Drenched in bourbon vanilla syrup. Don't chew on the mint, just don't.

I love the Shangri-La; I associate it with 'social season' and all the usual events (Tatler ball and the like) but by day it's no less glamourous, just more serene and befitting of the name.

La Fite is of course just as inviting and luxurious.

Be sure to book the private room if you're dining with more than a couple of people, the view alone never mind the privacy is worth it.

I stared out the window for hours, watching the gardener in his knit gloves, oversized hat, and many layers wondering "Isn't he sweltering?". On the topic of weather-inappropriate uniforms, every time I see a policeman in his knee high boots, gloves, and jacket I cringe. They must be so sweaty in this stifling heat, no wonder most of them are so cranky. 

The service is of course good; the standards have slipped just a little (or maybe it was an off day) but the food is as always impeccable.

'How to fake dimples' a guide by Jasiminne Yip.

My porcini soup with foie gras...

...which for some reason I've lost the appetite for. I used to love foie gras, but now the taste and texture of it makes me gag.

Oh my cod, that fish cray (not it wasn't, it was cod).

My wagyu Beef Tournedos with sautéed artichoke, pommes Dauphines and Rossini sauce.

Pink and juicy. Just how I like my meat.

A stomach filled is a heart content.

And of course the signature fruit salad, the sweetness of which is balanced by the sorbet and light touch of the deftly sliced fruit is the perfect end to a meal. 

Who wants to come with me to La Fite next time? No, I'm not buying haha.

I want to see if I can handle eating the entire degustation menu (six courses for RM330, three for RM230, of course it makes more sense to have six) for lunch. The wine list is supposedly great but...I can't drink wine, c'est whatever.

If we're lucky I might stumble, again, on the Shangri-La staff changing the flower display. Nothing so intoxicating and potent as the heady scent of hundreds of fresh lilies.

Time for me to board my flight...wish me a safe journey. See you soon, London. Kuala Lumpur, see you in November.


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