New Man at the helm
September 16, 2018
There’s a new Man calling the shots at Trace Restaurant & Bar and the excitement ripples from the kitchen all the way to the dining area. Chef Man recently launched a new a la carte menu that boasts of more local dishes and flavours.
Apart from the food, I love the view that Trace, located on the 40th floor of the hotel, offers diners, especially on a clear evening. The twinkling lights of the city, spread below my heels, never fails to mesmerise. Even in the day, it’s a thrill to be able to point out and identify the different building structures.
Our little media group start the meal with a glass of sangria and, while waiting impatiently for the feast to come, we nibble on keropok (fish crackers) with a sweet chilli dip.
|Local offering of keropok with chilli dip instead of a bread basket|
A trio of appetisers is set before us. There’s the very delightful Kerabu Manga Isi Ketam (RM23) or Mango & Crabmeat Salad. This salad has cubed mango, anchovies, lime, chilli, shallots, kaffir lime leaves and a generous topping of crabmeat. Mix it all up for an explosive riot of flavours.
|From left: Sampling portions of Sharwarma, Kerabu Manga Isi Ketam and LiveWell Salad|
The House signature, LiveWell Salad (RM27) is a combination of mesclun lettuce, fruit, beetroot, mozzarella, pine nut, beans, croutons and cherry tomato comes with a choice of dressing: Balsamic, Thousand Island, French or Herb Vinaigrette. It’s a perky salad and if you add on grilled prawn (RM11), grilled chicken breast (RM10) or smoked salmon (RM11), it makes a healthy full meal.
Wrap & Roll Sharwarma (RM32) does not actually come under appetiser; it’s listed under Burger, Wrap & Chips instead and is served with a side of steak fries or potato wedges. The cooked chicken breast is marinated in yoghurt and spices and then wrapped in tortilla together with fresh salad leaves and served with two dips.
|Wrap & Roll Sharwarma|
Malaysian Oxtail Soup (RM38), braised with spices and vegetables is a Chef Man signature dish. Instead of that, I have Wild Mushroom Soup (RM19), served with a sliver of toasted garlic baguette. It’s creamy but it’s far too salty for my tastebuds.
|Malaysian Oxtail Soup with toast|
Western Main dishes range from salmon to chicken, beef and lamb. The Corn-fed Chicken Breast (RM51) is actually flattened breast meat rolled with a centre of chicken mousse and panfried.
|Cornfed Chicken Breast stuffed with chicken mousse and served with creamed spinach|
Salmon Fillet of 200g (RM69) goes well with a light saffron cream sauce while the Lamb Chops of 350g (RM72) dance a great tango with thyme mushroom sauce.
|Lamb Chops with thyme mushroom sauce|
Australian steak of about 200g with choices of sirloin, rib-eye or tenderloin. With this, perhaps the balsamic black pepper sauce, sautéed vegetables and potato au gratin.
For the Western Mains menu, customers can choose sides of potato and vegetables and a sauce. I recommend the potato au gratin. This is a yummy, creamy offering with the aroma of grilled cheese. For vegetables, I’d pick the creamed spinach to go with any of the main items as it’s absolutely da bomb!
Pasta and pizza are not to be ignored. I’m not a fan of Marinara (RM47) but this one has plenty of seafood such as mussel, scallop and prawn in a zesty tomato-based sauce with chunks of tomato and flavour of fresh basil.
With its own pizza oven, Trace offers, in addition to thin crust pizza (from RM40) such as Mediterranean, Margherita and Pepperoni as well as Trace’s Signature Pizza with a local twist. The thin crust is slathered with organic tomato sauce and topped with onion, spicy chicken, lemongrass, onion, chicken serunding (floss) and mozzarella. Then finally, just before serving, it gets a scatter of coriander leaves and fresh lime wedges. Absolutely flavoursome.
|Trace's Signature Pizza with chicken serunding, spicy chicken and lime wedges|
There are more Malaysian flavours in the Go Local section. Malay-style Nasi Goreng Kampung (RM32) is a restaurant signature dish too. It’s fried with ikan bilis, scallop, prawn, fried chicken and topped with satay, prawn crackers, pickles and a fried sunny-side egg.
There are also traditional nasi lemak, mee mamak, Penang Char Kway Teow and egg noodles “Yee Mee Kungfu” (RM32). A thickened gravy, creamy and rich with egg is poured over the crispy deepfried yee mee noodles. There’s sliced chicken, fishcake, carrot, xiu bak choy and the star of the show, big fresh prawns.
|Yee Mee Kungfu has big fresh prawns|
Rempah Kuzi Kambing (RM58) braised lamb shank with spices served with ghee rice, pickled vegetables and papadom.
|Nasi Goreng Kampung with satay|
Dessert at Trace is a work of art. Those watching the waistline can opt for fresh fruit but it is a pity to miss out on the Pandan Tiramisu (RM28). Yup, you read that right. I too had initial misgivings. Pandan and tiramisu? Didn’t expect the combination to prove lethal and for someone who does not like pandan, it’s quite the tastebud opener and a neat finish to end the meal.
|Dessert platter with (clockwise from top left) bread pudding, pandan tiramisu, cheesecake and lava cake|
There’s also Cheese Cake (RM30) and Bread Pudding (RM28) as well as a Dark Chocolate Lava Cake (RM36) but unfortunately, I allow the latter to grow cold, an unforgiveable act that spells death for any lava cake.
Trace Restaurant & Bar
Element KL by Westin
40th Floor, Ilham Tower
8 Jalan Binjai, KL
Breakfast: 6.30am to 10.30am
All-Day Dining: 11am to midnight