Tanzini Upper Deck introduces a new spring menu created by Chef Eugene Lee
Growing bored of your usual haunts for good food and drink? Maybe it’s time to try something new. Tanzini Upper Deck has revamped its menu for the season and offers a reinvigorated selection to tempt loyal patrons and curious newcomers alike.
The previously one-size-fits-all set menu has been replaced with one that emphasises versatility, featuring three dining options that cater to different budgets and appetites:
Expose is a standard three-course meal with an appetiser or soup, a main course, and a dessert; Explore expands your choices in appetisers or soup to three; while Experience is reserved for the truly ravenous with four starters, two main courses and one dessert.
The intrepid Chef Eugene Lee
Chef Eugene Lee has built a reputation for the unconventional with his unique creations – including producing a reimagined nasi lemak for a Festival Dinner and stuffing turkey in a spring chicken for Christmas – and this new spring menu promises to be no different.
Seared Hokkaido Scallop, ‘Truffle of the Sea’, Chicken Emulsion, Matcha Nori Streusel
Three appetisers were presented from the menu, beginning with ‘Truffle of the Sea’ – two deliciously plump scallops from Hokkaido, Japan served with chicken emulsion, matcha nori streusel and micro herbs.
Dehydrated pieces of thinly sliced scallop added a crunchy texture, while the chicken emulsion – made to taste creamier by the astringent green tea elements – lent a savoury richness to the otherwise light, fresh scallop flesh.
Whelk Carpaccio, Seaghetti in Thai Dried Shrimp, Smoked Cod Roe
Next in line was another seafood dish, featuring a rather unusual ingredient – whelks from Bordeaux, South France. Simmered and lightly pan-fried until somewhat crispy, the rubbery whelks had a springy texture and a distinctive mineral taste from the seaweed they fed on.
Taking inspiration from your standard aglio olio pasta dish, Chef Eugene had twirled strands of pasta-like seaweed to create his ‘seaghetti’ and garnished it with chilli flakes, dried shrimp and a dehydrated piece of smoked cod roe to accompany the whelks.
Freshly Made Petit Pois Torn Pasta, Sauteed Petit Pois and Puree, Yolk Confit, Duck ‘Bacon’
‘Primavera’ was the name for the final appetiser, a late 19th century Spanish word for spring, and the visually evocative dish itself certainly lived up to Chef Eugene’s self-described attempt to ‘capture the spring’.
Peas were the order of the day with homemade pea pasta, pea puree, and fresh baby peas surrounding the sunny egg yolk confit in a sea of lush green, with a sprinkling of duck bacon providing a salty bite. Chef Eugene encouraged the diners to taste the ingredients individually before mixing them all up, describing it as ‘cooking on the table’.
Onion and Comte Veloute, Toasted Ciabatta Cream, Bombay Onion Kakiage
The soup course of an onion and comte veloute was no simple creation either. Eight hours of boiling potatoes with Bombay onions, brown chicken stock and herbs produced a silky smooth elixir that submerged a pile of sautéed onion strips. A dollop of cream infused with the flavour of toasted ciabatta put a different spin on the traditional soup and bread combination.
“It’s our way of saying ‘I love you’ to our guests,” Chef Eugene said of the labour-intensive process. “Do you feel the love?!”
After a refreshing palate cleanser, it was time for the main event – a choice between a trio of fish, beef, or duck.
Oven Finished Red Mullet, Pickled Beetroot, Red Mullet Essence, Black Quinoa
The air-flown red mullet from Brittany, France had its delicate flavours enhanced with butter and tarragon in a bag before being finished in the oven.
Crispy quinoa in Chef Eugene’s favourite black hue provided a nicely contrasting crunch, while the colourful beetroot was pickled in-house using a 12-day Japanese technique to complete a dish minimalist in appearance but intricate in execution.
Saikyo Miso Marinated 600 Days Grain Fed Wagyu, Carrot and Cucumber Slaw, Natural Jus
The meat option of 600-day grain-fed Australian wagyu beef was no slouch either. Chosen for its premium full-blooded quality, the award-winning Blackmore wagyu was marinated in saikyo miso (sweet fermented soy paste) for flavour, then cooked sous-vide style before being chargrilled to medium rare perfection.
Inspired by a mamak stall he frequented, Chef Eugene created an ‘unpretentious’ carrot and cucumber ‘slaw as a side to cut through the beef’s fat, finished with natural jus for the meat.
Crispy Pressed Confit of Muscovy Duck, Braised Figleaf Gourd and Cipollini, Wolfberries
The only local main of Muscovy duck from Ipoh was touted as the ‘chef d’oeuvre’ for its decadence. Crackling skin wrapped the pressed duck confit in Vietnamese spring roll style, while small cipollini onions, braised fig leaf gourd (described as ‘shark’s fin melon’ for its texture) and wolfberries evoked a strong Chinese influence.
Not for the most delicate of palates, the duck was liberally infused with herbs and spices, along with a generous amount of garlic for a distinctive flavour. The crackling skin was a guilty pleasure in itself as it soaked up the juices from the meat, ensuring not a single drop went to waste.
No matter how much you eat, there is always room for dessert – and Chef Eugene made it well worth the stomach space.
Nitro Jerusalem Artichoke Gelato, Hazelnut Sponge, Skins, Dark Muscovado Sugar Floss
The rustic appearance of ‘Earth’ hid a complexity of flavours derived from nitrogen Jerusalem artichoke gelato, hazelnut sponge and artichoke skins, topped off with dark muscovado sugar floss.
Grapefruit-Campari Orb, Toasted Almond Cake, Cereal Whipped Dulcey 32%, Mandarins
In contrast, the grapefruit shortcake was a light-hearted creation with a grapefruit-Campari orb (non-alcoholic) taking centre stage, surrounded by toasted almond cake, cereal whipped dulcey (a type of blonde chocolate created with Valrhona techniques), dehydrated mandarins and fresh grapefruit.
“Ultimately, the goal is to get good food out there,” Chef Eugene said at the end of the culinary extravaganza. “It’s a rebellious menu. If you don’t come out of the box, you can’t think out of the box.”
“It’s not always about why – it’s why not as well.”
The three dining options are available from RM215++, RM280++ and RM350++ per pax respectively. Alternatively, the Chef’s Table Degustation menu is available as well from RM350++ per pax, featuring high culinary art and rare ingredients that challenge the imagination. Reservations must be made a week in advance.
The menu tends to change with the seasons, so if you want to taste it, don’t wait! For further information, please contact Tanzini at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +603 2168 1899.