Traders Hotel carries a lot of fun memories for me, from the time I was still a tourist til now. And it’s fitting that they have recently launched a selection of new flavours called “Memory Makers”, a series of new dishes and drinks created based on guests preferences over time. The Memory Makers are made to leave a lasting impression in terms of flavours, presentation and the experience the evoke. We were invited to dine at Gobo Upstairs couple of weeks back and safe to say it was a memorable meal indeed.
First up, let me just say that if you are into theatrical displays, this meal will certainly wow you. Our starter was “Mushroom Tea” (RM35), a slate with a few pieces of salted tempura oyster mushrooms, a glass with mixed mushrooms (let’s pretend my glass was dry for a sec) and a teapot containing the “tea”….
Which was then poured into the glass. The broth is infused with wild mushrooms, as you can imagine. Despite its light-ish appearance it’s definitely flavourful, and if I hadn’t practised restraint I can easily have that whole pot over the course of the meal. Then again I’m just a sucker for good soup.
The tempura mushrooms were seasoned perfectly too, and the bits of sea salt, pink peppercorn and herbs help lifted the flavours.
Gobo Upstairs is as meaty as it comes, and it’s nice for them to offer a Three Meat Platter (RM250) for 2 so you get a nice variety of tastes in one meal.
The steaks and fine cuts are of course the mainstay and here we get a tenderloin served with Pumpkin Puree and chunky fries. Cooked to medium rare, the steak is tasty enough on its own, but who can pass up the wonderfully done Bordelaise sauce, served in a syringe for the fun factor?
I don’t even normally order Lamb Rack but this cutlet actually won my heart. So tender and flavourful, none of that gamey taste I dislike. That artichoke and coriander pesto is amazing I want to steal the recipe. Of course, it’s accompanying rosemary sauce (also in a syringe) is excellent too.
Surprisingly, the poultry was really well done too, with juicy flesh and crispy skin which packs plenty of flavours.
The dish that could really become an icon is the Nasi Lemak 2.0. Sure, you can get nasi lemak anywhere but if you want it fancy this is the place to go. Especially if you want to introduce this to friends from other countries. It’s like the famous Chicken Rice at Chatterbox, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, but even prettier.
The usual suspects are all present, with an upgrade: Rice steamed with coconut water and milk in the coconut shell itself, which means you can scoop up the coconut flesh as well. You get a choice of Chicken Rendang or Fried Spiced Chicken, Prawn Sambal with succulent prawns, and the usual sides. If I have just one suggestion to improve the dish, I’d prefer to swap the hard-boiled egg to just slightly underdone for that glorious yolkporn. For RM35 nett, I think this is definitely worth the price tag and experience.
Now we move on to the desserts!
This is the Cherry Bomm (RM30). I’ve seen a lot of people sharing videos of this, and now we can finally get it in KL!
The round sphere is made with white chocolate. You pour the dark chocolate over it and viola! The shell melts to reveal the treat within.
Ours looked more like the crumbling tower of Piza. This is fitting for the most serious chocolate lovers.
Le Bon Vivant Ice Kepal (RM20) is inspired by the local Ice Kepal treat that many will recall from their childhood days in the 70s and 80s. Topped with raspberries and drenched with syrup, the surprise twist is the ice cream core beneath the layer of shaved ice. I think I might be a little too young to remember this though.
There are also 2 cocktails from SkyBar we tried.
Sky 33 (RM35), a fruity concoction with fresh apples, kiwi juice, a hint of kaffir lime leaves muddled with vodka on ice. Cubes of kiwi vodka jelly for that added kick. This was delicious in a dangerous way.
Picking up from the existing signature cocktail, this improved Selangor Sling (RM48) is slung with Tanqueray gin, hibiscus syrup, Elder flower syrup, pineapple juice, a dash of absinthe, shaken and top with a roselle flower. I actually liked this better, though it is rather potent and might send you into a daze pretty quickly. Especially if you manage to finish the whole Memory Makers’ menu.
TRADERS HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur