Tuesday, 5 August 2014

CLOSED "W" Espresso Sporting Club at Country Garden - French Fine Dining with Passion and Flare

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

I've been to "W" Espresso Sporting Club at Country Garden at least 5 times now in the past half year.

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club-Monsta-Cafe

When I need a good coffee in Johor Bahru, "W" Espresso Sporting Club is one of the top choices that come to my mind.



Besides it's renowned coffee, "W" Espresso Sporting Club serves very impressive French and Italian fine dining. 

Shawn is the man running the kitchen at  "W" Espresso Sporting Club.

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club-Monsta-Cafe

Shawn, the Executive Chef is 22 years old and had 8 years of experience in the kitchen before joining "W" Espresso. Straight after PMR (lower secondary), Shawn worked 4 years in restaurants in Johor Bahru and 4 years at Fullerton Hotel in Singapore specialising in French cuisine.



Shawn is passionate about his art. He believes that good food must be pleasing to the eye, so his food has many colours and shapes, and is always artistically presented. Good food must also please our taste buds, so Shawn makes sure his food has a variety of flavours, aromas and textures that surprise and delight.  

Let's take a look at some of Shawn's craft from our lunch today.

Cured-Beet-Root-Salmon-Trout-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

Cured beet root salmon trout carpaccio with truffle dressing.

Shawn shared that his first year at Fullerton Hotel was spent almost entirely making cold dishes like this carpacio. 

Salmon-Trout-Carpaccio-"W" Espresso Sporting Club By Monsta Cafe

Salmon trout (which is a trout) has a softer, finer texture than salmon. The colourful dish was a fusion of delicate sweet, tangy, and savoury flavours that opened our eyes 眼 and appetites 开胃, literally waking up our senses anticipating the dishes that follow.

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club-Monsta-Cafe

The next dish, Smoked Porcini Mushroom Soup, was something new to me.

Just before serving the mushroom soup, Shawn lighted up a pinch of apple wood chips using a torch and "Smoke Gun".

Smoked-Mushroom-Soup-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

After pumping in apple wood smoke from the "Smoke Gun", the smoke was trapped in the glass container with the mushroom soup to let the smoke infuse into the soup.

Smoked-Mushroom-Soup-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

The creamy softly grainy soup was a blend of several different types of mushrooms, so we got layers of variations in the mushroomy flavours.

Add to this the smoky woody flavour from apple wood, and savouriness of the premium Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings, and we have an exquisite treat. 

Milanese-Lamb-Rack-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

Milanese lamb rack with pumpkin puree and confit vine tomatoes.

Milanese-Lamb-Rack-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club-Monsta-Cafe

The tender lamb was done slightly pink. The subtle lamb gaminess was balanced with sweet mayonnaise and pumpkin puree with a touch of tanginess from the tomatoes. The crispy bread crumbs complemented the tender flavourful juicy meat.

Pan-Seared-Sea-Bass-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

Pan seared sea bass with beurre (butter) sauce.

This really looked like a modern painting to me.

Pan-Seared-Sea-Bass-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

There were so many elements in this dish. 

Crispy seared skin, juicy grilled meat, crunchy vegetable sides, melt in the mouth fish stock gelatin that reminded me of top grade wagyu fat, you just have to try this for yourself to see what I mean.

If you are a sea bass lover, I am sure you will enjoy this too.

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

Shawn always has little surprises in his dishes. Here a bit of the sea bass meat was blended with teriyaki sauce and a sprinkling of finely chopped chili pepper to give us a delightfully soft, sweet and subtly spicy treat.

Chicken-Roulade-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

Chicken Roulade with Carrot Puree and Thyme Sauce.

Chicken-Roulade-"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club-Monsta-Cafe

Again, Shawn gave us a feast of flavours, textures and colours. Biting through the outer layer of mildly flavoured chicken, we were greeted by the distinctive savouriness of smoked duck inside. At the side were colourful crunchy vegetables and spongy mushrooms. Flamboyant dashes of carrot puree and thyme sauce complete the dish. 

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club-Monsta-Cafe-Country-Garden-Johor-Bahru
Click to view full review of "W" Espresso Sporting Club

To me, coming to "W" Espresso Sporting Club without trying their renowned coffee is definitely a crime.

So, don't leave "W" Espresso Sporting Club without your cuppa.

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club-Country-Garden

Shawn has already come this far at age 22. If Shawn keeps up his hard work and passion for his art, stay creative and open to learning, he will be making bigger contributions to our dining pleasure and the F and B scene.

If you are looking for a special lunch or dinner for that special date, I recommend "W" Espresso Sporting Club at Country Garden.

You can just walk in or call +6016-7161-098 to arrange for private dinning.

"W"-Espresso-Sporting-Club

My thanks to Shawn for the invite.

Restaurant name: "W" Espresso Sporting Club By Monsta Cafe 
Address: Country Garden, Danga Bay (off Jalan Skudai), Johor Bahru
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/5sPLu
GPS: 1.473481,103.724325
Hours: 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert

Date visited: 4 Aug 2014

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2 comments:

  1. Dear Tony, are the increased charges at the Johor Bahru end of the Causeway discouraging you form making more frequent trips to Johor?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a big joke drop by after reading this posting and was surprised to see a very small outlet. The photos posted here is quite deceiving. Also the biggest joke was when we were told only coffee and deserts. We asked why no food , answer chef not here. We asked when will chef be here answer don't know .
    give this place a miss guys

    ReplyDelete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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