Today, we went on a East West culinary journey at the newly opened Silk Road on Sutera - a well appointed, fine restaurant in Taman Sentosa in Johor Bahru, JB.
Our lunch was like retracing the remarkable journey of Chef Jean Francois Nordin. Chef Nordin's career starting in 1970s Singapore took him to Tahiti, the Caribbean, then to Paris and Lyon before returning to Singapore and now Johor Bahru.
The Silk Road restaurant is located on Jalan Sutera which means "Silk Road" in Malay. It's the ideal setting to enjoy Chef Nordin's culinary gifts which he brought back from the West during his 40 year journey as well as dishes of his Malay heritage.
Stepping into Silk Road at Sutera, it felt like a sunny Balinese resort. The al fresco area is a huge Balinese pavilion under a bamboo roof. It is cooled by fans and surrounded by lots of leafy, rattan and bamboo shades.
The air conditioned interior is a blend of Balinese and French design accents. The heavy hardwood furnishings are sturdy and comfortable. Familiar French melodies immersed us in this culinary journey, round tripping between Johor Bahru and Paris.
Silk Road on Sutera has an eclectic menu reflecting Chef Nordin's wide experience and his Malay heritage. We can choose from Chef Nordin's French, Malaysian, Colonial and even Chinese (chicken rice) selections.
But, at Silk Road on Sutera - the core is Chef Jean Francois Nordin's selection of homely traditional French dishes.
Chef Nordin launched our journey with traditional French Onion Soup - price RM23++. The beefy broth was loaded with intense layers of savouriness from cheese and balanced with sweetness from caramelised onion. That slice of buttered baguette toast wrapped with a slice of cheese sponged up all that rich flavours - oh... this soup is so... delicious 😋
I am missing this already 😃
Creamy smooth Duck Foie Gras dressed with balsamic vinegar, beetroot juice, cubes of caramelised pear, and slivers pickled orange peel. Served with a savoury cheese tiara.
Mesclun Salad - fresh crunchy leafy greens served with buttered baguette toast and savoury toasted goat cheese.
Baked Bone Marrow of Veal - price RM38++
This sinful dish is not for everyone but I love it. I like the warm marrow's savouriness and flavour which reminded me of fresh fish oil sweetness.
Chef Nordin gave us elegant teaspoons to scoop out the marrow so we don't have to suck it up with straws and make that slurping noise 😃
This dish was so fun, I couldn't resist a fun pic of Chef Nordin.
Chef Nordin often serves off menu items depending on the availability of ingredients and what inspires him at the moment.
Today, it's Beef Bourguignon (price RM55+), a homely traditional dish from the Burgundy region of France.
The stewed beef was so tender we could eat it with just a spoon. The tender meat's beefiness is layered with savouriness infused from the stewing stock.
I love this potato gratin served with Silk Road's Beef Bourguignon - layers of potatoes topped with cream and baked to a layer of charred crust on top. Softly crunchy mouth feel with quite intense savouriness balanced with natural potato sweetness.
Duck Confit (price RM55+) is one of my favourite classic French dishes.
Beneath that thick blanket of savoury sauce, the duck leg's skin was crisp and the tender meat was moist. We could taste the natural duck flavour with the savoury sauce.
I also enjoyed the Flageolet beans from France for their soft creamy texture and subtle savoury sweet flavour. We love the fruity flavours of the caramelised fig and apricot too 😋
After French onion soup, foie gras, duck confit etc, Chef Nordin brought us back full circle to his roots - Malay cuisine.
Top - Curry Chicken set - price RM15.90+
Bottom - Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Api set - price RM15.90+
Chicken Briyani Dum set - RM18.90+
Grilled Chicken Chop - price RM18.90+.
The fresh chicken thigh is simply grilled so it is crisp, tender and juicy. It is served with French fries, corn-on-cob, lettuce and coleslaw. There is a choice of sauces - black pepper, Mongolian, BBQ and mushroom sauce.
Eat French must of course round up with iconic desserts like macaroons, right?
Macaroon and L'Opera, the perfect French couple. Silk Road on Sutera bake their own pastries and cakes, so it is always fresh.
4-Star (out of 5). We especially like all the French dishes we tasted today at Silk Road on Sutera. (Only two of us, so we focussed on the French menu this round 😃 ). The ingredients were fresh and the dishes were expertly executed. The resulting delicious flavours were clear and layered. The ambiance is welcoming and environment is comfortable.
Disclosure: Please note that this was an invited tasting.
Restaurant name: Silk Road on Sutera
Address: 163 Jalan Sutera Johor Bahru
GPS: 1°29'36.7"N 103°46'25.5"E | 1.493538, 103.773746
Tel: +607-330 9777
Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm (Monday off)
No pork, no lard, Halal ingredients, alcohol served
Date visited: 10 Jan 2017
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