Esquire Eats: Sitka Studio
Shermian discovers Studio's concept of experimental fine dining, without the fussiness.
BY shermian lim | May 12, 2016 | Feature
There are trends that are gone in a flash, and there are meals that leave an impression. Sitka Studio joins the ranks of KL's growing fine dining scene with a basic, winning philosophy: to serve dishes that use the best of local ingredients, and to cook nearly everything from scratch in their own kitchen.
Located above Sitka in Batai Village, the atmosphere at Sitka Studio is very much like a mid-sized dinner party at home with chef/co-owner Christian Recomio (he's done a stint at the reknowned Noma), and business partner/co-owner Jenifer Kuah (she's responsible for Food Foundry, Butter + Beans, and Feeka). In the back is the bar from which you can order juice blends to pair with your meal, and on the wall shelves in the main room are selected champagnes/organic wines on display. Tables sparsely populate the main floor, but wherever you choose to sit, you're guaranteed a good view of all the action in the kitchen—no need for any kind of hired entertainment.
Recomio makes it a point to stress on procuring high quality, locally-sourced ingredients. From the butter for your sourdough bread to the oyster "snow" on the seabass, it's all made in-house, proving Recomio's point that you don't always need imported ingredients for high-end meals. While reservations are recommended, fancy attire is optional, as Recomio and Kuah intended for Studio to be a fine-dining experience without any fuss. Book a table, enjoy your aperitif, watch the chefs prep your food, and maybe go right up to the kitchen counter and strike up some light banter when they aren't busy—this is how it's done at Sitka Studio.
Crispy chicken skin, foie gras and grapes. The savoury crispy skin is very enjoyable, offset by the sweetness of foie gras and grapes—a great way to open the meal.
Flower crab, almond milk and shaved macadamia. The element of layering is strong in this one: You get fresh crab and macadamia before the almond tofu presents a surprising dessert quality to this dish.
Eryngii mushroom with miso. A very flavourful piece of mushroom, enhanced by the not overly salty miso paste.
Egg and black garlic chips. Much more complex than described. A Studio version of the "chawan mushi", but much richer. Your server will tell you there is no right or wrong way to eat, but they'll suggest to crush and mix the black garlic chips into the bowl. Do it.
Seabass with buttermilk, sliced apple and oyster snow. The visual appeal adds to the enjoyment of buttery mouthfuls of fresh seabass. Be quick to scoop up the oyster snow as soon as it's presented, before it melts away.
Duck aged for 28-days, smoked water chestnut and hibiscus powder. As Sitka Studio is a pork-free restaurant, this is their signature dish that pork fans will find to be a worthy substitute.
Organic chocolate, parsnip, honey and caramelised rye. Slightly reminiscent of Aero chocolate, and the rye presented an unexpected chew to this relatively light dessert.
Sitka Studio is open to serve their tasting menu every second and fourth Saturday of the month. Priced at RM298++ (food only), the next dates are May 14 and 28, and June 11 and 25. Reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.