A Raw Review: Ultime Atelier & Boulangerie, Changkat Bukit Bintang
Hello, it's Ronn!
Throughout the past year or so, we witnessed how the Covid-19 pandemic affected economies globally; bringing upon an unfortunate avalanche of challenges for many industries. Closer to home, the F&B industry here in Malaysia also took a massive hit but one thing's for sure — the tenacity of the dining scene (especially in KL) is undeniable.
With the regular emergence of numerous new establishments throughout town, it's clear that Malaysians are always on the lookout for more eateries. One of the newest restaurants to launch recently is Ultime Atelier & Boulangerie; established by the team behind Michelin-starred Béni Singapore and Béni Malaysia.
Ultime is located in Menara Noble Land (Changkat Bukit Bintang) and has the space to accommodate up to 80 pax. Helmed by Executive Chef Shiro Oonishi and Head Chef Azan, the menu at Ultime comprises of eclectic French and Japanese concoctions; noticeable from the bread to the desserts.
Named after the French word for "ultimate", Ultime aims to provide guests with the ultimate dining experience and journey through the lengthening of the usual dégustation menu. With that, you'll find yourself utilising the first 20 minutes or so to select your favourite breads from the restaurant's extensive list of options — from sourdough and faluche to charcoal walnut and ficelle. Here, there are four types of Brittany butter that you can pair with your baked treats: unsalted, pesto, porcini, and truffle.
Trio Plein de Saveurs
The meal began with this trio of mini delights. We were advised to begin from the left and to devour the treats in a single bite. The first of the dynamic trio is the crunchy Miso Waffle. Excitingly light on the palate, I really enjoyed the burst of flavours that came with the Chantilly cream and trout roe.
Next, there's the Croque Madame that came with the beautiful pairing of sea urchin and black truffle. The intense flavours of both ingredients complemented the Croque Madame really well; giving a unique twist to a classic French staple as well as providing a fresh pop of colours. As for the Sea Foie Gras, monkfish liver is paired with ponzu sauce for a tart and creamy finish. The monkfish is really versatile in terms of palate and goes amazingly well with a sip of GH Mumm. Now, on to the next course!
Fish In Fur
Prior to the main dish, the starters are divided into Cold and Warm segments. Fish In Fur represents the Cold section; exquisitely plated and presented. You will find layers of ingredients filled with carrots, potatoes, egg white, egg yolk, zucchini, and vinegared herring. Think a colourful fish salad but in a majestic tower form. Slightly brackish, the salad is an amalgamation of well-balanced textures and clean flavours. Fish In Fur is easily one of my favourites from the menu.
Next, we have this Langoustine dish — representing the Warm starter. Served with cold soba and chives, the langoustine (said to be from the Netherlands) is grilled and seasoned a unique sauce blend for an enduring and mysterious flavour profile. The langoustine is cooked to soft pop perfection; providing the palate with much-welcomed jabs of sweet and savoury undertones. Although adequately ambrosial on its own, the cold soba added depth and texture to the dish. The langoustine dish goes really well with Clarendelle Blanc 2016 (a white with a blend of muscadelle, sauvignon blanc, and semillon).
Foie Gras Brûlée
The creme brûlée is, without a doubt, one of the most popular desserts in existence. Ultime's take on the dessert as a warm starter is definitely interesting. Served with foie gras and black truffles on a breadstick, the dish sure is visually stunning. Although a little more saccharine than I would have preferred and on the sweeter side, the profound flavours of the foie gras actually sufficed. The inclusion of black truffles help elevate the dish; adding deep aroma and umami to the foie gras brûlée. As for wine companion, go for The Hilt Chardonnay 2017 — by the same team behind Screaming Eagle.
Aging Smoke Duck
Alas, now comes the main dish. I was given the option to choose between duck or halibut — and while decisions like these are never easy, I knew my answer right away as soon as I saw the wine that will be paired with the duck. For the Aging Smoke Duck, I had the opportunity to taste Château Monlot Fronsac 2014; a winery bought and owned by actress Zhao Wei.
The duck came in smoke-filled glass bell container; bringing on the flair in terms of presentation. The crunchy skin was definitely my favourite part of the dish and the cinnamon duck jus added a saline yet toothsome touch. The heirloom beetroot came in like a cautious wrecking ball — balancing the flavours with utmost respect.
Napoleon Mille Feuille and Crazy Hazelnut
There's always room for dessert and Pastry Chef Mei Hui has concocted two special creations to end the meal on a sweet note. I tried the Crazy Hazelnut first which came with milk chocolate Chantilly and raspberry gel. The dessert doesn't overpower with sugar and instead, provides a flavour profile filled with bitter and sweet undertones.
The Napoleon Mille Feuille (with salted caramel and Chantilly cream) was easy on the palate and provided a satisfying finish to the degustation menu.
A Raw Lowdown: Ultime now has a Lunch Degustation menu (priced at RM120+), Elite Lunch Degustation (RM260+), Dinner Degustation (RM390+), and Elite Dinner Degustation (RM650+). The restaurant certainly adds flair and character to the area; with a unique setting and selection of food and drinks (up to 600 bottles of wine in the cellar). You can also check out Balcon (Ultime's patio area overlooking TRX) for some cocktails. If you're looking for a spot for special occasions, Ultime might just do the trick.
Ultime Atelier & Boulangerie