For much of the last decade, Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has held the record for the most Michelin starred restaurants within a city throughout the entire world, beating even Paris. And Jeff Ramsey earned his first Michelin star at the age of 32 while heading the Tapas Molecular Bar of the 6-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Tokyo.
Have checked out so many restaurants around, we have always thought that how nice would that be if that spare tire we put on came from Michelin! Unfortunately however, that’s a task that usually makes one’s wallet a little too thin. And now, we have achieved the dream of both gourmet gorging and a healthy bank balance as a taste of Michelin-starred goodness have arrived on Malaysian stores just last month with the opening of Chef Jeff Ramsey’s original restaurant Babe in Kuala Lumpur!
That provides its own unique take on its “Japas”, pioneering experimental flavours and presentations, and understanding the essence of a high-quality dining experience.
Known as Babe, this restaurant is the Malaysia’s first ever restaurant by a Michelin-starred chef and thus, there’s so much anticipation!
Babe focuses on a unique ‘fun dining’ experience, serving up Japanese-influenced tapas, or ‘Japas’, as Ramsey himself calls it, in a fun dining atmosphere (instead of fine dining) to KL’s dining scene.
The restaurant is located at the iconic pool deck of BE Urban at the modern Work @ Clearwater building in Damansara Heights, securing panoramic views of the city skyline and KL’s Petronas Twin Towers as well as the KL Tower.
Upon entering Babe (out from the lift), we were greeted with contrasting elements from the dining area, with combinations of mirrors and plush velvet carpet in hues of red, see-through chairs and touches of gold from the sophisticated lightings.
We were there early so we get to choose if we wanted to be seated outdoors where the pool is stationed. A total contrast of the ambiance indoors, we fell in love with it right away. Wooden floorings with spacious table arrangements in between for privacy and great for intimate dates like what we did, as Chris brought me here for a surprise 30th birthday dinner! So romantic can? Haha.
Overlooking the pool and right at the city centre’s skyline. What a view on top. It was really breezy resembling dining on top of the hill.
We had the 15-course, Omakase-style dinner at RM200++ per pax
*Wine not included*
The menu promises a multi-sensory dining experience and is categorized into Cold, Not Cold, Crispy and Sweet Endings incorporating various techniques to produce exceptional modernist cuisine.
As oppose to a “fine dining” scene, Babe’s “fun dining” setting seeks to create a light-hearted, different, special and approachable experience for diners. Definitely.
1. Japanese Clam Chowder
Warm potato mousse crowned with smoked coconut strips, drizzled with chive oil, laced with clams & onion marmalade. Don’t go too fast on this first dish, look out for the “pearl” in the clam chowder. Pop it in your mouth and it will burst out with broth. So good!
2. Curry Buns
The “buns” are actually made out of meringues! Macaron shells transformed into crunchy-airy pastries through a complicated process, filled not with a salty centre of Japanese pulled chicken curry instead of the usual sweet ganache.
3. Sashimi Cigars
Spring rolls with a light, crispy skin, stuffed with tuna, salmon & yellowtail sashimi cubes, a little wasabi & sou sauce gel!
So many textures in one bite!
4. Caesar Salad
One of the cutest and prettiest Caesar Salad we’ve seen and one of the yummiest we’ve tasted.
Frozen spheres of romaine lettuce blended with Caesar dressing, sprinkled with parmesan on a cushion of crouton dust.
It’s a salad really. In a body of a dessert.
5. Tai Chazuke
Konbu-marinated sea bream with with toasted rice puffs & a burst of liquid sour plum laced with shiso & tea.
6. 1000 Year Old Smoked Cypress Yellowtail Nigiri
It is said that when you release the smoke, it’s like releasing a 100 year old spirit. The Yellowtail Nigiri sushi was so aromatic-ly fresh.
7. Niku Jaga
The traditional Nikujaga is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce. This Niku Jaga by Chef Ramsey was beautifully presented in a fashion of a sushi!
Seared Wagyu beef in a sushi form, on a base of warm crunchy potato croquettes that seem hollow at first. With a bite, there’s a filling of potato mousse on the inside!
8. Liquid Curry Cream Croquettes
An ordinary looking croquette but has so many to describe when you land a bite on it. Sweet, fragrant flavours of the Japanese curry that will conquer your palate.
9. Samurai Sliced Manga Crab
Soft-shell crab that is arranged to look like it’s been sliced into half with a samurai sword, with its green guts oozing out: the sauce is made out of coriander vinaigrette with turmeric mayo. It’s served on a plate artistically printed with edible charcoal mayo that says the action word of slicing in Japanese.
10. Ikura Gohan
Butter-seasoned rice brimmed with salmon roe. They might look mini but its richness will make you shout. “Why so good?”
11. Short Ribs braised with Red Wine and Soy Sauce
Another winner course with tantalizing short ribs that was so tenderly flavourful infused well in the red wine & soy sauce combo. They also added in some purple potato puree for some sweetness to balance the flavour.
12. Virtual Truffle Steak
This was something very new to us, playing with our mind while eating. We were handed out a tissue each that was sprayed with truffle oil scent. Sniff it & take a bite on the steak. You’ll definitely feel that you’re eating a truffle steak! Utilizing our sense of smell & taste controlled by our mind.
13. Nitro Puffs
Here comes the smoking meringues!
Dunk one puff into the liquid nitrogen for eight seconds, pop them in your mouth, & you’ll have an instant cold breath exhaling from the nostrils and mouth that looks like the “dragon breath”! Very thrilling and chilling to eat!
14. Ice Cream / Sorbet
We chose their Coconut Lime Sorbet & Smoked Milk Ice Cream. Every spoonful is packed with flavours. I love the coconut lime version very much 🙂
15. Petit Fours
Strawberry wrappers with Strawberry scent, Popping Chocolate & butterscotch sweets.
Look so ordinary eh? Let us show you how to eat. LOL.
Strawberry wrappers. Take the small paper with strawberry scent and smell it, eat the wrapper as you go. It’s like the eating virtual truffle steak. We find more strawberry taste in it while doing so.
DOn’t bite it! Pop the whole thing in your mouth and let it melt. It’s like eating the popping candy with all the pop and cracks in our mouth! Really fun!
Just throw the whole sweet in the mouth. Yes, even the wrapper is edible! They look hard to us initially but once it was popped into our mouth, it feels like we were eating the soft “dodol”! Really fun dining.
We were satisfied with every course served as our taste-buds were very delighted in the perfect balance of flavours and textures. Though you may see that each serving is so small, but the complete richness of the ingredients can easily make heavy eaters feel satiated. Really!
Today. I’ve turned 30 years old. That feels so incredibly strange to type out. “Hello, my name is Christine and I’m 30 years old.” I am having a bit of a hard time with this realization that I’ve completed 1/3 of my life already, because inside I still feel and act like I’m 25 ?
Strange to tell, I don’t really struggle putting my age on the internet just now for all to see. Haha.
Regardless of how I feel today, I’m thankful for everything I have now more than ever. I’m sure everything will fall into place the way its supposed to and just because I’m one year older, doesn’t mean I have to live like I’m 60. I’m still that same girl, with stars in her eyes and wonder in her heart. ???
Here’s to another 30 years… ?????
Thanks to Papa C (Chris) for this surprise!I love you more than ever! And thank you Babe for the birthday dessert. Ok. Now back to my mommy job! 🙂
Babe: Japas Fun Dining
11th Floor, Work @ Clearwater,
Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights,
Tuesday-Sunday for dinner
Tel: +603 2095 8599
**It’s pretty full these days so better book early to avoid disappointment!**