Wednesday, March 29, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 3:43 pm

Good reading this one... make sure you finish reading it...drool on

Source : The Star - 25th March, 2006

Family smorgasbord

LINGERING over brunch – or any meals – in a restaurant with toddlers in tow is quite impossible. Whenever we go out with my very active three-year-old, we have to eat in an air-conditioned place, with French fries on the menu. And we have to finish eating before the fries get cold, or spend the mealtime amusing the restless child.

It's usually easier to just stay home.

Last Sunday, though, we actually enjoyed a four-hour leisurely brunch and left only because the restaurant was closing. My friends were tired parents of a six-week son, who had been keeping them awake with two-hourly feeds, and a four-year-old daughter. I brought my rascal, and we all trooped into Mandarin Oriental’s (MO) Pacifica Grill and Bar in an entourage of three prams.

At the MO Sunday brunch, the waiters will bring the selection of seafood in a punch bowl right to the table. Look at em' oysters! Drool
We were escorted to the side, which looked out on the lush greenery of the KLCC Park. But it was the children’s playroom at the end of the veranda that got our attention: there was a resident clown all ready to amuse the children, lots of balloons, crayons and a television showing cartoons. There was also a buffet spread for the children with finger food like sausages, potato wedges, mini burgers, chocolate cakes and ice cream. Phooiyo! Sounds good! Can send the kids to be entertained whilst I have a double or triple dose of zinc (read : oysters)

With the children occupied, we were free to enjoy ourselves. The champagne got us off to a good start. The brunch buffet here includes free-flowing wine, and just the thought of it was enough to put desperate mothers (who usually drink wines from mugs on hot afternoons) in a good mood.

The playroom and the resident clown keeps the children amused, leaving parents free to enjoy the good food.
There is an extensive spread at the buffet, from breakfast essentials to lunch offerings and tea.

It was not so much the variety or quantity but the attention to detail and quality. It felt like the Pacifica Grill people were striving to take the buffet dining experience many notches up.

The fruits bar, where freshly squeezed juices can be had, was a great place to start. There was also a good selection of bread that came with a variety of flavoured butter. Luxury, however, came in the bowl of fresh seafood brought to our table. There were oysters, shrimps, river lobsters and salmon, with lemon and three different sauces.

For appetisers, there were different kinds of salads. We liked the beef carpaccio, thin sliced raw beef served with cold vinaigrette. The tofu carpaccio was also good, with the zesty dressing giving the sliced tofu sprinkled with fried shallots and spring onions a twist. There was also a Japanese selection, with sushi, miso soup and tempura.

The buffet spread is not the most extensive, but it is carefully planned. Main courses are done ala carte to ensure freshness. Available that Sunday: pan fried duck foie gras, black angus beef tenderloin, spring chicken breast, grilled king prawns and pan seared salmon. Wah say! Which to start with? Sounds delicious...mmmmm

GREAT TREATS: Main courses are cooked alacarte to ensure freshness.
The main courses came prettily decorated and smelling divine. It felt like fine dining. The grilled prawn had crispy skin and was sweet. Taken with the creamy cheesy risotto it came with, it was delightful. The portions were small, so we had room to sample more than one main course. Ah ha! Bring me everything in bite sizes...then I can say I've conquered everything

We also ordered pizza for the children. You can choose your own toppings; ours had mushrooms, caramelised onions, basil and lots of cheese. It was so good we actually had seconds. The chefs also whipped up pasta dishes. There were also otak otak and curries, and Chinese fare like dim sum. I'll probably be too full by now...burp!

The food was good, but what we liked most was the feeling of being pampered. As for the wines, the attentive waiters will recommend the appropriate vintage to go with your main course. There were also about six choices of teas and the waiter brought it to the table in a small teapot with honey and lemon.

The cheese platter has reportedly the biggest selection in town, and we had them with crackers, pumpkin seeds and fresh fruits. The chocolate fountain was decadent with lots of marshmallow and strawberries, and chocolate truffles to go with coffee. Wah! The reviewer can really eat....

Best of all, we liked that the children were welcome at the restaurant. The resident clown kept them occupied with balloon sculptures and games. The staff were great too, being unfazed by the little mishaps that cropped up - little hands dipped into chocolate sauce, spilt juice, strewn crayons and broken bowl. And all the while, patrons without children savoured their brunch away from the playroom area. I don't suppose the staff were allowed to give the children a good ol smacking or telling off, right? I'm sure they were trained to just smile away

The MO Sunday was definitely a treat. W

The MO Sunday brunch is from 11.30am to 3.30 pm, and is priced at RM69 ++ per person for children below 12 years, and RM138++ per person for adults. For reservations, please call 03-2179 8882.

What????? RM69.00 ++ per person for children below 12 years! What a nice way of putting it! That's RM79.35 nett to entertain your children. No wonder they can afford to smile away. And for adults, nice chinese figure of 138. That converts to RM158.70 nett per adult. Let me see....if I go there with my wife and my 2 daughters (aged 2 1/2 and 1 month old), that'll set me back by RM476.10..... I think I'll have Surbex zinc instead...