Thursday, 18 May 2017

Marco Creative Cuisine @ 1 Utama

When I first saw this unbeatable deal for fine dining at unbelievable down-to-earth prices on mimi's dining room, I had to pinch myself! :D  I'm talking about Marco Creative Cuisine @ 1 Utama which opened its doors to the public in late March.

The place is tastefully done up in a sweet and soothing colour of Tiffany blue (and white) which ladies will adore I'm sure.  Only thing missing on the beautifully set up table that day was a bit of a warm welcome that fresh flowers would undoubtedly bring.

When my friend and I arrived at the restaurant for lunch, we found a bunch of people hovering around the entrance which made me wonder that we still had to queue to get a place at that late hour (around 2.30pm) for lunch.  We soon realised that people were just hovering at the entrance to look at an aquarium filled with jellyfish.  No wonder it's magnetic with people passing by the restaurant as it exudes a calm and wondrous feeling to see these living organisms dancing in the tank.

What attracted us to this place was, first and foremost, the price...coz where on earth can you find an elaborately presented 7-course lunch or dinner at RM78+ per person these where other than here, I reckon! ;)

Hint:  This is actually their coaster :P

1st Course - Palate Cleanser

The journey begins with a palate cleanser of a chilled Velvety Matcha-Lime Shooter with a tangy lime-flavoured frothy foam and a sprinkle of matcha powder.

Absolutely loved the intense citrusy flavour of lime on the palate that awakened my tastebuds for what is to follow.  You can say it was the start of a beautiful 'friendship'...and we were off to a great start :)

2nd Course - Appetiser

Next came an appetiser of Savoury Eclair topped with a gruyere flavoured aubergine caviar pate on a choux pastry with green chilli pesto, tomato confit and a hint of spiciness.  I can't say I was a fan of the squiggle of Gruyere flavoured pate or the eclair that was dry and hard-textured.  Maybe I'm more used to a sweet eclair (with piped pastry cream) that's crisp, light and airy.

3rd Course - Soup

For the soup course, you have three choices to choose from.  I went with the Strawberry Gazpacho as cold soups aren't commonly found on menus here.  This chilled soup of strawberries, garnished with dehydrated strawberries and micro greens, was light and refreshing, but the taste of the strawberries were a bit muted. Though a cold soup is great (eaten outdoors) during summertime in western countries and sounds ideal in our hot weather, I question its suitability since it's eaten indoors (in an air-conditioned environment)...haha, so it may not be such a wonderful pairing after all.

My friend had the Truffled Mushroom Soup which is simply a creamy mushroom soup with a drizzle of truffle oil.  This was earthy, filled with loads of mushroom flavour, and the better tasting soup of the two (in my opinion).  The third choice is the French Onion Soup.

4th Course -  Entree

Again, you have three choices for this course.  We chose the Savoury Ice Cream Salad (since the other choice sounded like a boring salad called Garden Platter) with assorted baby leaves, heirloom tomato, seasonal micro greens and edible flowers served with sea salt ice cream.  The perfectly quenelled ice cream looked pretty on a plate but (unfortunately) didn't follow through in taste.  I found it very weird to eat the cold ice cream (+ it didn't taste all that savoury) with salad leaves.  In the end, it was a creative but strange combo which didn't sync together, IMHO.

The Chicken Liver Parfait of a brulee topped creamy chicken liver served with toasted bread and dehydrated apple chips, on the other hand, wasn't quite my cup of tea even though I love chicken liver.  The liver was a little too pink for my taste buds and, married together with the sweet notes of the brulee top, made it taste a bit too funky for me overall.  Order this only if you absolutely love chicken liver pate that's on the rare side.

5th Course - Main

And thanks to the many reviews done on this place which showed all 6 selections of main courses, we knew exactly which two we wanted.  The first was the Duck Breast with Orange Puree and Roasted Beetroot finished with a drizzle of Valrhona Dark Chocolate.

The sous vide pan seared duck breast was nicely cooked, just pink in the centre.  The meat was tender but had the fat in the skin been rendered down to make it crispy, it would have been a much more successful dish.

The other main was the Salmon with Jet Black Hollandaise featuring Atlantic salmon with squid ink hollandaise sauce, garnished with pickled beetroot, green chilli pesto and tobiko.  I didn't care much for the squid ink hollandaise sauce which was a bit fishy for me.

I made a request to ensure my salmon is not cooked through only to find out that it's done sous vide style.  So, no worries as this will ensure the salmon stay moist and juicy.  Between the two mains we had, the salmon was a clear winner! ^o^

6th Course - Dessert

With the mains out of the way, it was time to seal the deal with something sweet.  First up was the Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie.

With tangy squirts of lemon curd and dots of passion fruit gel with crisp shards of meringue and a smooth white chocolate sherbet, these components I did enjoy except for that squiggle of torched cream which I wasn't liking as much.

The second was the Raspberry Decadence made up a raspberry cheesecake with raspberry gel, lemon meringue kisses, passion fruit gel and a white chocolate sherbet as well.

This was decadent alright with light and zesty flavours of a luscious raspberry cheesecake, raspberry and passion fruit gel.  I liked this a lot and certainly the better tasting of the two desserts.  The third dessert choice is the common Creme Brulee with White Chocolate Sherbet.

7th & Final Course - Drinks

The meal concluded with a choice of a refreshing Sparkling Iced Berry drink (rather diluted though) for something cold......

....or simply sit back and relax, enjoy sips of hot Single Origin, French Pressed Coffee (or Loose Leaves Teaand a warm conversation with your dining companion (whoever he or she may be)...and not necessarily in that order! ^_~

Throughout our meal, our server would describe every dish to us in detail (which I know is standard in a fine dining setting) but the overly detailed description of every plate of food felt like a long-drawn-out affair. Perhaps, leaving a menu card on the table would be a better alternative since the foreign server (whose English accent was hard to hear) was just repeating the words on the menu.

Besides that, I think there's a fine line between providing good (yet not obtrusive) service and overly attentive service.  In their haste to ensure the courses are served efficiently within a set time frame (within 50 minutes) to diners, we felt like we were being watched (constantly) so that they'd be aware the moment we finished each course.  I also felt they went a bit overboard to the point of telling us how to and how best to eat the food presented (or maybe I just got an overly eager server that day).

The Journey of Flavours is available for both lunch and dinner while an Afternoon Tea Indulgence (3-6pm) takes over in between offering the same three desserts with the addition of Souffle and French Toast (which you can pair with wine, coffee or tea).

My Personal Opinion

Although there were obviously some hits and misses where the food was concerned, the 5-star dining experience overall made me willing to overlook some of its shortcomings.

The Good

1.  Fine dining menu at its most affordable.
2.  Great aesthetic pleasure from the food plating and presentation.
3.  Quality ingredients (for the price paid).
4.  Lovely ambience.

The Not-So-Good

1.  Appetiser and entrees could be improved.
2.  Finer balance between good and overly attentive service.
3.  Better way to provide detailed descriptions of the dishes.

The Palate Cleanser, Mushroom Soup, Salmon and Raspberry dessert were my favourites.  In the end, there's no cause for complaint for a fine meal like that for the price paid.  I certainly wouldn't mind returning for another journey.....perhaps when they put out a new menu (as they say they would every 3 months).  That way I get to try a different journey of flavours! ^.^

Marco Creative Cuisine
Lot G146 1Utama Shopping Centre
47800 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7731 8923


  1. Glad that you like my recommendation although there were misses on the food and service but I hope overall was a pleasant dining experience for you. :)

    1. Yes, thank you. Despite some misses, overall it was a lovely dining experience for the price paid :)

  2. I heard so much about the owner who was from Miam Miam. Now his present menu sounds very interesting with all the lovely presentation in your photos. I must admit that I also stood outside to watch the jelly fishes swimming in slow motion for some minutes. Being an advertising guy, my mind was naturally dancing on their purpose and objective to use live ocean creatures to attract crowds.

    I just stood up an invitation by a friend to check out this place as I was flying off to Indonesia then. I will take note of your 3 Not-So-Good points when I meet them this weekend. I often appreciated all the blog posts shared about the many restaurants and their food quality. That would save and prevent tons of frustrations on my side. Thank you again.

    1. Well, I hope you have a different dining experience there this weekend...and that the 3 Not-So-Good points turn out to be non-issues for you ^_*

  3. squid ink strikes again for a second consecutive post of yours! :D ooo, i think i'd order the duck too ... and since i don't mind chicken liver that's rare-ish, i'll go full fowl for my choices! :D

    1. I actually love chicken liver but this one was a bit too rare for me, I guess.

  4. I enjoyed the strawberry gazpacho. The base of the traditional recipe is tomato and capsicum. This one still has the base I believe, and the strawberries are used to enhance the flavours.

    1. Oh, it has a base of tomato and wonder. I thought strawberries would be the most prominent ingredient in a strawberry gazpacho, so I was kinda expecting more of the strawberry flavour, I suppose. It was still a nice refreshing soup though =)

  5. I have passed by this place but was not sure if I should step in. Well, I am glad you did and I have a preview of what to expect. I am not used to such artsy food but I am game to try at least once. The desserts do look pretty and that would be the highlight for me. I do agree that over attentive service is kind of stifling. It makes me very uncomfortable!

    1. I was aware of their "watchful" eyes so much so that I had to engage in small talk with them just to relive the awkwardness a bit. I'm a sucker for beautifully presented plates. I believe everyone should get pampered once in a while, especially when it's a cheap pampering! ;)


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