Soleil ~ Seksyen 17, PJ

I have to admit that I didn’t do any research or even look up Soleil (pronounced Soh-lay) when LC booked a table for 2 right in front of me. Honest!

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Tucked in a quiet area in PJ Section 17, many people have probably drove pass Soleil but not realise the shopfront while making their way downhill on Jalan 17/1.

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The elegant atmosphere got me a wee bit worried that this would be one of those places that served fine cuisine and when I say ‘fine’, I’m referring to the fine portions. Soleil’s price range definitely does not fit the normal occasion restaurant category. Just a bottle of Acqua Panna (it’s mineral water by the way) makes you RM22 poorer. However, this dinner was justifiable because it was a birthday treat from LC. Thanks dear! 🙂

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Soleil offers ala carte items and set menus – a degustation menu and a signature menu. Their offerings are displayed on their website here. Despite having only 2 pages on their Starter and Main menu, there is a wide range of dishes that will appeal to most. We ordered 2 starters, 2 mains and a dessert to share and the portions were just right. The dessert menu had me wanting to order everything – every item was tempting!

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Encouraging you to wipe your hands, a little water is poured on a dehydrated cloth (it looked like a mint to me)  before warm bread is served.

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The fragrant softened butter made me appreciate all the small gestures from the service staff. Attentive, our water glasses were never empty and the in-between courses perfectly timed. That purple salt, salty but not briny, was rather interesting too.

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Homemade Tagliatelle with Cod Roe Butter and Soft Shell Crab. The tagliatelle was al-dente with a smooth finish but I wished there was a way to flavor the under-seasoned cod roe butter a little more. The soft shell crab was crispy and well-seasoned.

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The Open Ravioli with Poached Canadian Lobster may look a bit under dressed but it was my favorite dish that night. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly small dish, there are many chunks of delicious lobster hidden under all that seafood emulsion.

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The lobster was cooked translucent and the seafood-infused sauce was luscious with the fine spring vegetables. I expected the foamy broth to be filled with just minced aromatics but to my surprise, there were tell-tale textures of carrot and other vegetables. We quietly mopped up the remaining sauce with our dinner rolls.

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Ever keen on having duck, I picked the Orecchiette with Braised Duck Leg, Fennel and Orange and I’m glad I did. The duck was tender and flavorful on it’s own – the braising liquid was definitely a mixture of something delicious! Duck and orange has always been an ideal combination but having it with pasta and fennel is a successful combination as well. The garlic chips in the dish tasted muted so it didn’t perturb me while the fennel added a slight crunch to the dish.

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LC swears by the Braised Black Angus Beef Cheek at Soleil and after tasting the dish, I can understand why. The succulent meat was ‘like a knife through butter’ tender with lovely seared bits. The barley cooked with mushrooms and the side of celeriac puree gave the dish a rustic feel though unfortunately I didn’t taste any almond cream.

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The Black Forest Mousse with Yogurt Panna-Cotta and Lime-Hibiscus Sorbet was a delightful treat. The creamy and delectable cherry and chocolate mousse went well with the light milky panna-cotta (it’s hidden behind the cake oops!). The lime-hibiscus sorbet was a bitter and sour surprise but we couldn’t get enough of the refreshing tangy flavor. The only downside was probably the dry chocolate cake which was easily rectified by eating it with the mousse. The fruit pieces tasted like pickled rhubarb, tart and crunchy.

There are other reviews by EatDrinkKL, Rebecca Saw and Careless Little Hamster on Soleil. Soleil won the Best European category and was shortlisted for Best Fine Dining and New Restaurant for the Time Out Kuala Lumpur Food Awards 2014.

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