Updated 20 September 2009: Max! Kitchen has shifted to IHaus in Imbi which is bigger and has a better parking facility.
'Twas a long dinner at Max! Kitchen & Wine last night, not because of the waiting nor the crowd, but merely the hospitality of owner and chef, Max Chin. We would love to thank Max and his team for going all out to make the dinner a memorable one.
Max have created a mini degustation dinner for us, sampling about 90% of what's on the current menu so it's not really something different. The out of the menu experience was merely sizing down the portion so that we can try the signature dishes.
Since we reached there at 7.oopm, we managed to get a parking slot right at Max!'s door step LOL... darn lucky. We were so early that they have yet to even switch on the air-cond haha... Instead of Table No. 1, we we ushered to the table next to the bar, nearest to the light source. I supposed he knew I needed good lighting to take decent pics, plus it's easier to monitor us from his cooking station. Max came downstairs to greet us and spent at least 15 minutes chatting up before he sprung into action.
First course: Scallops topped with sun dried tuna. I knew Max picked the largest 4 scallops for us. They're succulent and fresh sitting pretty on top of capsicum confit.
Second Course: Lightly seared tuna chunks in skewers served with truffle oil and tartare sauce. Simply loved the eggs holder where they were served in. Didn't knew it was truffle oil until Max told us to dip in the oil. I had some earlier and I was thinking what was in the oil that it is so fragrant.
Third Course: Land and Sea. The sea is represented by the yabbies whilst the land is the potato. Nope you don't get chucks or slices of potatoes but they're in the smooth creamy gravy which we lapped up happily with our spoon. I didn't noticed the spoon until Max told us so. The gravy is simply marvelous, nearly wanna lick the plate clean!
Next, we have a palate cleanser of lime sherbet with bubbly champagne poured over it. Not too tangy and certainly very refreshing. We certainly welcomed this to clear our palate for our mains. By now, I was getting a bit worried cos I was already half-filled. Nearly fainted when Max said we still have another THREE mains to go.
Fourth Course: Duck breast in two style. One side pan seared on a bed of polenta, the other side hickory smoked served with berries jam or was it cranberry?? Hubby dugged into the smoked slice and he was watching me taking my portion. *Ding ding* I looked at him and we both agreed the lightly smoked slices are absolutely a WOW. The slices were tender even though they looked throughly cooked. Tasted like roasted duck but better. After tasting the smoked portion, the pinkish pan seared portion certainly paled in comparison. We loved the polenta though, tasted eggy. We could be biased since we lurrrveee eggs!
Fifth Course: Lamb cutlet on a bed of artichokes with mint sauce. We have this before so no need to comment here.
Sixth Course: Wagyu beef cheeks, thank goodness it's only one slice, otherwise, don't know how to finish up. Meat overload haha...
Seventh Course: Dessert Trio, finally!!! In this platter, there's a Valrhona Chocolate Souffle which came sitting tall but collapsed just before the click of my camera. I oops out loud till our neighbouring man craned his neck to see what was I doing. I knew he had been curious with our food and attention since our food were sort of different from theirs *giggle*. I ate my souffle with extra care since it's so HOT but I spied hubby one is runnier and he's on 7th Heaven! Best eaten with the cold cold vanilla bean ice-cream. There is a lone kataifi pastry filled with strawberry.
Max paired matching wines for hubby which I declined since I'm still under medication. He offered to fix me some pau sum soe (hair of ginseng roots) after hearing that I still haven't recover which I politely declined as well. Very shy already with all the hospitality.
And so we thought we have ended our dinner with coffee and tea but we got a surprise cake. Max and I very paiseh cos he thought it was my birthday hehehe... his wait staff came with candle and all but I kept telling him to forget about lighting the candle. By then Max had finish cooking for the day and sat down with us. It was then he found out that hubby is from his Hakka clan. Adui, the next thing I knew the conversation was interpersed with Hakka which I had to keep up with. It hit homerun when Max mentioned their clan's fave swear phrase. I chuckled out loud but they both didn't what it was all about. Not until I told hubby later in the car. It took me countless lessons just to say out this phrase correctly, oh my! Please don't ask me what it is as it's pretty foul hehe. They certainly got chummy... If not the other 2 guys at Table No. 1 call him to join them for a drink (no choice since it has been many 7 minutes and 5 seconds that he had promised them earlier), I think we would have been the first customer to arrive and the last to leave at 10.45pm.
In total, we have 3 appetisers, 3 mains, dessert, coffee/tea + wines. When the bill came, I was shocked... errr not that it was overly expensive but very reasonable I would say with the kind of quality served. I'm contemplating to reveal the figure but nahhh... I'll keep that as a suspense.
Last night's dinner is not so much on food and drinks. It's more like a celebration, not only of our marriage of 9 years but certainly in celebration of a new found friend in Max and the Max!mum touch that we have experienced.
Once again, Max, thank you so much.
ps: Our first visit was only last week, check here.
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