Babe is the new word on the Kuala Lumpur champagne brunch scene

Jeff Ramsey sets out to Capture the magic of a weekend brunch

For celebrated chef Jeff Ramsey, his restaurant Babe at Clearwater at Damansara Heights is fine dining without pretensions, a creative take on Japanese modernist cuisine. Ramsey says: “We want to showcase the best seasonal Japanese ingredients and create dishes that are unique in any part of the world. I don’t believe in being predictable, and that’s why our menu jumps back and forth between textures and temperatures, keeping things fresh for our diners.”

New to Babe and the fun dining concept which Ramsey espouses is the quarterly affair of Sunday Champagne Brunches offering seasonal Japas (Japanese tapas). The menu offers seven canapés, 13 main courses and three desserts (RM300++). An extra RM250++ gets you free-flowing wines and Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut champagnes, a light and fresh bubbly with a delicate hint of fruity and floral aromas. Ramsey has chosen the Grand Brut for its rich, storied past and exquisite balance of taste and aroma. He says: “The Perrier-Jouët is still relatively unknown in the Malaysian market, and teaming up with this reputable champagne house reflects Babe’s dedication to offering our guests something special.”

Established in 1811 by Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and his wife Rose Adélaide Jouët in Épernay of France’s champagne region, Perrier-Jouët was the first champagne house to create a Brut in 1846. Its cellars still hold the oldest existing vintage, dating back to 1825. The champagne is a perfect foil to Ramsey’s starters of fresh oysters with apple granita, and the hot and cold sashimi spring rolls. Look out for the Caesar Salad Capsule, which may not sound like much but is a feast for the eyes and mouth, as frozen spinach is served in an ice ball atop a beautiful Chinese spoon. The Bonito Glass is another piece of artwork, but you’re in for a treat once you take a bite of the crispy glass-like gelatin, dyed with blue bunga telang (pea flower) and dolloped with nori puree and bonito aioli.

But sometimes, it’s the simple comfort foods that win us over, like the hearty Meat and Potatoes – petit Angus beef steak served with fondant potatoes. Familiar favourites like chawanmushi are given a Ramsey twist with black truffle and king crab, while an ikura dish of buttered rice topped with creamy salmon roe is named after his wife Chie. Here, the Perrier-Jouët comes in perfectly, teasing the essences of seafood with its buttery brioche and vanilla notes. The nigiri is also given a spin, topped with a toothsome slice of medium-rare wagyu and Japanese peppercorns, resulting in bursts of spice and flavour.

Other creative concoctions include the White Asparagus with Mushroom Soil; crunchy asparagus soaked in parmesan milk and served with a meringue-like shiitake mushroom atop a bed of “soil” made from hydrated shiitakes. The Japanese Chowder – a light potato mousse with clam spheres – bursts in your mouth. With room for dessert, tuck into the Pumpkin Pie mousse or Piña Colada with coconut, vanilla and spiced rum. Don’t miss the Strawberry Shortcake – made of soft strawberry sponge with shortbread cookies and topped with a fruit glass – the clear winner of the dessert trinity. Finish off with the free-flowing golden elixir that is the Perrier-Jouët – elegant, delicate and balanced – the best way to spend a magical, winning Sunday.



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