“My velvet escape travel tip” is a guest series about what the name ‘Velvet Escape’ evokes and what that would be in the hometown of the guest writer. With this series, I hope to uncover travel tips from places around the world to help visitors have a truly local experience.
Most of us in life, strive for financial freedom so that we can be one step closer to experiencing the finer things in life, on a regular basis, without feeling much of a pinch – money is a means to an end, and Velvet Escape to me is that end. Velvet Escape to me is not a location, but rather a sensory reaction to an incredibly pleasurable experience. The second your pupils dilate when you first see the Matterhorn, the rush you get at the base of the Matterhorn when you have completed your ski run, the body’s cholinergic response to anticipating that first slither of grade 9 Kobe beef as you embark on a gastronomic escapade – this is Velvet Escape!
Anyway, for me, here in Malaysia, it is impossible to find a gorgeous, snowy mountain from which to ski or snowboard. There are however, great places for fine dining these days. One of them being Senses at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton.
The young, dynamic Chef of Senses KL Hilton, Chef Michael Elfwing, is renowned for his organic cooking. He carefully selects organic certified produce to create exciting, pollutant-free organic dishes, yet cooked in the most exquisite fine-dining style and surroundings.
We got to experience a typical Velvet Escape moment not too long ago at Senses. We opted for the five-course organic menu. First up, the amuse bouche. How visually appealing – some form of shell fish in creamy broth, in a dainty cup. The night was just getting started. Next up was the butternut pumpkin soup, served with seared scallops and slices of summer truffles was a blanket of smooth, silken cream, chased by a heady, musky truffle after-taste. Not unlike a drug, I was soon getting a rush from this soup. Maybe it was just the sugar content, but I felt my mood lift a notch higher after that! We also had an unusual beetroot, seared Hokkaido scallop salad and as I sunk my teeth into the beetroot and scallop I realized that it was not just a pretty dish. It was incredibly satisfying.
We waited in anticipation for our steak to arrive. Just a quick word on the organic beef. The Australian, grass fed organic beef actually tasted blander and had a natural toughness about its meat, compared to its non-organic counterpart. It is rather strange that this natural taste actually feels foreign because we have become so accustomed to beef made artificially ’soft’ or ‘tastier’ or ’stronger-tasting’. I liked the unadulterated edge this organic beef had to it.
After a few flutes of champagne, what followed was the freshly air-flown golden brown Queensland gold band snapper served on a bed of organic vegetables, and to end the night, a hot lava center of chocolate pudding, complete with a berry sorbet and garnished with fresh berries, fruit and edible flowers. Simply divine.
All in all, a scintillating dining experience and a real eye opener. We learned to appreciate the subtleties of organic cuisine, in the gorgeous atmospheric surroundings of Senses KL Hilton. If you’re visiting Kuala Lumpur, I can certainly recommend Senses for a memorable Velvet Escape! 🙂
About this week’s guest writer
Mei is an avid traveller, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who enjoys writing about her travel and gastronomic experiences. In her words: “It all started out a couple of years back as a means to journal our travels and related photos. However, because we enjoy eating so much (as do other Malaysians) this blog soon took on the form of a food blog: Cumi & Ciki is a Malaysian food and travel blog. The name is derived from a popular educational television puppet show for Malaysian children in the 70s and 80s. This is the tale of the two traveling, eating, thrill-seeking monkeys from Kuala Lumpur. Food and culture go hand in hand. We feel that in life, we need to enjoy what we do, have passion; cultivate a sense of curiosity about the world. We hope that this is conveyed through our Cumi dan Ciki blog.”
Follow Mei on Twitter.
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