Back when I first started working, my office was the Public Bank branch in Bukit Damansara. It was an ill-fated job that didn't last very long, but in those few short-lived months I had friends come and visit for lunch. One such occasion was when Robyn suggested we have lunch together with Mel and Kenneth at Courtyard Garden, around 5 minutes drive from work back then.
That was about 2 years ago. I had a good experience there, so I always wanted to take Wendy there too. Unfortunately it never happened until recently when I saw a MyDeal offer for this restaurant which I promptly bought, but didn't use until nearly the last week of its offer period, which was many months later (typical us!).
Courtyard Garden may not look very big from the outside, but inside it immediately becomes clear there's more than meets the eye. There aren't many tables inside with air-conditioning, but there are a lot of tables outside to enjoy the cool breeze and quiet atmosphere. There's even a large sofa area like in the picture above; perfect for a chill-out session with the old gang of friends.
For this deal we had 2 options for starters and main course, so obviously we took one of each to give everything a try. First option for starters was a Caesar Salad with Smoked Salmon. I don't like to eat my vegetables, but I make exception for a good caesar salad. Unfortunately this wasn't a salad that I would make another exception for; it was far too salty, the smoked salmon didn't taste particularly fresh and the lettuce felt old and tough. We weren't left feeling very impressed.
The other choice of starter was the Deep Fried Buffalo Mozzarella which was served with some tomato salsa and greens. While the Caesar Salad was unspectacular, this Buffalo Mozzarella went a long way in making up for it! If you're a cheese lover like me, you'll definitely appreciate these 2 triangular pieces of fried mozzarella cheese. It was one of those dishes that when finished, left me feeling like more.. =)
For our main course we also had 2 choices, so again we took both. This here is the Chicken Roulade, which was oven roasted chicken leg rolled with turkey ham (and I think I tasted some apricot or some fruit or another in the stuffing as well) and accompanied with butter green asparagus and garlic mousseline on some tumeric ginger sauce. Overall, I found this to be quite unique, but not suited to my taste buds. Partly because of the sauce which was reminiscent of curries, thanks to the tumeric ginger; interesting and nice yet strange at the same time. Partly also because I'm not a fan of "stuffed" food or the attempt at combining 2 meats in 1 (and the apricot!). This may not have been my cup of tea, but I do think it will be more agreeable with someone else. Wendy did think it was rather nice. But then again, this was heavenly compared to the other main course...
...the Rare Seared Tuna Collar which was blackened quick seared tuna collar with apple balsamic glaze on a bed of mushroom risotto and mesclun salad. We had an experience like never before with this tuna, and it was not a good one!
Since this got put in front of Wendy, she started on this dish first. But the moment she took the first bite of the fish, she complained of her mouth getting itchy. Curious, I decided to take over and try some. The effect wasn't so instantaneous with me, but I did feel what she was describing. Wendy had a bit more before passing the plate over to me, so she described the itchiness in stronger detail and also started feeling a bit of numbness. Realizing this to be quite strange, I googled about itchiness when eating tuna, and boy were we shocked to discover that it happens when the fish has eaten something poisonous! Obviously we had no more appetite for the fish after that, and we duly pushed it to one side. The creepiest encounter we've ever had in all our food journeys so far!
At this point dinner was turning out to be a rather sad affair. There was only one choice for dessert - the Kataifi Chocolate Avocado Mango; crispy kataifi filo (very much like those you get at some dim sum restaurants) with dark chocolate, fresh avocado and mango, topped with vanilla ice cream. Thankfully, dessert turned out to be very tame compared to the tuna experience. The kataifi filo was indeed very crispy, and the deep-fried batter housing fresh mango and creamy avocado was a good combination with the ice cream on top. But while Wendy liked this quite a bit, I wasn't as won over. Possibly because of the sight of avocado which I promptly dug out.. =P
|Drinks for the night - Ice Lemon Tea|
So the long-awaited moment of taking Wendy to eat at Courtyard Garden fell kind of flat in the end. Neither of us were particularly satisfied with the meal, and we were left to bemoan the wasted calories we had spent on this dinner. We even contemplated heading for some Ah Wah Chicken Wings down town! The tuna collar was by far the biggest damper of the whole dinner, and I truly hope it was a one-off affair. If you have had a different experience, do let us know!
Courtyard Garden Restaurant | Site
No. 10, Lorong Dungun,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +6 03 2093 9331 / 2093 3986
Opening Hours : Mon-Fri, 12pm-3pm & 5pm-12am; Sat, 5pm-12am; closed on Sundays