It is not often when you go to a nice restaurant and come out unhappy over all the courses but I guess there's always a first. Recently we tried the newly opened Flinders Restaurant in Mont Kiara and came out an unhappy lot. Situated next to Energy Day Spa, the place has a nice breezy feeling to it, with very clean lines, whitewashed wooden floor, giving it all a very nautical feel, not unlike the places I have dined at before in Australia on a nice summer day.

The place was rather empty when we went, I guess not many people know about the place yet.

The menus are on nice blue cards and has a selection of light bites for anytime to Lunch and Dinner menus which have a mixture of salads, pastas and heavier mains and desserts. We decided to order Flinder's signature dishes, including the foie gras for appetizer, smoked duck and roast lamb.

We love foie gras so when the dish came (quite quickly I may add!) we were ready to go (not to mention I was really hungry as it was past my normal dinner time already). Presentation was ok, nothing inspiring, with poached pears at the bottom and the foie gras sitting on top, no greens or anything else to decorate the huge white plate. We dug in .. now, I love the way foie gras is balanced with normally a sweet type sauce to balance the delicate taste of the liver but even though I have a sweet tooth, the pears were way too sweet, overpowering the light taste of the foie gras, which also tasted not so fresh. The liver wasn't very large but there was also quite a lot of pear so it becams quite sickly sweet at the end of the appetizer.

Mains at Flinders is served with a heavy baked potato gratin, which was quite nice, except that it got a bit jelak towards the end with the heavy cream. It's a heavy accompaniment and reminded me of the heavy winter meals we used to have back in Melbourne. The sliced smoked duck sat on the lentil salad and again, the presentation wasn't anything to shout about as there were no greens or any other color to feast my eyes on. The duck was a bit tasteless, if anything, slightly salty and the abundance of lentil salad didn't help either as both did not have much taste to it.

G's roast lamb was at least better to look at and it looked promising. However, we learnt that looks can be deceiving. However, at least with the dried apricot sauce, there was some taste to add to the lamb, which was also served with sage polenta.

By the time we got to dinner and looked through the menu (signature deserts were lavender creme brulee and pumpkin tiramisu, other desserts incuded strawberry jelly with basil and some other desserts which tended to marry fruit with herbs), I settled on the Valhora chocolate parfait . We decided that we woiuldn't choose any of the Signature dishes anymore and what could be easier to prepare than chocolate!

How wrong we were. The parfait was basically assembled out of a base of chcolate coco-pops, with bananas in the middle and a scoop of chocolate ice cream on the top. Right! The ice cream was solid hard and when we tasted it, it had a powdery taste to it (we later learnt it was homemade), the banana were unriped and the wrong kind of bananas to use for these types of desserts and there nothing worse than having tasteless bananas. The coco pops were ..well ... coco pops!

The meal, including a glass of Kir (flavoured white wine) and Evian water cost over RM200 and that's after the 15% Opening discount (up to 31st October 2005)

The place has potential as a party venue, which was what I had in mind already, but the food was just disappointing. I hope that it's only because they are new but then again, in this industry, first impressions or in this case, first taste, counts. Looking through the menu again at the end, it looks like they're trying too hard to be fusion, which may or may not sit well with the diners. This place reminds of me of when Moomba (another Australian-inspired restaurant that opened up at Wisma UOA in the late 90s) first opened - people came but nothing kept them coming back. I hope Flinders does better ... Good Luck!

Ground Level, Damai Sari
Mont Kiara Damai
3 Jalan Kiara 2, Mont Kiara
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 6203 1841
fax: 03 6203 1756
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