Palacio Restaurant & Lounge is located at the prestigious Asian Heritage Row district in Jalan Doraisamy. Palacio means Palace in Latin and the establishment serves a fusion of Southern French and Spanish cuisine. I went there with my girlfriend to celebrate her (very substantial) salary increase. I promised to buy her dinner with just the two of us, which was a bit tricky to arrange since I had meet-ups with a lot of people during the short trip there.
Asian Heritage Row is a quaint lane that somehow organized itself into a place renowned for its fine dining, nightlife and entertainment. The history behind the establishment of the dilapidated shop houses along Jalan Doraisamy into a one of the trendiest strips in KL is very interesting transformation that I was fortunately privy to, having worked in KL when it was first proposed and built.
Palacio is divided into three (3) distinct dining experiences – there is an al fresco area in the Palacio front garden, a laid-back cozy arrangement on the ground floor and a fine dining area on the first floor. I wanted to go up to the first floor, but the air-conditioning has not brought the temperature down to a comfortable level yet so we settled with the ground floor ambiance.
The seating arrangements at the ground floor is warm and inviting, with lots of wood fittings. There is a lounge at the side for a more relaxed social gathering. The place serves beer at very reasonable prices – it’s RM 35 per jug for local draft beef during Happy Hour. The service is impeccable too – the waiters are very attentive and attuned to your every whim and fancy.
There is a wall motif running along the length of the Palacio that is almost holographic, due to the ingenious placement of lighting fixtures. The length of the ground floor is bordered by a long couch with regular chairs on the opposite side of the tables. The effective use of mirrors increase the spatial perception of the size of the restaurant – it’s a common interior design technique to make a place “look” bigger.
Foie Gras (RM 48)
This is served with tempura asparagus, caramelized onions and mango chutney on a toasted baguette slice. Palacio is a French and Spanish cuisine establishment and this is one of the specialties of the house. It has multi-cultural influences, and this dish turned out to be a great fusion of unique flavors.
The foie gras (duck/goose liver) is tender and comes in a single, intact portion. This French delicacy literally bursts with juicy goodness with every bite. Highly recommended, despite the price and small serving size. I could eat the entire thing in a single mouthful!
Cinnamon Black Cod (RM 40)
The Cinnamon Black Cod is served with sides of sweet mashed potato, mango mojo, citrus cabbage and red capsicum sauce. The “mango mojo” is the sauce and goes surprisingly well with the cinnamon marinated cod. The black cod was excellent, maintaining the natural moisture of the aquatic creature inside. It certainly hasn’t lost its mojo. ;)
The portion is a little on the small side though, but I guess “fine dining” is synonymous with tiny portions for the more refined diners amongst us. Doris thought it was just right, but she doesn’t eat much and cannot be used as an accurate gauge for the appetites of regular diners.
Braised Lamb Shank (RM 40)
I had the more reasonably portioned braised lamb shank for the main dish. It’s served with tomato and grape chutney, mashed potatoes and rosemary sauce. The serving is indeed quite large (even for my standards) – a full lamb shank smack dab in the middle of your plate with rosemary sauce and tiny mushrooms.
The braised lamb shank is delicious and the meat turned out so tender, it practically falls apart from the bone with the slightest gesture of the fork. ;)
Palacio Restaurant and Lounge also serves beer-based drinks I dubbed “beertails”. Beertails instead of cocktails. I was elated at the fit of inspiration where I thought I had coined the term, but a quick Google search revealed that the word has been around for quite a while. :(
Palacio Beer (RM 20) is the green beer which is a cocktail (beertail) of Midori, Malibu and beer. The Bloody Beer (RM 15) is a beertail made with watermelon liquor and a shot of Absolut Raspberri. It tastes good, but it’s definitely not a drink for beer aficionados and purists from the Holy Trinity of Hop, Malt and Barley Church.
We finished off with a dessert of Palacio’s Mississippi Mud Pie (RM 15) – a sinful concoction of chocolate cake, cream and ice cream. The Mississippi Mud Pie came piping hot and the contrast with the cold ice cream is a match made in heaven!
Palacio is a great place for a casual dinner at the Asian Heritage Row. The foie gras was memorable, the beertails interesting, and the service impeccable. The bill came up to a total of RM 244.95 which is not very expensive for the occasional indulgence. The Palace is located at:
Palacio Restaurant & Lounge
Asian Heritage Row
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia