Christmas Eve Dinner @ Senja, Saujana Hotel

christmas eve dinner

Senja is an Italian restaurant despite it’s Malay sounding name. The food is prepared by Chef Filippo Giunta, a friendly Sicilian which I got to meet later. It is best known for it’s homemade pasta and pizzas (they even have a firewood oven) and the ambiance – it’s built on stilts above a man-made lake and the view is quite pleasing.

senja saujana

I was there to check out their Christmas Eve Dinner. I haven’t been here for a while and I thought I’ll come and check out their new pasta machine. Thanks for the invite Azimy and Azirah and it’s a pleasure to meet you Karen!

bread

The five course meal was preceded by their wonderful home-made bread, which I absolutely loved. It came with four different types of dip – the whole olives and sun-dried tomatoes being two of my favorite.

Schiuma di Papate con Capesante ed Aneto
Potato Mousse with Scallop and Dill Oil

scallops

This is the first course proper – the amouse-bouche. It’s a nicely cooked piece of scallop topped with black caviar with potato mousse and dill oil. I thought it’s a nice start for the Christmas Eve course.

Capaccio di Manzo con Rucola e Dressing al Parmigiano
Carpaccio of Black Angus with Rocket and Parmesan Dressing

black angus carpaccio

I really, really liked this. The circular tissue-thin Black Angus is aged well so you can taste the intense flavors in this apt appetizer. I wish I could have more of this. Perfectly dry-aged (I think, forgot to ask) beef.

chef filippa giunta

There are three main courses you can choose from:

Linguine con Funghi Selvatici e Tartufo
Homemade Linguine Pasta with Wild Mushrooms and Black Truffle

linguini black truffle

This would be my recommendation for the main course if you’re not one of those people who must have turkey on Christmas Eve. I’ve seen how they make their pasta in-house and the linguine is cooked to perfection – dictionary definition of “al dente”. I enjoyed the simplicity of the dish, spruced up by generous shavings of black truffle.

Salmone in Padella Sevito con Spinaci, Salsa Prosecco e Caviale Nero
Tasmanian Salmon served with Butter Spinach, Prosecco Sauce and Black Caviar

salmon

There’s nothing wrong with this dish, but it didn’t quite hit the spot for me. It’s a generous slice of salmon on top of spinach and it was the first main dish that I ate but I felt that the salmon overpowered all the other flavors in the dish and it was a tad overcooked but then again I won’t pretend to be a food critic. Heh. I just felt that the other two dishes were much better.

Petto di Tacchino con Mele Verdi, Funghi in Padella e Riduzione al Vino Porto
Stuffed Turkey Breast with Poached Granny Smith Apple, Cepes Mushroom and Port Wine Sauce

turkey

I really liked the crisp turkey skin and the juicy turkey meat. I loved the stuffing. It’s a classic Christmas dish that has everything done right including the apple cubes beneath the turkey that gives it a sweet dimension. Highly recommended, I would go for this or the pasta for the main course. Come to think of it, I’ll recommend this, coz you can have pasta any other time. ;)

Panettone Tradizionale con Crema di Mascarpone e Caffe
Traditional Panettone “Tiramisu” with Mascarpone and Coffee Cream

panettone tiramisu

This is hands down the best dessert I’ve had this month, or maybe even this quarter. I might even hazard to go “this year” due to this wonderful creation from Chef Filippo Giunta. It’s not a regular tiramisu made with Savoiardi – that has been made passé with this “tiramisu” made from Panettone. Just think of Savoiardi being substituted with Panettone Antica Ricetta and you’ll have an inkling of what this marvelous dessert tastes like.

It’s awesome – there’s no other word to describe it. The Mascarpone and coffee cream dominates the Panettone that has been rendered soft and yielding and the burst of fruitcake combined with the thick, cloying cream resulted in a truly fearsome dessert. It’s delicious! :D

panettone

This is the Panettone used for the Christmas Eve Dinner dessert at Senja. It’s the specialty Christmas cake of Milan which traces its roots to an ancient Franciscan cloister in Saronno. It’s orgasmic – there’s a bit of fruitcake to remind you of the festive season and I was very impressed by this dessert. The Mascarpone and coffee cream slathered on top of this Panettone “tiramisu” takes the cake (haha). I’ll go just for this dessert again!

christmas cookies

We also had mince pies, biscuits and gingerbread cookies after the meal and I was so enamored by the Panettone “tiramisu” that Chef Filippo Giunta came out with what the dome-shaped Christmas cake. The Christmas Eve Dinner at Senja, Saujana Hotel is priced from RM 160++ to RM 280++ with optional wine pairing.

wine

They also have a New Year’s Eve set dinner priced at the same range where you can watch fireworks by the lake. Senja Restaurant is also starting a new tradition of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day brunches with buffet style antipasto and desserts from RM 90++. They can be reached at 03 7843 1234 for reservations. Oh, and they also sell that Panettone cake by itself but it won’t nearly be as good as the one made into “tiramisu”. Heh.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

23 thoughts on “Christmas Eve Dinner @ Senja, Saujana Hotel

    • Yeah, the “tiramisu” dessert made with Panettone in particular is one of the best desserts I’ve had this year. Heh. I *really* liked it. :)

      The mains, my preference would go to the pasta with black truffle and the turkey.

      It’s only available for Christmas Eve – this is their Christmas Eve dinner set.

      However, they do have other menus for NYE and a novel brunch concept for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

      Cheers! :)

    • Haha! I don’t know, for some reason I didn’t quite like the salmon.

      I much preferred the pasta and the turkey. I thought those two were very well executed but the creme de la creme is hands down the Panettone “Tiramisu”.

      That is one superbly done dessert!

      Cheers Jess! :)

    • Yeah!

      You’ll have liked the Panettone “tiramisu” – it’s not too sweet, and made with this fruitcake that’s the traditional Christmas cake for Milan.

      There’s Mascarpone and coffee cream all over it too – absolutely fabulous.

      Saw that you had loads of fun in Auckland, thought you won’t be coming back. Haha!

      Cheers buddy and see ya when I’m home! :)

      • Ya, I had panettone in Auckland, something like a cross between bread and cake. A Blessed Christmas to you, Huai Bin, and all good wishes for nothing but the best in 2013. Cheers!

        P.S. And the same to your family too.

        • Nice! It’s good stuff eh? :)

          I really like the Panettone “tiramisu” – absolutely fabulous.

          You too buddy! All my best wishes to you and your family this Christmas – God bless and may you have a great 2013!

          Cheers! :)

  1. I’m always for fresh pasta. I notice too many Italian restaurants in Klang Valley use mass produced ones. It’s good to know Senja make their own. It’s a weird name for an Italian restaurant though. Why Senja?

    • Good point there!

      Yeah, it was brought up too – that subject of pasta, a lot of places just use restaurant bought or bulk order pasta which isn’t what you’ll expect a higher end Italian place to do.

      Senja makes all their pasta in-house – it was made manually previously but now they have a pasta machine that automates some of the process but it’s still “made” (as in kneaded etc) by hand.

      You can tell the difference too, which was why the pasta is one of my favorite mains.

      Senja means “dusk” in Malay btw, but they it’s an authentic Italian restaurant.

      Cheers mate! :)

    • Why Senja? Because Senja sits on stilts on a man-made lake and the ambience during dusk (senja) is really nice (al-fresco dining at its best!) You should check it out! :-)

  2. Ah, at least that’s fair. An Italian chef behind an Italian restaurant.

    *slurps* It’s tempting. I know it’s near Ara Damansara and my Mom has been there before for work-related purposes, but I have been too lazy as of late to go anywhere further than my self-sufficient suburb.

    • Indeed! The chef is Italian, a friendly dude from Sicily and that dessert is one of his better creations IMHO.

      I’m used to eating regular tiramisu and it’s everywhere, so much that it’s become passe – this Panettone “tiramisu” brings a much needed breath of fresh air into Italian desserts.

      It’s really good, I’ll go again just for that.

      They also sell the Panettone Christmas cake but I doubt it’ll be as good as Chef Filippo Giunta’s creation. I’ve eaten Savoiardi with coffee – doesn’t make it tiramisu. Heh. I’ve tried to make it too, but it didn’t turn out well.

      Yeah, I think unless you’re in the Subang area, it can be a little distant for KL and PJ folks, but hey, we Malaysians have been known to travel far and long for food.

      Cheers Ciana! :)

    • Hello Isabel! :)

      Yeah, it’s really good, I like the tissue-thin Carpaccio of Black Angus beef – can’t beat raw beef for intensity of flavor.

      That’s one of the better appetizers I’ve had this year too.

      Cheers and Merry Christmas! :D

    • Yup, great stuff, have a craving for the turkey now.

      I was in NZ for homestay (minors have to be in that program) before I moved out while doing my high school and the day after Christmas (Boxing Day) is when the turkey sandwiches come out.

      From the previous night’s turkey. I missed that. :)

    • Likewise Yee Ling! :)

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      I would love to taste your tiramisu, I tried and it didn’t come out well. Heh.

      May the new year bring all sorts of good things for you too. Cheers! :)

    • Yeah, I like Senja’s Christmas Eve dinner – good stuff indeed, especially the Black Angus Carpaccio – nicely done flavorful raw beef.

      Merry Christmas to you too Charmaine! :)

Leave a Comment