Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Alexis @ Great Eastern Mall

We’ve heard and read so much about Alexis at Great Eastern Mall (Ampang). People have been raving on the good food, the fantastic gigs and the cool ambience. So, with high expectations, Anthony, Azuan and I decided to spend a night of good food and fine music at Alexis last Saturday.

We reached about 10 pm and the place was already packed to the brim. All managers and waiters were so busy serving that we had to literally grab one and asked for our reserved table. It seemed that there were NO tables available and the manager (I think) advised us to take a seat at the bar while waiting for a table. At this point, we were quite confused because we have already made a reservation?? OK, we were 30 minutes late but we did call earlier to extend the reservation and they obliged. Gosh.

Call it “luck”, but we managed to get a table after 10 minutes of confusion. And guess where the table was? The far end corner and perhaps furthest table from the stage! That means we will watch the performance from a TV. Quite displeased we were but since we came here to have fun, we endured.

We were really hungry that night (after a good foot reflexology session at Jalan Alor) and hurriedly placed our orders. The drinks came 15 minutes later. We had Lime Juice (RM11.50), Apple Juice (RM11.50) and Iced Lemon Tea (RM10.50). By the way, the waitress informed us that the infamous Tiramisu had been sold out!

The first dish arrived was Alexis’ Club Sandwich (RM18.00). Anthony complimented on the taste but said it was quite ordinary. The filling for the sandwich included hard-boiled eggs, crisphead lettuce, ham and bacon. Each half of the sandwich was pinned with an olive (aesthetic purpose, I guess). Sides consisted of shoestring fries and garden salad.

I went for the Duck Confit which came looking rather appetizing. The confit was placed on top of a bed of baby spinach and was surrounded by slices of orange. The meat was quite tender and the saltiness of the confit was controlled just right. The orange could have been riper, though. The baby spinach with balsamic vinegar dressing provided a good texture and taste to the dish. A good combination.

Next came the desserts. At this point, Anthony and I were still furious about the Tiramisu. We ordered the Chocolate Moist (RM10.00) and Cream Italian Cake (RM10.00).

The Cream Italian Cake was texturally soft. I am guessing walnuts were used in the cake as it did provide an extra kick to the otherwise uninteresting cake. The cream and nuts coating provided a nice flavour to the cake. Poppy seeds were found in the cake too. Not too bad, but still not as good as the Tiramisu.

The Chocolate Moist was quite ordinary to say the least. Rich cocoa cream coated and sandwiched between the really moist chocolate cake. The taste was rich but there was nothing outstanding about it. I was expecting a little more from Alexis since this is THE place for good desserts. Again, why isn’t there enough Tiramisu?!

On the show, the guest performer was Janice Yap. To be honest, I have not heard of her before but Azuan informed me that she is quite a famous celebrity. An award-winning musician, an actress and a TV presenter. Her repertoire for the night ranged from her own compositions to contemporary pop songs like Yellow (Coldplay) and Stay (Lisa Loeb) to R&B numbers like If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys). As we sat too far from the stage, we couldn’t really concentrate on the performance and started to entertain ourselves by taking crazy pictures. What a waste. Anyhow, I thought her performance was OK despite a few glitches here and there. Her Mandarin tunes were quite enthralling too, to me at least. The band was alright and the chorus guy (sorry, I forgot his name) sounded great.

What could have been an entertaining night turned out to be quite a disappointment. I love Alexis’ music+dining concept but felt the execution was not done well. I don’t know much about the concept behind the interior design or the restrictions that the bistro has but why not design a dining hall that ensures all diners are able to watch the show from all corners (unless you want to dine al-fresco, of course)? A great place to dine and hang out but be ready for chaos. Unless you reserve or walk in much earlier before the show starts. We will definitely try the other Alexis at Bangsar Shopping Complex for the Tiramisu and for a less chaotic experience.

Do check out more on Alexis and the performances at this website:

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