I grew up with a boy named Kelvin. I’ve known him all my life since the age of seven. Most of my fondest childhood memories included him. We went to the same schools, sat through the same boring classes, picked on the same losers, got picked on by the same bullies, fought the same battles, got into countless troubles together, and then covered each others backs countless of times over the years we’ve know each other. In more ways than one, he was like the brother I’ve always wish I had.
Like brothers, we always depended on each other when the goings get tough. Be it a nasty breakup, a hurtful heartache, family matters, or any trouble for that matter; we’ve confided, listened, stood by, reassured and encouraged each other to fight through our personal battles. He was the first person I’ve ever been completely honest with. If you ever need to dig up shit on this monkey, he’s your guy. He was also the first person to tell me that it’s alright to be myself and that we’ll always brothers no matter what.
Yeah, we’re tight that way.
After school, we went our own ways and walked our own paths. We lead our own lives while occasionally stayed in contact. No matter how great the distance is or how long we’ve not spoken to each other, we always just pick it right back from where we left off. These days, we may no longer be each others sole support system but I’m glad to know that I’m still the first person he turns to in times of trouble.
So when Kelvin called last monday for dinner, I knew something was wrong.
Salvia officinalis (Common Sage) is a small perennial evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. The Latin name for sage, salvia, means “to heal”. Although the effectiveness of Common Sage is open to debate, it has been recommended at one time or another for virtually every ailment.
- Source: Wikipedia
“This reminds me of Cilantro.”
“Hate to break it to you my friend, but Sage is no Cilantro. It’s better, it heals.”
Sage, the restaurant at The Gardens Residences was our choice for dinner. I figured nothing heals a broken man’s soul better than a good meal, especially when the man was a fan of the old Cilantro and Chef Takashi Kimura’s Japanese-French cooking style. The sage (the herb) is far from a cilantro, but I have heard of its great healing abilities. And that’s what my brother needs right now.
My childhood friend was dressed to the nine as usual, sat across the table from me looking a little flustered. He walked out onto a different floor while searching for the restaurant earlier. It was his first time dining here, but I could tell instantly that he would feel right at home. He placed the menu on his lap but his eyes stared blankly into the bright blue chrysanthemum that was placed in the middle of the table while biting the cuticles off his left thumb. I wondered what was really playing on his mind. I gave him a quiet minute to himself as I browsed the dinner menu.
“Should I have the Rack of Lamb or the Wagyu cheeks again?”
Suddenly, Kelvin looked up and announced that he has decided. The little smirk on his face tells me that he has decided more than just his meal. We quickly placed our orders from the set dinner menu so he could tell me what that was all about.
“It’s official. I’ve spoken to my dad and her parents that we are postponing the wedding. Everyone’s OK with it. So you’re free from your best man duties for now. We’ve not set on a date yet. We just need to work out our issues first while I enjoy my bachelor life for an extra few months.”
He said that in a matter-of-fact sort of way. There was a certain affirmation in his voice. The angry, lost and confused guy I was trying to calm down two days ago was replaced by this composed person who was making his announcement while scooping out his amuse bouche. Salty creamy potato puree with chunks of sweet tasting potato bits hidden within, this potato creme “mouth-amuser” was a shot glass of contrasting flavours and texture much like my fascinating friend here. He is quick tempered in a heated situation, but calm him down and all will be smooth. I’ve always believed that the root to his quick temper was his failure to accept that he has no control over certain situations. And this time it was no different. He just has to let it run its course.
At this point, I wish I could have a drink with him. Least we could toast to their decision and it wasn’t dragging on for a longer time. It must be nice to have some alcohol numbing our minds a little and help lubricate some laughter out of us. I envied the couple with their bottle of vino two tables away. But being the watchful brother that he is, we toasted with still water instead.
The rest of the meal came like clockwork. We filled each other in on life’s happenings over my Confit of Duck Leg with Puy Lentils and Olives appetizer, which I find lacking in the ‘wow’ department. I also find it rather gammy. Judging from Kelvin’s face, he had better luck with his fatty and comforting choice of Seared Foie Gras with Fine Beans Beignet and Red Wine Reduction. Conversations quickly moved onto our passion for food and foodies which he reads (apparently he is not a fan of my blog because I update too slow for his liking) as we started digging into our mains. Kelvin’s Angus Beef with Wild Rockets and Natural Jus looked lovely. Made me wished I ordered it rather than the tried and tested Slow Cooked Wagyu Cheek with Carrot Puree. But one bite into my wagyu and I remembered exactly why I ordered it again in the first place.
Dessert was definitely the highlight of the evening. My order of Kyoho Grapes Granite with Ricotta Ice Cream was refreshingly amazing. The grape flesh (somehow resembled, forgive my crass referencing, dried longan in the air mata kucing drinks) was thick, juicy and sweet. It was also a feast to the eye when the deep purple coloured icy granite floated in a pool of melted fluffy white ricotta ice cream. Kelvin enjoyed his Strawberry Romanoff with Mascarpone Ice Cream tremendously too.
We sipped on our coffees by the end of the meal. I could tell in his eyes there was a certain sense of relieve. Sage turned out to be the healer I thought it would be. Is it any surprise really? I’m glad we had dinner here. The meal may not have fixed his problems at home, but for that few short hours it did take him away from his troubles as we spoke of our long standing friendship and how much we have grown as individuals. He is a strong survivor and I’m extremely proud of my brother for all that he has achieved, both in his career and as a person. And if his wedding hadn’t been postponed, I would have been sharing the same stories above when I make my best-man speech.
Guess I have until next year to perfect my speech.
I blatantly tried writing this post like Kelv’s favourite food blogger, A Whiff of Lemongrass, in hopes of dethroning the Queen and make me his absolute favourite foodie. I guess the jury is out to see if I’ll ever be as good of a storyteller as she is. Forgive me your Majesty. Together with Her Royal Highness, my childhood BFF named Masak-Masak and Cumi&Ciki as his top food blogs. See how I’m not even in his Top-3 list! Cis, calls himself my brother!
The Gardens Residences
6th Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Ala carte dinner menu is between RM60 – RM85 for appetizers and mains, while dessert is at a nett rate of RM30. I recommend that you take the Dinner Set menu which comprises a selection from each category for just RM140nett.