Sage, The Gardens Residences: Nothing Heals Better Than A Good Meal

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1.
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.

Absolutely.

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.

2.

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

3.

“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.

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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.

Note:
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!

***

Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar
The Gardens Residences
6th Floor, The Gardens, Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603- 2268 1188

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.

21 Responses to Sage, The Gardens Residences: Nothing Heals Better Than A Good Meal
  1. fatboybakes
    November 2, 2009 | 2:08 am

    oh my gawd. you did such a good job of imitating the queen. in fact, i scrolled up and down a few times to check if it WAS your blog. (this is before i read your postscript).
    the two shall become one….
    err, but next time stick to your own style la. felt like committing suicide after reading this.

  2. J
    November 2, 2009 | 2:08 am

    Beautiful story… I hope it has a happy ending. :)

  3. "Joe" who is constantly craving
    November 2, 2009 | 2:22 am

    yeah the part 1,2 n 3 chop chop the same la..

    all the best to ur mate..

  4. Sean
    November 2, 2009 | 3:07 am

    touching post, but yeah, it's kinda strange reading it on your blog, since u're usually the chirpiest blogger of them all … no, no, chirpy doesn't mean shallow :)

  5. Lyrical Lemongrass
    November 2, 2009 | 3:26 am

    FBB's comment shows who's NOT a fan of my blog. :-) Committing suicide indeed.

    Yar, stick to ur funny style la. You're special the way you are.

  6. thule a.k.a leo
    November 2, 2009 | 4:10 am

    ur story reminds me of my closest cousin whom I grew up with…
    both of us are living own lives now.. he's in singapore pursuing his dream while I'm back to help with the family business.
    I only get to see him less than 3 times a year but we are closer than ever.
    Only such a genuine relationship (like u and kelvin) can stand through the test of times…
    hope he's fine…

  7. thenomadGourmand
    November 2, 2009 | 6:29 am

    Its a great post actually.. and it shows u write just as well as AWOL!

  8. J2Kfm
    November 2, 2009 | 12:27 pm

    very poignant, so unlike your usual comical self.
    but at least he's postponing the BIG day. not canceling. so you still have ample time to improvise on your speech, or better yet, learn from the other Whiff of Something ….

  9. chiselstone
    November 2, 2009 | 12:30 pm

    People have a different flairs when it come to writing, just as different people may favor different flavors.

    People have different ways of dealing and coping as well. But it seems to be a universal truth that food comforts. Perhaps it's the connotations of home and protection and love.

    Hope Kelvin's okay and things work out.

  10. The Innovative Baker!
    November 2, 2009 | 2:54 pm

    Kelvin…sounds very familiar, looks very familiar.

    Be it the situation, I'm sure he will be able to pick himself up. It's never an easy task especially when you have to deal with matters of the heart.

    Plus, I love the way you picture Sage. Though I've never personally eaten there, but I think there's another place here in London that's called that. I shall go find it, try it and compare it to yours. Hahaha…

  11. ahpa
    November 2, 2009 | 3:01 pm

    haha, i wonder who lemongrass is talking about.
    its just that one visits different blogs for different reasons ya know what i mean. when i come here i wanna be happy…
    "if you wanna be happy for life, never make a pretty woman your wife"

  12. ahpa
    November 2, 2009 | 3:03 pm

    err, but ya, back to the topic at hand (shamefaced at my frivolousness), i do hope your mate kelvin's fine, and that your sterling company cheered him up, which it no doubt would have.

  13. qwazymonkey
    November 2, 2009 | 4:07 pm

    FBB: Lemongrass doesn't induce vomiting. In fact it is good for digestion. So have more of it. :)

    J: I'm sure the ending will be a beautiful one.

    Joe: The similarity ends there.

    Sean: Didja just call me Paris? *sniggers*

    BFF: Yar, dun mind the old man. Think his Alzheimer's kicked in early.

    Don't worry, the crazymunkey will be back tomorrow. Thanks for letting me be you for a day. Now I know how feels to be a royalty.

    Thule: Genuine friends are hard to come by. I'm truly blessed to have a few to my name.

    TNG: Thanks but I could never come close to her majesty.

    J2Kfm: Ur right, least it's a postponement. Does buy me some time to make an Obama speech.

    Chisel: Yea, no matter how I try, I can never write as reflective as you do. There you go doing it again with your comments *bow bow*

    Innovative Baker: Hey thanks taking your time off cooking and dropping a comment on my humble blog. Of cos he's familiar, you grew up knowing him too :P Tell me how the London Sage is.

    AhPa: "If you wanna be happy for life, never make a pretty woman your wife" That's why I'm not making any woman my wife. Period.

    Kelvin's gonna be fine. Thanks. That reminds me, it's time to check in on him.

  14. CUMI & CIKI
    November 2, 2009 | 11:04 pm

    excellent collage lil munkey! say thx to ur fren la.. so cute.. ask him pls leave comments so we can chat! hehe;)

  15. Nic (KHKL)
    November 3, 2009 | 5:02 am

    cool post what! lurve the writing cos it's honest and humorous at the same time. a whiff of banana there. haha. u did the queen proud, i'm sure. knighthood awaits. :)

  16. lee
    November 3, 2009 | 3:32 pm

    Thanks Bro, all is fine now. No worries, I am back to my usual self and things are looking brighter already. Thanks for always being at my side in times need.

    On a lighter note, like I told you many years back, just be yourself..meaning, don't try sounding like WhiffofLemongrass..you ain't there yet bro..:P

    Innovative Baker, do we know each other? Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts.

  17. qwazymonkey
    November 4, 2009 | 1:47 am

    C&C: Hehe, I think I might just bring him out for a meal with you guys next time.

    Nic: I'd be lucky if the Queen doesn't behead me for treason and trying to overthrow her in my friend's list. LOL

    Bro: Thanks for that smack in the head. I can always count on you for that. Lol.

  18. fatboybakes
    November 4, 2009 | 11:50 am

    innovative baker? is the fler talking to ME???? WOOO HOOO, i have been acknowledged. [doing cartwheels].

  19. fatboybakes
    November 4, 2009 | 11:51 am

    OH SHOOT, dang, i didnt see there was an innovative baker there. cis, and here i thought he was talking to ME! argh, malunya aku!

  20. rokh
    November 5, 2009 | 2:03 pm

    love how you touched on friendship that has stand the test of time. i have friends from my childhood as well and am glad we are still going strong. somehow they give us a sense of belonging, like we know where our roots are! i wish him all the best! :)

  21. qwazymonkey
    November 6, 2009 | 1:35 am

    FBB: Eee malu-nyer!

    Rokh: Yup, I'm truly blessed to have a few to call my own and it's these people that keeps me grounded yet pushes me to the edge, let me fall and then pick me up again. Can't imagine life without them.