While it’s not always that I get to be wined and dined, but the occasional splurge that Hubby showers me with a fine dining meal is always welcomed. Although, I will be equally pleased with a nice bowl of Pan Mee. 😝
Since Hubby won’t be around on the actual Valentine’s Day, he wanted to make up for a disappointing V-Day dinner last year, and it has been awhile since we had a fancy date-night dinner. So, he booked us in BABE Japas Fun Dining, a fine dining restaurant in Damansara Heights on the Saturday night before the actual V-Day.
Heard great recommendations on this place, and Google-ing to read some reviews got me all excited.
About BABE Japas Fun Dining
BABE is located on the 11th Floor of Work @ Clearwater at Changkat Semantan in Damansara Heights. The office building annex of the serviced apartment houses Ploy (Japanese Thai fusion restaurant) at the Ground Floor.
Enter into the building, tell the security guard where you’re headed, and he’ll flash his access card to get you into the lift up to the 11th floor.
BABE opened its doors in 2015 and have been one of the town’s best kept secret of gastronomical delight. It serves what they call Japas Fun Dining. Japas meaning Japanese tapas, small plates for sharing. And Fun Dining because it’s accessible fine dining, all-encompassing dining experience where food presentation + sensory enjoyment + portion satisfaction gives you a multi-sensory dining experience amidst a setting that’s light-hearted, inclusive and approachable.
BABE is helmed by Michelin-starred American-Japanese Chef Jeff Ramsey, who created dishes that are all about molecular gastronomy.
Babe is about fun dining as opposed to fine dining. It’s about enjoying the spirit of sharing our signature ‘Japas’ (modern Japanese tapas) with your favourite people and stunning views of the city skyline. We want to create great food that inspires the taste buds and a dining experience that evokes the senses.
Dining at BABE is guaranteed to give you a multi-sensory experience of sight (amazing presentation), taste (OMG!), texture (explosions in your mouth, anyone?) and more.
At the point of online reservation, you can indicate your preference of indoor or outdoor (Pool deck) seating. The inside has a nice cozy, candlelight dinner ambiance that’s soothing and romantic. While the outdoor pool deck seating has the gorgeous view of the KL skyline.
I really wouldn’t call that a pool deck, to be honest. More of a water feature. But it’s sets a cool and calming ambiance nonetheless.
The Pool Deck seating is ultimately the most coveted seat in the house. You get to dine by a giant open wall overlooking of the KL skyline, with the calming water feature, and gentle night breeze. Great for sunset (I presume) but gorgeous with the city lights on full display.
Hubby originally didn’t manage to get us a table outside by the deck, as it was full that night. But somehow, they managed to accommodate us at the point of confirming our reservations. They even managed to move us closer to the edge of the deck when we got there, for an unobstructed view of the city. Ah-mazing.
A beautiful view that night of KLCC and KL Tower in the middle of the open wall on the deck. Almost as if it’s a live painting. There were also some fireworks going on at some areas that night because it was Chap Goh Meh. Gorgeous.
Thankfully, there are still air conditioning at this area, so you won’t feel too warm in the KL heat. Plus, we were lucky that it’s been rather cooling the last few nights that we got to enjoy some nice windy breeze that night.
Valentine’s Day Menu
Once seated, we ordered our drinks from their Flight of 3 and Flight of 4 set each.
It includes a combination of 3 or 4 drinks of Sparkling Wine, Red / White wine and dessert wine. They were perfect complement to our meal.
BABE’s menu is curated into sections – Umi (‘Sea’), Tochi (‘Land’) and Hamono (‘Plants’). Each ala-carte dish ranges between RM 25 to RM 200 each.
You can also opt for their set menus, which changes depending on ingredient availability that can range between RM 200 – RM 300 per pax for 10-15 courses, excluding wines. When we were there, there were 2 set menu options – Japas Tasting Menu (~RM 280 per pax), which showcases almost a dozen combination of courses, plus dessert.
Considering it was our Valentine’s dinner and BABE was already serving their Valentine’s Menu ahead of the actual day that weekend, it was a no-brainer for us.
We opted for their Valentine’s Day Menu (RM 999 for 2 pax) which consisted of 11-course meal for 2, including 3 dessert dishes.
Before the meal started, we were served a plate of Rose Water Oshibori, which is actually a hand-towel that expanded with contact of water, served on a bed of rose petals on dried ice that started smoking beautifully on our table. Very romantic.
I remember the first time seeing this Oshibori hand towel and was amazed by it. I also remember watching a movie with a funny scene where someone ate the towels. I think it was Spy, with Melissa McCarthy?
Even the hostess at BABE told us that they had a guest who once ate the towel, too, thinking it’s food. 😝 So, they now made a point to explain their courses more thoroughly, and identify what’s edible and what’s not in all the dishes served. Oh dear.
Once our order was placed, and the drinks were served, food came very promptly without much waiting time at all. Almost as if they’ve anticipated what we’re going to order, and timed it to our reservation time and how fast / slow we’ll be eating. Every dish came out at the perfect timing.
This cheese ball exploded in our mouth. I can’t recall when the waiter was explaining the dish to us, so I can’t remember what was inside. But it was certainly a great start to our meal, to be pleasantly surprised and delighted with this starter. Sets a good tone to the rest of the dishes to follow.
Uni Taco is a deep fried seaweed taco shell with fresh air-flown sea urchin. While I’m not usually a fan of sea urchin, this one has a nice creamy texture and the taste combination with the seaweed shell was genius!
It was pointed out here that the smokey clam shell placed inside the smoking dimsum tray, is not edible. 😂
This King Crab Chawanmushi with Freshly Shaved Périgord Truffles is hands-down, the BEST chawanmushi I have ever tasted in my life! To begin with, I am a huge fan of chawanmushi, and this one definitely ranked the best I have ever tasted. Ever.
Even Hubby, who’s not a fan of steam egg custard initially was gonna eat it to be open-minded, ended up loving it.
I’m not a fan of oysters. In the spirit of being open-minded since Hubby gave the chawan mushi a go, I followed suit with the oysters. Still not a fan of oysters, but have to say this wasn’t hard to swallow. It was nice, delicious even, especially with the caviar to top it all off. 😋 I like caviar.
Somewhat the main course of the meal, the next dish, the steak was perfectly cooked. Nice medium rare, amidst combination of deep fried crunchy kale and more was delicious and I wanted more, even for a non-steak eater.
Hubby is a steak snob, ever since he bought himself a sous vide machine and have been making the best steak you’ll ever taste at home. He no longer eats steak at restaurant, with the exception of Beast @ The Intermark. Yet, he said this one was good. Very good.
One course before the steak, Hubby thought we might want to add a couple of dishes to try, ones that he’s read great reviews about, before we get to the last 3 dessert courses. So, we got the Manga Crab and The World’s Juiciest Lamb.
Manga Crab is a soft shell crab (my favourite) served on a acrylic plate with manga (Japanese comic) characters silkscreen printed with edible ink of charcoal mayo, which comes off when you swirl your crab on it.
The dish is presented like the crab is sliced in half with a samurai sword, with its guts spilling out. Don’t be weirded out – coz its guts is actually coriander vinaigrette and turmeric mayo sauce. Which makes the whole dish absolutely delish.
The World’s Juiciest Lamb is indeed the juiciest lamb you’ll ever taste. We were asked to eat the whole rack in one bite, to experience the burst of juice in the middle. But yours truly sliced into it and witnessed the juices ooze out.
We continued on with the last 3 of our 11 course Valentine’s Day Menu…
These Nitro Puffs are the chef’s signature. Molecular gastronomy at its finest. Served in science-y beakers (?), you skewer the meringue puffs and dip them in nitrogen liquid for a couple of seconds, lift it up and put the whole thing in your mouth 2 seconds later.
The result is a smoking mouthful of liquid nitrogen oozing out of your open mouth, or well… nostrils, if you eat with your mouth closed. Below’s a demonstration…
Quite a sensation in your mouth, I must say, and a sight to behold for your date to see you blowing puffs of smoke out your nose. 😆 Sexy.
The final dessert course of Petit Four showcases 4 dessert handcrafted so beautifully that you almost don’t want to eat them.
The Edible Terrarium (bottom left), for example, is a transparent dome of sugar with Matcha, Apple and Salted Cherry Blossom. The intricacy of this dish makes me want to just admire it all night, instead of popping it in my mouth.
Would you just look at that beauty! 👆
Overall, we enjoyed our meal so very very much. And the meal, with the additional 2 dishes and the wine sets we both ordered came up to about RM 17XX. While it was pricey, but Hubby pointed out that it’s not everyday we get to splurge on a meal like this.
Also note that this is their special V-Day menu and we did splurged a little. The usual tasting menu or ala carte dishes would likely only cost about half the price for a meal for two.
And an amazing dinner indeed, it has been. Something I will highly recommend to friends for date-nights, or just to enjoy a great fun dining experience.
The host asked if we enjoyed our food, and of course, we couldn’t stop singing praises.
He also asked if the food was filling enough, which I found odd. But in hindsight, I understand how some fine dining establishments may boast great tasting and great looking food but well, not enough food. We assured him that we were full. We were thoroughly satisfied. We were exceptionally impressed.
BABE accepts diners by reservation only.
It is best to make an online reservation via their website or Facebook Page in advance to book your table and seating preference. The online booking form is tied to their seating availability, so you’ll be able to know if you can confirm a table or not.
The restaurant can be fully booked at many a times as it’s gaining popularity, so do book early online or call the restaurant directly to avoid disappointment.
For our pre-Valentine’s Day weekend, because it’s quite a peak period of bookings, at the point of reservation, Hubby was asked to provide his credit card details to charge RM 200 deposit booking fee to secure our table. Any cancellation in under 24 hours will forfeit this booking deposit. 😬
Luckily, we got to keep our reservation (read: no sudden baby drama) and we got to enjoy a perfect dining experience, with the most delicious food I’ve tasted in awhile, under the beautiful KL moonlight and soothing breeze that night, witnessing some fireworks and overlooking the nightscape of this beautiful city we call home.
Thank you, baby. I enjoyed the dinner and I love you so much.
BABE Japas Fun Dining
Add: 11th Floor, Work@Clearwater, Jalan Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 (3) 2095 8599
Operating Hours: Sun-Thu 6.00pm – 10.30pm; Fri-Sat 5.30pm – 11.30pm (Closed on Mondays)