[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 刘大人]
What’s for dinner? It’s a perennial question. If we’re with more than one person, deciding where to eat gets exponentially harder. When we have more than three people that can’t make up their mind, we may jolly well choose to eat each other. When in doubt, watch this space! 😄
Still can’t decide? Look no further than this first of it’s kind “gastrobars” in Sutera Utama. Now we can indulge our inner foodie with gourmet food and great entertainment. Let the gastronomical adventure begin!
Let’s face it, some bars serve underwhelming grub. There were times when we would jumpstart our night out by heading to a restaurant which we know serves good food for dinner and then capping it off by going to a bar to have a drink. Thanks to the folks from Merk Group, we can now do it all in one place the next time we want to grab some pretty delectable bites and a good drink!
The game is Wine & Dine, the name’s Vigneto!
Traditionally, local bars were drinking establishments which placed little emphasis on the serving of food. Another depressing thing about gastrobars is the lack of imagination; the way, as concepts, they invariably conform to a formulaic kind of low-key gentrification. By nature, different people want different things at different times of the week, depending on who they’re with but where is the variety?
Along came the rebranded Vigneto 2.0, which has largely redefined both pub culture and fine dining since it’s opening in late May 2019. Even the regular patrons of its predecessor would have been impressed by this complete makeover since its inception in 2014. Stepping in through the signature arched doorway, the revamp introduces stunning modernist architecture and design to a culinary cabaret. Classy yet comforting, the inviting ambience exudes a sort of cosy vibes that invites patrons to settle down in one of the numerous areas available within the confines of its rich, burgundy, and gold walls. Pops of contemporary colour and sleek terrazzo tiles further lend an aura of openness to the place, where we can now enjoy after-work cocktails, evening rendezvous, or late-night dinners.
PS: Minimum spending of RM1,000 is required, and there is a surcharge of RM500 for additional services such as hot towels, fruits, and snacks, dedicated service, etc.
Elderflower Mist + Sweet Talk + Rumming Man + Apricot Jello Shot
Vigneto has a team of knowledgeable mixologists and a sommelier in-house, as well as a cracking list of spirits that bring us enticing cocktails that are made with love and liquor that are out to impress. Taking our cues from the repertoire of signature cocktails comprising Elderflower Mist (gin, St Germain, sweetened lemon, egg white, rose), Sweet Talk (calvados, sambucca, honey, lemon, mint, coke), Rumming Man (spiced infused rum, sweetened lime, chilli padi) and Apricot Jello Shot (apricot brandy, sweetened lemon, orange bitters), our drinks are well made and never rushed, regardless of busyness.
The new Vigneto retains its old vibe of relaxation, while also offering up a place to those passionate about food and wine. With Edward and his team from The Merk Group at the helm and with great names like Faculty of Caffeine, The Replacement Lodge & Kitchen, Shakespeare Milkshakes and Tropique as family members, we know for sure that they will deliver.
“Please enjoy while it’s hot,” a warm reminder that leaves a lasting impression, even though we are meeting Executive Chef Justin Yap only for the first time.
Only in his early twenties and one half of a pair of twins with similar culinary interest, Justin passion for cooking was sparked while working part-time in his uncle’s Japanese restaurant in Bangsar which led him to pursue a Degree in Food Science from The Culinary Institute of America in New York. Having developed a highly refined flavour palate with almost a decade of culinary experience while working in Europe, Japan and Korea, Chef Justin is part of a new wave of chefs that brings to Vigneto an exploration of tastes alongside their breadth of wines.
It’s hard to imagine us having pork for an appetiser, let alone finely sliced rolled whole piglet presented as Testina. A signature cold tapas dish not to be missed, the pork was tender and juicy at the same time, making it super tasty to chow down on. Topped with fresh greens and drizzled with chilli lime dressing, the sundried tomato, in particular, makes it even more balanced and provided a delicate overall flavour.
Our second cold starter, Yuba Parma, was indeed a sight to behold with the colourful hues from the pickles and radish garnishing. The pairing of beancurd skin roll with the 18-month mature aged prosciutto di Parma was somewhat chewy and delightful, with the citrus chilli soy dressing adding a tinge of saltiness and spiciness to this salad dish – a memorable first experience for us, actually.
Mussels & Clam Brodo
Mussels & Clam Brodo was next when a copper pot comprising Asari Brown Clams and Black Lip Mussels tossed in Chinese rice wine and chilli was placed over a tea light to keep it warm. Served with buttered sourdough bread with a side of nori butter to soak up the natural goodness of the rich gravy, the end result is heartwarming and absolutely pleasing.
Masala Lamb Skewers
Ah, Masala Lamb Skewers, these golden beauties deserve special mention, with a secret spice seasoning providing a good umami boost. Charcoal grilled to perfection like jumbo-sized satay, the minced and marinated NZ lamb truly becomes next level flavour goodness when enjoyed with the yoghurt mint aioli.
Touted the ultimate in sandwich elegance, the Wagyu Sando is arguably the holy grail in steak sandwiches where Sando comes from sandoitchi (the Japanese word for sandwich). Like a classic steak sandwich and served medium, the premium A4 grade wagyu sirloin has enough texture to chew and is simultaneously fatty, with melting tenderness, but it doesn’t quite dissolve in our mouth. Apart from being beefy, the meat is also notably juicy and aromatic with a background of the caramelised onion tare.
The fried coating with burnt pepper aioli and buttered white toast hold on to the steak, but we would have preferred if the meat was done medium rare with a thinner toast. Overall, it’s an investment-worthy experience which you don’t quite get anywhere yet in town!
PASTA & RICE
Parmigiana Guanciale Carbonara
The sight of a live-cooking station being set up beside our table filled us with anticipation as our server began assembling the ingredients, complete with a whole wheel of 14-month aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from Modena Italy.
A traditional style of service originating in Italy, the fettuccine is first prepared in the kitchen and subsequently made ready beside our dining table by pouring them into a wheel of cheese, after which our server scrapes up the cheese and tosses our dish, an experience brimming with aroma and stomach-growling.
Not stingy with the portion alongside the scrapings of cheese from the cheese wheel, our Parmigiana Guanciale Carbonara is strewn with sundried tomatoes, aged yolk, hollandaise sauce and bacon bits that add crunch and meaty delight to our pasta ensemble. Fragrantly verdant in colour and mixed with the cheesy residues with a splash of Brandy in the cheese wheel, we instantly felt like heaven on earth with a deep longing for more!
For non-meat eaters, Chef Justin recommends the Butterfish Sanzai created with a fillet of Miso Butterfish resting on a bed of pomme puree with lots of roasted root vegetables. This butterfish has a higher fat content thus when drenched in the abundant clam and mussel Pomodoro was simply shiok when the fats from the fish melt in our mouth in every bite
Ultimate Pork Chop
Our final course is named the Ultimate Pork Chop for a good reason, as their signature grilled pork chop is served in its bone, on a bed of pomme puree with a side of bacon sauerkraut and a small jar of tonkatsu reduction sauce. According to Chef Justin, the 500 grams of pork chop (without its bone) was marinated in brine for 24 hours, and sous vide grilled for an hour before being served.
We thoroughly enjoyed the tender and juicy pork, especially since the thin layer of crust helped to seal in the natural sweetness of this huge tomahawk version that we gleefully polish everything off the platter.
The Crème Caramel is one of the most traditional French desserts, a delicious mix of milk, sugar and eggs that is universally loved by kids and adults alike. Needless to say, this classic silky crème caramel infused with tea fog is also polished in no time at all!
Here’s to friendship and fine wine & dine with our Apricot Jello Shots! Cheers!
And further cheers to Vigneto to commemorate the occasion with the following opening promotions will be available from 31st May to 30th June 2019.
• Get 10% off your entire bill when you geotag Vigneto on social.
• Receive dine-in vouchers when you spend more than RM50 in a single receipt.
• Enjoy Happy Hour from 5pm – 8pm daily.
Vigneto Wine & Dine
📍 106, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/3, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Skudai, Johor
📞 +6017-657 9235
🕙 Daily from 5:00pm to 1:00am
💻 Vigneto Wine & Dine