Located within the recesses of One Utama shopping complex is a restaurant that seeks to deliver a unique experience, Marco Creative Cuisine. What is unique about this place is that they aim to serve fine dining quality food at an affordable price. The 7-course dining menu starts with an amuse-bouche and ends with a nice cuppa joe, and can be experienced at the very reasonable price of RM78.
The restaurant is nicely designed with beautiful paneling in white and turquoise, adhering to simple modernist designs. The soft lighting makes it a perfect place for a nice corporate lunch, or an elegant yet humble dinner experience with a loved one. The restaurant can also be sectioned off for private hires for large parties and is also a great place to have business meetings with its non-distracting mood lighting and music.
Marco Creative Cuisine is spearheaded by Executive Chef Daren Leong, a chef who has a background in Information Technology, did not have any culinary school experience, but by eagerness and hard work training in a kitchen from the bottom up, firstly in a Japanese restaurant in Singapore, and then starting up Franco, which he sold off to better pastures. His love for food is inspired by his family, and as they say, behind every strong man is an even stronger woman, and it’s his wife Marketing Manager Alice Leong. The other person in his life who has contributed to his passion is also non-other than the person who inspired the name of his restaurant, Marco, his son. When asked what his philosophy to food is, Daren stated: –
“At Marco Creative Cuisine, the science meets art, or culinary science is fundamental for us in delivering meals that refresh and fulfil the customers. All meals are exclusively crafted with science and a touch of artistry. We are aspired to establish a restaurant brand that sets a new paradigm within the hospitality profession. Marco Creative Cuisine offers a sense of adventure and discovery in all its’ offerings. It also differs from the typical chain store as it devises a better dining experience. We provide affordable fine-dining where guests get to enjoy The Journey of Flavours, a 7-course meal at only RM78. The Journey of Flavours is a compilation of flavours that are creatively crafted to elevate the common dining experience.” — Daren Leong, Owner and Executive Chef of Marco Creative Cuisine.
Marco Creative Cuisine offers a great selection to choose from, with a variety of options. The menu consists of a palate cleanser, appetiser, soup (3 options), entrée (3 options), mains (6 options), dessert (3 options) and drinks (2 options). At the start of the meal, a waiter comes around and lets you choose your options for your meal. They then time and present your meal according to your pace.
“At Marco Creative Cuisine, we have carefully planned the timing of your meal to be within 50 minutes. We take note of the pace you eat and serve you as you finish your dish. We use a software to plan and time in between each course to gauge how long you will take to eat a dish, and then we serve accordingly. This software was developed by Daren himself, as he has a background in IT and programming. This enables us to deliver a greater experience to our patrons.” — Alice Hey, Marketing Manager of Marco Creative Cuisine.
The first dish, a palate cleanser, was the Velvety Matcha-Lime Shooter, consisting of matcha lime foam and chilled lime snow. It was a nice introduction to the freshness that was to come. A zesty opening number with a tinge of bitter to open the palate.
The second dish, an appetiser, was the Savoury Éclair, consisting of Gruyere pâté à choux, aubergine caviar, green chili pesto and tomato confit. This amuse-bouche was the perfect size, not because they were one bite, but two. The rich flavour from the gruyere with the aubergine caviar gave it a creamy texture, which complemented the crisp of the choux.
The third dish, a soup course, was the Strawberry Gazpacho, consisting of a cold strawberry soup, dehydrated strawberries and microgreens. This soup was a nice change up to a warm soup, bursting with savoury sweet and fragrant flavours. The dehydrated strawberries gave it a nice papery texture, giving a little crunch.
The fourth dish, a soup course, was the French Onion Soup, consisting of a caramelised onion broth, served with French toast. The soup had a rich flavour, from the sweetness of the onions and tang from the wine. The French toast was a nice side, but could have a been a little thinner.
The fifth dish, an entrée, was the Chicken Liver Parfait, consisting of chicken liver parfait covered with a crème brûlée top, served with a side of toasted bread and apple chips. This has to be the most stand out dish on the menu. The chicken liver parfait was fresh and creamy, infused with the texture of chicken liver that has been perfectly cooked. The unique proponent about this dish was the caramelised burnt sugar. This mix of sweet and savoury caused quite an intense contrast on the tongue, and was further complemented eaten with the umami burn of the toast and the sweet and crispiness of the apple chip. A highly-recommended dish.
The sixth dish, an entrée, was the Savoury Ice Cream Salad, consisting of tomatoes, assorted baby greens, micro greens, violet flowers consisting of nasturtium and purple cabbage, served with savoury ice cream on a bed of olive soil. The greens were a mix of different lettuces, with a good mix of crisp sweetness. The heirloom tomato gave it a nice sweet and sour crunch, with the tinge of bitterness from the flowers adding a nice flavour. The ice cream gave the dish a nice sweet and savoury creamy touch, which as melts becoming the salad dressing, light and not overwhelming. The olive soil’s crunchy umami texture brought the dish together. Very inventive.
The seventh dish, an entrée, was the Garden Platter, consisting of mixed greens, edible soil and Gribiche sauce. This garden salad was served with mixed lettuce leaves, nasturtium, tomatoes, radish and dehydrated olive soil. The unique component about this salad was the Gribiche sauce, a French tartar sauce, which is a little creamier than the usual.
The eighth dish, a main course, was the Salmon with Jet Black Hollandaise, consisting of Atlantis salmon, squid ink hollandaise, pickled beetroot, and green chili pesto. The fish was cooked well, with a nice crispy skin on the outside. The black hollandaise sung of lemon, and the squid ink lent to presentation. The ebiko and pickled beetroot gave it a much-needed burst of tang and umami.
The ninth dish, a main course, was the Duck Breast with Orange Purée and Roasted Beetroot, consisting of sous-vide pan seared Peking duck breast with orange purée, roasted beetroot, and Valrhona dark chocolate. This Chinese five spice roasted duck was cooked well, still pink on the inside, but not rare. The orange puree was reminiscent of a duck a l’orange, a traditional French dish. The chocolate sauce was an interesting component, but could have been a little less sweet as the beetroot and orange already lend to quite a bit of sweetness. Nevertheless, quite a palatable dish, would recommend.
The tenth dish, a dessert, was the Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie, consisting of lemon curd, passion fruit gel, Italian meringue and white chocolate sorbet. A beautiful interpretation of a lemon meringue pie, with all components with the right balance of sweet and sourness.
The eleventh dish, a dessert, was the Crème Brûlée with White Chocolate Sherbet, consisting of egg custard, white chocolate sherbet and meringue kisses. Marco Creative Cuisine has a way with their take of crèmes brulees, as they manage to make them taste great. The colourful meringue adds a layer of whimsy to an already delectably sweet dish. The meal ends with a choice of coffee or tea.
The Marco Creative Cuisine Experience
Marco Creative Cuisine served to bring an experience like no other: affordable fine dining to everyone. Marco Creative Cuisine’s Menu allows for a selection of different soups, entrées, main and desserts, giving you quite a flexible choice. The great thing about this menu is no other than it only costs RM78 (±£14 or USD18), making it affordable luxury to the many. As Chef Daren puts it: –
“MARCO Creative Cuisine is committed to constantly evolve and present unique culinary experience to the customers. We aim to consistently serve the public with great gastronomic experience. It is our mission that every guest leave with good feelings after their visit. For first-time diners, they should try our Strawberry Gazpacho, Chicken Liver Parfait, Chicken Roulade with Brussels Sprouts, Squid Ink Japonica Rice and Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie.”
For a great affordable taste of an elevated palate experience, make a reservation today.
Marco Creative Cuisine
Lot G146, Ground Floor (Old Wing)
1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
12.00 pm to 3.00 pm (lunch)
3.00 pm to 6.00 pm (tea)
6.00 pm to 10.00 pm (dinner)