When I heard about fine dining in JB, I was quite skeptical at first as I had encountered bad experiences with “fine dining” in JB before but I decided to give it a go, keeping my hopes high in my hunt for a decent fine dining experience in JB. Sprout is a modern European fine dining restaurant which opened its doors last year, and is established by a group of passionate and ambitious young people.
Located at the corner lot at Kim Teng Park along Tebrau Highway, Sprout might be easily missed but look out for the pedestrian bridge and a mini “Sprout” signboard that actually sprouted out of nowhere and you’ll be able to locate the shop.
As I stepped into the restaurant, I immediately fell in love with the minimalistic decor and the ambience. The open-concept kitchen enticed me even more as I always love to observe chefs in action, and secretly learn some plating skills from them. 😛
Sprout’s menu is divided into a few sections: snacks, soil, sea, land and desserts. You can also opt for their 3 course menu which ranges from RM100 to RM 185 depending on your choice of meat. We decided to order a dish from the soil section, which comprises chestnut puree, buckwheat porridge, sauteed mushroom, poached egg and mushroom ketchup. The chestnut puree gave a smooth, nutty and slightly salty touch to the dish, and went really well with the mushrooms. There were mushrooms three ways on the dish as well, including sauteed mushroom, mushroom ketchup and crispy mushrooms which I particularly enjoyed. Furthermore, the poached egg was perfect with a runny yolk. This was a dish with great flavour and a combination of different textures, definitely one of my favourites here.
Sauteed Wild Caught Sole Fish (RM56)
This is a dish from the Sea section, and the other elements on the plate are prawn, green pea puree, braised fennel, cabbage and lemon beurre blanc. The fish was cooked perfectly, whereas the braised fennel added a tender and refreshing taste to it. However, the lemon beurre blanc sauce was a bit too runny and not tangy enough. This French classic is a white wine and butter based sauce which is supposed to be creamier, but I also didn’t get the tangy and zesty hit of lemons which would have contributed to the acidity of the dish.
Pan-roasted Baby Lamb Loin and Fillet (RM85)
From the land section, pan roasted baby lamb loin and fillet, parmesan gnocchi, anchovy aioli, daikon and baby gem poached in dashi. Ooh, just look at the colour of the roasted lamb! It was tender, and did not smell like raw lamb, which ticked off two major criteria of a lamb dish. The anchovy aioli complemented the lamb well, and the hidden gnocchi was another bonus of the dish, with a light and chewy texture.
Confit Pork Belly (RM50)
A pork belly dish, confit, drew my attention immediately. It is glazed in soy caramel, served with potato mille-feuilles, pear mostarda, mustard aioli and braised mustard leaves. This dish was like a Western inspired version of Chinese steamed pork belly with preserved mustard leaves, with a pungent mustard flavour. A pork belly dish seldom goes wrong, and I definitely did not regret my choice.
Braised Pineapple (RM30)
For desserts, I was tempted to order everything on the menu but refrained myself from doing so haha. I was expecting a more tender block of pineapple as it’s supposed to be braised in rum and caramel, but it was quite hard to cut through. It would also taste better if the pineapple was caramelised thoroughly on the outside.
The white chocolate sorbet was quenelled perfectly, and has an interesting taste that lies between the creamy intensity of white chocolate and the lightness of a sorbet. The coriander coulis and spiced mango added a savoury and refreshing touch to the dish but I personally felt there are too many elements on the plate, some of which did not go well together. Interesting flavours that are worth a try.
Hazelnut Meringue (RM33)
Light and crunchy hazelnut meringue, served with yoghurt chamomile sorbet, chestnut cream, poached grapes and raisins. Love everything about this dessert except for the addition of the chestnut cream, which wasn’t as smooth as the chestnut cream in the mushroom dish and gave me a murky feeling.
The yoghurt chamomile sorbet was the hero of the dish, with a very fragrant taste of chamomile, that balanced well with the pungent taste of white wine in the grapes and raisins.
I enjoyed my fine dining experience at Sprout, with beautifully plated dishes and interesting flavours, thus it is definitely the to-go place for proper fine dining in JB. The young chefs have demonstrated great skills, embracing different and delicate cooking techniques needed to provide variety to their dishes. The chefs even took turns to present their dishes and explain all the different elements on the plate. Coupled with great ambience and service, I would definitely be back again to try out their other dishes. 🙂
61, Jalan Tebrau, 80300 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Tues-Sun: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Closed on Monday
Tel: +6011 2181 6118