January 17th, 2020
Samplings on the Fourteenth: Restaurant Review
This post is brought to you by Samplings on the Fourteenth.
When it comes to upscale dining at wallet-friendly prices, Samplings on the Fourteenth might just be one of KL’s best kept secrets. Opened in 2011, and located at Berjaya Times Square Hotel in the east tower – predictably on the 14th floor, of course – Samplings serves excellent, creative Classic Western fare in a refined, elegant setting with a lovely view of the city life below, courtesy of the venue’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
Shared by the Hotel and Berjaya University’s College of Hospitality
Samplings is shared by the hotel and Berjaya University’s College of Hospitality, the latter operator’s presence underscored by the beautiful open-concept show kitchen that commands your attention as you enter the dining room. When under the hotel’s auspices, however, Samplings runs under the capable hands of multiple award-winning Chef de Cuisine Val, whose 24 years of experience in the upmarket dining scene are evidenced by the creative, delicious, and well-presented dishes that come out of the kitchen.
The Menu Changes Every Six Months
The menu changes every six months at Samplings (perhaps with some more regularly changing daily specials, of course), and set dinners are offered at three price points. We started our meal with a seared scallop appetizer, as well as Chef Val’s signature smoked salmon “balic style” – coldsmoked – with fresh dill and a light mustard sauce. Delicious! Soups and salads are available as well, and though we didn’t opt for the salads, there are surely a couple on the menu that caught our eyes, particularly the lobster salad, served with asparagus and artichokes, with a white truffle dressing.
For the main course, we went a little crazy and tried several of the dishes. Two standouts were the delectable pan-fried black cod with trout caviar sauce, greens, and asparagus risotto, and the Tasmanian rack of lamb roasted with a pistachio crust and served with a vegetable ratatouille and sweet potato mash. Both dishes and set dinners come in a fairly wide range of prices, but to give you an idea of the value for money at Samplings, we spied a seafood combination platter featuring grilled salmon, sea bass, prawns, sea scallops, and baby lobster, served with a Meuniere sauce and sautéed spinach, for just RM72.
Desserts at Samplings are fairly straightforward, with offerings such as a raspberry cheese tart, a ginger crème brûlée, and a vanilla and nougat parfait doing a fine job of wrapping up a fine meal with a sweet finish.
The Wine List
A special word must be said about the wine list at Samplings, as it really transcended expectations. Though not overwhelmingly extensive, there is a fine breadth to the wine offerings from around the world, price points to suit all budgets, and the list even includes a reasonably impressive selection of Grand Cru Classé reds from Bordeaux (though no exceptional vintages), including Grand Vins from four of the five First Growth châteaux.
Samplings on the Fourteenth is open only for dinner, and as the venue hosts events and private functions from time to time, it’s advisable to call ahead when planning to dine here.
Location and Contact Details
Samplings on the Fourteenth
Berjaya University College, 14th Floor Berjaya Times Square , Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: 03 2687 7112