Thursday, April 24, 2014

Typica 3 @ Telawi & Pronto @ Bangsar South

Coffee stops in Bangsar & Bangsar South for this round: Typica 3 at Telawi, plus Pronto Grab And Go at The Horizon.

First up, Typica Bangsar: The cafe cultivators who conquered Shaw Parade & Ampang have opened their third venue, a blink-&-miss-it space in a narrow but cosy Telawi shop-lot that's marginally removed from this neighbourhood's main caffeine-bar action. Major plus points: Sparkling service & a Bangsar location that's more convenient for most cafe-seekers.

The dessert-only offerings here are typically Typica, comprising the signature ice-drip-coffee cheesecake (RM16 per slice) as well as fresh fruit cakes (everything from rambutan to pomegranate, cherry & mango, though not everything's always available).

The coffee similarly carries the sweet fragrance of familiarity for Typica loyalists, spanning ice-drip 'dessert coffees' tinged with sugar cane (above, RM18), gula melaka or blueberries ...

 ... & liquor-laced siphon coffee served hot or cold with a splash of whiskey (RM30 for iced). Randomly, Luke Bryan came on Spotify while this was being typed out _ 'Your mama should have named you 'whiskey,' I never should have let you kissed me.'

 Anyway, a 10-minute drive away, there's the sleek option of Pronto Grab And Go at The Horizon office towers behind The Sphere; as the name signals, this is more of a quick-service cafe that caters to harried cubicle slaves.

Still, Pronto is a perky place that takes its coffee reasonably seriously too.

Not a bad cup; can be paired with Pronto's sandwiches for lunch or nasi lemak for breakfast.

Typica Bangsar
42, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Back of Telawi, facing the houses
Daily, 11am-10pm. Tel: 03-2283-3711
Pronto Grab And Go
Tower 8, Avenue 5, The Horizon Phase 2, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur
Mon-Fri, 730am-730pm. Tel: 03-2242-3500

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
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Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sitka Restaurant: Lunch Menu @ Batai, Damansara Heights

It's a hit! Returning to a cheerfully crowded Sitka for its newly launched lunch selection. Introduction to Sitka: April 10.

Love your liver & start with what's most scrumptious: One of 2014's top sandwiches, swollen with crispy chunks of chicken liver, cushioned with coleslaw & orange marmalade. Probably the most satisfaction we can purchase for RM18 at a KL cafe right now.

Also addictive: Half a spring chicken, meatier & more tender than expected, buttermilk-fried, its crunchy skin made enjoyably nectarous with honey & aromatic with thyme. RM23.

Sitka's salads are hearty, complex & nourishing: This plate of aubergines & portobello (fleshy & sweet with miso & honey) mixed with millet provides pure pleasure, reinforced by an add-on 63-degree egg (RM26 in total).

Tacos are a treat here: Try the ones teeming with large, luscious panko-fried mushrooms with soy & truffle dressing (RM21).

Say cheese! Tangy mangoes with tomatoes, charred red onions, cilantro, chilli & couscous (RM20), topped with local ricotta (extra RM11) that's perhaps too stodgy to prove a true textural triumph.

Caprese ciabatta with local mozzarella, slow tomatoes & Thai basil (RM24). The bread is out-of-this-world fantastic _ crispy, fresh & fluffy _ though the mozzarella (as well as the ricotta for the earlier salad) isn't nearly as tasty as the best ones out there.

Lobster roll in squid ink bun with cocktail sauce & celery leaves (RM34, Sitka's priciest order for now). Could be fine-tuned; the crustacean meat for this batch was a little bland & not firm-fleshed enough to supply a pleasurable bite/chew.

More finesse is also needed for the beef tacos, featuring gochujang-braised brisket that proved somewhat stringy & overpoweringly salty in parts, partnered with feta & green onions. RM25. All ingredients are sourced locally where possible.

Let's finish on very positive notes: There's still so much that's admirable about Sitka, so many orders that would make a meal here a success, like this invigoratingly ravishing salad of roasted local beets, orange slices, hummus & chickpeas (RM20) ...

 ... & a green-thumbs-up pastiche of peas, sugar snaps & long beans with quinoa, herbs & yoghurt dressing (RM18), exactly enough to make us go, "Botanical who?"

Sitka Restaurant
8-5, Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
Lunch generally served 11am-5:30pm. Dinner menu to commence sometime in May
Tel: 03-2011-4788

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Maria's Steak Cafe @ Bangsar

This month, the Telawi neighbourhood welcomes Mikey's, Ashley's & now, Maria's, completing a triumvirate of worthwhile new Bangsar restaurants that proudly bear the names of the people behind them.

 Maria's SteakCafe in Bangsar is the third outpost of the beef-loving brand with branches in Ipoh & Damansara Perdana. This outlet offers something exclusive to it though: Breakfast. Try the house-made waffles, topped with beef bacon & green apples for a crunchy combo that's both filling & fulfilling.

The omelette here's hearty too, with a milky-soft interior laced with beef bacon.

 Still, the steak is ultimately what many customers might be after. The speciality: Aussie chilled Black Angus, RM48 before taxes for 100 grams. The minimum order for our visit was 250 grams, supplying meaty satisfaction. A cut that received respect.

Foot-long veal bratwurst with sauerkraut & sauteed onions (RM21). The sausage tasted a bit too processed for our preference, but hey, we still swallowed every bite.

Not a bad bargain: Tender NZ roast leg of lamb with traditional brown sauce. RM30, but come between 11am-3pm daily to enjoy this protein-powered plate for a RM24 lunchtime promo.

Other steakhouse staples on the selection include oxtail soup with garlic bread (RM20), alongside intriguing temptations like white cod with sake sauce (we'd like to order that one next time). 

We really like Maria's prune cake. Perfectly moist & balanced in flavours. RM9.50 per slice. Lovely. 

 The wine selection here is well thought-out; all in all, this marks another welcome entry to Bangsar for 2014.

Maria's SteakCafe
58 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Facing the main road.
Tel: 03-2282-2220


Here's another piece of intriguing news for Bangsar: Across The Road bar owner Christian Wood will soon open a sports bar in Bangsar Shopping Centre, featuring twelve 200-inch high-definition screens that will continuously broadcast major sporting events from cricket to rugby. He's holding a competition for people to name the bar, with the winner receiving free drinks each month for a year. Details at www.across-the-road.com/nameourbar

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ashley's by Living Food @ Telawi, Bangsar

Seeking to spearhead a 'real food' revolution, Ashley's bloomed in Bangsar on Easter weekend, the first spin-off of Menara Tan & Tan's Living Food Bistro, with two more outposts possible at KLCC (or rather, the Petronas Twin Towers) & Mont Kiara this year.

 Living Food's Telawi chapter has style to spare; it looks terrific, a beautiful balance of easygoing & elegant.

The restaurant's name is a nod to its chef; paper placemats proclaim the prodigious powers of Ashley, while other members of the Yiin clan, including health consultant patriarch Philip & his daughter Phoebe, comprise the other crucial components of this family-run eatery's engine.

Ashley's cuisine is tricky to categorise _ not exactly health food, but more of fare that's constructed with meaningful, mindfully sourced ingredients with true ties to farms, the land & the sea. Nourishment to restore both body & spirit, underscored by recipes like raw strawberry gazpacho with cucumber, tomato, herbs & chia, topped with strawberry confit (RM16 before taxes).

 Wild-caught prawn ceviche in a zesty marinade with hot chili oil (RM22). The menu here is a natural progression from the more casual cooking at Living Food Bistro; there's overlap in both outlets, but Ashley's is like eating at Living Food during dinnertime, when slightly more ambitious arrangements are sometimes showcased.

Flavour isn't sacrificed at Ashley's: The braised quail stew with currants & a tarragon-infused red wine sauce (RM38) would fit in easily at even a finicky French establishment. Note: This is a dinner-only dish.

Crossing borders & leaping over boundaries, the menu also features Hakka 'lei cha' made mainly with quinoa for a better bite, served with hot genmai-cha tea, accompanied by tofu parcels with a tamari soy sauce reduction (RM38).

Quinoa resurfaces in the patty for this burger, combined with beets & sweet potato for warm hues in a high-protein red yeast bun (RM24). Three times the price of a Big Mac, but more than multiple times more salubrious.

But perhaps we'd skip these final two in future: The vegan-friendly nasi kerabu with Bario rice & palm heart rendang (RM35) was a little less satisfying than full-blown traditional versions ...

... while the Wagyu ribs were a tad too tough or stringy in parts & somewhat fatty in others, served however with an interesting buttery-textured pumpkin spinach mash (RM78). Plus point: Beef served at Ashley's is all grass-fed.

 The selection will expand in the weeks ahead; expect an organic dim sum set & saffron-spiced quinoa 'paella' with shrimp, scallops & pearl snapper.

 Organic red & white wines, RM24 by the glass (Monastrell, Familia Castano; Corazon Loco Iniesta; Cuattro Rayas).

Mountain Goat organic craft beer (RM27), alongside a decent cup of coffee.

All in all, a welcome addition to Bangsar, worth visiting for a leisurely lunch or peaceful dinner when you're looking for thoughtfully imaginative cooking.

Ashley's By Living Food
11, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Mon-Fri, 11am-11pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-11:45pm. Tel: 03-2202-2778

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This is a catalogue of insights into what inspires our contemporary culinary craftspeople, from Elsie & her sister Jennifer's experiments with tong yuen at home to Eugene & Emrys' escapades with hand-crafted sodas in Tokyo.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings, so bookmark the following permanent link & check back regularly to find out what's fresh: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses

Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).