Thursday, March 30, 2017

Upperhouse Kitchen & Dessert Bar @ Telawi, Bangsar

Food that flaunts colour & creativity, served with charm & cheer: Upperhouse hits a high note for its first week in Bangsar.

Chocolate is a cornerstone of the kitchen, employed in unexpected measures: Upperhouse whips up its own handmade pasta di cacao, bringing bittersweet subtleties to ravioli & fettuccine, the former stuffed with flavoursome forest mushrooms & cream cheese, buoyed by a delicate capsicum sauce (RM34), the latter tossed in the manner of a very elaborate spicy aglio olio with garlic, olive oil, chilli flakes, tomatoes, edible flowers & rocket leaves, on a base of sweet potato mousse that rounds out the recipe (RM24). Savour with Callebaut hot chocolate (Arriba 39 percent milk) gently tinged with passionfruit nuances (RM12).

The menu evolves as the day advances: From morning through 6pm, customers may confront a chicken-or-egg proposition - well-prepared chicken schnitzel, simultaneously crisp & tender, coupled with caramelised apples & strawberry vinaigrette (RM32), & an omelette layered with crispy shrimp & beef bacon on sourdough, plus house-made prawn crackers (RM35). In the evening, light bites reign, the likes of mantou with sea salt caramel (RM18) & yuca fries with Dijon mustard aioli (RM13).

Plated desserts prove pretty as any picture: An almond cookie mille-feuille plied with vanilla & orange milk chocolate mousse comes with Upperhouse's own hay ice cream (it tastes like tea) on the side (RM26), but we prefer the balanced complexities in the ensemble of carrot cake, jelly & puree, playing off Greek yoghurt, walnuts, honeycomb & burnt honey ice cream (RM23).

Upperhouse Kitchen & Dessert Bar
27-A Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Mon-Fri, 11am-10m; Sat-Sun, 9am-10pm.

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, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits. Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/d/5106C196432BB23D

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community. Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers. For every transaction, at least RM0.10 will be channelled to a charity of the month.
Buckle your seatbelts: Eat Drink KL is partnering with Uber to take restaurant lovers on new adventures across KL & Selangor! If you haven't used Uber yet, it's time to begin! For new users, just follow the steps below to redeem free rides:
1. Download the Uber app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store - and register your Uber account.
2. Apply the code EATDRINKKL as your first promotional code & you'll receive 2 Free Rides worth RM30 each.
3. Request a ride through the app and ride for free to any destination (with two ride values of up to RM30 each).
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

The Pawn by Tom Aikens @ Hong Kong


The Pawn's bar exudes an understated elegance, housed in former pawn shop in a structure whose history reaches back to 1888. Cocktails here stay classy - spritzers channel combinations like Mancino Bianco Vermouth with East Imperial Mombasa Ginger Beer, habanero & star anise, or Tempus Fugit Liqueur de Violettes with East Imperial Superior Tonic, thyme & strawberries, while sundowners & nightcaps include botanical beverages that rely on the harvest of The Pawn's own garden (expect elements like sorrel, parsley & plum jam).






Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

JungleBird @ Plaza Damansara

This Bird is set to soar: KL's first rum bar (charmingly characterised as 'rumah rum') takes flight this month, bringing the beloved beverage of pirates & privateers ashore to this tropical-themed setting in Bukit Damansara, spiked with a soulful Caribbean spirit & overrun by rattan & bamboo flourishes. Yo ho ho indeed!

No fewer than 14 rum-based cocktails headline the soft-launch menu, none higher than the bar's eponymous Jungle Bird (RM40; Diplomatico Mantuano, Campari, fresh lime, pineapple juice), returning to its roots as a created-in-Malaysia concoction after running rampant across the globe in recent years. True to the nature of a contemporary cocktail bar that's worth its salt (rimmed), JungleBird offers its own unique signatures, taking local liberties with Closed on Mondays (RM35; Cimarron Bianco, salted egg, curry leaves, red cili padi syrup & coconut cream), a well-balanced, textured treat whose curious name is cheekily inspired by KL street-food institution Wong Ah Wah & its salted egg sotong (Wong Ah Wah is closed on alternate Mondays).

For eager explorers, JungleBird's key allure rests in its rum flights, each featuring 20ml tasting portions of selected varieties that range from Latin-style rums to premium French Caribbean rhum agricole. Hello Rum! (RM70) introduced us to 'rums of four different styles & expressions,' enthusiastically & elegantly explained by JungleBird's team, showcasing the continent-crossing clarity & complexities of Brugal Extra Dry, Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12-Year, Ron Zacapa 23 & Rhum J.M. VSOP. 

JungleBird KL
15 Plaza Damansara, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. 
Mon-Sat, 5pm-late, Sun, 3pm-late. Tel: 03-2011-7715

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, F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits. Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: https://confirmsubscription.com/h/d/5106C196432BB23D

The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community. Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long. In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers. For every transaction, at least RM0.10 will be channelled to a charity of the month.
Buckle your seatbelts: Eat Drink KL is partnering with Uber to take restaurant lovers on new adventures across KL & Selangor! If you haven't used Uber yet, it's time to begin! For new users, just follow the steps below to redeem free rides:
1. Download the Uber app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store - and register your Uber account.
2. Apply the code EATDRINKKL as your first promotional code & you'll receive 2 Free Rides worth RM30 each.
3. Request a ride through the app and ride for free to any destination (with two ride values of up to RM30 each).
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cilantro @ MiCasa All Suite Hotel

For an entire generation of Malaysian restaurant devotees, Cilantro evokes memories of some of their best meals in KL, haunting its patrons' dreams with specialities like braised unagi with foie gras & roasted pigeon de Bresse with red wine reduction. The Grande Dame of august gastronomy is now poised for a renaissance, following a recent extensive refurbishment - the result is a refreshed look for 2017 & beyond, sleeker than ever before but still elegantly soothing & comfortable. With a terrific service crew firmly in place, this remains one of the city's worthiest choices for a top-flight feast.

Chef Takashi Kimura & his team continue to work their magic with food that's founded on French inspirations with a flourish of Asian inflections. Chef Takashi, a stalwart of KL's restaurant scene for more than a decade now, compelled us to indulge in Cilantro's weekly lunch, taking place every Friday afternoon. The lunch menu changes every week & can be glimpsed in advance at cilantrokl.com/menus - on this occasion, we kicked off with a gorgeous duet of sea urchin, stirringly luscious & sweetly briny, coupled with botan ebi that's blanketed with delicate consomme jelly in a creamy combination that brings a new perspective to savouring raw shrimp, illustrating Chef Takashi's mastery of reinterpreting ingredients in his signature styles.

Fine, fresh produce, woven together into a tapestry of temptations: There's a deceptive sense of effortlessness & delightful facade of simplicity in ensembles like this buckwheat tagliolini with scallop & endive. The creation looks tempting on the plate but tastes even more tantalising on the palate - perfectly al dente pasta that fills the mouth with flavour & texture, partnered with an irreproachably tender mollusc & a crisply nutty vegetable that merits a more prominent presence on Malaysian tables.


For the main course, the hakkaku sailfin poacher is a beautiful representative of Japanese fish, ideal at the tail end of winter; a true treat, paired in a basil mustard sauce with another delicacy, France's springtime offering of white asparagus from the sandy fields of southwest Landes. A marriage that gracefully unites the season's bounty from the Japanese sea & French soil.

The alternative main option also carried a clear allure - lamb that grazed on the Australian outback's Saltbush pastures, slow-roasted to sheer exquisiteness, with most of the flesh entrenched in succulence on the bone & some stuffed in a piquillo pepper for double the enjoyment. Lamb at its most satisfying, each bite conveying rich dimensions of unadulterated flavour.

Even dessert defies expectations - a warm chocolate cake with ice cream & Bentong ginger may sound nondescript on paper, but with every component so peerlessly prepared & playing pleasurably off each other, it's a sumptuous symphony to revel in. 

Cilantro is also open for dinner, Mondays through Saturdays, with a full a la carte menu. As part of the restaurant's renovation, the bar has also experienced a face-lift, & there's a private room beside the wine cellar, complete with a kitchen for customers to bring in their own personal chefs. We look forward to many more years of Cilantro; thanks to the team here for having us.


Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar,
MiCasa All Suite Hotel, 368-B, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Direct Line: +603-2179-8082 

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my