Sunday, May 31, 2015

Aether Cafe @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail

Take a seat by Aether Cafe's windows, enjoy the leafy view & watch out for Asian red-cheeked squirrels scampering outside - Malaysian brothers Mark & Shaun Chang have chosen a lovely location for their new cafe, which is poised to become a hidden sanctuary for the weary city soul, supplying some respite from the offices & malls.

 There's a DIY charm to Aether; according to their mom - who's a friendly presence here on weekends - Mark & Shaun personally put together much of the cafe's wooden furnishing (to evoke a tropical-themed paradise) & formulated their entire menu (to focus on wholesome fare) themselves, despite having relatively scant experience in the restaurant business.

Expect nutritious recipes at lower-than-the-norm prices - we like the spirit of playful fun & enthusiastic experimentation here, illustrated by a salad that showcases the vibrant hues of a rainbow; shake the container up & pour everything on the plate for a balanced meal of protein-powered chickpeas with vitamin-invigorated veggies (crisply fibrous) in a perky dressing. RM13.90.

 Note that some of Aether's food might take a little long to emerge because it's prepared to order - the apple stack is carefully sliced & thickly slathered with peanut butter, served with sides of three jams, for a delicious & distinctive-looking treat. RM6.90.

 No fried food & nearly no meat (salmon may be served soon) - Aether strives to prove that a fulfilling brunch need not be a platter of scrambled eggs with bacon & sausages. Try the vinegar garlic lychee pasta (RM14.90, lightly sweet & tangy), the Green Goddess Grilled Cheese sandwich (RM12.90; essentially toasties with spinach & cheese) or the surprisingly textured white chocolate & coconut flake cake (simultaneously fluffy-fresh & creamy-moist - very satisfactory, with tasty subtleties).

Sip the cold brew (RM15) - Aether serves Doi Chaang coffee cultivated on Thai mountains, shade-grown, hand-picked & sun-dried, with profits shared fairly with thousands of indigenous farmers in ecologically sustainable Thai plantations. Or have the orange juice, pleasurably pulpy. All in all, Aether's future seems bright; expect to hear a lot about this cafe in the weeks ahead.

Aether Cafe
Pusat Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun, 48 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad, Taman Tun Dr.Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. 
Open 10am-10pm, except Tuesdays

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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, RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

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.
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Saturday, May 30, 2015

CaliBurger Malaysia @ Avenue K

Commentators have often likened the three-year-old CaliBurger brand to California's pioneering In-N-Out Burger, pointing to stark similarities in their menus. We'll probably never see In-N-Out in KL, but its upstart rival unveiled a Malaysian outpost in Avenue K this month, complementing Asia's other SoCal-spirited CaliBurger branches in Shanghai, Hong Kong & Manila.

CaliBurger's selection is peerlessly compact; even the most indecisive customer won't take long to order. Only two beef burgers are available - identical, except that the Cali Cheeseburger comprises a single patty, while the Cali Double (RM19.99) features two patties. Freshly assembled to order (expect a 10-minute wait), it tastes like a respectable cheeseburger, with reasonably punchy flavours. The bun seems way too thick though - the bread-to-meat ratio is more than what would work best.

We'd probably skip the Chipotle BBQ Chicken Burger (RM11.99) - the meat is lean & bland, relying on the sauce for spicy-tangy dynamics that won't leave a lingering impression. The sides also prove hit-or-miss - the onion rings (RM6.99) won't provide cause for complaints, but the 'Wild Fries' (RM7.99) turn up smothered in a combo of a cloying sauce, melted cheese & grilled sweet onions. Milkshakes (RM13.99) come in flavours like butterscotch, bubble gum, blueberry or coffee - the butterscotch was OK; not too sugary, though there wasn't much depth to the flavour. Service is fine - friendly & efficient.

CaliBurger Kuala Lumpur
L1-18, Level 1, Avenue K, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

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, RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

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: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for May-August 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Jargon @ Menara Standard Chartered

A cool menu & a cheerful team make this confident cafe potentially worth checking out for folks working in the city centre.
June 2015 Update: Jargon is now permanently closed.

Come for the sunshine, stay for the stuffed peppers; Jargon's speciality is Bulgarian-inspired baked bell peppers, bursting with rice & morsels of lamb & veggies (RM17). It's the ideal introduction to a selection that's sprinkled with European flourishes, from Greek-style moussaka to Italian-inflected fusilli pasta to French baguette sandwiches to straight-up British fish & chips.

Everything we tried seemed well-priced & well-prepared: Balkan-spiced, tangy-savoury chicken broth (RM13), a lamb burger with the works (RM27), a Russian salad of diced potatoes with beef sausage slices, gherkins & carrots in mayo-mustard sauce (RM9), & a thick broccoli soup (RM10). Nicely nourishing enough for a pleasant hour-long escape from the office cubicles.

There's Italian illy coffee, but if cocktails are available (Mojitos & Margaritas), order those instead. Note: This visit was in 2014; Jargon's menu might have evolved somewhat since then, but most of the items above should still be offered at similar prices.

Jargon
Ground Floor, Menara Standard Chartered, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. 
Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm; Sat, 10am-7pm. Tel: 03-2110-2313

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, RM0.20 will be channelled to a charity of the month.

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: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for May-August 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015