Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quivo @ Kate Spade, Pavilion

 This Pavilion newbie features plenty of potential; helmed by the Valiram Group (the purveyor of TWG tea & Godiva chocolates in this mall), Quivo is a Mediterranean-influenced restaurant & bar that's clearly pushing to become Pavilion's pinnacle of chic.

 Quivo's secret entrance within the mall lies inside the flashily colourful Kate Spade boutique (a Valiram brand in Malaysia too); saunter into the store & search for a passageway at the end. Quivo also has an alfresco section outside, somewhat across the street-level corridor from La Bodega, but that wasn't open when we visited earlier this month.

 Quivo's selection is sweeping, spanning everything from Philadelphia-style Wagyu beef steak sandwiches (RM28++) to bespoke blackened barramundi burgers (RM30++); highlights include paddle board pizzas, hand-tossed with ingredients like Roma vine-ripened tomato sauce, Milano mozzarella cheese & Portofino extra virgin olive oil.

 We really like the Greek-inflected lamb kofta pizza (RM33++), layered with eggplant & halloumi cheese, well-balanced in its flavours on a crisp Sicilian semolina dough base. Who's the chef? Don't know his name, but he's Jordanian. Wondering what Quivo means? One explanation is that it's a combination of the words 'quirky' & 'nuevo.'

 Quivo's seafood risotto (RM38++) scores for its wealth of fresh, sizeable prawns, its glorious tell-tale hue & aroma of saffron, & a tasty-thick sauce of tomato with mascarpone cream. The arborio rice could've been more al dente but we still enjoyed this.

 Let's skip straight to the cocktails now: The scene-stealer's the Mangosteen Mai Tai, a true tropical treat with gold rum, orange liquor, almond syrup & lime juice, all topped with my absolute favourite fruit. RM29++.

 Mex-Asia Margarita? Another classic with a twist: Reposado Tequila, Triple Sec & Margarita mix with lemongrass & lychee.

 Finish on a spicy note, with this vodka martini blended with a Bloody Mary mix & adorned with a striking whole chilli. RM28++.

 Our sole quibble: Regular water might not be available. We asked for it but were served bottles of Fiji 'natural artesian water' instead, several times more costly than local mineral water. On the bright side though, this tastes beautifully smooth & pure.

Quivo
3.09.02, Level Three, Pavilion, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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 resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
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, September 16, 2014

Rendez-Vous French Restaurant @ Bangsar

Returning to Rendez-Vous for another tryst with French fare. Earlier entry on Rendez-Vous: August 17.

Starting with a 'salad' this time, though there's much more protein than fibre on this plate. Rendez-Vous serves a hearty interpretation of the classic 'salade perigourdine' (RM32++), with succulent Parma ham, unctuous semi-cooked foie gras terrine, smoked duck breast, sliced pork bacon, & the surprise star - a ramekin of potently flavoursome chicken liver pate.

Eggs Mimosa (RM19++) are another likely attraction - hard-boiled eggs stuffed with a creamy, mayo-mingled yolk mix.

Fans of scallops, have 'em served on a shell here with a savoury Rivesaltes muscat wine sauce of a vivid hue. RM40++.

Salted cod fish brandade, topped with potato puree in the traditional fashion of Nimes (RM32++). The mash is salted, always the keyword to remember when deciding whether to order brandade; it's enjoyable enough if your threshold for sodium is high.

Dishing out desserts: A bevy of French specialities, from the 'floating island' meringue on a lake of creme anglaise (RM12++) ... 

 ... to this Brittany prune-tinged flan (RM12++), appealingly plated with starfruit & orange slices ...

 ... to the crowd-pleasing creme brulee, served in different flavours each evening - depending on your fortune, you might experience coffee or chocolate or even pistachio or passion fruit (RM12++).

 Sorbet is served too (lime, apple or pear; RM8 for one scoop) - if you like, have it flambeed.

 All manner of liquor is available, including refreshing French-inflected cocktails like the Polignac Mojito - made with Cognac instead of rum - & the Le Cana'rie (Ricard, lemon, bitters, soda; RM26++).

A secret stash: Smirnoff vodka marinated for two weeks with macerated candy for a sweetened sensation.

Rendezvous Traditional French Restaurant
100 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Open for lunch & dinner, except Mondays. Tel: 03-2202-0206
Website: www.rendez-vous.com.my

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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 resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ahmad & Co. Coffee + Cigars @ Kota Damansara

This week's newest cafe attraction: Ahmad & Co, a curiosity-provoking establishment that traffics in both caffeine & cigars on one of Kota Damansara's roads less travelled.

Ahmad & Co's immediate customers might well be Instagram junkies, lured by the persuasively appealing decor here ... 

... which evokes echoes of successful suburban cafes (think Thursdvys meets Wood & Steel), weaving those influences into a refreshed setting that will henceforth be recognisably Ahmad & Co ...

... with a Marxist revolutionary keeping watch over the cigar bar section ...

.... & a Sith Lord commanding the barista's counter (the power of dark side rests in the pitch-black espressos).

We like the calm & well-cooled indoors, currently crowd-free even on weekends (though probably not for long) ...

... but the alfresco area has an irrefutable charm too that'll prove irresistible for social-media sharing.

 The coffee might seem somewhat secondary, but for what it's worth, the beans are Artisan-roasted, turned into a Ahmad & Co house blend of Colombian, Brazilian & Sumatran.

 Iced teas are available too at Ahmad & Co, which seems to be run by a small, friendly team.

 The food menu is still a work in progress, but mini corn dogs could be a fun teatime snack.

We skipped an inspection of the cigars this time, but there looks to be a reasonably well-stocked humidor here.

Ahmad & Co
11G, Jalan PJU 5/20A, The Strand, Kota Damansara, Selangor
Open 10am-11pm, closed Thursdays. Tel: 03-6143-6507

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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 resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Barn & LaHagen @ 1 Mont Kiara

Bursting with new eateries that have launched in recent weeks, 1 Mont Kiara is poised to finally become a dining destination for this neighbourhood. Here's a look at two high-profile entries occupying prime territory in this mall, beginning with The Barn.

The Barn boasts the look of a cool watering hole, with spacious sections suitable for afternoon meals or night-time boozing.

The Barn's soft-launch specialities comprise 'small plates' - essentially tapas that range from beef skewers & mussels with white wine to roast pork ribs & prawn ceviche, costing RM9.90-RM12.90 each.

The place has potential & the service team seems well-meaning, but the kitchen needs to step up its game; the complimentary welcome bread emerged well below room temperature ...

... while the quail eggs with hollandaise sauce (RM9.90 before taxes) seemed to have surfaced straight out of the fridge, completely chilly, with something of a stuck-in-storage flavour ...

... & the crispy pork belly (RM12.90) proved too lean for our preference, lacking a lovable lusciousness.

For now, the main lure is the wine, which clocks in at about RM14 per enjoyable glass. A cocktail menu is unavailable so far.

Also on 1 Mont Kiara's street level, pork-seeking patrons can now check out LaHagen. If the name rings a bell, that's because this is the reincarnation of Hagen Bake & Brew, formerly at the nearby Mont Kiara Shoplex.

Update: LaHagen has undergone further decoration since our visit, with beautifully adorned walls now (management photo).

Hagen fans will be happy to see that roast pork belly isn't missing on LaHagen's menu; have these meaty slices as an add-on with spaghetti aglio olio (the pasta on its own is RM12, while the pork costs RM11 per 100 grams).

Gnocchi also makes an appearance at LaHagen, a creamy rendition with lots of bacon bits on top (RM22).

 Streaky bacon is everywhere here, accompanying the pork loin chop, braised & pan-fried with a splash of red wine (RM26) ...

... as well as a possible add-on with waffles; we threw in both bananas & bacon on our waffle, but we probably should have known better. LaHagen also serves everything from porky burgers to pizzas.

 Coffee & beer are also available; speaking of beer, Taps Beer Bar has also opened a new branch at 1 Mont Kiara.

 The Barn, 1 Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.

La Hagen, 1 Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur

La Hagen, 1 Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for July-September 2014, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/2014C 
Link expires Sept 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link.

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 resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
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