Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bistro a Table

Section 17 isn't synonymous with wining and dining, but if that ever changes, historians will trace the roots of this neighborhood's culinary evolution to Bistro a Table _ named for the French phrase "to the table," evoked to rustle up friends and families for a communal feast.

Cognac & walnut tart with rocket salad. Recipes here are created by chef Isadora Chai; if both ladies can forgive me for the comparison, eating here reminded me of Nathalie's Gourmet Studio, with French cuisine infused with fresh twists that raise the food to tasty new heights.

Coddled maple syrup egg with crouton dust & Fleur de Sel. A testament to the versatility of egg; this was an elaborate enterprise _ the shell comprised a soft-boiled egg, complete with a runny yolk & maple syrup (!!!) beneath the egg white, accompanied by hand-harvested sea salt for a combination of slurp-worthy textures and sweet and savory flavors. The best thing we've tasted in KL this month.

Caesar salad soup, with a poached egg ensconced in a lettuce-esque broth. The menu here insists this is a one-of-a-kind concoction; we're inclined to agree.

Duck liver parfait with cornichons & caper berries. Those phrases bandied about _ unctuous, velvety, luxuriously smooth _ all apply to this: one of the finest pates in the Klang Valley. Spellbinding.

Pan-seared line-caught barramundi with summer veggies. Bistro a Table seems suitable for a secret rendezvous; in the past week, we've sat here behind the curtains, noticing casual acquaintances and other food bloggers walk in. But nobody spotted us _ which means that (A) we've become persona non grata, or (B) our table was the perfect place for discreet dining.

Hand-made gnocchi with burnt sage & butter. On a personal note, also in recent days, I've had the honor of meeting and interviewing many extraordinary people in the course of my job _ children & adults who've probably never heard of gnocchi, but who are at least 1,000 times more courageous, selfless and better human beings than me.

Duck l'orange with puy lentils. It seems disingenuous of me to mention this here, but I truly am thankful for my blessings. I'm reminded now of a 13-year-old refugee girl whom I spoke to, who braved unspeakable hardship to reach Malaysia, where she perseveres through a much tougher existence compared to the worst day of my life.

Scampi & sea urchin linguini. The most delicious pasta we've had this year. Eat Drink KL will never be more than a silly, shallow food blog, meaningless when all is said and done _ written by someone who seeks comfort in evenings of inebriation with companions equally anxious to escape the tedium of daily drudgery. But for once, I'd like to acknowledge who I am and what I do, and insist in my defense that I take none of this for granted.

"Terribly alcoholic tiramisu." That's the name of this dessert on the menu. With a shot of booze provided to pour into this, who are we to disagree?

Kaffir lime & lemon tart. As crumbly and tangy as we could have hoped for. Let's call a spoon a spoon; this is the best new restaurant in Petaling Jaya so far in 2011.

Moet & Chandon Brut NV & Sixty Drops Sauvignon Blanc 2010.

Fontodi Chianti Classico (2010).


Bistro a Table,
6, Jalan 17/54, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7931-2831
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

38 comments:

  1. OMG ! I'm so heading here soon!
    And Sean, it must have been quite a week.I'm sorry to hear about those ppl you interviewed..I hope circumstances will change for better for their sake, and I want you to know that you're one of the nicest person I've known in 30yrs! *hugs *

    ReplyDelete
  2. tng: heh, if you like nathalie's, i think you'll like this place too! both the chefs at these two restaurants are very gifted, and we're lucky to be able to experience their cooking in kl. =)
    and thanks so much for your words, becky. i've just felt in the past few days that i need to make a diary note about the people whom i've met. i'll probably never see them again, but right now, i'm sitting here and remembering the smile of the 13-year-old girl who walked with her mother for nearly a week through jungles and plantations and hid underneath a blanket inside a van, just to cross into malaysia.

    ReplyDelete
  3. the food looks really good. ;D

    ReplyDelete
  4. haha i read this on masak masak yesterday and my first reaction was wait a minute, sean hasn't blogged about this yet!

    looks like u have come back with a vengeance on all that dishes. looks good!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Michelle: ya, browsing thru the menu, we could sense the food was gonna be something special! (btw the service here is every bit as excellent as the food!) =)
    Joe: heheh, maybe i should post blog entries twice a day, at midnite and noon, to reduce my backlog and be more up to date (there are now more than 100 unposted drafts in my folder!) :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hahaha I had the exact same thought as Joe... cant believe boolicious beat you to it! :P

    Anyway looks like this place is going to be really popular seeing two of the most iconic bloggers have written abt it :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Baby sumo: gosh, I hope it doesn't become TOO popular, cos even though it's spacious, there aren't that many tables/seats for now! I think blogs have only limited influence though: we can help suggest places, but the majority of customers don't regularly read blogs anyway :D heheh, amazingly there's been a sudden explosion in the past several weeks of new outlets! My drafts folder is flooded with places that opened in the past month. Maybe it's a pre-Ramadan rush, dunno :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. U got a draft folder...I have my own black book :P

    This place looks great...including it in my book now :D

    Btw, wats the prices like?...important criteria for me...hehe...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ulric: heheh, make sure you keep that book safe then! :D prices are slightly high for this neighborhood, but if you avoid the scampi-sea urchin linguine, then should be able to have a three-course meal with a glass of wine for about RM100. pretty fair price, all things considered =)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your blog isn't shallow at all, my friend. Every post builds up to the next, creating a year in the life of a lover of food and wine and dining, quite simply. And one year adds to the next until the years combine, and this is the story of a man we're reading about. One with good taste and a decent heart, and a great friend to know. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kenny: thanks for looking at it that way, and putting it that way. You're a fabulous gift to everyone who knows or reads you :D I've been thinking of reviving my long-dormant "personal life" blog that I used to keep on livejournal, but I think I'd keep it totally private this time around. Just need an avenue to write for myself, without censoring my feelings =)

    ReplyDelete
  12. *waits patiently for life journal* LOL!

    Fantastic find! After reading your post and Boo's, I'll let the masses throng the place first; as one would expect after such riveting reviews from the both of you :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Unka: i don't dare to look at my old livejournal blog anymore (I think it has all my ramblings between 2004-2007, with a bit of nudity here and there!) :D ooo, the masses already are thronging this place! It's never empty, not even on a traffic-clogged weeknight, heh =)

    ReplyDelete
  14. nice one. ss17 reminds me of the cinema and ckt in the evenings. lol.

    ReplyDelete
  15. taiping kaki: hehe, not a neighborhood that i visit much. never been to the cinema here, not sure if i've tried the ckt! :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. what a funny name for a restaurant. so the sixty drops sauvignon blanc is not consist of 60 drops? haha

    ReplyDelete
  17. eiling: cool name, kinda catchy and memorable! :D heheh, and that's the first time i had tried this wine brand too =)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Catch u soon Sean, and keep up the good spirits yea!
    Happy w-end! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ooh revive that Livejournal.... make it semi-private and password protected... and gimme that password la so I can kaypoh and be privy to your innermost thots! :P

    ReplyDelete
  20. tng: yeps! i'm hoping to be singing happy birthday to somebody special very soon! (or depending on the location. some places might not appreciate my singing, heheh) :D
    lfb: dun wan! your loose lips could sink ANY ship! besides, my life these days is so sedate and far less scandalous compared to the heyday of my swinging 20s :P

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh never mind then.

    ...

    Just give me the password to those 20-something posts of yours, and let this reader decide if they were truly swinging? LOL

    ReplyDelete
  22. lfb: well, the blog is http://equalmusic.livejournal.com/ but there's no password to view, i think. what you'd need to do is have a livejournal account and have me add you as a friend. but no need lah. the blog entries are really embarrassing. i was so naive and self-centered then (even more so than now) :P

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh I do have a livejournal account... that's where I used to post the 2004-2005 entries to my blog. *muahahaha*

    Okay, so gonna add you now. *cue evil laughter again: muahahaha*

    ReplyDelete
  24. lfb: eeks. just took a peek at the blog, and my last entry on it was dec. 12, 2007. the title of the post: "sexcapades" :P

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just added ya. Add me back yo. And "sexcapades"? Ho. Ho. Ho. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. lfb: added liao, but i'm not sure i put you in the correct sub-category for friends (it's been too long since i used livejournal). various friends are restricted from various entries (you have access to all entries). let me know if the top entry you see isn't 'sexcapades' :P

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh joy. Now I can go and read! *wheeeee*

    P.S. Yup. I see sexcapades, all right. Hehe.

    ReplyDelete
  28. great post Sean.. very moving. My post up next week yo! m

    ReplyDelete
  29. lfb: read it and weep. sniff sniff :P
    ciki: thanks, mei! hope you and cumi enjoyed your meal here! :D

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Sean,
    Kindly be informed that this post has been reprinted on JoinMe.com.my, thanks.
    P/S: We have put your name and link credit back to this article.

    ReplyDelete
  31. your cousin is awaiting the next dinner..

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lisa: gosh, it has been so many months! Okie, okie, let's make it soon! Ramadan would seem like a good time =)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sorry guys, I have to say Bistro a Table is really not up to the standard of a French Restaurant as compared to CafeCafe in KL. I just dined at Bistro a Table today and horrible customer service by the captain, who smiled at only their regulars.
    Not to mention, French bread is ONLY :"complimentary served when you ordered certain entree" as said by the Chinese captain.
    Food is NOT any surprise, AND with the Chef - Ms. I. Chai's voice keep shouting at the kitchen, I had my "romantic mood" all dropped to the drain, and I thought I was having food at dai chow stall!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. jayde: awfully sorry to hear about your unsatisfying experience here. true, this is a very different place from cafe cafe, though i believe both outlets have their charms =)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Is it very expensive? And do they open on Mondays during lunch time?:)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ashley: they're only open for dinner. a meal per person should cost about RM100 :)

    ReplyDelete