Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Degustation @ Bistro a Table

Bistro a Table has kicked off its once-a-month degustation dinners, giving Chef Isadora Chai the freedom to flex her culinary chops in the most invigorating fashion.

The theme for August was "Everything Weird & Wonderful" _ a description befitting of this whimsically dubbed Traffic Light Soup, a pulpy puree of sprightly, mouth-puckering flavors, featuring ox heart tomatoes, yellow peppers & sorrel leaves with smoked creme fraiche.

Kataifi-wrapped chevre (goat cheese) in blended beetroot. The stinging pungency of the cheese was winningly tempered by the sweetly earthy beetroot mash, with their combined viscosity held together by a crisp, feather-light coat of phyllo pastry.

Irish oyster with yuzu dressing. A complimentary bonus, not on the formal menu.

Duck tongues with quince aioli & flash-fried squid. Why do ducks need tongues? There's likely a scientific reason, but we'd like to imagine it's meant to facilitate the existence of this bravura recipe _ what sounded like a bar snack on paper was presented as a work of art, elevated enormously by French-kissed flourishes.

Cannelloni of seared scallops & school prawns in lobster bisque & "buah keluak" black nut tapenade. How many influences can a chef fuse in one recipe? Cannelloni is Italian, buah keluak is Indonesian, while bisque and tapenade are French. Three's not a crowd here; this gastronomic menage a trois is smoky and sultry, stirring the senses with a smooth, sweat-salty passion.

Stuffed cured quail with lingonberries, cassis jus & caramelized salsify. The heartiest of all these courses; the use of uncommon components made this meal's RM380+ price tag justifiable.

Champagne, pineapple & vanilla bean granita. The first of two desserts; think of this as a heady cocktail, frozen in suspended animation to crystallize its sparkling flavors.

Ode to Newton, an "anti-gravity" confection. Let this pamphlet explain.

The result: probably the most creatively concocted dessert we've had so far this year.

Add RM120+ to have various French wines paired with each course. Wholly worthwhile.

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


  1. This restaurant is now on top of the "places to go when I get back home" apart from the dim sum restaurants that I always go to !

  2. Full house yesterday? Does the degustation price change depending on what ingredients she uses?

  3. WOW! you must have written this last night or early this morn seeing as dinner finished at 11pm last nite. That good ar?!:D hahaha.. nice seeing you:) my post will be up.. say.. before the next degus:P

  4. hmm 380+ / 3.2 is around AUD100+, well the price of a degus in Australia (well in brisbane at least, bcos syd and melb is close to AUD200 in some places)

    sounds good, if i have some spare cash at the end of the year.

  5. michelle: hopefully by then they'll be open for lunch too, since you're a lunch person! currently they only do dinners :D
    baby sumo: yeah, it seemed like a full house, though i think they could have added one or two more tables if needed =) i have no idea how much next month's degustation menu will cost, but i hope it won't cost more than this month's, heheh

  6. ciki: nice seeing you both, even though we were separated by that curtain, heheh. and it looks like you received all your food faster than us, since you were gone already before we left! =)
    joe: ya, this seems to be the priciest regular degustation in KL for now. fortunately it's only once a month, heh! hope you manage to head here at year-end :D

  7. Love the rainbow soup presentation. I thought it was some cocktail!

  8. eiling: yeah, three layers of tanginess! very refreshing for a starter :D

  9. power: yeps, a good start to eating out in the month of august =)

  10. Totally love the whimsical theme to this dinner. Even right down to the choice of ingredients.

  11. Qwazymonkey: yaa, there's a real fun-loving spirit here! Next month's theme is supposed to be "oldie but goodie," with aged beef and 100-year-old balsamic vinegar, etc :D

  12. I always thought of buah keluak as Nyonya or Malaccan, really. But whatever its origins, what an amazing concoction. Chef Isadora never fails to impress! :)

  13. lfb: yeah, apparently they're mainly found in mangrove swamps in indonesia, and then imported to malaysia. but you're kinda right, i've never noticed them in indonesian cooking before, only nyonya dishes! i love it and i wish more places would use buah keluak (it's not that pricey, i think) :D