Thursday, March 22, 2012

S.Wine: The BIG Finish

Here's Part Four of our S.Wine Quadrilogy, finishing up with a fourteen-dish feast.
Earlier entries on S.Wine: March 16, March 18 & March 20.

Soup's up! Know the phrase, 'thick as pea soup?' It matches S.Wine's recipe precisely. Blended into a creamier-than-expected broth, rendered savory with smoky slivers of ham hock.

Craving Chinese? This pork rib & duck soup, slow-boiled with silken tofu & salted veggies, tastes nourishing & homemade. Familiarity breeds comfort; grandmothers would assuredly approve.

Ham-&-veggie soup, a tomato-based one with cannellini beans, barley & coriander. We gotta give a shout-out to Collin & Leong, the long-suffering leaders of S.Wine's week-old service team. They represent some of the finest folks on the BIG Group's front lines _ give 'em a raise, Ben!

A perfect pork-seafood pairing: apple wood-smoked bacon, fitted tightly around remarkably fleshy scallops with a spicy tartar dip. Succulence squared equals satisfaction quadrupled (it's a culinary-mathematical miracle!).

Roasted whole rib with crackling & apple sauce. For the first six days of S.Wine's existence, this dish taunted customers with its presence on the menu but was impossible to order because the chef insisted on perfecting the recipe. The crackling's chewy, but some want it that way.

More ribs, this time in a baby-back slab of twelve, soaked in kitchen-made BBQ sauce. Masterfully prepared, with a flavorsome tenderness that rivals KL's best. Some might feel deterred by the roughly RM80-ringgit price tag, but this must be shared by two or three.

Pork meatballs in tomato-capsicum concasse. The closest thing to Spanish tapas at S.Wine. If the restaurant ever extends its business hours through midnight, we'd love to nibble carelessly on these bewitching balls at the witching hour.

Minced sausage roll with tomato relish. How can we find fault with golden-hued puff pastry that's this light & flaky, without the tiniest trace of excess oil? Or stuffing that's so generously portioned & fabulously flavored with pine nuts, mushrooms & garlic? The truth is, we can't.

Chicken isn't spared from porkification at S.Wine: the coq au vin comprises chicken leg braised with pork stock, pancetta, white wine & herbs, served with toasted ciabatta. Note: dinnertime is the best time to be at S.Wine; that's when beloved '90s hits flood the air _ everything from Duran Duran's 'Ordinary World' to the Crash Test Dummies' 'Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.'

Nyonya assam pork curry, sweet & rich like nobody's business. Perhaps some potatoes could be splashed in for extra enjoyment, but that's simply being greedy.

Thick buttered toast ('pain de mie' for Francophiles), filled with nearly-as-thick honeyed ham & Branston pickle spread. Notwithstanding the pork, this looks like something customers might find at Ben's, Plan B or Estate (it's a BIG world after all). But though we won't turn our snouts up at roast beef or chicken sandwiches, we'd rather hoof it to S.Wine for this.

On the menu, this failed to whet our appetite: salted fish pork patties. But on the plate, it turned out to be one of our favorites (don't judge a dish by its description?). Hit all the right notes for taste & texture _ S.Wine shoots, S.Wine scores!

Epitome of evil, sin incarnate: Russet potatoes roasted in duck fat & accompanied by bacon, to send us straight into a starch-fueled stupor.

Is there anything on S.Wine's menu that's pork-free? Only one: a quirky-cool dessert of Chinese black jelly topped with vanilla ice cream, then topped further with a splash of espresso.

Last call: Wine from Booze.it at Ben's Independent Grocer. Extra tip: S.Wine's smoking section comprises two tables in an intimate, spacious setting. Take a risk & take a table there, since few venture inside; for three of our four visits, we had the entire room to ourselves.

S.Wine Cafe Deli @ Ben's Independent Grocer,
Solaris Dutamas, Publika, Kuala Lumpur.
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

40 comments:

  1. Hmmm...Scallop-Bacon Bites, both Ribs, Hainanese Pork Chop, n d Russet Potatoes...maybe one of their burgers...tats wat I m targetting next at S.Wine :D

    The tomato-capsicum concasse also rocks with pasta! =)

    I like tat the dessert is served in a Chinese double-boiled soup bowl...a quirky touch :)

    Got to ask...exactly how many pax did it take to polish off this fourteen-dish extravaganza? =)

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    1. Ulric: oooh, lemme count ... ermm, four people, i'd say. so 14 dishes divided by four people = 3.5 dishes per person. not too gluttonous, heheh :D

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  2. oh..my..gosh..! You've really saved the best for last haven't you? Or is there a Part 5 still to come with 28 dishes? lol. I think we'll all be seeing BIG pigs fly by the time we're done here!

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    1. Dropsofcontentment: heheh, no more Part 5 until they expand or revamp the menu. we've tried 27 dishes here in less than one week, so we're all pigged out already and looking forward to other meat instead :D

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  3. Christ. only one dessert that is pork free. this is porkmania!

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    1. Michelle: or a porksession! heheh :D

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  4. Is there anything on the menu that you haven't tried?
    loving all the porky goodness!!!!

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    1. Vien: heh, i think there are nearly 40 items on the menu. we skipped about 10 of them. glad you loved the goodness! :D

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  5. Ahh.. maybe i should give this place atr shot...

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    1. I do intend to give this place multiple shots...haha =)

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    2. Thenomadgourmand: i think you'd enjoy the ribs! and maybe the breakfast dishes :D

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    3. You're right!
      I will lovvvvvvve the breakfast!

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    4. TNG: all the great classics! eggs benedict, french toast, heh =)

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  6. Oh. My. Gosh. I first thought you meant you covered 14 dishes in four posts, and thought that number seemed a tad small. Then one dish after another flickered by as I scrolled down today's post --- FOURTEEN dishes in ONE sitting?

    You, my friend, totally earned the name EAT DRINK KL. Syabas! :D

    P.S. It might well be renamed EAT DRINK PORK KL to be a little more accurate though. :P

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    1. It's definitely the year of the porcine for him...or maybe year of the burg =)

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    2. Kenny: thank you, thank you, i do try to please :D i suspect though that as the winds of change blow, we'll be having EAT DRINK BEEF KL sometime soon :D

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    3. Oh ho ho. What a bovine teaser you are. :P

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    4. Kenny: i've been accused of being a tease of other things, but not cows so far :D

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  7. omg...i sure hope you had a big crowd with you when you attempted the 14 dishes!!

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    1. Joe: we were hungry at the start, and totally stuffed by the end! :D

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  8. Since you have tried the entire menu, can you pls let me know what is the must order dish? =D I don't think I can go thru the entire menu like you did...I'll have a cardiac arrest.

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    1. Smitten: ooh, i think the ribs is my favorite (the 12-rib dish, not the single one with the crackling). but you need to order it for sharing, cos it's big enough as a main course for two or three people =)

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  9. We are definitely going back for the ribs and for all of the above! haaaaa.... I need 3 more stomachs;)

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    1. Ciki: heheh, too much food, too few stomachs!!! :D

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  10. No bak kut teh? Hehe it's the nicest Chinese way of cooking pork !

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    1. Baby Sumo: ooh, i think we'd all love bak kut teh too, but maybe it takes more time & special ingredients to make? so far, they're playing it safe here. hopefully BKT might make an appearance in future menus! :D

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  11. they have soups too. the salted vegie and tofu soup and ham vegie is certainly hearty and happy looking soups. definitely on my "to soup" list.

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    1. Missyblurkit: oh yeah, three tasty soups, all quite different from each other. i like how we can get both east & west in this restaurant :D

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  12. Wow, round 4! I haven't done my round one yet! LOL
    I love chinese soup, so I think I will order that pork rib & duck soup next visit!

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    1. CK: oh yeah, i think you might appreciate that soup more than me! though maybe your own home-cooked chinese soup might actually be even better, since you put love and care into it, heheh :D

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  13. so u manage to get any VIP cards?

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    1. Simple Person: heheh, i wish the BIG Group had some sort of discount cards :D

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  14. If I attempted what you did, I won't be able to move! Lol

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    1. Bangsar-Babe: i nearly had to crawl out of there! just ended up staggering out in the end (though maybe that was because of the booze, heh) :D

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  15. That thick pea soup looks awesome.

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    1. The Yum List: best pea soup i've had in a verrry long time :D

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  16. I think u must have eaten every single dish in their menu by now, haha! OK, i'll go for the bacon & scallops and ribs, for sure.

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    1. Pureglutton: bacon-wrapped scallops, great choice! very juicy, very nicely flavored :D

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  17. wow already four visits?!! and i haven't even visit once. Have you tried everything on the menu already?

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    1. Eiling: heh, three-quarters of the menu finished, one more quarter to go :D

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