Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ohla Tapas Bar @ The Intermark, Tun Razak

It's the tapas bar KL has been waiting for: Ohla is one of 2013's most exciting new eateries.

 The sister restaurant of The Intermark's heavily hyped nightclub Providence, Ohla throbs with the talents of not one but two head chefs: Toni Ruiz & Mario Valiente, both of whom plied their trade in Barcelona before taking a stab at Southeast Asia.

 It's a narrow space; seating's limited to one long bar & a communal table. The bar boasts the best seats in this industrial-chic house, facing the open kitchen where every move & misstep of the food preparation is nakedly exposed to searing scrutiny.

 Chefs Ruiz & Valiente (the latter of whom oozes a Gosling-esque masculinity) are far from the chattiest of chefs, but that's OK; they let their cooking speak volumes.

 Ohla's one-page, soft-launch menu features nothing but tapas; everything's worth trying, particularly the pan-fried foie gras with sous-vide egg, mashed potatoes & shaved truffles (RM40, nett it seems, based on our receipt).

 Crazy-chunky liver, super-runny egg, milky-creamy potatoes, stunningly generous servings of truffles: immediately after finishing this, we seriously contemplated ordering it again right there.

 Mediterranean black rice (RM46), firm to the bite, cooked with squid ink & olive oil, mixed with pleasurably chewy bits of squid & crowned with little prawns. The flavors of the soil & the sea blend together beautifully. Love it, want to worship it.

 Ohla serves pork; the chefs can't imagine cooking without it. Can't blame them, since these scallops grilled in a Josper oven & laid on a bed of citric mash (RM46) might be less ravishing without being blanketed in pork belly. Tastiest scallops we've had this year.

 Octopus with potato foam, potato water & crispy Pimenton de la vera (RM35). What thrilled us about each recipe here was its revelation of intricate nuances; it's food that's meant to be chewed slowly, first savored wordlessly but then discussed enthusiastically.

 Who knew a sad-looking soup could prove a stunner? Almond-&-garlic broth with dill & olive oil (RM32), layered & complex, featuring the freshest flavors of terra firma.

 Wrap up with a Spanish cheese platter (RM35), made intriguingly innovative with pairings like quince paste & almond meringue for specific cheeses.

 Wines are offered mostly by the glass, with cava starting at RM20. On a recent weeknight, we were the only customers at Ohla from start to finish, but expect this place to explode eventually.

 Final note: We're ready to start talking about the next phase in this blog's evolution. On Oct. 1, we hope to launch an initiative (call it Eat Drink KL: 100F for now), a project born of passion. It'll require the moral support of readers to succeed, so many thanks in advance & in anticipation.

Ohla Tapas & Cocktails,
G-18, Ground Floor, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Currently open daily for dinner starting 6pm. Will open for breakfast & lunch eventually.

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

34 comments:

  1. Hi Sean, good luck on your 100F project. Can't wait to hear what it is.

    Ohla sounds and looks like Esquina in Singapore (down to the Josper oven). We ate there once and the food was just amazing. Looking fwd to try this.

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    1. Baby Sumo: thanks so much, Yen. i'll need heaps of luck, and i hope it works too; i'm now spending at least six hours everyday working on this project and am being forced to learn a lot of unexpected skills, heh =) oooh, i hope you find Ohla to be as good as Esquina. you've actually nailed the Singapore connection on the head. the owners of this outlet also own F&B businesses in singapore, and they've compared Ohla to Foodbar Dada, another tapas bar in singapore =)

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  2. Good Luck Sean =) Looking forward to it and I can't wait to try Ohla!

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    1. Vonney: thanks, i really appreciate that. i hope it'll prove fun and useful for the readers =) and yep, Ohla was really nice. it wasn't what i expected it to be, but in a positive way =)

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  3. Sounds exciting! Can't wait till u unveil more on this new project :)

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    1. J: thanks! i can't wait till october either (but first i have to survive the next five weeks!). it's something i'm keen to devote energy to, and luckily, it revolves around restaurants :D

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  4. Nice decor, Sean. This is the first time I have ever heard of or seen black rice!

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    1. Linda: yup, this layout for a restaurant is something quite unusual for a non-japanese eatery in this city =) and yeah, we can thank the squid ink for the teeth-staining blackness of the rice! :D

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    2. Hi Sean, I wish you all the best for your new endeavour...I hope it will be still at this location? :) It sounds exciting. Looking forward to October 1st!

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    3. Linda: thanks so much for the encouragement. yep, this blog will continue, but there'll be something else happening that's very much linked to it =)

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  5. Quite a chic resto...the scallops on a bed of citric mash looks exceptionally good...me n citrus lar!...hehe =)

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    1. Ulric: ya, and the spanish chefs add their own chic flair also, heh =) yup, i love how the citric taste in that dish is quite masterfully melded into the recipe. it's not just the potatoes but also the scallops that have this citric undertone that's not obvious at first, but then you realize suddenly it's there =)

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    2. Dun tempt d citrus-head in me...hahaha :p

      Btw best of luck in ur 100F project! =)

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    3. Ulric: some temptations are worth surrendering to =) thank you! i hope it'll be worth the wait & the work :D

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  6. Best of luck to whatever you're up to sean! It sounds so exciting!
    You can be sure of my support. :)

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    1. Rebecca: thanks very much, becky! september's gonna be a crazy month for me cos i'll have to wrap up the project before it's ready for release, but i'll try to have fun too :D

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  7. Looking forward to your project, as well as to checking out this place. Foie gras and truffles...both my favourite.

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    1. Sycookies: thanks! yeah, i think the menu here might change fortnightly, so hopefully the foie gras & truffle dish will stay on the selection =)

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  8. like the egg and octopus dish~ XD

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    1. Mr Lonely: yup, i loved the octopus, even though i'm usually not a major fan of octopus =)

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  9. Ouch! Guess you want something good, you'll just have to pay for it...

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    1. Suituapui: yeah, that definitely applies to the tapas here =)

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  10. Moral support.. you got it! Intrigued...

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    1. The Yum List: thanks! i think it'll be a relatively unique project, and i hope most folks will agree, heh =)

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  11. Wow, the food looks good! Foie gras and truffle, must try! hehehe

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    1. CK: ya, this place exceeded my expectations. i thought they would be serving simple, ordinary tapas, heh =)

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  12. liver, runny egg, truffle and potatoes! Gosh...that is down right a mouthwatering combination. Reckon I would have given in and ordered a 2nd portion immediately.

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    1. Missyblurkit: yeah, that dish will haunt my dreams, maybe for many years to come! heheh =)

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  13. You have got my moral support ! Go eat, have fun, and blog it, enjoy !

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    1. Wong: haha, thank you! i will do my best =)

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  14. Yay to new things. It's about time too.. yawn:P Good Luck, but and sure u don't need it! Gosling-esque masculinity.. god i am so there! haha

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    1. Ciki: ya, let's keep KL's dining scene fresh, vibrant and cutting-edge (well, we can hope, haha) :D thanks! i think i'll need ALL the luck i can get :D heheh, yes, bring on the masculinity! =)

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  15. Replies
    1. Wilson: worth trying for a special occasion! =)

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