Monday, April 21, 2014

Ashley's by Living Food @ Telawi, Bangsar

Seeking to spearhead a 'real food' revolution, Ashley's bloomed in Bangsar on Easter weekend, the first spin-off of Menara Tan & Tan's Living Food Bistro, with two more outposts possible at KLCC (or rather, the Petronas Twin Towers) & Mont Kiara this year.

 Living Food's Telawi chapter has style to spare; it looks terrific, a beautiful balance of easygoing & elegant.

The restaurant's name is a nod to its chef; paper placemats proclaim the prodigious powers of Ashley, while other members of the Yiin clan, including health consultant patriarch Philip & his daughter Phoebe, comprise the other crucial components of this family-run eatery's engine.

Ashley's cuisine is tricky to categorise _ not exactly health food, but more of fare that's constructed with meaningful, mindfully sourced ingredients with true ties to farms, the land & the sea. Nourishment to restore both body & spirit, underscored by recipes like raw strawberry gazpacho with cucumber, tomato, herbs & chia, topped with strawberry confit (RM16 before taxes).

 Wild-caught prawn ceviche in a zesty marinade with hot chili oil (RM22). The menu here is a natural progression from the more casual cooking at Living Food Bistro; there's overlap in both outlets, but Ashley's is like eating at Living Food during dinnertime, when slightly more ambitious arrangements are sometimes showcased.

Flavour isn't sacrificed at Ashley's: The braised quail stew with currants & a tarragon-infused red wine sauce (RM38) would fit in easily at even a finicky French establishment. Note: This is a dinner-only dish.

Crossing borders & leaping over boundaries, the menu also features Hakka 'lei cha' made mainly with quinoa for a better bite, served with hot genmai-cha tea, accompanied by tofu parcels with a tamari soy sauce reduction (RM38).

Quinoa resurfaces in the patty for this burger, combined with beets & sweet potato for warm hues in a high-protein red yeast bun (RM24). Three times the price of a Big Mac, but more than multiple times more salubrious.

But perhaps we'd skip these final two in future: The vegan-friendly nasi kerabu with Bario rice & palm heart rendang (RM35) was a little less satisfying than full-blown traditional versions ...

... while the Wagyu ribs were a tad too tough or stringy in parts & somewhat fatty in others, served however with an interesting buttery-textured pumpkin spinach mash (RM78). Plus point: Beef served at Ashley's is all grass-fed.

 The selection will expand in the weeks ahead; expect an organic dim sum set & saffron-spiced quinoa 'paella' with shrimp, scallops & pearl snapper.

 Organic red & white wines, RM24 by the glass (Monastrell, Familia Castano; Corazon Loco Iniesta; Cuattro Rayas).

Mountain Goat organic craft beer (RM27), alongside a decent cup of coffee.

All in all, a welcome addition to Bangsar, worth visiting for a leisurely lunch or peaceful dinner when you're looking for thoughtfully imaginative cooking.

Ashley's By Living Food
11, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Mon-Fri, 11am-11pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-11:45pm. Tel: 03-2202-2778

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27 comments:

  1. Yums. Bangsar is nearer to me for sure! :)

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    1. Rebecca: yeah, now that i no longer work in the city, this location works better for me too! :)

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  2. The braised quail stew is my game! :D

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    1. Ulric: the name of the game is game meat! (and yeah, i couldn't resist ordering quail stew) :D

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    2. We are game quail lovers!...hehe =)

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    3. Ulric: i wouldn't mind some partridge either :)

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    4. Ya...where to get it arrr? =)

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    5. Ulric: http://eatdrinkkl.blogspot.com/2010/11/rules.html heheh :)

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    6. Hahaha...I was gonna put 'UK?' at the end of my previous comment...hehe =)

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    7. Ulric: haha, your instinct was accurate :)

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  3. Ooh, looks interesting. I'm excited to see some restaurants popping up with menus that are not standard fare.

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    1. The Yum List: true, there's a sense of adventure at a restaurant like Ashley's! :)

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  4. Braised quail stew looks and sounds good, wish I can have that for lunch instead of my tuna sandwich. :P

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    1. CK: heheh, i hope you get a good stew for one of your dinners this week (maybe not quail, but duck also can!) :)

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  5. Love quinoa... one of those healthy ingredients I dont mind having all the time.

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    1. Baby Sumo: ya, it's very versatile too, so you could experiment with it and have lots of fun! :)

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  6. Quinoa lei cha sounds interesting!

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    1. Ken: ya, a nice twist from the traditional hakka recipe :)

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  7. Very interesting place, Sean. I love the decor and the backs of the chairs.

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    1. Linda: you noticed the back of the chairs! i love them too, as well as the blue sections of the walls :)

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  8. Healthy eating? Sure does not look like the usual - much more appealing.

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    1. Suituapui: yeah, this is relatively more wholesome eating without compromising any of the fun :D

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  9. Give me that prawn dish everyday and any day!

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    1. KY: go have it today or tomorrow (or the next day) at Ashley's! :D

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  10. Been waiting for this outlet to open. I shall give it a few weeks to settle down before visiting. :D

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    1. Kelly: hope you enjoy it! no terrible teething troubles so far (except for a few items on the menu being unavailable) :)

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  11. We love your images! Would love to use some in our magazine, with a credit to this blog. Would this be okay?

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