One of 2014's most heralded openings, The Kitchen Table signals the next step in the evolution of the Klang Valley's Darwinian F&B scene, spearheaded by two partners who may become poster children for the future of Malaysia's restaurant entrepreneurs.
The Kitchen Table is a name that's already synonymous with Marcus & Mei Wan, thanks to home-based supper-club sessions that they've hosted this past year. Their full-fledged casual outlet stirred to life this week in a low-key fashion on a peaceful PJ shop-house street that's set to soon explode with cafes.
The Kitchen Table stands out with its clean, bright-white facade & interior, plus its handsome wooden furnishing, simple but strikingly fitting. Mornings are chirpy affairs here; for now, come at 10 a.m. & sweeten the start of your day with fresh cakes & cookies, beamed out by pastry perfectionist Mei Wan & her team of local talents.
From fudgy brownies (RM7.50) that live up to their promise of being densely, richly creamy to raspberry-coconut 'crack slices' (RM7.50) that pack a zippy-zesty punch, banana to lemon drizzle tin cakes (RM6.50 per slice), these desserts are not only easy to like _ they're difficult not to love.
The Kitchen Table is a reflection of how _ for now _ the trailblazers for Malaysian eateries nearly all left the country for at least a little while, experienced how diverse & dazzling the most beloved restaurants can be, & came back with sparks of inspiration to create a slice of that culinary magic here at home. With Marcus & Mei Wan, their confidence stems from F&B stints in Toronto & the UK respectively.
Mei Wan has a reputation for being a cookie monster; it's no shock her chocolate chip creations, simultaneously soft & chewy, are a treat that any Muppet, blue-furred or not, would want. RM3.90 per piece.
Carrot-pineapple cake (RM12.90). Sunday brunches will also be available soon; queues could form for The Kitchen Table's buttermilk pancakes with cornflakes, macerated strawberries & gula melaka syrup.
Piping-hot, pleasurably thick potato-leek soup with toasted sourdough. RM9.
Coffee (Sumatran Mandheling). The Kitchen Table hasn't secured its liquor license; corkage is currently RM35 per bottle.
Pukka organic herbal tea; Marcus recommends 'Cleanse,' a combo of nettle, fennel & peppermint. Marcus, Mei Wan & their affable team are completely hands-on on the front lines of The Kitchen Table, so it's easy to imagine that some customers here will leave feeling like they've made new friends among the proprietors.
More elaborate fare focused on domestic produce is offered only for dinner (think red snapper ceviche with calamansi vinaigrette, or slow-cooked pork belly with apple reduction & watercress, or buckwheat fried chicken with thai basil crisps & garlic ponzu). If we can get a table at The Kitchen Table, we'll be there.
June 5 Update: Here's our review of The Kitchen Table's dinner menu this week.
The Kitchen Table Restaurant & Bakery
23, Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya
Open 10am-1030pm (with 530pm-630pm break). Closed Mondays
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Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
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Also, take a look at the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, completely redesigned with a revamped look, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for April-June 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favourites-Apr-Jun-2014 (Link expires June 30, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).