Monday, September 8, 2014

The Red Herring @ Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas

KL bids bonsoir to its newest French restaurant, helmed by a Malaysian chef who has returned to her homeland after honing her craft in San Sebastian & opened this cosy little space with her Japanese sommelier partner.

 We like The Red Herring's ambiance a lot; it's intimate but bright & colourful, casual but elegant with an easy charm (come in the evening, when Sarah McLachlan & Pavarotti flow from the speakers). The team here is young, led by chef Xer-Li Woo, a one-time IT graduate & self-proclaimed introvert who's nonetheless a pleasure to chat with to discover her vision for this place.

 Xer-Li is beginning with the basics for The Red Herring's current soft-launch stage; the menu is expected to expand & eventually include recipes rarely seen in KL, but for now, customers can come for Xer-Li's pork terrine, served with cornichons & grain mustard (RM15.90+) ...

... & chicken liver pate with toasted rustic bread (RM15.90+). It's true, there are only two starters on the very compact menu right now, but both boast a kitchen-made feel, priced a bit lower than expected. 

 Meals here are hearty; pork chops are expertly cooked with garlic & wine for a flavoursome, pinkish tenderness, served with beans & smooth mashed potatoes. Bonus points for the lovely layers of tasty fat. RM32.90+.

 Beef bourguignon (RM48.90+) is a hearty highlight too, a thick, savoury rendition brimming with succulent shin meat.

 Basque chicken with peppers & pork bacon (RM25.90+), a nice nod to Xer-Li's stint in northern Spain.

 The Red Herring's tarte tatin is commendable too, full of soft caramelised apples. RM7.90+, the only dessert for now.

 The Red Herring will start serving wine once Xer-Li's partner Maho is in Malaysia. For now, head downstairs to Mercato to buy a bottle first; the corkage fee is RM30+. We think we'll be hearing a fair amount about The Red Herring in the months ahead.

The Red Herring
Block M, Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.
Currently open for dinner, Tuesday-Friday. Lunch & dinner on Saturday, lunch on Sundays.
Sort of facing Blue Cow Cafe. Take the escalator (or are they stairs) from outside TGI Friday's in Hartamas Shopping Centre; turn left at the top and walk all the way till nearly the end.

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18 comments:

  1. Oooo...I'd love the songs, I'm sure...and nice name! Has a ring to it. What's with that cow in the poster? Looks like it has had a bit too much to drink. Nice one though, love the colours, nicer than the angry bull. My pick's the beef bourguignon - looks so good!

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    1. Suituapui: heh, yeah, i like sarah mclachlan but not so much pavarotti :) haha, i sometimes feel like that cow, in more ways than one :D and yep, that was a good version of beef bourguignon, it hit most of the right marks for flavour and heartiness :D

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  2. Very interesting and uncommon dishes, I would love to try the dessert!

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    1. Ken: it's a satisfying interpretation of that dessert too, with an apple flavour that's both potent and mellow at the same time, somehow :)

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  3. The decor here is certainly unique and colourful, and the presentations are very nice.

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    1. Linda: i do like the overall feel of the setting, with the colours and furnishing, and the plates are cool too :)

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  4. yummy, if i got car sure will come here eat liao~ XD

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    1. Happy walker: hopefully you can check this place out if you're ever in hartamas :)

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  5. I like those paintings, and the food looks simple and nice. Can't wait to see their full menu. :)

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    1. CK: ya, the paintings (as well as the design of the wall) are pretty cool, and i think you described the food very accurately. will be interesting to see what they serve later in a few months :)

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  6. The atmosphere does look rather cheery. Seems a happy place to be.

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, it's quite an inviting ambiance. it would work well for a fuss-free dinner :)

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  7. Plaza Damas is confusing. All restaurants there need to provide a map! That said, I might brave the confusion to seek this out. Looks really nice

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    1. Footfringe: heheh, yeah, plaza damas is more of a maze than solaris dutamas, in many respects. all those blocks ... i can never remember where's Block K or Block N :D

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  8. The food looks kinda homecook food to me, not sure if you've tried ma maison french restaurant in Ampang before? They provide this kind of French homecook food as well ;)

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    1. Audrey: oh yes, i have fond memories of ma maison, that was a place with a nice, home-cooked kinda feel too :D

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  9. Hahaha...the escalators kinda become stairs on some days:P

    Love the charming and cheery paintings!

    Must say that the beef bourguignon looks absolutely hearty and delightful. A good paleo option too!

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    1. Missyblurkit: haha, i guess i can't blame the mall for saving electricity if not many people are going up :)
      yeah, the paintings are a nice touch! they've got some quirky details in the illustrations :D
      we lapped up every spoonful of the beef bourguignon ... now i'm craving some more! :)

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