Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Calavera @ Mesui Hotel

The Day of the Dead has dawned in KL, thanks to Calavera, the city's most macabre restaurant ever.

Wisely timed to become this year's Halloween haunt, Calavera opened this month as part of Jalan Mesui's new boutique hotel; it's a natural fit for the eclectic eccentricities of this street that houses Pisco Bar, Feeka, Limablas & Table 23.

This colourfully creepy-cool setting might seem like Calavera's strongest hook, crawling with sugar skulls on the walls & tables, plus skeletons on the ceilings & by the bar ...

... but the hard-working service team merits solid praise too for its enthusiasm & efficiency, enabling customers to easily enjoy their evening here. Trivia tidbit: Calavera is Spanish for skull.

The menu's a memorable melange of Mexico at night & Melbourne in the morning - for dinner, try Calavera's twist on ceviche (RM20 before taxes), constructed with fresh slices of red snapper with a spicy dragon fruit vinaigrette that supplies vivid colour & vibrant flavour.

But skip the fish tacos with papaya slaw & mint sauce - they're big & hearty, but there's more batter than fish, folded inside a too-thick tortilla flatbread, resulting in what tastes like a starchy overload.

Speaking of starch, the tacos (RM34) come with a choice of two substantial side dishes - we opted for the thick-cut cassava chips with garlic salt & smoky rice tinged with beef bacon, but other patrons might prefer the spiced mashed potatoes or the chilli-butter corn.

 In the morning, breakfast emerges in egg-loving fashion, from scrambled eggs with sour cream, beef bacon jam & rocket leaves on sour dough toast (RM19) to omelette laced with smoked duck, sun-dried tomatoes & gruyere cheese (also RM19).

 For a healthier bet (since the toasts above seem very heavily buttered), we like the juicy-sweet pink grapefruit, caramelised with sticky-crispy maple syrup, served with a big bowl of natural yoghurt & pistachios.

 Calavera whips up some creatively cool cocktails, though their potency is lower than we might have liked. There's goodness in this green Ozone Layer (RM32) nevertheless, made with gin, avocado, green tea syrup & lemon.

Fried curry leaves crown the Mexicans of Asia (RM28), a mix of tequila, agave, ginger tea, egg white & calamansi.

Calavera
13 Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 830am-late

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18 comments:

  1. Most macabre?!! Haha, I like the concept of the cafe, at least it is something different compared to the current trend - vintage theme, more refreshing ;p

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    Replies
    1. Audrey: heheh, yeah, the decor and theme here is very cool, you're right. I think this place will do well :)

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  2. Such a macabre concept...too bad the food doesn't scream out "Eat me!" =)

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    Replies
    1. Ulric: heheh, my grandmother wouldn't like this place... She'd say the skulls are scary! :) hopefully the menu will grow more enticing after they're in full swing :)

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  3. the hotel open already? can't wait to visit soon! love the interior of this cafe!

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    Replies
    1. Jean: yup, the hotel is open, but it's a small boutique one. this bar is adjacent to the main hotel building :)

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  4. Very cool and unique concept here, Sean. I like the partially exposed brick wall, and the plates are so colourful! :)

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    Replies
    1. Linda: it's quite a riot of colour ... it may be deathly but it's not gloomy, heh :D

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  5. wow, very special dishes! i wonder how does that red snapper with vinaigrette taste like?

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    Replies
    1. Ken: heheh, imagine sashimi in a sauce that's made with both chilli and fruits :D

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  6. Oooo decor sure is quirky here. The ceviche somewhat looks like "brains", would work well for Halloween.

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    Replies
    1. Baby Sumo: ya, kudos to the creators of calavera for coming up with this decor :) haha, i didn't realise the ceviche does look like brains until you pointed it out. perfect for a halloween meal, heh :D

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  7. Now, where on earth is this hotel? Let me google... Oh. ok...near Istana. Should be quite easily accessible from Bukit Bintang. Casava chips sure don't look like chips. I don't mind thick tortillas as long as they're nice and fragrant and well-toasted. I'd probably pick those. Look pretty good.

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    Replies
    1. Suituapui: oh yeah, this hotel is fairly conveniently located for folks who want to explore the city centre :) heheh, i like how you're zooming in on the carbs ... and ya, i think better-quality tortillas (as well as better fish) would make a positive difference for fish tacos :)

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  8. So colorful, I like the deco! But the only food I would like to try is the ceviche. It looks so different from what I had before.

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    Replies
    1. CK: heheh, ya, the deco is uber-cool :) and ya, this ceviche is quite an interesting recipe compared to the usual ceviche ... the spicy dragon fruit vinaigrette has a flavourful kick and fun colour :D

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  9. Restaurant is not bad a bit overpriced to me, but spaces and nice ambience to it,

    I have to write about the hotel beside it, The Mesui Hotel, STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE!

    They have bangladeshi workers who are peeping toms there, we caught one of them spying through our room window, and management is conveniently saying their cctv system havent been recording since last 3 mths due to some technical issues, i think they trying to hide this incident, I have heard of one more couple who experienced this before as well.

    I have made a police report and contacted my lawyers about this, but theres nothing much we can do about it.

    Only way is to spread the word around that this place is very bad and to stay away!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Restaurant is not bad a bit overpriced to me, but spaces and nice ambience to it,

    I have to write about the hotel beside it, The Mesui Hotel, STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE!

    They have bangladeshi workers who are peeping toms there, we caught one of them spying through our room window, and management is conveniently saying their cctv system havent been recording since last 3 mths due to some technical issues, i think they trying to hide this incident, I have heard of one more couple who experienced this before as well.

    I have made a police report and contacted my lawyers about this, but theres nothing much we can do about it.

    Only way is to spread the word around that this place is very bad and to stay away!!

    ReplyDelete