Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Metal Box @ Empire Damansara

From the Beanbag to the Box: Chef Ryan, formerly a familiar face for fans of The Red Beanbag, has left Solaris Dutamas' pioneering cafe - in a amicable exit, he assures us - to spearhead his own place, partnering with fellow Taiping-born chef June to open Metal Box, which could become for Empire Damansara what RBB has been for Solaris Dutamas.

The menu here is a crafty one; casual customers won't be confused by what's available - Eggs Benedict? Big Breakfasts? Pesto Pasta? all present & accounted for - but consummate cafe visitors will observe that Metal Box tries to infuse its own trademark twists into every recipe, even if they're relatively subtle choices like inserting edamame & a red wine glaze onto a plate of Eggs Benedict (renamed The Red Benedict here).

Ryan has likely made hundreds of baked eggs in recent years - the hours of practice ensure near-perfection; Metal Box's baked eggs (RM18.90) are beautifully creamy, thick with potatoes, eggplant, cannellini beans & smoked chicken breast in lightly tangy tomato coulis, crowned with freshly grated gruyere cheese. Certain to brighten up any morning, but customers can even order this at night - Metal Box serves brunch fare right until closing time.

Metal Box bakes its own croissants to sandwich its interpretation of Eggs Hemingway (RM17.90), which come with salmon that's smoked here & hollandaise sauce made from scratch in the kitchen. The bonus: Bonito flakes & seaweed seasoning - not a total surprise, considering Ryan's penchant for Japanese influences (remember The Red Beanbag's seaweed risotto?).

Different textures & delicate flavours mingle playfully for buckwheat soba, served cold, tossed with a tomato-heavy vierge sauce (with elements of olive oil & lemon juice) & topped with avocado tempura - a lovely vegetarian option. RM15.90 - it's worth noting that much of Metal Box's menu clocks in below RM20 per item.

Customisation is possible if the kitchen isn't too busy. On the menu, beef ragout is paired with penne, but we recommend swapping the pasta for potato gnocchi, combined with a mushroom sauce & grated parmesan cheese for pure comfort food.

No lack of enticements for the sweet tooth - from chunky-soft French toast that's pan-fried with Nestum & sprinkled with roasted pistachios, served with berry coulis, diced peach & Gula Melaka (RM14.90) ...

... to perked-up Bircher Muesli, soaked overnight with orange juice & mixed with toasted almonds & cornflakes (RM13.90) ...

... to our personal favourite dessert at Metal Box - scrumptious filo pastry wrapped around sweetly luscious banana, baked with Nutella & served with super-smooth ice cream (RM15.90) ...

... to a stack of fluffy pancakes, expertly executed, glazed with Guinness for a bit of bitterness & bolstered by a syrupy shot of Gula Melaka for a lot of sweetness (RM14.90) ...

... to a bowl of crunchy almond crumble slices cushioned by juicy salted caramel apples (RM14.90), supplying a satisfying finish to a Metal Box meal. Special mention for the cafe's warm, efficient service.

Coffee isn't an afterthought here - Metal Box's general manager (also named June) is the mom of Pablo, the barista behind Brass Boiler (the caffeine counter inside Solaris Dutamas' Fahrenheit 600).

One more reason to recommend Metal Box? There's no wine on the menu, but there's no corkage fee either.

Metal Box Restaurant & Cafe
G12, Empire Damansara, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tues-Thurs, 10am-10pm; Fri, 10am-11pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-11pm

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Dec. 31, 2014. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

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.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
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

28 comments:

  1. Loving the baked eggs and the cold buckwheat soba...and the alcoholic pancakes! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ulric: ya, i think you'll enjoy the baked eggs and the buckwheat soba ... order those two items first and then move on the rest of the menu (you might be tempted by something i didn't order: grilled aussie grass-fed 160 grams mini striploin steak with yuzu kosho butter sauce, herb potatoes, sauteed mushrooms & baby spinach for RM33.90) :)

      Delete
    2. Yuzu kosho butter sauce! Looks like I need more than 1 visit...lolz! =)

      Delete
    3. Ulric: that could be quite a satisfying steak recipe! :)

      Delete
    4. YUZU KOSHO u say??? OMGGGG!!! I want!!

      Delete
    5. Rebecca: we almost ordered the steak, but opted for the beef gnocchi instead, heheh :)

      Delete
  2. Oh dear... all the food looks good! Can't wait to have a bite on the french toast! Please open a branch here in Penang :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken: heheh, drop by Metal Box the next time you're in KL! :)

      Delete
  3. Another place to look into next time I'm in the area...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SC: hope you'll enjoy your pre-show dinner here! :D

      Delete
  4. Oh wow the baked eggs look very good..... I would love to have that for brunch :) Eggs Hemingway looks mighty fine too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baby Sumo: yeah, both the baked and poached eggs were pretty much impeccable! :D

      Delete
  5. Lovely baked eggs! Oh and I want to try that French toasts too! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CK: i think you'd enjoy the food here, since you also liked the food at the red beanbag! :D

      Delete
  6. wah, really nice to eat inside metal box... would love to try it~ XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy walker: hope you get the chance the next time you're in damansara perdana :)

      Delete
  7. Food looks awesome, not the usual run-of-the-mill arrangements. Is that place inside a container or is that just the decor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suituapui: yeah, lots of thoughtful touches in the food here ... and oh, it's just the decor, heh :D

      Delete
  8. Those pancakes and French toast are just how I like them - big fat slices. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Yum List: yup, those pancakes and french toast could feed a starving horde! :D

      Delete
  9. the al-fresco dining area looks great, if our weather is not horrendous like now :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Choi Yen: heheh, ya, if you visit this cafe, stay inside, away from the haze :)

      Delete
  10. The Red Benedict looks good ! Wonder how the wine and the egg combo taste like . Bonito and seaweed seasoning are definitely not the usual ingredients for sandwiches !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KJ: yeah, there are a lot of fun twists to the food here, definitely worth trying the next time you're in kl :)

      Delete
  11. Food is so so, nothing to shout about, service was bad, we waited 1 hour before food is served, other customers that came after us had their food served but not us. Complaint to the waiter and we get a reply from him saying "I'm just a waiter". Ask for the manager/owner but never show up or even come to apologize, but one thing is fast, ask for the bill, it came within 15 seconds

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very bad service. I will never go there again. They took their sweet time to deliver our drinks. They didn't pass my order to the kitchen, and when i inquired, they claimed that it was some system error. Then i ordered something else that was easier and faster to cook, yet they took so so long to deliver my food, reason being i have to wait for the rest of the guests to receive their food first. Why should i wait any longer for the mistake done by their
    so -called system? Finally when i received my food, it was all wrong, and when i complained to the branch manager, their manager did not even want to apologize for their mistake. All in all, it was a waste of time going to this place as their service was horrible.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Heard so much about this place and food was alright. pancakes were nice but I cannot blame them as we are vegetarians so we did not have any choice. what I did not like was the bald manager (i am not sure if he was a manager but seems so) he was so rude and shouting all the time and made us feel as if we were eating for free. would have loved to go again but now won't because of an extremely rude manager

    ReplyDelete
  14. You recommend something that they don't offer to the public.asked to change beef ragout penne to gnocci and was rejected.wasted my petrol to travel there for that dish,and their other food were horrible tasting,such as the baked egg and the metal breakfast.

    ReplyDelete