Sunday, December 21, 2014

3 Bags Full @ Kota Damansara

Baa humbug? Launching in time for Christmas, this new venue owned by Malaysian chef Beljian Neo & two of his friends showcases some interesting ideas that make it worth visiting - even though we wish the trio hadn't resorted to a name that's too similar to that of a popular Melbourne cafe.

 
There's a lot on the ambitious menu, so let's plough straight into it: Start with a savoury-sweet Liege waffle, heaped with a mountain of (deep breath!) beef bacon, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, spinach, tomatoes, basil & kitchen-made apple chutney with raisins (RM18). Too much? Each individual component is enjoyably well-prepared, though a clearer focus might leave a more lasting impression instead of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink strategy.

Equally eccentric: Crispy mochi waffle (!) crowned with green tea gelato, beetroot sauce, pumpkin seeds, black sesame & almond biscotti. RM14; we have mixed feelings about this. We respect how the kitchen experiments with offbeat twists, but the waffle base comes out plasticky-rubbery. Still, with some fine-tuning, this won't be the black sheep of the menu here.

 
Here's one that sounds potentially sensational on paper: Potato puree seasoned with whole grain mustard, tossed in a jar with Granny Smith apples, grapes, beef bacon, lettuce, chives & egg. RM10; comfortingly creamy in texture, but the rich sweetness of the fruits clashes with the powerfully tangy mustard. In this case, less would likely be more.

 
It's not all negative news - far from it. We'd happily recommend the button mushrooms stuffed with herb-laced feta cheese & blueberry-tinged mascarpone (RM13), a fun way to breathe fresh & flavoursome life into a mushroom recipe, illustrating how Neo's kitchen makes more effort than most.

We also like the baked escargots with a thick mix of herb garlic butter, blue cheese & cream, plus toasted garlic bread sticks. RM17; somewhat on the high-sodium side, but customers who read menu descriptions carefully enough should foresee that.

Jellyfish salad with poached egg, avocado, almonds & sesame dressing (RM26). The serving portions & quality of ingredients for 3 Bags Full's dishes are consistently satisfying. But while we favour salads that put poached eggs & avocado on one plate, & we like Japanese influences, this might not be the most cohesively conceived recipe.

Sizzling prawns with chicken floss & garlic butter milk (RM25) - Oriental flavours seize centre stage for this. We should reiterate: 3 Bags Full is a cafe that warrants a visit (in our case, we made two trips here). Its hard work in trying to offer something different deserves encouragement - but further tweaking would make some of these recipes more successful.

In the end, you can't really go wrong with juicy flame-grilled sausages in a meaty trinity of lamb, chicken & beef. RM19.

 
Also a pleasure: Moist house-made brownie, served sizzling at the table, complemented by roasted walnuts, double choc gelato (from Gelatomio) & a rich, smooth peanut butter sauce. At RM13, 3 Bags Full can't be accused of over-charging.

The hot-cold interplay persists with brioche bread & banana pudding topped with Nutella gelato (RM15). One more plus point: 3 Bags Full has a front-of-house service team that's friendly & tries to oblige whenever possible. Thanks for the warm smiles.

 
 
Coffee is taken seriously here: 3 Bags Full gets its beans from Johor's W Espresso Sporting Club by Monsta Cafe.

 
 
 
 
 
From 'burning caramel' lattes to lavender lattes (RM10), there is no lack of caffeine-loving choices at 3 Bags Full, a name that we hope to hear many positive things about in the months ahead.

 
 
3 Bags Full
38, Jalan PJU 5/10, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-6150-2831

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19 comments:

  1. Looks like some fine-tuning of the flavours are needed...but still loving the looks of the "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink' liege waffle, the baked escargots, the trinity of juicy flame-grilled sausages (hold the mayo please) and the house-made sizzling brownie =)

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    1. Ulric: ya, their presentations are pretty for many of the dishes :) heheh, that's wasabi mayo for the sausages, but you're right, it might be better to put the sauce on the side :D

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  2. Interesting place, would really love to try the mochi waffle, i think i will like it :D

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    1. Ken: yeah, i couldn't resist trying the mochi waffle! :D

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  3. I love the name of this place, its logo, sign and the sheep drawings on the walls. The coffee looks very nice and some of the dishes look pretty good, too. :)

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    1. Linda: there's definitely a lot to appreciate about 3 bags full :D

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  4. certainly it looks like fine dining for me, hehe

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    1. Happy walker: the dinner dishes can be considered a bit upmarket :)

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  5. The food looks pretty, hope they will fine-tune some of the items and make them better. :D

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    1. CK: ya, i think they'll definitely improve :D

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  6. The case of "too much, then become rojak". LOL

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    1. Rebecca: sometimes a lot can be a good thing, but in some of the recipes here, a few ingredients seemed to be unnecessary or distracting :)

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  7. Mmm...savoury liege waffles for a change :)...but what's on top seems like a bit much :(. Yup, I agree...less is more!

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    1. Contact: i think the beef bacon didn't need to be accompanied with smoked salmon on one waffle ... and i like how they tried to make it a sweet-savoury pairing, but the dynamics weren't punchy enough :)

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  8. Baa baa black sheep! Interesting fare, looks lovely. Ooooo...the Holy Trinity!!! Those sausages look so good!

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    1. Suituapui: have you any wool? :) ya, some mighty intriguing recipes here. they also do those sausages in a big breakfast platter here with eggs and other ingredients :)

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  9. I doubt the flavors harmonious between the sweet apple & grape with the savory egg, potatoes, beef bacon & etc... ~.~

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    1. Choi Yen: i think the apple and grape was meant to cut through the richness of the other ingredients, but ya, i think it could be skipped, especially since there was a lot of mustard in the jar. or the fruit could be placed by the side, instead of in the jar :)

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  10. Thanks for the review ! But I'm not going to even give it a try. The fact that the name and a logo are rip off of a well know Australian cafe, doesn't inspire confidence whatsoever when comes to creativity and originality of the food!

    After all, if you are investing in business and you can't even accumulate enough brain matter and IQ to come up with your own, original brand name and logo, obviously one can't expect much from the food !

    Thanks, but not thanks.

    P.S. Referring to Three Bags Full Cafe - Melbourne
    http://www.threebagsfullcafe.com.au/

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