The name G Village might not ring any bells right now, but this residential & retail complex is poised to become another hotbed of restaurants. The first eatery to launch on its leafy street-level front, only a few kilometres from the city centre, is Vanilla Sky, brought to KL by the Kuching-based founders of Sarawak's popular Jambu boutique restaurant.
Jambu co-owner Ash can presently be spotted presiding over Vanilla Sky, which is filled with intricate artwork by her cousin. If you're looking a calm, beautiful hideout for lunch or dinner, Vanilla Sky is a solid bet, since it's secluded & remains undiscovered by the crowds. But it won't stay this way for long: rumour has it that several well-known KL restaurants - possibly A Li Yaa, Neroteca, Nutmeg - might soon be among Vanilla Sky's neighbours.
Vanilla Sky seeks to open your eyes to how Borneo's ingredients & inspiration can be infused into international recipes. The current soft-launch menu hints at the eventual scope of this restaurant's broad-based ambitions, from an omelette cooked with lemongrass, anchovies, chillies, chicken sausage, wild mushrooms, spinach, spring onions & cheddar cheese (RM18) to a wholesome platter of Borneo mixed wild rice with confit chicken thigh, confit garlic, pickled cucumbers & soy glaze (RM22).
Vanilla Sky veers often toward subtle flavours, with nuances that are enjoyable but might necessarily spark sonnets of praise. Still, we liked pretty much everything we ordered, including these interesting starters of curried parsnip soup with cumin cream (RM20) & a textured, kitchen-made duck confit terrine with cucumber & mango (RM16).
Naturally, amid all the diversity here, several Sarawak staples seem certain to surface, such as a lightly tangy fish soup with sea bass & gurnard laced with lemongrass, ginger, garlic & chilli (RM18) & Vanilla Sky's interpretation of Sarawak laksa with angel hair pasta mixed with shrimp, mussels, shredded chicken, egg strips & kaffir lime (RM16).
The sodium-packed, punchy dynamics of the goat's cheese & salt-baked beetroot salad with pickled mushrooms, cayenne pepper, apple strips & balsamic vinegar (RM28) might be an acquired taste; the grilled beef tenderloin with Sarawak peppercorn sauce, gula melaka charred carrots, grated horseradish & curly potato crisps (RM65) could be the safer option.
Desserts show sparks of sophistication, finesse & inventiveness - check out the iced dragon fruit 'rocks' with honey cream & citrus meringue (RM20; a refreshing chilled treat for fans of fruits) & the pandan creme brulee with gula melaka-spiced berries (RM20; the ideal illustration of Vanilla Sky's Malaysian culinary twists). Wine & coffee are both available.
Vanilla Sky Asian-French Restaurant
35 Jalan 1/76, Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur. Open 930am-930pm (currently closed Sundays)
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