Follow the bright-red bus to Brolly, a restaurant that brims with colour, character & charm - showcasing nine kitchens in one venue, this adventurous new effort offers an eclectic exploration of cross-border cuisines, from the bayous of Louisiana to the izakayas of Tokyo & street stalls of Shanghai, curated by Brolly's founders from their own intimately personal experiences.
Brolly opens up this week at Menara Felda on Persiaran KLCC - its vivaciously striking look is fuelled by the no-brakes spirit of a maniacal garage; the centrepiece is a pillar full of wash-basins with truck tyres for sinks, gasoline pumps for taps & side view mirrors that supply a maelstrom of reflections for the posing & preening pleasure of patrons.
The motor theme extends to hubcaps & mechanics' tools that line the walls, & even a Datsun (bought from a used-car salesman) that clings upside-down from the ceiling over Brolly's pool table. It's a lively, quirky space, with a foosball table too, & meticulously chosen flourishes, like a wall of vinyl records that formerly belonged to Brolly co-founder TY's friend.
Still, food's the shining star at Brolly, which is spearheaded by the fine folks behind PJ's Crab Factory in SS2, You'll find Crab Factory's complete New Orleans-inflected repertoire, from yabbies & spanner crabs to the Klang Valley's closest-to-authentic gumbo (RM13; flavourful & fulfilling), hush puppies, chicken waffles & fried okra, plus a pleasant surprise - po' boys for lunch; have these submarine sandwiches stuffed with fried prawns (RM22; available 11am-3pm daily) or soft-shell crab, calamari, beef brisket or chicken strips, dressed with a savoury sauce in baguette-like bread, crisp on the outside, soft & fluffy within.
Customers can take a table anywhere at Brolly & order from any of the nine concepts - oyster lovers will like Moley's Oyster Bar, which specialises in Kelly's Gigas Oysters from Ireland (RM8 each, boasting a briny purity) & French Fine de Claire oysters (RM12, tantalisingly balanced in complex, salty-sweet dimensions). Savour them in their natural glory, or in an also enjoyable baked recipe with cheese & spicy sriracha sauce (RM10 or RM14 each, depending on the choice of oyster).
Raksaksa Mirai is another should-try (the first part of the name alludes to TY's nostalgia for her childhood memories of watching Ultraman battle monsters) - this kitchen whips up a barrage of Japanese curry rice platters with fun twists. Choose a rice preference (options include tobiko, garlic shallot or spicy kimchi), then a curry sauce (traditional or coconut) & accompaniments (yakiniku beef omelette, garlic chicken, salmon katsu, seafood & more), served with yuzu-tinged cabbage for mostly RM23-RM25 per plate. Deliciously executed - Brolly's founders went through an extensive food testing process; it shows in how the chefs manage to convincingly & consistently maintain sterling standards across their numerous kitchens.
You can have a complete meal simply by ordering from the Ember & Bara charcoal-cooked concept, ideal for folks who favour flame-kissed food. Choose beef (say, baby back ribs, in a RM70 portion for one or RM130 for two, or sirloin, RM34/RM62), lamb or spring chicken, or seafood like prawns (RM25) or meat crab (RM65), & customise your protein-powered selection with a sauce (old-fashioned BBQ coffee, spicy chocolate, tarty tropicana or classic chamalla for meat; fragrant tamarind coconut, sambal, tomato tango or kung fu kung po for seafood) - when a restaurant is this serious about its sauces, you know it means business. Even the mashed potatoes on each platter are marvellous - real potatoes, lovingly prepared to finish somewhere perfectly between dense & airy. You'll also find grilled salads - a rendition of Caesar Salad (RM15) that's been gently scorched over an open fire, as well as a watermelon, pineapple & mint salad (RM15) that's also been granted extra depth from a grilling.
Brolly's My Wing Man serves our new favourite chicken wings in town, oatmeal-coated for an unbeatable crunch, irreproachably juicy inside, lightly coated in a choice of sauce - the cincalok is excellent, auguring very well for other possibilities like BBQ coffee, spicy chocolate, spicy korean bean paste, sambal, tomato tango, kung fu kung po & Japanese curry. RM18 for six - an easy recommendation that patrons seem highly unlikely to regret.
Pizzas are available, by Nove 9, also distinctive in appearance & approach - expect an evolving ensemble of nine types of pizzas, constructed with a crisp spinach dough base, with crowd-pleasing toppings like minced lamb, lamb sausage & garlic sauce (RM26 - cheekily christened the Lambogarlic - what else?), Thai-adapted beef with guava & mango, baby octopus with tiger prawns & clams, or smoked salmon with fresh basil, walnuts & sour cream.
Vari.EAT.y lives up to its moniker, with inventive small bites such as skewers & stir-fries that are supposed to recapture the aromas & allure of a Silk Road journey. Don't miss the sticks of seafood tofu (RM9; lusciously smooth, with the sweet flavour of the ocean complemented by a fairy-dust sprinkling of Szechuan-evocative herbs & spices), the chicken hearts (RM9), gizzards, soft bone & much more, or the tender fried Aussie onion 'flower,' blossoming with an eye-catching radiance (RM18). Also on this seemingly never-ending culinary carousel: Grilled camembert cheese, piping-hot with the headiness of honey & rosemary (RM38), & an Aussie beef short-rib broth that's sensational, harbouring gelatinous, succulent slow-cooked meat in a magically mellow but resonant broth - a captivating 'sup tulang,' flaunting both Western & Eastern elements.
The final chapter for food: Desserts. Sweet Endings leaves an impression with mason-jar creations filled with the likes of Ribena-poached pear (ravishing), peanut butter granola (irresistible) & grilled montel banana parcel (richly ripe for devouring), RM16 each. You'll also find mason-jar tiramisu, creme brulee & rocky road, plus grilled Washington apples & green pears.
You'll need lots of buoyant beverages to wash down all that grub - Bang Bang Baller Bar will oblige; Brolly's bartenders take pride in Beergaritas, another made-for-social-media construction - bottles of Carlserg tipped into potent, punchy tequila-based cocktail concoctions flavoured with apple, passion fruit or pineapple (RM30 each). And to send you off ecstatically into the night, bring on the High-Ballrus, a Tokyo-inspired mix of whiskey with house-made soda in beer mugs with large ice balls.
Ground Floor, Menara Felda, Platinum Park, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.
Valet parking available, as well as parking in building
Open daily, 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-2181-4122
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