Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels @ Damansara Uptown

Big breakfasts served on banana leaves & chicken wings showered with crispy pork lard or smothered with sticky garlic glaze: Ampersand is one of Damansara Uptown's most enticing new destinations, with unique offerings by a band of Malaysians who call themselves the Culinary Rebels, comprising chefs currently working in both KL & Singapore. Ampersand replaces Ecole P, whose co-founder Steven has joined forces with new collaborators G-Man, The Butcher & Rayman to create this cafe-bistro.

Communal weekend brunches are among Ampersand's signatures - the XXL Breakfast is a striking medley of fluffy-creamy scrambled eggs (10 eggs are used!), juicy pork bacon, thick bratwursts, earthy mushrooms, toast & tomato jam, spread on banana leaves; the serving can satiate four customers & costs RM58. For folks who love Big Breakfasts & are seeking a memorably imaginative preparation, this is a should-try - the well-executed ingredients are dished out one-by-one at the table, evoking a banana leaf rice meal, resulting in a photogenic ensemble that will earn plenty of curious comments on Instagram.

Ampersand poses a chicken-or-egg dilemma for brunch: Most customers would have no regrets choosing chicken - roasted meat that's succulent, sweet & flavourful, brined for 24 hours with lemongrass, also served on a banana leaf backdrop with practically the rest of the chicken - feet, neck, gizzard & a beautiful liver pate that's rich, soft & smooth. This Chicken Feast with onion jam is easy to enjoy & endorse at RM36 for a half-chicken & RM64 for a full chicken, both with all the accompaniments.

Everything for brunch, currently served Saturdays & Sundays, is built for sharing: The French Toast platter will feed a family, featuring slices of Hainanese bread partnered with pork bacon, ripe bananas & a lip-smacking peanut butter sauce for RM40.

It's worth visiting Ampersand for dinner too, when the cafe turns into a cosy bistro, offering ravishingly plated chicken wings in intriguing flavours - the Sinful Wings by Rayman (spiced wings with crunchy Nestum cereal, pork lard & ulam leaves), Buttermilk Wings by G-Man (brined wings with buttermilk, lemon zest & spicy sriracha sauce), Thom Thom Wings by G-Man (with garlic glaze, garlic chips & lime), Devilled Wings by The Butcher (with charred scallions &lemon) & CCB Wings by The Butcher (with belacan, shrimp paste, palm sugar & lime). Fresh & piping-hot from the kitchen, these are a tasty treat for chicken wing devotees, at RM16 for four wings & RM21 for six. Beer is available; the bistro is planning to also eventually offer distinctive pork ribs & inventive desserts for dinner; keep an ear out for those. Many thanks to Ampersand for having us.

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels
First Floor, 19, Jalan SS21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-7732-9711
Signboard outside currently says Ecole P, above Restoran Khalifah

Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday: 5pm-11pm. Saturday: 10am-3pm, 5pm-11pm. Sunday: 10am-3pm


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14 comments:

  1. Eeeeee...I'd get worried with all those stools hanging precariously over my head and double eeeeeeee....I see chicken claws!!!! LOL!!! Interesting fusion of sorts though...

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    1. Suituapui: heh, trust the carpenters and trust the chefs! :D yep, these place has a fun and playful imagination :)

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  2. Everything seems to be in XXL or family size here...anything built for XS sizes? ;D That XXL breakfast is for four?

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    1. Contact.ewew: the brunches are all for sharing so far, true, including the XXL breakfast comprising 10 eggs and sausages, etc for four people. the dinner dishes can be shared, or one person can order four wings for RM16. there are also side dishes for dinner such as Japanese sweet potatoes and chunky mashed potatoes :)

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  3. I love the leaf for the presentations!

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    1. Linda: ingenious experimentation! :D

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  4. What a pretty way to plate the food. I'd order that French toast platter for sure. :-)

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    1. The Yum List: they definitely put a lot of thought and effort into both the brunch and dinner offerings :)

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  5. The pictures are so amazing!:)

    irenethayer.com

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    1. Irene: thank you for the kind words :)

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  6. Yes.. Instagram worthy alright... Too bad it's only open at 10am. I'll try to go there one of these days.. Food looks amazing!

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    1. Leo: i hope you enjoy the ampersand experience! i think they'll be open at 10 sharp :)

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  7. My first impression after seeing the food on banana leaf --> Oh gosh, hard to snap photo of those food on that long leaf =.="

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    1. Choi Yen: heh, i think it'll be easier with a phone camera, but ya, it was tricky with my camera :D

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