Malaysia's first offshoot of Thailand's Greyhound Cafe is open, bringing one of Bangkok's best-known F&B brands to Kuala Lumpur. If you've enjoyed your experiences at Greyhound in Siam Center, Emporium & elsewhere, it may be worth visiting Greyhound KL to see if the spirit of exuberant, trend-setting gastronomy can be captured in shopping-consumed Bukit Bintang.
Some signature starters have been successfully transplanted here; the fried mini chicken wings (RM18++) remain as devilishly moreish as ever, while the salmon sashimi (RM22++) will be wiped clean in no time - the secret for both rests in the sauce: an umami-rich fish sauce marinade for the former, a spicy-savoury, textured dressing for the latter, each infused with Indochinese flavours. But a crucial concession has been made: Greyhound KL's a no-pork restaurant, so a piece of the renowned Complicated Noodles (RM18++) is lost in translation - customers still assemble this recipe themselves, topping lettuce leaves with soft noodle sheets, chilli sauce & coriander leaves, but the meatiest component of minced pork is substituted with chicken.
The menu abounds with hit-&-miss elements - the stir-fried spaghetti with Thai anchovies (RM24++) is pretty enjoyable, its intense brininess balanced with the heat of chilli oil & peppercorn. If you like rich & robust fare, the northern Thai khao soi (RM24++), featuring egg noodles & a chicken drumstick in a thick curry broth, partnered with crispy noodles & red onions, is an elaborate ensemble with full-bodied flavours that'll stick to your palate. But several other specialities seem hobbled by forcible flaws: The Weeping Tiger with spicy pesto (RM32++) is a visual triumph, but it's undone at first bite by excessively chewy slices of steak. The duck stew noodles (RM24++) also look glorious, but the whole leg meat - while tender & fleshy - borders on blandness, & the soup lacks genuine depth. The garlic fried rice is blanketed with plenty of crab meat (RM42++) as promised, but it's not particularly fragrant, & the crab is rather dry & one-dimensionally flat-tasting, neither succulent nor sweet.
Skip dessert for now; the kitchen needs to fine-tune its prep for the mango sticky rice (RM16++) & the coconut sago with water chestnuts (RM14++) - both were stodgy & desperately needed more moisture, unaided by coconut sorbet that broke apart into icy fragments when pierced by a fork. The Yok Lor berry & Nom Yen tea granitas (RM14++) perform better, with more distinctive flavours, though they might get cloying halfway through. Service is efficient & accommodating - no mean feat, since this is one of the rare restaurants where the entire service team looks like they fervently wish they were somewhere else.
Greyhound Cafe Malaysia
Ansa Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am-11pm
The Eat Drink KL mobile app is now available, connecting restaurants & customers to promote a positive spirit of community.
Every restaurant on this app rewards users with a 6 percent discount, instantly & conveniently, everyday, all day long.
In return, users share photos of their experiences at these eateries, creating a new community of restaurant lovers.
For every transaction, at least RM0.10 will be channelled to a charity of the month.
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, 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.
Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, with 100 recommended restaurants for Jan-Mar 2016. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://issuu.com/eatdrinkkl/docs/ebook
Buckle your seatbelts: Eat Drink KL is partnering with Uber to take restaurant lovers on new adventures across KL & Selangor!
If you haven't used Uber yet, it's time to begin! For new users, just follow the steps below to redeem free rides:
1. Download the Uber app from the App Store, Play Store or Windows Store - and register your Uber account.
2. Apply the code EATDRINKKL as your first promotional code & you'll receive 2 Free Rides worth RM30 each.
3. Request a ride through the app and ride for free to any destination (with two ride values of up to RM30 each).