Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 Menu: Roost @ Telawi, Bangsar

Roost soars higher than ever with its newest repertoire of recipes - chef Albert Frantzen & his team have hatched one of Bangsar's most intelligent menus, treating thoughtfully sourced produce with conscientious creativity in a charming setting.

A restaurant that lavishes such detailed care on each dish deserves respect - commence with the mackerel salad; the fish is commandingly fresh & captivatingly fine in flavour, wet-aged & kitchen-cured for a sultry, succulent smokiness, well-matched with heirloom tomatoes, baby cucumbers & capers (RM28). Thumbs up too for the crisp-battered zucchini blossoms, stuffed with a surprise, spilling out with Roost's own-made mozzarella when sliced, balanced with intimations of chilli & mint (RM22). The outlet's founders now even run their own vegetable farm in Cameron Highlands, for an assurance of consistent standards.

If you adore poultry, Roost promises persuasive possibilities - the 64-degree-cooked chicken liver mousse pate is ravishing, achingly soft & smooth, with a mellow but distinct flavour, complemented with toasted bread, wild honey & sea salt; like many of Roost's pleasures, it's something we'd jubilantly eat again & again (RM22). Roost relies on free-range capons for its chickens, in enjoyably elaborate preparations like sous-vide chicken thigh with red cabbage & lentil puree (RM38) or chicken breast with onion puree & king oysters (RM38). There's duck as well, pulled in luscious sliders (RM32; served with terrific thick-cut fries & constructed-from-scratch chilli jam) or turned into a ragout to pair with Roost's own pappardelle (RM32). The restaurant wastes none of its chicken & duck supply, with remaining meat going into snack-sized poultry croquettes (RM18).

Local seafood, from Pulau Ketam & other Malaysian waters, is represented in everything from a crispy squid starter with ink aioli to a mangrove crab salad with sorrel. Portion sizes span the sea bass with beetroot risotto (RM38; perfect as lunch for one) or a squid ink paella with snapper, prawns & other fresh catch in the pot (RM105; ideal as a family feast, this requires a one-day advance order) - satisfying triumphs in transposing Italian & Spanish rice-based cooking into our domestic context.

In a bid to remain as true as feasible to the farm-to-fork ethos, veal, lamb & beef are the only protein obtained from overseas - Roost's Spanish-bred veal cheeks are worth the effort, coupled with mash & beets for creamy, soul-food comfort with earthy dimensions (RM72). Even the side dishes here succeed in transcending cliches, comprising some of KL's best-textured polenta fries (RM16) to a complex ensemble of roasted & sauteed dehydrated shiitake, erynggi & oyster mushrooms (RM25).

Desserts & drinks are far from an afterthought at Roost - ice cream is house-made, showcasing tangy flavours born of local harvests, including soursop, passion fruit & tamarind (RM12 a scoop); the panna cotta conveys coconut & passion fruit, cheesecake is accented with rose apples, while a chocolate gateau features pineapple coulis & lemongrass. Coffee is hand-carried from Taiwan (Roost co-founder TungWei has family roots there), roasted by Gabee Cafe in Taipei, with light, clean subtleties. Cocktails are concocted to be confidently refreshing - we especially love the dynamics of the Strawberry Basil Gin & Tonic (exactly our kind of poison), but the Grown-Up's Iced Tea, combining vodka with Earl Grey, honey & lemon juice will have numerous admirers as well (RM28). The wine list merits investigation too, specifically several Spanish varieties like a white with a candied lushness & a red with an easy-drinking brightness, each at RM22 by the glass & RM95 per bottle. Many thanks to the Roost team for having us here.

Roost KL
69-1 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Tues-Sun, 1130am-1130pm. Tel: 603-22011710

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14 comments:

  1. I've only seen zucchini flowers (deep fried, of course) in food shows but never on a plate...here! Too bad it's stuffed with cheese, otherwise I'd sure love to try. The other dish that caught my eye is the veal cheeks (I recently tried beef cheeks and was pleasantly blown away), so this must be even better. Even the fries look a cut above the rest.

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    1. Contact.ewew: the cheese complements the vegetable quite well in this case, so i think it's worth a shot! :) i love pretty much all the braised beef cheeks, veal cheeks, pork cheeks - and the fries are a guilty indulgence too, though the food here in generally strikes a nice balance between vice and virtue ;)

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  2. Nice! And not too far from our side, worth to visit. :D

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    1. CK: yep, i think you'll enjoy the experience at this place! :)

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  3. I just had one of the best dining experience in Coquo earlier and now reading this... Wow! Another place to visit soon ;)

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    1. Leo: it's definitely a good place for a dinner date with the wifey! :) and good to hear you liked coquo too! ;)

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  4. Oooo time for a revisit! The risotto with seabass looks really good. :)

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    1. Baby Sumo: the risotto is a should-order for those of us who like beetroot! and the fish was very well-executed :)

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  5. It all looks delicious Sean. I'd like to order every single dish. :-)

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    1. The Yum List: that is one problem at this restaurant - the menu is so enticing, we want to try it all! :)

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  6. Hornbills remind me of...Sarawak! :D Halfway into 2016, better late than never. Hehehehehe!!! Desserts look good, and of course, I'd go for the duck.

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    1. Suituapui: haha, oh yes, your home state! :) hmmm, it's hard to choose, but if i had to pick my three favourite dishes here, it'd be the chicken liver mousse, the mackerel salad, and the veal cheeks! :D

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    2. The chicken liver is definitely best in town... it's so impossible to get good pate here that I would re-visit Roost just for that 1 dish

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    3. Yun Qi: definitely agreed on the deliciousness of that liver! and i'm a liver lover! :)

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