If you frequently drive around Desa Sri Hartamas, you've probably spotted Pepelicious in the past year; an unassuming, low-profile venue like this can easily get lost in this neighbourhood's crowd of colourful restaurants, but it's still worth pointing out, offering thoughtfully created recipes in a cosy, welcoming setting.
Michelle & Diva, the Malaysian couple who run Pepelicious, have come up with a witty menu that's imbued with flavours close to their hearts. The most intriguing concoctions combine local & Italian inspirations - the Nasi Lemak Gone Italian (RM28.90) seems unique to Pepelicious, showcasing a riff on risotto, distinctively delivered in a claypot, mildly enhanced with the creaminess of coconut milk, crowned with silver anchovies & encircled by fiery devil's curry meat, sambal & hard-boiled egg. Nasi lemak reinterpretations have been all the rage in recent years, & this is another respectable entry to the creative canon.
Pastas are aplenty here, with this one specifically of note, an homage to curry laksa that may merit investigation for customers who relish the comforting spicy savouriness of Peranakan cooking, bolstered by baby squid, prawns & fish slices, plus melted cheddar to boost the sin factor (RM28.90). Even the typical-seeming aglio olio & carbonara come with Pepelicious' own twists, the former spiked with Thai chillies & the latter with smoked duck.
Pizzas secure the Pepelicious special treatment too, prepared on a base that's meant to evoke oven-baked naan flatbread. Check out the salted egg & mushroom version, well-proportioned for a clean, unmistakably clear balance of flavours, peppered throughout with yolk morsels for a pleasing graininess - a reasonable order for RM18.90.
Pepelicious is a full-fledged eatery from daytime to night; have your coffee here early, then linger for wine & cocktails past sundown (gin, vodka or whiskey mixed with fresh fruit juice is a house speciality). The restaurant has been known to also host events such as live jazz performances & charity sales from time to time. Many thanks to the Pepelicious team for having us.
B-G-10, Galeria Hartamas, Jalan 26A/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Mon-Sat, 12pm-10pm. Tel: 016-335-6720
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