Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Birch @ DC Mall

By EDKL Writer A. A.

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The team behind Mezze, Huckleberry & Skullduggery has done it again, adding another potent destination to its stable of establishments across Damansara Heights. Birch has become the buzziest restaurant in DC Mall, & it's no stretch to see why - this seductive setting is soaked in sunlight, saturated with tasteful greenhouse-inspired aesthetics & suffused with happy vibes.

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Birch begins its mornings bright & fresh, beckoning early birds to come in at 9am on weekdays for breakfast & on weekends for brunch. The food is served with a flourish, refashioning trendy favourites with a Birch spin, encapsulated by the Birch Benedict (RM26), layered with luscious poached eggs, pulled chicken with spices & barbecue sauce on a thick seven-grain sourdough toast, with charred cherry tomatoes that showcase an attention to detail. Rich, creamy comfort.

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The daytime selection, served through 3pm, manages a deft balance between the wholesome & the indulgent; the former is best represented by the Japanese Miso Porridge (RM36), a smooth porridge laced with tender crab meat & morsels of pumpkin, topped with sliced salmon, braised shimeji mushrooms, togarashi spices and micro greens - it's a hot, soothing blend of seafood & earthiness, evoking the Zen of time-honoured Japanese fare, transformed into a contemporary temptation.

Birch's team takes a lot of pride in the Falafel Sandwich Wrap (RM18), for irresistible reason - the fritters are delicious, spiked with kale & local ulam for a pleasantly herbaceous uplift, wrapped with pickled chillies, chopped salad, red sauce & yogurt in Turkish flatbread for lots of lovely nuances.

And if you feel like treating yourself, the Korean Fried Chicken Brioche seems like a bargain for RM18, with its hefty slab of crunchy-fried buttermilk chicken complemented by Korean hot sauce & young papaya slaw, served with a choice of sweet potato fries, French fries or a green salad. A big & bountiful, brawny & bold-flavoured pleasure for burger fans.

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On weekends, Birch's kitchen gets even more fired up, bolstering its offerings with meaty mains cooked in a Josper charcoal grill & oven, locking in smoky succulence, leaving a flame-kissed char. 

For your protein fix, you won't go wrong with the Mexican-spiced Spatchcock (RM50), an irreproachable rendering of grilled chicken, completed with charred baby potatoes, or the unique Steak Benedict (RM32), an umami-packed minute steak crowned with a runny poached egg that forms something of a decadent sauce for the beef, with charred cauliflowers & broccoli for fibrous contrast.

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Birch's portions are princely, but it's still worth squeezing in a sugary treat at the end. In the duel of desserts, it's a toss-up between the hearty Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes (RM28; wedded with honeycomb butter, bananas & maple syrup, suitable for sharing) & the Brulee French Toast (RM26; buoyed by dulce de leche caramel sauce, charred pears, white coffee crumbs and ice cream), but we'd probably vote for the latter - each fluffy bite is bliss.

A perceptively curated range of beverages is available - if you like your drinks perky & refreshing, check out the Fizzes, laced with natural ingredients for a light, cooling experience, in choices like Jujube & Arugula or Watermelon & Basil (RM15 each). If you prefer creamier gulps, select a smoothie - the Mango, Coconut & Yoghurt and Cucumber, Apple & Mint (RM19 each) are luxuriously textured but remain appropriate for health-conscious meals.


Photo of cheesecake courtesy of Birch.

Soon after we visited, Birch introduced a new Burnt Cheesecake (RM18++ per slice / RM200++ for a whole cake of 12 slices), baked by Huckleberry Food & Fare, inspired from the tarta de queso of San Sebastian. This is meant to have a creamy, gooey centre, contrasted with a spongey outer layer and a brulee crust, conveying velvety cheese, honey and caramel.

By now, Birch also has its dinner menu ready, available from 6pm onward, Monday to Saturday, including Josper-cooked seabream, smoked quail eggs, Spanish octopus and skewers such as mussels, chicken, beef strip loin, beef heart and lamb leg.

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Birch also serves a tantalising array of cocktails, available after 4pm, Monday to Saturday. The cocktail menu will soon be revamped, but everything we sampled from the existing selection is excellent. Many thanks to the Birch team for having us here. 
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Birch
Lot G10-11, Ground Floor, DC Mall, Jalan Damanlela, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.
Monday to Thursday: 9am-1am; Friday to Saturday: 9am-2am; Sunday: 9am-5pm.
Tel: 03-2011-5966


9 comments:

  1. Steak Benedict? Hmmmm...I think I'd stick to my muffin...and have the steak on its own. Named after a road, a tree or one British Resident in the colonial days?

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    1. Suituapui: in this case, it's the tree! :D

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  2. I was just here the Sat before last (9 Sept), two days after they launched their dinner menu (post still in the midst of writing)! ;) Yup, we had spatchcock, to-die-for burnt cheesecake (according to my friends)...and some others! ^o^ If I was here for their breakfast/brunch dishes, I'd probably try the steak benedict and lemon ricotta hotcakes :) This place is one to watch.

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    1. Contact.ewew: yay, sounds like you had a positive experience here. birch is gaining quite a number of fans :D

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  3. omg.. Korean Fried Chicken Brioche for RM18 is definitely worth it if the portion of the chicken remains consistently that size!

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    1. Rebecca: ya, I was quite impressed by the portion size of that one for RM18! :D

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  4. The most seen cafe in my Instagram feed recently!

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    1. Choi Yen: and i think you'll continue seeing it! :D

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  5. Firstly, 0/5 for customer service.

    Despite having ample empty tables, the waiters refused to let us sit at a table of 4, just because there was only two of us. The waiters then gave excuses that all those tables were reserved, so we stayed on to observe, but the tables were still not occupied.

    They were more willing to let customers walk out of the door, than to let you sit at an unoccupied table on presumption that ‘future’ customers would arrive.

    Hence, 0/5 for sincerity and integrity.

    Waiters were not attentive, had to call them several times just to get our menu, to order, to fill up water, and for the bill, respectively.

    I’ll give the burnt cheesecake a solid 4/5, but if Birch does not buck up and train their staffs better and to be more respectful & honest, this place will only be remembered for their horrible service.

    p/s: This was my second time here, I thought I’d give them a second try, despite receiving similar service during my first visit. Once bitten, twice shy.

    I’m glad to hear from others that I’m not the only one who has experienced such bad service from Birch.

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