Eat Drink KL: Wrappe, The LINC KL

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Wrappe, The LINC KL

By Aiman Azri

A passion for experimenting with food collides with the practicalities of what to eat on a hectic workday: Wrappe's tortilla wraps, sandwiches and bowls promise a fresh, flavour-packed meal that patrons can pick up fast, consume conveniently and feel fulfilled without winding up in a food coma.

The route to Wrappe began for its lead founder Yong Lim before he was even a teenager - as a protein-craving nine-year-old, he couldn't get enough of meat, so his mom ordered him to cook it himself to satisfy his inner carnivore. His love affair with the kitchen was ignited, spurring him to craft his own recipes over the years and even harbour the hope of selling grab-and-go wantan mee.

Burritos captured Yong's imagination when he furthered his studies in the UK, where he saw that many of his peers preferred to make prudent use of their limited lunchtime by lining up for a burrito, needing mere minutes to purchase and gobble it up while walking to class.

Wrappe takes the basic burrito, typically stuffed with refried beans and some beef or chicken, and transforms it into a much more balanced offering that does justice to Yong's more recent adult passion of fitness. After participating in triathlons, Yong realised that triathletes adore wraps for being excellent sources of energy. You'll find a nod to that sentiment at Wrappe's latest outpost in The LINC KL, a terrific F&B destination for office workers in the city centre, where a mural in the restaurant illustrates a triathlon-like road map complete with mealtime stops.

Every meal here is assembled to order and served warm, distinguishing Wrappe from many of the salad-and-sandwich bars that dominate KL's healthy-eating landscape. Even the tortillas are elevated above store-bought, mass-made flatbreads: Wrappe makes its own every morning, with two current choices of a wholemeal tortilla and a sweet potato one - the latter debuted this year, offering slightly sweeter nuances (Wrappe tested out other tortilla flavours and varieties, including pandan, salsa, garlic, charcoal and milk, before deciding that sweet potato works best). 

Customers can also have their meal with brown rice in a bowl (the rice can even be upsized for free) or as a sandwich instead of tortilla wraps. A la carte orders start from as low as RM10.90 for one of the chicken options, but even ordering a full-fledged combo with nachos and a lemonade will only take most of the chicken, beef, fish or vegetarian sets to between RM14.90 to RM19.90. Not a bad bargain, considering that Wrappe strives to serve your food to you within five minutes of ordering.

Food photos above are courtesy of Wrappe.

All recipes are Yong's personal creations, sprinkled sometimes with pop culture references - Pepper Potts, the menu's wholly vegetarian treat (RM12.90), pays homage to his girlfriend for her constant support (she's the Pepper Potts to his Ironman triathlon aspirations), powered by a chunky, crunchy-creamy sweet potato falafel at its core, plus fibre-rich black beans, corn, carrots and cherry tomatoes, lushly laced and layered with hints of pepper (naturally), fennel, cheese, garlic and spices that subtly convey vibrancy without overpowering the reviving freshness of the ingredients.

Yong remains a meat devotee, so beef and chicken furnish sink-your-teeth-into-these succulence here. The Barbacoa is irresistible for its robust pulled beef, its juicy-savoury fleshiness balanced and buoyed by cucumber, capsicum, red onions, red cabbage and romaine lettuce (RM13.90), while the Sassy Chic' lives up to its moniker, borrowing unabashed inspiration from Hawaiian pizzas, pairing grilled or fried chicken with roasted pineapples for harmoniously smoky-sweet dynamics, bolstered by sweet potato mash and sauteed red cabbage for nourishment at your fingertips (RM12.90).

Plenty of other possibilities span combinations like the beef Habibi (with hummus and roasted eggplant) to the Fish & Peas (fish with mushy peas). You can even customise your meal from scratch, from the base to the fillings, with 10 different sauces to select from, making Wrappe a place that patrons could enjoy lunch at from Monday through Friday without having the same thing twice.

The Rosemary & Lemon Roast Chicken is the only savoury temptation not served in a wrap, worth noting for the fact that this recipe underwent more than 20 revisions before it was finally perfected. The rewarding results can be relished in chicken with a clean char, tenderly brined overnight, showcasing a herbaceously zesty marinade that shines through slow-roasting (RM17.90 for a whole leg with sweet potato mash and salad, alongside honey mustard and BBQ sauces). If you love roast chicken, bookmark Wrappe for exploration.

Seasonal specialities are also available; for Ramadan recently, a chicken satay wrap helped make the month extra-festive, while this present period looks northeast to Japan for the Teriyaki-san, channelling a wholesome take on donburi with teriyaki chicken served on intriguingly vinegared brown rice scattered with bonito flakes for resonant bursts of umami, rounded out with roasted sesame, sauteed carrots, cucumber and capsicum (RM14.90).

Is that a wrap for Wrappe? Having met Yong, it's clear that his vision for this labour of love is still far from complete, but there's little doubt that he has the determined endurance to stay the course. Many thanks to Wrappe and The LINC KL for having us.

1-3B & 1-3B-AF, First Floor, The LINC KL, No. 360, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur.
Daily, 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-9213-0382

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