Friday, January 24, 2020

Superfine, Seventeen Mall

Supercharged by imaginative inspirations that span Saigon to Nashville, Bowie to Carey, Superfine helps redefine our recommendations for where to eat in Section 17, furnishing a fresh, fun take on the contemporary cafe experience in this PJ neighbourhood.

For devotees of all-day breakfasts, Superfine's menu is headlined by a dozen recipes to choose from. You might not unearth an egg-loving brunch as wholesome as Superfine's Sauteed Greens, meat-free but still marvellous, rich in both flavours and textures, brimming with charred broccoli, kale, kailan, baby spinach and sweet peas on roasted pumpkin puree, topped with an ultra-runny poached kampung egg (RM23).

The Breakfast Tacos come packed with cheesy scrambled eggs, smashed sausage, tomato-chilli relish, avocado and salsa roja (RM18), but we'd probably hold out for the more robust-sounding lunchtime tacos with slow-roasted lamb shoulder, harissa mayo, pickled onions and grilled pineapple (not available when we visited, since the kitchen had run out of lamb).

Other temptations hopscotch from the glam-rocking Ziggy Stardust Granola to hearty fare that showcases house-made ingredients like thick-cut streaky pork bacon, hash browns and hummus, peppered with everything from sesame-soy roasted pepitos to mala soybeans. We enthusiastically endorse the buttermilk pancakes, malty and satisfyingly dense without being stodgy, beautifully layered with lively chrysanthemum custard and berry coulis, rounded out with spiced caramelised apples and pecans for our favourite pancake ensemble in a very long time (RM22).

Sourdough sandwiches are another highlight; one of them, Mariah Berry, with Cajun-style roasted chicken and cranberry jam, will be familiar to fans of The Lolla Co. at The AmpWalk - Superfine is the newborn sibling of The Lolla Co. The selection is much more extensive at Superfine, powered by a full-blown kitchen, serving up reinterpretations of everything from Cuban sandwiches to Vietnamese banh mi, reconfigured as the baguette-free Saigon Fling, with shredded chicken, liver pate, pickled carrots, daikon, coriander and spicy hoisin mayo in crackly bread for a bit of Ho Chi Minh City in the heart of Petaling Jaya (RM23).

Tennessee is also represented by the Nashville Hot Chicken Burger, influenced by the American country-music city's speciality of cayenne-spiced fried chicken, featuring buttermilk fried chicken brushed with hot oil, subtly spicy, completed with pretty moreish chicken-salt fries (RM26).

You won't go wrong with a thirst-quencher, be it a solid flat white laced with almond milk to Nitro Kombucha, smoother and more mellow than the typical fermented tea.

All in all, Superfine is a mighty-fine addition to a mall we've never visited before this; special shout-out to the service crew that works with grace and graciousness.

L01-L02, Seventeen Mall, Jalan 17/38, Section 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Daily, 730am-530pm.

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Fatteh & Freekeh, Qatar

Tucked in Qatar's oldest souk (marketplace), Damasca One serves regional specialities like fatteh (toasted flatbread) tossed with yogurt, ghee and pomegranates, and soulful soups of freekeh (durum wheat cereal).

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Hungry Tapir, Petaling Street

The Hungry Tapir has heart: This beautiful new restaurant could become KL's next natural habitat for vegans and vegetarians, as well as the rest of us who relish the flavours of the earth's harvests, coupled with Sabah-inspired craft rice wine cocktails.

It's no surprise that this venue will be love at first sight for many, since founder Cynthia Rodrigo specialises in interior design. But her roots in food and hospitality are also evident; her parents ran a Kristang restaurant in Damansara Kim decades ago, and despite the pressures of a weekend launch party that endured electrical woes and was flooded with friends, she took time to earnestly welcome and speak with strangers off the street who sought herbivorous sustenance at The Hungry Tapir.

Tapirs can get thirsty too, so our first stop was the bar, which offers rice wine concoctions by Haus of Lihang (lihing is Sabah's pulut-based rice wine). Tapir taps into lihing poured out in cocktails (RM35 each) with influences from both East and West - Triple G blends lihing with ginger and ginseng, while Cinta features hints of apple and cinnamon - and in ready-to-sip bottles infused with fruity flavours like pineapple, for mellow beverages with light fermented notes.

The Hungry Tapir's food menu might be a work in progress for now, but the launch buffet showed plant-powered promise, with everyone enthusiastically eating up fried tofu patties, tempeh coleslaw, gluten-free jackfruit yellow curry, spaghetti with vegan meatballs in house-made tomato sauce, oatmeal bars and more.

The preliminary a la carte selection is now up and running - falafels with fresh mint chutney to mushroom arancini with harissa mayo to nangka tacos with tomato salsa.

The Hungry Tapir
135, First Floor, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. Soft launch hours: Tues-Sun, 4pm-10pm (till late Fri-Sat).

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Vogue Lounge KL: Golden Yee Sang & Chinese New Year Dining

Twenty-four karat magic in the air: Celebrating its first Chinese New Year in the sky, Vogue Lounge KL soars with an eight-course Chinese New Year menu of auspicious specialities that include the Golden Yee Sang, an artfully designed female silhouette with edible 24K gold flakes, salmon, jellyfish, mixed nuts and a melange of fresh vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and yee sang sauce.

The CNY menu has been curated by Chef Kazuhiko Kojima, embracing Japanese and French influences, with elegant Chinese elements incorporated for this festive season, true to the restaurant's promise of 'Food for the Fashionable.' 

The uniquely striking Golden Yee Sang is available as part of the CNY eight-course menu or a la carte on a 16-inch plate (up to eight persons) priced at RM128++ and 18-inch plate priced at RM188++.

The eight-course CNY menu is available through 8 February 2020 at RM488++ per person. Its highlights include seafood sensations of Crabmeat Dried Scallop Soup and Black European Cod Yuan Style, followed by a choice of meaty mains - the Aburi A5 Waygu Rump with Garlic Sauce or the Duck Lacquered, honey-spiced Magret Duck Breast with Mushroom Risotto and House-made Chilli Paste. The savoury selection is rounded out with the Aka Ebi and Hokkaido Scallop with Wild Mountain Wasabi Butter Sauce; Sautéed Vegetables and Mushrooms with Miso; and Grilled Scampi with Herb Butter.

Stewed Peach Gum with Lotus Seeds and Lily Bulbs, served hot or cold, brings the feast to a sweet, sumptuous conclusion. Vogue Lounge KL's bartenders have also crafted a special CNY cocktail that befits the occasion, the Dragon Eye Fist (RM50++), consisting of an aperitif blend and lacto fermented Mandarin juice, finished with Mandarin orange, longan and matcha dust over basil.

Vogue Lounge KL, in partnership with global media company Condé Nast, opened in Kuala Lumpur in September 2019. Spread over 18,500 square feet, it is located on Level 38 and the rooftop of Menara SuezCap in Bangsar South.

The establishment features a main dining area and lounge, cocktail bar, wine cave, two private rooms as well as a 360-degree rooftop bar with panoramic sunset views that include the KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers.

For reservations, call +6016-665-5984 or +603-2771-1530 or +603-2771-1531 or email

Images and information in this post are courtesy of Vogue Lounge KL.

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