Eat Drink KL: Zoe, Bangsar

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Zoe, Bangsar

Asian by day, European by night; northern Thai curried noodles for lunch, Italian lamb ragu pappardelle when the sun sets: Zoe zigzags across continents for comfort cooking that crackles with zeal and zest.

Chef-founder Zoe Rai’s new venue currently serves one savoury temptation in the afternoon, a take on the Chiang Mai crowd-rouser of khao soi - this version features tender flat egg noodles instead of the crispy version we’ve seen elsewhere in KL, but it’s no less satisfying, complemented by an indulgently fleshy chicken thigh in a mellow coconut milk base that’s creamy but not cloying, with pickles and shallots for snappy dynamics. Available as a set lunch with refillable chilled lemongrass tea for RM25; a mushroom variant of the khao soi is offered for vegetarians.

There's only one dessert for each session, but both merit mention - for lunch, the rarely sighted som chun, combating our local climate with its icy ensemble of lychee, young mango, ginger and fried shallots in a fragrant syrup (RM10); for dinner (though offered earlier by request), the more debauched hazelnut tiramisu, moist and rich with the nuances of nocciola (RM18).

While we wish the tagliatelle could be ordered for midday meals (with octopus with crab sauce for seafood pursuers, asparagus for meat-free partisans), this is nonetheless a noteworthy venue for folks who relish food prepared with a personal touch, befitting an eponymous restaurant.

Day drinking isn't verboten here, with basic gin-and-tonics and wines by both bottle and glass. Service is warm, welcoming and efficient from entry to exit.

42A, First Floor, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur.
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 1130am-230pm, 6pm-1030pm. Tel: 012-255-3356

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  1. The dessert, som chun, is rather unique with ginger and fried shallots, ingredients usually found in savories. I would be more inclined towards the hazelnut tiramisu.

    1. Phong Hong: yeah, the thai dessert might be a bit of an acquired taste, but you're right, the tiramisu is the certain people-pleaser :)

  2. Thanks a lot for your, the great pictures and kind review. We are looking forward to welcoming you for dinner next time! A precision on the Mushroom option of our Khao Soi : it is now fully vegetarian, including the broth for this one, so all our vegetarian customers can enjoy it too!

    1. Unknown: thanks for the update on the khao soi - have amended the details in the post. all the best with the weeks and months ahead! :)

  3. This fellow is good , food is tasty too!

    1. Logan: that's very meaningful praise, coming from a terrific chef like yourself! :)

  4. Hazelnut tiramisu sounds good!

    1. Suituapui: a fun change from the typical tiramisu :)

  5. Three of us were driving in the area looking for a place to have dinner and spotted this outlet. Parked, walked upstairs and was were seated behind as the other tables were reserved. Spotted a few tables empty out front until we left the restaurant but that part didn’t bother us.

    The servers did their best and were polite.
    Even the chefs seemed pleasant.

    We proceed to order our meal.

    Hummus - very tasty

    Mains - 3 pastas
    Lamb ragout no pappardelle - rm48
    Mushroom & asparagus tagliatelle - rm28
    Basque style crab meat tagliatelle - rm55

    The first two pastas were not bad.

    However the basque style crab meat pasta had bits of shell mashed with the meat that made it uncomfortable to eat.
    Had a word with the chef about this and he said that’s how it’s purchased from the suppliers and it would take a lot of time to remove the meat from fresh crabs at the restaurant.

    We didn’t mind the price thinking the ingredients we fresh and not tainted.

    As I’m writing this, the person who ate the crab pasta has puked 4 times, is having a horrible stomach cramp and is unable to sleep due to this. For the sake of everyone I hope that the medical condition of the person who ate the crab pasta due to this meal will not become serious.