Saturday, January 14, 2012

Urban Spoon Bistro @ Sri Hartamas

Urban Spoon Bistro

About a month ago, I received an email from Sean of Urban Spoon Bistro for an invitation to have a taste of what Urban Spoon has to offer. Little did I know that in fact my sisters also received the same invitation, so we picked a date and did this together.

It's relatively quite easy to look out for Urban Spoon as they are at the new Plaza Damas 3, just opposite Hartamas Shopping Center and facing the main road. For that, I don't think they have problems with getting walk-in customers.

Cocktails - Apple Mojito, Watermelon Margharita, Soho La, Lychee Gimlet (RM25 each)

We were greeted by Sean who is the co-owner of this new establishment which is about a quarter-of-the-year-old. With the play of colours - stripey blue diner booth-style seats, brick walls at a corner, a bar counter that's grey but not gloomy, and curtain laced walls, Urban Spoon did not fail to impress at first glance.

After we were comfortably seated, the waiter whipped out the menus to us. Of course, we studied the menu to see what are the 'extraordinary' dishes that no other restaurants would have attempted - but decided that we will leave it to the chef to decide what goes in our stomach that day. We took the liberty to order the drinks though.

Soft shell crab tempura (RM18)
with apple-papaya som-tam, garlic lime dressing

Stuffed Jalepenos (RM18)
with cream cheese

Roast beef salad (RM18)
with French beans, shallot, lemongrass, chilli, eggplant, with lime & fish sauce dressing

The starters that Chef Steven picked were soft shell crab tempura salad, stuffed jalapenos and the roast beef salad. We enjoyed all three starters as they really whet our appetite with the potpourri of sourness (that comes from the fish sauce) and spicyness. Sensing that the roast beef must be some really good meat, we asked Chef Steven what type of beef was used - he said it is a aged beef and they are all hand sliced, there is no sight of a slicer in the kitchen! Wow, talk about skills!

Carrot and orange bisque (RM14)
with seafood ceviche and braised leeks

The soup was very delicious too, creamy, slightly thick but not starchy and came piping hot. It would have been mistaken for a pumpkin soup from the colour. I like the use of caramelised shallots and leeks which gives a crunch to the soup.

Emperor Tang duck confit (RM38)
with roasted potato, seasonal vegetables, maltose, soy, calamanzi reduction

Pandan chicken & 'kam heong' angel hair (RM28)
with guacamole, leek compote, baked onion

Yaki fillet of cod (RM55)
with sauteed tomato, oyster mushroom, seasonal vegetables, wasabi mayo, anise-mirin glaze, bonito flakes

Cajun wagyu beef burger (RM38)
with homemade spicy tomato chutney, cheese, fried egg

Sunshine is halved

Chef Steven's pick for us for the main courses were a duck confit, cod fish, angel hair pasta, and beef burger. That's quite a balance of seafood, poulty, carb and protein. The mains bear more of a fusion theme, i.e. the duck confit which not only named after a chinese emperor but the method of preparing this is through steaming. Unfortunately, it didn't go too well as the meat was stiff though I did read elsewhere that somebody else had a good experience with this dish.

The kam heong angel hair pasta was something different, the guacamole was the saving grace from the too-dry pandan chicken (according to the menu, soft shell crab is used, but Chef changed it to a chicken side as we already had the crab for starters). The cod fish was alright, though in my humble opinion cod fish is still best cooked via the chinese way of steaming and soy sauce! The best mains of the day had to be the wagyu beef burger which all of us really enjoyed. The minced patty is perfect, sunny side up was a bonus and the buns was soft - a must order.

Zesty crepe with vanilla ice cream (not in menu)

Black pepper tamarind macerated strawberry & peach (RM14)
with chardonnay au gratin & watermelon-basil slashy

Chocolate cherry fondant (RM18)
with vanilla ice cream and alcoholic option

Desserts time! We were first served with the crepe & vanilla ice cream which was not in the menu. Then we got to taste the dessert that caught out eye in the menu due to the complicated name 'Black pepper tamarind macerated strawberry & peach'. It does look like a very complex dessert, appearance wise it looks like mochi but actually it's crepe covered with what I think are breadcrumbs and underneath there's foam, peaches, and strawberries. With this, there's the watermelon slash to go with it. Interesting, but complex.

The other more straight forward dessert is the choc cherry fondant that will make any chocolate desserts lover squel in delight. Warm and chocolate oozing centre, pair it with the cold ice cream and cherry chunks - sinful. Make it a double sinful dessert with the alcoholic option where Grand Marnier is used as an ingredient for this dessert.

Cafe latte (RM10)

We ended the lunch with coffee and exchanging stories about kitchen affairs with the chef. Overall, there are some hits and misses. Improvements I'd like to see is the expansion of the desserts menu and hope the consistency issue can be addressed.

Urban Spoon Bistro
Plaza Damas 3,
Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-6201 2108
Business hours: Mon - Sun 11:am - 11:00pm

* Visuals by iPhone 4

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. Please don't sue me, I don't have money. Kthxbye.]
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