Monday, January 28, 2013
Yeast - Bangsar's answer to authentic French bistro food
If there is one thing the Telawi Street shopowners are doing right, it is renting out their properties to new quality restaurant / cafe owners. In the past few months, we've seen quite a few shops close down and new eateries quickly opening up to fill the gaps (Milk and Butter, Coffea Coffee, Yeast, Bait). The recipe to survival in this competitive and realistic food business is good food (not necessarily mind blowing), good ambiance (patrons want a comfortable place to hang out, sip on coffee, have a smoke, catch up with friends, etc), and good service. I'm leaving out the pricetag - as it proves to be inelastic to the society in Bangsar (those who either stays here or generally loves hanging out in the area).
Yeast has been garnering attention from the online and offline world, perhaps because it is a true-blue Parisian themed and inspired bistro, whipping up authentic but affordable French bistro food and run by a couple of whom the husband is a French, and from what we saw, the kitchen is helmed by a gusto French lady chef and the masterpieces from the boulangerie are from the artisan baker who is also imported in from France.
Frisée aux Lardons - RM22
Frisée salad, smoked duck, poached eggs
The premise was packed to brim - an indication that food must be good? We had to wait for a good 15 minutes before some tables start vacating, but we chose to sit at the bar instead - which is not a norm for us, but there is always a time and place to defy the norm and you may be pleasantly surprised by the experience.
We saw how poached eggs were made, or how many slices of smoked salmon goes on the toasted brioche for the eggs benedict dish, or how the cheese was melted on the croque madame, or.... the list goes on.
Compared to its neighbor (perhaps an arch rival now?) - Antipodean, Yeast's brunch menu is more focused to offer what a typical bistro in Paris would offer -- simple no-frills, could be prepared easily, and fast. Therefore, what you see in the brunch menu typically revolves around comfort-food ingredients such as egg, cheese, tomato, smoked salmon or turkey ham, and typical French pastries such as brioche and croissant.
Oeuf Poche 'Benedictins' - RM18
2 soft poached eggs on brioche toast with smoked salmon or smoked turkey, bearnaise sauce and greens
We ordered a frisée salad to share. 'Frisée' is a type of vege known as French curly endive, while 'Lardons' are small strips or cubes of bacon or lard, but Yeast's version uses smoked duck. If you deconstruct the whole dish, you'll find that this is a very simple salad, but the hefty pricetag may be due to the ingredients.
The eggs menu is available daily until 3pm. So be sure to catch the brunch menu if you're in the mood for the crowd's favourite 'Eggs Benedict' (there seems to be a sure-order on every table, including ours!). Everyone has opinions on how a perfect Eggs Benedict should be, for me - if it's on a toasted brioche, this gets a spot on the podium. Toasted brioche with generous portion of smoked salmon, perfectly poached eggs and not too overwhelming hollandaise sauce? (Yeast replaces the traditional with bearnaise) - we've got a champion!
Croque Madame - RM25
Grilled turkey ham and cheese topped with a sunny side up egg
The other crowd favourite seems to be the Croque Madame, though we find it steeply priced especially the next item after the Madame in the menu is Monsieur (sans the sunny side up egg) is priced RM4 lower. One tip for this one, if you're not a huge fan of cheese, the Croque Madame can fill you up very easily as the cheese (suspect it's Gruyère) is quite powering. In my opinion, best to enjoy it shared half. Fortunately, we love cheese, it was on toasted brioche, and we shared it!
The perks of bar counter seats - you get to see everything in action in the kitchen!; Latte - RM9
On the other side of the bistro, is where the artworks of the artisan baker are proudly displayed and offer for sample & sale. Yeast believes in baking the freshest and serving its customers the freshest too, so from 5 - 7pm, the pastries and bread are sold at 30% off.
We'd love to return to Yeast to sample their dinner fare and see if it could be an affordable option against the higher end Café Café.
24G, Jalan Telawi 2,
* 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.]