Duck and Mango Salad (RM15.90+)
Before I stepped in to the Apartment, I was envisioning loads of problems especially since I kept reading negative reviews abour the food. Maybe I set my standards to expect the worst but the food we chose that night actually tasted quite good. However, I could see room for improvement in terms of service and some of the menu items. I read in the papers how the management of the Apartment (which is the same as TGIF, Italiannies, Laundry) was inspired by Jamie Oliver's philosophy for simple yet great tasting food. When you flick through their cute paper menu stuck on a clipboard, you'll see Jamie Oliver classics like Chicken in a Bag and Duck and Aubergine Pasta. I'm sure there will be variations made to his recipes to adapt to our palate and to what is available here. Another point to note is there is also a place called The Apartment in Melbourne. Based from what I read, it's also decorated like a living space but they serve lunch in the day time on communal tables and at night, it transforms into a club and lounge.
Zesty Herbed Sole served with Olive Salsa, Thyme Mash and Rocket (RM25.90+)
Back to the food, we ordered a salad to start the meal and was highly recommended the Duck and Mango Salad. Although the portion was small it was excellent. I liked the thickly sliced sweet yellow mangoes mixed with shredded duck meat, slivers of spring onions and thinly sliced lemongrass and kaffir leaves. Tossed in a Thai Nam Pla sauce, it was sweet, sour and salty. Definitely a keeper and I wouldn't mind just eating this refreshing salad on my own for a light lunch. To satisfy my curiosity, I googled "Jamie Oliver mango salad" and got a reference to a Thai Mango Salad with Griddled Prawns. Looks completely different so maybe this one is their own creation?
Chicken in a Bag (RM17.90+)
For the mains, Splashie Boy ordered the sole which was described in the menu as Zesty Herbed Sole. Sadly the fish didn't taste very zesty or herbed but more like plain pan fried sole fish (known to us Ikan Kurau). The olive salsa with the chopped black olives was unusual but quite dry and needed a dash of olive oil. What was nice was the thyme mash - lightly mashed potatoes with hints of the herb. There's a similar recipe on Jamie Oliver's website but using monkfish (that expensive one which tastes like lobster meat) and black olive sauce and lemon mash.
Top View of Strawberry Mint Parfait
Of course since I knew it was a Jamie Oliver inspired, I had to sample his famous Chicken in a Bag recipe. If you're a fan of Jamie Oliver, you'll know that he developed this quick and easy way to cook in a tin foil bag. Just assemble ingredients, place in the bag, roll up the foil and throw it in the oven. The Apartment's version is different from Jamie's version as they use cream instead with the chicken breast cubes, seeded mustard, leeks, marjoram and cannelloni beans. A few new potatoes are also chucked in to make it more substantial. Although it may not appeal to those who're watching their waistline, it's pretty good comfort food. I liked how the marjoram enhanced the dish, another Jamie Oliver philosophy.
Strawberry Mint Parfait (RM8.90+)
To end the meal, we chose to share the crowd favourite - the Strawberry Mint Parfait. I liked the simple and clean flavours of this. Served in a tall clear glass, you could make out the seperate layers of cubed sponge fingers, mint flavoured cream and chopped strawberries.
Overall, I thought my meal was satisfying and maybe the little quirks found in the food could be due to an inexperienced kitchen who is still finding their way around. I guess one way is to revisit it when things have calmed down. My major complaint is the service - too many pink coloured t-shirt clad wait staff hanging around with too little things to do. Could be a temporary hitch since they're new but this definitely needs improvement as it's irritating to see so many people stand around and ignore you when you want service.
G72-74 and 152
Ground Floor and First Floor
Tel No: 03 – 7727 8330
(Halal. Open from 11.00 am to 11.00 pm. Note that on the first floor, they have a bar.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.