Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Dining Out @ Bistro à Table, Section 17, Petaling Jaya
We have been haunting this little bistro tucked away in Petaling Jaya ever since it opened last week. Run by private chef Isadora Chai, food here is wholesome and cooked with a lot of heart. Occupying Patrick Teoh's former Music Machine's premises, the place has been done up in a simple yet effective manner - suspended lightbulbs on closer look resemble flowers from below with their draping wires, hanging glass vases, French themed prints, black mosaic tiles and a quirky door frame with their name. Don't also forget the Francophile theme as the inside doors and the front step get a slick of the red, blue and white colours from the French flag.
Back to food. It's simple with a one page menu for appetisers, mains and desserts that does change accordingly to what's fresh in the market. While it does not rapidly change daily, if you dine here regularly enough you may find some favourites making way for other dishes that Isadora wants to introduce to you. In a way, it's a good thing as she's got quite a wide repertoire of yummy dishes. Do leave room for desserts as they're all divine. Being a good girl, I won't dive into desserts yet but start in a proper manner with appetisers.
Zoom in on the one-of-the-kind Caesar Salad Soup (RM18), Isadora's quirky creation. It's essentially a deconstructed dish - cos salad soup, soft egg hidden behind a wall of sliced toast, duck prosciutto slices, parmesan crisp with a dollop of cream. Simply divine and makes you feel happier to have eaten your greens with a spoon! We also loved the creamy duck liver parfait (RM19) that we hoovered quickly through with our soft and crusty topped baguettes. Equally good is the coddled egg with maple syrup served with an asparagus spear and crouton dust (RM16). For heartier appetites, there's also the seafood (mantis prawn and lobster) bisque topped with a gruyere souffle (RM35).
We move on the mains (and one step closer to desserts). Splashie Boy loved the gnocchi with burnt butter, tomatoes and zucchini (RM28). The gnocchi has a pillow soft texture that paired well with the fragrant brown butter, while the vegetables helped cut through the richness. A specialty here is the traditional duck cassoulet (RM48) - slow cooked duck for 8 hours with beans. It's a very hearty dish that you will keep spooning down your throat. It can be a teeny weeny bit salty though but I reckon it'll be perfect with a glass of white wine. For decadent palates, go for the slipper lobster and sea urchin tagliatelle (RM119) - a super rich concoction laced with a decadent lobster oil. The second time we dined here, the steak had been changed to a herbed crust lamb rack (RM96) that was cooked perfectly with a red wine sauce on the side and creamy mash potatoes. We had also ordered side dishes: truffled mash (RM12) and steamed French beans with hazelnuts in vinaigrette (RM10).
Finally we reach desserts, always a high point for me. We love the warm chocolate fondant with its oozing chocolate centre that melds with the vanilla creme anglaise (RM18) that hugs it. My other favourite was the dragonfruit coconut pavlova topped with candied ginger (RM14). The combination of the lightly coconut scented cream with the ginger is perfect with the crunch from the meringue. For a very rich end to your meal, you have two choices of tiramisu - an alcohol drenched one (RM29) or the deconstructed version (RM18) that is extremely chocolate-ly. Oh and don't forget one of my personal favourites, the kaffir lime and lemon tart (RM15), one of the best citrus themed tarts in town with a slightly soft centre.
The place is still very very new and feeling their way around. There's also plans to introduce a degustation menu. Do pop by and get a feel of the place and try the food. You'll find a friendly cosy place that reminds one of dining overseas. For the adventurous, try the long communal table in the middle. Who knows, you may end up chatting with your fellow diners and discover you know each other.
Bistro à Table
6, Jalan 17/54
Tel: 03-7931 2831
(Pork Free. Place is behind Decanter at Section 17. Closed on Mondays. Open for dinnertime at the moment. Call for bookings. More pictures are in the Flickr set.)
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.