Thursday, June 20, 2013

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITIES

The backlit signage outside the restaurant makes a stylish statement. Pix courtesy of Melur & Thyme
I have always admired anyone who have a knack at coming up with catchy restaurant names...one of the most recent brand names that I like is Melur & Thyme - a chic eatery in KLCC that's right opposite the posh Harrods Cafe. Thanks to Phoenix Bee who invited us to meet Melur & Thyme's owner cum Executive Director Datin Nazneen Abdullah, we were treated to a most slap-up lunch recently.
View of the patio seating area. Pix courtesy of Melur & Thyme
According to Datin Nazneen, the name Melur & Thyme reflects the menu's East & West selection, a meeting of old and new favourites.
Warm, earth tones coupled with whimsical filigree-like swirls and artistic renderings dominate the interior.
"We're aiming for a memorable mix of East and West by maintaining traditional processes and food experiences in our modern, eclectic ambience," said Datin. "My eldest girl who's a graduate from the London School of Economics wants to reinterpret her favourite recipes from across Europe and some family gems like grandma's Hokkien mee in one eatery. So Melur & Thyme is really a casual sidewalk cafe where friends and family can gather and share fond memories over a selection of tapas or small bites and nostalgic dishes."
Different views of the restaurant interior...pixs courtesy of Melur & Thyme
Even the decor is slightly retro; interior arty iron works are based on whimsical hand-drawn sketches and stylish renderings, white tiled walls are matched with dark wood fittings, circular framed 'fish eye' mirrors and ornate wall lamps. Unsurprisingly, the 85+ seat outlet has drawn a regular crowd of office workers and tourists since opening as well as acclaim from 'floggers' and food mags.
Seeing red? Nah, it's just brilliiant Plancha Sauce...goes perfectly with the Californian seafood salad
Our attention was first drawn to the brilliant orange hue of the sweet red pepper vinaigrette known as 'plancha' in the California Grilled Seafood Salad (RM28). The distinctive sauce, an intermingling smoky-sweet-savoury concoction enveloped the grilled salmon, tiger prawns, squid, and fresh sardines (marinated with herbs) in the huge bowl of green salad. Every mouthful yielded an explosion of flavours and layers of multiple textures: crispness, chewiness, succulence and softness that had us picking at the dish repeatedly.
Stick 'em up...these duck-licious satay drove us quackers!
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Duck Satay (RM11-small, RM19-large) from the now defunct Duck n Such (Datin and her daughter's maiden venture) returns to roost anew here. The skewers of well-marinated duck breast meat are so delectable that they knocked us over on their own. But wait, we discovered they taste equally marvellous with the accompanying peanut sauce.
 
Lace me up and scarf me down...Crisp lettuce leaves and roti jala filled with sliced aromatic duck
The Crispy Aromatic Duck (RM29) which is all the rage in London also appears in the line-up. Interestingly, the dish's a blend of Chinese-Korean-Malaysian influences. The delightfully crisp duck breast slices bear a subtle herbal accent to them are then turned into salubrious parcels once wrapped up in fresh lettuce leaves, roti jala (lacey pancakes) and slivers of raw garlic. We were soon quacking for repeat helpings after dipping them into the trio of sambal, orange plum and hoisin sauces.

Deep Fried Hoisin Chicken Wings (RM15), tender from its sous vide treatment and slicked with a sweetish honey and hoisin mixture, proved fabulously irresistible; a godsend treat to placate a surly teen or hyperactive tot in tow.
Flyaway winner...peckish cravings will be satisfied with these crunchy quail quarters
Small in size but big in flavour best describes my impression of the Lemongrass & Lime Leaf Quail (RM11 - S, RM19 - L). Marinated in a hodge-podge of aromatics: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, onion, galangal, ginger, cumin and crushed pepper, the deep-fried quail quarters are not only crunchy to the bite but also thoroughly suffused with the heady scents and bold, punchy overtones of its marinade. We unashamedly picked everything clean off the bones, I tell you!
A sight to melt the heart...tender lamb cutlets redolent with bold flavours
Another dish I'd return for is the Grilled Lamb Cutlets (RM25 - S, RM34 - L). Sumptuous thanks to its red pepper marinade, the cutlets are a wicked treat thanks to its yummilicious melted goat cheese topping.
Get tangled up with scrumptious seafood and spaghetti doused in rich plancha sauce
A grilled crab with some prawns starred in the Plancha Seafood Spaghetti (RM37) creation with the signature house plancha sauce giving the overall dish a rather indulgent unctuousness. I personally find a small serving more than ample but if you're one of those who are partial to rich, creamy pasta sauces then this combo will make your day.
Nice bait...snap up this crisp fish fillet before it slips away
There's nothing bland about the Crusted Baked Hake Fish (RM32) as the fillet is sealed with spices, and topped with herbs and Japanese breadcrumbs before it's baked. We were quite hooked on this invigorating, zesty main that stirs up your sense of taste and smell, complemented by sides of vegetable, mash and cilantro garlic oil.
A bumper burger that's too luxe for words
Fancy sinking your molars into a juicy, superbly scrumptious Beef Burger with Foie Gras (RM39)? This is the real deal - made on premise, the beefy patty is seasoned with myriad spices and herbs before it's grilled to tender perfection. Sandwiched between a multi-grain bun and topped with a slice of seared foie gras for that luxe finishing, it's moreish to the max.
Better than the other Madam? Eat it and judge for yourself
Fried king prawn with crispy wantan noodles drenched in a thick chicken broth and eggy sauce with ginger, garlic and spring onion makes the Sang Har Mein (RM39) a surefire crowd-puller. Pure comfort food that's designed to satisfy.
Chocoholics dream...with durian, pecans and peanut butter stirred in
Our dessert was literally Death by Chocolate as we sampled three chocolatey confections: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake (RM10), Durian Chocolate Cake (RM10) and Chocolate Pecan Pie (RM15). I'm a sucker for anything peanut buttery so the choc and peanut butter creation naturally got my top vote. Coming in a close second is the pie despite its rather crumbly crust. When it comes to durian and chocolate, my personal maxim is "never the two shall meet" but if that tickles your fancy, don't let me stop you.

Early birds take note. Breakfast is served from 830 am to 11 am daily with local and Western choices available so if you're famished before heading to work or to shop, this is the place to nip in for a quick bite.

MELUR & THYME, G03H-I Level Ground, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03 - 2181 8001

7 comments:

Sherry said...

hi Alice, new follower here. :D we met last year June in midvalley remember?

wow.. so many delicious food.

http://namesherry.com

Ciki said...

Looks truly divine! What a great place to have lunch at.. I am so going!

Alice Yong said...

@Sherry - thanks for dropping by! We hv met before? Gosh, my memory's so bad nowadays...can you refresh it n tell me which event did we attend together?

@Ciki - u should go. I love the ambience...

Anonymous said...

Cafe ni ada surve arak ke?

Alice Yong said...

@Anonymous...as far as I know the restaurant doesn't serve alcohol. The owners are Malay Muslims.

Blue Mountain Coffee said...

I enjoyed every bit of your post. Designing of your sitting area is really appreciable. Dishes are looking so delicious. I really want to try bumper burger and chocoholics. Thanks for offering these dishes.

Alice Yong said...

@Blue Mountain Coffee thank you for your kind compliments. I appreciate your support & visit. Hope you enjoy visiting the resto as much as I did.