Irish eyes are bound to smile when they spy a comforting dish of Dublin Coddle (RM33). Rich and hearty, this salubrious stew of potatoes, root vegetables and Irish sausage is a signature speciality at Donkey & Crow Irish Pub in KL. Served with rustic bread slices, the offering may look unassuming but taste-wise, it’s heartwarming succour that satisfies the soul.
We enjoy the simple dish at Donkey & Crow, a laidback Irish pub which has two outlets: TREC KL and Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC). Established in 2015, we learn the choice of name combining Donkey to denote perseverance and strength and the Crow to symbolise fearlessness and courage. These characteristics are firmly held by the Donkey & Crow team in their quest to be the Best Irish Pub in the region.
Historically, pubs (a contraction of public house in the old days) is a welcoming, go-to folksy outpost for a casual bite, a couple of pints and some jolly good time. Likewise, Donkey & Crow strikes a similar path for today’s white collar professionals, expatriates and urban families.
Newer than the TREC KL outpost, the BSC outlet exudes an old-world charm interior-wise. A colourful, mosaic-laid mural serves as the focal point at the heart of the pub while the shaded patio with high stools and tables is a hot hanging out space at dusk.
There's even a hideaway private room in addition to a pool table right at the entrance. Besides beer, liquor and spirits, the beverage menu proffers an interesting selection of beer-fused concoctions like Beejito (RM38 nett), cocktails and mocktails.
While I had eaten Scotch eggs as a child, I didn’t know it was a popular picnic staple and convenient snack in the UK. Basically, it’s a whole hardboiled egg swaddled with mince or sausage meat with an outer, deep-fried breadcrumb coating. Interestingly, Wikipedia mentioned Belgium and the Netherlands have them too. In Malaysia, Scotch egg falls into the same milieu of colonial fare as chicken chop and mulligatawny.
We were a little perturbed by the frontliner's raised eyebrow when we ordered 2 servings of Scotch Egg (RM23 nett) and we soon discovered why. The Donkey & Crow’s version is huge and a meal in itself! Personally, I find it too salty for my liking but for the Caucasian pub regulars here, the offering accompanied with mustard sauce heralds a taste of home.
Pale and plain, the Blue Cheese Mushroom (RM23) looks deceptively nondescript until its lush flavour hits your palate. We thoroughly enjoy every mouthful of the tender button mushrooms in creamy blue cheese sauce with toast. Cooked down to velvety richness, the savoury white sauce has a subtle, well-rounded ‘bite’ to it.
The Snacks Platter (RM68) may be a viable curtain-raiser for small groups as the selection of Pigs in Blanket, Smoked Duck Breast, Nachos Bacon, Onion Rings and Chips is ample enough for 2-3 persons to share. Most of the options hit the spot although our bowl of nachos was somewhat dry and underwhelming.
For main course, we readily vouch for Grilled Pork Ribs with Whiskey Sauce (RM49). Although a stronger boozy overtone is desirable for the whiskey sauce, the ribs with corn, roast potatoes and salad prove noteworthy.
Sweet-toothed diners will find the ho-hum Brownies with Ice Cream isn’t something to write home about. You’re better off with another pint or cocktail before hitting the road.
For reservations, call Donkey & Crow Irish Pub, tel: 03-2011 1868 (BSC) or 03-2110 5349 (TREC KL). Address: 1) G130, Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur; 2) E-G-05, Electric Boulevard, TREC, Lot 434, Seksyen 90, Jalan Tun Razak, KL.