Showing posts with label pork ribs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pork ribs. Show all posts

Saturday, December 04, 2021


I'm stoked to savour my favourite Ulam Rice (RM38) from Table & Apron (T&A) restaurant after a 2-year hiatus. The prolonged MCO and the inter-district/inter-state distance between my residential neighbourhood and the resto put paid to plans for food deliveries, much less dine-in visits. When a recent invitation to meet restaurateur Marcus Low came up, I couldn't pass up on the opportunity.

This perennial speciality that has been always been on the T&A menu is an updated version.  A hybrid between Hakka lei cha and nasi kerabu, the mound of rice is surrounded by cubes of crisp fried mung bean and split peas tempeh, chopped long beans, chopped fresh mint, chopped daun kesom, shredded kaffir lime leaves, raw and toasted coconut flakes, blanched beansprouts, chunks of ikan tongkol, roasted peanuts, curry leaf-infused oil, and spiced kicap manis.

Squeeze the kalamansi lime over the rice, then pour the dark soy dressing over it and stir everything thoroughly. The cohesive mingling and melding of textures and flavours make this an incredibly appetising dish we thoroughly enjoy eating with great relish. Each mouthful is a riotous flavoursome party. Our only complaint is the roasted peanuts which would have been better crushed.

That's basically the crux of Table & Apron's success formula. According to founder Marcus Low, “It's hard to pigeon-hole us but Table & Apron is a Malaysian restaurant at heart. Most of the dishes we serve come with unexpected twists that seem familiar to our guests yet at the same time, they’re also something new.”

The former mechanical engineer reveals he couldn’t resist the siren’s call of culinary after he had given engineering his best shot. Recalling his earliest interest in food was sparked when he was around 12 years old, Marcus says he decided to get his feet wet in the restaurant business by starting out as a dishwasher and kitchen porter.

Marcus Low...Photo courtesy of Table & Apron 

Fuelled by passion, resilience, and determination, Marcus sought various other roles within the kitchen before embarking on his own private supper club stint. One thing led to another, and his dream of being a restaurateur finally came true. Marcus is understandably proud to have celebrated Table & Apron's (previously known as The Kitchen Table) 7th anniversary recently. It's a significant milestone as countless F&B entities have fallen by the wayside in the Klang Valley’s cut-throat F&B scene, amidst prolonged MCO shutdowns during the pandemic.

According to Marcus, "It's my restaurant, but I now want it to be our restaurant - a compelling reason for our employees to own their craft. It's reason enough to realise that as much as we are in the business of food & service, we’re actually really in the business of people.”

My admiration for Marcus and the T&A team grow exponentially when I realise the restaurateur is a caring, empathic employer who goes the extra mile for his team or community as he calls them. By inculcating T&A with its own corporate culture and treating the team with care and respect, I personally can bear testament to the positive pay-offs as a paying customer, (T&A prefers to call us guests). All my past visits to T&A have been positive experiences. Much to their credit, the team has always been on the ball, from the minute we step in up to the time they bid us farewell.

Not many F&B owners bother to offer a designated area for their team to rest in-between operation hours, serve familial-style meals to foster esprit de corp, conduct daily sharing/debriefs sessions, and allocate a budget for regular market intelligence to enable team members to stay abreast of F&B trends...kudos to T&A for such initiatives. 

Now the proof of such internal community TLC is reflected in the food and drink we partake, starting with the handcrafted tipples such as Pineapple & Assam Boi (RM14) and Earl Grey Milk Tea (RM15). Easily recognisable among the local populace, the slightly salty, sour and sweet Pineapple & Assam Boi drink offers a refreshing juicy version of our Malaysianised way of eating fresh guava slices sprinkled liberally with assam boi (salted preserved plum) powder.

As for the latter, Marcus recounts the Earl Grey Milk Tea as a Merdeka Day tribute some 4 years ago when bubble tea was all the rage. “We decided to put our own spin on it with Earl Grey tea, gula Melaka syrup and salted whipped cream.”

Although it doesn’t contain any boba, the fragrant, milky and lightly sweetened tea comes with a good frothy crown and an enticing bergamot scent.

Should you prefer something gut-healthy, there’s tangy Kombucha. Brewed by a former T&A team member who has since moved on to start her own artisanal F&B biz, the fizzy drink has a nice tantalising tartness to it.

Marcus and his team have grown and progressed over the years too. They also operate the adjacent Universal Bakehouse which supplies T&A with Assorted Sourdough (4 slices-RM4, 8 slices-RM8). Various condiments, ranging from Butter, Sea Salt (+RM3) to Smoked Mackerel Pate (+RM10) are available to complement the toasted bread.

Interestingly, the team is flexible enough to accommodate certain dietary requests where permissible. For instance, the Smoked Mackerel Pate – concocted from cream cheese, chopped spring onions and onion – comes sans onion upon request from one of our dining companions. Personally, I like the bursts of sharp, fresh acidity so I’m happy with the original version as it is.

Another show-stopper which has kept evolving and unfailingly gain a loyal following is Pineapple Ketchup Glazed Ribs with Tamarind and Chilli Dip (4 pcs, RM30/8 pcs, RM56).


While most restaurants proffer Westernised hickory smoked barbecue accents, T&A takes great pride in teasing our tastebuds with juicy fall-off the bone ribs suffused with sticky fruity-sweet and savoury flavours. You can opt to amp up the appeal even further with the tamarind-chilli dip but IMHO, it doesn’t need it.

Slightly charred at the edges, spiked with slivers of tart onion pickles balancing the creamy ricotta, the Roasted Cauliflower, Ricotta, Pickled Onion and Breadcrumbs (RM21) is the type of vegetable dish everyone will happily devour without fuss.

A hefty rib shoulder cut of Sanbanto Pork Chop (RM58-medium, RM65-large) with Chimichurri & Charred Baby Kailan. Dotted with caramelised garlic pips, the slices of lean meat are trimmed with enough fat to make it enticing.

Where possible, the T&A team advocates the use of local ingredients – the Fish N’ Chips being a good example, highlighting local catfish instead of imported fishes. The sizeable chunks of battered fish accompanied by thick-cut fries go down a treat, coated in T&A’s signature buckwheat batter that renders each piece crunchy-crisp. This was a constant best-seller when it was first introduced as a tea-time takeaway treat so much so T&A finally made it permanent in the menu. Personally, my vote still goes to the much-loved buckwheat fried chicken...another T&A must try!

Our dessert of Apple Crumble Tart with Salted Crumble and Thyme – a newish creation – is a tad underwhelming after the earlier succession of high points. We reckon an old-school apple pie would simply hit the spot better.

For reservations (highly recommended) at Table & Apron, call tel: 03-7733 4000. Address: Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Monday, January 25, 2021


A Prosperity Family Platter fit for kings from Rockafellers Kitchen & Bar is a great choice to welcome the Year of the Ox in the comfort of home this year. Executive Chefs Yogi and Jarrod Khoo have rustled up generous servings of Roasted Pork Belly, Red Fermented Beancurd (Nam Yue) Pork Ribs, Whole Roast Duck, BBQ Pork Belly (Char Siu) and Pork Knuckle for the Prosperity Family Platter (RM280 nett, 4-5 persons and RM499 nett, serves 8-10 persons). 

We had a field day digging into the meaty plethora: the assortment left no room for complaints, the riotous flavours satisfied our familial spirits. The proverbial generation gap was seamlessly bridged as everyone picked their preferred cuts.

A treasure trove of accompaniments complemented the meats too. We found crispy dices of pork lard, streaky bacon, baked potatoes, pineapple wedges, broccoli florets, baby carrots, shitake mushrooms and Yorkshire pudding. Sauces to enhance the entire ensemble include roasted brown gravy, apple puree and a spicy sambal sauce.

The Prosperity Menu, available for takeaways and deliveries also features Roasted Suckling Pig (RM370 for ½ pig@2.5-3kg, best for 5 - 6 pax and RM525 for a whole pig @5-6kg, best for 8 - 10 pax) with seasonal baked vegetables, drenched in roasted gravy and sauces to add a ritzy twist to the traditional festive toss.

Timeless classics from the à la carte menu to tempt you range from Crispy Pork Rolls, Baked Salmon Fillet, Crispy Pork Belly, BBQ Pork Belly (Char Siu), and Nam Yu Pork Ribs to heavenly Grilled Mix Seafood Platter comprising tiger prawns, squids, green mussels, slipper lobster and seabass.

Early birds who place their bookings between 21 and 31 January 2021 will enjoy a 10% discount on the total order. Any Prosperity platter order will come with 5 complimentary bottles of Heineken 0.0 too. 

The sumptuous Chinese ‘Niu’ Year food affairs from Rockafellers Kitchen + Bar are available from 3rd February 2021 for takeaways and deliveries, while stocks last.

·       Pre-orders available from 1st February until 28th February 2021

·       A minimum 3 days advance notice is required for orders placed on your preferred date

·       A 50% non-refundable deposit should be paid upon placement of orders

·       Free delivery within a 15km radius 

For bookings and enquiries at Rockafellers, kindly contact:

-        Chef Yogi: +60 10 221 7302

-        Rishen: +60 16 963 2929

-        Sara: +60 12 250 7726

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Food writing is an on-going learning journey. A visit to Anne Elizabeth, a deli-style restaurant owned by husband and wife team, Jacob Fong and Sandra Lee, proved enlightening as I grappled with unfamiliar meat cuts like abanico and picanha.
Anne Elizabeth’s best-selling Iberico Abanico (RM39.80 per 250g piece) is a pièce de résistance you are unlikely to find elsewhere. Named after the Spanish hand fan, this fan-shaped cut is the external, thin and well-marbled piece of meat surrounding the Iberico ribs.
Best grilled or barbecued to draw out the big flavour of this prized cut, and render it juicy and crisp, abanico is one of the stellar ‘must try’ offerings at this restaurant.

A sprinkling of sea salt and ground pepper is enough to make this piece meltingly tender, blush pink pork an epicurean delight. Unlike ordinary pork meat, Fong said abanico should ideally be 70% cooked to medium or medium well doneness for best eating quality. Supply for abanico is hard to come by due to its limited availability. According to Fong, his restaurant has a firm grip on the supply thanks to established understanding with his supplier.
Heading into its 5th year of operation come September, Fong shares he has two decades of European food expertise hence the range of deli and charcuterie offerings are slanted towards British, Spanish, Italian and French-style.
The couple has kept Anne Elizabeth's set-up simple and practical, with display chillers showcasing a wide array of premium meat cuts, gourmet sausages and some fish for diners to select. Wall-mounted chalkboards listing salads, soup and pasta add to the plethora available, leaving them spoiled for choice. Service is cordial, efficient and attentive too; everything runs like clockwork even though the restaurant is packed come peak meal hours.
A pair of Black Pig Meatball in a Blanket (RM9.60 per piece) whets our appetite for starter. One is about the size of a toddler’s fist so it’s good to share if you plan to load up on a main course later. Wrapped in streaky bacon, the handmade and slightly smoky Iberico pork meatball is utterly scrumptious.
We temper its rich taste with a serving of Passionfruit Salad & Parmesan Salad (RM11.90). Studded with raisins, the mixed greens accompanied by fresh, tangy passionfruit is perked up by some honey and olive oil dressing. It’s a nice complement to the surfeit of meat we’d be having.
Although I’m not inclined to soup, the Creamy Mushroom & Bacon Soup (RM11.90) proves notable. Lots of chopped bacon bits give the creamy, earthy soup additional appeal. Lighter on the palate is Roasted Pumpkin & Tomato Soup (RM10.90) – an interesting combo which seems to work cohesively, taste-wise.
We also pig out on Pork Jowl (RM23.20 per piece, about 180g). Don’t knock its plain and lean appearance as the pork slices are superbly delectable. Each piece is surprisingly moist with an excellent, toothsome bite to it. For some flavour variation, dip it into the house sauces: caramelised roast gravy and pepper cream.
Lightly seasoned with grain mustard and sea salt, the splendid rack of Iberico Spare Ribs (RM68.20 per 600g slab) vanishes within minutes it hit our table. I find it goes well with the housemade apple sauce.
Another rare cut avid meat lovers will enjoy is the Australian Wagyu Picanha (RM66 per 200g piece). Also known as rump cap (UK) or sirloin cap (US), picanha is the most prized beef cut in Brazil. Again, a dash of salt and pepper does the trick in bringing out the inherent nuances.
Side dishes to complement mains include hearty baked Portobello, Bacon & Cheese (RM14.90 per piece) and the humongous U.S. Russet Jacket Potato (RM10.90) with sour cream, bacon, spring onion and grated Parmesan.

Fong tells us about 50% of the sausages sold at Anne Elizabeth are made to his charcuterie recipes by his suppliers. “We opt for a combination of European and local flavours, to ensure the end products aren’t too fanciful or foreign to our customers’ liking.”

The quartet of Honey Pork Sausage (RM7.90 per piece), smoky Bacon Bratwurst (RM10.90 per piece), Anne’s Cumberland (RM17.60 per piece) and Spicy Russian (RM7.90 per piece) exemplifies that philosophy. It’s hard to decide which we like best: the subtly sweet honey pork sausage, the smoky savouriness of the bacon brat, the Cumberland’s herb-spice accents or the hot & spicy Russian which is spiked with chopped bird’s eye chilli.
For now most of the resto’s sausages are pork-based but Fong reveals he may introduce more variants with pork-beef and lamb stuffing in the near future. Also in the pipeline will be more varieties of ikejime fish, in addition to the existing salmon and seabass selection.
Should you have room for dessert, try the luscious Banana Crème Brulee (RM10.80). It’s up to scratch and a boon for sweet-toothed diners who cannot bear wrapping up a meal without any luscious treat.

For reservations, please call ANNE ELIZABETH, tel: 03-9130 0319. Address: No.1, Jalan Manis 4, Taman Segar, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: Mon-Thurs 12noon to 11pm, Sat & Sun 12noon to 11pm. Closed on Friday.

Featured Post


Whimsical. Fun. Impactful. Imagine a flock of butterflies fluttering up once you open Cake Rush’s latest Explosion Gift Box. We were thrille...