Sunday, January 25, 2015

Copper Modern European Restaurant @ Menara Shell, Tun Sambanthan

It's been nearly a decade since Chai Chun Boon met his future wife Zeehan Zahari; since then, he's cooked everywhere from the Netherlands to Switzerland, Spain & Singapore, while she pursued her own cross-continental corporate career. Now, the couple have embarked on a mutual enterprise - a modern European eatery called Copper that's a showcase for flair & finesse.

Copper is tucked on the fifth floor of Menara Shell on Tun Sambanthan; its business hours make it inconvenient for most folks - 730am-530pm weekdays & 9am-2pm Saturdays, closed Sundays - but it's well worth checking out if you live or work nearby. Pretty spacious & beautifully outfitted - not a bad bet for business lunches.

 For fans of baked eggs, Copper is a real treat, with two types served here: A meatless rendition that's earthy with oven-roasted mushroom, onion puree, cheese & dill, as well as a shakshuka-inspired interpretation tangy with chicken chorizo, stewed tomatoes, basil & zucchini (both RM20 each), served with kitchen-baked sourdough toast.

Make no mistake though - Copper's aspirations go beyond regular cafe fare, illustrated by complex offerings with culinary wit & imagination, like this hot vichyssoise with seared scallops & leek fondue (RM16, emblematic of Copper's reasonable prices) ...

... & hamachi cooked a la plancha with smoky aubergine creme, confit tomato & fish crisps (RM33). Flavours here are subtle & somewhat restrained, but what they lack in immediate punch, they make up for in textured nuance. There's a strong sense of the work poured into producing each component, firmly rooted in culinary tradition but flowering with contemporary creativity.

Catalan-style seafood stew, alluringly fragrant with Iranian saffron, loaded with fish, calamari, clams, prawns, potatoes & aioli (RM36). Would work well with a Riesling or Rose, but unfortunately, Copper lies in no-vino territory - a minus point, absolutely.

 Try the beetroot-lovers' salad (RM17), wholesome with beet-cured salmon, salt-baked beetroot, shaved fennel, olive puree & citrus yogurt, or for something more sinfully savoury, the salt beef, sauerkraut & Swiss cheese wrap (RM18).

Don't skip desserts here - the artistic aesthetics are appealing. The menu calls this simply 'olive cake with lavender sugar & extra olive oil foam' (RM15), but it comes out looking much more elaborate than expected. A pleasure to photograph, for sure.

 If there's one dish to order at Copper, this is it: Poppy seed crepes with citrus slices, nuts, rosemary, salted caramel & fresh mint - roll the crepes up & eat everything together. Likely to rank among our favourite desserts for 2015. Plus, it's only RM15.

 There's a distinctive twist or two to many Copper creations, underscored by Earl Grey crema catalana with edible flowers (RM15) & orange blossom pavlova (more moist than crunchy) with passion fruit & pistachios, both as delicious as they sound.

Like your churros dense? You'll likely favour Copper's (RM15), coupled with vanilla chantilly cream & Valrhona choc sauce.

 What's safe to completely skip though is the coffee - it's Copper's Achilles' heel for now, not quite the match of the food.

Copper By FAV @ Menara Shell
Level 5, Menara Shell, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2856-9522

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for January-March 2015. This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2015 
This link expires March 31, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

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Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oliver's Kitchen & Chubbies Cafe @ Shaftsbury Square, Cyberjaya

Checking into Cyberjaya for burgers & pizzas at two eateries in the Shaftsbury Square complex, starting with Oliver's Kitchen, which is reputedly named for the toddler son of the couple who own this restaurant. Nice touch, that bit.

Cool presentation too for the burger (RM22), which boasts a kitchen-made Aussie beef patty topped with cheddar cheese, caramelised onions, oyster mushrooms & tomato relish, complemented by British-style chunky chips, a cause for carb comas.

Oliver's signboard might promise rustic recipes, but the fare here feels rather refined, from a capably executed pizza that's meat-packed with beef pepperoni, spicy chicken & chopped beef balls (RM25) to a fruit pavlova that's stuffed into a glass instead of spread on a plate. All in all, Oliver seems like a reasonable option if you're working in Cyberjaya.

Also at Shaftsbury: Chubbies, a cafe with quirky decorative flourishes not normally associated with squeaky-clean Cyberjaya.

The menu's main eccentricity: Instead of the typical beef & chicken burgers, Chubbies avoids those together & substitutes them with a salmon burger, topped with omelette strips in a charcoal bun with fries & salad. Decent enough for RM15.90.

The house speciality pizza comes with chicken, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese & white sauce (RM18.90), which works OK for folks who're fine with mass-market-type pies. For coffee, we couldn't resist trying the White Mocha (RM8.80; espresso with white chocolate & steamed milk), though it's more of a novelty-value order.

Oliver's Kitchen
P3A-13A, Shaftsbury Square, Persiaran Multimedia, Cyberjaya. Monday-Saturday, 12pm-930pm. Tel: 03-8320-9775

Chubbies Cafe
P3-21, Shaftsbury Square, Persiaran Multimedia, Cyberjaya. Monday-Saturday, 830am-830pm. Tel: 03-8320-9313

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Jan. 24, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

Friday, January 23, 2015

Azzurro @ Pavilion

This Italian restaurant is the latest venture by Urban Bar Concepts, which also runs the South American-themed La Boca Latino Bar & French-tinged Cafe De Paris in Pavilion. We liked those two earlier outlets, but Azzurro misses the mark for us.

 Azzurro's massive menu is meant to pay tribute to southern Italian traditions, with many seductive-sounding temptations such as polenta chips with Parmesan cheese & rosemary, served with salsa rossa tomato sauce (RM16 before taxes). But Azzuro falls short of transcending its setting - these chips lack character & charisma, tasting like what a shopping mall kitchen serves, not a classic trattoria. It's Italian cooking at its most efficient, not its most effervescent.

 We only scratched the surface of Azzurro's selection, but none of these inspired us to sink our teeth further. Not the stodgy gnocchi stained with gloppy gorgonzola sauce (RM31), hearty but heartless spinach-&-ricotta ravioli in overbearing tomato-&-basil sauce (RM32) or the confused mess of risotto with rosemary, pumpkin, cheese, chillies, mushrooms & truffle oil (RM35).

Pizza dough fritters rolled in sugar & cinnamon & teamed with Nutella (RM15) could either be totally worth the calories or a cause to look back on lunch with remorse - only one outcome is true. Note: This meal was back in September; every time we thought of writing about it, there seemed to be something else more encouraging to highlight.

 If you must though, Azzurro's affogato with pistachio gelato (RM15) is kinda cool. Italian-inspired cocktails are offered too, laced with the likes of limoncello & prosecco. Heaps of thought & effort have been poured into this restaurant's repertoire, making the gap between its ambition & its execution all the more inexplicable.

Azzurro
Level 2, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur. Open 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-2148-8822

Check out the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favourites, featuring 100 recommended restaurants for October-December 2014, including more than 30 new entries for this quarter. 
This eBook is available to read or download at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.cld.bz/2014D 
This link expires Jan. 24, 2015. Please check the newest blog entries after that for fresh links.

Stay up to date: The Eat Drink KL newsletter is sent by email to subscribers every Monday; it's the Klang Valley's foremost weekly round-up of new restaurant openings (even before they're featured on this blog), F&B promotions & other tasty tidbits.
Subscribe to Eat Drink KL Weekly for free via this following link: 
Note to subscribers on Gmail: The newsletter will be in the Promotions folder of your inbox.

Sausages to sambal. Muffins to marshmallows. Peanut butter to mango chutney. Cornflake ice cream to honey aloe yogurt. Lavender-laced lemonades to lychee-&-guava juices.
Eat Drink KL: Small Businesses, Huge Flavours is the first eBook to help customers navigate the diversity of independent F&B entrepreneurs who bake & boil in their own kitchens, offering some of Malaysia's finest, most fascinating food products.
This resource will be continuously updated with new listings: www.eatdrinkkl.publ.com/businesses 
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my