|Open Kitchen - F by Buffalo Kitchens|
‘F’ by Buffalo Kitchens, Bangsar
Known for excellent value set lunches and a fine brew of coffee (including some intriguing mixes of java and juice), F by Buffalo Kitchens has weathered the stormy openings and closings of dining outlets in Bangsar over the last few years, and come out stronger than ever.
Exit Bangsar Village I or II to cross to the other, on street level, and you’ll see F by Buffalo Kitchens on the opposite corner. A popular local diner, Chawan, is located directly below, and the entrance to F by Buffalo Kitchens is up a narrow set of stairs to the side of the café.
An open kitchen and simple décor, with an admirable collection of kitchenware lining the walls for adornment, convey a relaxed mood. In the evenings, or in cooler weather, the balcony is a cheery spot for a drink and a chat. A downpour has set in however across the city on the night of our visit, so we take refuge inside.
Danish chef Albert Frantzen has recently been given creative control of the menu so a whole lot of personal soul has been injected into the line up. Pork has been introduced to the previously pork-free kitchen and we see a decidedly European theme with heavy Italian, Spanish and French influences.
A Chilean Miguel Torres Cordillera Chardonnay (RM130) is fresh with a delicate acidity, lovely aromas of nuts and apples on the nose, and a wonderful start to a Friday evening. Mellifluous piano bar tunes butter us up further as we sink into the consolation of Friday, the launch of the weekend.
Freshly Baked Bread with House Smoked Butter (RM8) is made with a sourdough starter and strewn with black olives. A light crust and, soft but substantial interior are European in style. Although tempted, we’re cautious of consuming too much, mindful of the fact that we’d like to sample a range from the kitchen.
|Olive Sourdough Bread|
House Smoked French Duck Breast with Spanish Goat Cheese (a more mature version than the common soft white variety) and Pear (RM18) is garbed with a wonderfully light olive oil, honey and lemon dressing. The duck has us wowed from the onset. The dressing is softly sweet and tangy and, the delicate pieces of pear serve to bring out the savoury flavour of the elegant strips of poultry. The chardonnay proves a fine pairing.
|House Smoked French Duck|
The potato breaks apart as I attempt to pick up a piece from the Red Desiree Potato Salad with Crispy Pork (RM18). Its distinguishing rufous skin is still attached and the salty pig furnishes that markedly porky taste that just cannot be replaced by any other meat to the simple potatoes. Thin shavings of radish and wispy salad leaves lighten the heavy tubers.
|Red Desiree Potato Salad with Crispy Pork|
The main marks a time for change from white to red wine and, our host suggests the Spanish Bodegas Mauro Prima Tinta de Toro-Garnacha (RM180). I detect a young cherry and toasty bouquet, medium body and light tannin finish. It partners well with the three mains to come.
|Prima Red Wine|
A fatty earthy smell arrives to our noses before the next dish arrives to the table. Roasted French Quail Stuffed with Foie Gras and Chorizo (RM52) is halved, showcasing its rich filling. A mix of raw red cabbage and Brussels sprouts leaves provide a fantastic contrast to the half baby carrots, roasted potatoes and poultry’s gravy. They cleanse the palate as well as add a garden crisp texture. Long after the meat has disappeared we’re still using the leaves to sop up the last drops of the gravy.
Slow Roasted Spanish Baby Suckling Lamb Leg with Roasted Vegetables (RM150) is done medium rare producing a rose pink hue. Half is on the bone and the other half is sliced into a hill of glistening pieces, begging to be mouthed. Hubby’s first words are, “Oh my gosh, so tender. Wow.” I dig in, dipping a slice of lamb into the mint sauce, and find myself on similar heavenly planes. A pot of gravy is further auxiliary condiment, well balanced and delicious. Both sauces are lovely additions but not necessary as the meat benefits from a light seasoning allowing full appreciation of the natural flavour of the flesh itself. The roasted vegetables are fantastic. I would happily devour a bowl of these with no need for any meat. The potatoes are sufficiently soft while the carrots maintain a faint crispness indicating each root cooked to its individual perfectness.
BBQ Iberico Spare Ribs, Crispy Potato (boiled then roasted) and Pickles (1.3kg RM180 – please note my photo shows a half serving) is a family sized portion and needs 40 -45 minute preparation time, so if you’d like it, order early. Our waiter slices the ribs apart and as I try to pick one up to photograph, the meat falls off the bone. A sticky sweet smell wafts to the nose enticing even my plant-loving self to chow down. The ribs are so good I abandon any sense of refinement and pick them up to suck the meat and sauce off the bones. The sides of beetroot and onion salad marinated in a light vinegar and the roasted potatoes are faultless.
While digesting our mains and considering dessert, I spy the value set lunch menu (RM25++ for 3 courses) and note its meaty dominance. I ask why there are no vegetarian options and the waiter replies that the chef is happy to create vegetarian dishes according to individual preferences. All you have to do is ask. There’s also Saturday breakfast and Sunday brunch, promising reasonable prices and plentiful pork. They all look worth exploring.
La Grappa Gaiarine Chianti (RM15++) is available upon request and we find it a suitable digestif, and good balance for our final indulgence at F by Buffalo Kitchens, dessert.
|La Grappa Gaiarine Chianti|
White Chocolate Mousse, Pistachio and Homemade Liquorice Ice Cream (RM20) are based with chocolate butter sand. A light sprinkle of popping candy furnishes a surprise and lightens the velvety cream. By no means a postscript, this dessert is a thoughtful ending to a quality meal.
|White Mousse with Liquorice Ice Cream|
Reasons to visit: quality food and beverage in an elegant yet casual ambience; Smoked French Duck; Slow Roasted Spanish Baby Suckling Lamb Leg with Roasted Vegetables; White Chocolate Mousse, Pistachio and Homemade Liquorice Ice Cream; rotating offering of specialty grappas.
‘F’ by Buffalo Kitchens
69-1 Jalan Telawi 3
59100 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2201 1710
Open 11:30am – midnight