|Twentyone Tables + Terrace|
TwentyOne Tables + Terrace; Bangsar Shopping Centre
Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List
On a misty Sunday afternoon, through floor to ceiling windows, the twin towers hover moodily in the distance. Turn the other cheek to see the charming homes of Bangsar and, a striking silhouette on the horizon, the so-called ‘Shark’s Fin.’ The curved window at TwentyOne Tables + Terrace offers a wonderful vista, and opens later to provide the Terrace that completes the name. Inside, a rather stark white and black is relieved by soft brown and beige seating, while actual live trees echo the outside greenery.
|Twentyone Tables + Terrace|
We’re greeted by the delightful Janet, who walks us through the menu while telling tales of culinary capers and entertainment events galore. An upbeat but not intrusive selection of background music blends with the soft flowing water feature in the centre of the bar. We’re waiting only for the chink of cutlery and the chimes of glassware to complete our background of sounds.
First to arrive are three interesting looking cocktails. Berry Sparkle from the Virgin Cocktail range is a cloud of muddled berries floating in a framboise lemonade. Berry is sweet, but not cloying; very refreshing – ‘Now this is beautiful, I love it!’ calls Caning.
|These cocktails bring new meaning to coffee - Do you think I could switch out my regular morning brew for this Espresso Martini instead?|
A traditional Martini glass shows of the clean layers of Vodka Expresso. A lone coffee bean lies perfectly on a smooth and creamy foam atop the dark and dangerous heart of the drink. A coffee drinker’s taste temptation; like your morning hit, it opens up the senses, but beware that frothy lipped look…
Tiramisu slips down well with my two coffee loving friends; Caning tips the glass to get the absolute last drops! Vanilla vodka is blended with Frangelico, Baileys, espresso and milk cream. It’s smooth; the flavours blend well together for an afternoon delight.
Twenty One has an impressive cocktail menu featuring regular flavours and new experiments. Janet explains that at times both bar staff and chef are able to playfully invent, particularly for special events. This, together with consistent customer feedback, keeps food and drink menus fresh and relevant. There is certainly something on the drinks list for everyone’s tastes. All drinks are 2 for 1 every evening between 5 and 8 pm.
Our meal begins with a tidy stack of small flour tortillas tied in a neat parcel and stuffed with goodies. The duck is moist, the vegetables fresh and crispy, the hoi sin tangy and sticky, all bodes well for lunch. Duck Spring Rolls (RM 18 ++)
|Duck Spring Rolls|
The next choice; not so successful. Mozzarella and Tomato salad (RM28 ++) is overcome with rocket, and confused with a pesto dressing. Crisp tomato and a dense mozzarella simply served is a delightful dish. Some classics need to be left alone.
|Mozarella and Tomato Salad|
The generous Beef Burger on a large white bun is served with mayonnaise and salad. A side of potato wedges that have just the right amount of crunch and a fluffy centre. A chili tomato sauce gives a little kick, but you can request regular tomato too. (RM28++) For families, and for fun, Twenty One offers a Burger or Hot Dog with wedges deal for 10 RM on Sundays.
A pretty picture on a shiny banana leaf, Beef Rendang is tasty. A little sweeter than the traditional spicing; we are told, to suit a more western palate. The spice balance is mellow and the sauce rich and thick, though personally I’d like a little more to mix with the fragrant fluffy rice dominating the plate. Acar Jelatah with pineapple pieces, gives a fresh and tart balance to the overall dish. We can see why expatriate visitors would appreciate this version of a local favourite. (RM 24++)
Pan Fried Seabass appears as a double stack of fish layered under a small mountain of apple chutney, thinly sliced veg and turkey ham. Mango coulis attractively lattices the plate. The crispy skin delicious, the fish a little overcooked for our sensitive tastes, and certainly not enough bok choy base for cod to rest on. Flavours in this dish balance well, the sweetness of the apple chutney has a hidden chili undertow that adds a certain interest. (RM36++)
|Pan Fried Seabass|
Chef Chong’s original Thai Green Risotto is everyone’s favourite main. Sticky Thai spiced chicken, crispy fried, sits atop a soupy spinach risotto, the dish crowned by splinters of spring onion tempura. Cries of ‘Awesome!’ ‘Delicious!’ ‘My new favourite!’ echo round the table as spoonfuls disappear. Anyone homesick for the Bayou would recognize a soul food element to the comfort in this dish, which tastily combines eastern and western flavours. A definite YUM! (RM28++),
|Thai Green Curry Risotto|
A colourful quintet of shots arrives on a spanking board, sparking all kinds of amusing comments around the table. We all want a taste of each, so sip rather than tossing them down in the traditional fashion. Caning loves Strawberry, Monica lingers over the Chipsmore; I waver between Peach and Bloody Mary. The only thing wrong with it is… Not enough Bloody Mary! The Chili vodka shot is an end of the night drink, fire fuel to get you home at the end of the evening. We all admire the bottle half full of green chili that is brought out to show. All vodka shots are infused on the premises, and there is an extensive range on the menu. Mmm! More to try next time...
|Spanking Board of Shots|
We promised to leave a corner for dessert, and so glad we did. I think I’ve died and gone to my own personal dessert heaven. Other people might like fancy cakes, elaborate concoctions or fruit sorbets. But my idea of pudding is home made, simply served and tasty. The three dishes on the table now look so inviting that I cannot wait to start! Spoons at the ready… but where to attack first?
|Apple Pumpkin Pie|
Lemon Meringue Pie, plenty of creamy lemony filling and a soft buttery shortcrust pastry that crumbles in a just right way, mmmm. It’s messy but delectable. Even better is the Apple Pumpkin Pie. A smooth pumpkin cream tops a dense, juicy cinnamon and apple filling. All encased in more of that melt in my mouth pastry. I’m a fusspot about pastry, as my granddad makes the best. I’ll often eat the filling and leave the case, but this time not a crumb is left behind. Chef Chong or his pastry chef has exceedingly light and deft hands. I’m begging Janet to have mince pies made next Christmas season.
|Lemon Meringue Pie|
I save the best for last. I have to tell you people; I’m a Crème Brulee aficionado, and if it’s not right, it goes back. It’s gone back a few times in Malaysia; overcooked eggy brulee is not a happiness maker. It’s hit or miss time. So hold breath… Crack! The bruleed sugar top is reassuringly firm. But what lies beneath? No sign of scrambling… looks smooth… first mouthful… mmmm…! A subtle passionfruit savour to the silky smooth cream. Silence. It’s a good one. Caning’s eyebrows raise and his spoon goes quickly back for more. ‘Oh it’s good,’ I hear from somewhere. But we’re not done! Passionfruit Crème Brulee is handsomely accompanied by Italian Chocolate Mousse, as thick and dense as ganache. This somehow manages to linger and melt in my mouth at one and the same time. It’s the Ying and Yang of puddings and happiness reigns securely.
|Passionfruit Crème Brulee|
Desserts 16-18 RM ++, are also available as accompaniment to afternoon coffee. As well as a range of options from the la carte menu we tasted, Twenty One offers an amazing value inclusive lunch. A choice of simple mains, a dessert and a soft drink or fruit juice for 29 RM ++
All round, I think hungry shoppers or after-work socialites would be happy with a visit here.
|Map to TwentyOne Tables + Terrace|
Reason to visit: down to earth, down right delicious desserts, a range of well-priced food, and happy hour on ALL drinks 5-8 pm…..