|Acme South, Bangsar|
Texan BBQ and Southern Cuisine
Words by Kristin Cosgrove
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
From the same team that runs Acme Bar and Coffee (ABC), the newly opened ACME South in Bangsar Village I boasts a totally different dining concept, but a similar design aesthetic and flair for upscale comfort food. Like ABC, at ACME South, details matter. From the 12-hour smoked brisket and ribs, to the beautiful imported wood floors, to the napkins thick enough to weather a sauce storm, ACME owners really bend over backwards to give an authentic experience to those craving a taste of the American South.
|Acme South, Bangsar|
The evocative greenery is what one notices first when walking into ACME South, succulents and cacti adorn the windowsills, and desert-like plants and rocks embellish the outdoor seating area. Patrons can choose the cozy dining room or may eat in the solarium, where three massive roll-up garage doors made mostly of glass let in tons of light even when closed.
|Acme South, Bangsar|
The pork-free menu, though modestly sized, ticks most boxes for a Southerner looking for that taste of home, including Creole favorites, Gumbo and Jambalaya. From Texas are southern standards including 12-hour Black Angus Smoked Brisket (RM49) and similarly smoked Beef Ribs (RM89).
|Covered Outdoor Patio|
The ribs are massive slabs, so tender that when I poke them, I’m taken aback. These aren’t just pieces of grilled meat with sauce poured on, quite the opposite. These pieces are slow cooked, smoked for twelve hours (did I mention that?) and will easily feed two. I’d advise readers to hit dinner early at ACME because if they run out of brisket or ribs for the day, they’re out. There’s no “whipping up” a new batch!
To enhance the meat flavor, try one of the homemade sauces provided for dipping, particularly the espresso sauce. The coffee flavor is barely noticeable, but when put on the meat, adds a lot of body, not unlike chocolate does with chili. The watermelon sauce and onion vinegar were both sublime as well - not too sweet.
|A Trio of Sauces|
Both the ribs and brisket arrive on a brightly colored tray with custom printed-paper lining. They come with a moist cornbread muffin and two sides. Choose from Slaw, Smoked Pinto Beans, Potato Salad or Creamed Corn.
Available as full-size side orders, one can order Mac-n-Cheese, Grilled Corn, Slaw, Caesar Salad or Hush Puppies, which I loved. These are light and crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. With bits of peppers added into the cornmeal batter before frying, the finished fritter gives a spicy kick.
If you prefer your meat delivered to your belly via sandwich, I highly recommend the Brisket S’wich (RM29), which stands out as a favorite for me. I mean, look at that monster! The bread has the sturdiness of sourdough and is buttered and grilled before being layered with tangy tartar sauce, mustard, onion, lettuce, tomato and tender brisket. Friends, this sandwich made me want to run up to strangers and show it to them, shouting, “Look at that beast – how amazing is that?!” Instead, I just proclaimed my love for this sandwich to my tablemates, who reasonably agreed it was delectable.
Now, it’s possible my exuberance had something to do with the caffeine in my superb cup of coffee for which Acme is known, but the Po’ Boy (RM29) excited me too, and made me want to do a celebratory fist-bump with the chef.
The Po’ Boy, originating in New Orleans, USA in the 1920s, is comfort food to the max. A baguette, crispy on the outside and soft but dense on the inside, is filled with (in this case) either deep fried oysters or deep fried shrimp, then topped with lettuce, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, tomato and onion. We tried the Po’ Boy with shrimp. The pieces were deep-fried but not greasy, and managed to have a good batter-to-meat ratio, allowing both the sea taste and the spicy, lemony breading flavor to shine through.
Potato wedges accompany the sandwiches and are well seasoned and wonderfully spicy, with a crisp outer shell. I washed mine down with a southern Sweet Tea (RM9) that was pleasantly light on the simple syrup and refreshing.
If you fancy a glass of wine, do try the Two Vines Chardonnay (RM27 glass/ RM125 bottle), which you’ll not find anywhere else in KL for the moment. From the Columbia Crest vineyards of the Pacific Northwest US, this is a light and refreshing wine, crisp and refreshing in the mouth with a lasting fruity finish. I’m excited to have found this winery represented in KL and hope it will soon catch on with other outlets.
|Two Vines Chardonnay|
Admittedly, I’m not a huge seafood fan, but the Seafood Gumbo (RM39) was delicious and each bite packed with a rich medley of seafood, rice and peppers. The roux was a good consistency and the generous portion of crab on top was nicely done.
Finishing off every main course is a complimentary small scoop of sorbet, a perfect sweet treat to cleanse the heavy tastes from the palate. We tried cucumber and rambutan and found both lovely, with tiny pieces of fruit chunks and no artificial sweeteners. There were plenty of other mouth-watering options to ogle on the dessert menu including the Turtle Cheesecake (RM15), but unfortunately, our brisket-filled bellies could take no more!
|Cucumber and Rambutan Sorbets|
The untried desserts, and the promise of a breakfast menu in the near future (think eggs and grits) will keep me pining for ACME South. A return visit is already on the books.
Reasons to visit: a setting with character that those boys at ACME are well known for, mouth-watering hip-expanding luscious Southern cuisine, rumours of a breakfast menu in the works.
LG10 Bangsar Village I
59100 Kuala Lumpur
+603 2283 6288
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am – 12midnight
Fri-Sat 11am – 1am