Cafe Deli by El Meson: Now in Desa ParkCity, Mont Kiara & Bangsar
September 30, 2020
When El Meson first opened in Bangsar in 2009, it instantly became a Spanish restaurant to watch, impressively showcasing everything from sherry-sauteed chicken livers to suckling lamb leg. After enduring for a decade, El Meson has evolved and expanded, transforming into Cafe Deli by El Meson, revamping its outposts in Desa ParkCity and Bangsar, and launching in Mont Kiara. Cafe Deli remains pleasurably porcine and steadfastly Spanish, but its repertoire now includes a Southeast Asian selection - it's the only place in KL where you can have both terrific Hokkien Mee and paella in one restaurant.
Check out our video above on Cafe Deli by El Meson. All footage and photographs in this post were taken in early 2020.
Serenaded by the melodic sounds of Spanish guitars, Cafe Deli by El Meson earlier this year proved that it's still one of the Klang Valley's premier Spanish spots with a feast of paella enlivened by flamenco performers in Desa ParkCity.
The Desa ParkCity is typically filled with friends and families from around the neighbourhood loving the vibes here, which include a leafy alfresco area overlooking The Waterfront's lake.
Cafe Deli might be the new kid on Mont Kiara's block, but it's already a blockbuster, bringing in the crowds to this neighbourhood-friendly space.
We started with a sampling of temptations from Malaysia and other parts of this region: Have no hesitation about the Hokkien Mee - it meets the mark for full-bodied flavour, hitting the spot with noodles slicked up in tasty dark soy sauce, tossed with sliced pork, prawns, squid, white cabbage and choi sum, plus so much crispy pork lard croutons that you're liable to find them in every spoonful, dramatically boosting the pleasure quotient (RM24 for a portion that two can share, rounded out with sambal belacan for extra depth).
Cafe Deli is part of The Social Group of Restaurants, which also comprises the respected Thai eatery Ekkamai in Publika and Damansara Heights. So it's no surprise the kitchen here can whip up a wonderful Minced Pork Pad Gaprow, fragrant with Thai basil, fiery with cili padi, completed with warm jasmine rice and a fried egg for a soulfully satisfying one-plate meal (RM24).
If you love pork belly in the form of siu yok and char siu, Cafe Deli merits investigation - the siu yok is crisply roasted, with thick crackling to bite down on, reminiscent perhaps of porchetta (RM18, served with mustard), while the decadently caramelised char siu is stuffed in fried mantou with spring onions and cucumber for a sweet-savoury, irresistibly guilty indulgence (RM18).
True to its name, Cafe Deli is also very much a retail space where customers can purchase European-imported hams, sausages, cheese, canned fish and more. The counters are laden with fresh-baked pastries too, evoking Cafe Deli's other sister outlet, Lisette's in Bangsar.
Pick a charcuterie platter of premium cold cuts - 24-month aged jamon iberico, Prosciutto di Sauris, French ham and truffle salami (RM44) - for a snack to share or a starter to kick off your feast.
Spanish specialities still sparkle here: The mixed paella is richly aromatic with saffron, moist and mighty with a bounty of meat and seafood, as enjoyably robust as paella that you might find on the streets of Barcelona (RM78). Classic tapas are also abundant, featuring classics like plump prawns made lip-smacking with olive oil, garlic and chillies, washed down, of course, with a reviving jug of sangria, the perfect antidote for a steamy, humid evening.
While our visit here for was dinner, there's also reason to wake up earlier for Cafe Deli, especially when the weekend rolls in - this could be the perfect place for people-watching, as everyone from families to gym-goers, discerning diners to social media devotees flock to Cafe Deli for something to please them. The Big Breakfast will fuel you up for all of Saturday and Sunday's fun activities, packed with English sausages, streaky bacon, two eggs your way, and more, but the selection also spans intriguing specialities like 'breakfast mantou,' baked eggs chorizo, truffled scrambled eggs, and even spiced-up Mumbai Eggs Kejriwal.
We might have saved the best for last: Who knew that Cafe Deli might be a destination for divine steaks - the U.S. bone-in prime rib is glorious, exemplary in pure succulence and primal flavour, done justice by the chefs here (500-600 grams, at RM53 per 100 grams). If beef is the object of your food fantasies, this is something to sink your teeth into and savour slowly.
Many thanks to Cafe Deli by El Meson for having us here.
Cafe Deli by El Meson
Now at The Waterfront (Desa ParkCity), 163 Retail Park (Mont Kiara) and Bangsar.