2016 Menu: Jeq In The House @ Section 17, Petaling Jaya

October 18, 2016

One of our favourite facets of exploring restaurants is encountering young chefs who show significant potential to evolve into terrific talents - Jordan Alexis Yap, a 22-year-old who recently took over the kitchen at Jeq In The House, seems like someone to watch, with a combination of spirited determination & resourceful inventiveness that could take him far in the years ahead. Jordan & his team have imbued the offerings here with a sturdier sense of skill & personality - perfect for patrons who still relish outings to millennial-targeted cafes but want to experience a menu that embraces a more mature culinary perspective.

The ideal introduction to Jordan's work is the Chef's Selection menu, which showcases intriguing specialities like truffled orzo pasta with mushrooms or miso carrot risotto balls. For our meal, Jordan chose to spotlight the Chicken Wellington, a reinterpretation of the more typical beef version, lowering the cost to a more wallet-friendly RM20, with smooth white meat embedded in savoury turkey ham & puffed pastry, baked to a satisfying tenderness, capably complemented by a basil-studded cream sauce & a vivacious citrus-based salad - a recipe with the hallmarks of well-balanced harmony in flavours & textures.

Red meat & fish are handled with equal aplomb; the beef tenderloin is bolstered by a lovely kalbi marinade with a companion sauce enriched with Shaoxing wine, shoyu & goji berries, served in a medium-rare state of flawlessness, with the meat's light char coating a warm, blushing-pink succulence, over mashed potatoes made textured with morsels of pear & shallots (RM33). We can't fault the salmon either, irreproachably cooked in recognition of its fresh, firm juiciness, enhanced with elegantly understated notes of rose tea, vanilla beans & sea salt, rounded out by balsamic & a luscious butter pumpkin mash (RM29).

The regular menu focuses on crowd-pleasing pastas & finger food: Farfalle with beef pepperoni & a poached egg (RM25) & salted egg yolk chicken wings with fries (RM16) hit the right chords - creamy without being cloying, savoury but not sodium-overwhelmed. Desserts may seem too familiar at first, but both the dark chocolate lava cake with ice cream (RM16) & tiramisu cake (RM16) are executed well - the former can be praised for precision, with nicely formed nuances of bittersweet cocoa & sea salt in the crust that conceals the deep-flavoured centre; the latter is reliable in its comforting dimensions, layered with chopped praline & conveying the expected touches of coffee, mascarpone cheese & a little liqueur, complete with cute plating.

Jeq In The House's team puts thought & effort into its beverages too - the rose tea latte carries the weight of its unmistakable floral fragrance in exactly the enjoyable sort of mellow proportion, while the espresso-based coffees do justice to the complexities of the Common Man-roasted beans. One popular choice, the Espresso Bomb, might look like a stunt-driven novelty, but the trifecta of chocolate, espresso ice ball & warm milk makes for a pleasant-tasting triple threat. Bavarian beer is available for those of us who always require something stronger. Our thanks to Jeq In The House for having us here.

Jeq In The House
19, Jalan 17/45, Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Daily, 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-7932-2261

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