Bankers Room @ Kia Peng

February 19, 2014

Bankers Room, a restaurant & lounge, takes over the space that once was il Primo on Jalan Kia Peng; it has ambition, so it could become a force to be reckoned with if its performance ever matches its potential.

We like how the kitchen dares to be different; based on this (punctuation-challenged) outlet's name, it might be hoping to lure deep-pocketed patrons who won't mind paying RM50 before taxes for this pizza topped with foie gras, peaches, lemon dressing & creamy capsicum puree.

Another pizza, blanketed with unagi, egg, bonito flakes, nori, green pepper, spicy cod roe mayo, lime zest & shallot rings (RM30). It's a fun experiment, certainly & enjoyably tasty, but there's a nagging feeling that with so much going on here, all the nuances of flavour are overwhelmed.

Can't go wrong though with spaghetti with sauteed bacon (pork, another commendably bold choice), tempura soft shell crab, seaweed strips, soft-boiled egg, broccoli, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shimeji mushrooms & togarashi spices in butter sauce (RM26). Another Japanese-influenced recipe, this is one case where the complexity fares better.

Duck confit, fairly well-executed, paired with more duck (smoked), a rather dry polenta cake & cabbage in orange sauce (RM36). Not bad; the combo sounds perfect on paper, so that needs to be translated better on the plate. But easier said than done, sure.

Spring chicken with sweet potato 'risotto,' veggies & mushroom sauce (RM32). Elegant comfort food, a little simpler than everything else here. Won't go down as one of 2014's most memorable dishes, but it'll still go down well.

Rib-eye served with bone marrow, roasted potatoes, veggies & Merlot butter sauce (RM48). The service team here works hard & is attentive, but many of them seem to lack the confidence & experience to shine. Meanwhile, the kitchen could be understaffed, as our orders often took a long time to emerge, sometimes with missing ingredients.

This tiramisu has an unbeatable alcoholic kick, served with a shot of port wine on the side. For only RM14, well worth the price.

The essential cocktails & wines are available (there's a cool walk-in cellar), plus all the other liquor that we could want. All in all, with some fine-tuning, this could someday turn into a place to recommend. We're not sure it'll happen, but we sure hope it does.

Bankers Room
28 Jalan Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur. Same building as Conlay Club
Daily for lunch & dinner. Tel: 03-2142-3699

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As a separate initiative, the latest edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites for January-March 2014 is now online, featuring 100 pretty nice eateries, including more than 20 new entries for this quarter. This eBook of restaurant recommendations is available for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones at this link: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Jan-March-2014 (This link expires March 31, 2014; see blog entries after that date for new link).