Bistro a Table

June 9, 2011

Section 17 isn't synonymous with wining and dining, but if that ever changes, historians will trace the roots of this neighborhood's culinary evolution to Bistro a Table _ named for the French phrase "to the table," evoked to rustle up friends and families for a communal feast.

Cognac & walnut tart with rocket salad. Recipes here are created by chef Isadora Chai; if both ladies can forgive me for the comparison, eating here reminded me of Nathalie's Gourmet Studio, with French cuisine infused with fresh twists that raise the food to tasty new heights.

Coddled maple syrup egg with crouton dust & Fleur de Sel. A testament to the versatility of egg; this was an elaborate enterprise _ the shell comprised a soft-boiled egg, complete with a runny yolk & maple syrup (!!!) beneath the egg white, accompanied by hand-harvested sea salt for a combination of slurp-worthy textures and sweet and savory flavors. The best thing we've tasted in KL this month.

Caesar salad soup, with a poached egg ensconced in a lettuce-esque broth. The menu here insists this is a one-of-a-kind concoction; we're inclined to agree.

Duck liver parfait with cornichons & caper berries. Those phrases bandied about _ unctuous, velvety, luxuriously smooth _ all apply to this: one of the finest pates in the Klang Valley. Spellbinding.

Pan-seared line-caught barramundi with summer veggies. Bistro a Table seems suitable for a secret rendezvous; in the past week, we've sat here behind the curtains, noticing casual acquaintances and other food bloggers walk in. But nobody spotted us _ which means that (A) we've become persona non grata, or (B) our table was the perfect place for discreet dining.

Hand-made gnocchi with burnt sage & butter. On a personal note, also in recent days, I've had the honor of meeting and interviewing many extraordinary people in the course of my job _ children & adults who've probably never heard of gnocchi, but who are at least 1,000 times more courageous, selfless and better human beings than me.

Duck l'orange with puy lentils. It seems disingenuous of me to mention this here, but I truly am thankful for my blessings. I'm reminded now of a 13-year-old refugee girl whom I spoke to, who braved unspeakable hardship to reach Malaysia, where she perseveres through a much tougher existence compared to the worst day of my life.

Scampi & sea urchin linguini. The most delicious pasta we've had this year. Eat Drink KL will never be more than a silly, shallow food blog, meaningless when all is said and done _ written by someone who seeks comfort in evenings of inebriation with companions equally anxious to escape the tedium of daily drudgery. But for once, I'd like to acknowledge who I am and what I do, and insist in my defense that I take none of this for granted.

"Terribly alcoholic tiramisu." That's the name of this dessert on the menu. With a shot of booze provided to pour into this, who are we to disagree?

Kaffir lime & lemon tart. As crumbly and tangy as we could have hoped for. Let's call a spoon a spoon; this is the best new restaurant in Petaling Jaya so far in 2011.

Moet & Chandon Brut NV & Sixty Drops Sauvignon Blanc 2010.

Fontodi Chianti Classico (2010).

Bistro a Table,
6, Jalan 17/54, Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7931-2831