Entree @ Damansara

February 12, 2012

Attempts at Asian fusion cooking can often stir up dining disasters, but this casual cafe is bucking that trend with its creative culinary choices.

Flavors here are bold enough to seize attention from the start. Grilled prawns & alfalfa on wholemeal toast might sound innocuously pleasant, but "assam pedas" concasse turns it into an hors d'oeuvre like no other, flaring with spicy pyrotechnics to put the tongue on red alert.

Burger lovers, brace yourselves for one of the Klang Valley's best beef patties _ enjoyably coarse & chewy, this tastes like real meat instead of unidentifiable cow components minced & processed into fast food. The Asian element: an aromatic lemongrass essence in every bite.

Penang-inspired produce: 46th Rangoon Street laksa _ slippery, slurp-worthy noodles soaked in a remarkably flavorsome curry broth brimming with shredded chicken, prawns, beansprouts, tofu pok & crispy bean curd skin.

But not everything here is a smash hit; the fish & chips with tomato lime sambal are as forgettable as a food court offering. Still, it's impressive that Entree keeps prices low; set lunches hover around RM10, while a filling dinner could easily dip below RM30 per person.

Entree's (pork-free) menu features only two desserts, but both are intriguing enough to try. Deep-fried California plums with gula melaka reduction? A little too sourish for our liking, though the vanilla ice cream manages to take some of the edge off it.

Jack fruit spring rolls with apricot coulis. Something that grandparents would probably adore, since it kinda tastes like a traditional crispy street snack.

Wine isn't listed on the menu, but ask & you will receive. Entree supplies delicious South African varieties nicely priced at RM18+ by the glass. Service is reassuringly prompt & friendly.

Ipoh white coffee & tea-coffee combos are also available.

Being optimistic: Entree could fare fairly well, despite Damansara Uptown's parking woes & worrisome competition among the neighborhood's galaxy of eateries.

Entree Cafe @ Damansara Uptown,
33, Jalan SS21/56B, Damansara Utama (beside The Ship restaurant).
Tel: 03-7732-8540
Open daily through 10 pm.