Goodsaltz @ The Curve

August 11, 2014

Spicing up The Curve's sedate F&B scene, Goodsaltz has the potential to make a great splash; its menu is cooler than most, its service team seems more than friendly & hard-working, while its setting feels as inviting as imaginable for a mall restaurant.

Alfresco seating is available amid a leafy courtyard, but scorching weather spurred us into Goodsaltz's air-conditioned interior, where the decor is described as a mix of 'old family pieces, garage sale collectibles & found objects recycled with a purpose.' There's a pleasant vibe, evocative in parts of places like The Apartment or Acme Bar & Coffee.

Goodsaltz is meant to be about comfort food with contemporary twists. Right now, there are both hits & misses here; the kitchen might need to tweak some of its recipes for a more memorable effect. On paper, the tuna salad with jicama, orange, barley & green tea-infused French dressing (RM16 before taxes) sounds like a deliciously nuanced ensemble. On the plate, it tastes serviceable but seems to lack sufficient sparks of imagination.

 We love this one though: Baked salmon with Kapitan curry spices, coconut cream, cabbage kerabu & pineapple rice (RM29). The fish is fabulous - fresh & flaky-moist, very lightly cooked so it retains a delicate purity of flavour & texture, complemented by a thick, savoury sauce that miraculously complements instead of overpowering the flesh.

 From the all-day-breakfast selection, this pie could be the stand-out, stuffed with layers of scrambled eggs, chicken ham, grilled peppers, sauteed spinach & cheddar cheese baked in pastry (RM20). Again though, there's not quite enough zest in this one to elevate it into something vivid that'll propel word of mouth.

 Potentially crowd-pleasing: Spaghetti fried with masala spices, chicken & tomatoes (RM24). Creamy & reasonably hearty for the price, with a well-executed bite to the pasta & more dimensions of flavour compared to some of other Goodsaltz's recipes. Wondering what's up with the restaurant's name? Well, it can be taken literally; the outlet uses a good salt (Himalayan, that is).

 Maybe we ordered the wrong desserts, but the balance of flavours for the Red Velvet pancakes with cream cheese & peach compote (RM16) was too skewed & cloying to make this enjoyable ...

 ... while key components of the Nutella-filled French toast (RM16) with macerated strawberries & grapes tasted too processed & artificial, particularly the doughy-stodgy bread. We like Goodsaltz's spirit of creative experimentation, but these two need an overhaul, not just fine-tuning.

 Coffee (black, with milk on the side) currently comes complimentary with a breakfast dish order (could be an opening promo).

 House wines by the glass (RM16.90) include Gossip Chardonnay, Cab Sav & Shiraz, plus Rumors Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

 Cocktails come distinctively presented, with slices of fruits on the side. The Mango Birdy has dark rum & spicy mango syrup.

 Marquesya (white wine, vodka, triple sec) & Slush Crush (watermelon, vodka, lychee syrup), RM28.90 each. On the bright side, they're potent, but the deal-breaking downside is that taste-wise, they're too sweetly syrupy (plus, the liquor feels somewhat off).

We were tempted to try another of Goodsaltz's speciality cocktails, the Ice Milo (whiskey, bailey's & kahlua), but after all that, we retreated to the can't-fail safety of a classic Brandy Alexander instead. It sounds like we're quibbling a lot about Goodsaltz, but we do think this place has promise & we're optimistic it'll get better as the weeks go by.

The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03-7733-7860

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