Madeleine @ Oasis Ara Damansara

November 24, 2016

When we visited Madeleine on a recent weekday afternoon, this casual bistro was brimming with a robust lunch crowd - a testament to its allure as a destination for honest comfort fare at exceptionally fair prices, served in a warm & welcoming setting. Founder Alina Hew first conceived Madeleine as a patisserie in Sunway University in 2012, & the brand has since strengthened steadily, with other outposts including a cafe in Sunway Medical Centre & a cake shop in Bangsar. The bistro at Oasis Ara Damansara represents the delicious diversity of Madeleine's offerings, from hot meals to freshly baked desserts.

Start with a snack: Madeleine's crisp cassava chips are a fun alternative to run-of-the-mill potato-based fries, partnered with a variety of dips that display the versatility of Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise; the kitchen showcases the creamy sauces in house-blended flavours like wasabi or chilli, imbuing a memorably tasty zing & playful sense of fun - certainly more enjoyable than ordinary ketchup. Available weekdays, 11am-2pm, for only RM10 nett (which includes a bistro-selected drink & dessert).

There's a bounty of crowd-pleasers throughout the menu - fans of all-day breakfasts might want to check out the Spanish-inspired, paprika-tinged eggs, baked with potatoes & onions in a rich tomato sauce, coupled with toast for a vegetarian-friendly order (RM13; comes with a complimentary Americano), while others will be tempted by pastas like the full-bodied bolognese, coated in slow-cooked lean minced lamb with herbs (RM14) or Madeleine's signature Chicken Bravo, a whole Cajun-marinated roast leg with two sides - in this case, mashed potatoes & a salad - for a reassuringly familiar, no-nonsense recipe (RM16).

Madeleine's Aussie-style pie merits special mention; we sampled the steak version (there's also chicken with mushroom) & liked it a lot - everything from the tender crust to the moist, beefy filling proved a genuine pleasure, partnered perfectly with mash & gravy. For RM15, this is well worth investigating for pie enthusiasts.

Alina is also the founder of Cake Crisis Central, which supplies superior cakes & confectioneries to cafes across the Klang Valley. Both Alina & Madeleine's head pastry chef, Joanne Yeong, are Le Cordon Bleu alumni, with Joanne having spent the past decade in top kitchens including at The Westin & Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur. We were instantly smitten with Joanne's Chocolat Royale, which won her the Pastry Chef of the Year award at the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore in 2015 - a lovely chocolate mousse cake with a crunchy feuilletine layer & hazelnut praline, exemplifying the unmistakable hallmarks of quality ingredients & excellent technique. Other highlights include an impeccably balanced, confidently textured lemon cheesecake that refreshed & invigorated our palates before leaving; these cakes & more are available by the slice at Madeleine's outlets or whole by a two-hour advance order. Many thanks to Madeleine's team for having us here.

D-G-3A Block D, 2 Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Oasis Square, Oasis Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-7859-9316 (outlet) & 03-7847-1290 (office). Open 8am-6pm, Mon-Sat (art jamming available on Saturdays)