Nara Kitchen & Co @ Damansara Uptown

August 10, 2015

Nara mostly lives up to its moniker - a Greek girl's name that means 'happy' - with brightly upbeat vibes & a sprightly selection of feel-good food that might make it one of Damansara Uptown's most fashionable weekend destinations in the months ahead.

The restaurant kicked off with a confidently conducted trial run for both friends & paying customers this past weekend, unveiling an early oeuvre of breakfast bowls, wraps, salads, sandwiches & sides with plenty of promise. Dishes here are constructed for both visual & gustatory impact, so your camera & your taste buds should be equally enticed by the Big Belly (RM23), with white organic quinoa, fresh mint, roasted beets, orange wedges, sliced kyuri, hummus & miso vinaigrette.

Nara's recipes are geared for the next evolution of the Klang Valley's brunch-hunting demands: With the likes of Eggs Benedict having lost their novelty & lustre, what will propel the next F&B trends? Nara's ambitions sprint toward a sharp sense of sophistication; our favourite order here is the tuna tartar with organic egg mayo, tomato salsa, wasabi guacamole & garlic butter toast (RM29), with compellingly controlled complexities - both lively & mellow - that play harmoniously off one another.

For heartier meals, Nara's philosophy of wholesome nourishment is well typified by the Masala Shrimp (RM33), a fibre-rich foldover with spiced prawns & bell peppers with fresh veggies in warm garlic tortilla served with house-made mint yoghurt. We like how flavours here are robust but not overpoweringly punchy - try the Crunchy Chicken wrap (RM29) with Asian slaw, crispy noodles & a satay-like peanut sauce. As made very clear by the expertise in its execution, Nara isn't run by first-timers; it's the newest member of the high-powered family of businesses on this street that includes The Good Batch & Hyde At 53M.

The sole item we'd skip is the Waffle Fries Poutine, neither an ideal representative of the Canadian favourite nor a dish that justifies its RM24 cost. While the Truffle Bechamel Mushroom Samosas are even pricier at RM26 (for four big pieces), they're arguably more convincing, served steaming-hot, with a thin, light crisp that yields pleasurably to an aromatic, earthy milkiness.

Nara currently only serves brunch/lunch, with plans to introduce more temptations soon (house-baked bread, lobster rolls, salmon-&-egg donburi, citrus-tinged waffles with chicken). Supper club-style dinner sessions might become a reality later on.

Nara With Love
61, Jalan SS 21/1A, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Closed Mondays. Will start its first full day of operations, 8am-4pm, on Wednesday, August 9

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