Powered by Protein: Barn BBQ & Matsuya Bangsar

June 21, 2012

A friend in need is a friend to feed; helping out a buddy who's training for the Standard Chartered marathon, we barreled over to Bangsar with him to bulk up on protein, with The BIG Group's Barn BBQ as our starting line.

Barn BBQ is the running mate of Ben's General Food Store, swooping in on what was the latter's retail section in Bangsar Village. Customers who like biting into cows, chickens and sheep will have a field day here.

Beefing up seems synonymous with steaks. Barn BBQ serves some premium Wagyu cuts, but consuming a lower-costing Black Angus grass-fed rib-eye should be sufficient to make the lower body bigger, better, faster, stronger.

We love a sausage fest: North African lamb and beef merguez, alongside a Slovenian chicken cheese krainer. Both fabulously flavorful, as satisfying as anything at, say, Jarrod and Rawlins.

A caveman's-sized chunk of Wagyu 5 BBQ brisket, hopefully enough to help us limber up and leave the haters behind, their sneering opinions of us born of their own shortcomings, their collective hypocrisy and bad-mouthing.

A short sprint (or a snail's-paced stroll, as we preferred) from Barn BBQ, there beckons a less obvious but equally effective option for marathon makan _ Japanese food at Telawi's Matsuya.

Here's some top-flight (though flightless) protein to masticate at Matsuya. Don't duck the duck _ it has the smoked juiciness to keep our juices going. Who you calling chicken indeed.

Warm, soft eel, wrapped in warmer, softer egg omelet.

Animal organs can supply muscle mass too, as we trust will be the case with this foie gras in chawanmushi. Love your liver, as the saying goes.

Tofu, a meat-free protein powerhouse, topped with sea urchin for a beautiful brininess.

Some swear by fish as their finest source of protein, from the head of sake-steamed sea bream...

... to the belly of swift-swimming tuna, a triumphant tableau of tenderness when double-boiled in this soup with mushrooms and veggies. If folks truly are what they eat, then it's too bad our friend is tackling a marathon instead of a triathlon.

Hitting the ground running requires more than protein: let's wrap up with some earthy carbs, incarnated in a hot pot of rice mixed with sauteed mushrooms and truffle oil.

After running so many miles, imagine how much liquid must be replenished. Gulp gulp gulp. Here's to a healthy, haze-free marathon!

Got milk? Must have milk, especially if it's Barn BBQ's Banoffee Pie milkshake, brilliant in both banana-toffee flavor and creamy-frosty texture.

Reaching the finish line at Matsuya, which serves both wine and sake by the glass. Thankfully, extra edges will push both this restaurant and this entry further.

Barn BBQ @ Bangsar Village
Matsuya @ Jalan Telawi 2
Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
Both open daily. 
Barn BBQ is at BVI, beside Ben's General Food Store on the ground floor.
Matsuya is opposite La Bodega and Antipodean.