Table & Apron @ Damansara Kim

December 24, 2016

The name has changed, but this restaurant remains the standard-bearer for meals that evoke the essence of hearth & home - cooking that's meticulous but not belaboured, nuanced though never over-complicated. We visited Table & Apron, formerly The Kitchen Table, twice this month, coming together with family & friends, & left both times feeling heartily fed & soulfully fulfilled.

Table & Apron recently unveiled its refurbished upper floor to host fortnightly supper clubs - prix fixe dinners where patrons can interact more intimately with the people who prepare & serve their food. Courses are brought forth with a gracefully congenial ease belying the team's skill & rehearsal, intelligence & imagination. The offerings evolve each time, with our session kicking off with an ambrosial amuse-bouche board; the printed menu is plain-spoken, listing these simply as 'sweet potato & iberico,' 'prawn & tomato,' & 'parmesan & cauliflower,' but what emerges to awaken the palate is more expressive than those elegantly understated characterisations - seafood & meat, vegetables & herbs, from nearby waters & faraway farms, compiled & composed for tasteful small bites, the briny crunch of the crustacean heads segueing into the nutty smoothness of cured ham.

The tenets & touchstones that supercharge Table & Apron are unmistakable - a perceptive trust in natural produce at its peak, refined with thought & respect, presented in a fashion that's sophisticated without being snooty, resulting in recipes that customers can relate to without feeling like they endured a meal bottlenecked with tired culinary cliches. Calamari & cucumber combine for a duet of ocean & land that sparkles with contrast, both components retaining their purity of flavour & texture, delicately enhanced with brown butter, dill cream & coriander. Chicken tortellini persuasively crafted in-house is half-submerged in a delicate mushroom consomme, studded with edamame. But the piece de resistance is sourdough bread at its most satisfying, the crackling crust complemented by a tender, tasty crumb, coupled with whipped butter & confit tomato.

The duck breast was at least five days in the making, dry-aged to scale the pinnacle of its potential, then gently oven-cooked that evening - the result: moist, clean-flavoured flesh, blanketed in crisp, thick skin that's sweet & glossy with a gula Melaka glaze, underpinned by the fragrance of fennel & cardamom. It's a sterling climax to the meal, with a palate-cleanser of green apple granita & a sumptuous dessert of carrot cake with ricotta ice cream & roselle jam for the afterglow. With prices hovering around RM130 per person, these dinner parties are a should-try; check out Table & Apron's Facebook page for updates.

Our second trip here was for Table & Apron's thoroughly enjoyable Christmas festive feast (available through Dec. 31 on advance orders, for dine-in & takeaway), featuring show-stoppers of house-brined roast chicken, supple & succulent, with a paprika rub; porchetta dry-cured with coarse salt & cracked black pepper, with an exterior of substance; plus supporting players of a marvellous mackerel pate & sourdough; roselle gravy; dijon mustard; & side dishes like roasted carrots & toothsome pumpkins; sausage & cranberry stuffing; meltingly buttery mashed potatoes; & wild rocket with mellow tomatoes; with Table & Apron's own-made roselle & passion fruit punch pitcher for lubrication. Good food, great service, all around.

Table & Apron
23, Jalan SS20/11, Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tues-Sun, 1130am-5pm, 6pm-10pm. Tel: 03-7733-4000

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