Weekend Tapas Brunch @ Dish

July 4, 2012

Need another reason to look forward to weekends? Dish now offers three-hour lunches on Saturdays and Sundays, a fun way to sample some of Chef Steve Allen's tastiest recipes in tapas-sized servings.
Main entry on Steve Allen at Dish: April 11, 2012.

The RM99++ lunch (RM179++ with free-flow booze) comprises more than thirty items to choose from. Fellow fans of eggs, fear not: our savory dreams have come to life with this sunny-side-up, wobbling ravishingly atop smoked pastrami.

In the week leading up to this lunch, some customers might want to temporarily forgo eggs, before finally rewarding themselves here with Eggs Benedict and poached eggs with tomatoes on wholegrain bread without worrying too much about cholesterol.

Can't skip the boiled egg with foccacia soldiers or the scrambled eggs with salmon either.

Dish's pumpkin soup with truffles, wild mushrooms and parmesan is a perennial crowd favorite, outshining the French onion broth with gruyere and tomato-lemongrass consomme. All are delicious nevertheless, proving that good things can come in threes.

Luscious avocado, gigantically portioned with fleshy crab meat. This is the one we'd happily order, over and over until last call at around 2:30 p.m. Note that each customer can only order five items at a time.

Other swell salads include a Caesar swelling with crispy chicken, tiger prawns, quail eggs and anchovies, as well as a mozzarella-and-tomato marvel.

Who knew that corn would be one of our favorite components for this meal? The paprika chicken with corn and mushrooms dispelled claims that chicken is dull, but what we really loved was the sweet-and-spicy corn-and-cili padi habitas, perhaps a reinterpretation of a Peruvian street snack.

Crisply hot croquettes, with three types of fab fillings: turkey ham and mozzarella, mushroom and rosemary, chicken and red pepper. Kids will probably adore these.

Other outlets might boast of humongous burgers, but Dish proves that bigger isn't necessarily better. This Black Angus beef burger is petite enough to finish in fewer than five mouthfuls, but each bite packs a wallop of red-meat flavor.

More red meat: lamb loin Wellington with pepper sauce and beef strip-loin with sauce Charon. On Dish's a la carte menu, the full lamb Wellington costs RM85++, so having this all-you-can-eat lunch is a cost-effective means of trying a slice of it (or more) with other dishes.

Pasta lovers aren't forgotten, thanks to the crab-and-coriander linguine and beef carbonara.

Carb addicts can feast on tomato risotto with black olive tapenade and mac-and-cheese.

Finally, for fans of fish and seafood, the spread here is wide, including salmon that's pan-fried and salmon that's citrus-cured and served with pickled beetroot and horseradish ice cream.

Salt-baked cod with red pepper sauce (also another expensive item from the a la carte menu) and roasted red snapper with lemongrass sauce.

Thai fried calamari and mussels with apple and cider sauce. Repeat visits for this lunch might be worthwhile; Chef Allen promises that not all the 30-plus items will remain the same every week.

For something faintly fiery: grilled tiger prawns with chili-herb salsa and a sambal salad containing French beans and snow peas.

Save space for desserts: the caramel chocolate delice with lime ice cream is remarkably rich and greatly gooey without being cloying. Also an excellent showcase of Chef Allen's flair: the trio of strawberry mousse, granite and jelly.

Local fruits take center stage: rambutans sparkle with the almond panna cotta, while the green guava crumble with almond ice cream is a hot-and-cold hit.

Not currently on the buffet lunch menu, but available a la carte: Passionfruit-and-raspberry baked Alaska, cloud-soft and mousse-creamy, with its smoothness roughed out a little by bits of pistachios. Its flavor is mighty fine too, not sourish at all but still pleasurably perky.

Mangosteen puree and granite with shortbread, basil and white chocolate mascarpone mousse. The flavors of my favorite fruit seem slightly too understated here, but it's still a joy to taste recipes that succeed in incorporating mangosteen.

By the way, frosting-loaded cupcakes line Dish's display cabinet for takeaway, but it's wiser to skip them on the way out; the cake base is fine, but the topping tastes surprisingly artificial.

The lunch's free flow includes sparkling, red and white; teetotalers have all the juice they desire.

Dua Annexe, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2164-1286