Zoe, Bangsar

January 17, 2019

Asian by day, European by night; northern Thai curried noodles for lunch, Italian lamb ragu pappardelle when the sun sets: Zoe zigzags across continents for comfort cooking that crackles with zeal and zest.

Chef-founder Zoe Rai's new venue currently serves one savoury temptation in the afternoon, a take on the Chiang Mai crowd-rouser of khao soi - this version features tender flat egg noodles instead of the crispy version we've seen elsewhere in KL, but it's no less satisfying, complemented by an indulgently fleshy chicken thigh in a mellow coconut milk base that's creamy but not cloying, with pickles and shallots for snappy dynamics. Available as a set lunch with refillable chilled lemongrass tea for RM25; a mushroom variant of the khao soi is offered for vegetarians.

There's only one dessert for each session, but both merit mention - for lunch, the rarely sighted som chun, combating our local climate with its icy ensemble of lychee, young mango, ginger and fried shallots in a fragrant syrup (RM10); for dinner (though offered earlier by request), the more debauched hazelnut tiramisu, moist and rich with the nuances of nocciola (RM18).

While we wish the tagliatelle could be ordered for midday meals (with octopus with crab sauce for seafood pursuers, asparagus for meat-free partisans), this is nonetheless a noteworthy venue for folks who relish food prepared with a personal touch, befitting an eponymous restaurant.

Day drinking isn't verboten here, with basic gin-and-tonics and wines by both bottle and glass. Service is warm, welcoming and efficient from entry to exit.

42A, First Floor, Jalan Kemuja, Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur.
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 1130am-230pm, 6pm-1030pm. Tel: 012-255-3356

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