June 7, 2018
Curiosity captures the carnivores: Tropicana Avenue's new shrine to swine and bastion for beef marks a sultry spin-off from Sentul's Curious Grocer private kitchen, birthing a full-fledged restaurant fuelled by fire and smoke, flesh and blood.
Destined to draw diners seeking a distinctive space, this second-floor rooftop venue is split into two sections - an alfresco area where the Curious culinary team (spearheaded by Spanish chef Rainer and his Malaysian counterpart C.K.) tend to their charcoal-and-oak-fired grills, and an indoor hall outfitted with dramatic projection-screen flourishes, perfect for private events.
Pork prominently peppers the menu: Start with the Magro & Mash, iberico slices paired with cheesy truffle potatoes, the rich and tender protein harmonising beautifully with the irresistible comfort-fare carbs (RM35+). If you prefer punchier, intensely savoury flavours, check out the chorizo sauteed in a red wine sauce with caramelised onions, potentially moreish with mop-up bread (RM28+). For families, it's well worth noting that children under 12 can order a kid's meal of linguine carbonara for free, a creamy, soft-to-the-bite version crowned with iberico and truffle oil; adults can have this too for a fair RM16+.
Spanish Iberian is the breed of choice for Curious Kitchen's porcine mains - you'll find iberico ribs, iberico chops, iberico tenderloin, mostly clocking in below RM100 per portion. The iberico top loin (RM77+ for about 200 grams) hits the spot, the quality of both the meat and the cooking yielding clean but reasonably deep flavours, bolstered by irreproachably nuanced textures. Good to go on its own, seasoned subtly with sea salt, but complemented effectively by the kitchen's Romesco sauce. Make it a full-on Spanish match with a bottle of Rioja (RM173+).
There's only one beef dish on the opening menu, but it's a whopper - Australian grain-fed wagyu tenderloin MB5, clocking in at RM198+ for 250 grams. Considering the cost, it's less of a success in comparison to the pork; our serving came out more soggy than succulent inside, with a slightly overdone exterior, but the kitchen concedes it might be a work in progress for them. Still, we relished the chopped wasabi sauce that came with this, and it was nonetheless enjoyable to sink our molars into the steak.
Desserts deserve a shout-out, with classics like lemon meringue pie (RM20+), creme brulee (RM16+) and chocolate mousse (RM16+) proving themselves lovably luscious. Satisfactory reasons to stay Curious indeed.
P-02-01, 2nd Floor, Tropicana Avenue, Persiaran Tropicana, 47410 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 5pm-1am (kitchen closes at 10pm). Tel: 010-666-1048