Fest is back: This purveyor of chicken waffles and coffee first ran for two years in Jaya One beginning in 2016, then moved to Damansara Perdana with its Malaysian soul-food sister restaurant Grain in 2018 before taking a hiatus in late 2019.
Now, Fest's chef-founder Jia Yuan is making a fresh start in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, with this hidden space tucked on the top floor of a three-level shop-house, calmly overlooking the neighbourhood, currently open for takeouts of unique twists on familiar favourites.
We've been fans for five years of Fest's chicken waffles (RM16) - the minced chicken IS the waffle, grilled in a griddle-plate waffle maker, tasting like a tender chicken patty but looking like a (low-carb) waffle, lively with chives, sweetly punchy raisins, romaine, fried shallots, pickled onions and tangy sriracha mayo for extra heat. You might recall these chicken waffles formerly in Fest's Lemak Chicken Sandwiches, stuffed in sourdough toast - let's hope that also makes a return in the future.
When we visited Grain three years ago, the Duck Porridge was a highlight, so we're happy to have it here too (RM16), a Teochew-influenced rendition of rice cooked in a light duck broth, a princely portion of thick, creamy-chewy congee, comfortingly blanketed with roast duck breast, crullers, leeks, raisins and romaine for salty and sugary notes with plenty of textural nuance, travelling well for takeouts.
Someday, weeks or months from now, caffeine lovers from TTDI and beyond will climb two flights of stairs and cram into Fest for their fix of flat whites (RM10). For now, patrons seeking a pleasant cup to sip on the move can find Jia Yuan making double-ristretto Magic (RM12) out of Ghostbird Coffee's Aurora medium-roast with currents of milk chocolate, hard-hittingly strong enough to keep us buzzing till sunset.
155B, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 10am-10pm.