The Apartment Downtown in KLCC recently underwent a makeover. Photos by The Apartment
NEWLY reopened eatery The Apartment Downtown in KLCC recently unveiled an exciting new look and an even more exciting menu. The eatery first opened its doors in 2008. From its previous offering of a typical mix of Asian and Western cuisine suited for restaurants, it now features 19 dishes with a European-style dining concept. The twist is that it is infused with Asian flavours and may raise many eyebrows. Still, one should dare to dive into the unknown to be pleasantly surprised, just as I was.
Choose from the selections of appetisers that range from RM17 to RM40, soups, and main courses of pasta, Western or Asian meals, priced between RM25.90 for the vegetarian pasta peperonata and RM134.90 for the Wagyu striploin. Then there are of course desserts, which cost from RM15 for a choco-pumpkin pie or an apple-and-pear pie to RM18.90 for baked chocolate pudding or a slice of carrot cake.
At a recent invitation to review the improved menu, The Edge Financial Daily was privileged to sample some of The Apartment Downtown’s offerings:
Bites: Fried herb and potato dumpling
This vegetarian appetiser is filled with fresh herbs like thyme, oregano and parsley, mixed with potato and deep fried to perfection. The breadcrumbs used to deep fry the elongated dumplings are made in the restaurant’s in-house bakery, so customers can be assured of freshness and quality. The dumplings are served with grilled banana ketchup. The ketchup mainly tastes of the tomato sauce, but hints of banana are definitely there.
Soup: Pumpkin soup with coconut sambal
The combination is unusual to say the least, but my curiosity paid off. The soup is thick with pumpkin goodness and seasoned to taste. The real kicker is the aftertaste the dry coconut sambal leaves on the palate — a sweet-spicy flavour. Though not as spicy as you would expect a normal sambal to be, it does bring a hint of spice to an otherwise mildly sweet, creamy option. The dry sambal elevates the flavour of the dish. This is also a vegetarian dish and can double as a main meal if eaten with bread.
Salad: Polenta, tomato and basil salad
The star of this dish is the buffalo mozzarella, tossed with cherry tomatoes, capers, cucumber, basil, anchovies and crispy polenta that come dressed with shallot vinaigrette. Polenta is not very common in this country, so I was excited to try it. The added element of polenta in this salad is to give the green bowl a crunch. Polenta is actually corn that has been pounded into mush or boiled into porridge. For this dish, the chef cleverly bakes the smashed polenta and cut it up into small squares.
Sandwiches: Moroccan beef burger
The medium-rare patty (you can opt for it to be well done) is spiced with traditional Moroccan spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric and black pepper. The generous helping of meat is placed on toasted brioche bread, topped with a sweet salsa relish, beef bacon, roasted capsicum, perfectly grilled Portobello mushrooms (that gives a smokiness to the burger) and completed with a lemon-mayonnaise sauce. The sweet potato fries on the side are addictive if eaten on their own but they are even better when dipped in the restaurant’s own crème fraiche.
Main: Greek-style lamb cutlets
This dish that comes with three perfectly cut lamb cutlets truly needs no description. If I had one issue, it was that three cutlets were not enough. I was left yearning for more because the well-done meat was soft and tender. The balsamic vinegar that accompanied the meat is an impeccable pairing because the sharp taste of the vinegar plays off the seasonings from the lamb. The chef says the sweet cherry tomatoes are flown in from Holland and are served grilled with the vines intact. The crumbed slice of eggplant adds a slight crunch to the dish while the Greek yogurt cools the palate down and completes the dish.
Pasta: Greek mac and cheese
In their efforts to put a twist to traditional and rustic dishes, this simple pasta dish has been improved by leaps and bounds with the addition of Greek spices, fresh dill and feta cheese into the recipe. To give it more texture, fried spinach leaves that are tossed with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs are placed on top of the dish to allow diners to experience a burst of flavour and texture all in one bite.
Dessert: White and dark chocolate trifle
This dish is, quite simply, made out of chocolate, both dark and white that are layered alternatively. This is the dessert to have if you have had a long and tiring day. The rich chocolate will melt in your mouth and its smoothness is equivalent to silk. It’s a perfect end to the day, especially with the feel-good endorphins that will run through your system.
Left to right: Pumpkin soup with coconut sambal. Moroccan beef burger. Greek mac and cheese.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 6, 2014.