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Monday, 3 July 2017

(The Star) Pastels make way for bolder colours at cafe

Frequent diners at Delicious Cafes around the Klang Valley might be able to remember the iconic bird cages that were used as decoration.

Now, Delicious Cafe in 1Utama Shopping Centre reveals a fresh new look with bolder colours and cozy corners to pair with their comfort food, minus the bird cages.

“Almost everything has changed as we wanted to give our customers a more elevated dining experience at our new Grand Cafe concept,” said Envictus International Holdings Limited executive Tan San Hui.

Envictus took over the Delicious Group in November 2016, and a three-month renovation project for the new Grand Cafe concept began a month later.

The Delicious Cafe at 1Utama was the first of five eateries to undergo renovations, followed by the rest with their own unique design.

“Even with slight differences in the restaurants, five key elements remain — a cozy corner, a touch of nature, bird themes, inspiration corners and of course, comfort food,” Tan said touching on the other restaurants in Sunway Pyramid, Setia City Mall, Bangsar Village II and St. Mary Place which still retain the old menu.

Only the 1Utama eatery has more than 50 new dishes with catchy names.

An example would be the Sawa-duck-ka Salad, a refreshing Thai-inspired salad that was light and easy to eat.

This salad comes beautifully arranged in a chilled bowl filled with pomelo, shredded cucumber, mint, Thai basil, spring onions, red chillies and Thai dressing.

For a non-spicy option, diners can try the One In a Melon salad with watermelon, pine nuts, feta cheese, olives and basil oil also served in a chilled bowl.

“We take pride in our food and it’s not just about chucking a few ingredients on a plate. Here it is more than that,” said the Delicious Group executive chef Timothy Sebastian adding that chilled plates made a difference.

The watermelon salad also had balsamic pearls resembling blackberries or caviar and the yogurt ravioli that looked like poached egg.

Balsamic pearls are made from balsamic vinegar using molecular gastronomy.

“It is all about food science where we play around with the molecular structure of food to create something else like the yogurt, for example, which we managed to turn into a ball,” said Timothy.

The Movie Date Popcorn, infused with truffle oil and mixed with almond nuts was highly addictive with the caramel coating the popcorn.

The Salmon Else, which is thinly sliced fresh salmon topped with horseradish sauce, lemon curd and ikura, was recommended by the chef.

Also served on a chilled plate, this dish is a fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine with olive oil drizzled over fresh salmon.

Tim’s Damn Good Mee Goreng Mamak which is fried with peanut sauce and sambal tumis is named after the chef.

“I actually did quite a bit of research on how to cook the best mee goreng and this is it,” he said, adding that a lot of thought went into all the dishes on the menu.

The tender and juicy Country Roast with the Most comes with half a marinated chicken and three side dishes — truffle mash potatoes, coleslaw and corn bread.

The coleslaw was not just chopped up vegetables with mayonnaise slapped on but it had orange rind and spring onions thrown in.

“We don’t overlook the sides, even the corn bread is made with honey and not vanilla, and the mash has truffle oil in it,” Timothy said.

This dish has a 30 minute waiting time to ensure the chicken is perfectly cooked before being served.

Next came a tongue twister, Seashells by the Seashore Aglio Olio cooked with an abundance of seafood such as prawns, squid and mussels.

This particular version is dotted with chilli flakes and garlic and was rich in olive oil.

“We cook the pasta in prawn broth to give it that extra seafood taste so to some, this dish might taste a little like prawn mee,” said the chef.

To end our meal, we delighted in Panna Kota Kinabalu and Choc-a-Block Lava Cake.

The Panna Kota Kinabalu was unique as it was infused withsirap bandung.

The chocolate lava cake did not disappoint, with warm melted chocolate oozing out when you cut into the dessert.

DELICIOUS, Ground Floor 1Utama Shopping Centre (New Wing) 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama Damansara, Petaling Jaya (Tel: 03-7724 1086) Business hours: 10am to 10pm daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro