Bistro á Table - this name seems to be on almost every self-respecting foodie’s lips the past couple of weeks. Most have been raving about the storm of “adaptive French cuisine” cooked up Personal Chef Isadora Chai in her new “hole in the wall” restaurant located in the woodier quieter side of Section 17, Petaling Jaya. The bistro pays homage to modern French comfort food which also adopt some Asian elements.
“To the table” – that’s the literal French translation of Bistro á Table – it seems that’s a common term used in French households to gather family and friends around the table to feast. That sounds like pretty much a Malaysian culture, too… and that’s exactly what we did a couple of nights ago. A bunch of us foodies gathered round a table at this bistro to… feast, what else!
The Bistro exudes a comfy cosy air, with simple wooden furniture, featuring cream-colored ceiling-to-floor drapey curtains that give a hint of romance and privacy for diners seated at the smaller tables on one side. On the other side, the wall is decorated with a collage of French-themed prints and there’s this canopy of hanging light bulbs dangling from the ceiling which gives the bistro its own charming quirky little twist.
The Maple Syrup Coddled Egg with Fleur de Sel & Crouton Dust, a signature Isadora Chai starter was a natural choice for several of us. “Fleur de Sel” – flower of salt… a delicate artisanal food product which is hand-harvested sea salt, traditionally from off the coast of Brittany. Quite honestly, we didn’t know how to tackle this appetizer when it was served until we were told to “just mix everything up as you go along and eat”. OK, that’s simple enough and that’s exactly what we did. At first I was rather hesitant to stir and break the contents of the pretty egg perching so precariously there. The maple syrup, the crunchy bits of croutons, stirred with the coddled egg… and then eating it alternately in dainty spoonfuls and dipping it with the blanched asparagus… ahhh, such a lovely combination of flavours and textures.
My dining neighbour had this Gruyere Souffle with Slipper Lobster Bisque - that one spoonful I tried was supremely flavoursome and delicious. I also had a piece of baguette smothered with Grand Marnier & French Four Spice Duck Pate (sorry, I didn’t snap a photo of that!) … it’s so good – I must remember to order that in my future visit!
From the Bistro’s 1-page menu, we tried quite a number (almost all, hehe!) of the items, ranging from seafood to duck to beef! We had the Bouillabaise with Rouille, a traditional Provencal fish stew but Isadora had used a mixed variety of seafood in this long-simmered soup resulting in a broth that’s golden-coloured, redolent with all the sweet goodness of seafood and herbs. Served with a basket of baguette slices, it is a hearty mains.
Duck Cassoulet is another typical traditional French dish. A whole duck thigh was served, cooked till tender with white beans. I was told the duck meat was very tender, having been slowly cooked with herbs and spices and the beans had softend to a mush, thickly coating the duck with its rich wholesome flavour, blending well with the gamey taste of the duck.
The wagyu was to-die-for… I was lucky to get a substantial bite from my sexy fellow diner. The Australian Wagyu Grade 9+ Ribeye, perfectly grilled to a medium-rare was served with horseradish cream by the side. Every bite was meltingly tender due to the rich perfect marbling of the beef.
I like my Baramundi Fillet which was grilled very nicely – tender inside and the skin was crisped to just the right char-ness. The stir-fried vegetables of sweet peppers enhanced the simple flavours of the fish and it was a satisfying mains for me.
There were 5 Desserts on the menu and we had all but one!
My favourite’s the Terribly Alcoholic Tiramisu - the name says it all :-) I’ll have the next one all to myself, no sharing please.
Chef Isadora will be changing her menu regularly, depending on what’s fresh and available to share her wide repertoire of dishes. Cooking with a lot of heart and passion, I’m sure there’ll be many more exciting new dishes coming up. The Bistro also hosts special Degustation Nights on every first Monday of the month and this is when the Chef gets to showcase her talent, be a bit more risque and experimental with the food, taking the dining experience to another level of fine dining. Do call to book this ahead as I heard they’ve been booked out for the next couple of months!
Bistro á Table
No.6 Jalan 17/54
46400 Petaling Jaya
email: [email protected]
Mondays – Closed for Degustation Dinner Events & Private Functions
Fri-Sat: 6.00pm-12 midnight