“Where would you recommend for a good meal?” I often get asked this perennial question. I usually drill further to find out what particular cuisine the person has in mind before giving any recommendation.
These days, if someone asks me where to go for some casual dining, western-style, I find myself saying unreservedly “Epicuro”! Ever since I checked them out a couple of months ago, I have been back there a few times. What draws me back to this simple unassuming little restaurant is their excellent food served at very decent prices. Oh, may I add also that the place is run and co-owned by an ex-engineer-turned-chef who’s very passionate about his food.
Epicuro is now my favourite venue whenever I have cravings for pork chops or anything with bacon. Yugin’s pork chops may not look very visual-friendly but trust me, they taste amazing. The chops have been brined prior to grilling and that’s why they are so tender, juicy and tasty. The meat still retains a degree of succulence due to the skilful brining. The pork chops are served with a mushroom cream sauce, potato bacon salad and some fresh greens by the side. All these for RM28.90 which makes this one of the best-value pork chops ever!
Talking about meats and mains, the Lamb Shank (RM39.90) here is a must-order if you are a lamb lover. The perfectly braised shank in a light tomato gravy is served on a bed of cauliflower puree with tender slices of carrot adorning the meat. The smooth creamy cauliflower puree is divine, with a tinge of sweetness in it. That, as explained by Yugin, is a result of the Maillard reaction technique he uses. Put simply, he explains it’s the “browning reaction” that causes this. Of course it’s not as simple as it sounds but then the guy’s an ex-engineer so he’s really into molecular stuff in his culinary research!
The shank is tender and well flavoured from the braising, yet retains its form when plated simply atop the puree. I like it that the flavours are kept light and tomatoey with no overwhelming herbs or spices.
The Chicken Cacciatore is absolutely a value-for-money dish. At RM24.90, there’s a whole chicken thigh served with marinara sauce, mushrooms and aglio olio pasta. A whole complete dish on its own!
Pasta and pork must be one of the best combos ever discovered and in Epicuro, there are several of these divine combos to choose from. The Spaghetti Carbonara (RM18.90) is on the top of my list. Spaghetti in a cream sauce dotted with bacon bits and topped with a slow poached egg – what is there not to like?
My favourites are the Conchiglie in Spinach Cream (RM19.90) and the good old Spaghetti & Meatballs (RM18.90). The shell shaped conchiglie are cooked in a creamy blended spinach sauce with bacon and for that added crunch, toasted sunflower seeds are tossed on top.
I love the tasty meatballs in my spaghetti – pure comfort food at its best.
The Pork Ragu Marinara (RM18.90) will appeal to cheese lovers. On top of the pasta, a rich pork mince marinara concoction almost smothers all the pasta and the bonus here is the grans padano cheese.
Pork Loin Linguine (RM18.90) has pork loin strips, leek and cream sauce poured over linguine. This is not my favourite pasta but it’s another option for porky fans.
Now if you prefer some light bites while chilling out here, go for their Pulled Pork Sandwich which is da bomb. The scrumptious well-seasoned pulled pork and coleslaw are tucked in between the slices of a long bun with plenty of fresh greens by the side. It’s RM15.90 for this wholesome sandwich, add on another RM1 for a sunnyside-up egg!
There are currently only 2 types of salads on the menu but I’m not complaining because I love them both. There’s the Caesar Salad (RM14.90) with the usual romaine lettuce, tomatoes and croutons but what makes this salad more lovable is that you can add on RM3 for bacon and a poached egg or just grilled chicken. So, a full-blown sinful Caesar Salad is RM17.90!
The Walnut & Almond Salad (RM14.90) is the other option. It’s healthier and crunchier as the romaine lettuce, rocket leaves, carrots, tomatoes are tossed with a red wine vinaigrette sprinkled with croutons, glazed walnuts and toasted almonds. If you wish to take this one level higher, I’m sure Yugin can be persuaded to top up with some bacon for an additional RM3, if you ask nicely!
There’s usually a Soup of the Day served at RM12.90. On the day I was there, I had a comforting creamy pumpkin soup.
The desserts list is kept pretty tight at the moment. My absolute favourite is their Tiramisu (RM13.90) which is doused generously with copious amounts of alcohol. I’m not kidding when I say they don’t stinge on the alcohol – it’s one of the best tiramisu I’ve had in quite a while with a nice boozy kick. GO try.
Epicuro serves some brunch items too at very decent prices (the Big Breakfast is only RM21.90). Their coffee and tea list aint shabby either.
20 Jalan SS21/35
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tue – Fri, 11am – 11pm
Sat – Sun, 10am – 11pm