You really can’t miss Tujo along Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur. I mean, how can you ever miss this playground, with bright cheerful flowers planted firmly on the ground, all colourfully shouting “TUJO” from their centres? Be warned though: you can’t pick these blooms and plonk them into a vase!
The latest brainchild from the good people of SOUL Society Group, Tujo Bar-sserie & Grill revolves around the concept of “A Playground”. From the very successful SOULed OUT Sri Harts and Ampang as well as WIP, Tujo has hit the dining scene with a blast. How not to have a blast when its tagline is “Eat, Live & Play”? Located on the ground floor of the prestigious Ascott Residences, Tujo aims to bring fun and laughter to its patrons, besides their good food and drinks, of course.
Disorganised Front of House Counter
From the quirky Disorganised Front of House Counter (it’s a carpenter’s nightmare!), the nostalgic jukebox to the newspaper-disguised-as-menu (or is it the other way round?), the deco of Tujo breathes casual chic and whimsical playfulness all at once. The interior design was conceived by renowned designer Ed Poole who admitted that the concept actually “satisfied his 60’s fetish”, a sentiment which the owners, Michele Kwok and Fred Choo concurred with.
I love the bright cheerfulness of the place, thanks to the glass ceiling and walls which allows in lots of natural light. The Modo chandeliers lend a touch of class to the retro modern Danish design, using lots of light wood and clean lines in the furniture. There’s even a huge living wall on one side which adds to the charm and warmth of the space. Head on up the stairs to the Mezzanine Floor where private events can be held in their plush and well-appointed rooms… they think of everything here!
The Mezzanine Floor – great for private events!
The name actually is a spin on the Malay word which stands for the number 7 and was selected for its numerological significance. Is it any coincident that Tujo is open 7 days a week from 7am till closing?
Let’s line them up: Caramel Passion Tea and Spicy Mango Tea
OK…so, “Let’s Eat” – that’s the headline of their menu, by the way. The difference between their lunch and dinner menus is that for dinner (and weekend lunch), the highlight is their all-new Grill items. Take your pick from the selections of beef, lamb, chicken and seafood which will then be grilled according to your specifications of rubs like the Montreal Salt or Lemon Pepper. We had their Tenderloin (200g for RM78) which was grilled to a perfect Medium doneness, flavoured lightly with just sea salt. The pinkish meat was very tender and juicy. The Saute’ed Creamy Spinach (RM8) provided the necessary fibre and a great pairing with the luscious beef.
From the grill, we checked out two other dishes from the Mains section. Parmesan Bass (RM35) and Seafood Risotto (RM33) – both choices turned out to be excellent. The baked seabass fillet has a crusty parmesan layer which when cut, revealed the tender juicy white fish inside. The fish was served on a bed of fava beans, which I picked clean off the plate.
The Arborio rice, cooked in tomato broth, was done al dente style, with a good bite in the grains. If you are used to soft mushy risotto, this may not go down well with you but I like the bite. The mixed seafood of prawns, cuttlefish and scallops were fresh and sweet, enhanced with basil pesto.
It’s interesting to note that Tujo’s pizzas have either green or black bases, thanks to the infusion of spinach or squid ink into the dough. We tried their popular Napoli Bianco topped with home-made meatballs, pepperoni and alfredo sauce. The black base was thin and crusty and the toppings generous – there’s no complaint here at all. Other pizzas in the list include the Mediterranean, Quattro Formaggio and the localised Malaysiana.
Pasta lovers should not miss the Seafood Aglio Olio Linguini (RM32) which was served with a good combo of saute’ed scallops, prawns, mussels and squids. Aglio olio is my favourite method of cooking for pastas, so perhaps I’m a bit biased here when I say this is my kind of pasta!
Seafood Aglio Olio Linguini
How would you like to play some ancient table games like Five Stones, Bottle Caps, Country Game and Pick Up Sticks while chilling out with your friends and family here? Honestly, I don’t know all these games but they are all available on the tables! The few that I do know bring back fond memories of my childhood when those were the stuff we played with, at a time when the word “internet” hasn’t even been coined!
If you’re there just to chillax, light dishes would go great with those ancient table games. Check out their Caesar Salad with Chicken (RM23), served quaintly on a crispy edible cradle, Oxtail Soup (RM18) and Venison Roll (RM28). I love the Oxtail Soup – the chunky oxtail were tender but not falling-off-the-bone kind of softness… there was still a nice bite to the spongy cartilage in the oxtail. The soup wasn’t overly spicy – the way I like it – the carrots and potatoes add on to the “comfort food” feel of the soup.
Chicken Caesar Salad
The Desserts list has quite a number of items which are paired with ice cream and not just any ice cream, mind you… only Haagen-Dazs is served here. The Rocky Road Brownie (RM17), Salted Caramel Apple Guava Tart (RM20) and Apple Banana Sundae (RM17) all have Haagen-Dazs incorporated! Among the three, my favourite is the Salted Caramel Apple Guava Tart… the crumbly pastry holds a delicious tangy apple dragon-fruit sauce within which balances out the sweetness of the whole ensemble very nicely.
Salted Caramel Apple Guava Tart
Apple Banana Sundae
Rocky Road Brownie
Time to play Five Stone and Pick Up Sticks now… head on over to Tujo this weekend!
Tujo Bar-sserie & Grill
Ascott Kuala Lumpur
No.9 Jalan Pinang
5050 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2161-7789, 012-210-3055 (Reservations), 03-2162-7789 (General)
Opens Mondays to Sundays from 7.00am till closing