Upscale casual dining might be all the rage these days, but nothing compares to the drama of a bustling open kitchen at a real restaurant. Plus, you get to watch the chef, prepare the food you’re about to eat in a second.
house cured ocean salmon with smoked roe
Located above Chawan and directly opposite Bangsar Village 2, the al fresco balcony at F is a fine spot for dining, on a cool night that is. However, these days the weather’s been just so hot, we opt to dine inside.
And if kitchens were once predominantly closed off to customers, the eighties and nineties saw the rise of the open kitchen. The foodie revolution has turned even the most perfectly coiffed restaurants into a boisterous, informal dining spaces. And that is precisely why open kitchens have become so popular in recent years. Now that cooking has become a spectator sport, both the players and the fans want to share the spotlight, which is neat.
Which brings us to Buffalo Kitchens – the cookware company that many know of, and ‘F’ by Buffalo Kitchens, is a concept dining restaurant by the same brand. The kitchen is helmed by a young and energetic Danish Chef, Albert Frantzen. This time, we were here to check out the newly revamped Menu, plus its latest offering – Pork. That’s right, F has only just introduced the Iberico Pig to its menu a mere two days ago, and we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth into it.
Roasted Chorizo & Cornichon with chili Mayonnaise. Cocktails were potent and well made – I loved the Vodka Martini, and the Margarita wasn’t bad either.
Loved the distinctive smokiness of the chorizo.. it had a deep red color from its dried smoked red peppers (pimentão).
The roasted Chorizo here is the bomb. Oily, mean, and gluttonous.. if you slather on the creamy chili Mayonnaise and slap the ensemble onto a nicely buttered, fat-soaked slice of in-house baked bread with chopped olives, you know nothing on earth comes close to this decadent pork starter. The pickles help alleviate the richness in each mouthful. Armed with a nice bottle of red, I could eat this forever.
We didn’t notice the wine list at F, till they pointed it out to us.. here’s Spanish red to complement the meal
And as if to read my mind a bottle of Spanish red appears!
Cumi: This blended red is better suited to bolder tasting dishes rather than with seafood and white meats.
house cured ocean salmon with smoked roe
This next dish had a deep vibrant, almost fluorescent color about it. The Cured Salmon had been soaked in beetroot juice, and then acid was added, before the entire slab was bundled up and put away for a bit. Then slicing the cured salmon would produce this orange-vermillion effect which was a sight to behold.
And no matter the size of the egg, fish roe is a globule-shaped vehicle with which to taste the ocean. That popping release of briny yet sweet ocean liqueur is a sensation I’m totally addicted to. Add this to a sliver of deliciously well cured Salmon, and you have a orgasmic event. So, so good.
Warm Apple & Beetroot Salad with Goat Cheese
If you’re a sucker for beets, as I am, then you will love the new dishes at F. Take for example this salad of Warm Apple, Beetroot and Goat Cheese. Opposing flavors create harmony of taste on the plate. Sweet, earthy beets here are paired with the tartness of apples. Pungent goat cheese is melded with bitter leaves. Delicious, complex and flavourful. A must order.
Cumi: The apple had been cooked in duck fat, infusing it with a meaty flavor. Because it had been lightly cooked, it retained some bite instead of a mushy texture. I reckon a slight grilling of the apples would have added a smoky and caramelized dimension, raising the bar on the already wonderful dish.
Homemade Cuttlefish Ink Pasta in Rich Ink Stock, Live Mussels & Tiger Prawns
This next dish was not one of my favourites. While the pasta was good, the clams were tiny and had a fishy smell.
The paella was tasty enough without being spectacular, but again beautifully presented. Again, the clams and giant mussel were not something I fancied in this dish. I reckon one should stick to meat dishes at F.
Confit Iberico Pork Belly with Apple Puree & Roasted Carrots
We were rather looking forward to the latest Pork additions to the menu, and the Confit Iberico Pork Belly did not disappoint.
The marbling of fat on the Iberico looked like racing stripes and the lovely smell and flavor were distinctly nutty and expressed the true terroir of the Iberico Pork. As you know, these prized, black, Spanish pigs are fed a strict diet of acorns to fatten them up and that’s what imparts that intense, nutty flavor into the meat. Sinking you teeth into a cross-section, fat gives way to succulent flesh, and then smoky fat again. Apple puree and red pickled cabbage work their magic with each mouthful. Filling, satisfying, yet not quiet enough. I wanted more of this!
Iberico Pork Burger with Bacon, Red Cabbage in Homemade Brioche Bun
And you know, man cannot live on beef alone .. and for that, there is the Iberico burger.
The Iberico Pork Burger is a nice, compact burger that punches well above its weight. The depth of flavour in the meat, enhanced by the melted cheese, completely blew my mind. It’s rich, it’s porky, its fat and it’s glorious!
Smoked Vanilla Panna Cotta with Dried Apples & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.. can’t say no to dessert.
Cumi: I don’t normally enjoy this dessert but the panna cotta texture here is better than many – soft, smooth, and not ‘gelled-up’.
The ever so friendly Chef Albert Frantzen.. and if you think he looks young, that’s because he is!
A great night out. If I wasn’t a believer before, I sure am now. To summarise, F by Buffalo Kitchens is a delight. And now with Iberico on the menu, a definite must visit.
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69-1 Jalan Telawi 3 Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone +60322011710, +60122090226