Bistro à Table @ Section 17, PJ – Isadora’s PlaygroundJune 26, 2011 | 22,656 views
#1 – Dim lighting from the ‘adaptive, reworked chandeliers’ hanging precariously over the tables, the simplicity of the overall design lending a soothing mood to the ambience, and a contemporary finish that won’t make you feel out of place, even if you’re in jeans and sneakers.
Bistro à Table (pronounced “ah-tah-bl”, which means “To The Table” in French) brought an entire new game to the serene neighbourhood of Section 17 in Petaling Jaya. Mention Section 17 and my mind was automatically diverted to Happy Mansion (My Elephant, Food Foundry, MM Cafe, nameless chicken rice stall) and the various street fares (Hong Seng’s roasted meats and Robert’s Char Kuey Teow are good examples).
But never would I have imagined a French diner in the midst of the residential area. Maybe it was what Isadora desired in the first place. To inject some flair with her baby; this supposedly “hole-in-the-wall” humble outlet.
#2 – Instead of waltzing in expecting staff of impeccable mannerism and faked accent to take your coat and usher you to your seats (reservation’s a MUST), you will meet down-to-earth people dressed simply in white-and-blacks catering to your needs. Heck, there’s not even a stringent dress code, as this is supposed to be a neighbourhood bistro specializing in ‘adaptive French cuisine’ than a full-fledged fine dining restaurant.
#3 – Coddled Maple Syrup Egg with Crouton Dust & Fleur de Sel (RM16/USD5)
#4 – Grand Marnier Duck Parfait with Cornichons & Caper Berries (RM19/USD6)
#5 – Gruyere Souffle with Slipper Lobster Bisque (RM35/USD12)
#6 – Duck Cassoulet (RM48/USD16)
#7 – Scampi & Shellfish Bouillabaisse (‘bul-yah-base’) with Rouille (Fish Stew) (RM58/USD20)
#8 – Pan-seared line-caught Barramundi with Summer Vegetables (RM48/USD16)
#9 – Australian Wagyu (Grade 9-10) with Horseradish Whipped Cream (RM100/100g)
#10 – Truffled Mash Potatoes (RM12/USD4)
#11 – DESSERTS (Clockwise from top left : Kaffir Lime & Lemon Tart (RM15/USD5), Dragonfruit & Coconut Pavlova with Candied Ginger (RM14/USD5), Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Creme Anglaise (RM18/USD6) & the shot of alcohol over the Terribly Alcoholic Tiramisu (RM29/USD10)
#12 – Another shot of the Terribly Alcoholic Tiramisu. They do serve a deconstructed version (sans the alcohol) for RM18/USD6 per serving, but this came highly recommended by Isadora herself.
#13 – Simple, one-page layout for easy digestion.
#14 – Floral nuances in the air. Saves table space for more dishes?
The dining experience at Bistro à Table was of a light-hearted, casual affair more than an all out pompous extravaganza with meticulous attention to table manners and etiquette. Of course, you don’t see people in shorts and sandals here, but you get my drift.
Foodwise, there were some hits, and some misses. Between the 7 of us, we sampled more than half of the menu. But that ain’t saying much since the menu’s limited to a page of 20 items only anyway.
Most notably, the Australian Wagyu with an astounding marbling score of 9. Lightly grilled to medium-rare, it was a pity parts of our 300g slab were grilled to a medium-medium done instead. Something that they should take heed upon, since most steak aficionados really emphasize on the doneness of their prized meats; more so for a premium cut of Wagyu or Kobe. But the melt-in-mouth sensation of the correctly done portions was too gorgeous for words. Served with a scoop of mashed potatoes and horseradish whipped cream, we steered away from heaping the cream on the beautiful cut of meat for the natural flavour should be relished as it is.
The Duck Cassoulet (cassoulet = bean stew, casserole) came in a bed of beans; not sure of the variety but traditionally, white haricot beans are used. Hearty stew with a very homely influence, though I did not find the duck thigh to be outstanding in terms of flavour or texture (fork-tender, but slightly dry).
The interesting Coddled Maple Syrup Egg came in a fancifully detached presentation. A stalk of asparagus, crunchy crouton dust and prized sea salt (Fleur de Sel) to be mixed into the wobbly amalgam of egg whites (was there a yolk?) and maple syrup. A clash of the savouries and sweets; to be scooped from within and enjoyed by the spoonfuls. Can’t put my finger on the exact response that evening, since I tasted one tiny spoonful from Chris‘s, but remember vaguely that the crunchy crouton and sea salt paired with the creamy concoction of sweetish egg was interesting. If you’re hankering for a to-die-for side dish, aim for the Truffled Mash Potatoes. I could have 2 portions of this alone.
The desserts came in a highly-anticipated fashion; and we walloped 4 out of the 5 choices. And only so because there are 2 tiramisu’s on the list. Very subjective preference; as most vouched for the Terribly Alcoholic Tiramisu, one applauded the Chocolate Fondant, while myself preferred the Dragonfruit and coconut pavlova for the crumbling, melt-in-mouth meringue was not dastardly sweet (like most) and the rich coconut cream accentuated the clean flavours of the dragonfruit. The Kaffir Lime & Lemon Tart should not be written off too, for the subtle tartness was inviting, yet I found the pastry to be lacklustre.
On the whole, I foresee great prospects for Bistro à Table. A neighbourhood of minimal competition, a concept much-revered by the modern times diners (contemporary bistro layout, unpretentious menu, reworked French classics etc), and already fully-booked for their upcoming degustation menu in July, from what I read. Isadora’s playground indeed.
Bistro à Table (www) (Facebook)
6, Jalan 17/54,
46400 Petaling Jaya,
Tel : 6014-338 5888 or 603-7931 2831
Opens for dinner only for the time being.
Reservation is a must.
Business hours : Mon : 8pm – 10pm
Tues : 2pm – 1am
Wed-Sun : 7pm – 11pm
Google Map to Bistro a Table