Monday, 24 March 2014

Melur & Thyme @ Suria KLCC

Melur & Thyme @ Suria KLCC is like an east-meets-west kopitiam serving an array of local favourites and western creations in an interior air-conditioned and an alfresco sidewalk cafe.
The café, with its dark wooden panelling and tiled walls, is both stylish and modern looking, and its leaf-like logo (reminiscent of a bunch of thyme leaves, I reckon) adds further charm to the place.
I liked the hand-drawn sketches and scribbles that were adorned on the corner wall of the café...rather cute and artsy!

Their menu is separated into a few sections consisting of Breakfast (from light fares to hearty breakfasts), Nibbles & Bits (small bites), Sip & Toss (hearty soups & fresh salads), Tapas-Melur (Asian appetisers) & Tapas-Thyme (western snacks), Mains, Desserts and Drinks.

What is unique about Melur & Thyme's dining option is their tapas menu.  Tapas are a variety of appetisers and snacks (either cold or hot) that patrons would eat in bars in Spain and it quickly gained popularity around the world.  Melur & Thyme's tapas menu is divided into 2 sections, the Melur section serves tapas with local flavours while the Thyme section is more of the typical Spanish tapas that we've come to know.

We started off our meal with our favourite small bites of Calamari Rings @ RM17 which were squid rings that have been battered and deep fried to golden brown.  The squid rings were fried just right until tender (not chewy) and crispy.....quite a delight!

Next, I ordered a couple of tapas to share.  As there were so many varieties, it was difficult to choose.  We finally settled for the Duck Satay and Crispy Chilli Baby Crab.
It seems they are famous for their duck dishes (since they used to be the former Duck N Such) and that was the main reason I just had to order their Duck Satay (small) @ RM12.  The duck meat, though tender, was slightly 'gamey' but the lemongrass marinade (infused into the meat) came through strongly and helped 'camouflage' the gaminess.  The peanut sauce that came with the Duck Satay was alright (though not my favourite), it had loads of fresh peanuts and a strong hint of lemongrass flavour as well.  [#Note: Looks like lemongrass features quite a fair bit in their must be one of their favourite herbs....they even have a Lemongrass Pannacotta!]

I definitely did not think that the duck satay is 'to die for' (as some blogs put it) as I found it just passable.
The other tapas, the Crispy Chilli Baby Crab (small) @ RM21 were little baby crabs that have been fried till crispy and tossed with their homemade curry leaf sambal sauce.  The sambal sauce which was highly fragrant from the dried prawns, curry leaves and 'belachan' (fermented shrimp paste) was really good.  Eat those spicy and crunchy little babies with rice (coz it's a bit salty on its own) and you'll say....yeah, baby!

But for those who gets 'emotional' looking at those tiny little crabs, with their tiny little legs, whose life was drastically cut short before they'd even had a chance to grow up, it would be wise to avoid it.  But, for me, it was just a moment of aww....they're so cute and tiny, and then I pop those tiny little morsels of deliciousness into my mouth and all is forgotten!

All their tapas are served with either rice or bread and is big enough as a meal in itself (if you happen to be a small eater) or order a couple of tapas for sharing (if you are a bigger eater).  [#Tip: I would say that Melur's tapas are best eaten with rice while Thyme's tapas are better with bread.]

We ordered just one main for sharing, the Crusted Baked Hake Fish @ RM32 was a simple piece of baked fish fillet with a slightly crunchy crust served with mashed potatoes and boiled vegetables in cilantro garlic oil.  The hake fish was topped with spice, herbs and panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and baked till the crust was crispy while the mashed potatoes were buttery.

I suspect the hake is not of the 'fresh' type but a 'frozen fillet' as hake is usually sold and exported frozen.  This was evident by the flesh of the hake which was not white but more greyish.  Overall, the fish texture was a bit dry but the crispy and flavourful crust helped to elevate the tastiness of the frozen fillet to an acceptable level.
Our drinks for the night:
Fresh Watermelon Juice @ RM12
Chilled Mango @ RM10

My Personal Opinion

What was exciting for me was their variety of tapas that is good enough to eat as a meal in itself.  The thought of ordering a few (for sharing) would enable us to enjoy many different dishes in one sitting.

The service was attentive enough, after you've been seated and dining, except that there was no one to greet us at the entrance though.

Although I have not sampled enough to make a 'concrete' judgement, I think tapas is the way to go here...I would come for the tapas and leave out the mains!

Likes:  The Crispy Chilli Baby Crabs and the thought of returning to try more of their tapas, especially those from the Thyme section (the Gambas, the Crockets, the Mushrooms, the Chorizo...all sound inviting).

Dislikes:  The Duck Satay turned out to be my least favourite.

Restoran Melur & Thyme
Lot G03H-I Suria KLCC
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2181 8001

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