Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Press Room Bistro @ Pavilion

The Press Room Bistro @ Pavilion is a modern interpretation of a European bistro focussed on serving wholesome, comfort food, using the finest ingredients, in a friendly and comfortable setting. 

The open space restaurant with its abundance of fans offers diners a cool environment inside (even though the bistro doesn't seemed to be air-conditioned) or you can just relax outside at the alfresco part of the bistro.  Polished cement floors, wooden tables and chairs (with some cushioned sofa seats) and giant chalkboards exudes a warm, inviting feel to its diners.  

Two things that's a standout here is their French Poilane and Josper Oven.  Poilane (a French artisan baker) is widely known for a round, two-kilogram sourdough country bread and these loaves are shipped worldwide.  This quality bread is made using stone-ground flour, natural fermentation and a wood-fired oven.  

So, wanting to try the renowned sourdough bread, I came here with my friend and "makan" buddy on a Saturday morning.  We arrived just after 10am but was disappointed to find out that their cheese, cold cuts and pates, served with toasted sourdough, were only available from 11.30am.  As we were famished and our tummies (more like my tummy and her stomach) couldn't wait any longer, we went ahead and ordered from the breakfast menu.

I ordered a simple dish of an omelette @ RM7 made from 3 fresh eggs, served with toast, with a choice of additional fillings of sautéed mushrooms @ RM5 and chorizo @ RM5.  There are other choices of fillings like sautéed onions or tomatoes @ RM4 each or smoked turkey ham, beef bacon or cheese @ RM5 each that you can add on as well.

The omelette was cooked just right, soft and fluffy as it should be, not overdone and not too runny (I have eaten my fair share of overcooked and runny omelettes in my time).  This was just perfect and the mushrooms and chorizo further enhanced the flavour of the omelette...absolutely delicious!

With the sourdough still freshly implanted in my thoughts, I took a chance and asked if I could have my omelette with sourdough bread instead of the normal toast and was more than happy they could oblige (and even more delighted when I was not charged extra for it).  The sourdough had a nice aroma and a crusty exterior, was thick and rustic, with a soft, chewy texture and a mild tangy flavour (that's why it's called sour....dough....get it?)

And to take it 'over the top', they serve it with the luscious, creamy and highly sought after (French) Lescure butter.

My friend ordered the Big Breakfast @ RM25 which was two farm fresh eggs cooked the way you like it (she liked it sunny side up), chicken sausages, beef bacon, grilled tomato, sautéed mushrooms (yummy with hints of thyme), baked beans and a slice of toast.  You can't go wrong with a Big Breakfast that offers you a bit of everything!

Of course, one can't enjoy a good breakfast without a good cup of's like having Fried Hokkien Mee without "chee yau char" (pork lard bits)!  And it's nice to know that they serve illy coffee here, so you can expect a cup of good coffee.

I had the Caramel Flavoured Caffe Latte @ RM15 which was recommended by the wait staff.  If you like your coffee more sweet, less caffeine taste, then this is the one you'll like, though good, it was a tad too sweet for's caramel flavoured, what was I thinking?  Should have tried one of the other flavour choices of coconut, cinnamon, Irish cream or hazelnut.

The coffee was served with a small piece of cake (which tasted really good, maybe coz it was such a tiny piece), instead of the usual piece of biscuit, and individually wrapped cane sugar (tasteful down to the small details!).

My friend enjoyed her Cappuccino @ RM13 which also came with the tasty, tiny piece of cake.  

We realised we had been chatting for a good 3 hours and since it was already close to 1pm, we might as well have our lunch too.  It also gave me the opportunity to order what I came here for in the first place....the Cold Cut Platter @ RM38, served with toasted sourdough.  It is a mixed platter of Rare Roast Beef, Turkey Salami, Turkey Chorizo and Beef Cecina (but they were out of Rare Roast Beef that day).

Just look at how paper-thin the slices of meat are perfectly cut!  To describe the taste of these cured meats simply, it would be a bit similar (though not quite) to eating a good quality waxed sausage ("lap cheong"), only better flavoured and more delicate (and way more expensive, of course).

The darkest coloured meat is the Beef Cecina (also the most expensive of the 4) and the accompanying cherry tomatoes, herbs, garlic and olive oil dip complemented the Cold Cuts very well.  The imported slices of sourdough bread were good enough on its own but tasted even better when dipped in olive oil.  They were nice enough to offer us extra slices of sourdough bread even though we did not ask for more (and even nicer when they asked if we would like to take-away our unconsumed sourdough...yes, yes, yes...why waste good bread).

The turkey salami is the one on the top while the turkey chorizo, which is more reddish in colour, is at the bottom of the pic.  Place a slice or two of the cured meats with some tomato+herb+oil combo and it's a mouthful of goodness.  Although all 3 meats were good (I liked the chorizo best), it may be a bit oily, so the tomatoes will help cut through the richness, saltiness and oiliness.  This is a PhD (not the doctorate kind).....but a Pretty Heavy Dish, so it's best shared!

You can also choose to eat your cold cuts with cheese (choice of Brie, Camembert, Roquefort or Reblochon)...choose any 2 cheeses and 2 cold cuts for RM34.  If 'cheese and wine' is your 'thing', then add on RM30 for 2 glasses of red or white wine for further enjoyment.  Cheese and wine are two things that go very well together (like bacon and eggs) but (sadly) I don't drink nor like cheese.
My Personal Opinion
Though the menu may be a bit more pricey than some western joints, it's more than acceptable because of the quality ingredients used.  

The menu items I sampled certainly impressed me enough to warrant a revisit.  As I only had the 'French Poilane' experience this time round, a return trip is 'on the cards' to try their Josper Oven specialities.

Also, deserving special mention is their flexible, warm and attentive service (from refilling our water to providing extra sourdough to making us feel really welcomed).

What I really liked:  Everything so far....the sourdough (without doubt), the breakfast menu, their friendly and welcoming service.  There's a reason why they are on the Shortlist of Time Out KL Food Awards 2013 under the category of Best New Restaurant.

What I wasn't thrilled about:  Didn't get the 'Josper Oven' experience.....yet!  In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger.......I'll be back!!

The Press Room Bistro
C3.10.02 Level 3 Connection
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2148 3889

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