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Friday, 2 October 2015

Brolly @ Persiaran KLCC

I was first alerted to this new restaurant opening through eatdrinkkl and was glad to know that it's situated in the heart of KL.

The restaurant is none other than Brolly @ Persiaran KLCC which opened its doors just a month ago.  You'll see a popcorn cart just outside the main entrance.

Walking into the restaurant from the main entrance, you'll be confronted with an eye-catching red bus...which turned out to be the 'drinks' bus where all your drinks are mixed, stirred and concocted! :D

When I entered, I was surprised to find that the place was not that big, it was still fairly large, just not as big as I imagined.  I was imagining a large dining space with nine mini restaurants (much like 8 Gourmets Gala or EGG in Sunway) but it was more like an umbrella (or brolly) of nine menus (or concepts) from one centralised kitchen.

The nine concepts/menu you can find here are:

1)  Vari.eat.y - small bites & nibbles to get you started
2)  Crab Factory...yes, the same complete menu from their SS2 branch (plus po' boys for lunch)
3)  Ember & Bara offering flame-grilled meat and seafood cooked over an open charcoal fire
4)  Raksaksa Mirai - Japanese curry rice dishes (only available from 11am - 4pm)
5)  Moley's Oyster Bar - your choice of oysters, fresh or baked
6)  Nove 9 Pizzeria - offering what else but 9 types of pizzas
7)  My Wing Man - crispy chicken wings to satisfy your crunchy appetite
8)  Sweet Endings - to fulfill all your sweet guilty pleasures
9)  Bang Bang Baller Bar - to end your night with a bang with all sorts of drinks

Once, you step inside, you'd find that the d├ęcor is quite unconventional and would definitely appeal to quirky enthusiasts.  You have tyres as wash basins, gasoline pumps as taps, exhaust pipes, car view mirrors, hubcaps, all sorts of tools, even vinyl records adorning the walls.  There's also a foosball table and a car hanging upside-down over a pool table...it can't get any quirkier than that!  Expect to see these pictures popping up on social media in the months ahead.

I noticed that most of the seatings were made up of long communal tables (just like those you'd find in Crab Factory @ SS2) that caters to big group celebrations/get-togethers of 10 or more people with a few private spaces and rooms for even larger goups.  There were only 5 square tables devoted to small groups (for 2 - 4 pax) and we took the last one which I found to be too small (and that's because the 'tiles' they use as 'plates' are too large and takes up most of the table space).  Even with 2 pax occupying the table, we had to move our drinks and shared appetiser around when the mains arrived.  So, if you have a party-of-3 or more, I suggest you take one of those long communal tables (if you intend to order quite a bit of food for sharing).

Once we were seated and our orders made, a bowl of popcorn appeared on our table....complimentary, of course.  It was a nice gesture and a good idea...something for you to munch on while you wait for your food to arrive.

On my first visit (with family), our first order was from the vari.EAT.y menu which offers a variety (get it) of small bites and nibbles to get you going (much like starters) that include grilled skewers of delight, fried snacks, grilled stuff and soups.  The Calamari Tentacles @ RM18 caught our attention offering lightly battered squid tentacles stir-fried with onions, dried chillies and sprinkled with their signature Szechuan mix.

What's not to love....crispy fried tentacles in a slightly spicy Szechuan spice mix.  These fried-to-perfection crunchy tentacles were rather addictive and the little bits of onions and dried chillies gave it the fragrant and spiced aroma and taste.

For our main, I went with a dish from the Ember & Bara menu, Sirloin @ RM34, which happened to be the cheapest steak on the menu, served with a choice of fries or mashed potatoes and garden salad.  Other options include Chilled Ribeye @ RM60, Chilled Tenderloin and Baby Back Ribs @ RM70, seafood (RM23 - 65), lamb and chicken.

The mashed potatoes were a cross between chunky and smooth as there were cubes of potato in between the fluffy mash for a textural contrast.  It was served with a delectable brown sauce which I requested for more and they gladly obliged (wished they had heated up the sauce and served it at a warmer temperature though).

According to the server, the furthest doneness they'll take your steaks is medium.  I asked for my sirloin to be cooked medium-rare and it was properly executed although, on hindsight, I should probably have asked for medium as this wasn't a choice cut.  The steak arrived with a nice sear and was tender, but not particularly flavourful, and it had quite a bit of sinew and fat around the edges.  Then again, I can't ask for too much considering the price I paid for this piece of steak.

You have a choice of four sauces for the meats...old fashioned BBQ coffee, old fashioned BBQ spicy chocolate (don't think I'd like my meat with a chocolate sauce), tarty tropicana (don't think it's that suitable with meat, more appropriate for seafood, I think) and classic chamalla (which I have no idea what it is unless it's supposed to be chermoula?).  So, I went with old fashioned BBQ coffee....I didn't like it, unfortunately, as I felt it didn't complement the meat.  Since their sauces are more 'unusual' than the norm, I wished they could have given us (diners) a sample of their sauces to see which ones we liked better.  In the end, I ate it with the brown sauce for the mashed potatoes...and was kind of relieved that I went with the cheapest steak on the menu...coz the one sauce I tried, I wasn't liking at all! ;D

Our other main was from the Nove 9 menu, the Seafood Matriciana Pizza @ RM28 which was a seafood pizza featuring a mix of baby octopus, tiger prawns and clams.

Taste wise, no complaints...it was decent (was just hoping for a wee bit more of seafood on the pizza).  [#P/S: My apologies for the overly bright photos as our seats (for Visit 1) were under some really bright spotlights.  Our seating for Visit 2 was slightly better.]

On my second visit (with friends), I came here after a full lunch and so we just had something light to share.

We went with the common and familiar Classic Hawaiian Pizza @ RM23 with chicken and pineapple.  I preferred this one over the Seafood Matriciana Pizza as I found the pineapple chunks (though scarce) rather sweet and nice.

This was the Grilled Baby Octopus Skewers @ RM9 (for 3 skewers).  It was tender but slightly chewy.

The octopus was seasoned with a Cajun spice mix (I think) and offered a bit of heat.  The spice mix was probably a blend of paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, red pepper flakes and some other spices.

Of course, whenever I see quail eggs, I just can't resist, so these were the slightly charred Quail Eggs Skewers @ RM9 (for 3 skewers) which was also sprinkled with the same spice mix.

Our drinks for Visit 1 were their Pu-Er Ice Tea Mocktails:

Passion Peach Mocktail @ RM15
 
The server recommended the Passion Blueberry Mocktail @ RM15 which turned out to be a rather refreshing and tasty drink...anyway, I've always been a sucker for anything berry! ;D  This was definitely better tasting than the Passion Peach.

Our drinks for Visit 2 were another four Pu-Er Ice Tea Mocktails:

Wild Blueberry Mocktail &
Passion Mojito @ RM15 each
 
Passion Blueberry Mocktail (again) &
Pineapple Maracuja @ RM15 each as well

The taste of the wild blueberry drink was way less pronounced compared to the passion blueberry one.  My favourite of the five I tasted was the Passion Blueberry followed by the Pineapple Maracuja.  I'd skip the coffees if I were you (my friend had one but I don't think it's worthy enough to be shown)!
 
And the bowls of popcorn will just keep coming and coming (unless you specifically tell them to stop).....and that, for me, is a step in the right direction in terms of 'extra' service! 

Of course, I'm not done with my post....you want some stories?  I've got plenty! :D

Side Story #1
Although the service was good, I felt that, at times, they were overenthusiastic that it bothered on imposing...just a little.  We were asked three times if we wanted to have another drink or dessert by three different wait staff...and I didn't feel like lingering after that!  Plus, you probably wouldn't want to linger too long as they don't have their own in-house washroom either (I'm sorry but ladies are quite particular about that).  The shared one in the building isn't exactly 'welcoming' (if you know what I mean).

Side Story #2
The wait staff who attended to us was not very familiar with the menu.  She brought my attention to the yabbies promotion (RM60 for 1kg instead of the usual RM120) but when I asked approximately how many yabbies in a kilo (since it would be just me eating it), she couldn't answer me.  I asked her to check and she came back to tell me that it's about 60 yabbies which I knew instantly that it couldn't be so...heck, I can't even get 60 prawns in one kg and yabbies are way heavier coz of their large heads (I said you mean 16, is it?  She said...no...60).  I sent her back to the kitchen to check again (not sure if she actually did) but this time she came back with an answer of about 20 - 30 yabbies (which sounded more probable to me).  In the end, I decided against ordering it as I was still unsure of her answer. 

She was also the one who pointed out to me that the Japanese curry rice dishes come with a free offer of flavoured rice but failed to highlight that those dishes were not available for dinner.  I only found out when I tried to order it (from another wait staff who duly informed me).  I think they should limit those wait staff who take orders to those who are really familiar with the menu...but, then again, I just think this staff was really incompetent (you'll see why when you read the next story).

Side Story #3
This was also the same wait staff who brought me my bill only to return with my credit card charge slip (though the charged amount was correct) already signed by someone else.  She must have presented my slip to the wrong customer.  She then said, it's ok, you don't need to sign the charge slip and gave me one copy (the unsigned one) while she kept the wrongly signed one.  If I want to be nasty about it, I can certainly challenge this charge (and they'd have no proof that I incurred it) but, luckily, I'm not that kind of person.  I tried to explain that to her (but she obviously couldn't understand the repercussion) and gave her the opportunity to right her wrong (we waited for 10 minutes) but, in the end, she didn't rectify it and still insisted that it was ok...and so we left.  I'm not sure if they share the same owners as Crab Factory but they certainly share the same incompetent staff.

 
Side Story #4 (on Visit 2)
Also know that water is chargeable here which I think is unacceptable in this day and age.  The staff was kind enough to inform my friend that water was chargeable when she asked for some warm water for her two kids but she wasn't kind enough to tell her that they're charged based on the number of cups (obviously my friend would say, yeah, I need two cups...she's got two kids lol).  And then she quantified her statement by saying the water is refillable....but then still charged us for TWO cups (RM3 x 2)...huh??? 

I really don't know why these things keep happening to me....unlucky for me...or unfortunate for the restaurants? :'(

That's why it's so important these days for a restaurant to hire the right service staff (and train them well), otherwise it will (or it might) cause them to lose some customers (just like the case in Crab Factory and now here).  As September was Brolly's first month of operations, I will cut them some slack and hopefully they can improve on these shortcomings in terms of service and food.

But I can't help but feel that, at times, restaurants just fail to understand what it means to provide good (but not intrusive) service and miss the brief completely! :'(
 
My Personal Opinion

The concept of nine types of food under one roof is interesting and has potential.  As I've only scratched the surface with the abundant choices of food here, I will refrain from passing my overall comments on the food although the little I tried, I found palatable but not really enticing.  Though I can certainly say that the food from the Crab Factory (one of the nine concepts here) will be good as evidenced by what I tasted in their first outlet in SS2.

It's definitely a unique place and you'd probably enjoy the unusual ambience, so it's worth to visit...at least once....and, with such a wide choice, I'm sure you'd find at least one concept of food that you'd like here!

Brolly
G-01 Menara Felda
Platinum Park
No 11 Persiaran KLCC
58200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2181 4122


14 comments:

  1. They sure have a wide selection here, prices very reasonable but water at RM3 a glass? *faints*

    Ya, I hate it when the staff comes fluttering around like butterflies, would prefer to dine in peace and quiet...I would like them to be attentive. Just a wave or a gesture and they come running, unlike those when I would feel I wish I had a hailer to call them. :(

    They want to open these classier (and pricier) places, they should make an effort to train the staff properly - such slipshod service is inexcusable. I've called the captain/manager to complain before...but my girl does not like it, embarrassing and at my age, I have toned down so I'd just let such things past...just that I would never come back again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it has happened so many times to me now that I let it slip and left, didn't even bother to complain to the manager.

      Yes, service staff should learn that good and attentive service is not the same as overenthusiastic and intrusive service.

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  2. Very interesting concept, this. But too bad about the service. I don't know if you are aware that hiring is quite a challenge these days. You can talk to people in almost any industry and they will likely tell you the same thing. Some of the recruits and not trainable I tell you. Anyway, I shouldn't be ranting here hah..hah... I won't mind checking out this place. I am very attracted to the Calamari Tentacles and the non-stop popcorn hee..hee...

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    1. I'm aware that good service staff is not easy to get these days, so when they do across such staff, they should pay them reasonably and appropriately to ensure they can retain them. Yes, do check out the place as it's certainly worth a visit for the quirky ambience :)

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  3. I've been wondering about this place as I've seen great shots of the interior, but not really raving reviews about the food.

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    1. Yes, the interior is unique and great but the food wasn't as great. It has potential, with its 9 concepts, and is still worth a visit....at least, if not, just to see the interior ;-)

      Delete
  4. i see a recurring theme of tentacles in your post - squid and octopus! :D and pizzas too, heh. ooo, quail eggs - i love those too but haven't tried them here yet :) i think you raised some relevant and helpful points for brolly here, and other customers might share your sentiments :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love my tentacles! :D I've always hoped that what I raise are helpful points and that they'll look at our points of view constructively and improve. They're never meant to put any restaurant down as I know they've put in a lot of hard work and that the F&B business is not an easy industry to be in.

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  5. yes do agree on the interesting ambience. very nice place. that's something very new to me, welcome snack, bowl of popcorn!

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    1. Yes, I do think quite a lot of people will visit just for the different ambience.

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  6. So this is basically a premium food court with a nice environment, complete with waiters/waitresses huh. I think the main problem here is that there are too many people serving you. Usually they would assign waitresses to specific tables, won't they? This way you won't get contradicting information.

    They have an interesting choice for a restaurant name. Brolly to me means a villain. You can Google this word to see what I mean. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always associated the word brolly with umbrella only.

      Oh, this is more "atas" than a premium food court. I've not come across many places that would assign servers to specific tables unless it's a very high end place. Usually, whichever server is free would attend to any customer who needs service.

      Delete
  7. To be honest, their unique decors attract me more than the food, haha! I know I'm bad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe, you can just visit for drinks and soak in the unique ambience! ;)

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