Friday, 17 August 2018

Skive @ Bangsar

Situated on the ground floor of a mini-mall (Telawi Square), Skive @ Bangsar occupies the spot that formerly housed the now-closed Tous Les Jours.  So, the overall decor/feel of the place (except with a different coat of paint) may be somewhat familiar to those who have been to Tous Les Jours before.  The place has a combination of a comfortable air-conditioned area inside and a rather spacious alfresco dining area outside.

And because it's located in a mall, do not expect a rest room within the restaurant's premises, for that you have to use the one that belongs to the mall.  I was directed outside for that and went up one of the skinniest escalators I've seen (through a small entrance) to the first floor.

Their tagline "delicious gallivanting" describes my possy's eating philosophy to a tee...continuous gallivanting in search of good food.  It seems "skive" also means "ponteng", so you know where to go if you intend to skive off work or studies! ;)

Looking at their menu, they seem to offer an extensive (and interesting) list of Mexican, Western, Asian and local flavours from all-day breakfast to soups & salads, starters, pasta, burgers, mains and desserts.  We started with the Jerk Cured Salmon @ RM19.90 from their All Day Menu (that also contained other breakfast items like Big Breakfasts, Nasi Lemak, Breakfast Tacos and Eggs on Brioche).

It featured 4 slices of spiced marinated salmon sitting on top of dark rye sourdough with mango salsa and avocado puree topped with crispy salmon skin and a sprinkling of chives.  Everything on the plate I liked, especially the fresh avocado puree and mango salsa (wished there was more), except the hard textured dark rye sourdough.  The small serving is ideal if you're looking for a light breakfast.

Next dish we ordered for sharing was the Sourdough Tacos (with BBQ Thai chicken) @ RM22 of two freshly made flax and sesame seeds rye flour tortillas filled with honey grilled marinated chicken that was both tender and delicious.

The tacos delivered in terms of taste and textural contrast...soft tacos, tender chicken, crunchy vegetable slaw (of cabbage and carrots) and a very refreshing cucumber and apple salsa.  The menu mentioned garlic aioli but I don't remember tasting any but there was a green chilli dip that you can drizzle over the tacos for a bit of heat.

We moved on to the mains starting with the Whole Spring Ayam Berempah @ RM38 with steamed pandan rice, grilled sweetcorn, crispy curry leaves and a trio of sauces (that's listed as anchovy sambal, sauce kicap & ikan masin).

When the whole spiced chicken (ayam berempah) landed on our table, I was totally impressed with the good-sized spring chicken and the overall look of the fried ayam berempah.  Just look at how perfectly fried the chicken was with its rempah evenly and beautifully coated on the chicken.  The incredibly crispy and fragrant skin had no tears whatsoever (kudos to the kitchen team), the meat was moist and the flavours of all the spices were spot on.  I must say this is one good ayam goreng berempah...and (surprisingly) one that didn't come out of a Malay restaurant! ^o^

Though the grilled sweetcorn was a little dry, the ample portion of steamed rice was nicely complemented by 3 own-made sauces.  The sauce described as ikan masin (salted fish) was like a curry sauce (maybe it had salted fish in it) which went well with the rice while the sauce kicap had a strong hint of spices (of star anise, cardamom and/or cloves?).  This dish is substantial enough for sharing between two, maybe even three not-too-hungry people.

Next, we wanted to order a steak but go sidetracked when the server kept promoting their special (for a limited time only)...Nasi Lemak with Quarter Ayam Masak Merah @ RM32, so we went for it.

Served with a whole chicken leg masak merah, chicken satay (we were given chicken tenders on a stick instead), cucur sayur (vegetable fritters), telur mata (sunny side up egg) and condiments of fried ikan bilis & kacang (anchovies & nuts), keropok ikan (fish crackers), cucumber slices and two housemade sambals.  Along with steamed pandan rice, topped with a sprinkling of fried curry leaves, that was one fully-loaded platter alright.

The chicken tenders were alright, the telur mata may be a little overdone and the cucur sayur was a bit limp.  Other than that, the ayam masak merah was robustly flavoured, the keropok ikan was freshly fried and very crispy and the sambals were nice.

All in all, it's still a very decent platter for the price, one which can easily be shared by 2 - 3 not-too-greedy people.  You still have time to grab this Merdeka special which is available until the end of this month.

You can add on RM1 for two slices of Sarang Semut (direct translation: ants nest) which is some kind of a burnt sugar cake/kuih that resembles an ants' nest (you do this by caramelising the sugar until it turns dark brown).  It tasted quite nice actually when I had a smidget...the sweetness mimics gula melaka or brown sugar.

We also ordered a Roasted Chicken Carbonara @ RM26 for my friend's kid (since most of the other dishes were spiced).  When the dish arrived, the mere sight of the roasted cauliflower got me salivating already. Besides the cauliflower (which wasn't a vegetable I expected to see in a carbonara), the dish was also generously laden with chunks of juicy roasted chicken and sauteed button mushrooms.

I thought I wouldn't like this carbonara but I did as the sauce was a lot thinner than the usual ones I've had, so it wasn't cloying...even with the creaminess of a perfectly-cooked runny egg yolk over the linguine.  The hint of fresh herbs and sprinkling of something crispy on top made it even more delicious.

You'll also find, in a corner of the cafe, a selection of bread and pastries on sale....even kitchen-made curds (with flavours of lemon, lime and passionfruit).

I wanted to try the much-talked about Vadai Soda Bread but it was nowhere to be seen.  So, we tried their Signature D24 Durian Bun @ RM5.50 instead since there are many durian lovers among my friends.

Tearing the soft bun into two, I could clearly smell (you can't unfortunately) and see the abundant durian curd inside.  Durian isn't something I like to eat but I can still stomach the taste of it, so I took a tiny, tiny tasted exactly like you're eating durian flesh.

Besides a couple of desserts on the menu, there's also an array of homemade cakes and ice cream to tempt your tastebuds.  We didn't try any of the cakes...

....but we did try some of their house-churned ice cream since we could get them for just RM1.90 each by liking their Facebook.

We got three flavours...Soya Bean Ginger with Caramelised "Char Kueh" (usual RM8), Durian & Avocado (usual RM11) and Dark Belgium Chocolate (usual RM8).

I wasn't feeling the highly recommended Soya Bean Ginger with Caramelised "Char Kueh" ice cream.  It didn't evoke the sentiments of eating tau fu fah with yau char kway, I'm afraid.

The Durian & Avocado one tasted more of durian (or should I say only durian) as I couldn't taste the avocado.  Perhaps the intense durian flavour drowned out any chance of the avocado flavour coming through.

The Dark Belgium Chocolate was alright, it just wasn't quite the chocolaty taste that I'd swoon over.  Of the three, the durian & avocado flavour was the most successful and should appeal to the tastebuds of durian lovers.

For drinks, I had an Iced Latte @ RM9......

.....while a friend had the Rose Milk Tea @ RM8, both were nicely done.

When we first entered the cafe, we noticed these bottled drinks in their chiller...Melaka-made Long Chan's sodas (I actually googled the information as I've not drank or seen this brand of beverages).

I have to say these bottles are rather old-school and cool-looking (they look like beer bottles).  They come in flavours of anggur (grape), oren (orange), ais krim soda (ice cream soda), sarsi and buah-buahan (fruits).  As with any sodas, expect them to be very sweet.

My friends ordered Anggur & Buah-Buahan flavours @ RM6 each.  The grape flavour is a safe bet as it tasted just like Fanta Grape but stay away from the Fruity flavour.  We were shocked when it turned out to be green and had a medicinal aftertaste (perhaps the green colouring evokes that in our minds...yucks!) >_<

We also added on RM1 for a Cham Ice with Kopi Sorbet (that came with the Merdeka special).  Whoa....the coffee sorbet makes the drink really kaw (thick) in'll probably get a 'coffee hangover' and won't be able to sleep after drinking this! ^_~

Interesting note to ponder:
I did notice something 'familiar' in the receipt which mentioned the name of the company, Build And Eat Sdn Bhd (short for BAE?) which seemed like a coincidence with the (now-closed) BAE (that was formerly in Jalan Telawi also).  I do see some similiarities in some components of their dishes here with BAE which makes me wonder if they were once 'related' in some way.

My Personal Opinion

With the diversity of cuisine/food/dishes offered here, I think there are more than enough options to tempt everyone with every possible protein covered be it lamb, fish, duck, chicken, prawn and beef for main meal times.  There are also bread, pastries, cakes, snacks and desserts with coffee and tea in-between for those wanting lighter meals.

What I've had so far, I've enjoyed....some more than others.  But if I had to pick one, the spice-marinated whole spring chicken was the standout for me with its superbly fragrant and beautifully executed crisp skin.

You're in capable hands when it comes to Asian-inspired flavours and the place certainly warrants return visits.  I'd like to give the western fusion dishes more attention when I do revisit.

Shop 1 Ground Floor Telawi Square
No 41 Jalan Telawi 3
Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2202 0313


  1. I was there 2 weeks ago at night and stared at the new Skive with my eyes panning across the whole new look of the mini mall (Telawi Square) That block used to be my hangout during the late 90s. Thanks for sharing the meaning of Skive and all the delicious food. I am glad to learn the new word Sarang Semut. I ate this sedap kueh many times without knowing its name.

    1. I can see why you like this kuih since you have a sweet tooth. I've never eaten a Sarang Semut before and had to ask the server what it was (that's how I learned about this kuih).

  2. your meals are always so comprehensive, it's like you really fully explore the menus :D cauliflower carbonara does sound unique - a cool idea to add some bite to a creamy dish. and the nasi lemak looks fully loaded indeed! :D

    1. It's only comprehensive when I have my eating possy with me. ^_~ Yeah, the charred cauliflower was a nice touch to the carbonara which made it lighter to eat :)

  3. Very interesting menu and I like what you had here. The ayam berempah is a a beauty, imagine the amount of oil used in a deep fryer to totally submerge the chicken to have it so evenly fried. Not a feat to be easily attempted at home. The nasi lemak platter does look tempting and I like the serving size too hee..hee..

    1. Ooo, the nasi lemak platter and whole ayam berempah is a serving size you'd approve. I think you'll enjoy the local dishes here...including the durian bun! ;)

  4. I've wondered what their menu was like. Thanks for the peak inside. Seems there are a number of interesting dishes there.

    1. Yeah, there seems to be quite a good list of local dishes here that will tickle your taste buds. ;-)

  5. I'm afraid the Jerk Cured Salmon not really sufficient enough as my breakfast, LOL Your description of hard sourdough reminds me of I just had a few very hard and chewy walnut breads which make my jaw very pain right now >_<
    The size of spring chicken looked like a normal chicken for me from your photo!
    So crowded you plate of NL Merdeka Special, did you get another plate so that you can eat it easier?

    1. I did say the Jerk Cured Salmon is ideal if you're looking for a LIGHT breakfast...LOL!
      The size of the chicken you could say was in between a spring chicken and a normal chicken.
      Yes, my friends and I were sharing all the dishes, so we did eat it from another plate but I saw a guy at the next table just devouring the entire thing from the plate...haha! :D


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