If you haven't heard of Bistro a Table, your life isn't complete. Granted, it's tucked away in a very quiet part of PJ's Section 17, and you probably won't ever stumble across it, but that just means you don't love food enough!
Contrary to the lack of accolades it has received, I'm convinced it's one of the best restaurants around, not just because of the quality of the food, but because of the ingenuity involved as well. The chef, Isadora Chai, is truly a mad scientist at work in the kitchen, and if you look back at their Alice in Wonderland degustation night (which I am hoping there will at some point be a repeat of because I missed out), or the wonderful desserts which litter their seasonal menu, you will agree that genius is at play!
While I've been to Bistro before for a meal, I've been dying to attend one of their Degustation Nights (held every first Saturday of the month), and when they announced a full on 80's Bad Fashion extravaganza, I simply couldn't stay away!
And so, I turned up on time for the 7 pm date with my decade of birth, to music that was nostalgically tacky, and oh so wonderful. Mind you, I even dressed the horrendous part (pictures at the end)! I was a bit sad that I was going to be alone, but Laura surprised me by turning up with Samia!
[At the entrance]
[You know you've arrived]
[A Date with Myself]
Degustation Nights at Bistro traditionally run at around RM200+-RM300+ for a meal, and an additional RM100 or so for the inclusion of wine. Since this night was meant as an introduction to wines by Gustave Lorentz, the wine was complimentary. I don't drink, but I was informed that the wine was spectacular.
As I was booked for a party with myself, I was placed at a table with a stranger, but I genuinely appreciate the fact that we were given separate bread bowls. As nice as he was, I don't want anyone touching my food! Not even the people I like!
[Bread and Butter]
You're always served with bread at Bistro, and it's always warm and crusty!
Even the butter is truly lovely. It has all the full-bodied flavours that butter should have, and tasted incredibly fresh with its sprinkling of salt on top of the pat. Unsalted butter is a lie! You might as well dip your bread into milk if that's what you are going for!
[Look at those pockets!]
I'm a bit of a pariah in the sense that freshly baked bread with freshly churned butter is the stuff I would pick over almost anything else (maybe throw some bacon in) if I were forced to pick a meal for the rest of my life. There's just something about cold butter melting into the pockets in freshly baked bread that hits the spot, and the bread here never disappoints!
As much as I would love to spend this entire post waxing lyrical about my relationship with bread and butter, the affair was interrupted in the most welcome manner by the first dish.
The layers of this from the bottom are cucumber, avocado, blood orange jelly and lobster mayonnaise.
Honestly, this was so incredibly good that I polished it off in no time! So quickly in fact that they didn't have time to come round to explain what the layers were to me before they were gone. Yes, gluttony is my middle name.
The flavours were so complimentary with the rich avocado sandwich between the freshness of the cucumbers and the mild tartness of the jelly. Needless the say, whipping anything into mayonnaise makes it better, but the lobster mayonnaise was out of the park!
Then they popped out of the kitchen with a bonus dish for those who dressed for the theme!
[Bonus Dish: Salmon Siew Mai]
I don't particularly like salmon because it's usually just terribly smoked or butchered in terms of preparation. This was not the case. I was a bit sad there was only 1 of these little parcels of delight on my plate, but I'm glad it was there! Delicious! I vote for this to be on the permanent menu!
[Salmon Siew Mai]
Laura is a bit sneaky and she told me she was coming with "someone special" which I took to mean her fiancé. She surprised me with Samia however, and I quickly hopped over to their table to join them! From this point on, some of the pictures (the really good ones) are taken by her. She's an amazing photographer, so I simply had to steal them!
[A loaf of freshly baked baguette - Photo by Laura]
My meal was on hold until they caught up, so while waiting for their first course, it was essential to get our camwhoring on!
[Me and Laura]
[Samia & Me - Photo by Laura]
As they were getting caught up and we were all basically swooning over the food, the second course was served.
Now this is something I've been eyeing on their occasional menu, and I was so excited to see it on the degustation menu!
[French Onion Soup with Vanilla Ice-Cream - Sans Broth]
You may be thinking this sounds awkward, but you would be sorely mistaken! I was right to have lusted after this dish for so long because it was spectacular!
[Photo by Laura]
The dish was served as pictured above, with Isadora walking around with her pitcher of broth which we poured into each of our bowls. She's a bit like a cat because it was impossible to catch her on camera in the act of such things!
The hot broth melted the ice-cream, and the resulting concoction was simply spectacular! I'm reasonably sure the cheese was Gruyere, but I could be wrong. In any event, it added a lovely saltiness to the sweetness of the soup. I already want more!
[Photo by Laura]
This was followed by the next vat of loveliness!
[Boston Lobster "Thermidor" - Photo by Laura]
Look at it, seriously!
[Photo by Laura]
There's nothing in this world better than the sight of melted cheese!
This was absolutely delicious, and I noticed a distinct silence at our table as we all consumed it. While conversation is an art at dinner, the ability to hold conversation means that your food isn't amazing enough to keep you quiet!
And finally, we came to the main course.
[Australian Wagyu MS8+ "Beef Wellington" - Photo by Laura]
Could this be any prettier?!
[Photo by Laura]
The beef was on the rarer side of things, and it was already being tucked into before there was even a hint of sauce in sight!
The pastry was out of this world. It was buttery and crumbly and soaked up everything perfectly!
And then, it was time for dessert!
[Passionfruit Bombe Alaska - Photo by Laura]
It certainly looks like an igloo to me.
Any chef walking around with a lighter and some alcohol is not to be trifled with!
[Light my Fire - 60's, but still!]
[Photo by Laura]
We all had a bit of trouble blowing out the flames, which I suppose speaks to our character as gentle women!
[Photo by Laura]
While the dessert was lovely to look at and play with, it was the one part of the meal I didn't thoroughly enjoy. As with all meringue it was far too sweet, although the non-meringue bits were excellent!
It was an absolutely spectacular meal, and worth every penny (trust me!). Between the food and the company, it was a perfect night out. It doesn't hurt that I got rewarded for my questionable dress sense either!
[Pascal, Me and Isadora]
Pascal is one of the guys from Gustave Lorentz.
[Pascal, Me, Laura, Isadora]
[The Chef Chats]
I strongly suggest you pop by their Facebook Page because there are some incredibly exciting things in the works. Here, she was talking to us about their recent foray into Bangsar's Pasar Malam where they all dressed the part and ran amok. I was beyond sad that I couldn't make it on the day, and I do hope she manages to convince her partners in crime to reconvene!
[Pascal Chats Wine]
[Laura, Me & Samia - The Perfect Recipe for a Perfect Night]
For those of you who are salivating and devastated that you didn't get to attend this desgustation night, there's some good news for you. Bistro is holding a repeat telecast of the menu on the 7th of April, 2014. I strongly recommend you attend it for a full taste of what goes on behind those secret doors!
I for one will be heading back there soon because I've been lusting after their Ode to Newton for ages now, and simply haven't found the right company to savour it with. This is no longer the case, and anyway, I'm not so sure I want to share food anymore!
Bistro A Table
6 Jalan 17/54, 46400 Petaling Jaya
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun - 6:30pm-11:00pm
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bistro-%C3%A0-Table/198199313554908?fref=ts