Therefore is one of those eateries that exudes a stylish, cosmopolitan sleekness yet also seems to simultaneously (and quite effortlessly) reverberate with warmth and charm.
The restaurant is the third F&B entry by FourbyFORE Sdn Bhd, the holding company that manages the restaurant portfolios of creative group Forefront International and follows hot on the heels of the company’s previous restaurants Foremula and Forebidden.
In putting together Therefore (the name is meant to reflect continuity), FourbyFORE’s chief executive officer Andy Ng looked at creating a space that would entice customers from the get-go.
“One thing we have in mind when we do our interior design is Instagrammability because nowadays social media is so important, so we need to invest in the space. Therefore is in a very busy area in Petaling Jaya, so we wanted something warm, so people could escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, ” says Ng.
The menu, in turn, has been designed to imbibe regional and local flavours in somewhat unusual formats that people may not have encountered before.
“Nowadays it’s a lot about localisation, so we have a lot of local flavours. Most of our customers are Malaysians, and Malaysians always go back to local flavours so by infusing that familiar taste into the food, people won’t get bored of it, ” affirms Ng.
To begin your off-the-beaten-track meal at Therefore, start with the Lady Pegaga (RM16) which is essentially a soup fashioned out of local pegaga leaves. The traditional ulam (herb) has a slightly bitter quality to it that resurfaces in each mouthful, but the overall impression is a pleasant one – the smooth, soothing soup has creamy herbaceous notes that might be just the thing to kick-start your year of healthy eating (or work off those calories gleaned from the year-end festivities).
The Piccolo Pan (RM26) meanwhile is a brunch meal made up of a Scotch egg, baked beans, chicken sausages and sauteed mushrooms served with lempeng kelapa (traditional Malay pancakes) and a dried prawn sambal.
Individually, some components in this meal are quite tasty – the lempeng kelapa for instance, is fluffy while the sauteed mushrooms are tender and malleable. But put these unlikely bedfellows together and things don't work quite as well.
The pancake – when loaded with all the other ingredients – becomes weighed down and a little sodden, while the baked beans seem a little stodgy in this amalgamation. And the sambal is an odd fit, almost like a jigsaw piece that has been jammed into a space where it doesn’t belong.
Up next, you could opt for the Well-Tempe-red Salmon (RM36) which is made up of salmon with a tempeh herb crust, served with seasonal vegetables, green pea puree and a lime basil coconut sauce. The salmon is cooked well and flakes apart at the slightest inclination and the tempeh crust is a nice touch, but the fish could do with a touch more seasoning.
The Sataylor Swift (RM26, and yes Therefore is pretty obsessed with puns) features spaghetti coated with a satay sauce, with chicken satay skewers and a vegetable acar served on the side. This is an example of a dish where reality far outweighs expectation. It isn’t every day that you imagine yourself happily chomping down on spaghetti doused in satay sauce, but the truth is, this strange marriage actually works.
The sweet, nutty qualities of the satay sauce play off the springy strands of spaghetti, each working to accentuate the other’s attributes.
End your meal with a sweet temptation in the form of the Cendol Sizzle (RM25), composed of cendol bread pudding with coconut gelato, pandan jelly noodles, sweet red beans and toasted coconut flakes served with a vanilla gula Melaka sauce.
In this sweet incarnation, Therefore’s efforts at reinvention really bear fruit in the form of a dense, decadently pandan flavoured bread pudding that soaks up all the caramel-esque flavours of the gula Melaka sauce. It is a clever local take on a classic bread pudding that makes sense and more importantly, tastes really good.
Up next, Ng says the company is looking at expanding its reach in the Klang Valley and has a few more projects up its sleeves, designed to showcase the brand’s innovative spirit.
“Hopefully we can keep sharing our passion for food with more people, ” says Ng.
Ground floor, Menara Symphony
5, Jalan Professor Khoo Kay Kim
46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7625 3119
Open Sunday to Thursday: 10.30am to 7.30pm; Friday to Saturday: 10.30am to 10pm