Refined dining in casual setting

Catalan’s Braised Lamb Shank is among the standout main dishes.

VARIETY is the spice of life, as the saying goes.

For UK Cuisine executive director Tan U Keong, variety is also what keeps customers coming back to Jigger & Shaker – the popular bistro bar he runs at d’Tempat Country Club in Bandar Sri Sendayan near Seremban.

Tan said the menu is revamped half-yearly to keep things fresh and exciting.

“Most of our customers are regulars who dine at Jigger & Shaker once or twice a week. By changing the menu every six months, we offer repeat guests more variety, ” he said.

Galvanize Pizza is loaded with chicken, Cajun shrimp, sausage, jalapeno peppers, and boiled egg slices. — Photos: C.S. NATHAN/The StarGalvanize Pizza is loaded with chicken, Cajun shrimp, sausage, jalapeno peppers, and boiled egg slices. — Photos: C.S. NATHAN/The Star

Having garnered 15 years of experience in the food and beverage industry with stints at Botanica + Co., JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur and The Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur, Tan certainly knows his way around the kitchen.

“I’ve been in the restaurant business long enough to know that it is important to listen to feedback from customers and tweak the menu. We always talk to them to find out what works and try to introduce new flavours, ” he said.

And with almost 80% of the menu revamped this time around, diners can expect a helping of bold flavours courtesy of the eatery’s Egyptian chef, Sam.

The revamped menu spotlights a fusion of Asian and international selections jazzed up by Sam’s culinary flair.

A family-friendly bistro bar, Jigger & Shaker dishes up hearty, family-style dishes and light bites that diners can enjoy with its drinks (its signature gin-based cocktails and milkshakes are must-tries). The restaurant serves pork-free dishes and healthier fare without MSG.

For starters, diners can take their pick from a selection of small bites, salads, and soups that include Crispy Salmon Quail Eggs Salad (RM20 nett) – a mixed green salad with chunks of salmon deep-fried to crispy-skinned perfection, boiled quail eggs, cherry tomatoes, topped with Grana Padano (crumbly-textured cheese from northern Italy) and drizzled in a house-made dressing, Peach & Gorgonzola Bruschetta (RM15 for four pieces) and Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Crab Meat (RM22) – a belly-warming entrée with hints of smokiness from the roasted peppers, generously topped with flaked crab meat and served with garlic bread to mop up the tasty flavours.

Tan was confident that the new additions would go down well.

“The concept of a family-friendly bistro bar is still new to Seremban.

“When we opened 2018, it took time to convince diners to try new things, ” he said.

The extensive menu with about 80 items also includes sections devoted to burgers and sandwiches, panini, pizzas, pasta, tapas, mains and Asian favourites such as Chef’s Char Kuey Teow (RM25), Duck Fried Rice with Thai Basil (RM25) and Mutton Varuval with Ghee Rice (RM32) – all new additions.

Among the newbies to the burger selections are German Chicken Sausage Burger (RM28) which features grilled sausage, fried egg, cheese, tomato relish, Chicken Bolognese accompanied with coleslaw, fries and sriracha mayo and Roast Beef Burger (RM33) – steak, egg, tomato relish, gherkin and caramelised onions.

Red Wine Poached Pear with Buttery Flakes Puff Pastry.Red Wine Poached Pear with Buttery Flakes Puff Pastry.

From the list of mains, standouts include Catalan’s Braised Lamb Shank (RM45) – lamb shank braised to fork-tender perfection in Spanish-inspired tomato-based sauce with herbs, spices, and dried apricots; Chicken Blanquette (RM39) – a leg of chicken slow-cooked in creamy, white sauce with button and shiitake mushrooms, served with a helping of garlic mashed potatoes as well as Surf and Turf (RM90) – rib-eye steak, mac and cheese-stuffed baked potato, braised cabbage, and Cajun-style prawns.

The pizzas and pastas are also popular with patrons who enjoy the creative flavour combos on offer.

Among these are Squid Ink Linguine with Salmon (RM40), Galvanize Pizza (RM36) – hand-tossed pizza with chicken, Cajun shrimp, sausage, jalapeno, egg and cheddar cheese as well as Mutton Varuval Pizza (RM42) – topped with mutton varuval, chickpeas, boiled egg slices, grilled potatoes and onion rings.

For a sweet finish, guests can sample Sam’s treats that include Lemon White Chocolate Lava Cake with Ice-Cream (RM15) and Red Wine Poached Pear with Buttery Flakes Puff Pastry (RM19).

Purple Yam and Green Tea Parfait are among the new milkshake varieties. Purple Yam and Green Tea Parfait are among the new milkshake varieties.

Jigger & Shaker, which derives its name from the jigger – an hourglass-shaped tool for measuring spirits – and shaker used for mixing cocktails, has indoor and poolside outdoor seating and is spacious enough for private functions such as birthdays and wedding receptions.

Every Wednesday (Ladies’ Nite), Friday, Saturday and Sunday, guests are entertained with tunes by Tazz & Anny.

From April to June, promotions include Super Pizza Mondays (any pizza for RM30 each), Tapas Tuesdays (50% discount on tapas), Milkshake Thursdays (Buy 1, Free 1 on selected milkshakes), and Friday Wine Buffet. All prices listed here are nett.

JIGGER & SHAKER, d’Tempat Country Club, Bandar Sri Sendayan, 71950 Negri Sembilan. (Tel: 012-278 5236) Business hours: 3pm to midnight (Sunday to Thursday), 3pm to 2am (Friday and Saturday).

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

In light of the movement control order, the restaurant is closed and will resume operations in April.

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