Angie Hiew insists her Tifa restaurant should not be classified as a fine-dining outpost.
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Sited between the outdoor fountain area of KL Trillion along Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, the spacious and well-shaded patio area has an informal, laid-back vibe and draws a mainly white-collar lunch crowd with its selection of quick and affordable meals.
There’s also an al fresco seating area, ideal for hanging out and casual chit-chat over drinks. Steps away is Tifa’s elegantly decorated main dining space that adheres to a “by reservation only, private kitchen” policy.
We had a chance to try out the Private Kitchen menu, starting with a prettily plated appetiser of succulent salmon slices with avocado cream and pine nuts.
Beyond being just a good-looker, it was a refreshing and tasty start, paving the way for a lovely evening of wine and dine.
Warming up the cockles of our heart was the dense, creamy forest mushroom soup, scented with truffle oil. A slice of toast laden with grilled boletus mushroom, cherry tomatoes and edible flowers lent colour and textural contrast to this dish.
The main courses of smoked chicken breast with mango salsa and pommery mustard cream, followed by Rioja braised beef cheeks with mashed potato were more than ample to satisfy protein fans.
We also liked how the mango-red capsicum salsa enlivened the smoky chicken breast slices with its subtle sweetness.
Hiew’s fondness for all things Spanish was evident from the delicious slabs of grass-fed beef cheeks, each delectable bite redolent with a mixture of full-bodied beefy richness and plummy wine gravy.
Playful creativity was apparent in the artisan desserts as evidenced in the reimagined black forest cake – shaped into a luscious, oversized “cherry” sitting atop a bed of crumbly chocolate “gravel”, walnuts and fresh strawberries – and a pink, lychee-raspberry mascarpone heart surrounded by chocolate flakes and cookie crumble.
Almost too pretty to eat, the “cakes” were not too sweet, featuring a clever play of different textures from crisp crumble, fresh fruits to luscious mousse.
Tifa’s good-value lunch deals on weekdays priced from RM25++ upwards per person are top draws while at night, the Private Kitchen draws a crowd who appreciates fine dining at steal prices of RM148++ for a four-course dinner and above.