CONTEMPORARY appeal at Urban Restaurant is obvious in its ambience and food.
The restaurant prides itself on the use of local produce which helps create a variety of unique Western dishes at Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
The hotel’s sous chef Ismail Yusoff said the Express 59 lunch set menu is revised every month to give diners something new to look forward to at Urban.
“Being a chef is a continuous journey of learning different flavours and cooking techniques but keeping up with food trends also has its limitations, as there is a limit to how long a trend will last,” he said.
The lunch experience started off with a line-up of appetisers comprising French, Spanish and Japanese dishes. The Asian-inspired spring roll called Lumpia (RM27) came highly recommended.
Stuffed with shredded duck cooked in hoi sin sauce, the spring roll was served with a side salad and coriander pesto.
This was followed by the Cured Salmon (RM38), with micro cress pomelo salad and summery sake and shoyu egg yolk dressing.
This was topped with a refreshing sliver of melon, which complemented the salty taste of caviar and cured salmon.
The salmon treat was followed by the creamy texture of the Lobster Bisque (RM45) which had lobster meat and buttery olive oil in each spoonful.
For meat lovers, the rustic 240g Black Angus Rib Eye (RM130) was perfectly charred on the outside and juicy when sliced through.
The dish was enhanced by a light, caramelised sauce served with a side of creamy mash and roasted vegetables.
The Steamed Atlantic Black Cod (RM105) unveiled umami flavours on the palate and was rightly paired with celeriac buttermilk.
The Crispy Duck Breast (RM65), a uniquely scrumptious dish, had an almond and pine nut crust which went well with the tender duck breast.
Adorning the duck was the subtle pea emulsion and duck jus sauce and mushroom flan, with sautéed savoy cabbage and smoked streaky beef crisps.
Urban’s balancing act in showcasing Asian produce in Western technique was well demonstrated in the Grilled Marinated Bali-Style Chicken Breast (RM45).
This signature burger has Balinese influences on a classic Western dish.
With classic toppings such as cheddar cheese and lettuce, the tender chicken breast was marinated with “bumbu”, a mix of spices and seasonings usually found in Indonesian food.
The spicy sambal and buttery avocado gave this dish a unique spicy flavour.
There is always room for dessert, and Urban’s sweet treats were warmly welcomed.
The caramelised sugar on top of the classic French favourite crème brulee (RM35) shattered beautifully when cracked, while its smooth vanilla custard had just the right amount of sweetness.
Then there was the eclair (RM34) with custard pastry cream filling. The eclairs came with a choice of topping – chocolate glaze or creamy, dense peanut butter.
“Customer feedback is necessary because it is important that they like our food,” said Ismail, on the restaurant’s philosophy of constantly improving their menu.
The Express 59 lunch set menu is also available with Japanese bento box and Chinese fusion selections.
URBAN RESTAURANT, Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 73, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. (03-2141 9988). Business hours: Noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Monday to Friday) 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Saturday). Closed on Sundays and public holidays. Non-halal.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement of StarMetro.