2015 New Menu at Thirdwave at Nexus, Bangsar South: Restaurant ReviewSean Yoong
June 24, 2015
Thirdwave unleashes a dramatic new wave of refreshed recipes this month, crafted with meaningful consideration & coursing with inspiring surprises that’ll linger in the memory. If you’re hunting for some of the city’s most joyously imaginative cooking, spiced with a sense of ambition, purpose & flair that’s precious & rare, this restaurant is a genuinely dependable powerhouse.
Ginger Cake Loaf
Thirdwave’s Beh Chewyeng, her brothers & other collaborators spent nearly a year fine-tuning this 2015/16 selection before officially launching it. The food that you’ll find here is profoundly personal – it’ll tell you the secrets of what Chewyeng enjoyed eating while she was growing up on Pangkor island, how her horizons expanded when she left to further her studies, & what she’s learned since starting her own cafe. This is food that’s made by a food lover for food lovers, who’ll cherish how Thirdwave has created a gorgeous ginger cake loaf, sweetly fragrant & pleasantly piquant with 100 percent fresh Bentong ginger – it’s our favourite here, so well-made, a treat even without the accompanying apricot compote & vanilla custard (RM16).
Thirdwave loyalists recognise that seafood will be a constant cornerstone of the kitchen here, the upshot of the Beh siblings’ upbringing by the sea. The latest concoctions pay homage to the harvest of the ocean by pairing them with the bounty of the land through respectful innovation – ‘The Blur Islands’ showcases squid moulded into tender, fleshy pan-fried cakes in a lake of Spanish-inspired ajo blanco cold almond soup, ringed with marinated grapes, chilli & dill oil, & served with sourdough bread (RM29), while ‘The Hipster’s Noodles’ positions a grilled mackerel fillet in a bowl of starch-free zucchini noodles, tofu chunks & a 63-degree egg in a mild broth of kombu & Asian pear that may appeal to fans of Japanese-style soul food (RM25).
Egg-fuelled Comfort Fare
There’s an abundance of egg-fuelled comfort fare, but the truth is that some of Thirdwave’s offerings might not be meant for conservative customers. The porridge of polenta & slow-cooked egg on its own might seem like dreary-tasting, dull-textured health food, but it reveals savoury & juicy nuances with the the addition of maple candied beef (RM26). Meanwhile, a fluffy blanket of eggs conceals the heart of a carnivore-defying burger, fashioned with a fat fritter of carrots & mushrooms, crowned with crispy kale in a house-made matcha bun, married with vegetarian-bait carrot & beetroot fries (RM23).
The menu goes on, getting bolder with each turn, with shining stars like the ‘Lost in Provence’ (RM26) honeyed chicken breast laced with lavender – evoking the French province’s fields – over risotto that harnesses the bite of beetroot-tinged wholegrain barley. And there’s still more we haven’t sampled, from a summery combo of Thirdwave’s own-cured citrus salmon & asparagus with honeydew-cucumber gazpacho to a new collection of winter-is-coming Danish smorrebrod on dark rye bread.
Green Tea Inventions
Green tea inventions pop up frequently on this menu, for a great reason – Thirdwave searched for the best matcha it could source, securing its current supply from a long-respected powder manufacturer in Uji, Kyoto. You’ll taste the value of these efforts in the ‘Hanako Hotcakes’ (RM25), thick thrills served more than warm with a creamy centre of vanilla bean custard, lusciously complemented with top-flight matcha ice cream, strawberry compote & rose petals.
Desserts here are atypically the height of wholesomeness, with complex dimensions best exemplified by this ‘Forbidden Love’, featuring – take a deep breath – dense bread that’s house-baked with antioxidant-rich black Forbidden Rice & topped with Forbidden Rice cream, alongside almond crumbles & nutty muscovado black soy beans, plus a ball of yam paste & a scoop of soft, smoky-smooth hojicha ice cream, altogether more than justifying the RM25 that this platter costs.
Looking for something to compellingly capture on camera? Dive into ‘Juliet’s Dream’ (RM25), a feminine fantasy of elderflower panna cotta artfully arranged in a half-circle with meringue roses (by any other name, they’d smell as sweet), raspberry sorbet, blue pea flower gel & white chocolate soil, deliberately occupying only a fragmented portion of the pristine-white plate …
… while the more masculine ‘Hey Romeo’ (RM6) would lay quite the scene in fair Verona, its matcha dacquiose star-cross’d with a tart lemon-lime sorbet, strawberry gel, chocolate sponge, elderflower tuille, hazelnut soil & matcha & vanilla meringue. Painstakingly prepared, displaying diverse dynamics; we wouldn’t part sorrowfully with the sour elements on this plate though.
Significant credit for creating these desserts goes to Thirdwave baker-barista Xin Min; for the ultimate flourish, check out the Sweet Benedict (RM22), an elaborately playful dessert with echoes of what Eggs Benedict look like (sort of, in the end) – crumpets layered with passion fruit mousse & decked up with a Valrhona dark chocolate sphere that’s melted at the table with a steaming-hot potion of star fruit curd, accompanied by almond soil & osmanthus poached pear.
Thirdwave takes pride in its coffee, but customers should take advantage of its matcha teas & lattes made with organic, finely milled green tea – indelible food deserves to be matched with indelible drinks. Many thanks to Thirdwave for hosting us here – we can’t wait to see what 2016/17 will bring at this remarkable restaurant.
Location and Contact Details
Unit 1-11, Level 1, Nexus, 59200 Bangsar South
Open Mon: 10am-7pm, Tue-Thu: 10am-11pm, Fri-Sat: 10am-12am, Sun: 10am-11pm