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Seeking to spearhead a ‘real food’ revolution, Ashley’s bloomed in Bangsar on Easter weekend, the first spin-off of Menara Tan and Tan’s Living Food Bistro, with two more outposts possible at KLCC (or rather, the Petronas Twin Towers) and Mont Kiara this year.

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Living Food’s Telawi chapter has style to spare; it looks terrific, a beautiful balance of easygoing and elegant. The restaurant’s name is a nod to its chef; paper placemats proclaim the prodigious powers of Ashley, while other members of the Yiin clan, including health consultant patriarch Philip & his daughter Phoebe, comprise the other crucial components of this family-run eatery’s engine.

The menu here is a natural progression from the more casual cooking at Living Food Bistro; there’s overlap in both outlets, but Ashley’s is like eating at Living Food during dinnertime, when slightly more ambitious arrangements are sometimes showcased.

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Food to Nourish and Restore

Ashley’s cuisine is tricky to categorise _ not exactly health food, but more of fare that’s constructed with meaningful, mindfully sourced ingredients with true ties to farms, the land and the sea. Nourishment to restore both body and spirit, underscored by recipes like raw strawberry gazpacho with cucumber, tomato, herbs & chia, topped with strawberry confit (RM16 before taxes).

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Wild-caught prawn ceviche in a zesty marinade with hot chili oil (RM22).

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Flavour isn’t sacrificed at Ashley’s: The braised quail stew with currants and a tarragon-infused red wine sauce (RM38) would fit in easily at even a finicky French establishment.  (Note: This is a dinner-only dish).

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Crossing borders and leaping over boundaries, the menu also features Hakka ‘lei cha’ made mainly with quinoa for a better bite, served with hot genmai-cha tea, accompanied by tofu parcels with a tamari soy sauce reduction (RM38).

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Quinoa resurfaces in the patty for this burger, combined with beets and sweet potato for warm hues in a high-protein red yeast bun (RM24). Three times the price of a Big Mac, but more than multiple times more salubrious.

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Swing and a Miss

But perhaps we’d skip these final two in future: The vegan-friendly nasi kerabu with Bario rice and palm heart rendang (RM35) was a little less satisfying than full-blown traditional versions …

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… while the Wagyu ribs were a tad too tough or stringy in parts and somewhat fatty in others, served however with an interesting buttery-textured pumpkin spinach mash (RM78). Plus point: Beef served at Ashley’s is all grass-fed.

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Look Out For…

The selection will expand in the weeks ahead; expect an organic dim sum set and saffron-spiced quinoa ‘paella’ with shrimp, scallops and pearl snapper.

Beverages

Organic red and white wines, RM24 by the glass (Monastrell, Familia Castano; Corazon Loco Iniesta; Cuattro Rayas).

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Mountain Goat organic craft beer (RM27), alongside a decent cup of coffee.

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All in all, a welcome addition to Bangsar, worth visiting for a leisurely lunch or peaceful dinner when you’re looking for thoughtfully imaginative cooking.

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Location and Contact Details

Ashley’s By Living Food
11, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Mon-Fri, 11am-11pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-11:45pm. Tel: 03-2202-2778

Find Ashley’s by Living Food’s directory listing here.

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