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Section 17 isn’t synonymous with wining and dining, but if that ever changes, historians will trace the roots of this neighborhood’s culinary evolution to Bistro a Table, named for the French phrase “to the table,” evoked to rustle up friends and families for a communal feast.

Starters

Cognac and walnut tart with rocket salad. Recipes here are created by chef Isadora Chai; if both ladies can forgive me for the comparison, eating here reminded me of Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio, with French cuisine infused with fresh twists that raise the food to tasty new heights.Bistro a Table_2

Coddled maple syrup egg with crouton dust and Fleur de Sel. A testament to the versatility of egg; this was an elaborate enterprise, the shell comprised a soft-boiled egg, complete with a runny yolk and maple syrup (!!!) beneath the egg white, accompanied by hand-harvested sea salt for a combination of slurp-worthy textures and sweet and savory flavors. The best thing we’ve tasted in KL this month.Bistro a Table_3

Caesar salad soup, with a poached egg ensconced in a lettuce-esque broth. The menu here insists this is a one-of-a-kind concoction; we’re inclined to agree.Bistro a Table_4

Duck liver parfait with cornichons and caper berries. Those phrases bandied about, unctuous, velvety, luxuriously smooth, all apply to this: one of the finest pates in the Klang Valley. Spellbinding.Bistro a Table_5

Mains

Pan-seared line-caught barramundi with summer veggies. Bistro a Table seems suitable for a secret rendezvous; in the past week, we’ve sat here behind the curtains, noticing casual acquaintances and other food bloggers walk in. But nobody spotted us, which means that (A) we’ve become persona non grata, or (B) our table was the perfect place for discreet dining.

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Hand-made gnocchi with burnt sage and butter. On a personal note, also in recent days, I’ve had the honor of meeting and interviewing many extraordinary people in the course of my job; children and adults who’ve probably never heard of gnocchi, but who are at least 1,000 times more courageous, selfless and better human beings than me.

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Duck l’orange with puy lentils. It seems disingenuous of me to mention this here, but I truly am thankful for my blessings. I’m reminded now of a 13-year-old refugee girl whom I spoke to, who braved unspeakable hardship to reach Malaysia, where she perseveres through a much tougher existence compared to the worst day of my life.

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Scampi and sea urchin linguini. The most delicious pasta we’ve had this year. Eat Drink KL will never be more than a silly, shallow food blog, meaningless when all is said and done _ written by someone who seeks comfort in evenings of inebriation with companions equally anxious to escape the tedium of daily drudgery. But for once, I’d like to acknowledge who I am and what I do, and insist in my defense that I take none of this for granted.

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Desserts

“Terribly alcoholic tiramisu.” That’s the name of this dessert on the menu. With a shot of booze provided to pour into this, who are we to disagree?

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Kaffir lime and lemon tart. As crumbly and tangy as we could have hoped for. Let’s call a spoon a spoon; this is the best new restaurant in Petaling Jaya so far in 2011.Bistro a Table_11

Wine

Moet & Chandon Brut NV and Sixty Drops Sauvignon Blanc 2010.Bistro a Table_12

Fontodi Chianti Classico (2010).

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Location and Contact Details:

Bistro a Table,

6, Jalan 17/54, Petaling Jaya.

Tel: 03-7931-2831

Find Bistro a Table’s directory listing here.

Read This: 5 Great Fine Dining Restaurants in KL

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