Seeking food that’s bound to intrigue and inspire? Search no further: Thirdwave today launches a revamped menu that’s one of our highest recommendations for August, lifting cafe fare in KL to a fresh new peak. Introduction to Thirdwave: Jan 26th 2014. Follow Thirdwave’s upcoming food news at MyDearKL on Instagram.

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Gnocchi

Thirdwave’s Chew Yeng has worked with her brothersand other team members in recent months to come up with a compelling repertoire that no other Malaysian outlet offers. Every recipe here is distinctive, often featuring ingredients made in-house, like this beetroot-tinged gnocchi (RM22), served with crispy kale, sage and pine nuts.

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It’s a lovely, lively plate of potato pasta, perfect for a meat-free meal and texturally well-paired with brittle leaves of kale (not to be mistaken for kai-lan), one of the world’s current it-vegetables, finally making its way to a KL eatery. This recipe alone establishes Thirdwave’s bona fides as an important independent restaurant, one that’s impressively mindful about its food.

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Squid

Chew Yeng and her siblings grew up on Pangkor island, so seafood is a cornerstone of their menu. We love ‘The Hidden Gem’ (RM35), comprising squid grilled with vanilla-laced butter and stuffed with risoni, partnered with smoky-charred watermelon slices, feta cheese and mint. Bonus point: It’s ideal for capturing on Instagram.

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The squid boasts an excellent bite, not too chewy, sliced to spill open with short-cut, ink-stained pasta that resembles risotto. Painstakingly prepared, it’s wonderful for a wholesome lunch or dinner, particularly with the juicy, sweetly refreshing watermelon.

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‘A Taste of Home’

Chew Yeng calls this one ‘Taste of Home’ (RM9), a soupy tribute to the sort of family breakfast she was raised on. It’s a light broth with anchovy stock sourced from her father’s Pangkor fishery, with morsels of perch fish, carrots, onions, celery and dill, resonantly flavoured without any added salt or sugar at all.

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Stingray

Stingray surfaces in stingingly fiery fashion, fried with chillies for something evocative of bar snacks, suited for sharing. The presentation for Thirdwave’s dishes proves to be heaps of fun, with several recipes emerging in unexpected forms.

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Smørrebrød

The latest menu also marks an expansion of Thirdwave’s selection of smørrebrød, the Danish open-face sandwiches inspired by Chew Yeng’s travels in her university student days. Thirdwave bakes its own 100-percent rye bread, topped with the likes of poached chat potatoes, chive emulsion, rocket leaves and parmesan crisp, with pecans on the side (RM12). For this plate, we threw in extra add-ons of a 63-degree egg (RM3) and hash browns (RM3).

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The combo of the complex bread slice with the creamy-soft potatoes works very well; we love the house-made hash browns too, a far cry from mass-market versions. In total, Thirdwave now offers seven open-face sandwiches (up from three previously), with other toppings such as house-cured salmon, rose apples and corn puree.

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As well as roast beef that we sampled on its own (paired here with Thirdwave’s own-made luscious chilli sauce).

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Favourites

The cafe is retaining much of its pre-existing menu to complement its new dishes, so Thirdwave loyalists can still enjoy favourites like scrambled eggs with fluffy seaweed-tinged scones, ‘umami’ butter (infused with Marmite, mustard and dried mango) and cucumber-and-fennel salad. Lots of brunch fare here, from slow-poached eggs with polenta to Scotch eggs on a cauliflower bed.

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Burger

Everyone will have personal favourites at Thirdwave, thanks to the extensive menu. For a memorable burger, try the Goodman’s (a possible nod to a London family of restaurants), featuring a thick, tender slab of whole chicken breast marinated with rosemary and garlic, topped with a sunny-side-up, house-made tahini sauce, spicy Middle Eastern ‘zhoug’ bitter-green relish and charred aubergines, complemented by hand-cut, triple-cooked fat chips (RM25).

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Desserts

Desserts are more than desirable here: Thirdwave’s waffles (RM19) are subtly osmanthus-infused, crispy on the edges, crowned with NZ’s Kapiti vanilla ice cream, ‘mysterious flowers,’ berries and bananas. Buttermilk pancakes and fruit salads with poppy seeds and sabayon sauce are available too.

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Also baked in-house: Papaya or mango cheesecakes (we wish we had sufficient stomach space to sample the former).

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Plus an elaborate interpretation of the French almond-hazelnut classic dacquoise.

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This is only a small taste of Thirdwave’s temptations; everything from a Borough Market-inspired grilled cheese sandwich with raclette, bananas and turkey slice to handmade fettuccine and pappardelle is offered too.

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Coffee

And of course, coffee; most folks know and respect Thirdwave as a caffeine bar, a reputation well-earned these past months.

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Thirdwave deserves a visit from everyone who cares about the F&B scene in KL; it provides us with hope that independent restaurateurs will keep pursuing inspiration, exploring their craft and pushing the boundaries of what they serve. Many thanks to Chew Yeng for this preview.

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Location and Contact Details:

Thirdwave

Unit 1-11, Level 1, Nexus, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur.

Open daily, 10am-10pm.

Find: Thirdwave’s directory listing here.

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