TBF Signature Kitchen & Gastrobar at Ara Damansara: Restaurant review

Sitting in the alfresco dining area of this gastrobar offers me a good view of the spurting fountains and lighted artificial lake in Oasis Square.  Loud music thumps from twin speakers at its doorway as I scan the menu under gloomy pendant lights.  Its pages are laminated which makes reading difficult because of glare.  An over-eager waiter stands like a sentinel near my table, ready to take my order.

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In the menu, there are no photographs illustrate the dishes which are pigeon-holed into appetizers, soup and salad, main course, stew, skewer and pizza.  A supplementary menu lists local dishes like fried Hokkien mee, pineapple fried rice, sea-food fried rice and fried kwey teow, amongst others.  The extensive items on the liquour list range from brandy to beer and from vodka to whisky.

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Inside the non-smoking section of the gastropub, sturdy wooden round tables are paired with high bar stools, and a cozy corner offers sofas for lounging around. A pool table and three darts machines provide minor diversions from boozing.

Norwegian salmon salad

TBF - Norwegian salmon salad

The kitchen tosses my salad (RM23) quickly and it arrives first. Several pale orange slices of salmon sit atop a pile of red leaf lettuce, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and onion rings.  A squirt of dressing and a sprinkle of crotons complete the dish. When I chow down a forkful, a bunch of crunch that contrasts with the smooth, creamy salmon sends my taste buds to a happy place.  The dressing holds all ingredients together.

Teriyaki chicken

TBF - teriyaki chicken

This dish (RM26) comprises six skewers of chicken pieces that are evenly browned but with a few charred edges.  Grilled onion and capsicum pieces top the end of the skewers.   Personally, I prefer chicken skewers to have alternating pieces of capsicum.  My first bite rewards my taste buds with a mild bitter flavour from the capsicum that brings out the sweetish-saltish flavour of the chicken. The texture of the bird is a bit dry, however.

Seared salmon fillet

TBF - seared salmon fillet

Sides for this tricky-to-prepare dish (RM30) are fries and veggies, and the salmon fillet is bathed in a butter-based sauce.  My expectations of a crisp, crackling skin and moist, juicy meat are met and there’s a hint of lime. The crispy, saltish fries, when dipped in the sauce, turn from good to great. I can’t help but speculate that the fries are intended to be salty so that drinkers go thirsty and guzzle more booze.

Salt and pepper baby crab

TBF - salt and pepper baby crab

The tiny crustaceans don’t taste anything much except deep-fried batter that is salty. This snack (RM18) is meant for drinkers.

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Verdict: TBF Signature Kitchen is a star addition to the dining scene in PJ where you can get a hearty dinner before some drinks to chill out.

Location & Details

Lot R-10, Central Piazza No. 2, Oasis Square, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, 47500 Petaling Jaya

Open daily from 5 pm to 2am

Tel: +016-9825541

Find: View TBF Signature Kitchen’s directory here

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