Sunday, October 2, 2011

Zest Café, The Sphere @Bangsar South: Mediterranean Flavors with a Heart!


My sister has been bugging me to go to this restaurant she found lately. She was persistent and kept raving about their signature Rosemary Roast Chicken at Zest Café at The Sphere, Bangsar South.





One evening, I headed over there with some friends and was surprise to find a pleasant mall with a lovely concept of open air areas for walks, shopping and alfresco dining. We quickly found Zest Café which gave us a quaint feeling with its clean and modern décor but yet had a charming touch to the whole ambience.





We were quickly greeted with a smile from the wait staff and the open kitchen was in view right away at the entrance.





White table cloths, dark wood furniture, wood floor, glass panel around and lightly dim ambience, Zest Café was certainly cozy and alluring. Colorful gerbera daisy dressed the table with small candle holders added the bright details to the table.





I notice a few things right away being there was a rack filled with imported jams and drinks.





Boxes of imported tea looked so inviting with their beautiful pastel color packagings.





This drink caught my attention with its fun bright graphics. Fruit flavor iced teas are imported according to the owner, Mr. Ong.





We had our drinks served fairly quick and looking forward to the meal when we saw what was being served at other tables!


Pure Fresh Fruit Juices was fresh and vibrant. One could taste the fruit essence without the sugary sweetness.






Lemonade was homemade and had a nice zing of citrus to it according to my friend.






I opted for the Sola Raspberry Iced Tea as I was curious about the taste. The berry iced tea was lovely and had a good clean raspberry flavor with the well brewed tea.





There were eight of us that night but as usual, I think we over indulged in the ordering again (not surprising though!!). Our soup and salad arrived and we quickly snap the pictures before digging in.


Pumpkin Soup was every bit as luscious as it looked. Creamy golden and silky smooth, the soup was surprisingly light and savory with a touch of sweetness from the golden gourd. I like it a lot as I felt it had a good balance of the pumpkin taste while the soup was velvety.





Mushroom Soup had a wonderful aroma of mixed mushrooms. It was slightly chunky with the bits of the mushroom, therefore, our friend’s son said it was good but would definitely be better if it was smooth without the bits. I had a taste and thought it again light and woody from the mushrooms. I don’t mind the texture honestly. Both soups are suitable for kids with its earthy flavors.






I fell in love with the Zest Salad! The portion was big and the burst of colors from the coral leaves, grilled pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant, sautéed prawns and dressed with balsamic dressing was beautiful. Coming from a non-salad eater, I was impressed and would definitely have this again when I am back. The grilled vegetables were soft and warm against the chilled salad which makes it unique and fabulous. The tangy balsamic vinegar dressing basically lifted up the flavors of the overall salad. It was just a healthy and yet really scrumptious salad!! J






We had a few pasta dishes and one of them was the Prawn Spaghetti. The pasta was executed well and everyone thought the pesto sauce was gorgeous without being overpowering. Pasta cooked al dente and prawns were fresh and juicy.






Seafood Aglio Olio got superb reviews from everyone! Simply dressed in herbs, garlic and chili, the pasta itself was really well flavored and cooked to perfection. Make sure to order this dish… highly recommended!!






Vegetarian Fresh Spaghettini was designed to cater to vegetarian but I don’t mind having this. The thin noodles were made by the chef themselves and it sort of reminded me of the Chinese yellow noodles. I do love the softness of the housemade noodle for that hearty feeling. The sauce was light and filled with lots of mushroom, eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and black olives in a tomato sauce. 





Seafood Fettuccini faired slightly above good in taste and presentation. Lovely thick strands of pasta coated the creamy white sauce well with a sea of prawns and squids. There was an additional green herb sauce drizzled around to give the whole dish a modern twist.






When a dish is really sumptuous, you will find me raving about it like a mad glutton! Rosemary Roast Chicken was such an unpretentious dish… basically it is what it is called. However, the dish deserves the merit my sister gave it as it was unbelievable a fabulous chicken dish!! The roast chicken was so perfectly cooked with moist and tender meat and seasoned with Mediterranean spice and rosemary. Served in its own jus, I have to admit the chicken was a beautiful chicken dish, one that will be my benchmark for roast chicken. Simply served with potatoes and a myriad of peppers, the dish was just a complete meal with wholesome goodness and heartiness. If ever there was a rating for roast chicken, I would rate this as 11 out of 10. When something is good, it’s just GOOD!!






Spiral Sausage Meal was so juicy and bouncy; I never knew it was chicken till I was told. Gosh, chicken sausages was always soft, hence I had always prefer pork over chicken in my sausages. This was not the case here, as the coil of sausages was just amazingly good. Echoing Mediterranean flavors, it was served with a side of purple cabbage, mashed potatoes, onion gravy and a zesty chutney sauce. The sour cabbage lightens the juicy savory sausages while the onion gravy and chutney was such a perfect condiments to it, making it all come together so wonderfully. To make the sausage, I was told that only natural casing was utilized to get the springy texture and to also keep the sausages natural in flavors and texture. Apparently you can only savor this here as it is house made… and I was trying to coax the owner to sell me some… hahaha!






Seafood Skewers on Rice definitely echoed the Mediterranean flavors with piquant tomato sauce on the grilled seafood. It had a comfort food feel with a smoky edge while the almond raisin rice fluffy and tasty. Something to have on a day when you cannot decide what to eat as it shouts food from the heart.






When I saw Potato Carrot Kofta, I thought the two disc of patties looked average, reason being my carnivorous self prefer some juicy meat over vegetarian fare anytime. One taste of the patty changed my mind! Bursting with spicy flavors, the Kofta had a creamy texture filled with bits of vegetables and was a kaleidoscope of flavors. This was oh-so-good with the Zest Zing gravy and can be done with or without onion and garlic for vegetarians. Never thought I would say yum yum for a vegetarian dish!!






Clapping my hands in my inner self, Lamb Cutlet on Ratatouille was another favorite dish of mine that night. The chargrilled lamb was so flavorful without the gamey taste and the mint sauce was sour and tangy with a creaminess to heighten the juicy lamb. Ratatouille made famous by the cartoon itself was hearty and delightful. The overall combination was just a masterpiece if you love lamb like me… J





Moving on to the carnivorous part of the meal, Beef Rib-Eye was a wonderland of beef! Although it looks messy in the picture, I guarantee you the taste is heavenly with the creamy peppercorn sauce. The dish may be a carnivorous experience but the sides of asparagus and peppers balance up the meal with its needed vegetables of the day. Make sure to order the meat medium to enjoy it well.





Honey Glazed Ribs of Beef looking enormously huge! A mammoth of rib smoked and coated with a savory brown sauce, served with the tangy purple cabbage and sautéed potatoes makes my heart sing with joy. (I think any massive meat makes my heart sing… hehehe). This dish had a hearty taste and would be perfect for any carnivorous eaters like me. Slightly sweet and robust, the beef was simpy scrumptious! I wanted to hog the whole plate to myself for this one.






We also enjoyed the Pan Fried Garoupa served with the ever healthy tomato couscous and pesto dressing. The fish faired average but I thought the tomato couscous was a bit bland. What I do like is the pesto dressing which did great justice to the fish!






The owner brought out a new dish he was concocting for us to try out and feedback. A huge Portabello Mushroom with Cream Spinach was deliciously yummy! The dish had such an earthy and smoky aroma from the mushroom while the creamy spinach was wholesome and rich contrasting against the woody flavors. Thumbs up and we told the owner to make sure he put this on his menu.







By now our pants (at least mine were!) were bursting at the seam but it would be a crime to turn down desserts… so we shared two Danish Pastry Delights with Gelato Ice Cream. To be honest, it looked ordinary but what zest up the dessert was the fabulous gelato! The combination of the crispy buttery and flaky pastry contrasted against the icy cold cream was a sinful sensation. The mango, vanilla and strawberry gelato was exceptionally the perfect way to end the meal!!





Bristot Coffee from Italy… J







Newly opened for a few months, I felt Zest Café deserves to be known as the place serves really wholesome and hearty food with zesty flavors. This is what I would call ‘real food’ with all natural and fresh ingredients. The added café food philosophy of no MSG, low salt, low sugar, low cream, no deep fried food and 100% olive oil is definitely a plus point here. Food comes in great portions and price is value for money with the quality, ambience and portions served. Service was friendly and warm. A great place for happy dining with family and friends!

Psst… I saw they have a great breakfast menu too. I can’t wait to go back for the Rosemary Roast Chicken and Seafood Aglio Olio… J


Oct 3rd, 2011

Check out the deal with Everyday.com for Zest Café!!

50% OFF RM20 Cash Voucher @ Zest Cafe & Restaurant

Coupon Terms
·         Not valid for breakfast menu
·         No lamb & beef for lunch
·         Maximum 10 Coupons per table
·         2 days prior reservation required
·         Coupons are not valid for Set Lunch Menu and any items on discounts
·         Coupons valid from 12th Oct - 12th Jan 2012
·         See Universal Terms that apply to all Everyday Coupons.

Highlight
·         Pork-free restaurant
·         Voucher can be used for Day Menu, Dinner Menu & Wine Menu (except for items listed in Terms & Conditions)

This is definitely something worth checking out!! Don’t miss this… J
Find out more here:

 


Zest Café & Restaurant
Unit 1-2, 1st Floor, The Sphere
1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South
8, Jalan Kerinchi
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2242 0389
Fax: 603 2241 1899


Opened daily from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm (weekdays) and from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (weekends). Pork Free.

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