March 9, 2015

Ecole P @ Damansara Uptown

Going Back To School For Delicious Flavours!

I swear I can hardly remember much about my school days as age catches up but when I walked into Ecole P, every little flash of those good old days came back to my mind instantly. It is such gratifying to be reminded of our yesteryears. And Ecole P has captured our younger school years with such creative essence from its ambience the moment one walks up the stairs and see a big board of multiplication table when I vaguely remembered my parents constantly nagging me to memorize it. What was back then a heavy-hearted chore is now a sweet heart-warming memory of my parent’s care and love for their child to face the world successfully by studying hard.

Back to Ecole P, the café is the brainchild of owners Steven Heng and Irene Tee whose passion brought them to themed their café after their fondest memories during their childhood years in school. Ecole P, which is coined from the French word école primaire for primary school, has so much to offer in their café. All decked out with memorabilia of those primary school days from our Rukunnegara to school tables and chairs, chalkboard, school bell and etc, it is such a meaningful sight. In addition to all the school memorabilia, there are toys and candies which I used to play with and enjoy as a kid. I was thoroughly impressed and think it’s just so such an awesome décor by the owners.

The menu is printed in brown school exercise books with photos which is such a cute touch. Cutlery is stored in metal pencil boxes and kept in school knapsacks hung on the side of each table. Old school candies at the café are also for sale as well.

We tried quite a list of dishes from their menu. Their drink list is also long, armed with a list of coffees, teas, mocktails, sodas and more. Mocktails are named after cartoon characters while teas are named after TEAchers. I had Power Ranger, a refreshing concoction of passion fruit, orange, lemon, mango and lychee which were served as a take-away style in a tin mug. Super cute because I can relate to those early primary days when I used to tapao drinks from the pushcart uncle that sells few choices of drinks. Other mocktails available are The Mask, Powerpuff Girls, Spongebob Squarepants and etc.

We kick off with Citrus Salad (RM9.90), a salad that looks ordinary but tasted really good. The salad has mixed greens with orange segments, bits of dried fruits, fresh tomatoes, cooked chicken and hawflakes all dressed in goji or wolfberry dressing. It’s sweet with a little tang and I really enjoyed the hawflakes which is practically a childhood favorite of mine. The mix of textures is also welcoming and very enjoyable.

I always knew Coke goes well with meat because I had once tasted a Coke Ham and it tasted yum thought I had never tasted Sprite with meat. So when Coke & Sprite Chicken Wing (RM13.90) arrived, I was pretty sure it would taste good. Sure enough, we cannot get enough of this and ordered a second helping. Love the light sweet and savory flavours on the chicken wings and the wings were tender and moist too!

I believed I polished off most of the Pumpkin Soup (RM9.90) because I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the bits of cranberry, salted egg yolk and bacon bits in the silky and creamy pumpkin soup. The soup is also well-balanced with savory notes and light hints of sweetness.

Roti Canai Burrito (RM11.90) is a pretty interesting creation. Our local favorite roti canai is rolled and stuffed with a chicken filling and some mixed greens and served with a dhal salad on the side. I do have to say that this is pretty good and the creamy chicken filling goes well with the toasty roti. Decent and good for something simple…

Another crowd favorite that evening was the PBJ Sandwich (RM6.90). A sinful peanut butter filled French toast and served with mixed berries sauce. The combination is utterly yummy and satisfying. One gets creamy, eggy, nutty and burst of tangy berry flavours. For the price, I’d say this is such a steal!

For mains, the menu went even more creative with an Ecole P original of Fish A La Laksa (RM16.90). We’ve got an East meets West going on with spaghetti in thick asam laksa sauce and crowned with pan seared black tilapia fillets completed with a generousserving of Hae Ko or shrimp sauce.

Spaghetti noodles gave the dish a firm bite than the usual soft chewy laksa noodles. The asam laksa sauce is pretty pungent in flavours with a good dose of fish flakes and herbs. After I mixed in the shrimp sauce, the flavours intensify even more. I can taste a robust note of oceanic flavours of the fish so some may not fancy this dish but I do like it.

Using the same black tilapia, we also had a Fish & Asparagus (RM18.90). Pan fried black tilapia fillets are served with cubed roasted potatoes and broccoli, asaparagus and an asparagus pea sauce. This one is decent but I would have loved more sauce as the flavours are really delicate.

The Chicken Tandoori Schnitzel (RM17.90) is another fusion take and it did work well in flavours. The chicken was nicely crumbed and I can taste the spices of tandoori. It’s moist due to the honey brining and goes well with the raita sauce because it made the schnitzel richer with a lovely yoghurt tang. The chicken was served with side salad topped with crispy cornflakes and nuts.

Using childhood snack fish biscuits, Ecole P puts a twist in their Chicken Chop (RM17.90) by marinated the chicken fillet and then crumbing it with crushed before frying them till golden brown. The chicken is served with mashed potatoes, mushroom sauce and an apple Asian slaw.

The chicken is very flavourful but also gave my jaw some real exercise. It’s very crunchy indeed. The overall combo is good as one gets crunchy with a soft mashed and a refreshing crisp slaw studded with bits of raisin sweetness. This reminded me of a little of American Southern food but with a twist of childhood favorite of fish biscuits. Such a clever thought off dish…

I think the Nasi Kambing (RM21.90) was the only dish I thought was mediocre in my books. To be honest, I didn’t really find much fault in the dish but the overall flavours of the braised lamb with raisin and turmeric raisin rice was a tad on the sweeter end for me. The lamb was tender and the rice was fluffy so the dish was well made. I think it’s just my preference of taste in this case.

House Pasta (RM15.90) is pretty unique and tasted yum. The pasta flavours reminded me of our local butter sauce that is usually paired in seafood. It’s got a creamy buttery note with earthy mushrooms, hints of chili and aromatics of garlic and curry leaves. A side of mushroom tempura made a nice touch. Despite being full, I enjoyed this easily.

Now just when I thought the creativity could not go any higher, I had Nasi Lemak Crème Brulee (10.90)! And you know what? The crème brulee honestly tasted like the flavours of our local favorite nasi lemak. The dessert is pretty spot-on and probably took lots of testing as Ecole P has nailed the dessert with a good balance of sweet and savory flavours.

I can taste coconut milk, pandan and ginger in the crème brulee which was well set and a lovely sugar crust. What made it even more fascinating is that the crème brulee is topped with peanuts and anchovies with a slice of cucumber. The ‘sambal’ savory and sweet berry sauce also added more charm. It’s a bold and brave dessert. First bite takes some getting used to but I really began to enjoy the dessert after a few spoonfuls. Kudos to Ecole P for this dessert!!

We also had Fruit Ninja Egg Waffle (RM14.90) and Candy Crush Egg Waffle (RM14.90) for desserts. Both also scored high points. The egg waffle is spot on and had a crispy outside with a slight tender surprise inside. Both are well dressed with its own identity with one fruity and the other chocolaty. Fruit Ninja had fresh fruits, fruit sauce and Kapiti vanilla ice cream. I love Kapiti ice cream so much. The Candy Crush had a filling of peanut butter and Nutella and is dressed with chocolate sauce, orea crumb, honey star, toasted soft marshmallow and Kapiti chocolate ice cream. Sounds like a lot of ingredients but everything works well. Yum…

Ecole P definitely showed that it’s different, its exciting and its bold. High points for the ambience and décor and also for their inventive menu. One can definitely see how much effort goes into this place and its no wonder many flocked here for a taste of memory infused with a touch of modernity. Definitely loads of hits in their menu!

First Floor, 19, Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: 03-7732-9711

Business Hours:
Weekdays, 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm
Weekends (Saturday-Sunday), 11am-10pm
Closed on Thursdays

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