For the past two years, Pats and I have been a fan of Cafe Cafe KL – a French restaurant in KL. This time though, we tried something different: from French to Indochinese Cuisine, from dining elegance to tranquil semi-gluttony.
I was going through TripAdvisor’s list of restaurants in KL one day and happened to read a review on this one place in Ampang, serving Indochinese dishes in a cozy, lush, and tranquil setting.
After reading a few reviews and blog entries about it, I’ve decided to bring Pats to Tamarind Springs for our celebratory dinner.
Arriving almost an hour early from my reservation, we were welcomed by a candle-lit garden stairway, which – according to other reviewers, will “transport you to a different place”. Time-Space Warp, ngayon din! :p Unfortunately, the photos I took wasn’t appealing at all. So, I opted not to post it here. Moving on…
At the reception, we were greeted and then seated to the non-smoking area, which I specifically asked for. Guests were only few that time. So, most of the things that we heard were whispers, crew walking, frogs, crickets, and the shutter and flash of my camera. Oh! And a background music similar to a chant – guess to indulge you more on the relaxed mood.
The ambiance was indeed cozy, noise-pollution free, and relaxing. The crew are dressed with traditional clothing, and not the usual bow and tie. Their menu is organized and offer a number of selections.
Food wasn’t exceptional but it’s quite nice. They serve Indochinese dishes, which consisted of specialties from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
For appetizer, we ordered Grilled Chicken on Cinammon Sticks, and Baked Mussels on Light Curry Sauce, which were both good. Though I think the chicken is not for appetizer – we got almost full because of it. Nevertheless, they are tasteful and different (in a good way).
Papi’s Note: I totally am trying to recall the name of the dishes that we ordered. But my memory is failing me. Sorry for that…
For mains, we had a Laotian Grilled Beef, a veggie dish (sorta like Chopsuey), and fried rice with egg – not much of fine dining, ain’t it? Fine, we ordered red wine to bring it up a notch.
The beef was great, loved its tenderness and taste despite being well-done (I normally order medium-rare). It tasted even better when we “tapaw” (take out) it and ate it for lunch the following day. I know we were not supposed to take food out when were on a ‘fine dining’ setting. But heck, we don’t want good food to go to waste.
Our veggie dish was quite good and was complemented well by the fried rice that we ordered.
One thing I didn’t like though is the crew’s over-attentiveness. When I’m eating at a restaurant, I hate being overly-watched, or being watched, or the feeling of being watched. It gives me such uneasiness. They kept on approaching us, asking for this and that, and offering stuff. My principle when dining at restaurants: “…If I need assistance, I will let you know. If not, just let me be.”.
That aside, I would say that this place is a good-to-try restaurant, especially when you want to stay away from the noise and bright lights of KL.
And by the way, if you’re going there by taxi, be sure to book it and have it pick you up. The place is rather remote for public transportation. Not sure though if they can call a cab for you.