the kitchen table supper club and bakery

10:42 AM Unknown 0 Comments

it's always a joy to find someone who has a huge passion for food like i do.

it's even better and doubly awesome when you find two of that someone, expertly translating their love for flavors while highlighting their food philosophy - wholesome and well balanced comfort food with finesse. all this in their very own kitchen.

hence,  the kitchen table supper club and bakery is born :)

it was fate when i found their facebook page by chance just days before it first stepped into the local food scene in june 2o13. i fell in love with the idea of a kitchen supper club: an avenue for foodies to get together and plan for a world foodination to be acquainted over a meal in a casual setting. 

being the curious cat that i am, i was eager to find out more about their interpretation of a kitchen supper club,  a novel yet increasingly popular concept.  it led me to my first conversation with the 'sweets' of the cooking duo, mei wan all the way back in june when they opened their cozy and comfy homes to enthusiastic foodies. fast forward five months later, i finally made my way to my first official kitchen table supper club and the pleasure to meet her in person and her 'savory' partner in crime, marcus low.

interestingly, mei wan and marcus had similar beginnings and a rather unexpected journey to reach where they are now - mechanical engineer and business major by education but...the hearts want what the tummies want.....

the pair quickly found their calling in the world of culinary as they start from the bottom in the kitchens of well known restaurants/bakeries, interning for free under the mentorship of renowned or three star michelin chefs.

three hours into the meal and dialogues later, i felt that i've forged a quick friendship with the humble and friendly self-taught cooks who shared their appreciation (and relief!) for the love they've received for their saturday dinner parties from the growing local foodie community. in fact, they are completely booked till mid-january of next year.

the TKT supper club brief:
the idea is a prix fixe menu of 4-5 course meal at rm 88 on a monthly rotation, an experimental platform for their favorite recipes to gauge the likes/dislikes of the crowd towards their fusion approach of different cuisines ranging from french, new american to mediterranean and italian.

to describe their type of food simply - casual, fine dining. 
to top it off, we were seated by the kitchen counter (much to our delight and possibly to their exhaustion from the non-stop bombardment of questions from us), allowing us to have the best seats in the house to watch them at work while conversing with them.

while not in the menu, we were first greeted with a glass of carbonated roselle with lime bitters.

{refreshing, appetite-whetting, a welcoming start}
taste | tart . sweet . floral . carbonated

we were excited to finally get started as we sat down at a tastefully decorated dining setting.

p.s. there is a tldr version summarized on their menu at the bottom of the post ;)

chilled soup :: cucumber | corn, greek yoghurt, chilli oil


{ surprisingly different with every spoonful }
taste | refreshing . sherry vinegar tartness . grilled corn sweetness & smokiness . yoghurt creaminess . herbacious microgreens and purple basil . spicy end note .

i was contemplating whether to lick the bowl after the last spoonful. it was a symphony for the palate with every spoonful where the different flavors serenades your taste buds at different proportions, left me wondering what the next delectable combination may bring as a surprise. "yummylicious" doesn't begin to describe the soup and instantly made it on my top ten dishes of 2o13 and it's only one of the two that made the cut, thus far.

breakfast for dinner :: bacon & eggs | soft quail eggs, tomato jam, grilled sourdough


the beginning and the ending of a "mini open face sandwich". some self assembly required :)
i love the interactive aspect where we could customize the dish to our liking!

{ epitome of brunch made from scratch }
taste | sweet . ending notes of slight heat . smokey . savory saltiness . buttery & soft egg yolk richness .

the two noteworthy elements for me were the ones made from scratch - the sourdough bread and tomato jam. 

the tomato jam reminded me of sweet, chunky sun dried tomato chutney concluded with mere whispers of heat. on the other hand, the story behind the sourdough bread and mei wan's secret ingredient is the 200-year old leaven as the base of this freshly baked pastry. unlike the counterpart from boudin in sf, united states, i could barely taste the sour in the sourdough bread and the crustiness from the grilled bread was lost slightly over time. however, the soft quail egg richness rounded the textural and flavor combinations, making these lovely petite bites of brunch.

farm to table  :: pan seared tilapia fillets | romesco sauce, leeks, roasted cauliflower

 { ode to individuals behind the farm of the farm-to-table }
taste | light bell pepper sweetness . succulent & juicy . hint of nuttiness . crisp freshness . radish bite . 

we dove into the entree with these freshly filleted tilapia (which was done in the morning) that boasts the origins of a fish farm in sungai bahau using spring water meant that the fish was as fresh as one can get. however, i thought the fish could have used an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper and while one was seared to perfection, the other slightly missed the mark. its highlight was the roasted cauliflower that paired beautifully with the romesco sauce but this dish was overshadowed by the simple yet complex flavors achieved in the prior dishes.

tea & biscuits :: earl grey tea creme brulee | short bread fingers

{ familiar english afternoon tea classics with a twist }
taste | spicy citrus . floral . creamy . distinctly earl grey . overwhelmingly sweet . crunchy caramelized sugar . occasional burst of tartness . crumbly butteriness.

an inventive idea to capture the typical british tea time classics in a consolidated dessert. i loved the authoritative punch of the earl grey in this french custard. while i adore the creativity in this 4th course, there were some room for improvement in the execution - it was too sweet for my liking and the consistency of the custard mimicked that of melted ice cream which meant it could have been set a little longer. on the flip side, the bruleed sugar crust was done perfectly as i used my dessert spoon to crack it with a contented smile.

as a cherry on top, mei wan graciously allowed us to brulee our own creme although we could potentially be fire hazards considering this would be our first time handling the torch. so exciting!  even more proud of myself for doing it right :) AND not setting her kitchen on fire.

thanks, mei wan! :D

from the bakery :: small & sweet treats | coffee & tea

{ encore with infused tea and petit twos }
taste | aromatic . fragrant . relaxing, mild tea . melt-in-your-mouth sweetness . passion fruit tartness . mild lemon-y butteriness .

no matter how stuffed one can get, there is always room for tea and second desserts. the sweets from the bakery that night consisted of buttery and slightly lemon-y madeleines and melt-on-your-tongue sweet meringues counterbalanced by the passion fruit custard.

the perfect ending to the night was the warm tea infused with a fragrant mix of dried herbs comprising of aromatic pandan and lemongrass that imparted a soft lemon-like flavor. i absolutely loved the comfort and satisfaction the tea offered that it almost made me take a deep relaxing breath with each sip. *sighing a sigh of contend*

tldr version: my notes on its prix fixe menu:

my conversations with mei wan and marcus gravitated towards great food, which we heartily concur that, it is best enjoyed in the company of loved ones in a cozy setting. their plans of realizing their dreams of opening their own restaurant by mid-year of 2o14 is built on their food philosophy - made to order, affordable fine dining, served in a casual, family style manner to be shared among friends and family. admittedly, there were minor kinks in the execution for some of the 5 course meal that night but nothing of which that are not easy fixes.

what's important is they've established a strong flavor foundation built on personal experiences via interpretation of classics mixed with bold creativity in food expression to spread the notion that appreciation for food and flavors are to be shared and savored slowly with every bite.

even more than that, they put their heart on each plateful of their yummy creations and it shows. :)