Thursday, October 15, 2009

Neo. Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. 3 Monkeys and an Android Hitting a New Joint.

Neo. No, this restaurant was not opened by Keanu Reeves who played Neo in the "brain in a vat" thought experiment, transfromed by the Wachowski brothers into Matrix, the Movie. Nor does it refer to Neo Rauch, the German Social Surrealist Painter. Nor does it refer to Near Earth Objects (though you may feel like a NEO after a couple of hits of cocktails) or New European Order. In this case, the owners were probably using it to mean New, or Revival of something old. The premises used to house among other things, an Italian Restaurant and a club. I hope the new owners will revive it, because this joint is beautiful.

Clockwise from top left: 1. Scallop Asparagus thingy 2. Ciki hiding her disappointment upon discovering the MIGF was not available 3. A li'l fat monkey trying very hard to smile after discovering that there were no Banana inspired Tapas 4. Fussili Portobello served Dai Chow noodles style 5. The Übercool interior and exterior of the restaurant.

It was one of those miserable days. I nuked my Blackberry while trying to install the Neo v5.0 software, and in and spent 45 minutes trying to resuscitate it to discover that I jammed up the track ball as well. Had to meet with some fussy, Neolithic Neanderthal clients who had difficulty understanding any words with more than 2 syllables, when my phone buzzed with a message asking if I was free for dinner tonight at Neo. "Anything to escape this dreary cycle!", I thought to myself and proceeded to Neo after a mad dash to Low Yat to get a Neo BB.

"Huff, huff! I'm late for a very important date!", the Android Mad Hatter Hare declared and scampered up the stairs together with the Monkey Couple, Cumi and Ciki to find A Li'l Fat Monkey drowning his sorrow with a big bottle of Mineral Water. Apparently he is allergic to C2H5OH. I immediately struck him off my will.

Housed in a bungalow perched upon a hillside, Neo brands itself as serving Global Tapas. The whole place is like a Sistine Chapel of Hedonism. Beautiful water inspired themes culminating in a waterfall adorning the wall of the main dining area which is lighted up in a severe and stark black chandelier , the interior is breath taking. We were disappointed to discover that the MIGF menu was not available that evening, and we settled to order from the a la carte menu.

Bearing in mind that this place was new as in gestating in a womb, the service was a bit haphazard and the serving staff seemed to be overwhelmed, and probably with a bit of time, they might mature to be like their sister restaurant Tamarind Hills, where the service is polished. In fact, that night, a few of the staff from Tamarind Hills were helping out at Neo.

Clockwise, from top. 1. The hilarious, rib tickling amuse bouche (tuna) 2. Lamb Shank with Couscous 3. Duck with Risotto and Tangerine Sauce

It is a new place, they may not gotten their act together yet in the kitchen. It was the first time in my life that an amuse bouche did what it was supposed to do. We were literally laughing out loud when it arrived. It was some tune, and the size was slightly bigger than a 2 carat diamond. Much much too small for the cutlery. Try to spear it with a fork, you'll probably squish it. Ciki even put her bling on the plate to compare.

The Portobello Fussili was lovely, but came out so haphazard that it resembled a plate of noodles from the Dai Chow stall. Cumi brilliantly suggested that they be put on small serving plates. The pasta was al dente and the portobello mushrooms tasted beautiful in the creamy pasta sauce. The Scallop and Asparagus was too bland. The Duck and risotto was lightly dressed with a slightly tangy tangerine sauce. The texture of the risotto was right. And the best Tapas would have to be Lamb Shank with couscous, with beautifully marinated, tender lamb lying on top of some fluffy semolina wheat couscous.

The Dessert menu was not convincing enough for us to partake in anymore sinful pursuits, but the groove at the bar beckoned us over for some after dinner drinks. A beautiful evening where the food was overshadowed by the company. Ciki who embodies intelligence and beauty, Jon (Fat Monkey) with his infectious ebullient sense of humour and Cumi whose stoic calmness camouflages an admirable zest for life. Thanks for transforming a dreary day, guys!

Neo
19, Jalan Sultan Ismail
Just before Wisma KFC
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +6.03.21.48.37.00


10 comments:

CUMI & CIKI said...

hahaha! remind me to get u to write my épitaphe.. so changgih one :P

qwazymonkey said...

I was on your will? *speechless*

WHOA-man said...

my wife ask me to leave some comments but i cannot for i am stoic and reserved masking a zest for life... even this sentence is too much for one so stoic... it was whispered into my ear by my wife.



publish now (oops) now ah?... ok....now.. done.

trenddude said...

nice food

in the sea said...

Hi Android, re the first photo "the asparagus with scallop", it looks like it came with some balsamic vinegar, didn't it? BTW, is the above Hakka Republic related to the Hakka cuisine or it's just a name? Tks.

thenomadGourmand said...

ahh...i just ahve to read FBB's and your posts to amuse myself on deary days!
My, where u guys go school one ahh? My england canoot match laa...

Paranoid Android said...

Sorry guys... Not been updating my blog.

@cumi&cikay : Ai yar... I write your wedding speech lar.

@quazymonkey: Was, was... :p

@Whoa_Man: Ha ha ... You are farnee.

@trenddude: Yup!

@sea: Yep, it was some kind of balsamic reduction. Hakka republic serves very good western bistro food and has excellent wines. I posted it somewhere in my blog. You can find it in the labels section! Trying to cook now. Disaster. Ha ha ha...

Paranoid Android said...

@nomad: Aiyer. You make me so pai seh already :p

in the sea said...

Thanks Android. Good to know Hakka Republic.

Paranoid Android said...

@ ITS: You'll love it there! Beautiful Italian Wines!

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