Isabel @ Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur
Isabel is made for Instagram. A space boasts of urban chic decor with marble top bar counter, colonial style woven and rattan furnishings (on the ceiling too!), banquette seats with tropical pattern cushions, display rack filled with dinnerware, palm trees mural and lush greenery from interior to exterior that inundate its charming nooks and selfie-worthy corners. This is one of those places where taking pictures should be compulsory for all visitors.
From the creators of Alexis, Isabel located at Jalan Mesui, Kuala Lumpur is their sister restaurant that focuses mainly on Southeast Asian delicacies which is quite different with its elder sibling’s Asian and Western menu.
The selections aren’t exceptionally extensive and prices are on high side, but the food was entirely different from what I had envisioned it to be, different in a good way that is! Perhaps low expectations lead to low disappointment (for myself)? Overall, the food we had received good comments from my dining companions that evening.
Mango Kerabu (RM23.00)
A refreshing concoction of green mangoes, bean sprouts, fried anchovies, lemongrass and fried shallots tossed in tangy lime dressing.
Red Duck Curry (RM52.00)
We were a little caught off guard when all the dishes arrived, not expecting it to be a such measly portion. Albeit its portion, the flavours of this Duck Curry was as pronounced as it should be. Thick, creamy and chocked full of duck meat, pea eggplants, and delicate appeal of lychee. Mild in spiciness but the gravy was redolent of spices and herbs and you really need a bowl of Brown/White Rice (RM4.00/bowl) to go with it.
Prawn Sambal Tumis (RM42.00)
The next dish on the other hand pack a nice fiery punch. There were 3 sizable prawns hidden underneath the stir fry paku-pakis (ferns) with sambal then topped with generous amount of fried shallots. The prawns were fresh, the ferns remained its crunchiness and the flavours passed with flying colours.
Stir Fry Lala (RM28.00)
The stir fry local clams with kemangi leaves (lemon basil) and garlic was well executed too with a subtle herbaceous hint.
Grilled Eggplant (RM24.00)
Crowned with minced prawns, the grilled eggpant had a good dose of smoky flavour complemented by an appetizing tamarind sauce. The flavours blended together in perfect harmony.
I was attracted by the beautiful Pavlova ordered by the couple beside (yes, I’m a truly visual creature) and we were glad that we had it. I have never been a huge fan of Pavlova, but this was one of the best ones I’ve had. Not sickening sweet or hard, the meringue crust was crisp and airy, topped with whipped cream and fresh berries. A dessert which got much praised from everyone that day.
Valrhona Chocolate Cake (RM17.00)
This was rather run-of-the-mill though.
Isabel’s beverage menu features an extensive range of wines, champagne and cocktails (check out their fully stocked bar in the photo above). We were there on a Saturday evening and were given a duration of 2 hours 15 minutes dining time (with advanced reservation). The restaurant indeed rather full and there was a constant stream of customers throughout the evening, so perhaps reservation is essential here to avoid disappointment.
Verdict: Having a meal here certainly doesn’t come cheap. The small portion food didn’t really filled us up and we went for “second dinner” at the cafe right beside it >_< Attentive service provided by those good looking staffs definitely a plus point 😛 Also be informed that the open car park near Isabel charges RM15 per entry which is really exorbitant. You may park at roadside too but not sure about the charges though. =.=”
PS: Just saw a sharing from friend that they charge “cake corkage”, so if you’re planning to bring cake for any celebration occasion, do call and ask the charges.
21, Jalan Mesui, 50200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603-2110 6366
Operating Hours: Tues – Fri: 12.00pm to 3.00pm & 6.00pm to 12.00am
Sat: 12.00pm to 12.00am
Sun: 12.00pm to 11.00pm (Closed on Monday)