Friday, November 12, 2010

National Geographic Store & Cafe @ Lot 10, KL

A taste of the world - Interesting Spanish tapas in Lot 10 KL...

Hey y'all. Just to give you a head's up, this is an invited review:
(Here are my usual disclaimers)
1) I have not been paid to write this, but neither have I paid a cent for my meal,
2) I will still be as objective as possible re. the food/ restaurant, and
3) If I go back to the restaurant incognito and find that the food/service is horribly different from this experience, I will amend my ratings here...

I thought it was cool how an established educational magazine like the National Geographic could innovate into a TV channel, but a bit strange that it could then spawn a store and cafe in Lot 10 KL:
(Apparently, this is one of only 4 such outlets worldwide)
Just across the floor from the Nat Geo....

Still, I was intrigued, and was more than happy to go try it out when TNG kindly extended an invite to their new Pinchos menu launch:
(Pinchos, or pintxos, are like tapas except that they traditionally they are smaller servings that are served on a stick)
(FYI: Pincho means spike in Spanish)
Inside the Nat Geo....

This outlet is partly a shop, so there are lots of stuff available for your dose of retail therapy - tshirts, bags, books, soft toys, posters, etc:
Choices, choices....

There are also some more unusual items, like human body parts... or well, small models of them anyway :)
Eek! I think his liver fell out....

Before dinner, we were shown an interesting photo/ video exhibition by Laurent Dambies, a freelance French scientist turned photographer who is currently residing in Malaysia:
Monsieur Dambies....

Although the things he showcased (eg. The Petronas Twin Towers, a pasar) can be considered normal to us Malaysians, it was interesting to see his angle on these parts of our lives. :)
(You can check out his photos and videos on his blog...)

Anyway, onwards to the food - there was a lot (12 courses!) so I'll separate them into groups:

YOU WILL EITHER LOVE OR HATE THESE:

1) Anchoa Jardinera (Anchovy and vegetable toast) (RM 16++, usual serving size: 4 slices)
Fishy bread....

Slightly fishy/ briny, pretty sour and garlicky - interesting but I think its more of an acquired taste.

2) Pintxo De La Foto (Smoked Salmon, anchovy and red pepper toast) (RM 15++, usual serving size: 4 slices)
More fishy bread....

The savoury sweetness of the smoked salmon was an interesting mix against the sour briny anchovy... but there was still a slight fishy aftertaste...
(Look, it's not that they did anything wrong - just that anchovy is a fishy fish lah. :P)

3) Aceitunas Alinadas (Marinated Olives) (RM 12++ per plate)
(Note: Photo from Andrew because mine was lost)
Green olives....

Not many people in Malaysia (that I know) like eating olives just like that... and these were really sour and salty.
(Interesting though... and *lol* the chef said that they are like gwailo jeruk)


NOT BAD:

4) Txalupa (Mushroom prawn and cheese tartlets) (RM 16++, usual serving size: 6 tarts)
Little mushroom tarts....

Overall these tasted ok, with the creamy, cheesey mix matching well with the slightly dense and crumbley tart base.

5) Tigres (Mussels in a spicy tomato sauce) (RM 14++, usual serving size: about 4 mussels)
Shellfish....

The mussels were just ever so slightly overcooked but I liked that the sauce was slightly spicy. :)

6) Puerros Con Crema De Questo (Cream cheese and leek toasts) (RM 12++, usual serving size: 6 slices)
Cheesey bread....

Leek slices, cooked till tender, sandwiched between a fluffy square of bread and a thick layer of cream cheese - not bad... but just not my kinda thing I guess.
(I don't like leek)

7) Gambas Al Ajillo (Sizzling Garlic Prawn) (RM 12++, usual serving size: about 4 prawns)
Garlicky prawns....

Nothing really wrong with this. Prawns were fresh and cooked just right. It's just that I don't find anything too innovative about the pairing with the garlicky sauce.
(Still, not bad - wouldn't mind ordering this again)

NICE:

8) Oxtail Puff and Mash (RM ?++)
Beefy goodness....

It is hard to get puffs like these exactly right but they came pretty darn close with the tender chunks of beef resting on a slightly chunky reduction of the stew and mash potatoes, which paired well with the flakey and crunchy puff pastry.

9) Queso Con Membrillo (Cheese and Quince) (RM 16++)
;">(Note: Photo from Andrew because mine was lost)
Simple but nice....

I am not a big fan of cheese platters (as they can be a bit too strong) but this was rich and tasty yet delicate enough as to not scare off the casual cheese eater... It was especially yummy when eaten with the sweet fruity quince (which has to be specially flown in from Spain).

10) Seared scallop with Guacamole (RM ?++)
Big scallop!....

Big juicy scallop, simply grilled with chunky guacamole (savoury) and maserated orange (sweet) - Mmmmm.....
(If I was going to be fussy, I'd say it was ever so slightly overcooked, but still ok)

11) Bacalao Con Boniato Y Encurtidos (Grilled salt cod with marinated garlic and pickles) (RM 12++, usually served in per plate)
Spoonfuls of mash and fish....

I found the pairing of the sour fish and pickles interesting against the slightly sweet and creamy sweet potato mash.

12) Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs) (RM 12++, usual serving size: 5 meatballs)
Meaty meatballs....

Maybe I am too simple but well, these were my favourite dish of the night - meaty but still fairly tender, chunky texture, no gamey taste and went well with the tomato coulis.

All in all, I left feeling intrigued - can't wait to go back and try out some of the other pinchos (they have about 30+ different types I think) as well as some of the mains....
(The ppl behind the cafe are from Sentidos in Star Hill, so it should be pretty good)

Thanks to TNG (who looked SMOKING HOT in her little white dress that night btw) for the invite and Dawn for organising a fun night out. :)

Also, it was really nice meeting you, Jun Jun and Andrew.
(Especially you, Andrew - thanks for passing me some of your photos when mine could not be used... You're too kind... but on the other hand, your awesome DSLR shots make my measley Point & Shoot ones look so bad leh.... *lol*)

So, it's: Interesting array of unusual pinchos (tapas) and some Mediteranean mains, decently priced (considering its in a high class shopping center) BUT look, just be careful which pincho you order - it's not that they did anything wrong but like I said, anchovies are fishy fish lah... :P


Summary Sheet:

National Geographic @ Lot 10, KL
T 16-17, Level 3,
Lot 10 Shopping Center, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur


Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 45++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-2144 8288
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm

NO PORK SERVED



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Running Andrew
- StarryNitez::JunJun-Riko


TAGS: , , , , , , , , , Mediterranean, Spanish, ,

11 comments:

  1. what happen to the satay!??? their satay rocks despite this being a spanish place.

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  2. Frankly I love your disclaimers more than the featured nibbles....however it does give me an idea where to get Xmas presents.
    i thought the posters are cool.
    i hope to find one which features ugly animals for people i (vaguely) dislike but still have to get them presents (i.e relatives)

    ReplyDelete
  3. ahh, french guys ... ooh la la! :D
    i walked past the nat geo cafe in london, and guess what? the one in lot 10 is much nicer, looks-wise! :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. to Joe:
    Yeah, heard about the awesome satay but they didn't serve it that night bcos intro-ing the new stuff. :P

    to Brother B:
    HAHAHAHA.
    That's a wonderful idea. You don't mind if I copy it? :)

    to Sean:
    Oui oui ooh la la. Zhere is juzz zomething about ze French! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. When nat geo opened in sg, i was really excited, mostly bcos the concept's new. Surprisingly, i've bought some gifts thr b4 but nothing for myself! Haha. Maybe i shd give myself a treat at their cafe. :)

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  6. gosh i skipped all the pics and just focus on the handsome!!! :p :D

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  7. to HairyBerry:
    Well, have a meal and then buy a tshirt for yourself. :P
    (You need to treat yourself at least once in a while, right?)

    to babe_kl:
    Haha... You r so notti. Wait till I tell Captain Hook. :P

    ReplyDelete
  8. Laurent here, thanks the mention and the nice picture:)
    For those who did not see the slideshow I put a webversion on my blog at: http://microstockexperiment.blogspot.com/2010/10/journey-in-malaysia-video-and-photo.html

    All the best
    www.stock-photo-motion.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. to Monsieur Laurent:
    Oh, hello there! :)
    No problem... Have also now added a link into the post referring to your blog.
    (Was really nice seeing the slideshow of your photos and videos - thanks to you...)

    ReplyDelete
  10. to MicrostockExp:
    Oh, it's my pleasure. :)

    ReplyDelete

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