Table & Apron (formerly known as The Kitchen Table)
Address: 23, Jalan SS 20/11, Damansara Kim, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Business Hours: Everyday except Monday, 11.30am – 5pm, 6pm – 10pm
Do not let the quiet neighbourhood and simple exterior fool you. This place is a cosy, family-oriented diner with delicious grub and really good wait staff waiting for you to uncover.
The Damansara Kim area has gained quite a reputation for being the locale for sleeper hits. There are quite a few good grub places here, from Chinese to Thai to porky Western joints. This is one of them.
For those not sure where it’s located, it’s the same row as the more famous Euro Deli.
Firstly, the place itself is very welcoming, warm and vibrant. It is an open kitchen concept at the back of the shop lot which makes the patrons feel more engaged and in tune with the energy all around.
Next, the decor is very minimalist but still stylish enough not to look drab. It has the feel of a hipster cafe crossed with a Western family diner.
The food is Western-style fused with Malaysian ingredients / flavours. Menu does not offer too many options, it is only 2 pages, so they obviously subscribe to “quality over quantity”.
We tried Charred Eggplant, which was infused with served on sourdough bread. Tasted very fresh and good. It’s basically their take on the classic bruschetta.
We then had Paku and Green Mango, which was their take on a salad with local twist. The dried shrimp, pickled mango and peanuts all worked fantastically. It was lovely.
Next to arrive was Calamari & Citrus. Simple dish, but fresh and springy. Succulent roasted / lightly grilled slices of calamari squeezed with lime, doused in butter and hints of celery.
What came next was the Ulam Herbed Crab Rice. This was a very well-made dish. Nasi ulam is one of my traditional local favourites. So, to taste it in a modern resto with crab meat flavouring it was gorgeous.
Next to arrive was the Mushroom Orecchiette. Despite not knowing how to pronounce it properly, we knew the moment it landed on our table that it would taste fantastic. It has a very homey, rustic kind of feel. Essentially, it’s a mini bowl (or cup) shaped pasta in miso butter sauce with liberal amounts of mushrooms. Oh, and they crack one semi-raw kampung egg on top of it. So simple, so yummy.
For our meats, we could not leave this place without trying its Sticky Pork Ribs. Sanbanto pork marinaded in some kicap manis glaze and then cooked until soft and yummy. This was gorgeous. The marinade was equal to the quality of the meat. An educational nugget for those interested: Sanbanto pork is not pork from Japan (despite its name) but an area in Johor (Jemaluang, to be exact) where they get ISO22000 certification for their pork. Real local quality stuff.
The next dish was, to me, my personal favourite of the night: simple fried chicken. No pretences, no fancy sauces, no nothing but simple deep-fried chicken that has skin so crunchy you feel like you’re biting into a bunch of crumpled paper and yet super-moist and juicy meat on the inside. There’s nothing more I could say to justify this simple great dish but to say “you gotta try it”. Perfect dish if you’re washing it down with ice cold beer (they have craft brew bottles there too).
For dessert, we tried their Earl Grey Creme Brulee, Apple Pie and then Lime & Lemon Curd (served on short bread). I’m not much of a dessert person, so can’t really tell if they are good. As far as I felt, they were alright. I’ve had better desserts elsewhere, so maybe desserts aren’t their main strengths.
Overall, we really enjoyed our dinner at this unpretentious, cosy place with good food. The place is rather small-ish, so it can get quite loud due to proximity of their tables to each other. Depending on whether you like a very vibrant place or not, this could be a good or bad thing. I like it coz I don’t mind a lil spunky environment when I eat. Gives great energy. The staff were excellent. Well-trained, super polite and prompt in service.
Pricing: 7/10 – Pretty standard pricing for a restaurant of its level. Our bill came up to around 400, working out to about 66 per pax. Not bad, considering the stuff we had.
Quality: 8.5/10 – Very, very good food and fresh Western food fused with local style. Dessert was average though, otherwise would have given a 9.
Environment: 8.5/10 – Cosy, vibrant, simple, energetic. I like.
Service: 9.5/10 – Couldn’t have asked for more polite, smiley and nice waiters & waitresses (around 4 different servers served us tonight and all were equally awesome).
Location: 7/10 – Damansara Kim area. A leafy, quiet, suburban part of PJ with lots of hidden gems for food.
Comeback Factor: Of course.