Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Red Kettle in Bukit Desa KL - didn't do it for me...

January 4th 2016 

Happy New Year to you! May 2016 let us all be discovering new restaurants and wines that charm and delight us and see us returning to old favourites for more great times with good friends!!

For our first lunch of the new year Lenglui and I went to a place in Bukit Desa called the Red Kettle. 

The Red Kettle is one of a slew of eateries that has appeared in the shoplots of Jalan Bukit Desa over the past couple of years. All of these offer some interesting contrasts from the usual rice or noodles lunch to those prepared to brave the Federal Highway and Mid Valley turnoffs to get there.  We had been here for lunch about a year ago when it first opened and ran into an old friend back from overseas. Consequently I remembered very little about the food. In recent times, though, the Duchess had been raving about the Pork Burgers at this Red Kettle ever since I raved about the ones at the Krop Krop in Sri Hartamas. Duchess sometimes seems to have a need to win in these types of thing. It's a total Duchess thing - as one of the Social Elite, their opinion must be of Delphic Oracle quality and consequently always the winning one in any argument so that the status is maintained. I completely understand these things - the face must be maintained, so we roll with it. Besides, she feeds me soup every day so I can't complain. Bribery? Maybe. She makes darn good soup.

So finding ourselves in Bukit Desa on a trip to one of our favourite fruit stores, we decided to take up the opinion and visit the place anew. Also the little Pork Noodle place we normally go to down the road was closed. It was a Monday. Of course.

The Red Kettle doubles as a bakery and on entry one is met with this huge wonderful smell of freshly baked crusty bread. Is worth the trip for the smell alone, though as memory serves the bread is a solid B - good but not spectacular. Duchess has not raved about the bread, and in fairness she does know a good loaf.

This Monday would indeed prove to be a shade manic when five minutes after my order of Pork Burger a young bespectacled thing came rushing back to tell me that the Pork Burger was not available. Bugger. Lenglui had already opted for the Porkie Rice so I went for Sausage and Mash. The rest of the menu did not inspire anything in that disappointed mood.

Lot of young people there for lunch on the day, so presumably as a result service was very slow. Lengui's Porkie Rice came out after ten minutes, though she was unable to start due to there being a fried egg on top which she had no desire to eat. Since there was no food in front of me she was stuck waiting to get this fricking egg off her plate before she could begin. My suggestion of getting a small plate on which to park the offending egg was eventually and reluctantly acceded to. 

My Sausage and Mash took an additional ten to fifteen minutes and then only after a brusque "Hallo, got my food ah?" which was met with an apparently realisational "Oh yes…" from the young bespectacled thing and the food appeared twenty seconds later. Hmmm....   Other restaurants occasionally give a little amuse bouche when the wait gets a bit long. No such luck here. The sharply dressed (and presumably the) manageress was chained to the till - I walked past and got a professional "good afternoon" from her. Didn't pick up that I was bored waiting for the food. I guess some people don't always pay the attention to the customer experience. So it goes. 

I suppose my Sausage and Mash was all right. It was hot enough. Not entirely sure about the gravy in which the potato and sausage were covered, though. It had the colour of chicken gravy and tasted a bit like it too. The peas were shrivelled and lacked taste. And there was a bit too much pepper in the potato whilst I'd swear the home made sausage had a hint of chili in it. Well, we do live in Malaysia, hor? The combo was total stodge and in fairness at this point in the day and the new year was just what the belly was ready for. But to say that it had real taste would miss the point. For me it was kind of like Soul food without soul. 

I'm not sure I would return on this showing. Nothing out of the ordinary on these two dishes. Though I might go back with the Duchess to let her prove her point about the Pork Burger. I will bring one from the Krop Krop and we do a taste off. Maybe not - never put a Duchess in a position where she could lose the face. Especially if I still want my daily soup. Better to eat it than wear it. Cheers!

37, Jalan Bukit Desa 5, Taman Bukit Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 3-7988 0801

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