PickNik @ Publika Solaris Dutamas KL – love the pandan creme brulee!

A friend of mine asked me recently for a good creme brulee in KL.
The first one that came to mine was this pandan creme brulee at PickNik. While the rest of the food (or at least the ones we sampled that night) wasn’t satisfactory, this creme brulee was AMAZING.

Never a fan of creme brulee because creme brulee is well, boring creme brulee; Chef Nik’s recipe is an entirely creative interpretation yet retaining the essence of a good creme brulee.

The Pandan Crème Brulee was a refreshing green; intensely pandan flavoured custard that paired perfectly with the thick gula Melaka.

Kudos to Chef Nik thinking out of the box! Substituting the common white sugar with palm sugar was certainly the factor that made the crème brulee outstanding. With a scoop of coconut ice cream on top this was almost like Chendol minus the ice!
Lastly, the burnt sugar crust on top was nicely done too.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-005

This little cosy restaurant is a labour of love of a father and son team. Both being chefs and culinary aficionados, the menu offers a mish-mash of East-Meets-West dishes personally crafted and mostly personal favourites of the dynamic duo. Thus the restaurant provides them an avenue to share with the public their delicious and inventive creations.

Décor and seating arrangements are kept simple and unpretentious.
The food is the main draw for the crowd. An open kitchen provides diners with some diversion as the kitchen team are within plain sight.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-009

After reading numerous glowing reviews and meeting Chef Nik Michael Imran in person during an official Asian Food Channel event, I was finally convinced to visit PickNik during the recent festive season.
If you are one of the religious Masterchef Malaysia followers, you would be familiar with finalist Nik Michael Imran.

A twist to your Lipton tea moments - Chef Nik - AFC (4)

The affable 24-year old had joined forces with his father Dato Nik Ezar shortly after the reality show to open a casual Solaris Dutamas venture aptly dubbed PickNik, meaning to “pick Nik’, a cheeky reference to Chef Nik himself.

PickNik is labeled a comfort food café where Chef Nik whips up his Asian with western influences dishes that are familiar, palatable and non-pretentious. In fact, most of the dishes on the menu are personal favorite comfort food of Chef Nik himself.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-008

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-004

In the starter section, soups and salads ranges from RM5 – RM24. From the tapas list we selected a Toast with Chicken Liver Pate (RM16), topped with olives and strawberries. The tartness of the strawberries is to help cut through the richness of the pate, Chef Nik had explained.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL

The Fish Pie (RM32) is highly recommended. Dig through the soft buttery mash to unearth generous large chunks of fish in cream and leeks.

A rather heavy dish, this is ideal for sharing.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-003

Pastas, sandwiches, sirloin steaks and even a Spaghetti Goreng (fried spaghetti) caught our eyes but in the end we settled for one of Picknik’s signatures – The Korean Lamb Cutlets which sounded rather intriguing.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-002

These are recommended to be served medium well so I took the suggestion given. I usually prefer my meat medium rare but it was rather tasty even when done medium well. The sauce on the plate and marinade is the same; consisting of Korean chilli paste, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, ginger and garlic. This certainly beat the common salt and pepper grilled lamb chops. Another main we shared was a pasta dish but that wasn’t particularly memorable.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-001

We had a lovely ending to our meal as the dessert The Pandan Crème Brulee was superb. Other than the fish pie I wasn’t really wow-ed by the food here though. Maybe next time.

Virgin Margarita, and all of PickNik’s other mocktails, are designed for Muslims to get a hint of what cocktails are like without the alcohol. Margaritas are supposed to be sour and served with some salt on the rim of the glass. Ours, however was a tad sourer that expected.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-006

Since we have a mocktail on the table, I decided to try something else instead and ordered a healthier alternative – the Strawberry Lassi. Thick, pleasantly sweet and blended with real strawberries, this was very nice except that when it was served to us, it was WARM.

Best of Halal - PicNick, Publika Solaris Dutamas KL-007

The menu at PickNik changes occasionally to keep things fresh and Chef Nik’s creative streak ensures that there would be something for everyone that steps in PickNik.
Chef Nik also creates festive menus according to the many festivals in Malaysia such as Chinese New Year and Christmas so if you happen to visit during such limited time promotions, do try the items offered! 🙂

Picknik Comfort Food Café
Location: A4-UG1-05, Publika Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 64116499
Opening Hours: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm (everyday)

Halal Checklist:
Muslim Owned: Y
Halal Certified: N
100% Halal Ingredients: Y
Cleanliness Grade – A
Serves Alcohol: N

Extra Comments/Notes:
10 % service charge and 6 % Government Tax

Years of operation: 1 year