Becky’s 1 Minute Summary:
What: Casual dining but meticulously prepared recipes guaranteed to please.
What to order here: Usual favourites are the meats, pizzas and pastas. But do yourself a favour and venture beyond that.
Go for: Anything pork and the “off the menu” specials, which translates to delicious and creative dishes from Chef Darren Chin, winner of the ‘Best Sandwich in the World’. Start with the steamed pork buns followed by a soup before moving on to the mains.
Overall experience: 2 visits so far and both times I have not been disappointed. One was for a review session while another was on my own with some friends.
Price: You get what you pay for.
For the long story, read on.
There has to be a reason when an outlet does really well, is packed practically every lunch and dinner and barely was there any negative remarks shared when I asked for feedback among my friends.
It’s been years since I last stepped into Dave’s. From my previous visits I remembered it as a very “American-kind” of place with heavy pasta, big portions, salads, soups. And yes pizzas.
My recent visit showed me how things has evolved here.
For one, there are more French elements in the menu. Echire butter with imported French bread (imported from Lenotre, France) are available on request. Mains like Beef Burgundy (Chef Darren’s interpretation of the French classic Beef Bourguignon) and the gorgeous plating makes you feel like you’re in a fine dining atelier, minus the 200% mark up price and the pretentious environment.
Here at Dave’s it’s casual; walk in with slippers if you wish, and enjoy good portioned meals at justified prices.
The humble bread and butter to start. Except that this may not be that humble. 😀
Delicate bites – Steamed Porky Buns, RM12.90 – 2 pieces per portion.
These steamed parcels were filled with slices of braised pork belly, crunchy pickled cucumber & Dave’s signature sauce which is not so much Chinese but leaned more toward the Japanese using mirin, ginger, garlic and soy. The pork belly is sous vide; a method highly favoured by Chef Darren for obvious reasons. This is great as a snack or with beer and at the price it is a must order here!
The mushroom soup is a popular item and justifiably so. We had shooter glass versions of it since this is a tasting session and that one shot tells me what I need to know. This soup is pure, unadulterated mushroom goodness, blended from wild mushrooms and is chunky rather than the creamy smooth type. I’m always more inclined for such versions anyways. RM15++ for a full portion.
Another signature is Dave’s Signature Caesar Salad (RM28.00), a good respite should you feel guilty for indulging in all of Dave’s porky dishes. Even for a salad, the dressing is made in-house, sprinkled with gana padano (Italian cheese, not your usual Parmesan mind you) and a beautiful 60C poached egg.
Chef Darren then sent us his favourite pizza; Traditional French ‘Pissaladiere’ (RM35.00) with the simple toppings of rich tomato sauce, onions, tomato confit, olives & anchovies. This is a classic example of “simple executed right” is best.
The sweet caramelized onions and confit tomatoes was perfect with the superb chewy crust.
And why is the crust so good? Say hi to Chef Darren and his French flour.
Most of the ingredients he uses for the food at Dave’s are imported from France, which explains the quality and taste.
*Photo taken from Dave’s FB page. Do give them a LIKE here –> https://www.facebook.com/daves.malaysia/info 😀
Beef Burgundy (RM58.00) .
Melt in your mouth braised beef oyster blade in Bordeaux red wine garnished with caramelized baby onions, carrot puree, creamy mash & spinach.
The key to a good Bourguignon is the cut of beef, Chef Darren said. The best cut is the blade roast, braised whole, cut into cubes. Do not however, remove the white band of collagenic tissue that runs through the center of the cut from end to end. It will turn to soft gelatin during the long cooking and give the meat a very pleasant and soft texture.
And of course, a good red wine helps.
For most consummate chefs everything on the plates matters.
For Chef Darren it wasn’t any different. The garnishing are very important to him, from the previous Bourguignon to this line-caught fish (the one we had was snapper) dish and the Iberico ribs.
Every component should make sense and contributes positively to the overall flavours of the dish. Further to that, each dish should be aesthetically pleasing yet not overcrowding the plate, Chef Darren had explained.
Chef Darren is fond of carrot cumin puree and this was featured on both his Beef Bourguignon and his fish dish. He went into detailed description of how each vegetable; from the thin slivers of iced beet root to the broccoli and the mash was prepared just so we could understand the food better but I shall not bore you here. Just remember that everything taste great and most of the vegetables are imported from France.
A touch of Asian for both the beef and fish was the daun raja that crowned each dish.
With the amount of care taken for the garnishing and sides, Chef Darren asked me to pass along a message to all of you (who are reading this post) – please do eat everything on the plate! He said he’s sad when he sees diners pushing away or leaving the vegetables untouched on the plate. 😀
Iberico Pork Ribs ( RM58.00). *subject to availability. Please ask the service staff.
Melt in your mouth Spanich iberico pork ribs served with eggplant caviar, buttered spinach & creamy mash.
For this Iberico Rib dish Chef Darren has decided to “detach” the roasted butter nut pumpkin side from the main dish itself as to not overcrowd the plate. This was garnished with deep fried pumpkin vine. So pretty right?
The sous vide iberico rib wasn’t served with any sauce since it was already basted with BBQ sauce while the poached snapper had a lovely cream sauce, which complimented the flaky sweet meat. We were intrigued with the eggplant caviar, which was roasted, skinned and made into a spicy roasty paste. Very intriguing indeed.
Both desserts were fabulous, one a coconut cheesecake and another the chocolate fondant; superbly decadent made with 72% cocoa. A bit of sweetness is contributed by the strawberry compote in the middle of the gooey warm chocolate.
If you’re tired of the usual cheesecakes, then do give the Coconut cheesecake here a shot. The top is a firm pudding-like coconut cream layer and the bottom the cheese. The coconut cream used is imported from France as well, as Chef Darren insisted that the taste and aroma is different.
What more can I recommend for you to order here? Well, I had the pork knuckle, roast pork, carbonara and pizza on a separate visit (of which the pictures have gone missing, sorry) and I would confidently recommend the roast pork and pork knuckle as well.
In conclusion, my ‘Becky’s 1 Minute Summary’ above says it all.
So, do pay Dave’s a visit if you’re in 1 Utama and seeking a good hearty meal. While the usual menu items are more than enough to satisfy, keep a lookout for Chef Darren’s specials on https://www.facebook.com/daves.malaysia/info.
Dave’s Bistro Bar & Grill (opposite TGIF and beside Canton-I)
Lot G209, The Promenade, One Utama Shopping Centre
47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm