Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Food: ACME Bar & Coffee @ The Troika, Kuala Lumpur

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hope you enjoyed your four-day weekend - we surely did, spending it eating our way through sunny Singapore, which would explain the silence the past couple of days. 

But we're back now, and while we need to desperately stay away from food this week to make up for the excessive food-hunting over the weekend, that's not going to stop us from sharing a new place for you to try out this week! :) 


Ever since we read so much about ACME Bar & Coffee, we've been itching for our chance to sample to food there. Unfortunately we kept getting denied the chance weekend after weekend when other priorities kept springing up. Not to be denied however, I managed to drag the parentals down to ACME for a new food adventure!

ACME is also known as ABC (short for ACME Bar and Coffee), and they make sure you don't forget it! Setting up shop inside The Troika (one of the newest office-cum-condo towers in town) is a blessing for customers so far, because there is ample parking down in the basement (although the RM5 cost for parking is slightly steep). 

It's impossible to see any of the interior from the double doors outside, but step inside ACME and you will be at ease with the familiar setup of modern western dining. Square tables line up against the large windows that give a clear view to the outside....

....while cushioned seats further inside provide a leisurely ambiance suitable for all. Even though the place was quite packed when we went on a Sunday night, it still felt like we had discovered a hidden gem of a restaurant amidst the urban jungle that is KL!

Since it was late, we wasted no time getting down to the serious business of ordering food. Spotting snails on the menu, I had to have some especially when these are Grilled "Bacon" Wrapped Snails! The menu didn't say how many snails there were in one serving, but we counted about 11 snails in the plate.

At a price of RM 17, we realized these were cheaper than the standard one dozen escargots in other restaurants. Taste-wise I found these quite delightful especially with the garlic parsley sauce, but parents and Wendy thought it was much too salty. I suspect it was because of the bacon, but I had no problems with it at all. =D

One tapas seemed too little for 4 hungry mouths, so we also ordered a serving of their Burnt Cauliflower (RM 13) off their sides menu to share. 

The name sounds weird (after all since when does any food sound good burnt?), but trust me when I say this burnt taste actually turns normal cauliflower into something more special! Put together with the thickened yogurt sauce it was served with and that slight smoky flavour from the charred bits, this turned out to be a very tasty snack for all to enjoy. For once, I had no trouble with my vegetables. =P

Mum went for the Peppery White Laksa (RM 23), which left her disappointed at first because they use thick lai fun rice vermicelli noodles, and the waiter couldn't say what it was when we ordered so we didn't change it.

She struggled with this towards the end, and when I took a sip I realized why - it was extremely filling because of the extreme creaminess of the soup. The broth was thick with lots of fish chunks and onions, high reminiscent of asam laksa. Overall it would have been much better had the soup been thinner, but this is good too for those who love the creamy stuff. =)

Dad had the Beef Bourguignon (RM 33), a braised beef stew-like concoction with carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms which sounded a bit plain and simple to have at ACME, but then sometimes simple food can be just as fulfilling! ACME whips up a mean Beef Bourguignon, with generous chunks red wine braised of beef that are soft and tender to the bite. An extremely hearty and satisfying dish, but I found myself wishing for some bread or pastry to mop up the sauce!

Wendy wanted to have the lamb shank, but the waiter changed her mind with a recommendation of the Grilled Marinated Lamb Shoulder (RM 37) instead. We usually prefer the shank because it has more lean meat,whereas we find the shoulder is tougher with more fat (Wendy is no fan of juicy fat on meat =p). 

As it turned out, this was a very good recommendation. Perhaps the lamb shank is just as good, but at least now we know the lamb shoulder at ACME has a good dose of meat and is well seasoned with a sweet yet spicy marinade, with dark soy sauce or kicap being a key ingredient. But the main actor can only be so good with the right supporting cast, which in this case came in the form of buttered peas and fries that balanced out the lamb perfectly. 

Last but not least, I went for the Grilled Grass Fed Ribeye Steak (RM57). It was either this or the stingray, but that's a story for another day. =P

I find myself beginning to have my meat done medium more than medium well these days..perhaps blood over cooked meat is my true calling? =P

Medium at ACME is certainly done well (pardon the pun), with the pink-reddish hue spread all through the centre of the meat. While we couldn't find any fault in the preparation, there remains something to be said about the strong harissa marinade (a spice rub usually consisting of cumin and coriander, amongst other spices; we tasted some star anise in this as well) that ACME uses; purists might say it drowns out the flavour of the beef, so don't come here expecting a simple slab of meat.

Cakes for dessert are aplenty at ACME too! One thing we find unsettling though - is it proper to leave cakes lying uncovered all day? I hate to imagine the day someone has an uncontrollable sneeze just as he/she is standing in front of all that dessert. Perhaps ACME should invest in some covers at least, if only to assure us a bit more about the cleanliness and freshness of the product..

Be that as it may, there was no stopping us from grabbing 2 slices of cake for the taste! We took the 2 most interesting-looking ones, one of which was the Coconut Bounty Cake (RM 15); light white and milk chocolate mousse and coconut shavings on top, much like its namesake candy bar. Definitely something different that we hadn't had before, and I would recommend this to friends, even more so if you're a Bounty lover. =)

The other slice was of course the Cempedak Pistachio Cake (RM 15). We had read so much about this that we weren't going to let it go just because of a small issue like a full stomach! We were wondering how strong the flavour would be, and the cempedak cream did turn out to be quite strong, amidst the subtler pandan cake layers. If you have friends looking for something different, or if you want to wow the family with a unique cake for a celebration, this Cempedak Cake may be for you. =D

All in all, we walked out of ACME well and truly stuffed and satisfied. Prices here can be considered a bit steep for certain items on the menu, but I think overall ACME is an affordable place to go for the average KL-ite. After all, it's about time we have another new place to be besides the usual Ben's or Delicious. =D

Acme Bar & Coffee (ABC)Site
Ground Floor, The Troika,
Intersection of Pesiaran KLCC and Jalan Binjai
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2162 2288
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu, 11am-12midnight; Fri & Sat, 11am-1am

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