Taking this opportunity to wish all readers a very Happy Chinese New Year and happy holidays! May your days be filled with good food, good laughter and good adventures. :)
Adam & Wendy
Note: This is our second post on icook. You can read our first post here.
We usually don't review restaurants more than once, because we like to talk about something fresh and new each time. Unless of course there are major changes to the place like closing down, revamped menu, etc., then we will amend our original post to the best of our knowledge.
We first visited icook about a year ago, and we're happy to see it doing well and growing over the months! On our recent visit there, we noticed a lot of new items on the menu, as well as a slightly different layout, so we thought it warranted a second a post. =D
In the beginning, it was the policy at icook to line the table fully with large sheets of brown mahjong paper (or what looks like brown mahjong paper) to ensure best hygiene standards. While we thought it was a thoughtful gesture, we did think it got in the way of the meal. Now, the paper is cut up into squares like a place mat, showing off the black table underneath, which contrasts with the black and white chairs.
Besides a new layout, there's also plenty new stuff on the menu! These days burgers are all the rage, no thanks to the myBurgerLabs, Fat Boys, Burger Junkyards, and a host of other burger joints sprouting around town. Well not to be outdone, icook has its own burger menu too - burger.it!
There are around 18 different options on the burger menu, each sounding different and Italian-esque in their own way. Prices are also extremely reasonable, with prices all below RM 20. Don't expect to find anything ordinary combination here, instead look for inclusions of roasted zucchini, eggplant, goat's cheese, olive pate, basil and lots more to go along with the Australian beef patties!
But amongst all those choices, one must stand out. For us, that was the Treviso (RM 17.90), an enticing mix of a ground beef medallion, cheddar cheese, fried egg, caramelized onion, garlic mayo sauce and parmesan cheese. Each burger comes with a very small serving of chips crispy around the edges and soft on the inside.
However, while the chips were nothing to rave about, the rightful star here is the burger. While the new burger upstarts around town have a claim to the new and wacky recipes (even colourful buns?), icook's forte is in using common ingredients found in Italian food, and use of top notch ingredients.
We were very satisfied with this Treviso. Though it won't be the largest patty around town, it was sufficiently juicy and meaty and the twin cheeses of parmesan and cheddar with garlic mayo made this a sloppily satisfying! The sweetness from the caramelized onions was excellent as well, being the icing on top. We will definitely return again to try more of their burgers.
Ah, but I've gotten ahead of myself. Bread is always the starter that is provided at every table. During our previous visit, it was accompanied with the signature tomato dip which we grew less fond of, especially when it was used in everything else from pasta to pizzas. Now it's been changed to a more conventional olive oil and balsamic vinegar with extra herbs thrown in for flavour; we have to sing it's praises! We like this combination a lot better. The bread too has never been questioned at icook, as it's always thick yet light and fluffy inside.
The first thing we did when we reached was to ask Chef Nicola what his recommendations were, since we noticed the menu had expanded. He didn't hesitate to recommend this stew! The Tuscan Recipe Fish Stew is a rich tomato broth made up of sea bass, prawns, calamari and mussels, served with foccacia.
With all that seafood, there was hardly any more space for the soup itself! We ordered the starter size (RM 34.90 while the main course size costs RM 48.90), which held just enough broth for one person but had enough seafood for 2 to share. The tomato broth was had a nice tummy-warming kick to it and the seafood was excellent and fresh, making this a tasty, albeit expensive starter to the meal. If anything, I think we wished a bit more broth to this stew because we were both lapping it up.
For me, I could never truly get the Roast Chicken at icook out of my head. So on this trip there, I resisted temptation from other new creations, and stuck to the good old quarter roast chicken with potatoes. There were certainly no regrets, as the chicken remained tender and juicy, with crispy skin perfectly marinated with spices. After the complete flop of beer roasted chicken at Estate that we had just a few weeks back, I nearly shed tears of joy having found a good roast chicken again. No joke. =D
After a good meal, we're always enticed to order dessert. Alas, we seem to have this jinx of getting bad dessert when the main meal is good. icook continued the pattern, with this creme brulee turning out to be slightly disappointing no thanks to the overburnt sugar on top, giving it a noticeably bitter aftertaste.
Thankfully, the insides were top notch though, so I'd wouldn't mind returning to give it another go.
So after more than a year of opening, it's great to see icook going strong. The adjoining space which they also occupy has now been turned into an open kitchen, where cooking classes are held on a weekly basis. If you're ever looking for something different to do on a Saturday morning, give this a thought! We'd certainly vouch for the professionalism of Chef Nicola, and guarantee you won't come away empty-handed.
*All photos taken with an iPhone and some shaky hands.
B-06-01, Dataran 3 Two
Jalan 19/1, 46300 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: +6 03 7960 1691
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-9:30pm; Sat, 12pm-10:30pm