The Crispy Duck with Crispy Rice totally got me. I thought it was an amazing combination at Tabletalk, a café in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. It was comfort food at its best – a deep fried duck leg sitting atop rice in a delicate fish soup, and topped with aromatic, crispy rice.
The duck had been marinated with spices, steamed and then deep fried. The skin was crackling and the juicy meat fell off the bone in this fragrant crispy duck (heong so ngap).
It matched well with the soup that had chopped choysam and mushrooms, and rice in it. The crispy rice released a roasted aroma at the bite, and it was delicious altogether.
The Cod with Fried Peppercorns stood out as well. It was a lightly grilled cod sitting in a fish broth steeped from cod bones and chicken, with clams and diced potato in it. Cherry tomatoes were added in last.
The soup was flavourful, but the fried black, white and red cracked peppercorns on top of the fish gave it that zesty, fragrant kick. It worked well as the flavours were in balance.
The Sambal Seafood Spaghetti was delicious. It was like eating pasta tossed in an asam sauce with clams, prawns and squid in it. It was also spicy and garlicky.
Earlier, we shared starters of Salmon Duo, Spicy Beef Brisket and Grilled Stuffed Chicken Wings. Salmon tartare and salmon mousse made up the plate for the Salmon Duo, with a small salad and the crispiest toast. Fresh-chopped salmon, dill and shallots were in the tartare which was topped with sour cream. I preferred the tartare over the salmon mousse.
The Spicy Beef Brisket needed a little tweaking to bring out the flavours. We had another portion that had more mint and less sugar in its sweet and tart dressing, and it was fine.
The Stuffed Chicken Wings were really good. The boneless wings had been stuffed with chicken sausage and a little cheese. They were smoky and succulent, tumbling the sausage and melted cheese wrapped up in crispy chicken skin on to the palate.
Mini Wagyu Burgers were on the menu too, with three served on a wooden paddle, together with a bowl of air-fried potato chips. The lightly-toasted sesame bun had a flavourful and juicy wagyu beef patty touched with a little wasabi, beef bacon and thin beetroot slices, lettuce and cheese in between. You wouldn’t want to share this scrumptious burger.
The Crispy Duck Tortilla presented shredded fragrant crispy duck together with julienned cucumber, spring onions and hoisin sauce. Some thin, fluffy pau or soft pancakes would have been delightful with these, instead of the thick, dry tortilla. I have told the chef, and he has taken note.
For dessert, we dig in the French Toast with Ice-cream which turned out to be just as good as those in the fancier cafes in Solaris Dutamas. The cubes of bread were crispy, eggy and buttery, with a tinge of salt to balance the sweetness.
They were drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with vanilla ice-cream. You could also have pancakes or chocolate with ice-cream here.
Tabletalk has an extensive pork-free menu that takes you from breakfast to dinner. You could have a Deconstructed Egg Benedict (RM15), Cheese Omelette (RM13), Fluffy Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Fruits (RM12), or the Ultimate Brekkie (RM18) with eggs, turkey ham, sausages, rosti potatoes, baked beans and toast.
Here are prices of some of the food: The Salmon Duo is RM19, Stuffed Chicken Wings RM15, Crispy Duck with Crispy Rice RM18, Spicy Beef Brisket RM19, Mini Wagyu Beef Burgers RM36.
Tabletalk is open from 8am to 11pm. It is located at No 4, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Tel: 03-7733 7718.