Friday 4 September 2015

East Awkwardly Meets West at Melur & Thyme ~ Nu Sentral

Melur & Thyme was first and foremost an intriguing and catchy name that instantly tells you that they're a fusion restaurant. Aiming to celebrate nostalgia, bringing East and West, Old and New together, the menu is a combination of the rather traditional Malaysian Melur and the Thyme twist of the west.

It is located next to Sangkaya on the highest floor at Nu Sentral.

Mint Limeade Mocktail (RM18) & Fresh Orange Juice (RM13)

LC's first reaction when the drinks arrived was "Why is your drink that much larger than mine?!" but in an instance, I regretted that my Mint Limeade was larger than his orange juice. The mocktail had hints of mint and lime with excessive amounts of soda water. I would also like to point out the lack of 'fresh mint leaves' mentioned in the drink's description. Neither sweet or sour, the badly balanced mocktail got harder to drink as the night progressed.

Melur & Thyme has an unusual twist on tapas - it's served with rice or bread and comes in a small or large portion. If you order a large tapas, it's enough to feed an adult as a main meal.

Crispy Aromatic Duck (Comes in only one size RM32)

Hardly crispy nor aromatic, the pan fried shredded duck was probably Melur & Thyme's fusion take on Peking Duck even though Peking Duck is already part of their menu. Served with roti jala, raw chips of garlic, sliced green chilli and lettuce leaves, the intention was to wrap and consume all the ingredients together. 

Roti jala was probably not the best choice to serve with the shredded duck as it's usually served with watery sauces or curries so the odd medley of items was rather dry even after a drizzle of sambal, hoisin sauce and plum sauce. Also, we should have foregone the additional carb altogether as the dish itself was well composed as a whole. The duck fortunately was not gamey and quite tender but the mismatched flavors didn't quite jive with both of us.

Duck Satay (Small RM12, Large RM21)

The duck satay fared better. Well-seasoned, the marinade managed to cut through the gamey odor of the duck giving you a refreshing scent of aromatics. Juicy and tender, the flamed skewers were well done though I pined for some ketupat instead of bread or rice.

I should have foregone the bread. It was mediocre and seemed haphazardly thrown in just to justify the RM12 paid.

M&T Nasi Berlauk Istimewa (RM26)

After the less than impressive 'tapas', I was looking forward to the main dish. The M&T nasi berlauk istimewa came with a large serving of rice, fried chicken halba, acar nenas, ikan masin, fried tempe, daun selom and traditional sambal belacan. The fried chicken was well done - moist on the inside and crisp on the outside with hints of aromatic rempah. The acar nenas and fried tempe although not out of place was neither flavorful nor unappealing. The fried ikan masin added a nice crunch while the flavorful sambal belacan was a good complement. The dish was overall alright but not as istimewa as I hoped it to be.

Durian Tiramisu (RM15)

When the dessert arrived, I had a bad feeling from the stiff unmoving block of tiramisu. Furthermore, there was no fragrant durian scent when it was placed on the table. It seemed to be a mixture of cream cheese and durian flavor with dry lady fingers topped with contrasting cocoa powder. 

You're hit with a questionable sour taste and a barely there durian flavor - I say flavor because I did not get any durian pulp textures in it- followed by a hard curd like texture. We had friends sitting in the table next to us and after getting them to try the tiramisu, the plate was passed back to us with an eerie silence. Needless to say, I was severely disappointed as I was really looking forward to a good end to the meal.

Enamored by the concept of Melur & Thyme, the food left much to be desired.  Coupled with prices that was a bitter pill to swallow, we were not sure whether we ordered all the wrong items (3 out of the 4 items we ordered were Chef Specials by the way) or food was generally lackluster. There was a glimmer of hope as our friend's Gambas in Salsa (grilled tiger prawns with homemade plancha sauce) tasted decent but we're not keen on a revisit after this experience.
Other reviews can be found at Eat Drink KL, Pure Glutton and Malaysian Flavours.