Thursday, June 10, 2010

National Geographic Cafe @ Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur

Mention the word "National Geographic" and i can tell you its on Channel 553 on Astro. Its one of those channels that you tune to for the vivid wildlife, for the program to bring you to a place that you that can drift off to, a place that is not part of your daily lifestyle.

Once upon a time, you can drift off only from your couch, now you can also dream at the National Geographic Store at Lot 10 at their small and cozy cafe too!

The girl must be an icon by now, synonymous with National Geographic. In the store, you have a whole load of merchandise and their shelves of their yellow bordered magazines. One can spend hours browsing through them, although i am not sure if they plastic wrapped them or it is available for flipping through. Feel like buying an issue and immediately reading it?

Sit down at their cafe and enjoy with a beer or a juice. Estrella, a spanish beer is supposedly exclusive to this place, light on the palate and alcohol (4.6%), not too gassy, its a perfect afternoon tonic for hot weather.

Non alcoholics can have their virgin sangria too.

Feeling hungry and want to grab a bite?

Their cafe is among the first few in the country to introduce the concept of Pinchos. Imagine our commonly found tapas in literally individual portions, eaten with a toothpick ("pincho"). The brainchild behind the menu is Chef Miguel Espinosa, Spanish of course but it is none one other than a very sociable Angie Hiew, owner of the first Spanish restaurant in Malaysia, Flamenco and Sentidos Tapas at Starhill to implement it with her flair.

So why Spanish, you must be wondering? Apparently the franchise holders and headquarters lies in Spain and that has dictated the direction of the outlets even in UK and Singapore; pinchos being the main focus.

Can't picture what pinchos is like? Toothpick sized bites.

Brie served with toast and topped with green apple and a strawberry. Savoury with abit of sweet, cheese is also mild, perfect for introducing people to cheese.

A different kind of cheese, the bocconcini served with pesto and a cherry tomato. The texture is slightly on the tough side with a generous portion of pesto.

Salmon sashimi with a dab of wasabi mayonnaise on top of a slice of lemon. Fresh and a nice play on how you would it, if you were in a japanese restaurant.

Olives? Harvested last year and imported from Spain, marinated in olive oil for a couple of days. Not overly briney and still crunchy.

For the hot pinchos, you can get:
The lamb meatballs stuffed with mozarella cheese served with a herb like tomato sauce. Again, all you have to do is use the toothpick. Cheese is commonly used somehow but its at least different kinds of cheeses.

Surprise, surprise, more cheese! This time it is a Manchego cheese (hails from Spain), deep fried into cubes. Another very addictive dish that keeps your mouth busy while you flip through the pages.

Baked mussels with salsa sauce and bread crumbs, this time, there are wide open unlike my mishap experience.

Technically speaking, the concept comes from Spain but it doesn't mean the place does not have the avenue to incorporate some local flavours. The chicken satay here is to die for, the only item that i am dying to get my hands on when i do return. Well marinated chicken chunks and a not overly spicy fragant peanut sauce.

Spicy prawns? Well seared prawns sitting on a bed of chilli and lime tartar sauce.

These may look simple but the chipolata have jalapeno and cheese in them. Becareful when you bite into it!

Now if you find yourself over here one night, looking for desserts, try the combination of Cava, a spanish sparkling wine and their chocolate fondue.

I understand a standard bottle can be all yours for RM120. An unbelievable price considering that Cava is generally more expensive than Prosecco and the cheapest i had was in Bangsar for RM110.

Served with an assorted of fresh fruits dipped into good dark chocolate, the combination is sublime. I hope by now, you are still interested in that magazine of yours and not lost in the ocean of food.

With the Actors Studio located on the rooftop of Lot 10, one can grab a quick meal here before the show! Do call if you want some more substantial like a 3 course meal, they may just oblige too.

Address and contact details:

T16 and T17, Third Floor,
Lot 10 Shopping Centre,
50 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Pork free and all meat used are halal, no certificate because of the alcohol served

Tel: 03-21448288

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Definitely exceeded expectation, did not expect such a pleasant place with good food to be hidden in the corner of a National Geographic Store.

A big thanks to Angie for being the kind soul, running through all the dishes and concepts and Ogilvy Malaysia for the invitation.

Do look out for their Grand Opening this 19th June! A proper menu with pricing should be out by then. Meanwhile, i understand a plate of pinchos may come in 4-6 pieces and are priced quite decently, along with sandwiches too.


Fui Lemonadelime said...

wow, my most favorite brie cheese together with fruits and crispy toast, always awesome :D

suhaisweet said...

nice n3..visit mine if free k.;D

Sean said...

just imagine ... less than a year ago, there was nothing worthwhile to eat at lot 10. now there's hutong for casual meals, teeq for fine dining, and nat geo for something in between. and all three are really good! but of course, it would still be nice to have more, more, more! :D

J said...

Now there are really too many choices in Lot 10. :D

ai wei said...

quite an interesting place to drop by. nowadays lot10 is getting more n more happening liaoz

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I like their tapas. Am glad that there are now options at Lot 10. :-)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ll: its pinchos, my darling haha. yes m starting to like their options..

ai wei: yes more happening definitely, got club somemore, rooftop

j: i rather like more than less..

sean: a year ago, it was rather dead hor..

suhaisweet: will do

fui: ur fav cheese? not too bad, quite mild.

vialentino said...

wow...very unique food....can give a try and see....

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

via: yes its unique, not everyday u get to eat so many cheeses!

jason said...


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

jason: memang!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

That's quite an interesting way of serving chicken satay. ;)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

bbabe: n i really loved it too!

CUMI & CIKI said...

great shots joe! for one i don't need to twist my head like vertigo all :P haha

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

c&c: haha ok la, i will skip the collages..

tricia said...

wao, u leave me dying to go now.