Publika in Solaris Dutamas is blessed with a wide variety of eating spots and one of my favourite would have to be Estilo, which specialises in Spanish Tapas and doubles as a great drinking spot with their extensive menu of sangrias and wines. It’s part of The Social group which also runs El Meson. Interestingly it’s located just a couple of doors away from The Social.
Estilo has a casual and relaxed ambience and at night it comes alive with pretty colours, though it’s also kept organic with exposed brick walls, and on display are many chalkboards, wine bottles dotting around the place. There are comfortable booths down the back of the restaurants, high tables with bar stools at the middle section and an al-fresco dining sections too.
Having dined at this place several moons ago, I was glad to receive an invite along with the Malaysian’s Hottest Bloggers to try out more of their dishes. How can I say no to Paella, right? Since our resident photographer Andy Kho was around, I am using his photos here instead. Let’s get started!
Coincidentally I just watched a movie called Chef where the main character quit his restaurant job and started a food truck selling Cuban sandwiches (if you love food you must watch this movie, it will make you hungry), so I was a little excited to try this. Although it’s pork free, the gooey cheese and the smear of mustard makes up for it.
Speaking of Chef, Estilo is headed by Chef Pedro (Who overlooks the all The Bluefire Group’s outlets) who came all the way from Spain. Having trained and worked for over 12 years in busy restaurant kitchens, he is committed not just to preparing excellent food, but serving it, in his own words, “in the most clean and attractive way possible”. Since he joined The Bluefire Group, he has developed some of his traditional hometown recipes into popular local favourites, whilst maintaining the integrity of the original dish. While being careful not to change the traditional recipes too much, he thrives to serve authentic Spanish dishes that will please the Malaysian palate. Gotta love a passionate chef!
The presentation of this dish is truly elegant. At first I was a little puzzled seeing the Oreos on the plate, but when Chef mentioned that it’s made with Olives I felt a bit more relieved. Couldn’t really detect much of wasabi but I love the umaminess of the olives, pairing really well with the melt-in-your-mouth salmon.
I could never resist a nice plce of Beef Carpaccio: Raw beef pounded to paper thin slices and garnished with manchego, pistachios and capers. The flavour combination is perfect.
Next was my favourite dish at Estilo: Goats Cheese baked in Filo Pastry, served with Pumpkin Jam and Caramelised Shallots. Lovers of Goats Cheese will definitely love this, with the unique and slightly pungent aroma mellowed by the sweet jam. The textural play with the melty cheese and crispy pastry is excellent too.
This salad may look rather busy, but it’s full of delicious things. The caviar added the decadence, while the combination of avocado, prawns and pineapple is surprisingly harmonious, with sweet balsamic reduction to round things off.
The other salad is lovely too, with layers of peas, beans, cucumbers, smoked salmon, rocket (arugula), surrounded by beets and grapes, dressed in mustard dressing. Great to fulfill your daily vegetable quota.
The Grilled Smoked Octopus comes with a rather theatrical display of smoke, inducing rounds of “Oohs” and “Aahs” around the table.
I love the dramatic presentation as well, with a whole tentacle in the middle atop bright orange piquillo sauce and cubes of root vegetables dotting the plate. The Octopus has a lovely smoky flavour and has a good chew. It’s a fun dish for sure.
My eyes definitely lit up when I saw the sheer size of the Paella. Interestingly, here the Seafood is serve on the side, not with the rice, perhaps to prevent overcooking. I love the aromatic rice, cooked to perfection with a bit of slightly charred crispy bits at the bottom, and the seafood was pretty fresh too. Definitely a satisfying dish on its own.
However, it was the grilled spatchcock spring chicken that won my heart, with its intense smoky flavour and juicy flesh. Yum!
I usually wouldn’t skip ordering Mushrooms in a Tapas place, and here this dish is executed perfectly with the soft mushrooms swimming in a garlic aromatic creamy sauce enriched with wine. So good!
Those with adventurous palate should try the Escargots. Unlike the usual French take with herbs and butter, this is served with a delicious creamy sauce spiked with leeks. I also think the roast apple is a nice touch. The snails themselves are exquisitely tender too.
While the lovers of lamb would enjoy this, packing a punch of flavours and roast to perfect tenderness.
After 2 rounds of savoury dishes, it was finally time for desserts.
This Caramelised Apple Tart comes heavily doused in caramel, so if you are not much of a sweet tooth you may have to tell the kitchen to be slightly less generous. The combination of cold and hot is superb though.
Since I can’t eat Chocolate, I didn’t try this dessert but according to fellow foodie Sharon, this was nice and smooth, and not overly sweet.
Thank you Pei Shyen for the lovely meal and we will be sure to return again for that Baked Goats Cheese in Pastry!
We adjourned to The Social after dinner for a few drinks and I was glad to have caught 9Lives (led by well-known local songstress Joy Victor) performing and had the opportunity to jam a song with her. Fun night!
No 34, Level G2 Block C5,
Publika Solaris Dutamas,
Jln Dutamas 1,
50480, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 6203 9883