Stoked KL x John Doe: A Pop-up Dining Experience

2015 sees quite a few exciting restaurants opening up in Klang Valley and Stoked is definitely one of them. Formerly Ribs by Vintry, this restaurant remains a brainchild of the Vintry group. Owner Yin How has many plans for this place, and one of it has materialised just last week; A collaboration with John Doe London for a few days of Pop-up Dining Experience. I was among the lucky ones to be invited to dine at this event, many thanks to Cheng Yi who insisted I should go out anyway despite being all stressed out about the R.AGE Food Fight.

The main attraction of Stoked is Bertha; a British-built, cast iron charcoal & wood-fired oven. This beast cooks meat and vegetables at super high temperatures (up to 600 degree Celsius) to lock in the juices and flavours while imparting a lovely smokiness in the dish. John Doe London happens to be a Bertha equipped Restaurant too, the Guest Chefs should feel almost right at home then.

All Smiles from the Chefs, while busying assembling our dishes.

Featuring a 6-course menu, it was a mixture of recipes brought in directly from London and experimental ones using local produce, some of the ingredients were even flown in from London, bringing an authentic London dining experience to our doorstep. We had the wine pairing (of course) and the first pour was a surprisingly floral Chardonnay, Heritiers Lafon Milly Lamartine 2013 (Macon, Burgundy).

Ash-roasted leeks, with lentils & a creamy tarragon dressing

Leek is such an underrated vegetable. With proper cooking technique, it can be quite unforgettable. the pungent aftertaste mellowed, giving in to gentle sweetness. Here, the leeks are roughly chopped, roasted until succulent, with enough caramelization for flavours, and a tangy herbaceous dressing to complete the picture.

Grilled Cornish octopus with chickpeas, paprika & aioli

It’s hard not to like Octopus, especially when it’s grilled to perfection. Once again another perfect vehicle to carry the smoky flavour, these chopped up tentacles were further enhanced by a combination of herb vinaigrette and mustardy aioli. I’m not a fan of chickpeas so they all went to Ciki’s mouth! This one’s paired with Domaine Trimbach Pinot Gris 2012 (Alsace, France), which I thought it’s a little on the light side, but nevertheless delightful to drink.

We moved on to poultry dishes and first starter is not for the faint hearted.

Seared Duck Hearts

Yes! I am partial to all things offals so this is definitely right up my alley. People should really eat more offal, not only it’s a cheaper alternative, it’s much tastier too; plus it’s packed with a lot more nutrients. That aside, the hearts here are a little over-seared to my taste, then again I prefer my offals slightly pink (or red, depending on circumstances). The capers and herbs help offset the slight gamey taste for those who might be a little afraid. Great dish. Better when paired with Domaine Vieux Telegraphe Telegramme Chateauneuf du Pape 2012 (Rhone, France).

Brined chicken satay with wood-roasted peanut sauce.

The other choice for starter was the chicken satay. Here we see them attempting a local dish, where the chicken is soaked in brine before grilling to retain its juices. The satay itself, was decent enough, but that accompanying salad really stood out, especially with the prized crispy chicken skin.

Coal Baked Crab Craw with Keralan Curry Sauce, Cucumber Tomato Salad, Coconut Chutney

Flower crab, though not the meatiest of crab, was chosen for its distinct sweetness. The curry sauce surprised me with its depth of flavours; but the star of this dish has to be that coconut chutney, complementing the rice and curry perfectly. I’d be happily devouring a full portion of this.

Berkshire Pork Chop with Salsa Verde

The choice for main course is a tough one. First, you have the Berkshire Pork Chop, served with salsa verde, a medley of green herbs (note that herbs are used very extensively in this menu, which totally ticked my boxes). Succulent meat with sufficient bite, and fatty bit for true porcine lovers like me. I personally love this, although I’m not a big fan of lentils (legumes, in general), these were tasty with that meaty broth.

Venison Haunch with Bone Marrow & Watercress.

Luckily we didn’t have to make the choice and got to taste both dishes (sharing’s caring, as we always say) and while the venison is a little on the gamey side for me, that bone marrow however, is the bomb. Completely unctuous, it’s only for those who can truly tolerate animal fat. Maybe not an experience you want to repeat too often, but I say embrace it when it’s there.

Tenuta Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2009 (Tuscany, Italy)

The Brunello deserves a picture on its own, a full bodied red, which is perfect match with the main dishes.

Valrhona Chocolate Terrine, Roasted Pistachios.

Probably one of the most chocolate-y dessert I’ve had to date, this chocolate terrine is intense! Sad to give away half of mine because I had to sing the same day, needed to preserve my voice. But enough for me to remember for days to come.

Thank you Stoked for having us and I hope to return soon (like really soon).

Jalan Kasah, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.
Daily, 12pm-3pm, 6pm-late.
Tel: 03-2096-1645
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