Food Review – Estilo Spanish Tapas Bar & Charcoal Grill at Publika, Kuala Lumpur
[Food & Beverage Feature]
I must admit that this was the very first time that I dined at Estilo although I do pass the restaurant on my way to events at Black Box or White Box, so I was pretty curious to taste the food. I’m no stranger to Spanish food as I regularly visit other Spanish restaurants in KL so I was ready for whatever the chef was going to throw my way! With me were MHB’s resident food bloggers Kelly Siew and Sharon Loh, our official photographer Andy Kho, and our respective partners.
Estilo’s interior deco is warm and cosy comprising mostly of low dining tables in the indoor aircon section as well as the al-fresco section while you could also opt to sit at the bar. As the music is not too loud and the environment generally not too noisy, I think Estilo would be a nice place to bring your partner our for a meal and drinks to have some good conversations.
Mojito – RM28.00 (L) and my Bloody Mary – RM25.00 (R)
Before I could drink anything I first finished up a whole glass of Bloody Mary as I was nursing quite a bad hangover from the night before. Five (5) minutes after I finished the Bloody Mary and its revitalising effect did its job and I was ready to go!
Estrella – RM22.00 per bottle
I was curious to try this brand of Spanish beer and I quite liked it! A light and refreshing beer which complements food as it does not have overpowering hops flavours.
The girls and Andy had other drinks and I didn’t really try them as I’m not a fan of cocktails but I guess the girls really enjoyed them as they had quite a few that night:
- The Social White Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) – RM17.00
- Estilo Sangria – RM27.00
- Apple Sangria – RM25.00
- Mojito Sangria – RM31.00
Estilo’s kitchen is manned by Chef Pedro Luis Diaz Avila who hails from Spain, and is a trained and professional chef with twelve years of experience under his belt. Chef Pedro shared with us that not only is he committed to preparing excellent food, but he also likes the food to be served “in the most attractive way possible”. This is quite true as a couple of the dishes like the octopus and the smoked salmon (which you will read below) came served with a cloche (which was full of condensed steam thus we couldn’t see through it) covering the food then once the plate was placed on the table the cloche was opened revealing the dish!
Chef Pedro began his journey into the world of culinary at the National Kitchen School in Santander, Spain, and after graduating, Pedro quickly moved on to various hotels to be responsible for supervising and controlling the quality of raw material for relevant parties. He then became Sous-Chef to two different eateries in Spain, one being a restaurant that catered specifically to fine diners, eventually working his way up to the position of Executive Chef.
After a respectable eleven years in Spain with a firm foundation in the food industry, Chef Pedro decided to take his expertise abroad with Malaysia as a starting point after watching Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment which was shot in KL and Malacca. Chef Pedro has been Head Chef of The Bluefire Group since 2012, developing some of his traditional hometown recipes into popular local favourites, whilst maintaining the integrity of the original dish. His biggest challenge is to serve authentic Spanish dishes which will find favour with the Malaysian palate, while being careful not to over-“localise” such various offerings.
To go along with the meal were a couple of condiments with different tastes to suit different dishes. I didn’t ask what they were but they really did go very well with most of the dishes especially to cut through the rich taste of the creamy dishes like the sauteed mushrooms and escargots.
Cubanito (RM20.00) – Mini Cuban sandwich with ham, cheese & mustard
Smoked Salmon with Wasabi Oreo (RM22.00) – Special house smoked salmon with cream cheese
This was a most deceiving dish. Everyone thought the black and white things on the top left were Oreos until we took a bite and discovered that it’s actually olives with a hint of wasabi and cream cheese (the white cream in the centre) very cleverly disguised as Oreos! Don’t worry as the wasabi taste is not too strong.
Beef Carpaccio (Tenderloin) (RM24.00) – With shaved manchego, pistachios & capers
Beautifully carved, tender, flavourful and juicy slices of beef complemented by its toppings. I could have a couple of plates of this one all to myself.
Queso de Cabra Crujiente (RM22.00) – Oven baked goat’s cheese in light filo pastry, with pumpkin jam & caramelised shallots
I can eat cheese. Blue cheese, aged cheese, you name it and I’ll eat it. This is a great dish for cheese lovers. The pumpkin jam and caramelised shallots added their flavours to what would otherwise be a very creamy dish.
Baby Spinach Salad & Marinated Prawns (RM26.00) – With avocado & pineapple
CAVIAR!!! And a lot of it! This has to be my all time favourite salad! The rich and savoury flavours of the caviar complemented the vege and prawns while the pineapples added some acidity to balance out the dish. Oh yeah the avocado added some richness as well! This was certainly a well thought out dish!
Paella Ciega (small – RM66.00/ large – RM124.00) – Seafood paella with grilled seafood on the side
I think it’s a pretty good idea serving the seafood on the side as opposed to in the paella as it gives diners a choice of the seafood they want. Especially good for people who don’t eat certain seafood. I thought the fresh grilled seafood went very well with the paella ranking this one as one of the best I’ve tried.
Pulpo a la Parrilla (In-house Special) (RM48.00) – Grilled Spanish smoked octopus served in a cloche with piquillo sauce
I liked the fact that the outlet took some time to consider the presentation as well as the food as if you’ve managed to wow your guests before they even touch the food I’d say you’re already halfway there to winning their hearts!
I’m not a fan of octopus as it more often than not turns out pretty rubbery at most eateries where I have it but I must say that this dish won me over with the octopus firm but not rubbery/ chewy while having a nice smoked flavour to it.
Green Vege Salad & Smoked Salmon (RM28.00) – With mustard dressing
This is one for vege lovers (like one of my partner’s in crime whom I must bring to Estilo as I’m sure she’ll love this dish). Rocket, beets, grapes, cucumbers and smoked salmon make up this salad which comes with a mustard sauce which is not too overwhelming.
Pollo (RM28.00) – Grilled spatchcock spring chicken served with potato wedges, mushrooms and blue cheese sauce
Champiñones (RM16.00) – Sautéed mixed mushrooms in garlic, wine & cream
A pretty common Spanish dish that was well prepared ensuring that the mushrooms remained juicy and not rubbery.
Escargots (RM24.00) – Escargots with leeks & cream sauce, roast apples
The escargots were served out of their shells which is great for lazy eaters like myself who hate digging them out of their shells as it normally gets quite messy. The leeks and cream sauce, and the apples balanced out the flavours of this dish well and I didn’t let any of the sauce go to waste.
Corderos Lamb Costillos (RM58.00) – Whole rack baby lamb ribs
This is heaven for a meat eater like me! Delicious and juicy lamb ribs with just the right amount of crispy charring on the top! I could have finished the whole dish by myself if the others weren’t there…
Tarta Manzana (RM16.00) – Caramelised apple tart cooked to order, served with vanilla ice cream
This is a dessert which is a bit more on the sweet side so you sweet tooths out there – go ahead and order this!
Choco Mousse & Raspberry (RM16.00) – With mint chocolate chips ice cream
There’s only one word to describe this – decadent!
Rich and delicious chocolate mousse which is not too sweet (I hate sweet desserts!). What an ending to the meal!
Estilo serves delicious traditional Spanish food and if you’re looking for something besides the normal breakfast fares or local food in the eateries in Publika you should really try Estilo.
Estilo Spanish Tapas Bar & Charcoal Grill is located at:
No 34, Level G2 Block C5,
Publika Solaris Dutamas,
Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480, Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: +603 6203 9883
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/estilo.my
Estilo is pork free but serves alcohol.
The photos above were shot by Andy Kho (www.andykho.com) using the new Sony a5100.
More info on the Sony Alpha 5100 at http://www.sony.com.my/product/ilce-5100l
After dinner we decided to check out the live band at Social which was a few doors away from Estilo and had some drinks while we were there.
The drinks we had (left to right):
- Macallan 12 Yrs – RM28.00
- The Social White Sauvignon Blanc – RM20.00
- The Social Special (red) – RM38.00
- The Social Illiusion (blue) – RM28.00