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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Revisit: Iberico Kitchen @ Ara Damansara

We had a celebration in the family and I was asked to suggest a place and since I loved the food and the picturesque surroundings (in the afternoon) the last time I was here (and vowed to return then), I knew it would look even more impressive and beautiful at night.

So, with my extended family of ten in tow, I found myself returning to Iberico Kitchen @ Ara Damansara once again, this time for dinner.

We got down to ordering our drinks and I remembered The Cleanser @ RM12.90 I had the last time was so good, I ordered that immediately.  [#Note: In fact, half the table went with this drink while others had Watermelon Juice @ RM12.90, Hot Lemongrass with Honey @ RM7.90, Iced Lemongrass with Honey @ RM8.90 & Iced Lemon Tea @ RM7.90.]  This drink is a mixture of blended pineapple chunks with fresh thyme and a squeeze of lemon.  The drink was still good...just not as good as what I had the first time (even a friend who revisited thought so too).  The taste of the fresh pineapple and fragrant thyme leaves didn't come through as much (even at first sip) as it was filled with too much ice that diluted the taste.

Some of us ordered starters of soups.  This was the Pumpkin Spices Soup @ RM10 made from roasted pumpkin with nutmeg and vegetable stock served with a slice of garlic herbed baguette.  The soup was not as thick but still jam packed with flavour.  I actually prefer my soups with a thinner consistency as I don't quite like those with an almost puree-like texture.

And this was the Wild Infused Mushroom Soup @ RM11 made from fresh sautéed mushrooms and house-made mushroom stock and also served with a piece of garlic herbed baguette.  Again, it's not the overly thick type and less creamier than some I've had before but the tiny chunks of mushroom give you a bit more of a bite.

Iberico Meatballs Special @ RM29 (which I already tried on my previous visit)

The best dish I had here the last time was none other than their speciality...their signature Iberico ribs.  Three family members ordered the Original Iberico Spare Ribs (Qtr Rack) @ RM11 per 100g.  So, depending on the size and weight of the ribs, the three ribs platters cost RM58.30, RM50.60 and RM39.60 (pity whoever got the smallest one).

The quarter rack comes with one side dish (and two for half and full racks).  I noticed that the choices of side dish have been streamlined to just five (but still offering enough choices) and they're pineapple salsa, house salad, mashed potatoes, paprika fries and pilaf rice.  Two of the rib dishes came with pineapple salsa and one with pilaf rice.

Although the ribs I had last time were honey glazed, which was slightly sweeter and had a darker caramelisation, the highly marbled original ribs were just as outstanding...so juicy and fully flavoured.  The marbled meat (which contain healthy mono-saturated fats high in oleic acid that's good for you) with a melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness received an all round 'thumbs up' for the dish of the night!

The Aglio Olio @ RM29 (spaghetti with sliced Iberico Collar which I've had before)

The Carbonara @ RM29 (creamy pasta with pan-seared Iberico Collar which I didn't taste)

One family member had the Iberico Collar on Mashed Potatoes @ RM37 served with a side of grilled vegetables.  The Iberico collar slices were tender and juicy with a bit of fat running through it.  The mashed potatoes were very palatable as well...nice and smooth.

Next up were a couple of new dishes which weren't on the menu when I last ate here.  I went with the Iberico Shoulder Loin Special @ RM58 served with mashed potatoes, mushrooms and a mixed salad.  The mushrooms were nicely sautéed and the bits of fried garlic on top added flavour (except they were a bit heavy handed with the salt this time).

For this particular dish, you'd be asked as to how you want your shoulder loin cooked and I asked for medium rare.  It arrived perfectly cooked with a very pinkish centre, and a nice sear on the outside...and was absolutely tender and juicy.  Because this is premium pork, having it medium rare is not a problem.  The brown sauce was a great accompaniment to the loin slices.

Two family members chose the Iberico Pork Chop @ RM49 served with mashed potatoes and salad.  The pork chop had a great sear on the outside with a truly fragrant flavour.  As the pork chop was a lean cut, the meat wasn't exceptionally tender but had a bit of a bite (as expected) but wasn't chewy.  This was served with the same brown sauce as the shoulder loin and turned out to be my next favourite dish after the ribs.

Another surprise hit was the Iberico Collar Signature Fried Rice @ RM29 served with fried egg, boiled vegetables of cauliflower and broccoli with a side of sambal.  I think fried rice would be the last thing anyone would order but it turned out to be surprisingly good.  The rice fried with bits of fragrant and crunchy iberico collar, long beans, carrot and egg had good "wok hei" (breath of the wok) that proved to be flavoursome and delicious to the last grain of rice.

We ended our meal with two orders of dessert (the only two on the menu), the Chocolate Fondant @ RM15 (served with a scoop, that looked more like a glob :D, of vanilla ice cream)......

.....and Crema Catalana also @ RM15 (served with a watermelon salsa).  Let's just say both missed the mark and leave it at that! >.<  After all, desserts aren't their forte!  Having said that, I think it would be better to just leave them out from the menu as you surely wouldn't want your customers' last impression of your restaurant to be that...kekeke! ;D

I was surprised that Wilson (the owner) still remembered me from my previous visit 6 months ago (he said, "yeah, of course I remember you, you're the food blogger").  Wilson is experimenting with the idea of introducing a third flavour for his ribs.  He's always innovating and I read that he's also planning to create an Iberico bak kut teh dish, so expect to see more in the months ahead. 

After dinner, take a stroll around Oasis Square to walk off your dinner and, at the same time, take in the beautiful and serene night view of the place.  There's also an abundance of other food options here.

My Personal Opinion

They have successfully maintained their excellent standards and taste of their food.  Of late, we've seen prices going up but not the other way round and I was pleasantly surprised to see a reduction in prices of some of their menu items which augurs well for us.  So, what better time than now to visit or revisit those awesome ribs.....a must-order when you come here.

As I would prefer to feature other (or new) places on my blog, I seldom revisit places I've blogged about but Iberico Kitchen is not one of them...the exceptional premium Iberico pork will always draw me back! ;)

Iberico Kitchen
Block D Unit D-G-07 Oasis Square
Jalan PJU 1A/7A Ara Damansara
47301 Petaling Jaya
Selangor
Tel: 03-7859 9296

14 comments:

  1. Pumpkin soup, my girl's favourite. The mushroom is so dark - shitake? I don;t mind that with its own taste but I prefer the creamy lighter coloured ones, buttons.

    The desserts looked good - no good, eh? Ya...they do not have scoop to scoop out the vanilla ice cream? That looks like something I would have when having ice cream at home. Too lazy to look for the scoop, just use the spoon. Hehehehe!!!!

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    1. The mushroom soup probably had a mix of mushrooms but shiitake should be prominently there. I like both.

      You're right, the presentation of the ice cream looks like something we'd put up at home, so it was disappointing to see as I believe, when it comes to desserts especially, we always feast with our eyes first! ;)

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  2. Ah! I was supposed to go for lunch here with my brother this weekend but something came up and he had to cancel. I have the ribs in mind and the quarter rack looks like quite a small portion to me. Perhaps I should go for the half rack. The Iberico Shoulder Loin Special you ordered looks really good. I have not eaten medium rare pork before. Too bad the desserts were a disappointment.

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    1. Aww....I hope you make it here for makan one day....and, yes, the quarter rack will be too small a portion for you! ;) But since you don't enjoy a special (like cheaper) price if you order the half rack (like some other places) as it's by weight here, I would suggest that you order half rack each of the original and honey flavours, that way you can taste both (or even share that with your brother) and have another main like the pork chop or shoulder loin....mmm, that sounds more like it, right? Fast, fast reschedule and come here! ;D

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  3. How did he know you are the food blogger? You told him when you were chatting the last time you came? I'm disappointed that there was no Iberico "char siew" that you speculated previously, he should pay more attention to what you write hehehe! But Iberico BKT sounds intriguing too!

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    1. Yes, I mentioned to him that I'd be writing a blog about his place the last time we chat...and I was surprised he remembered me from then. Hehe...I'm no chef, so I wouldn't be so smart as to propose Iberico char siew, that was his idea which he mooted to me when we last met. I guess the kitchen experiments didn't work out and it didn't make it on the menu. We'll have to see if his idea of the Iberico BKT turns out, though I can't quite imagine the taste. I'm more eager to find out about the third flavour for his ribs...and hope that turns out commercially viable and makes it onto the menu.

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  4. This seems like a place I must visit but only for lunch so I will miss the beautiful nice scenery. So sad. Eh, how come you say you like the pork chop 2nd best next to the ribs? How about the Iberico Shoulder Loin Special? 3rd place? Why did it lose to the pork chop? I see the Iberico Shoulder Loin Special until I lau hau sui like what Princess Ribbon would say.

    I want the smallest rib meal, thank you.

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    1. Yes, you must visit...it'll still be a nice walk if the day isn't too hot. The Iberico shoulder loin was very tender (like you're eating a good piece of steak) but the fragrance of the nice sear on the pork chop (but with a chew) just nudged ahead by a whisker for me.

      You want the smallest rib meal? No problem, order a quarter rack and share with your spouse but since these ribs aren't very meaty, you might just be able to finish on your own :)

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  5. My favourite soup is pumpkin, I can't go past it when it's on the menu. :-)

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    1. For some reason, I don't usually order pumpkin soup when I see it on the menu and that's because I've had a few disastrous ones before! :(

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  6. yay! always good to endorse the restaurants that remain consistent in their standards :D

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    1. Not only have their maintained their standards, they've also reduced prices....so that's a double yay! ;D

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  7. The pork chop looks good and the portion of the pork ribs looks small which most probably can't feed me up :P

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    1. That means you can order both the pork ribs and the pork chop....and devour both! ;)

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