Monday, 4 July 2016

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels, Damansara Uptown

The cafe-craze-frenzy-wave seems to be never ending in the Klang Valley. Damansara folks have been experiencing a fluctuation of new cafes mushrooming in every nook and cranny of their neighbourhood, it is so hard to catch on the wave!

The first floor of the corner lot of one of the busies street in Damansara Utama (same row as the famous Village Park Nasi Lemak!) which used to house Ecole P, a elementary school themed cafe, has now re-branded into Ampersand by Culinary Rebels, a restaurant/dive bar that specializes in the perfect marriage of East & West cuisine.
Lemongrass Lychee Tea RM10
Lychee Cooler RM10
Latte RM10

American-style breakfast is always associated to cafes. Whereas Banana Leaf Rice, is always associated to Banana Leaf Rice Restaurants. Don't walk into Ampersand expecting your typical cafe food staple -  Ampersand arranged a perfect marriage between American-style breakfast and banana leaf, as their brunch menu features a unique, built-to-share, western style brunch with a touch of local taste:

Note: Brunch is served only on weekends.
Banana Leaf Breakfast 4 pax RM60 | 2pax RM35
Scrambled eggs, crispy grilled bacon, tomato relish, mixed mushroom, hashbrown, double cooked potatoes, German bratswurts, lebanese bread

Western-styled breakfast food, dished out in front of you one by one: potatoes, mushrooms, eggs...etc.- just like when you're having a banana leaf rice meal. The Banana Leaf Breakfast was certainly a breakfast fit for a king - all the typical western breakfast staple, with a local touch! Appealing to the eyes and stomach, and a fresh respite for cafe-hoppers Instagram feed which is usually saturated with your typical brunch dishes.

Monster Breakfast RM99
Scrambled Eggs, BBQ Pork Ribs, Char Siew Pork Belly, Bacon, German Bratwurst, Hashbrown, Lebanese Bread
An up-scaled and meatier version of Banana Leaf Breakfast. The name Monster said it all - the serving size is fit to feed a monster! 
The ribs were cooked to tender perfection - the meat flaked off effortlessly from the bones. The meat served at Ampersand leans towards the sweeter side though. Being a fan of  the sweet + savoury combo, I thought the ribs were a great addition alongside with the savoury German Bratwurst and scrambled eggs which were done right.
It's a WRAP! 2 pax RM44
Tortilla, Pulled BBQ Ribs, Char Siew Pork Belly, Egg, Pickled Cucumber, Greens, Raita, Mango Sauce, Salsa

Construct your own wrap by mixing and matching with your favourite ingredients! We were spoilt with three different types of sauces ranging from the savoury Raita (a type of Chutney) to the sweet Salsa and Mango sauce which was on the other end of the sourish spectrum.

I prefer the lean, Pulled BBQ Ribs over the Char Siew Pork Belly as I find the pork belly tad fatty - I am not such a big fan of fats so the high ratio of fats to lean meat of the Char Siew Pork Belly wasn't exactly my cup of tea. But nevertheless, it is all up to preferences.
The Sinful French 2 pax RM28 | 2-4 pax RM40
French Toast, Bacon, Brulee Banana, Blueberries, Strawberries, Peanut Butter Sauce & Gula Melaka
So sinful but so good. Fluffy french toast, with a sweetness just right, paired up with the perfectly caramalized banana and bacon for a touch of savoury.
I loved the Peanut Butter Sauce as it was not too cloying and provided a subtle hint of nutty aromatic, though my friends preferred if it packed with more peanut-ty taste.

Done with the brunch, and off we go to the mains! Unlike the brunch dishes, the mains are available daily, all day long, weekdays & weekends.
X-Rated by the Magician RM36
German Pork Belly (approx 350g) marinated with char siew sauce, served with their in-house special tofu puree and peanut butter mustard

The pork belly was perfectly marinated with a fat to lean meat ratio that was just nice. I absolutely loved their tofu puree and peanut butter mustard. As I sunk my teeth into the meat, my taste buds immerse in the flavourful sweet marinate of the pork belly, which was mellowed down by the creamy tofu puree, and a hint of aromatic nutty taste from the peanut butter mustard - somehow all just came together oh-so-perfectly.

Rebellion by Ray RM36
German Pork Belly (approx 350g), Traffic Light sauce: Chimichurri, Spiced Pine-Mango Chutney, & Capsicum Berry Sauce, Flashed Fried Cherry Tomato, Salad and Crunchy Capers

The Traffic Light Sauce was the star of the dish - why Traffic Light? Because the colours of the sauces (Red:Capsicum Berry Sauce , Yellow: Mango Chutney & Green: Chimichurri).
The meat was tad tough and dry to eat on its own on my opinion. But once paired with the sauce, it turned out fine.

Overall, Ampersand has a unique East meet West menu. Personal recommendation would be X-Rated and The Sinful French.

Ampersand by Culinary Rebels
19A Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya

Business Hours:
Weekdays: 11am-3pm ; 5pm-11pm
Weekends: 10am-3pm ; 5pm-11pm
Closed on Wenesdays

Contact Number: 03-77329711
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ampersandbyculinaryrebels/


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