Monroe – a chill dining experience serving modern American cuisine

Monroe – a chill dining experience serving modern American cuisine

A variety of well-crafted dishes and relaxing atmosphere come together at the KLoé Hotel

LOCATED at the classily appointed KLoé Hotel near the heart of KL (just a short walk away from Pavilion KL), the equally aesthetically pleasing Monroe serves modern American cuisine – specifically based on the diners around New York and cafes in Los Angeles.

For those unfamiliar, American diners offer a whole range of dishes that are influenced by the various immigrant groups that settled in the region over time, such as the Greeks, Jews, Italians, and Mexicans. Their unique cuisines eventually became part of American cuisine.

Taking up the centre of the restaurant is the bar with sturdy counter seats, while the rest is suitably cosy. There’s also the exposed concrete ceilings, which is a common aesthetic for a lot of modern restaurants.

Monroe is only on the first floor, so don’t expect picturesque views of the city, though the tall windows mean there’s plenty of sunlight and make the restaurant feel open and comfortable for the maximum occupancy of 85 seats.

The menu at Monroe draws from this melting pot of tastes, while including traditional Malaysian flavours through locally sourced ingredients.

The Tuna Ssam with seaweed and the Salted Egg Supplli. – Haikal Fernandez pic

For our meal, we had the Tuna Ssam and the Salted Egg Supplli as appetisers. The former was a cold and clean tuna tartare served with seaweed wraps, while the latter is a fried macaroni ball similar to arancini (with the pasta instead of rice). The tuna was fresh and flavourful, despite looking simple. The macaroni balls are quite filling so it’s a good idea to share the wealth.

For the main dishes, we had the Hot Fried Chicken, Potato Gnocchi, Cheeseburger & Fries, and the Steak & Eggs.

Hot Fried Chicken, a Malaysian take on a Southern classic. – Pic courtesy of Monroe

Many dishes are meant to be shared and this is true of the Hot Fried Chicken, which comes with three nicely-sized pieces of chicken (thighs and drumstick) drenched in a spicy chilli oil, with a thick piece of milk bread forming a bed for the chicken to rest on.

Pickles and ranch are on the side. A style of fried chicken from the American South, the dish at Monroe is satisfying for those who want a kick of spice with their meal.

The pillowy Potato Gnocchi. – Haikal Fernandez pic

The Potato Gnocchi, friendly for vegetarians, are potato dumplings on a layer of seaweed butter with a sprinkling of sesame. The dumplings are made fresh in-house and melt in your mouth.

However, it’s quite a simple dish and with the relatively large serving size, your eyes might start to wander if your fellow diners might be having something more exciting.

The cheeseburger with a side of crisp potato fries. – Haikal Fernandez pic

I’ve had cheeseburgers, you’ve had cheeseburgers, we all know what goes in a good cheeseburger. Made with angus chuck and brisket, the cheeseburger at Monroe has the right balance of fattiness and flavour.

Topped with Swiss cheese and caramelised onions, it comes with the expected vegetables – if you’re feeling guilty about eating all the decadent meat. The optional potato fries are double fried, meaning they are both crunchy and fluffy.

The steak & eggs are very aesthetically pleasing with all the colours of its component elements. – Haikal Fernandez pic

What was said about the cheeseburger could apply to the Steak & Eggs. Topped with a bright green chimichurri sauce, with an oven-roasted portobello mushroom, and an heirloom tomato that’s topped with a sunny side up egg, there’s a lot to be said about the aesthetics of the dish.

It’s meant to be posted on the ’gram. Unfortunately, the dish itself is a bit too salty with the sauce a touch too acidic. The balance of textures is there, the flavours just don’t all come together.

The strawberry shortcake. – Pic courtesy of Monroe

For dessert, the dishes were a Strawberry Shortcake and the PB & J Mille Crepe. Topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, the shortcake was satisfying, though unsurprising even with the addition of sago.

The PB & J Mille Crepe. – Haikal Fernandez pic

Another dish for the ’gram, the PB & J Mille Crepe both looks great and tastes great with the handmade crepe topped with peanut honeycomb and side of blueberry jam approximating the American junk food classic. Combined with the scoop of ice cream, it’s just about the perfect dessert.

In addition to the meal, Monroe also has a specially curated selection of natural wines with their own offbeat labels that add to the character of the place. These wines are made sustainably with minimal additives, resulting in unique flavours.

There’s of course the expected coffees and teas, as well as creative cocktails and indulgent milkshakes.

The tall windows bring in a lot of sunlight, which reinforces the relaxed atmosphere at Monroe. – Haikal Fernandez pic

In general, the experience at Monroe was a pleasant one, with dishes on the menu worthy of exploring on a return visit, preferably with company. The food is well done, with consideration to how they look and the balance of flavours.

There’s no loud music so it really facilitates a chill atmosphere to pass the time on a nice day in the city.

source – The Vibes

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