WIP – “Whipped into Place”@ BSC
WIP – “Whipped into Place” @ BSC
“Stripped walls, a hodge podge of chairs and tables and PCK look-alikes? No, we are not a hardware shop nor are we an interior design depot. We are a restaurant and bar that serves some pretty mean food and drinks.”
That’s what they said before. Before the drastic transformation.
“WIP……Once a “Work In Progress” now “Whipped Into Place” is an international lifestyle destination with a coastal resort ambience and the design feel of an urban-tropic garden.”
Trust me, “Whipped Into Place” is no understatement. I could not begin to comprehend the major makeover WIP had. It was as if a fairy godmother had flitted over, sprinkled fairy dust, waved her magic wand and POOF! A brand new look. With 28 coconut tree trunks uplifted from a rural ‘kampung’ (village) replanted and lit to create a rustic ambience.
The attention to detail was astounding.
Well, it wasn’t so much a fairy godmother as internationally renowed designer Ed Poole, the man responsible for 7atenine’s recent facelift. WIP is one of the successful outlets owned by Fred Choo and Michelle Kwok. Under the group is the famous longstanding Souled Out in Desa Sri Hartamas, the hip and trendy 7atenine at Ascott and 7atenine in Singapore.
JD & Dilly (Red Breakfast), Terry (Red FM Drive), Alvin (photographer) and I sat down to what was a feast fit for not five, but at least 10 hungry people. WIP’s has a fantastic atmosphere. It’s lively, it’s buzzing, and the Café Del Mar/Latin Jazz music is loud enough but not too loud that you can’t hear the person across from you.
It was packed, and it was only a Monday!
Fanny Foo (Proganda Pixie) and and A.D. Lincoln (Marketing Minstrel) were our gracious hosts that evening.
WIP has an extensive wine list, beers on tap, cocktails and mocktails.
It is most famous for its Mojitos, especially its signature Classic Mojito (RM28).
Fanny leant over and nudged me. “Hey, during Happy hours from 12 – 8 pm, the Classic Mojito is only RM 17!”
Well, that’s a bonus, but I would still happily pay full price for this delicious concoction of rum, mint syrup, mint leaves, lime wedges, soda muddled together in a tall glass. WIP is also renowed for its Sangria, so do give that a try when you go.
With such an extensive and well stocked bar, it’s no surprise that we also tried a few different flavours of Mojitos. Terry had the Sweet Basil Mojito (RM 28) which was a mixture of rum, wild strawberry liqueur, mint leaves, lime wedges, basil leaves and strawberry.
He also tried the Lychee Mojito (RM 28)
I had the Cachaca Mojito (RM 28) because I love Cachaca and it reminds me of my holiday in Brazil. The perfect mix of Cachaca 51, mint syrup, mint leaves, lime wedges, soda.
We also sampled the eye catching Dragonfly Mojito (RM 28), which was rum, watermelon syrup, red dragonfruit, green apple, mint leaves, lime wedges, soda. Very refreshing and very pink! You can’t go wrong with a Classic Caipiroska (RM 25) which is vodka, lime wedges, sugar and crushed ice in a short glass. It was indeed happy hour for us! If you don’t drink, like Dilly, there’s a range of non-alcoholic cocktails available, and Dilly loved WIP’s Virgin Mojito.
The food arrived shortly after, and what better way to start the meal then with light and tasty Salads. I loved the fresh Avocado Mango Salad (RM 22).
Sliced mango and avocado tossed with homemade dressing and served with mesclun leaves. I often find it hard to get tasty avocados in KL, but here at WIP they were smooth and velvety, complementing the tangy dressing perfectly.The mango was ripe and sweet.
Fanny then introduced us to our second dish, which by sheer coincidence, happened to be her favourite from the menu. WIP’s signature Watermelon & Feta Cheese Salad (RM 17).
Juicy chunks of watermelon and crumbly feta cheese tossed with a rich peanut dressing, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The texture of feta cheese can sometimes be too rich for some people, but the combination with the moist, chilled watermelon was a hit.
We moved on to a couple of dishes from WIP’s Starters. The Fattoush & Hummus (RM 24) had a very authentic Middle Eastern flavour to it.
Fattoush is traditionally a salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread tossed with vegetables in a light dressing. Here at WIP, the warm Pita bread was served on the side, and the tangy salad made from chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic and fresh herbs. The hummus was chick peas blended smooth with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Deliciously creamy.
From WIP’s Snack / Bar Food section, Fanny introduced us to their Kakiage (RM 16).
A Japanese inspired dish of shredded onions and carrots, prawns and white bait dipped in light, crispy tempura batter, deep fried and served with and unusual sambal mayo. Eat it while it’s hot!
WIP is also well known for its Northern Indian cuisine. From the Coast of INDIA, we sampled two mouth-watering curries. The signature Chicken Makanwala (RM 28) was my favourite.
A mild curry with boneless chicken breast cooked in a creamy, buttery gravy, served with chana masala (dry & spicy chickpeas with spices & citrus), a traditional aloo methi (diced potatoes with Fenugreek leaves), crispy papadum and salad. A generous portion indeed, as was the Nihari Gosht (RM 32).
JD and Terry went wild for the tender lamb cooked in fragrant, spicy thick gravy and served with chana masala, raitha, papadum and salad. Of course, I went wild for the bone marrow in the lamb.
If you’re a marrow lover, don’t miss this dish.
We journeyed to Italy and had a taste of the Coastal Aglio Olio Pasta (RM 36).
Tiger prawns, scallop, octopus, clams and fish sautéed with olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes.
We were filling up fast and nearly dropped off our chairs when Fanny told us there were four more dishes to come. Even Terry, who is a bottomless pit, was shocked. “Four more? That includes dessert right?” Fanny looked at him, kept a straight face, and replied,” No. Dessert would make it six more dishes.”
We moved from Italy to the Coast of ASIA, and it was starting to feel as if we were going round the world in 80 minutes! I mean, we were just trying one or two dishes from each section so you can imagine the variety in WIP’s menu.
Back to our local shores for what some might shy away from, the Nasi Goreng Petai (RM 18).
When we first arrived, Fanny was quite concerned that we wouldn’t eat ‘Petai’, and politely checked with us first. “Petai? Did someone say Petai?” piped Dilly. “Yes, we definitely eat Petai!” I seconded.
And I’m glad we did try this, because it is a simple dish, yet it has so much flavour. Fragrant Malay style fried rice, with petai pearls and cubes of salted fish hidden amongst the crispy grains of rice. It comes with a tasty deep fried chicken wing. “I wish there was more Petai!” was Dilly’s only comment, as we wiped the plate clean.
Moving along we tried another favourite here in KL, the Cantonese Seafood Noodles (RM 18).
Another generous portion of crispy Meen, sizable fresh seafood of prawn,squid, and fishcake, doused in a thick, tasty egg gravy.
Apparently, you can choose your own noodles so the next time I come back (with my koay teow addiction and all) I’m ordering it with Hor Fun! I eat Cantonese Hor Fun at least twice a week, and I can honestly say that this is one of the better egg sauces that I’ve tried so far.
Fanny told us to be ready for our last two dishes. Yes, the grand finale was WIP’s signature ESPETADA, the main attraction at the restaurant. If a customer orders this dish, he or she will be served it by the Chef himself. Today, we were privileged to have 34 year old Sous Chef Aizal Abdul Aziz present us with these traditional Portuguese meat skewers marinated with garlic, laurel leaves, rock salt, charbroiled to perfection.
Chef Aizal light heartedly tells me that at WIP, everyday is a Friday. With experience in Australia, and in Dubai under a Michelin Star Chef, he returned home and joined the restaurant in December 2009. Under the watchful guidance of Head Chef Aziz, he seeks inspiration from art. Simple, tasty ingredients that he presents beautifully .
Beef (RM 85): Original Recipe – Ribeye chunks marinated with garlic and traditional herbs.
The meat was cooked to a perfect medium, and was so tender it melted in our mouths.
Full or not, Terry and JD showed their true primitive side and were heard grunting in the corner between chomps, “Grmmm.. meat…”
That was fine with Dilly & I as we indulged in the Seafood Espatada (RM 75) – Prawns, octopus and fish marinated with olive oil, garlic and herbs.
Oh, what a beautiful charred and smoky flavour.
Very fresh, large prawns of which I enjoyed the heads that were bursting with roe. “Aren’t you worried about your cholesterol?” asked Fanny and she incredulously watched me suck on each prawn head with pure please. “I am,” I replied between mouthfuls, “but it’s too good!”
The Espetada is served with potatoes, vegetables of the day and your choice of 2 sauces: mustard, garlic, white peppercorn or Chef’s sauce of the day, which for that day, was Barbeque.
We were moaning and groaning about how Fanny and Lincoln were spoiling us when dessert arrived. The Banana & Peach Butterscotch (RM 16) was very sweet, a rich dessert of banana and peach chunks cooked in toffee caramel and served with peanut butter cookie.
I loved WIP’s signature Churros (RM 14). A light, pastry dough deep fried and served with warm vanilla sauce. It was like eating a fluffy cloud.
The Cream Caramel (RM 13) was a favourite amonst all of us, and despite being full to the brim we managed to finish off this classic egg pudding baked with caramel.
Well, I really don’t know what else to say. WIP is really a gem in the heart of Bangsar.
The food is fantastic, the ambience is extraordinary, and those Mojito’s really hit the spot. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, it really doesn’t matter. At WIP, it looks like everyday is a Friday!
A big thank you to Fanny, Lincoln and the team at WIP for such a memorable evening.
Special thanks to Alvin Sebastian for the beautiful photos. www.damienphotography.com
ALL NEXT WEEK, starting Monday 31st May, tune in from Eleven2Three to win RM 100 vouchers to WIP @ BSC! The Big Red Food Review with me Aly. Only on Red FM. Today’s Best Music!