Garden Lifestyle Store & Cafe @ The Curve
Garden Lifestyle Store & Cafe @ The Curve
“Free your mind”
Does that sound appealing to you? It certainly does to me. A place to relax, unwind, and leave your worries at the door. After extensive travel around the world, the heart and brains behind the idea of Garden Lifestyle Store & Café came up with the idea to have a restaurant that serves good food in a beautiful setting.
The first outlet opened in One Utama about a year back, and with its success came this second outlet at the Curve, just 6 months old. I could almost imagine sipping on a cup of tea and indulging scones the way the British do on a sunny summer day. The plants are all replicas (for hygiene reasons) and the green against white creates a very vibrant atmosphere.
The deco is flamboyant. Painted wooden panels and archways adorned with bright green leaves and flowers, both indoors and on the terrace.
Every detail is thought through, down to the reserved signs.
To really add a touch of glamour, there in the middle of the outdoor area, amidst the heavy woven chairs and chic umbrellas, is a gleaming white Grand Piano. Complete with piano player.
It’s a beautiful, ornate place, perfect for that first date or maybe even the wedding ceremony if it all goes well!
We felt terribly refined! Everything you see is available for purchase, right down to the unusual jugs our drinks were served in.
For a refreshing beverage, I recommend the bubbly Soda Green Apple or Soda Passion Fruit, both priced at RM11.90.
The menu is extensive, and you can choose from a wide selection of Asian and western Cuisine.
From the Nibbles & Appetizers section, you’ll even find Fresh Oysters – half a dozen with lemon & Tabasco. Terry (Red FM Drive, Hawa (Programme Manager), Alvin & Wai Wai (Photographers) and I sat down with our lovely hosts Yin Mei, Christina and Takeo from the Voir Group.
The food arrived one by one. From the Salads section, we tried the Thai Mango Chicken Salad (RM 12.90).
A delicious mixed salad topped with juicy chunks of mango & grilled chicken, tossed in the Chef’s secret thai chili dip .
We moved on to Sandwiches and had the Turkey Pineapple Sandwich (RM 15.90).
Layers of turkey ham, pineapple slices & melted cheese sandwiched between pieced of toasted bread , with a side of piping hot crinkle fries. They’ve also got an appealing Garden Beef Burger, described in the menu as ‘pan fried ground beef pate served on a sesame bun with mushrooms and sliced cheddar cheese’. That’s one for the next trip!
I loved the Chef’s Homemade Wild Mushroom Soup (RM 9.90).
Three kinds of Mushroom cooked in a tasty chicken broth then blended smooth and finished off with a swirl of fresh cream. If you prefer an Asian soup, the there’s always the Seafood Tom Yam Soup, a sour & spicy tom yam broth with assorted seafood like squid, fish, prawns and mussels.
We skipped out on the Pastas but Garden Lifestyle Cafe does offer 6 spaghetti dishes prepared with different sauces. This includes the classic Italian Spaghetti Marinara with prawns, clams, half shell mussels, in a tomato & basil sauce, or the creamy Spaghetti Carbonara with cream, onion, beef bacon & mushrooms.
Moving on to The Main Event, you can choose from a variety of fish and chicken dishes. If you spy a dish with a ladybird next to it, it means it’s a house specialty. From this section, house specialties include the Butter Ginger Dory Fish, Oven Baked Cod and Garden Black Pepper Chicken Chop.
With Terry in the house, it’s no wonder most of our main courses came from the Meat Lovers Section. The House Specialty Braised Lamb Shank (RM29.90) was tender and moist, and the meat fell off the bone with ease.
The substantial piece was smothered in a dark, meat sauce reduction, and perched on a bed of spicy ratatouille (aubergine & tomato), and accompanied by a firm dollop of mash potato.
The Grilled Prime Aged Sirloin Steak (RM26.90) was 200 grams of lean meat grilled to a medium well doneness.
I liked the combination of the meaty flavours with the sautéed shitake mushrooms, creamy potato salad and crunchy French beans. A little bit of everything in the thick gravy made a nice mouthful of flavours and textures.
Hawa joined us a little later, and after being ‘persuaded’ by Terry, she decided to try the Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb (RM29.90).
I liked the look of this dish, with the 250 gram rack standing proud in the middle of the plate. The rack was drenched in the most delicious natural juice, which had a strong, spicy black pepper flavour. I loved the sauce so much I almost liked the plate clean. The meat itself was very tender and nicely seared on the outside, and tasted lovely with the garlic flavour from the sautéed spinach, and the smooth consistency of the mash potato. This was definitely our favourite for the evening, and we decided to award it our own ladybird!
So with the Western food covered, we tried some Asian Specialties. You can choose from familiar favourites like Pineapple Fried Rice, Nasi Lemak and Curry Laksa. Yin Mei recommended the house specialty Fried Mee Siam (RM11.90), which is a perfect light meal that satisfies.
Slender strings of Mee Hoon, chicken, prawn, fishcake, crunchy beansprouts are wok fried in fragrant Thai spices, then topped off with a delicate fried egg.
Split the yolk to add a delightful sticky richness to the noodles.
The Asian Specialties list is extensive, and included tantalising dishes like Thai Green Chicken Curry, the signature Mee Mamak, Seafood Noodles and Tandoori Pita. In the end, what appeared on our table was a bowl of Chicken Paprik (RM12.90) cooked Thai style, served with steamed rice, pickles, crackers & salted egg.
It was a tasty gravy that was sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time.
My favourite Asian dish was the aromatic, spicy Chilli King Prawn (RM27.90). The prawn is wok fried and coated in a scrumptious chilli, garlic and ginger paste.
It was sweet and savoury, and was complemented by the sour Thai Mango Salad and egg fried rice.
Desserts are a must, and when I heard they were 99% fat free, even more so! From the Garden Sorbet Selection I tried the Orange Mango.
We were suitably impressed at the creative presentation of the sorbets, served in the skin of each fruit. Hawa opted for the refreshing Lemon Zest, which arrived in half a scooped out lemon. Alvin tried the Green Apple, while Terry had the Red Apple.
He actually bit into the skin after he was done with the sorbet. Yup, he proved it was edible! We shared the Pineapple Tango, and I would advise not biting into the skin here!
As we enjoyed our desserts outdoors, with the gentle hum of piano keys tapped in the background, and the buzz of light chatter, I felt free.
I felt relaxed. I felt happy, and satisfied. You can feel that way too, just head down there for a spot of tea, or a full blown meal. Garden Lifestyle Store & Café… free your mind.
Special thanks to Alvin for the beautiful photographs. www.damienphotography.com
Special thanks to the Yin Mei, Christina, Takeo and the staff at Garden for a delightful evening.
ALL THIS WEEK, tune in to the Big Red Food Review from Eleven2Three to win RM100 vouchers to Garden Lifestyle Store & Cafe @ the Curve! Only on Red FM, Today’s Best Music!