Wine and dine at D’Caveau

Wine and dine at D’Caveau

Here’s the thing about wines bars. While many may have a pretty decent selection of wines and some even offer top notch vintages, food, however, is often relegated to being no more than just a side attraction, with just small bites or the predictable cheese platter.

D’Caveau Restaurant and Wine bar distinguishes itself as a contemporary wine and dine hideout with new and old world wines at very affordable prices with an extensive menu serving a choice of tapas and pizzas as well as other Western fare.   

I use the word hideout because amid all the bright and loud Western and Japanese joints downstairs, you would never guess that the inconspicuous entrance would lead to this cozy place.

Here’s a quick run through of the wide selection that we savoured, starting with the Penang basket that had ‘money bags’, lobak and pandan chicken. We’re off to a good start, followed by chicken liver pate, grilled octopus, baked escargots, Gambas Pil Pil and Isan sausages.

The pate was scrumptious, not tangy at all, embellished with X.O brandy no less, with the onion jam as the perfect companion (RM16), and I enjoyed the slight chewiness and mild flavour of the octopus (RM45). This can be tricky though if the octopus isn’t fresh or grilled too long, then you might end up grappling with the sole of your shoe.

Gambas Pil Pil or chilli garlic prawns (RM26), is a really simple dish that’s all about the oil – extra virgin olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika and chilli – and should be served sizzling hot. We probably took too long taking all our food shots so it didn’t have that hot garlic spice aroma, but I thought it was still pretty yummy.

Baked escargots, something so French (RM18), is usually lightly cooked in garlic butter, chicken stock and wine in France but over here, we smother the snails with rich cream and cheese. Not complaining though…

What got me really happy was the short and fat Isaan sausages, made from pork, garlic, a bit of glutinous rice and glass noodles. A Thai offering by chef Amy who is from Kanchanaburi, the unique sausage is an explosion of flavours on the palate – savoury, sweet, touch of spicy and sour all at the same time. Someone remarked that a dipping sauce would have been nice, but frankly, I felt the sausage by itself already had a robust flavour.

We also tried the thin crust Quattro Formaggi Pizza (RM30), or four-cheese pizza, which had us smacking our lips for more … but only if you like cheese, yeah. This paired quite well with the 2016 Cote de Brouilly, who would have known…

More than halfway through the menu and I still can’t decide whether D’Caveau is a French restaurant or what. Caveau means ‘cavern’ in French but there was also Spanish, Italian and Asian fare, so it’s quite a hodgepodge of everything, especially when the next dish arrived – Australian Grain-fed beef and Argentinian steak (RM66/RM80).

You would hardly think a wine bar would serve such classy steaks but there you have it – juicy, tender, done just right with still some red peeking through the cuts. I’ve been saying how it’s quite hard to find a good steak in KL these days at reasonable prices (let’s not include five-star hotels) so I guess now I know where to go. The Argentinian was a standout, with more flavour and beefy goodness, though the Ozzie held its own pretty well too.

D’Caveau kept the seafood paella (RM68) which was on its menu from the last time (when it was a different restaurant, same owner) and I couldn’t be happier as the portions were generous and flavours hearty, good enough for 3 to 4 people.

Since this is a French wine bar, after all, and whisky and gin too … we went with Fleur de Thenac 2013, Saint Veran 2017 and a very easy going red Cote de Brouilly 2016 … and some crazy Korean and very good Indian whisky too (our own). If you don’t see what you want at a glance in the wine list, check out the wine cellar. The selection is more than impressive.

And yes, I’ll be back for more… how did you guess?

Add: 38-1, Jalan 24/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 017-899 4833