With the current unstable economy, menus are squeezed dry to cut out expensive ingredients, a typical case of price goes up and quality goes down. This is why I don’t like lunch sets — they are often a poor shadow of the real deal.A friend of mine recommended that I tried Pastis Cafe, but I was hesitant. See, he is someone who is easily pleased, whereas I can be extremely fussy when it comes to food. “How good can the food be, and what more, lunch sets?” I asked. Located at the ground floor of The Gardens Mid Valley (outside Isetan), Pastis Cafe has a so called “open kitchen concept” that allows diners to watch their food being prepared. The lunch set is priced at RM14++, which comes with a choice of pasta, pie or panini sandwich, coffee or ice lemon tea and a scoop of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla or strawberry).I opted for the chicken pie, which came with a scoop of mash potatoes, mushy peas and mushroom sauce. I expected it to be sub-standard, but it was surprisingly not bad. I half expected the pie to be hollow, but it wasn’t. Although it wasn’t stuffed to the brim, it had a decent amount of filling — tender chicken chunks in a thick, creamy and deeply flavoured gravy, encased in an airy puff pastry. The green salad, tossed with a simple balsamic vinegar dressing was too plain. I didn’t care much for this. Give me thick cut fries and that would be another story altogether. I liked my lunch set, but found the portion rather small. I could have eaten 2 whole pies easily.Mention Strawberry Shortcake and I would assume it is a biscuit based cake with strawberries and cream on top. Pastis’ version (not included in the set lunch) was a golden sponge cake with two layers of cream and strawberries in between. A quick search on Google revealed that the strawberry shortcake can either be the biscuit or sponge version.
The cake (RM11.80, discounted price – RM5.90) was moderately sweet, and the thick white chocolate icing paired well with the buttery sponge layers. Not bad, but I prefer the denser, biscuit-like version. Pastis usually has a cake promotion, where selected cakes are at a 50% discount.
The ice cream was nothing to shout about, but it was a nice nice compact scoop with a creamy texture. I found the coffee quite decent. Topped with a layer of crema, it was smooth, rich and robust in flavour. I liked the cookie it came with, which was crunchy with a hint of coconut, and shamelessly nicked Shum and Hanim’s cookie.
Service was alright. The customers were greeted warmly, and although some of the staff didn’t speak much English, there was always a smile on their faces. One forgivable slip was when I was asked to not take photographs of the restaurant. I was peeved (because I know bloggers have been here and taken loads of pictures), but the manager quickly apologised when she found out I was taking pictures of their cakes, and not their food preparation process.
Food: 6/10 (halal)
Verdict: Drop by for decent food and cakes, and service with a smile.
KG-02, Ground Floor,
Mid Valley City.
03 2288 1559