Thursday, October 28, 2010

National Geographic In Store Cafe

National Geographic Store and cafe

Did you know that the National Geographic cafe which is located at Lot 10 was the FIRST in Asia to open? I've blogged about it in previous events here and here. This time, its about the cafe. To make things a little easier, I'll just say Nat Geo Cafe :)

Apart from being the first Nat Geo cafe to be opened in Asia, the uniqueness lies in the style of food that they serve. For those of you who have read my previous Nat Geo entries, you'll probably be familiar with it. "Pinchos". Nope, its not taken from Pinocchio. Its from a Spanish word which when translated means "spike".


It doesn't mean that what they serve are spiky, on the contrary, they are actually sumptuous, bite-size dishes which are typically eaten with toothpicks. I got to know that the menu was designed by National Geographic's most established Pinchos chefs, Spanish Chef Miguel Espinosa. His concept is basically to use healthier and fresher ingredients to produce some of the awesome mediterranean flavors for us to enjoy. We're lucky because instead of going over to Spain to try these mouth watering dishes, the Nat Geo in store cafe is bringing the food TO US.


Before I begin, let me say that what you see here might be different because I was invited for this session's food tasting, courtesy of National Geographic Store. As it is for food tasting/review, the quantity, portion and presentation style might differ from actual serving portion/style on any other day. So my blog entry is to introduce to you guys some of the pinchos that the cafe has to offer.

Another thing to note is that the food were out on display for quite abit so do bear in mind that during my time of tasting, it was already cold but rest assured that the food that we tried was still very delicious for the most part. What do I have to say? Well....

....on to the food :)

Gambas Al Ajillo - Sizzling Garlic Prawn

Let me guess what is going through your mind...spicy? Actually, its almost not spicy at all. According to Chef Jeeva who presented and explained the dishes to us, the prawns are just seasoned with some salt while the other ingredients are kept to a minimal because the key flavor for this dish are the prawns themselves. The prawns were fresh with springy texture and from its English translation, there was a lot of aroma coming from the garlic used as well. Sweetness of the prawns, aromatic flavors from the garlic and a little spice to top it all.

Puff and Mash

This was one of my favorite dish of the night. The base is some puff like shell filled with mash potato and topped with boneless braised oxtail. DE-LI-CIOUS. First of all, you won't even realize that its filled with mash potato because the texture was so smooth and you'll probably think it was some light cream. The boneless oxtail was pretty tender....almost melts in your mouth. The perfectly prepared braised oxtail was really delicious; sweet and you can really savor the beefy flavors.

Puerros Con Crema De Questo - Cream cheese and leek toasts

A very light pincho in my humble opinion. You can taste a little sourness coming from the cheese while the leek gives it a little sweetness as its also comes from the onion family.

Tigres - Mussels in a spicy tomato sauce

I was a little worried when it came to this because like I said earlier, the food was on display for quite awhile. To my surprise, it tasted pretty good; aside from being cold. The spicy tomato sauce was a good combination for a sweet and a tad bit of a spicy kick for your tongue :) Tak terlalu manis and tak terlalu pedas.

Bacalao Con Boniato Y Encurtidos - Grilled salt cod with marinated garlic and pickles

This was actually the second time I'm trying this. A little different from my first experience. The purple stuff that you see here is actually sweet potato. The grilled salted cod is then topped with a tiny slice of pickle and dressed with some olive oil. Not sure if its EVO oil know..EVO as in Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Sweet, Sour and Salty sensation all in 1 spoon, what's not to like? I think there was a little too much olive oil towards the end but what the heck, its good for health anyway! I would definitely recommend this one for starters.

Albondigas - Spanish Meatballs

Ok I've sort of made a mistake here, I didnt take a picture to show you guys how the meatball looks like but rest assured, its VERY delicous. Just like the previous braised oxtail, it tasted beefy but it doesn't overwhelm flavors of the sauce.

Aceitunas Alinadas - Marinated Olives

I would consider this as Ang Mor's jeruk because it tastes similar to our local jeruk (pickled fruits). First bite was like WHOA! What the heck is this? It was pretty sour and salty on the first bite but as you munch on, it doesn't feels that bad. It was more on the salty side compared to the sourness. For me, I'm neutral against this dish because its either you like it or hate it kinda of thing. Just becareful not to bite the entire olive because there is a seed in it(for those who might not know).

Pintxo De La Foto - Smoked Salmon, anchovy and red pepper toasts

Nice photo of De La Foto, Si? Same as the Bacalao, this is the second time I'm tasting it. So far, pretty consistent. The smoked salmon was fresh and sweet but i felt that the anchovy this time was slightly saltier than before. Other than that, the flavors goes pretty well with the rest of the condiments.

Anchoa Jardinera - Anchovy and vegatable toasts

Because it has more slices of anchovies on toasts, its a kinda salty for this one. Although it had other vegetable toppings, I felt that the saltiness coming from the anchovy slices were too much. It could probably be better off with just ONE slice of the anchovy. HHhmmm I should have given this feedback to the Chef that night, ah well, my bad. :(

Seared scallop with Guacamole

Okay here are the break down. The green "gravy like" is actually the guacamole which is an avocado-based dipping sauce. The yellowish toppings are marinated oranges. Lastly, the main ingredient of this dish are the sea scallops which sets the flavor. I do not like Avocado. I repeat, I do not like Avocado but I don't know what the chef at Nat Geo's cafe have done with the avocado based dipping sauce, I actually enjoyed it! It went very well with the fresh scallops. As you can tell, the scallops were pretty chunky and best of all,. fresh and sweet. I didn't manage to try the macerated orange so I'm not too sure how it would taste with the sea scallops dipped with the guacamole sauce.

Txalupa - Mushroom prawn and cheese tartlets

Tartlets filled with mushroom, prawn and cheese. If that doesn't make your mouth drool, I don't know what will. Very consistent with this pincho. Flavors from each ingredient was just perfect.

Queso Con Membrillo - Cheese and Quince

This my friend, is nothing but awesome cheese. When it comes to cheese tasting, it can be very difficult because everyone's taste buds are different so let me try to describe to you how I felt about the cheese. The cheese here is called Manchego cheese which of course, comes from region of Spain. Being skeptical, I only took a small piece initially. Not quite sure how to describe it but it tasted milky, very rich and creamy and a little buttery texture to it. It doesn't give you that overly strong cheese taste which might kill off your taste buds almost immediate( for example, blue cheese). Mind you, its not some ordinary sheep's milk. Its actually from the Manchenga breed which is found exclusively in La Mancha region of Spain.

As for the jam looking paste, its goes REALLY REALLY well with the cheese. According to Chef, you can't find it in Malaysia; its imported all the way from Spain. Tasted really fruity and in fact, almost natural if you ask me. I think it might even go well on toast! A friend suggested to take some cheese and small amount of the quince paste, it was awesome.


So what do you think? Pretty interesting right? If you're around Lot 10 and looking for a place to chill after work, I would highly recommend this place. Relaxing ambiance accompanied by authentic Spanish cuisine.

Do check them out at Lot 10, I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.

Lastly, thanks alot Becky and Dawn for the invite :)

National Geographic Store and cafe
T16 and T17, Third Floor,
Lot 10 Shopping Centre,
50 Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Contact No: 03 - 2148 1823


  1. Where are the prices?? Was just gonna copy from you lehhhh.... :P

  2. Eh sorry for the late reply! haahha
    Didn't want to potong stim ma....let the readers drool at the awesome food!

    Must try! hahhahaha


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