Table & Apron have created a new space upstairs above their cosy corner lot and introduced a new dinner concept they’re calling ‘Gather’. Held once every other Friday night, Gather is all about giving the restaurant’s young cooks a way to flex their culinary skills in the form of a seasonal tasting menu.
‘The whole concept is built for our cooks to gather, collaborate and think about the food we cook,’ said Marcus Low, Table & Apron’s founder and chef. ‘A lot of the cooking we do up here is grounded in a “less is more” approach, which is difficult especially for young, ambitious cooks. Downstairs, the cooking is a lot more casual and restrained, and that mindset has helped our cooks tighten the dishes and focus on the ingredients.’
The dining room upstairs is kept simple, intimate and clutter-free – seating is arranged according to the number of bookings, so there’s never an empty table or a guest unfamiliar to the wait staff – with an open view of the chefs as they assemble the dishes. ‘Another new element we’re introducing up here is more interaction; we encourage the chefs to engage with the guests, to talk and articulate about the dishes being prepared,’ added Marcus.
The debut menu is a celebration of local producers Marcus has come to trust since the restaurant started as The Kitchen Table back in 2014. The six-course tasting menu kicks off with a trio of amuse-bouche inspired by Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines: prawn tartare wrapped in betel leaf, crispy salmon skin with fermented tofu sauce (fu yi), and a pickled carrot with yoghurt and cumin.
This is followed by two seafood dishes made with ingredients sourced from Pulau Ketam – mackerel tartare dressed in shaoxing wine, peanut oil and shallots; and mud crab ravioli with tomato consommé. The main course is sous vide Sanbanto pork jowl served with miso glaze, and ending the meal is a dessert of coconut sorbet, soya bean panna cotta and cocoa mousse made from cocoa farmed by Orang Asli farmers in Damak, Pahang.
‘We’ll likely keep the current menu until the end of April,’ said Marcus, adding that the debut menu will set the tone for what’s to come in the months after that. ‘We want to keep it fairly flexible. We want the chefs to express themselves, while maintaining a focus on flavours and ingredients.’
The dinner is priced at RM150++ per person. Reservations required at www.tableandapron.my/gather.