Playte Contemporary Dining in Bukit Damansara is a must-visit restaurant as soon as the MCO lifts.
Sat in a cosy Bukit Damansara nook, Playte Contemporary Dining is best savoured by folks who take a fun and cultured approach to scrumptious dining. While fine ingredients like foie gras have their place, so do indispensable cheeseburgers. Both offer an indescribable scent and while seemingly divided by classist notions; actually share a minimalist aesthetic – salt, pepper, and just the right amount of heat to marry it all. You can expect this well-made cleverness at Playte, with both flavours arriving tucked in a crispy spring roll, with a side of nori sambal at RM24.
The following hors d’oeuvre was another rich meat whose flavour takes hours to emerge from marinating in its own creamy lard. Duck confit – always a welcomed reduction – representing a minimalist return to the purest essence of savoury flesh. Matched with scallion pancake and beetroot ketchup, it’s all sweetness and succulence at RM12 a pop.
Here’s a jesty recommendation: How about a separate menu with no pricing, handed to the half who isn’t footing the bill? I’ve always wanted to audaciously murmur, “Tonight we’re celebrating you baby… don’t you worry ‘bout a thing.”
The unsmiling chef, displaying a seriousness for his craft that only an open kitchen can exacerbate, then shifted gears to a series of small plates. Red snapper, spruced up with a Thai-basil-and-calamansi dressing: delicious but also very pretty, in the way that sends young girls scrambling for mood lighting for posterity’s sake (RM32). Faultlessly seared cuttlefish, sitting plump and crisp in citrus jam and kaffir lime leaves: textured and silky, loose and juicy… ‘you-just-had-to-have-been-there’ good (RM32).
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But my favourite; beef tongue with XO sauce, tamely spiced salsa verde, and cured yolk (RM38). Tasting like braised fat with a dollop of balmy tropical tang, nothing at Playte is designed to be commonplace, making this eatery ever more the undiscovered treasure it is.
Also, service was tip top. One of the restaurant’s partners played maître d’, baiting our collective appetites with his gusto-rific introduction of the heartier dishes. Angus striploin, with laksa leaves, salt baked jicama and shiitake (RM108). Lamb loin, filet and belly, with piquant harissa, Szechuan pepper oil and king oyster mushroom (RM86).
And my personal highlight – tiger prawns over homemade noodles, in sumptuous prawn head sauce and sambal (RM56).
Foodies have a lot to be excited for but alas, I had to leave before dessert was served. The encumbrance of hustling several jobs to make ends meet in a pandemic world and all that jazz… I’m sure you understand. Still, that might be serendipity at work. While I heard the coconut gelato, coloured with passion fruit curd, palm sugar syrup and sweet pumpkin was heavenly, it’s up to you, dear reader, to finish off this brief review on your own.
Now this is a restaurant that’s just waiting for you to walk into it.