Monday, October 8, 2007

Groove Junction Bistro & Cafe

For the past few months, my buddies (Anthony and Azuan) and I have been craving for gigs. We've been to No Black Tie, Alexis@Ampang, the Sunrise Jazz Festival and are still craving for more. And that led us to Groove Junction at Hartamas last Saturday night. The performers for the night were Shanon Shah and Azmyl Yunor.

Despite the rather "mysterious" stairways leading to the bistro+cafe on the first floor, the interior was optimally decorated and wonderfully relaxing. Definitely a good contrast to the chaotic Alexis@Ampang. And the best part is, the gig can be enjoyed from all corners!

Since we had dinner, we ordered some tapas (which apparently are new additions to the already extensive menu) just to preview the "performance" of the food. The Fried Calamari Rings (RM10) were crispy and well cooked. The mayonnaise-based dip was OK.

The Cheese and Chicken Croquettes (RM11 for 2 pieces) were rather small in size. The chicken meat was not too hard nor dry while the cheese was slightly hard. Melted cheese would have provided a more interesting texture and aroma. The Thousand Island dipping worked well with the croquettes.

We also had the Chicken Kebab (RM10) which turned out quite flavourful, thanks to the sauteed bell peppers in a sweet/savoury sauce accompanying the skewer-grilled meat. Put some rice on the plate and it will immediately be transformed into a main course. Now, isn't that Nasi Padprik?

As for the Sauteed Button Mushrooms (RM10), the mushrooms were well cooked and smartly dressed in a slightly sweet garlic sauce, which by the way was a good dipping for the complimentary baguette.

Since we have decided to stay through the whole performance, we ordered dessert. We had the Creme Brulee (RM8) and honestly, I still don't know why we chose that. Well, it did not disappoint as the layer of burnt sugar on the surface was crispy and provided a good contrast to the custard filling in terms of texture. The filling was neither too sweet nor hard and I sensed a hint of vanilla essence (which has yet to be confirmed).

Lets talk about the night's gig. As part of the Acoustic Series (Saturdays), the dynamic duo of Shanon and Azmyl entertained the crowd with their partially unplugged repertoire including "All Apologies" by Nirvana, "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. and "Downtown Train" by Tom Waits. I personally enjoyed the cover of a lesser known Johnny Cash song (can't really remember the title). They also played some of their original compositions in the second set. For me, the most memorable tune was Shanon's Jurutera (Engineer) as it almost described my life so far. An engineer (not by choice) who's struggling to break free from his mundane life and is trying to live for himself. Yes, folks, that's moi. The entertaining 2 sets (healthy political jokes included) ended with a sing-along of John Lennon's Imagine. Yes, we all need hope especially at times like these.

Shanon's voice was hauntingly beautiful and reminded me of Antony (from Antony and the Johnsons) while Azmyl was an entertainingly multi-talented musician (playing the guitar and harmonica and singing - all in one song!).

The bill came up to about RM98 (for 3 persons). A comfortable and relaxing bistro, complete with good food and great music. Will definitely be back. And kudos to Anthony's friend for the brilliant recommendation.

Groove Junction Bistro and Cafe
1-1, Jalan 22A/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas.
Tel: +603-62018990
http://www.groove-junctionkl.com/

For more information on Shanon Shah, go to:
www.myspace.com/shanonshah

For more information on Azmyl Yunor, go to:
www.azmylyunor.com

6 comments:

boo_licious said...

U shld have tried the Lamb Chop - very delish and based on the chef's special recipe.

Nic (KHKL) said...

Hi boo_licious, thanks for stopping by. Looks like I've missed out the specialty, huh? Will definitely try that next round.

Big Boys Oven said...

This place looks good and got entertainment too! real cool!

Nic (KHKL) said...

thanks for the comment, big boys oven! yeah, definitely one of the best nightspots i've visited so far...and the music varies daily too!

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