Three-month-old Birch is currently KL’s hottest brunch spot - last Sunday when we were there, it had 150 reservations for brunch alone! Tables are turned over every 2 hours, we opted for the first slot at 9am, to avoid the late-risers and post-church service crowd.
Birch is owned by the same people behind the ever-busy Huckleberry in nearby Damansara Heights. Whilst Huckleberry was cluttered, with a woodsey decor, Birch’s sun-lit main dining room was bright, with well-spaced out seating, and filled with plants & ferns.
Our brunch options had some hits-and-misses. First, the hits:
- Birch Benedict, with spicy pulled chicken (no pork, since 43% of KL’s populace are Muslims: any aspiring eatery will seriously consider halal-certification for their kitchen), poached eggs & Hollandaise sauce on 7-grain toasted sourdough, with charred cherry tomatoes & green salad on the side. The pulled chicken was smothered with a smokey barbecue sauce which surprisingly worked when combined with the creamy Hollandaise.
- Shakshuka - eggs coddled in a harissa-spiced tomato-red pepper stew, topped with Greek feta and crisp-fried kale. This dish is almost virtually foolproof and should work like a charm - as long as the eggs were done right, which they did here: with molten yolk dripping out deliciously to enrich the stew.
- Brûlée French Toast - made with brioche, with dulce de leche, charred pear, white coffee crumbs & vanilla ice-cream. The toast sticks were moist & flavoursome. Vanilla ice-cream - which tasted of an inferior brand - were superfluous and probably better without.
- Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes, with honeycomb butter, banana & maple syrup. Straight out of Bill Granger’s cookbook and a hit at his Bills Cafe in Sydney a decade back. Yes, it took over a decade to reach Kuala Lumpur. This was one of the dishes we came for, but it was a disappointment: the ricotta hotcakes were dry-ish and lacked the creaminess we expected. Nothing, not even a generous drizzle of maple syrup could redeem it.
- Ooey Gooey Quesadilla - cheese and tomatoes, wrapped in tortillas. We probably got ourselves to blame here - we should have noticed the emphasis on “ooey gooey” in the item description on the menu. Somehow, we were still expecting a fresh, colourful Mexican dish instead of the limp, overly-messy roll we had. Still, the flavours were pretty pronounced and actually worked. Only the disintegrating tortilla, with the texture of porridge, let it down.
The beverages were pretty average here - the emphasis seemed squarely upon the food items.
KL-lites are fond of exploring new brunch places, and the flavour of the day changes with amazing speed - from Kenny Hills Bistro to Red Bean Bag and Huckleberry, then onto Yellow Brick Road and its sister-outlet Wicked, and now Birch.
Lot G10/11, Ground Floor, Damansara City Mall
Jalan Damanlela, Bukit Damansara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 9am-1am Mon to Thu, 9am-2am Fri-Sat, 9am-5pm Sun.