Words: Patricia Podorsek Photos: Monica Tindall
Combining a stylish upscale bar (Beauty) with a hearty and carnivorous menu (Beast), the BIG group’s latest venture is a sophisticated rendering of the Intermark original. Opened late in 2015, this Damansara Heights outlet features creative cocktails and the trusted menu fans have enjoyed in the city centre.
Soft underlighting and a trophy shelf of whiskey bottles frame the bar at Beauty, home to the mixology skills of chief bartender, Kavi. We began with the joint’s namesake cocktail, Beauty and the Beast, which involves bourbon, oranges and a blowtorch! Maker’s Mark and a dash of bitters are shaken with homemade orange-spice syrup and strained over ice, making it reminiscent of a Old-Fashioned. Kavi explains that this is the “beauty” part of the cocktail, and beautifully smooth it is, especially for bourbon lovers like myself. The “beast” part was a little more unexpected. I mean, it’s not often that your bartender pulls out a hand-held blowtorch and fries beef bacon on a tray before your eyes! Beauty and the Beast garnishes the sweet-smoky whisky with a finely crisped slice of bacon lying right across the top. Now that will put a little growl into your drink!
Kavi must have a close relationship with the chefs at B&B, because the second signature cocktail we sampled, the Natural Molecular, also involved some creative infusions from the kitchen. This beautifully colored drink begins with Beefeater’s and freshly-pressed grapefruit and lemon juices. Added to the mix is homemade plum syrup and subtle pandan flavor. In the end, the flavor of the gin surfaces nicely against the depths of the citrus without being overly sweet. A slice of dried grapefruit adds the final flourish.
Beauty’s own version of “High Tea” muddles whole lychees with grapefruit juice, Boston bitters, and a shot of gin. This is topped by a blended tea and garnished with mint for a drink that is wholly refreshing and easy to put back with lunch or over an afternoon snack.
On the more casual end of Beast’s menu, you’ll find nestled among the burgers the Beast Burger (RM68), a juicy patty that was delivered to our table a perfect medium-well, with a hint of garlic salt brushing the edges. Topped with a roasted portobello and mild swiss cheese, this sandwich is an earthy burst of delicious. And when we asked for mustard, they brought a plate of four. Burgers are obviously serious business at Beast.
Guests looking for other casual items on the menu will hit the mark with the Beer-Battered Onion Rings (RM18). With batter made with Asahi beer, the tender chunks of onion are served very crispy, and not overly greasy as deep-fried foods can be.
On the more formal side of Beast’s menu, you’ll find the artfully-presented Smoked Duck Breast (RM68). A pan-seared skin yields a chewy and slightly smoky interior. Three excellent side dishes round out the plate: Creamy potato gratin with a touch of garlic sits next to roasted purple carrots (amazing!) and a tangy butternut puree for a full palette of colors and flavors.
Our favorite main was the Pan Fried Seabass (RM60). A crusty edge broke to a moist and flaky interior. Even more amazing was the potato risotto. Tiny cubes of potatoes are soaked in mushroom and parmesan cream. Delish!
We ended the meal with the Warm Ricotta Tart. A buttery crust splits to reveal with a thick creamy custard. Wedges of grapefruit on top was a surprisingly good counterposition to the sweet cheese inside. Add a few caramelized pistachios, and the result was a terrific flow of flavors and textures.
It never hurts to end a nice meal with a strong Aussie-style latte, which include a double shot of espresso to produce a strong flavor in a small glass.
Beauty and the Beast is open Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm for lunch and 5:00pm – 1:00am for dinner and drinks. Creative cocktails and a refined menu make this sexy setting more than just a pretty face.
Reasons to visit: Bacon with your bourbon, potato risotto with your sea bass, and caramelized pistachios with your ricotta tart.
Beauty and the Beast
Lot 6-A, First Floor, Jalan Batai
Damansara Heights, 50490
+6 03 2093 9975