Ben’s by BIG KLCC
The New Look and Food That Have Everyone Talking
BY JACQUELINE BENITA PAUL
Ben’s new look is a breath of fresh air. It takes on a lighter look, with elements that make it homey. As we walked in from the ‘patio’ area across the scrumptious baked goods, deli and Ben’s childhood photos, we entered a room with two distinct characteristics. On our left, was a colourful space with light orange as the prominent colour which exuded a retro feel with local touches through the use of rattan furniture. The other, the arc design, represents the KLCC bridge located of the isolated sofa area.
As we passed through, we discovered there was another exciting space. More modern with comfortable grey that harmonised with the light rustic features from the rattan and wooden table. Instead of walls, the areas were divided with rattan shelfs that were filled with plants personally selected by the CEO of The Big Group, Benjamin Yong. These personal touches on the interior gave us a sense of what to expect on the menu. Among all the spaces, we were taken to the private room offering an exclusive close-up view of the iconic KLCC fountain. Here, we also found some of Ben’s vintage personal collections.
We began our course with a Ben’s House Salad as recommended by the affable server who never failed to have a smile on her face. The combination of arugula, avocado, cherry tomatoes, edamame and sesame seeds gave us enough layers of texture, so we’d never get bored and the light dressing provided just the right amount of tang with a sweet finish.
Knowing Ben’s reputation, we decided to explore the Asian section of the menu first, with our selection of the Hainanese Chicken Rice. The visual presentation of the dish made our mouths water eagerly and the aroma of the steamed long grain rice made it worse. We couldn’t get enough of the sous vide chicken breast, consumed with a teaspoon of ginger scallion and chicken rice chilli. The long grain rice had a bouncy middle that enhanced the combination.
What I particularly enjoyed most about the Duck Confit was the lightness of the pasta and how it carried the seasoning. The portion of the sun-dried tomatoes (which was why I ordered the dish), was generous and added a luscious tang. After two heavy duty meals, I cleansed my palate with a Ben’s Ice Coffee served with ice cream. Okay, palate cleanser or dessert or an excuse to drink coffee, it was nonetheless enjoyable with a balance of acidity and sweetness without being overwhelmingly creamy. Another favourite from the pasta menu is the Golden Soft-Shell Crab Spaghetti, a veteran dish that is highly requested by regulars regardless of the outlet. You’ve got the creamy parmesan with evaporated milk resulting in lipsmacking creaminess with an undertone of spiciness, courtesy of the curry leaves and chilli padi.
Looking at the restaurant, it seemed clear that the afternoon tea set is highly sought after. We had to try it for ourselves.
Unlike your usual afternoon tea, we were given the option to choose our own cake and tea which would be served with a variety of curry puffs, fruit rojak and finger sandwiches. Though I despaired at first from having to choose between so many desserts, I was glad I settled for the Strawberry Charcoal Pavlova. Light earth flavours first graced my tastebuds followed by a sweet cotton candy finish.
It’s evident that the queues outside of Ben’s whether it’s a weekday or weekend is justified. You get a friendly, inviting and chic ambience with a well thoughout menu. If I had one word to describe the experience at Ben’s KLCC, it’s thoughtful.
Lot No. 140, Level 1, Suria KLCC,
Persiaran Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City
Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur