By Hiranmayii Awli Mohanan
Princeps at Taman Tunku is a neighbourhood restaurant one saunters into on work-from-home days or weekends. There’s something immensely relaxing and tranquil when dining at Princeps, possibly owed to the jazz numbers subtly playing in the background or the greenery that encapsulates this bistro. We grabbed a seat at the breezy al-fresco gazebo, shaded from the sun and enveloped by lush foliage. The meaning of Princeps is twofold — first in time or order, foremost chief, leader or prince; the most eminent, distinguished or noble. Princeps is also defined as the first edition of a book, especially of a work that is circulated in manuscript, before printing became common. The bistro’s historic locale and meaningful name takes a subtle nod to the country’s first premier, Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Princeps’ menu runs the gamut from starters, classic ambrosial breakfasts to main courses and desserts. We teased our palates with the refreshing Tomato Salad, featuring a medley of scattered Japanese cherry tomatoes and Japanese cucumber dressed with avocado, onions and olive oil. The extra dots of homemade pesto brought a herbaceous and nutty quality to the salad. Next, the Princeps Club Sandwich saw an assemblage of chicken ham and boiled egg swathed with lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese and a drizzle of sesame dressing to bring an umami quality. This was served with hot, sinful, straight-cut fries that tasted as good as they looked. Another comforting and decadent dish was the Mackerel Fillet that sat on a neatly lined bed of thin noodles tossed in a lemon butter sauce and served alongside Cameron Highland tomatoes glazed with herb oil. We enjoyed the use of locally- sourced ingredients and harmonious flavours.