Date of Visit: June 10 2013
Following a hearty lunch at Tonkatsu earlier on (my review here), I was still feeling rather full. But it’s dinner time and rather than raiding the fridge in the middle of the night by skipping my dinner, I opted for a lighter salad fare. However, finding a place that serves proper salads in KL is hard – I have tried Pavilion’s TGI Friday where they offer an uninteresting single varietal salad of iceberg lettuces, sweet corns and cherry tomatoes heavily drenched in dressing which defeats the purpose of a ‘light fare’.
Meanwhile, I have walked passed Ben’s countless times and perused its overly lengthy board menu placed at the entrance. The restaurant aims to please all its diners by offering an array of choices, unfortunately, this was a put-off for the indecisives. But because I remembered that they have salads on offer and since I had already decided on what I am going to order – a salad – hence the mission of ordering should be easy.
So, here we are, Mom, Bro and I, ending up at Ben’s to be quickly ushered into the restaurant. I am not sure about the replica of a living room at the front. Perhaps, the big blue sofa is for the take-away patrons to rest their tired derrières while waiting for their orders. A huge lamp for reading the Hello! magazines were very thoughtfully provided. Nonetheless, the standout is the colour of the bright yellow feature wall which I thought absolutely stunning (I love bright colours).
The restaurant itself is a long space. A banquette with throw cushions was set against one wall, making excellent spatial economics for when the restaurant has to accomodate for a large group. The tables need only be joined together and some chairs borrowed. The space spills out to an outdoor dining area on the balcony overlooking the Bukit Bintang strip which would be perfect for an idle afternoon tea or to partake in the vibrancy when BB comes alive at night.
Cleverness in details is one thing that I noted about Ben’s. Everything from the napkins, to the box of card games for ideas to kick off conversations on the table right down to the details of the waist-coat-aprons on the wait-staffs.
Despite my simple plan of ordering a salad, the extensive menu of 10 different salads on offer still required a decision from me. Finally, I went straight for the vegetarian option. Ben’s House Salad ($15.90) came with all my favourite goodies – endame and avocado. I have asked to have the dressing on the side since nothing can be more annoying than a salad drowned in dressing. I was taken in by the freshness of the roasted pistachios, almonds, walnuts, sun-flower seeds, flaxseeds et al, which were noted as ‘7 seeds’ on the menu. So stuffed to the brim with vegies, I am rest assured that I would not be raiding the fridge when night falls.
For my Mom and Bro, the process of eliminating Sandwiches, Pies, Pastas, Asians and Soups narrowed down to the Traditional options for them. My Mom opted for the Fish and Chips ($29.90) . This came with a small side of coleslaw. With such an array of choices to choose from, it would not come a suprise if the fish fingers and chips were from the frozen prepackaged supermarket origin rather than from the markets. Nevertheless, how can one resist the seduction of a Machiavellian piece of crispy fried temptation? As in trance, I reached out for a piece, then another, and another, and soon half the chips were in my stomach! Oh dear!
My brother’s normal dinner at home is always a piece of steak. His Steak Frites ($52.90) was a pretty ordinary chargrilled strip loin with black peper sauce. Together, the chips and plateful of green beans ensured that he is taking in his recommended vegetables for the day.
Although we did not have dessert, the lovey-dovey-gooey looks exchanged by the couples at the next table while they tucked in their luscious slice of chocolate brownie cake said it all. With my induction done, I shall be back for more salads and dessert the next time!