Specialty pork restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? That may sound unexpected, but when I go to KL for work a few times each year, I try to visit either S.Wine or El Cerdo (which I’ll talk about another time), where almost every item on their menus contains pork. For S.Wine, even two of their desserts contain pork. I dare say we don’t have anything quite like them in Singapore.
A few days ago, I made my second visit to the S.Wine at Publika mall on Jalan Dutamas. My friend Andrew from Petaling Jaya and I shared four dishes.
I enjoyed two of the items on my previous visit, and they didn’t disappoint this time around either. These were Mr Crackles and the Warm Pork Confit, Watermelon & Lychee Salad. Please put them on your must-have list.
Mr Crackles (price: RM18) was a bag of pork crackling – crispy pork skin – served with apple sauce (there’s a choice of sauces). The sweet apple sauce delightfully set off the skin, which remained crispy even till the end of our meal, as we spaced out our enjoyment of it.
The Warm Pork Confit, Watermelon & Lychee Salad (price: RM38) was a standout. The interplay of textures and tastes of the pork confit, mint leaves, lychee, pomelo juice, peanuts, julienned radicchio and other veggies was wonderful. The pork was in large cubes and the skin was crackly.
This could have been a meal in itself. If you want something in KL that’s a contradiction of sinful and healthy all in one plate, go for this.
The other two dishes were all right, but not super. the Pan-Roasted Pork Chop with Spinach (price: RM38) had a nice sauce described on the menu as “a white wine, seeded mustard & cream sauce”.
But I thought the sauce was too subtle when matched with pork. I used the apple sauce from the Mr Crackles instead, and that worked a lot better – unsurprising, since apple sauce is the traditional accompaniment for pork chops.
The pork chop was a tad overcooked, and so it was not as tender to the knife and to the bite as it should have been.
The Larb Pasta (price: RM25, but we had the lunch special at RM19.90 which included a drink) had minced pork and toasted rice and was the weakest of our four dishes. While the pasta was al dente and the minced pork not too bad, the toasted rice didn’t work.
I’m sure it was added to crunch, but it didn’t allow me to enjoy the texture and taste of my spaghetti. My friend Andrew said the toasted rice was “disruptive”, which I thought was a spot-on description. It made me wish I’d ordered the Pulled Pork Burger that I’d had on my previous visit.
But overall, I really enjoyed the meal as the pork confit salad and pork crackling were just so good.
If you’re a non-Muslim Singaporean in KL, don’t stick to traditional Malaysian food. A visit to S.Wine is worthwhile, and the food does justify the restaurant’s name.
Meal eaten on Tuesday 3 May 2016 at 1.40pm
Lot 1A 83-95
Publika, Solaris Dutamas
(Feedback to the owners: your website looks fancy, but is not user-friendly and not convenient to navigate. Do revamp and simplify – simple can be elegant, as your food shows.)
Another branch at:
S.Wine Tropicana City
Tropicana City Mall
Lot G39B & G39C
Jalan SS 20/27
Seksyen 20, 47400