On the eve of the eve of Chinese New Year, while picking up an order of blueberry cheesecake from Su's Cakes for Kicks, we found ourselves in Lorong Kurau, a nice little enclave in Bangsar. While exploring this corner, we came across "Barat" (translates to "West"), which we were told was the sister cafe of Ganga Cafe (right next to it).

The chef was very welcoming, inviting us to try their new restaurant, and the accompanying degustation menu, themed "A Mediterranean Vegetarian Culinary Experience" for the price of RM 88! - Who could say no to such an auspicious number especially when the lunar new year is just around the corner?

First up, complimentary wholemeal bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Remember to save some bread for dipping into your sauces, ala true mediterranean style in the later dishes!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup - it's not your regular plain ole' pumpkin soup, but one that is spiced, with herbs and candied ginger of somesort, giving a nice spicy kick to the creamy pumpkin soup. We loved it.

Arugula, Rockets and Mandarin Orange in sesame dressing - Fried in batter, the mandarin orange is a curiosity. Perhaps it is my prejudice against fried fruits, because others seemed to enjoy it, but I thought the deep fried mandarin orange did not go so well with the salad.

Grilled sweet pepper with cheese stuffing, and Roasted Romano with Prunes in Herb Oil - hands down the best of the evening! I have a feeling that even a full portion would still leave us wanting for more of this.

Diving into the mains, the Mushroom Zuchini Aglio Olio with Grilled Lemons is delectable. Refreshing, and crunchy from the thin strips of zuchini and wonderfully spiced. Another favourite I would love to have in full serving.

Fettuccine with Pistachio nuts in Carbonara sauce.

Curried Cous Cous, with grilled Asparagus, Baby carrots, Sunflower seeds and Pomegranate dressing.

Pesto, Pesto, Pesto.

Endive with berries - an amusing crunch pleasing to both the eyes and the palette.

Watermelon Gespacho - I would order a gallon of this! I believe it tasted like watermelon with a hint of bitterness from the cucumbers, and a very delightful sweetness from a secret ingredient which left us guessing.

Some people would shudder at the thought of nomming meatless meals, let alone a vegetarian-degustation meal, but we were happy that we ended our night in moderation - nomming a uniquely varied, beautifully crafted vegan menu. This was a very creative and original sampler menu and certainly worth experiencing while it is still available. Just a side note to big eaters ... you might want to order 2 sets instead of just one.

No regrets coming to Barat, and we are anxiously looking forward to their a'la carte menu.


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